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

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Re: Early to mid 2nd c. works on Christianity listed by theme

Post by rakovsky » Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:07 am

How late do you think the church's period of the Apostolic Fathers lasted? That is the time of Papias, Polycarp and others who may have known the apostles.


Some scholars interpret Jesus to have predicted apocalyptic events to occur during the time of the generation then living, or while some are still "standing" in 33 AD. 120 years for a generation + 33 AD = 153 AD.

I read that Marcion the gnost lived in 85 to 160 ad, and there is a medieval drawing of him meeting St John, so maybe this reflects possible lifespans and ranges for that time.

The synod condemning Montanism, which looks like a solid end point for frequent widespread prophecying in the church, was in 160 ad.

I read different ideas on whether Papias and Polycarp died in about 155 or 164 AD. Irenaeus called Papias "ancient" in age. And Polycarp was martyred at 82.

I think St John supposedly lived in 15 to 100 ad, living 85 years. Someone who was 15 years old and knew St John in 100 ad would have been 85 in 170 ad.

I read different writers say that the time of the Apostolic Fathers ended in the early 2nd c., in 170 ad, or in 180 ad.

Someone who was 13 years old in 33 AD and heard Jesus teach would be 90 in 110 ad. Another person who was 13 in 110 ad and heard that 90 year old teach then would be 90 in 187 ad.

What do you think?

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Re: Early to mid 2nd c. works on Christianity listed by theme

Post by perseusomega9 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:19 am

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Re: Early to mid 2nd c. works on Christianity listed by theme

Post by Bernard Muller » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:27 am

How late do you think the church's period of the Apostolic Fathers lasted? That is the time of Papias, Polycarp and others who may have known the apostles.
The claims were likely false and John the elder & Aristion were likely not eyewitnesses of Jesus, but due to their extreme longevity, could have been alive as young men during Jesus' times. For me, the true apostolic era (the one of activities by eyewitnesses of Jesus) was over by 70 CE.
Some scholars interpret Jesus to have predicted apocalyptic events to occur during the time of the generation then living, or while some are still "standing" in 33 AD. 120 years for a generation + 33 AD = 153 AD.
The synoptic gospels have Jesus predicting the fall of Jerusalem (70 CE) and, for gMark, apocalyptic events soon after the fall of that city. These gospels also have Jesus predicting the apocalyptic events happening before everyone of his generation will be dead. According to my research Jesus was crucified in 28 CE, then by 100-130 CE, that prophecy would need to be reinterpreted or ignored!

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Re: Early to mid 2nd c. works on Christianity listed by theme

Post by MrMacSon » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:01 pm

rakovsky wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:07 am
Some scholars interpret Jesus to have predicted apocalyptic events to occur during the time of the generation then-living, or while some are still "standing" in 33 AD. 120 years for a generation + 33 AD = 153 AD.
What do you mean by "120 years for a generation" ??


rakovsky wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:07 am
I read that Marcion the gnost lived in 85 to 160 ad, and there is a medieval drawing of him meeting St John, so maybe this reflects possible lifespans and ranges for that time.

The synod condemning Montanism, which looks like a solid end point for frequent widespread prophecying in the church, was in 160 ad.

I read different ideas on whether Papias and Polycarp died in about 155 or 164 AD. Irenaeus called Papias "ancient" in age. And Polycarp was martyred at 82.

I think St John supposedly lived in 15 to 100 ad, living 85 years. Someone who was 15 years old and knew St John in 100 ad would have been 85 in 170 ad.

I read different writers say that the time of the Apostolic Fathers ended in the early 2nd c., in 170 ad, or in 180 ad.

Someone who was 13 years old in 33 AD and heard Jesus teach would be 90 in 110 ad. Another person who was 13 in 110 ad and heard that 90 year old teach then would be 90 in 187 ad.
Those are extremely tenuous associations.


rakovsky wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:07 am
How late do you think the church's period of the Apostolic Fathers lasted? That is the time of Papias, Polycarp and others who may have known the apostles.

From Wikipedia -

"The Apostolic Fathers were Christian theologians who lived in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, who are believed to have personally known some of the Twelve Apostles, or to have been significantly influenced by them.[1]

1 Peterson, John Bertram (1913). "The Apostolic Fathers". In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

That some early 'Apostolic Fathers' may have known the apostles is propositional thinking merged into wishful-thinking used to manipulate believers.

To think that John the Apostle, the supposed cousin of Jesus of Nazareth was still around writing a gospel in the 80s and 90s yet had not done so previously is extreme wishful-thinking. There are several Johns. Most based around Ephesus, Patmos, etc.

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Re: Early to mid 2nd c. works on Christianity listed by theme

Post by rakovsky » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:13 am

Nowadays it's a big thing for Catholics to see the pope. Back in the 1st c. It would be a big thing for Xians to meet a apostle. The early tradition goes that Polycarp and John the apostle both lived in western Turkey about the end of the 1st century. The early writing says Polycarp died at 82. That's not so unlikely an age if the tradition says Marcion lived to 75. Scholars say Polycarp died in c. 155 AD. If he was 82 then, it means he was born in c. 73 ad. If st. John died in c. 100 ad, then polycarp could have met John any time before Polycarp was 28.

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

Post by rakovsky » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:11 pm

Although I would like to think that a writer like Papias left us an Exposition in the 1st c., I have to say that he certainly wrote in the early-mid 2nd century.
1. Irenaeus says that John the disciple lived up to Trajan's reign (98 AD-117 AD). And:
(A) Papias implies that John had already died in his Preface, when he says that he had inquired what John, Jesus' disciple, "was saying" and:
(B) Philip of Sides claims that Papias in his second book(volume) mentions that John the Son of Zebedee had been killed by the Jews. I think that Philip's citation to Papias' "Second Book", including the citation to Papias' claim that is not found in Eusebius that John was killed by the Jews, suggests that Philip had seen Papias' book.

2. Philip of Sides claims that Papias wrote that people whom Jesus resurrected lived up to the time of Hadrian (reign started in c.117 AD).("Concerning those who were raised from the dead by Christ, [he relates] that they lived until Hadrian.")
(A) Some scholars say that Philip of Sides got Papias wrong. They suggest that Philip of Sides was confusing Papias with Quadratus, because soon before and again right after describing Papias, Eusebius talks about Quadratus in a way that could bring to mind Papias. Eusebius says that Quadratus wrote an apology to Hadrian that said that people whom Jesus resurrected were still alive in Quadratus' time.
(B) On the other hand, as I mentioned earlier, I think that Philip had access to Philip's book in a way independent of Eusebius. Maybe Quadratus and Papias were both writing in Hadrian's time and mentioned people still being alive in Hadrian's time who had been resurrected by Jesus.

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

Post by rakovsky » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:12 pm

Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis wrote the Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord in five books.
He is described as "an ancient man who was a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp" by Polycarp's disciple Irenaeus (c. 180). Eusebius adds that Papias was Bishop of Hierapolis around the time of Ignatius of Antioch.[5] In this office Papias was presumably succeeded by Abercius of Hierapolis. ... The work of Papias is dated by most modern scholars to about 95–120.[7][8] Later dates were once argued from two references that now appear to be mistaken. [An] unreliable source in which Papias is said to refer to the reign of Hadrian (117–138) seems to have resulted from confusion between Papias and Quadratus.[10]
[10] Gundry, Robert (2000). Mark: A Commentary on His Apology for the Cross. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papias_of_Hierapolis

Gundry writes in his book "Mark: A Commentary on His Apology for the Cross" about Papias' date of writing:
The only hard evidence favoring a late date consists in a statement by Philip of Side, who makes Papias refer to the reign of Hadrian (117-138...). But we have good reasons to distrust Philip's statement. ... Comparison of Philip's statement with Eusebius' favors that Philip depended on Eusebius but garbled the information he got. Eusebius mentions a Christian writer named Quadratus, who addressed an apology to Hadrian, the very emperor during whose reign Philip puts Papias's writings. ...when Philip quotes Papias, the phraseology sounds more like Eusebius' quotations of Quadratus than of Papias; in other words, it looks as though Philip transferred what Quadratus wrote over to Papias. Thus, just as Eusebius associates Quadratus with Hadrian's reign and quotes Quadratus as referring to people raised from the dead by Jesus and still living, so Philip associates Papias with Hadrian's reign and writes that Papias referred to people raised from the dead by Jesus and still living. Furthermore, there appears to have been another Quadratus, who was a prophet, not an apologist. Eusebius discusses him in association with Jesus' original disciples and their immediate successors. Philip probably confuses Quadratus the apologist with Quadratus the prophet. It was easy for him to do so, because he found Eusebius' similar discussion of Papias bounded by references to the name Quadratus.
Papias writes in his preface as if he made inquiries of the disciples and other church "elders" of his time as if he and they were still alive when he asked about their teachings:
"And if by chance anyone who had been in attendance on the elders arrived, I made enquiries about the words of the elders—what Andrew or Peter had said, or Philip or Thomas or James or John or Matthew or any other of the Lord’s disciples, and whatever Aristion and John the Elder, the Lord’s disciples, were saying. For I did not think that information from the books would profit me as much as information from a living and surviving voice."
I interpret this sentence to mean that Papias asked what Jesus' disciple John (and others) had "said" and what this same disciple John, who had become a Church "elder", was currently saying. I think that Eusebius, like some others since, misinterpreted this passage to mean that there were two Johns, the latter being "John the elder".

Papias cites John as preferring Matthew's order over Mark if the two orders differ:
"The Elder used to say: Mark, in his capacity as Peter’s interpreter, wrote down accurately as many things as he recalled from memory—though not in an ordered form—of the things either said or done by the Lord." "Therefore Matthew put the logia in an ordered arrangement in the Hebrew language, but each person interpreted them as best he could."
When Papias says Hebrew language, I think he means the Hebrew-influenced Aramaic of the time, like that in which the Talmud and, IIRC, Targumns are written.

Which explanation do you think is correct about Papias' assertion that Matthew wrote Jesus' sayings in the "Hebrews' language"?:
Modern scholars have proposed numerous explanations for this assertion, in light of the prevalent view that canonical Matthew was composed in Greek and not translated from Semitic.[24][27] One theory is that Matthew himself produced firstly a Semitic work and secondly a recension of that work in Greek. Another is that others translated Matthew into Greek rather freely. Another is that Papias simply means "Ἑβραίδι διαλέκτῳ" as a Hebrew style of Greek. Another is that Papias refers to a distinct work now lost, perhaps a sayings collection like Q or the so-called Gospel according to the Hebrews. Yet another is that Papias was simply mistaken.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papias_of_Hierapolis
Even in its current form, Matthew's gospel has alot of Aramaic wordings and style. So maybe its sayings were translated by someone (like Matthew himself) into Greek and made by someone (eg. Matthew) into a gospel with the help of Mark's gospel. That is my guess.

Another question is whether Papias meant that Mark wrote down what Mark recalled Peter saying or what Peter recalled Jesus saying. The question is important because it relates to the time when Mark wrote his gospel - was he directly recording Peter's words or did he years later try to write his gospel based on different memories of Peter's teaching? Papias wrote:
The Elder used to say: Mark, in his capacity as Peter’s interpreter, wrote down accurately as many things as he recalled from memory—though not in an ordered form—of the things either said or done by the Lord. For he neither heard the Lord nor accompanied him, but later, as I said, Peter, who used to give his teachings in the form of chreiai,[anecdotes] but had no intention of providing an ordered arrangement of the logia of the Lord. Consequently Mark did nothing wrong when he wrote down some individual items just as he related them from memory. For he made it his one concern not to omit anything he had heard or to falsify anything.
I think that the sentence actually means that Mark wrote down what Peter recalled from memory, not that Mark later on wrote down what he remembered Peter saying.
Just focusing on the first sentence shows this:
"Mark, in his capacity as Peter’s interpreter, wrote down accurately as many things as he[Peter] recalled from memory... of the things either said or done by the Lord."
Since he was writing this as Peter's interpreter, it suggests that Mark did this directly as Peter was preaching.

In Book IV of his Exposition, Papias recounted a saying of the Lord from the disciple of John, whereby
The days will come, in which vines shall grow, each having ten thousand branches, and in each branch ten thousand twigs, and in each true twig ten thousand shoots, and in each one of the shoots ten thousand clusters, and on every one of the clusters ten thousand grapes, and every grape when pressed will give five and twenty metretes of wine. And when any one of the saints shall lay hold of a cluster, another shall cry out, "I am a better cluster, take me; bless the Lord through me." In like manner [the Lord declared] that a grain of wheat would produce ten thousand ears, and that every ear should have ten thousand grains, and every grain would yield ten pounds (quinque bilibres) of clear, pure, fine flour; and that all other fruit-bearing trees, and seeds and grass, would produce in similar proportions (secundum congruentiam iis consequentem); and that all animals feeding [only] on the productions of the earth, should [in those days] become peaceful and harmonious among each other, and be in perfect subjection to man. ... Now these things are credible to believers.
Papias added:
when the traitor Judas did not give credit to them, and put the question, 'How then can things about to bring forth so abundantly be wrought by the Lord.' the Lord declared, 'They who shall come to these [times] shall see.'
Irenaeus related this story to the times of the "appointed kingdom", cited Papias and commented:
When prophesying of these times, therefore, Esaias says: "The wolf also shall feed with the lamb, and the leopard shall take his rest with the kid..." And again he says, in recapitulation, "Wolves and lambs shall then browse together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox, ..." [Isaiah 40:6, etc.] I am quite aware that some persons endeavour to refer these words to the case of savage men, both of different nations and various habits, who come to believe, and when they have believed, act in harmony with the righteous. But although this is [true] now with regard to some men coming from various nations to the harmony of the faith, nevertheless in the resurrection of the just [the words shall also apply] to those animals mentioned. For God is rich in all things. And it is right that when the creation is restored, all the animals should obey and be in subjection to man, and revert to the food originally given by God (for they had been originally subjected in obedience to Adam), that is, the productions of the earth. But some other occasion, and not the present, is [to be sought] for showing that the lion shall [then] feed on straw. And this indicates the large size and rich quality of the fruits. For if that animal, the lion, feeds upon straw [at that period], of what a quality must the wheat itself be whose straw shall serve as suitable food for lions?
Eusebius on the other hand, appeared to complain that Papias did not take such descriptions of the coming kingdom metaphorically, ascribed Papias' interpretation to Papias being of limited understanding, and complained that Papias misled Irenaeus about this:
11. The same writer gives also other accounts which he says came to him through unwritten tradition, certain strange parables and teachings of the Saviour, and some other more mythical things.

12. To these belong his statement that there will be a period of some thousand years after the resurrection of the dead, and that the kingdom of Christ will be set up in material form on this very earth. I suppose he got these ideas through a misunderstanding of the apostolic accounts, not perceiving that the things said by them were spoken mystically in figures.

13. For he appears to have been of very limited understanding, as one can see from his discourses. But it was due to him that so many of the Church Fathers after him adopted a like opinion, urging in their own support the antiquity of the man; as for instance Irenæus and any one else that may have proclaimed similar views.
Eusebius, Church History, Book III, Chpt. 39:
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/250103.htm
Whose interpretation do you think is correct regarding this statement?
Do you think that Jesus meant that there would literally be vines with thousands of twigs and each twig with thousands of clusters, etc.? At first, I took the saying at first as a metaphorical description of the "fruits" or successful products of the works of the righteous.

Another useful fact from Papias is his testimony to the Pericope Adulterae:
Eusebius concludes his account of Papias by saying that he relates "another account about a woman who was accused of many sins before the Lord, which is found in the Gospel according to the Hebrews".[29] Agapius of Hierapolis (10th century) offers a fuller summary of what Papias said here, calling the woman an adulteress.[44] The parallel is clear to the famous Pericope Adulterae (John 7:53–8:11), a problematic passage absent or relocated in many ancient Gospel manuscripts. The remarkable fact is that the story is known in some form to such an ancient witness as Papias.
... The nearest agreement with "many sins" actually occurs in the Johannine text of Armenian codex Matenadaran 2374 (formerly Ečmiadzin 229); this codex is also remarkable for ascribing the longer ending of Mark to "Ariston the Elder", which is often seen as somehow connected with Papias.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papias_of ... hreia_22-0

I think that Papias misunderstood the account of Judas' death in Acts. Matthew says that Judas hanged himself, whereas Acts says that Judas, "drooping head-forward" burst open. Translaters often put the passage in Acts as saying "falling headlong", but after reviewing Strong's Concordance and dictionary, I think that it means "drooping head-forward", referring to how his body drooped when he died and then burst from decay. Apollinaris of Laodicea supported Papias' account and then cited it:

Judas did not die by hanging[52] but lived on, having been cut down before he choked to death. Indeed, the Acts of the Apostles makes this clear: "Falling headlong he burst open in the middle and his intestines spilled out."[53] Papias, the disciple of John, recounts this more clearly in the fourth book of the Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord, as follows:

"Judas was a terrible, walking example of ungodliness in this world, his flesh so bloated that he was not able to pass through a place where a wagon passes easily, not even his bloated head by itself. For his eyelids, they say, were so swollen that he could not see the light at all, and his eyes could not be seen, even by a doctor using an optical instrument, so far had they sunk below the outer surface. His genitals appeared more loathsome and larger than anyone else's, and when he relieved himself there passed through it pus and worms from every part of his body, much to his shame. After much agony and punishment, they say, he finally died in his own place, and because of the stench the area is deserted and uninhabitable even now; in fact, to this day one cannot pass that place without holding one's nose, so great was the discharge from his body, and so far did it spread over the ground."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papias_of ... hreia_22-0
My guess is that Papias heard the account of Judas' death long enough after the event and from a source far enough removed that the narrator did not know or understand what actually happened.
I think that Papias' account and explanation are mostly conceivable, but the description of Judas' bodily, bloated form while living sound implausible.

What do you think of Papias' alleged claim that the apostle John was killed by the Jews, in contradiction to what is today a common belief that John died naturally? How could one square this with the idea that Papias of Hieropolis knew John and should have known how John really died?
To help answer this question, consider: Did Matthew 20 imply that the apostles John and James, the sons of Zebedee, would be martyred when it says:
Matthew 20:20-23 King James Version (KJV)

20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.

21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.

22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.

23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
Mark 10 gives basically the same account.

Philip of Side wrote (c. 430 AD): "Papias in the second book says that John the Theologian and James his brother were killed by the Jews."(http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/phili ... _ftnref116)

Wikipedia notes:
Two late sources (Philip of Side and George Hamartolus) cite the second book of Papias as recording that John and his brother James were killed by the Jews.[54] However, modern scholars doubt the reliability of the two sources regarding Papias.[55][56] According to the two sources, Papias presented this as fulfillment of the prophecy of Jesus on the martyrdom of these two brothers.[57][58] This is consistent with a tradition attested in several ancient martyrologies.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papias_of ... te_note-57
The Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, edited by Everett Ferguson, says that Eusebius' reading of Papias' preface as saying that there were two Christian teachers named John (the apostle, and the elder)
implies an early death of the apostle, a view supported by Philip of Side (ca. 430) and George Hamartolos (ninth century). Both appeal to the second book of Papias in a way that suggests George might be dependent on Philip. The early fifth-century martyrology drawn up in Edessa of and the early sixth-century Calendar Carthage both assert that John met an early death asa martyr. These works are too late to be reliable and may be dependent on Mark 10:39, although it can be argued that, had the sons of Zebedee not both been dead, this text[ie. the gospel story] would not have been recorded. This tradition might have been supressed in the interest of the position supported by Irenaeus.
I doubt that Philip of Sides wrote late to be reliable attestations of Papias (if that is what the Encyclopedia meant), since there is evidence that Papias' book was in at least a few monasteries centuries later in the medieval period.

Here is where Philip wrote that Papias mentioned Hadrian:
He also relates other marvellous stories, in particular the one about Menahem's mother, who was raised from the dead.[117] Concerning those who were raised from the dead by Christ, [he relates] that they lived until Hadrian.
Based on the fact that Philip seems to have read Papias (since he mentions John being killed in Papias' second book), it looks like Philip's claim is more legitimate that Papias made a reference to resurrected people living until Hadrian's time.

The 5th century Syriac martyrology from Edessa (copied in 411) has these commemorations: "according to the Greeks: the first martyr, at Jerusalem, Stephen, apostle, chief of the martyers. John and James, apostles, at Jerusalem. in the city of Rome, Paul the apostle and Simon Peter, chief of the apostles of our Lord."
Note that the martyrology seems to date John's death as happening before that of James son of Zebedee, Peter, and Paul.

Contrast this with Irenaeus' statement about how late John lived:
even as the Gospel and all the elders testify; those who were conversant in Asia with John, the disciple of the Lord, [affirming] that John conveyed to them that information. And he remained among them up to the times of Trajan.
Trajan reigned in 98-117 AD. John 21 ends with the suggestion that the disciple John in the gospels lived to a quite late date too. The way that the passage in John 21 goes about the saying going "abroad" suggests that the saying about John's long life was around still at the time when Jesus' followers had spread abroad:
20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?

21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?

22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

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

Post by Peter Kirby » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:14 pm

rakovsky wrote:
Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:07 pm
108 Epictetus (probably wrote about Christians as "Galileans", likely a Christian like his master Epaphroditus)(Discussed it on http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/for ... msg1523187)
Sure. Ambiguous but good to add.
rakovsky wrote:
Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:07 pm
140 Dialogue of Jason and Papiscus
Yes, I've come across this find too. Needs to be added, for sure.
This does look like an oversight. Even if it might not be authentic, it could be discussed.
Good idea. Could be another place to cross-reference Thallus also.
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Re: Early to mid 2nd c. works on Christianity missing from our forum's website

Post by rakovsky » Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:48 pm

Peter Kirby wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:14 pm
This does look like an oversight. Even if it might not be authentic, it could be discussed.
Good idea. Could be another place to cross-reference Thallus also.
Phlegon was a writer who liked to make fun of cultic, supernatural ideas, IIRC. I think that he referenced Thallus because Thallus probably had repeated the story of the Biblical eclipse and incorporated it into his own (Thallus') history. And it also sounds realistic for the same Phlegon to have included Hadrian's letters that criticized the Serapis cults. I would have to research this topic more, but it looks like it was written at least in 300 AD or earlier.

The Apologetics Tektonics site says:
One critic has said that "the worshippers of the sun god Serapis were also called Christians and could be referred to." An alert reader has informed me that the ultimate source for this argument is a work by Robert Taylor called the Diegesis, which quotes an alleged letter of Emperor Hadrian to his brother-in-law Servianus...

An authority as liberal as Walter Bauer (who would have loved to have made hash of this letter for his case for a diverse Christianity) notes that this letter is actually quoted by Flavius Vopiscus (a historian writing in 300 AD!), who in turn is said to be quoting Phlegon, a freedman of Hadrian ...; Bauer himself says the letter is of "uncertain value" and regards it as "spurious."
http://www.tektonics.org/copycat/serapis.php

Boris Derevensky writes in his book Jesus Christ in the Documents of History that the letter from Hardian to Servianus was cited in Justin Martyr's Apologia (maybe the Tektonics site missed this?):
Describing the stay of Hadrian in Egypt and citing his statements about the local “madness”, Phlegon quite accurately reflects the imperial policy in the field of religion. There is no reason to doubt the authenticity of this letter. Hadrian was very concerned about the mysticism and religious fanaticism inherent in Eastern cults. Christianity in this regard was no exception. It was under Hadrian that a new wave of repression against the Christians arose.
https://www.e-reading.club/chapter.php/ ... torii.html

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

Post by rakovsky » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:23 pm

How late does the "mid-2nd century" go? 167 AD? 175 AD?
The reason I brought this up is that someone who was 20 in 100 AD and who knew the disciple John or who knew others who met Jesus would be 80 years old in 160 AD. So the mid 2nd century seemed about the end point for that third generation. But now I read about Bp. Pothinus who had been born in 87 AD, was 13 years old in c.100, and was 92 years old when he was martyred in France in 177 AD.

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