I remember too much well the climax of some discussions here about prof Hurtado's views on mythicism. In particular, this:
Peter Kirby wrote: ↑Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:37 pmI am looking at the context, I am looking at intention, and I am looking at connotation. Here's some of what I know about Hurtado's emphasis in these posts. Note that I believe some of these statements are correct, but they're also highly revealing of intention, connotation, and emphasis.GakuseiDon wrote: ↑Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:45 pmWell lets do that now. Dr Hurtado writes that for Philo, "the Logos is not really a separate ontological being, not really an “archangel.”"Peter Kirby wrote: ↑Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:37 pmI did not say that. I did not say that Hurtado was wrong about this not "really a separate ontological being" wording. I haven't said that Hurtado is right or wrong about the not "really a separate ontological being" statement.
It seems that for Hurtado, an archangel is a separate ontological being, a being that exists within the class of "archangels". Whether he is right to use that definition or not, that seems clearly the definition he is using. Based on that definition:
For Philo, is the Logos really a separate ontological being?
For Philo, is the Logos really an archangel?
https://larryhurtado.wordpress.com/2017 ... st-hurrah/https://larryhurtado.wordpress.com/2017 ... -scholars/He is not expert in the very subjects on which he writes in these books, and his mishandling of the evidence shows this all to clearly.The reasons are that advocates of the “mythical Jesus” have failed to demonstrate expertise in the relevant data, and sufficient acquaintance with the methods involved in the analysis of the relevant data, and have failed to show that the dominant scholarly view (that Jesus of Nazareth was a real first-century figure) is incompatible with the data or less secure than the “mythical Jesus” claim. This is true, even of Richard Carrier’s recent mammoth (700+ pages) book, advertised as the first “refereed” book advocating this view.There is no evidence whatsoever of a “Jewish archangel Jesus” in any of the second-temple Jewish evidence. We have references to archangels, to be sure, and with various names such as Michael, Raphael, Yahoel, and Ouriel. We have references to other heavenly beings too, such as the mysterious Melchizedek in the Qumran texts. Indeed, in second-temple Jewish texts and (later) rabbinic texts there is a whole galaxy of named angels and angel ranks.First, Paul never refers to Jesus as an angel or archangel.https://larryhurtado.wordpress.com/2017 ... tal-flaws/For a survey of the various types of “chief agent” figures in second-temple Jewish tradition, including high angels, see my book, One God, One Lord: Early Christian Devotion and Ancient Jewish Monotheism (3rd ed.; London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2015; original edition, 1988). None of these figures, however, gives a full analogy for the programmatic place of Jesus in the devotional practices of earliest Christian circles.I focused on three claims that Richard Carrier posits as corroborating his hypothesis that “Jesus” was originally a “celestial being” or “archangel,” not a historical figure, and that this archangel got transformed into a fictional human figure across several decades of the first century CE. I showed that the three claims are all false, which means that his hypothesis has no corroboration.There is no evidence of “a Jewish archangel Jesus”. All known figures bearing the name are portrayed as human and historical figures. Furthermore, contra Carrier, Paul never treats Jesus as an archangel, but instead emphasizes his mortal death and resurrection, and mentions his birth, Davidic descent, and Jewishness, cites teachings of Jesus, and refers to his personal acquaintance with Jesus’ siblings.There is no example among “all the savior cults” of the Roman period of a deity being transformed into a mortal being of a given time and place (such as he asserts happened in the case of Jesus).My posting was intended simply to illustrate, especially for “general” readers outside the relevant fields, why the “mythical Jesus” view is regarded as bizarre among scholars in the relevant fields, scholars of all persuasions on religious matters, and over some 250 years of critical study.https://larryhurtado.wordpress.com/2017 ... lly-upset/So, ignoring the various red-herrings and distortions of the “mythicist” advocates, the claims proffered as “corroborating” their view have been shown to be erroneous.If you want to read a blogger going ape-shit, troll through Richard Carrier’s recent belligerent, intemperate response (here) to my posting in which I showed that his three claims that supposedly corroborate his “mythical Jesus” view are all incorrect.Well, to test this, let’s return to one of his key claims and arguments, the one where he says that Philo of Alexandria mentions an archangel named “Jesus”. I have read those pages of his book (200-205) where he discusses the relevant passage in Philo (De Confusione Linguarum, 62-63; Philo citing and allegorizing a passage in the OT book, Zechariah 6:11-12).Furthermore, Philo doesn’t designate this figure in Zechariah an “archangel.”Clearly Hurtado aims to show that Carrier is out to lunch and fails to base his arguments on the text itself.Surely, surely, one doesn’t have to go through the 700 pages of Carrier’s tome treating every one of his various arguments. The one key claim that I’ve treated here is sufficient to show that he bases his larger zealous claim about a “mythical Jesus” on specious arguments, resulting from a lack of adequate expertise in the relevant sources.
Let's review again the exchange in which an answer is solicited from Hurtado.
GakuseiDon wrote:Thanks for the interesting post, Dr Hurtado. You write that for Philo, the Logos is ‘not really an “archangel.”’ However, Philo does indeed call the Logos an “archangel”. Philo writes:
“And even if there be not as yet any one who is worthy to be called a son of God, nevertheless let him labour earnestly to be adorned according to his first-born word, the ****eldest of his angels****, as the great ****archangel***** of many names; for he is called, the authority, and the name of God, and the Word, and man according to God’s image, and he who sees Israel.”
Can you explain what you mean by Philo not really calling the Logos an archangel?When presented with the passage where Philo calls the Logos an archangel -- a fact which it would be extremely foolish to deny -- Dr. Hurtado has no idea where it is in the corpus of Philo! He believes that it comes from a different text than De Confusione. This completely confirms what MrMacSon said, guided only by good instincts and tiny clues, which is that Dr. Hurtado read the earlier passage without referring to the later one.Hurtado wrote:Don: Yes, in another of his writings (NB: contra Carrier, not in the De Confusione passage), Philo can refer to the Logos by the labels you cite. Indeed, he can even refer to the Logos as “a second god” (deuteros theos), but then quickly qualifies this with “so to speak.” The Logos is an “archangel” (remembering that for ancient Greek speakers the word “angelos” = messenger, or spokesman), for the Logos is the expression of the ineffable biblical deity toward the world/creation. One has to study carefully the multitude of Philo’s references to the Logos to put it all together, for he was a complex writer. But the Logos isn’t really a separate ontological being, like we imagine an “angel/archangel”. And, contra Carrier, nowhere does Philo refer to an archangel named “Jesus”.
The most that I could claim (without real evidence) is that Hurtado was aware of Philo calling Logos an archangel, in a vague way as one of many possible 'names' that might have been used, but that he forgot the reference. Alternatively, Hurtado wasn't sure on this point -- all he was really sure about was that Philo's Logos was not an archangel as we understand it, not a separate whatever-the-bobber.
This is what Hurtado, as you point out, originally claimed -- that Philo's Logos was not an archangel as we understand it. Of course, Hurtado is sure to have an opinion on Philo and on Philo's beliefs about the Logos.
Here's what I do know:
Hurtado's intent is to portray Carrier as incompetent and as making claims that have no corroboration and no basis in the evidence. In service of this goal, Hurtado "mishandles the evidence" by saying only that Philo's Logos wasn't really an archangel. Does he hope that the reader won't find out that Philo called the Logos an archangel, or at least that his argument will seem more impressive by not discussing it? This kind of dastardly behavior is certainly possible, GakuseiDon, so thanks for warning us about this possibility.
Hurtado was wrong about the contents of De Confusione.