The Folly of 'Jewish Christianity' Theories

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Jax
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Re: The Folly of 'Jewish Christianity' Theories

Post by Jax » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:06 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:54 am
For whatever it may be worth, here is my own reconstruction of Galatians:

1.1 Paul, an apostle, 2 and all the brethren who are with me, to the churches of Galatia: please get your act together, at least enough to send me money. 6.11 See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. This proves I really, really mean it. 6.18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.

:lol: Thanks man. I needed that! ;)

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John T
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Re: The Folly of 'Jewish Christianity' Theories

Post by John T » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:25 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:43 am
... Wikipedia is the "expert" here? Come on. Consult actual critical scholarship please like McGrath 2013:...
Even though you would not or could not provide a link, I did some researching on your source. Here is what I found out so far on McGrath.

"I’ve begun work on a project on the historical John the Baptist, which will connect my work on the Mandaeans with my research on ancient Judaism and early Christianity."...McGrath, July 7, 2018.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionpr ... dates.html

Please remember, way back in 2011 McGrath made a rough translation of the Madean Book of John. In his comment section he admitted he made many crucial changes back and forth about the sayings of Jesus and John. No doubt he has made many more corrections since you quoted him back in 2013.

By the way, any idea who stephan is on his blog?

http://rogueleaf.com/book-of-john/2011/ ... -baptized/

It should be interesting what McGrath now thinks about the origins of Jewish Christianity. Perhaps you should go over to Patheos and straighten him out. ;)

On a side note, Carrier does not like McGrath for exposing Carriers folly conflating his mythicist math as Bayesian. Good for a laugh. :lol:

Finally, unless you have anything verifiable for me to consider, then I'm done on this thread.

John T
Last edited by John T on Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."...Jonathan Swift

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The Folly of 'Jewish Christianity' Theories

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:32 pm

robert j wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:10 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:54 am
For whatever it may be worth, here is my own reconstruction of Galatians:

1.1 Paul, an apostle, 2 and all the brethren who are with me, to the churches of Galatia: please get your act together, at least enough to send me money. 6.11 See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. This proves I really, really mean it. 6.18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.

LOL. I think you have captured the essence of the letter quite well. :notworthy:
Jax wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:06 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:54 am
For whatever it may be worth, here is my own reconstruction of Galatians:

1.1 Paul, an apostle, 2 and all the brethren who are with me, to the churches of Galatia: please get your act together, at least enough to send me money. 6.11 See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. This proves I really, really mean it. 6.18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.

:lol: Thanks man. I needed that! ;)
Thanks. Anything to further our understanding of this epistle by our favorite apostle. :)
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΕΘΕΙΑ

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Secret Alias
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Re: The Folly of 'Jewish Christianity' Theories

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:41 pm

It's kind of funny except the Ignatian Corpus shows that this sort of 'large scale' excision existed in Christian antiquity. Also Against Marcion makes reference to a huge excision in Romans (so Against Marcion 14.6) = Rom. 8. 11 to 10. 2 and again ended at Romans 14.23 excising everything onward from there (so Origen). There is also the strange statement cited above where Tertullian says about Galatians 1.8 to 2.11 - Marcion rejected Acts because it has this material. Well if he rejected Acts and denied the history of Paul going to the Jerusalem Church in Acts, why would it have been retained in Galatians? Again, it all depends if you want to consider Marcion or stick to our existing canon and assume it is somehow 'correct.'
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

Michael BG
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Re: The Folly of 'Jewish Christianity' Theories

Post by Michael BG » Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:15 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:17 am
MrMacSon wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:06 pm
Michael BG wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:58 pm
Hopefully we can agree that the term Son of Man is used in a similar way in the Similitudes of Enoch and 4 Ezra and therefore we need to discuss if these are Christian or Jewish.
or the possibility or probability they are intermediate?
Michael BG wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:14 am
I am not sure what you mean by "intermediate".1

My original post which you were engaging with was
The Son of Man title1 for a heavenly figure in the gospels appears to be from Judaism
To me it seems that in the first century within Judaism “the Son of Man”1 was being used as a title for a heavenly apocalyptic figure. It was not a title used by Romans and Greeks and so its usage within Christianity comes from first century Jewish thought.
1the Son of Man” is not an ancient Judaic title or term. Judaism used 'son of man', 'son of a man, or 'a son of man' (and perhaps 'son of the man').

“the Son of Man” is an 'end-evolution' term that is virtually only used in Christianity. It or a variation may have been used in 1 Enoch or 4 Ezra, but, as a passage I quoted to you previous said, the terminology in the extant versions of those texts may reflect later Christian influence.
I hope I have never implied that I thought “the Son of Man” was an ancient Judaic title or term. I am happy to date Daniel to c 164 BC. I am happy with a pre-66 CE first century date for the Similitudes of Enoch and a post 70 CE first century date for 4 Ezra.

I have I hope pointed out that both the Similitudes of Enoch and 4 Ezra are Jewish works and are unlikely to have been influenced by Christianity. My conclusion is that in the first century CE within Jewish thought there was the idea of the Son of Man as a heavenly apocalyptic figure and Jesus was influenced by this thought as he is influenced by other Jewish thoughts of that time.
MrMacSon wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:17 am
Michael BG wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:14 am
Another point I was making was that the title “Anointed” (Christ) came from Judaism and was not used in Roman or Greek culture as a title. The first record we have of someone other than a Jew being anointed as a king was Clovis in 493.
Christ would have been a term used in the LXX.
Michael Bird, in Are You the One Who Is to Come? The Historical Jesus and the Messianic Question, Baker Academic, pp. 34-7, ties 'anointed [one]' to the Hebrew word מָשִׁיחַ, which Google Translate gives as messiah. And Bird refers to Joseph Fitzmyer tying messianic texts in the OT that term 'in connection with teaching about a continuing Davidc dynasty. Bird later uses מָשְׁחָהיו for annointed which Strongs gives as a variant of the original word for mishchah / messiah http://biblehub.com/str/hebrew/4888.htm
I don’t understand what point you are making here. It seems to support what I wrote, “’Anointed’ (Christ) came from Judaism and was not used in Roman or Greek culture as a title”. I assume you are not claiming that the LXX was part of pagan Greek culture.

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John T
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Re: The Folly of 'Jewish Christianity' Theories

Post by John T » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:34 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:20 am
I dislike 'Jewish Christianity' theorists because of the hidden presuppositions in their theories. The most annoying thing about 'Jewish Christianity' theorists is that they inevitably develop their theories around the clues given to us by the Church Fathers - people with a pronounced interest in denying the 'Jesus a god descending from heaven' tradition.
Once again I reject your premise as a straw man argument.
Rather, the historical debate with Marcion was mainly; Marcion rejected monotheism and denied Christ came in the flesh.

According to the Ante-Nicene fathers:

1. Marcion taught that the God of the Old Testament and New Testament were two different gods.
"Marcion makes his Gods unequal. One is judicial harsh, and mighty in war. The other is mild, placid, and simply good and excellent."-
Tertullian 9c. 207, W), 3.275.

2. Marcion preached the antichrist.
"The Marcionites are those whom the apostle John designated as antichrists, for they deny that Christ has come in the flesh." - Tertullian (c. 207, W), 3.327

******************

The irony of it all is you falsely accuse the Ante-Nicene fathers of doing exactly what Marcion did and that is selective editing and interpolation.

"Christ came not to destroy the Law and the Prophets, but rather fulfill them. But Marcion has erased that passage as an interpolation..."-
Tertullian (c. 207,W), 3.352, 353.

The good news about the heresy of Marcion is that it forced the church leaders (i.e. Ante-Nicene Fathers) to canonize the New Testament and expound on the core doctrines of Christianity.

So, what became of Marcion?

"...It is true that, afterwards, Marcion professed repentance, and he agreed to the conditions granted to him. Those conditions were that he would receive reconciliation if he restored to the church all the others whom he had been training for perdition. However, he was prevented by death from doing this."-Tertullian (c. 197, W), 3.257

With that, I conclude that Jewish Christianity is not a theory of folly but a fact. That is, the early church Christians sprang out of Judaism not Gnosticism and/or mythicism.

The real folly is, try as they might, the mythicists cannot beat Marcion's dead horse back to life.

John T
"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."...Jonathan Swift

perseusomega9
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Re: The Folly of 'Jewish Christianity' Theories

Post by perseusomega9 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:11 am

Yes, yes, we all know you uncritically accept every jot and tittle from the church fathers. Now be true to your word and go away.

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Secret Alias
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Re: The Folly of 'Jewish Christianity' Theories

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:33 am

The question for me is why the late second century orthodoxy wanted so desperately to link themselves with Judaism. This must have happened in an age where Jews and Judaism were deemed to be the epitome of monotheism - so this couldn't have taken place in the first half of the second century. The reports of a close link between Judah the Prince and a Roman Emperor named 'Antoninus' happens to coincide with the first introduction of the term 'ruler of the world' in the Jewish liturgy. This is the period I believe that we start seeing the interest in Judaism by Christian orthodoxy. In other words, the link already existed between Judaism and the Imperial court and Christianity sought to align itself with Judaism or as a Jewish sect owing to that pre-existent link. According to Abraham ben David, the Mishnah was compiled by Judah the Prince in anno mundi 3949, or the year 500 of the Seleucid era, which corresponds to 189 CE - in other words, the age of Commodus which is when I date the Lukan corpus and the changes to Christianity. Not surprisingly the Samaritans report mass destruction, holocaust, the wiping out of their libraries and priesthood in this same age.

Interestingly the story in Acts of Paul learning at the feet of Gamaliel seems to have been influenced by either the Mishnah or the source(s) behind the Mishnah:

TRACTATE ’ABOT 1:1-18
1:1 A. Moses received Torah at Sinai and handed it on to Joshua, Joshua to
elders, and elders to prophets.
B. And prophets handed it on to the men of the great assembly.
1:2 A. Simeon the Righteous was one of the last survivors of the great
assembly.
1:3 A. Antigonos of Sokho received [the Torah] from Simeon the Righteous.
1:4 A. Yosé b. Yoezer of Seredah and Yosé b. Yohanan of Jerusalem received
[it] from them.
1:6 A. Joshua b. Perahiah and Nittai the Arbelite received [it] from them.
1:8 A. Judah b. Tabbai and Simeon b. Shatah received [it] from them.
1:10 A. Shemaiah and Abtalion received [it] from them.
1:12 A. Hillel and Shammai received [it] from them.
1:16 A. Rabban Gamaliel says,
1:17 A. Simeon his son says,
1:18 A. Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel says.

Note Judah the Patriarch had two sons named Gamaliel and Hillel.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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John T
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Re: The Folly of 'Jewish Christianity' Theories

Post by John T » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:02 am

perseusomega9 wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:11 am
Yes, yes, we all know you uncritically accept every jot and tittle from the church fathers. Now be true to your word and go away.
Who is we?
And can you cite any examples that I believe the Bible and the writings of the church fathers are inerrant?

If not, then how about making a valid argument for Marcion/mythicistism instead of the low bar tactic of attacking the messenger?

Never mind, we (perseusomega9, John T) both know you can't do that so, I will leave this thread so that you can get back to beating your dead horse without further distraction. :silenced:

John T
"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."...Jonathan Swift

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Secret Alias
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Re: The Folly of 'Jewish Christianity' Theories

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:35 am

And to anyone who argues that the Marcionites had Galatians 1:9 - 2:10 I ask them this - how can Tertullian say the Marcionites rejected details in Acts which are confirmed by Galatians? This is the thing that people ignore. No, I acknowledge, Tertullian does not say that the Marcionite text did not have Galatians 1:9 - 2:10. However he says elsewhere that 'heretics' - presumably Marcionites - said that 'the apostle' Paul had superior knowledge, knew the new better god, wrote a better secret gospel and Peter by contrast was condemned for his inferior knowledge, inferior gospel, veneration of the inferior god. If these points aren't explicit they certainly are implicit in the Prescription. It is worth noting that such an understanding is also implicit if we follow the argument in Agaisnt Marcion Book 5 regarding the Epistle to the Galatians.

I have read and reread Book 5 to the point that I am familiar with a number of strange anomalies in the text including:

1. a strange change from 'even if an angel preaches to you another gospel' to 'even if we or an angel preaches another gospel.' The reason 'we' is added to the text of Galatians 1:8 is clearly because the editor wants to deny the Marcionite reading of the material outlined previously - i.e. that Paul had one gospel and Peter another. The 'we' clearly means 'the Church as a whole' i.e. Paul and Peter, Paul and the Jerusalem Church. The story that emerges in Galatians 1:9 - 2:10 is from that POV designed to make clear that one gospel was shared by both communities which is simply ludicrous and fake beyond belief. When Irenaeus reconstructs the 'fourfold gospel' there is a 'Jewish gospel' (= Matthew) which seems to be distinct from the gospel of the Pauline community (= Luke). Under no circumstance does it make any sense that Paul could have gone to the Jerusalem Church and agreed they shared one gospel if 'gospel' here is taken to mean written gospel. I acknowledge that this is not the way modern scholars understand 'gospel' in Galatians chapters 1 and 2. But this is the only way that Tertullian can be understood to use the term gospel. In chapter 1 of Book 5 "I must with the best of reasons approach this inquiry with uneasiness when I find one affirmed to be an apostle, of whom in the list
of the apostles in the gospel I find no trace." The meaning of 'gospel' here is clear - it is a written gospel. Similarly at the end of the chapter we hear Tertullian reference 'mutilations of the gospel' among the Marcionites. The use of 'gospel' begins and ends as a written gospel. So when Tertullian reports that the Marcionites argue there are two gospels associated with two gods - the new god and the Creator - further associated with two different communities of Christ, those associated with Paul and Peter it is obvious what the addition of the 'history' in Galatians 1:9 - 2:10 is intended to do. The orthodox editor of the Pauline Epistle of Galatians is making absolutely plain that the Marcionite version of history is 'disproved' by the epistle. 'Look at the Epistle to the Galatians' Tertullian says, 'it disproves your claim about two gospels associated with Peter and Paul.'

2. Tertullian's argument that Galatians 1:9 - 2:11 agrees with Acts so this is why the Marcionites deny Acts. I can't stress how senseless this argument would be if scholars assume that 1:9 - 2:10 was shared by the Marcionites in their letter. What would denying Acts do for their case if Galatians alone was sufficient to debunk their claim that Paul is talking about two gospels associated with two gods and two communities associated with Peter and Paul? The orthodox Epistle to the Galatians denies this understanding of the Marcionites. I would counter that it does this because a later editor added the material between Galatians 1:8 and 2:11 which make plain that Peter was condemned because he was doing exactly what Paul said the angel would do - preach a different gospel. The Marcionites understood Paul to have written the first gospel - not by Luke but by his own hand so when he says 'my gospel' he means 'my written gospel.' Step by step the orthodox went out of their way to make it seem there was agreement between the various sects in the beginning. The unanimity eventually becomes more complicated by the fact that the existence of four separate gospels end up being taken as 'one gospel' - something which doesn't make sense given Galatians 1:9 - 2:10 so the idea of an oral gospel and a written gospel are layered on top of this original conception. But notice how whenever Tertullian references the Marcionites and their denial of Acts makes plain at least implicitly that they had no biographical information about Paul in their letters - especially Galatians. We read in chapter one:
If these figurative mysteries do not please you, certainly the Acts of the Apostles have handed down to me this history of Paul, nor can you deny it. From them I prove that the persecutor became an apostle, not from men, nor by a man: from them I am led even to believe him: by their means I dislodge you from your claim to him, and have no fear of you when you ask, And do you then deny that Paul is an apostle? I speak no evil against him whom I retain for myself. If I deny, it is to force you to prove. If I deny, it is to enforce my claim that he is mine. Otherwise, if you have your eye on our belief, accept the evidence on which it depends. If you challenge us to adopt yours, tell us the facts on which it is founded. Either prove that the things you believe really are so: or else, if you have no proof, how can you believe? [AM 5.1]
This is consistent throughout Against Marcion. If the Marcionites accepted Galatians 1:9 - 2:10 it would be checkmate here. Ah, you deny Acts but you accept Galatians. Look at what Galatians says about Paul. Yet Tertullian never says this because the Marcionites did not accept these verses.

Irenaeus (who is the source of this material copied out into Latin by Tertullian) makes a very similar argument in Against Heresies 3 where he writes:
But again, we allege the same against those who do not recognise Paul as an apostle: that they should either reject the other words of the Gospel which we have come to know through Luke alone, and not make use of them; or else, if they do receive all these, they must necessarily admit also that testimony concerning Paul, when he (Luke) tells us that the Lord spoke at first to him from heaven: "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? I am Jesus Christ, whom thou persecutest; "(6) and then to Ananias, saying regarding him: "Go thy way; for he is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My name among the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him, from this time, how great things he must suffer for My name's sake."(7) Those, therefore, who do not accept of him [as a teacher], who was chosen by God for this purpose, that he might boldly bear His name, as being sent to the forementioned nations, do despise the election of God, and separate themselves from the company of the apostles. For neither can they contend that Paul was no apostle, when he was chosen for this purpose; nor can they prove Luke guilty of falsehood, when he proclaims the truth to us with all diligence. It may be, indeed, that it was with this view that God set forth very many Gospel truths, through Luke's instrumentality, which all should esteem it necessary to use, in order that all persons, following his subsequent testimony, which treats upon the acts and the doctrine of the apostles, and holding the unadulterated rule of truth, may be saved. His testimony, therefore, is true, and the doctrine of the apostles is open and stedfast, holding nothing in reserve; nor did they teach one set of doctrines in private, and another in public ... For when it has been manifestly declared, that they who were the preachers of the truth and the apostles of liberty termed no one else God, or named him Lord, except the only true God the Father, and His Word, who has the pre-eminence in all things; it shall then be clearly proved, that they (the apostles) confessed as the Lord God Him who was the Creator of heaven and earth, who also spoke with Moses, gave to him the dispensation of the law, and who called the fathers; and that they knew no other. The opinion of the apostles, therefore, and of those (Marks and Luke) who learned from their words, concerning God, has been made manifest.
It simply boggles the mind that Tertullian or Irenaeus could have ignored the reality that Galatians 1:9 - 2:10 was 'checkmate' against the Marcionites. There would be no need to bring in Acts and the importance of Luke to this discussion if Paul plainly confessed who he was and his dealings with the Jerusalem Church in Galatians.

Rather the historical situation was:

1. the Marcionites were the established authorities about 'the apostle' Paul
2. their edition of the Pauline letters had no or little biographical information about 'the apostle' (as the citation from AM 5.1 above)
3. their version of Galatians therefore did not contain 1:9 - 2:10 and rather made the direct connection between the anathematized 'angel from heaven' in 1.8 with the 'condemned' Peter in 2.11

So strong was the Marcionite portrait of Paul, the two gospels associated with two gods venerated in two different Christian communities (one of Paul the other of Peter) and the like that it took the tag team of Acts and Galatians 1.9 - 2.10 to overcome it. In other words, Acts wasn't enough. They had to make it seem as if Paul 'confessed' the same truth, the same account of what happened in Antioch with Acts in order to subvert the tradition.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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