Early to mid 2nd c. works on Christianity missing from our forum's website

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: 101-150 AD works on Christianity listed by theme

Post by rakovsky » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:47 am

Peter Kirby wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:26 am
It’s an epitaph.
Peter,
The inscription says:
“As a citizen of a favored city, I have had this monument made while alive in order that I might here have a prominent place for my body. My name is Avercius, a disciple of a holy shepherd.”
Maybe you passed over that part about how it was written by him during his own lifetime and concluded that it had to be written after the last date he was alive (apparently 193 AD based on the treatise)?

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Re: 101-150 AD works on Christianity listed by theme

Post by Peter Kirby » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:09 pm

You’ve made a lot of mistakes in this thread. Maybe you are trying to attribute mistakes to me in an attempt to achieve parity.

You will not find anywhere that I claimed his epitaph was written after he had died.
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Re: 101-150 AD works on Christianity listed by theme

Post by Peter Kirby » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:16 pm

The website makes an effort to list the most plausible date ranges based on the best available evidence. It would be a kind of malpractice for me to acquiesce to your undying detraction and shift the dates listed for the inscription of Abercius any earlier. Perhaps I could add a small fudge factor if we had an indication that he had died in 193. What we know is that he was still alive then. It is most logical to place the date range of the epitaph, in the most plausible and defensible form, between 193 and 216. I have no intention of making the site worse because you don’t like that. Sure, 192 is possible, even earlier is possible if you want to play games with the evidence, but 193 sits it after the text which mentions him alive, so it is easily understood why the year is listed. You can find the anti Montanist treatise immediately above it on the timeline.
"... almost every critical biblical position was earlier advanced by skeptics." - Raymond Brown

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Re: 101-150 AD works on Christianity listed by theme

Post by rakovsky » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:19 pm

Peter Kirby wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:09 pm
You’ve made a lot of mistakes in this thread. Maybe you are trying to attribute mistakes to me in an attempt to achieve parity.

You will not find anywhere that I claimed his epitaph was written after he had died.
OK. Well, if the epitaph was written when he was still alive, and we know he was apparently alive at least from 163-193, then what fact implies that it was written no earlier than 193?

The treatise of 193 suggests Avercius was still alive in 193. But what about this treatise gives any indication about the inscription's date of writing, Peter?

Maybe you are thinking that the earliest plausible date is limited to the last one when we know he was alive?
I have trouble seeing the reasoning behind the 193 limit.
Last edited by rakovsky on Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 101-150 AD works on Christianity listed by theme

Post by rakovsky » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:26 pm

Peter Kirby wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:16 pm
The website makes an effort to list the most plausible date ranges based on the best available evidence. It would be a kind of malpractice for me to acquiesce to your undying detraction and shift the dates listed for the inscription of Abercius any earlier. Perhaps I could add a small fudge factor if we had an indication that he had died in 193. What we know is that he was still alive then. It is most logical to place the date range of the epitaph, in the most plausible and defensible form, between 193 and 216. I have no intention of making the site worse because you don’t like that. Sure, 192 is possible, even earlier is possible if you want to play games with the evidence, but 193 sits it after the text which mentions him alive, so it is easily understood why the year is listed. You can find the anti Montanist treatise immediately above it on the timeline.
What is logical about putting the earliest plausible date at 193, when we know that he lived at least in 163-193?

We know from the ECW that he was alive sometime in 163-180 because he made a trip to Rome and flourished under M.Aurelius, and that he was likely alive in 193 because the Marcionite treatise addresses him.

So if he was alive in all those times, why is 193 the earliest plausible date if all we know is that we wrote it when he was still alive and/or that he wrote it after his 163 trip?

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Re: 101-150 AD works on Christianity listed by theme

Post by Peter Kirby » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:28 pm

I am not going to add any significant length of time between the author writing his epitaph and the author’s death, at least not without a date of death instead of a terminus a quo for it (earliest possible date). You can claim a victory over that if you want, but I would not want to use the results if all the date ranges were concocted in such strained ways.
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Re: 101-150 AD works on Christianity listed by theme

Post by rakovsky » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:46 pm

Peter Kirby wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:28 pm
I am not going to add any significant length of time between the author writing his epitaph and the author’s death, at least not without a date of death instead of a terminus a quo for it (earliest possible date). You can claim a victory over that if you want, but I would not want to use the results if all the date ranges were concocted in such strained ways.
We only know it was written when he was alive, that he visited Rome in 163, that he flourished sometime in 161-180, and apparently he was alive in 193.

How do we have any indication at all that there was or was not a "significant length of time between the author writing his epitaph and the author’s death"?


People tell their kids how and where they want to be buried sometimes decades before they end up dying. Roman Christians had catacombs for burial long before they died. On top of that, 2nd century Christianity placed major significance on memorializing the dead. People write memoirs and biographies when they are still healthy. Isn't it plausible that years before he died he wanted to leave a memoir in stone that would stand the test of time?

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Re: 101-150 AD works on Christianity listed by theme

Post by Peter Kirby » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:25 pm

rakovsky wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:46 pm
Peter Kirby wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:28 pm
I am not going to add any significant length of time between the author writing his epitaph and the author’s death, at least not without a date of death instead of a terminus a quo for it (earliest possible date). You can claim a victory over that if you want, but I would not want to use the results if all the date ranges were concocted in such strained ways.
We only know it was written when he was alive, that he visited Rome in 163, that he flourished sometime in 161-180, and apparently he was alive in 193.

How do we have any indication at all that there was or was not a "significant length of time between the author writing his epitaph and the author’s death"?


People tell their kids how and where they want to be buried sometimes decades before they end up dying. Roman Christians had catacombs for burial long before they died. On top of that, 2nd century Christianity placed major significance on memorializing the dead. People write memoirs and biographies when they are still healthy. Isn't it plausible that years before he died he wanted to leave a memoir in stone that would stand the test of time?
Dude. He wrote it when he was 72 years old.

17. These words, I, Abercius, standing by, ordered to be inscribed.
18. In truth, I was in the course of my seventy-second year.

It’s pretty safe to assume he had one foot in the grave, as they say. As safe as anything in this crazy subject.

This also addresses all your kvetching about his earlier activity. The guy was old.
"... almost every critical biblical position was earlier advanced by skeptics." - Raymond Brown

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Re: 101-150 AD works on Christianity listed by theme

Post by rakovsky » Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:53 pm

Thank you. I sympathize with alot of what you are saying.
How old do they say St John lived to? 85? He died in AD 100 iirc.
If Avercius lived to be from 73 to 85 years old in 193, an inscription written when he was 72 would have been written in 180 to 192 AD.

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Re: 101-150 AD works on Christianity listed by theme

Post by Peter Kirby » Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:41 pm

This kind of note could belong in the details. I think the date range listed is appropriate for the top level view.
"... almost every critical biblical position was earlier advanced by skeptics." - Raymond Brown

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