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Re: Why crucifixion?

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:15 am
by Giuseppe
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:26 am
If certain death were the goal, then beheading would probably be the death of choice. People have come down living off of crosses before, but no one has survived a beheading.
but the beheading can be made in the closed of a castle.

Implicit in a crucifixion is not only the death, but also the exhibition of the happened death.

So the Hymn insists on a death that was exhibited. To confirm the reality of the death.
Against his deniers.

There is also a curious repetition in the hymn of the docetic theme, really to deny it.

being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,

The point of starting is to be born in form of men. But the point of ending is to be found in form of men. A gradual incarnation while the death is arriving?

About the latter point, I should quote my source directly, as it is more clear.

Re: Why crucifixion?

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:46 am
by Ben C. Smith
I am saying that crucifixion is not unique in that respect. Beheadings can be public, and the head can be displayed.

Re: Why crucifixion?

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:00 am
by Giuseppe
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:46 am
I am saying that crucifixion is not unique in that respect. Beheadings can be public, and the head can be displayed.
you say well:

The beheading can be public.

The crucifixion has to be public.

The difference is there.

And the head can be displayed but only after the death is already happened. What was necessary, for mythical economy, was both death and exhibition in the same moment.

Only, wait my quote interely...

Re: Why crucifixion?

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:55 am
by Giuseppe
This is the quote I refer above. I don't report the author deliberately. I would like to know the your view about it.

Two propositions clarify what "taking the form of a servant" should mean. This form is human form: ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων γενόμενος, καὶ σχήματι εὑρεθεὶς ὡς ἄνθρωπος , "become (because he made himself) in the likeness of man, and on appearance, found as a man". Both phrases say approximately the same thing; it is debatable whether both should be attached to the second stansa, or separated by attaching the first to what precedes it. The second solution is, in my opinion, more logical: "become in the likeness of men" is the arrival point of the first voluntary humbling; "and in appearance found as a man", the starting point of humbling.

A more important issue is whether or not a more realistic meaning should be given them. The expressions "in the likeness", "in appearance, found as" lend themselves to a docetic interpretation, and were undoubtedly exploited a such. They do not necessarily imply, however, that Jesus' humanity was not real. On the contrary, since his divine form was real, so should his human form be. Otherwise what becomes of kenosis ? They wish to emphasize that although Jesus resembled a man and was taken for one, through his personality he was a god. The distinction lies between the person himself and the form or forms he possesses from Birth or might assume. In his treatise De carne Christi (VI) Tertullian tells us that "our Saviour himself appeared before Abraham in the midst of angels with a body that was not the result of birth". The flesh at Mambre was real because Jesus ate and spoke with Abraham, all the more reason the body of Jesus under Tiberius. What should be observed is that the reality of Christ's body assumes neither birth nor beath.



In a next post, I will report the point about the crucifixion.

Re: Why crucifixion?

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:10 am
by Giuseppe

The second abasement of Jesus mentioned in the hymn is that "he humbled himself, became obedient to the point of death, death on a cross". So far no difficulties arise. Two expressions however require comment: obedience and death on a cross.
Some critics wanted to regard the repetition "to the point of death on a cross" as a later addition. But to add the specification "on a cross", there is no need to repeat "to the point of death". Death and cross are in actual fact related: if the crucifixion was not believed, there would have been no belief in Jesus' death. When his teaching mission was accomplished, he would have reascended to heaven, as he will in fact after a certain period of time depending on the traditions, when he taught his disciples after his death and resurrection: "I came from the Father and have come into the world; I am leaving the world and going to the Father" (Jn 16:28). After Jesus' farewell speech to his disciples related in the Gospel of John one would expect the Ascension rather than the Passion. Paul's insistence, recalled in the First Letter to the Corinthians, apparently directes towards those who claimed the authority of Apollos or Cephas (1 Co 1:12), that he preached the crucified Jesus (1 Co 1:17,18, 23; 2:2), suggests that his crucifixion had not always been universally accepted.

(my bold)

This is the quote that has moved me to do the point about the crucifixion as a way to confirm that Jesus was really dead and exhibited easily as such.

Addenda:
note in particular the quote:

if the crucifixion was not believed, there would have been no belief in Jesus' death

The implication is that the crucifixion was introduced to confirm/reinforce the belief in Jesus' death, belief that therefore was not so universal at the Origins. A Jesus who didn't die is merely a divine Revealer appeared under Tiberius and then ascended to heaven...

Re: Why crucifixion?

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:27 am
by Ben C. Smith
Giuseppe wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:00 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:46 am
I am saying that crucifixion is not unique in that respect. Beheadings can be public, and the head can be displayed.
you say well:

The beheading can be public.

The crucifixion has to be public.
This is also not true. Private masters could crucify their slaves, and the crucifixion would not have to be public in any real sense.

If you want to say that the frequently public nature of crucifixion was of benefit to the mythmaking process, then fine. But I do not think it was constitutive for that process in the same way that the connection with servitude may have been.
And the head can be displayed but only after the death is already happened. What was necessary, for mythical economy, was both death and exhibition in the same moment.
I do not know what this means. It sounds very much like a gratuitous assumption.

Besides, only one good reason (two at most) for the mode of death being crucifixion being required will be sufficient. And that reason ought to be the best one available, for the sake of the theory. It is unlikely that the creator of the myth would have multiple excellent reasons to hand for its creation, all of them equally good, for such a specific part of the myth.
Giuseppe wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:55 am
This is the quote I refer above. I don't report the author deliberately. I would like to know the your view about it.

Two propositions clarify what "taking the form of a servant" should mean. This form is human form: ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων γενόμενος, καὶ σχήματι εὑρεθεὶς ὡς ἄνθρωπος , "become (because he made himself) in the likeness of man, and on appearance, found as a man". Both phrases say approximately the same thing; it is debatable whether both should be attached to the second stansa, or separated by attaching the first to what precedes it. The second solution is, in my opinion, more logical: "become in the likeness of men" is the arrival point of the first voluntary humbling; "and in appearance found as a man", the starting point of humbling.

A more important issue is whether or not a more realistic meaning should be given them. The expressions "in the likeness", "in appearance, found as" lend themselves to a docetic interpretation, and were undoubtedly exploited a such. They do not necessarily imply, however, that Jesus' humanity was not real. On the contrary, since his divine form was real, so should his human form be. Otherwise what becomes of kenosis ? They wish to emphasize that although Jesus resembled a man and was taken for one, through his personality he was a god. The distinction lies between the person himself and the form or forms he possesses from Birth or might assume. In his treatise De carne Christi (VI) Tertullian tells us that "our Saviour himself appeared before Abraham in the midst of angels with a body that was not the result of birth". The flesh at Mambre was real because Jesus ate and spoke with Abraham, all the more reason the body of Jesus under Tiberius. What should be observed is that the reality of Christ's body assumes neither birth nor beath.



In a next post, I will report the point about the crucifixion.
If I understand this aright, then I think I am in basic agreement, so far as the Greek goes. The docetic language is ambiguous, but the potential for docetism is quite real.
Giuseppe wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:10 am

The second abasement of Jesus mentioned in the hymn is that "he humbled himself, became obedient to the point of death, death on a cross". So far no difficulties arise. Two expressions however require comment: obedience and death on a cross.
Some critics wanted to regard the repetition "to the point of death on a cross" as a later addition. But to add the specification "on a cross", there is no need to repeat "to the point of death". Death and cross are in actual fact related: if the crucifixion was not believed, there would have been no belief in Jesus' death. When his teaching mission was accomplished, he would have reascended to heaven, as he will in fact after a certain period of time depending on the traditions, when he taught his disciples after his death and resurrection: "I came from the Father and have come into the world; I am leaving the world and going to the Father" (Jn 16:28). After Jesus' farewell speech to his disciples related in the Gospel of John one would expect the Ascension rather than the Passion. Paul's insistence, recalled in the First Letter to the Corinthians, apparently directes towards those who claimed the authority of Apollos or Cephas (1 Co 1:12), that he preached the crucified Jesus (1 Co 1:17,18, 23; 2:2), suggests that his crucifixion had not always been universally accepted.

(my bold)

This is the quote that has moved me to do the point about the crucifixion as a way to confirm that Jesus was really dead and exhibited easily as such.

Addenda:
note in particular the quote:

if the crucifixion was not believed, there would have been no belief in Jesus' death

The implication is that the crucifixion was introduced to confirm/reinforce the belief in Jesus' death, belief that therefore was not so universal at the Origins. A Jesus who didn't die is merely a divine Revealer appeared under Tiberius and then ascended to heaven...
I find it easier to think that the line about crucifixion was added to the poem, if such it is, and rather as an emphasis on the Christian kerygma than as a way to make sure that Jesus "really" died. I am still rather fond of my analysis earlier on this forum:

When we divide the passage up into clauses by marking the finite verbs, the line balance in Philippians 2.6-11 is pretty remarkable by contrast with the immediate context:

Philippians 2.1-18:

1 Εἴ τις οὖν παράκλησις ἐν Χριστῷ, εἴ τι παραμύθιον ἀγάπης, εἴ τις κοινωνία πνεύματος, εἴ τις σπλάγχνα καὶ οἰκτιρμοί, 2 πληρώσατέ μου τὴν χαρὰν

ἵνα τὸ αὐτὸ φρονῆτε, τὴν αὐτὴν ἀγάπην ἔχοντες, σύμψυχοι, τὸ ἓν φρονοῦντες, 3 μηδὲν κατ᾽ ἐριθείαν μηδὲ κατὰ κενοδοξίαν ἀλλὰ τῇ ταπεινοφροσύνῃ ἀλλήλους ἡγούμενοι ὑπερέχοντας ἑαυτῶν, 4 μὴ τὰ ἑαυτῶν ἕκαστος σκοποῦντες ἀλλὰ [καὶ] τὰ ἑτέρων ἕκαστοι.

5 Τοῦτο φρονεῖτε ἐν ὑμῖν ὃ καὶ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ,

6 [ὃς] ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχων οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ,

7 ἀλλὰ ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσεν, μορφὴν δούλου λαβών, ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων γενόμενος,

8 καὶ σχήματι εὑρεθεὶς ὡς ἄνθρωπος ἐταπείνωσεν ἑαυτὸν γενόμενος ὑπήκοος μέχρι θανάτου
[θανάτου δὲ σταυροῦ].

9 διὸ καὶ ὁ θεὸς αὐτὸν ὑπερύψωσεν καὶ ἐχαρίσατο αὐτῷ τὸ ὄνομα τὸ ὑπὲρ πᾶν ὄνομα,

10 ἵνα ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ πᾶν γόνυ κάμψῃ ἐπουρανίων καὶ ἐπιγείων καὶ καταχθονίων

11 καὶ πᾶσα γλῶσσα ἐξομολογήσηται ὅτι κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς εἰς δόξαν θεοῦ πατρός.


12 Ὥστε, ἀγαπητοί μου, καθὼς πάντοτε ὑπηκούσατε, μὴ ὡς ἐν τῇ παρουσίᾳ μου μόνον ἀλλὰ νῦν πολλῷ μᾶλλον ἐν τῇ ἀπουσίᾳ μου,

μετὰ φόβου καὶ τρόμου τὴν ἑαυτῶν σωτηρίαν κατεργάζεσθε·

13 θεὸς γάρ ἐστιν ὁ ἐνεργῶν ἐν ὑμῖν καὶ τὸ θέλειν καὶ τὸ ἐνεργεῖν ὑπὲρ τῆς εὐδοκίας.

14 Πάντα ποιεῖτε χωρὶς γογγυσμῶν καὶ διαλογισμῶν,

15 ἵνα γένησθε ἄμεμπτοι καὶ ἀκέραιοι, τέκνα θεοῦ ἄμωμα μέσον γενεᾶς σκολιᾶς καὶ διεστραμμένης,

ἐν οἷς φαίνεσθε ὡς φωστῆρες ἐν κόσμῳ, 16 λόγον ζωῆς ἐπέχοντες, εἰς καύχημα ἐμοὶ εἰς ἡμέραν Χριστοῦ,

ὅτι οὐκ εἰς κενὸν ἔδραμον οὐδὲ εἰς κενὸν ἐκοπίασα.

17 Ἀλλὰ εἰ καὶ σπένδομαι ἐπὶ τῇ θυσίᾳ καὶ λειτουργίᾳ τῆς πίστεως ὑμῶν,

χαίρω καὶ συγχαίρω πᾶσιν ὑμῖν·

18 τὸ δὲ αὐτὸ καὶ ὑμεῖς χαίρετε καὶ συγχαίρετέ μοι.


Re: Why crucifixion?

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:59 am
by Giuseppe
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:27 am
It is unlikely that the creator of the myth would have multiple excellent reasons to hand for its creation, all of them equally good, for such a specific part of the myth.
you are assuming that all started with some guy inventing a crucified Christ. But clearly the quote above is assuming that all started with some guy inventing a Revealer Christ (to reveal there is no need of a death). The crucifixion was added shortly after to make him a Redeemer Christ (to redeem there is need of a death).
I find it easier to think that the line about crucifixion was added to the poem, if such it is, and rather as an emphasis on the Christian kerygma than as a way to make sure that Jesus "really" died.
ok, but the problem with your view is that the presumed interpolator added not only the cross (this may be expected), but also the reference to the death by it, despite of the latter being already found in the genuine hymn (which is unexpected).

That would be not expected if the genuine author or the interpolator introduced the crucifixion to reinforce the belief in the real death of Jesus. Is really necessary to distinguish between original author and interpolation to do the my point? I don't think.

In both the cases, the insistence on the implication:

crucifixion ---> real death

...is there. Hence, by mere extension, my inference is that everywhere the crucifixion was added on a previous myth of a Jesus only Revealer. Or against a contemporary rival myth of that kind. Or even against a not-Christian hearsay that denied the reality of the death.

Re: Why crucifixion?

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:17 pm
by Ben C. Smith
Giuseppe wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:59 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:27 am
It is unlikely that the creator of the myth would have multiple excellent reasons to hand for its creation, all of them equally good, for such a specific part of the myth.
you are assuming that all started with some guy inventing a crucified Christ. But clearly the quote above is assuming that all started with some guy inventing a Revealer Christ (to reveal there is no need of a death). The crucifixion was added shortly after to make him a Redeemer Christ (to redeem there is need of a death).
There is no relevance in this two-step structure to the point that I was making. My point applies to whatever step at which the decision had to be made: what kind of death?
ok, but the problem with your view is that the presumed interpolator added not only the cross (this may be expected), but also the reference to the death by it, despite of the latter being already found in the genuine hymn (which is unexpected).
It seems certain that the doubling up of "death" carries meaning, but you are rushing to the finish line without considering all the options. The concept of being "obedient to the point of death" could easily inspire the dramatic phrasing, the point being, not that death was certain, but rather that it was the kind of death to which a person would not expect someone to voluntarily subject oneself.
That would be not expected if the genuine author or the interpolator introduced the crucifixion to reinforce the belief in the real death of Jesus. Is really necessary to distinguish between original author and interpolation to do the my point? I don't think.

In both the cases, the insistence on the implication:

crucifixion ---> real death

...is there.
The implication would be, rather: crucifixion > humiliating death, which at least garners support from the context.

Re: Why crucifixion?

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:33 pm
by Giuseppe
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:17 pm
My point applies to whatever step at which the decision had to be made: what kind of death?
my snswer is: the crucifixion to make it sure, in any context where the gospel is preached, that the death was a real thing.
It seems certain that the doubling up of "death" carries meaning, but you are rushing to the finish line without considering all the options. The concept of being "obedient to the point of death" could easily inspire the dramatic phrasing, the point being, not that death was certain, but rather that it was the kind of death to which a person would not expect someone to voluntarily subject oneself.
even that surprise could be deliberate, so to move the readers to persuade themselves that Jesus was really died, because "no person would invent a similar death for a god" et similia. The final goal here is to persuade that Jesus is really died.
The implication would be, rather: crucifixion > humiliating death, which at least garners support from the context.
so the repetition of the word "death" would be not evidence of a strange anomaly to be explained, for you.

You don't see a contrast between the docetic theme of the previous passages and the crude reality of death of the last passages.

Re: Why crucifixion?

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:41 am
by Ben C. Smith
Giuseppe wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:33 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:17 pm
My point applies to whatever step at which the decision had to be made: what kind of death?
my answer is: the crucifixion to make it sure, in any context where the gospel is preached, that the death was a real thing.
I think you misunderstood my point, since your response does not address it. Not that I care, though. Carry on.
even that surprise could be deliberate, so to move the readers to persuade themselves that Jesus was really died, because "no person would invent a similar death for a god" et similia. The final goal here is to persuade that Jesus is really died.
The implication would be, rather: crucifixion > humiliating death, which at least garners support from the context.
so the repetition of the word "death" would be not evidence of a strange anomaly to be explained, for you.
If you cannot even read me, your contemporary, correctly, what chance do you have with the ancient texts? I said that the expression "death on a cross" would be emphasizing the humiliation of that kind of death, which is part of the context (the "humbling"). All people fear death to some extent, but let us imagine that I have a friend who is especially afraid of drowning. If I want to tease him about that, I could say something like, "I sentence you to death... death by drowning." The word "death" is dramatically repeated, but the point is not that the death is somehow more certain or real now. Rather, the emphasis is on the attached word: "drowning," in order to tap into my friend's heightened fear of that kind of death. Likewise, then, in the context of the Jesus hymn, the death by crucifixion seems to be playing up the humble, servile aspect; it is not just that Christ had to die; he had to die the death of a slave... and also the death which by now (if the phrase is an interpolation) was synonymous with the fate of the Christ of Christian preaching.
You don't see a contrast between the docetic theme of the previous passages and the crude reality of death of the last passages.
It is possible; but it seems less likely than the interpretation I have laid out. Overall, your point seems to depend exclusively on the repetition of the word death itself, but I have shown you that this repetition may bear multiple meanings. But the entire context, as well as the cultural meaning of crucifixion in antiquity overall, supports my case over yours.