“Abba, Father” as two distinct deities, not one

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Secret Alias
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Re: “Abba, Father” as two distinct deities, not one

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:57 pm

For someone that hates the Jews as much as Giuseppe does his use of Couchoud reminds me of the way rabbinic authorities viewed the Gemara. It's literally understood as the perfect or complete understanding to such a degree that when disagreements arise between the source (= Torah) and gemara we are supposed to pick gemara. Of course this is absurd. But that's kind of what I see Giuseppe doing with his mythicist, gnostic 'gemara' from Couchoud.

For Giuseppe specifically there is a very close parallel in Matthew 5:17:

Do not expect that I have come to destroy the law or the prophets; I have not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

I would suppose that if this derived from an Aramaic gospel 'fulfill' = גמר
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
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Re: “Abba, Father” as two distinct deities, not one

Post by Giuseppe » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:00 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:49 pm
And for the record I am not saying that everything Giuseppe says is wrong. Some of it might be possible. My objection was to his habit of arranging a series of questionable 'discoveries' and arrive at a 'perfect' solution from them - one that solves 'everything.' My point is not that barabbas can't mean 'son of father' but that it can mean other things too.
What you and Ben seem not to see is that the more probable explanation of the enigma Barabbas (the strange fact that it means Son of Father, a fact that is confirmed from the Matthean version "Jesus Barabbas") is just that given by Couchoud, for two simple reasons:

1) the hypothesis explains very well why the crucified has to be called "king OF THE JEWS" as the only way to distinguish him from Barabbas.

2) we have independent evidence that in proto-John (of which the gnostic nature is already a proven fact, pace Secret Alias) the crucified Jesus is named Son of Father again and again, we have Tertullian (not only proto-John, Ben, but also Tertullian) who calls a ROBBER the marcionite CHRIST and we have Marcion who calls ROBBERS the OT prophets.

Now, it is disturbing the indifference shown by Secret Alias about:

1) the absence of evidence of any link between Zealots and Christians, pace the dear old Brandon, a fact that alone excludes the possibility of making more concrete the his hypothesis abput Barabbas = proselite

2) his indifference about the existence of Gnostic Christians who hated the god of the Jews, Marcion in primis, a fact recognized by the universal consensus, beyond if historicist or mythicist.

3) his fallacy of reductio ad Hitlerum of any person who disagrees with him.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: “Abba, Father” as two distinct deities, not one

Post by Giuseppe » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:24 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:44 pm
I completely agree. It appears to me that the main reason Couchoud's hypothesis comes across to Giuseppe as a "perfect explanation" is its utility in furthering his specific notions about early Christianity, gnosticism, and mythicism.
yes. The enigma Barabbas as resolved by Couchoud works so well to resolve a lot of strange details in Mark where the emphasis is apparently always and only on the Jewishness of Jesus, as if someone had extreme need to be confirmed in that certainty:

1) the strange fact that the only person able to recognize Jesus in the middle of night is just Judas, because Jesus is "of the Jews",

2) the strange words of Jesus in Mc 14:44: "Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me?? Every day I was with you" to stress the fact that Jesus was not an alien and not a robber, differently from the alien Christ of the marcionites, of which Tertullian wrote:
Then the things which the Father delivered to the Son are good, and the Creator is therefore good, since all His things are good; whereas he is no longer good who has invaded another's good (domains) to deliver it to his son, thus teaching robbery of another's goods

3) the strange detail of the titulum crucis whoose meaning is described independently by Couchoud and by our Stuart as the judaizing insistence on the Jewishness of Jesus against his Gnostic deniers

4) the words of Pilate: "Are you the king of the Jews?" as further confirmation of that Jewishness.

As I said to Ben somewhere, Paul can insist that Jesus is born by woman only against docetic gnostic christians and marcionites. Because otherwise it would be a very banal thing to say about a man. So also Mark and the entire synoptical tradition can insist that Jesus is called "king OF THE JEWS" only against docetic gnostic christians and marcionites who denied en masse his Jewishness. Because otherwise it would be a very banal thing to say about a figure of the Jewish mythology.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: “Abba, Father” as two distinct deities, not one

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:25 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:24 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:44 pm
I completely agree. It appears to me that the main reason Couchoud's hypothesis comes across to Giuseppe as a "perfect explanation" is its utility in furthering his specific notions about early Christianity, gnosticism, and mythicism.
yes. The enigma Barabbas as resolved by Couchoud works so well to resolve a lot of strange details in Mark where the emphasis is apparently always and only on the Jewishness of Jesus, as if someone had extreme need to be confirmed in that certainty:

1) the strange fact that the only person able to recognize Jesus in the middle of night is just Judas, because Jesus is "of the Jews",

2) the strange words of Jesus in Mc 14:44: "Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me?? Every day I was with you" to stress the fact that Jesus was not an alien and not a robber, differently from the alien Christ of the marcionites, of which Tertullian wrote:
Then the things which the Father delivered to the Son are good, and the Creator is therefore good, since all His things are good; whereas he is no longer good who has invaded another's good (domains) to deliver it to his son, thus teaching robbery of another's goods

3) the strange detail of the titulum crucis whoose meaning is described independently by Couchoud and by our Stuart as the judaizing insistence on the Jewishness of Jesus against his Gnostic deniers

4) the words of Pilate: "Are you the king of the Jews?" as further confirmation of that Jewishness.

As I said to Ben somewhere, Paul can insist that Jesus is born by woman only against docetic gnostic christians and marcionites. Because otherwise it would be a very banal thing to say about a man. So also Mark and the entire synoptical tradition can insist that Jesus is called "king OF THE JEWS" only against docetic gnostic christians and marcionites who denied en masse his Jewishness. Because otherwise it would be a very banal thing to say about a figure of the Jewish mythology.
Saying that someone is born of a woman is banal. Saying that someone is king of the Jews is not banal at all: not in the slightest, not even about a "figure from Jewish mythology," whatever that means in this case.
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Re: “Abba, Father” as two distinct deities, not one

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:33 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:25 am
Saying that someone is born of a woman is banal. Saying that someone is king of the Jews is not banal at all: not in the slightest, not even about a "figure from Jewish mythology," whatever that means in this case.
it is not only that. Judas who betrayes Jesus (Judas and not Pilate as it happens according to slavonic Josephus, strangely) implies out that Jesus is from Judea, seen that only "Judas" is able to recognize him in the middle of night.

Apart this, if "Christ" means "king of the Jews" to all practical effects (see how Matthew changes it in "called Christ", for example), it is the more banal thing to say if we are talking about the "Beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ Son of God", isn't it? The story happens in Judea, the hopes of the people around Jesus are Jewish hopes, even the place of the death is Jerusalem itself, and still are there doubts that the hero of the story is (or claims to be) the "king OF THE JEWS"? This is not an expected and usual insistence, Ben, this is an interested and embarrassed insistence.

On the Jewishness of the hero in question.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: “Abba, Father” as two distinct deities, not one

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:52 am

Continuing the previous post in answer to Ben:

I think that really a serious case may be made that in the Arrest, Trial and Passion Narrative there is a sudden explicit insistence on the claim of the condemned: to be king "of the Jews".

While in any episode that precedes the final episodes, we have in Mark an insistence by Jesus himself to exorcise also only the idea (advanced by Peter in primis) that he is the Christ/the king "of the Jews". Afterall, Jesus doesn't answer to Peter "you say so" (in Caesarea Philippi) as he answered to Pilate.

In my view, Wrede was an harmonizer of the two Jesuses (of the first and second part of Mark) by his idea of Messianic Secret. Wrede thought that the two Jesuses were one and the same insofar his real claim, even if hidden, was to be the Jewish Messiah. He didn't consider the hypothesis that, being Mark separationist, the "divine Christ" who possessed the man Jesus was paradoxically not the "Christ" in the same way as the mere man Jesus was "called Christ" (or "king of the Jews") by Peter or by the people or by Pilate. He was probably the Christ of an alien and unknown Father, while the mere man Jesus was only a pious Jew who was going to be baptized by John the Baptizer.

I don't know if Wrede knew this possibility about Mark. Because, if he knew that possibility and didn't describe it, then his work has to be considered an apologetical book.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: “Abba, Father” as two distinct deities, not one

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:37 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:33 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:25 am
Saying that someone is born of a woman is banal. Saying that someone is king of the Jews is not banal at all: not in the slightest, not even about a "figure from Jewish mythology," whatever that means in this case.
it is not only that. Judas who betrayes Jesus (Judas and not Pilate as it happens according to slavonic Josephus, strangely) implies out that Jesus is from Judea, seen that only "Judas" is able to recognize him in the middle of night.

Apart this, if "Christ" means "king of the Jews" to all practical effects (see how Matthew changes it in "called Christ", for example), it is the more banal thing to say if we are talking about the "Beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ Son of God", isn't it? The story happens in Judea, the hopes of the people around Jesus are Jewish hopes, even the place of the death is Jerusalem itself, and still are there doubts that the hero of the story is (or claims to be) the "king OF THE JEWS"? This is not an expected and usual insistence, Ben, this is an interested and embarrassed insistence.

On the Jewishness of the hero in question.
All of this admits of other explanations. Fleshing out what "Christ" means to a gentile audience makes perfect sense on its own merits, without any elaborate explanation. That the titulus should read "King of the Jews" also makes sense (in the story as written) as something etched by a Roman, though I agree the phrase is also pregnant with theological meaning.
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Re: “Abba, Father” as two distinct deities, not one

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:38 am

On top of it all, I am not sure you know what words like "banal" and "apologetic" actually mean.
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Re: “Abba, Father” as two distinct deities, not one

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:37 am

It's the same word in Italian - banale. But in Giuseppe's case I think he just has a lack of self-awareness. Do you, Giuseppe, understand that perfection as you call it, in this field at least is utterly impossible? Even if we have the 'right answer' there really is very little in the way that we can do to test how right we are. We've had people on this forum who deny carbon-dating of evidence, who argue for wholly insane 're-imaginings' of Jesus, Christianity - whatever. At best we have to enjoy being in the company of intelligent people, hearing what other perspectives are about the evidence, and accepting that we can only hope to be 'right' about the small stuff. There is no winning in this field. Just the enjoyment of being in the company of rational people and hoping that some of that intelligence rubs off on you and makes you a better person.

I don't mean to sound depressing Giuseppe but every time you get the euphoric feeling that you are about to vindicate Couchoud or 'prove' once and for all that mythicism is 'the truth' - you should have a little voice in the back of your head that says 'wait a minute, not only have I gone through this before, but the whole idea of 'winning,' 'proving once and for all,' and the like are wholly untenable illusions. Indeed, I would argue that you should start to ask yourself instead 'oh boy, I am getting those old psychotic feelings again. What are the weaknesses of my arguments, what is another way of seeing the evidence' just so you keep yourself grounded.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
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Re: “Abba, Father” as two distinct deities, not one

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:59 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:37 am
That the titulus should read "King of the Jews" also makes sense (in the story as written) as something etched by a Roman, though I agree the phrase is also pregnant with theological meaning.
what I am completely persuaded is that Couchoud's hypothesis is very concrete. I mean: evidence of Christians adoring a Son of Father who was not the davidic Christ is there. No need by me of inventing them. While the other best explanations of the Barabbas episode (for example a possible midrash from Lev 16 or a Zealot clue of sedition) suffer of too much problems, in primis the absence of corroborative external evidence. Against the idea of a midrash from Levitic 16 Couchoud has some criticism to raise in the his article.

Before of reading Couchoud's article, I despised the idea that the Cyrenaic was introduced to contrast Basilides's claim that the crucified man was a Simon and not Christ, pace Bob Price.
Since the case for the Cyrenaic as anti-Basilidean interpolation is more weak than the case for Barabbas as anti-gnostic interpolation. One can always assume that Basilides knew Simon of Cyrene in a previous gospel and then he identified him as the crucified. Afterall, there was nothing of embarrassing about the invention of the Cyrenaic helping Jesus to carry the cross.

But with Barabbas is different. We are talking of JESUS Barabbas in the more proto-orthodox of the gospels (Matthew). Surely a Gospel where there is nothing of embarrassing that doesn't find his good apology to sanitize any possible embarrassment.

A proto-catholic could have left a JESUS Barabbas in the his Gospel only for polemical reasons against a rival sect.


I have made my case.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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