Who existed ? When ? Where ?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Bernard Muller
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Re: Who existed ? When ? Where ?

Post by Bernard Muller » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:44 pm

to Ben,
1 Clement 13:1 seems to be inspired by 1 & 2 Corinthians.
13:2 may be inspired by Q material and Mark.
13:4: I don't know.

"Clement" is notorious for distorting quotes & doing cut & paste or just remembering vaguely prior material, including the ones from the OT.

My study on 1 Clement is here: http://historical-jesus.info/gospels.html#1clement

Cordially, Bernard
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MrMacSon
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Re: Who existed ? When ? Where ?

Post by MrMacSon » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:22 am

Jax wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:34 am
Image

I find it interesting to note that, besides Marcion in the 140's, Philemon isn't used by anyone else until the 4th century.

The same with 3 John.

How sure are we that Marcion actually had Philemon?

Good question. And, as well as no recorded reference to 3 John in that table, there's
  • scant association of 'the epistle of James' with any Fathers (other than Clement of Rome and 'Hermas'), and
  • scant mention of '2 Peter' (other than by Clement of Rome and 'pseudo-Barnabas').

before ? Origen (for 2 Peter only), or ? Eusebius for both, or Cyril of Jerusalem (who is likely to be after or follow Eusebius, anyway)


Also,

Regarding the New Testament canon, one finds in Adversus Haereses ''quotations'' from all the books of the NT with the exception of:
  • Philemon, II Peter, III John, and Jude
http://www.ntcanon.org/Irenaeus.shtml

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Jax
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Re: Who existed ? When ? Where ?

Post by Jax » Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:20 am

Bernard Muller wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:11 pm
Some comments, the way I see it, after my documented research:

Paul's letters: 1 Thessalonians (50), 1 Corinthians (53-55), 2 Corinthians (55-56), Philippians (53?-56/57?), Philemon (56), Galatians (56), Romans (57).
All letters, except Philemon, have interpolations. The Corinthians And Philippians letters are, for each, a combination of three different letters. Philemon & one of the Philippians letter are genuine prison letters.
At least, one other Corinthians letter got "lost".
Depends on OT, Philo of Alexandria and 'Hebrews" & its author (most likely Apollos of Alexandria).
I don't see how you can assign definite dates to Paul without relying on Acts, a document that directly contradicts Paul in his own letters, a document, further, that seems to be a response to Marcion and his use of Paul as the only authoritative source of scripture.
A document that has no credibility among modern scholars as a historical source for Paul.

Further, how can you state that Philemon is a genuine prison letter? What about this letter leads you to this conclusion?

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Re: Who existed ? When ? Where ?

Post by Bernard Muller » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:29 am

I don't see how you can assign definite dates to Paul without relying on Acts, a document that directly contradicts Paul in his own letters, a document, further, that seems to be a response to Marcion and his use of Paul as the only authoritative source of scripture.
A document that has no credibility among modern scholars as a historical source for Paul.
Acts still has some credibility among non-mythicists. Even the very critical Westar Acts Seminar declared in 2013:
"This is not to say that Acts is totally unhistorical but to observe that it is less helpful in the historical reconstruction of Christian beginnings than previously assumed."
About the Westar Acts Seminar:
http://historical-jesus.info/75.html and http://historical-jesus.info/76.html

Some information from Acts, combined with the ones in Paul's letters, allowed me to put a time line on Paul's public life & his "2nd journey": http://historical-jesus.info/appb.html (then "find" on 3.2) and his "third journey": http://historical-jesus.info/appp.html

Contradictions are relatively few and due to "Luke" embellishing & modifying events to fit her agenda and not knowing about Paul's main epistles.
I dealt with the common events related in Acts and also in Paul's main epistles here: http://historical-jesus.info/75.html

About Paul's epistles written before Marcion's times: http://historical-jesus.info/73.html

About dating Paul's epistles around 50-60 CE by only looking at the same epistles:
Aretas had an etnarch in Damascus during Paul's early adult life (2 Corinthians). This Aretas was likely Aretas IV who died in 40 CE. That king was not Aretas III (who ruled Damascus 85-72 CE & 69-64 BCE) because at the time, Corinth was destroyed (from 146 to 44 BCE). But Corinth is existing during Paul's ministry.
About explaining the etnarch of Aretas IV in Damascus (even if that king was not ruling the city): http://historical-jesus.info/61.html
In Romans 13:11-12, Paul is not aware of the savage persecutions of Christians of Rome in 64 CE under Nero.
And during Paul's public life, Jerusalem was still standing (but destroyed in 70 CE).

Further, how can you state that Philemon is a genuine prison letter? What about this letter leads you to this conclusion?
See Philemon 1,9,23-24. By the way, the genuine prison letters were written from Ephesus, not Rome.

Cordially, Bernard
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spin
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Re: Who existed ? When ? Where ?

Post by spin » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:23 am

Bernard Muller wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:29 am
Aretas had an etnarch in Damascus during Paul's early adult life (2 Corinthians). This Aretas was likely Aretas IV who died in 40 CE. That king was not Aretas III (who ruled Damascus 85-72 CE & 69-64 BCE) because at the time, Corinth was destroyed (from 146 to 44 BCE). But Corinth is existing during Paul's ministry.
Remember J.C. O'Neill's dictum, "Paul wrote some of all, but not all of any." His study of epistles of the era showed that those documents attributed to Paul were often much longer than other epistles. Very many scholars have seen interpolations in Paul's letters. The current understanding of 2 Cor is that it is a composite work that scholars attribute wholesale to Paul, but he was not responsible for the compilation of the parts.

When we come to the reference to Aretas in 2 Cor, we know that Aretas IV never held Damascus. It was a Roman protected city, a member of the Decapolis, and Nabataea was not part of the Roman empire until it was annexed under Trajan. It was in fact an enemy of Rome, which Tiberius would have crushed had he not died following the conflict between Antipas and Aretas IV. And remember that 2 Cor 11:32 talks of the ethnarch of king Aretas, ethnarch of what in Damascus? He is a figure representing Aretas, his ethnarch, so he is a high functionary of the king. The only reasonable reading is that he was the ethnarch of Damascus, Aretas's ethnarch.

So we can scratch Aretas IV as a non-starter as he never had his claws in Damascus. However, Aretas III gained control of Damascus not long before the arrival of Pompey in Syria. The only candidate named available was Aretas III. If the basket story was not written by Paul, as is possible given the nature of 2 Cor, then the dating regarding Corinth is irrelevant.
Bernard Muller wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:29 am
About explaining the etnarch of Aretas IV in Damascus (even if that king was not ruling the city): http://historical-jesus.info/61.html
In Romans 13:11-12, Paul is not aware of the savage persecutions of Christians of Rome in 64 CE under Nero.
The first person certainly aware of the fire-related persecutions of the Christians under Nero was Sulpicius Severus. The relationship between the report now in Tacitus Ann. 15.44 and that of Severus is not clear. I have argued that that in Tacitus was based on Severus, for Severus lacks the christological nugget. As to the strange little reference in Suetonius' life of Nero, the mention of Christians there is exceptionally strange, tacked on to a list of provisions to keep public order in the streets, which included banning pantomimes, public food stalls, chariot races and executing christians. (Spot the odd one out.)
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Bernard Muller
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Re: Who existed ? When ? Where ?

Post by Bernard Muller » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:44 pm

to spin,
Remember J.C. O'Neill's dictum, "Paul wrote some of all, but not all of any." His study of epistles of the era showed that those documents attributed to Paul were often much longer than other epistles. Very many scholars have seen interpolations in Paul's letters. The current understanding of 2 Cor is that it is a composite work that scholars attribute wholesale to Paul, but he was not responsible for the compilation of the parts.

When we come to the reference to Aretas in 2 Cor, we know that Aretas IV never held Damascus. It was a Roman protected city, a member of the Decapolis, and Nabataea was not part of the Roman empire until it was annexed under Trajan. It was in fact an enemy of Rome, which Tiberius would have crushed had he not died following the conflict between Antipas and Aretas IV. And remember that 2 Cor 11:32 talks of the ethnarch of king Aretas, ethnarch of what in Damascus? He is a figure representing Aretas, his ethnarch, so he is a high functionary of the king. The only reasonable reading is that he was the ethnarch of Damascus, Aretas's ethnarch.
I can accept that, except "the etnarch of Damascus".
So we can scratch Aretas IV as a non-starter as he never had his claws in Damascus.
Sure, but Paul never wrote Aretas IV was master of Damascus. And his etnarch in this city did not have to be the one governing it on behalf of Aretas IV. As I explained here: http://historical-jesus.info/61.html
The first person certainly aware of the fire-related persecutions of the Christians under Nero was Sulpicius Severus. The relationship between the report now in Tacitus Ann. 15.44 and that of Severus is not clear. I have argued that that in Tacitus was based on Severus, for Severus lacks the christological nugget. As to the strange little reference in Suetonius' life of Nero, the mention of Christians there is exceptionally strange, tacked on to a list of provisions to keep public order in the streets, which included banning pantomimes, public food stalls, chariot races and executing christians.
Well, I am far to be convinced about your arguments against the testimonies of Tacitus & Suetonius.
Suetonius probably did not have a high opinion on Christians, considering them as garbage, about the same as Tacitus did.
Eusebius reported there were many accounts of Nero's persecution of Christians:
History of the Church, II, XXV
When the government of Nero was now firmly established, he began to plunge into unholy pursuits, and armed himself even against the religion of the God of the universe.

2. To describe the greatness of his depravity does not lie within the plan of the present work. As there are many indeed that have recorded his history in most accurate narratives, every one may at his pleasure learn from them the coarseness of the man’s extraordinary madness, under the influence of which, after he had accomplished the destruction of so many myriads without any reason, he ran into such blood-guiltiness that he did not spare even his nearest relatives and dearest friends, but destroyed his mother and his brothers and his wife, with very many others of his own family

as he would private and public enemies, with various kinds of deaths.

3. But with all these things this particular in the catalogue of his crimes was still wanting, that he was the first of the emperors who showed himself an enemy of the divine religion.

4. The Roman Tertullian is likewise a witness of this. He writes as follows: “Examine your records. There you will find that Nero was the first that persecuted this doctrine, particularly then when after subduing all the east, he exercised his cruelty against all at Rome. We glory in having such a man the leader in our punishment. For whoever knows him can understand that nothing was condemned by Nero unless it was something of great excellence
OK, Eusebius was loosely quoting from Tertullian's Apology V:
Consult your histories; you will there find that Nero was the first who assailed with the imperial sword the Christian sect, making profess then especially at Rome. But we glory in having our condemnation hallowed by the hostility of such a wretch. For any one who knows him, can understand that not except as being of singular excellence did anything bring on it Nero's condemnation.
Cordially, Bernard
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MrMacSon
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Re: Who existed ? When ? Where ?

Post by MrMacSon » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:01 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:44 pm

Suetonius probably did not have a high opinion on Christians, considering them as garbage, about the same as Tacitus did.
.

Suetonius probably did not have an opinion on Christians at all. His references to 'Chrestus' and to 'Christians' were probably not about Jesus-believing Christians. They were probably about another religion that used those terms or to which those terms were applied (eg. an Egyptian mystery religion).
.

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Re: Who existed ? When ? Where ?

Post by Bernard Muller » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:19 pm

to MrMacSon,
His references to 'Chrestus' and to 'Christians' were probably not about Jesus-believing Christians. They were probably about another religion that used those terms or to which those terms were applied (eg. an Egyptian mystery religion)
Please substantiate your "probably" about that other religion whose members would be called "Christians".

Cordially, Bernard
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spin
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Re: Who existed ? When ? Where ?

Post by spin » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:44 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:44 pm
... except "the etnarch of Damascus".

Sure, but Paul never wrote Aretas IV was master of Damascus. And his etnarch in this city did not have to be the one governing it on behalf of Aretas IV. As I explained here: http://historical-jesus.info/61.html
My previous comment already dealt with the issue, but to expand... The ethnarch as I said was the ethnarch of King Aretas, not about being the ethnarch of a hypothesized group of (presumably) Nabataeans living in Damascus. The description of the ethnarch as "of King Aretas" makes him a political functionary of the king, not of a groujp of people. This is highlighted by the fact that the ethnarch was in the political position of keeping watch over, or guarding, the city. That's the prorogative of the ruler of Damascus. The passage does not suggest the reading of some illegal clandestine operation.
Bernard Muller wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:44 pm
The first person certainly aware of the fire-related persecutions of the Christians under Nero was Sulpicius Severus. The relationship between the report now in Tacitus Ann. 15.44 and that of Severus is not clear. I have argued that that in Tacitus was based on Severus, for Severus lacks the christological nugget. As to the strange little reference in Suetonius' life of Nero, the mention of Christians there is exceptionally strange, tacked on to a list of provisions to keep public order in the streets, which included banning pantomimes, public food stalls, chariot races and executing christians.
Well, I am far to be convinced about your arguments against the testimonies of Tacitus & Suetonius.
Suetonius probably did not have a high opinion on Christians, considering them as garbage, about the same as Tacitus did.
You shouldn't mind-read. And it is interesting that both passages use the same term for christ and christians being executed. Christian execution certainly does not fit the context of the bannings to maintain public order in Suetonius. It does not belong where it is located. I've gone to great detail of how the latter part of Ann. 15.44 hijacks the subtle anti-Neronian discourse and dissipates in a sorry passage about burning christians.
Bernard Muller wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:44 pm
Eusebius reported there were many accounts of Nero's persecution of Christians:
Eusebius is not a trustworthy source for a period ostensibly 250 years earlier.
Bernard Muller wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:44 pm
OK, Eusebius was loosely quoting from Tertullian's Apology V:
Consult your histories; you will there find that Nero was the first who assailed with the imperial sword the Christian sect, making profess then especially at Rome. But we glory in having our condemnation hallowed by the hostility of such a wretch. For any one who knows him, can understand that not except as being of singular excellence did anything bring on it Nero's condemnation.
The problem with the polemic against Nero is that it really starts with his war against the Jews and he becomes the arch-villain raled against in the Sibylline Oracles. He is a prime candidate for folk tradition development.
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MrMacSon
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Re: Who existed ? When ? Where ?

Post by MrMacSon » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:45 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:19 pm
to MrMacSon,
His references to 'Chrestus' and to 'Christians' were probably not about Jesus-believing Christians. They were probably about another religion that used those terms or to which those terms were applied (eg. an Egyptian mystery religion)
Please substantiate your "probably" about that other religion whose members would be called "Christians".
The Egyptian god Serapis was known as 'Serapis Chrestus'. The cult of Serapis was spreading through the eastern Mediterranean through the 1st to 3rd centuries ad.

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