I have been doing a lot of research on Biblical authorship. Recently, I came across an article entitled “A biblical text with ‘new’ facts about Jesus was found — and Christians ignore it.” In this article the authors claimed that Luke wrote a document called “The Dialogue of Jason and Papiscus.” Apparently, it was a “lost” work sometimes ascribed to Luke or a man named Aristo by various church fathers. The author of the article said that early Christians possibly had a different set of scriptures with references to Jesus that would “transform” our orthodox understanding of the divinity of Christ, such as that he was actually a created being. Is there any evidence to suggest that Luke did not write this? Why would the Church fathers say that Luke wrote something like this?


This “dialogue” is, apparently, a genuine document.  It has been completely lost to us, but Irenaeus mentions the document in the late second century. Origen mentions it in the early third century, and Jerome in the late fourth.  Irenaeus mentions that Celsus quoted the document out of context in what he felt was a dishonorable way.  Origen had a dim view of the dialogue.  It was a staged dialogue from the mid-second century between a Jew who had converted to Christianity, and a Jew who had not converted, discussing the nature of the Jewish Messiah.
All this is fine, but then you found an author who uses the lack of information on this dialogue as an opening to make massive and totally unsupported speculation about it. This is typical of disingenuous authors, who use holes in our knowledge as an opportunity to push their favorite evidence-free theories. Such is the case here.  It is true that one early Church father–Clement of Alexandria–speculated that Luke may have written this document.  But it is very unlikely that Clement was correct, as Luke was not even Jewish!  You ask why would the Church fathers say that Luke wrote this dialogue.  The fact is that only one early church writer made this speculation, and no other church leaders agree.  Why did he make this speculation?  I am not sure.  However, scholars agree that the document is from the mid-second century, making the likelihood that Luke wrote it extremely remote.
Besides, although we know very little of the dialogue, as it is lost, we can be well assured that the Christian in this dialogue does not agree with the wild speculation from this source!  Otherwise, Irenaeus would have rejected it.   There is no evidence for an alternative canon of Scripture.  There were many other heretical letters written in the second and third century (Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Mary, Judas, etc.), but there is literally zero evidence that the church as a whole ever considered these writings to be Scripture.  In any case, we can say for absolute certain that the Christian in the dialogue of Jason and Papiscus did not support the idea that Jesus was a created being.  This is sheer, baseless speculation.
John Oakes

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