A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD PROBLEM

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
maryhelena
Posts: 1688
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:22 pm
Location: England

Re: A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD PROBLEM

Post by maryhelena » Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:28 am

Bernard Muller wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:11 am
to maryhelena,

From Visi's The Chronology of John the Baptist and the Crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth: A New Approach (all bolding are mine)
The idea that John must have died after Jesus’ execution has been advocated by Robert Eisler (1882–1949), an ingenious but eccentric scholar, whose theories cannot but seem idiosyncratic today. Relying heavily on the Slavonic version of Josephus’ Jewish War Eisler claimed that Pilate’s office in Judea began as early as 19 CE, that Jesus was acclaimed the king of the Jews in 21 CE and was crucified the same year after his army lost a battle against the Roman troops of Pontius Pilate.
Eisler’s theories were heavily criticized and generally rejected by his contemporaries: nevertheless, we shall attempt to show that his intuitions were basically correct concerning the relative chronology of Jesus’ crucifixion and John’s beheading.
I think you are on thin ice about this 19 CE.

Later, Visi provided his sequence of events according to Josephus.
sequence of events

1. John gathered many followers around himself teaching them good morals.
2. Herod Antipas feared that the mob that gathered around John would eventually initiate a rebellion. (Josephus does not indicate that Herod had anything personal against John, nor that John criticized his unorthodox marriage.)
3. So John was arrested and executed in the fortress of Machaerus.
4. Soon after a war broke out between Herod and the Nabatean king, Aretas. Herod’s army was defeated and almost completely annihilated.
5. Many Jews of Herod’s realm believed that the military disaster was a divine punishment for the execution of John the Baptist.
Here is what Josephus wrote, according to the translation that Visi used:
So she speedily reached her father and told him what Herod planned to do. Aretas made this the start of a quarrel. There was also a dispute about boundaries in the district of Gabalis. Troops were mustered on each side and they were now at war,
So Aretas started his quarrel with Antipas right before Herodias and Antipas married; then Visi assumed: soon after, Aretas & Antipas were at war and again soon after, the battle took place. And around the time of the battle, John the Baptist was arrested, sent as a prisoner to Macherus and executed soon after.
Visi figured all these events, from Aretas' daughter flight to the battle & John's execution happened within one year around 35/36 C.

But first, "they were now at war" is misleading and even incorrect. The Greek is more properly translated as:
εις πολεμον καθισταντο
there was a state of war which does not mean the armies were fighting each other yet.

And then, we have:
From Josephus' Antiquities XVIII:
A) The future Agrippa I meets Antipas & Herodias some time (years?) after they got married (6, 2). Then,
B) Agrippa sojourns in Tiberias for some undetermined time (years?) (6, 2). Then,
C) Agrippa goes to Antioch and stays with his friend Flaccus, president over Syria, (died either 33 or 35 CE) for some unspecified duration (years?) (6, 3). Then,
D) When Flaccus is still alive, Agrippa goes to Ptolemais and then Alexandria in order to raise money for himself (6, 3).
E) Agrippa arrives in Italy (at the latest in 36 CE) when Tiberius is still alive and then sojourn here (years?).

Of course, times of Agrippa' stays in Tiberias & Antioch & finally in Italy (very eventful for Agrippa) are not known (as also when after the wedding he met Antipas with Herodias), but I doubt Josephus would have mentioned these sojourns if they were short.

Anyway. that shows Antipas & Herodias were married at least two years before 36 CE, but probably more.

Cordially, Bernard
:banghead:
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats

Bernard Muller
Posts: 3357
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:02 pm
Contact:

Re: A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD PROBLEM

Post by Bernard Muller » Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:17 am

to Maryhelena,
Why banging head? Is that something you did not agree, or do not understand, or everything I wrote is wrong. Or, like many on this forum, :confusedsmiley: :consternation: :scratch:

Cordially, Bernard
I believe freedom of expression should not be curtailed

davidmartin
Posts: 401
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:51 pm

Re: A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD PROBLEM

Post by davidmartin » Sun Sep 13, 2020 3:10 pm

Bernard have you tried agreeing with her instead of arguing she's wrong?
Just say 'Yes i see now, 19AD is the correct date' and see what happens!

Bernard Muller
Posts: 3357
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:02 pm
Contact:

Re: A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD PROBLEM

Post by Bernard Muller » Sun Sep 13, 2020 4:48 pm

to davidmartin,
You must be kidding. After all the evidence I put on my posts, all the years of research I made, I am not going to agree with maryhelena when I know she is wrong about that matter (and many others). Please read my posts to see my viewpoint, which is backed by solid evidence. Many of you out there want to be ignorant about my studies in-depth so they can hang on to their pet barely sketched theories.
I have no bad feelings about maryhelena but she is not even reading my posts, as it looks. I read hers. Why did she not reciprocate, and comment and even criticize stuff I wrote. That would be a start.

Cordially, Bernard
I believe freedom of expression should not be curtailed

davidmartin
Posts: 401
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:51 pm

Re: A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD PROBLEM

Post by davidmartin » Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:40 am

Bernard yes i was joking! I thought some humour might lighten things up a bit

PS I did go onto your site and take a look. Yes it's solid research although you didn't address the Odes of Solomon from a brief look around
But I gave up on Josephus quite a while ago as I think he's just leading everyone up the garden path. Utterly frustrating is how i find him. I now use his book to prop up a desk to stop it wobbling as it's just the right size and couldn't be happier. As to these arguments over dating, i don't see this being make or break for a historical Jesus at all

maryhelena
Posts: 1688
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:22 pm
Location: England

Re: A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD PROBLEM

Post by maryhelena » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:43 am

Daniel Schwartz has an interesting example of how gLuke, or later scribes, used a meeting between the mother of John the Baptist and the mother of Jesus to indicate a transfer of importance. i.e. from a John the Baptist group to a Jesus group. A simple transfer of the Magnificat song from Elizabeth to Mary and John the Baptist and his movement is overtaken by the Jesus figure.

Of course, when writing a story, in this case an origin story, one is free to make light of any struggle the new movement experienced. What better way than have the old movement welcome the new movement with open arms..... Any conflict between the John and Jesus movements would get a whitewash by the winning side. Story wise, John the Baptizer is conveniently disposed off by a wicked Herodian.

Theology wise, the gospel story needs to have it's John the Baptist figure killed prior to the execution of it's Jesus figure (a reversal to how Josephus places these two figures in his own writing. ) The theology of the new movement being, for want of a better word, the end game. No latter day resurgence of a John the Baptizer figure, dead or alive, would be tolerated by the new theology. As someone once said - Christianity is the mother of heretics - and unfortunately also their inquisitor.


Daniel R. Schwartz: Reading the First Century: On Reading Josephus and Studying Jewish History of the First Century

2.3.3.4 Theologically motivated scribes? Who sang the Magnificat
(Luke 1:46–56)?


Sometimes, however, the lectio difficilior rule does seem to be easy to apply,
and may even point us in the direction of far-reaching results. Suppose that
we wish to study John the Baptist and his disciples – a first-century Jewish
movement that had something to do with the rise of Christianity. The way
the Gospels tell the story, John recognized Jesus as his master very early
on: Matthew (3:13–15) has him recognizing Jesus and accepting his primacy
when Jesus came to be baptized; Luke (1:39–45) even has the yet-unborn
John dancing in his mother’s womb, in a way that expressed Jesus’ superiority,
when the pregnant mother of Jesus came to visit; and John (1:15, 30),
in a more theological vein, has the Baptist recognizing Jesus, the first time
he sees him, as the one who preceded him despite the fact that he appeared
in the world after him. However, there is also New Testament evidence for
John himself being at the head of a movement that maintained itself separate
from that around Jesus, even after John’s death (e. g., Matt 11:2–3; Acts
18:24–19:4), even competing with it (Mark 2:18–20; Luke 11:1–2),102 just as
Josephus, who gives us several paragraphs about John (Ant. 18.116–119),
makes no attempt to connect him with Jesus. Wouldn’t it be nice if we
could discover some liturgy of John’s movement?

In this context, it seems to be significant that the witnesses to Luke 1:46,
which introduces the text of the song (the “Magnificat”) recited when the
two pregnant mothers met, offer three alternatives: most witnesses read
“and Mary said,” some have “and (she) said” (i.e., they do not name the
speaker), and a few have “and Elizabeth said.”

...................

Above we considered only the theological consideration – the preference for
Jesus over John, hence for Mary over Elizabeth, which would have led Christian
scribes to take the Magnificat from Elizabeth and assign it to Mary but not vice versa.
However, just as scribes familiar with the Bible would know that priests must be of the tribe
of Levi, so too would such scribes know that the Magnificat is similar to
Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel 2 – a prayer of thanksgiving recited by an aging
wife, long childless, who had finally been blessed with a child. Anyone
who realizes this will also realize that Elizabeth too was such an aging first time
mother and the Magnificat, accordingly, fits her better than Mary..
.......
Suppose, that is, that the text originally went straight from vv. 24–25, where Elizabeth
becomes pregnant and is happy about it, to v. 46; we would read “and she
said” and have no problem with the pronoun for no other woman will have
been mentioned, and we would go on reading the Magnificat and appreciating
the parallel with Hannah.
.....................

Table summarizing apparent growth of Luke 1:

Stage 1: Birth of John the Baptist, no mention of Jesus; Elizabeth sings
Magnificat

Stage 2: Introduction of vv. 26–45, on Mary, her pregnancy, and her meeting
with Elizabeth

Stage 3: V. 46 changed to transfer Magnificat to Mary; v. 56 left unchanged.

Thus, from three different directions – the varying evidence for the text
of v. 46 analyzed according to the lectio difficilior rule; the biblical context
(the implied comparison of the singer of the Magnificat to Hannah); and
the local context, namely, the implication of the formulation of v. 56 – we
have concluded that the Magnificat was originally understood to be sung
by the mother of John the Baptist, not by the mother of Jesus. Moreover,
we got to this conclusion by building on other evidence for the original
independence of John’s movement, evidence that encouraged us to look
for evidence that Mary was not, in fact, part of the original text of what is
now Luke 1 – a quest that bore fruit in our recognition of the anomalous
formulation of v. 56. Accordingly, if to begin with we set out to find liturgy
of John’s movement, we have probably found some of that but also evidence
for the process by which that movement, and its materials, were incorporated into
Christianity. Not a bad harvest for a quest that began only with
some badly outnumbered variant readings (“she” or “Elizabeth”) in Luke
1:46.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Reading-Firs ... 81&sr=8-4
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats

Bernard Muller
Posts: 3357
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:02 pm
Contact:

Re: A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD PROBLEM

Post by Bernard Muller » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:39 am

to davidmartin,
PS I did go onto your site and take a look. Yes it's solid research although you didn't address the Odes of Solomon from a brief look around
But I gave up on Josephus quite a while ago as I think he's just leading everyone up the garden path. Utterly frustrating is how i find him. I now use his book to prop up a desk to stop it wobbling as it's just the right size and couldn't be happier. As to these arguments over dating, i don't see this being make or break for a historical Jesus at all
Why the Odes of Solomon? Normally dated 70-125. I favor a late date because the virgin giving birth with no pain appears not earlier than in 2nd century in other Christian literature.
Your treatment of Josephus' works is very drastic and certainly eliminates evidence about Pilate's rule from 26 to 36. Also eliminated is the evidence that the wedding of Herodias and Antipas, the execution of JtB, and the battle between Antipas and Aretas' armies, all of that not taking place in 35-36 CE, because the wedding was in 34 CE at the latest. (also eliminated is James, the brother of Jesus called Christ in Ant. XX, 9, 1)
My arguments about dating were not meant to prove a historical Jesus.

Cordially, Bernard
I believe freedom of expression should not be curtailed

Bernard Muller
Posts: 3357
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:02 pm
Contact:

Re: A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD PROBLEM

Post by Bernard Muller » Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:15 am

to maryhelena,
a reversal to how Josephus places these two figures in his own writing
Still imagining, despite all the evidence from Josephus, that JtB was executed in 35/36 CE.

Theology might favor JtB being executed before Jesus was crucified, but that is no reason to dismiss that JtB's execution before Jesus' own as not being true historically.

For the record, I am not opposed that Mary' song being originally sung by Elisabeth in some later JtB's followers' (fictional) literature.
Also I think that the account of JtB's execution is greatly embellished and largely fictional, and may have originated among JtB's later followers.
I also think Josephus is wrong about making Judas of Galilee the founder of a Jewish "philosophy".

Cordially, Bernard
I believe freedom of expression should not be curtailed

davidmartin
Posts: 401
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:51 pm

Re: A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD PROBLEM

Post by davidmartin » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:31 am

Bernard Muller wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:39 am
to davidmartin,
PS I did go onto your site and take a look. Yes it's solid research although you didn't address the Odes of Solomon from a brief look around
But I gave up on Josephus quite a while ago as I think he's just leading everyone up the garden path. Utterly frustrating is how i find him. I now use his book to prop up a desk to stop it wobbling as it's just the right size and couldn't be happier. As to these arguments over dating, i don't see this being make or break for a historical Jesus at all
Why the Odes of Solomon? Normally dated 70-125. I favor a late date because the virgin giving birth with no pain appears not earlier than in 2nd century in other Christian literature.
Your treatment of Josephus' works is very drastic and certainly eliminates evidence about Pilate's rule from 26 to 36. Also eliminated is the evidence that the wedding of Herodias and Antipas, the execution of JtB, and the battle between Antipas and Aretas' armies, all of that not taking place in 35-36 CE, because the wedding was in 34 CE at the latest. (also eliminated is James, the brother of Jesus called Christ in Ant. XX, 9, 1)
My arguments about dating were not meant to prove a historical Jesus.

Cordially, Bernard
Sigh yes you're right i just find Josephus very frustrating and he does it on purpose i'm sure
Ah now the Odes i date to same time as Paul's letters, 50's and before the war. I think something as dramatic as the war would preclude their writing until much later and i don't see the concerns of the time after 70ad till Bar Kochba reflected in them.
Using the virgin birth to date.... i see why. But it could be a later addition and i suspect that, if not then in theory it could still be a very early/primitive speculation
The chief advantage to early dating the Odes is to compare them with Paul's theology and observe similarities and differences, its way more useful than Josephus! They're Jewish-Christian that alone should put them on a pedestal, what other Jewish-Christian writings are there? If Josephus, the DSS and Nag Hammadi had never been discovered everyone would be all over the Odes and they're overlooked i think that's silly
PS There's a tendancy to late date stuff because it seems too sophisticated for an earlier time - i can't understand that when Paul himself shows how far advanced theological speculation was even in his time and it tells us something about the milieu - it was highly active and fertile which even old Josephus seems to admit

User avatar
Jax
Posts: 783
Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:10 am

Re: A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD PROBLEM

Post by Jax » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:12 am

perseusomega9 wrote:
Fri Sep 11, 2020 2:15 pm
Did Bernard just try to hype his rep by posting testimonials to his work from random internet strangers?
Not for the first time I'm afraid.

Post Reply