The Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Secret Alias
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:44 pm

Once the direct evidence is off the table, there may be numerous indirect evidences which are left competing for one another.
Could I address the so-called 'direct evidence' - i.e. Paul?
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:44 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:32 pm
Secret Alias wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:54 pm
... assuming that the crucifixion of Jesus was not a historical event, the meaning of the crucifixion is to be found in the mass crucifixion of Jews by Roman armies in the lead up to the sacking of Jerusalem in 70 CE:
Josephus Jewish Wars 5.11

So now Titus’s banks were advanced a great way, notwithstanding his soldiers had been very much distressed from the wall. He then sent a party of horsemen, and ordered they should lay ambushes for those that went out into the valleys to gather food. Some of these were indeed fighting men, who were not contented with what they got by rapine; but the greater part of them were poor people, who were deterred from deserting by the concern they were under for their own relations; for they could not hope to escape away, together with their wives and children, without the knowledge of the seditious; nor could they think of leaving these relations to be slain by the robbers on their account; nay, the severity of the famine made them bold in thus going out; so nothing remained but that, when they were concealed from the robbers, they should be taken by the enemy; and when they were going to be taken, they were forced to defend themselves for fear of being punished; as after they had fought, they thought it too late to make any supplications for mercy; so they were first whipped, and then tormented with all sorts of tortures, before they died, and were then crucified before the wall of the city. This miserable procedure made Titus greatly to pity them, while they caught every day five hundred Jews; nay, some days they caught more: yet it did not appear to be safe for him [Titus] to let those that were taken by force go their way, and to set a guard over so many he saw would be to make such as great deal them useless to him. The main reason why he did not forbid that cruelty was this, that [/b]he hoped the Jews might perhaps yield at that sight[/b], out of fear lest they might themselves afterwards be liable to the same cruel treatment. So the soldiers, out of the wrath and hatred they bore the Jews, nailed those they caught, one after one way, and another after another, to the crosses, by way of jest, when their multitude was so great, that room was wanting for the crosses, and crosses wanting for the bodies.
[-] do most of us agree that [the narrative of] the crucifixion of Jesus was connected with [ / based on] this historical crucifixion of thousands of Jews around the walls of Jerusalem?
I think that is a reasonable proposition (given, for example, other propositions Jesus may be the personification of Israel).

(nb. I have bolded the Jewish Wars 5.11 passage differently to the way you did in the OP)

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:26 pm
... It may be possible to argue that the crucifixion is better explained on other grounds (for example, that it proceeds from interpretations of the Hebrew scriptures).
It could be both: Jesus crucifixion could have been based on interpretations of the Hebrew scriptures in light of accounts such as J.W. 5.11.
It is unlikely that they share equal originality. One likely came first; the other would have merely shaped the original idea.
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:45 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:44 pm
Once the direct evidence is off the table, there may be numerous indirect evidences which are left competing for one another.
Could I address the so-called 'direct evidence' - i.e. Paul?
Your thread. Why not?
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:57 pm

I've been thinking about the orthodox argument against the Marcionites. If you're familiar with Tertullian's Against Marcion, the case is made that Marcion stole Luke and read Galatians and learned from it that Paul accused the Jerusalem Church of tampering with his gospel. I am persuaded that this argument - the one used to explain the Marcionite gospel's existence - developed from the orthodox canon. Not only does this story use the variant of Galatians - i.e. that Paul 'for a minute' submitted and gave his written gospel to the Jerusalem Church but the whole story develops from a Luke-Acts based history.

If this is allowed, it suggests that this explanation was not shared by the Marcionites. Leaving aside what the Marcionites believed (we don't know what they believed). It suggests or accents the fact that our version of history develops wholly from our own canon. At the very least it COMPLETELY leaves open the question as to what the Marcionites believed about Paul. Can't that at least leave open the possibility the Marcionites didn't believe that Paul lived c. 70 CE? Is that possible?
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:10 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:57 pm
I've been thinking about the orthodox argument against the Marcionites. If you're familiar with Tertullian's Against Marcion, the case is made that Marcion stole Luke and read Galatians and learned from it that Paul accused the Jerusalem Church of tampering with his gospel. I am persuaded that this argument - the one used to explain the Marcionite gospel's existence - developed from the orthodox canon. Not only does this story use the variant of Galatians - i.e. that Paul 'for a minute' submitted and gave his written gospel to the Jerusalem Church but the whole story develops from a Luke-Acts based history.

If this is allowed, it suggests that this explanation was not shared by the Marcionites. Leaving aside what the Marcionites believed (we don't know what they believed). It suggests or accents the fact that our version of history develops wholly from our own canon. At the very least it COMPLETELY leaves open the question as to what the Marcionites believed about Paul. Can't that at least leave open the possibility the Marcionites didn't believe that Paul lived c. 70 CE? Is that possible?
Yes, it is possible. But I am not sure that anybody relies upon Marcion or the Marcionites for the date of Paul, except perhaps those who cleanly equate Marcion with "Paul."
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:29 pm

So leaving Paul aside, what other evidence is there which contradicts the idea that when the gospel was written (c 70 CE) the author had in mind Titus's mass crucifixion of the Jews? I am not asking this to be belligerent. I am asking just as a matter of procedure. Is there a second piece of evidence?
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:44 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:29 pm
So leaving Paul aside, what other evidence is there which contradicts the idea that when the gospel was written (c 70 CE) the author had in mind Titus's mass crucifixion of the Jews? I am not asking this to be belligerent. I am asking just as a matter of procedure. Is there a second piece of evidence?
Nothing direct that I know of.
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Re: The Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion

Post by Charles Wilson » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:59 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:29 pm
...what other evidence is there which contradicts the idea that when the gospel was written the author had in mind Titus's mass crucifixion of the Jews? ...Is there a second piece of evidence?
Mark 13: 17 (RSV):

[17] And alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days!

Josephus, Antiquities..., 13, 14, 2:

"...and when he [Jannaeus] had shut up the most powerful of them in the city Bethome, he besieged them therein; and when he had taken the city, and gotten the men into his power, he brought them to Jerusalem, and did one of the most barbarous actions in the world to them; for as he was feasting with his concubines, in the sight of all the city, he ordered about eight hundred of them to be crucified; and while they were living, he ordered the throats of their children and wives to be cut before their eyes. This was indeed by way of revenge for the injuries they had done him."

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Re: The Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:25 pm

Nothing direct that I know of.
All I am saying is that the ordering of the Pauline canon for Irenaeus and Tertullian and Ephrem was developed from the order of cities visited by Paul in Acts. As such our version of apostolic history developed from literature - or of course our canon mirrored reality ...

Another indirect piece of evidence would be Justin's statement that Marcion was 'still' living c. 150 CE. If the apostolic age was after 70 CE that becomes more explainable.
“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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Re: The Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:01 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:25 pm
Nothing direct that I know of.
All I am saying is that the ordering of the Pauline canon for Irenaeus and Tertullian and Ephrem was developed from the order of cities visited by Paul in Acts.
How so?

Order of epistles according to Tertullian:

Galatians.
1 Corinthians.
2 Corinthians.
Romans.
1 Thessalonians.
2 Thessalonians.
Laodiceans/Ephesians.
Colossians.
Philippians.
Philemon.

Order of cities or provinces visited in Acts:

Galatia (Acts 16.6).
Troas (Acts 16.8).
Philippi (Acts 16.12).
Thessalonica (Acts 17.1).
Athens (Acts 17.15).
Corinth (Acts 18.1).
Ephesus (Acts 18.1).
Rome (Acts 28.14).

Colossae (not mentioned).
Laodicea (not mentioned).

Canonical order & origin points of the epistles:

Romans (unspecified; Marcionite prologue says Corinth).
1 Corinthians (Ephesus, 16.8; Marcionite prologue agrees).
2 Corinthians (Troas, 2.12; 1.8; Marcionite prologue agrees).
Galatians (unspecified; Marcionite prologue says Ephesus).
Ephesians (prison, 3.1; 4.1; 6.20; Marcionite prologue says Rome).
Philippians (prison, 1.13; Marcionite prologue says Rome).
Colossians (prison, 4.18; Marcionite prologue says Ephesus).
1 Thessalonians (Athens, 3.1; Marcionite prologue agrees).
2 Thessalonians (unspecified; Marcionite prologue says Athens).
1 Timothy (Macedonia, 1.3; Marcionite prologue is mute).
2 Timothy (prison in Rome, 1.16-17; Marcionite prologue is mute).
Titus (unspecified; Marcionite prologue is mute).
Philemon (prison, [1.]9; Marcionite prologue says Rome).

Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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