Mark knew the Sheperd of Hermas therefore...

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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MrMacSon
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Re: Mark knew the Sheperd of Hermas therefore...

Post by MrMacSon » Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:49 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:19 am
Giuseppe wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:40 am

Simple. There is no trace in the Shepherd of Hermas about a Gospel Jesus.

That Hermas talks about a beloved son and heir just as Mark does may be a coincidence.

That Hermas talks about a beloved son and heir just as Mark does, in a Parable, is not...a coincidence.
.
I think it is a mistake to assume that anyone who knew of an historical Jesus would necessarily lean into that historical figure and embrace him in his or her own texts.
I think it is a mistake to assume the Shepherd of Hermas was written after the Gospel of Mark; that the author of Shepherd knew of a 'historical Jesus'; or that they 'embraced' narratives about him [in that text, at least].

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:19 am
The historical figure of Jesus ...
... is mere bare assertion ...

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:19 am
... can easily be seen as an early embarrassment for Christians ...
lol. The criterion of embarrassment is an embarrassment in itself.

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:19 am
... I think that antiquity generally valued religions which were either (A) powerful in their own right or (B) of ancient origin. The Roman emperor cult was not ancient, but it revered the most powerful figure in the world, the ruler of land and sea across the Mediterranean basin. Judaism and other cults were not powerful in their own right, but they were (at least perceived to be) very ancient. Christianity was neither; it was a novelty on the world stage, and it revered some schmuck who got himself crucified in a backwater province. Christianity solved the first issue, its novelty, by claiming to be the legitimate heir of Judaism. It solved the second issue, its humble roots, by focusing on the current status of Jesus in the heavenly places, or as an angelic being, or as a preexistent god.
... early Christians and Christianity only revered stories about said schmuck; stories that may not be based on a real schmuck ...

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:19 am
The Shepherd may well do the latter ...
... and it may not.

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:19 am
the Christian apologists of centuries II and III certainly did.
Appeal to consequences is a fallacy, especially appeal to subsequent, later consequences ...

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Re: Mark knew the Sheperd of Hermas therefore...

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:57 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:48 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:22 pm
MrMacSon wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:12 pm
There are indications Shepherd - well, at least parable 5 - was a simpler series of narratives than the more elaborate or complicated gospel of Mark, as my first post on this thread suggests.
If you think that the degree of simplicity or complexity in a text is a good indicator of it being early or late, you will need to provide evidence for this supposition.
I'm not asserting 'the degree of simplicity or complexity in a text is a good indicator of it being early or late'. But I have compared Parable 5 of Shepherd of Hermas to Mark 12. See http://www.earlywritings.com/forum/view ... 06#p101006 on the previous first page of this thread.
So your statement that Mark's gospel is more complicated than the Shepherd of Hermas is/was a simple observation with no definable consequences? Okay then.
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:22 pm
E. P. Sanders tested several such proposed criteria (degree of detail, overall length, degree of Semitism, and so on) in The Tendencies of the Synoptic Tradition, and most of them did not hold up very well.
In what context did E. P. Sanders test several such proposed criteria (degree of detail, overall length, degree of Semitism, and so on) [in The Tendencies of the Synoptic Tradition]?
He compared presumably earlier Christian texts to presumably later Christian texts, and also compared the synoptic gospels with each other.
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Re: Mark knew the Sheperd of Hermas therefore...

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:01 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:49 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:19 am
Giuseppe wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:40 am

Simple. There is no trace in the Shepherd of Hermas about a Gospel Jesus.

That Hermas talks about a beloved son and heir just as Mark does may be a coincidence.

That Hermas talks about a beloved son and heir just as Mark does, in a Parable, is not...a coincidence.
.
I think it is a mistake to assume that anyone who knew of an historical Jesus would necessarily lean into that historical figure and embrace him in his or her own texts.
I think it is a mistake to assume the Shepherd of Hermas was written after the Gospel of Mark; that the author of Shepherd knew of a 'historical Jesus'; or that they 'embraced' narratives about him [in that text, at least].
I assume none of these things.
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:19 am
The historical figure of Jesus ...
... is mere bare assertion ...
This is demonstrably untrue. There is evidence to evaluate, however problematic, which raises the matter from assertion to argument.
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:19 am
... can easily be seen as an early embarrassment for Christians ...
lol. The criterion of embarrassment is an embarrassment in itself.
I agree with this statement for how it is often used in early Christian studies. I disagree with it for how it ought to be used (and actually is used in historical fields outside of Christian studies). To discard it completely is a mistake.
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:19 am
the Christian apologists of centuries II and III certainly did.
Appeal to consequences is a fallacy, especially appeal to subsequent, later consequences ...
What?
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Secret Alias
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Re: Mark knew the Sheperd of Hermas therefore...

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:53 pm

My issue is quite straightforward. I can't possibly see any rationale to Giuseppe's conclusion (not that there is anything new to that). I just felt compelled to shout out a - WTF?!!
“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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MrMacSon
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Re: Mark knew the Sheperd of Hermas therefore...

Post by MrMacSon » Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:34 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:50 am

Please, note the difference: Hermas didn't know Mark, but Mark knew Hermas.

Hence Mark was written after Hermas.
.
On what basis do you say that, Giuseppe?

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Re: Mark knew the Sheperd of Hermas therefore...

Post by Giuseppe » Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:25 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:34 am
Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:50 am

Please, note the difference: Hermas didn't know Mark, but Mark knew Hermas.

Hence Mark was written after Hermas.
.
On what basis do you say that, Giuseppe?
On the fact that Mark corrected Hermas by calling Jesus, and not the Spirit, as "beloved son" and "heir".

The contrary is not possible, since Hermas couldn't remove these titles from the Gospel Jesus to apply them to the Spirit, had he known the Gospel Jesus.

But Mark could remove these titles from the Spirit and apply them to Jesus, had he known Hermas.

That a relation exists between the two works is proved by the occurrence too-much-impossible-to-be-a-coincidence of "heir" and "beloved son" in a "parable".
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Mark knew the Sheperd of Hermas therefore...

Post by Ethan » Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:53 am

Why would πνεῦμα be a beloved son and heir? Theologians fail at semantics here.

Shepherd of Hermas is pseudepigrapha, it begins " brother to Pius, bishop of Rome" who never existed that duplicates Emperor Antoninus Pius, the Pater Patria [Pope] who existed. These fictional list of Popes was fabricated around the 11th century to legitimise Pope Inoccent III and the Vatican to covertly tax Europe, Most of the New Testament books are forgeries circulated by the pedophilia propaganda machine of Rome.
https://vivliothikiagiasmatos.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/joseph-yahuda-hebrew-is-greek.pdf

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Re: Mark knew the Sheperd of Hermas therefore...

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:15 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:25 am
MrMacSon wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:34 am
Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:50 am

Please, note the difference: Hermas didn't know Mark, but Mark knew Hermas.

Hence Mark was written after Hermas.
.
On what basis do you say that, Giuseppe?
On the fact that Mark corrected Hermas by calling Jesus, and not the Spirit, as "beloved son" and "heir".

The contrary is not possible, since Hermas couldn't remove these titles from the Gospel Jesus to apply them to the Spirit, had he known the Gospel Jesus.

But Mark could remove these titles from the Spirit and apply them to Jesus, had he known Hermas.

That a relation exists between the two works is proved by the occurrence too-much-impossible-to-be-a-coincidence of "heir" and "beloved son" in a "parable".
I agree that a relationship of some kind exists (whether direct or indirect).

One issue I have with the rest of your statement is that Parable 5 in the Shepherd is a mess. Multiple textual issues are present in the manuscripts, as well as weird statements which have prompted a variety of scholarly conjectural emendations.

Here is a difficult part, for example:

Shepherd of Hermas, Parable 5.5.5-5.6.1: 5.5 "Say on," he saith, "if thou desirest anything." "Wherefore, Sir," say I, "is the Son of God represented in the parable in the guise of a servant?" 6.1 "Listen," said he; "the Son of God is not represented in the guise of a servant, but is represented in great power and lordship." "How, Sir?" say I; "I comprehend not."

I am with Hermas on this one. The Son of God is most certainly represented "in the guise of a servant" in the parable:

Shepherd of Hermas, Parable 5.5.2-3: 2 "The estate is this world, and the lord of the estate is He that created all things, and set them in order, and endowed them with power; and the servant is the Son of God, and the vines are this people whom He Himself planted; 3 and the fences are the [holy] angels of the Lord who keep together His people; and the weeds, which are plucked up from the vineyard, are the transgressions of the servants of God; and the dainties which He sent to him from the feast are the commandments which He gave to His people through His Son; and the friends and advisers are the holy angels which were first created; and the absence of the master is the time which remaineth over until His coming."

But look at all the layers of symbolism heaped upon this parable. If the master's absence is the remaining time until his (= God's) coming, then is the servant (= the Son of God) exalted only at that coming? This would be a pretty extreme form of adoptionistic theology, but later in the text we get this:

Shepherd of Hermas, Parable 9.12.2: 2 "The Son of God is older than all His creation, so that He became the Father's adviser in His creation. Therefore also He is ancient." "But the gate," say I, "why is it recent, Sir?"

Okay, so what gives?

It appears to me that Parable 5 is a combination of multiple originally separate parables: one about a vineyard, another about a feast, and another about the master's absence, at least. The result is similar to the morass one finds in Matthew's parable of the wedding feast, as I have argued elsewhere.

"The son is the Holy Spirit" in 5.5.2 is actually missing from most manuscripts. Scholars tend to accept it (from a single manuscript) as the lectio difficilior, and they are probably right to do so. But the entire section is so difficult that the following may also be true:

Carolyn Osiek, The Shepherd of Hermas (Hermeneia), pages 177-178: The ambiguity results from awkward combining of different segments of interpretation and from later editing of different layers or editions of the text, as the narrative developed and the interpretations became more complex.

Furthermore, after such a distinction is made in this parable's interpretation between the Spirit and the Son of God, in another parable we find this equation:

Shepherd of Hermas, Parable 9.1.1: 1 After I had written down the commandments and parables of the shepherd, the angel of repentance, he came to me and saith to me, "I wish to show thee all things that the Holy Spirit, which spake with thee in the form of the Church, showed unto thee. For that Spirit is the Son of God."

In short, I agree that it is weird that the Shepherd has applied the terms "beloved" and "heir" to a figure in the parable meant to represent the Holy Spirit, but there is more going on here than that, and it is already weird that the son of the master in the parable does not represent the Son of God in the interpretation.
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Re: Mark knew the Sheperd of Hermas therefore...

Post by Giuseppe » Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:36 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:15 am
I agree that a relationship of some kind exists (whether direct or indirect).
Ok but I don't understand from the rest of the your post how do you resolve precisely the relationship: from Hermas to Mark or vice versa?

Surely you have proved that Hermas is a mess. But isn't that mess the more expected thing in an universe without still the shadow of a Gospel Jesus to define the minimal terms of the discourse? Note that Doherty himself assumes that Hermas is silent about the Gospel Jesus even if Doherty is one who assumes a date for Mark that is before Hermas.

I believe that it is sufficient to signal the presence of a relationship to declare virtually Mark as a post-Hermas work.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Mark knew the Sheperd of Hermas therefore...

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:51 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:36 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:15 am
I agree that a relationship of some kind exists (whether direct or indirect).
Ok but I don't understand from the rest of the your post how do you resolve precisely the relationship: from Hermas to Mark or vice versa?
Not sure yet.
Surely you have proved that Hermas is a mess. But isn't that mess the more expected thing in an universe without still the shadow of a Gospel Jesus to define the minimal terms of the discourse?
No, of course not. The confusion could be like that in Matthew's parable of the wedding feast, an indicator of posteriority, not of priority.
I believe that it is sufficient to signal the presence of a relationship to declare virtually Mark as a post-Hermas work.
And I believe you are mistaken in this, since there is more work to be done. Mark's parable of the tenants could be the source for one of the multiple parables apparently being combined in Hermas, and linking the son in the parable to the Holy Spirit instead of to the Son of God could be the result of the possible layers of interpretation and reinterpretation that Osiek mentions, especially since elsewhere in the work the explicit equation is made: Holy Spirit = Son of God.

There are still too many variables here. I am not sure how they all work together.

(And, to anticipate the same kind of ad hominem objection you have leveled elsewhere, I would love for Hermas to precede Mark. I think most of the epistles precede most of the gospels, and Hermas preceding Mark would be similar to that; but I have to go with how things actually appear to be, not with how I want them to be.)
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