Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

The gnostic gospels & acts authored as a literary reaction to the political appearance of the Bible

Abrahamic religion, you know, the one with the cross...

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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#41  Postby duvduv » Aug 26, 2015 7:24 pm

This section alone on this website should get into the form of a hardcopy book by itself.
http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/A ... _Index.htm
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#42  Postby Leucius Charinus » Sep 03, 2015 8:49 am

Did Arius assert the Son of God to be 'a new God?'

According to Socrates he did.

I wonder why. Maybe Jesus was new to Arius?



    Socrates of Constantinople HE Book 4, Chapter 33
    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/26014.htm

    Ulfilas, their bishop at that time, invented the Gothic letters,
    and translating the Sacred Scriptures into their own language,
    undertook to instruct these barbarians in the Divine oracles.
    And as Ulfilas did not restrict his labors to the subjects of Fritigernes,
    but extended them to those who acknowledged the sway of Athanaric also,
    Athanaric regarding this as a violation of the privileges of the religion of his ancestors,
    subjected those who professed Christianity to severe punishments;
    so that many of the Arian Goths of that period became martyrs.

    Arius indeed, failing in his attempt to refute the opinion of Sabellius the Libyan,
    fell from the true faith, and asserted the Son of God to be 'a new God?':
    [Deuteronomy 32:7]
    but the barbarians embracing Christianity with greater simplicity of mind
    despised the present life for the faith of Christ.
    With these remarks we shall close our notice of the Christianized Goths.
"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: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#43  Postby Clive Durdle » Sep 03, 2015 8:56 am

https://scholarship.rice.edu/bitstream/ ... sAllowed=y

Fascinating discussion that gnosticism in Gospel of John was edited out!
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#44  Postby duvduv » Sep 03, 2015 1:31 pm

Leucius, could you elaborate on this?. It's not so clear from the citation of this Socrates itself.
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#45  Postby Leucius Charinus » Sep 04, 2015 4:17 am

Clive Durdle wrote:https://scholarship.rice.edu/bitstream/handle/1911/75007/Who%20is%20hiding%20in%20the%20Gospel%20of%20John.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Fascinating discussion that gnosticism in Gospel of John was edited out!


Thanks Clive. The literary school which produced the canonical books made mistakes.

I prefer the story in the Acts of John as that being closer to the historical representation of the Jesus Story. In the Acts of John that apostle follows Jesus around everywhere looking for the footsteps of Jesus in the sands of Middle Earth but alas fails to find any footprints. I wonder why?
"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: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#46  Postby Leucius Charinus » Sep 04, 2015 4:21 am

duvduv wrote:Leucius, could you elaborate on this?. It's not so clear from the citation of this Socrates itself.


Socrates says that

    "Arius ... indeed, failing in his attempt to refute the opinion of Sabellius the Libyan, fell from the true faith, and
    asserted the Son of God to be 'a new God?'

Was Jesus a "new God" during the Nicene epoch?

In one sense Jesus would have had to have been a brand new god. Which of the 95% pagan demographic could have been expected to have known about the Jesus Story?
"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: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#47  Postby Leucius Charinus » Sep 30, 2015 9:17 am

Mike S wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote: “FWIW IMO this controversial political situation of 325 CE spawned the "Other Gospels and Acts". IOW the gnostic gospels and Nag Hammadi texts (etc) are a literary reaction to the political appearance of the Greek NT Bible codex and its use as a political instrument of state at that time by Constantine. The Arian controversy and the controversy over these non canonical books (especially those deemed to be heretical or blasphemous or docetic etc) are highly related. Arius may have authored some of these "Gnostic Gospels of Acts" and this explains why Constantine wanted him dead.”



The Nag Hammadi texts may have been buried in response to, but were hardly spawned in response to, a “letter from Bishop Athanasius declaring a strict canon of Christian scripture”,


The letter from Bishop Anathasius containing the canon also condemned heretics and their "apocryphal books to which they attribute antiquity and give the name of saints." Consensus believes this letter may have precipitated the burial. No one is claiming this letter spawned the heretical writings which it condemns. These heretical texts obviously preceded the letter of 367 CE. By how many decades, generations or centuries is the real question here.


...... or, some “literary reaction to the political appearance of the Greek NT Bible”! I similarly doubt very much doubt “Arius may have authored some of these "Gnostic Gospels of Acts"!


You are free to doubt any claims about the evidence.

Let's look at it with respect to gThomas.


Consider the Gospel of Thomas:

“Assigning a date to the Gospel of Thomas is very complex because it is difficult to know precisely to what a date is being assigned. Scholars have proposed a date as early as 40 AD or as late as 140 AD, depending upon whether the Gospel of Thomas is identified with the original core of sayings, or with the author's published text, or with the Greek or Coptic texts, or with parallels in other literature.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Thomas


My position at the moment is that the Gospel of Thomas (along with the rest of the major Gnostic Gospels and Acts) was authored after 325 CE. But first let's look at the evidence underpinning the mainstream dating, which obviously seeks earlier and earlier dates for this "Sayings Gospel". I see three categories of evidence ...

(1) Literary attestations to gThomas via the "Church Fathers"

Eusebius cites Hippolytus (155-235), Refutation of all Heresies, v. 1-6., as mentioning something similar to the received text, and cites Origen as mentioning some text of Thomas. Eusebius cites saying (No. 2 in the gThomas) as quoted by Clement of Alexandria (Miscellenies ii. 45. 5; v. 96.3), as coming from the Gospel according to the Hebrews. There is certainly some ambiguity here, even accepting the literary evidence contained in the heresiologists about their political enemies the heretical authors, is integrous (and I do not ... It has been exposed that Origen was interpolated in the later 4th century by orthodox bishops with respect to the appearance of the Clementine literature, for example, See below).

(2) Papyri Fragments of gThomas largely from Oxyrynchus

P.Oxy.654, P.Oxy.655 and P.Oxy.1 which are variously dated by palaeography to the 2nd or 3rd centuries. What upper bounds might be realistically applied to these palaeographical estimates? My position is that dates in the earlier 4th century cannot be ruled out with any great certainty. Additionally there are other arguments related to the changing population demographics of the city of Oxyrynchus which mitigate towards a date towards the mid 4th century. Obviously the same evidence may be evaluated with upper and lower bounds and both of these may differ from one evaluator to the next. The first step is getting the evidence on the table and listed. That's what I am doing here.


(3) The Coptic gThomas in the NHL

This leaves us with the Coptic gThomas in the NHL, which is generally dated to the mid 4th century.

That is the evidence which I am aware of at the moment that is relevant to all hypotheses about the chronology of original authorship of the Gospel of Thomas.

My position at the moment is that the Greek original was written in Alexandria c.325-336 CE (i.e. in the rule of Constantine) and a copy was taken 400 miles down the Nile to the Pachomian monastery for preservation in Coptic.



Or, as Elaine Pagels sees it: “Gnosticism should be considered at least as legitimate as orthodox Christianity because the ‘[heresy’ was simply a competing strain of early Christianity.”


I am in agreement with the observation but not the chronology. Competing strains of Christianity are IMO far more likely in a highly charged political Christian environment, and my position is that what Pagels et al view as "Valentianian" or "Sethian" or other competing strains of Christian literary expression, are drawn from the Alexandrian Greek generation which witnessed the appearance of Constantine as the Supreme Caesar and Pontifex Maximus of the East and West Roman Empire, and his Christian State Revolution c.325 CE.

The question is what kind of reasonable probability space is generated with the evidence that I have listed above concerning the gThomas. You may have other evidence, in which case I am always interested.

A terminus post quem is the earliest time the event may have happened, and a terminus ante quem is the latest. Mainstream have always been interested in the earliest date of authorship for gThomas. What comments or observations have been made in regard to the terminus ante quem for the authorship of gThomas. Any reasonable analyst must know we are dealing with two bounds - an upper and lower - in order to make a first approximation of the probability space.


It must also follow that I don’t give any credence to your “alternate theory … that none of gnostic gospels or acts were authored before the council of Nicaea, and that these literary creations were a reaction and response to the political appearance of the NT Bible in the rule of Constantine c.325 CE.”


What is the foremost evidence item or items that you would cite, use and evaluate in order to detract credence to this alternate theory for the chronology of the authorship of the "Other Jesus Stories"?


Also FWIW this alternative theory is designed not only to best explain a political history of the authorship of the "Other Jesus Story Books" (Gnostic Gospels and Acts etc) but also much (but not all) of that entire class of Christian literature referred to as the "Old Testament Apochrypha". All the Sethian material for example, and writings related to figures in the LXX. The consistent explanation is that this material was a literary reaction to the LXX component of the NT Bible. The Gnostic gospels and acts mimic the NT. The OT Apocrypha mimics the LXX. Both the NT and LXX were political instruments in the rule of Constantine, and as such were the target of dissidence, lampoon, parody and satire.

There is evidence that strongly suggests that c.325 CE and following the Alexandrian Greeks RIDICULED and DERIDED the NT/LXX Bible which Constantine as a professed Christian adored. I think this ridicule and derision extended to the authorship of "Other Jesus Stories".


And finally if you are seeking some item of evidence which is in alignment with this alternative chronology then I suggest the best article to digest is the WIKI page on the Clementine Literature. Despite citations and mentions in the writings of Origen the current theory for the chronology of authorship focusses on c.330 CE, by an Arian.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clementine_literature

    Early references

    It was long believed that the early date of the Clementines was proved by the fact that they were twice quoted by Origen. One of these quotations occurs in the Philokalia of Sts. Gregory of Nazianzus and Basil (c. 360). Dr. Armitage Robinson showed in his edition of that work (1893) that the citation is an addition to the passage of Origen made by the compilers, or possibly by a later editor. The other citation occurs in the old Latin translation of Origen on Matthew. This translation is full of interpolations and alterations, and the passage of Pseudo-Clement is apparently an interpolation by the translator from the Arian Opus imperfectum in Matt.[4]

    Omitting Origen, the earliest witness is Eusebius. In his Ecclesiastical History, III, xxxviii (AD 325) he mentions some short writings and adds:

      "And now some have only the other day brought forward other wordy and lengthy compositions as being Clement's, containing dialogues of Peter and Appion, of which there is absolutely no mention in the ancients."

I guess that one term for this is retroscription. Basil and Gregory have interpolated Origen in order to make the reader of Origen infer that Origen was aware of the Clementine literature. Why would they do this? IMO they were fabricating a pseudo-history in which the massive political and literary controversy which followed the Christian Revolution of 325 CE was attenuated and swept into a false past under the carpet.

To summarise I am attempting to sketch the political history of the post Nicene age which the ecclesiastical histories of the heresiologists have suppressed (and retroscripted). In this sketch the NT-LXX Bible is a political instrument of the Emperor and the Christian State, and the Gnostic authors were responding to its very first political appearance. They trivialised it by writing other and sometime very exciting "Jesus and Apostle Stories" which the public loved to hear. But Constantine deployed the army on seek and destroy missions for these and other "Prohibited Books". They were not safe to have around your villa. They became very hot political potatoes. They were burnt or buried. As was the politics IMHO.
"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: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#48  Postby Mike S » Oct 01, 2015 10:34 am

No one is claiming this letter spawned the heretical writings which it condemns?

No? As for your ‘alternate theory’ per opening post, it seems to be exactly what you’ve been asserting all along, including in your opening post.

You then state: “My position at the moment is that the Gospel of Thomas (along with the rest of the major Gnostic Gospels and Acts) was authored after 325 CE”!

Followed by: “My position at the moment is that the Greek original was written in Alexandria c.325-336 CE (i.e. in the rule of Constantine) and a copy was taken 400 miles down the Nile to the Pachomian monastery for preservation in Coptic.”

I strongly suggest you pay a visit to the following Page:

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/thomas.html


You say that you disagree with Elaine Pagels’ chronology and her view that Gnosticsm “was simply a competing strain of early Christianity” – because … wait for it … in your opinion: “Competing strains of Christianity are IMO far more likely in a highly charged political Christian environment, and my position is that what Pagels et al view as "Valentianian" or "Sethian" or other competing strains of Christian literary expression, are drawn from the Alexandrian Greek generation which witnessed the appearance of Constantine as the Supreme Caesar and Pontifex Maximus of the East and West Roman Empire, and his Christian State Revolution c.325 CE.”

The problem is my friend that there already exists an immense body of established scholarly work in stark contradiction to your own rather presumptuous ‘positions’! So much so that I wouldn’t even know where to start!

I agree that ignorance is bliss, but I refuse to waste my time on sheer absurdity.
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#49  Postby Leucius Charinus » Oct 01, 2015 12:26 pm

Mike S wrote:The problem is my friend that there already exists an immense body of established scholarly work in stark contradiction to your own rather presumptuous ‘positions’! So much so that I wouldn’t even know where to start!



Start with the WIKI case study of the history of established scholarly work on the Clementine literature which, despite being mentioned in the 3rd century by Origen, and thus believed to have been literature extant in the 3rd century, is now thought to have been authored c.330 CE by an Arian (a post Nicene dissident). I see this case study as a kind of microcosm that is capable of defining the macrocosm. It exposes the interpolation c.370? of Basil and Gregory in Origen.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clementine_literature.

Anyway thanks for your contributions elsewhere to the historical content.
"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: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#50  Postby duvduv » Oct 02, 2015 5:21 pm

The Clementines are so fishy just because their association with normative Christianity is so vague and incomplete.
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#51  Postby Leucius Charinus » Oct 03, 2015 3:47 am

The Clementines feature the Simon Magus sub story with the exciting miracle contests between Simon and Peter.

These are the product of an Arian writing c.330 CE. The author is some sort of literary genius.
They became very popular stories during the rule of Constantine


It kind of follows that the Clementines were a literary response to the appearance and imperial authority associated with the NT Bible.

Was their genre some kind of literary parody of (parts of) the NT Story?
"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: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#52  Postby RealityRules » Oct 03, 2015 8:50 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
Start with the WIKI case study of the history of established scholarly work on the Clementine literature which, despite being mentioned in the 3rd century by Origen, and thus believed to have been literature extant in the 3rd century, is now thought to have been authored c.330 CE by an Arian (a post Nicene dissident). I see this case study as a kind of microcosm that is capable of defining the macrocosm. It exposes the interpolation c.370? of Basil and Gregory in Origen.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clementine_literature.

You mean
    " ..despite supposedly being mentioned in the 3rd century by Origen.."
or
    despite being mentioned in literature attributed to Origen
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#53  Postby Mike S » Oct 04, 2015 2:22 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
Mike S wrote:The problem is my friend that there already exists an immense body of established scholarly work in stark contradiction to your own rather presumptuous ‘positions’! So much so that I wouldn’t even know where to start!



Start with the WIKI case study of the history of established scholarly work on the Clementine literature which, despite being mentioned in the 3rd century by Origen, and thus believed to have been literature extant in the 3rd century, is now thought to have been authored c.330 CE by an Arian (a post Nicene dissident). I see this case study as a kind of microcosm that is capable of defining the macrocosm. It exposes the interpolation c.370? of Basil and Gregory in Origen.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clementine_literature.

Anyway thanks for your contributions elsewhere to the historical content.



No, Pete, considering the many uncertainties surrounding the Clementines, ‘their association with normative Christianity … so vague and incomplete’ (thanks duvduv), as for content, date of origin and authorship, they'd be one of the very last items.

Besides, wasn’t this bit of absurdity already dealt with in another forum back in 2006, almost a decade ago now, together with your somewhat bizarre question (insinuation?) as to whether it was possible that all of the Christian references in Origen’s writings are in fact mere interpolation . . .
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#54  Postby Leucius Charinus » Oct 04, 2015 3:28 am

RealityRules wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Start with the WIKI case study of the history of established scholarly work on the Clementine literature which, despite being mentioned in the 3rd century by Origen, and thus believed to have been literature extant in the 3rd century, is now thought to have been authored c.330 CE by an Arian (a post Nicene dissident). I see this case study as a kind of microcosm that is capable of defining the macrocosm. It exposes the interpolation c.370? of Basil and Gregory in Origen.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clementine_literature.

You mean
    " ..despite supposedly being mentioned in the 3rd century by Origen.."
or
    despite being mentioned in literature attributed to Origen


It depends on how you look at it.

The general summary for this exposed interpolation is that the later 4th century "Fathers" Basil and Gregory inserted into the writings of Origen a mention to this Clementine literature. Why would they do this?

As far as I can see the 4th century church fathers wanted posterity to think that Origen knew of the Clementine literature. The logic was that if the Clementines were mentioned by Origen then it can be reasonably inferred that the Clementine were extant in the 3rd century, and not the result of the authorship of an Arian c.330 CE. This is the modus operandi which I believe has been applied to all the mentions of these non canonical texts in antiquity by the "Early Church Fathers" in the 2nd and 3rd century.

Does this make any sense to you at all?
"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: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#55  Postby Leucius Charinus » Oct 04, 2015 11:12 am

Mike S wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Mike S wrote:The problem is my friend that there already exists an immense body of established scholarly work in stark contradiction to your own rather presumptuous ‘positions’! So much so that I wouldn’t even know where to start!



Start with the WIKI case study of the history of established scholarly work on the Clementine literature which, despite being mentioned in the 3rd century by Origen, and thus believed to have been literature extant in the 3rd century, is now thought to have been authored c.330 CE by an Arian (a post Nicene dissident). I see this case study as a kind of microcosm that is capable of defining the macrocosm. It exposes the interpolation c.370? of Basil and Gregory in Origen.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clementine_literature.

Anyway thanks for your contributions elsewhere to the historical content.



No, Pete, considering the many uncertainties surrounding the Clementines, ‘their association with normative Christianity … so vague and incomplete’ (thanks duvduv), as for content, date of origin and authorship, they'd be one of the very last items.


Date of origin and authorship is discussed in the reference I supplied, but to which you have not responded. The analysis points to an Arian author c.330 CE. The OP seeks to discuss the claim that Gnostic authors (more generally authors of the non canonical Christian literature, especially the heretical books) as post Nicene dissidents. An Arian author writing c.330 CE is IMO a good exemplar of a post Nicene dissident.

Besides, wasn’t this bit of absurdity already dealt with in another forum back in 2006, almost a decade ago now, together with your somewhat bizarre question (insinuation?) as to whether it was possible that all of the Christian references in Origen’s writings are in fact mere interpolation . . .



At that time in 2006 I was exploring questions about the latest possible date (terminus ante quem) that the CANONICAL Christian literature could have been authored, and asked the bizarre question did Constantine have the NT canonical books invented during his early rule. At that time I pointed out the critical reliance we have for the source called "Eusebius". At the end of this research I ended up writing a thesis for peer review.

THESIS: Constantine Invented Christianity in the Fourth Century. (pdf format; Sept 2007)
Referee Report from Journal of Hellenic Studies: JHL (Oct 2007), and response.

However since this time I have embarked upon a very long walk around the perimeter of the "Far Side of Early Christian literature" by looking one by one at all the gnostic gospels and acts, in general the NON-CANONICAL books associated with the Christian history. That is what this thread is all about. It is not about the canonical books.


For the purposes of this investigation and discussion we may presume the authorship of the canonical books to be <<< INSERT YOUR FAVORITE THEORY HERE >>>. For the purposes of the OP the canonical books can have been legitimately transmitted (even through the library of Origen) to Eusebius and Constantine, who published them widely 325 CE.

The OP argues that in 325 CE when the canonical books were published by the Emperor, there were no "Heretical Books". There were no "Gnostic Gospels and Acts" etc. The OP argues that these were all authored between 325-337 CE as a literary reaction to the appearance of the canonical books within the NT-LXX Bible.


You said you did not know where to start in assessing this non-mainstream hypothesis, and I suggested the Clementine literature because although it was previously considered 2nd or 3rd century, it is now considered to have been authored by an Arian c.330 CE. Feel free to argue that it wasn't.
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the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#56  Postby Mike S » Oct 06, 2015 1:34 am

No, Pete, the Clementines almost certainly were not the “result of the authorship of an Arian, c.330 CE,” but instead most likely only “received their present form in the fourth century at Rome, or in Syria, the book of which they are recensions having been composed between 225 and 300 at Rome, and the two primitive works c. 200.”

You’ll no doubt promptly dismiss all of the scholars noted below out of hand as being religiously biased, or on some other pretext (blinded to a man by a couple of problematic Origen references?): -

“In 1847 Hilgenfeld dated the original nucleus (Kerygmata Petrou) soon after the Jewish war of 70; successive revisions of it were anti-Basilidian, anti-Valentinian, and anti-Marcionite respectively. Baur placed the completed form, H, soon after the middle of the 2nd century, and Schliemann (1844) agreed, placing R, as a revision, between 211 and 230. Other writers dated both H and R to between the 2nd and 4th centuries:

R. 2nd century: Sixtus Senensis, Blondellus, Nourri, Cotelerius, Natalis Alexander, Cave, Oudin, Heinsius, Rosenmüller, Flügge, Gieseler, Friedrich Tholuck, Bretschneider, Engelhardt, Gfrörer.
R. 2nd or 3rd century: Schröck, Stark, Lumper, Krabbe, Locherer, Gersdorf.
R. 3rd century: Strunzius (on Bardesanes, 1710), Weismann (17l8), Mosheim, Kleuker, Schmidt (Kirchengesch.)
R. 4th century: Corrodi, Lentz (Dogmengesch.).
H. 2nd century (beginning): Credner, Bretschneider, Kern, Rothe.
H. 2nd century: Clericus, Beausobre, Flügge, Münscher, Hoffmann, Döllinger, Hilgers; (middle of 2nd) Hase.
H. end of 2nd century: Schröck, Cölln, Gieseler (3rd ed.), Schenkel, Gfrörer, Lücke.
H. 3rd century: Mill, Mosheim, Gallandi, Gieseler (2nd ed.).
H. 2nd or 3rd century: Neander, Krabbe, Baur, Ritter, Paniel, Dähne.
H. 4th century: Lentz.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clementine_literature


You certainly seem to have proselytized the same extreme and idiosyncratic claptrap for some time, exploiting such historical gaps and uncertainties as seemingly serve your desired outcome.

I can’t really understand why Peter Kirby saw fit to honor you with a special page, but there you go: -

http://peterkirby.com/nag-hammadi-carbo ... -myth.html

Or how, “The Coptic manuscript of the Gospel of Thomas (and its codex in the Nag Hammadi Library), however, has not been carbon dated by any lab, anywhere, at this time. Regardless, this supposed fact is not only being used to argue that Browns’ project is possible but also, further, that it is somehow probable, starting with myths and proceeding through fallacies to arrive at a “hypothesis” that most would not even give the respect of such a neutrally-worded term. (Due to the Physical Evidence of Early Christianity and the convoluted, Byzantine absurdity of the postulated forgery and its postulated motives, among other considerations that would be mentioned in any such discussion.)”

Some paragraphs -

“The Myth Becomes Mythical Data

This myth would prove to be of great importance to Brown, and it became one of the cornerstones of his idiosyncratic project to re-date large swaths of early Christian literature, including the texts found at Nag Hammadi, after the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE.

Anyone searching “carbon dating Nag Hammadi” or anything similar into Google will hit this page, from P. R. F. Brown, as their first result (the most relevant one, according to Google’s algorithms): “Radiocarbon Dating the Gnostics Gospels after Nicaea”.

(And now the page has gotten another link, boosting its place in the results. Why does the page rank so well? Possibly because it is talking about something nobody else is, so it gets a lot of links. Unfortunately, part of what it is saying is not true, which explains why it’s not being said more often.)

There we find this very specific form of the myth, now replete with references to the “second codex (NHC 2.2)” and given the specific date with margin of error of “348 CE plus or minus 60 years.” Here we see further assimilation of the legend of Gospel of Thomas’ C-14 dating to the actual C-14 dating of the Gospel of Judas, which also was given a margin of error of +/- 60 years in the widely-publicized reports. Notice that here, in this more formal presentation, just a hint of uncertainty (in the word “reportedly”) remains:

The Gospel of Thomas, appearing as the second story within the second codex (NHC 2.2), within the Nag Hammadi Codices discovery, was reportedly radiocarbon dated to 348 CE plus or minus 60 years.

A lot of what follows regards the Gospel of Judas find (but also the Nag Hammadi Library) and a particular thread in which Brown, as a layman, reached out for help with the science and the math (keeping that which was most useful to him), a discussion that ran from November 22, 2010 to March 3, 2011: “Questions about C14 dating, Bell Curves and averaging two independent C14 results.”

There may indeed be some merit to the discussion of the Gospel of Judas manuscript and of Codex Tchacos, to which it belongs. A lot of the issues raised hinge on the difference between uncalibrated C-14 results and calibrated C-14 results, which ones have actually been published regarding the Gospel of Judas, how they should be interpreted, and how one should go from the uncalibrated to the calibrated results in the case of the Gospel of Judas, all of which is best left for another time.

Brown, with the help of a few friends, can even show us charts with the calibrated dates of the C-14 radiometric dating of the material in the Nag Hammadi codex (because–and I know not how–he has concluded that the supposed C-14 dating of the Nag Hammadi codex material was in fact uncalibrated and therefore needed to be calibrated by him), complete with some very specific numbers.

The Coptic manuscript of the Gospel of Thomas (and its codex in the Nag Hammadi Library), however, has not been carbon dated by any lab, anywhere, at this time. Regardless, this supposed fact is not only being used to argue that Browns’ project is possible but also, further, that it is somehow probable, starting with myths and proceeding through fallacies to arrive at a “hypothesis” that most would not even give the respect of such a neutrally-worded term. (Due to the Physical Evidence of Early Christianity and the convoluted, Byzantine absurdity of the postulated forgery and its postulated motives, among other considerations that would be mentioned in any such discussion.)”


No doubt you’ve already scrutinized the links following

http://peterkirby.com/physical-evidence.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxyrhynchus_Papyri

https://theosophical.wordpress.com/2011 ... us-papyri/


With respect, Pete, I’d rather not devote any more time on your thesis.
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#57  Postby Leucius Charinus » Oct 06, 2015 5:05 am

Mike S wrote:No, Pete, the Clementines almost certainly were not the “result of the authorship of an Arian, c.330 CE,” but instead most likely only “received their present form in the fourth century at Rome, or in Syria, the book of which they are recensions having been composed between 225 and 300 at Rome, and the two primitive works c. 200.”

You’ll no doubt promptly dismiss all of the scholars noted below out of hand as being religiously biased, or on some other pretext (blinded to a man by a couple of problematic Origen references?): -

“In 1847 Hilgenfeld dated the original nucleus (Kerygmata Petrou) soon after the Jewish war of 70; successive revisions of it were anti-Basilidian, anti-Valentinian, and anti-Marcionite respectively. Baur placed the completed form, H, soon after the middle of the 2nd century, and Schliemann (1844) agreed, placing R, as a revision, between 211 and 230. Other writers dated both H and R to between the 2nd and 4th centuries:

R. 2nd century: Sixtus Senensis, Blondellus, Nourri, Cotelerius, Natalis Alexander, Cave, Oudin, Heinsius, Rosenmüller, Flügge, Gieseler, Friedrich Tholuck, Bretschneider, Engelhardt, Gfrörer.
R. 2nd or 3rd century: Schröck, Stark, Lumper, Krabbe, Locherer, Gersdorf.
R. 3rd century: Strunzius (on Bardesanes, 1710), Weismann (17l8), Mosheim, Kleuker, Schmidt (Kirchengesch.)
R. 4th century: Corrodi, Lentz (Dogmengesch.).
H. 2nd century (beginning): Credner, Bretschneider, Kern, Rothe.
H. 2nd century: Clericus, Beausobre, Flügge, Münscher, Hoffmann, Döllinger, Hilgers; (middle of 2nd) Hase.
H. end of 2nd century: Schröck, Cölln, Gieseler (3rd ed.), Schenkel, Gfrörer, Lücke.
H. 3rd century: Mill, Mosheim, Gallandi, Gieseler (2nd ed.).
H. 2nd or 3rd century: Neander, Krabbe, Baur, Ritter, Paniel, Dähne.
H. 4th century: Lentz.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clementine_literature


Which of these writers wrote after Armitage Robinson (1893) ?

You seem to have missed parts of the page:

    All the foregoing writers presupposed that the Clementines were known to Origen.

    ///

    It was long believed that the early date of the Clementines was proved by the fact that they were twice quoted by Origen. One of these quotations occurs in the Philokalia of Sts. Gregory of Nazianzus and Basil (c. 360). Dr. Armitage Robinson showed in his edition of that work (1893) that the citation is an addition to the passage of Origen made by the compilers, or possibly by a later editor. The other citation occurs in the old Latin translation of Origen on Matthew. This translation is full of interpolations and alterations, and the passage of Pseudo-Clement is apparently an interpolation by the translator from the Arian Opus imperfectum in Matt

Has any modern scholarship overturned the finding of Armitage Robinson in his edition of that work (1893)?
"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: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#59  Postby Leucius Charinus » Oct 06, 2015 6:07 am

Mike S wrote:
No doubt you’ve already scrutinized the links following

https://theosophical.wordpress.com/2011 ... us-papyri/




    In Hellenistic times, Oxyrhynchus was 3rd largest city in Egypt. Outside the city was a series of garbage dump sites, at which the inhabitants of Oxyrhynchus would dump their garbage. They dumped their garbage there for more than 1,000 years

This statement is quite misleading. By the mid 4th century there is strong evidence to suggest that the city of Oxyrhynchus had undergone a massive population explosion. A city of people had developed outside the city walls, and further rubbish dumps for this exclusively "Monkish Crowd" were obviously commissioned at this epoch during which the population demographics substantially increased. The total amount of tips at the city exceeds a dozen Considering this change in population size at this city, the above the cited statements on that webpage are inaccurate, since it may be inferred that additional tips outside the city were not in use prior to this population explosion.


From Historia Monachorum

    "The city is so full of monasteries
    that the very walls resounded
    with the voices of monks.
    Other monasteries encircled it outside,
    so that the outer city forms
    another town alongside the inner.
    Monks outnumbered the secular citizens.
    There were more women that men.

My position / hypothesis is that the papyri from the city of Oxyrhynchus are just as, if not more likely, to have a provenance sourced with this mass migration of "Monks" (who may well have been literate and scribal in their nature) towards the mid 4th century.


Christian papyri from codices not rolls mitigates towards 4th century

The way I see it is that the following data and analysis supports this hypothesis. Practically all of the new testament related fragments appear to be sourced not from scrolls but from pages which were bound in codices - a sewn and folded book not a roll. If these fragments were to be dated even to the first half of the second century, then these fragments would be amongst the earlier surviving examples of a literary codex.

The following stats relate to non-biblical papyri, showing the move to codex technology in the 4th century.

Image


We are left with two alternatives: either

a) the early Christians were the first to exclusively and universally use the codex in preference to the roll, or

b) the (palaeographic) dating for the early Christian manuscripts is wrong, and that they are really all from the 4th century.


Perhaps you support the hypothesis of C.H. Roberts, namely that "the codex was a deliberate innovation of Christian evangelists" [of the 2nd century]. This hypothesis appears to beg a theological agenda, and I reject it as wishful thinking on the part of C.H.Roberts and those who support him.
"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: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#60  Postby Leucius Charinus » Oct 06, 2015 6:18 am

Mike S wrote:

I can’t really understand why Peter Kirby saw fit to honor you with a special page, but there you go: -

http://peterkirby.com/nag-hammadi-carbo ... -myth.html



You can read the exchange here:
http://earlywritings.com/forum/viewtopi ... &hilit=c14
"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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