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

#61  Postby Leucius Charinus » Oct 06, 2015 7:06 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
Mike S wrote: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) ?



Mike S wrote:http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/kerygmatapetrou.html



Well thanks for the link. However your originally quoted list of scholars is found on this page:

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

The context is as follows:

    Ferdinand Christian Baur, the founder of the "Tübingen School" of New Testament criticism, rested his ideas about the New Testament on the Clementines, and his ideas about the Clementines on St. Epiphanius, who found the writings used by an Ebionite sect in the 4th century. This Judeo-Christian sect at that date rejected St. Paul as an apostate. It was assumed that this 4th century opinion represented the Christianity of the Twelve Apostles; Paulinism was originally a heresy, and a schism from the Jewish Christianity of James and Peter and the rest; Marcion was a leader of the Pauline sect in its survival in the 2nd century, using only the Pauline Gospel, St. Luke (in its original form), and the Epistles of St. Paul (without the Pastoral Epistles). The Clementine literature had its first origin in the Apostolic Age, and belonged to the original Jewish, Petrine, legal Church. It is directed wholly against St. Paul and his sect. Simon Magus never existed; it is a nickname for St. Paul. The Acts of the Apostles, compiled in the 2nd century, have borrowed their mention of Simon from the earliest form of the Clementines. Catholicism under the presidency of Rome was the result of the adjustment between the Petrine and Pauline sections of the Church in the second half of the 2nd century. The Fourth Gospel is a monument of this reconciliation, in which Rome took a leading part, having invented the fiction that both Peter and Paul were the founders of her Church, both having been martyred at Rome, and on the same day, in perfect union.


    Throughout the middle of the 19th century this theory , in many forms, was dominant in Germany. The demonstration, mainly by English scholars, of the impossibility of the late dates ascribed to the New Testament documents (four Epistles of St. Paul and the Apocalypse were the only documents generally admitted as being of early date), and the proofs of the authenticity of the Apostolic Fathers and of the use of St. John's Gospel by Justin, Papias, and Ignatius gradually brought Baur's theories into discredit. Of the original school, Adolf Hilgenfeld may be considered the last survivor (died 1907). He was induced many years ago to admit that Simon Magus was a real personage, though he persists that in the Clementines he is meant for St. Paul. 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.

All of these writers are probably (I have not checked) from the 19th century (or earlier, such as Blondel), and probably wrote before the edition of Armitage Robinson (1893).

So the question resolves to this: 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

#62  Postby Leucius Charinus » Oct 06, 2015 8:34 am

Mike S wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Mike S wrote:All writings about Jesus originated after 70 AD?

The Early Christian Writings Site readily shows that isn’t true. The Gospel of Thomas, for example, is dated 50 to 140, whereas Paul’s epistles are said to hail from 50 to 65, and of course there are many more writings with starting dates before 70.


This is simply repeating the dogma of the Biblical Historians as if it were true. The CW site has simply gathered together all the dogma of Biblical Scholarship. And if you don't like the term dogma, feel free to replace it with the term hypotheses. But please don't confuse it with the term "historical truth".

Please provide the evidence for the HYPOTHESIS that the Gospel of Thomas, for example, is dated 50 to 140 CE.



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

If you disagree with the analysis/evidence presented, internally derived or otherwise, please present your own reasoning/substantiation accordingly.



That is precisely what I have been striving for in this discussion thread.

Read the OP.

I explained only days ago that Eusebius’ assertions must be handled with great care.


At least we agree on this.

But allow me to point out that Eusebius's assertions about the orthodoxy in the capacity of an (ahem) "Biblical Historian" are in an entirely different category that his assertions - as a practicing heresiologist - about the heretical authors of blasphemous "Other Books". In respect of the latter he is a hostile witness. The heretics are his political enemies. The orthodox are not.

This thread is about the books of the heretics. Not the books of the orthodoxy.


What would any sensible person expect Eusebius to write about his political enemies?
"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

#63  Postby Mike S » Oct 06, 2015 9:46 am

No need to mislead by resorting to a wordy account on Baur, Pete. My earlier link already offered the essentials.

And when I advised, “If you disagree with the analysis/evidence presented, internally derived or otherwise, please present your own reasoning/substantiation accordingly.

I meant for you to do exactly that - not glibly skip over it!

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/k ... etrou.html

“Information on Kerygmata Petrou

The Kerygmata Petrou is believed to be a source for the basic document (dating to the third century but also hypothetical) of the Pseudo-Clementines, which was incorporated into the Recognitions and the Homilies of Clement. The Pseudo-Clementines achieved their final form in the fourth century. The Homilies, along with epistles addressed to James attributed to Clement and Peter, are found in Parisinus Graecus 930 and Vaticanus Ottobonianus 443. The Recognitions are preserved only in the Latin translation of Rufinus.

Georg Strecker writes (New Testament Apocrypha, vol. 2, p. 489):

If R III 75, the so-called Table of Contents of the Kerygmata, is to be recognised (with Rehm) as a literary fiction, then in reconstructing the KP-source we must proceed only from the introductory writings, [which are] the Epistula Petri and the Contestatio, isolating on the basis of conceptual and material parallels those contexts in the Pseudo-Clementines which display the same trend or tendency. Admittedly it is always only portions of the basic document that are thus laid hold of; statements regarding the Kerygmata cannot be wholly freed from the relativity that is theirs through their having been selected and interfered with by the author of the basic document.
Georg Strecker writes (op. cit., p. 493):

The terminus a quo for the origin of the basic document is Bardesanes' work Peri Eimarmenhs, to which the section R IX 19-29 goes back. The earliest possible time of origin is thus A.D. 220. Establishing the terminus ad quem is substantially more difficult. The use of the basic document by Epiphanius takes us back at the earliest to the middle of the 4th century. There thus remains as the most obvious clue only the time of composition of the Homilies in the first two decades of the 4th century (cf. above, p. 485), which results in a range from 220 to 300 with the year 260 A.D. as the arithmetical mean. This is also the lower limit [upper bound?] for the origin of the KP document. For the latter there is no firm foundation for establishing the terminus a quo. We may not go too far back into the 2nd century, since then we should not be able to understand why there is no evidence for the Kerygmata outside of the basic document. Over and above that, we can obtain an indication of the possible dating through comparison with the time of composition of the other sources of the basic document: if Bardesanes' dialogue, which the author of the basic document copied, was composed about the year 220, an ordination schema which that author used (in Ep. Clem., H III 60-72; XI 36; R III 65-66; VI 15) also came into being about 200. The same dating may be assumed for the Kerygmata.”



Then we come across this:

http://peterkirby.com/gospel-of-judas-r ... sults.html


“This ‘alternative interpretation is represented by P. R. F. Brown’s webpage, which I have already criticized recently for its erroneous information regarding the Nag Hammadi Library, for which he not only invented fictitious uncalibrated conventional radiocarbon age “data” (as he does for the Gospel of Judas here) but even did so with the mistaken assumption that there was any C-14 dating of the NHL at all.

Nonetheless you can see his assumptions on display in a chart that might look quite solid, even scientific, if you did not understand the dubious misinterpretations that went into making it.”

I’ve really got no time for the kind of dishonesty invention described by Kirby, Pete. We’ll leave it there.
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#64  Postby Leucius Charinus » Oct 06, 2015 12:15 pm

Mike S wrote:No need to mislead by resorting to a wordy account on Baur, Pete. My earlier link already offered the essentials.

And when I advised, “If you disagree with the analysis/evidence presented, internally derived or otherwise, please present your own reasoning/substantiation accordingly.

I meant for you to do exactly that - not glibly skip over it!

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/k ... etrou.html

“Information on Kerygmata Petrou

The Kerygmata Petrou is believed to be a source for the basic document (dating to the third century but also hypothetical) of the Pseudo-Clementines, which was incorporated into the Recognitions and the Homilies of Clement. The Pseudo-Clementines achieved their final form in the fourth century. The Homilies, along with epistles addressed to James attributed to Clement and Peter, are found in Parisinus Graecus 930 and Vaticanus Ottobonianus 443. The Recognitions are preserved only in the Latin translation of Rufinus.

Georg Strecker writes (New Testament Apocrypha, vol. 2, p. 489):

If R III 75, the so-called Table of Contents of the Kerygmata, is to be recognised (with Rehm) as a literary fiction, then in reconstructing the KP-source we must proceed only from the introductory writings, [which are] the Epistula Petri and the Contestatio, isolating on the basis of conceptual and material parallels those contexts in the Pseudo-Clementines which display the same trend or tendency. Admittedly it is always only portions of the basic document that are thus laid hold of; statements regarding the Kerygmata cannot be wholly freed from the relativity that is theirs through their having been selected and interfered with by the author of the basic document.
Georg Strecker writes (op. cit., p. 493):

The terminus a quo for the origin of the basic document is Bardesanes' work Peri Eimarmenhs, to which the section R IX 19-29 goes back. The earliest possible time of origin is thus A.D. 220. Establishing the terminus ad quem is substantially more difficult. The use of the basic document by Epiphanius takes us back at the earliest to the middle of the 4th century. There thus remains as the most obvious clue only the time of composition of the Homilies in the first two decades of the 4th century (cf. above, p. 485), which results in a range from 220 to 300 with the year 260 A.D. as the arithmetical mean. This is also the lower limit [upper bound?] for the origin of the KP document. For the latter there is no firm foundation for establishing the terminus a quo. We may not go too far back into the 2nd century, since then we should not be able to understand why there is no evidence for the Kerygmata outside of the basic document. Over and above that, we can obtain an indication of the possible dating through comparison with the time of composition of the other sources of the basic document: if Bardesanes' dialogue, which the author of the basic document copied, was composed about the year 220, an ordination schema which that author used (in Ep. Clem., H III 60-72; XI 36; R III 65-66; VI 15) also came into being about 200. The same dating may be assumed for the Kerygmata.”



Do you acknowledge that the Kerygmata Petrou is, like 'Q', a hypothetical document, and may not exist?

It's dating is even more hypothetical, and depending on whether it existed (or not), it may (or may not) be relevant to the dating of the Clementine literature, from which it has been extracted.
"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

#65  Postby Leucius Charinus » Oct 06, 2015 12:40 pm

Mike S wrote:Then we come across this:

http://peterkirby.com/gospel-of-judas-r ... sults.html


“This ‘alternative interpretation is represented by P. R. F. Brown’s webpage, which I have already criticized recently for its erroneous information regarding the Nag Hammadi Library, for which he not only invented fictitious uncalibrated conventional radiocarbon age “data” (as he does for the Gospel of Judas here) but even did so with the mistaken assumption that there was any C-14 dating of the NHL at all.

Nonetheless you can see his assumptions on display in a chart that might look quite solid, even scientific, if you did not understand the dubious misinterpretations that went into making it.”

I’ve really got no time for the kind of dishonesty invention described by Kirby, Pete. We’ll leave it there.


If you kept reading Kirby's blog you would find this ....

    However, P. R. F. Brown can be credited, at least, for raising interesting questions regarding the distinction between the calibrated dates and uncalibrated data and for asking the question of how Jull arrived at his final results, and thus for prompting some of the further questioning on these matters, including this blog post.

The kind of dishonesty invention described by Kirby is completely unfounded.

My original article (which prompted Kirby's blog) pointed out critical problems in the gJudas C14 test results published by various authors for National Geographic. One of the major problems is that the final scientific report in respect of the C14 test performed by the UA in 2005, in 2015 - ten years after the test - has not yet been published. Why? Probably related to confidentiality agreements between the scientific "contractors" and the National Geographic executive.

One of Kirby's criticism of this article was that "It tends to assume (whether explicitly or not) something very close either to a conspiracy or incompetence on the part of the team". This criticism is valid only if qualified that the team being questioned here is the National Geographic Executive Team and their publications, who have misrepresented and/or suppressed and/or delayed the results of the scientific team for their own agenda. The turnaround time between the earlier C14 tests conducted on the Dead Sea Scrolls by Jull's UA team and the publication of the final report was not ten years.

If you are actually interested in this issue, the latest updates to my knowledge are available here:
http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blog ... judas.html

The conclusion is:

    My estimation following Peter Head’s thesis leaves a radiometric result in the late third through the end of the fourth century. One should be aware that fourth century manuscripts will typically have calibrated dates ranging back into the third century. The issues is that the amount of 14C carbon in the atmosphere dipped in the fourth century, and thus fourth century manuscripts generally look like third century manuscripts. Notably, one of the individual calibrations of the papyri leaves offered a date range into the sixth century!

The original dates published by National Geographic were a range 220-340 CE.

Go figure.



Was the Gospel of Judas codex manufactured before the Council of Nicaea?

The US Press Release UA Radiocarbon Dates Help Verify Coptic Gospel of Judas is Genuine of March 30, 2006 states the following:

    A. J. Tim Jull, director of the National Science Foundation-Arizona AMS Laboratory, and Gregory Hodgins, assistant research scientist, radiocarbon dated five tiny samples of papyrus and leather book binding from a collection of ancient documents, known as a codex, that was discovered only about 30 years ago in Egypt. "All five samples, remarkably, are the same age," Jull said. "All date to the third to fourth century, clearly before the Council of Nicaea, which presumably would have suppressed such a document."

    SEE: http://uanews.org/story/ua-radiocarbon- ... as-genuine

This last statement that the codex must be clearly dated before the council of Nicaea (325 CE) is OBVIOUSLY very questionable. The date range 325-340 CE is plainly within the published bounds (220-340 CE) and is thus still feasible.
"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

#66  Postby Mike S » Oct 07, 2015 12:52 am

Save the usual smoke, mirrors and red herrings, Pete.

We’re not concerned here with your outlandish ‘thesis’ as to whether certain manuscripts originated before or after 325, but whether you indulged, over some years at that, in gross misrepresentation, including the fabrication of false data.

Reading again through Peter Kirby’s The Myth of Nag Hammadi and associated material leaves scant doubt in my mind that such was indeed the case; anything to sustain your outlandish ‘thesis’, even going to the extent of constructing false carbon-dating graphs! What was it you said again about Eusebius?

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


Why should we now accept or believe anything you say in this forum?
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#67  Postby Leucius Charinus » Oct 07, 2015 8:43 am

Mike S wrote:Save the usual smoke, mirrors and red herrings, Pete.

We’re not concerned here with your outlandish ‘thesis’ as to whether certain manuscripts originated before or after 325,



Then you are not concerned about the evidence, and its evaluation and analysis.



.... but whether you indulged, over some years at that, in gross misrepresentation, including the fabrication of false data.


At post #60 I gave you a link to read about this. This link was to Kirby's Forum and the discussion thread which he started entitled "The Myth of Nag Hammadi's Carbon Dating" that announced his blog article on this specific subject. Did you even bother to read it? Apparently not.

From that link:

    In the winter of 2007 I took a course on Suetonius' "Twelve Caesars" run by Dr. Michael Birrell. Our discussions on the Epoch of Constantine resulted in him lending me his own copy of RL Fox's "Pagan and Christians". This I rapidly read and rapidly made notes and returned to him at the end of the course. During this I made a mistake about the mention of a C14 date on the codex containing the gThomas. I have no idea why I made that mistake at that time, and I did not notice it until many years after the event. Because I did not have the book I did not double check my notes when I started numerous discussions about the validity and limitations of combining two separate C14 tests. There is no doubt that I operated under the delusion that the field could boast 2 C14 tests, when in actual fact, the only C14 test to have been undertaken was that by Nat Geo on gJudas.

    ///

    When the mistake was pointed out to me (2012) of course I was horrified. The argument for combining two C14 dates could now not be made in real-time. I had been operating for years under a false hypothesis. None of this was intentional. It was just a mistake. Amateurs and professionals alike make mistakes.

Kirby made the mistake of thinking in 2015 that he would expose my error, three years after I had acknowledge it for what it was. You can see this clearly in his second post:

Peter Kirby wrote:I now see that Pete has known about this since April 1, 2012. (And apparently not an "april fools" joke...)

http://bcharchive.org/2/thearchives/showthread586e.html

Why haven't you updated your website?


After realising his mistake, and receiving my initial response to his discussion of his blog article, he himself stated that the error was not intentional:

Peter Kirby wrote:Thanks for this explanation. Yes, I did not imagine that the error was intentional. I appreciate that you will take the time to correct the webpages.



As to your assertions that "I indulged ... in gross misrepresentation, including the fabrication of false data" I can only ask whether you are an objective researcher or simply someone who thinks it is fair game to make false statements about people who's ideas are often perceived as "outlandish". If it is the former then you are not a good researcher, because I pointed you to the personal exchange between Kirby and I on the specific matters found in Kirby's blog. If it is the latter, your false statements are now exposed.


Reading again through Peter Kirby’s The Myth of Nag Hammadi and associated material leaves scant doubt in my mind that such was indeed the case; anything to sustain your outlandish ‘thesis’, ....


Kirby at that time had formed a new discussion forum because the BC&H discussions (formerly owned by the Internet Infidels) was shut down (after many years of operation) by the new owners. Kirby called me out on many occasions at his new forum, looking for an excuse to ban me, and did so on three separate occasions.

The final time was for demonstrating (according to Kirby) "unsound methodology" in the arguments and questions I raised in discussing the subject matter of this thread. Kirby insisted that his approach was methodologically sound, while my approach was not.

SEE: On dating the Gnostic literature after 325 CE
http://earlywritings.com/forum/viewtopi ... 71&p=33743

In my opinion Kirby is wrong, and the methodology I stated was quite sound. Specifically it related to a CHI-SQUARED test on the available physical evidence. I am not sure too many people in Kirby's revamped BC&H discussion forum understood the mathematics, except Kirby and myself. If you are serious in attacking my ideas then by all means discredit this CHI-SQUARED test and/or the data and the results, which are found at the very end of the thread above, and for which in a supposedly rational discussion forum about the evidence for Christian manuscripts, I was banned.


... even going to the extent of constructing false carbon-dating graphs!


Between 2007 and 2012 I mistakenly assumed that the 348 CE on the NHL was a result of a C14 test (and not cartonage). So what, I made a mistake, which was openly acknowledged in discussions from 2012. In 2015 Kirby decides to spend time to discredit my research, inferring he is the first to expose some malpractice on my part.

AFAIK I pioneered the theoretical concept of statistically combining the results of two or more C14 tests (on the same subject matter) to construct a derivative C14 graph. This is not a false C14 graph. It is a valid operation of statistical maths.

The original page which Kirby critiqued is this: Radiocarbon Dating the Gnostics after Nicaea
http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/C ... ospels.htm

You will see that Kirby is acknowledged as one of the contributors.


What was it you said again about Eusebius?



Eusebius was thoroughly dishonest and a liar.



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

Why should we now accept or believe anything you say in this forum?


Because whatever I claim or say is related to the ancient historical evidence, which is common to all researchers and which, if they are interested in history, becomes mandatory in discussion.

When I make mistakes I openly admit them.

Can you say the same?

My guess is that we are about to find out.
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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

#68  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jan 13, 2016 4:26 am

Further evidence of the Archaeological Variety

There are a number of archaeological studies dealing in the funerary relief decorating various sarcophagi in the Roman catacombs which all seem to be dated around the mid 4th century, and which share a common but unusual feature. In these depictions both Jesus and Peter carry some sort of wand or staff. Additionally, one of the more common motifs found involves the "Arrest of Peter" and the miracle of Peter striking a rock to produce water. The source articles (below) identify that this material (and other material) is sourced from stories found in the non canonical literature. Variants of the Acts of Peter, such as "The Acts of Processus and Martianus" and "The Acts of Linus", are mentioned. These are texts which are thought to have been authored in the 4th century.

The presence of the wand (or some other instrument) in the depictions of Jesus and Peter seem to evoke the miracle contests between Peter and Simon Magus, or something else. The authorship of "The Clementine Literature" and "the Epistle of the Apostles", both of which provide an account of this "Magician Battle", are dated to the 4th century, and often after the Nicene Council.

Here are two articles on this subject:

http://www.rome101.com/Topics/Christian/Magician/

    Christ the Magician

    A survey of ancient Christian sarcophagus imagery

    William Storage and Laura Maish

    Image

    Jesus commonly appears on ancient Christian sarcophagi in the role of a magician. This comes as a surprise to many modern viewers. Catholic tradition holds that the diversity in early Christian belief stems from heresies that branched out from an original kernel of orthodoxy. This view of the roots of the early diversity in Christian belief is difficult to reconcile with the books of the New Testament - which presumably represent the earliest Christian writings - let alone the heretical works refuted by early apologists like Justin Martyr and Tertullian.


and

https://www.academia.edu/1859901/The_St ... istian_Art

    The Staff of Jesus in Early Christian Art

    Lee M. Jefferson

    Centre College

    Abstract

    When surveying examples from Christian art of the third and fourth centuries, a viewerwill invariably encounter the puzzling image of Jesus performing miracles holding a staff orwand. Teologians, art historians, and even the current pope have interpreted Christ’smiracle-working implement as a symbol denoting Jesus as a philosopher or a magician.However, the most reasonable explanation of the staff can be discovered by examining theonly other two staff-bearers featured in the corpus of early Christian art: Moses and Peter.Miracles and the figures who wrought them were the primary currency of faith in lateantiquity. Such an emphasis is readily apparent in early Christian texts. Tis article willdemonstrate the emphasis on miracles in early Christian art by focusing on the peculiariconographic feature of the staff. Te staff in Christian art of the third and fourth centuriesis not evocative of magic, philosophy, or any other non-Christian influence. Instead, thestaff is meant to recall the miracle worker Moses and to characterize Jesus and Peter as the“New Moses” of the Christian faith.
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#69  Postby duvduv » Jan 14, 2016 11:58 pm

Leucius, old friend. I see what emerges from all this is that Eusebius set the ball rolling without even knowing how it would all turn out in the popular mind and art. This is fascinating stuff as always from you! We can just imagine how "Romances", even apocryphal writings, even gnostic writings all weaved in and out representations either as parody or as the popular creation of one's adherence to the new religion itself in all types of ways!! It was certainly likely to have been all over in myriad ways. Surely the populace itself who didn't yet become subservient to the Church imagery and the like sought to represent images of their new religion in all types of creative ways. Who can blame them? Were people supposed to just be slavish and frumpy when they could have a GOOD TIME with their new religion and EVEN ENJOY IT??! After all, maybe the gnostic parodies weren't always in opposition but CREATIVELY endorsing this new theology before the Church could slam the lid on top of them. What do you think Leucius?!
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#70  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jan 17, 2016 2:38 am

duvduv wrote:Leucius, old friend. I see what emerges from all this is that Eusebius set the ball rolling without even knowing how it would all turn out in the popular mind and art.


Eusebius went to the underworld a couple of years after Constantine by which time the use of the NT Bible as a political instrument of the Roman State and the Emperor was just 12 years old. Constantine's son Constantius, after he arranged for a mafia-style mass execution of family members, carried on with the "plain and simple religion of the Christians" for another 23 years. When Julian came to the throne the empire had been subject to the political effects of a "Christian Revolution" for about 35 years, and many temples - particularly the largest, most ancient and most highly revered temples had been destroyed.

The rise of the Christian State is characterised by the rise of the so-called Arian controversy and the multiplication of heretics. While Constantine lived, no one had openly dared to oppose his doctrines. I wonder why that was?

We can just imagine how "Romances", even apocryphal writings, even gnostic writings all weaved in and out representations either as parody or as the popular creation of one's adherence to the new religion itself in all types of ways!!


The Greeks had been poking fun at their own gods for a thousand years before the Bible turned up at Nicaea in 325 CE as a political instrument of the Roman State. The "Greek chorus of atheists" had been alive and well for a thousand years, and so they turned their literary minds to the creation of "Other Jesus and Apostle Stories". As a result we have the NHL.


It was certainly likely to have been all over in myriad ways. Surely the populace itself who didn't yet become subservient to the Church imagery and the like sought to represent images of their new religion in all types of creative ways. Who can blame them? Were people supposed to just be slavish and frumpy when they could have a GOOD TIME with their new religion and EVEN ENJOY IT??!


The same may be said for the orthodoxy. The crucifix (person on cross) does not appear until the 6th or 7th century. Before that there appears to have been a "LAMB" on a cross. Nothing was fixed or certain in either orthodoxy or heresy - both evolved from the Nicene political event.

After all, maybe the gnostic parodies weren't always in opposition but CREATIVELY endorsing this new theology before the Church could slam the lid on top of them. What do you think Leucius?!


I think we need to ask the question how come both Jesus and Peter are depicted in Roman sarcophagi reliefs of the later 4th century in which they both carry wands. The New Testament canonical books do not mention Peter and Jesus using wands. So how do we explain this situation? For the evidence of this stuff see:

http://www.rome101.com/Topics/Christian/Magician/ (Christ the Magician)

Here is an image - taken by academics to represent Jesus raising Lazarus - using a wand FFS.

Image

Looks a bit like that Vulcan Spock.



The answer lies in an analysis of the scenes depicted in this Roman 4th century art. One of them is Peter being arrested. Another is Peter striking a rock and making water flow. Where do these scenes come from? The answer (according to the academic analysis) is that these scenes are found in later variants of the "Acts of Peter" - the Acts of Linus, and the Acts of Processus and Martialus. Here is a brief sketch of the plot related to Peter's arrest and rock-splitting exploits:

1) Peter is leaving Rome but meets Jesus coming back to ROme.
2) Peter says "How goes it Jesus?"
3) Jesus saus he is coming back to be crucified once again and tells peter to do the same.
4) So Peter returns and is arrested by the prison guards of the Roman MAMERTINE PRISON.
5) Peter prays and then strikes the Tarpeion Rock, causeing water to flow into the prison.
6) The Prison management and all prisoners are converted to Christianity.
7) ETC ETC ETC ETC

Yes another obviously fictional narrative, with some humour, but one which was not canonical. Why was this story used by people in Rome in the later 4th century, even though it was not found among the canonical books? I can think of one very good reason. The NT does not mention Peter going to Rome, or Peter (and Paul) being executed in Rome in the rule of Nero, after performing most exciting miracle contests against Simon Magus. These come from the Acts of Peter and the Clementine ROmances.

Pope Damasus (364-382 CE) wanted to popularise the theme in Rome that "PETER WAS HERE". It was good for the Bishop of Rome and it was excellent for the Vatican and Catacomb tourist industry which was just then being established. Damasus undertook a massive renovation of the so-called Christian catacombs of Rome and he seems to have used for his purposes and agenda any popular legendary stories which were circulating at that time. In these "Acts of Peter", in the Clementine literature, and in other non canonical books, we find Peter in Rome as a magician (who combats the heretic and magician Simon Magus in the sky above Rome) in the rule of Nero. Peter and Jesus carry wands. In Rome.

The only images I can find of people carrying wands outside of the Christian related material in the ROman Empire are on the coins of various emperors, where the emperor is depicted in his role as "Pontifex Maximus".

http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalo ... x=0&B1.y=0

Image

    RS74138. Silver denarius, RIC IV 227, RSC III 529, BMCRE V 99, SRCV II 6879, gVF, superb portrait, full circle centering, reverse center a little weak, weight 3.514g, maximum diameter 20.7mm, die axis 0o, Rome mint, 210 - 213; obverse ANTONINVS PIVS AVG BRIT, laureate head right; reverse PROVIDENTIAE DEORVM (providence of the Gods), Providentia standing half left, wand in right over globe at feet, long scepter vertical in left
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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

#71  Postby duvduv » Jan 18, 2016 1:45 am

I think this all tells us that scholarship takes the emergence of the religion amidst all types of pro and con creativity much too seriously. There were various scenarios of how the people dealt with the newest official religion. Some took it seriously but creatively and joyfully, others spoofed it, and before the solidification of the church there was wide involvement in all types of ways, even including the Manichaeans...
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#72  Postby Leucius Charinus » Aug 01, 2016 2:49 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
dejuror wrote:In other words, the existence or non-existence of Marcion or any other so-called Heretic does not diminish the abundance of evidence that Jesus, the disciples and Paul are products of fiction and that the Entire NT is a compilation of fiction, forgeries or false attribution.


Correct. The history of the heretics is a different investigation.


It should be entirely obvious that the entire NT non canonical corpus (with a few exceptions) is also a compilation of fiction, forgeries or false attribution. We need to ask how these two sets of [fiction] books - in Codex form - are inter-related in the political sense.

The plain and simple story is that the church [heresiologists] not only lied about the historical apostolic succession over the centuries before the Nicene Council, but they also lied about their "conflict" with the heretics. I think everyone knows they lied and fabricated pseudo-historical narratives embellished by forged documents, letters and supposed "quotations".

The history of the heretics is a different investigation, and in political history it commences with the eye of the storm and Arius of Alexandria and the politics of Constantine's Nicene Church organisation. There is reason to believe that Arius was a Platonist logician, and that he authored books which "pained and grieved and wounded" the Nicene Church. There is reason to believe that the Church - for posterity purposes - turned Arius into a "Christian Presbyter" in order to diffuse the political controversy that erupted when Christendom arrived in the Eastern Empire with Constantine's army.

This political controversy corresponds to the Arian controversy, but includes the authorship, censorship, burning and prohibition of all these non canonical books which competed with the Official Jesus Story being lavishly published in Codex form by Constantine.

For example, the scenario that Arius was the author of the Clementine literature and the Acts of Peter c.330 CE needs to be considered. In this scenario it is Arius who authors the famous legends between Simon Magus and Peter (and in some cases also Paul) in Rome in the presence of Nero. Arius took the character of Simon Magus from Acts, a fiction book, and made him famous in legend. Constantine and the subsequent Nicene Church organisation, ratified by Theodosius 381 CE, wrote up at the head of the list of their "heretics" the figure of Simon Magus.

IMO what we need to try and consider is that the political heretic (author) was Arius. Constantine erased Arius's political memory, burnt his books and subjected him to imperial "memoriae damnatio". The later church omitted any history of Arius, and made Arius' literary character - Simon Magus - number One on the Top 40 Chart of Christian Heretics.
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#73  Postby duvduv » Aug 01, 2016 3:06 am

Leucius, could you elaborate on the point aboutArius the Platonist being transformed in Church fiction into a Christian heretic?
I have never found any satisfactory explanation from Church dogma why Constantine would have invited all types of people to Nicaea if official Church Christianity was already firmly at the helm. How could this church hsve tolerated all types of "heretics" allegedly since the first century if official Christianity was the official form of Christianity. And certainly Constantine would not have tolerated heretics to invite them to Nicaea.
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#74  Postby Leucius Charinus » Aug 01, 2016 3:22 am

duvduv wrote:Leucius, could you elaborate on the point aboutArius the Platonist being transformed in Church fiction into a Christian heretic?


I have written an essay on this subject entitled :
A Pageant of Christian Identity Frauds masquerade in the Academy of Plato
http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/N ... Christ.htm

    ABSTRACT

    Evidence is presented to substantiate the presence of at least a trinity of Christian Identity Frauds masquerading in the Academy of Plato during the 3rd century. (1,2,3) From the 4th century mention is resurrected of Porphyry's Christian Identity Fraud and the likelihood is explored that the Christian Presbyter Arius of Alexandria, is just another Identity Fraud in a pattern of similar evidence. (4,5) The events of the Council of Nicaea are reconstructed in such a manner as to narrate from the profane perspective, the heresy, the exile and the "damnatio memoriae" of Arius of Alexandria, a non christian theologian/philosopher associated with the Alexandrian academy of Plato c.324 CE. (6,7) •(0) Introduction - The Nondual God of Plato, Plato's Canon and its Apostolic Lineage

    •(1) The Two Ammonii - Ammonius Saccas the Platonist and Ammonius the Christian

    •(2) The Two Origen's - Origen the Platonist and Origen the Christian.

    •(3) The Two Anatolii - Anatolius of Alexandria the Platonist and Anatolius the Christian Bishop

    •(4) The Two Porphyrii - Porphyry the Platonist and Porphyry the Christian author

    •(5) The Two Arii - Arius of Alexandria the Platonist and Arius the Christian Presbyter.

    •(6) Reconstructing a Profane History of Nicaea - The Gods in the books of Plato and Constantine

    •(7) Identity Frauds, conclusions and recommendations - Condemnation of pious forgery.

    •(8) Reference: the Apostolic Lineage of the Academy of Plato - a chronological tabulation

    Identity Fraud: - A criminal activity involving the use of a stolen or misappropriated identity. The process usually involves either stolen or forged identity documents used to obtain goods or services by deception.

    Image

Am happy to answer any questions.


I have never found any satisfactory explanation from Church dogma why Constantine would have invited all types of people to Nicaea if official Church Christianity was already firmly at the helm. How could this church hsve tolerated all types of "heretics" allegedly since the first century if official Christianity was the official form of Christianity. And certainly Constantine would not have tolerated heretics to invite them to Nicaea.



Fragments of the history of Philip of Side tell a slightly different story than the "Eusebian model" of the Nicene Council. In this version the Nicene Council is attended by crowds of philosophers "who were very good with words".

    SOURCE (6): Philip of Side, 5th century


    Fr. 5.6
    [Supporters of Arius at the Council of Nicaea]
    Anonymous Ecclesiastical History 2.12.8-10 [p. 47, lines 5-19 Hansen][160]

    (8) When these things were expressed by them
    or rather, through them, by the Holy Spirit
    those who endorsed Arius' impiety
    were wearing themselves out with murmuring

    (these were the circles of Eusebius of Nicomedia
    and Theognis of Nicaea, whom I have already pointed out earlier),

    and yet they were looking with favor on the "hirelings" of Arius,
    certain philosophers who were indeed very good with words;
    Arius had hired them as supporters of his own wickedness,
    and arrived with them at that holy and ecumenical council.

    (9) For there were present very many philosophers;
    and having put their hopes in them, as I have said just now,
    the enemies of the truth were reasonably caught,
    along with the one who actually taught them their blasphemy.

    The Holy Scripture was fulfilled in him and in them, which says,
    "Cursed is everyone who has his hope in a mortal man,
    and whose heart has departed from the Lord."[161]

    (10) For truly, the blasphemous heart of the fighter against God, Arius,
    and of those who shared in his impiety, departed from the Lord
    they dared to say that the Son of God, the creator of the universe
    and the craftsman of both visible and invisible created natures,
    is something created and something made.



The Nicene Council was IMO simply a "Council of War" held by the Victor, presided over by the Victor in order to discuss the terms and conditions of the Victory. The army is conspicuous in its attendance.

From Robin Lane Fox's "Pagans and Christians" ....


    The Council of Nicaea

    • p.655: "Among his other innovations, it was Constantine who first mastered
    the art of holding, and corrupting, an international conference."

    On entering, recalled Eusebius

    "units of the bodyguard and other troops
    surrounded the palace with drawn swords,
    and through them the men of God proceeded
    without fear into the innermost rooms of the Emperor,
    in which some were companions at table,
    while others reclined on couches either side."

    It was "like a dream", he said,
    an anticipatory picture
    of the kingdom of Christ.
"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

#75  Postby duvduv » Aug 01, 2016 9:44 pm

So we find that under the mask of Nicaea was something utterly differently entirely. A war council of leaders, philosophers, etc. having in fact NOTHING to do with "Christianity" and explains clearly how heretics were tolerated for 200 years of the "Church" and even attended a "religious gathering of believers in Christ." Too bad the Church was unable to eliminate the inconsistencies. I guess they figured most people would never wonder about such things. Marcion, Iranaeus, etc. etc. And morphing ordinary Roman philosophers such as a given Arius into some Christian heretic against the official Church (that did not yet even exist)!
I love the Marcion story. A guy who allegedly had a father who was a "bishop" who had a gospel of Luke and the epistles, gathered up, another heretic, and who allegedly lived at the same time as Justin Martyr in Rome, who says virtually nothing substantive about Marcion at all. One story after the other full of contradictions and inconsistencies.
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#76  Postby Leucius Charinus » Aug 02, 2016 11:10 am

duvduv wrote:So we find that under the mask of Nicaea was something utterly differently entirely. A war council of leaders, philosophers, etc. having in fact NOTHING to do with "Christianity" and explains clearly how heretics were tolerated for 200 years of the "Church" and even attended a "religious gathering of believers in Christ."


I think we will find that Constantine had attempted to convince the Greek guardian class literati in the East that the NT Bible was the "Word of God", and that the philosophers of the East would not be convinced - for obvious reasons. It was the philosophers of the east who were responsible for the complaint that nowhere in the NT does it say anything about the [spiritual] essence of Jesus in relation to the essence of God. They granted that the essence of Jesus was "similar to" the essence of [what they considered to be divine] God, but not the same. Constantine corrected them and maintained authoritatively that the essence of Jesus was the SAME as "Capital G God".

Constantine's word, of course, was final.

He had brought in a new God who lived inside a codex, and who's very name was encrypted. He also commissioned a new church, irrespective of whether an earlier church existed - he totally overhauled it and he himself personally appointed over 1800 Bishops throughout the military divisions of the empire - through the dioceses. There is no reason to think these appointments were also made available to trusted veterans from his largely barbarian army. It is certain that a number of highly influential rich landholders had OPPORTUNE DREAMS to convert to the Christian cult when Constantine arrived in the East with his large barbarian and very victorious army. So many rich ambitious pagans attempted to bribe their way into the [TAX EXEMPT] Nicene Church Organisation that Constantine had to legislate against them.

Since he brought in the army stationed on the borders to the cities and towns in his later rule, it seems feasible that many of the cities were actually under military duress. Constantine was at war. He wanted gold and glory and absolute power.

I think we will find ample evidence of mass movements of people from the cities to the villages during this bleak rule of Constantine, during which the new Christian cult was cultured in the cities, where Constantine controlled everything though the presence of the army, and his appointed bishops.



Too bad the Church was unable to eliminate the inconsistencies.


They got rid of all the political histories for the period 325-353 CE. Many were written but they were all passed over by the three Ecclesiastical "historians" who wrote about the rise of Christendom from the 5th century. The books of Ammianus Marcellinus for Constantine's rule were "lost". The books of the Emperor Julian "Against the Christians" were burnt.


I guess they figured most people would never wonder about such things. Marcion, Iranaeus, etc. etc.


They figured if people thought there was any unusual controversy when the NT Bible was implemented as Divine Law in the Roman Empire it would reflect on the divine status of the Jesus Story. What I think happened was that the Bible was immediately responded to by a host of other "Apostles Gospels" and a host of other "Acts of the Apostles", and they was a great gnashing of teeth and swearing by Constantine.

Later generations of the church decided that they could move these offending "Other Books" of the heretics into past ages, and so it was done. Instead of Epiphanius borrowing from Irenaeus, Irenaur was fabricated from the heresies that Epiphanius witnessed in the 4th century. IMHO. All the physical evidence is from the 4th century.

And morphing ordinary Roman philosophers such as a given Arius into some Christian heretic against the official Church (that did not yet even exist)!


Constantine's imposition of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damnatio_memoriae on Arius of Alexandria was effective in removing elements of political history from preservation.

There are excellent reasons for believing that Arius of Alexandria was the author of at least some of the "Other Jesus and Apostle Stories", and not just some recalcitrant minor doctrinal dissident. There are excellent reasons to reconstruct an Arius of Alexandria as simply a pagan philosopher or logician, and an excellent academic who happened to be at the wrong place and the wrong time.

I love the Marcion story. A guy who allegedly had a father who was a "bishop" who had a gospel of Luke and the epistles, gathered up, another heretic, and who allegedly lived at the same time as Justin Martyr in Rome, who says virtually nothing substantive about Marcion at all. One story after the other full of contradictions and inconsistencies.



Yes. In general it will be ultimately perceived that the "Historia Ecclesiastica" of Eusebius (produced in the Greek language) and the "Historia Augusta" (produced in the Latin language) are both classifiable as MOCKUMENTARIES. I think both were produced under the wings of the Constantinian Revolution = one for the Latin wing of the libraries in the Empire, and one for the Greek wing of the libraries. The former dealt with the [bullshit] history of the Apostolic Succession of the Christian Church which represented the great persecuted "nation of Christians" to Roman Emperors by writing Apologies. The latter dealt with the political succession of Emperors through to Constantine.

Both use fabricated sources and incorporate hundreds of forged documents. Both even invent other sources [heretics} to argue against the earlier fabricated sources. The latter work is regarded by classical historians as a MOCKUMENTARY. When the former work is also recognised as a MOCKUMENTARY, progress will be made in reconstructing the story of Christian origins and a political history for the epoch 325-353 CE that does not yet exist.

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

http://www.livius.org/hi-hn/ha/hist_aug.html

    Historia Augusta:


    modern name of a collection of (bogus) biographies of Roman emperors of the second and third centuries. The collection of biographies of Roman emperors called Historia Augusta consists of the lives of most rulers from Hadrian (117-138) to Carinus (283-285). They can be divided into two groups:

    • Hadrian to Gordian III (117-244), dedicated to the emperor Diocletian (284-305), and written by four authors;
    • Valerian to Carinus (253-285), dedicated to Constantine I the Great (306-337), and written by two authors.

    ////

    So we are left with a collection of imperial biographies that is damaged at precisely the two points where its authors might have explained what they were doing. Yet, probably the two lacunas are not coincidental at all, because the Historia Augusta is something like an ancient mockumentary.


    As long ago as 1889, it has been suggested that the work was composed by one single author. (This idea was proposed by the great German Altertumswissenschaftler Hermann Dessau in a classic essay "�ber Zeit und Pers�nlichkeit der Scriptor Historiae Augustae", in the journal Hermes.) A more recent stylistic analysis using computer techniques has confirmed this hypothesis beyond reasonable doubt. But the six fake authors and the fake division into an earlier and a later phase of composition, are only the beginning of a lovely game of hide and seek.



    One of the most charming aspects is the introduction of fake information, especially in the second half. At least one ruler has been invented, remarkable omens are introduced, and anecdotes are added. The information in the second half of the life of the decadent emperor Heliogabalus is very entertaining, but completely untrue, and only introduced as a contrast to the biography of his successor Severus Alexander, who is presented as the ideal ruler. Ancient readers must have loved these mirror images, and may have smiled when the author of the Life of Heliogabalus accused other authors of making up charges to discredit the emperor, and used them all the same.

    The "minor" biographies (i.e. the lives of co-rulers and usurpers) are usually entirely invented. Of course this means that the Historia Augusta is not reliable as a source for these lives, but it is a very valuable source for those who want to reconstruct the values and ideas of the the senatorial elite of ancient Rome. The pagan senators were obviously credulous people, who preferred a vie romanc�e and were not interested in real biography. They liked novels and fiction, not history and facts. This literary taste is older than the Historia Augusta: the first example from the Roman world is the vie romanc�e of Apollonius of Tyana by Philostratus, which is in turn inspired by the Education of Cyrus by Xenophon.


    Another aspect of the game is the fake date. It can be shown that the Life of Septimius Severus was written after another series of imperial biographies (either the Caesares by Aurelius Victor or the Enmannsche Kaisergeschichte), which continued to about 360/361. There are also several anachronisms and tacit references to people who lived in the fourth century and events that took place after the reign of Constantine.

    It can certainly not be excluded that the Historia Augusta was in fact composed during the reign of Julianus Apostata (361-363), who briefly attempted to revive paganism. The text may have been part of an attempt to deduce from the splendor of Roman history that the pagan traditionalists were right, and Christianity was, from an historical point of view, an unRoman activity.


    However, this interpretation is not without serious complications, and dates of publication during the reigns of Theodosius I (379-395) and Honorius (395-423) have been proposed as well. What is certain, is that it was composed before 425, because the Roman author Symmachus has used the Historia Augusta.


    Among the many games that are played in the Historia Augusta is the invention of no less than 130 fake documents, most charmingly introduced in the introduction of the Life of Aurelian. Fake sources were not a new practice (cf. the invented letters in Plutarch's Life of Alexander).

    What is new, however, is that the author the Historia Augusta
    invents sources to disagree with them.


    This is, to the best knowledge of the author of this article, unique in ancient literature; the only possible (but unlikely) exception is, again, the source "Damis" that is used by Philostratus in his vie romanc�e of Apollonius of Tyana.


Constantine was a mocker, not a flatterer.


    Constantine
    was a mocker
    rather than a flatterer.
    From this he was called

    "Bullneck"

    For ten years
    a most excellent man;
    For the following second ten
    a brigand;

    For the last,
    on account of his
    unrestrained prodigality,
    a ward irresponsible
    for his own actions."


    The History of Aurelius Victor
"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

#77  Postby Leucius Charinus » Sep 11, 2016 12:44 am

RealityRules wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Perhaps the greatest item of evidence Carrier (like Doherty) uses is the non canonical text known as "The Ascension of Isaiah".

However IMO their problem is to provide evidence it was known before the "background evidence cut-off date of the mid 2nd century". My position is that this text was authored, along with the entire corpus of the non canonical literature, in the 4th century as a literary reaction to the sudden and unexpected appearance of the [canonical] Bible Codex as the most powerful and authoritative political instrument of the new and revolutionary "Christian State".


I strongly disagree with your proposition that these texts appeared as a reaction to a 4th century Bible/Codex/NT Canon.


Hi RR,

I hope you don't mind me splitting off your critique here.


Some or even many of these apocryphyl / gnostic texts were likely to have been around at the same time as, or probably even before, the Gospel texts. Even texts like the Gospel of John, Revelation, etc may be re-worked pre-Synoptic texts.


I guess this is possible. Do you have any articles or references arguing this?


and, There were likely several versions of 'key' popular texts: some early, some late. We know more than a few ended up in different versions in different dialects or languages in different locations.


Yes. Many of these texts are presumed to be composite, such as the "Ascension of Isaiah". However if you read through the scholarship there have been arguments made (some recent) that such texts are NOT composite, but were authored by one author. (Which is what my position is at the moment).


If you strongly object to the proposition that the non canonical texts were a literary reaction to the political appearance of the Bible in the 4th century, what are the main elements of evidence that you would cite to support your objection?



ETA: Although the following author argues against the identification of Docetism in the text, he summarises what others have written as follows ....

The Ascension of Isaiah and Docetic Christology
Author(s): Darrell D. Hannah
Source: Vigiliae Christianae, Vol. 53, No. 2 (May, 1999), pp. 165-196
Published by: BRILL
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1584546 .


Introduction


It is often asserted that the Ascension of Isaiah
contains a Christology which is "naively docetic" [1]'
or tends toward docetism. [2] At least one author
has labeled it docetic without qualification. [3]


[1] So J. Knight, Discples of the Beloved One: The Christology, Social Setting and Theological Context of the Ascension of Isaiah (JSPS 18; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996) 66, 89-91.

[2] So R.H. Charles, The Ascension of Isaiah (London: A. & C. Black, 1900) xlix; E.M. Yamauchi, "The Crucifixion and Docetic Christology", Concordia Theological Quarterly 46 (1982) 8; E. Norelli, Ascensio Isaiae (CCSA 8; Brepols: Turnhout, 1995) 29, 63-66, 208, 563-564. Cf. the more careful treatment in R.E. Brown, K.P. Donfried, J.A. Fitzmyer, et al., Mary in the New Testament. A Collaborative Assessment by Protestant and Roman Catholic Scholars (London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1978) 275-278.

[3] S. Petrement, A Separate God. The Origins and Teachings of Gnosticism, Carol Harrison, (tr.), (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1984) 144-152, 324-328.
"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

#78  Postby RealityRules » Sep 11, 2016 2:06 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:Hi RR,

I hope you don't mind me splitting off your critique here.

No, not at all. Good idea.


Some or even many of these apocryphyl / gnostic texts were likely to have been around at the same time as, or probably even before, the Gospel texts. Even texts like the Gospel of John, Revelation, etc may be re-worked pre-Synoptic texts.
Leucius Charinus wrote:
I guess this is possible. Do you have any articles or references arguing this?

Arguing what?

    a. many of these apocryphyl/Gnostic texts were likely to have been around at the same time as, or probably even before, the Gospel texts?

    b. texts like the Gospel of John, Revelation, etc may be re-worked pre-Synoptic texts?

I think the evidence for (a) is strong, especially via the Nag Hammadi scrolls

I chose 3 at random -

1. Prayer of the Apostle Paul

    Many scholars have dubbed it as a Valentinian work due to characteristic phrases such as the "psychic God"—this would indicate that it was composed between 150 and 300 AD; if it is not of Valentinian origin it could date from as early as 75.[2] Scholars have found parallels to many other works which may be partial sources, including Corpus Hermeticum, the Three Steles of Seth, the Gospel of Philip, and the authentic Pauline letters.

2. the Apocryphon of James

    It describes the secret teachings of Jesus to Peter and James, given after the Resurrection but before the Ascension.

    ... The prominence of James and Peter suggest that the work originated in the Jewish Christian community. It shows no dependence on canonical texts, and was probably written in the first half of the 2nd century.

3. The Sophia of Jesus Christ

    The Coptic manuscript itself has been dated to the 4th century; however, it is complemented by a few fragments in Greek dating from the 3rd century, implying an earlier date. The text has strong similarities to the Epistle of Eugnostos, which is also found in the Nag Hammadi codices, but with a Christian framing added, and expanding it somewhat

5. the Gospel of Truth (the 4th was undated)

    The Gospel of Truth was probably written in Greek between 140 and 180 by Valentinian Gnostics (or, as some posit, by Valentinus himself). It was known to Irenaeus of Lyons, who objected to its Gnostic content and declared it heresy.

(b) is speculation, though I (& I think others) have considered much of the Johannine literature to be quite gnostic.


and, There were likely several versions of 'key' popular texts: some early, some late. We know more than a few ended up in different versions in different dialects or languages in different locations.
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Yes. Many of these texts are presumed to be composite, such as the "Ascension of Isaiah". However if you read through the scholarship there have been arguments made (some recent) that such texts are NOT composite, but were authored by one author. (Which is what my position is at the moment).

If you strongly object to the proposition that the non canonical texts were a literary reaction to the political appearance of the Bible in the 4th century, what are the main elements of evidence that you would cite to support your objection?

I'm pretty sure there's plenty of evidence that

    .(i) the non-canonical texts were around before the 1st century, and

    (ii) the content of those texts represents pre-Christian (intermediate) theology.
Last edited by RealityRules on Sep 11, 2016 11:14 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#79  Postby RealityRules » Sep 11, 2016 2:13 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
ETA: ... the following author argues against the identification of Docetism in the text, he summarises what others have written as follows ...

Darrell D. Hannah (1999) The Ascension of Isaiah and Docetic Christology Vigiliae Christianae, 53(2); pp. 165-196

Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1584546 .

Introduction

It is often asserted that the Ascension of Isaiah contains a Christology which is "naively docetic" [1] or tends toward docetism. [2] At least one author has labeled it docetic without qualification. [3]


[1] J. Knight, Discples of the Beloved One: The Christology, Social Setting and Theological Context of the Ascension of Isaiah (JSPS 18; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996) 66, 89-91.

[2] R.H. Charles, The Ascension of Isaiah (London: A. & C. Black, 1900) xlix; E.M. Yamauchi, "The Crucifixion and Docetic Christology", Concordia Theological Quarterly 46 (1982) 8; E. Norelli, Ascensio Isaiae (CCSA 8; Brepols: Turnhout, 1995) 29, 63-66, 208, 563-564. Cf. the more careful treatment in R.E. Brown, K.P. Donfried, J.A. Fitzmyer, et al., Mary in the New Testament. A Collaborative Assessment by Protestant and Roman Catholic Scholars (London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1978) 275-278.

[3] S. Petrement, A Separate God. The Origins and Teachings of Gnosticism, Carol Harrison, (tr.), (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1984) 144-152, 324-328.

I think a few people have started looking at the Ascension of Isaiah since Richard Carrier shone the light on it in his 2012 book On the Historicity of Jesus, so it will be interesting to see what that yields.
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#80  Postby Leucius Charinus » Sep 11, 2016 12:13 pm

RealityRules wrote:
Arguing what?

    a. many of these apocryphyl/Gnostic texts were likely to have been around at the same time as, or probably even before, the Gospel texts?

I think the evidence for (a) is strong, especially via the Nag Hammadi scrolls

I chose 3 at random -

1. Prayer of the Apostle Paul

    Many scholars have dubbed it as a Valentinian work due to characteristic phrases such as the "psychic God"—this would indicate that it was composed between 150 and 300 AD; if it is not of Valentinian origin it could date from as early as 75.[2] Scholars have found parallels to many other works which may be partial sources, including Corpus Hermeticum, the Three Steles of Seth, the Gospel of Philip, and the authentic Pauline letters.

2. the Apocryphon of James

    It describes the secret teachings of Jesus to Peter and James, given after the Resurrection but before the Ascension.

    ... The prominence of James and Peter suggest that the work originated in the Jewish Christian community. It shows no dependence on canonical texts, and was probably written in the first half of the 2nd century.

3. The Sophia of Jesus Christ

    The Coptic manuscript itself has been dated to the 4th century; however, it is complemented by a few fragments in Greek dating from the 3rd century, implying an earlier date. The text has strong similarities to the Epistle of Eugnostos, which is also found in the Nag Hammadi codices, but with a Christian framing added, and expanding it somewhat

5. the Gospel of Truth (the 4th was undated)

    The Gospel of Truth was probably written in Greek between 140 and 180 by Valentinian Gnostics (or, as some posit, by Valentinus himself). It was known to Irenaeus of Lyons, who objected to its Gnostic content and declared it heresy.



Thanks for these samples from the NHL and the comments relating to their [mainstream] dating.
I know what this dating is, but I think it is based on church dogma.

My position is this:

I dont believe that the conflict between the canonical Jesus stories and their competition was a slow burn thing over many centuries. I think it is more reasonable to believe that it was a relatively short-lived explosive controversy over literature (books - codices) between 325 - 337 CE. Greek originals were taken from Alexandria and translated to Coptic in the NHL before 350 CE.

Valentinians and Sethians and other Gnostic "flavours" are various philosophical responses from the Alexandria philosophers during this period. Much of the Sethian material seems to have borrowed from Porphyry. This implies that this material was authored by people living at the same time or after Porphyry.


Anyway About the Church

I find I reasonable to believe that Irenaeus was fabricated by authors within the church after the middle of the 4th century, and all references to heretics and gnostic authors of gospels and acts before the Nicene orthodoxy was imposed are similarly fabricated. I have collected all these references in a post above.


Dating:

A few fragments of non canonical texts have been dated (again via palaeography) to the 2nd/3rd century but I do not see this as necessarily precluding a date in the 4th century. The next earliest physical material is the NHL (and other related codices and fragments) dated in the mid 4th century. The Gospel of Judas C14 date will be found to be mid 4th century.


I am not sure where to start however perhaps the above is enough for now.
"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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