Late dating of Mark: How far would you go? And what are your arguments?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
davidmartin
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Re: Late dating of Mark: How far would you go? And what are your arguments?

Post by davidmartin » Fri Oct 23, 2020 1:55 am

Perhaps Paul started it (by hijacking the movement instigated by the text of Thomas)
when Paul snuck into Mary's dressing room and put on her makeup he forgot about the eyeliner

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Re: Late dating of Mark: How far would you go? And what are your arguments?

Post by perseusomega9 » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:34 am

The consensus dating of 'about' 70 CE seems too early when the apostles and family members are already depicted in a once-upon-time setting when in reality these supposedly very Jewish followers of Jesus are only now recently dead.

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Re: Late dating of Mark: How far would you go? And what are your arguments?

Post by andrewcriddle » Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:00 am

Ken Olson wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:55 am
andrewcriddle wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 11:08 pm
I've posted on this before. I accept the authenticity of the middle recension of Ignatius but I regard a date during the reign of Hadrian as more likely than that of Trajan.
Eusebius' dates for the early bishops of Antioch appear to be basically guesses.

Andrew Criddle
Andrew,

I agree about Eusebius, and would go so far as to say that many of the dates he gives for figures from the first half of the second century are best guesses. So if Ignatius wrote in the reign of Hadrian, I would have to move my latest possible date for Mark (based on the criterion I stated) up to Hadrian.

But what are the reasons favoring a date in the reign of Hadrian over one in the reign of Trajan?

Best,

Ken
Hi Ken

One issue is that Eusebius' bishop list for Antioch gives too few bishops covering too long a period.

This is an old post of mine
This is a preliminary draft of something I'm trying to think out so there are probably substantial problems as it stands. )

IMO there are good reasons to regard most and probably all of the seven 'middle recension' letters of Ignatius as being authentic in the sense of being written by a martyred bishop of Antioch called Ignatius in the early 2nd century CE.

However, it is much less clear whether Ignatius really died in the reign of Trajan.

Our earliest piece of information about the date of Ignatius is the claim by Origen that Ignatius was 'second from the Apostles'.

Our earliest extant list of bishops of Antioch is in the 'Ecclesistical History' of Eusebius the list being Euodius Ignatius Hero Cornelius Eros Theophilus Maximin Serapion Asclepiades... This list is thought to be based on the work of Julius Africanus c 220 CE.

The 'Ecclesiastical History' does not make the dates of the bishops clear, however with additional information from the 'Chronicle' of Jerome which is mostly based on the lost 'Chronicle' of Eusebius the dates are roughly as follows

Ignatius dies and is succeeded by Hero 107
Hero dies and is succeeded by Cornelius 128
Cornelius dies and is succeeded by Eros 142
Eros dies and is succeeded by Theophilus 169
Theophilus dies and is succeeded by Maximin 179
Maximin dies and is succeeded by Serapion 191
Serapion dies and is succeeded by Asclepiades 211

The date of Serapion's replacement by Asclepiades is reasonably solid. The period between the accession of Theophilus and the death of Serapion has a major problem in that the 3rd book of 'To Autolycus' makes clear that Theophilus is writing at least a year or so after the death of Marcus Aurelius (180 CE) whereas Eusebius has Theophilus dying in 179 or earlier.

However most scholars regard the accession of Theophilus in 169 as more or less accurate and change the dates of Maximin up 4 years or so ie we have a corrected chronology.

Ignatius dies and is succeeded by Hero 107
Hero dies and is succeeded by Cornelius 128
Cornelius dies and is succeeded by Eros 142
Eros dies and is succeeded by Theophilus 169
Theophilus dies and is succeeded by Maximin 183
Maximin dies and is succeeded by Serapion 195
Serapion dies and is succeeded by Asclepiades 211

The earlier dates are clearly unreliable but most scholars basically accept them while moving the death of Ignatius a few years later than 107 but still within the reign of Trajan.

There are IMO two problems
a/ there are various evidences not individually particularly strong but cumulative for dating Ignatius later than the reign of Trajan.
b/ There is a problem that there are too few bishops between the death of Ignatius during Trajan's reign and the death of Eros c 169.

We know however that there was a tendency to confuse the famous Ignatius and his totally obscure predecessor Euodius. It may be that originally the 107 date was that of the death of Euodius not Ignatius. (107 CE is a more or less plausible date for the death of the last person in Antioch claiming some sort of official appointment by the Apostles.)

This would result in the following rough chronology.

Euodius dies and is succeeded by Ignatius 107
Ignatius dies and is succeeded by Hero 123
Hero dies and is succeeded by Cornelius 138
Cornelius dies and is succeeded by Eros 154
Eros dies and is succeeded by Theophilus 169
Theophilus dies and is succeeded by Maximin 183
Maximin dies and is succeeded by Serapion 195
Serapion dies and is succeeded by Asclepiades 211

ie Ignatius is martyred in the early years of the reign of Hadrian.

Obviously this is speculative but it does seem to fit the facts somewhat better than the standard chronology.

Andrew Criddle
Andrew Criddle

Edited to Add

Another issue is that many scholars find it easier to date the present form of the letter written by Polycarp to the time of Hadrian rather than that of Trajan. It has been sugested that there was a first letter by Polycarp in the time of Trajan when Ignatius was martyred and a second letter by Polycarp in the time of Hadrian but it may be simpler to date the martyrdom of Ignatius in Hadrian's reign.

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Re: Late dating of Mark: How far would you go? And what are your arguments?

Post by Charles Wilson » Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:58 pm

From a smart phone
Since Holy Spirit is Domitian it should be few years after his death after “Damnatio” or whatever they called it. Verginius Rufus dies and is memorialized by Pliny the Younger and Tacitus. Verginius was involved with the “Empty Tomb” Comedy - See “Death of Otho”and Brixellum.
Not much earlier than 110 but not a great deal later either as GJohn has to use the left over material (See Raskin esp.)

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The Best Bad Reason To Date The Gospels

Post by JoeWallack » Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:15 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6H454-u4yI
Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:55 am
.
.
The starting point of my question is the dating probably prevailing among scholars, namely to the years 69/70.


--> What would be a likely late date or a late terminus ad quem? How far would you seriously go?


--> And what are your arguments? (Can you give another argument if your main argument would be the certainty that Mark was written after Marcion or after another „heretic“ of the second century and shows an anti-marcionite view.)
JW:
The starting ending point is Justin Martyr:

JUSTIN MARTYR -- THE FIRST APOLOGY OF JUSTIN

c. 156

As a witness Justin lacks credibility but his references to the Gospel narrative have quantity and quality giving his witness scope. Everyone, including Skeptics, generally assume his source is the Gospels, but if you look at what he wrote it's not that clear. Also keep in mind that we only have what The Christian Church says Justin wrote (another witness lacking credibility).

Let's look through The Apology and see what The Church says Justin said were his sources:
CHAPTER XXXV -- OTHER FULFILLED PROPHECIES.

And how Christ after He was born was to escape the notice of other men until He grew to man's estate, which also came to pass, hear what was foretold regarding this. There are the following predictions:--"Unto us a child is born, and unto us a young man is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulders;" which is significant of the power of the cross, for to it, when He was crucified, He applied His shoulders, as shall be more clearly made out in the ensuing discourse. And again the same prophet Isaiah, being inspired by the prophetic Spirit, said, "I have spread out my hands to a disobedient and gainsaying people, to those who walk in a way that is not good. They now ask of me judgment, and dare to draw near to God." And again in other words, through another prophet, He says, "They pierced My hands and My feet, and for My vesture they cast lots." And indeed David, the king and prophet, who uttered these things, suffered none of them; but Jesus Christ stretched forth His hands, being crucified by the Jews speaking against Him, and denying that He was the Christ. And as the prophet spoke, they tormented Him, and set Him on the judgment-seat, and said, Judge us. And the expression, "They pierced my hands and my feet," was used in reference to the nails of the cross which were fixed in His hands and feet. And after He was crucified they cast lots upon His vesture, and they that crucified Him parted it among them. And that these things did happen, you can ascertain from the Acts of Pontius Pilate.
Half way through the Apology, mostly a philosophical argument but does imply a supporting historical narrative and this is the first identified claimed source.
CHAPTER XLI -- THE CRUCIFIXION PREDICTED.

And again, in another prophecy, the Spirit of prophecy, through the same David, intimated that Christ, after He had been crucified, should reign, and spoke as follows: "Sing to the Lord, all the earth, and day by day declare His salvation. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, to be feared above all the gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols of devils; but God made the heavens. Glory and praise are before His face, strength and glorying are in the habitation of His holiness. Give Glory to the Lord, the Father everlasting. Receive grace, and enter His presence, and worship in His holy courts. Let all the earth fear before His face; let it be established, and not shaken. Let them rejoice among the nations. The Lord hath reigned from the tree."

CHAPTER XLII -- PROPHECY USING THE PAST TENSE.

But when the Spirit of prophecy speaks of things that are about to come to pass as if they had already taken place,--as may be observed even in the passages already cited by me,--that this circumstance may afford no excuse to readers [for misinterpreting them], we will make even this also quite plain. The things which He absolutely knows will take place, He predicts as if already they had taken place. And that the utterances must be thus received, you will perceive, if you give your attention to them. The words cited above, David uttered 1500 years before Christ became a man and was crucified; and no one of those who lived before Him, nor yet of His contemporaries, afforded joy to the Gentiles by being crucified. But our Jesus Christ, being crucified and dead, rose again, and having ascended to heaven, reigned; and by those things which were published in His name among all nations by the apostles, there is joy afforded to those who expect the immortality promised by Him.
Finally mentions "Apostles" but only refers to the supposed crucifixion/resurrection. Sounds more like Paul then the Gospels.
CHAPTER LXVI -- OF THE EUCHARIST.

And this food is called among us Eukaristia [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, "This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body;" and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, "This is My blood;" and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn.
First and only reference to "Gospels". Strange/bizarre/macabre that the only invocation of the Gospels here is limited to the supposed Eucharist. Am I the only one who finds it interesting that Justin's only specific direct references to Apostles as historical witness are to the supposed crucifixion/resurrection/eucharist (Paul)? Is Justin referring to the Canonical Gospels, Paul, something in between or both? Or, seeing as Justin refuses to name he who shall not be named (PauldeMort), were these added to Justin to merge with Paul (just like Acts, possibly written at a similar time)?
CHAPTER LXVII -- WEEKLY WORSHIP OF THE CHRIS- TIANS.

And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration.
This appears to be the only general reference to the memoirs of the Apostles being a/the source for all/most of the above. Interesting that Justin notes that some Christian assemblies do not read the Gospels, at least not every Sunday. Keep in mind that the most effective place to edit is always at the end. You can create a significant assertion with just one edit.

Summary =

Reasons to think Justin refers to the Canonical Gospels
  • 1) References to Gospel stories in quantity and quality.

    2) A few references to written memoirs of Apostles.

    3) Fits the timeline of Christian identification of the Gospels.
Reasons to think Justin did not refer to the Canonical Gospels
  • 1) Justin and the Church are not credible witnesses.

    2) The weakness of the Apostles as source claim. The only specific identification of any source is The Acts of Pilate, two specific references to the Apostles as source, the Crucifixion/Resurrection and Eucharist, parallel better with Paul and the only general reference to the Apostles as source is at the end (sure Justin was a dope by modern standards, but to go almost the entire length of the Apology without specifically identifying the main source?).

    3) There is no better evidence before Justin that the Gospels existed (always suspect the earliest).
Conclusion = Justin does refer to the Canonical Gospels, they just had not been named at the time. There is a good but speculative reason why GMark had been written long before. Through Papias' time orthodox Christianity knew that GMark was fiction and generally had no reason to be interested since its primary purpose was to discredit the Disciples.


Joseph

Skeptical Textual Criticism

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The Best Bad Reason To Date The Gospels

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:08 pm

JoeWallack wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:15 pm
The only specific identification of any source is The Acts of Pilate, two specific references to the Apostles as source, the Crucifixion/Resurrection and Eucharist, parallel better with Paul and the only general reference to the Apostles as source is at the end (sure Justin was a dope by modern standards, but to go almost the entire length of the Apology without specifically identifying the main source?).
The following is generally included in lists of Justin's references in the first Apology to what he called Memoirs, since it uses the cognate verb to describe their composition:

Justin Martyr, 1 Apology 33.4-5: 4 This, then, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive,” signifies that a virgin should conceive without intercourse. For if she had had intercourse with any one whatever, she was no longer a virgin; but the power of God having come upon the virgin, overshadowed her, and caused her while yet a virgin to conceive. 5 And the angel of God who was sent to the same virgin at that time brought her good news, saying, “Behold, you shall conceive of the Holy Spirit, and shall bear a Son, and He shall be called the Son of the Highest, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins,” as those who have memorialized all things concerning our Savior Jesus Christ have taught [ὡς οἱ ἀπομνημονεύσαντες πάντα τὰ περὶ τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐδίδαξαν], whom we believed, since by Isaiah also, whom we have now adduced, the Spirit of prophecy declared that He should be born as we intimated before.


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Re: Late dating of Mark: How far would you go? And what are your arguments?

Post by Paul the Uncertain » Sun Oct 25, 2020 1:25 am

Hi, Ben

Just a straight question, I'm not trying to get between you and Joe on this.

This Greek verb, how much is it like the English verb to memorialize?

My sense of the English verb is that it carries no implication that the person doing the memoralizing has any specific necessary relationship to the matter being memorialized. The verb is a "cousin" of the noun memoir, but without a commitment to anybody in particular having personal knowledge of some concrete ground fact.

As with many other verbs, there would also be the issue of agency, that is, I might be said to memorialize some event by causing somebody else to do something (e.g. ask a friend to make a note of the event).

When I consulted Google to check my notoriously quirky command of my mother tongue, the usage example it served up was
the novel memorialized their childhood summers
So it would seem that the verb says nothing necessary about the truth of what its product asserts, so long as that product helps somebody retain something in their memory.

How does the Greek verb compare, do you think?

Thank you.

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Re: Late dating of Mark: How far would you go? And what are your arguments?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:52 am

Paul the Uncertain wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 1:25 am
Hi, Ben

Just a straight question, I'm not trying to get between you and Joe on this.

This Greek verb, how much is it like the English verb to memorialize?

My sense of the English verb is that it carries no implication that the person doing the memorializing has any specific necessary relationship to the matter being memorialized. The verb is a "cousin" of the noun memoir, but without a commitment to anybody in particular having personal knowledge of some concrete ground fact.

As with many other verbs, there would also be the issue of agency, that is, I might be said to memorialize some event by causing somebody else to do something (e.g. ask a friend to make a note of the event).

When I consulted Google to check my notoriously quirky command of my mother tongue, the usage example it served up was
the novel memorialized their childhood summers
So it would seem that the verb says nothing necessary about the truth of what its product asserts, so long as that product helps somebody retain something in their memory.

How does the Greek verb compare, do you think?
The two Greek words, noun and verb, are ἀπομνημόνευμα and ἀπομνημονεύω; they bear the same basic linguistic relationship to one another as the English "memorial" and "memorialize" do; the verb can mean "to remember" in Greek, though it seems to hit harder than, say, μνημονεύω or μιμνήσκομαι, while the noun tends not to mean just a fleeting "memory" in the mind.

I am not sure what you are asking about truth values and whatnot. A person can remember; a person can misremember; a person can lie about what is remembered or fabricate a memory; a person can commit all such memories to writing, regardless of their truth values. (Interestingly, a lecture I once attended put on by my Classics department in college noted that the Greek word for "truth," ἀλήθεια, derives from roots meaning "not to forget," essentially: ἀ + λήθη/ληθάνω. But that meaning lies far back in the history of the language, and was probably not the very first thing a native Greek speaker thought of when the word was spoken.)

ETA: Our own DCHindley has quite a list of instances, both of the noun and of the verb, compiled at this forum.

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Re: Late dating of Mark: How far would you go? And what are your arguments?

Post by Paul the Uncertain » Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:46 am

Hi, Ben

Two thoughts may have gotten entagled in my post. The English-language term "memoir" suggests to me that (1) the principal author(s) of the memoir represent that what's told in the memoir is true and (2) those principal author(s) are in a position to make that representation based on personal knowledge.

As you say, that still leaves us distant from a "truth value," but it does at least qualify the authors as fact witnesses.

The other strand in the tangle was the example provided by Google, showing that a work of openly acknowledged fiction can be said to memorialize something in English. Item (1) isn't necessary and (2) may be inapplicable.

If so, then there's a world a difference, between the English sentences:

"The messengers memorialized their story"

and

"The messengers told their story in their memoirs."

The story might be false in either case, of course, but only in the latter case is there any tangible claim that the messengers based what they wrote on personal knoweldge of the underlying facts.

I hope that's clearer now, and thanks again for your help.

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Re: Late dating of Mark: How far would you go? And what are your arguments?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Oct 25, 2020 1:04 pm

Paul the Uncertain wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:46 am
Hi, Ben

Two thoughts may have gotten entagled in my post. The English-language term "memoir" suggests to me that (1) the principal author(s) of the memoir represent that what's told in the memoir is true and (2) those principal author(s) are in a position to make that representation based on personal knowledge.

As you say, that still leaves us distant from a "truth value," but it does at least qualify the authors as fact witnesses.

The other strand in the tangle was the example provided by Google, showing that a work of openly acknowledged fiction can be said to memorialize something in English. Item (1) isn't necessary and (2) may be inapplicable.

If so, then there's a world a difference, between the English sentences:

"The messengers memorialized their story"

and

"The messengers told their story in their memoirs."

The story might be false in either case, of course, but only in the latter case is there any tangible claim that the messengers based what they wrote on personal knoweldge of the underlying facts.

I hope that's clearer now, and thanks again for your help.
I would say that, based on its overall usage, ἀπομνημόνευμα does not on its own entail a direct eyewitness or earwitness claim. For example:

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 1.14.1-4: 1 Osiris was the first, they record, to make mankind give up cannibalism; for after Isis had discovered the fruit of both wheat and barley which grew wild over the land along with the other plants but was still unknown to man, and Osiris had also devised the cultivation of these fruits, all men were glad to change their food, both because of the pleasing nature of the newly discovered grains and because it seemed to their advantage to refrain from their butchery of one another. 2 As proof of the discovery of these fruits they offer the following ancient custom which they still observe: Even yet at harvest time the people make a dedication of the first heads of the grain to be cut, and standing beside the sheaf beat themselves and call upon Isis, by this act rendering honor to the goddess for the fruits which she discovered, at the season when she first did this. 3 Moreover in some cities, during the Festival of Isis as well, stalks of wheat and barley are carried among the other objects in the procession, a memorial [ἀπομνημόνευμα] of what the goddess so ingeniously discovered at the beginning. Isis also established laws, they say, in accordance with which the people regularly dispense justice to one another and are led to refrain through fear of punishment from illegal violence and insolence; 4 and it is for this reason also that the early Greeks gave Demeter the name Thesmophorus, acknowledging in this way that she had first established their laws.


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