The Origins of Christianity

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Tenorikuma
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Re: The Origins of Christianity

Post by Tenorikuma » Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:19 am

If there is a problem of reconciling Romans 13 and 1 Corinthians 2:8 then I doubt if it is resolved by putting the crucifixion in the heavenly regions.
I'm not sold on a crucifixion in the heavens, but of course that option would resolve the conflict. I suppose you mean it's not the only way to resolve the conflict.
However such angelic/daemonic rulers are, almost certainly, as part of their job description, the spiritual forces behind earthly power structures. (See the later chapters of Daniel for this idea of the heavenly princes of the nations.)
Do you have any specific example? The "princes" of Greece and Persia oppose Gabriel and Michael in the sky. They don't manipulate political events on the ground as far as I can tell.

I've certainly heard that interpretation of Paul before, but I get the sense it's mostly a way of reconciling Paul's spiritual language with the more concrete scenarios presented in the Gospels. Again, we run the danger of a circular argument if we insist on a specific historical scenario Paul must have had in mind — one unattested in any Christian literature or historical record before or contemporary with Paul — and use it to draw historical conclusions.
Last edited by Tenorikuma on Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:38 am, edited 4 times in total.

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MrMacSon
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Re: The Origins of Christianity

Post by MrMacSon » Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:25 am

andrewcriddle wrote: The crucifixion of the Christ is Pauline and hence earlier than 70 CE.
neilgodfrey wrote: Of course the crucifixion of the Christ is Pauline and pre-70.
On what basis do you both say these things? and, What do you mean by the crucifixion of 'the Christ'?

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Re: The Origins of Christianity

Post by andrewcriddle » Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:46 am

Tenorikuma wrote:
If there is a problem of reconciling Romans 13 and 1 Corinthians 2:8 then I doubt if it is resolved by putting the crucifixion in the heavenly regions.
I'm not sold on a crucifixion in the heavens, but of course that option would resolve the conflict. I suppose you mean it's not the only way to resolve the conflict.
However such angelic/daemonic rulers are, almost certainly, as part of their job description, the spiritual forces behind earthly power structures. (See the later chapters of Daniel for this idea of the heavenly princes of the nations.)
Do you have any specific example? The "princes" of Greece and Persia oppose Gabriel and Michael in the sky. They don't manipulate political events on the ground as far as I can tell.
Daniel 10:20
Then he said, "Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince of Greece is about to come.
Almost certainly refers to the spiritual battles supposed to lie behind the fall of the Persian empire and its replacement by the kingdoms of Alexander and his successors.

Andrew Criddle

andrewcriddle
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Re: The Origins of Christianity

Post by andrewcriddle » Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:51 am

MrMacSon wrote:
andrewcriddle wrote: The crucifixion of the Christ is Pauline and hence earlier than 70 CE.
neilgodfrey wrote: Of course the crucifixion of the Christ is Pauline and pre-70.
On what basis do you both say these things? and, What do you mean by the crucifixion of 'the Christ'?
Both Neil and I regard the core Paulines as pre-70.

But the real argument in this thread has been; assuming at least FTSOA that Paul is before 70 CE does this mean that something like Christianity as we know it is older than 70 CE. ?

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Clive
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Re: The Origins of Christianity

Post by Clive » Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:07 am

Should there not be a Platonic heavenly crucifixion to mirror - (actually the heavenly one is the real one) - the earthly one?

So we have some extremely messy problems to untangle!

Judaism continually writes morality stories to try and explain the latest goings on, and wags fingers at the failed attempts of the earlier ones, unless they can find a few successes.

Everything has a real version happening in the heavens.

It is never obvious if the heroes are real, are hugely corrupted or are fictional. Herodotus asserts Helen is real for example.

My personal impression is that with Jesus we are looking at an extremely heavily invented character, much like Romulus, Achilles, Hercules, to attempt to ground the activities of the gods in a specific locality that hits a few buttons and eventually spreads.

Yes christing is far older than 70, but very vague. Things are not really frozen until the first versions of creeds are written.

This oriental christing cult was probably started by Jewish people living in the Greek and Roman world, "Paul" may have written up and copied some of their ideas like the hymns, but to this a separate Jesus strand from around Jerusalem was spliced at some point. Much editing and heresyfying later ....
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The Origins of Christianity

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:25 am

Tenorikuma wrote:I've certainly heard that interpretation of Paul before, but I get the sense it's mostly a way of reconciling Paul's spiritual language with the more concrete scenarios presented in the Gospels.
I think Paul is seeing Satan lurking behind more mundane earthly obstacles in 1 Thessalonians 2.17-18:

17 But, brothers and sisters, when we were orphaned by being separated from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. 18 For we wanted to come to you — certainly I, Paul, did, again and again — but Satan blocked our way.

I suppose Paul could intend his readers to think of Satan literally appearing in front of him and blocking his path in a physical sense, but I have family members who speak in this way all the time. What is "really" happening amounts to car repairs, economic downturns, and mistakes, but how it gets retold is: "Satan opposed me."

Similarly, in the Christian portion(s) of the Martyrdom of Isaiah, the villain of the piece is Nero, but he is seen either metaphorically or spiritually as an incarnation of Beliar descended from the firmament.

ETA: More here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1710. Satan acts through Sabeans and Chaldeans to attack Job; Beliar acts through Belchira and Manasseh to torment Isaiah; and the devil is regarded as able to cast people into prison, among other examples.
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iskander
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Re: The Origins of Christianity

Post by iskander » Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:37 am

Clive wrote:Why does Paul say "Christ Jesus" and "Jesus Christ"? Later editing?
Miguel de Unamuno said of Paul that he was a news reporter. That makes of Paul a good subject for a ' tertulia' .Jesus is the epicentre of an earthquake.
Miguel de Unamuno was born on September 29, 1864, in Bilbao, Spain. He served twice as rector of the University of Salamanca; Unamano died while under house arrest in 1936
.
http://www.biography.com/people/miguel- ... no-9513373
A tertulia is a social gathering with literary or artistic overtones
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tertulia
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Michael BG
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Re: The Origins of Christianity

Post by Michael BG » Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:40 am

neilgodfrey wrote: That's correct. The Gospel of Mark was rejecting the notion of those "world/Roman conquering" types of messiahs. Paul knew nothing of them. Paul's message was being adapted for the new situation.
What evidence can you present that Mark is concerned with a rebellious Messianic figure?
neilgodfrey wrote:
Clive wrote:And is Christ's return an assumption? What does Paul actually say, is Christ coming or coming back?
If the gospels (esp Mark and Matthew) are written in the tradition of the Jewish scriptures then it makes most sense to me to interpret them as saying Jesus or God "came" or "visited" Jerusalem in 70 CE.
What evidence would you produce that Mark is saying that God came to Jerusalem in 70 CE, rather than Jesus was there between 26 and 36 CE when Pilate was Prefect?
Tenorikuma wrote:That's the problem, isn't it, Andrew? Paul never seems to place the crucifixion in a specific place or time period. Determining what Paul "likely" thought runs the danger of begging the question.

An additional problem, if Romans 13 is genuinely Pauline, would be reconciling Paul's view of the Roman authorities ("God's servants" who punish only wrongdoers) with Jesus as an innocent man tortured to death.
It is possible that Rom 13:1-7 is an interpolation. (Do any scholars suggestion this?)

In Rom 12:14 Paul is saying bless those who persecute you; in 12:20 “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.”. Then in Rom 13:8 he is still taking about love, but now your neighbour. Then he talks with the coming of Jesus Christ and not caring about the flesh (Rom 13:14).

Rom 12:1-7 seems strange in the context of Paul’s own sufferings 2 Cor 11:23d-25b, “with far greater labours, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. [24] Five times I have received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. [25] Three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned.” I assume that the lashes and the rods would have been administered by those in authority.

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Re: The Origins of Christianity

Post by outhouse » Mon Jun 13, 2016 8:15 am

Ben C. Smith wrote: I suppose Paul could intend his readers to think of Satan literally appearing in front of him and blocking his path in a physical sense, but I have family members who speak in this way all the time. What is "really" happening amounts to car repairs, economic downturns, and mistakes, but how it gets retold is: "Satan opposed me."

.

Ben, all of these people blamed good or bad thoughts on evil or good spirits did they not?


They had no idea what a conscious mind even was. To them it was all controlled spiritually, was it not?

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The Origins of Christianity

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Jun 13, 2016 8:17 am

Michael BG wrote:It is possible that Rom 13:1-7 is an interpolation. (Do any scholars suggestion this?)
Yes. Refer to Peter Kirby's notes and links here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1839&p=40601#p40600.
In Rom 12:14 Paul is saying bless those who persecute you; in 12:20 “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.”. Then in Rom 13:8 he is still taking about love, but now your neighbour. Then he talks with the coming of Jesus Christ and not caring about the flesh (Rom 13:14).

Rom 12:1-7 seems strange in the context of Paul’s own sufferings 2 Cor 11:23d-25b, “with far greater labours, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. [24] Five times I have received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. [25] Three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned.” I assume that the lashes and the rods would have been administered by those in authority.
I have found Romans 13.1-7 to be an intractable problem so far. It comes across as so impossibly naïve that I have trouble imagining anyone having written it. Paul is hard to imagine for many reasons, some of which you have listed here. But would a forger have been unaware of the kinds of trouble that produced warnings of persecution all across the New Testament and the early patristic texts? Was there some pocket of Christianity that was nearly completely untouched by conflicts with the authorities?

Is it possible that by "authorities" Paul (or whoever) means only the Roman authorities, which during this time could at least hypothetically be counted on to stave off the excesses of local magistrates and religious rulers?

One also has to reckon with Jesus being a good person and yet crucified, according to Paul. If demons did it, problem solved. But I offer another possible solution here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1718.
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