Evidence Christianity started as mythicist

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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mlinssen
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Re: Evidence Christianity started as mythicist

Post by mlinssen » Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:37 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:12 am
mlinssen wrote:
Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:48 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Jan 06, 2021 6:26 am
If the alternative is that either Matthew or Thomas made up the word from thin air, like baby talk, then I demure. It obviously came from somewhere.
Remember our exchange on the parable of the colostrum?
Thomas loved wordplay and jokes
We disagreed on the colostrum, as I recall, and probably disagree here, as well.

What is the word play in this case, in your view?

The presence of this same Greek term in the Apocalypse of Moses, in a context which is neither Matthean nor Thomasine in any way, suggests that the word may have existed independently; if it fails to show up in other ancient texts, that may be a result of our having lost more than we have preserved from antiquity rather than a result of Matthew or Thomas having coined the word from nothing. If you disagree with this assessment, that is fine; have at it: you and I do ancient history very differently, after all. My main point was to make sure that you have all the data at your disposal, including a text which you did not mention and which does not fall into any of the categories laid out by Meier. Whatever conclusion you arrive at, whether I agree with it or not (or even have a well formed opinion on it or not), at least it will not be skipping over a possibly relevant datum.
You did disagree on the colostrum, for odd reasons I recall, suddenly coming up with butter and cream whereas milk is so very prominently present in Thomas. Yes the word that Crum pointed to missed an E, but Thomas has a few other words that are not literally arrested for in Crum or Westendorf.
You did however agree that the word in Thomas can't possibly be leaven - so a joke it is nonetheless

Of course we do things differently, and thank you for the find; your are a true treasure of ancient texts and not a week goes by without me visiting your site. But there are 6,500 words in Thomas and most of that I carefully weigh and analyse, and if Gathercole and Meier agree that a word only exists in Thomas and Matthew I'm happy to take that for granted

I will write and publish a book this year of 1,000-1,500 pages and it will be good, likely very good, but not perfect - I can live with that. Everything is action-reaction and if I get pointed at mistakes made, that's fine, I will learn, and so will others. As long as their number remains acceptable

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Evidence Christianity started as mythicist

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:58 am

mlinssen wrote:
Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:37 am
You did however agree that the word in Thomas can't possibly be leaven - so a joke it is nonetheless
That is not the case. I was helping you to flesh out your own view, not committing to a single interpretation of a word in a language I have barely studied at all (Coptic). But it is of no importance.

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mlinssen
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Re: Evidence Christianity started as mythicist

Post by mlinssen » Wed Jan 06, 2021 2:33 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:58 am
mlinssen wrote:
Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:37 am
You did however agree that the word in Thomas can't possibly be leaven - so a joke it is nonetheless
That is not the case. I was helping you to flesh out your own view, not committing to a single interpretation of a word in a language I have barely studied at all (Coptic). But it is of no importance.
Helping? To flesh out my view?
You were trying hard to debate my view, and after you failed to find leaven in the dictionaries for this word you went on a search for butter and cream - anything, as long as it wasn't colostrum

And your search results were these:
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Oct 30, 2020 7:31 am

You know, what is interesting is that the spelling variant in Thomas exactly matches only one other instance (so far):
Summary Thus Far.png
Summary Thus Far.png (41.22 KiB) Viewed 2544 times
The only perfect match is in 1 Samuel 17.18, where it is translating a word that means "cheese."

What if, then, the variant ⲥⲁⲉⲓⲣ simply means cheese? Something just beyond curds. I had thought before that perhaps butter was a viable option, but the results above have perhaps pointed in another direction. Perhaps the woman is tucking cheese into her dough. What do you think of that?
You didn't decide on ⲥⲁⲉⲓⲣ not meaning leaven, no indeed. And when asked you would state that your knowledge of Coptic is not sufficient to be able to make that decision - while in the meantime you would continue to go on to try and find alternatives for my decision on this Coptic word, because?

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Evidence Christianity started as mythicist

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Jan 06, 2021 2:39 pm

mlinssen wrote:
Wed Jan 06, 2021 2:33 pm
Helping? To flesh out my view?
Yes, that is correct.
You were trying hard to debate my view....
Yes, that is correct. This, for me, is an important part of what helping someone to flesh out their view means. If there is a better way than submitting it to critical testing and alternate perspectives, I do not know what it is.
...and after you failed to find leaven in the dictionaries for this word you went on a search for butter and cream - anything, as long as it wasn't colostrum
What good would it do you to simply agree that it has to be colostrum, especially if I am not convinced that it must be so (and am/was, rather, agnostic on the matter)? You would think to yourself, "That Ben, smart fellow, agreeing with me as he does," and then you would go your way having received no help from me whatsoever.
You didn't decide on ⲥⲁⲉⲓⲣ not meaning leaven, no indeed.
Correct again. Because of the following:
And when asked you would state that your knowledge of Coptic is not sufficient to be able to make that decision....
Exactly.
- while in the meantime you would continue to go on to try and find alternatives for my decision on this Coptic word, because?
Because that is what I do. I test and sift and question everything, especially my own viewpoints (which have changed many, many times over the years), but also those of others (precisely because I want to determine whether to make them my own or not!).

If you have no interest in my way of helping out, I can cease, no problem. Would not be the first time.

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Paulg
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Re: Evidence Christianity started as mythicist

Post by Paulg » Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:26 pm

The problem of Christian origins is best approached by asking the right question. Whether Jesus existed or not, is the wrong question. The right question is "when did the religion begin?" Taking into consideration all the evidence the answer to this question is clearly AD70. Once this premise is accepted it becomes easy to explain all the features of the religion, its documents, founders and how it developed. Not only does the evidence support this claim but this is entirely consistent with what we might expect given our knowledge of how modern religions have been instituted and how humans react sociologically to certain events and expectations.

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Re: Evidence Christianity started as mythicist

Post by GakuseiDon » Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:59 pm

Paulg wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:26 pm
The problem of Christian origins is best approached by asking the right question. Whether Jesus existed or not, is the wrong question. The right question is "when did the religion begin?"
Personally, I don't see that as the right question, since you'd need to define what religion you mean. Fourth Century Christianity is different to Second Century Christianity, which is different to First Century Christianity. Thus the problem of anachronism: assuming that later views existed in earlier ones and vice versa. In particular, the change in emphasis on the significance of Jesus's life and death.

On the question of origins, I think the right question is "What is the best explanation for the existence of what we find in the earliest layer of Christian texts?" Determining which texts actually form that earliest layer is part of the problem.

To me, the earliest layer is primarily formed by the letters of Paul and the Gospel of Mark. Reading them in English translation, I see evidence for the idea of an earthly Jesus who becomes celestial after death. To me, the best explanation for this is that there was a historical Jesus of some kind. I think the evidence is strong, but not strong enough that a different case could be made.

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Re: Evidence Christianity started as mythicist

Post by Bernard Muller » Sat Jan 09, 2021 5:58 pm

to Paulg,
Taking into consideration all the evidence the answer to this question is clearly AD70.
What evidence?
Once this premise is accepted it becomes easy to explain all the features of the religion, its documents, founders and how it developed.

It is also even easier to explain all the features of the religion (this time with plenty of evidence), with its development from 27 to 57 AD. See http://historical-jesus.info/digest.html then http://historical-jesus.info/hjes3x.html
Not only does the evidence support this claim
What evidence?
but this is entirely consistent with what we might expect given our knowledge of how modern religions have been instituted
Which modern religions? What would be that knowledge?
and how humans react sociologically to certain events and expectations.
Yes, that's very important in order to explain the beginning of Christianity. I take that in account very seriously.

Cordially, Bernard

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Paulg
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Re: Evidence Christianity started as mythicist

Post by Paulg » Sat Jan 09, 2021 7:05 pm

There isn't enough space to list all the evidence for my claim. It can be found in my book, which is available here. http://www.vividpublishing.com.au/onchristianorigins/

maryhelena
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Re: Evidence Christianity started as mythicist

Post by maryhelena » Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:54 am

Paulg wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 7:05 pm
There isn't enough space to list all the evidence for my claim. It can be found in my book, which is available here. http://www.vividpublishing.com.au/onchristianorigins/
I just bought the ebook from amazon. I've not read it yet as my primary aim was to search a topic of interest to me. The Hasmoneans. A theory of christian origin that fails to take into account the last 30 years of Hasmonean history will be an inadequate account of early christian origins. The social/political environment - as is evident even today - is what drives ideas. Its the lived experience that motivates the desire for better days - and better ideas.



Was 70 CE a Watershed in
Jewish History?


On Jews and Judaism before and after the
Destruction of the Second Temple

Edited by
Daniel R. Schwartz and Zeev Weiss
in collaboration with Ruth A. Clements


SETTING THE STAGE: THE EFFECTS OF THE ROMAN
CONQUEST AND THE LOSS OF SOVEREIGNTY

Nadav Sharon


Our Scholion group’s work has centered on the common scholarly
convention that ancient Judaism revolved around the Temple in Jerusalem until it
was destroyed in 70 ce, and thereafter became a religion with no geographical focus,
or, perhaps, with several. One way or
another, this thesis assumes that much of what we know about ancient
Judaism can meaningfully be organized around the destruction of the
Second Temple and understood as reflecting its existence or destruction.

2 A different scholarly view sees the evolution of rabbinic Judaism
not so much, or not only, as a result of the Temple’s destruction, but
rather as a response to the rise of Christianity.
One might ask, however, how it was that this religion and its people,
if in fact they were focused on the Temple to such an extent, were
able to overcome the incredible catastrophe of its destruction so as to
develop the concepts, attitudes, and institutions which enabled their
survival in the new and completely changed reality. It is my aim in
this paper not to argue with those views noted above, but rather to
draw scholarly attention to a somewhat neglected series of events that
I believe set the stage for that survival and for some of those post-70
developments. I am referring now to the events of 67–37 bce and their
aftermath.

A Neglected Era

Despite the enormous amount of scholarly work on the Second Temple
Period it seems to me that the period of 67–37 bce, and the dramatic
change it brought upon Judea, have been somewhat neglected in modern historical study.
The events of this period brought about the end
of the eighty-year-old independent and sovereign Judean state, established
by the Hasmoneans in the aftermath of Antiochus Epiphanes’
religious decrees and the ensuing revolt. In fact, these events resulted
in the almost complete annihilation of that prestigious priestly house.
In 63 bce the independent Hasmonean state, with its large territorial
gains, found itself suddenly under the domination of the expanding
world empire, Rome, and downgraded to a small semiautonomous
vassal state

https://www.academia.edu/2501352/Settin ... overeignty

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Paulg
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Re: Evidence Christianity started as mythicist

Post by Paulg » Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:37 am

The destruction of the Temple ended the religion of Temple Judaism with its priesthood, daily rituals and so on. Messianic expectation amongst the Jews took two forms. Some Jews thought the Messiah's mission was wholly political. Others that he had first to suffer. (Isaiah 53) The first group developed the religion of Rabbinical Judaism. The second group became Jewish-Christians. The catalyst for the split was the destruction of the Temple in AD70, when the political Messiah failed to appear to save the Jews from the Romans. The Jewish-Christians interpreted the disaster as national punishment for not recognizing the Messiah.
The previous century saw the Roman occupation which naturally raised tensions. These tensions led eventually to the War. The War led to the destruction of the Temple. The destruction of the Temple led to the founding of two new religions.

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