Chasing Hegesippus: a short commentary

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Peter Kirby
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Re: Chasing Hegesippus: a short commentary

Post by Peter Kirby » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:51 pm

andrewcriddle wrote:Hi Peter

I read with interest your posts about Hegesippus.

Assuming that Eusebius' information about Hegesippus comes entirely from readings the works attributed to Hegesippus, it seems clear that Hegesippus must have referred to Anicetus as bishop of Rome. This would imply a date for his writing later than 155 CE which probably makes him too late to be Papias.

Andrew Criddle
Hi Andrew,

There is a paragraph in the Chasing Hegesippus article that is relevant:
The author was in Rome when Anicetus was its bishop. Traditional chronology for the bishops of Rome has faithfully followed the statements presented by Eusebius of Caesarea and chronographers before him, Hippolytus of Rome and Julius Africanus. There has even been a tendency to attribute a list of bishops of Rome, falsely, to the text of Hegesippus. This cannot be sustained. The chronology is doubtless correct starting from some point in the second half of the second century, but it is nebulous data for the first half of the second century. The contemporary of Anicetus as bishop of Rome wrote no later than 148 AD, so Anicetus must be understood as taking the bishopric of Rome a full ten years earlier than usually believed. This likewise pushes backward the chronology of Pius and his predecessors, but this is just as well, as there needs to be room when fictitious persons such as “Sextus” are removed from the list.
Instead of trying to move the date of the 2nd century source, dated with synchronism to an emperor (the tenth year of Antoninus, i.e. 147/148 AD, by way of the mention from Clement of Alexandria that I take to be from this text), because of the third or fourth century sources regarding the reigns of the bishops of Rome, to me it makes more sense to reconsider the dates of the bishops of Rome.

cheers,
Peter Kirby
"... almost every critical biblical position was earlier advanced by skeptics." - Raymond Brown

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Re: Chasing Hegesippus: a short commentary

Post by andrewcriddle » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:53 pm

Hi Peter

If you shift the dates of the early bishops of Rome earlier you are going to have to shift other things, E.g. the careers of Marcion and his forerunner Cerdo which are linked by early sources to specific named bishops of Rome.

It is not impossible to shift the early bishops even earlier but it is not IMO straightforward.

Andrew Criddle

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Re: Chasing Hegesippus: a short commentary

Post by Peter Kirby » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:16 pm

andrewcriddle wrote:Hi Peter

If you shift the dates of the early bishops of Rome earlier you are going to have to shift other things, E.g. the careers of Marcion and his forerunner Cerdo which are linked by early sources to specific named bishops of Rome.

It is not impossible to shift the early bishops even earlier but it is not IMO straightforward.

Andrew Criddle
Hi Andrew,

True. A lot of chronology has been based on these bishops of Rome.

Of course the freight of past assumptions and the difficulty of lifting it doesn't constitute evidence. :)

cheers,
Peter Kirby
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Re: Chasing Hegesippus: a short commentary

Post by Peter Kirby » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:34 pm

Andrew Criddle wrote:This would imply a date for his writing later than 155 CE which probably makes him too late to be Papias.
On Papias, J.V.M. Sturdy writes (Redrawing the Boundaries, p. 25):

"Papias of Hierapolis is an important source for early traditions.
Irenaeus says that he was a disciple of 'John' and afriend of Polycarp. He is
now dated by many to c. 130 CE, but this is a quite recent development and
not long ago c. 150 was a commoner date. In any case it is only a floruit. My
date for him is between 140 and 160 CE."

While the 140s may be more likely on other grounds (for the text of Hegesippus), the 150s does not seem to be excluded for the text of Papias if we have already discarded the note in the chronicle of Eusebius that puts him in the reign of Trajan. So, if we accept that the evidence for the text of Hegesippus places it later than 155 (against my own judgment), that does not automatically exclude Papias as a candidate for the author.
"... almost every critical biblical position was earlier advanced by skeptics." - Raymond Brown

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Re: Chasing Hegesippus: a short commentary

Post by andrewcriddle » Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:41 pm

Peter Kirby wrote:
On Papias, J.V.M. Sturdy writes (Redrawing the Boundaries, p. 25):

"Papias of Hierapolis is an important source for early traditions.
Irenaeus says that he was a disciple of 'John' and afriend of Polycarp. He is
now dated by many to c. 130 CE, but this is a quite recent development and
not long ago c. 150 was a commoner date. In any case it is only a floruit. My
date for him is between 140 and 160 CE."

While the 140s may be more likely on other grounds (for the text of Hegesippus), the 150s does not seem to be excluded for the text of Papias if we have already discarded the note in the chronicle of Eusebius that puts him in the reign of Trajan. So, if we accept that the evidence for the text of Hegesippus places it later than 155 (against my own judgment), that does not automatically exclude Papias as a candidate for the author.
Papias'' emphasis on oral tradition rather than written texts puts him IMO before Justin. Justin appeals to written texts for the life of Jesus (their precise identity may be disputed). This is probably evidence of a greater distance from the events concerned.

Andrew Criddle

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Re: Chasing Hegesippus: a short commentary

Post by Peter Kirby » Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:41 pm

andrewcriddle wrote:
Peter Kirby wrote:
On Papias, J.V.M. Sturdy writes (Redrawing the Boundaries, p. 25):

"Papias of Hierapolis is an important source for early traditions.
Irenaeus says that he was a disciple of 'John' and afriend of Polycarp. He is
now dated by many to c. 130 CE, but this is a quite recent development and
not long ago c. 150 was a commoner date. In any case it is only a floruit. My
date for him is between 140 and 160 CE."

While the 140s may be more likely on other grounds (for the text of Hegesippus), the 150s does not seem to be excluded for the text of Papias if we have already discarded the note in the chronicle of Eusebius that puts him in the reign of Trajan. So, if we accept that the evidence for the text of Hegesippus places it later than 155 (against my own judgment), that does not automatically exclude Papias as a candidate for the author.
Papias'' emphasis on oral tradition rather than written texts puts him IMO before Justin. Justin appeals to written texts for the life of Jesus (their precise identity may be disputed). This is probably evidence of a greater distance from the events concerned.
That doesn't really follow. They both use written texts. Papias knows about them (at a minimum Mark and Matthew) and doesn't like them enough to write his own texts collecting oral tradition. Justin, being a different person, does not leave any statement about preferring oral tradition to written texts.
"... almost every critical biblical position was earlier advanced by skeptics." - Raymond Brown

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Re: Chasing Hegesippus: a short commentary

Post by andrewcriddle » Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:54 pm

Peter Kirby wrote:
andrewcriddle wrote:
Peter Kirby wrote:
On Papias, J.V.M. Sturdy writes (Redrawing the Boundaries, p. 25):

"Papias of Hierapolis is an important source for early traditions.
Irenaeus says that he was a disciple of 'John' and afriend of Polycarp. He is
now dated by many to c. 130 CE, but this is a quite recent development and
not long ago c. 150 was a commoner date. In any case it is only a floruit. My
date for him is between 140 and 160 CE."

While the 140s may be more likely on other grounds (for the text of Hegesippus), the 150s does not seem to be excluded for the text of Papias if we have already discarded the note in the chronicle of Eusebius that puts him in the reign of Trajan. So, if we accept that the evidence for the text of Hegesippus places it later than 155 (against my own judgment), that does not automatically exclude Papias as a candidate for the author.
Papias'' emphasis on oral tradition rather than written texts puts him IMO before Justin. Justin appeals to written texts for the life of Jesus (their precise identity may be disputed). This is probably evidence of a greater distance from the events concerned.
That doesn't really follow. They both use written texts. Papias knows about them (at a minimum Mark and Matthew) and doesn't like them enough to write his own texts collecting oral tradition. Justin, being a different person, does not leave any statement about preferring oral tradition to written texts.
It is possible that Papias' preference for oral tradition is just a personal idiosyncracy. But it is IMO more likely that he writes close enough to the events described for authentic oral tradition to be prima-facie plausible. This again IMO is unlikely after 150 CE.

Andrew Criddle

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Re: Chasing Hegesippus: a short commentary

Post by Peter Kirby » Thu Nov 28, 2013 2:19 pm

andrewcriddle wrote:
Peter Kirby wrote:That doesn't really follow. They both use written texts. Papias knows about them (at a minimum Mark and Matthew) and doesn't like them enough to write his own texts collecting oral tradition. Justin, being a different person, does not leave any statement about preferring oral tradition to written texts.
It is possible that Papias' preference for oral tradition is just a personal idiosyncracy. But it is IMO more likely that he writes close enough to the events described for authentic oral tradition to be prima-facie plausible. This again IMO is unlikely after 150 CE.
Maybe we need to come at this from another direction. How do we know when oral tradition dies?

The Homeric epics are largely acknowledged to have been based on pre-existing oral forms, which could have been handed on for a couple centuries before being written down. I don't see Homeric scholars getting angsty about oral tradition lasting N decades but not N+1 decades.
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Re: Chasing Hegesippus: a short commentary

Post by rakovsky » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:56 am

Peter, I like your idea of finding new references to Hegessippus. Your work is interesting, but your thesis is still a bit confusing for me. I think your thesis is that some writers like Eusebius called Hegessipus "Josephus", and so we should look for references to "Josephus" that don't match the 1st c. Josephus's known writings.

Do you have a list of Heggessippus' misidentified writings, like "Books I to v of Heggessipus of Caesaerea"?

My research on the prophecies of the Messiah's resurrection: http://rakovskii.livejournal.com

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