I think Mr Oakes needs to take a course in logic. He attempts to discredit Robert Eisenman by using, not the extant historical evidence, but the unsubstantiated writings of “early church fathers”,and the new testament “writings” of Peter and Luke. First of all there is not a single writing of the church fathers and “Peter and Luke” that date earlier than 450 AD. Second of all the bible is not history, it is faith. Third of all you cannot appeal to faith based writings to undermine historical fact such as the Dead Sea Scrolls (written from about 50 BC to about 135 AD) and the writings of Josephus (attested to by historians from about 80 AD forward)  The logical fallacy he engages in is argumentum ad verecundium, which is appealing to reverence for a long standing tradition to argue against reasoned evidence from history.


Whatever you or I think about Robert Eisenman, it will be helpful for you to get your facts straight. Even the most skeptical atheistic enemies of Christianity will agree that the entire New Testament was written in the first century or, at the absolute latest, a couple of the books might have been written in the very early second century. We have more than a dozen manuscripts from the second century, including the Rylands Papyrus which has been dated by experts at AD 125. Your date of 450 AD proves that you simply have not even done any research on the topic. The Codex Vaticanus, Codex Alexandrinus and Codex Sinaiticus are manuscripts from between 300 and 350 AD which include the entire Bible. There are literally hundreds of manuscripts from before 450 AD. You are just plain wrong. As for the church fathers, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen and others of the church fathers from the second and third centuries are historical figures–at least as historical as Josephus. We have much more extensive writings from Irenaeus, Clement and Origen than we do from Josephus. No responsible historian would deny these people were real and if you want to be respected, you will not make such irresponsible statements. The Dead Sea Scrolls are no more or less real than the Washington Manuscript (another 2nd century manuscript of the New Testament). Also, none of the Dead Sea Scrolls are from 135 AD. These documents were placed in the caves in about AD 65. My arguments were based on well-known facts. I am totally open to a discussion of Robert Eisenman and his writings, but not based on false statements such as the ones you have made.

John Oakes

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