Political allegory in the 'exoteric' legend of Jesus

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
maryhelena
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Re: Political allegory in the 'exoteric' legend of Jesus

Post by maryhelena » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:38 pm

theomise wrote:
<snip>
Maybe I wasn't clear what "political allegory" means here?

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is not about "flying monkeys" - it's about the 19th century Bimetallism debate - the gold standard vs the Silverites, etc.
The Crucible is not about witchcraft - it's about McCarthyism.
Animal Farm is not about talking livestock - it's about the Russian Revolution.

Whether or not the surface story contains supernatural elements is beside the point. We are talking about fables or parables in which the political concerns of the day are reflected in the sayings and doings of deliberately two-dimensional characters.

Now, can you learn history from "Animal Farm" or "The Crucible"? In a limited way, yes.

The allegorist offers a highly interpretive ("biased") presentation of the issues that can only be understood on the deepest level given the reader's pre-existent familiarity with the historical context. Of course, the surface level of the work can also be enjoyed for its own sake as a children's story.

Hope that helps.
Top marks :thumbup:

I'll just add this....once the history faded from view, once memory dimmed, then the gospel allegorical interpretation of history would begin to be viewed as 'history'.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats

bcedaifu
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Re: Political allegory in the 'exoteric' legend of Jesus

Post by bcedaifu » Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:56 am

What nonsense.

It is not history, and never was history.

political allegory: also nonsense.

Hóng Lóu Mèng is one of the most famous Chinese novels, written in the 17th century, distributed by hand copied documents until 18th century, when it was first published and spread widely. For the past two centuries it has occupied a niche in world literature roughly equivalent to War and Peace, or Romeo and Juliet, i.e. famous fictional works.

Dream of the Red chamber, in English, is not a political allegory. It is not "pseudo history", that ultimately became "history".

It is a work of fiction. It did not express sympathy for the worker's struggle for Marxist or anarchist society, notwithstanding the word: "RED", in the title. It described life, including misery, in feudal China. It was not a surreptitious call to insurrection. It was not a history of the earliest cells in the communist party of China. It was not in paperback form, the book that Mao ZeDong kept in his back pocket, as he worked in the library.

Stop trying to demonstrate an intention to create history, by writing fiction, without evidence of authorial intent. You don't even know the names, let alone the ideology, of the authors of any of the biblical texts. You do know, from reading Philo, that Herakles was widely respected among the masses. You do know that the parallels with the "history" of Herakles is overwhelming, when reading the fictional works we call "New Testament". Philo was not writing to Gaius an historical account of the life of Herakles. Mark is not history.

maryhelena
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Re: Political allegory in the 'exoteric' legend of Jesus

Post by maryhelena » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:06 am

bcedaifu wrote:What nonsense.

It is not history, and never was history.

political allegory: also nonsense.

Hóng Lóu Mèng is one of the most famous Chinese novels, written in the 17th century, distributed by hand copied documents until 18th century, when it was first published and spread widely. For the past two centuries it has occupied a niche in world literature roughly equivalent to War and Peace, or Romeo and Juliet, i.e. famous fictional works.

Dream of the Red chamber, in English, is not a political allegory. It is not "pseudo history", that ultimately became "history".

It is a work of fiction. It did not express sympathy for the worker's struggle for Marxist or anarchist society, notwithstanding the word: "RED", in the title. It described life, including misery, in feudal China. It was not a surreptitious call to insurrection. It was not a history of the earliest cells in the communist party of China. It was not in paperback form, the book that Mao ZeDong kept in his back pocket, as he worked in the library.

Stop trying to demonstrate an intention to create history, by writing fiction, without evidence of authorial intent. You don't even know the names, let alone the ideology, of the authors of any of the biblical texts. You do know, from reading Philo, that Herakles was widely respected among the masses. You do know that the parallels with the "history" of Herakles is overwhelming, when reading the fictional works we call "New Testament". Philo was not writing to Gaius an historical account of the life of Herakles. Mark is not history.
I can't remember anyone on this thread saying Mark is history.....

It amazes me that when the word 'history' - and now the word 'political' - is mentioned in connection with the gospel story - that some people seek ever so quickly knock them down. If it's not the Carrier-Doherty mythicists its the Eusebius fan club. Both camps have much to loose if the gospel story is a political allegory or a prophetic interpretation of Hasmonean/Jewish historical elements.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats

theomise
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Re: Political allegory in the 'exoteric' legend of Jesus

Post by theomise » Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:00 pm

To be honest, I can't say that I follow what 'bcedaifu' was trying to convey...

In any case, consider...

Dante's "4 layers of interpretation":

1) Literal (Narrative is naively interpreted as straight history with no underlying meaning).
2) Typological (Narrative is allegorically interpreted in relation to a prior narrative framework).
3) Tropological (Narrative is allegorically interpreted in relation to moral/ethical precepts).
4) Anagogical (Narrative is allegorically interpreted in relation to mystical/apocalyptic/eschatological concepts).

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neilgodfrey
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Re: Political allegory in the 'exoteric' legend of Jesus

Post by neilgodfrey » Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:13 pm

theomise wrote:To be honest, I can't say that I follow what 'bcedaifu' was trying to convey...
It's very clear:

A 17th Century Chinese novel is not political allegory
Therefore the Gospel of Mark is not political allegory
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theomise
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Re: Political allegory in the 'exoteric' legend of Jesus

Post by theomise » Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:39 pm

neilgodfrey wrote:
theomise wrote:To be honest, I can't say that I follow what 'bcedaifu' was trying to convey...
It's very clear:

A 17th Century Chinese novel is not political allegory
Therefore the Gospel of Mark is not political allegory
Ahah! Indeed, that very syllogism can only be defeated by the 'anti-logical' forces of Anecdote... :mrgreen: ;)

steve43
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Re: Political allegory in the 'exoteric' legend of Jesus

Post by steve43 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:30 pm

To say that to take a particular narrative literally is always naive is itself naive.

outhouse
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Re: Political allegory in the 'exoteric' legend of Jesus

Post by outhouse » Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:48 pm

theomise wrote:Granted that 1st century (pre-gospel) Christianity involved a purely celestial Christ figure (as well-argued by Doherty, Carrier, et al)...

...

It is Granted that a purely celestial jesus figure is laughable.


It has been busted for over a hundred years, and the few people who are playing with this are necromancing preying on the ignorance of readers.

Paul believed in a very earthly jesus born of davidic herritage, and few other passages perverted by these necromancers

outhouse
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Re: Political allegory in the 'exoteric' legend of Jesus

Post by outhouse » Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:54 pm

bcedaifu wrote:It is not history, and never was history.

.

Gmark was written as a sort of history that was intended to be history, just not in a style we associate as history.

Heavy use of rhetoric, allegory and mythology.



Political history is laughable, and I agree with you.

The early movement was far removed from any governement or political movement.

ghost
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Re: Political allegory in the 'exoteric' legend of Jesus

Post by ghost » Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:37 pm

maryhelena wrote:The gospel JC story is not history; it is a mythologizing of history; an interpretation of history; salvation history. History viewed through a Jewish philosophical and a prophetic lens.
--------------------------------------

While a lot of what Josephus wrote re Antigonus cannot be historically verified ie biting off the ear of his uncle Hyrcanus, his writing is what we have. All one can do is put the Josephan account/stories alongside the gospel account and acknowledge the reflection of the Josephan account/stories within the gospel story.
But that's what the Flavians want you to do: to read the gospel alongside Josephus's writings and alongside the OT so you think the gospel is set in a Jewish instead of Roman setting. Doesn't make the original setting Jewish. That's how the Flavian mind trick works.

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