Historical Jesus

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

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Re: Historical Jesus

#43021  Postby proudfootz » May 22, 2020 9:35 am

RealityRules wrote:
proudfootz wrote:
... the most likely explanation for the blatantly obvious commercial advertisement inserted into Josephus in the form of the Testimonium Flavianum is the work of christian hoaxers ...


Paul Hopper (2014) “A Narrative Anomaly in Josephus: Jewish Antiquities xviii:63,” in Monika Fludernik and Daniel Jacob, eds., Linguistics and Literary Studies: Interfaces, Encounters, Transfers (de Gruyter), pp. 147-169.

    "The present article^ offers a narratological analysis of the passage, comparing the styles of even reporting in the passage with the three other episodes in Josephus's Pontius Pilate sequence. The study concludes that the uses of the Greek verb forms, such asaorists and participles, are distinct in the 'Jesus passage' from those in the other Pilate episodes, and that these differences amount to a difference in genre. It is suggested that the Jesus passage is close in style and content to the creeds that were composed two to three centuries after Josephus."

Previously, -

G.J. Goldberg (1995) The Coincidences of the Emmaus Narrative of Luke and the Testimonium of Josephus The Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 13, pp. 59-77.

& Ken Olsen's 2013 chapter-article arguing for Eusebius to have 'influenced' the TF -



The apparently insatiable need for christian authors to constantly rewrite, redact, forge, and otherwise hoax their readers regarding their own history provokes even the most neutral observers to dismiss the whole enterprise as as useful only as a study in pathology.
"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't." - Mark Twain
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43022  Postby Thomas Eshuis » May 22, 2020 10:20 am

RealityRules wrote:All off-topic ^^^ Post on-topic for this thread or Go Away.

This is not your personal blog. I'll post when and how I like.
It's most definitely on topic when scholars are constantly brought up as an appeal to authority vis a vis the question of the historicity of Jesus.
You're free to ignore my posts, you don't get to dictate to me however.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43023  Postby RealityRules » May 22, 2020 2:39 pm

.
Romans 1:1-6 -

"Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the εὐαγγέλιον [gospel]...which 'He' promised beforehand through 'His' prophets in the holy Scriptures,1 the εὐαγγέλιον/gospel concerning His Son, who was 'descended from David 'according to the flesh'' —γενομένου2 ἐκ σπέρματος Δαυὶδ κατὰ σάρκα— and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of His name, including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ."

1 in the holy Scriptures -

    1 Kings 2:33b -
    "... to David, and His seed, and His house, and His throne, may there be peace for ever"

    2 Samuel 22:51
    "He magnifies the salvation of his king, and works mercy for His anointed, even for David and for his seed for ever"

    [and to these we can add other passages with figurative uses of 'seed': 1 Samuel 24:22, 2 Samuel 7:12, & 1 Chronicles 17:11]
2 γενομένου is a form of γίνομαι, a verb with a wide range of meanings, including 'to become'; 'to come into being', or perhaps 'to happen'. cf. the word for engendering or begetting (and sometimes birth) - γεννάω, gennaō - which isn't used.


Also cf. Romans 9:3-9 (NRSV) -

    3 "For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people [my brothers], my kindred 'according to the flesh'. 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; 5 to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, 'according to the flesh', comes the Messiah [the Christ] who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

    6 "It is not as though the word of God had failed. For not all Israelites truly belong to Israel, 7 and not all of Abraham’s children are his true descendants; but “It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you.”

    8 "This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of 'the promise'3 are counted as descendants."

    9 For this is what the promise said, “About this time I will return and Sarah shall have a son [Genesis 18:10,14].”

    ------------------------

    3 Galatians 3:29 - "If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to 'the promise' "

      Gal 3:29 in context, Gal 3:25-29, -

      25 "Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. 26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to 'the promise'."
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43024  Postby Thomas Eshuis » May 22, 2020 3:08 pm

What, exactly, is the point you're trying to make?
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43025  Postby proudfootz » May 22, 2020 9:54 pm

I do find it illuminating that several of the 'clinching' proof-texts cited as undeniable evidence that these writers are undeniably speaking of a real historical person are ambiguous at best, full of symbolic 'seeds', metaphorical 'women', and fictive kinships among 'brothers and sisters'.
"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't." - Mark Twain
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43026  Postby RealityRules » May 23, 2020 11:48 am

.
A. There are a number of passages in the Pauline epistles and Acts of the Apostles that address circumcision in relation to Jews and Gentiles, and in relation to budding Christianity (in a variety of ways), -

Galatians 2

    2 ... I laid before them ('the acknowledged leaders', in a private meeting) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure that I was not running, or had not run, in vain. 3 But even Titus, who was with me, was not compelled to be circumcised, though he was a Greek.

    (vv. 4-7 get a bit weird: some scholars think there are versions in early manuscripts that overtly or covertly indicate Titus was castrated, as indicated by Marius Victorinus (fl. 4th C.) -

      (4 But because of false brothers/believers secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might enslave us— 5 we did not submit to them even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might always remain with you. 6 And from those who were supposed to be acknowledged leaders (what they actually were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those leaders contributed nothing to me.)
    7 On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with 'the gospel for the uncircumcised', just as Peter had been entrusted with 'the gospel for the circumcised' 8 (for He who worked through Peter making him an apostle to the circumcised also worked through me in sending me to the Gentiles), 9 and when James and Cephas and John, who were acknowledged pillars, recognized 'the grace that had been given to me', they gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, agreeing that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.

Romans 2:25-29 (NRSV)

    25 Circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law; but if you break the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 So, if those who are uncircumcised keep the requirements of the law, will not their uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 27 Then those who are physically uncircumcised but keep the law will condemn you that have the written code and circumcision but break the law. 28 For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is true circumcision something external and physical. 29 Rather, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart—it is spiritual and not literal. Such a person receives praise not from others but from God.

Romans 3:1-2 (NRSV)

    3 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? 2 Much, in every way. For in the first place they [the Jews] were entrusted with the oracles of God.

1 Corinthians 7:18 (NRSV)

    18 Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision.

Philippians 3:2-3, 5 (NRSV)

    2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of those who mutilate the flesh! 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, who worship in the Spirit [of God] and boast in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in 'the flesh'— 4 even though I, too, have reason for confidence in the flesh.

    If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee;

Acts 11 (NRSV)

    1 Now the apostles and the brothers/believers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. 2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised [+/-believers] criticized him, 3 saying, “Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?” 4 Then Peter began to 'explain' it to them [by going off on a tangent, vv. 5-11]

Acts 15 (NRSV)

    15 Then certain individuals came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to discuss this question with the apostles and the elders. 3 So they were sent on their way by the church, and as they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, they reported the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the believers. 4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. 5 But some believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and said, “It is necessary for them to be circumcised and ordered to keep the law of Moses.”

    24 Since we have heard that certain persons who have gone out from us, though with no instructions from us, have said things to disturb you and have unsettled your minds [some authorities added, ‘You must be circumcised and keep the law’]

Acts 16

    3 Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and had him circumcised because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 As they went from town to town, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily.

B. A few scholars, such as Markus Vinzent, Robert M Price, and Hermann Detering (+/- others), argue that some or most of the Pauline epistles were edited, redacted or even written in the 2nd century either in or outside the Marcionite community/ies, eg. Vinzent proposes -

    early Pauline letters were significantly revised several times in the second century when new epistles attributed to Paul were added to the older letters: first with the letter from Paul to the Ephesians and the letter to the Colossians; then again with the so-called pastoral letters (1 and 2 Timothy, & the Letter to Titus); and finally again when the Pauline letter collection, along with Acts of the Apostles, became part of the later canonical New Testament.

There were some decrees in the early to mid 2nd century that could explain the focus on circumcision in the Pauline epistles and Acts (as outlined in (A) above), especially if they were edited, redacted, or partly written in the 2nd century. Moreover, such redactions or editing, or even 2nd century composition, could explain some of the apparent contradictions towards circumcision in the texts --

-C. Circumcision has always been an important custom to Jews. A decree by King Antiochus IV of Syria, the occupying power of Judea in 170 BCE, as part of a campaign to Hellenise the Jews, condemning to death every Hebrew who allowed a son to be circumcised, was one of the grievances leading to the Maccabean Revolt.

Hadrian's late biographer, Aelius Spartianus, as well as modern scholars, have argued convincingly that, around 132 C.E., Hadrian issued a universal decree [p. 390] outlawing circumcision, under penalty of death.60
    60 Scriptores historiae Augustae: Hadrian 14.2, in The Scriptores Historiae Augustae, trans. David Magie, 3 vols. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1979), 1:42–45; Alfredo Mordechai Rabello, 'The Ban on Circumcision as a Cause of Bar Kokhba's Rebellion', Israel Law Rev., 1995, 29: 176–214.

The Digest of Justinian (a legal compilation collected by learned jurists at the behest of Justinian in 533) documents that, around 140, [p. 391] Emperor Antoninus Pius at least modified the ruling of Hadrian to allow only the Hebrews to circumcise their children, while upholding the legal protections from circumcision for all other peoples:

    Jews are permitted to circumcise only their sons on the authority of a rescript of the Divine Pius; if anyone shall commit it on one who is not of the same religion, he shall suffer the punishment of a castrator.64
While Pius limited the exemption to Hebrews, papyrological documents in Greek, dating from 155 to 189 C.E., indicate that complex bureaucratic mechanisms were provisionally established to grant individual exemptions to this edict for certain members of the Egyptian priestly caste.65 Few such exemptions, however, appear to have been granted. The widespread approval for the abolition of circumcision was limited by neither space nor time, for by the end of the third century, Pius's interdiction against circumcision was enhanced by the enactment of an additional legal prohibition:

    Roman citizens, who suffer that they themselves or their slaves be circumcised in accordance with the Jewish custom, are exiled perpetually to an island and their property confiscated; the doctors suffer capital punishment. If Jews shall circumcise purchased slaves of another nation, they shall be banished or suffer capital punishment.66
The incorporation into the Digest of Pius's more recent revisions of the law banning circumcision would explain why the sixth-century compilers of the Digest did not include the obsolete original decree of Hadrian. ...


... fortuitously preserved in a unique Syriac text, The Book of the Laws of Countries, a dialogue concerning Bardaisan of Edessa (154–223 C.E.), written down by his pupil Philippus. Bardaisan states:

    Recently the Romans have conquered Arabia and done away with all the laws there used to be, particularly circumcision, which was a custom they used. For a man of his sovereign free-will submits himself to the law laid upon him by another, who also possesses sovereign free-will. But I shall tell you another [p 404] thing too, more convincing than all the rest to fools and unbelievers: all the Jews that have received the law of Moses, circumcise their male children on the eighth day, without waiting for the coming of stars and without regard for the local law.108
Evidently, even by the beginning of the third century, the news that the Roman authorities had 'exempted' Hebrews from 'the abolition' had not yet reached this corner of the world.


Frederick M. Hodges (2001) 'The Ideal Prepuce in Ancient Greece and Rome: Male Genital Aesthetics and Their Relation to Lipodermos, Circumcision, Foreskin Restoration, and the Kynodesme', The Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Vol. 75 [Fall]: pp. 375–405, http://www.cirp.org/library/history/hodges2/


64 Digesta 48:8:11 (Mommsen, Krueger, Watson [n. 61], 4: 853); translation from Amnon Linder, ed., The Jews in Roman Imperial Legislation (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1987), p. 100.

65 Ulrich Wilcken, 'Zur Geschichte der Beschneidung. I. Die ägyptischen Beschneid-ungsurkunden', Archiv für Papyrusforschung, 1902, 2: 4–13; Paul Foucart, 'Rescrit d'Antonin relatif à la circoncision et son application en Égypte', Journal des Savants, 1911, 9: 5–14.

66 Paulus, Sententiae 5:22:3–4, in Linder, Jews in Roman Imperial Legislation (n. 64), pp. 117–20.

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Re: Historical Jesus

#43027  Postby Thomas Eshuis » May 23, 2020 12:56 pm

RealityRules wrote:.
A. There are a number of passages in the Pauline epistles and Acts of the Apostles that address circumcision in relation to Jews and Gentiles, and in relation to budding Christianity (in a variety of ways), -

What's that got to do with the question of the existence of a historical Jesus?
Whether or not Jesus/Early Christianity opposed circumcision doesn't really prove or disprove the existence of a historical Jesus.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43028  Postby proudfootz » May 23, 2020 1:38 pm

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
RealityRules wrote:.
A. There are a number of passages in the Pauline epistles and Acts of the Apostles that address circumcision in relation to Jews and Gentiles, and in relation to budding Christianity (in a variety of ways), -

What's that got to do with the question of the existence of a historical Jesus?
Whether or not Jesus/Early Christianity opposed circumcision doesn't really prove or disprove the existence of a historical Jesus.


Had there been an historical Jesus it would seem possible, and very likely, his example would be a very good trump card to play against those who wanted to do away with all the things Jesus (as a presumably observant Jew) did - being circumcised, keeping kosher, etc.

This has been pointed out years ago in this thread - that the literature ascribed to Paul never seems to reflect any knowledge of an obscure Jewish preacher recently deceased.
"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't." - Mark Twain
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43029  Postby Thomas Eshuis » May 23, 2020 2:33 pm

proudfootz wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
RealityRules wrote:.
A. There are a number of passages in the Pauline epistles and Acts of the Apostles that address circumcision in relation to Jews and Gentiles, and in relation to budding Christianity (in a variety of ways), -

What's that got to do with the question of the existence of a historical Jesus?
Whether or not Jesus/Early Christianity opposed circumcision doesn't really prove or disprove the existence of a historical Jesus.


Had there been an historical Jesus it would seem possible, and very likely, his example would be a very good trump card to play against those who wanted to do away with all the things Jesus (as a presumably observant Jew) did - being circumcised, keeping kosher, etc.

This has been pointed out years ago in this thread - that the literature ascribed to Paul never seems to reflect any knowledge of an obscure Jewish preacher recently deceased.

But we don't know whether the/a historical Jesus was an observant Jew or to what extent. It could very well be that he was an observant Jew on most things, but, if he was a revolutionary rabbi, did object to one or two specific traditions, such a circumcision.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43030  Postby proudfootz » May 23, 2020 2:47 pm

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
proudfootz wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
RealityRules wrote:.
A. There are a number of passages in the Pauline epistles and Acts of the Apostles that address circumcision in relation to Jews and Gentiles, and in relation to budding Christianity (in a variety of ways), -

What's that got to do with the question of the existence of a historical Jesus?
Whether or not Jesus/Early Christianity opposed circumcision doesn't really prove or disprove the existence of a historical Jesus.


Had there been an historical Jesus it would seem possible, and very likely, his example would be a very good trump card to play against those who wanted to do away with all the things Jesus (as a presumably observant Jew) did - being circumcised, keeping kosher, etc.

This has been pointed out years ago in this thread - that the literature ascribed to Paul never seems to reflect any knowledge of an obscure Jewish preacher recently deceased.

But we don't know whether the/a historical Jesus was an observant Jew or to what extent. It could very well be that he was an observant Jew on most things, but, if he was a revolutionary rabbi, did object to one or two specific traditions, such a circumcision.


Anything is possible.

On the other hand if this Jesus had objections to the tradition of circumcision that would be a trump card for the other side to play.
"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't." - Mark Twain
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43031  Postby RealityRules » May 24, 2020 1:26 pm

Two Three more -

Galatians 5 (NRSV)

    2 Listen! I, Paul, am telling you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 Once again I testify to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obliged to obey the entire law. 4 You who want to be justified by the law have 'cut yourselves off'* from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working [made effective] through love.

    * ah, punny

Colossians 2 (NRSV)

    8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe,and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision [+/- made without hands], by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ; 12 when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He [God] made [you/ us] alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, 14 erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He divested himself of [disarmed] the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.

Titus 1

    10 There are also many rebellious people, idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision; 11 they must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for sordid gain what it is not right to teach.
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Re: Historical Jesus [strict moderation]

#43032  Postby proudfootz » May 25, 2020 12:43 am

RealityRules wrote:
Byron wrote:I linked my 2011 summary of the methodologies of several leading biblical scholars a few pages back.
Byron wrote:Some HJ methods in summary:-

  • EP Sanders: build our understanding on events in Jesus' life that can be established beyond reasonable doubt. Actions are as important as sayings.
  • Dale Allison: the sayings of Jesus are out of our reach; therefore, we should focus on recurrent themes in Jesus teaching that can be reasonably identified as authentic.
  • John Crossan: identify authentic strata of evidence in the Jesus tradition.
  • Maurice Casey: a return to examining sayings by seeing how the Greek scans when translated (back?) into Aramaic.


The authors explain their method, apply it to the evidence, and present their conclusions. This is how historiography usually works. If there's a flaw, it needs to be identified and explained, or the objections are baseless.
I'm sure we've debated every aspect of it, several on multiple passes. What's left to be said?

Give the likely repeated manipulation of "the data" via redaction, over many subsequent generations, how can one

* establish & understand events in Jesus' life beyond reasonable doubt?? especially if
    * "the sayings of Jesus are out of our reach" ??
* how can we "identify as authentic" "recurrent themes in Jesus teaching" ??

* what are the "authentic strata of evidence in the Jesus tradition"?

what was the result of "examining sayings by seeing how the Greek scans when translated (back?) into Aramaic"??

Byron wrote:Thomas Eshuis, by contrast, has offered something new: a claim that several Dutch historians doubt details of Jesus' biography considered well-established by the academy. Hopefully he'll elaborate soon.

what is this "academy"?


Just recalling this summary of the methodology employed by respected members of the academy to achieve their consensus.

Mind you, the summary was posted as a defense of these methods.

Comedy gold! :lol:
"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't." - Mark Twain
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43033  Postby RealityRules » May 25, 2020 4:16 am

.
Jesus was circumcised according to Luke 2:21 -

    After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus1, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

      1 per Luke 1:31 -

        30 The angel Gabriel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

All male infants underwent circumcision as a sign of God’s Covenant with the holy Forefather Abraham and his descendants, as per Genesis 17:10-14 and Leviticus 12:3.

    Genesis 17:10-12a,13b

    God said to Abraham, “This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your descendants after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. He that is eight days old among you shall be circumcised; every male throughout your generations … So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant”.

    Leviticus 12
      1 The Lord said to Moses,
        2 “Say to the Israelites: ‘...
          3 On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised ...'
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43034  Postby RealityRules » May 25, 2020 4:17 am

.
OT Passages that would have helped motivate a new covenant away from circumcision -

Jeremiah 31:31-34 (NRSV)

    31 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.

    32 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband master, says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

Hebrews 8:6ff -

    6 But He [Jesus] has now obtained a more excellent ministry, and to that degree he is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted through better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need to look for a second one.

    8 He [God] finds fault with them when he says:

      “The days are surely coming, says the Lord,
      when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
      and with the house of Judah;
      9 not like the covenant that I made with their ancestors,
      on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt;
      for they did not continue in my covenant,
      and so I had no concern for them, says the Lord.
      10 This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
      after those days, says the Lord:
      I will put my laws in their minds,
      and write them on their hearts,
      and I will be their God,
      and they shall be my people.
      11 And they shall not teach one another
      or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord,’
      for they shall all know me,
      from the least of them to the greatest.
      12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
      and I will remember their sins no more.”
    13 In speaking of “a new covenant,” he has made the first one obsolete. And what is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear.

Hebrews 9:15

    ... he is the mediator of a new covenant*, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant/will.

    * Jeremiah 31:31
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43035  Postby RealityRules » May 25, 2020 4:26 am

RealityRules wrote:
... around 132 C.E., Hadrian issued a universal decree [p. 390] outlawing circumcision, under penalty of death.60

The Digest of Justinian (a legal compilation collected by learned jurists at the behest of Justinian in 533) documents that, around 140, Emperor Antoninus Pius at least modified the ruling of Hadrian to allow only the Hebrews to circumcise their children, while upholding the legal protections from circumcision for all other peoples:

    Jews are permitted to circumcise only their sons on the authority of a rescript of the Divine Pius; if anyone shall commit it on one who is not of the same religion, he shall suffer the punishment of a castrator.64
...The widespread approval for the abolition of circumcision was limited by neither space nor time, for by the end of the third century, Pius's interdiction against circumcision was enhanced by the enactment of an additional legal prohibition:

    Roman citizens, who suffer that they themselves or their slaves be circumcised in accordance with the Jewish custom, are exiled perpetually to an island and their property confiscated; the doctors suffer capital punishment. If Jews shall circumcise purchased slaves of another nation, they shall be banished or suffer capital punishment.66

The incorporation into the Digest of Pius's more recent revisions of the law banning circumcision would explain why the sixth-century compilers of the Digest did not include the obsolete original decree of Hadrian. ...


Frederick M. Hodges (2001) 'The Ideal Prepuce in Ancient Greece and Rome: Male Genital Aesthetics and Their Relation to Lipodermos, Circumcision, Foreskin Restoration, and the Kynodesme', The Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Vol. 75 [Fall]: pp. 375–405, http://www.cirp.org/library/history/hodges2/

60 Scriptores historiae Augustae: Hadrian 14.2, in The Scriptores Historiae Augustae, trans. David Magie, 3 vols. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1979), 1:42–45; ...Alfredo Mordechai Rabello, 'The Ban on Circumcision as a Cause of Bar Kokhba's Rebellion', Israel Law Rev., 1995, 29: 176–214.

64 Digesta 48:8:11 (Mommsen, Krueger, Watson [n. 61], 4: 853); translation from Amnon Linder, ed., The Jews in Roman Imperial Legislation (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1987), p. 100.

65 Ulrich Wilcken, 'Zur Geschichte der Beschneidung. I. Die ägyptischen Beschneid-ungsurkunden', Archiv für Papyrusforschung, 1902, 2: 4–13; Paul Foucart, 'Rescrit d'Antonin relatif à la circoncision et son application en Égypte', Journal des Savants, 1911, 9: 5–14.

66 Paulus, Sententiae 5:22:3–4, in Linder, Jews in Roman Imperial Legislation (n. 64), pp. 117–20.


^^ Why there would have been a shift away from circumcision ... and reasons why a move away from circumcision being written into the Pauline epistles would have been justified.

Paul's position on circumcision became more hostile to the practice and to the practitioners as time passed. In the Acts of the Apostles he was had Timothy circumcised. In 1 Corinthians he took an even-handed approach, counselling against both circumcision and uncircumcising. In Romans he stressed the similarity and equality between Jew and Gentile regardless of circumcision. In Galatians he had a particular problem with circumcision advocates, accusing them of undermining the Gospel and acting from sexual motives, glorying in men's flesh. He wishes that those who upset the church by promoting circumcision would castrate themselves. In Titus 1, he accused circumcisers of operating for sordid gain, sowing dissension in families and churches. Most startling of all, Paul called circumcisers 'dogs', 'sexual deviates', and 'mutilators of the flesh.mutilators in Phil 3:2.

Gal. 5:2-4 , in which Paul says that those who cut off their foreskins cut themselves off from Christ and that they have fallen away from grace. It was a powerful inversion of the original command to circumcise, as recorded in Genesis (which says 'Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant' (Genesis 17:14)).
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43036  Postby Thomas Eshuis » May 25, 2020 8:52 am

RealityRules wrote:
RealityRules wrote:
... around 132 C.E., Hadrian issued a universal decree [p. 390] outlawing circumcision, under penalty of death.60

The Digest of Justinian (a legal compilation collected by learned jurists at the behest of Justinian in 533) documents that, around 140, Emperor Antoninus Pius at least modified the ruling of Hadrian to allow only the Hebrews to circumcise their children, while upholding the legal protections from circumcision for all other peoples:

    Jews are permitted to circumcise only their sons on the authority of a rescript of the Divine Pius; if anyone shall commit it on one who is not of the same religion, he shall suffer the punishment of a castrator.64
...The widespread approval for the abolition of circumcision was limited by neither space nor time, for by the end of the third century, Pius's interdiction against circumcision was enhanced by the enactment of an additional legal prohibition:

    Roman citizens, who suffer that they themselves or their slaves be circumcised in accordance with the Jewish custom, are exiled perpetually to an island and their property confiscated; the doctors suffer capital punishment. If Jews shall circumcise purchased slaves of another nation, they shall be banished or suffer capital punishment.66

The incorporation into the Digest of Pius's more recent revisions of the law banning circumcision would explain why the sixth-century compilers of the Digest did not include the obsolete original decree of Hadrian. ...


Frederick M. Hodges (2001) 'The Ideal Prepuce in Ancient Greece and Rome: Male Genital Aesthetics and Their Relation to Lipodermos, Circumcision, Foreskin Restoration, and the Kynodesme', The Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Vol. 75 [Fall]: pp. 375–405, http://www.cirp.org/library/history/hodges2/

60 Scriptores historiae Augustae: Hadrian 14.2, in The Scriptores Historiae Augustae, trans. David Magie, 3 vols. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1979), 1:42–45; ...Alfredo Mordechai Rabello, 'The Ban on Circumcision as a Cause of Bar Kokhba's Rebellion', Israel Law Rev., 1995, 29: 176–214.

64 Digesta 48:8:11 (Mommsen, Krueger, Watson [n. 61], 4: 853); translation from Amnon Linder, ed., The Jews in Roman Imperial Legislation (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1987), p. 100.

65 Ulrich Wilcken, 'Zur Geschichte der Beschneidung. I. Die ägyptischen Beschneid-ungsurkunden', Archiv für Papyrusforschung, 1902, 2: 4–13; Paul Foucart, 'Rescrit d'Antonin relatif à la circoncision et son application en Égypte', Journal des Savants, 1911, 9: 5–14.

66 Paulus, Sententiae 5:22:3–4, in Linder, Jews in Roman Imperial Legislation (n. 64), pp. 117–20.


^^ Why there would have been a shift away from circumcision ... and reasons why a move away from circumcision being written into the Pauline epistles would have been justified.

Paul's position on circumcision became more hostile to the practice and to the practitioners as time passed. In the Acts of the Apostles he was had Timothy circumcised. In 1 Corinthians he took an even-handed approach, counselling against both circumcision and uncircumcising. In Romans he stressed the similarity and equality between Jew and Gentile regardless of circumcision. In Galatians he had a particular problem with circumcision advocates, accusing them of undermining the Gospel and acting from sexual motives, glorying in men's flesh. He wishes that those who upset the church by promoting circumcision would castrate themselves. In Titus 1, he accused circumcisers of operating for sordid gain, sowing dissension in families and churches. Most startling of all, Paul called circumcisers 'dogs', 'sexual deviates', and 'mutilators of the flesh.mutilators in Phil 3:2.

Gal. 5:2-4 , in which Paul says that those who cut off their foreskins cut themselves off from Christ and that they have fallen away from grace. It was a powerful inversion of the original command to circumcise, as recorded in Genesis (which says 'Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant' (Genesis 17:14)).

All :this: says things about Paul. It says nothing about a possible historical Jesus as we have no direct sources on his position on circumcision.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43037  Postby RealityRules » May 25, 2020 9:34 am

.
John 7:22-24 has Jesus say

    22 Moses gave you circumcision (it is, of course, not from Moses, but from the patriarchs), and you circumcise a man on the sabbath. 23 If a man receives circumcision on the sabbath in order that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because I healed a man’s whole body1 on the sabbath? 24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

Jesus was preaching/teaching at a temple at a festival. Prior to those verses, -

    15 The Jews were astonished at it, saying, “How does this man have such learning /[knows his letters], when he has never been taught?” 16 Then Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine but his who sent me. 17 Anyone who resolves to do the will of God will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own. 18 Those who speak on their own seek their own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and there is nothing false in him.

    19 “Did not Moses give you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why are you looking for an opportunity to kill me?” 20 The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who is trying to kill you?”

After vv. 22-24,

    25 Now some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Is not this the man whom they are trying to kill? 26 And here he is, speaking openly, but they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Messiah? 27 Yet we know where this man is from; but when the Messiah [the Christ] comes, no one will know where he is from.” 28 Then Jesus cried out as he was teaching in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I am from. I have not come on my own. But the one who sent me is true, and you do not know him. 29 I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.”

1 Jews of that time saw circumcision as healing the penis, and Jesus being portrayed arguing for his 'big healing' on the sabbath as well as their little healing. Though some have said that when Jesus claimed he healed a man's whole body, he restored his foreskin, a proposition debated by others.

A more noteworthy aspect 7:22a - that circumcision if from the patriarchs, not from Moses. However, that negates the statements in Genesis 17 and Leviticus 12 that circumcision came from God.

That is quite an interesting dilemma. It does, however, paved the way for accounts of Peter to attack circumcision, and for Paul to attack those who promote it, though why Paul is not consistent in his approach to circumcision is also an interesting dilemma.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43038  Postby RealityRules » May 25, 2020 9:43 am

.
As an indication of different Christian theologies in early Christianity in late Antiquity, -

In addition to the canonical account in the Gospel of Luke, the apocryphal Arabic Infancy Gospel [of Jesus Christ] contains the first reference to the survival of Christ's severed foreskin. The second chapter has the following story:

    And when the time of his circumcision was come, namely, the eighth day, on which the law commanded the child to be circumcised, they circumcised him in a cave. And the old Hebrew woman took the foreskin (others say she took the navel-string), and preserved it in an alabaster-box of old oil of spikenard.1 And she had a son who was a druggist, to whom she said, "Take heed thou sell not this alabaster box of spikenard-ointment, although thou shouldst be offered three hundred pence for it. Now this is that alabaster-box which 'Mary the sinner' procured, and poured forth the ointment out of it upon the head and feet of our Lord Jesus Christ, and wiped it off with the hairs of her head."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcis ... l_accounts

[eta: and https://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/lbob/lbob07.htm]

  1. Spikenard, also called nard, nardin, and muskroot, is a class of aromatic amber-colored essential oil derived from Nardostachys jatamansi, a flowering plant of the valerian family which grows in the Himalayas of Nepal, China, and India.

    Catholic Church iconography uses spikenard to represent 'Saint Joseph'.2

2. Joseph is not mentioned in the Pauline epistles nor in the Gospel attributed to Mark.

The first appearance of Joseph is in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Yet each of those gospels contains a genealogy of Jesus showing ancestry from King Davidthrough different sons; Matthew follows the major royal line from Solomon, while Luke traces another line back to Nathan, another son of David and Bathsheba. Consequently, all the names between David and Joseph are different between the two genealogies.

So many contradictions. So little consistency.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43039  Postby proudfootz » May 25, 2020 2:22 pm

RealityRules wrote:.
Jesus was circumcised according to Luke 2:21 -

    After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus1, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

      1 per Luke 1:31 -

        30 The angel Gabriel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

All male infants underwent circumcision as a sign of God’s Covenant with the holy Forefather Abraham and his descendants, as per Genesis 17:10-14 and Leviticus 12:3.

    Genesis 17:10-12a,13b

    God said to Abraham, “This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your descendants after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. He that is eight days old among you shall be circumcised; every male throughout your generations … So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant”.

    Leviticus 12
      1 The Lord said to Moses,
        2 “Say to the Israelites: ‘...
          3 On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised ...'


It would seem, by the Criterion of Embarrassment (or the Criterion of Statement Against Interest if that's the preferred circumlocution), when arguing about the circumcision issue among different parties of proto-christians one side or the other would bring up Jesus's circumcision as a clincher.
"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't." - Mark Twain
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43040  Postby dogsgod » May 26, 2020 1:44 am

A search provided an overabundance of evidence:

There were at least 12 Holy Foreskins in churches across Europe during the Middle Ages.Churches and abbeys at Charroux, Paris, Boulogne, Metz, Le Puy, Nancy, Besançon, Coulombs and Conques in France, Hildesheim in Germany, Antwerp and Bruges in Belgium, and Calcata in Italy all at some stage claimed to own Jesus's foreskin, or a piece of it.

"There are so many Holy Prepuces [foreskins]," says Prof Francesca Stavrakopoulou, a professor of ancient religion at the University of Exeter. "It's like John the Baptist had at least three heads, if not more like eight. And it's the same as the Holy Foreskin. There are loads of them – probably so many more in existence than we actually know about."

[/url]https://www.buzzfeed.com/tomchivers/how-many-foreskins-does-one-god-need[url]
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