Defending a 4th C terminus ad quem for Christian Origins

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Defending a 4th C terminus ad quem for Christian Origins

#1  Postby Leucius Charinus » Nov 02, 2021 9:10 am

Carrier and the Mainstream Dating Game:
Defending a 4th Century *terminus ad quem* for Christian Origins


ABSTRACT:

The historian Richard Carrier as a spokesperson for the 1st century mainstream theory of Christian origins has attempted to falsify a 4th century origin hypothesis by adducing evidence which is supposedly both 1) unambiguously Christian and 2) can be securely and confidently dated earlier (i.e., to the 1st, 2nd or 3rd century). The evidence adduced is reviewed and does not convincingly preclude a 4th century *terminus ad quem* for Christian Origins.

https://www.academia.edu/60176264/Carri ... pS5PmRL64A


Carrier's article:
No, Christianity Was Not Invented in the 4th Century
https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/18047
"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: Defending a 4th C terminus ad quem for Christian Origins

#2  Postby dejuror » Dec 02, 2021 2:02 pm

My position, based on the evidence, is that the Christian religion developed from the fables of a character called Jesus of Nazareth was not initiated in the 4th century by the Roman government.

Believers in the fables of Jesus of Nazareth were already in existence in the 2nd century CE and are found in writings attributed to Aristides and Justin Martyr.

Aristides' Apology to the Emperor Hadrian c 117-138 CE.

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/aristides-kay.html

Aristides' Apology
The Christians, then, trace the beginning of their religion from Jesus the Messiah; and he is named the Son of God Most High. And it is said that God came down from heaven, and from a Hebrew virgin assumed and clothed himself with flesh; and the Son of God lived in a daughter of man. This is taught in the gospel, as it is called, which a short time was preached among them; and you also if you will read therein, may perceive the power which belongs to it. This Jesus, then, was born of the race of the Hebrews; and he had twelve disciples in order that the purpose of his incarnation might in time be accomplished. But he himself was pierced by the Jews, and he died and was buried; and they say that after three days he rose and ascended to heaven. Thereupon these twelve disciples went forth throughout the known parts of the world, and kept showing his greatness with all modesty and uprightness. And hence also those of the present day who believe that preaching are called Christians, and they are become famous.


Justin's' First Apology addressed to the Emperor Antoninus c 138-161.

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/justinmartyr-firstapology.html

Justin's Apology 1
But lest any one think that this is an unreasonable and reckless utterance, we demand that the charges against the Christians be investigated, and that, if these be substantiated, they be punished as they deserve; [or rather, indeed, we ourselves will punish them.] But if no one can convict us of anything, true reason forbids you, for the sake of a wicked rumour, to wrong blameless men, and indeed rather yourselves, who think fit to direct affairs, not by judgment, but by passion. And every sober-minded person will declare this to be the only fair and equitable adjustment, namely, that the subjects render an unexceptional account of their own life and doctrine; and that, on the other hand, the rulers should give their decision in obedience, not to violence and tyranny, but to piety and philosophy. For thus would both rulers and ruled reap benefit. For even one of the ancients somewhere said, "Unless both rulers and ruled philosophize, it is impossible to make states blessed." It is our task, therefore, to afford to all an opportunity of inspecting our life and teachings, lest, on account of those who are accustomed to be ignorant of our affairs, we should incur the penalty due to them for mental blindness; and it is your business, when you hear us, to be found, as reason demands, good judges. For if, when ye have learned the truth, you do not what is just, you will be before God without excuse.


These writings confirm that the fables of Jesus called Christ and believers of the stories called Christians were not products of the Roman Government since at least c 117-161 CE.
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Re: Defending a 4th C terminus ad quem for Christian Origins

#3  Postby Leucius Charinus » Dec 04, 2021 1:37 pm

dejuror wrote:Believers in the fables of Jesus of Nazareth were already in existence in the 2nd century CE and are found in writings attributed to Aristides and Justin Martyr.

Aristides' Apology to the Emperor Hadrian c 117-138 CE.

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/aristides-kay.html


Here is the reference from Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. IV.3.3.

Aristides also, a believer earnestly devoted to our religion, left, like Quadratus, an apology for the faith, addressed to Adrian. His work, too, has been preserved even to the present day by a great many persons.

One of core principles for determining reliability using the historical method is that "Any given source may be forged or corrupted." The essay to which you are responding explores the possibility that all the church material (including Eusebius and the myriad documents from other writers he quotes) may be forged or corrupted.

The earliest manuscripts for this stuff are mainly in the middle ages which allows the church industry in some cases a thousand years to put out more forgeries and frauds.

"Historians must be prepared to admit in any given case that they are unable to reach safe conclusions because the evidence is insufficient; like judges, historians must be ready to say 'not proven' " (AM)

In this instance we must be ready to say it is 'not proven' yet that this church material is genuine. The essay actually provides plenty of instances where the church industry has fabricated, interpolated or forged "Christian" references in the literature of non-Christian sources. Sources which are supposed to be independent of the church. References like Josephus and the TF.


Justin's' First Apology addressed to the Emperor Antoninus c 138-161.

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/justinmartyr-firstapology.html


Ditto for Dear Saint Justin. The one source is the church which can be questioned. The earliest manuscript - Justin, Philosopher and Martyr: Apologies By Justino (Santo.) - we have for Saint Justin is the "Parisinus Graecus 450" dated 11 September 1364. It is described as " a sort of omnibus edition of Justin."

The manuscripts attesting to the existence of such "Believers" in the 2nd century are first cited by Eusebius in the 4th century and there can be no guarantee that Eusebius - indeed as well his continuators in the church industry which preserved his writings - are actually telling us the truth.

You are free to subscribe to the aphorism ... IN-EUSEBIUS-WE-TRUST.
I am free to subscribe to the aphorism ... EUSEBIUS IS A CORRUPT SOURCE

Perhaps there is unambiguous evidence which establishes the historical existence of either the NT or the Christian cult prior to the 4th century. But it is certainly not the unreliable and ambiguous Eusebius.

And especially not when investigating the "latest possible date" for the appearance of the cult.
"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: Defending a 4th C terminus ad quem for Christian Origins

#4  Postby dejuror » Dec 04, 2021 7:17 pm

Leucius Charinus wrote: .......You are free to subscribe to the aphorism ... IN-EUSEBIUS-WE-TRUST.
I am free to subscribe to the aphorism ... EUSEBIUS IS A CORRUPT SOURCE...


Actually I do not subscribe to "the aphorism ... IN-EUSEBIUS-WE-TRUST".

Church History attributed to Eusebius states that Nero persecuted Christians and executed apostles called Peter and Paul however such claims appear to be bogus since the writings attributed to Josephus, up to at least c 94 CE, show no Christian cult and no persecution of any person of a Christian religion.

https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/250102.htm


Church History 2.25.4-5.
4. The Roman Tertullian is likewise a witness of this. He writes as follows: Examine your records. There you will find that Nero was the first that persecuted this doctrine, particularly then when after subduing all the east, he exercised his cruelty against all at Rome. We glory in having such a man the leader in our punishment. For whoever knows him can understand that nothing was condemned by Nero unless it was something of great excellence. Thus publicly announcing himself as the first among God's chief enemies, he was led on to the slaughter of the apostles. It is, therefore, recorded that Paul was beheaded in Rome itself, and that Peter likewise was crucified under Nero. This account of Peter and Paul is substantiated by the fact that their names are preserved in the cemeteries of that place even to the present day.


My position, based on the evidence, is that fables called Gospels, Acts of the Apostles and the so-called Pauline Epistles with Jesus, the disciples and Paul were manufactured sometime after at least the writings of Josephus or at least after c 94 CE which is in complete contradiction to the writings attributed to Eusebius.
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Re: Defending a 4th C terminus ad quem for Christian Origins

#5  Postby Leucius Charinus » Dec 05, 2021 12:01 am

Catholic Dogma wrote:The Roman Tertullian is likewise a witness of this


The earliest manuscripts for the Latin writer Tertullian appear in the 9th century and have a trajectory through Corbie Abbey which has been exposed as one of the more prominent Latin forgery mills of the utterly corrupt church.

In seeking the earliest possible date we should accept the corrupt dogma of the church industry. But in seeking the latest possible date we must in no uncertain terms reject the dogma on the basis that there is sufficient evidence of the blatant forgery of manuscripts which would then be fraudulently used to advance pseudo-historical claims about the origins of the Christian cult.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudo-Isidore


dejuror wrote:My position, based on the evidence, is that fables called Gospels, Acts of the Apostles and the so-called Pauline Epistles with Jesus, the disciples and Paul were manufactured sometime after at least the writings of Josephus or at least after c 94 CE which is in complete contradiction to the writings attributed to Eusebius.


From the essay:

    The key question for Christian origins is when did the NTC (NT Canonical books) and NTA (NT Apocryphal books) appear in the space-time continuum? Many theories and chronologies have been proposed but nobody really knows for sure. It’s a mystery.

    As a result of this it becomes the duty of the historian to deduce both an earliest possible date (terminus a quo) and a latest possible date (terminus ad quem) from the available evidence. Between these two dates the event under investigation must have occurred. [2]

    [2] See the diagram at Attachment 2 – Classical Source Criticism and Biblical Source Criticism

The essay concerns a latest possible date (terminus ad quem).

Your comments relate to an earliest possible date (terminus a quo)

The historical truth must exist between these two upper and lower bounds.
"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: Defending a 4th C terminus ad quem for Christian Origins

#6  Postby dejuror » Dec 05, 2021 3:40 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
The essay concerns a latest possible date (terminus ad quem).

Your comments relate to an earliest possible date (terminus a quo)

The historical truth must exist between these two upper and lower bounds.


Based on the evidence I have seen so far, the terminus a quo is c 100 CE or at least immediately after the last writing attributed to Josephus [The Life of Flavius Josephus c 96 CE]

The (terminus ad quem is c 138 CE or just before the Apology attributed to Aristides which is addressed to Hadrian who was Emperor c 117-138 CE.
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Re: Defending a 4th C terminus ad quem for Christian Origins

#7  Postby Leucius Charinus » Dec 05, 2021 5:21 am

dejuror wrote:
Based on the evidence I have seen so far, the terminus a quo is c 100 CE or at least immediately after the last writing attributed to Josephus [The Life of Flavius Josephus c 96 CE]


So you think that the earliest possible date for the origin of Christian literature (NT) and cult is after Josephus put the pen down?

This certainly reflects the ideas that some historians have concerning Josephus as a fundamental player.

    "New discoveries are not likely to disprove the obvious conclusion that
    neither II Maccabees, nor Philo, nor Josephus were ever reabsorbed into
    the Jewish tradition. They remained operative only in Christian learning.
    II Maccabees, in spirit if not in form, is behind the Christian Acta Martyrum.
    Philo's conception of history is related to that of Lactantius' De Mortibus Persecutorum.
    More generally, Philo is the predecessor of the Christian Platonists. Finally,
    Josephus is one of the writers without whom Eusebius would not have been able
    to invent Ecclesiastical History
    ." (p.27)

    The Classical Foundations of Modern Historiography
    Arnaldo Momigliano (1990)



The (terminus ad quem is c 138 CE or just before the Apology attributed to Aristides which is addressed to Hadrian who was Emperor c 117-138 CE.


    "The scanty and suspicious materials of ecclesiastical history seldom enable us
    to dispel the dark cloud that hangs over the first age of the church."

Based on the evidence I have seen so far the church industry was quite capable of forging all sorts of apologies and letters in the name of the glory of the church. When did Long Mark get forged? Or Constantine's Donation? When seeking the terminus ad quem within such an environment of literary fraud, one must ask for the earliest physical manuscript or archaeological relic.

For the latest possible date of Christian origins one should be completely free to follow the literary dogma and propaganda of the church [industry]. People have been doing that for a long time. Extending the benefit of the doubt to the church literary sources. Uncritically.

I have critical doubt. There is good reason to suspect that much of the Ante-Nicene Fathers (See below) is basically an elaborate pseudo-historical ensemble of sources which have been fabricated in layers by successive undertakings of the Nicene Church Industry between the 4th century and the middle ages. They had the means, the motive and the opportunity to fabricate their historical origins. And they continued to do this. Century after century.

My advice is to follow the archaeological record, the physical manuscripts and the science.
C14 dating leads to a terminus ad quem in the 4th century.

IN-EUSEBIUS-WE-TRUST wrote:

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Volume 7: Lactantius, Venantius, Asterius, Victorinus, Dionysius, Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions, Homily, and Liturgies
Volume 8: Twelve Patriarchs, Excerpts and Epistles, The Clementina, Aprocryphal Gospels and Acts, Syriac Documents
Volume 9: Gospel of Peter, Diatessaron, Testament of Abraham, Epistles of Clement, Origen and Miscellaneous Works
Volume 10: Bibliography, General Index, Annotated Index of Authors and Works

"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: Defending a 4th C terminus ad quem for Christian Origins

#8  Postby dejuror » Dec 05, 2021 11:09 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
dejuror wrote:
Based on the evidence I have seen so far, the terminus a quo is c 100 CE or at least immediately after the last writing attributed to Josephus [The Life of Flavius Josephus c 96 CE]


So you think that the earliest possible date for the origin of Christian literature (NT) and cult is after Josephus put the pen down?

This certainly reflects the ideas that some historians have concerning Josephus as a fundamental player....


Josephus wrote nothing about Jesus of Nazareth or a Christian cult. In fact it is claimed in "War of the Jews" that Vespasian was the Benefactor and Savior of the Romans during his triumphant entry into Rome.

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/josephus/war-7.html

War of the Jews 7.4.1
But as soon as the news was come that he was hard by, and those that had met him at first related with what good humour he received every one that came to him; then it was that the whole multitude that had remained in the city, with their wives and children, came into the road, and waited for him there

And for those whom he passed by they made all sorts of acclamations, on account of the joy they had to see him, and the pleasantness of his countenance; and styled him their benefactor, and saviour; and the only person who was worthy to be ruler of the city of Rome.

And now the city was like a temple, full of garlands, and sweet odors. Nor was it easy for him to come to the royal palace, for the multitude of the people that stood about him, where yet at last he performed his sacrifices of thanksgiving to his household gods, for his safe return to the city


The writings of Josephus was used to manufacture the Jesus of Nazareth character and triumphant entry into Jerusalem.

Mark 11
8 And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way.

9 And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:

10 Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.


Leucius Charinus wrote:
    "The scanty and suspicious materials of ecclesiastical history seldom enable us
    to dispel the dark cloud that hangs over the first age of the church."

Based on the evidence I have seen so far the church industry was quite capable of forging all sorts of apologies and letters in the name of the glory of the church. When did Long Mark get forged? Or Constantine's Donation? When seeking the terminus ad quem within such an environment of literary fraud, one must ask for the earliest physical manuscript or archaeological relic....


Multiple NT Papyri have already been found and dated by paleography between c 125-250 CE which suggest that the latest possible date [terminus ad quem] for a Christian cult would be several decades before Eusebius.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_New_Testament_papyri
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Re: Defending a 4th C terminus ad quem for Christian Origins

#9  Postby Leucius Charinus » Dec 07, 2021 2:13 am

dejuror wrote:Multiple NT Papyri have already been found and dated by paleography between c 125-250 CE which suggest that the latest possible date [terminus ad quem] for a Christian cult would be several decades before Eusebius.

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


It' is becoming reasonably evident that you have not actually taken any time to read through the seven page essay referenced in the OP. In particular the arguments made in regard to the certainty associated with the date ranges - specifically the upper bounds - allocated to these fragments by mean of paleographical dating in isolation.


    Palaeographic Dating (in isolation):

    While citing Nongbri’s “God’s Library” as an authority, Carrier states that "We've proved
    this method is reliable" and then writes "The method has been proved no less accurate than
    carbon dating (which I should remind you proves the method is accurate—so no one can
    claim it doesn’t work or is unreliable; we’ve proved otherwise.)". The problem with Carrier’s
    highly confident claims here is that they’re false. Nongbri’s book represents, from the
    prologue to the closing chapter, an extended warning and caution against using palaeography
    in isolation to date Christian literature.

    At the Prologue (p.20) Nongbri writes “early Christian manuscripts are most frequently dated
    by means of only palaeography, which is, as we shall see again and again, a deeply problematic practice
    ”.

    Carrier has completely misrepresented his cited source. Either he has not read the book or has
    completely misunderstood its cautionary message. In any event Carrier, following the
    insights (perhaps confirmation bias) of the biblical scholars, places a completely unjustified
    confidence in most if not all palaeographic date ranges. Specifically, the latest possible date
    assigned by the palaeographical dating (in isolation) of early Christian manuscripts should
    reasonably include the 4th century. See Attachment (3) – On the necessity of caution in
    assigning palaeographical date ranges,


    Attachment (3) – On the necessity of caution in assigning palaeographical date ranges


    Brent Nongbri: [15] “We should not be assigning narrow dates to literary papyri strictly on the basis of
    palaeography. Four kinds of evidence support this contention -

    1. The first type of evidence comes in the form of papyri that demonstrate at least some scribes were
    capable of writing in multiple different styles generally assigned to different time periods. P.Oxy.
    31.2604 provides an example, in which a scribe puts on a show of skills by copying the same poetic
    line in different styles, twice in a narrowly spaced hand at home in the third century and once in a
    spacious uncial typical of the first century.

    2 The second type of evidence is the phenomenon sometimes called "archaism". [36] The classic case
    is P.Oxy. 50.3529, a papyrus scrap written in a textbook example of a first century Roman hand. The
    editor of P.Oxy. 50.3529 noted its palaeographic affinities with the hand of P.Oxy. 2.246, a
    registration of livestock dated to the year 66 CE. P.Oxy. 50.3529 is, however, a copy of the
    Martyrdom of Dioscorus, so this writing can be no earlier than the year 307 CE. The span for this
    hand is therefore at least two and a half centuries

    3. Third, the active working life of a scribe could be remarkably long. Revel Coles has suggested that
    the same scribe could be responsible for copying parts of P.Oxy. 64.4441 (315 CE) and P.Oxy.
    67.4611 (363 CE), which "would result in a working life not less than 49 years". [37]

    4. Finally, similarities in hands were passed from teachers to students, so that a given hand could last
    through multiple generations. [38]

    All of these factors suggest that we should be very wary of assigning palaeographic dates within
    narrow margins


    Eric G. Turner: [16] “Every palaeographer is aware of his fallibility on this score. The person without
    palaeographical skills will have observed with interest a number of recent examples of incompatible
    dates.

    5) Different editors of separated fragments P.Oslo ii 10 and P. Harris 45 later determined to be from
    the same ms dated 3rd century and 1st century. Both could not be right!

    6) Same editor (Sir Frederick Kenyon) dated different fragments of same ms to late 3rd and early 3rd
    centuries. Both could not be right!

    7) P.Oxy 2105: Hunt (1927) = edict of a prefect - Petronius Honoratus, prefect in 148 CE. P.Oxy
    2105: Rea (1967) = edict of prefect - Maevius Honoratianus, prefect in 231-236 CE. This example is
    especially instructive since it is the error of an outstanding palaeographer; and concerns a
    documentary hand, a type of writing which it is often claimed is easier to date with confidence that a
    book hand.

    8) The helplessness felt by palaeographers when they have to rely on the morphological analysis of
    letter forms is well illustrated by the lack of agreement on the dating of the Ambrosian Iliad, and more
    recently of the Duke University fragments of Plato Parmenides 253. I cannot bring myself to date this
    fragment in the 2nd century, as Professor W.H. Willis does, and throughout this study I have treated it
    as 3rd-4th century. Other palaeographers ... assign it to the 6th century.


    [15] (1-4) The Limits of Palaeographic Dating of Literary Papyri: Some Observations on the Date and Provenance
    of P.Bodmer II (P66) By Brent Nongbri, Macquarie University [2014]

    [16] [5-8] The Typology of the Early Codex: Eric G. Turner. Originally published: 1977. Turner also writes that
    “however conscientiously the palaeographer tests out and refines his apparatus of criteria, it is unlikely that he
    will succeed in eliminating a subjective factor


See also "God's Library: The Archaeology of the Earliest Christian Manuscripts" (2018) by Brent Nongbri
https://www.amazon.com/Gods-Library-Arc ... 030021541X
"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: Defending a 4th C terminus ad quem for Christian Origins

#10  Postby dejuror » Dec 07, 2021 3:32 pm

Leucius Charinus wrote:

It' is becoming reasonably evident that you have not actually taken any time to read through the seven page essay referenced in the OP. In particular the arguments made in regard to the certainty associated with the date ranges - specifically the upper bounds - allocated to these fragments by mean of paleographical dating in isolation.


I have read the essay referenced in the OP and have not found any actual evidence to defend a 4th century "terminus ad quem" for Christian origins.

Arguing that Carrier has made false claims about dating by paleography or c-14 does not relieve you from presenting actual credible historical evidence for your 4th century Christian origin hypothesis.

1. If dating ancient text by paleography is subjective and unreliable then such a claim does not show that Christianity originated in the 4th century.

2. C-14 dating does not really determine when an ancient text was written but earliest date for the material on which the text was written so cannot help your hypothesis.

3. If as you suggest all ancient texts about the origins of Christianity are forgeries or have been manipulated then again you still have no credible source to defend a 4th century Christian origin.

My hypothesis is that Christianity did not originate in the 4th century but no later than c 117-138 CE or before the writing of Aristides and no earlier than c 94 CE or after the writings of Josephus.

2nd century apologetic writings attributed to Aristides, Justin Martyr and Athengoras of Athens addressed to Roman Emperors do mention people called Christians.

Aristides Apology is addressed to Hadrian c 117-138CE.

Justin's First Apology is addressed to Antoninus c 138-161 CE.

Athenagoras' Plea for the Christians is addressed to Marcus Aurelius and Commodos c 177-192 CE.

Also 2nd century non-apologetic sources like Lucian and Celsus mentioned Christians.

Lucian writing in the 2nd century mentioned people called Christian in "Death of Peregrine".

Celsus also writing in the same period argued against Christianity is his "True Discourse" as found in Origen's Against Celsus.

It must be noted in the above-mentioned writings there is no indication that the Roman government was involved in the origin or spread of Christianity.

In effect, there is no historical evidence to show Christianity originated in the 4th century regardless of baseless arguments by mainstream for Christians in the 1st century before c 70 CE.
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Re: Defending a 4th C terminus ad quem for Christian Origins

#11  Postby Leucius Charinus » Dec 08, 2021 4:07 am

dejuror wrote:I have read the essay referenced in the OP and have not found any actual evidence to defend a 4th century "terminus ad quem" for Christian origins.

Arguing that Carrier has made false claims about dating by paleography or c-14 does not relieve you from presenting actual credible historical evidence for your 4th century Christian origin hypothesis.


Here is the final paragraph from the essay:

    This defence of a 4th century terminus ad quem for Christian origins is not a hypothesis that
    Christianity was invented out of whole cloth in the 4th century. It represents a study showing
    that there is insufficient citable historical evidence to comprehensively refute such a latest
    possible date.
    The 1st century mainstream theory relies on the existence of theoretical
    manuscripts and on giving the church industry the benefit of any doubt. There is no need for
    that any more.
"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: Defending a 4th C terminus ad quem for Christian Origins

#12  Postby dejuror » Dec 08, 2021 12:50 pm

Leucius Charinus wrote:
dejuror wrote:I have read the essay referenced in the OP and have not found any actual evidence to defend a 4th century "terminus ad quem" for Christian origins.

Arguing that Carrier has made false claims about dating by paleography or c-14 does not relieve you from presenting actual credible historical evidence for your 4th century Christian origin hypothesis.


Here is the final paragraph from the essay:

    This defence of a 4th century terminus ad quem for Christian origins is not a hypothesis that
    Christianity was invented out of whole cloth in the 4th century. It represents a study showing
    that there is insufficient citable historical evidence to comprehensively refute such a latest
    possible date.
    The 1st century mainstream theory relies on the existence of theoretical
    manuscripts and on giving the church industry the benefit of any doubt. There is no need for
    that any more.


There is in fact insufficient evidence to defend a 4th century terminus ad quem for Christian origins regardless of the baseless argument that Christianity was initiated before c 70 CE or before the fall of Jewish Temple in the 1st century.
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Re: Defending a 4th C terminus ad quem for Christian Origins

#13  Postby Leucius Charinus » Dec 17, 2021 3:46 am

dejuror wrote: There is in fact insufficient evidence to defend a 4th century terminus ad quem for Christian origins


There is insufficient unambiguous evidence to falsify the late chronology.

It's no use citing the church fathers because the investigation is about asking whether the Nicene Church industry (over the centuries) had the means, motive and opportunity to fabricate a pre-Nicene Christian history in the 4th century. There is nothing wrong with asking this question. The historical method allows for any given source to be forged or corrupt. I am treating the church sources for the pre-Nicene epoch as one source. And classing it as corrupt. If you want to give it a name call it Eusebius.

Theoretically we could have some historical evidence from non-Christian sources, from archaeology or inscriptions or from manuscript discoveries which pre-date Constantine. But if so, what is this evidence?
"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: Defending a 4th C terminus ad quem for Christian Origins

#14  Postby dejuror » Dec 19, 2021 3:53 pm

Leucius Charinus wrote:There is insufficient unambiguous evidence to falsify the late chronology.


The opposite is true. There is insufficient unambiguous evidence to falsify a pre 4th century chronology.



Leucius Charinus wrote:It's no use citing the church fathers because the investigation is about asking whether the Nicene Church industry (over the centuries) had the means, motive and opportunity to fabricate a pre-Nicene Christian history in the 4th century. There is nothing wrong with asking this question. The historical method allows for any given source to be forged or corrupt. I am treating the church sources for the pre-Nicene epoch as one source. And classing it as corrupt. If you want to give it a name call it Eusebius.


If you admit that church sources are forged or corrupt then you must also admit that writings attributed to Eusebius are probably manipulated and could have been written far later.

Leucius Charinus wrote:Theoretically we could have some historical evidence from non-Christian sources, from archaeology or inscriptions or from manuscript discoveries which pre-date Constantine. But if so, what is this evidence?


There is Lucian of Samosata c 125-180 CE who mentioned people called Christians in the “Death of Peregrine”.

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

Lucian’s Death of Peregrinus11.
"It was then that he learned the wondrous lore of the Christians, by associating with their priests and scribes in Palestine. And—how else could it be?—in a trice he made them all look like children, for he was prophet, cult-leader, head of the synagogue, and everything, all by himself. He interpreted and explained some of their books and even composed many, and they revered him as a god, made use of him as a lawgiver, and set him down as a protector, next after that other, to be sure, whom11 they still worship, the man who was crucified in Palestine because he introduced this new cult into the world.


Lucian of Samsata is a non-apologetic source which confirms people called Christians who worshiped a crucified man as a god since at least the 2nd century.
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Re: Defending a 4th C terminus ad quem for Christian Origins

#15  Postby Leucius Charinus » Dec 21, 2021 7:11 am

dejuror wrote: If you admit that church sources are forged or corrupt then you must also admit that writings attributed to Eusebius are probably manipulated and could have been written far later.


Absolutely. The writings of Eusebius were preserved by his continuators in the Nicene Church industry. However unambiguous evidence for the existence of the NT writings and the presence of the Christian cult appears by the mid 4th century. This unambiguous evidence includes the oldest Greek Bible codices, archaeological evidence of basilicas, the upper-bound dating of papyri fragments, inscriptions, art, coins, funery relief and radiocarbon dates (Gospel of Judas).


There is Lucian of Samosata c 125-180 CE who mentioned people called Christians in the “Death of Peregrine”.


This statement needs to be qualified by the conditional statement that it is not a later forgery. We have plenty of evidence to suggest that many works were forged in the name of Lucian.

Among the eighty-two works of Lucian known to A.M. Harmon (Loeb, 1913) at least fifteen forgeries are listed, some of which are clearly Christian forgeries (e.g., Philopatris)

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

No cigar.
"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: Defending a 4th C terminus ad quem for Christian Origins

#16  Postby dejuror » Dec 26, 2021 12:29 am

dejuror wrote: If you admit that church sources are forged or corrupt then you must also admit that writings attributed to Eusebius are probably manipulated and could have been written far later.


Leucius Charinus wrote:Absolutely. The writings of Eusebius were preserved by his continuators in the Nicene Church industry.


Eusebius?? Who was Eusebius? Was he the bishop of Rome? Does anyone know of a convert to Christianity under Eusebius?

Leucius Charinus wrote:.... However unambiguous evidence for the existence of the NT writings and the presence of the Christian cult appears by the mid 4th century. This unambiguous evidence includes the oldest Greek Bible codices, archaeological evidence of basilicas, the upper-bound dating of papyri fragments, inscriptions, art, coins, funery relief and radiocarbon dates (Gospel of Judas).


Radiocarbon dating of the gospel of Judas does not alter the argument that the Jesus cult of Christians started before the 4th century.

https://news.arizona.edu/story/ua-radiocarbon-dates-help-verify-coptic-gospel-judas-genuine

Scientists at the University of Arizona's Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) lab in Tucson, Ariz., have radiocarbon dated an ancient Coptic manuscript containing the only known surviving Gospel of Judas at between A.D. 220 and A.D. 340............


In any event radiocarbon does not date the text only the material on which the text was written.


dejuror wrote:There is Lucian of Samosata c 125-180 CE who mentioned people called Christians in the “Death of Peregrine”.


Leucius Charinus wrote:This statement needs to be qualified by the conditional statement that it is not a later forgery. We have plenty of evidence to suggest that many works were forged in the name of Lucian.

Among the eighty-two works of Lucian known to A.M. Harmon (Loeb, 1913) at least fifteen forgeries are listed, some of which are clearly Christian forgeries (e.g., Philopatris)

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

No cigar.


You have not shown that "The Death of Peregrinus" attributed to Lucian of Samosata was a forgery.

Now, the Philopatris does not mention Jesus, the disciples, Paul or Christians.

It would be most ridiculous for a Christian to have forged the "Philopatris" and then forget to mention Jesus, the disciples, Paul or Christians

Christian forgeries typically [primarily] at least contain stories of Paul.
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Re: Defending a 4th C terminus ad quem for Christian Origins

#17  Postby Leucius Charinus » Dec 27, 2021 3:16 am

dejuror wrote:Eusebius?? Who was Eusebius? Was he the bishop of Rome? Does anyone know of a convert to Christianity under Eusebius?


There were many conversions to Christianity during the rule of Eusebius' sponsor Constantine.


Leucius Charinus wrote:.... However unambiguous evidence for the existence of the NT writings and the presence of the Christian cult appears by the mid 4th century.


Radiocarbon dating of the gospel of Judas does not alter the argument that the Jesus cult of Christians started before the 4th century.


The point was that the C14 date is an upper bound. This limits the latest possible date.


dejuror wrote:You have not shown that "The Death of Peregrinus" attributed to Lucian of Samosata was a forgery.


I have provided evidence that scholars are aware of many forgeries in the name of Lucian. As a result of this the authenticity of any work in the name of Lucian becomes questionable.

Now, the Philopatris does not mention Jesus, the disciples, Paul or Christians.


The Philopatris has been listed as a Christian forgery by many scholars.
Nobody accepts that Lucian was the author.

    The scene is laid at Constantinople. A certain Trephon, who has been converted to Christianity by a bald, long-nosed Galilaean, who was carried up through the air into the third heaven (an evident allusion to St. Paul) and meets a friend, Critias, who is in a state of great excitement.[1] Trephon asks the reason for Critias' excitement, and the invocation of Zeus by Critias leads to a discussion on paganism and Christianity, in which all the gods proposed by Critias are rejected by Trephon, who finally suggests that Critias should swear by the Trinity

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philopatris
"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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