Posted: Jan 05, 2023 2:18 am
by Leucius Charinus
Physically extant epistles explode in the 4th century. The test results for C14 dated NT related manuscripts are from the 4th century. The letter exchange between Paul and Seneca was prefaced to the literature of Seneca by the 4th century Christian church industry and in such an inconvenient position, as part of the Christian education system, it remained for over a thousand long dark years. Fraud, forgery, conspiracy? We are not dealing with a "Divine Institute" we are dealing with an utterly corrupt, extremely powerful and influential church industry with a business model. The turnstiles are still clicking over for the cult of the Saints and Martyrs and the "Holy Relic trade".


Many people treat the historicity of Jesus as a fact. Carrier treats it as an historical proposition. He calculates the truth value of the proposition to be less than 50%. When we turn to the historicity of Paul Carrier treats this as a fact. It is not a fact. It too (IMHO) is just another historical proposition. There are no independent extra-biblical historical sources that mention the existence of Paul. Except for one which we'll get to below [1]. We know that at least half of the so-called Pauline letters were not written by Paul. Many scholars assert that the remaining "Magnificent Seven" and "Genuine Letters" of Paul are legit. But this is not a fact. Again it is a proposition. We have no manuscript copies of Paul from the early centuries. We have no evidence.

I am aware that Carrier has written on "The Historicity of the Apostle Paul" (2015) [2] with particular attention to Hermann Detering's views. But I am also aware that (the late) Hermann Detering has responded to Carrier's critique (2016) [3]. Bruno Bauer, Abraham Dirk Loman, Rudolph Steck, Willem Christiaan van Manen, G. A. Bergh van Eysinga, Hermann Detering, Robert Price and other scholars have proposed that all of Paul’s letters are 2nd century forgeries and that Paul was not a 1st century historical figure. To these scholars the historicity of Paul is not a fact. It is a proposition. And one which they reject.

Some arguments against the proposition of a non historical Paul invoke this proposition as requiring the support of a conspiracy theory. In the 4th century the Christian regime commenced the circulation of the writings of the Stoic philosopher and Roman stateman Seneca. These writings of Seneca were prefaced with the (forged) letter exchange between Paul and Seneca. For more than a thousand years this forged letter exchange was accepted as factual within the Christian education system. If Carrier were to have written anytime between the 4th and the 15th century then he could have written that the historicity of Paul is supported by his letter exchange with Seneca. But times change. We all now know that the 4th century Nicene church industry indulged in a conspiracy to pass off this forged correspondence as legitimate. In the 4th century every literate person knew about Seneca. Few if any were aware of Paul. A brazen conspiracy by the Nicene church industry solved this problem for a thousand years. Support for the belief in the historicity of Paul was kick-started by the forged letter exchange with Seneca.

[1] ... ment_(1924)/Epistles/The_correspondence_of_Paul_and_Seneca

[2] The Historicity of Paul the Apostle, Richard Carrier, June 2015

[3] Richard Carrier on The Fabricated Paul, by Dr. Hermann Detering, Edited and translated by René Salm ... er-pt-1-2/