Paul and Marcion

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Paul and Marcion

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:52 pm

I tried the same trick on Masbotheans. There is an Aramaic name Masabala / Masbala / Masbalos. Couldn't find out what this means
It probably comes from an Aramaic root meaning "to baptize," saba' (צבע).

Here is the passage from Hegesippus along with another one from the pseudo-Clementine literature:

Eusebius, History of the Church 4.22.7, writing of Hegesippus: 7 The same writer also records the ancient heresies which arose among the Jews, in the following words: “There were, moreover, various opinions in the circumcision, among the children of Israel. The following were those who were opposed to the tribe of Judah and the Christ: Essenes, Galileans, Hemerobaptists, Masbothaeans, Samaritans, Sadducees, Pharisees [Ἐσσαῖοι, Γαλιλαῖοι, Ἡμεροβαπτισταί, Μασβώθεοι, Σαμαρεῖται, Σαδδουκαῖοι, Φαρισαῖοι].”

Apostolic Constitutions 6.6: 6 For even the Jewish nation had wicked heresies, for of them were the Sadducees, who do not confess the resurrection of the dead, and the Pharisees, who ascribe the practice of sinners to fortune and fate, and the Basmotheans [Migne Βασμώθεοι, TLG Μασβωθαῖοι], who deny providence and say that the world is made by spontaneous motion, and take away the immortality of the soul, and the Hemerobaptists [Ἡμεροβαπτισταί], who every day, unless they wash, do not eat — nay, and unless they cleanse their beds and tables, or platters and cups and seats do not make use of any of them. And those who are newly risen among us, the Ebionites [Ἐβιωναῖοι], who will have the Son of God to be a mere man, begotten by human pleasure and the conjunction of Joseph and Mary. There are also those that separate themselves from all these, and observe the laws of their fathers, and these are the Essenes [Ἐσσαῖοι]. These, therefore, arose among the former people. And now the evil one, who is wise to do mischief, and as for goodness knows no such good thing, has cast out some from among us and has wrought by them heresies and schisms.

(Gah, rereading that just reminded me of an old pun from my evangelical youth to the effect that the Sadducees did not believe in a resurrection, and that is why they were so sad, you see?)

Anyway, back to the Masbotheans. Baptism in water seems to be a theme in a lot of these groups: the Essenes, Banus (reported by Josephus to have instructed in daily washings), the Sebuaeans (same Aramaic root as the Masbothaeans), the Hemerobaptists (whose very name suggests daily dippings), the Mandaeans (who cleanse themselves in water which they call a "Jordan"), and others.
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Secret Alias
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Re: Paul and Marcion

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:51 pm

The Mandaeans were known in Arabic as subba (baptisers) = to immerse' or 'to dip' and so on.
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Re: Paul and Marcion

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:47 pm

It is note worthy that the word מס֗בת appears at Qumran but no one knows what it means.
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Re: Paul and Marcion

Post by davidmartin » Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:33 am

thanks Ben that's strange it makes Masbotheans sound like a Jewish sub-group not a Christian heresy which Hegeseppius is supposed to be listing?
The Simonians, Cleobians and Dositheans form a recognisable group of early 'Christians' all dated to about the same time and all connected with each other. Simon he's 30-50/60AD, Cleobius is about the same time, so's Dositheus. Then he mentions Gortheans who are not known and one other that looks unconnected with the first three. From what we know then this early list of heresies go back to one 'group' Simonians/Clobius/Dositheus

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Re: Paul and Marcion

Post by perseusomega9 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:52 am

Do quotes from Hegesippus ever talk about more orthdox characters and their exploits or is it all this weird mix of jewish/essene/baptizer1/baptizer2/etc./samaritan "jewish christian" types?
The metric to judge if one is a good exegete: the way he/she deals with Barabbas.

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Re: Paul and Marcion

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:53 am

davidmartin wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:33 am
thanks Ben that's strange it makes Masbotheans sound like a Jewish sub-group not a Christian heresy which Hegeseppius is supposed to be listing?
I guess I do not understand why you think Hegesippus is listing Christian heresies:

Eusebius, History of the Church 4.22.7, writing of Hegesippus: 7 The same writer also records the ancient heresies which arose among the Jews, in the following words: “There were, moreover, various opinions in the circumcision, among the children of Israel. The following were those who were opposed to the tribe of Judah and the Christ: Essenes, Galileans, Hemerobaptists, Masbothaeans, Samaritans, Sadducees, Pharisees [Ἐσσαῖοι, Γαλιλαῖοι, Ἡμεροβαπτισταί, Μασβώθεοι, Σαμαρεῖται, Σαδδουκαῖοι, Φαρισαῖοι].”

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Re: Paul and Marcion

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:59 am

perseusomega9 wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:52 am
Do quotes from Hegesippus ever talk about more orthdox characters and their exploits or is it all this weird mix of jewish/essene/baptizer1/baptizer2/etc./samaritan "jewish christian" types?
Hegesippus talks about Hadrian and Antinoüs, the death of James the Just, the prosecution of the descendants of Jude for being Davidides, the death of Symeon, a visit to the Corinthian church and to the Roman church, the first epistle of Clement, how bad people are who say that "eye has not seen," how pure the church was before the heretics came along to spoil everything, and maybe a handful of other things. It is kind of a grab bag.
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Re: Paul and Marcion

Post by perseusomega9 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:08 am

james-symeon-jude I class in his 'jewish christian' category. His excerpts strike me as describing a different church/beliefs/practices/history than one finds just a few decades later in Irenaeus.
The metric to judge if one is a good exegete: the way he/she deals with Barabbas.

Who disagrees with me on this precise point is by definition an idiot.
-Giuseppe

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Re: Paul and Marcion

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:15 am

perseusomega9 wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:08 am
james-symeon-jude I class in his 'jewish christian' category. His excerpts strike me as describing a different church/beliefs/practices/history than one finds just a few decades later in Irenaeus.
I agree a lot of it is unlike Irenaeus, and I agree that there is a preponderance of Jewish-Christian stuff in the excerpts; that preponderance may well be the result of selection bias on the part of Eusebius, though.
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Re: Paul and Marcion

Post by perseusomega9 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:26 am

Eusebius, selection bias, heh
The metric to judge if one is a good exegete: the way he/she deals with Barabbas.

Who disagrees with me on this precise point is by definition an idiot.
-Giuseppe

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