How did early Christian texts just go missing?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Ulan
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Re: How did early Christian texts just go missing?

Post by Ulan » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:41 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
rakovsky wrote: Many things in the gospels and early Church history are the kind of thing that someone living in the 1st or early 2nd c. could find out... Someone living in the 1st c. could check up on the facts for themselves too in controversial areas.
  • But it seems nobody did.
Indeed. Even 2nd century "church fathers" seem to be waffling around and try to make sense of what they heard.

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rakovsky
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Re: How did early Christian texts just go missing?

Post by rakovsky » Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:43 am

MrMacSon wrote:
rakovsky wrote: Many things in the gospels and early Church history are the kind of thing that someone living in the 1st or early 2nd c. could find out... Someone living in the 1st c. could check up on the facts for themselves too in controversial areas.
  • But it seems nobody did.
I don't know it seems that. There is the protoevangelium and Ben pandera story. Celsus' work was lost, maybe others were.

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

Skeptical1
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Re: How did early Christian texts just go missing?

Post by Skeptical1 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:57 pm

Just a thought here......considering the known instances where the Roman Church deliberately altered the text(s), could it not be the Roman Church itself either destroyed or confiscated all the copies of earlier texts it could find? :tomato: :confusedsmiley:

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MrMacSon
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Re: How did early Christian texts just go missing?

Post by MrMacSon » Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:25 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
rakovsky wrote: Many things in the gospels and early Church history are the kind of thing that someone living in the 1st or early 2nd c. could find out... Someone living in the 1st c. could check up on the facts for themselves too in controversial areas.
  • But it seems nobody did.
rakovsky wrote: I don't know it seems that. There is the protoevangelium and Ben pandera story. Celsus' work was lost, maybe others were.
Besides Origen's account that his arch-rival Celsus had heard from a Jew in Jerusalem that "Jesus Ben Pantera" was born of Mary as the result of an interaction with a Roman soldier named Pantera, the Talmud has the story of Miriam ben Stada the hairdresser who's adulterous affair with Joseph ben Pantera, a Roman mercenary, produced Yeshu ben Pantera who learned magic arts in Egypt and "led many astray" according to the Talmud.

There are also several references to a Yeishu ha Notzri (note the resemblance of the name to "Jesus of Nazareth"), who travelled around and practiced magic during the reign of Alexander Janneus, who ruled Palestine from 104 to 78 BCE.

The protoevangelium could have arisen anywhere, anytime (apparently Justin Martyr (160 AD) and Irenaeus (180 AD) regarded it as the first messianic prophecy in the Old Testament).

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rakovsky
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Re: How did early Christian texts just go missing?

Post by rakovsky » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:29 am

Origen wrote that "The church has four gospels, heresy many", and Irenaeus wrote that there were only four gospels too, just as the earth had four corners.
So already by their time, c. 170-200, the narrative of Jesus was set in stone as four gospels plus maybe John's Revelation. Any other narrative of Jesus, even the Diatessaron, the Gospel of the Hebrews, and the Protoevangelium would therefore be excluded and rejected.

Another thing I notice is that outside the four gospels, the opening of Acts, and maybe the book of Revelation, there is no narration about Jesus. That's 27 books of the NT minus 6 = 21. I would have expected at least a few paragraphs to slip in narrating what happened.

It's true that Peter mentions seeing the Transfiguration and Paul has his brief Creed-like summary where he mentions James and the 500 seeing Jesus. But they are not really narrations. Peter and Paul don't give details. When we get to James' epistle, he says so little about Jesus that some skeptics have wondered if it was even written by him. For that matter, people even start to doubt that these writers knew of the virgin birth and if Paul's reference to the 500 and his Creed like summary were an interpolation.

It seems to me that a different explanation is correct - maybe they deliberately were quiet about these things in their letters. When it came to the narrative of Jesus' life, they presented their 1-4 gospels, and were otherwise deliberately silent.

So for example, Paul says in Gal 1:8:
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Now you can take that to mean that no one should preach a theology (the "good news") conflicting with the true one Paul originally gave.
But it could more strictly mean that no one, even Peter and James, is allowed to preach any narrative of Jesus' life separate from the official one. That would help explain why there are 27 books of the New Testament and about 20-30 books from the mainstream church in 35-150 AD, but little of it directly narrates Jesus' life except for the 6 books I named, maybe Papias' semi-lost commentary on Jesus' sayings, and semi-rejected or semi-lost works like Gospel of the Hebrews.

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

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rakovsky
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Re: How did early Christian texts just go missing?

Post by rakovsky » Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:23 am

In fact, if we didn't have the latest of the two gospels, Luke and John, we would only be left with Mark hinting at a Galilee appearance and Matthew briefly saying that they saw Jesus on the mount in Galilee, with no more details besides giving Jesus' sermon and the teaching that some people didn't believe it.

Such accounts must rely on the apostles giving oral reports of the resurrection sightings.
Maybe they didn't put it in writing because doing so would hold them to fixed written testimony.

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

outhouse
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Re: How did early Christian texts just go missing?

Post by outhouse » Mon May 01, 2017 8:29 pm

rakovsky wrote: Now you can take that to mean that no one should preach a theology (the "good news") conflicting with the true one Paul originally gave.
.
Paul joined a movement in progress, he started nothing and only became popular as the version he joined became the most popular one.

There was never a true version, and Paul wrote with a community. His epistles often tell you who was writing with him.

Such accounts must rely on the apostles giving oral reports of the resurrection sightings.
Factually no. We have ZERO indication any real follower ever recorded a single word or tradition.

Resurrection could have started just because Johns teachings lived on after his murder, and the same is applied to Jesus. His message lived on after his death so surely he was resurrected.

Context is key here, and you pigeon holed it into a very narrow category not found to be plausible.

It could have been spiritual to physical resurrection since Pauline text plays both sides of the fence. It also could apply to the context of resurrection above.


Maybe they didn't put it in writing because doing so would hold them to fixed written testimony.
They recorded what was important, often in reply to traditions against them, but defining details of the resurrection was not important to the theology as it was real to them regardless of how.

outhouse
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Re: How did early Christian texts just go missing?

Post by outhouse » Mon May 01, 2017 8:32 pm

rakovsky wrote: But it could more strictly mean that no one, even Peter and James, is allowed to preach any narrative of Jesus' life separate from the official one
.
What about reality? There was no official one.

Plausibility dictates his real followers fled to Galilee after arrest. Galileans were not really welcome in Jerusalem a Hellenistic center these country bumkins would have been like fish out of water. Their leader just murdered after failing to be any sort of messiah.

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Re: How did early Christian texts just go missing?

Post by rakovsky » Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:10 am

Michael BG wrote:
Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:31 am
rakovsky wrote:
Michael BG wrote: I did inform you that I did understand about life expectancy and it was implied in the original comment.

I pointed out a life expectancy average of 30 and 35.
I pointed out that with this average life expectancy few people would live past the age of 54 (reached in 50 CE).''
Hello, Michael. My question is not whether you believe you understand what life expectancy means, but whether you understand the reasons why statisticians say that life expectancy that factors in infant mortality rates is very misleading.

When one says that few out of all people live past 54 if the life expectancy is 30, then that statement is misleading, because it doesn't distinguish between people who reach adult hood and those who don't. Judeans who reached adulthood and knew Mary's background would have a much longer lifespan that all people, which would include children who didn't.

I told you that medieval Islamic scholars live to 80, and you didn't like that statistic because we are talking about average women.
Same thing here. We are not talking about all life expectancy, but life expectancy for adults, which is drastically different because of the infant mortality factor.
Regarding the life span of Judeans in the first century and whether people could find eyewitnesses to Jesus 60-70 years after his preaching:

In Book II of his Wars of the Jews, Josephus writes about the Essenes:
They live to a great age-most of them to upwards of a century-in consequence, I imagine, of the simplicity and regularity of their mode of life.

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

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