Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

Prior to the Christian Revolution of the 4th century

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Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#1  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 16, 2017 3:49 am

RealityRules wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:I have made a study of all the Christian references in the classical literature (i.e. not sourced from Eusebius or the "Church") prior to the 4th century, and my provisional conclusion is that the best explanation of these references is that all of them represent corruptions of the classical literature by the church organisation between the 4th century and the 15th century.

...I think there is sufficient reason to conjecture that the church organisation forged manuscripts in order to advance its historical integrity.

'...in order to advance an illusion of historical integrity'. ;)

By 'classical literature' I presume you're referring to Josephus' Antiquities and Tacitus' Annals +/- others.

    [Arthur Drews thought that Annals 15.4 reflects the 4th C. Chronicle of Sulpicius Severus]
    "We are therefore strongly disposed to suspect that the passage (Annals, xv, 44) was transferred from Sulpicius to the text of Tacitus by the hand of a monastic copyist or forger, for the greater glory of God and in order to strengthen the truth of the Christian tradition by a pagan witness."
    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Witn ... /Section_2




Yes.

I am seeking pagan (or Jewish) literature from antiquity in which there is a mention of what Eusebius refers to as "The Nation of Christians". We can call them "Christians".

Firstly I will list the instances of these references in the literature that I have looked at so far. There may well be more, so these can be added.

Secondly each of these Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians" in the literature of antiquity might be discussed and evaluated in terms of its - shall be say - "historical integrity or otherwise".


Pagan Witnesses to the Historicity of Christians



1st Century BCE
0.0 BCE Erythraean Sibyl https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythraean_Sibyl
0.1 106-043 Cicero translates Sibyl’s acrostic predicting Jesus to Latin
0.2 040 BCE Virgil: advent of Christ predicted

1st Century
1.1 030-033 King Agbar of Edessa - the letter to Jesus
1.2 093-094 Josephus Flavius - TF, Antiquity of the Jews
1.3 050-065 Seneca - the wonderful correspondence with "Dear Paul"
1.4 054-305 Nero to Diocletian: Persecution of Christians http://www.rationalskepticism.org/chris ... 49785.html

2nd Century
2.1 101-112 Pliny the Younger - Plinius, Ep 10:97; letter to Emperor Trajan
2.2 101-112 Emperor Trajan - Dear Pliny (a rescript)
2.3 115-116 Tacitus - Annals 15:44
2.4 118-119 Suetonius - Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Nero, 16.
2.5 125-135 Epictetus (via Arrian) - the Galilaeans
2.6 170-180 Marcus Aurelius - The "christian" reference at Meditations 11:3
2.6 170-180 Lucian of Samosata - Life of Peregrine, Alexander the Prophet
2.8 177-177 Celsus: known only via Origen as preserved by Eusebius
2.9 180-200 Galen

3rd Century
3.1 230-235 Cassius Dio
3.2 220-240 Julius Africanus Thallus mentions Christians?
3.3 240-270 Mani - Various writings (dated from the end of the 4th century)
3.4 260-270 Plotinus
3.5 280-300 Porphyry - Platonist academic preserved writings of Plotinus.


OTHERS? Thanks!!


A discussion with TT concerning 2.6 170-180 Marcus Aurelius - The "christian" reference at Meditations 11:3 in the HJ thread might be continued here.

To summarise ...I think there is sufficient reason to conjecture that the church organisation forged manuscripts '...in order to advance an illusion of historical integrity'. :)

To what extent did the Nicene Church organisation and its descendants (in the 4th and subsequent centuries) fabricate the illusion of [the Nation of] Christians prior to the Christian Revolution of the 4th century?

The references are listed above.

May the discussion commence !!
"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: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#2  Postby RealityRules » Jun 16, 2017 7:34 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
Pagan Witnesses to the Historicity of Christians


I preseume you mean 'Purported Pagan Witnesses to the 'Historicity' of Early Christians'

and
    1.3 050-065 Seneca - the purported 'wonderful correspondence' with "Dear Paul"
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#3  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 16, 2017 7:51 am

RealityRules wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Pagan Witnesses to the Historicity of Christians


I preseume you mean 'Purported Pagan Witnesses to the 'Historicity' of Early Christians'

and
    1.3 050-065 Seneca - the purported 'wonderful correspondence' with "Dear Paul"



Yes.

The list above is open to include any other literature of the ancient world by any author that mentions "Christians" or "Jesus". Every attempt has been made to be exhaustive in the above list but there may be some other ancient literature citations that have fallen though the net to date. Many of these are already recognised as forgeries, such as 1.3 Seneca, but there are many on the list which continued to be cited as though the purported reference has historical integrity. Such as Tacitus 2.3
"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: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#4  Postby RealityRules » Jun 16, 2017 8:06 am

.
Tacitus' Annals 15 is the basis for the spurious assertions that Nero persecuted Christians.


There are other dubious texts attributed to dubious characters, such as

a/ Papias and Fragments of Papias supposedly remnants from a 5-volume The 'Exposition of the Oracles of the Lord',

b/ Ignatius and his 'epistles',

c/ etcetera
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#5  Postby RealityRules » Jun 16, 2017 8:20 am

RealityRules wrote:
There are other dubious texts attributed to dubious characters, such as

a/ Papias and Fragments of Papias supposedly remnants from a 5-volume The 'Exposition of the Oracles of the Lord'

It is debated, however, whether the Gospels of Matthew and Mark to which Papias refers were the same as the ones we know today. In Matthew's case, for example, Papias seems to refer to a "sayings" Gospel rather than a narrative one —referring only to the "oracles of Jesus" rather than both "sayings and deeds," as in Mark's case. Also, in the case of both Gospels, scholars have noted significant differences among the earliest manuscripts, all of which postdate Papias. Thus it is impossible to know with certainty what version of either Gospel he himself knew.

Papias also [supposedly] related a number of traditions regarding Jesus' teaching concerning the coming Kingdom of God, characterizing it as a literal reign on earth in which fruit, grain, and animal life would be marvelously productive, and humans would enjoy delicious foods. Eusebius called these and other teachings of Papias "strange parables and teachings of the savior, and some other more mythical accounts." Regarding the latter ..Papias [supposedly] related an account of Judas Iscariot immediately before his death, in which he describes Judas in gruesome detail as grotesquely swollen, putrid-smelling, and possessing huge genitalia. Papias also reported a story about a certain disciple named Justus Barsabas, who drank snake venom but suffered no harm. He also related a tale via a daughter of Philip the Evangelist concerning the resurrection of a corpse (Hist. Eccl. 3.39).

Eusebius further states that Papias "reproduces a story about a woman falsely accused before the Lord of many sins." Although Eusebius did not elaborate, biblical scholar J. B. Lightfoot identified this with the Pericope Adulterae—the story of the woman taken in adultery. Since the story does not appear in the earliest manuscripts of the Gospel of John, many scholars believe that the Pericope Adulterae must have been a later addition, and Papias seems like 'a likely candidate' as the 'written source' of the story.

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Papias

Eusebius may have been putting word in Papias' mouth, too. As noted previously -
Papias 'himself' describes how he gathered his information, in an account 'preserved' by Eusebius of Caesaria..

Schoedel [wrote] about Papias (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, v. 5, p. 140):

    According to Irenaeus, our earliest witness, Papias was "a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp, a man of primitive times," who wrote a volume in "five books" (haer. 5.33.4; quoted by Eusebius Hist. Eccl. 3.39.1). [Yet] Eusebius 'already' doubted the reality of a connection between Papias and the apostle John on the grounds that Papias himself in the preface to his book distinguished the 'apostle John' from John-the-presbyter, and seems to have had significant contact only with John the presbyter and a certain Aristion (Hist. Eccl. 3.39.3-7). Eusebius' skepticism was no doubt prompted by his distaste - perhaps a recently acquired distaste (Grant 1974) - for Papias' chiliasm and his feeling that such a theology qualified Papias for the distinction of being "a man of exceedingly small intelligence" (Hist. Eccl. 3.39.13). Nevertheless Eusebius' analysis of the preface is probably correct; and his further point that Papias' chiliasm put him to the same camp as the Revelation of John is surely relevant. It is notable that Eusebius, in spite of his desire to discredit Papias, still places him as early as the reign of Trajan (A.D. 98-117); and although later dates (e.g., A.D. 130-140) have often been suggested by modern scholars, Bartlet's date for Papias' literary activity of about A.D. 100 has recently gained support (Schoedel 1967: 91-92; Kortner 1983: 89-94, 167-72, 225-26).

Papias 'attests' the role that 'oral tradition' continued to play in the first half of the second century. Papias himself preferred "the living voice" to what could be found in books. Nevertheless, Papias seems to have known the Gospels, and he [supposedly] provides the earliest tradition concerning the authorship of the Gospel of Mark. The testimony of Papias concerning Matthew is more problematic. Eusebius says that Papias also "made use of testimonies from the first letter of John and likewise from that of Peter" (Hist. Eccl. 3.39.17).

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/papias.html
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#6  Postby RealityRules » Jun 17, 2017 12:00 am

2nd Century

2.4 118-119 Suetonius - Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Nero, 16.


    "During his reign many abuses were severely punished and put down, and no fewer new laws were made: a limit was set to expenditures; the public banquets were confined to a distribution of food; the sale of any kind of cooked viands in the taverns was forbidden, with the exception of pulse and vegetables, whereas before every sort of dainty was exposed for sale. Punishment was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men given to a new and mischievous superstition. He put an end to the diversions of the chariot drivers, who from immunity of long standing claimed the right of ranging at large and amusing themselves by cheating and robbing the people. The pantomimic actors and their partisans were banished from the city."

The following is a modification of the current wikipedia entry about that^ Nero Reference -

K.R. Bradley has argued that the verb in the clause "Punishment was inflicted on the Christians" (Latin: afflicti suppliciis christiani) should be corrected to "affecti", based first on the frequent use of this verb with the word for "punishment", and second on that Orosius, according to Bradley, uses this verb in material dependent on the Suetonius Nero 16 passage.[45] These words in combination indicate that the punishment was capital; cf. e.g. Suet. Augustus 17.5 (death of young Antony), Claudius 26.2 (death of Messalina) and Galba 12.1 (death of officials).

In Roman usage, the word superstitio refers to any excessive religious devotion, within or outside traditional Roman religious practice. It appears to Suetonius this particular excessive devotion was new and mischievous: Marius Heemstra thinks he was backdating the accusation to the time of Nero.[46]

The word translated as "mischievous" above is maleficus which can also mean "magical". As a noun the word means "magician". An accusation that Christians were using what would be called "black magic" aligns with what the pagan philosopher Celsus is said to have done about 177.[47]

Unlike the reference to the persecution of Christians by Nero in Annals 15.44, the passage in Nero 16 does not relate Nero's punishment/persecution of Christians to the Great Fire of Rome.

Some author argue that when Tertullian wrote: "We read the lives of the Cæsars: At Rome Nero was the first who stained with blood the rising faith" (Scorpiace 15) he is referring to the passage in Suetonius' Nero 16, but others hold that Tertullian is either referring to the Tacitus Annals passage or to both passages [50, 51, 52].
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
45 K. R. Bradley, "Suetonius, Nero 16.2: ‘afflicti suppliciis christian’", The Classical Review, 22, p.10.

46 Marius Heemstra, The Fiscus Judaicus and the Parting of the Ways (Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Company. 2010) ISBN 9783161503832, p.89.

47 Wilken, Robert Louis (2003). The Christians as the Romans Saw Them (2nd ed.). Yale University Press. p. 93. ISBN 978-0300098396.

50 Mary Ellen Snodgrass, Encyclopedia of the Literature of Empire, USA 2010, p. 270. Cf. Heinrich Hoppe, De sermone Tertullianeo quaestiones selectae, Marburgi Chattorum 1897, p. 26 f. "Tertullian kombinierte im Jahr 211/212, als er 'De scorpiace' schrieb, eine Nachricht aus der Nero-Vita Suetons mit den Apostelakten und zwei Bibelstellen", writes Otto Zwierlein, Petrus in Rom: Die literarischen Zeugnisse, 2nd ed., de Gruyter, Göttingen 2010, p. 119.

51 Waszink noted that "n scorp. 15 (178, 11/2) we read [i]vitas Caesarum legimus: orientem fidem Romae primus Nero cruentavit [i.e. "We read the lives of the Cæsars: At Rome Nero was the first who stained with blood the rising faith"] (again from Suet. Nero, ch. 16)"; see Jan Hendrik Waszink, "Quinti Septimi Florentis Tertulliani De Anima", Brill, Leiden 2010 (original: J. M. Meulenhoff, Amsterdam 1947), p. 479. Merrill wrote: "He [Tertullian] also had read (perhaps while resident in Rome) the Lives of Suetonius", with "Scorp 15 uitas Caesarum ... cruentauit (Suet. Nero 16, 2)" supplied in the footnote; see Elmer Truesdell Merrill, Essays in Early Christian History, Macmillan 1924, p. 121 with n. 2.

52 See Anthony R. Birley, Marius Maximus: The Consular Biographer, Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II 34, 3, 1997, p. 2752, with n. 230, and Simon Swain, Portraits: Biographical Representation in the Greek and Latin Literature of the Roman Empire (ed. M. Mark J. Edwards, Simon Swain), Oxford 1997, p. 24, n. 65. Both authors refer to Timothy D. Barnes, Tertullian: A Historical and Literary Study, Oxford 1971, for Tertullian having referred to Tacitus as "the Lives of the Caesars".
_____________________________________________

Claudius 25, also attributed to Suetonius, refers to the expulsion of Jews by Claudius and states (in Edwards' translation):

    "Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome."

Acts of the Apostles (18:2) makes a parallel commentary: -

    "And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, a man of Pontus by race, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome: and he came unto them"
_________________________________________

I think all these passages - Nero 16 and Claudius 25, as well as Annals 15 - could either be interpolations or reference to non- Jesus-following Christians.
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#7  Postby RealityRules » Jun 17, 2017 2:51 am

I wonder how relevant passages, such as these from Tertullian's Scorpiace, are in shaping persecution doctrine -
Chap 1
We have faith for a defence, if we are not smitten with distrust itself also, in immediately making the sign and adjuring, and besmearing the heel with the beast. Finally, we often aid in this way even the heathen, seeing we have been endowed by God with that power which the apostle first used when he despised the viper's bite. [Acts 28:3] What, then, does this pen of yours offer, if faith is safe by what it has of its own? That it may be safe by what it has of its own also at other times, when it is subjected to scorpions of its own. These, too, have a troublesome littleness, and are of different sorts, and are armed in one manner, and are stirred up at a definite time, and that not another than one of burning heat. This among Christians is a season of persecution. When, therefore, faith is greatly agitated, and the Church burning, as represented by the bush, [Exodus 3:2] then the Gnostics break out, then the Valentinians creep forth, then all the opponents of martyrdom bubble up, being themselves also hot to strike, penetrate, kill.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0318.htm

And now the present state of matters is such, that we are in the midst of an intense heat, the very dog-star of persecution —a state originating doubtless with the 'dog-headed one' himself. Of some Christians the fire, of others the sword, of others the beasts, have made trial; others are hungering in prison for the martyrdoms of which they have had a taste in the meantime by being subjected to clubs and claws besides. We ourselves, having been appointed for pursuit, are like hares being hemmed in from a distance; and heretics go about according to their wont. Therefore the state of the times has prompted me to prepare by my pen, in opposition to the little beasts which trouble our sect, our antidote against poison, that I may thereby effect cures. You who read will at the same time drink. Nor is the draught bitter. If the utterances of the Lord are sweeter than honey and the honeycombs, the juices are from that source. If the promise of God flows with milk and honey, Exodus 3:17 the ingredients which go to make that draught have the smack of this.

Chap 8
As says Esaias, See how the righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; and righteous men are taken away, and no one considers it: for from before the face of unrighteousness the righteous man perishes, and he shall have honour at his burial. Here, too, you have both an announcement of martyrdoms, and of the recompense they bring. From the beginning, indeed, righteousness suffers violence. Forthwith, as soon as God has begun to be worshipped, religion has got ill-will for her portion. He who had pleased God is slain, and that by his brother. Beginning with kindred blood, in order that it might the more easily go in quest of that of strangers, ungodliness made the object of its pursuit, finally, that not only of righteous persons, but even of prophets also. David is persecuted; Elias put to flight; Jeremias stoned; Esaias cut asunder; Zacharias butchered between the altar and the temple, imparting to the hard stones lasting marks of his blood. Matthew 14:3 That person himself, at the close of the law and the prophets, and called not a prophet, but a messenger, is, suffering an ignominious death, beheaded to reward a dancing-girl. And certainly they who were wont to be led by the Spirit of God used to be guided by Himself to martyrdoms; so that they had even already to endure what they had also proclaimed as requiring to be borne. Wherefore the brotherhood of the three also, when the dedication of the royal image was the occasion of the citizens being pressed to offer worship, knew well what faith, which alone in them had not been taken captive, required—namely, that they must resist idolatry to the death. Daniel 3:12

Chap 9
... "Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." The following statement, indeed, applies first to all without restriction, then specially to the apostles themselves: "Blessed shall you be when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, since very great is your reward in heaven; for so used their fathers to do even to the prophets. So that He likewise foretold their having to be themselves also slain, after the example of the prophets." Though, even if He had appointed all this persecution in case He were obeyed for those only who were then apostles, assuredly through them along with the entire sacrament, with the shoot of the name, with the layer of the Holy Spirit, the rule about enduring persecution also would have had respect to us too, as to disciples by inheritance, and, (as it were,) bushes from the apostolic seed.

Chap 10
... There will need to be carried on in heaven persecution even, which is the occasion of confession or denial. Why, then, do you refrain, O most presumptuous heretic, from transporting to the world above the whole series of means proper to the intimidation of Christians, and especially to put there the very hatred for the name, where Christ rules at the right hand of the Father? Will you plant there both synagogues of the Jews— fountains of persecution— before which the apostles endured the scourge, and heathen assemblages with their own circus, forsooth, where they readily join in the cry, Death to the third race?

Unerring reason has commanded us to set forth these things in even a playful manner; nor will any one thrust out the bar consisting in this objection (we have offered), so as not to be compelled to transfer the whole array of means proper to persecution, all the powerful instrumentality which has been provided for dealing with this matter, to the place where he has put the court before which confession should be made. Since confession is elicited by persecution, and persecution ended in confession, there cannot but be at the same time, in attendance upon these, the instrumentality which determines both the entrance and the exit, that is, the beginning and the end. But both hatred for the name will be here, persecution breaks out here, betrayal brings men forth here, examination uses force here, torture rages here, and confession or denial completes this whole course of procedure on the earth. Therefore, if the other things are here, confession also is not elsewhere; if confession is elsewhere, the other things also are not here.

Chap 11
In the same manner, therefore, we maintain that the other announcements too refer to the condition of martyrdom. He, says Jesus, who will value his own life also more than me, is not worthy of me, Luke 14:26 — that is, he who will rather live by denying, than die by confessing, me; and he who finds his life shall lose it; but he who loses it for my sake shall find it. Matthew 10:39 Therefore indeed he finds it, who, in winning life, denies; but he who thinks that he wins it by denying, will lose it in hell. On the other hand, he who, through confessing, is killed, will lose it for the present, but is also about to find it unto everlasting life ... How would Christ speak, but in accordance with the treatment to which the Christian would be subjected? But when He forbids thinking about what answer to make at a judgment-seat, Matthew 10:19 He is preparing His own servants for what awaited them, He gives the assurance that the Holy Spirit will answer by them; and when He wishes a brother to be visited in prison, Matthew 25:36 He is commanding that those about to confess be the object of solicitude; and He is soothing their sufferings when He asserts that God will avenge His own elect. Luke 18:7 In the parable also of the withering of the word Matthew 13:3 after the green blade had sprung up, He is drawing a picture with reference to the burning heat of persecutions.

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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#8  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 17, 2017 5:57 am

RealityRules wrote:.
Tacitus' Annals 15 is the basis for the spurious assertions that Nero persecuted Christians.


Arthur Drews argues against the genuineness of that Tacitus reference.



Timeline

Ancient Sources____________________________________
115 - Tacitus, "Annals" 15:44
122 - Suetonius, "Lives", Nero, 16:
192 - Tertullian, "Apology" 5:
324 - Eusebius of Caesarea, "Historia Ecclesiastica" 2.25
325 - Lactantius, "On the Manner in which the Persecutors Died"", Chapter 2
4th - Seneca to Paul, Letter 12: "Dear Paul, How goeth the church industry? Your good buddy, Seneca"
403 - Sulpicius Severus, "Chronicle" 2.29.1-4a: "phrases and even sentences from many classical authors are interwoven here and there"
??? - Jerome, Orosius, Sidonius Apollinaris, and Cassiodorus.

Middle Age Sources____________________________________

1071 - Oldest manuscript (Annals 15:44) dated palaeographically: Second Medicean manuscript, Benedictine abbey, Monte Cassino, using the Beneventan script
1513 - John de Medici (Pope Leo X) increases the price of rewards to persons who procured new MS. copies of ancient Greek and Roman works
1514 - Angelo Arcomboldi, Pope Leo X's "Thesaurum Quaestor Pontificius" ("steward", "receiver", or "collector") discovers the manuscripts of Annals 1-6
1515 - Publication of Annals 1-6 by Beroaldus in Rome
1559 - Index Librorum Prohibitorum
16th - Last known exemplars authored using the Beneventan script

Modern Sources____________________________________

1878 - John Wilson Ross, "Tacitus and Bracciolini: The Annals Forged in the 15th Century" (Ross disputes the Annals in its entirety but accepts the History)
1885 - Polydore Hochart "Études au sujet de la persécution des Chrétiens sous Néron"
1890 - Polydore Hochart "De l'authenticité des Annales et des Histoires de Tacite" (Hochart questions both the Annals and the History)
1902 - Georg Andresen commented on the "Chrestians"
1910 - W.B. Smith's "The Silence of Josephus and Tacitus", largely duplicated in "Ecce Deus"
1912 - Arthur Drews, "The Witnesses to the Historicity of Jesus" summarising Hochart: middle age forgery
1913 - W.B. Smith's "Ecce Deus" (Smith questions only the genuineness of the passage in the Annals about "Christus" and "Christians")
1947 - Arnaldo Momigliano, "The First Political Commentary on Tacitus"
2014 - Richard Carrier "The Prospect of a Christian Interpolation in Tacitus, Annals 15.44"


Links here: http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/a ... acitus.htm

We can certainly say that the passage has been suspected as being interpolated.
"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: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#9  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 17, 2017 6:08 am

RealityRules wrote:.

There are other dubious texts attributed to dubious characters, such as

a/ Papias and Fragments of Papias supposedly remnants from a 5-volume The 'Exposition of the Oracles of the Lord',

b/ Ignatius and his 'epistles',

c/ etcetera



RealityRules wrote:
RealityRules wrote:
There are other dubious texts attributed to dubious characters, such as

a/ Papias and Fragments of Papias supposedly remnants from a 5-volume The 'Exposition of the Oracles of the Lord'

It is debated, however, whether the Gospels of Matthew and Mark to which Papias refers were the same as the ones we know today. In Matthew's case, for example, Papias seems to refer to a "sayings" Gospel rather than a narrative one —referring only to the "oracles of Jesus" rather than both "sayings and deeds," as in Mark's case. Also, in the case of both Gospels, scholars have noted significant differences among the earliest manuscripts, all of which postdate Papias. Thus it is impossible to know with certainty what version of either Gospel he himself knew.

Papias also [supposedly] related a number of traditions regarding Jesus' teaching concerning the coming Kingdom of God, characterizing it as a literal reign on earth in which fruit, grain, and animal life would be marvelously productive, and humans would enjoy delicious foods. Eusebius called these and other teachings of Papias "strange parables and teachings of the savior, and some other more mythical accounts." Regarding the latter ..Papias [supposedly] related an account of Judas Iscariot immediately before his death, in which he describes Judas in gruesome detail as grotesquely swollen, putrid-smelling, and possessing huge genitalia. Papias also reported a story about a certain disciple named Justus Barsabas, who drank snake venom but suffered no harm. He also related a tale via a daughter of Philip the Evangelist concerning the resurrection of a corpse (Hist. Eccl. 3.39).

Eusebius further states that Papias "reproduces a story about a woman falsely accused before the Lord of many sins." Although Eusebius did not elaborate, biblical scholar J. B. Lightfoot identified this with the Pericope Adulterae—the story of the woman taken in adultery. Since the story does not appear in the earliest manuscripts of the Gospel of John, many scholars believe that the Pericope Adulterae must have been a later addition, and Papias seems like 'a likely candidate' as the 'written source' of the story.

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Papias

Eusebius may have been putting word in Papias' mouth, too. As noted previously -
Papias 'himself' describes how he gathered his information, in an account 'preserved' by Eusebius of Caesaria..

Schoedel [wrote] about Papias (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, v. 5, p. 140):

    According to Irenaeus, our earliest witness, Papias was "a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp, a man of primitive times," who wrote a volume in "five books" (haer. 5.33.4; quoted by Eusebius Hist. Eccl. 3.39.1). [Yet] Eusebius 'already' doubted the reality of a connection between Papias and the apostle John on the grounds that Papias himself in the preface to his book distinguished the 'apostle John' from John-the-presbyter, and seems to have had significant contact only with John the presbyter and a certain Aristion (Hist. Eccl. 3.39.3-7). Eusebius' skepticism was no doubt prompted by his distaste - perhaps a recently acquired distaste (Grant 1974) - for Papias' chiliasm and his feeling that such a theology qualified Papias for the distinction of being "a man of exceedingly small intelligence" (Hist. Eccl. 3.39.13). Nevertheless Eusebius' analysis of the preface is probably correct; and his further point that Papias' chiliasm put him to the same camp as the Revelation of John is surely relevant. It is notable that Eusebius, in spite of his desire to discredit Papias, still places him as early as the reign of Trajan (A.D. 98-117); and although later dates (e.g., A.D. 130-140) have often been suggested by modern scholars, Bartlet's date for Papias' literary activity of about A.D. 100 has recently gained support (Schoedel 1967: 91-92; Kortner 1983: 89-94, 167-72, 225-26).

Papias 'attests' the role that 'oral tradition' continued to play in the first half of the second century. Papias himself preferred "the living voice" to what could be found in books. Nevertheless, Papias seems to have known the Gospels, and he [supposedly] provides the earliest tradition concerning the authorship of the Gospel of Mark. The testimony of Papias concerning Matthew is more problematic. Eusebius says that Papias also "made use of testimonies from the first letter of John and likewise from that of Peter" (Hist. Eccl. 3.39.17).

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



RE: Papias and Ignatius et al

I view these as [purported] Christian references to the 'historicity' of Christians.

I am seeking the [purported] Non Christian references to the 'historicity' of Christians.

Eusebius has produced a sort of "Nationalistic Literature" for the nation of Christians in his "Church History" and "In Preparation ...". Eusebius gathers together his material. However what this thread is asking for are the references to the existence of Christians in literature written by authors who are external to Eusebius' Nicene Church. If Christians existed prior to Eusebius, what corroborating literary attestations do we have from the pagan writers of the 1st-3rd centuries.

And what is the integrity of these references?
"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: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#10  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 17, 2017 6:15 am

RealityRules wrote:
2nd Century

2.4 118-119 Suetonius - Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Nero, 16.


    "During his reign many abuses were severely punished and put down, and no fewer new laws were made: a limit was set to expenditures; the public banquets were confined to a distribution of food; the sale of any kind of cooked viands in the taverns was forbidden, with the exception of pulse and vegetables, whereas before every sort of dainty was exposed for sale. Punishment was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men given to a new and mischievous superstition. He put an end to the diversions of the chariot drivers, who from immunity of long standing claimed the right of ranging at large and amusing themselves by cheating and robbing the people. The pantomimic actors and their partisans were banished from the city."

The following is a modification of the current wikipedia entry about that^ Nero Reference -

K.R. Bradley has argued that the verb in the clause "Punishment was inflicted on the Christians" (Latin: afflicti suppliciis christiani) should be corrected to "affecti", based first on the frequent use of this verb with the word for "punishment", and second on that Orosius, according to Bradley, uses this verb in material dependent on the Suetonius Nero 16 passage.[45] These words in combination indicate that the punishment was capital; cf. e.g. Suet. Augustus 17.5 (death of young Antony), Claudius 26.2 (death of Messalina) and Galba 12.1 (death of officials).

In Roman usage, the word superstitio refers to any excessive religious devotion, within or outside traditional Roman religious practice. It appears to Suetonius this particular excessive devotion was new and mischievous: Marius Heemstra thinks he was backdating the accusation to the time of Nero.[46]

The word translated as "mischievous" above is maleficus which can also mean "magical". As a noun the word means "magician". An accusation that Christians were using what would be called "black magic" aligns with what the pagan philosopher Celsus is said to have done about 177.[47]

Unlike the reference to the persecution of Christians by Nero in Annals 15.44, the passage in Nero 16 does not relate Nero's punishment/persecution of Christians to the Great Fire of Rome.

Some author argue that when Tertullian wrote: "We read the lives of the Cæsars: At Rome Nero was the first who stained with blood the rising faith" (Scorpiace 15) he is referring to the passage in Suetonius' Nero 16, but others hold that Tertullian is either referring to the Tacitus Annals passage or to both passages [50, 51, 52].
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
45 K. R. Bradley, "Suetonius, Nero 16.2: ‘afflicti suppliciis christian’", The Classical Review, 22, p.10.

46 Marius Heemstra, The Fiscus Judaicus and the Parting of the Ways (Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Company. 2010) ISBN 9783161503832, p.89.

47 Wilken, Robert Louis (2003). The Christians as the Romans Saw Them (2nd ed.). Yale University Press. p. 93. ISBN 978-0300098396.

50 Mary Ellen Snodgrass, Encyclopedia of the Literature of Empire, USA 2010, p. 270. Cf. Heinrich Hoppe, De sermone Tertullianeo quaestiones selectae, Marburgi Chattorum 1897, p. 26 f. "Tertullian kombinierte im Jahr 211/212, als er 'De scorpiace' schrieb, eine Nachricht aus der Nero-Vita Suetons mit den Apostelakten und zwei Bibelstellen", writes Otto Zwierlein, Petrus in Rom: Die literarischen Zeugnisse, 2nd ed., de Gruyter, Göttingen 2010, p. 119.

51 Waszink noted that "n scorp. 15 (178, 11/2) we read [i]vitas Caesarum legimus: orientem fidem Romae primus Nero cruentavit [i.e. "We read the lives of the Cæsars: At Rome Nero was the first who stained with blood the rising faith"] (again from Suet. Nero, ch. 16)"; see Jan Hendrik Waszink, "Quinti Septimi Florentis Tertulliani De Anima", Brill, Leiden 2010 (original: J. M. Meulenhoff, Amsterdam 1947), p. 479. Merrill wrote: "He [Tertullian] also had read (perhaps while resident in Rome) the Lives of Suetonius", with "Scorp 15 uitas Caesarum ... cruentauit (Suet. Nero 16, 2)" supplied in the footnote; see Elmer Truesdell Merrill, Essays in Early Christian History, Macmillan 1924, p. 121 with n. 2.

52 See Anthony R. Birley, Marius Maximus: The Consular Biographer, Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II 34, 3, 1997, p. 2752, with n. 230, and Simon Swain, Portraits: Biographical Representation in the Greek and Latin Literature of the Roman Empire (ed. M. Mark J. Edwards, Simon Swain), Oxford 1997, p. 24, n. 65. Both authors refer to Timothy D. Barnes, Tertullian: A Historical and Literary Study, Oxford 1971, for Tertullian having referred to Tacitus as "the Lives of the Caesars".
_____________________________________________

Claudius 25, also attributed to Suetonius, refers to the expulsion of Jews by Claudius and states (in Edwards' translation):

    "Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome."

Acts of the Apostles (18:2) makes a parallel commentary: -

    "And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, a man of Pontus by race, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome: and he came unto them"
_________________________________________

I think all these passages - Nero 16 and Claudius 25, as well as Annals 15 - could either be interpolations or reference to non- Jesus-following Christians.
____________________________________________



I also think these passages have very questionable historical integrity.

Here are my notes on the Suetonius reference ....



Timeline
Ancient Sources____________________________________
122 - Suetonius, "Lives of the Twelve Caesars", Nero, 16: ("Punishment was inflicted on the Christians")
122 - Suetonius, "Divus Claudius" 25: ("Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus")
192 - Tertullian, "Apology" 5:
324 - Eusebius of Caesarea, "Historia Ecclesiastica" 2.25
325 - Lactantius, "On the Manner in which the Persecutors Died"", Chapter 2
4th - Seneca to Paul, Letter 12: "Dear Paul, How goeth the church industry? Your good buddy, Seneca"
403 - Sulpicius Severus, "Chronicle" 2.29.1-4a: "phrases and even sentences from many classical authors are inwoven here and there"
417 - Paulus Orosius, "Historiae Adversus Paganos" 7.6.15-16


Middle Age Sources____________________________________

0820 - Earliest Suetonius manuscript (Paris, BnF lat 6115) from north-central Carolingian France
1590 - Inscription by the Senate and People of Paris attests to the sentence about Christians. (Boman, 2012)

Modern Sources____________________________________

2012 - "Chrestus or Christus"? ... B. Jobjorn Boman, Inpulsore Cherestro? Suetonius’ Divus Claudius 25.4 in Sources and Manuscripts, Liber Annuus 61
2015 - Robert A. Kaster, "The Transmission of Suetonius’s Caesars in the Middle Ages"


LINKS: http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/a ... tonius.htm

One very key and critical bit of data to digest about the Suetonius reference:

    The Transmission of Suetonius’s Caesars in the Middle Ages
    Robert A. Kaster; Transactions of the American Philological Association,
    Volume 144, Number 1, Spring 2014, pp. 133-186


    "That we know as much as we do about the first century of the principate is due in no small part to Suetonius’s Caesars (De vita Caesarum); that we know the Caesars at all is due entirely to the survival of one book that emerged in north-central France, late in the 8th century or very early in the 9th, to serve as the archetype of all the extant manuscripts.

This is more or less exactly where Corbie Abbey is located in space and time, the central location for the Pseudo-Isidore forgery mill

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudo-Is ... _Decretals





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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#11  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 17, 2017 6:22 am

RealityRules wrote:I wonder how relevant passages, such as these from Tertullian's Scorpiace, are in shaping persecution doctrine -
Chap 1
We have faith for a defence, if we are not smitten with distrust itself also, in immediately making the sign and adjuring, and besmearing the heel with the beast. Finally, we often aid in this way even the heathen, seeing we have been endowed by God with that power which the apostle first used when he despised the viper's bite. [Acts 28:3] What, then, does this pen of yours offer, if faith is safe by what it has of its own? That it may be safe by what it has of its own also at other times, when it is subjected to scorpions of its own. These, too, have a troublesome littleness, and are of different sorts, and are armed in one manner, and are stirred up at a definite time, and that not another than one of burning heat. This among Christians is a season of persecution. When, therefore, faith is greatly agitated, and the Church burning, as represented by the bush, [Exodus 3:2] then the Gnostics break out, then the Valentinians creep forth, then all the opponents of martyrdom bubble up, being themselves also hot to strike, penetrate, kill.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0318.htm

And now the present state of matters is such, that we are in the midst of an intense heat, the very dog-star of persecution —a state originating doubtless with the 'dog-headed one' himself. Of some Christians the fire, of others the sword, of others the beasts, have made trial; others are hungering in prison for the martyrdoms of which they have had a taste in the meantime by being subjected to clubs and claws besides. We ourselves, having been appointed for pursuit, are like hares being hemmed in from a distance; and heretics go about according to their wont. Therefore the state of the times has prompted me to prepare by my pen, in opposition to the little beasts which trouble our sect, our antidote against poison, that I may thereby effect cures. You who read will at the same time drink. Nor is the draught bitter. If the utterances of the Lord are sweeter than honey and the honeycombs, the juices are from that source. If the promise of God flows with milk and honey, Exodus 3:17 the ingredients which go to make that draught have the smack of this.

Chap 8
As says Esaias, See how the righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; and righteous men are taken away, and no one considers it: for from before the face of unrighteousness the righteous man perishes, and he shall have honour at his burial. Here, too, you have both an announcement of martyrdoms, and of the recompense they bring. From the beginning, indeed, righteousness suffers violence. Forthwith, as soon as God has begun to be worshipped, religion has got ill-will for her portion. He who had pleased God is slain, and that by his brother. Beginning with kindred blood, in order that it might the more easily go in quest of that of strangers, ungodliness made the object of its pursuit, finally, that not only of righteous persons, but even of prophets also. David is persecuted; Elias put to flight; Jeremias stoned; Esaias cut asunder; Zacharias butchered between the altar and the temple, imparting to the hard stones lasting marks of his blood. Matthew 14:3 That person himself, at the close of the law and the prophets, and called not a prophet, but a messenger, is, suffering an ignominious death, beheaded to reward a dancing-girl. And certainly they who were wont to be led by the Spirit of God used to be guided by Himself to martyrdoms; so that they had even already to endure what they had also proclaimed as requiring to be borne. Wherefore the brotherhood of the three also, when the dedication of the royal image was the occasion of the citizens being pressed to offer worship, knew well what faith, which alone in them had not been taken captive, required—namely, that they must resist idolatry to the death. Daniel 3:12

Chap 9
... "Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." The following statement, indeed, applies first to all without restriction, then specially to the apostles themselves: "Blessed shall you be when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, since very great is your reward in heaven; for so used their fathers to do even to the prophets. So that He likewise foretold their having to be themselves also slain, after the example of the prophets." Though, even if He had appointed all this persecution in case He were obeyed for those only who were then apostles, assuredly through them along with the entire sacrament, with the shoot of the name, with the layer of the Holy Spirit, the rule about enduring persecution also would have had respect to us too, as to disciples by inheritance, and, (as it were,) bushes from the apostolic seed.

Chap 10
... There will need to be carried on in heaven persecution even, which is the occasion of confession or denial. Why, then, do you refrain, O most presumptuous heretic, from transporting to the world above the whole series of means proper to the intimidation of Christians, and especially to put there the very hatred for the name, where Christ rules at the right hand of the Father? Will you plant there both synagogues of the Jews— fountains of persecution— before which the apostles endured the scourge, and heathen assemblages with their own circus, forsooth, where they readily join in the cry, Death to the third race?

Unerring reason has commanded us to set forth these things in even a playful manner; nor will any one thrust out the bar consisting in this objection (we have offered), so as not to be compelled to transfer the whole array of means proper to persecution, all the powerful instrumentality which has been provided for dealing with this matter, to the place where he has put the court before which confession should be made. Since confession is elicited by persecution, and persecution ended in confession, there cannot but be at the same time, in attendance upon these, the instrumentality which determines both the entrance and the exit, that is, the beginning and the end. But both hatred for the name will be here, persecution breaks out here, betrayal brings men forth here, examination uses force here, torture rages here, and confession or denial completes this whole course of procedure on the earth. Therefore, if the other things are here, confession also is not elsewhere; if confession is elsewhere, the other things also are not here.

Chap 11
In the same manner, therefore, we maintain that the other announcements too refer to the condition of martyrdom. He, says Jesus, who will value his own life also more than me, is not worthy of me, Luke 14:26 — that is, he who will rather live by denying, than die by confessing, me; and he who finds his life shall lose it; but he who loses it for my sake shall find it. Matthew 10:39 Therefore indeed he finds it, who, in winning life, denies; but he who thinks that he wins it by denying, will lose it in hell. On the other hand, he who, through confessing, is killed, will lose it for the present, but is also about to find it unto everlasting life ... How would Christ speak, but in accordance with the treatment to which the Christian would be subjected? But when He forbids thinking about what answer to make at a judgment-seat, Matthew 10:19 He is preparing His own servants for what awaited them, He gives the assurance that the Holy Spirit will answer by them; and when He wishes a brother to be visited in prison, Matthew 25:36 He is commanding that those about to confess be the object of solicitude; and He is soothing their sufferings when He asserts that God will avenge His own elect. Luke 18:7 In the parable also of the withering of the word Matthew 13:3 after the green blade had sprung up, He is drawing a picture with reference to the burning heat of persecutions.

.



I don't think that there is any compelling evidence for the Latin Church prior to Damasus and Jerome, and that Tertullian is likely to have been fabricated in a Roman scriptorium in the later 4th century.

Nevertheless, because Tertullian is supposedly a Christian witness to the historicity of the Christians, this list of pagan witnesses does not list him.

The motivation is to seek external corroboration of the 4th century claims of the Nicene Church that Christians existed prior to the rise of Constantine. I have listed these literary "corroborations" but I think that all of them have probably been fabricated by the church, between the 4th century and the 14th/15th.
"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: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#12  Postby RealityRules » Jun 17, 2017 8:31 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
RealityRules wrote:
Tacitus' Annals 15 is the basis for the spurious assertions that Nero persecuted Christians.

Arthur Drews argues against the genuineness of that Tacitus reference.

Yep -
RealityRules wrote:
Arthur Drews thought that Annals 15.4 reflects the 4th C. Chronicle of Sulpicius Severus]
"We are therefore strongly disposed to suspect that the passage (Annals, xv, 44) was transferred from Sulpicius to the text of Tacitus by the hand of a monastic copyist or forger, for the greater glory of God and in order to strengthen the truth of the Christian tradition by a pagan witness."
https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Witn ... /Section_2

Leucius Charinus wrote:
Timeline

Ancient Sources____________________________________

403 - Sulpicius Severus, "Chronicle" 2.29.1-4a:

    "phrases and even sentences from many classical authors are interwoven here and there"

Middle Age Sources____________________________________

1071 - Oldest manuscript (Annals 15:44) dated palaeographically:
    Second Medicean manuscript, Benedictine abbey, Monte Cassino, using the Beneventan script

1513 - Pope Leo X increases the price of rewards to persons who procured new MS. copies of ancient Greek & Roman works

1912 - Arthur Drews, "The Witnesses to the Historicity of Jesus" (summarising Hochart)

1913 - W.B. Smith's "Ecce Deus"
    (Smith questions only the genuineness of the passage in the Annals about "Christus" and "Christians")
1947 - Arnaldo Momigliano, "The First Political Commentary on Tacitus"

Links here: http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/a ... acitus.htm

We can certainly say that the passage has been suspected as being interpolated.
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#13  Postby RealityRules » Jun 17, 2017 10:46 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
RE: Papias and Ignatius et al

I view these as [purported] Christian references to the 'historicity' of Christians.

I am seeking the [purported] Non Christian references to the 'historicity' of Christians.

    Eusebius has produced a sort of "Nationalistic Literature" for the nation of Christians in his "Church History" and "In Preparation ...". Eusebius gathers together his material. However what this thread is asking for are the references to the existence of Christians in literature written by authors who are external to Eusebius' Nicene Church. If Christians existed prior to Eusebius, what corroborating literary attestations do we have from the pagan writers of the 1st-3rd centuries.
And what is the integrity of these references?

Sure, but they're worth commentating on b/c they're supposedly early witnesses, but, as you infer, their integrity is highly questionable, especially Ignatius.

Leucius Charinus wrote:
... Tertullian is likely to have been fabricated in a Roman scriptorium in the later 4th century.

Nevertheless, because Tertullian is supposedly a Christian witness to the historicity of the Christians, this list of pagan witnesses does not list him.

Sure, so he is not likely to be a real early 3rd C witness. Even if he is, his works -as I show above- seem to align with the Rome/Nero fire -persecution schtick of Annals 14 and Nero 16 attributed to Suetonius.

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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#14  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 17, 2017 12:49 pm

RealityRules wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
RE: Papias and Ignatius et al

I view these as [purported] Christian references to the 'historicity' of Christians.

I am seeking the [purported] Non Christian references to the 'historicity' of Christians.

    Eusebius has produced a sort of "Nationalistic Literature" for the nation of Early Christians in his "Church History" and "In Preparation ...". Eusebius gathers together his material. However what this thread is asking for are the references to the existence of Christians in literature written by authors who are external to Eusebius' Nicene Church. If Christians existed prior to Eusebius, what corroborating literary attestations do we have from the pagan writers of the 1st-3rd centuries.
And what is the integrity of these references?


Sure, but they're worth commentating on b/c they're supposedly early witnesses, but, as you infer, their integrity is highly questionable, especially Ignatius.


For sure. Suspect to the nth degree.

But my approach here is systematic. By category. Let's first examine in this thread the literary references external to the testimony of the holy flaming church fathers. Those literary references which are in some cases still held to HOLD HISTORICAL INTEGRITY by many or some classical scholars and which support the inference that the nation of Early Christians were actually known to the great mass of unwashed pagans. When we examine this list of references were can immediate perceive that these pagan references include many completely fake bogus forgeries that have been identified as forgeries since the age of enlightenment, such as the TF and the Sybil.

We should begin to perceive evident a specific pattern of factual evidence. Namely that the church organisation slash industry, somewhere in a scriptorium back-office, have forged the literary material, or interpolated the material, in order to fabricate the very historical inferences that they wish to maintain. Here, this historical inference is the very existence of some ideological and/or religious nation of "Early Christians", in the centuries prior to Eusebius and Constantine publishing the New Testament + LXX Bible.

If the church has been able to forge and/or interpolate into the classical (non-church generated) literature of antiquity, what might they have done with their own category of literature



Leucius Charinus wrote:
... Tertullian is likely to have been fabricated in a Roman scriptorium in the later 4th century.

Nevertheless, because Tertullian is supposedly a Christian witness to the historicity of the Christians, this list of pagan witnesses does not list him.



Sure, so he is not likely to be a real early 3rd C witness. Even if he is, his works -as I show above- seem to align with the Rome/Nero fire -persecution schtick of Annals 14 and Nero 16 attributed to Suetonius.

.



YES, AND

with the idea of the apostolic succession of the pope (Damasus was very interested in this) in Rome.
with the idea of the trinity as expressed in Latin ha ha
with the idea of the heretics

Tertullian is a valuable source for the Latin Church and thus the Church.

The best way I know of to expose the forgeries of the church history, is to first examine the forgeries that the church has undertaken in the classical literature. Stuff which was SUPPOSEDLY out of their control.

This thread aims to identify these passages.
"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: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#15  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 17, 2017 8:15 pm

Tracer Tong wrote:OK. But I asked about the ones which you've analysed, or "made a study of", in your terms. Or have you analysed all of them ....


All of them.

.... (the Meditations reference excepted)?


(The Meditations reference is perceived as an interpolation by the translators I have cited).

It's dead as far as I am concerned.
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#16  Postby Tracer Tong » Jun 17, 2017 8:51 pm

Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:OK. But I asked about the ones which you've analysed, or "made a study of", in your terms. Or have you analysed all of them ....


All of them.


Cool. So let's look at the references in Lucian, since he's most fun. Why do you say they're spurious?

Leucius Charinus wrote:(The Meditations reference is perceived as an interpolation by the translators I have cited).

It's dead as far as I am concerned.


It may be as far as you're concerned, but we've seen that the reason this is so is not because you've analysed the reference in Meditations, but because certain scholars reject it and, in your view, all other references to Christians in classical literature are spurious. So, on the latter, tell me about Lucian!
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#17  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 17, 2017 11:21 pm

Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:OK. But I asked about the ones which you've analysed, or "made a study of", in your terms. Or have you analysed all of them ....


All of them.


Cool. So let's look at the references in Lucian, since he's most fun. Why do you say they're spurious?


Here's the Loeb translator's introduction ...

    LUCIAN of SAMOSATA
    Introduction by A.M. Harmon, 1913,
    Published in Loeb Classical Library,
    9 volumes, Greek texts and facing English
    translation: Harvard University Press.

    Among the eighty-two pieces that have come down to us under the name of Lucian, there are not a few of which his authorship has been disputed. Certainly spurious are Halcyon, Nero, Philopatris, and Astrology; and to these, it seems to me, the Consonants at Law should be added. Furthermore. Deinostitenes, Gharidemus, Cynic, Love, Octogenarians, Hippias, Ungrammatical Man, Swiftfoot, amid the epigrams are generally considered spurious, and there are several others (Disowned and My Country in particular) which, to say the least, are of doubtful authenticity.

    There are a hundred and fifty manuscripts of Lucian, more or less, which give us a tradition that is none too good. There is no satisfactory critical edition of Lucian except Nilén’s, which is now in progress. His text has been followed, as far as it was available, through the True Story. Beyond this point it has been necessary to make a new text for this edition. In order that text and translation may as far as possible correspond, conjectures have been admitted with considerable freedom: for the fact that a good many of them bear the initials of the translator he need not apologize if they are good; if they are not no apology will avail him. He is deeply indebted to Professor Edward Capps for reviewing his translation in the proof.

It is therefore quite evident that a great many works were passed off under the name of Lucian.

One of the more well known Lucian forgeries is The Philopatris

    Passed under his name. This dialogue, unlike what Lucian had written in the Peregrine and The Liar, is a deliberate attack on Christianity. It is clear to us now that it was written two hundred years after his time, under Julian the Apostate; but there can be no more doubt of its being an imitation of Lucian than of its not being his; it consequently passed for his, the story gained currency that he was an apostate himself, and his name was anathema for the church.


Consequently there is a reasonable doubt that any specific work actually attributed to Lucian is not one of the spurious works that appeared during the 4th century under his name. As far as I am concerned, for the purpose of the exercise outlined in the OP, all I need to do is to establish a reasonable doubt.
"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: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#18  Postby Tracer Tong » Jun 18, 2017 1:23 am

So you're not suggesting that the particular passages are spurious, but the entire works are? If so, what's the evidence they are? And why these, but not others (the ones that don't mention Christians)?

Also, you mentioned that you'd "made a study" of these references, and now, apparently, the works in which they occur in general. What literature did you read in the course of that study (beyond the 104 year old introduction to the Loeb translation)?
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Re: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#19  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 18, 2017 3:16 am

The Loeb translation mentions by name 16 known spurious works (forgeries) out of a total of 82 manuscripts for Lucian. Given all these known forgeries under the name of Lucian, what form of guarantee can anyone make about the historical integrity of any specific work in this collection? As far as I am concerned - given these known forgeries - there can be no doubt that the church has corrupted this literary source for their own ends. The question to be answered is whether the Christian references in two of these works (Life of Peregrine, Alexander the Prophet .... The Philopatris is certainly a forgery) is genuinely from the hand of Lucian, or whether they have been "added" by later Christian scribes. Both answers are viable. But perhaps you have some further data?

I doubt whether the estimated number of manuscripts that were forged (by the church) in the name of Lucian has decreased since the Loeb translation.

Or that you have perhaps a greater faith in the integrity of the church preserved manuscripts than I do?

And in their "immaculate transmission" by the [utterly corrupt] church from antiquity

Chief manuscripts are :--
g group--

Vaticanus 90 (G), 9/10th century.
Harleianus 5694 (E), 9/10th century.
Laurentianus C. S. 77 (F), 10th century.
Marcianus 434 (W), 10/11th century.
Mutinensis 193 (S), 10th century.
Laurentianus 57, 51(L), 11th century (?).

ß group--

Vindobonensis 123 (B), 11th century (?).
Vaticanus 1324 (U), 11/12th century.
Vaticanus 76 (P).
Vaticanus 1323 (Z).
Parisinus 2957 (N).
Last edited by Leucius Charinus on Jun 18, 2017 9:14 am, edited 3 times in total.
"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: Pagan witnesses to the historicity of "Christians"

#20  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 18, 2017 4:04 am

Status of CHURCH FORGERIES relating to ......

Pagan Witnesses to the Historicity of Christians



1st Century BCE
0.0 BCE Erythraean Sibyl https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythraean_Sibyl [FORGERY]
0.1 106-043 Cicero translates Sibyl’s acrostic predicting Jesus to Latin [FORGERY]
0.2 040 BCE Virgil: advent of Christ predicted [FORGERY]


1st Century
1.1 030-033 King Agbar of Edessa - the letter to Jesus [FORGERY]
1.2 093-094 Josephus Flavius - TF, Antiquity of the Jews [INTERPOLATION]
1.3 050-065 Seneca - the wonderful correspondence with "Dear Paul" [FORGERY]
1.4 054-305 Nero to Diocletian: Persecution of Christians [SUSPECTED MYTH] http://www.rationalskepticism.org/chris ... 49785.html


2nd Century
2.1 101-112 Pliny the Younger - Plinius, Ep 10:97; letter to Emperor Trajan [SUSPECTED FORGERY]
2.2 101-112 Emperor Trajan - Dear Pliny (a rescript) [SUSPECTED FORGERY]
2.3 115-116 Tacitus - Annals 15:44 [SUSPECTED FORGERY]
2.4 118-119 Suetonius - Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Nero, 16. [Earliest Archetype from PSEUDO-ISIDORE at Corbie Abbey?]
2.5 125-135 Epictetus (via Arrian) - the Galilaeans [Epictetus refers to the lawless tribes of Judea, not the Christians]
2.6 170-180 Marcus Aurelius - The "christian" reference at Meditations 11:3 [INTERPOLATION]
2.6 170-180 Lucian of Samosata - Life of Peregrine, Alexander the Prophet, Philopatris [The Church forges at least 15 other works]
2.8 177-177 Celsus: known only via Origen as preserved by Eusebius [Hmmmm...]
2.9 180-200 Galen

3rd Century
3.0 Early 3rd Mishnah ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mishnah (Christian references?)
3.1 230-235 Cassius Dio
3.2 220-240 Julius Africanus Thallus mentions Christians? [NO?]
3.3 240-270 Mani - Various writings (dated from the end of the 4th century)
3.4 260-270 Plotinus
3.5 280-300 Porphyry - Platonist academic preserved writings of Plotinus.
"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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