Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Giuseppe
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Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by Giuseppe » Mon May 13, 2019 9:12 am

So, which was the cause of the passage from a concept of martyr as witness to a concept of martyr as persecuted?

I think that the original apostles, the Pillars and Paul, could be in their own right "martyrs", i.e. "those who saw the celestial Jesus". Hence they were the apostles, "those who were sent" to preach the Christ. The term "martyr" for "apostle" was still not used.

But when - and only when - the historical Jesus was invented, a distinction had to be made between martyrs and apostles.


Evidence of this is in Acts 10:41-42 :

He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses (μάρτυσιν) whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.

The reason was that Matthias was chosen as "apostle" to replace Judas, without being an original apostle. Against this gentile claim on the title of apostle, the Judaizers wanted for themselves the title of martyrs.

Hence the martyrs became the apostles who saw the historical Jesus.

Only after, to emphasize their elitist nature, the "martyrs" became persecuted people.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
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Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by Giuseppe » Mon May 13, 2019 9:18 am

The question is natural, then:

if there was really a historical Jesus, then why was the term "martyr" (to mean "who knew the historical Jesus") born only after the writing of the Gospels (and after the gentile co-optation of the title of apostle by who replaced Judas), and not before, when Paul wanted the title of apostle for himself, just him who didn't know a historical Jesus?

Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
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Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by Giuseppe » Mon May 13, 2019 9:31 am

It doesn't end here. As further evidence of the fact that the title of "martyr" replaced the original title of "apostle" only after the invention of a historical Jesus, is Acts 26:16:


'But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness (μάρτυρα) not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you;

Note that here Paul is defending the his new status of apostle of Jesus, contra factum that he didn't see the historical Jesus. But the title of apostle is not used in the his apology.

Therefore Paul also becomes "martyr", i.e. “who saw the Risen historical Christ”, a title in Acts that was given only to the 12 in opposition to the title of apostle, that was given to the replacer of Judas, the gentile Matthias, who didn't see the historical Jesus.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
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Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by Giuseppe » Mon May 13, 2019 9:41 am

Before the invention of the historical Jesus, Paul could use freely and without opposition the title of "martyr" for himself, as equivalent to "apostle":

Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses (ψευδομάρτυρες) of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised.

(1 Corinthians 15:15)
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

John2
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Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by John2 » Mon May 13, 2019 9:48 am

I think Paul could be the Saul mentioned in Josephus (who lived at least up to 66 CE). Saul was related to the Herodians, as is commonly argued for Paul (e.g, Rom. 16:11: "Greet my kinsman Herodion"), and both were pro-Roman:

War 2.17.4:
So the men of power perceiving that the sedition was too hard for them to subdue, and that the danger which would arise from the Romans would come upon them first of all, endeavored to save themselves, and sent ambassadors, some to Florus, the chief of which was Simon the son of Ananias; and others to Agrippa, among whom the most eminent were Saul, and Antipas, and Costobarus, who were of the king's kindred; and they desired of them both that they would come with an army to the city, and cut off the seditious before it should be too hard to be subdued.
Cf. Rom. 13:1-7:
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which is from God. The authorities that exist have been appointed by God. Consequently, the one who resists authority is opposing what God has set in place, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the one in authority? Then do what is right, and you will have his approval. For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not carry the sword in vain. He is God’s servant, an agent of retribution to the wrongdoer.

Therefore, it is necessary to submit to authority, not only to avoid punishment, but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes. For the authorities are God’s servants, who devote themselves to their work. Pay everyone what you owe him: taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.

Both were acquainted with "those of Caesar's household" and were forced to flee from Jerusalem (if there is anything to 1 Thess. 2:14-16, and I think that there is anyway):

War 2.20.1:
After this calamity had befallen Cestius [in 66 CE], many of the most eminent of the Jews swam away from the city, as from a ship when it was going to sink; Costobarus, therefore, and Saul, who were brethren, together with Philip, the son of Jacimus, who was the commander of king Agrippa's forces, ran away from the city, and went to Cestius. But then how Antipas, who had been besieged with them in the king's palace, but would not fly away with them, was afterward slain by the seditious, we shall relate hereafter. However, Cestius sent Saul and his friends, at their own desire, to Achaia, to Nero, to inform him of the great distress they were in ...
Cf. 1 Thess. 2:14-16 and Php. 4:22:
You suffered from your own countrymen the very things they suffered from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and drove us out as well ... As a result, they continue to heap up their sins to full capacity; the utmost wrath has come upon them.
All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household.

Both were violent thugs:

Ant. 20.9.4:
Costobarus also, and Saulus, did themselves get together a multitude of wicked wretches, and this because they were of the royal family; and so they obtained favor among them, because of their kindred to Agrippa; but still they used violence with the people, and were very ready to plunder those that were weaker than themselves.
Cf. Gal. 1:13:
For you have heard of my former way of life in Judaism, how severely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it.

And both are never said to have returned to Jerusalem. As Andrew noted:
According to Romans 15 Paul is planning to visit Jerusalem and provide financial aid to the Christians at Jerusalem. This seems unlikely in the post 70 CE period.
And Saul is never referred to again after consulting with Nero in Greece in 66 CE. And if he was Paul then he could have learned about Nero's plan to send Vespasian to Judea and thus have known that "the utmost wrath has come upon them," as per 1 Thess. 2:16.

The experienced and unassuming general Vespasian was given the task, by Nero, of crushing the rebellion in Judaea province. Vespasian's son Titus was appointed as second-in-command. Given four legions and assisted by forces of King Agrippa II, Vespasian invaded Galilee in 67.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Jew ... 3Roman_War
Last edited by John2 on Mon May 13, 2019 9:53 am, edited 11 times in total.
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Giuseppe
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Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by Giuseppe » Mon May 13, 2019 9:48 am

Curiously, in times when the historical Jesus was still not invented, the connection between martyr in the meaning of apostles, and martyrs in the meaning of persecuted people, was really made by Judaizers the first time:

Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony (μαρτυρία) of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

(Revelation 19:10)

Remember that the Judaizers who wrote the book of Revelation considered themselves as a persecuted sect (= the woman threatened by the dragon).

Hence there is a bit of historical truth behind Acts 10:41-42: the Judaizers were the first Christians to limit the right to title of apostolate. But they did so not in the name of a knowledge of a historical Jesus.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
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Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by Giuseppe » Mon May 13, 2019 10:01 am

Here there is the first implicit connection between persecution and witness, in a context where still martyrs means "who saw the celestial Jesus":

Then I saw that the woman was drunk on the blood of the saints and on the blood of the witnesses (μαρτύρων) to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished .

(Revelation 17:6)
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Irish1975
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Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by Irish1975 » Mon May 13, 2019 10:05 am

2 Timothy 4:6 (Polycarp's Pauline forgery per Trobisch) has a minimal statement about Paul's end:
For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure[tes analuseos mou] is near.
One can read into that various things, as was probably the author's intent: that Paul was executed for preaching the gospel; that he was simply ill and on the verge of death; or (to suit the plan in Romans) that he "departed" Rome for Spain or somewhere else.

Interestingly, Irenaeus takes exactly the same evasive and ambiguous tack:

Irenaeus AH 3.1:
...while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us...
If anyone has the Greek of Irenaeus maybe they could check to see if the same verb is used.
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Irish1975
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Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by Irish1975 » Mon May 13, 2019 10:07 am

Giuseppe, I realize that martyr means witness. I'm interested in the question of Paul's death.
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Irish1975
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Re: Romans 9-11 & the temple's destruction

Post by Irish1975 » Mon May 13, 2019 10:26 am

John2 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 9:48 am
I think Paul could be the Saul mentioned in Josephus (who lived at least up to 66 CE). Saul was related to the Herodians, as is commonly argued for Paul (e.g, Rom. 16:11: "Greet my kinsman Herodion"), and both were pro-Roman:

War 2.17.4:
So the men of power perceiving that the sedition was too hard for them to subdue, and that the danger which would arise from the Romans would come upon them first of all, endeavored to save themselves, and sent ambassadors, some to Florus, the chief of which was Simon the son of Ananias; and others to Agrippa, among whom the most eminent were Saul, and Antipas, and Costobarus, who were of the king's kindred; and they desired of them both that they would come with an army to the city, and cut off the seditious before it should be too hard to be subdued.
I agree that the author of Acts could have, and probably did, get his account of "Saul" from Josephus.
Sub Tiberio quies.

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