Top suspects that could have invented the historical Jesus?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Chris Hansen
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Re: Top suspects that could have invented the historical Jesus?

Post by Chris Hansen » Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:07 am

The problem is that none of that is actually invalidating of a historical Jesus, either in Paul. As with the Valentinians, both can be true, and thus a historical figure Jesus exist. Thus, your view actually is not a counter to historicity. It is actually completely compatible with it and, in fact, not even capable of excluding it. This is, actually, my problem with most mythicist theses. Most of them are entirely consistent on a historicist model, and therefore, cannot actually exclude it.

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Giuseppe
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Re: Top suspects that could have invented the historical Jesus?

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:18 am

The difference is that the Valentinians broke the silence about the earthly Jesus, whereas Paul didn't break it. Hence the bifurcation happened after Paul and before the Valentinians. Paul knew only the crucifixion of glory.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Chris Hansen
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Re: Top suspects that could have invented the historical Jesus?

Post by Chris Hansen » Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:30 am

So we are just ignoring 1 Thess. 2:14-16, 4:15, Gal. 1:18-19, 3:16, 4:4-5, Rom. 1-3, 9:3-5, 15:8, 15:9-12, 1 Cor. 7:10-11, 9:14, 11:23-26, I mean I could go on and on and on.

There are numerous times where Paul mentions a historical Jesus, and all the hypotheses I've seen to explain these away have never held up. So, one cannot talk of Paul only knowing "the crucifixion of glory" when he has clear statements that are best interpreted on the contrary.

I will say that I am sympathetic to your hypothesis, but it does not seem particularly parsimonious is my biggest issue.

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Giuseppe
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Re: Top suspects that could have invented the historical Jesus?

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:43 am

I start from the assumption that there are no historicist or mythicist smoking gun in Paul, but only that his general silence about the HJ has to be explained.


May I never boast,” Paul said, “except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14)

He was saying that the glory of the cross supercedes everything. These words about the “world crucified” have to be interpreted literally, to mean that by the cosmic cross the Pleroma (and Paul with it) was divided from the matter. Hence we find here the same function of Limit for Horos or Stauros. A “world crucified”, i.e. separated from upper heavens, requires by need a cosmic cross in heaven, not an earthly humble cross. This doesn’t prevent Paul from using the wood of Isaac to “portray” the cross for poor Galatians.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Chris Hansen
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Re: Top suspects that could have invented the historical Jesus?

Post by Chris Hansen » Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:50 am

Why do they have to be interpreted literally? You are just projecting gnosticism back onto Paul and saying it "must" be done, but that is anachronistic at best. And this does not explain why he would say Jesus is a descendant of David, Abraham, Jesse, or why he had a mother, a brother, a betrayal, etc. None of this makes sense under your hypothesis, especially considering there is no precedent I am aware of of the celestial Christ in Valentinian gnosticism being of the lineage of David. Even if there was a "cosmic cross" you've failed to give any explanation for the historical verses, which undermine your thesis that there was no historical Jesus. This is why I don't find the thesis parsimonious. It cannot adequately explain all the evidence.

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Giuseppe
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Re: Top suspects that could have invented the historical Jesus?

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:01 am

Chris Hansen wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:50 am
And this does not explain why he would say Jesus is a descendant of David, Abraham, Jesse, or why he had a mother, a brother, a betrayal, etc. None of this makes sense under your hypothesis, especially considering there is no precedent I am aware of of the celestial Christ in Valentinian gnosticism being of the lineage of David.
Mark is generally recognized as a pauline gospel, and there are arguments for Mark's Jesus denying his being really davidic hence by extension the same doubt is raised about Jesus being really davidic in Paul.

As to "born by woman", it is too much an answer to Gospel of Thomas 15:

Jesus said: When you see him who was not born of woman, fall down upon your faces and worship him; that one is your Father.

...not even against Marcion. Hence you can't use it as historicist evidence.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Giuseppe
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Re: Top suspects that could have invented the historical Jesus?

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:05 am

In addition Porphyry quoted 1 Cor 9:5 but he didn't find "brothers of the Lord" in the version of the epistle in his hand.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2614&hilit=Porphyry+brothers#p58449
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Chris Hansen
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Re: Top suspects that could have invented the historical Jesus?

Post by Chris Hansen » Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:33 am

The Gospel of Thomas has been well known to have been reliant on the Synoptic Gospels and so is a much later transformation. So its information is, at best, unreliable and specious about Christian origins.

Also, where in Mark's Gospel does Jesus deny his Davidic line? That again sounds like something you are projecting onto the text.

And did I refer to 1 Cor. 9:5? Because I don't recall doing so. You are arguing against a point I never made. The only argument you have against Gal. 1:18-19 and 4:4-5 would be to cite Marcion, however, because we have no complete manuscripts of Marcion, we cannot actually demonstrate epistemologically that any lacunae are because of interpolations or because of a multitude of other reasons. In short, interpolation theses have absolutely no justification.

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Giuseppe
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Re: Top suspects that could have invented the historical Jesus?

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:46 am

Chris Hansen wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:33 am
The Gospel of Thomas has been well known to have been reliant on the Synoptic Gospels and so is a much later transformation. So its information is, at best, unreliable and specious about Christian origins.
the problem with 'born by woman' is that it could be claimed only in opposition to people who denied the birth by woman, since any man is born by woman. So, if genuine, it confirms that already during the Paul's time there were deniers of the birth of Jesus by woman. Hence it would confirm that it was not the shared belief.

Chris Hansen wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:33 am
Also, where in Mark's Gospel does Jesus deny his Davidic line? That again sounds like something you are projecting onto the text.
Mark 12:
While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, “Why do the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of David? 36 David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared:
“‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I put your enemies
under your feet.”’[h]
37 David himself calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?
The large crowd listened to him with delight.

Chris Hansen wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:33 am
And did I refer to 1 Cor. 9:5? Because I don't recall doing so. You are arguing against a point I never made. The only argument you have against Gal. 1:18-19 and 4:4-5 would be to cite Marcion, however, because we have no complete manuscripts of Marcion, we cannot actually demonstrate epistemologically that any lacunae are because of interpolations or because of a multitude of other reasons. In short, interpolation theses have absolutely no justification.
we know at least that Marcion denied the birth, having a Jesus descended already adult on earth. Hence I disagree willingly with you about these points.

About James, I think that Richard Carrier has the great merit of giving the best explanation about why Paul used the construct "brother of Lord": to distinguish him from Peter the apostle.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Chris Hansen
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Re: Top suspects that could have invented the historical Jesus?

Post by Chris Hansen » Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:01 am

"only in opposition to people who denied the birth"

That is a presumptive argument with no justification. As a case in point, shall we then declare that all statements about birth of Julius Caesar were because people denied his birth? No. This argument is purely an invention to fit your agenda, but has no validity in historical sources. There are actual theological arguments that have nothing to do with the denial of Jesus' birth, for why one could claim it.

"Mark 12"

This is not a denial that he is a descendant of David. This is a theological question as to how the son of David could be the son of David and the son of God (hence called Lord), not a denial of a genealogical connection.

"we know at least that Marcion denied the birth, having a Jesus descended already adult on earth. Hence I disagree willingly with you about these points."

Yes, we do, but Marcion is coming so late that it is pretty irrelevant what he thought. He has no bearing on earliest Christianity. Furthermore, Marcion's denial of the birth of Jesus means he would have every reason to excise passages out of Paul that contradict this. As such, his texts are useless because we have no epistemic way to determine why the lacunae exist. And the "brother of the Lord" argument Carrier uses has no merit. If 1 Cor. 9:5 is an interpolation as you suppose, then Gal. 1:18-19 is the ONLY time that "brother of the Lord" is *ever* used by Paul, and therefore Carrier has no argument for saying this is a specific station of baptized Christians. Carrier's argument is completely ad hoc and has no textual support. It does not explain why on all other occasions Paul only calls them "brother/sister" and never "brother of the Lord." *Only* James is ever called "brother of the Lord." Also, we can apply Carrier's own Bayesian metric here to determine the prior probability. We have three different alternatives: James is being called a biological brother, James is being called both a biological and fraternal brother at once, or James is only being called a fraternal brother. By virtue of (1) and (2) being both references to a historical Jesus' brother, we come to a prior of 66% in favor that it originally referred to a historical Jesus, and 33% against, because we have two explanations and cannot determine which they are. So the likelihood of the explanation is most likely to be historical be default.

Thus, the passage is most likely in my favor just by default.

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