Mt 16:1     1And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven.

TJ 18:2    2And behold, the Sadducees and Pharisees approached him and demanded that he let them see a sign of his conscousness-related power.

TJ 18:2    2Und siehe, da traten die Sadduzäer und Pharisäer zu ihm und forderten, dass er sie ein Zeichen der bewusstseinsmässigen Kraft sehen liesse.

THE PROBLEM.  Would the Pharisees and Sadducees not have asked more specifically for some sign from Jesus himself? It was his ability to produce a miracle that they were questioning, not his ability to point out some sign coming from God in heaven, such as a rainbow.

SOLUTION.   The TJ indicates that their request had been realistic and natural, since Jmmanuel had let it be known that his (wonderful) deeds had been accomplished through spiritual (or consciousness-related) power—his own spiritual power as sometimes augmented by that of a person being healed.

Concerning the hoax hypothesis, there is little chance that a literary hoaxer would have discerned this minor, unknown problem. He could have let the verse stand as is, or he could have altered it in some other manner, or he could well have chosen to omit the Matthean verse and its following sign-of-Jonah pericope, since it occurred previously at Mt 12:38-40. On the other hand, the likelihood that the writer of Matthew would alter the TJ verse into something like what we have is strong indeed, since the idea that the human spirit possesses power was not anything the church preached. PHoax 0.35.

The different order, "Sadducees and Pharisees," may be noticed in the TJ verse relative to Matthew. It is conjectured that to the writer of the TJ, the order he wrote them in did not much matter, but that placement of the Pharisees first was preferred by the writer of Matthew because he favored the Pharisees' respect for the Law (Torah) over the Sadducees, who denied both the coming of a Messiah and an afterlife.

Mt 16:4     4"An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah." So he left them and departed.

TJ 18:5    5"This wicked and unfaithful generation is seeking a sign; no sign shall be given to it except for the sign of Jonas (Jonah), who disappeared alive into the belly of the fish, dwelled alive in its belly and emerged alive again into the light."

TJ 18:5    5«Dieses böse und abtrünnige Geschlecht sucht ein Zeichen; und es soll ihm aber kein Zeichen gegeben werden, denn das Zeichen des Jona, der lebend im Bauche des Fisches verschwand und lebend in seinem Bauche weilte und dann lebend wieder ans Licht kam.»

THE PROBLEM.  Matthew's lack of any explanation here about the sign of Jonah is not very plausible, unless the questioners were the very same ones as in Mt 12:38 when they supposedly asked the same question and did receive an answer. However, in that case it makes no sense that the same question would be asked by them once again.

SOLUTION.   In the TJ, the sign of Jonah is explained. The emphasis is upon Jonah staying alive, there being no mention of the three days and nights' duration. Indeed, the fact that Jonah survived his ordeal within the "big fish" is the most remarkable thing about it, the length of his ordeal being secondary. The TJ's prophecy of three days and nights in the tomb occurs in two places, one having a faint Matthean cognate (Mt 21:39).

If a redactor after the time of Paul were to weed out heresy from TJ 18:5, by means of the safest route using deletions only, he would likely omit all after "Jonah," as in Mt 16:4. Obviously, the compiler of Matthew would not wish to imply that Jmmanuel alias Jesus prophesied he would survive his crucifixion, since this would nullify belief that Jesus had been resurrected. It may well not have occurred to a 20th-century literary hoaxer, on the other hand, that the sign of Jonah can point to survival of the crucifixion. PHoax 0.35.

This saying in the TJ occurs while Jmmanuel was in the area of Sidon and Tyre. The compiler of Matthew had already borrowed the TJ's verse of narrative geography for that area and utilized it in Mt 15:21 for the setting of the first of his following three invented pericopes, in which he had Jesus then pass along the Sea of Galilee and thence go by boat to the unheard of region of Magadan.

There is no TJ parallel to Matthew's earlier mention of the Jonah prophecy (Mt 12:38-40), which continues into an invented discussion of the men of Nineveh and the queen of the South.

Mt (15:39...),16:4b-5    39And sending away the crowds, he got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan... 4...So he left them [Pharisees and Sadducees] and departed. 5When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread.

TJ 18:1...,6-7    1Jmmanuel departed and escaped to the region of Sidon and Tyre... 6And he left them [Sadducees and Pharisees] and went away. 7When they sailed across the sea and arrived at the other shore, they had forgotten to take along some bread.

TJ 18:1...,6-7    1Jmmanuel aber ging von dannen und entwich in die Gegend von Sidon und Tyrus....6Und er liess sie und ging davon. 7So sie über das Meer schifften und ans andere Ufer kamen, hatten sie vergessen, Brot mit sich zu nehmen.

THE PROBLEM.   As noted by Beare (p. 349), Mt 16:4-5 leaves the reader wondering greatly where Jesus and his disciples had departed to. They, or at least Jesus, had just previously, according to Matthew, been in the (unknown) place of Magadan. Then they (or just Jesus) departed from there. The next thing we read, they have reached the other side (Mt 16:5). Why is the account so incoherent in its geography?

SOLUTION.   From the TJ account we can see that the writer of Matthew had invented the "Magadan" region because he had already used up the TJ's mention of Tyre and Sidon as an introduction to his fictitious story about the Canaanite woman (Mt 15:21-28). Since Magadan was also fictitious, Jesus' departure from it had to be kept as vague as its geographical location. Therefore, the writer of Matthew failed to state how Jesus and the disciples found themselves at the Sea of Galilee again and in a boat, without any bread.

The TJ account, though somewhat vague in its geography here, does let the reader know that they traveled back from Sidon and Tyre, where the request was made by the Pharisees for Jmmanuel to show them a sign, to Lake Galilee. Its clause "When they sailed across the sea," makes this much clear.

This is another example of an objection or question too minor or obscure, in all probability, for any literary hoaxer to have foreseen. But if it had somehow been foreseen, a hoaxer would likely have remedied the problem by inventing a particular geographical setting for the point of departure on the Lake. PHoax 0.2.

Mt 16:10    10"Or [do you not remember] the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered?"

TJ    [No cognate]

THE PROBLEM.   The feeding of the four thousand (Mt 15:32-38) has earlier been deduced to be an invention of the compiler of Matthew. Hence logic dictates that this verse must be one also.

SOLUTION.   The TJ's lack of a cognate here supports this logic. The TJ does, however, contain parallels (only partially edited within Matthew) to the Matthean verses shortly before and after this point, since it contains the feeding of the five thousand. If a literary hoaxer had crafted the TJ, this is a spot where he could easily have slipped up by forgetting to remove all mention of the feeding of the four thousand. PHoax 0.4.

Mt 16:12    12Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

TJ 18:16    16Then they finally understood that he had not said for them to beware of the leaven of the bread, but of the erroneous and adulterated teachings of the scribes and Pharisees.

TJ 18:16    16Da endlich verstanden sie, dass er nicht gesagt hatte, dass sie sich hüten sollten vor dem Sauerteig des Brotes, sondern vor den irren und verfälschten Lehren der Schriftgelehrten und Pharisäer.

THE PROBLEMS.   Isn't it strange that Jesus would tell them to beware of these teachings, but not say why?

In Matthew, the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees should not have been lumped together, since they contain many differences. And here "teaching" (singular) is used, as if they taught or believed in the same things. (The Pharisees mostly believed in resurrection, while the Sadducees did not believe in any afterlife.) Benjamin Hubbard has objected in particular to the grouping of Sadducees and Pharisees together in this verse.[1]

SOLUTION.   Upon comparing the two verses, one suspects that the compiler of Matthew, a scribe or ex-scribe himself, did not wish to feel included in this admonition to Jesus' followers, and so made the substitution from scribes to Sadducees. And he apparently did not desire his readers to start wondering if teachings of the Scriptures or the church might be erroneous, so he omitted "erroneous and adulterated." We also notice that the TJ verse has "teachings" as plural, while in Matthew it somehow became altered to singular.

These problems with Matthew are too obscure for a literary hoaxer to have perceived, in all likelihood, and thence to have fixed. PHoax 0.25.

In a few other spots in the TJ, Pharisees and Sadducees do appear lumped together, as in Matthew, apparently because Jmmanuel felt that both groups had erroneous beliefs they were trying to impose upon other Jews. Moreover, the Sadducees, who wished to stay in the good graces of the Romans, could do so (before about A.D. 70) by generally supporting the Pharisees, whose teachings did not incite rebellion against the Romans as did those of the Zealots, another Jewish group of that day.

Mt 16:13    13..."Who do men say that the Son of man is?"

TJ 18:17    17..."Who do the people say that I am?"

TJ 18:17    17... «Wer, sagen die Leute, dass ich sei?»

THE PROBLEM.   Beare (p. 352) noticed that Matthew's "Son of man" expression is especially peculiar here. If the disciples already understood Jesus to be the Son of man, but did not understand whether or not this title means the Messiah, then Beare asks, "What point is there in asking them who he is taken to be?" If the disciples did not understand Jesus to be the Son of man, then that expression is even more peculiar. Jesus never explains to his disciples what "Son of man" means, and never directly tells them that he is the Son of man.

SOLUTION.   The "Son of man" title is an editorial alteration if for no other reason than that the disciples or others never apply that title to him in Matthew's gospel.

In the TJ, "Son of man" does not appear at all since Jmmanuel is said to be the son of Gabriel, whom we would regard as an ET (celestial son) and not an Earthling. The question then makes sense, of Jmmanuel asking who the people thought he was, or who he had been in a previous incarnation. [PHoax 0.4].

Mt 16:16    16Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

TJ 18:20    20Simon Peter answered, saying, "You are the prophesied Messiah and a son of the living El who is the consciousness-related ruler of the three human species."

TJ 18:20    20Da antwortete Simon Petrus und sprach: «Du bist der prophezeite Messias und ein Sohn des lebendigen Gottes, des bewusstseinsmässigen Herrschers der drei Menschengeschlechter.»

THE PROBLEM.   Here Beare (pp. 352-353) reminded the reader that "Son of the living God" is a Christological term arising within the early church. Thus, if "God" here referred to the Christian God, the phrase could not have been uttered by Peter before the church existed.

SOLUTION.  Judging from the TJ, Peter used the words "living El" because Jmmanuel had previously told the disciples that El was a living, human being—leader of a race of space-faring (or "heavens"-faring) people far evolved in spirit, and that his father (Gabriel) was one of them but was not their leader (not El or "El"). However, in the discussion following the next Matthean verse the reader will find that Jmmanuel needed to explain his true male parentage to the confused Peter once again.

Beare's criticism is thus seen to be correct in the sense that the compiler had the Christian God in mind, but incorrect in that the same phrase had existed within Matthew's source—the compiler did not need to alter the "son of the living El" phrase. The term "living God"must have been very familiar to the writer of Matthew, since it occurs within eight different Old Testament books.

The phrase "consciousness-related ruler" is an awkward change made by the editor, Meier, for greater accuracy in meaning, in place of "spiritual" in earlier TJ editions.

The "three human species" are the peoples of the Mideast, to the north, and to the east as far as India, which Jmmanuel had earlier explained to his disciples as having been procreated through El's will. The previous edition of the TJ referred to "lineages," not "species," and I prefer the former terminology since by most definitions members of different species are too different to be able to procreate viable offspring among each other.

If a literary hoaxer had been astute enough to realize that "the Christ" is also a christological term that would not have been spoken before early Christianity evolved, he is more likely to have omitted it altogether than to realize that the phrase "the prophesied Messiah" would realistically have been spoken. And such a hoaxer would be quite unlikely to have added something about "three human species." More properly now, we would speak of three human sub-species. PHoax 0.35.

Mt 16:17    17And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon, Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven."

TJ 18:21    21Jmmanuel became angry and answered, saying to him, "O you unfortunate one, my teachings have not revealed this to you, for I instructed you in the truth."

TJ 18:21    21Da ward Jmmanuel zornig und antwortete und sprach zu ihm: «Oh du Unglücklicher, meine Lehre hat dir das nicht offenbart, denn ich unterrichtete dich in der Wahrheit.»

THE PROBLEM.   Beare (p. 355) reviewed the reasoning of scholars who have conjectured that the "flesh and blood" emphasis was a challenge directed against either a differing belief of Paul or of James of Jerusalem. In any case, Beare agreed that the phrase arose out of a leadership controversy within the Palestinian church, and was meant to justify the highest Christian position for Peter, backed by God himself, so that similar or higher status would not be accorded to any other Christian leader. Since the controversy arose only some time after the crucifixion, the objectionable "flesh and blood" sentence could not genuinely have been uttered earlier.

SOLUTION.  In the distant TJ cognate, the "flesh and blood" sentence does not occur. Jmmanuel was not pleased with Peter's reply, for thinking his father was El rather than Gabriel, and goes on to explain that he is not the son of El.

If the hoax hypothesis is entertained here, we should note that a New Age literary hoaxer would want to make use of Matthew's positive response from Jesus,[2] which the TJ response, exhibiting Jmmanuel's anger, does not do. Instead, the TJ text here is consistent with its overall portrayal of Jmmanuel's emphasis upon truth and upon not falsifying his teachings. In Matthew the favorable light in which Peter is cast is also consistent with its writer's tendencies elsewhere, so that his reversal of the TJ meaning should not be unexpected. PHoax 0.25.

It is interesting that the naming of Peter "son of Jona," or "Bar-Jona," is not present in the TJ version. Goulder has pointed out how apt it would be for the compiler of Matthew, if expanding upon Mark, to have added this embellishment to upgrade Simon Peter's hereditary background and worthiness to be the "rock" of the new church.[3] The name "Jonah" had become a symbol of the resurrection, and had acquired a great significance to Christians of Jewish background even though Jonah had not died inside the "great fish." Goulder's conclusion is just as valid whether the compiler of Matthew had been copying and editing from the TJ or from Mark's gospel. Mark's omission of the Bar-Jona phrase of Matthew is in keeping with the lack of interest in things Jewish that Mark's writer felt would be of no concern to gentiles.

Mt 16:18    18"And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it."

TJ 18:23    23"You are Petrus, and I cannot build my teachings on your rock. You will open the portals of misunderstanding, so that the people will be overcome by your mistaken interpretation of my teachings and will follow them and live according to falsified teachings."

TJ 18:23    23«Du bist Petrus, und auf deinen Felsen kann ich meine Lehre nicht bauen, und du wirst die Pforten des Unverstandes öffnen, so die Menschen uberwältigt von deiner irren Auslegung meiner Lehre darin eingehen werden und einer verfälschten Lehre leben.»

THE PROBLEMS.   Beare (pp. 353-354) found it highly questionable that this verse of Matthew could have come from Jesus, as have many other scholars, and speaks of the compiler of Matthew as having inserted it. His grounds for rejecting it were twofold: (1) It implies that Jesus personally set out to form a sect of his own, within but separated from Israel, which Beare regarded as an untenable position; and (2) In the early church, before the time that Matthew's gospel came out, the evidence suggests that Peter never received the respect that should have been due him had this statement been a genuine, known one.

Further, a pun within a formal statement that establishes a church does not seem appropriate. And it is not very reasonable that Jesus would tell Peter that he was establishing his church around him, and then just five verses further voice his warning to him, "Get behind me, Satan!" At the least, if Matthew's version were correct, we would expect that after its verse 16:23 Jesus would have retracted his previous declaration about building a church around Peter.

SOLUTION.   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."

Comparing the TJ verse to that of Matthew, we see that it is not subject to Beare's objections, it suggests a reason for a pun in a serious situation, and no contradiction with subsequent text arises; at the same time it allows us to understand why Matthew's Jesus doesn't supply Peter with any instructions on how to go about setting up a church organization. It is extremely unlikely that, had a literary hoaxer desired to alter this text of Matthew, he could have avoided such serious problems with so few words. The compiler seems to have made the alteration after reading the TJ passage and realizing that with only minimal editing he could provide justification for the existence of the church. He must also have held Peter in high esteem, as signified by his inclusion two chapters earlier of the episode of Peter briefly being able to walk on water at Jesus' command.

This and other TJ verses indicate that Jmmanuel had mixed feelings about Peter. He apparently liked him very much and evidently trusted him in things Peter understood, but could foresee his contribution towards future falsification of his teachings through misunderstandings. A pun here then seems appropriate, to somewhat soften the blow of what Jmmanuel had to tell his friend: Jmmanuel was not going to designate Peter or anyone else as the primary promulgator of his true teachings, save for designating Judas as his writer who would, in the future, set a record of his teachings and ministry onto papyrus for eventual dissemination.

Proponents of the hoax hypothesis can point out here that the TJ verse reads like a long-range prophecy that a hoaxer who's an opponent of Christianity might have written. However, the verse is consistent with other TJ verses that do indicate Jmmanuel was a long-range prophet as well as a short-range prophet (TJ 12:20, 14:15-19, 15:75-81, 20:28,31-32, 21:31-33, 23:25,47, 24:44-53...). This, plus the fact that the TJ verse does not suffer from either Matthean problem, and the fact that it is easily understood why the writer of Matthew altered the TJ verse into the form we have it, favor genuineness of the TJ verse over Matthew. PHoax 0.4.

Mt 16:19    19"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

TJ 18:24    24"I cannot give you the key to the consciousness-related world, otherwise you would open false locks and wrong portals with it."

TJ 18:24    24«Nicht kann ich dir den Schlüssel des bewusstseinsmässigen Reiches geben, sonst du damit irrige Schlösser und falsche Pforten öffnen würdest.»

THE PROBLEM.   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.

SOLUTION.   The TJ verse is self-consistent, as well as tying in better with its preceding verse. It is seen to have been the source of the Matthean verse, upon a simple reversal of meaning; thus Is 22:22 need not have been the source after all, as some scholars would postulate. However, an ominous aspect of TJ 18:24 is its implication that it is possible for consciousness-related (or spiritual) power to be exercised for unrighteous purposes. And a question it raises is: Is there any single key thought or understanding that could "open the door" to the spiritual world?

Considering Mt 16:17-19 as a whole, Max Wilcox is one of many scholars who have had to face a great problem. "It is widely agreed that the section in question shows many signs of antiquity, notably its strong Aramaic cast."[4] Wilcox pointed out four examples of this, but also gave reasons why "the verses in question are 'church formulations' belonging to a time when the Church was already well and truly in business as an institution." The TJ shows precisely how this came about, by some but not all of Jmmanuel's original Aramaic words having been altered. Sometimes the alterations were only one- or two-word changes that left the Aramaic flavor intact, but which dramatically reversed the meaning into one the church would welcome.

Although it is not particularly likely that a literary hoaxer would reverse the meaning of the Matthean verse instead of omitting it, it is still less likely that such a hoaxer would invent a specific comment to accompany it. Yet, this last half of the TJ verse fits right in with its preceding four verses and its following three verses. PHoax 0.3.

Mt 16:20    20Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

TJ 18:27    27Then he warned his disciples never to tell or wrongly assume such things, and that they were not allowed to spread Petrus' confused teachings.

TJ 18:27    27Da bedrohte er seine Jünger, dass sie solches niemals sagen oder fälschlich annehmen sollten, und dass sie nicht verbreiten dürften die irre Lehre des Petrus.

THE PROBLEM.   That Jesus was the long awaited Messiah was a key part of the good news—the oral gospel. Earlier, Jesus had told his disciples, in Mt 10:27,

27"What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the housetops."

Then he went on from there to tell them not to be afraid of those who could kill them. But what he tells them here contradicts this—to keep the good news, which Peter proclaimed and Jesus acknowledged, secret. Would a great teacher of wisdom speak contradictorily like this?

SOLUTION.   We see from the TJ verse that what Jmmanuel warned his disciples about was not to spread false beliefs. In two previous verses in the TJ Jmmanuel explains the particulars of where Peter was very wrong. Thus there is no contradiction here between TJ 10:41, which the writer of Matthew reproduced faithfully in his 10:27, and TJ 18:27, which he is seen to have heavily edited.

As usual the hoax hypothesis is in trouble here, as few if any scholars have made the above criticism. A literary hoaxer would simply not possess enough creative genius to perceive that there is a problem here and then eliminate it in such a straightforward manner, which involves the context of adjoining TJ verses. PHoax 0.25.

Mt 16:21-22    21From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22And Peter took him and began to rebuke him, saying, "God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you."

TJ 18:28-30    28From that time onward, Jmmanuel began to tell his disciples that he would have to go to Jerusalem and suffer much from the elders, scribes and chief priests, because he could not help but bring his teachings to them. 29And Petrus took him aside and spoke to him angrily, "May El or Creation prevent that! 30This must not happen to you, because they will catch and torture and kill you."

TJ 18:28-30    28Seit der Zeit fing Jmmanuel an und zeigte seinen Jüngern, wie er müsste hin nach Jerusalem gehen und viel leiden von den Ältesten und Schriftgelehrten und Hohenpriestern, da er nicht umhin komme, ihnen seine Lehre zu bringen. 29Und Petrus nahm ihn zu sich, fuhr ihn an und sprach: «Das verhüte Gott oder die Schöpfung! 30Das widerfahre dir nur nicht, denn sie werden dich fangen und foltern und töten.»

THE PROBLEMS.   Matthew gives no reason why Jesus would have to suffer many things in Jerusalem. According to that gospel, he had not yet been there, and so would not yet have done anything there to generate enemies. Although various chief priests, elders and scribes in Jerusalem must have heard of him by this time, he had not yet said or done anything directly to them there that would cause them to press for his death.

Peter's rebuke contains a strange element (Beare, p. 358). In "God forbid, Lord! This..." his "This" refers back most directly to "and on the third day be raised." Obviously he should not have been objecting to a prediction that Jesus would be resurrected quickly.

SOLUTION.   The first TJ verse indicates why Jmmanuel would have to suffer—his teachings would again be offensive to the groups cited, plus Pharisees, causing them to conspire to arrest him. It is interesting that the order "elders, scribes and chief priests" in the TJ is altered in Matthew to "elders and chief priests and scribes." This again suggests that the writer of Matthew had once been a Jewish scribe before his conversion to early Christianity. Thus he either consciously or subconsciously minimized the scribes' involvement in events leading to the crucifixion by placing them last in the list.

We see that Peter's awkward mention of "This," which refers more to the raising of Jesus than to his having to undergo suffering and be killed, was a consequence of the editorial action on the part of the writer of Matthew. One can try to interpret it away, as Beare did, by saying that Peter simply disregarded the assurance that Jesus would be raised, due to his focusing on his predicted suffering and death. However, this interpretation is not very convincing. Instead, it is as if Peter and the other disciples never heard Jesus utter "and on the third day be raised." The problem represents another instance of editorial "fatigue": the writer inserted "be killed, and on the third day be raised," but then continued on using TJ text with only minor modification. Although the TJ's "This" had properly referred to the suffering Jmmanuel would have to undergo, Matthew's "This" in the continuation then referred most strongly to being raised from the dead. In the TJ, it is some 32 sentences later that Jmmanuel tells the disciples of his detailed prediction of surviving a near death.

We may notice also that the Matthean text says Peter began to rebuke Jesus, while the TJ text does not contain "began." This may have been the writer of Matthew's way of making Peter's rebuke seem less disrespectful—in contradicting his Lord, Peter was only beginning to be disrespectful.

It is scarcely conceivable here, either, that a literary hoaxer could have generated this TJ text, which avoids the problems while continuing its own riveting story. PHoax 0.2.

Mt 16:24    24Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."

TJ 18:36    36Then Jmmanuel said to his disciples, "Those who desire to follow my teachings should take upon themselves the burden of the search for truth, recognition and understanding,"

TJ 18:36    36Da sprach Jmmanuel zu seinen Jüngern: «Will jemand meine Lehre befolgen, der nehme die Last der Wahrheitssuche und der Erkennung und des Verstehens auf sich.

THE PROBLEM.   Beare (p. 359) noted that here the figure "take up his cross" is an anachronism—it was assigned to an era earlier than is historically possible. The figure would not have its intended meaning until some years after the crucifixion when the cross became the emblem of Christianity and was no longer a symbol of shame, as it had been to the Jewish people, for whom "hanging" was a most ignominious death. The verse, moreover, is a doublet of Mt 10:38, which received criticism for the same reason.

SOLUTION.   The TJ cognate, in addition to not suffering from Beare's criticism, is a good example to show how Jmmanuel was transformed by the compiler from a teacher of wisdom into a figure for worship.

The German word "Erkennung" could, in my opinion, have been better translated as perception or cognition rather than "recognition."

Although the reason for rejecting the Matthean verse is the same as for Mt 10:38, here there is a TJ cognate that a hoaxer is not very likely to have invented, unless he himself were a teacher of truth and wisdom. However, such a teacher would not falsify another's document. PHoax 0.35.

Mt 16:25    25"For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."

TJ 18:37    37"because those who live their lives in truth and knowledge will be victorious, but those who live their lives in untruth and ignorance will lose."

TJ 18:37    37«Denn wer sein Leben in Wahrheit und Wissen lebt, der wird siegen; wer aber sein Leben in Unwahrheit und Unwissen lebt, der wird verlieren.»

THE PROBLEM.   This Matthean verse is a doublet of Mt 10:39, which received logical criticism that applies here also. The main difference—that in this verse "save" is used once in place of "find"—does not alter its illogic and dubious meaning. To his credit, Beare (p. 359) did mention here that "it" has to be interpreted not just as "life" but as "immortal soul" in order for the verse to hold meaning. Yet, that meaning is not at all convincing: should a Christian purposely starve to death, or allow himself to be murdered, or even commit suicide, in order that he not lose out on eternal life in heaven or on earth in a resurrected body?

One may also notice that according to the interpretation: "He who saves his life will lose his afterlife," none of the disciples would make it to heaven, since they fled for their lives at Jesus' arrest (Mt 26:56), rather than losing their lives for Jesus' sake. This is even though Jesus had earlier blessed the disciples for being fortunate enough to experience his ministry firsthand (Mt 13:16-17).

SOLUTION.   The TJ verse is what prompted the Matthean verse. It had to be altered because it was not desired that Jesus be viewed as teaching people to discern the difference between truth and untruth; if Christians were to do that, the teachings of the early church would come under severe question by its very followers. One sees that after the writer of Matthew had removed all the unacceptable words: truth, knowledge, untruth and ignorance, he had little left to work with, and his verse turned out rather inane. But he seemed to have liked it, along with his preceding verse, so well that he went back and used them again in only slightly altered form, as Mt 10:38-39—doublets. The TJ contains exceedingly few doublets, in contrast to Matthew, except for Jmmanuel's favorite expressions, often repeated: "Truly I say to you," and "Those who have ears, let them hear!"

In the TJ context "victorious" appears to mean being successful in living one's life as it was meant to be lived—learning truths. To "lose," on the other hand, means the opposite, implying a setback in one's spiritual evolution.

Again, a literary hoaxer who recognized the Matthean verse as a non-genuine doublet would most likely just omit it from his falsified gospel rather than try to construct a comprehensive, TJ-consistent verse out of it. And to do this just starting with Matthew's words "life" and "lose" would be a rare accomplishment. Going the other direction—condensing the more comprehensive TJ verse into the Matthean verse—is a much more probable course of action for a falsifier. PHoax 0.2.

The Markan parallel to this verse (Mk 8:35) gives indication of the additional editorial hand of its writer because of its inclusion of "and the gospel's [sake]." At the time that phrase was supposedly spoken, there was not yet an oral gospel (or "good news"), let alone a written one. If the writer of Matthew had been copying from Mark, on the other hand, he would have had no reason to omit "and the gospel's [sake]," since he used the word "gospel" five times himself.

Mt 16:26    26"For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?"

TJ 18:38-39    38"What would it profit them if they should gain the whole world, yet still damage their consciousness? 39Or, how can one help one's consciousness if unable to think?"

TJ 18:38-39    38«Was hülfe es dem Menschen, wenn er die ganze Welt gewönne und nähme doch Schaden an seinem Bewusstsein? 39Oder was kann der Mensch helfen seinem Bewusstsein, wenn er des Denkens nicht mächtig ist?»

THE PROBLEMS.   Here there is a lack of any definite meaning. In order to make sense out of the first half of the Matthean verse, one needs to replace "life" with "soul," because obviously there would be no profit to gaining the greatest of material possessions if one were then to die right away. However, the underlying Greek text does permit the Greek ψυχη or "psyche" to be translated as "soul" here as an alternative to "life." But what then is the meaning of forfeiting one's soul? Matthew's Jesus didn't teach that one could lose one's soul, rather that one's soul could end up (apparently along with a resurrected body) in an eternal fiery hell, as in Mt 5:22. The possible exception is Mt 10:28, which speaks of taking heed to avoid someone who can kill your body and soul both. However, in the present verse the implication is that an excess of material riches, not a person who can kill souls, will cause one to lose one's soul (or life).

The second half of the verse contains other problems. If "soul" is used there, what is the meaning of "in return" or "in exchange" for his soul? I.e., the man presumably already has a soul or he wouldn't be alive; thus he need take no action to have his soul "returned" or "exchanged." And if he were to "give" something in return for his life, whatever it might be, to whom would he give it?

Ambiguities of this nature are much more likely to have arisen from an editor who altered his source text than from a wise teacher who was known as such by his disciples and by the people.

SOLUTION.   The writer of Matthew had to edit the TJ very heavily here, because the concept that one's consciousness is essential for learning truths for oneself and for evolving in spirit was unacceptable to him and to the church. The result of this editing was, once again, ambiguity or illogic. The editing was so heavy, relative to TJ 18:39, that its Matthean cognate is recognizable as being such only by virtue of its location with respect to preceding, parallel TJ text, and by its word "Or" and subject "man" or "one" ("Mensch" in German).

Would a literary hoaxer have perceived any of the Matthean problems and then proceed to eliminate them without showing any signs of having done so for the sake of redaction? And would a New Age hoaxer raise the issue of consciousness and its importance in the process of learning? The answer is "unlikely" on both counts. PHoax 0.15.

It may be mentioned that the German form of the TJ refers in these verses to the individual and his consciousness in the quest for truth and knowledge, which has been expressed in the more cumbersome, plural form in English to avoid the restriction of gender designation.

Mt 16:27    27"For the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done."

TJ    [No cognate]

THE PROBLEMS.   It is uncertain when this Son of man is going to come and do his judging, and so it is left ambiguous whether the judgment will be made upon those who are alive or those who are already dead or who will by then be dead. In either event, those who are consigned to Hades—and earlier text suggests they will be many—will not have been repaid in proportion to the extent and seriousness of their misdeeds, because hell is hell whether the offense responsible is one of having become angry at one's brother (Mt 5:22) just once or ten or a hundred times, or having spoken against the Holy Spirit (Mt 12:32) just once or ten or a hundred times, or having committed murder just once or twice or more. Instead, hell has only been described by Jesus as either a fiery place (Mt 5:22, 13:42,50) or as an outer darkness (Mt 8:12), irrespective of the degree and extent of one's misdeeds. Indeed, Mt 13:50 promotes the belief that at the Judgment people will be separated into just two groups—the evil and the righteous.

This stands in contrast to those who are consigned to heaven, where there are evidently different levels of heavenly rewards to be meted out (Mt 5:12,19; Mt 19:28). However, Jesus by this point in the gospel has supplied no inkling of what these different levels might consist of.

The above verse in question indicates that it is the Son of man who will be imposing the judgment, while Mt 13:50 indicates it will be the angels who do this. This is a very serious contradiction.

It was noted by Beare (p. 360) that the topic of this verse, with its Son of man emphasis, is a noticeable shift from the topic of the preceding verses within the same discourse. Again this is consistent with an editor having inserted his own thoughts relative to his source document. However, what Beare had in mind as a source document is Mark, with its verse of mediation within its parallel verses being Mk 8:38. The latter is more easily seen, however, as being an improvement made by the writer of Mark upon Matthew's lack of a transition verse between Mt 16:26 and Mt 16:27.

SOLUTION.   The TJ's lack of a cognate here speaks for itself. The pieces of illogic, or discrepancies, in the Matthean verse again are accounted for if they stem from a writer of the gospel who was no teacher of wisdom.

Since the objections to Matthew here are not at all well known, there is a good chance that our hypothetical literary hoaxer would have made use of the verse in one form or another. PHoax 0.35.

Mt 16:28    28"Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom."

TJ 18:40    40"Truly, I say to you, there are several here who will not taste the power of conscousness-related knowledge in this life, and so they will learn in the next life."

TJ 18:40    40«Wahrlich, ich sage euch: Es stehen etliche hier, die nicht schmecken werden die Kraft des Geisteswissens in diesem Leben, dass sie lernen werden im nächsten Leben.»

THE PROBLEM.   Clearly, with hindsight we can all agree that the Son of man in Matthew's verse was not seen to come again, and that this statement, like the prediction of Mt 10:23, is wrong. Beare (p. 360) agreed that the verse does anticipate that the Second Coming would take place during the lifetime of people living at that time. Again we find it much more probable that such a failed verse would derive from a scribal redactor than from a teacher of wisdom.

Most modern biblical scholars, along with Beare, tend to dismiss the verses that imply an early Second Coming as anything Jesus himself said.[5] Their way out of its illogic is to posit that they are total creations of the church. But what would have caused the writer of Matthew to generate such an illogical verse?

SOLUTION.   In the TJ account Jmmanuel is telling his disciples that some of them, who at that time had no inkling of the power of their own consciousness or spirit, would gain some understanding of it in their next incarnation. Of course this demanded heavy revision by the writer of Matthew, since power of this sort was to be reserved for God or for the church, and reincarnation was a no-no. This appears to be another instance in which the original verse, because of its heresy or alien character, was altered but not totally deleted, with the end result being illogic. Both the TJ and the Matthean verses deal with things to come. The futuristic subject matter of the TJ verse then probably prompted the compiler to substitute something futuristic that seems to have been very much on his mind—an early Second Coming, which he had already edited into Mt 10:23.

In omitting from the TJ what he felt to be heresy, the writer of Matthew was concentrating on how much more acceptable to the church of his day his own gospel would be than what he read in the Talmud of Jmmanuel. How logical or illogical the new verse might seem from the viewpoint of a scribe or scholar of the distant future was thereby totally overlooked.

A hoaxer here would need to have been unduly creative to have constructed this TJ verse out of the Matthean verse, whereas it is seen that when the writer of Matthew constructed his verse out of the TJ verse it did not turn out to be sensible. PHoax 0.25.

Upon accumulating the estimated degrees of uncertainty that the TJ is a hoax from just the TJ 18-Mt 16 verse comparisons above, one finds a cumulative probability of PHoax = 3.0 x 10-7.

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1. Hubbard, Benjamin J., Review of The Vision of Matthew, in JBL 100 (1981), p. 122.

2. Peters, Ted, "Discerning the spirits of the New Age," The Christian Century 105, No. 25 (Aug. 31-Sept. 7, 1988), p. 765.

3. Goulder, Michael D., Midrash and Lection in Matthew (London: SPCK, 1974), p. 387.

4. Wilcox, Max, "Peter and the rock: A fresh look at Matthew xvi. 17-19," NTS 22 (1975), pp. 73-88; see p. 73.

5. Borg, Marcus, Jesus: A New Vision (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1987), pp. 14, 25.