A reason why Theudas was trasposed chronologically as John the Baptist in Mark

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Giuseppe
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A reason why Theudas was trasposed chronologically as John the Baptist in Mark

Post by Giuseppe » Thu May 16, 2019 8:45 am

Theudas was considered by Valentinians as precursor of Valentinus. Hence he had already a role as precursor.

But without disturbing the Gnostics, we have in the same Gospel an evidence of the threat represented by Theudas against the mainstream Christians:

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24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 ¶ And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: [then] came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace [be] unto you.
27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust [it] into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen, and [yet] have believed.

Theudas (Thomas) himself was considered the Risen Christ. The story above was designed to exorcise the suspicion that the Risen Christ was just Theudas/Thomas. If even Thomas recognized the Risen Christ as distinct from himself, how could he be the Risen Christ?

By promising the separation of the waters of the River Jordan to the crowd of his partisans, Theudas/Thomas identified himself with Joshua redivivus. Joshua and Thomas are mentioned in the Acts of Thomas: “Jesus then appeared under the form of Thomas and sat on the bed.”



To exorcise that widespread suspicion, "Mark" trasposed chronologically Theudas before the his Jesus: in this way Theudas couldn't work as the Risen Christ, but as the precursor of Christ.

Why did he change the name of Theudas in that of John?


Theudas means "flowing with water".
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/hitchcock/bible_names.txt
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
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Re: A reason why Theudas was trasposed chronologically as John the Baptist in Mark

Post by Giuseppe » Thu May 16, 2019 9:02 am

Josephus:
For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody….


Was that "somebody" just Joshua? Probably so: who if not Joshua could promise the separation of the waters of the Jordan?

It is strange the fact that Josephus doesn't reveal that:

Theudas rose up, claiming to be the Risen Joshua

...given the fact that the expert reader could already realize who was that "someody": Joshua!

Hence I infer that:

Josephus didn't want deliberately to mention that just Joshua was the biblical hero emulated by Theudas.

Why this deliberate silence by Josephus?

to put not in a bad light the memory of the biblical Joshua.

Josephus was embarrassed by the distorted use of the Joshua legend.



If Josephus knew the Christians, then he could only be embarrassed by what the Christians were doing, by adoring a Joshua.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
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Re: A reason why Theudas was trasposed chronologically as John the Baptist in Mark

Post by Giuseppe » Thu May 16, 2019 9:06 am

Hence Josephus confirms that there was a pre-Christian cult of the Risen Joshua.

The Resurrection was originally meant as an enthronement. This is evident also in the Hymn to Philippians.

Theudas/Joshua, by passing the waters of Jordan (in the his fool intention), was going de facto to die and rise again.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

davidlau17
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Re: A reason why Theudas was trasposed chronologically as John the Baptist in Mark

Post by davidlau17 » Wed May 29, 2019 10:30 am

It's also possible that a Christian redactor (possibly the same redactor who either inserted or heavily altered the Testimonium Flavianum) altered the original text from "rose up, claiming to be Jesus the so-called Christ" (or something similar) to the more elusive "rose up, claiming to be somebody".

This is assuming that Josephus did originally include material regarding Jesus the Nazarene in his Antiquities, though the material was considered offensive by later Christian redactor(s). Origen's (c. 248 CE) complaint that Josephus had mentioned Jesus, but had not recognized him to be the messiah, might suggest this to be the case. If the content was simply neutral rather than negative, I think Origen would have referenced the contents of Josephus' testimony to Jesus more directly.

Giuseppe
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Re: A reason why Theudas was trasposed chronologically as John the Baptist in Mark

Post by Giuseppe » Wed May 29, 2019 10:49 am

davidlau17 wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 10:30 am
It's also possible that a Christian redactor (possibly the same redactor who either inserted or heavily altered the Testimonium Flavianum) altered the original text from "rose up, claiming to be Jesus the so-called Christ" (or something similar) to the more elusive "rose up, claiming to be somebody".
Your scenario assumes that Theudas was posing as a redivivus historical guy lived recently: Jesus called Christ. It is extremely improbable that Theudas was posing in the same time as the biblical Joshua (that is a fact even given the current text) and as another Jesus/Joshua lived recently.

But a Christian reader could have read, as you say:

“rose up, claiming to be Joshua

and, out of embarrassment for an usurper of the nomen sacrum, he could have modified it in:

“rose up, claiming to be somebody

It is a possibility. But I think that Josephus himself was reluctant to mention the biblical Joshua in connection with who had to be described as a terrorist of the time.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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