In Jerusalem, archaeologists (the faithful whose knees tremble as they excavate) continue the charade of unearthing what some believe — on extremely slim evidence — to have been the tomb of Jesus. Excellent reasons exist for dismissing this hoax, another one just like the Christian “Good News,” in addition to what I have posted already on this blog earlier. Good literary-critical evidence exists, for example, for arguing that the original account of the Gospel story did not include either a baptismal account (as with Mark), or an account of any Judean Ministry. The original ended with the Petrine confession near Caesarea Phillipi (see Matthew 16, etc), where Jesus ascended into heaven — immediately following the transfiguration — as he went blessing them. And that was the end of the matter.
In support of this contention – the Galilean ministry-only version of the early Gospel — I could offer the following supporting details:
Luke and Matthew do not agree from just exactly where it was that Jesus ascended up into heaven. Luke says it was from Bethany (in Judea) and Matthew from Galilee. Luke’s account has the original details, but not the original location (which Matthew has). If you place the ascension immediately following the blessing upon Peter, the text then adds quite smoothly another blessing upon all the apostles (where Peter was understood to be speaking for all of them).
The transition of movement from Galilee, down into the south seems completely unsure, and until they reach Jericho, the order of parables spoken, and just what their occasion might have been, proves extremely rocky terrain. An indicator exists in Luke showing that the death of Jesus was imminent as early as Luke 9 (I believe it is verse 53-54) — shortly after the transfiguration, Jesus refers to his death as nearing to the point of immediacy, and then in chapter 10, after certain Samaritans reject him, it says “He set his face toward Jerusalem.” Then things drone on for quite some time as though these two time markers were part of a much earlier layer of transition — trying to move smoothly from Galilee to Judea, when the Judean ministry was yet in its infancy. The scribes obviously could not put the two together, creating awkard — even meaningless — references to his death soon approaching, when it proved distant in the literature by the time they finished adding the accretive parts of the Judean ministry and its Jerichoite connective.
Another clear indicator that much literary accretion transpired in layers (extending the original “Gospel” which ended in Galilee with chapter 10 of Luke) derives from the early comparison between Jesus and Melchizedek in Hebrews. It bills (displays the earlier “Galilean”) Jesus as “Without father, without mother” (Indicating that he arrived on the redemptive scene with no parentage as suggested by Mark’s introduction, but not the later added birth narratives) “Without genealogy” (meaning Matthew 1 and Luke 4 both prove accretive) “without beginning of days” (no birth) “nor end of [mortal] life” — meaning that the passion narratives and attendant resurrection accounts also showed up belatedly.
The profile of Melchizedek shows that the earliest “literary Jesus” looked alot more like Mark’s Jesus than that of the later Gospels, which (almost laughably) forgot that the profiled traits of Melchizedek offered up for comparison with Jesus would falsify later accretions like those just mentioned.