Alexandria and Romans 15, 16

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Secret Alias
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Alexandria and Romans 15, 16

Post by Secret Alias » Mon May 11, 2020 7:44 am

"Clement of Alexandria and Origen are the only ante-Nicene fathers to quote from Rom. 15-16" (Morton Scott Enslin, Christian History p. 265)

If this is true then this poses some interesting problems:

1. Alexandria was associated with the production and/or distribution of pseudepigraphal material related to the early Church or Rome (presumably) with the shortening of authentic apostolic material. The former seems more like.

This might include the falsification of material associated with Clement of Alexandria - i.e. that Clement's authentic writings were 'hacked' by later editors for reasons that aren't entirely clear. It is implied by Jerome that Eusebius tampered with the writings of the Alexandrian Church Fathers not just Origen. The idea seems to be supported by differences in the character of Clement's writings (i.e. the Hypotyposes).
“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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Stuart
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Re: Alexandria and Romans 15, 16

Post by Stuart » Mon May 11, 2020 9:19 am

Keep in mind four key points

1) Romans 15 is independent from Romans 16 (Tertius' letter to Phoebe),
- both chapters missing in Marcion, Some manuscripts have 16:25-27 after chapter 14, others after chapter 15
* this suggests both were added later and independently, chapter 15 almost certainly came before chapter 16

2) chapter 16 concerns various bishopric claims giving stature to families as earlier than rivals
- there is a mixture of names drawn from letters and acts thrown in (Prisca and Aquila, Mary)
- verse 21 it's not clear if these are actual people or legend to make it seem authentic (Timothy is clearly drawn from NT material)
- Herodian in 16:11 is a strange inclusion, likely drawn from Mark (part of the throwing out known NT names)
- "Appelles is approved in Christ" is a great teaser; is this the Johannine sect alignment with the proto-orthodox? the same Appelles heretic?
- Strong suggestion the bishopric offices here may be in Asia per verse 16:4; This suggests either Anatolian or Greek origin for this chapter
- these are concerns of the middle of the 2nd century, more precisely the 3rd quarter of that century.

3) Chapter 15 looks like reconciliation terms between two sects, merging into one. Curiously the reach of Christianity is said to be from Jerusalem (which doesn't exists at this time) to modern Croatia (verse 19). The omission of Egypt and Rome is noteworthy. Macedonia and Achaia are mentioned as the churches giving donations, which suggest a locale in Greece for the writer.

3) We do not really know when the editions we have of Clement and Origen were actually produced. The core may be much older. Same onion layers as the New Testament. So this confirms these chapters were accepted as incorporated in Romans earlier than the mid-3rd century, as the Decian Persecution is nowhere in sight with these writers.

Clement and Origin writings may be out of Egypt, but the internal evidence of the two chapters point to Greece and Asia Minor.
Last edited by Stuart on Mon May 11, 2020 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“’That was excellently observed’, say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken.” - Jonathan Swift

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Re: Alexandria and Romans 15, 16

Post by Secret Alias » Mon May 11, 2020 10:15 am

But there is a pattern where ALL Pauline activities are placed in the areas where 'spiritual teachers' were receiving messages from heaven - Asia Minor (and Greece). Not sure that the apostle was actually spending his time there. This was the center of the pseudepigraphal writing cult.
“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: Alexandria and Romans 15, 16

Post by Stuart » Mon May 11, 2020 12:29 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 10:15 am
But there is a pattern where ALL Pauline activities are placed in the areas where 'spiritual teachers' were receiving messages from heaven - Asia Minor (and Greece). Not sure that the apostle was actually spending his time there. This was the center of the pseudepigraphal writing cult.
This is a confusing statement to say the least. By "this", do you mean Alexandria or Ephesus (Asia Minor)? If the latter, I wont dispute.

Let me flip it the other way on Paul (and other apostles): I am not sure any of them were ever in Palestine. If you have a movement in Anatolia and Greece that claims Judah/Israel [1] origin for authority, it makes perfect sense to claim your legendary heroes (patron saints or sect founders) came from Palestine. [2]

Do we actually think the bishop of Alexandria was already claiming authority over Greece and Asian Minor, as early as when two of the local sects were aligning? Do we think the bishop of Alexandria really had a voice in determining who the family with the strongest claim on bishophood in those places were? The named region of influence [3] makes me suspect Antioch is the more likely claimant for authority. But I rather doubt authority of even the largest urban churches ran much further than one week of travel.


Note:
[1] Not to discriminate between the Christ "son of David, root of Jesse" and "son of Joseph, son of Jacob/Israel" sects.
[2] I have long contended the place setting in Palestine for the NT is something like a period soap opera -- much like American Westerns--, an agreed format and time for origin stories, but with contemporary issues and characters using period stand ins.
[3] Paul's supposed itinerary of heading to Spain in 15:28, suggests a later interpolation for when the church actually expanded West. Even by Nicene the churches of the East far outnumbered those of the West. It is at odds with the statement that Bosnia or Croatia was the limit in chapter 16.
“’That was excellently observed’, say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken.” - Jonathan Swift

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Re: Alexandria and Romans 15, 16

Post by Secret Alias » Mon May 11, 2020 2:28 pm

This = Asia Minor/kata phrygia
“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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