'Judas of Nazareth' by Daniel Unterbrink

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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archibald
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Re: 'Judas of Nazareth' by Daniel Unterbrink

Post by archibald » Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:45 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:18 pm
archibald wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:42 am

[One of Unterbink's starting premise's is that,] in the very early days of the cult, Paul's preachings were at odds with those of an original and prior Jerusalem group of followers and that after Paul's version became the 'winner', the conflict was papered over.
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That is the basis of a premise and argument of the Dutch Radicals. And a few others recently (who may not have known the Dutch Radicals).

This is a summary of Dutch Radical AD Loman's position by Hermann Detering [rather than a direct quote of a translation of Loman's writings] -

.
"Christianity in its origin was nothing else than a Jewish-Messianic movement .... the figure of Jesus..represented a symbolization and personification of thoughts that could only make full headway in the second century. A gnostic messianic community later appeared alongside the Jewish-Christian messianic community. In the period between 70 and 135 CE the two groups opposed one another with bitter animosity.

"Only in the middle of the second century did they achieve a reconciliation, in which the gnostic community had Paul as its representative and the Jewish-Christian community had Peter. The result of this process of reconciliation was the formation of the Roman Catholic Church1. ... the letters of Paul are all inauthentic and represent the product of the newly-believing, gnostic-messianic community."
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1 I would contend the Roman Catholic church did not come until after the formation of an Eastern Orthodox Church under Constantine (in Constantinople, formerly Byzantium; and now Istanbul). So what people propose as 'early-catholic' would really be 'early-Orthodox'.
It is my general impression that the idea that Pauline/Hellenistic Christianity did not represent (and was in opposition to) a prior Judean (Jerusalem) movement, is widely held to be so plausible that it is merely a matter of degree, not principle. It is, imo, very difficult to read the sources (especially the epistles) in any other way or to see Acts as anything other than papering over cracks.

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MrMacSon
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Re: 'Judas of Nazareth' by Daniel Unterbrink

Post by MrMacSon » Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:58 pm

archibald wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:45 pm
It is my general impression that the idea that Pauline Christianity did not represent (and was in opposition to) a prior Judean (Jerusalem) movement, is widely held to be so plausible that it is merely a matter of degree, not principle. It is, imo, very difficult to read the sources (especially the epistles) in any other way or to see Acts as anything other than papering over cracks.
Yes, the idea that "Pauline/[Hellenistic] Christianity did not represent (and was in opposition to) a [prior] Judean (Jerusalem) movement" is probably more 'widely held' than I had realised. Though I have always attributed Hellenistic to 2nd Temple Judaism, either (a.i) as practiced before the fall of the Temple, or (a.ii) as practiced elsewhere (eg Alexandria, and possibly other centers); or (b) as Hellenism that might have happened with or influenced the Jewish diaspora (a.ii / b.i) before the fall of the temple, or (b.ii) after the fall of the Temple.

I have certainly seen the Pauline epistles as gnostic- or docetic- like, as well as aspects of the book of Revelation.

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MrMacSon
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Re: 'Judas of Nazareth' by Daniel Unterbrink

Post by MrMacSon » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:07 pm

.
Works that may be pertinent to an elaboration of Unterbrink's proposals about Paul and this thread's discussion of Paul are

* Barker, Margaret. The Great Angel: A Study of Israel's Second God. Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox, 1992.

* Segal, Alan (2002) Two Powers in Heaven: Early Rabbinic Reports About Christianity and Gnosticism, Brill

* Schäfer, Peter (2012) The Jewish Jesus: How Judaism and Christianity Shaped Each Other, Princeton University Press.

(among others, no doubt)

See http://www.earlywritings.com/forum/view ... 040#p80040 for more commentary on this books

archibald
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Re: 'Judas of Nazareth' by Daniel Unterbrink

Post by archibald » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:13 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:07 pm
.
Works that may be pertinent to an elaboration of Unterbrink's proposals about Paul and this thread's discussion of Paul are

* Barker, Margaret. The Great Angel: A Study of Israel's Second God. Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox, 1992.

* Segal, Alan (2002) Two Powers in Heaven: Early Rabbinic Reports About Christianity and Gnosticism, Brill

* Schäfer, Peter (2012) The Jewish Jesus: How Judaism and Christianity Shaped Each Other, Princeton University Press.

(among others, no doubt)

See http://www.earlywritings.com/forum/view ... 040#p80040 for more commentary on this books
Thanks. That's the sort of thing I came here hoping to be pointed towards. :)

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Re: 'Judas of Nazareth' by Daniel Unterbrink

Post by archibald » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:16 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:58 pm
Yes, the idea that "Pauline/[Hellenistic] Christianity did not represent (and was in opposition to) a [prior] Judean (Jerusalem) movement" is probably more 'widely held' than I had realised. Though I have always attributed Hellenistic to 2nd Temple Judaism, either (a.i) as practiced before the fall of the Temple, or (a.ii) as practiced elsewhere (eg Alexandria, and possibly other centers); or (b) as Hellenism that might have happened with or influenced the Jewish diaspora (a.ii / b.i) before the fall of the temple, or (b.ii) after the fall of the Temple.

I have certainly seen the Pauline epistles as gnostic- or docetic- like, as well as aspects of the book of Revelation.
I personally don't like to come to firm conclusions very often. So, Paul as Docetic or Gnostic....I won't counter.

If you like, my preferred angle of approach, of late, has been realpolitikal. I think that as I get older I am starting to see stuff more and more in this light. :)

Wake up and smell the coffee sort of thing. People is people. Movements is movements.

So the more I re-read Paul, the less.......sincere he seems.

For example, the...what can I call it...wheedling.....for cash contributions. Weren't the end times just around the corner?

Call me an old cynic. :)

I think Paul was at least what we might call 'complicated'.
Last edited by archibald on Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

archibald
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Re: 'Judas of Nazareth' by Daniel Unterbrink

Post by archibald » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:24 pm

There is another possibility, not often aired (I say that while admitting I am not an expert who would know how often it is aired) that 'Paul' tailored his theology to his audience, in order to make it more absorbable by and acceptable to them. In this sense, it's his audience who may have been more (previously) exposed to 'non-Judean' ideas, not Paul himself. Think chameleon. Think salesman.

Why not? He apparently did a rather sudden 180-degree turnabout in relation to his approach to followers of Jesus.

As to Gnosis and Docetism, I admit I tend to see these (mainly) as subsequent interpretations of Christianity rather than as preceding belief systems about entities other than Jesus. I am wiling to be persuaded otherwise, of course.

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Re: 'Judas of Nazareth' by Daniel Unterbrink

Post by MrMacSon » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:53 pm

archibald wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:24 pm
There is another possibility, not often aired (I say that while admitting I am not an expert who would know how often it is aired) that 'Paul' tailored his theology to his audience, in order to make it more absorbable by and acceptable to them. In this sense, it's his audience who may have been more (previously) exposed to 'non-Judean' ideas, not Paul himself. Think chameleon. Think salesman.

Why not? He apparently did a rather sudden 180-degree turnabout in relation to his approach to followers of Jesus.
I certainly think Paul was [mostly] preaching to non-Judeans. Someone recently commented that preaching was to or about Israel in the pre-resurrection passages, but to the gentiles in the post-resurrection passages/accounts, which is an interesting slant.


archibald wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:16 pm
.. Paul as Docetic or Gnostic....I won't counter.
archibald wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:24 pm
As to Gnosis and Docetism, I admit I tend to see these (mainly) as subsequent interpretations of Christianity rather than as preceding belief systems about entities other than Jesus. I am wiling to be persuaded otherwise, of course.
I tend to think Christianity arose out of a Gnostic or Docetic milieu, in conjunction with competing tanna'im as they debated how they should record the Oral Torah.

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Re: 'Judas of Nazareth' by Daniel Unterbrink

Post by archibald » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:31 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:53 pm
I tend to think Christianity arose out of a Gnostic or Docetic milieu, in conjunction with competing tanna'im as they debated how they should record the Oral Torah.
It would definitely be unwise of me to disagree, especially about the gnosis. The Jewish encyclopaedia, for example, is happy to say that its origins preceded Christianity.

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/artic ... gnosticism

What role it played in early Christianity would be difficult for me to have an informed opinion on at this time. But since I have only come here to bounce opinions around, obtain (and perhaps in return provide) food for further thought, and not to necessarily arrive at a final position, it is useful to have it added to relevant considerations. :)

archibald
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Re: 'Judas of Nazareth' by Daniel Unterbrink

Post by archibald » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:39 pm

As to Docetism, the only entry I could find in the Jewish Encylclopaedia was this:

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/artic ... stament-of

Which the writer of the entry feels sure is of Jewish rather than Christian origin.

Possible Essene writer, apparently. Or Pharisee.

Wiki says 1st or 2nd C dating:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Testament_of_Abraham

Apparently contains ancient humour and satire.

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Re: 'Judas of Nazareth' by Daniel Unterbrink

Post by Peter Kirby » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:04 pm

Jax wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:15 pm
Does it seem reasonable that Tacitus had not read Josephus?
It's widely believed (by historians) that Tacitus read Josephus, for some of his reporting / knowledge of the Jewish revolt.

I don't have the references handy.
"... almost every critical biblical position was earlier advanced by skeptics." - Raymond Brown

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