Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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I like a lot this Ben's point, but I would like to correct it according to my own views:
Ben C. Smith wrote: ↑
Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:41 am
Regardless of how the above ideas fare, I think that an early belief that the heavenly Jesus was actually John the Baptist exalted would easily explain any possible discrepancy between Josephus and the gospels so far as the date of John's execution is concerned. Once Jesus the heavenly Lord was pushed back into history as Jesus the wandering preacher, the notion that Jesus was John redivivus in some way would force John's death back even further: no matter what, now, John has to die before Jesus can be thought to be his avatar, so to speak. So John has to die before Jesus does, regardless of how the dates may shake out in real history.
Jesus was identified with John by the sectarians of John. But was he the mythical Jesus or the Gospel Jesus ?
- If the mythical Risen Jesus was identified with the Risen John, then that mythical Jesus couldn't be conceived as dying and rising in outer space, but only on the earth (since John was crucified on earth): that the mythical Jesus was crucified on earth is impossible, given what I think about the Jesus of Paul.
- If the Gospel Jesus was identified with John, then that particular Earliest Gospel had to be written before any Gospel mentioning John (since, per Ben's quote, the baptism by John was introduced to distinguish John from Jesus and make it clear).
This allows me to have the following reconstruction, the only possible:
- The Pillars and Paul: Jesus crucified in outer space.
- The Earliest Gospel: Jesus crucified on earth and zero mention of John.
- The disciples of John claim that the Earliest-Gospel Jesus is John.
- Mark: John is not Jesus but his mere precursor. And John didn't rise.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.