Problems with the New Testament Canon Part 4: Oral Tradition Corruption

The canonical gospels receive there information from the oral tradition decades after Jesus’s disappearance from earth.

if the oral tradition was highly well preserved then there would not be such a great discrepancy between the synoptic gospel presentation and the gospel of john of the historical presentation.

Christian scholars try to avoid the discrepancy by creating a theory called “ipsissma verba and ipsissma vox”.

However, we do not know exactly what language did Jesus speak with absolute certainty. Most likely he spoke Aramaic. If this is the case, then the ipsissma verba theory does not hold in regards to Jesus’s sayings because we do not know how proficient the anonymous gospel authors were in translating, understanding Jesus’s sayings.

However for argument’s sake let’s ASSUME that Jesus spoke koine greek only. Then the gospel of John’s anonymous author clearly places words in Jesus’s mouth that Jesus never said – according to the Ipsissma Vox theory – in the historical true reality according to even evangelical scholars. Really the anonymous author of the gospel of john is MISQUOTING and Forging FALSE WORDS Jesus never said into his speech.

Claim: Oral tradition was corrupted based on the difference in presentation between the gospel of john and the synoptic gospel historical presentation of Jesus.

Assume that Jesus spoke KOINE GREEK. Then the ENORMOUS differences in historical presentation of the gospel of john and the synoptic gospels indicates that the oral tradition was in constant flux and different understanding and teachings of Jesus were being passed around. Which oral tradition accurately transmitted the historical Jesus’s life then? the Gospel of John or the Synoptic Gospels?


Here is an evangelical christian’s frustration with evangelical scholars from the Dallas Theological Seminary who are compromising the “word of ‘god'”. This article tries to appeal to a “Holy Ghost” as a defense but for the lay audience I suggest you read the abstract, introduction, and conclusion to get the jist:


2) Here is an excerpt from a ultra-extreme evangelical who shows disapproval of the leading evangelical scholars at Dallas Theological Seminary.

“We need the Bible for all our doctrines. I’m going after uncertainty regarding the Words of Scripture with a diligence that is at least matched by conservative evangelicals reproof of emergents regarding uncertainty of the meaning of Scripture. I think both are important, but the Words themselves are more fundamental than the meaning.

Wallace and Vox

I’ve written some things about Wallace’s view of inerrancy. Myself and others have issues with his position. As you read the breadth of his bibliological materials, you see troubles in every aspect of his position. For instance, Wallace takes the ipsissima vox position relating to the Words of Jesus in the Gospels. In his “An Apologia for a Broad View of Ipsissima Vox,” paper presented to the 51st Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, Danvers, Mass., November 1999, he wrote:

[T]he concepts go back to Jesus, but the words do not—at least, not exactly as recorded.

His colleague, Darrell Bock, wrote a chapter in Jesus Under Fire [ed. Michael J. Wilkins and J. P. Moreland (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995):73-99], defending the vox position, entitled, “The Words of Jesus in the Gospels: Live, Jive, or Memorex.” Bock’s chapter tries to defend the historical reliability of the Gospel writing of Jesus’ Words from the destructive criticism of the Jesus Seminar. He writes, “The Gospels give us the true gist of his teaching and the central thrust of his message,” but “we do not have ‘his very words’ in the strictest sense of the term.” In his ownvox article, Daniel Wallace states that Bock there represents “the best of evangelical scholarship when it comes to describing ipsissima vox.”

I think you can see what the vox view does to both the doctrine of inspiration and of inerrancy. When Scripture says, “Jesus said,” as it does at least 65 times, to them it doesn’t actually mean Jesus said those Words. Wallace and Bock approach Jesus’ Words in the Gospels from a naturalistic viewpoint.”


The oral tradition was compromised based on the contrast of sayings and teachings of Jesus presented in the synoptic gospels and the gospel of John.

Even if we ASSUME Jesus spoke koine greek and the gospel authors and the gospel authors verbatim wrote down Jesus’s sayings – THEN WHY IS THERE SUCH A CONTRAST BETWEEN the gospel of john sayings and the synoptic gospels.

However, scholars today acknowledge the concepts of Ipsissma Vox and Ipsissma Verba. However, to put if bluntly they acknowledge the gospel of john author MISQUOTED and put WORDS into Jesus’s mouth which he never said.


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