What Happened?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Secret Alias
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Re: What Happened?

Post by Secret Alias » Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:56 am

I think this is more specific:
1. something to do with the Jewish revolt of 70 CE
2. something about God not liking sacrifices and punishing the Jews for divergence from 'the true religion' (however defined)
3. in some form the killing of Jesus by the Jews exemplified their (the Jews) disdain for the true religion and their ignorance of God
4. could be based on a historical narrative/oral tradition or could be all made up

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MrMacSon
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Re: What Happened?

Post by MrMacSon » Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:17 pm

Irish1975 wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:31 am
One of the ironies of Jesus questing today is that we have not only the zombie-like survival of quests for a historical Jesus, but also an equally feverish, equally ungrounded quest for the Mythical Jesus. Both are doomed. We should have accepted long ago that questing for a Jesus of any sort, historical or mythical, is never going to succeed. But into the breach one my [more?] time!
I'm not sure both are doomed. Sure, a definitive answer may be unlikely. But we - everyone, including the academy and everyone outside this forum - may have only scratched the surface so far (and we all may need to -ought to - keep coming back to the surface from any deep dives, as the next paragraph suggests).

A key feature of getting and being involved and invested in something as complicated as try to validate or determine Christianity's origins is having to consider and understand new perspectives, and having to reconsider and perhaps reframe old perspectives in light of seeing and having to consider new ones. And there are lots of and lots of sub-topics in which perspectives thereof are influenced by perspectives of other subtopics eg. Secret Alias has already alluded to a role or influence of Ezra and Martijn has alluded to a role or influence of the Didache in early Christianity. I've recently seen someone a proposal the Diatessaron may have been a pre-Gospel texts.

Delving into this dilemma and the associated fray is fascinating. The ultimate 100,000 piece jigsaw (somewhat like, as Irish1975 infers, considering and debating who killed JFK).

Irish1975 wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:31 am
An ideal account would blend these three origin stories in accordance with the factual record, if we had an adequate factual record; but we don’t.
We have a paper trail, albeit an incomplete one; and perhaps one more jumbled than has been previously thought, as my comment about others'comments about Ezra,the Didache and the Diatessaron suggest.

I'll come back to the other part of your post later.

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MrMacSon
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Re: What Happened?

Post by MrMacSon » Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:57 pm

John2 wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:08 pm

I'm just curious what people here think. You don't have to prove everything, just say what you think happened to produce Christianity. Fill in the gaps however you like.

Here's what I think. There were broadly three sects of Judaism since the time of the Maccabees, like Josephus says. By 6 CE a fourth sect emerged, largely from the Pharisees, and it more or less ran its course between then and the fall of Masada. I would call them radical or extremist Pharisees. And from this fourth sect emerged Jesus and Jewish Christianity. As such, Christianity shares the main Fourth Philosophic belief that "one from their country should become governor of the habitable earth" and similarly rejected the oral Torah.
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I think what has happening in Judaism in the early part of the first century a.d./c.e. and probably before, from the time of Maccabee Revolt is significant as is, of course, what happened to it such as the Fall of the Second Temple. And there's also what happened after the Fall of the Temple. The priests and priestly families are said to have moved out of Jerusalem, to have 'decamped' (?) to Yavne +/- other places concurrently or firstly or subsequently (I need to clarify that, it may be important). Apparently Jewish people stayed in and around Jerusalem.

They began what turned out to be a 100 year plus project to define and redefine Judaism through the Tosefta and the Mishnah. The Pharisees are said to have predominated. The Sadducees and other sects were no more (afaik; perhaps some manifest in other ways).

Do we know what happened to Judaism in other places though, after and as a result of the Fall of the Second Temple? In Alexandria? in Rome? in other centres with significant pre-70 a.d. diaspora? (I think the tabernacle became more prominent(?). There was another temple or two I think, but their roles seem to have diminished).

Furthermore, there's also the Bar Kokhba Revolt and the consequences of that for Jewish people: they were banned from Jerusalem afaik.

John2 wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:08 pm
Sometime before 70 CE Jewish Christian leaders wrote letters that became part of the NT (James, 1 Peter, 1, 2 and 3 John, Jude, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Romans, 1 Thessalonians, Philippians, Galatians, Philemon).
Do we have things that can tie these letters to pre-70 CE times?

or, Could the time-period in which they may have been written be wider? later )or even earlier)?

John2 wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:08 pm

Then around 70 CE a follower of Peter named Mark wrote two versions1 of Mark in Greek, one for Romans and one for everyone.1

Around the same time someone wrote a Hebrew version of Matthew, from which two or more translations were made into Greek, one of which was combined with Mark and became the canonical Matthew, another of which may have been incorporated into Luke and the Ebionite Matthew, and perhaps another is reflected in the Didache.

< . . snip . . >

Sometime after 70 CE the Ebionites (as such) emerged from the Nazarenes and created their Matthew with one of the translations that were made of the Hebrew Mathew.
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An interesting set of proposals about how the synoptic gospels might have come about.

1 What makes you think there were two versions of Mark?

One think I think worth considering in the formation of the gospel attributed to Mark is that it is or seems to be also Pauline, as Luke seems to have been -
John2 wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:08 pm
Luke and Acts (in perhaps more than one draft) were written by the follower of Paul named Epaphroditus (mentioned in Philippians) who was an imperial secretary and wrote sometime before his execution by Domitian c. 95 CE. He knew some or all of the NT letters mentioned above, Mark and one or more Greek translations of Matthew, and the we passages in Acts are his notes from his time travelling with Paul.

These propositions are noteworthy -
John2 wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:08 pm
Nazarene Jewish Christianity was more or less the dominant form of early Christianity and peaked by the mid-second century CE (as reflected by Hegessipus) until it was deemed heretical and supplanted by orthodox Christianity by the late second century CE.

More or less all of the Nazarene NT writings were to some extent interpolated or altered by orthodox Christians to defend their beliefs (as per Celsus [via Origen's Contra Celsus]2) and were incorporated into their NT canon along with some of their own writings (Hebrews, 2 Peter, 2 Thessalonians, Ephesians, Colossians, the Pastorals).
2 I'm intrigued that we hear about Celsus so relatively late (via Origen's Contra Celsus). I'd be interested to hear a comparison of what we understand about Celsus and about trypho (from Justin Martyr of course).
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MrMacSon
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Re: What Happened?

Post by MrMacSon » Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:28 pm

mlinssen wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:15 am

The core to all the contrasting and contradictory movements in the NT is the opposition between Gentiles and Jews, with Gentile being an interpretation for the word 'ethnos'

History is being rewritten by giving translations of the Bible that are simply interpretations, but we need not concern ourselves with that, we can simply look at the smoke of the gun and nowhere further
.
Secret Alias wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:01 am

I happen to think that the fact the main character of the [Pentateuch] narrative was named Joshua [Yeshua] and there was an inherent 'Joshua [Yeshua] expectation' in the Pentateuch helps support the argument as to the artificiality of the original gospel narrative (viz. that it was a 'sequel' or Part 2 to the Pentateuch).
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Apparently, in the Hebrew Bible, in the book of Yeshua, chapter 5,

v.4 “The reason Y’hoshua circumcised was that all the people - AM - who had left Egypt who were males, all the fighting men, had died in the desert along the way after leaving Egypt.”

AM = the chosen ones

v.6 “… because the people - GOY - of Israel walked forty years in the desert until the whole nation, that is, the fighting men who had left Egypt, had died out; because they had not heeded what Adonai said. Adonai had sworn that he would not allow them to see the land which Adonai swore to their ancestors that he would give us, a land flowing with milk and honey.”

GOY = people who do not know Hashem nor are in a relationship with Him ie. gentiles.

ie. there was an interest in Gentiles espoused in Second Temple Judaism

Moreover, several places in the LXX refer to Galilee as being inhabited by Gentiles. Isaiah 8.23 - 9.6 and Ezekiel 47.1-12 depict Galilee 'of the Gentiles' as specifically appointed to receive salvation in the messianic age and, further, as a land which will be one of the first to experience God's deliverance.

Isaiah 8.23 and Joel 4.4 indicate Galilee was a Gentile land which conspired with other Gentile lands against Judah. Joel 4.4 and 1 Maccabee 5.15 also use the term 'Galilee of the Gentiles' and 1 Macc 5.21 reports than Simon Maccabaeus did battle with Gentiles who lived in Galilee.

Ezekiel 47.1-12 outlines how the prophet beholds a river issuing from under the threshold of the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. It is a river with trees of healing upon its banks, and it gives life where ever it courses. Fishers standing upon its banks are to catch a great multitude of fish (v. 10), and it was flowing towards Galilee (v. 8).

Mark 1.17, with its call to Simon and Andrew in Galilee to become fishers of men, certainly seems to be based on Ezekiel 47.10.

Mark 14.28 and 16.7 -bidding the disciples to return to Galilee after the resurrection- outlines missionary obligation along lines suggested in Ezekiel 47.1-12 taken together with Isaiah 8.23 - 9.6.
Last edited by MrMacSon on Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Bernard Muller
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Re: What Happened?

Post by Bernard Muller » Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:30 pm

From http://historical-jesus.info/author.html
More about my methodology:
a) Stay always within the historical, social, cultural & religious (ancient) contexts, when studying each event & writing.
b) Acknowledge that people in the 1st/2nd century (most of them illiterate) had some common sense (& religious aspirations) and were living mostly in a secular, "low-tech" (& unscholarly!) world: they thought in real time (their own day to day present).
c) Consider the (early) Christian texts as written by "flesh & blood "persons (and not necessarily scholars!) likely to have human motives (sometimes very obvious), and as addressed to contemporaries. Then research the circumstances surrounding their compositions.
d) Have an all-encompassing view: everything of any pertinence has to be investigated, from all sources available, more so the closest (in time) to the facts.
e) Determine with accuracy (and great efforts!) the sequence of events, timing and the dating of writings (that's lacking into many scholarly works), because that provides another dimension, the most crucial one: many (preceding & following) points are considerably affected by the dating & sequencing.
f) Do not charge with some theory/concept (yours or borrowed) because it suits you (unfortunately, agenda-driven works are prevalent nowadays).
g) Sort out the evidence and check it in depth (accuracy, validity, context, correct translation, etc., for each bits), by way of critical analysis. Justify any rejection with good reasons, preferably many of them.
h) Do not ignore "down to earth", obvious, mundane or trivial details (usually considered unworthy of scholarly interest). Do not overlook contradictions and oddities (as you would for the work of a subordinate, as a detective would for a suspect, as a legal officer would for an eyewitness!). Pay attention to "against the grain" and embarrassing bits (they might be telling!).
i) Follow the evidence, stay close to it, allow it to "discipline" & direct you: avoid free intellectual extrapolations & speculations (we have enough of those!).
j) Practice reality checks along the way: avoid absurdities.
k) Stay on the right track, on solid ground; do not hesitate to turn back when a trail is disappearing; explore all options, but remember, only one can be correct (& not necessarily the first one which pops out from the top of your head!).
l) Accept what you discover, rather than decide first what to find & reject.
m) Be scrupulous: "fudging" & "ignoring" NOT allowed (why should I fool myself & my readers? And this website will not advance my career or make money for me!).
n) Reject ill-substantiated assumptions, even if they are widely "swallowed" (beware of "studies" which accept them, either unannounced ("transparent") or with a short introduction!).
o) Look somewhere else if you need long discussions to justify your position.
p) Provide (concisely & accurately) the whole evidence & argumentation for each step (to keep you honest and prevent unproven claims to creep in): each piece of the puzzle must stand on its own.
q) Go back over all the preceding points because later findings are bound to have implications on previous understandings (and vice versa. I never said it was an "auto-pilot" one-way process. Beware of simplistic methodologies!). Examine back everything, including the options you chose along the way (everything has to fit, but keep observing all the points!). Do it over & over, again & again ...

This is what I tried to abide by, but if any one of my readers objects on these points or thinks I do not adhere to them (or missed some other ones), please let me know (but be specific!). Contact me here.

And if, (despite) complying with all the aforementioned, overall & throughout COHERENCE of the reconstruction is achieved, then you succeeded.
If not, well, either it cannot be done (according to the available evidence) OR you went wrong someplace!

Furthermore, this kind of study should not be a vehicle for (or driven by) anti-Christian or pro-Christian propaganda (or bias)! Also, it should not be influenced by any author's peculiar fixation(s), source of income or/and "market" consideration. And beware of those works which use the "historical Jesus" in order to showcase a scholar/professor's field of expertise, such as old-fashioned theology, in low demand otherwise.
Cordially, Bernard

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Secret Alias
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Re: What Happened?

Post by Secret Alias » Sat Nov 21, 2020 2:38 pm

Again amateur errors abound in your posts:
Joshua [Yeshua]
יְהוֹשֻׁעַ‎

What's the point of correct the common English translation for יְהוֹשֻׁעַ‎ with a transliterated form which doesn't apply? I don't get the purpose of that. It's just misdirected pettiness. יֵשׁוּעַ‎ comes from a later period than when the Book of Joshua was actually written.

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Re: What Happened?

Post by John2 » Sat Nov 21, 2020 2:43 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
I'm intrigued that we hear about Celsus so relatively late (via Origen's Contra Celsus)

My understanding is that Celsus lived during the mid to late second century CE though, which is the time of orthodox ascendancy in my view, and the passage I had in mind is this one:

27. [Celsus' Jewish critic]: The Christian believers, like persons who in a fit of drunkenness lay violent hands upon themselves, have corrupted the Gospel from its original integrity, to a threefold, and fourfold, and many-fold degree, and have remodeled it, so that they might be able to answer objections.


http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/celsus.html

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Re: What Happened?

Post by John2 » 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.

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MrMacSon
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Re: What Happened?

Post by MrMacSon » Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:31 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 2:38 pm
Joshua [Yeshua]
יְהוֹשֻׁעַ‎

What's the point of correct the common English translation for יְהוֹשֻׁעַ‎ with a transliterated form which doesn't apply? I don't get the purpose of that ... יֵשׁוּעַ‎ comes from a later period than when the Book of Joshua was actually written.
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).
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Re: What Happened?

Post by MrMacSon » Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:34 pm

John2 wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 2:43 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
I'm intrigued that we hear about Celsus so relatively late (via Origen's Contra Celsus)
My understanding is that Celsus lived during the mid to late second century CE though, which is the time of orthodox ascendancy in my view, and the passage I had in mind is this one:
27. [Celsus' Jewish critic]: The Christian believers, like persons who in a fit of drunkenness lay violent hands upon themselves, have corrupted the Gospel from its original integrity, to a threefold, and fourfold, and many-fold degree, and have remodeled it, so that they might be able to answer objections. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/celsus.html
ah, ok. Good point.

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