Wiki EarlyChristian writings Missing from our Forum'sWebsite

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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rakovsky
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Re: Wiki EarlyChristian writings Missing from our Forum'sWebsite

Post by rakovsky » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:41 pm

It's a little surprising to me that other than the Didache, the Gospel of Thomas, and the Lives of the Prophets, there are hardly any Christian materials outside the NT that scholars date from before the Temple's destruction in 70 AD.

It seems more likely to me that some more writings by or about Christians, at least in an earlier form than we have now, should exist from 33-70 AD. This is because we have lots of Epistles in the NT, especially from Paul, and scholars date those to 15-30 years before 70 AD. And we have plenty of materials from 70-150 AD by or about Christians.

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MrMacSon
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Re: Wiki EarlyChristian writings Missing from our Forum'sWebsite

Post by MrMacSon » Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:09 am

rakovsky wrote:
Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:41 pm

It's a little surprising to me that - other than the Didache, the Gospel of Thomas, and the Lives of the Prophets - there are hardly any Christian materials outside the NT that scholars date from before the Temple's destruction in 70 AD.
What makes you think 'the Didache, the Gospel of Thomas, and the Lives of the Prophets' are 'from before the Temple's destruction (in 70 AD)' ??

From wikipedia -
The Lives of the Prophets is an ancient apocryphal account of the lives of the prophets from the Old Testament. It is not regarded as scripture by any Jewish or Christian denomination. The work may have been known by the author of some of the Pauline Epistles, as there are similarities in the descriptions of the fates of the prophets, although without naming the individuals concerned.

The work survives only in Christian manuscripts. There are two groups of Greek manuscripts:
  • the first group includes many versions, well known in the past centuries, with heavy Christian additions. Some of these versions were attributed to Epiphanius of Salamis, others to Dorotheus of Tyre.
  • The other group of Greek manuscripts is more stable and free from the interpolations found in the previous group: the best codex is a 6th-century CE manuscript usually referred to as Q or as anonymous recension.
There is also a Latin version with a text near to Q used by Isidore of Seville (before 636 CE). There are also versions in Syriac, Armenian, and Arabic.

Authenticating the dating is highly problematic due to the Christian transmission and presumed expansions. Most scholars consider this work to be of Jewish origin dating the 1st century CE. Torrey suggests a date before 106 CE. Hare the first quarter of the 1st century CE. Satran proposes an early Byzantine origin in the 4th-5th century on previous materials...

The author of the Lives of the Prophets seems to have been more interested in miracles, intercessions and predictions of the prophets than in their ethical teaching. One of the more typical themes of the Lives of the Prophets is the interest of the author for the burial places of the prophets. Jeremias in his study examines both the archaeological and the literary evidence, in particular the Herod architectural activity and the attestations of Matthew 23:29 and Luke 11:47, and considers the Lives as a witness of popular devotion ... The theme of prophets as intercessors for people long after the prophet's death is also present. A major theme is martyrdom of the prophets: six prophets are said to have been martyred.

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


rakovsky wrote:
Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:41 pm

...we have plenty of materials from 70-150 AD by or about Christians.
.
Such as?

.

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Re: Wiki EarlyChristian writings Missing from our Forum'sWebsite

Post by pavurcn » Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:53 pm

If you are including inscriptions, as I think you are, I would propose that we should consider the earliest writing about Jesus to be the text composed by Pontius Pilate around the year 30: INRI (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus,_Ki ... he_gospels).

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Re: Wiki EarlyChristian writings Missing from our Forum'sWebsite

Post by rakovsky » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:39 pm

Can one clearly disprove that Philo was describing Christians in his chapter on the Therapeutae sect? What are the strongest arguments against this?
Philo died in c.50 AD, but that was still pretty early in Christian history. Philo doesn't specify that the sect were "Christian" or Messianic.
Eusebius proposed that Philo was really discussing a Christian group in Philo's On the Contemplative Life, where he described the sect.
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/yonge/book34.html

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Re: Wiki EarlyChristian writings Missing from our Forum'sWebsite

Post by DCHindley » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:21 pm

rakovsky wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:39 pm
Can one clearly disprove that Philo was describing Christians in his chapter on the Therapeutae sect? What are the strongest arguments against this?
Philo died in c.50 AD, but that was still pretty early in Christian history. Philo doesn't specify that the sect were "Christian" or Messianic.
Eusebius proposed that Philo was really discussing a Christian group in Philo's On the Contemplative Life, where he described the sect.
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/yonge/book34.html
I think that for many early Christian commentators, there was an obvious overlap of lifestyles and philosophies of life between Philo's therapeutae and the description of the early Christian communities in the book of Acts. Maybe they did share goods in common, so that is not impossible, but it sure doesn't prove that one description is a revision of the other regardless of the direction of influence assumed. Community of goods is also mentioned in "sectarian" covenants like the Damascus document, the Community Rule, and the Zadokite document, but not, IIRC, about Essenes in Philo, Josephus or Hippolytus. Basically, there is Philo's therapeute, and Acts' communist early Christians.

Wasn't it Eusebius who first equated Philo's therapeutae and the Christians of Acts?

Yet Philo describes a group (therapeutes) that lived in Egypt along the west bank of the Nile. While they could also be found scattered about all over, if the early Christians were a kind of therapeute, doesn't that mean that the therapeute movement of Philo (up to about 30 CE), which was well organized and had its own particular literature, must have preceded Jesus and whatever social movement he may have established?

I dunno ... been meaning to compare all the sources (Philo, Josephus, Hippolytus, and Eusebius) on Essenes and Therapeutae, and this may be the time to do it.

DCH

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Re: Wiki EarlyChristian writings Missing from our Forum'sWebsite

Post by rakovsky » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:35 pm

What century do you think the dating could be of the books of the Ethiopian New Testament that are not in the Western (eg Catholic) New Testament? Could they be from the first or second century? I found very little about them online:
The Orthodox Tewahedo broader New Testament canon has eight additional books. These are the four books of Sinodos, the two divisions of the Book of the Covenant, Ethiopic Clement, and the Ethiopic Didascalia. Most of the literature herein would either be considered part of the writings of the Apostolic Fathers or part of the Ancient Church Orders.
Sinodos

The Ethiopic canonical Sinodos are four books of church order traditionally attributed to the Apostles. They are as follows: Ser`atä Seyon (30 canons), Te'ezaz (71 canons), Gessew (56 canons), and Abtelis (81 canons). Much of the material contained within these books, with the exception of Ser`atä Seyon, is traditionally considered to be of Clementine origin. Other non-canonical parts of the Sinodos are included with these four books within the Ethiopic MSS.

The Book of the Covenant
The Book of the Covenant, or Mäshafä Kidan, is counted in two parts. Part one has sixty sections and is mostly about church order. Part two is the sixty-first section, and is a discourse of Jesus Christ to his disciples in Galilee following his resurrection.

Ethiopic Clement
The Ethiopic canonical book of Clement, or Qälëmentos, is distinct from the well known Epistles of Saint Clement—1 Clement and 2 Clement—as well as the aforementioned Clementine Sinodos and any other Clementine literature known in other traditions. It is a uniquely Ethiopic book in seven parts, purportedly by Peter to Clement of Rome.
https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmXoypizjW3WknFiJn ... canon.html

One of the books in the Sinodos, Testament of Our Lord, is dated to the 4th to 5th century.
The Didascalia Apostolorum is generally dated to c. 230 AD.

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Re: Wiki EarlyChristian writings Missing from our Forum'sWebsite

Post by andrewcriddle » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:51 am

rakovsky wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:35 pm
...........................
One of the books in the Sinodos, Testament of Our Lord, is dated to the 4th to 5th century.
The Didascalia Apostolorum is generally dated to c. 230 AD.
The Testament of Our Lord is online.
It is an updated version of the 3rd century Apostolic Tradition

Andrew Criddle

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rakovsky
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Re: Wiki EarlyChristian writings Missing from our Forum'sWebsite

Post by rakovsky » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:19 pm

I just can't find any more on these unique Ethiopic writings. Beckwith suggests that since these extra writings are not in the narrow Ethiopic canon, they must not have been translated from Coptic into Ethiopic until about the 13th century when the Coptic church prompted more translations.

I could guess that the Ethiopic Clement is a later version of the known Clementine writings, that the rest of the Book of the Covenant is the same date of writing as the Testament of Our Lord, which it includes (ie. 4th-5th century). And I could guess that the Sinodos was written at about that same time (4th to 5thc. ), but I really don't know.

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