Why Shouldn’t We Trust the Non-Canonical Gospels Attributed to Matthias?

~ Wallace

The New Testament describes the Apostle Matthias as the man who joined the remaining eleven apostles and replaced Judas after Judas committed suicide. In Acts 1:21-22, Matthias is described as “one of the men who have accompanied (the disciples) during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among (them), beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from (them).” If this is true, Matthias would have been an eyewitness to the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus. History records at least one ancient text attributed to Matthias, but is this non-biblical text reliable? Was it really written by Matthias? There are four attributes of reliable eyewitness testimony, and the first requirement is simply that the account be old enough to actually be written by someone who was present to see what he or she reports. The ancient texts attributed to Matthias were written too late in history to have been written by the man we know as Matthias, and like other late non-canonical texts, these errant document were rejected by the leaders in the early Church. In spite of this, the manuscripts we are about to examine still contain small nuggets of truth related to Jesus.  Although they are legendary fabrications written by authors who altered the story of Jesus to suit the purposes of their religious communities, much can still be learned about the historic Jesus from these late texts:

The Traditions of Matthias (110-160AD)
The Traditions of Matthias is described by Clement of Alexandria in a letter (Miscellanies written in 210AD) and many scholars suspect that it is the same text known as the Gospel of Matthias and mentioned by Origen, Eusebius, Ambrose, and Jerome. While the manuscript is lost, there are still three small quotes from Clement’s letter that are available to us. The text may have contained a narrative of Jesus’ life along with teachings, but it is difficult to know from what little we have today.

Why Isn’t It Considered Reliable?
Scholars believe that The Traditions of Matthias was written far too late to have been penned by the Matthias mentioned in the Book of Acts. From the few passages available to us in Clement’s letter, it is apparent that it was used by Gnostic believers such as the Basilideans. According to Hippolytus, the leader of the group, Basilides, learned “secret words” from Matthias that had supposedly been passed down to him from Jesus himself. This is consistent with how early Church leaders described The Gospel of Matthias. Eusebius lists The Gospel of Matthias with the Gospels of Thomas and Peter as heretical works known to the early Church. The Gospel of Matthias is also listed as heretical in the Decretum Gelasianum, the Catalogue of the Sixty Canonical Books, and in a list of false books that were used by Nazarene Christians.

Read more: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/why-shouldnt-we-trust-the-non-canonical-gospels-attributed-to-matthias/

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Wouldn’t a Loving God Make Sure Everyone Gets to Heaven?

http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/wouldnt-a-loving-god-make-sure-everyone-gets-to-heaven/

Wouldn’t a Loving God Make Sure Everyone Gets to Heaven?

http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/wouldnt-a-loving-god-make-sure-everyone-gets-to-heaven/

Why the Trinity Is So Important in the First Place

I’ve been writing this week about the truth of the triune nature of God, so I thought it might be appropriate to list a few reasons why this doctrine (commonly called the Trinity) is so important. It is certainly true that according to the claims of Christianity, salvation actually requires the triune God of the Bible. As believers, our redemption is originated by the Father (see Galatians 4:4), achieved through His Son (see 1 Peter 3:18), and then applied by the Spirit (see Titus 3:5). Every member of the Trinity has a role to play. But there are a few other reasons why the Trinity is important to those of us who call ourselves Christians:

Go to: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/why-the-trinity-is-so-important-in-the-first-place/

Is Christianity Reasonable? A Review of Forensic Faith by J. Warner Wallace

http://seanmcdowell.org/blog/is-christianity-reasonable-a-review-of-forensic-faith-by-j-warner-wallace

Why Didn’t Luke Include the Deaths of Paul, Peter and James in the Book of Acts?

93In my book, Cold Case Christianity, I attempt to evaluate the gospel accounts with the same criteria used by jurors to assess the reliability of eyewitnesses in a criminal case. In California, jurors are encouraged to ask themselves, “How well could the witness see, hear, or otherwise perceive the things about which the witness testified?” In essence, jurors must determine whether or not a witness was even present and able to see what it is they say they saw! For those of us who are examining the gospel accounts, this means we’ve got to answer the simple question, “Were the gospel written early enough to have been written by people who were actually present for the life and ministry of Jesus?” This is a critical question in evaluating the reliability of the New Testament gospels, and I think the Books of Acts is the key to the answer.

Read more: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2016/why-didnt-luke-include-the-deaths-of-paul-peter-and-james-in-the-book-of-acts/

The Frustrating Fallacy of Friendship Evangelism

In this piece, J. Warner Wallace writes about the concept of friendship evangelism. In it, he concludes that strict friendship evangelism is “a natural, fallen, human response to the fear of discomfort and worldly judgment.”

To see how he arrives at this conclusion, read the piece in its entirety here.