Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

Prior to the Christian Revolution of the 4th century

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

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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#101  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jul 09, 2017 11:20 pm

Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:In order to review the argument(s) you have to read the book TT.


I've read the summary of Brunt's argument in the book already. Are you really telling me that you're endorsing Brunt's argument, which you've not read, but only consulted a brief, and critical, summary of in some other book?


Yes. This discussion concerns the entire set of references and my claim that none of these are from the hand of the original author. That Josephus does not mention Christians is a respectable view. That Marcus Aurelius does not mention Christians is also a respectable view.

Does Galen mention the Christians? This question involves an investigation of Galen's text of "On the Pulse". What is the earliest manuscript? All of the extant Greek manuscripts of Galen were copied by Byzantine scholars. The earliest manuscript seems to be as late as the 15th/16th century (If there is an earlier ms please cite it). In it are two exceeding brief mentions of Christians. It is certainly not impossible that these mentions may well have been introduced by the Byzantine copyists.
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#102  Postby RealityRules » Jul 09, 2017 11:22 pm

Tracer Tong wrote: But looking at the text, I'm not seeing how it's not grammatical. In that case, I look forward to your explanation.

There is also the context that Marcus Aurelius was not otherwise known as a persecutor, as I have pointed out to you.

ie. the phrase does not fit the historical context.
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#103  Postby Tracer Tong » Jul 09, 2017 11:30 pm

RealityRules wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote: But looking at the text, I'm not seeing how it's not grammatical. In that case, I look forward to your explanation.

I cannot explain your perception. Perhaps you can explain how it might be grammatical.


I didn't ask you to explain my perception; I asked you to explain how it's ungrammatical.

To me, it just looks like a straightforward ὡς+ nominative construction to introduce comparanda, as we find elsewhere in the Meditations (2.1, for example). What have I missed?

RealityRules wrote:
There is also the context that Marcus Aurelius was not otherwise known as a persecutor, as I have pointed out to you.

ie. the phrase does not fit the historical context.


Sorry, but I don't know what this has to do with what we're discussing.

Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:In order to review the argument(s) you have to read the book TT.


I've read the summary of Brunt's argument in the book already. Are you really telling me that you're endorsing Brunt's argument, which you've not read, but only consulted a brief, and critical, summary of in some other book?


Yes.


Which is effectively to concede that you've no argument to speak of, but are rather reasoning from a predetermined conclusion, to the extent you can be said to be reasoning at all. I think we can probably leave discussion of the Marcus reference there, in that case.
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#104  Postby RealityRules » Jul 09, 2017 11:31 pm

Tracer Tong wrote: But looking at the text, I'm not seeing how it's not grammatical. In that case, I look forward to your explanation.

Several people say this the passage is not grammatical and likely to be an interpolation -
RealityRules wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity
edited by Anders Klostergaard Petersen, George H. van Kooten (BRILL, March 2017 )

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=zY ... 9D&f=false

PA Brunt's arguments that the Christian reference in Marcus Aurelius is an interpolation are summarised above.

Not just Brunt's arguments. Footnotes 37 to 41 inclusive also refer to doubt about "the text of 11.3" -

Eichstaedt, 37; Rutherford, 38; Haines, 39; Dalfen, 40; and, from footnote 41, Hard and Staniforth.

Add Gregory Hays' (2003): eight scholars/authors cited.

plus Anders Klostergaard Petersen and George H. van Kooten: 10.
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#105  Postby Tracer Tong » Jul 09, 2017 11:33 pm

RealityRules wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote: But looking at the text, I'm not seeing how it's not grammatical. In that case, I look forward to your explanation.

Several people say this the passage is not grammatical and likely to be an interpolation -
RealityRules wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity
edited by Anders Klostergaard Petersen, George H. van Kooten (BRILL, March 2017 )

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=zY ... 9D&f=false

PA Brunt's arguments that the Christian reference in Marcus Aurelius is an interpolation are summarised above.

Not just Brunt's arguments. Footnotes 37 to 41 inclusive also refer to doubt about "the text of 11.3" -

Eichstaedt, 37; Rutherford, 38; Haines, 39; Dalfen, 40; and, from footnote 41, Hard and Staniforth.

Add Gregory Hays' (2003): eight scholars/authors cited.

plus Anders Klostergaard Petersen and George H. van Kooten: 10.


But not all of those ten scholars suggest the text is interpolated, nevermind ungrammatical. You've been reminded of this already. Heck, Petersen and Kooten are the editors of the volume that Leucius cited earlier, that, as far as I know, have nothing to say on the matter we're discussing. You really mustn't just make stuff up, RealityRules.
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#106  Postby RealityRules » Jul 09, 2017 11:39 pm

Tracer Tong wrote:
RealityRules wrote:
There is also the context that Marcus Aurelius was not otherwise known as a persecutor, as I have pointed out to you.

ie. the phrase does not fit the historical context.

Sorry, but I don't know what this has to do with what we're discussing.

It has plenty to do with it.

I pointed out this this commentary by Donald Robertson on Haines -

C.R. Haines, who published this edict as an appendix to his Loeb translation of The Meditations, included an essay entitled “Note on the Attitude of Marcus Toward the Christians.” He begins “Nothing has done the good name of Marcus so much harm as his supposed uncompromising attitude toward Christians”, and concludes:

    As a matter of fact, Marcus has been condemned as a persecutor of the Christians on purely circumstantial and quite insufficient grounds. The general testimony of contemporary Christian writers is against the supposition....
He goes on to argue that the retrospective claim of Eusebius about myriads of Christians being persecuted and horribly tortured to death throughout the Roman Empire two centuries earlier is also inconsistent with numerous historical facts – often cited by Eusebius himself and other Christian authors....

Marcus’ obsession with kindness, justice and clemency, is clearly demonstrated throughout The Meditations. However, this is reinforced by numerous references to his character in the writings of other Roman authors. Marcus is portrayed with remarkable consistency as being a man of exceptional clemency and humanity – that was his universal reputation. Latin authors typically used the word humanitas (kindness) to describe his character; in Greek the word philanthropia (love of mankind) was favoured.

Haines therefore also finds it implausible that someone so universally regarded as a man of exceptional kindness and clemency would have “encouraged mob-violence against unoffending persons, ordered the torture of innocent women and boys, and violated the rights of citizenship”. Indeed, as we’ve seen, there appears to be no evidence whatsoever that Marcus was actually responsible for the persecution of Christians. The weight of evidence, rather, suggests that he was, as Tertullian claims, a “protector” of Christians, and tried to prevent provincial authorities from persecuting them.

http://donaldrobertson.name/did-marcus- ... hristians/

and Robertson also noted -
By contrast, the church father Tertullian was actually a contemporary of Marcus Aurelius and his testimony is that Marcus was emphatically a “protector” of Christians.

    But out of so many princes from that time down to the present, men versed in every system of knowledge, produce if you can one persecutor of the Christians. We, however, can on the other side produce a protector, if the letters of the most grave Emperor Marcus Aurelius be searched, in which he testifies that the well-known Germanic drought was dispelled by the shower obtained through the prayers of Christians who happened to be in the army. (Apology, 5)
This appears to create an internal contradiction in the Christian literature, at least for those who (dubiously) wish to read other Christian accounts as somehow blaming Marcus for the persecution of Christians.
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#107  Postby Tracer Tong » Jul 09, 2017 11:41 pm

RealityRules wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:
RealityRules wrote:
There is also the context that Marcus Aurelius was not otherwise known as a persecutor, as I have pointed out to you.

ie. the phrase does not fit the historical context.

Sorry, but I don't know what this has to do with what we're discussing.

It has plenty to do with it.


In that case, I look forward to your explanation (in addition to your explanation of how the text is ungrammatical, of course).
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#108  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jul 09, 2017 11:44 pm

Tracer Tong wrote:OK: so you think it's not genuine because it's not grammatical. But looking at the text, I'm not seeing how it's not grammatical. In that case, I look forward to your explanation.

Leucius was unable to offer such an explanation, but perhaps you've the relevant expertise to do so.


This is similar to asking someone in a discussion here to demonstrate why Fermat's last theorem is now held to be true. If you are so inclined to understand the explanations provided of a modest number of cited experts, then read the articles written by those experts and stop requesting (or is it trolling?) other people to spoon feed you these explanations.

Sufficient for this discussion is the reality that there are scholars and academics who have provided detailed assessments of why they consider this reference to have been foisted upon the text. You may wish to focus upon some of the other references (such as Galen or Lucian) for which no such scholarly opinion (AFAIK to date) have made such identification.

At the end of the day we are dealing with manuscripts often 1000 years removed from the original author, which have either been preserved by the Byzantine church or which were "suddenly and unexpectedly discovered" in the archives of the church at that epoch in which the copying of literature was moving to the printing press. You may trust the church. I don't.

One of the core criteria used in the historical method is that any given source may be forged or corrupt. The basic assumption used in this discussion thread is that the church - as a source - either forged, interpolated or otherwise corrupted all of these texts because there were in fact no genuine mentions of the Christians by any author in antiquity prior to the Christian revolution of the 4th century. The back-office of the middle age church considered this was rather a little embarrassing and therefore sought a solution by which such references were fashioned for posterity.
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#109  Postby RealityRules » Jul 09, 2017 11:49 pm

Tracer Tong wrote:But not all of those ten scholars suggest the text is interpolated, nevermind ungrammatical. You've been reminded of this already. Heck, Petersen and Kooten are the editors of the volume that Leucius cited earlier, that, as far as I know, have nothing to say on the matter we're discussing.

As pointed out-
RealityRules wrote:
Not just Brunt's arguments. Footnotes 37 to 41 inclusive also refer to doubt about "the text of 11.3" -

Eichstaedt, 37; Rutherford, 38; Haines, 39; Dalfen, 40; and, from footnote 41, Hard and Staniforth.

Leucius Charinus wrote:
PA Brunt's arguments that the Christian reference in Marcus Aurelius is an interpolation are summarised above


RealityRules wrote:Add Gregory Hays' (2003): eight scholars/authors cited.

plus Anders Klostergaard Petersen and George H. van Kooten: 10.

Perhaps you TT can come you with list of those who argue or assert it is grammatical, and not interpolated; and a summary of why.
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#110  Postby RealityRules » Jul 09, 2017 11:56 pm

Tracer Tong wrote:
In that case, I look forward to your explanation1 (in addition to your explanation of how the text is ungrammatical2, of course).


1.... the church father Tertullian ... a contemporary of Marcus Aurelius ... his testimony is that Marcus was emphatically a “protector” of Christians.

    But out of so many princes from that time down to the present, men versed in every system of knowledge, produce if you can one persecutor of the Christians. We, however, can on the other side produce a protector, if the letters of the most grave Emperor Marcus Aurelius be searched, in which he testifies that the well-known Germanic drought was dispelled by the shower obtained through the prayers of Christians who happened to be in the army. (Apology, 5)
This appears to create an internal contradiction in the Christian literature, at least for those who (dubiously) wish to read other Christian accounts as somehow blaming Marcus for the persecution of Christians.

http://donaldrobertson.name/did-marcus- ... hristians/


1. C.R. Haines, who published [an edict to protect Christians in a letter titled/called Letter of Antoninus to the Common Assembly of Asia] as an appendix to his Loeb translation of The Meditations, included an essay entitled “Note on the Attitude of Marcus Toward the Christians.” He begins “Nothing has done the good name of Marcus so much harm as his supposed uncompromising attitude toward Christians”, and concludes:

    As a matter of fact, Marcus has been condemned as a persecutor of the Christians on purely circumstantial and quite insufficient grounds. The general testimony of contemporary Christian writers is against the supposition....
He goes on to argue that the retrospective claim of Eusebius about myriads of Christians being persecuted and horribly tortured to death throughout the Roman Empire two centuries earlier is also inconsistent with numerous historical facts – often cited by Eusebius himself and other Christian authors....

Marcus’ obsession with kindness, justice and clemency, is clearly demonstrated throughout The Meditations. this is reinforced by numerous references to his character in the writings of other Roman authors. Marcus is portrayed with remarkable consistency as being a man of exceptional clemency and humanity – that was his universal reputation. Latin authors typically used the word humanitas (kindness) to describe his character; in Greek the word philanthropia (love of mankind) was favoured.

Haines therefore also finds it implausible that someone so universally regarded as a man of exceptional kindness and clemency would have “encouraged mob-violence against unoffending persons, ordered the torture of innocent women and boys, and violated the rights of citizenship” ... there appears to be no evidence whatsoever that Marcus was actually responsible for the persecution of Christians.

[underlinining mine, ie. RR's]


2. Plenty have done that
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#111  Postby RealityRules » Jul 10, 2017 12:05 am

Tracer Tong wrote: ... perhaps you've the relevant expertise to do so.

    Whether I have or not is irrelevant.
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#112  Postby Tracer Tong » Jul 10, 2017 12:09 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:OK: so you think it's not genuine because it's not grammatical. But looking at the text, I'm not seeing how it's not grammatical. In that case, I look forward to your explanation.

Leucius was unable to offer such an explanation, but perhaps you've the relevant expertise to do so.


This is similar to asking someone in a discussion here to demonstrate why Fermat's last theorem is now held to be true. If you are so inclined to understand the explanations provided of a modest number of cited experts, then read the articles written by those experts and stop requesting other people to spoon feed you these explanations.


I've simply asked you to support the positions you articulate: you've declared the text is both ungrammatical and interpolated, so I've asked you to provide arguments to support those conclusions. The most you've done so far is cite some scholars who think one or the other (or both), in response to which I've cited scholars who don't think either. You seem quite convinced the former scholars have it right (to the extent you've endorsed an argument you've not even read!), but haven't been able to tell me how you've reached that conclusion, either. I've suggested before that you haven't done so because you simply can't do so, and I think I'm probably right about that.

RealityRules wrote:
Perhaps you TT can come you with list of those who argue or assert it is grammatical, and not interpolated; and a summary of why.


We've visited this before:

In the Oxford (1989) translation of A.S.L Farquharson, with notes supplied by Richard Rutherford, the latter rejects calls (namely by P. A. Brunt) for deletion of the reference. In Oxford's replacement of this translation (2011), translated by Robin Hard and with notes by Christopher Gill, the latter recognises that "some scholars" think it is an interpolation, but does not himself endorse their position. As for Farquharson, in his text (Oxford, 1944), he doesn't delete the reference, either...

...and also argues for retaining the text in the corresponding commentary, IIRC. I'd also add, as I've mentioned before, that the old Teubner (Schenkl, 1913) doesn't delete the text.


RealityRules wrote:[underlinining mine, ie. RR's]

2. Plenty have done that


Again, it's not clear to me why you're citing material (by a psychotherapist, as it goes) about whether Marcus Aurelius persecuted Christians; you claim this bears on whether the relevant passage is an interpolation, but you've yet to explain how.

I also didn't ask how many people have explained how the text is ungrammatical; I asked you to explain how the text is ungrammatical, which is your assertion. If you cannot do so, feel free to say so; it'll save some time.
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#113  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jul 10, 2017 4:47 am

Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:OK: so you think it's not genuine because it's not grammatical. But looking at the text, I'm not seeing how it's not grammatical. In that case, I look forward to your explanation.

Leucius was unable to offer such an explanation, but perhaps you've the relevant expertise to do so.


This is similar to asking someone in a discussion here to demonstrate why Fermat's last theorem is now held to be true. If you are so inclined to understand the explanations provided of a modest number of cited experts, then read the articles written by those experts and stop requesting other people to spoon feed you these explanations.


I've simply asked you to support the positions you articulate: you've declared the text is both ungrammatical and interpolated, so I've asked you to provide arguments to support those conclusions. The most you've done so far is cite some scholars who think one or the other (or both), in response to which I've cited scholars who don't think either. You seem quite convinced the former scholars have it right (to the extent you've endorsed an argument you've not even read!), but haven't been able to tell me how you've reached that conclusion, either.


Actually I have on multiple occasions. You haven't replied substantially to it, but instead simply trimmed it out of your responses. To repeat ...

I've suggested hypothetically that all of these references, obviously including the one in Marcus Aurelius, were interpolated and/or forged by the church organisation between the 4th (Testimonium Flavianum and the Seneca-Paul Letter exchange) and 15th century. I have supporteda consideration of that position by citing that criterion of the historical method by which any given source may be forged or corrupt. I am now testing out the hypothesis by firstly gathering all the specific references together and looking at them one by one.

When we get to the Marcus Aurelius milestone we look around the terrain and see whether or not any academics have already perceived this reference to be an interpolation and lo and behold we do. That's all I am interested in. Your question is extraneous.

It may be appropriate to mention an earlier - and possibly related - discussion here -

http://www.rationalskepticism.org/chris ... =chrestian

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

The sources of "Chrestian" [χρηστιανος] and "Christian" [χριστιανος] in Antiquity
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#114  Postby Tracer Tong » Jul 10, 2017 11:29 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:OK: so you think it's not genuine because it's not grammatical. But looking at the text, I'm not seeing how it's not grammatical. In that case, I look forward to your explanation.

Leucius was unable to offer such an explanation, but perhaps you've the relevant expertise to do so.


This is similar to asking someone in a discussion here to demonstrate why Fermat's last theorem is now held to be true. If you are so inclined to understand the explanations provided of a modest number of cited experts, then read the articles written by those experts and stop requesting other people to spoon feed you these explanations.


I've simply asked you to support the positions you articulate: you've declared the text is both ungrammatical and interpolated, so I've asked you to provide arguments to support those conclusions. The most you've done so far is cite some scholars who think one or the other (or both), in response to which I've cited scholars who don't think either. You seem quite convinced the former scholars have it right (to the extent you've endorsed an argument you've not even read!), but haven't been able to tell me how you've reached that conclusion, either.


Actually I have on multiple occasions. You haven't replied substantially to it, but instead simply trimmed it out of your responses. To repeat ...

I've suggested hypothetically that all of these references, obviously including the one in Marcus Aurelius, were interpolated and/or forged by the church organisation between the 4th (Testimonium Flavianum and the Seneca-Paul Letter exchange) and 15th century. I have supporteda consideration of that position by citing that criterion of the historical method by which any given source may be forged or corrupt. I am now testing out the hypothesis by firstly gathering all the specific references together and looking at them one by one.

When we get to the Marcus Aurelius milestone we look around the terrain and see whether or not any academics have already perceived this reference to be an interpolation and lo and behold we do. That's all I am interested in. Your question is extraneous.


You say you have done so on multiple occasions, but that simply isn't true, and there's still no response here. You're still simply ignoring the question of what arguments there are to support your view of the text, and what reasons you have for agreeing with one set of scholars over another. The fact you call this issue "extraneous" is remarkable, but proves that you've no interest here in critical discussion of your views of both this text and, presumably, others.
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#115  Postby RealityRules » Jul 10, 2017 12:01 pm

Tracer Tong wrote:... it's not clear to me why you're citing material...about whether Marcus Aurelius persecuted Christians; you claim this bears on whether the relevant passage is an interpolation, but you've yet to explain how.

Because there is no documentation that Marcus Aurelius persecuted Christians. There is documentation to the contrary -ie. that he was not the persecuting type.

As Haines is reported to have said -

    Marcus’ obsession with kindness, justice and clemency, is clearly demonstrated throughout The Meditations. this is reinforced by numerous references to his character in the writings of other Roman authors. Marcus is portrayed with remarkable consistency as being a man of exceptional clemency and humanity – that was his universal reputation.
You clearly cannot comprehend a view contrary to your own rigid one. I'll leave you to it.
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#116  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jul 10, 2017 12:57 pm

Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:

This is similar to asking someone in a discussion here to demonstrate why Fermat's last theorem is now held to be true. If you are so inclined to understand the explanations provided of a modest number of cited experts, then read the articles written by those experts and stop requesting other people to spoon feed you these explanations.


I've simply asked you to support the positions you articulate: you've declared the text is both ungrammatical and interpolated, so I've asked you to provide arguments to support those conclusions. The most you've done so far is cite some scholars who think one or the other (or both), in response to which I've cited scholars who don't think either. You seem quite convinced the former scholars have it right (to the extent you've endorsed an argument you've not even read!), but haven't been able to tell me how you've reached that conclusion, either.


Actually I have on multiple occasions. You haven't replied substantially to it, but instead simply trimmed it out of your responses. To repeat ...

I've suggested hypothetically that all of these references, obviously including the one in Marcus Aurelius, were interpolated and/or forged by the church organisation between the 4th (Testimonium Flavianum and the Seneca-Paul Letter exchange) and 15th century. I have supporteda consideration of that position by citing that criterion of the historical method by which any given source may be forged or corrupt. I am now testing out the hypothesis by firstly gathering all the specific references together and looking at them one by one.

When we get to the Marcus Aurelius milestone we look around the terrain and see whether or not any academics have already perceived this reference to be an interpolation and lo and behold we do. That's all I am interested in.
Your question is extraneous.


You say you have done so on multiple occasions, but that simply isn't true, and there's still no response here. You're still simply ignoring the question of what arguments there are to support your view of the text, and what reasons you have for agreeing with one set of scholars over another.


The reasons I have for agreeing with one set of scholars over another should be logically obvious from the hypothesis raised in the OP and repeated for at least the 5th time in the bolded section immediately above.
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#117  Postby Tracer Tong » Jul 10, 2017 1:14 pm

Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:

I've simply asked you to support the positions you articulate: you've declared the text is both ungrammatical and interpolated, so I've asked you to provide arguments to support those conclusions. The most you've done so far is cite some scholars who think one or the other (or both), in response to which I've cited scholars who don't think either. You seem quite convinced the former scholars have it right (to the extent you've endorsed an argument you've not even read!), but haven't been able to tell me how you've reached that conclusion, either.


Actually I have on multiple occasions. You haven't replied substantially to it, but instead simply trimmed it out of your responses. To repeat ...

I've suggested hypothetically that all of these references, obviously including the one in Marcus Aurelius, were interpolated and/or forged by the church organisation between the 4th (Testimonium Flavianum and the Seneca-Paul Letter exchange) and 15th century. I have supporteda consideration of that position by citing that criterion of the historical method by which any given source may be forged or corrupt. I am now testing out the hypothesis by firstly gathering all the specific references together and looking at them one by one.

When we get to the Marcus Aurelius milestone we look around the terrain and see whether or not any academics have already perceived this reference to be an interpolation and lo and behold we do. That's all I am interested in.
Your question is extraneous.


You say you have done so on multiple occasions, but that simply isn't true, and there's still no response here. You're still simply ignoring the question of what arguments there are to support your view of the text, and what reasons you have for agreeing with one set of scholars over another.


The reasons I have for agreeing with one set of scholars over another should be logically obvious from the hypothesis raised in the OP and repeated for at least the 5th time in the bolded section immediately above.


Yeah, and I've read it for at least the fifth time. There's no argument there for thinking the reference is interpolated, and therefore for thinking that one set of scholars has got it right over another. How strongly you believe something isn't an argument, Leucius.
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#118  Postby Tracer Tong » Jul 10, 2017 1:18 pm

RealityRules wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:... it's not clear to me why you're citing material...about whether Marcus Aurelius persecuted Christians; you claim this bears on whether the relevant passage is an interpolation, but you've yet to explain how.

Because there is no documentation that Marcus Aurelius persecuted Christians. There is documentation to the contrary -ie. that he was not the persecuting type.


And still there's no response to what you were actually asked:

Again, it's not clear to me why you're citing material (by a psychotherapist, as it goes) about whether Marcus Aurelius persecuted Christians; you claim this bears on whether the relevant passage is an interpolation, but you've yet to explain how.

Continuing to tell me that Marcus Aurelius didn't persecute Christians is just to ignore the question.
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#119  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jul 10, 2017 1:46 pm

Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:

Actually I have on multiple occasions. You haven't replied substantially to it, but instead simply trimmed it out of your responses. To repeat ...

I've suggested hypothetically that all of these references, obviously including the one in Marcus Aurelius, were interpolated and/or forged by the church organisation between the 4th (Testimonium Flavianum and the Seneca-Paul Letter exchange) and 15th century. I have supporteda consideration of that position by citing that criterion of the historical method by which any given source may be forged or corrupt. I am now testing out the hypothesis by firstly gathering all the specific references together and looking at them one by one.

When we get to the Marcus Aurelius milestone we look around the terrain and see whether or not any academics have already perceived this reference to be an interpolation and lo and behold we do. That's all I am interested in.
Your question is extraneous.


You say you have done so on multiple occasions, but that simply isn't true, and there's still no response here. You're still simply ignoring the question of what arguments there are to support your view of the text, and what reasons you have for agreeing with one set of scholars over another.


The reasons I have for agreeing with one set of scholars over another should be logically obvious from the hypothesis raised in the OP and repeated for at least the 5th time in the bolded section immediately above.


Yeah, and I've read it for at least the fifth time. There's no argument there for thinking the reference is interpolated ...


It's not an argument it's a specific hypothesis in the field of history. Do you understand the difference? As far as I am aware a hypothesis requires neither evidence or argument (although it may have these). However it must be falsifiable, and it must not be falsified by any available evidence. Ideally the hypothesis seeks to have a great explanatory power concerning all the available evidence (in the set of evidence under investigation)

... and therefore for thinking that one set of scholars has got it right over another.


With the Marcus reference, logically both sets of scholars cannot be right. One is right. The other is wrong.

Do you play poker TT? Which set do you bet upon as being the right set? Over.

How strongly you believe something isn't an argument, Leucius.


This discussion partly concerns the strength of the hypothesis - in terms of its explanatory power concerning all the available evidence (in the set of evidence under investigation).
Last edited by Leucius Charinus on Jul 10, 2017 2:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#120  Postby Tracer Tong » Jul 10, 2017 2:00 pm

Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:

You say you have done so on multiple occasions, but that simply isn't true, and there's still no response here. You're still simply ignoring the question of what arguments there are to support your view of the text, and what reasons you have for agreeing with one set of scholars over another.


The reasons I have for agreeing with one set of scholars over another should be logically obvious from the hypothesis raised in the OP and repeated for at least the 5th time in the bolded section immediately above.


Yeah, and I've read it for at least the fifth time. There's no argument there for thinking the reference is interpolated ...


It's not an argument it's a specific hypothesis in the field of history. Do you understand the difference? As far as I am aware a hypothesis requires neither evidence or argument. It must be falsifiable, and it must not be falsified by any available evidence. Ideally the hypothesis seeks to have a great explanatory power concerning all the available evidence (in the set of evidence under investigation)


Yeah, I get the difference. At the moment, you've hypothesised that the reference is interpolated. I'm looking for reasons for thinking that hypothesis might be, you know, true.

Leucius Charinus wrote:
With the Marcus reference, logically both sets of scholars cannot be right. One is right. The other is wrong,


Uh huh.

Leucius Charinus wrote:
This discussion concerns the strength of the hypothesis - in terms of its explanatory power concerning all the available evidence (in the set of evidence under investigation)


And it's the strength of that hypothesis that you seem curiously reluctant (or, rather, unable) to test.
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