Evidence of name change: "Chrestian" to "Christian"

The sources of "Chrestian" [χρηστιανος] and "Christian" [χριστιανος] in Antiquity

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Evidence of name change: "Chrestian" to "Christian"

#1  Postby Leucius Charinus » Feb 26, 2014 3:27 am

The term "Chrestian" exclusively dominates the early evidence while the term "Christian" appears in the 5th century or later. Why is it so? If the data is reasonable, what explanatory hypotheses may be offered for it?


When one investigates the earliest explicit references to "Christian" in the earliest sources of the common era, one comes away empty handed. The earliest evidence is dominated by the occurrence of the term "Chrestian", as is tabulated below. In the Greek language the word Christian is χριστιανος, while the word Chrestian is χρηστιανος. In the Greek manuscript sources which are presented below, the eta (η) invariably occurs instead of the iota (ι).

What does this mean?

The evidence tabulated below strongly implies that the earliest form of the term "Christian" does not occur until Codex Alexandrinus, at least the 5th century, and may in fact not enter the chronological record [C14!?!] until substantially later. In place of the term "Christian" in the evidence is instead, and quite invariably, is found the term "Chrestian". Some background may be required here. Ask if you want some. Here is the data ....


The sources of "Chrestian" [χρηστιανος]
and "Christian" [χριστιανος] in Antiquity



The following list has been extracted from the tabulation here:
http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/c ... stians.htm



1.00) Manuscript Evidence: "Chrestian" exclusively dominates earliest evidence from 3rd/4th centuries

1.01) SB XII 10772 ................. "Chrestian" [3rd/4th century?]
1.02) P.Laur. II 42 ................ "Chrestian" [3rd/4th century?]
1.03) P.Oxy.XLIII 3149 ............. "Chrestian" [5th century?]
1.04) SB XVI 12497 ................. "Chrestian" [3rd century?]
1.05) P.Oxy XLII 3035 .............. "Chresian" [28 February 256 CE]
1.06) P.Oxy.XLIII 3119 ............. "Chrestian" [3rd century?]
1.07) PGM IV. 3007-86 .............. "The Good" ("Chrestos") [4th century]
1.08) Manichaean Mss: Kellis ....... "The Good" ("Chrestos") [4th century?]
1.09) [#01] Codex Sinaiticus........ "Chrestian" [4th century?] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Sinaiticus
.
1.10) Miniscule 1243 ............... "Chrestian" [11th century]


2.00) Manuscript Evidence: "not known"
2.01) Chester Beatty 45 ............ lacunae, nomina sacra form? [3rd century]


3.00) Manuscript Evidence: "Chreistian" (Transitional spelling? epsilon-iota diphthong)
3.01) [#03] Codex Vaticanus ....... "Chreistians" [4th century] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Vaticanus
3.02) [#05] Codex Bezae ........... "Chreistians" [6th century] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Bezae


4.00) Manuscript Evidence: Uncials/Majuscules - "Christian" (later evidence from 5th/6th centuries????)

4.01) [#02] Codex Alexandrinus .... "Christian" [5th century?] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Alexandrinus
4.02) [#08] Codex Laudianus ....... "Christian" [6th century?] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Laudianus
4.03) [#14] Codex Mutinensis ...... "Christian" [7th century] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Mutinensis
4.04) [#20] Codex Angelicus ....... "Christian" [9th century] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Angelicus
4.05) [#25] Codex Porphyrianus .... "Christian" [9th century] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Porphyrianus
4.06) [#44] Codex Athous Lavrensis. "Christian" [9th century] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Athous_Lavrensis
4.07) [#049] Codex at Mt. Athos ... "Christian" [9th century] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncial_049
4.08) [#056] Codex at Paris ....... "Christian" [10th century] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncial_056

Manuscript Evidence: Miniscules:
4.09) 1 (12th),
4.10) 88 (12th),
4.11) 104 (dated 1087 CE),
4.12) 226 (12th),
4.13) 323 (12th),
4.14) 330 (12th),
4.15) 440 (14th),
4.16) 547 (11th),
4.17) 614 (13th),
4.18) 618 (12th),
4.19) 927 (dated 1133 CE),
4.20) 945 (11th),
4.21) 1175 (14th),
4.22) 1241 (12th),
4.23) 1245 (12th),
4.24) 1270 (11th),
4.25) 1505 (12th),
4.26) 1611 (10th),
4.27) 1646 (12th),
4.28) 1739 (10th),
4.29) 1828 (14th) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minuscule_182
4.30) 1837,
4.31) 1854,
4.32) 1891,
4.33) 2147,
4.34) 2344,
4.35) 2412,
4.36) 2492,
4.37) 2495.
etc

Source: New Testament Greek Manuscripts: Acts - (1996) by Reuben Swanson (Editor)




Explanatory Hypothesis

As a result of this situation - that the term "Chrestian" (and not "Christian") invariably appears with the earliest evidence - the question must naturally arise as to why. How is the chronology of the use of the terms "Chrestian" and then "Christian" to be explained?
The sequence of events appears to be something like this, where the date of 316 CE is taken from the earliest of Emperor Constantine's "Chi-Rho" coins:


1. Before c.316 CE: There appears to have been a class of people in antiquity who were referred to as "Chrestians".

2. After c.316 CE: Constantine uses this name as the name of the "Chrestian State Religion", associated with the sacred code "Chi-Rho".

3. Until Alexandrinus: the "Chrestian State Religion" continues for a number of centuries ...(How many? 1, 2,3,4,5 or more? C14 would help!!)

4. After Alexandrinus: the "Chrestian State Religion" decided to make themselves the "Christian State Religion". (See Tacitus' Annals)


This evidence suggests that ....

"The disciples were originally called Chrestians (not Christians) ... at Antioch"



Your thoughts, comments, or alternative hypotheses are welcomed.
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the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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Re: Evidence of name change: "Chrestian" to "Christian"

#2  Postby Made of Stars » Feb 26, 2014 10:02 am

Why would it change?
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Re: Evidence of name change: "Chrestian" to "Christian"

#3  Postby Leucius Charinus » Feb 26, 2014 11:39 am

Made of Stars wrote:Why would it change?


At the moment I don't have any ideas about the motive, other than the fact that the name "Chrestian" (which means "Good" or "useful") meant that the followers may have been known internally and externally as "The Good Guys". Maybe they sought a more unique name for the "Church Business Name"?

One thing is for sure, there is certainly evidence suggesting that "Church scribes" physically altered some manuscripts in order to change "Chrestian" to "Christian". One example is the 11th century Tacitus manuscript:


Image

χρηστιανοι (Chrestian): In 1902 Georg Andresen commented on the appearance of the first 'i' and subsequent gap in the earliest extant, 11th century, copy of the Annals in Florence, suggesting that the text had been altered, and an 'e' had originally been in the text, rather than this 'i'. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_o ... Chrestians
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the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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Re: Evidence of name change: "Chrestian" to "Christian"

#4  Postby Frank Merton » Feb 26, 2014 11:46 am

It's probably "pious fraud" where someone who thinks one thing finds contradicting evidence and assumes it must be mistake and so takes it on themselves to correct it, in spite of the rule of exact copying.
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Re: Evidence of name change: "Chrestian" to "Christian"

#5  Postby The_Metatron » Feb 26, 2014 12:10 pm

I can't find myself giving a toss.
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Re: Evidence of name change: "Chrestian" to "Christian"

#6  Postby scott1328 » Feb 26, 2014 4:15 pm

I wonder if in the history of any other written language there has been documented a shift in orthography that manifested over centuries.

Or perhaps I should re-phrase: I wonder if in the history of any written language whosoever there hasn't been documented a shift in orthography that manifested over centuries.
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Re: Evidence of name change: "Chrestian" to "Christian"

#7  Postby Arnold Layne » Feb 26, 2014 9:28 pm

Or, when it's made up shit, is spelling really important? :scratch:
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Re: Evidence of name change: "Chrestian" to "Christian"

#8  Postby RealityRules » Feb 26, 2014 11:15 pm

.
The significance is the different meanings of the root words -

  • Chrestus came from Χρηστος, meaning "good", "useful", or "worthy". It is often found in writings in relation to slaves. It was also a common name or descriptor.
    .
  • Christus comes from the Greek word Χριστος which generally means "anointed, or chosen one". The root of the word, χριω, means "to be oily [annointed]". Kings, Priestly rulers, or Prophets were often literally oiled (ie. anointed) ceremonially, or even regularly.

    There are other variations eg. http://biblehub.com/greek/5548.htm. Note the biblical references.
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Re: Evidence of name change: "Chrestian" to "Christian"

#9  Postby Leucius Charinus » Feb 27, 2014 2:21 am

scott1328 wrote:I wonder if in the history of any other written language there has been documented a shift in orthography that manifested over centuries.


Good question, which I will answer after this preface. As noted above, the Greek roots of the two terms "Chrest" and "Christ" are entirely different. They sound the same, but are spelt differently.

The fact that these early papyri make reference to the term "Chrestian" and not "Christian" is essentially noted, but then passed over by many if not most modern academics and scholars. In his book Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus by Lincoln H. Blumell [2012], the author writes, p.37-38:


While the epithet "Christian" certainly appears to have derived from the word "Christ", to an outsider who might not have been necessarily familiar with the association with the adjective χρηστος (good) since the iota of χριστιανος is periodically replaced by an eta. Nevertheless, given the periodic evidence of itacistic changes it is not always clear is such a distinction is being made consciously or whether it is simply a mispronunciation.

Turning to the documentary evidence for the use of the epithet it is spelled at least four different ways in papryi: xpιστιαvoc; xpηστιαvoc; xpσιαvoc; and xpητιαvoc. Though divergent spellings are attested in the material from Oxyrhynchus, in every instance the eta replaces the iota, and in the letters specifically the epithet is employed on three separate occasions: SB XII 10772; P.Laur. II 42 (IV/V); P.Oxy.XLIII 3149


SEE: http://books.google.com.au/books?id=oUk ... 22&f=false


Indeed, even the Papyrology Unit within the University of Oxford, for the 3rd century P.Oxy 3035, renders the term "Chresian" as "Christian". Why is it so?


Various reasons for this type of emendation and/or translation are provided, including misspelling by the original scribes, Iotacism, and orthographic errors.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iotacism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthography


However, my response is that if any of these reasons were valid, then it would be reasonable to expect a mixture of the terms "Chrestian" and "Christian" in the sources, but a mixture is certainly not found.

Don't forget, this is not some stray inconsequential term in the Greek bible, it is supposed to be the name of the followers of the Christ, not the Chrest, and it is the name of the centralised monotheistic state church. It stands to reason it is a very important Business Name for the "Church Organsation", almost a registered trade mark. You'd think people would get the name right. And if they sometimes got it wrong, you'd expect someone to get it right.

But the seeming paradox is that both outsiders to the church (documentary evidence above) and the insiders to the church (see "Chrestian" explicit in Codex Sinaiticus) made the same "mistake" (???) consistently until at least the mid 5th century.

Why is it so?
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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Re: Evidence of name change: "Chrestian" to "Christian"

#10  Postby scott1328 » Feb 27, 2014 2:31 am

So what does this suggest to you?
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Re: Evidence of name change: "Chrestian" to "Christian"

#11  Postby Leucius Charinus » Feb 27, 2014 2:34 am

Arnold Layne wrote:Or, when it's made up shit, is spelling really important? :scratch:


Well put it this way. If the data presented above is reasonable, and if the explanation for the data is that a new spelling "Christian" was purposefully implemented - replacing the earlier term "Chrestian" - with effect from the 5th-9th century, then there are some far-reaching implications that may not be immediately apparent.
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the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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Re: Evidence of name change: "Chrestian" to "Christian"

#12  Postby scott1328 » Feb 27, 2014 2:43 am

How about this one :

Even if your hypothesis is true, why can't the explanation simply be that the spelling change is due to word reanalysis. This is a well documented phenomenon in languages.

messiah means anointed. christ- means anointed. The root Chrest- is obscure and Christ- makes more sense when referring to messiah.
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Re: Evidence of name change: "Chrestian" to "Christian"

#13  Postby Leucius Charinus » Feb 27, 2014 2:50 am

scott1328 wrote:So what does this suggest to you?


If the analysis holds, a large number of very important implications follow, one of which was outlined in the OP - that the "Church Industry" actually changed its name in the middle ages, turning away from the "Good Guys" to the "Annointed Guys".

The second implication is that the "Church Industry" interpolated a variety of manuscripts which they were preserving in order to OBSCURE the name-change from the historical record. This is ORWELLIAN. ["Who controls the past controls the present ....."] Here are statements taken from four of the "Church Fathers", each of which attempts to provide an argument that the common people, who knew nothing of the Great Mysteries of the Church, used the name "Chrestian" in error.

Exposure of more "Church Forgery"

The "Church Industry" has - again and again - used forgery in order to obscure the historical truth. Given that the foregoing analysis is correct, then it follows that these following 4 references have been forged, and retrojected into the early centuries in order to make everyone think that the "Christian Church" always existed by that name. And if there are any readers following this argument of "Church Industry Forgery" who are not aware of the massive "Church Industry" FORGERY MILL which operated in 9th century Carolingian France, have a brief look at the "Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudo-Isidorian_Decretals


Forgery in Early Church-preserved sources ???



Justin Martyr 100-165 CE
Apology 1, ch. 4

"By the mere application of a name, nothing is decided, either good or evil, apart from the actions implied in the name; and indeed, so far at least as one may judge from the name we are accused of, we are Chrestians. But as we do not think it just to beg to be acquitted on account of the name, if we be convicted as evil-doers, so, on the other hand, if we be found to have committed no offense, either in the matter of thus naming ourselves, or of our conduct as citizens, it is your part very earnestly to guard against incurring just punishment, by unjustly punishing those who are not convicted."


Clement 150-211 CE
Stromata IV

"Now those who have believed in Christ both are and are called Chrestians, as those who are cared for by the true king are kingly. For as the wise are wise by their wisdom, and those observant of law are so by the law; so also those who belong to Christ the King are kings, and those that are Christ’s Christians."

Tertullian 160-224 CE
Apology Ch.III

"Now then, if this hatred is directed against the name, what is the guilt attaching to names? What accusation can be brought against words, except that a certain pronunciation of a name sounds barbarous, or is unlucky or abusive or obscene? But 'Christian,' as far as its etymology goes, is derived from 'anointing.' And even when it is incorrectly pronounced by you 'Chrestian' (for not even is your acquaintance with the name accurate), it is formed from 'sweetness' or 'kindness.' In innocent men, therefore, even an innocent name is hated."

Lactantius 240-320 CE
Divine Institutes, Book IV Ch. VII

"...for Christ is not a proper name, but a title of power and dominion; for by this the Jews were accustomed to call their kings. But the meaning of this name must be set forth, on account of the error of the ignorant, who by the change of a letter are accustomed to call Him Chrestus. The Jews had before been directed to compose a sacred oil, with which those who were called to the priesthood or to the kingdom might be anointed. And as now the robe of purple is a sign of the assumption of royal dignity among the Romans, so with them the anointing with the holy oil conferred the title and power of king. But since the ancient Greeks used the word χρίεσθαι to express the art of anointing, which they now express by ἀλείφεσθαι, as the verse of Homer shows, “But the attendants washed, and anointed them with oil;” on this account we call Him Christ, that is, the Anointed, who in Hebrew is called the Messias. Hence in some Greek writings, which are badly translated from the Hebrew, the word eleimmenos is found written, from the word aleiphesthai, anointing. But, however, by either name a king is signified:"
Last edited by Leucius Charinus on Feb 27, 2014 2:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Evidence of name change: "Chrestian" to "Christian"

#14  Postby scott1328 » Feb 27, 2014 2:52 am

Check this out and then tell me why this morphological change, if it occurred at all, isn't simply due to reanalysis

http://www.slideshare.net/dr.shadiabanj ... esentation
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Re: Evidence of name change: "Chrestian" to "Christian"

#15  Postby Leucius Charinus » Feb 27, 2014 3:09 am

scott1328 wrote:Check this out and then tell me why this morphological change, if it occurred at all, isn't simply due to reanalysis

http://www.slideshare.net/dr.shadiabanj ... esentation


scott1328 wrote:How about this one :

Even if your hypothesis is true, why can't the explanation simply be that the spelling change is due to word reanalysis. This is a well documented phenomenon in languages.

messiah means anointed. christ- means anointed. The root Chrest- is obscure and Christ- makes more sense when referring to messiah.


This example of word reanalysis sounds fine, and may provide a good reason WHY the change took place.

However the big question relates to the previously UNKNOWN [hypothetical] operation of the "Church Industry" under the business name of "Chrestian Church" for a number of centuries in antiquity and the early middle ages.

If this is the historical truth, then the "Church Organisation" has purposefully obscured its history by forgery.



NOTE: Epigraphic Evidence for the early use of "Chrestian" and NOT "Christian"

Just to be clear, in the OP I listed the manuscript evidence only and provided a link to the source tabulation of ancient historical evidence items. This tabulation also contains numerous references to epigraphic attestation to the use of "Christian" and/or to the term "Jesus the Good" [Jesus Chrestos]. Here is the link again:

http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/c ... stians.htm
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Re: Evidence of name change: "Chrestian" to "Christian"

#16  Postby scott1328 » Feb 27, 2014 3:49 am

Or they are just bad spellers. who the fuck cares. seriously.
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Re: Evidence of name change: "Chrestian" to "Christian"

#17  Postby scott1328 » Feb 27, 2014 4:04 am

Or, another explanation, the greek letter η (eta) is pronounced "ee". the greek letter ι (iota) is pronounced like "i". Both letters are transliterated to the same latin letter i

No other explanation needed.
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Re: Evidence of name change: "Chrestian" to "Christian"

#18  Postby Leucius Charinus » Feb 27, 2014 4:08 am

scott1328 wrote:Or, another explanation, the greek letter η (eta) is pronounced "ee". the greek letter ι (iota) is pronounced like "i". Both letters are transliterated to the same latin letter i

No other explanation needed.


The earliest Bible codices were pumped out of the Emperors' scriptoria in Greek, not Latin.

The two Greek words "Chrestos" [good] and "Christos" [annointed] have two different Greek roots.
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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Re: Evidence of name change: "Chrestian" to "Christian"

#19  Postby Leucius Charinus » Feb 27, 2014 4:13 am

scott1328 wrote:Or they are just bad spellers.


What are the odds that the various random authors of every one of the [20 or more] pre-5th century manuscripts and inscriptions made the same spelling mistake?

who the fuck cares. seriously


IMO? Serious historians.
Last edited by Leucius Charinus on Feb 27, 2014 4:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Evidence of name change: "Chrestian" to "Christian"

#20  Postby ughaibu » Feb 27, 2014 4:14 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:Your thoughts, comments, or alternative hypotheses are welcomed.
What has the mainstream academic position on this been? What is the church's story about it?
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