Most helpful critical review
Serious lack of winesses - Everything he presented was hearsay without witnesses
on 24 February 2014
Just as I was becoming amazed with the information Bishop Spong was providing I started finding things that he had missed and others that deeper study would have revealed more accurate information. Perhaps it was because he followed preconceived ideas about what he was studying that he didn’t look deep enough. I then thought about some of the new “facts” that he presented. How do I know that they are all valid? May some also be errors? He provided no witnesses. (Proofs or references for anyone to check what he wrote for themselves). They were all presented as his unquestionable conclusions.
For example he says that Mark the first Gospel must have been written after 70CE when the temple had been destroyed. However there is a papyrus fragment from a scroll of “Mark” that was recovered with the Dead Sea Scrolls in the collapsed Cave 7 in 1966 which must have been there before the Romans destroyed the Essenes in 68 CE. There is another find of three papyrus fragments from the book of Matthew found in Luxor, Egypt that has been dated to before 62 CE. (This is in Magdalen College Library, Oxford, UK). The second Goat at Yom Kippur was not freed in the wilderness but was thrown down the steep cliffs of Mount Azazel in the wilderness and killed. Mishnah Yoma vi. 6, 8; Ta'an. Jesus was buried on Nissan 14 and rose 3 days later at the end of the weekly Sabbath. On Nissan 17 just as Nissan 18 was dawning (6pm our time). I’m sure he would have been presented with these dates before. The Greek word for the Preparation day for Sabbath was "Friday" because it was always followed by the Saturday.
Bishop Spong himself quoted Thessalonians 5:21 “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” ( KJV) But provided a task that would have been a lot easier if he had provided his witnesses.
David R Freeman