TJ Comments

Comments are welcomed on the comparisons between the verses or passages shown from the Gospel of Matthew and their TJ parallels. TJ stands for Talmud of Jmmanuel, discovered in 1963 by Eduard Meier and Isa Rashid.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


There are some 17 problematic Matthean verses in Mt 16, apparently caused by the writer's alterations of TJ 18.


  • At 9:28 AM , Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

    One of these Matthean problem passages is the martyrdom-promoting verse of Mt 16:25, "For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." The TJ (18:37) allows us to understand what prompted the writer of Matthew here.

  • At 5:32 AM , Blogger Ben said...

    Criticisms on MT 16:18/ TJ 18:23:

    "It implies that Jesus personally set out to form a sect of his own, within but separated from Israel"
    "Peter never received the respect that should have been due him had this statement been a genuine, known one."
    "it is not very reasonable that Jesus would tell Peter that he was establishing his church around him"
    "Both verses imply that Jmmanuel and Peter well knew the double meaning of the name "Peter" and the word 'rock.' Beare (p. 355) noted that in Aramaic the two words are identical: Kepha. The TJ verse implies the double meaning, or pun, even more strongly, as it reads 'on your rock.'"


    All of the above criticisms reveal a misunderstanding of Matthew's original meaning, as preserved in the earliest Greek manuscripts, since the criticisms purport the notion that Peter is the “rock” being referred to by J. Beare's comment that in Aramaic, the two words are identical, is irrelevant when looking at Matthew, even if the original Matthew was a distortion of an Aramaic TJ. The original Matthew must be regarded as the Greek Matthew, which is what has been handed down to us today. Any Aramaic copies of Matthew that exist to this day are translations of Greek Matthew, which can contain errors.

    In Matthew's original Greek language, the two words are not identical. The word "Peter," which transliterated from the Greek is "Petros," means "an individual stone," referring to a fragment or piece of rock which can be handled and which comes from a larger mass of rock. On the other hand, the word "rock," which is transliterated from the Greek as "petra," means "a large rock formation" and usually appears in New Testament literature with a focus that it is something which is a suitable and solid foundation for one to build upon (See MT 7:24-25 / TJ 7:28-29). A "stone" or “piece of rock” is certainly not something that a house or anything significant could ever be built upon. If something of significance was built upon a stone, the stone would not be able to support it and would be crushed.

    Thus, Matthew, in his original writing, never had J referring to Peter as a rock upon which J would build His church (or assembly). J said to Simon, "thou art 'a stone,' and upon this 'rock' I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." If J was saying that He would build His church upon Peter, then He would have said that “upon 'you' I will build my church.” Even referring to Peter as 'this stone' as opposed to ‘this rock’ would be awkward since the statement of J was directly made to Peter and nobody else. It would be strange for J to be talking directly to Peter about Peter and refer to Peter in the 3rd person perspective. Thus, "this rock" does not refer to the one who is called "a stone," but refers to the notion that Peter revealed about J in MT 16:16: "Thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Matthew does appropriately refer to this statement by using the "this" of "this rock." At no time in the New Testament does any writer ever refer to Peter as "a rock" (petra) or "the rock" especially not even Peter himself. Peter refers to J as "a rock (petra)" in 1 Peter 2:8, and so does Paul in Romans 9:33 and in 1 Corinthians 10:4. Nevertheless, in this context, as in MT 7:24-25 / TJ 7:28-29, the “rock” does not refer to J Himself or any other person, but refers to a teaching, where here, the teaching concerns J’s identity, as revealed in MT 16:16 and TJ 18:20 (which is a different identity from MT 16:16 of course.)

    Despite this, there has been much misunderstanding of J's statement as recorded in Matthew over the centuries. From what I know, the Catholic Church has even officially adopted the interpretation that J was referring to Peter as the rock upon which J would build His church so that they could use this statement of J for their own benefit in setting up popes as authorities to exercise control over the masses. But such an interpretation of Matthew's statement destroys the meaning of Matthew's original Greek language and has arisen out of deliberate falsifications, mistranslations, and misunderstandings.

    Interestingly enough, the TJ 18:23 cognate of MT 16:18 seems to be using a similar metaphor in the same way as Matthew. The only difference is that in the TJ it is “your rock” as opposed to “this rock.” In Matthew, the notion of J’s identity did not come from Peter since J states that this notion came from the Father in vs. 17, which is why it does not appear as “your rock.” However, in the TJ, which also seems to be using “rock” as a metaphor for what Peter said in TJ 18:20 and not as a description of Peter since the rock is something which Peter possesses, it is referred to as “your rock,” where Jmmanuel is stating that the notion of J’s identity did not come from anybody other than Peter and Peter’s own misunderstandings of Jmmanuel’s teachings.

    A question that arises concerning this passage from the TJ, however, is: why did Jmmanuel precede his statement of "I cannot build my teachings on your rock" with "you are Peter (a stone)" if Jmmanuel was not going to metaphorically describe Peter as a fragment of rock or connect Peter, "a small fragment of rock," with a larger mass of rock, being the teaching that J was “the Christ, Son of the living God?” Calling Simon “Peter” at this time can only be viewed as a “pun” if Simon already had the name “Peter” at this time and if J was NOT the person who gave Simon this new name. Even though the narrators in both MT and the TJ have referred to this one as Peter before in their narratives from hindsight, this is clearly the first time in both Matthew's and the TJ’s account that Simon has ever been addressed by someone as "Peter." J told Simon that he would be called (at a later time) “Peter” earlier in His ministry as recorded in John 1:42, and the other gospel writers well attest that it was J Himself who gave Simon this new name. This is the earliest time in any of the gospels that Simon is ever addressed by anyone as “Peter” within any of the narratives, and in Matthew, the reason for this is clear. In Matthew, the preceding of "upon this rock" with "you are a stone (or small piece of rock)" has been noted by Greek scholars to be a play upon the words where Peter being referred to as a "little piece of rock" shows his connection to the “large mass of rock,” being the understanding that J is the Christ, the Son of the living God. And it is indeed this “rock” upon which the church would be built and upon which the church stands to this day. Therefore, this is the first time that J addressed Simon by his new name in Matthew, giving him the name of "piece of rock," in order to acknowledge that Peter had spiritual understanding to be able to know J’s identity as purported in Matthew and in the rest of the New Testament.

    This play upon words does not seem to be occurring in the TJ. Only in the TJ does Jmmanuel seem to be making fun of or even mocking Simon by calling him “a piece of rock” and then saying that he cannot use Peter’s “rock” to build anything upon. Again, this only makes sense as a “pun” if Simon already had the name of Peter at this time and Jmmanuel was making fun of his already-known name, not giving him a new name that he could then use against him to criticize Peter’s misunderstandings of his teachings. Are we to believe that J being the one who gave Simon the new name of “Peter” is also a lie that has been handed down through the ages? If that is not the case, then the author of the TJ seems to have revealed that he or she did not realize that J was referring to Simon by his new name that J Himself gave to him and addressed him as for the first time on record at this point in the narrative.

  • At 11:09 AM , Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

    Ben wrote:

    All of the above criticisms reveal a misunderstanding of Matthew's original meaning, as preserved in the earliest Greek manuscripts, since the criticisms purport the notion that Peter is the “rock” being referred to by J. Beare's comment that in Aramaic, the two words are identical, is irrelevant when looking at Matthew, even if the original Matthew was a distortion of an Aramaic TJ. The original Matthew must be regarded as the Greek Matthew, which is what has been handed down to us today.

    I can't follow this confused logic. If (a) the original Matthew was a distortion of the Aramaic TJ, and (b) was written in Aramaic and/or Hebrew as attested by the early church fathers, then (c) the original Matthew was written in the Hebraic tongue (I tend to believe that its Aramaic discourse that was preserved was left in the Aramaic, while the writer's narration was expressed in Hebrew.)

    So you must be objecting
    to (b). But plenty of scholars have found Aramaisms and Hebraicisms in Matthew and Mark and Luke. Do you contest this, or just detest it?

    After the Greek Matthew had been translated out of its Hebraic original, and the latter destroyed by its various holders after they had acquired the Greek, it's not surprising that a later translation of the Greek Matthew back into the Hebrew tongue would be made.

    How could the early tradition be incorrect, of Matthew having come first, written in the Hebraic tongue? Those in the church/synagogue of the writer of Matthew would have known the truth. Those in the house churches in Rome would know, after Mark was written, that Matthew had been written first, and in the Hebrew tongue. Similarly with those in the church in Anatolia where the writer of Luke was apparently located. Would all these and others have had strong motivation to falsify the truth and start a rumor saying that a Hebraic Matthew had preceded a Greek Matthew, if a Hebraic Matthew had not actually been first?

    So as spoken in Aramaic, Peter's name had been Kephas, which is the Aramaic word for rock. Not a little rock (which would have been "kevna"), just rock. It was a pun, but spoken seriously and not in jest.

    The later Greek "Petros" is what is less relevant, as we presume Immanuel had been speaking in Aramaic as usual, both at the time he spoke it and later when dictating it back to Judas who wrote it down in Aramaic.

  • At 12:19 PM , Blogger Ben said...

    The purpose of my comment was simply to state that the Aramaic version of Matthew that Beare was looking at when he made his comment that the two words are identical is most definitely a translation of Greek Matthew into Aramaic and not a copy of the original Aramaic Matthew since such a document has been completely lost if there was ever one in the first place. As such, this Aramaic translation has lost some of the meaning of the Greek.

    An additional problem with the TJ is the fact that Jmmanuel even describes Peter's alleged misinterpretation as a "rock" in the first place. This completely goes against what Jmmanuel taught in TJ 7:30-31 when he metaphorically described words which are followed that are different from the truth as a foundation of "sand," not a foundation of "rock." If Jmmanuel had been consistent with what he had taught earlier in the TJ, he would have compared Peter's words to "sand" at this time, not to a "rock." Even if Jmmanuel was acknowledging the fact that Peter's statement would stand as a foundation that the church would be built upon, one would think that Jmmanuel would have at least qualified it as a "false rock" or something else to that effect in stead of having it appear as is, being a metaphor which more properly describes what is being taught in Matthew's cognate, especially since Jmmanuel allegedly knew that such a statement would stand as the foundation of Christianity.

  • At 7:01 AM , Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

    To Ben,

    Consider the context in which Jmmanuel spoke: "You are Peter (Petrus), and I cannot build my teachings on your rock." Perhaps "your" was emphasized. In any event, it was his teachings that Jmmanuel was concerned about, and they deserved a firm foundation from which to be propagated.

    If Peter (Kephas) had had a name that meant "sand," Jmmanuel would not, I think, have said he'd not build his teachings on your sand. Let me build them on someone else's sand. Not likely! No pun would be used then.

    I don't know if Beare used any Aramaic version of Matthew in his reasoning, since he was a believer in Matthew having been written first in Greek, following Mark. Seems more likely that he knew from his Hebrew/Aramaic learning, and from assuming that "Jesus" spoke in Aramaic, and from studies of others, what the original Aramaic name for Peter (Kephas = rock) had been.

  • At 11:53 AM , Blogger Ben said...

    The whole point I was making was that Jmmanuel should not have had an opportunity to make a "pun" in the first place if had been using his metaphors consistently as before (See TJ 7:28-31, where Jmmanuel relates one who follows the allegedly true teachings of J to one who builds upon a rock, being a strong foundation that can be built upon, and Jmmanuel relates one who does not follow the allegedly true teachings of J, thus- one who follows false teachings, to one who builds upon the sand, being a weak foundation which cannot truly be built upon). Thus, Jmmanuel made a metaphor which showed that all ways which did not correspond to his teachings were as sand, whereas his teachings were like a rock. Since Jmmanuel believed that Peter's notion was a false notion, he wouldn't have said "you are Peter" at all in order to make a consistent pun with his metaphors of rock & sand and would have instead compared Peter's teachings to sand since Jmmanuel felt that Peter's teachings were not a strong foundation upon which the truth could be built at all.

    Again, this is the same time in Matthew's narrative where J is actually giving Simon the new name of "Peter," which correctly corresponds to the metaphor of the rock since Peter's confession was taught by Matthew's J to be the foundation upon which the assembly would be built. Do you agree that the TJ seems to be assuming that "Peter" had already long been a name that Simon had been called? If this is so, then Matthew's vs. 17 along with the agreement of all of the other Gospel writers that J was the one who gave this new name to Simon would be a pretty major conspiracy on a very minor point. It's either that, or Jmmanuel is giving Simon the new name of "Peter" at this time so that he can then have a name of "stone," which Jmmanuel believes is a useless rock, nevertheless, and which he uses inconsistently with his previous use of the word "rock."

  • At 7:18 AM , Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

    Simon had apparently already been known by the nickname of Cephas, or "rock" (TJ 4:54) before J spoke the line of TJ 18:23. Perhaps he was known to be a solid and dependable fisherman of strong resolve.

    Starting out TJ 18:23 with "You are Peter" then let the reader/listener know that the meaning of his name "Peter" was to be contrasted with the rest of his sentence that J couldn't trust his teachings upon Peter's lack of understanding.

    I do think that 18:23 is better translated as "You are Peter, but I cannot build my teachings on your rock." Rashid may not have chosen the best translation for the Aramaic word. Can an Aramaic word for "and" occasionally mean "but"? Or is it conceivable that ex-priest Rashid was improperly influenced in his translation by the "and on this rock" in Matthew?

    This metaphor/pun is consistent in its own right, as is the metaphor of not building on sand. So keep in mind that Simon never had a nickname of "sand." The two metaphors need not be mixed together.

  • At 10:46 AM , Blogger Ben said...

    The problem with citing TJ 4:54 as evidence that Simon was known as “Peter” before MT 16:18 / TJ 18:23 is that TJ 4:54, like the MT 4:18 cognate – “While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.” (ESV), appears as a comment made by the author of the TJ in hindsight in the same manner that it appears in Matthew’s cognate, as has already been noted before. Thus, they were both saying, “he saw two brothers, Simon (who IS [now] called Peter)… It is in the present tense, not the past tense, such as “who was called Peter” or “who was known as Peter.” Both authors would have known this at the time of their writing since Peter’s new name had already been established. Thus, they were simply adding an additional statement as a narrative insert that this one called Simon was also now known (to their readers at the time they would be reading the document) as “Peter.” This is precisely the same thing that is going on in Mark’s passage of Mark 3:13-19:

    “And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons. He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.” (ESV)

    Many have falsely read this passage to mean that J gave Simon the name “Peter” while on the mountain and that He also gave James and John the designations “Sons of Thunder” on the mountain as well. By this reasoning, that would mean that the passage also says that Judas betrayed him while on the mountain, which is not recorded as occurring by anyone. Thus, in this passage as well as others, Mark was simply giving additional details to describe the people in his narrative to the intended readers of his document, details which would have been known at the time that his readers were reading the document but not details that were necessarily known at the time when the disciples and J were gathered together on the mountain.

    Again, J foretold Simon that he would be called (at a later time) “Peter” in John 1:42. Multiple authors referred to Simon as “Peter” in hindsight, being their own additional explanations to describe this one to their readers. It wasn’t until the time of MT 16:17-18 that J actually gave Simon the new name of “Peter” as far as any record reveals, and it was as a deliberate result of Peter’s confession that J gave Him this new name, thus associating him with the greater “rock” that Simon Peter was now connected to. (And to be honest, I have not been able to find in my studies any person who was ever called "Peter" before this Peter, so it seems that J was the one who made this word into a name.)

    The TJ would indeed make better sense if it said “but.” Unfortunately, the “und” of the German, which I am treating as the original, cannot be adversative as far as I know. The Greek word “de” can be adversative or continuative, but such is not found in MT 16:18. Instead, the “kai” that appears not only has a copulative but also a cumulative force in this passage as it does in many others. Since the Greek Matthew would be the closest thing to the original Aramaic Matthew, I have to go by what’s in the Greek. Of course, it could always be said that Matthew changed the conjunction when he allegedly altered the “not.” Nevertheless, the TJ that we have in our hands today leaves behind good reason to charge its author with not altering Matthew enough since its conjunction happens to agree with the majority of translations of Matthew's conjunction yet does not make as good of sense as Matthew's does. But to answer your question, I do not know for certain if Aramaic also has a conjunction like the Greek does which can either be adversative or continuative. I only know that such a conjunction does not even appear here in Greek Matthew, though it could have.

  • At 9:28 PM , Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

    If TJ 4:54 had said "Simon, who was called Peter," that could give the impression that he was no longer, in later life, called Peter. So clearly "is" would be used.

    The use of "is called" need not imply that Simon had not been called Peter for quite a long time before 4:54. Granted, if J had called him by the name "Peter" for the first time at TJ 18:23, "is" would be appropriate. But "is" is just as appropriate for the case when he had been known by the nickname Kephas years earlier.

    Now at TJ 18:23, the statement "You are Peter" means (or can mean) "You are known as Peter." It needn't mean "Simon, I hereby name you Peter."

    If J had wanted to change Peter's name at that time, to go along with your "sand" argument, and make a pun, he would have said something like, "Simon, I hereby call you 'Sandy', and I cannot build my teachings upon your sand."

    And if J had decided that Simon should be known by a new name from then on, why wouldn't he have plainly said so? We do have the example of TJ 26:34 to go on, when he renamed Saul as Paul: "Hereafter you shall be named Saul." That's pretty clear, though the "hereafter" ("fortan") might not mean immediately thenceforth, but could be a prophecy that would prove true in the very near future.

    If you think that the TJ is a hoax, would the hoaxer have anticipated your interpretation of "is called" and of the "sand", and then have dreamed up the Saul-renaming episode in order to forstall your argument?

    Regarding Mk 3:16, the writer of Mark didn't have the TJ to go by, he was merely interpreting Matthew. But we have (the translation of) the original of all. So the idea is to use it consistently.

  • At 9:54 AM , Blogger Ben said...

    "If J had wanted to change Peter's name at that time, to go along with your 'sand' argument, and make a pun, he would have said something like, 'Simon, I hereby call you 'Sandy', and I cannot build my teachings upon your sand.'"

    You are exactly correct if the J of the TJ truly wanted to make a similar statement as the J of Matthew did. Even though that might sound absurd, it would be consistent with his teachings of rock/sand. That is why the author of the TJ has revealed that he or she did not realize where Peter had received his name when he or she was altering MT. Upon looking only at Matthew, not realizing that Matthew's narrative inserts were explanatory statements to his readers who would have already known the name of Peter and would have been confused at hearing this one be called "Simon" because he was no longer called by that name at the time that he was helping to establish the assembly and became known to the masses, the author of the TJ made the erroneous assumption that Simon had been given the name "Peter" years before meeting J, not knowing that it was J who gave him the new name and not knowing the reasons for why he received this name, as attested by biblical and non-biblical sources. The author of the TJ has established that he or she new the meaning of the word "Petros" when he or she decided to twist Matthew's statement into a "pun," as you call it. Nevertheless, he or she has revealed that he or she thought Simon was already called this name earlier, even though it was most certainly not at all a common name and J may have even been the first one to make the word "stone" into a name as far as records reveal. Matthew's verses 17-18 clearly show a statement as would be made by a king who is giving someone a new status. This would be similar as to how a more modern king would dub someone as "sir." Such a pattern follows what was established by J here.

    The argument that Simon was known as Kephas years earlier can only stem from one reading the TJ alone, without considering what the bulk of historical records, biblical and non-biblical, have revealed about the origin of Peter's name and the reason for it. Since many are not aware of the origin of Peter’s name, even those who have studied biblical literature for years, it stands to reason why the author of the TJ, who also chose not to familiarize him or herself with these details, made the false assumption that Peter received his name before meeting J when he or she read Matthew's narrative explanations without altering them in any fashion afterwards. The fact that he or she new that Paul used to be called Saul and later received his new name, does not remove the error made concerning Peter. If this is not an error, then the conspiracy of the origin of Peter's name is extremely massive, covering not only biblical but also numerous secular sources which would have had to be in on it. The clever conspiracy, which would have been necessary for Matthew to change this alleged “pun” of J into an official statement as would be made by a king giving a person a new status, along with all of the other gospel writers following suit and crediting J with giving Simon this new name and all secular records pointing to this being the time that the name was established, after which it then began to be in common use, would have needed to have been very well-performed indeed.

  • At 8:06 PM , Blogger Ben said...

    Matthew 16:19
    “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (KJV)

    To begin, a short explanation for the meaning of the Greek is needed. Greek uses participles which allow for more concise expressions, which cannot be so briefly rendered in English without losing the original meaning. In this case, the words that were translated as “bound” and “loosed” both appear as perfect participles in the Greek. As such, the second half of the verse is more properly rendered: “whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth (shall have been bound and shall remain bound) in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth (shall have been loosed and shall remain loosed) in heaven.” It is also important to note all of the “thee’s” and “thou’s” of the King James Version, which the King James translators always consistently used when the pronouns of the Greek appeared in the singular form. In this case, it shows that what was being said was being said to Peter alone.

    “The second part of Mt 16:19 has nothing to do with locks and keys, but as Beare (pp. 355-356) pointed out, it deals with rabbinic authority. Thus it is not a very logical or understandable sentence as a whole, but is something an early Christian with background as scribe, Pharisee and/or rabbi could have invented.”

    I am not certain about what all is being implied when it is said that the passage deals with rabbinic authority which has nothing to do with keys. It would seem that the charge is being made that the second half of the verse in Matthew has to mention keys or locks in order to make sense, which seems to be an argument that arises simply because the TJ does so. If this is not the case, then a further clarification needs to be made.

    Even so, as the verse in Matthew stands, it makes rather clear sense. To clarify, a simpler analogy using a key and a locked closet will be made. If someone has a key to a locked closet, that person does not have any control over what is already inside of the locked closet. That person simply has the ability to open the door of the closet using the key and then has access to what is already inside. The reason I create this analogy is because of what has been falsely supposed by many who read Matthew’s verse and interpret it in a way that gives man power that he does not have by J’s statement in Matthew. As the verse shows in its more proper rendering, Peter was given keys, which would allow others to have access to the kingdom of heaven (not heaven itself). In Matthew, the kingdom of heaven refers to what has been set up on earth with the people of J who regard Him and follow Him as their King now, even though He is seated on the right hand of God as claimed by the Bible (which is obviously very different from what is taught in the TJ). Therefore, Peter was given the ability to open the door of the kingdom of heaven, not heaven itself, to the Jews, the Samaritans (part Jews part non-Jews), and the Gentiles (non-Jews) as recorded in the book of Acts. He did this by preaching the message that Matthew’s J told them to preach later in Matthew’s narrative.

    Now the kingdom of heaven, as taught in the gospels, is obviously under the authority of heaven, not the authority of men. A more modern rendering of the kingdom of heaven, as taught in the Bible, would be “heaven’s kingdom.” In other words, the kingdom belongs to heaven, not to men. Men, however, now have access and, thus, can enter into this kingdom which has been set up already in an invisible form on the earth, which the scriptures teach can only be seen by eyes of faith, and will be set up later in its physical form, also according to the Bible. Thus, the second part of verse 19 is showing the proper authority under which the kingdom of heaven operates. Heaven was the one that had first bound something. Peter had the key to be able to see what heaven had already bound and, therefore, could put it into effect in heaven’s kingdom which was now going to be on the earth. Heaven was also the one that had first loosed something. Peter also had the key to be able to see what heaven had already loosed and could, therefore, put it into effect in heaven’s kingdom which was on earth. The argument, then, that this verse could have been invented by a scribe or someone else after the church had long been established would only seem to be good if the church would have had good motivations (for themselves) for doing so. But as the verse stands, it does not give the original apostles or anyone else the ability to control or decide what goes on in heaven's kingdom. Heaven has all of the authority according to the verse. The church, however, has gone against what the verse says to suppose that they have special authority over certain matters. Such thoughts comes from men, not Matthew’s verse.

    The fact that Peter had access to heaven’s kingdom shows why he was able to put what had already been established in heaven into effect on earth. He had access to the kingdom of heaven’s “blue prints,” so to speak. The kingdom of heaven that J desired to place on earth had been in heaven but was a mystery to the people of earth until J brought it to earth. Because Peter could see the blue prints for this, he was able to put it into effect upon the earth. Such is simply what both parts of verse 19 teach. As such, I have no idea why the second part of the verse would have to mention keys or locks in order for the whole verse to make sense or be logical since the first part of the verse shows that Peter had access to what belonged to heaven and then the second part shows how he could put what he had access to into effect upon the earth, which I in no way find to be an illogical flow of thought. But as I said, I might need clarification on the argument.

    I can see how one can can conclude that he or she either disagrees with what Matthew teaches or with what the TJ teaches and can notice that they are very different from each other in this section. But I do not presently see how one can observe the two verses and say that Matthew is being illogical and, therefore, he must have distorted another document because it makes more sense.

  • At 8:25 PM , Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

    The argument that Simon was known as Kephas years earlier can only stem from one reading the TJ alone, without considering what the bulk of historical records, biblical and non-biblical, have revealed about the origin of Peter's name and the reason for it.

    As already noted, the biblical records can't tell us when Cephas obtained that nickname, as Mark was dependent upon Matthew, Luke upon Mark & Matthew, John dependent upon Matthew & Luke, and Matthew dependent upon the TJ where "is called" can easily mean he had been called "Peter" years before becoming a disciple. And even in 1 Cor 12, where he is called Cephas, one doesn't know that he hadn't held that nickname well before the time of TJ 18:23. Also, the definitive wording of the renaming of Saul does carry significant weight in understanding why such wording was not used with Peter.

    I still see no logic in your argumentation without assuming beforehand that the TJ is a hoax. But I'd be interested to hear of any non-biblical dependent evidence you know that indicates Peter did not have that name until Mt 16:18.

  • At 9:17 PM , Blogger Ben said...

    Is not the whole point of this discussion to view both possibilities of the discussion? There are only two options in this whole discussion since the two documents are so similar to each other:

    1. The TJ is a hoax and Matthew is the original document.
    2. Matthew is a hoax and the TJ is the original document.

    I have already said how incredibly difficult it would be for so many biblical and non-biblical sources to agree with each other on the little point of how Peter received his name. On this point, yes, the TJ appears that its author was ignorant of this point, based on how many other sources regard what the Gospels say on this point to be true. So on this point, option one is well supported. You are assuming on this point that option 2 is correct when you make your arguments. It is important to understand how well of a hoax would be necessary for option 2 to be correct on this point while a multitude of sources would verify the origin of Peter's name to be what is stated in the Bible without trying to refute it.

    I will keep with my intentional strategy of not listing my specific resources because:
    1. If I list one of my resources, some might instantly discredit the source simply because of who the author(s) is(are) and not look more into the matter.
    2. By not listing the resources, it should prompt further investigation by individuals into sources that they might regard as authoritative themselves, learn much else more in the process, and better determine their views on the matter instead of taking my word for it. If they do not desire to to this, then they are free to do so and hold to what they already hold to.

    Nevertheless, I am one who will only make firm statements if I can back it up with other sources than my own thoughts or reason. If I can't firmly do this, then I always try to make qualifying statements revealing such. This is certainly a matter that I am very confident in. Nevertheless, I would be curious if you could find specific sources that refute how Peter received his name since there are so many that agree with what is recorded in the gospels, whereas the TJ stands alone on this matter.

    Do you not agree that Mark was supposed to have been written with the help of Peter, as the early church fathers claimed? Would not Mark, then, have likely received this information from Peter (Mark 3:16)? What would prompt Peter to come up with such a lie? How easy would it have been to hide the fact that he had the name Peter for years and then spread the lie that he later received the name "Peter" from J? Was Matthew in on the lie, too, when he cleverly "tweaked" the respective TJ passages where "Peter" is mentioned to construct a false origin of how Simon received his new name, while leaving intact the corresponding passages of the TJ that mentioned "Peter" before TJ 18 since they already looked so much like narrative inserts that explained who Simon was to the readers who were likely hearing the name "Simon" for the first time since he was so well-known as "Peter" by the time the document was written? Some thoughts to consider.

  • At 6:53 AM , Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

    I have already said how incredibly difficult it would be for so many biblical and non-biblical sources to agree with each other on the little point of how Peter received his name.

    Yes, you've said that, but from the truth that the TJ reveals, an interpretation of Matthew in that direction was merely repeated by one or two other Gospel writers. I've shown that this interpretation is not even the most straightforward interpretation of TJ 18:23, which is "You are Peter" means just that -- your name is Peter -- hence future readers would be able to recognize the subsequent pun: Kephas/rock.

    Your reasoning seems to be that if two or three Gospel writers say the same thing, then it has to be true! But, "It ain't necessarily so."

    Alright, don't tell us what external sources you have in mind.

    Do you not agree that Mark was supposed to have been written with the help of Peter, as the early church fathers claimed?

    You evidently haven't read or studied the modified Augustinian hypothesis (MAH).

  • At 11:30 AM , Blogger Ben said...

    A Question on TJ 28 / MT 26

    It was said:
    "In TJ 28:27 it is made clear that the swordsman was one in the arresting party who then changed his mind after hearing Jmmanuel speak, and sided with him; he was not Peter, as the Gospel of John would have it."

    What would be a good reason for John changing the person who cut off the ear from one who was in the arresting party to his close friend Peter, assuming the disciple John wrote the gospel attributed to him?

    Wouldn't it make more sense that in order to protect the reputation of his friend Peter, assuming that Peter was the one who cut off the ear in the first place, that John would have changed the one from being Peter to being one who was in the arresting party? If John indeed wrote the gospel that is attributed to him, he would be able to know who cut off the ear since he was an eyewitness to the event. This would also shed some light on why Matthew, Mark, and Luke may not have specifically known who cut off the ear in the first place because if it was indeed Peter who shared the information of this event originally, Peter may not have revealed who the specific person was who cut off the ear out of shame or embarrassment. Nevertheless, Peter could not hide this piece of information from John since John would have seen it with his own eyes. What might have caused John to change this into something that would incriminate one of his close friends and fellow gospel disseminators as part of the "Jesus conspiracy?" Also, if a devoted follower of Christianity later wrote the gospel of John, again, why would he have invented something to defame one of his respected authorities, being the apostle Peter?

    Could this be evidence where the author of the TJ, in desiring to make Matthew more specific, should have read the book of John before making up new details?

  • At 10:29 PM , Blogger Jim Deardorff said...

    A response to the above (11:30 AM comment) is given in my Oct. 13th blog.

  • At 5:42 AM , Blogger Ben said...

    For MT 28:1 Section.


    Given that the other gospel writers clearly indicate that Mary the mother of James and Joses, the one who was with Mary Magdalene at the tomb and the one whom Matthew referred to as the "other Mary," was NOT the same person as Mary the mother of J, what motivations do you believe were behind the gospel writers in cleverly turning J's mother into another Mary on “resurrection” morning?

  • At 8:09 AM , Blogger Jim Deardorff said...


    My speculation is that strong rumors were around, in the last half of the 1st century and early 2nd, that Mary had traveled with Immanuel who had survived. So the writer of Matthew avoided mention of Mary's name in his chapters 27 & 28. This was Mary's "punishment."

    The writer of Mark apparently invented an identity for the "other" Mary who wasn't the mother of Immanuel, suggesting to me that he was probably in on the rumor.

    The writers of Luke and John would have been aware of the rumor, but also of its truth, from having read the TJ. (Perhaps the rumor had been greatly reinforced from those who had read parts of the TJ before it came into the custody of the writer of Matthew.) So they went along with AMatthew's avoidance of mother Mary, with the writer of Luke following the "mother of James" invention from Mark, since he preferred pro-gentile Mark over anti-gentile Matthew.


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