Where is the more strong evidence in Paul pointing to an outer space Jesus

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 4439
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Where is the more strong evidence in Paul pointing to an outer space Jesus

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:43 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:08 am
archibald wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:18 am
Bernard Muller wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:56 pm
About Sheol:
The AoI says Jesus goes through the air downward, below the heavens (10:29-30).
So that would put Sheol in the air, at the highest, not exactly "outer space".
It wouldn't put Sheol in the air. It's completely unclear where the writer puts sheol and it does not say Jesus was cruficied in sheol anyway, and McGrath does not as far as I can see agree with Carrier that Jesus died in A of I's sheol, or that sheol is likely in the air.
I don't agree. James McGrath agrees clearly with Carrier that the final destination of Jesus in AoI (hence, the place where he will die) is the Sheol. If even a Christian apologist agrees with Carrier on this point, then I should have bias when I listen Bernard or Archibald think otherwise.
So there is no agreement even on where a modern writer like McGrath thinks Christ was crucified in the Ascension of Isaiah? If we cannot agree on what modern authors are saying, how can we ever hope to figure out what ancient writers are saying?

Giuseppe and Archibald, do you have a link to the statement(s) by McGrath you are thinking of in this context?
I don't understand why you don't like Carrier.
Carrier sometimes makes himself rather hard to like. This should not, however, influence our views of his arguments.
The Outer Space Jesus is the best Mythicist theory.
It is the worst.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΕΘΕΙΑ

Giuseppe
Posts: 3091
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:37 am
Location: Vicenza (Italy)

Re: Where is the more strong evidence in Paul pointing to an outer space Jesus

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:14 am

McGrath on Sheol:

http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/201 ... 8028.shtml

I don't understand why it is the "worst", for you. Ben. Can you specify your pov?
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 4439
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Where is the more strong evidence in Paul pointing to an outer space Jesus

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:33 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:14 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:43 am
Giuseppe wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:08 am
archibald wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:18 am
Bernard Muller wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:56 pm
About Sheol:
The AoI says Jesus goes through the air downward, below the heavens (10:29-30).
So that would put Sheol in the air, at the highest, not exactly "outer space".
It wouldn't put Sheol in the air. It's completely unclear where the writer puts sheol and it does not say Jesus was cruficied in sheol anyway, and McGrath does not as far as I can see agree with Carrier that Jesus died in A of I's sheol, or that sheol is likely in the air.
I don't agree. James McGrath agrees clearly with Carrier that the final destination of Jesus in AoI (hence, the place where he will die) is the Sheol. If even a Christian apologist agrees with Carrier on this point, then I should have bias when I listen Bernard or Archibald think otherwise.
So there is no agreement even on where a modern writer like McGrath thinks Christ was crucified in the Ascension of Isaiah? If we cannot agree on what modern authors are saying, how can we ever hope to figure out what ancient writers are saying?
McGrath on Sheol:

http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/201 ... 8028.shtml
Thank you. This is what I find:

As Carrier notes, “the narrative goes out of its way to explain that the firmament contains copies of everything on earth.” And yet, presumably because of his aim to present a case for mythicism, Carrier does not discuss the natural implication of this: that even if the celestial Beloved only descended as far as the firmament, and was crucified there by demons, this would mirror some corresponding occurrence on earth. This is reminiscent of what we find depicted or hinted at in a number of Docetic texts. While the earthly Jesus is crucified, the real Jesus is seen above the cross, a spiritual being whom they cannot harm, laughing at the fools who think they have genuinely crucified him.

....

And so Ascension of Isaiah seems not only to fit the otherwise-attested Docetic view of Jesus (that the life and crucifixion of the terrestrial Jesus was a revelation of a spiritual reality which was made known in the world but did not become part of the world), but to do so much better than the mythicist interpretation, otherwise unattested in ancient times.

....

And so, turning to the question posed in the title of this article, does Ascension of Isaiah envisage Jesus being crucified in outer space, on the firmament, as Richard Carrier claims? That reading of the text still seems to me unlikely – the Beloved’s descent to the realm of sheol seems to envisage the journey including Earth and the realm of the human dead, given how that term tends to be used in ancient Jewish literature. But as we have shown here, even if Ascension of Isaiah does have this view, that the celestial Beloved descends from the highest heaven to the firmament and no further, then that still does not support mythicism. Ascension of Isaiah emphasizes that what happens on the firmament is mirrored in the terrestrial realm. We should not treat the crucifixion of the Beloved to be an exception. In that case, we would be dealing with a rather distinctive Docetist vision of Jesus – one that has the celestial Jesus mistreated in the celestial realm in spiritual ways, never becoming entangled with flesh, at a safe distance from human suffering, even though apparently being killed in some celestial sense. This would have a counterpart in the human realm, and so would presumably have been understood as a “behind the scenes” (or “above the firmament”) picture of the celestial-spiritual correspondents to events that ancient Christian sources consistently presuppose to have unfolded in the vicinity of Jerusalem in the not-too-distant past.

McGrath apparently thinks that the Ascension of Isaiah locates the crucifixion on earth, among humans, in the same manner that the docetic texts he adduces (the Coptic Apocalypse of Peter and the Second Treatise of the Great Seth) do.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΕΘΕΙΑ

Giuseppe
Posts: 3091
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:37 am
Location: Vicenza (Italy)

Re: Where is the more strong evidence in Paul pointing to an outer space Jesus

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:49 am

I don't question that. I would point out what McGrath concedes to Carrier, and that is:

The Beloved is told to descend to the firmament, and from there to sheol, but not to haguel (perdition or “hell”). Carrier rightly points out that some systems of thought located the realm of the dead not in an underworld, but in the heavens. He nonetheless does insufficient justice to the fact that the realm of malevolent spiritual forces was thought to be, not the firmament alone, but the entire realm below the moon, including Earth
so his criticism is something of this kind: ok, the Son goes to Sheol as his final destination in the descending, but the Sheol is on the earth and not in Heaven.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 4439
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Where is the more strong evidence in Paul pointing to an outer space Jesus

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:54 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:49 am
I don't question that. I would point out what McGrath concedes to Carrier, and that is:

The Beloved is told to descend to the firmament, and from there to sheol, but not to haguel (perdition or “hell”). Carrier rightly points out that some systems of thought located the realm of the dead not in an underworld, but in the heavens. He nonetheless does insufficient justice to the fact that the realm of malevolent spiritual forces was thought to be, not the firmament alone, but the entire realm below the moon, including Earth
so his criticism is something of this kind: ok, the Son goes to Sheol as his final destination in the descending, but the Sheol is on the earth and not in Heaven.
I think you are misreading McGrath. I think McGrath thinks that in the Ascension of Isaiah Jesus died on earth, among humans, and then descended to Sheol. Sheol is under the earth.

And that is no concession to Carrier. That is the customary reading of this text.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΕΘΕΙΑ

Giuseppe
Posts: 3091
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:37 am
Location: Vicenza (Italy)

Re: Where is the more strong evidence in Paul pointing to an outer space Jesus

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:59 am

Clearly under a historicist paradigm the visit to Sheol has to follow the visit (and death) on the earth. But at least McGrath concedes implicitly to Carrier that, IF Jesus didn't die on the earth, then he died in the Sheol (as his final destination in the act of descending).
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 4439
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Where is the more strong evidence in Paul pointing to an outer space Jesus

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:05 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:59 am
Clearly under a historicist paradigm the visit to Sheol has to follow the visit (and death) on the earth. But at least McGrath concedes implicitly to Carrier that, IF Jesus didn't die on the earth, then he died in the Sheol (as his final destination in the act of descending).
Where does he do that? Please cite (= copy and paste) the exact sentence(s) in which McGrath says that, if it was not on earth, then it was in Sheol that Jesus died. I may have missed that line, and I would like to confirm its existence.

Regardless, I highlighted your statement above in my quotation of you. You stated that, for McGrath, the place where Jesus died in our text was Sheol, which was also his final destination. Having read the article, I can now state unequivocally that your statement was false. Archibald was right. McGrath locates Jesus' death in our text on earth, among men, and not in Sheol (and he does this even if you can produce a sentence in which he concedes Sheol as the next-best option).
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΕΘΕΙΑ

Giuseppe
Posts: 3091
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:37 am
Location: Vicenza (Italy)

Re: Where is the more strong evidence in Paul pointing to an outer space Jesus

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:08 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:39 am
archibald wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:18 am
It's completely unclear where the writer puts sheol....
I do not think it is completely unclear: "Go forth and descend through all the heavens, and you will descend to the firmament and that world: to the angel in Sheol you will descend, but to Haguel you will not go." This reads like an itinerary, in order: heavens, firmament, "that world" (= the world of humans, pretty consistently throughout the text), sheol. It looks like sheol is further below the human world.
"that world" is the world under the firmament and above the Sheol. But where is the Sheol?
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 4439
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Where is the more strong evidence in Paul pointing to an outer space Jesus

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:10 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:08 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:39 am
archibald wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:18 am
It's completely unclear where the writer puts sheol....
I do not think it is completely unclear: "Go forth and descend through all the heavens, and you will descend to the firmament and that world: to the angel in Sheol you will descend, but to Haguel you will not go." This reads like an itinerary, in order: heavens, firmament, "that world" (= the world of humans, pretty consistently throughout the text), sheol. It looks like sheol is further below the human world.
"that world" is the world under the firmament and above the Sheol. But where is the Sheol?
Under "that world" (which elsewhere in the text is the world of humans).
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΕΘΕΙΑ

Giuseppe
Posts: 3091
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:37 am
Location: Vicenza (Italy)

Re: Where is the more strong evidence in Paul pointing to an outer space Jesus

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:12 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:10 am
Giuseppe wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:08 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:39 am
archibald wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:18 am
It's completely unclear where the writer puts sheol....
I do not think it is completely unclear: "Go forth and descend through all the heavens, and you will descend to the firmament and that world: to the angel in Sheol you will descend, but to Haguel you will not go." This reads like an itinerary, in order: heavens, firmament, "that world" (= the world of humans, pretty consistently throughout the text), sheol. It looks like sheol is further below the human world.
"that world" is the world under the firmament and above the Sheol. But where is the Sheol?
Under "that world" (which elsewhere in the text is the world of humans).
evidence, please. Or do you refer to the "evidence" in the 'Pocket Gospel'?
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Post Reply