Top Ten Early Christian Questions

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 6331
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Top Ten Early Christian Questions

Post by MrMacSon » Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:44 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:39 am

I thought I'd develop a 'Top Ten' list of important questions for early Christianity. In no particular order (yet)

1. when Paul said 'my gospel' was he referencing a written gospel?
He may have a had a proto-gospel. He may have had some notes about the LXX (+/- other texts) he or someone else had made.

Moreover, with gospel = euangelion = good news, it may have just been an idea (+/- supplemented by certain concepts, written or not).

2. did Jesus exist?
It would be a revelation

3. was there a Jewish Christianity which predated the Christianity which emerges from the Church Fathers?
I doubt a tangible consistent Jewish Christianity did exist, at least not in Judea in the first century.

4. what year was the gospel narrative set?
The narrative was set in the early first century AD/CE, of course.

Whether it - they- was set in stone before Codices Sinaiticus & Vaticanus were produced may be debateable.

5. was there a gospel before canonical Mark?
Probably. It may have been Marcion's gospel (if several recent scholars' arguments are to be held).

7. who was the original gospel writer?
Marcion? Someone before him? Around his time?

8. who was Irenaeus?
Good question. Supposedly writing from Gaul suggests he was an enigma. Or a visionary.

9. what did Marcion's canon look like?
Wasn't it ten Pauline epistles, his Euangelion +/- an Antithesis +/- a couple of other epistles ??

10. who were the first Christians?
Isn't the first evidence of a congregation a 4th or 5th century bishop complaining his congregants turned to face the morning sun before entering his church?
Last edited by MrMacSon on Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 12694
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Top Ten Early Christian Questions

Post by Secret Alias » Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:55 pm

I just wanted to list questions. If I wanted a list of answers I'd go to Bernard's site.

User avatar
mlinssen
Posts: 280
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:01 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Top Ten Early Christian Questions

Post by mlinssen » Mon Nov 16, 2020 2:59 am

1) Why does anyone with half a brain still wonder about Christianity, is the need to lull the spirit really that great?

10) Why on earth am I here in this forum?

Ethan
Posts: 884
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:15 pm
Location: England

Re: Top Ten Early Christian Questions

Post by Ethan » Mon Nov 16, 2020 5:48 am

How much profit did early christianity make?

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 8252
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Top Ten Early Christian Questions

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Nov 16, 2020 6:35 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 9:33 pm
Irenaeus forged a version of the heretical gospels that just 'happened' to 'fit together.'
This is a huge stumbling block for me. The canonical gospels do not just happen to fit together; in many spots they do not fit together at all. Nobody would insist on a resurrection appearance in Galilee and then simultaneously, in another gospel, insist that all the resurrection appearances happened within a Sabbath day's journey from Jerusalem. Furthermore, one has to struggle mightily to fit John in with the synoptics, and our records of century II Christian infighting show that such a struggle took place. And I am just scratching the surface here.

User avatar
mlinssen
Posts: 280
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:01 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Top Ten Early Christian Questions

Post by mlinssen » Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:57 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 6:35 am
Secret Alias wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 9:33 pm
Irenaeus forged a version of the heretical gospels that just 'happened' to 'fit together.'
This is a huge stumbling block for me. The canonical gospels do not just happen to fit together; in many spots they do not fit together at all. Nobody would insist on a resurrection appearance in Galilee and then simultaneously, in another gospel, insist that all the resurrection appearances happened within a Sabbath day's journey from Jerusalem. Furthermore, one has to struggle mightily to fit John in with the synoptics, and our records of century II Christian infighting show that such a struggle took place. And I am just scratching the surface here.
Perhaps he just made the best out of the situation?

I can imagine him saying "oh for fuxake stop whining about the trivial disagreements, it will be millennia before those ignorant illiterates get to read any of it anyway".
John was picked because he was so close to Thomas, although heavily redacted as we know it

User avatar
Giuseppe
Posts: 8330
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:37 am
Location: Italy

Re: Top Ten Early Christian Questions

Post by Giuseppe » Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:57 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:15 pm
I am sure that Giuseppe would only have questions to the degree to which the answers would or could support his pre-existent gnostic-mysticism.
your judgement is correct. I question more about the consensus's reluctance to date the gospels after Bar-Bokhba, or to accept that the gospels are a reaction against "gnostic-mysticism" (I would call it 'anti-demiurgism').

my 10 questions about the Christian origins I fear will be forever without answer in saecula saeculorum:

1. who was John the Baptist?
2. who was John the Baptist?
3. who was John the Baptist?
4. who was John the Baptist?
5. who was John the Baptist?
6. who was John the Baptist?
7. who was John the Baptist?
8. who was John the Baptist?
9. who was John the Baptist?
10. who was John the Baptist?

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 8252
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Top Ten Early Christian Questions

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:00 am

mlinssen wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:57 am
Perhaps he just made the best out of the situation?
That is my position, at least until someone disabuses me of it. The four gospels contradicted each other, but he (and others) made the best of the situation. He neither found nor forged, in other words, four gospels that agree with each other; the premise is mistaken; they do not, in fact, agree with each other.

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 12694
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Top Ten Early Christian Questions

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:28 pm

And the part about all those who possess alternative MSS being inspired by the Devil? Just the way it was in antiquity? Don't hear that from Galen, Plutarch etc but we always hear that from the Judeo-Christian tradition. Wonder why? Odd that the battle over two powers in heaven was also settled by the same "discovery" of "alternative" edition of Exodus which "just so happen" to obscure a voice speaking from heaven while the Israelite see another God on the mountain. All coincidence these "discoveries.'

User avatar
Irish1975
Posts: 309
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:01 am

Re: Top Ten Early Christian Questions

Post by Irish1975 » Mon Nov 16, 2020 1:05 pm

It seems like these top ten lists include both methodologically serious questions, that is, pointing a way to future inquiry and research, and also mere wishes for evidence that we don’t have and won’t ever have. Sometimes, of course, it’s hard to know the difference.

Post Reply