What Happened?

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: What Happened?

Post by MrMacSon » Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:36 pm

John2 wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:24 pm
But despite orthodox interpolations, the religion in the synoptic gospels, Acts and most of the NT letters looks like Fourth Philosophic Judaism to me, e.g., rejection of the oral Torah, the belief that "one from their country should become governor of the habitable earth," the retention of Pharisaic "notions" (like resurrection of the dead) and a suffering and dying philosophy.
What evidence is there of what Fourth Philosophic Judaism was? [Josephus?] Cheers.

John2
Posts: 3400
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:42 pm

Re: What Happened?

Post by John2 » Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:58 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:36 pm
John2 wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:24 pm
But despite orthodox interpolations, the religion in the synoptic gospels, Acts and most of the NT letters looks like Fourth Philosophic Judaism to me, e.g., rejection of the oral Torah, the belief that "one from their country should become governor of the habitable earth," the retention of Pharisaic "notions" (like resurrection of the dead) and a suffering and dying philosophy.
What evidence is there of what Fourth Philosophic Judaism was? [Josephus?] Cheers.

Yes, but I think some of the Dead Sea Scrolls could also be Fourth Philosophic writings too, given that they share the same characteristics (messianism, resurrection of the dead, rejection of the oral Torah, a suffering philosophy) and that (as far as I can tell) the majority of the Scrolls are dated by paleography and carbon dating to the Herodian era, when the Fourth Philosophy was active.

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 12699
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: What Happened?

Post by Secret Alias » Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:36 pm

Yeshua - probably more correctly Y'shua - is in my view a better single, intermediate English representation of the continuum יְהוֹשֻׁעַ‎ to יֵשׁוּעַ‎ to subsequent transliterated manifestations of the name - Ἰησοῦς / Iēsous - which led to another English manifestation via the Latin, ie. Iēsūs / Iesus, Jesus. 'Joshua' is an outlier. The small point I was making reflects the likelihood subsequent exegetes in antiquity would have recognised the point you were making about יְהוֹשֻׁעַ‎ or יְהוֹשֻׁעַ‎ (the Hebrew Bible has accounts of / narratives about more than one individual with that name).

Ironically, in terms of a point you've made in a post in this thread (about the significance of Ezra) the shortening of the early biblical Hebrew name יְהוֹשֻׁעַ‎ - Yehoshuaʿ - to יֵשׁוּעַ‎ - Yeshua`/ Y'shua - happened in several passages in several chapters in each of Ezra and Nehemiah (and in 1 Chronicles 24:11; and 2 Chronicles 31:15).
I don't hate you. I don't mean to ridicule you. But this is complete nonsense. When in a hole, rule #1 stop digging.

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 12699
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: What Happened?

Post by Secret Alias » Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:38 pm

Regarding Celsus. No one knows when he wrote. But he cites a Jewish anti-Christian work which Origen says he wrote. Many do not accept Origen's claims. I think Celsus is citing from a Jewish treatise that makes reference to Christianity at least a generation before Celsus. If this Jewish anti-Christian treatise was from the first half of the second century that's still pretty early and invaluable.

The Celsus citation from Origen I had in mind:

User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 12699
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: What Happened?

Post by Secret Alias » Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:40 pm

The Celsus reference I had in mind:
But what need is there to particularize everything, or to count up the number of angels said to have been sent to Moses, and others amongst them as well? If, then, others were sent, it is manifest that he also came from the same God. But he may be supposed to have the appearance of announcing something of greater importance than those who preceded him, as if the Jews had been committing sin, or corrupting their religion, or doing deeds of impiety; for these things are obscurely hinted at.
As well as:
The Christians, making certain additional statements to those of the Jews, assert that the son of God has been already sent on account of the sins of the Jews; and that the Jews having chastised Jesus, and given him gall to drink, have brought upon themselves the divine wrath.
And:
Their writings repeat words of anger addressed by God to the ungodly, and of threatenings directed against sinners. They speak, indeed, of the ‘wrath’ of God, though God is not subject to passion. Is it not ridiculous to suppose that, whereas a man, who became angry with the Jews, slew them all from the youth upwards, and burned their city, so powerless were they to resist him;—the mighty God, as they say, being angry, and indignant, and uttering threats, should instead of punishing them send his own son, who endured the sufferings which He did? But that I may speak not of the Jews alone, for that is not my object, but of the whole of nature, as I promised, I will bring out in a clearer light what has been already stated.

User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 6331
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: What Happened?

Post by MrMacSon » Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:05 pm

The activities of the Tannaim and their tangible products would likely have been influential to Christians developing early Christian texts and thus to Christian origins in general; see http://www.earlywritings.com/forum/view ... f=6&t=7348

User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 6331
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: What Happened?

Post by MrMacSon » Sun Nov 22, 2020 6:45 pm

The roles of socio-political, geo-political and other social phenomena would likely have had a contributory effect. Just what is hard to discern.

Here's an outline of some factors possible.

The cult of the Roman emperor began with Augustus (r. 27 b.c.e to 14 a.d./c.e.) in spectacular and dramatic fashion. Early in his reign, Halley's Comet passed over Rome and Augustus claimed it was the spirit of Julius Caesar entering heaven. If Caesar was a god then, as his heir, Augustus was the son of a god and he made sure that everybody knew it: he gave himself the title title divi filius, "son of the divine".

After the Fall of the Temple [some] priests moved outside Jerusalem to Galilee, to Yavne first or secondarily (+/- moved from there). They began writing the Tosefta and the Mishnah finishing the Mishnah ~180-200 a.d./c.e. See http://www.earlywritings.com/forum/view ... 63#p114863

What happened to the variety of Jewish sects throughout Judea, Rome and Alexandria and in and beyond the surrounds of each city (which had existed from the end of the first century b.c/b.c.e and increasingly so in the first century, each with splinter groups) and what happened to their relationship with the relocated tannaim may not be clear.

There were a variety of other sects of other belief systems throughout the eastern Mediterranean in the first century a.d./c.e., increasingly so. The Egyptian mystery religions were spreading, especially to and through shipping ports, and continued to do so through the 2nd century a.d./c.e. and into the 3rd century. These included

Some people in the empire adopted a version of the cult of Mithras and modified it more.

See this post http://www.earlywritings.com/forum/view ... 10#p114910 on 'Empire Studies'.

davidmartin
Posts: 492
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:51 pm

Re: What Happened?

Post by davidmartin » Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:47 pm

Starts out as a somewhat mystical messianic group a la reform Judaism, dispensing with oral Torah and emphasising personal salvation, love of God
A fringe group but within Judaism
Runs foul of the authorities about the same time it branches out into the Greek world with prominent leaders/apostles
It begins to fragment
Paul breaks away and starts his own group far less acceptable to Judaism but much more acceptable to Greeks - he emphasises things according to his own theological persuasions + what he learned previously
Others break away and head more towards normative Judaism than originally in the opposite direction to Paul (John2's 'original Christians')
Still others embrace Greek philosophical ideas and go in a more gnostic direction, opposite to both the above two
Finally more original Jewish spiritual group continues to influence but fades slowly over time
The Jewish war takes place
Descendants of Paul and some of his previous 'Judaiser' opponents unite and form the basis of orthodox Christianity
Gnostics reject this and go their own way building up a mythological and philosophical system of their own
Myriad other smaller groups come and go and all these interact with each other
Finally no-one can remember how it started

User avatar
GakuseiDon
Posts: 956
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:10 pm

Re: What Happened?

Post by GakuseiDon » Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:02 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 6:45 pm
The cult of the Roman emperor began with Augustus (r. 27 b.c.e to 14 a.d./c.e.) in spectacular and dramatic fashion. Early in his reign, Halley's Comet passed over Rome and Augustus claimed it was the spirit of Julius Caesar entering heaven.
Nitpick only: It couldn't have been Halley's Comet, which flew by in 12 BCE. Caesar's comet was seen around 44 BCE. Halley's Comet may have been the inspiration for the Star of Bethlehem.

Ovid describes the deification of Caesar in Metamorphoses (8 AD):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar%27s_Comet

Then Jupiter, the Father, spoke..."Take up Caesar’s spirit from his murdered corpse, and change it into a star, so that the deified Julius may always look down from his high temple on our Capitol and forum." He had barely finished, when gentle Venus stood in the midst of the Senate, seen by no one, and took up the newly freed spirit of her Caesar from his body, and preventing it from vanishing into the air, carried it towards the glorious stars. As she carried it, she felt it glow and take fire, and loosed it from her breast: it climbed higher than the moon, and drawing behind it a fiery tail, shone as a star.

The deified Julius had his own high temple in the heavens, apparently.

User avatar
GakuseiDon
Posts: 956
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:10 pm

Re: What Happened?

Post by GakuseiDon » Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:27 pm

My own crazy amateur theory of what happened:

1. There were a group of messianic Jews who thought that the Messiah was coming soon. This group prophesied, spoke in tongues and performed healing miracles, as part of travelling miracle shows.
2. Jesus was a member of that group.
3. After Jesus was crucified perhaps for criticising the Temple system, people had visions of Jesus, showing he had made it to heaven
4. Jesus become identified as the awaited-for Messiah
5. Freelance religious entrepreneurs (love that term!) like Paul, either cynically or genuinely, claimed visions of Jesus and started their own travelling miracle shows.
6. The heavenly Jesus somehow captures the zeitgeist of the times and is used as a new figure to invoke magic among the Gentiles (much like the Second Century CE Alexander the False Prophet).
7. The Gospel of Mark was written as a mystery religion novel so that people could experience Jesus's crucifixion for themselves.
8. People modified Christianity so that it conformed to the accepted philosophical ideals of the time. This was part of a trend affecting all religions in the Roman Empire from the First Century BCE (similar to how the rise of science starting from the 19th C has been modifying all modern religions).

Don't ask me to prove any of the above. :cheers:

Post Reply