Historical Jesus

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

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Re: Historical Jesus

#43061  Postby RealityRules » Jun 04, 2020 1:34 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
RealityRules wrote:The most parsimonious explanation for the books of the NT is them being produced and developed as literature based on the LXX and Hebrew versions of the OT, Josephus' texts, and perhaps other accounts of what had befallen the Jews, as well as accounts of various theologies of Jewish, Jewish-Gnostic, and perhaps mystery cults, including the exegesis and eisegesis of Philo of Alexandria.

One may also add borrowing from the Stoics.
Bruno Bauer once wrote that "Christianity is Stoicism triumphant in Jewish garb"

Did the fabricators of the NT canonical books use a blender?

Whatever they did, it got packaged and circulated with a "History of the Christian Church Industry" written by Eusebius for his boss Constantine. Eusebius was the "Editor-In-Chief" of Constantine's NT Bible codices. Constantine invested in the church industry.

Eusebius may well have just been a cog ⁠—albeit a well-used one⁠— in a machine evolving & progressing from initial adversary against Marcion which started with Justin Martyr, through Irenaeus, Tertullian and Origen, culminating in Origen and his school (which later included Eusebius) providing in the mid-late 3rd century a basic soft skeleton for Christianity. It's fleshing out was yet to happen & would take a while yet.

What role the stoics had on those key people preceding Eusebius - Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Origen (+/- others, eg. Hippolytus, Clement of Alexandria) - is hard to know. J.-C. Fredouille, in Tertuallien et la coversion de la culture antique (1972), 274-81, pointed out the Aristotelian and Neo-Platonic elements of some of Tertullian's commentary. On the notion of Tertullian's commentary being 'progress' on the OT, +/- 'progress' on Marcion, see L.E.L. van der Geest, Le Christ et l'Ancien Testament chez Tertullian (1972), 81-5.

Tertullian may have had an influence on the 'judaizing' or 're-judaizing' of Marcion's theology and texts. According to R. Braum, Tertillien: Contra Marcion IV (2001), 32, more than 50% of all 419 quotes from the 'Old Testament' in Adv. Marc. IV refer to prophetic writings, making a total of 222 quotes (of which 140 are explicit citations). Of these, well over 50% ⁠—a total of 140 quotes (86 explicit ones)⁠— refer to Isaiah alone, followed by Jeremiah (15/14), Zacharia (13/9), Daniel (12/3), and others.

I'm not sure if they could be said to have used a blender. More 'thrice-cooked', with more dicing & re-configurating between cooking methods. Certainly Eusebius did some re-packaging as you suggest (and even Eusebius may have been later re-packaged & thus embellished as a more key figure than he really had been).
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43062  Postby RealityRules » Jun 04, 2020 12:19 pm

RealityRules wrote: ... culminating in Origen and his school (which later included Eusebius) providing in the mid-late 3rd century a basic soft skeleton for Christianity. It's fleshing out was yet to happen & would take a while yet.

The Commonitorium or Commonitory, a 5th-century Christian treatise written under the pseudonym "Peregrinus" but ascribed to Vincent of Lérins (died c. 445 ad), largely on attribution by Gennadius of Marseilles who flourished a.d. 495, includes the maxim:

    "Moreover, in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by everyone."
Charles Heurtley introduced the Commonitory in his translation as Vincent's personal reference to "distinguish Catholic truth from heresy" based on the authority of Holy Scripture by which "all questions must be tried in the first instance". Heurtley noted -

    Vincentius’s object in the following treatise is to provide himself, as he states, with a general rule whereby to distinguish Catholic truth from heresy; and he commits what he has learnt, he adds, to writing, that he may have it by him for reference as a Commonitory, or Remembrancer, to refresh his memory.

    The Commonitory of Vincent of Lerins / Introduction
One might wonder why someone in the mid 5th century like Vincent of Lérins - Lérins being a monastary - needed to have to distinguish 'Catholic truth' from heresy.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43063  Postby RealityRules » Jun 05, 2020 10:54 pm

RealityRules wrote:One might wonder why someone in the mid 5th century like Vincent of Lérins - Lérins being a monastary - needed to have to distinguish 'Catholic truth' from heresy.

I should have said

    One might wonder why someone in the mid 5th century like Vincent of Lérins...needed to have a general 'rule' - and an extensive reference, a 'Rembrancer' - to distinguish 'Catholic truth' from heresy.
as per Heurtley's comment -

    Vincentius’s object in the..treatise is to provide himself,[size=85] as he states, with a general rule whereby to distinguish Catholic truth from heresy; and he commits what he has learnt...to writing, that he may have it by him for reference as a Commonitory, or Remembrancer, to refresh his memory.

    The Commonitory of Vincent of Lerins / Introduction[/size]
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43064  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 06, 2020 6:02 am

RE: Chronology as a "soft skeleton

RealityRules wrote:Eusebius may well have just been a cog ⁠—albeit a well-used one⁠— in a machine evolving & progressing from initial adversary against Marcion which started with Justin Martyr, through Irenaeus, Tertullian and Origen, culminating in Origen and his school (which later included Eusebius) providing in the mid-late 3rd century a basic soft skeleton for Christianity. It's fleshing out was yet to happen & would take a while yet.


I like the soft skeleton analogy for the chronology. Classical source criticism operates with the recognition of two dates between which the composition of any given text (in the case the NT literature) has to have occurred. There is an "earliest possible date" (terminus a quo) and a latest possible date (terminus ad quem). We could call it Shreodinger's New Testament. It must exist in chronological real-time history somewhere between two dates (states) to be deduced from the evidence.

Tradition has explored the earliest possible date. I have explored the latest possible date. While the extreme earliest possible date may be in the 1st century BCE, and the traditional earliest possible date is the 1st century, sometimes early 2nd, the latest possible date IMHO is the early 4th century.

The following from Russell Gmirkin's section on methodology:

METHODOLOGY

The source-critical methods used in this book for dating texts
- including biblical texts - are those familiar from classical studies,
deductively establishing "terminus a quo" and "ad quem" dates between which
the composition of the text under investigation must have taken place.

The latest possible dates of composition (terminus ad quem) is fixed by
the earliest proof of existence of the texts, such as (rarely) the earliest physical copy,
or (commonly) the first quotation or other utilisation of the text by some other datable work.

The earliest possible date of composition (terminus a quo) is usually fixed by
the latest datable work the text in question quotes or utilises, or by the latest historical allusion within the text.
This book is essentially an extended exercise in classical source criticism applied to the Gnostic Gospels. [1]



[1] There is a sharp methodological distinction between classical source criticism
and traditional biblical source criticism. The latter used a variety of techniques
to isolate hypothetical sources within biblical texts. The identification of sources
J, E, D and P preliminary to the dating arguments of the Documentary Hypothesis is a
prime example of biblical source criticism. Such source documents must remain
perpetually hypothetical, since they no longer exist as independent entities.
This type of source criticism is rarely encountered in classical scholarship ...
"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: Historical Jesus

#43065  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 06, 2020 6:29 am

RE: "thrice-cooked"

RealityRules wrote:I'm not sure if they could be said to have used a blender. More 'thrice-cooked', with more dicing & re-configurating between cooking methods.


I like the thrice-cooked description for a pot brewing and bubbling over many centuries.
Either that or it got nuked late.

Certainly Eusebius did some re-packaging as you suggest (and even Eusebius may have been later re-packaged & thus embellished as a more key figure than he really had been).


The fact that Eusebius could have been himself repackaged by his preservers in the later church industry is an extremely important notion to understand, especially when attempting to deduce a "latest possible date". Earlier you mentioned that Eusebius essentially "inherited" the library of Origen. This fact it extremely foundational to the investigation because this is most likely to be on the trajectory for the NT canonical manuscripts and for the Greek LXX manuscripts (via Origen's "Hexapla"). The Christian Bible appears to have been transmitted through this library of Origen to the waiting hands of Eusebius, editor-in-chief of the 50 Constantine Bibles.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43066  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 06, 2020 6:44 am

RealityRules wrote:One might wonder why someone in the mid 5th century like Vincent of Lérins - Lérins being a monastary - needed to have to distinguish 'Catholic truth' from heresy.


Until the mid 5th century there were people like Cyril of Alexandria still about. When he died 444 someone suggested putting a stone over his grave so that he could not return ever. Cyril and many counterparts in the church industry were thugs. He is one of the prime suspects in the murder of Hypatia. He exerted himself strenuously to anathemetise and censor other church figures such as Nestorius. The Nestorians ended up being exiled, and wound up down the silk road in China. Cyril also undertook to censor the lies of the Emperor Julian who in three books had written an academic treatise "Against the Christians". The 5th century was struggling with managing the orthodoxy of the Nicene church industry established by Theodosius c.381 CE.

"We authorise followers of this law to assume the title of orthodox Christians;
but as for the others since, in our judgement, they are foolish madmen,
we decree that they shall be branded with the ignominious names of heretics.'

- Emperor Theodosius.
"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: Historical Jesus

#43067  Postby Clive Durdle » Jun 06, 2020 5:53 pm

The triple cooked chip theory of Christian origins?
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43068  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 07, 2020 12:35 am

Clive Durdle wrote:The triple cooked chip theory of Christian origins?


Are we looking for a master-chef or just a bunch of cooks

Was it cooked by Jews, Greeks, Romans, Celts or aliens?

Was there ever an original recipe?

Did the recipe get changed and if so when an by whom? (eg: who got rid of "The Shepherd of Hermas" from the NT canon?)

Was it cooked in idle refection, or in a scriptorium, or an astronomical observatory (Paul did travel to Venus), or a lab?

Who provided the heat? And the cooking oil?

Who marketed the chips?

And lastly about the money trail ……… Who made the most money from the chip shop?
"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: Historical Jesus

#43069  Postby RealityRules » Jun 07, 2020 12:56 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:...Eusebius essentially "inherited" the library of Origen. This fact is extremely foundational...for the NT canonical manuscripts [and for the Greek LXX manuscripts (via Origen's "Hexapla")]...[eventually being] transmitted...to the waiting hands of Eusebius, editor-in-chief of the 50 Constantine Bibles.

Yep. The Hexapla - comparing various versions of the Hebrew Scriptures in detail (said to have been just one version be over 6,000 pages in 15 volumes) - was Origen's biggest project. No-one really knows why he did it (and he pared it down later in his life, to a 'Tetrapla'). Some say it was intended to address a Rabbinic v Christian polemic regarding the corruption of the text of Scripture, but why would that have mattered if each 'religion' was, at that time, separate and secure in their texts and or their own community?
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43070  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 07, 2020 5:28 am

RealityRules wrote:Yep. The Hexapla - comparing various versions of the Hebrew Scriptures in detail (said to have been just one version be over 6,000 pages in 15 volumes) - was Origen's biggest project. No-one really knows why he did it (and he pared it down later in his life, to a 'Tetrapla'). Some say it was intended to address a Rabbinic v Christian polemic regarding the corruption of the text of Scripture, but why would that have mattered if each 'religion' was, at that time, separate and secure in their texts and or their own community?


Understanding Origen is perhaps central to understanding the evolution of Christian dogma:

"The most important fact in the history of Christian Doctrine
was that the father of Christian Theology, Origen,
was a Platonic philosopher at the school of Alexandria.
He built into Christian Doctrine the whole
cosmic drama of the soul, which he took from Plato."


Harvard Theological Review (1959);
cited by Bernard Simon (2004),
The Essence of the Gnostics, p.111


In reaching an understanding of Origen it is IMO essential to understand that the classical historians have found it entirely necessary to disambiguate the historical existence of two separate Origens in the 3rd century. One according to Eusebius was a Christian theologian. The other according to classical scholars was a Platonist theologian. For example:

"Origen the Platonists is almost (but not quite) certainly a different person
than Origen the Christian and his interpretation of the Parmenides was very unusual."

http://hypotyposeis.org/weblog/2009/07/ ... -four.html

Things get steadily stranger when the classicists also insist that they must also disambiguate between that the teacher of the Platonist Origen - Ammonius Saccas (the "father of neoplatonism") and the Christian Ammonius whom Eusebius (and other church sources) claim the be the teachers of the Christian Origen.

No wonder there was an Origenist controversy in later centuries. When books of Origen turned up at monastery gates all hell would break loose. One figure is reported to have even thrown a book of Origen into the Nile River in order to stave off the controversy that may have descended if the book was known to exist.
"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: Historical Jesus

#43071  Postby RealityRules » Jun 13, 2020 2:36 am

How Paul Found Christ Crucified – “on a Tree” – In the Scriptures -

Who bewitched you? Paul demanded to know of the Galatians [in Gal 3:1]. He continued:

    'Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was written beforehanda as crucified.'
      a προεγράφη, proegraphē
      a as in Rom. 15:4 -
        "For whatever was written in the pasta was writtenb for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scripturesc we might have hope."
          a προεγράφη, proegraphē - as in Gal 3:1
          b ἐγράφη, egraphē
          c γραφῶν, graphōn

A few verses after that opening Paul bizarrely links Jesus Christ with the pronouncement of a curse on anyone “hung on a tree” as per the law of Deuteronomy -

- Galatians 3:13:

    'Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. For it is written:

      Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree” ' -
- quoting Deuteronomy 21:23

    ". . . anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse . . ."

Look at that Deuteronomy 21 passage in full and despair at trying to find any way Paul could have associated it with the crucified Jesus:

    'If a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which The LORD your God gives you as an inheritance.' (Deut 21:22-23)

... If we are aware of the Scriptures Paul has been alluding to in those preceding verses, we can find the answer to why the Deuteronomic tree-hanging curse applied to Jesus.

Look at Galatians 3:8-9

    'Now Scripture, having seen beforehand that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, proclaimed the good news of this in advance to Abraham in the promise, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”

    'So then, those who are ‘of faith’ are blessed with faithful/believing Abraham.'

... the above passage looks very much like a mixed quotation based on three passages in a Greek translation of Genesis ...
.

An interesting ongoing article via How Paul Found Christ Crucified – “on a Tree” – In the Scriptures -
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43072  Postby proudfootz » Jun 13, 2020 2:43 am

Too many crooks spoil the broth.
"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

#43073  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 14, 2020 3:01 am

Did Paul exist?
How was Paul introduced to the wider political history of the Roman empire (i.e. extra biblical accounts)? Which figure(s) in the profane history of the classical Roman empire prior to the 4th century attests to the historical existence of Paul?

Other than Seneca?
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the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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Re: Historical Jesus

#43074  Postby RealityRules » Jun 14, 2020 7:46 am

Paul's attestation is unlikely, and probably irrelevant; at least in the first instance. The provenance of the letters attributed to him is probably more relevant, as would the nature of the communities the letters address or are addressed to (something we know nothing of). Why do the Pauline letters turn up in Marcion's hands?

Furthermore, the nature and content of the letters themselves is noteworthy , eg., Jesus is called a Mystery' enough times to wonder why -

    Colossians 2:2 -

    My purpose is that 'they' may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that 'they' may have the full riches of complete understanding in order that 'they' may know the Mystery of God, namely Christ

    Colossians 4:3 -

    And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the Mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.


Many passages talk about Jesus' coming as if it's still to happen: a one and only coming. This is only some of them -

    Philippians 1:6 -

      ... until 'the day' of Jesus Christ

    2 Thessalonians 1:7 -

      ... when the Lord Jesus is Revealed from heaven with his mighty angels ..

    Colossians 3:4 -

      When Christ who is 'our life' Appears

    1 Thessalonians 3:13 -

      at the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints

    1 Thessalonians 4:15 -

      ... until the Coming of the Lord

    1 Thessalonians 5:23 -

      at the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43075  Postby Clive Durdle » Jun 14, 2020 6:22 pm

Those Pauline quotes do read as if the Christ is coming and has not been - the salvation stuff did not happen here. So we are looking at layer of layer of trying to get things to fit, like inventing two origens and writing gospels.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43076  Postby Clive Durdle » Jun 14, 2020 6:25 pm

And the words lord Jesus Christ can be translated as Yahweh’s Annointed Saviour
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43077  Postby RealityRules » Jun 15, 2020 9:41 am

RealityRules wrote:
Furthermore, the nature and content of the letters themselves is noteworthy , eg., Jesus is called a Mystery' enough times to wonder why -

    Colossians 2:2 -

    My purpose is that 'they' may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that 'they' may have the full riches of complete understanding in order that 'they' may know the Mystery of God, namely Christ

    Colossians 4:3 -

    And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the Mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.


Those aren't the only passages referring to Christ Jesus as a Mystery. There's also (but probably not limited to) -


Ephesians 1:9-10

    He made known to us the Mystery of His will...which He purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

Ephesians 3:3 and 4 (among vv. 3:2-5) -

    2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed

Romans 16:25-26

    25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ in keeping with revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages pasta 26 but now made manifest, and, by the prophetic Scriptures, made known to all nations

      a χρόνοις αἰωνίοις, chronois aiōniois; or, hidden/ kept secret 'since the world began'

Colossians 1:27

    ... God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery1 which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

      1 in the previous two verses, Colossians 1:25b - 26a -

      ... the Word2 of God in its fullness—the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations ...

        2 λόγον, Logos/ Logon

Notice how there are also (i) references to revelation [of the mystery of Christ] in those passages, which (ii) had been hidden for generations, but (iii) had not been made known until made known to Paul.

It's as if Jesus hadn't existed in Paul's time, or when he was said to be writing; supposedly just one generation after Christ.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43078  Postby Clive Durdle » Jun 15, 2020 11:04 am

It's as if Jesus hadn't existed in Paul's time, or when he was said to be writing; supposedly just one generation after Christ.


Why is this so difficult to see? Is there something about the translations that this is blurred because all translations assume the gospels? What would the Pauline stuff read like without the gospels and acts?
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43079  Postby Clive Durdle » Jun 15, 2020 11:07 am

There is a continual assumption that all the comings are about a second coming. But that assumption is completely unjustified. Strange how everyone reads something that is not there!
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Re: Historical Jesus

#43080  Postby Clive Durdle » Jun 15, 2020 11:13 am

The book “Humankind “ argues the fall story in Genesis is really about the move to agriculture and cities and kings and hierarchy, and there was a real worsening in the conditions of life.

The Christ story then becomes an attempt to mend the gap between these two worlds. Editing then happens to make it another story but bits of the original remain
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