The Epistles Indicate that the Gospels were NOT Published Early


Paul’s epistles show that the gospel stories did not exist in any form when Paul lived.  But the later ones also show an absence of the gospel legends in the primordial soup of the Church of their times.


The New American Bible dates the First Epistle of Peter at between 64 and 67 AD and sees no reason to deny Petrine authorship (Biblical Dictionary and Concordance, page 176).  One clue is how the event known as the transfiguration when Jesus turned white and glowed is treated as a resurrection appearance but in the gospels it happens before Jesus dies.

This epistle shows no sign of the gospels existing or even being incubated.




The First Epistle of John is believed to have been written after the Gospel of John and in the 90s of the first century.  It denies that there are any gospels.


It endeavours to counteract the influence of people who said that Jesus was not a material being but an apparition.  All it does to achieve that is just saying that some unspecified “we” touched Jesus and that anybody who says he had no body is an antichrist.  It would have been better to say, “Go to the Gospel of John which I John wrote”, assuming tradition is right that John wrote all the New Testament works that carry his name.  The epistle says that those who have God’s light don’t need teachers for they hear God in their hearts (2:27).  It is divine inspiration inside you and not inspired gospels that teach. 


The letter condemns the whole world as evil and demands that Christians keep themselves separate from it for the whole world is in the grip of the evil one Satan (5:19).  Jehovah’s Witnesses and some others take that to be a condemnation of Christians who honour flags and presidents and who work in politics.  Other Christians say that he is simply meaning godlessness or worldliness by world and is not forbidding Christians to be politicians and work in politics.  That is a lie for John like the rest forbade involvement in the world for Jesus’ final coming had to be treated as if it was going to happen in a few minutes.  This coming was to overthrow all earthly kingdoms and comprised Jesus taking over the earth as king and Christians were urged to accept that this overthrow could happen any second.  John does forbid political activity for you can’t live that way and prepare for the future by political involvement for the future is what such involvement is about. 


The Christians can’t give you any evidence that world means what they say it means.  If John meant it in a restricted way like they hope he meant, he would have said so in his letter so world means world.  A Church that thought like that would not let the world have its gospels but would keep them to herself to protect them at least until it was sure of itself – and it didn’t get sure of itself until the time of Constantine and soon got cocky enough to turn Jesus into God. 


A Church that was not allowed to bring Christianity into politics to help people could not possibly care much for books for having books imply that you need them for future generations so it would have cared even less about publishing.  It might have had the books but did not depend on them or preach them.   It was only when the Church became invincible that it grew less secretive.


By the way, I have argued in other books that Jesus did not do away with the killing laws of the Old Testament that God gave which wanted homosexuals and idolaters dead.  What I have said here about Christians focusing on the message and not on politics does not undermine that. Some would say they felt they couldn’t put the law into practice for there was no time.  Others would say there was no time for making the civil law except these laws so they might have kept them whenever they could on their own.  The law says it is love to kill these people and Christians never argued that you may not bother loving for there was no time.  Either way they were not invalidating the law.  It is still true to say that the faith revealed by Jesus was a brutal and murderous one.


The Epistle of Jude was not written by Jude the apostle because he speaks of what the apostles said as if he were not one of them (17).  And it is in the past tense as if they are all off the scene.  The letter quotes an edition of the First Book of Enoch betraying a date of 100 AD (NAB, Introduction to the Epistle of Jude).  The author quotes a story about Michael the Archangel not judging the Devil but simply telling him that he hoped the Lord would punish him.  The moral is that we must not judge.  This story is terrible for the angel did judge the Devil when he told him he should be punished.  Jude was obviously stuck for evidence and had to use a legend that is not in the Bible to do it.  If he had the Gospel of Matthew he could have quoted what Jesus said about judging.  And he would have.  And he quotes a dud scripture to prove that Jesus will come back to judge the world.  The gospels would have been a better choice so he did not have them.  Even if the Epistle was written in 80 AD when libertine heretical Christianity threatened the faith it still shows that the gospels were highly privileged information then, a lifetime after the alleged events.  Jude didn’t even have access to the words of the Lord and he was a high-level Christian for his letter seems to have been meant for the whole Church.


The Epistle of James gives no hint of the existence of the Gospels.  The stress it lays on Old Testament material suggests that it did not know of them.  James 5:12 seems to quote what Jesus said about oaths in Matthew.  But James does not attribute it to Jesus and perhaps Matthew used what James wrote and put it in his gospel or it could be a common tradition.  If James knew the gospels he would have used the verses from Jesus which seem to say that you have to obey God to be saved instead of quoting Abraham and Rahab whose cases give no proof of what he says.  The author uses his own authority instead of Jesus’ (NAB, Introduction to the Epistle of James).  You only use your pathetic authority when it is all you have and when you cannot use the infallible prophet Jesus’. 


If James really was related to Jesus then he proves the gospels are lying about Jesus and that high-level leaders of the Church who would have known about the gospels had they existed did not.  The letter is often dated to before 62 AD when James was murdered.  This would tell us that there were no gospels then or even any traditions that could become gospels.  Then, even Jesus’ relations knew that the stories in the gospels were false for they did not hear of them. 


Most scholars hold that this dating of James to be thrown out.  They date the letter to the end of the first century.  If they are right then it means there was no evidence even then that the gospels had been revealed to anybody.


The Epistles as good as say there were no Gospels published even in secret and show that a biography was manufactured for Jesus later for he did not exist.

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