dating the birth stories?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
cora
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Re: dating the birth stories?

Post by cora » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:00 pm

Hello,
Hippolytus is 3rd century to begin with. He cannot know anything of Basilides (120-140) except from the book of Irenaeus. Hippolytus is also a disciple of Irenaeus. He is doing exactly what his master did: placing the gospels back in time!!! To "prove" that they were there BEFORE they were there. The policy was that they had to be placed before Marcion to make Marcion the heretic. The same goes for a certain Aristides, also around 120. They are doing the same. They did it maybe dozens of times.
Irenaeus and Hippolytus are not reliable. They have a policy. As so many others you are being fooled, deceived, in the name of the church of rome.

Apart from that: Basilides is a gnostic. This means he has his own god, god the father, the original gnostic god. He is therefore absolutely not interested in church of rome-gospels about Jahweh. Nor is he interested in virgins. In the gnostic religion there is no virgin. The gnostic religion is spiritual. You see, you have been fooled and deceived twice by Hippolytus.

I would try to study some Gnosticism if I were you. It is a separate religion with its own god. It has nothing to do with the church of rome. It came from Greece in the 4th century BC.

greetings, Cora.

Stuart
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Re: dating the birth stories?

Post by Stuart » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:19 pm

hakeem wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:04 pm

You have no evidence at all that revelations is independent of the Gospels. In any event, the Christian Canon does state their Jesus was born of a virgin in Bethlehem.

The Revelations of John is dated to the late 1st century by Christian writers.
Anger issues? Neither you nor I accept 1st century dating, so your complaint is rather disingenuous.

It's a pretty common opinion that Christianity developed from a general revelatory Christ to one of a physical one, which then had the details of life filled out. The scene here is from reading the sky, the constellations and patterns. This is a common practice in ancient religions, and astrology is one of the charges Church fathers throw at early heretics, that they practiced divination and astrology. Revelation is full of that sort of stuff, whether you are talking the four horsemen and the objects associated with them matching astrological signs to this one about a virgin birth.

This revelation birth story (sun and moon = sexual union of the gods) is definitely from the earlier revelatory stage of Christianity before it started to settle down and become text based, concrete and focused on "human" Jesus. The process of reification, with details being filled out from one writer to the next.

My suggestion is the virgin birth story followed the same trajectory as the Christ stories. Started as purely an event in the heavens to one on earth, just as Christ went from a being revealed to one who appeared on earth. That is why it is worth looking at. The virgin birth story may be much older than when it appears in Matthew.

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GakuseiDon
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Re: dating the birth stories?

Post by GakuseiDon » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:38 pm

Stuart wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:19 pm
This revelation birth story (sun and moon = sexual union of the gods) is definitely from the earlier revelatory stage of Christianity before it started to settle down and become text based, concrete and focused on "human" Jesus.
Has any version of Christianity ever focused on a human Jesus? Excepting the more secular versions within the last 500 years that tried removing the supernatural aspects, Christianity has always focused on Jesus's death and resurrection.

Stuart
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Re: dating the birth stories?

Post by Stuart » Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:38 pm

GakuseiDon wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:38 pm
Stuart wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:19 pm
This revelation birth story (sun and moon = sexual union of the gods) is definitely from the earlier revelatory stage of Christianity before it started to settle down and become text based, concrete and focused on "human" Jesus.
Has any version of Christianity ever focused on a human Jesus? Excepting the more secular versions within the last 500 years that tried removing the supernatural aspects, Christianity has always focused on Jesus's death and resurrection.
Yes the humanness of Jesus was emphasized for a couple reasons. First within the clergy to root out the gnostic opponents in order to get an agreed story, which many say Constantine demanded; that is standards in the franchise, so what is taught in Byzantium is the same as what is taught in Alexamdria, Athens and Rome. (It's McDonald's here, the menu must be the same in NYC and Wichita.)

This did not eliminate the divinity of Jesus --that is a recent phenomena of the last 250 years only-- but emphasized his human side, that suffered real pain like any man, and also real love. This shows up in the late textual additions such as Jesus' tears, a very ungodly thing to do, as gods are supposed to be aloof.

It started with the notion of physical resurrection, and of Jesus having real flesh. Apelles' teaching of a body made up of elements from the stars as he descended may well represent the first stage of moving in that direction. Once that concept was accepted, of a god who had corporeal essence, it was not a big step to say that he had a human body, not just a form like a human body, but a real one. And from that to he was was born like any other human. Once that concept is there, then you think about how that birth happened, or rather that conception. Gods before were born of gods, often in the heavens above. So at first it takes on aspects of the ancient heroes, such as found in Greek myths. An immaculate conception would be here. Some went further and said that Jesus was an ordinary man elevated to the Christ because of his piety, usually by way of adoption or possession. But this was later deemed heretical. So the brakes were put on the process just short of that last step.

That is sort of how I see the process. Organic, step by step. I don't see a great master plan, as the theology that won out is rather removed from the ones initially battling for control.

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mlinssen
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Re: dating the birth stories?

Post by mlinssen » Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:09 am

Stuart wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:38 pm
It started with the notion of physical resurrection, and of Jesus having real flesh. Apelles' teaching of a body made up of elements from the stars as he descended may well represent the first stage of moving in that direction. Once that concept was accepted, of a god who had corporeal essence, it was not a big step to say that he had a human body, not just a form like a human body, but a real one. And from that to he was was born like any other human. Once that concept is there, then you think about how that birth happened, or rather that conception. Gods before were born of gods, often in the heavens above. So at first it takes on aspects of the ancient heroes, such as found in Greek myths. An immaculate conception would be here. Some went further and said that Jesus was an ordinary man elevated to the Christ because of his piety, usually by way of adoption or possession. But this was later deemed heretical. So the brakes were put on the process just short of that last step.

That is sort of how I see the process. Organic, step by step. I don't see a great master plan, as the theology that won out is rather removed from the ones initially battling for control.
I'm even less ambitious that that.
Assuming that Mark wrote his gospel to provide Paul with a story background, all he needed to do was give him a Jesus who lived and died - that's all
And that is exactly what Mark does, and it has been discussed before that Mark seems to "have a nice ending" at 15:39 before all the women are thrown in as witnesses and tomb visitors etc

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GakuseiDon
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Re: dating the birth stories?

Post by GakuseiDon » Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:08 am

Stuart wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:38 pm
This did not eliminate the divinity of Jesus --that is a recent phenomena of the last 250 years only-- but emphasized his human side, that suffered real pain like any man, and also real love. This shows up in the late textual additions such as Jesus' tears, a very ungodly thing to do, as gods are supposed to be aloof.

It started with the notion of physical resurrection, and of Jesus having real flesh.
True. However, we may be talking at cross-purposes, and it's probably my fault. There was certainly a question around the body of Jesus as to whether it was flesh or not. But I was thinking about the focus on the details of Jesus's life. The four official Gospels had differing details about the life and the sayings, and while gospel harmonies were created in the Second Century, there didn't appear to be a lot of focus on getting a 'correct' version on Jesus's life early on. The gMatthew and gLuke writers could take gMark and rewrite things, suggesting there wasn't a lot of reverence for those details at that time. But again, I think I'm confusing things by indulging in my own obsessions so I'll stop here!

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MrMacSon
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Re: dating the birth stories?

Post by MrMacSon » Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:14 am

Stuart wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:19 pm
This revelation birth story (sun and moon = sexual union of the gods) is definitely from the earlier revelatory stage of Christianity before it started to settle down and become text based, concrete and focused on "human" Jesus. The process of reification, with details being filled out from one writer to the next.
I presume the "revelation birth story (sun and moon = sexual union of the gods)" you're referring to here^ is to Revelation 12:1-6 which you mentioned on the previous page, viz. -
Stuart wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:04 pm

I would suggest examining Revelation 12:1-6

[1] And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; [2] she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery. [3] And another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. [4] His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth; [5] she brought forth a male child, 'one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron' [Psalm 2:9], but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, [6] and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place (τόπον) prepared by God, in which to be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

This is a celestial birth, it even says so in verse 12:1. And the battle of Michael and the Dragon which follows [Rev 12:7ff] similarly reading the constellation formations.

This is independent of the gospel stories and strikes me as prior.
.

davidmartin
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Re: dating the birth stories?

Post by davidmartin » Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:28 am

Apart from that: Basilides is a gnostic. This means he has his own god, god the father, the original gnostic god. He is therefore absolutely not interested in church of rome-gospels about Jahweh. Nor is he interested in virgins. In the gnostic religion there is no virgin. The gnostic religion is spiritual. You see, you have been fooled and deceived twice by Hippolytus.
Does this might mean you're gnostic Cora? always thought that this forum couldn't be complete without at least one ;)
i spent a long time considering what 'is spiritual' and it seems it's not limited to any particular religion, it crosses all boundaries. i've enjoyed reading stuff from various traditions. it's hard to pin down. as i get older i see spirituality even in things i didn't before (not that this leads to ambivalence!) it's certainly rewarding to be so consistently surprised

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mlinssen
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Re: dating the birth stories?

Post by mlinssen » Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:29 am

cora wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:15 am
Let me go back to the actual birth stories: I see the birth story of Luke as a "normalisation" of the infancy gospel from 150, because that is rather weird. It cannot be as the church said in the middle ages: look how nice. They took the birth story of Luke and expanded it BACKWARD.
But the point is, in the infancy gospel which is playing in the year 6 because of the census, at the end everybody has to flee for the SOLDIERS OF HEROD. But there was no Herod, the romans had taken over. So Luke left that out.
But the original writer thought that there was a new king Herod in 6.

The birth story of Mathew as in Justin, if you look well, has also soldiers from king Herod, and also a king Herod in 6. Because there was no new Herod in 6, Mathew left that out, so since then everybody thinks it is about Herod the Great, king until 4 BC, which gives a 10 year difference in birth dates. But also Justin thought that there was a new king Herod in 6.

Both the originals, the infancy gospel and Justin point to a birth date in 6. Both have soldiers of a new king Herod in 6, which was not there.
I therefore wonder if there is a connection between the infancy gospel and Justin. Personally I think so, because of the similarities. That can hardly be a coincidence. Any thoughts????

Not to mention that both birth stories point to a Jesus dying at 24 years old!!!!!!!!!

I do think that the birth stories of Luke and Mathew are reworkings of the infancy gospel and of Justin Martyr. They have to be written then after 150 and after 170.

Has anybody any thoughts about that?

greetings, Cora. .
Hi Cora,

you mean the infancy gospel of James, aka the Protoevangelium of James - I didn't know that one.
I am quite shocked to read it LOL, it is exactly the missing piece in between everything.
I am afraid you are very, very, really really very very right

First, it has an introduction for the birth of Mary itself. I have skipped parts in order to get the - very elaborate - point

4. And, behold, an angel of the Lord stood by, saying: Anna, Anna, the Lord hath heard thy prayer, and thou shalt conceive, and shall bring forth; and thy seed shall be spoken of in all the world.
(...)
And, behold, two angels came, saying to her: Behold, Joachim thy husband is coming with his flocks. For an angel of the Lord went down to him, saying: Joachim, Joachim, the Lord God hath heard thy prayer Go down hence; for, behold, thy wife Anna shall conceive. And Joachim went down and called his shepherds, saying: (...)
(...)
What have I brought forth? and she said: A girl. And said Anna: My soul has been magnified this day. And she laid her down. And the days having been fulfilled, Anna was purified, and gave the breast to the child, and called her name Mary.
(...)
6. And the child grew strong day by day; and when she was six months old, her mother set her on the ground to try whether she could stand, and she walked seven steps and came into her bosom;
(...)
And she made a sanctuary in her bed-chamber, and allowed nothing common or unclean to pass through her
(...)
And Anna made a song to the Lord God, saying: I will sing a song to the Lord my God, for He hath looked upon me, and (...)
(...)
Invite the daughters of the Hebrews that are undefiled, and let them take each a lamp, and let them stand with the lamps burning, that the child may not turn back, and her heart be captivated from the temple of the Lord (Parable of the virgins?)
(...)
And Mary was in the temple of the Lord as if she were a dove that dwelt there, and she received food from the hand of an angel. And when she was twelve years old (...) And the high priest went in, taking the robe with the twelve bells into the holy of holies; and he prayed concerning her. And behold an angel of the Lord stood by him, saying unto him: Zacharias, Zacharias, go out (...)
(...)
but there was no sign in them, and Joseph took his rod last; and, behold, a dove came out of the rod, and flew upon Joseph's head. And the priest said to Joseph, Thou hast been chosen by lot to take into thy keeping the virgin of the Lord. But Joseph refused, saying (...)
(...)
And the priest said: Call to me the undefiled virgins of the family of David. And the officers went away, and sought, and found seven virgins. And the priest remembered the child Mary, that she was of the family of David, and undefiled before God (...) And the true purple and the scarlet fell to the lot of Mary, and she took them, and went away to her house. And at that time Zacharias was dumb, and Samuel was in his place until the time that Zacharias spake. And Mary took the scarlet, and span it.
(...)
And, behold, a voice saying: Hail, thou who hast received grace; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women! (...) And, behold, an angel of the Lord stood before her, saying: Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found grace before the Lord of all, and thou shalt conceive, according to His word (...) that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of the Most High. And thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.
(...)
And Mary, with great joy, went away to Elizabeth her kinswoman, and knocked at the door (...)
(...)
Whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? for, behold, that which is in me leaped and blessed thee. (...) And she remained three months with Elizabeth; and day by day she grew bigger
(...)
Joseph came back from his building, and, entering into his house, he discovered that she was big with child
(...)
And she wept bitterly, saying: I am innocent, and have known no man. And Joseph said to her: Whence then is that which is in thy womb? And she said: As the Lord my God liveth, I do not know whence it is to me.
14. And Joseph was greatly afraid, and retired from her, and considered what he should do in regard to her. And Joseph said: If I conceal her sin, I find myself fighting against the law of the Lord; and if I expose her to the sons of Israel, I am afraid lest that which is in her be from an angel, and I shall be found giving up innocent blood to the doom of death. What then shall I do with her? I will put her away from me secretly. And night came upon him; and, behold, an angel of the Lord appears to him in a dream, saying: Be not afraid for this maiden, for that which is in her is of the Holy Spirit; and she will bring forth a Son, and thou shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. And Joseph arose from sleep, and glorified the God of Israel, who had given him this grace; and he kept her.
(...)
And the priest answering, said: Has Joseph done this? Then said Annas the scribe: Send officers, and thou wilt find the virgin with child (...)
17. And there was an order from the Emperor Augustus, that all in Bethlehem of Judaea should be enrolled. And Joseph said: I shall enrol my sons, but what shall I do with this maiden? How shall I enrol her? As my wife? I am ashamed. As my daughter then? But all the sons of Israel know that she is not my daughter.
(...)
Take me down from off the ass, for that which is in me presses to come forth. And he took her down from off the ass, and said to her: Whither shall I lead thee, and cover thy disgrace? for the place is desert.
18. And he found a cave there, and led her into it; and leaving his two sons beside her, he went out to seek a widwife in the district of Bethlehem
(...)
And the midwife went forth out of the cave, and Salome met her. And she said to her: Salome, Salome, I have a strange sight to relate to thee: a virgin has brought forth (...)
(...)
And Salome put in her finger, and cried out, and said: Woe is me for mine iniquity and mine unbelief, because I have tempted the living God; and, behold, my hand is dropping off as if burned with fire
(...)
And she (SALOME!!!) bent her knees before the Lord, saying: O God of my fathers, remember that I am the seed of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob
(...)
21. And, behold, Joseph was ready to go into Judaea. And there was a great commotion in Bethlehem of Judaea, for Magi came, saying: Where is he that is born king of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and have come to worship him. And when Herod heard, he was much disturbed, and sent officers to the Magi.
(...)
And he sent for the priests, and examined them, saying: How is it written about the Christ? where is He to be born? And they said: In Bethlehem of Judaea, for so it is written. And he sent them away. And he examined the Magi, saying to them: What sign have you seen in reference to the king that has been born? And the Magi said: We have seen a star of great size shining among these stars, and obscuring their light, so that the stars did not appear; and we thus knew that a king has been born to Israel, and we have come to worship him. And Herod said: Go and seek him; and if you find him, let me know, in order that I also may go and worship him. And the Magi went out. And, behold, the star which they had seen in the east went before them until they came to the cave, and it stood over the top of the cave. And the Magi saw the infant with His mother Mary; and they brought forth from their bag gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned by the angel not to go into Judaea, they went into their own country by another road.
(...)
22. And when Herod knew that he had been mocked by the Magi, in a rage he sent murderers, saying to them: Slay the children from two years old and under. And Mary, having heard that the children were being killed, was afraid, and took the infant and swaddled Him, and put Him into an ox-stall
(...)
And after the three days, the priests consulted as to whom they should put in his place; and the lot fell upon Simeon. For it was he who had been warned by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death until he should see the Christ in the flesh
(...)
...

It is once again the typical "weird" story with many open ends. Like Thomas, it gets copied, applied, and explained: put to use. It gets tidied up and made presentable, and if we take this story and look at the ridiculous and preposterous stories in Luke and Matthew... those suddenly seem very (relatively) reasonable!

And of course, it is only natural that her virginity gets tested afterwards. Too much detail for the gospels? But this is really it, undeniably so. Utterly undeniably, and of course the dating game played by the Church must have moved this out of focus. But indeed Cora, this is the evidence that Luke and Matthew MUST be later than 150 CE, if that dating is correct, of course

It explains everything: why Justin is rambling about the Magi, the cave, the virgin blood line... while he does mention Joseph and Mary, etc.
Of course it is afterwards that Isaiah gets thrown in and the whole Immanuel thing poses a bit of an issue there. The birth of Samson leads them to have John B be born out of Elizabeth and Zacharaias, and then of course that also creates a naming issue. Jesus must be born in Bethlehem of course, so the star also moves there. It does make some sense to follow a star into a desert and find a cave, but a house in Bethelehem? Not really ROFL. Matthew applies his Scripturtions to events - this is a closed case really. Wow

It would be fantastic to do a textual criticism of the Greek, haven't found one yet but https://www.nasscal.com/e-clavis-christ ... -of-james/ seems to be a fine source to do so

I'm surprised that this is not common knowledge - there must be (lame) arguments as to why this isn't the very source to it all? Apart from the typical Churchian dating game?

rgprice
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Re: dating the birth stories?

Post by rgprice » Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:38 am

scratch this, I just read what mlinssen posted.
Last edited by rgprice on Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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