Against the Argument for 'Influences' in Early Christianity

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Secret Alias
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Against the Argument for 'Influences' in Early Christianity

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Sep 28, 2020 6:53 am

I understand how scholarship works. You get an idea for a paper. You develop arguments in favor of that proposition. If it's any good you get published. But at the end of the day does it get us any closer to the truth? At bottom, the gospel wasn't a recipe. It wasn't like 'one part Samaritan, one part Essene, one part Greek myths.' Paul or Mark wrote for an audience and they appealed the gospel to that group and only that group. There was no monolithic thing called 'Judaism' - only sects. So all we have to do is determine who Paul or Mark wrote for and see what portion of the gospel appeals to that group and determine that everything else was added later by another/other editor(s). Why continue to imagine the gospel as a recipe.
“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: Against the Argument for 'Influences' in Early Christianity

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Sep 28, 2020 7:12 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 6:53 am
I understand how scholarship works. You get an idea for a paper. You develop arguments in favor of that proposition. If it's any good you get published. But at the end of the day does it get us any closer to the truth? At bottom, the gospel wasn't a recipe. It wasn't like 'one part Samaritan, one part Essene, one part Greek myths.' Paul or Mark wrote for an audience and they appealed the gospel to that group and only that group. There was no monolithic thing called 'Judaism' - only sects. So all we have to do is determine who Paul or Mark wrote for and see what portion of the gospel appeals to that group and determine that everything else was added later by another/other editor(s). Why continue to imagine the gospel as a recipe.
This method seems guaranteed to produce inaccurate results. Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk, was influenced by Buddhist ideas. There is no getting around this. People in individual sects may be influenced by the ideas of other sects.
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Mon Sep 28, 2020 7:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Against the Argument for 'Influences' in Early Christianity

Post by Ulan » Mon Sep 28, 2020 7:19 am

@Secret Alias: Not sure what you want to tell us here. If it were that easy to assign budding Christianity to a specific sect, someone would have done this by now. However, it isn't easy. If you look at Jesus (well, his teachings from the gospels), you may conclude that you look at 4 parts Hillel and one part Shammai. All Pharisees, of course. But is that all there is? You will always look at some kind of mix. The origin may be from a specific movement, but if you don't know the exact origin, you are just guessing, so you have to fall back on the mix. Or, if you roll with a mostly "layman" movement from Galilee, all stops are off, as I doubt those people would have had any strong ties to any existing structures. In that case, the mix gives your thoughts some structure.

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Re: Against the Argument for 'Influences' in Early Christianity

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Sep 28, 2020 7:36 am

But the gospel is different. It was attempting to argue at once that it represented the fulfillment of a mystery hidden from the beginning of time. But that mystery was prepared in some sense by the Torah and the prophets. There are certain 'rules' for lack of a better term given that God had to abide by. He couldn't have been expected to have given the Torah to humanity without its proper exegesis. So on one level Moses must have passed on both Torah and its interpretation. That meant that the proper exegesis of 'God's plan' was known to some exegetical tradition only to be supplanted by a false exegesis. But could God have been expected to have preserved the proper exegesis in bits and pieces from various sects which emerged at the turn of the Common Era. No.

An example - the Savior's name was Joshua. This is coincidentally also the earliest known Samaritan exegesis of the Torah.

Another - Jesus is against the temple. The Torah proscribes the manufacture of a flimsy tent rather than a permanent building.

Jesus spends a lot of time examining the limits of the tenth commandment - do not lust - in the form preserved by Philo i.e. as a short commandment. Philo's Alexandrian tradition is undoubtedly in my mind Oniadic. In other words, it is ultra-conservative. All signs to me at least argue for Christianity emerging out of the most conservative tradition and making the case that innovations destroyed Judaism. I can't see how this argument could have been made through a tapestry of traditions.
“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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Re: Against the Argument for 'Influences' in Early Christianity

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Sep 28, 2020 5:09 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 7:36 am
Jesus spends a lot of time examining the limits of the tenth commandment - do not lust - in the form preserved by Philo i.e. as a short commandment.
For reference:

The Ten Commandments

Exodus 20.1-21:

1 Then God spoke all these words, saying, 2 “I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
  1. 3 You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. 4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
  3. 7 You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
  4. 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of Yahweh your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. 11 For in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore Yahweh blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.
  5. 12 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which Yahweh your God gives you.
  6. 13 You shall not murder.
  7. 14 You shall not commit adultery.
  8. 15 You shall not steal.
  9. 16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. 17 You shall not desire [לֹא תַחְמֹד, οὐκ ἐπιθυμήσεις] your neighbor’s house; you shall not desire [לֹא־תַחְמֹד, οὐκ ἐπιθυμήσεις] your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
18 All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance. 19 Then they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.” 21 So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.

Deuteronomy 5.1-22:

5 Then Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I am speaking today in your hearing, that you may learn them and observe them carefully. 2 Yahweh our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. 3 Yahweh did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today. 4 Yahweh spoke to you face to face at the mountain from the midst of the fire, 5 while I was standing between Yahweh and you at that time, to declare to you the word of Yahweh; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain. He said, 6 ‘I am Yahweh your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
  1. 7 You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. 8 You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 9 You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 10 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
  3. 11 You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
  4. 12 Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as Yahweh your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a sabbath of Yahweh your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and Yahweh your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore Yahweh your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day.
  5. 16 Honor your father and your mother, as Yahweh your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which Yahweh your God gives you.
  6. 17 You shall not murder.
  7. 18 You shall not commit adultery.
  8. 19 You shall not steal.
  9. 20 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. 21 You shall not desire [לֹא תַחְמֹד, οὐκ ἐπιθυμήσεις] your neighbor’s wife, and you shall not desire [לֹא תִתְאַוֶּה, οὐκ ἐπιθυμήσεις] your neighbor’s house, his field or his male servant or his female servant, his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.’
22 These words Yahweh spoke to all your assembly at the mountain from the midst of the fire, of the cloud and of the thick gloom, with a great voice, and He added no more. He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.”

The Tenth Commandment

4 Maccabees 2.5: 5 Thus the Law says, “You shall not desire [οὐκ ἐπιθυμήσεις] your neighbor’s wife or anything that is your neighbor’s” (= Exodus 20.13-17; Deuteronomy 5.17-21).

Testament of Issachar 4.2-3: 1 And now hearken to me, my children, and walk in simplicity of heart, for I have seen in it all that is well pleasing to the Lord. 2 The simple one does not desire [οὐκ ἐπιθυμεῖ] gold, does not defraud his neighbor, does not long after manifold dainties, does not wish for varied apparel, 3 does not picture to himself to live a long life, but rather awaits the will of God.

Pseudo-Phocylides, Sentences, line 6: 6 Be content with what you have and abstain from what is another’s. / 6 ἀρκεῖσθαι παρ' ἑοῖσι καὶ ἀλλοτρίων ἀπέχεσθαι.

Philo, The Special Laws 4.13.78-4.16.99:

13.78 And there are many other things which may be said with respect to false witnesses and judges, but for the sake of avoiding prolixity we must proceed now to the last of the ten commandments, which is delivered also in a concise and summary form as each of the others is [ὃ κεφαλαιώδει τύπῳ καθάπερ καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ἕκαστον κεχρησμῴδηται], and this commandment is, “You shall not desire [οὐκ ἐπιθυμήσεις]” (= Exodus 20.17; Deuteronomy 5.21).

14.79 Every passion is open to and deserving of blame, inasmuch as every immoderate and violent impulse, and every irrational and unnatural emotion of the soul is also faulty and blameable, for what is either of these things but an ancient passion spread over a wider extent? If any one, therefore, does not set limits to these feelings, nor put a bridle on them as on restive horses, he will be afflicted by an evil difficult to remedy, and then, without being aware of it, he will, because of their unrestrainable character, be carried away by them, as a charioteer sometimes is by a chariot, and hurried into ravines and pits from which it is difficult to rise up, and very hard to escape with safety. 80 But of all the passions there is not one so grievous as a covetous desire of what one has not got, of things which are in appearance good, but not in reality; a desire which produces grievous anxieties which are hard to satisfy; for such a passion puts the reason to flight, and banishes it to a great distance, involving the soul in great difficulties, while the object which is desired flies away contemptuously, retreating not with its back but with its face to one; 81 for when a person perceives this passion of covetousness after having started up rapidly, then resting for a short time, either with a view to spread out its alluring toils, or because it has learnt to entertain a hope of succeeding in its object, he then retires to a longer distance uttering reproaches against it; but the passion itself, being left behind and coming too late to succeed, struggles, bearing a punishment like Tantalus in its miserable future; for it is said that Tantalus, when he desired to obtain any liquor to drink, was not able to do so, as the water retreated from his lips (= Homer, Odyssey 11.581-594), and if he wished to gather any fruit, it all disappeared, the productiveness of the trees becoming suddenly barren; 82 for as those implacable and inexorable mistresses of the body, thirst and hunger, do very often strain it more, or at all events not less, than those unhappy persons are strained who are racked by the torture even to death, unless when they have become violent some one appeases them with meat and drink; in like manner, covetous desire, having first rendered the soul empty through its forgetfulness of what is present and its recollection of what is removed to a great distance, fills it with impetuosity and madness, and introduces into it masters worse than even its former tyrants, but having the same names with them, namely, hunger and thirst, not, however, now of those things which conduce to the enjoyment of the belly, but of money, and glory, and authority, and beauty, and of innumerable other things which appear to be objects of desire and contention in human life. 83 And as the disease which the physicians call the herpes, does not stop in one part of the body, but moves about and overruns the skin, and, as its name shows, creeps about, and becomes diffused in every direction, and spreading widely seizes hold of and infects with its contact the whole combination of the different parts of the body from the head to the feet, so in the same manner does covetous desire spread over the whole soul, and leave not even the smallest portion of it free from its inroads, imitating the power of fire when supplied with abundant fuel, for that spreads and burns away till it has devoured and destroyed everything with which it meets.

15.84 So great and so excessive an evil is covetous desire; or rather, if I am to speak the plain truth concerning it, it is the source of all evils. For from what other source do all the thefts, and acts of rapine, and repudiation of debt, and all false accusations, and acts of insolence, and, moreover, all ravishments, and adulteries, and murders, and, in short, all mischiefs, whether private or public, or sacred or profane, take their rise? 85 For most truly may covetous desire be said to be the original passion which is at the bottom of all these mischiefs, of which love is one and the most significant offspring, which has not once but many times filled the whole world with indescribable evils; which even the whole circumference of the world has not been large enough to contain, but out of their vast number they, as if carried on by the impetuosity of a torrent, have fallen into the sea, and all seas in every region have been filled with hostile fleets. It is owing to this passion that all the terrible evils which are caused by naval wars have happened; and, coming upon all continents and all islands together, have thrown them into confusion, spreading everywhere and returning in their own steps like the warriors in the diaulos, or like the ebb and flow of the tides of the sea, returning to the point from which they originally set out. 86 And by looking at it in this manner we shall more clearly perceive the power of this passion. Everything which covetous desire lays hold of is by it changed for the worse, like poisonous serpents or deadly poisons. Now what is it that I mean when I say this? 87 If this passion is directed towards money, it makes thieves, and cutpurses, and clothes stealers, and housebreakers, and taints men with the guilt of the repudiation of debts, of the denial of deposits, of bribery and sacrilege, and all such iniquities as those. 88 If it is directed towards glory, it makes men insolent, overbearing, fickle, and unstable in their dispositions, depending wholly on what is said to them and on what they hear, at the same time humbled and elated by reason of the variety and inconstancy of the multitudes who praise and blame them with inconsiderate impetuosity, inconsiderate in their enmity and in their friendship, so as easily to change from one to the other, and fills them with all sorts of humours akin to and resembling these. 89 Again, if the desire takes the direction of wishing for authority and power, it renders men’s natures seditious, unequal, and tyrannical, it makes them cruel and inhuman enemies of their native countries, implacable masters unable to restrain themselves, irreconcileable forces to all who are equal to themselves in might, flatterers of those who are more powerful than themselves, in order to be able to attack them treacherously. If what is desired is beauty of person, it makes men seducers, ravishers, adulterers, paederasts, practisers of licentiousness and incontinence, it teaches them to regard the greatest evils as the most fortunate of blessings. This passion, also, when it extends to the tongue, often causes innumerable evils; 90 for some persons desire either to be silent about what ought to be mentioned, or to mention what ought to be buried in silence, and avenging justice pursues them if they reveal things improperly, or, on the contrary, if they are unseasonably silent. 91 When it affects the parts about the belly it makes men gluttonous, insatiable, intemperate, debauched, admirers of a profligate life, delighting in drunkenness, and epicurism, slaves to strong wine, and fish, and meat, pursuers of feasts and tables, wallowing like greedy dogs; owing to all which things their lives are rendered miserable and accursed, and they are reduced to an existence more grievous than any death. 92 For this reason those who have tasted deeply of philosophy, not merely with their lips, but feasting thoroughly on its profound doctrines, investigating the nature of the soul, and comprehending its threefold character, and how it is divided into reason, and anger, and appetite, have attributed the chief post to reason as the principal authority, assigning to it the head as its most appropriate abode, where also the company of the outward senses, who are always present as the bodyguards of the mind as their king, are stationed; 93 and assigning the breast as the abode of anger, partly in order that the man, being, like a soldier, armed with this as with a breastplate, so that, even if it be not utterly free from all injury, it may, at least, be difficult to subdue, and partly in order that, dwelling near the mind, it may be benefited by its neighbour, who charms it by its wisdom, and who renders the passions gentle and manageable; and to appetite they assign the place around the navel, and to that part which is called the diaphragm. 94 For it was proper that that, as having the smallest participation in reason, should be removed as far as possible from the palace of the mind and located almost at the very extremities; and that which is the most insatiable and the most intemperate of all, the passions, should be confined to the pastures of cattle, where they can find food and opportunities for the propagation of their species.

16.95 And the most holy Moses appears to me to have had a regard to all these circumstances, and on that account to have commanded that men should discard this passion, detesting it as the most disgraceful thing and the cause of most disgraceful actions; and, therefore, to have prohibited it above all other feelings as an engine for the destruction of the soul; but if that engine is destroyed and the soul brought back to its obedience, to the guidance of reason, the man will become entirely filled with peace and obedience to law and all sorts of perfect good things, so as to produce complete happiness. 96 But as he was fond of brevity and accustomed to cut short things which were inclined to be countless in point of number, by a mode of teaching which was confined to general instances, he begins to admonish and to correct one appetite, that which is concerned about the belly; conceiving that the other appetites will not be equally restive, but will be brought to order by learning that the most important and authoritative of the whole has become obedient to the laws of moderation. 97 What, then, is the lesson which he gives us about this origin of all vices? There are two things of a most comprehensive nature, meat and drink. He, then, has not left either of them unrestrained, but has bridled them with especial commands most calculated to lead them to temperance and to humanity, and to the greatest of all virtues, piety; 98 for he commanded men to offer firstfruits of corn, and wine, and oil, and cattle, and other things, and to distribute the firstfruits among the sacrificers and the priests; among the sacrificers because of the gratitude due to God for the abundance and fertility of all things, and to the priests because of their sacred ministrations about the temple, and therefore they were worthy to receive wages for their services in respect of the sacred ceremonies. 99 And he utterly forbids any one to taste of anything, or to take any portion of anything, before separating off the firstfruits, wishing also by this injunction to inculcate the practice of most useful temperance; for he who has learnt not to throw himself greedily on all the abundance which the seasons of the year have brought, but to wait till the firstfruits are consecrated, is likely to be able to restrain the restive obstinacy of the passions, making them gentle and manageable.

Philo, The Decalogue 28.142-153: 142 Last of all, the divine legislator prohibits desire [ἐπιθυμεῖν], knowing that desire [τὴν
ἐπιθυμίαν] is a thing fond of revolution and of plotting against others; for all the passions of the soul are formidable, exciting and agitating it contrary to nature, and not permitting it to remain in a healthy state, but of all such passions the worst is desire [ἐπιθυμία], on which account each of the other passions, coming in from without and attacking the soul from external points, appears to be involuntary; but this desire [ἐπιθυμία] alone derives its origin from ourselves, and is wholly voluntary. 143 But what is it that I am saying? The appearance and idea of a present good, or of one that is accounted such, rouses up and excites the soul which was previously in a state of tranquility, and raises it to a high degree of elation, like a light suddenly flashing before the eyes; and this passion of the soul is called pleasure. 144 But the contrary to good is evil, which, when it forces its way in, and inflicts a mortal wound, immediately fills the soul against its will with depression and despondency; and the name of the passion is sorrow. 145 But when the evil presses upon the soul, when it has not as yet taken up its habitation in it, but when it is only impending, being about to come and to agitate it, it sends before it agitation and suspense, as express messengers, to fill the soul with alarm; and this passion is denominated fear. 146 And when any one, having conceived an idea of some good which is not present, hastens to lay hold of it, he then drives his soul forward to a great distance, and extending it in the greatest possible degree, from his anxiety to attain the object of his desires, he is stretched as it were upon the rack, being anxious to lay hold of the thing, but being unable to reach it, and being in the same condition with those who are pursuing people who are running away, following with an inferior speed, but with unrivalled eagerness. 147 And something of the same kind appears to happen, also, with respect to the external senses; for very frequently the eyes, hastening to come to the comprehension of something which is removed to a great distance, strain themselves, exerting themselves to the very fullest extent of and even beyond their power, are unsuccessful, and grow dim in the empty space between themselves and their object, wholly failing in attaining to an accurate knowledge of the subject before them, and moreover impairing and injuring their sight by the exceeding intensity of their efforts and steady gaze. 148 And, again, sometimes when an indistinct noise is borne towards us from a long distance, the ears are excited, and feeling as it were a fair breeze, are eager and hasten to approach nearer to it if possible, from a desire that the sound should be distinctly apprehended by the sense of hearing. 149 But the noise, for it is still obscure as it seems, strikes the ear but faintly, not giving forth any more distinct tone by which it may be understood, so that the desire of comprehending it, being unsuccessful and unsatisfied, is excited more and more, the desire causing a kind of punishment like that of Tantalus. For Tantalus, whenever he seemed about to lay his hands on any of the objects which he desired, was invariably disappointed, and the man who is overcome by desire, being always thirsting for what is not present, is never satisfied, wallowing about among vain appetites, 150 like those diseases which would creep over the whole body, if they were not checked by excision or cautery, and which would overrun and seize upon the whole composition of the body, not leaving a single part in a sound state; in like manner, unless discourse in accordance with philosophy did not, like a good physician, check the influx of appetite, all the affairs of life would of necessity be set in motion in a manner contrary to nature; for there is nothing exempt from such an affliction, nothing which can escape the dominion of passion, but, when once it has obtained immunity and license, it devours everything and becomes by itself everything in every part. 151 Perhaps it is a piece of folly to make a long speech upon matters which are so manifest, as to which there is no individual and no city that is ignorant, that they are not only every day, but even every hour, as one may say, supplying a visible proof of the truth of my assertion. Is the love of money, or of women, or of glory, or of any one of the other efficient causes of pleasure, the origin of slight and ordinary evils? 152 Is it not owing to this passion that relationships are broken asunder, and change the good will which originates in nature into an irreconcilable enmity? And are not great countries and populous kingdoms made desolate by domestic seditions, through such causes? And are not earth and sea continually filled with novel and terrible calamities by naval battles and military expeditions for the same reason? 153 For, both among the Greeks and barbarians, the wars between one another, and between their own different tribes, which have been so celebrated by tragedians, have all flowed from one source, namely, desire of money, or glory, or pleasure; for it is on such subjects as these that the race of mankind goes mad.

Philo, The Decalogue 32.168-174: 168 The first table of five, then, is completed in these commandments, exhibiting a comprehensive character; but of the special and particular laws the number is very great. Of the second table, the first commandment is that against adulterers, under which many other commands are conveyed by implication, such as that against seducers, that against practisers of unnatural crimes, that against all who live in debauchery, that against all men who indulge in illicit and incontinent connections; 169 but the lawgiver has set down all the different species of such intemperance, not for the sake of exhibiting its manifold, and diverse, and ever changing varieties, but in order to cause those who live in an unseemly manner to show most evident signs of depression and shame, drinking in with their ears all the reproaches heaped together which they incur, and which may well make them blush. 170 The second brief commandment, the prohibition of slaying men, is that under which are implied all those necessary and most universally advantageous laws, relating to acts of violence, to insults, to assaults, to wounds, to mutilation. 171 The third, that which forbids stealing, is the one under cover of which are enacted all the regulations which have been laid down, respecting the repudiation of debts, and those who deny what has been deposited with them, and who form unhallowed partnerships, and indulge in shameless acts of rapine, and, in short, in any kind of covetousness by which some person are induced, either openly or secretly to appropriate the possessions of others. 172 The fourth, that which is concerning the duty of not bearing false witness, is one under which many other prohibitions are conveyed, such as that of not deceiving, of not bringing false accusations, of not cooperating with those who are committing sin, of not making a pretence of good faith a cloak for faithlessness; for all which objects suitable laws have been enacted. 173 The fifth is that which cuts off desire [ἐπιθυμίαν], the fountain of all iniquity, from which flow all the most unlawful actions, whether of individuals or of states, whether important or trivial, whether sacred or profane, whether they relate to one’s life and soul, or to what are called external things; for, as I have said before, nothing ever escapes desire [τὴν ἐπιθυμίαν], but, like a fire in a wood, it proceeds onward, consuming and destroying everything; 174 and there are a great many subordinate sins, which are prohibited likewise under this commandment, for the sake of correcting those persons who cheerfully receive admonitions, and of chastising those stubborn people who devote their whole lives to the indulgence of passion.

Philo, On Joseph 24.144: 144 Is this something belonging to another? Do not desire [μὴ ἐπιθύμει] it. Is it your own? Use it as not using it. Have you great abundance? Share it with others; for the beauty of riches is not in the purse but in the power it gives one to succour those who are in need. Have you but little? Do not envy those who have much; no one will pity a poor man who is always envious. Are you in high reputation, and are you held in much honor? Be not insolent on that account. Are you lowly in your fortunes? Still let not your spirit be depressed. Does everything succeed with you according to your wish? Fear a change. Do you often stumble? Hope for good fortune hereafter; for the changes of human affairs are apt to be in a direction opposite to the course they have formerly taken.

Philo, Who Is the Heir of Divine Things? 35.172-173: 172 And this command is placed, as it were, on the borders between the two tables of laws relating to God and those relating to man, and so it bounds the five which concern piety, and that five also which comprehend a prevention of injury to one’s fellows. Since mortal parents are the boundaries of the immortal powers, which, generating everything according to nature, have permitted this lowest and mortal race to imitate their own powers of generation, and so to propagate its own seed; for God is the beginning of all generation, and the mortal species of mankind, being the lowest and least honoured of all, is the end. 173 The other table of five is the prohibition of adultery, of murder, of theft, of false witness, and of covetousness. These are generic rules, comprehending nearly all offences whatever, and to one of these rules each particular and special action is naturally referrible.

Pseudo-Philo, Biblical Antiquities 11.13: 13 “You shall not desire [non concupisces] your neighbor’s house, nor that which he has, lest others also desire [ne et alii concupiscant] your land” (= Exodus 20.13-17; Deuteronomy 5.17-21).

Josephus, Antiquities 3.5.5 §91-92: 91 The first commandment teaches us that there is but one God, and that we ought to worship him only; the second commands us not to make the image of any living creature to worship it; the third that we must not swear by God in a false matter; the fourth that we must keep the seventh day by resting from all sorts of work; 92 the fifth that we must honor our parents; the sixth that we must abstain from murder; the seventh that we must not commit adultery; the eighth that we must not be guilty of theft; the ninth that we must not bear false witness; the tenth that we must not admit of the desire of any thing that is another’s [ὁ δὲ δέκατος μηδενὸς ἀλλοτρίου ἐπιθυμίαν λαμβάνειν] (= Exodus 20.13-17; Deuteronomy 5.17-21).

Romans 7.7-12: 7 What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about desire [ἐπιθυμίαν] if the Law had not said, “You shall not desire [οὐκ ἐπιθυμήσεις].” 8 But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me desire [ἐπιθυμίαν] of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; 10 and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; 11 for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

Romans 13.8-10: 8 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the Law. 9 For this, “You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not desire [οὐκ ἐπιθυμήσεις]” (= Exodus 20.13-17; Deuteronomy 5.17-21), and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Didache 1.1-2.7:

1.1 There are two paths, one of life and one of death, and the difference between the two paths is great.

2 This then is the path of life. First, love the God who made you, and second, your neighbor as yourself (= Deuteronomy 6.5; Leviticus 19.18; Matthew 22.37-39; Mark 12.29-31; Luke 10.27). And whatever you do not want to happen to you, do not do to another (= Matthew 7.12; Luke 6.31). 3 And the teaching of these words is this. Bless those who curse you, pray for your enemies, and fast for those who persecute you (= Matthew 5.44; Luke 6.27-28). For why is it so great to love those who love you? Do the Gentiles not do this as well (= Matthew 5.46-47; Luke 6.32-34)? But you should love those who hate you — then you will have no enemy. 4 Abstain from fleshly passions (= 1 Peter 2.11). If anyone slaps your right cheek, turn the other to him as well (= Matthew 5.39b; Luke 6.29a), and you will be perfect (= Matthew 5.48; Luke 6.36). If anyone compels you to go one mile, go with him two (= Matthew 5.41). If anyone takes your cloak, give him your shirt as well (= Matthew 5.40; Luke 6.29b). If anyone seizes what is yours, do not ask for it back, for you will not be able to get it. 5 Give to everyone who asks, and do not ask for anything back (= Luke 6.30). For the Father wants everyone to be given something from the gracious gifts he himself provides (= Matthew 5.45; Luke 6.35b). How fortunate is the one who gives according to the commandment, for he is without fault. Woe to the one who receives (= Acts 20.35). For if anyone receives because he is in need, he is without fault. But the one who receives without a need will have to testify why he received what he did, and for what purpose. And he will be thrown in prison and interrogated about what he did; and he will not get out until he pays back every last cent (= Matthew 5.26; Luke 12.59). 6 For it has also been said concerning this: “Let your gift to charity sweat in your hands until you know to whom to give it (= ?).”

2.1 And now the second commandment of the teaching. 2 You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery (= Exodus 20.13-14; Deuteronomy 5.17-18), you shall not engage in pederasty, you shall not engage in sexual immorality. you shall not steal (= Exodus 20.15; Deuteronomy 5.19), you shall not practice magic, you shall not use enchanted potions, you shall not abort a fetus or kill a child that is born. 3 You shall not desire [οὐκ ἐπιθυμήσεις] what belongs to your neighbor (= Exodus 20.17; Deuteronomy 5.21), you shall not commit perjury, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not speak insults, you shall not bear grudges. 4 You shall not be of two minds or speak from both sides of your mouth, for speaking from both sides of your mouth is a deadly trap. 5 Your word must not be empty or false. 6 You shall not be greedy, rapacious, hypocritical, spiteful, or haughty. You shall not entertain a wicked plot against your neighbor. 7 You shall not hate anyone, but reprove some, pray for others, and love still others more than yourself.

Barnabas 19.6: 6 Do not desire [οὐ μή γένη ἐπιθυμῶν] your neighbor’s belongings (= Exodus 20.13-17; Deuteronomy 5.17-21); do not be greedy. Do not join forces with the high and mighty but associate with the humble and upright. Welcome whatever happens to you as good, knowing that nothing occurs apart from God.

Matthew 5.27-28: 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman to desire [πρὸς τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι] her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

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Secret Alias
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Re: Against the Argument for 'Influences' in Early Christianity

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Sep 28, 2020 5:22 pm

You're the best.
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Re: Against the Argument for 'Influences' in Early Christianity

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Sep 28, 2020 5:23 pm

I've often wondered whether there was an original ten utterances which would appear to us as "short form"

Image

It doesn't make sense God writing out all these subclauses
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Re: Against the Argument for 'Influences' in Early Christianity

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Sep 28, 2020 5:38 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 5:23 pm
I've often wondered whether there was an original ten utterances which would appear to us as "short form"

Image

It doesn't make sense God writing out all these subclauses
I have wondered the same. The second five commandments are short and sweet (if the tenth is in its short form). The first five... are not.

Also, that picture seems to be missing the second commandment; instead, the prologue ("I am Yahweh your God") is in first position, pushing the first commandment into second place.
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Re: Against the Argument for 'Influences' in Early Christianity

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Sep 28, 2020 6:03 pm

Yes. Grabbed on the fly.
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Re: Against the Argument for 'Influences' in Early Christianity

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Sep 28, 2020 6:12 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 6:03 pm
Yes. Grabbed on the fly.
Oohhhh, never mind; that may just be the Talmudic arrangement.... Different traditions number the commandments differently, yet another heritage of the complications those first five introduce.
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