Is the Earliest Gospel an answer to Revelation?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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MrMacSon
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Re: Is the Earliest Gospel an answer to Revelation?

Post by MrMacSon » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:21 am

Joseph D. L. wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:52 pm
My own personal opinion is that prior to the Temple destruction, Christianity did not exist proper, in that there was not the focus of a historical Jesus. Even Pauline Christianity I think did not exist until the time of Hadrian.
I think similarly. I think Christianity as we perceive it today, or even how we might perceive it might have been in the early 3rd century, did not exist until [edited] the mid late 4th century (at least; after the 2nd ecumenical council in Constantinople in 381). I don't think there was a focus on -or an attempt to reify- a historical Jesus until the time of Irenaeus.

Joseph D. L. wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:52 pm

But I do think that a community of proto-Christians was established sometime after the Temple destruction. However it's focus was purely Jamesian (adherence to Torah, but a mixture of Egyptian gnosis woven into it). The Essenes look as a good primar for this.
I'd say there were various messianic communities established after the Temple destruction. I'm not sure when any would have become discernabley 'proto-Christian', or been established as that.

Joseph D. L. wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:52 pm

The Talmud does hint at the use of an Evangelion by "philosophers" which have been interpreted as Christians relatively early. I'm to think that it was the Gospel of the Hebrews which all other texts (including Marcion's) worked from.
I've started looking at the per- and post-Temple destruction communities, ta'na, and traditions leading to the Tosefta and Mishna, and perhaps other pertinent collections of tannaitic halakhot and aggadot (I've dumped info here http://www.earlywritings.com/forum/view ... f=6&t=3591 but need to re-sort it).
Last edited by MrMacSon on Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:26 am, edited 3 times in total.

Joseph D. L.
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Re: Is the Earliest Gospel an answer to Revelation?

Post by Joseph D. L. » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:50 am

I think similarly. I think Christianity as we perceive it today, or even how we might perceive it might have been in the early 3rd century, did not exist until the mid 4th century. I don't think there was a focus on -or an attempt to reify- a historical Jesus until the time of Irenaeus.
I am very much in agreement with that. My thinking is that "orthodoxy" was not established until Irenaeus/Zephyrinus, whom I think were one and the same. Before that everything is so fragmented and alien that it should be thought of the transitional stage of the religious fossil record.

There were of course messianic communities established after the war, but I think we should try to zero in on what type of eschatology/messiahism these followed. The Taheb, one like Moses, fits very well. This concept is actually heavily implemented in the Gospel of John, and also Jamesian texts. (Where the focus is on James). It's one reason why I think GHebrews and GJohn are actually related.

Giuseppe
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Re: Is the Earliest Gospel an answer to Revelation?

Post by Giuseppe » Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:59 am

Joseph D. L. wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:52 pm
My own personal opinion is that prior to the Temple destruction, Christianity did not exist proper, in that there was not the focus of a historical Jesus. Even Pauline Christianity I think did not exist until the time of Hadrian. But I do think that a community of proto-Christians was established sometime after the Temple destruction. However it's focus was purely Jamesian (adherence to Torah, but a mixture of Egyptian gnosis woven into it). The Essenes look as a good primar for this.

The Talmud does hint at the use of an Evangelion by "philosophers" which have been interpreted as Christians relatively early. I'm inclined to think that it was the Gospel of the Hebrews which all other texts (including Marcion's) worked from.
The ''Gospel of the Hebrews'' betrayes already in the name the anti-marcionite influence: it is the Gospel of the Hebrews, against the exclusively Gentile Evangelion of Marcion.

1) The epistles of Paul show ABSOLUTE ignorance of a ''historical Jesus''.
2) If they are false epistles, then Marcion would be their more probable author.
3) But Marcion knew a historical Jesus since he was the first in absolute terms who euhemerized Jesus on the Terra Firma (by writing of his own hand the Earliest Gospel).
3) point 3 is in contradiction with point 1.
4) therefore the epistles are original and pre-70.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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MrMacSon
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Re: Is the Earliest Gospel an answer to Revelation?

Post by MrMacSon » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:41 am

Joseph D. L. wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:50 am
I think similarly. I think Christianity as we perceive it today, or even how we might perceive it might have been in the early 3rd century, did not exist until the mid 4th century. I don't think there was a focus on -or an attempt to reify- a historical Jesus until the time of Irenaeus.
I am very much in agreement with that.
Cheers, though on second thoughts I've opted to edit that and say
  • I think Christianity as we perceive it today, or even how we might perceive it might have been in the early 3rd century, [edited] did not exist until the late 4th century (at least; after the 2nd ecumenical council in Constantinople in 381)

Joseph D. L. wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:50 am
My thinking is that "orthodoxy" was not established until Irenaeus/Zephyrinus, whom I think were one and the same. Before that everything is so fragmented and alien that it should be thought of the transitional stage of the religious fossil record.
I even wonder if Origen was dealing with or dealing in Christian 'orthodoxy' proper (the Hexapla was his main project). I wonder if Eusebius was still coalescing and a lot of key stuff, and if Pamphilus had been too. There is scant reference to Christianity in the 3rd century literature, or references to many places other than Caesarea.

I also think 'orthodoxy' is a much more apt term than 'Catholic'. There was a crisis in the Roman Empire in the 3rd century and very little would have been happening in the Rome from mid century. Nova Roma was temporarily established in Nicomedia in the 280s AD. Christianity coalesced in the east - the 'orthodox east': in the Byzantine Empire. Roman Catholicism probably wasn't established until the decline of the Byzantine Empire (perhaps after the Battle of Manzikert (1071) when it lost control of Anatolia).

Joseph D. L. wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:50 am
There were of course messianic communities established after the war, but I think we should try to zero in on what type of eschatology/messiahism these followed.
I agree.
Joseph D. L. wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:50 am
The Taheb, one like Moses, fits very well. This concept is actually heavily implemented in the Gospel of John, and also Jamesian texts. (Where the focus is on James). It's one reason why I think GHebrews and GJohn are actually related.
Last edited by MrMacSon on Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

Joseph D. L.
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Re: Is the Earliest Gospel an answer to Revelation?

Post by Joseph D. L. » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:51 am

The ''Gospel of the Hebrews'' betrayes already in the name the anti-marcionite influence: it is the Gospel of the Hebrews, against the exclusively Gentile Evangelion of Marcion.
There are two points I would like bring up. First, the name Gospel of the Hebrews may not have been what it was originally called, but what those writing in a post-Marcion time called it. It may have just been called Evangelion, so as to acknowledge itself as a new Torah. Secondly, I'm of the mind that Marcion shows dependents on Jewish/Samaritan thinking, and was not originally central to Gentiles. Markus Vinzent has argued that Marcion was a Jew, while Galatians (read, the Marcionite form) acknowledges Paul's learning in Judaism.
1) The epistles of Paul show ABSOLUTE ignorance of a ''historical Jesus''.
Yes, but that's not a point I dispute.

2) If they are false epistles, then Marcion would be their more probable author.
I do think the epistles were Marcion's own creation. Who Marcion was I believe I know.

I'm also struck by the apocryphal account of Hadrian's freedman, Phlegon, publishing his letters. Phlegon is a name not too dissimilar from Ignatius.
3) But Marcion knew a historical Jesus since he was the first in absolute terms who euhemerized Jesus on the Terra Firma (by writing of his own hand the Earliest Gospel).
I do think there was a historical figure later remembered by tradition as Jesus. Paul's/Marcion's claim was being the Paraclete, or the risen Lord. That also reels in Ignatius Theophorus, or the Burning One Who Bears God Within. But Marcion is coming after James as he reubukes Cephas (I believe is Cerinthus) for being influenced by his followers.
3) point 3 is in contradiction with point 1.
Not at all. It's contingent to how those proclaiming to bear the spirit thought of its original host, Jesus.
4) therefore the epistles are original and pre-70.
I don't follow that syllogism.

Also you ignore the second point, that Marcion potentially wrote the epistles.

lsayre
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Re: Is the Earliest Gospel an answer to Revelation?

Post by lsayre » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:08 am

Joseph D. L. wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:51 am

... Who Marcion was I believe I know.
Can you give us a hint please?

Giuseppe
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Re: Is the Earliest Gospel an answer to Revelation?

Post by Giuseppe » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:30 am

Joseph D. L. wrote:
Not at all. It's contingent to how those proclaiming to bear the spirit thought of its original host, Jesus.
I think that the dilemma (how could Marcion himself write a Gospel and be totally unaware of a historical Jesus in the presumed epistles authored by him) can be resolved only:
1) by assuming, with Robert Price, that Marcion authored the epistles but he was unaware of any Gospel.
2) by assuming, with Couchoud and Vinzent, that Marcion wrote a Gospel but not the epistles (that therefore are written by the historical Paul).

Tertium non datur. To think otherwise means to be not perfectly aware of what means 'absence of a HJ in Paul''.

I opt for the point 2.
Markus Vinzent has argued that Marcion was a Jew,
While I agree with Vinzent on the general thesis, I wonder why Couchoud and Ory -- 100% precursors of Vinzent in assuming Marcionite priority - didn't need to assume that Marcion was ''Jew''. But I suspect the answer: Vinzent has to satisfy the consensus's principle called ''Reductio ad Judaeum'' (any actor on stage has to be a ''Jew'' otherwise he is not an actor).

The Gospel of the Hebrews shows (for that bit in our knowledge) the negative portrait of the disciples: this is clearly an influence from a previous Gentile Gospel.

while Galatians (read, the Marcionite form) acknowledges Paul's learning in Judaism.
I think that it is inconsistent to accept the Detering's arguments to deny the authenticity of Galatians (particularly these arguments that claims the non-jewishness of the author of the epistles) and in the same time to claim the being Jew of the post-70 author of the epistles.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Joseph D. L.
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Re: Is the Earliest Gospel an answer to Revelation?

Post by Joseph D. L. » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:14 am

I think that the dilemma (how could Marcion himself write a Gospel and be totally unaware of a historical Jesus in the presumed epistles authored by him) can be resolved only:
1) by assuming, with Robert Price, that Marcion authored the epistles but he was unaware of any Gospel.
2) by assuming, with Couchoud and Vinzent, that Marcion wrote a Gospel but not the epistles (that therefore are written by the historical Paul).

Tertium non datur. To think otherwise means to be not perfectly aware of what means 'absence of a HJ in Paul''.
My contention with this would be that the [Marcionite] epistles show a lack of awareness of a historical Jesus, or at least a disinterest. Rather, they focus on the importance of the one writing them, whether he be called Paul or Marcion.
I opt for the point 2.
May I ask why? For the most part I don't see a reason to not accept that Marcion authored the epistles, especially since I see them reflecting policies sanctioned during the reign of Hadrian, and 2 Thessalonians seems to make a passing remark at Simon bar Kochba.

Rather, I think it's possible that some letters were written prior to the composition of a Gospel by Marcion, and some written after. But that's just a theory of mine.

The issue as I see it is, what was Marcion's Gospel? Was it a truncated Lukan text, or similar to it? Was it Mark? Or did it contain elements of all of the canonicals? I think Turmel was right in thinking that it was closer related to John. Coupling it and the Pauline epistles, then, demands that they be taken as a single compilation; or that they complement each other.
While I agree with Vinzent on the general thesis, I wonder why Couchoud and Ory -- 100% precursors of Vinzent in assuming Marcionite priority - didn't need to assume that Marcion was ''Jew''. But I suspect the answer: Vinzent has to satisfy the consensus's principle called ''Reductio ad Judaeum'' (any actor on stage has to be a ''Jew'' otherwise he is not an actor).
The problem here is thinking of Marcion as being apart from Judaism. But even his theology, or at least his writings, is dependent upon Judaism. It my have had trappings of Hellenism, but so did many schools of Jewish thinking at the time. It was predominantly a Jewish focused religious reformation.
The Gospel of the Hebrews shows (for that bit in our knowledge) the negative portrait of the disciples: this is clearly an influence from a previous Gentile Gospel.
I don't follow this, either in it proceeding a Gentile Gospel, that there was a Gentile Gospel, or the negative portrait of the disciples. It emphasizes the importance of James above the disciples, just as GThomas and Ascents of James. It is not as vehemently against the disciples as Mark is.
I think that it is inconsistent to accept the Detering's arguments to deny the authenticity of Galatians (particularly these arguments that claims the non-jewishness of the author of the epistles) and in the same time to claim the being Jew of the post-70 author of the epistles.
Not at all, if it's understood that Marcion was complying with the post-Kitos milieu of Hadrian's policies, while simultaneously acknowledging his dependence on Judaism, (as per BeDuhn's translation) then such issues are resolved.

Joseph D. L.
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Re: Is the Earliest Gospel an answer to Revelation?

Post by Joseph D. L. » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:32 am

^Isayre

I intend to argue to the best of my ability who I believe Marcion is in a book I am in the early stages of formulating. A sort of biography of the man, if you will, in the vain of the Acts literature.

Hint: he is a man of many names and forms.

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MrMacSon
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Re: Is the Earliest Gospel an answer to Revelation?

Post by MrMacSon » Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:05 am

Joseph D. L. wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:14 am

My contention with this would be that the [Marcionite] epistles show a lack of awareness of a historical Jesus, or at least a disinterest. Rather, they focus on the importance of the one writing them, whether he be called Paul or Marcion.

... For the most part I don't see a reason to not accept that Marcion authored the epistles, especially since I see them reflecting policies sanctioned during the reign of Hadrian, and 2 Thessalonians seems to make a passing remark at Simon bar Kochba.

I wonder if there are element of the likes of Akiva (or ben Zakkai, or a contemporary or disciple of either, such as Aquila "Ponticus" of Sinope) in some of the texts, too.
  • Aquila "Ponticus" (fl. 130 AD) of Sinope was a translator of the Hebrew Bible into Greek (the Tanakh), proselyte, and disciple of Rabbi Akiva (& assumed to have also been known as Onkelos).

    Aquila's Greek version of the Hebrew Bible is said to have been used in place of the Septuagint in Greek-speaking synagogues. Origen (& Jerome) spoke in its praise. Origen incorporated it in his Hexapla.

Have you read Robert M Price's The Amazing Colossal Apostle: The Search for the Historical Paul? +/or H Detering's The Fabricated Paul?

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