Question for Secret Alias about Ishu.

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
User avatar
Joseph D. L.
Posts: 994
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:10 am

Re: Question for Secret Alias about Ishu.

Post by Joseph D. L. » Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:07 am

Okay that's clearer. Is there any Jewish mystical literature that discusses this idea?
With respect to the gospel, I have a theory. But of course not everyone is going to buy it.
Do you ever plan on publishing another book? I remember you saying that the last one kind of soured you on doing it.

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 12045
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Question for Secret Alias about Ishu.

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:47 am

Bottom line: no money in this and let's be honest. I was very young and stupid when I wrote that last book. Had twin events occur in my life - the impending death of my father and the birth of my son. On the one hand I wanted to show my dad that all my research (20 years at the time) wasn't brotlose kunst (something he used to say to me for years). With respect to my son I was under financial pressure. To be honest, it was my wife who wanted a baby. I just welcomed the opportunity to have an eager sexual partner. We were a little older and the doctor said she wasn't going to have kids. Too late. No one tells my wife no. It became an obsession for her. Wheat grass, yoga (even doing headstands after sex). Wasn't 'nymphomania' per se - I imagine 'nymphs' to be delicate little creatures. My wife was an athlete so it was training every minute she was ovulating. Then all of a sudden the doctor was wrong and I was having a son. Floored me. Had very little time to get my shit together. At the last minute I got this massive job at Disney - like $500,000/year but the job started on her delivery date. Crazy times. So in the end, life was utterly chaotic and made some bad choices with my 'literary persona.' But who cares really. I ended up with better stuff.

Very little of what any of us think about this stuff is that exact. The idea of laying it down as 'tablets' carved in iron like Bernard isn't my thing.
“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

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 12045
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Question for Secret Alias about Ishu.

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:51 am

I guess I will publish something before I die. Right now want to get two articles done. One on Epiphanius and the eyewitness of the Marcionite canon. The other on Against the Valentinians and Secret Mark. Then maybe later. I am doing a chapter in Loftus's new mythicism book on this theory. I rewrote the chapter TWICE. Both summarized my ideas in different ways. I can print the original chapter which I gutted some time this week here.
“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

User avatar
Joseph D. L.
Posts: 994
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:10 am

Re: Question for Secret Alias about Ishu.

Post by Joseph D. L. » Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:33 pm

Man seems like you've lived an interesting life, and still find time for this stuff. In the thirty years I've lived I haven't even done a tenth of that. For myself, I divide my waking time working 40+ hours a week, trying to write my stupid stories, and being depressed. This field has always been more of a hobby for me and have never really taken it that seriously. More so a distraction away from everything else, something that exists in a Kafkaesque world, where logical reality no matter applies; suspended in a void in and of itself. I would eventually like to coalesce my studies into a usable theory and publish it for a wider audience, but the book I was working on about Peregrinus I've pretty much given up on and have come to different conclusions now.

I really like what you said:
Very little of what any of us think about this stuff is that exact. The idea of laying it down as 'tablets' carved in iron like Bernard isn't my thing.
I think that speaks to something in us. That we always search for some authoritative source--a Torah, if you will--to help guide us. I definitely have this problem. We think everything written is how it is and was always going to be. Imagine if Crime and Punishment looked any different. We wouldn't know. Maybe that's our own bias and selfishness. I'm just rambling now.

User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 6107
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Question for Secret Alias about Ishu.

Post by MrMacSon » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:19 am

Joseph D. L. wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:57 am
Is there a linguistic relation between Ishu and Joshua/Yeshua?
Is there a linguistic relationship between Ishu and Ἰησοῦς / Iēsoû / Iesous ?

[eta: The Septuagint uses Ἰησοῖ as the dative, while the New Testament uses Ἰησοῦ.]



There's also the question of whether there's a potential relationship, linguistic or otherwise, between יֵשׁוּעַ / Yeshua and Hoshea` הוֹשֵעַ; and/or whether anyone in the time the NT (and other stories about Iesous) was being written, were reflecting on similarities or differences between יֵשׁוּעַ / Yeshua and הוֹשֵעַ / Hoshea` ...

fwiw, "Hoshea`" is said to come from the root ישע, "yasha", yod-shin-`ayin (in the Hif'il form the yod becomes a waw), and not from the word שוע Shúaʻ

User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 6107
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Question for Secret Alias about Ishu.

Post by MrMacSon » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:31 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:19 am
Is there a linguistic relationship between Ishu and Ἰησοῦς / Iesous ?
There's https://www.howtopronounce.com/ishu

and the likes of

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 12045
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Question for Secret Alias about Ishu.

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:05 am

I am really reluctant developing the forum as a 'market' to hawk my theory. If you look at the threads I develop - even when I developed this idea or others - the reason why the threads were often difficult to understand was because I was using the forum as essentially an experimental facility. I was 'testing' that idea, as I test all ideas. I always welcome the smartest people at the forum to dismantle the idea or any idea - even if I react badly to their rejection. I also like it when some of my ideas receive positive feedback.

In the case of this theory - and I want to make clear WHAT my theory is and how it developed - here are the top ten reasons WHY IT COULD BE WRONG just as a means of explaining and clarifying why it is RIGHT or how it is correct.
1. the Pentateuch is basis to the gospel because Christianity is a Jewish religion and in some sense or any sense the fulfillment of the 'Old Testament.' The Pentateuch seems to be written with the assumption that the Patriarch Joshua was the fulfillment of the expectation for a prophet like me (Moses) Deut 18:15.
2. The earliest Israelites sect the Samaritans are attested to have read the Pentateuch as if the Patriarch Joshua was the fulfillment of the prophesy (see 1)
3. The Greek spelling of Jesus has a numerical value of 888. The official exegete of the Samaritans (Memar Marqe Book 2) used a Greek translation of the Pentateuch and took note of the significance of 888 albeit at the beginning of the Song of the Sea (Exodus 15:1). He adduced mystical significance to the number.
4. The early Christians took a great interest in Old Testament expectations regarding the messiah (Christ). 'The messiah' is not a Samaritan terminology but a Jewish one. The Christians who turned out to become 'normative' took 'Jesus' to be the predicted name of the messiah. Unlike the Samaritans they saw it as a future expectation rather than a past one (although they recognized that the Patriarch Joshua and Joshua the high priest were both 'types' of the future messiah.
5. Early Christians took great interest in the numerological significance of the number 888 relating it to Sunday and the 'ogdoad,' the eighth heaven (one greater than the highest heaven in the Jewish understanding of seven heavens).
6. As the gospel narrative is set in the lead up to the Jewish War - a revolutionary period - and Josephus's Jewish War does not identify a messianic figure living at the time of the revolution itself in the it is reasonable to suppose that the claim of some Christians that Jesus Christ was the awaited messiah of the Law and the prophets could have been original - i.e. that Christianity grew out of an expectation for a future messiah named Jesus rather than a cult associated with the patriarch of the same name.
7. As the gospel features a crucified messiah it would be reasonable to suppose that an actual human being was impaled on a stauros at the end of the narrative. Given that a human likely was crucified in the narrative it is reasonable to suppose that he was named 'Jesus' given the fact that there is an overwhelming tradition from antiquity that assumes this.
8. Joshua was a common name among Jews from the period. It is not unlikely to suppose that there were a lot of 'Joshuas' in first century Judaism
9. the idea that a failed messiah who was crucified was developed through allegory or symbolism as the basis to a new religion where the messiah didn't fail but triumphed through crucifixion is at least theoretically possible. There is no reason to suppose that it couldn't have occurred and their other examples of failed messiahs outliving their failure and developing stable messianic religions which separated from mainstream Judaism (i.e. Sabbatai Sevi).
10. any messianic tradition from the period up to the Jewish War would necessarily have been a failed messianic tradition. As such any messianic tradition which broke away from mainstream Judaism and took root among Gentiles would necessarily have had to have been modeled on such a 'failed messiah who triumphed' developed through allegory and symbolism and typology.
So there is the top 10 reasons for supposing on the surface at least that all my ideas are bullshit and the only thing that is necessary to understand Christianity is suppose that there was a historical Joshua in Judea who claimed to be a messiah, failed and was developed into a messianic cult which ultimately spread among the Gentiles in the period after the Jewish War.
“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

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 12045
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Question for Secret Alias about Ishu.

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:48 am

So that's the case for 'Joshua' being the messiah. It should be noted that what became normative Christianity took this understanding or tradition in a very particular direction - viz. the expectations associated with Joshua the Patriarch and Joshua the high priest (i.e. separate prophecies) were taken to pertain to a future Joshua who was Jesus Christ. Rather than spending a lot of time on this understanding (because I think we are all familiar with it, let me give you the top 10 reasons why we should think that Christianity WAS NOT solely founded on a messianic expectation for a future Joshua:
1. the early manuscripts of Christian scripture and early Patristic writings explaining Christian scripture almost never use Ἰησοῦς as the name of Christian redeemer. Instead they use nomina sacra and the most common nomen sacrum for the Christian savior is ΙΣ with a bar above it.
2. the earliest historical Christian exegete Justin states that this name is to be read as ish 'man' https://www.jstor.org/stable/23064328
3. Origen the most authoritative pre-Nicene Christian exegete identifies ΙΣ as being read as ish the Hebrew word for 'man' http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0414.htm
4. in the LXX wherever names have the Hebrew ish i.e. 'Ishbaal' etc ΙΣ is used to render ish.
5. there is an early distinction between the crucified one and the Christian savior. Whether it is early traditions related to the gospel of Mark which see a heavenly redeeming figure 'land' on top of a bathing mortal man or some other scheme. There is 'wiggle room' for the idea a redeemer who was not named 'Jesus' could have existed alongside one which identified a crucified one named 'Jesus.' In other words, the ish hypothesis is not eliminated by the acceptance of Joshua as the name of the crucified messiah.
6. the oldest traditions - older than normative Christianity - all seem to be developed from a notion of 'another' redeemer besides 'Jesus' or Joshua. For instance, the Basilideans assume that 'another' was crucified in the place of the savior, the Marcionites held that the messiah of the Jews was 'other' than their heavenly redeemer, the Valentinians seem to separate 'Jesus' and the heavenly redeemer and where 'anthropos' or Man is the heavenly redeemer.
7. Irenaeus of all people explicitly denies that the nomen sacrum goes back to Ἰησοῦς http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103224.htm Irenaeus was influenced by Justin. But again, all of this shows that even within orthodoxy there were obstacles to a straightforward identification of 'Jesus' as the name of the redeemer.
8. Justin similarly is the source for the 'second coming' of the redeemer where his first appearance was in 'one form' - i.e. a suffering servant - only to show himself in his true form - i.e. a glorious royal form - at a subsequent period after the gospel. This understanding necessarily closes the book on any simple-minded or blanket 'Jesus' figure who is both god and human being throughout the contents of the gospel narrative. The gospel itself must necessarily allow for or have enough 'give' to support a separation of the divinity so as to have him appear in his 'true' - i.e. non-Jesus - state in the future. This in turn must be taken together with various 'Paraclete' figures throughout history - i.e. Paul, Marcion, Montanus, Mani, Muhammad. Whatever or whoever the redeemer was he was always understood to be separate from his human host.
9. Bultmann's observation that the Son of Man expectation within the gospel - i.e. ΙΣ declaring that his Son would appear in the future viz. 'after three days' - was necessarily understood as 'another.' In other words, Jesus is speaking in the third person because the 'Son of Man' is someone else. Bultmann's interpretation is attested as early as the earliest Valentinian exegetes of the gospel posting.php?mode'Je=quote&f=3&p=107388 If the expectation of 'the Son of Man' is another person that ΙΣ was clearly read as a Greek transliteration of ish as 2, 3, 4 above
10. Philo is the grandfather all Christian Biblical exegesis. Philo clearly understood ΙΣ to be the divine hypostasis of the Pentateuch present in the margins of almost every chapter. His exegesis of the Pentateuch regarding ΙΣ is followed by the early Christian exegetes (i.e. Justin, Irenaeus, Clement, Origen etc). A similar tradition regarding an angel 'Ish' is attested in Samaritan https://books.google.com/books?id=-wn8A ... el&f=false and Jewish sources. As such, it stands to reason that while Philo was unaware of the particular crucified one identified by Christian exegetes to be the messiah, he was aware and promoted the idea of the Christian heavenly redeemer who empowered this earthly messiah.
All that is left is to figure out how the earliest Christians understood this Jesus and Ish encountered one another in the gospel narrative. The synoptic baptism narrative is clearly one candidate but there is at least one other. I have developed a theory for what I think was the earliest. But it should plain to see that this is at least a viable theory. Doesn't mean it is correct. But it functions quite well with ample Patristic attestation for parts of the theory. It is the best, most complete 'mythicist' theory and it will be featured in a chapter in forthcoming book.

It should be noted for non-scholars that the Hebrew word does not start with yod. It is aleph-yod-shin. The Greek transliteration is iota-sigma.
“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

User avatar
Joseph D. L.
Posts: 994
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:10 am

Re: Question for Secret Alias about Ishu.

Post by Joseph D. L. » Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:44 pm

As far as theories go it's certainly one of the better ones.

I've tried applying some of your theories onto my model to see if it could work. What I've come up with is that Paul/Marcion saw himself as being transformed into a new Lawgiver by an angelic Isu Chrestus/Yashar--based on Ish and his transforming Jacob into Israel--during his revelation, which I've assessed to be the eclipse of 118 ad. In it he saw himself as dying and resurrecting, thus escaping and negating the Law because the Law only applies to those who have been born, naturally, and have died and remain dead, but he--Paul--was reborn, spiritually, outside of the Law. He also favoured the Noahide Laws as they are universal, and existed before Abraham and Moses. (And there was probably a textual reason, and he probably had his own translation of the Old Testament to prove his claims. Philo also speaks of Noah as being "exceptional" and the father of a new race of virtuous men, so Marcion was just saying that Noah was first and therefore more important.)

So in my mind the Marcionites (or at least the earliest tradition) didn't view the Law of Moses or YHWH as evil or malicious. Only that they were not applicable to those who had been baptized and partook in the same death and rebirth process that Paul did.

But like you I see the Joshua/Jesus in Christianity coming later, as an attempt to wrestle authority away from Paul/Marcion and place give it to someone else.

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 12045
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Question for Secret Alias about Ishu.

Post by Secret Alias » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:47 pm

I don't have a viable explanation so why not try what you have? Here's what I see:
What I've come up with is that Paul/Marcion saw himself as being transformed into a new Lawgiver
Already exists in the Samaritan tradition. Marqah = Mark = 345 = Moses. The title THE 'apostle' in Samaritan Aramaic means the sent one = Moses. There is no 'Christ expectation' in the Samaritan tradition.
by an angelic Isu Chrestus/Yashar
Could be. Yashar is the standard homiletic etymology for Israel - i.e. Israel are the yasharim, those who stand straight, upright. It is the standard reading of Numbers 23:10 "Let me die the death of the upright (yasharim), and let my end be like this?" So Balaam wanted to die as part of Israel.
Important also in Isaiah https://books.google.com/books?id=k5M3A ... el&f=false
--based on Ish and his transforming Jacob into Israel
Seems to be what early Fathers thought.
--during his revelation, which I've assessed to be the eclipse of 118 ad.
I'm stuck on the traditional dating. For instance if I am right about Ptolemy the gnostic being Ptolemy Chennus needs an early dating.
In it he saw himself as dying and resurrecting, thus escaping and negating the Law because the Law only applies to those who have been born, naturally, and have died and remain dead, but he--Paul--was reborn, spiritually, outside of the Law.
Works for me.
He also favoured the Noahide Laws as they are universal, and existed before Abraham and Moses.
Could be. I am stuck on the more traditional distinction of ten 'God-given' commandments vs the human laws of Moses as we see in the gospels. Divorce etc.
(And there was probably a textual reason, and he probably had his own translation of the Old Testament to prove his claims. Philo also speaks of Noah as being "exceptional" and the father of a new race of virtuous men, so Marcion was just saying that Noah was first and therefore more important.)
Looks good to me. But I am biased I guess.
“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

Post Reply