Was the birth story in Luke/Matthew originally referred to John the Baptist

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MrMacSon
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Re: Was the birth story in Luke/Matthew originally referred to John the Baptist

Post by MrMacSon » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:03 pm

Nasruddin wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:26 pm
... Paul would only get his information about any rivalry from those who experienced it (the early disciples of Jesus)
There's no evidence of or for this.
Last edited by MrMacSon on Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Nasruddin
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Re: Was the birth story in Luke/Matthew originally referred to John the Baptist

Post by Nasruddin » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:14 pm

Giuseppe wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:55 am
My Argument from Silence against John the Baptist in Paul is a Strong Argument from Silence if we agree with the premise:

The ambivalence of Christians (Mark, Luke, etc) with John is more expected if the earliest approach of Christians with John was an approach of strong hostility.

The problem with Nasruddin, Klewis and David Martin is that they assume that the baptism of Jesus by John was the "problem". No, I say, the baptism of Jesus by John was a late solution of the problem. We don't know (for the moment) the true problem but we know there was one. Only, not at the time of Paul.
Because otherwise Paul would have mentioned the problem, by naming John.
The problem was not the baptism. The gospel of John has no such event in it, and where does Jesus ever say "I was baptised by John"? As you say, the whole episode of Jesus meeting John is suspiscious. Jesus mentions John, and talks about his baptizing, but never suggests he himself received it. But something passed between them, for Jesus teaches his disciple the prayer that he himself was taught by John (ie The Lord's Prayer).

In the Gospel of John, John deflects attention away from questions about his authority by drawing attention to Jesus. In the Synoptic Gospels Jesus does the exact opposite by deflecting questions about his authority towards asking where John's authority came from. There is rivalry there, but an underlying tone that Jesus owed his own ministry to something John started (ie as John the precusor).

davidmartin
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Re: Was the birth story in Luke/Matthew originally referred to John the Baptist

Post by davidmartin » Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:25 pm

Yes Nasruddin and now we can see why Paul didn't mention such a rival figure!

Why would Paul mention a person who had some of the clout of Jesus and presumably to John's disciples, maybe a lot more!
The Gospels also record that John still had disciples even after Jesus's ministry! You might think John would say 'go now and follow Jesus', but not the case
Add to that, by Paul's time maybe John's group was small and only found in one area...
So Paul isn't about to mention John or anyone that might undermine what he is saying

Nasruddin
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Re: Was the birth story in Luke/Matthew originally referred to John the Baptist

Post by Nasruddin » Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:55 pm

perseusomega9 wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:42 am
Nasruddin wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:52 pm
His [Josephus'] audience would have known whether John the Baptist was real or not.


His Roman audience?
Your query is valid, and I was wrong to imply that Josephus' audience would have had the local or cultural knowledge to be able to check on what Josephus wrote. In his Preface to the Antiquities he explaind;

Now I have undertaken the present work, as thinking it will appear to all the Greeks worthy of their study:....But in process of time, as usually happens to such as undertake great things, I grew weary, and went on slowly. It being a large subject, and a difficult thing to translate our history into a foreign, and to us, unaccustomed language. However, some persons there were, who desired to know our history, and so exhorted me to go on with it: and, above all the rest Epaphroditus, a man who is a lover of all kind of learning; but is principally delighted with the knowledge of history; and this on account of his having been himself concerned in great affairs, and many turns of fortune; and having shewn a wonderful vigor of an excellent nature, and an immoveable virtuous resolution in them all.

And at the end of the final book he writes;
And I am so bold as to say; now I have so compleatly perfected the work I proposed to my self to do; that no other person, whether he were a Jew, or a foreigner, had he ever so great an inclination to it, could so accurately deliver these accounts to the Greeks as is done in these books.

Thanks for the correction.

Nasruddin
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Re: Was the birth story in Luke/Matthew originally referred to John the Baptist

Post by Nasruddin » Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:07 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:03 pm
Nasruddin wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:26 pm
... Paul would only get his information about any rivalry from those who experienced it (the early disciples of Jesus)b...
There's no evidence of or for this.
It could be possible that Paul heard nothing about the rivalry, even if other people knew. Or perhaps he believed that John and Jesus were in harmony. All we can say is there is no direct reference to John the Baptist in his existing letters.

Giuseppe
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Re: Was the birth story in Luke/Matthew originally referred to John the Baptist

Post by Giuseppe » Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:44 pm

Nasruddin wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:26 pm
John was dead, and his rivalry to Jesus and his disciples was old . Paul would only get his information about any rivalry from those who experienced it (the early disciples of Jesus), and not only was it no longer important to the faith, but Paul was in no hurry to view those apostles as a higher authority to himself. John the Baptist was just not relevant to anything Paul wanted to say.
what escapes completely both Nasruddin and David Martin is that "Mark" (author) was totally a faithful disciple of Paul. This means that:

the problems of Paul become problems of "Mark".

An example: Paul has problems with the Pillars. Accordingly, "Mark" has Jesus having problems with the Pillars.

If "Mark" shows embarrassment, ambivalence and therefore basic rivalry against John, then why did not Paul show similar signs, too?

It is not a mere question of showing knowledge of things or hiding it. If someone was a threat for Paul, then Paul mentions that threat. He does effectively so when he signals "some came from James".

If someone was a threat for Mark, then Mark mentions that threat. He does effectively so when he shows signs of rivalry against John.

If the Baptist is a threat for Mark, then the Baptist has to be a threat also for Paul, contra factum that Paul ignores totally John.

The Argument from Silence is Strong in Paul against not only a historical Jesus (per Carrier 2014) but also against John.

ADDENDA: note that this Paul's ignorance about the Baptist is further evidence of the authenticity of the epistles.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
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Re: Was the birth story in Luke/Matthew originally referred to John the Baptist

Post by Giuseppe » Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:55 pm

Giuseppe wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:38 am
They materialize the evangelical tradition, which first presented itself as a Gnostic novel of a spiritual character, and they give it as a true and well attested story. They make, for example, the mother of Christ, who represents the Judeo-Christian community, the wife of the Northern Israel: Joseph. Carpenter is a misunderstanding of nazarene.

The Hebrew word for carpenter is נַגָר, which is similar to the word for Nazarite נזיר. I think the yod zyin combination in the second word could be mistook for the gimel in the first or possibly the two words became confused by Greek speakers. The idea that Jesus was from the back woods town of Nazareth is no less absurd than the idea that he was a carpenter. Is there a connection, I don’t know, I’m not a Hebrew expert.

(source)
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Nasruddin
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Re: Was the birth story in Luke/Matthew originally referred to John the Baptist

Post by Nasruddin » Wed Jan 22, 2020 10:31 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:44 pm
Nasruddin wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:26 pm
John was dead, and his rivalry to Jesus and his disciples was old . Paul would only get his information about any rivalry from those who experienced it (the early disciples of Jesus), and not only was it no longer important to the faith, but Paul was in no hurry to view those apostles as a higher authority to himself. John the Baptist was just not relevant to anything Paul wanted to say.
what escapes completely both Nasruddin and David Martin is that "Mark" (author) was totally a faithful disciple of Paul. This means that:

the problems of Paul become problems of "Mark".

An example: Paul has problems with the Pillars. Accordingly, "Mark" has Jesus having problems with the Pillars.

If "Mark" shows embarrassment, ambivalence and therefore basic rivalry against John, then why did not Paul show similar signs, too?

It is not a mere question of showing knowledge of things or hiding it. If someone was a threat for Paul, then Paul mentions that threat. He does effectively so when he signals "some came from James".

If someone was a threat for Mark, then Mark mentions that threat. He does effectively so when he shows signs of rivalry against John.

If the Baptist is a threat for Mark, then the Baptist has to be a threat also for Paul, contra factum that Paul ignores totally John.

The Argument from Silence is Strong in Paul against not only a historical Jesus (per Carrier 2014) but also against John.

ADDENDA: note that this Paul's ignorance about the Baptist is further evidence of the authenticity of the epistles.
You don't think it possible that Mark could well have had 'problems' of his own?

But the Argument from Silence can only stand (and even then not firmly) if John the Baptist was missing from a context where he would be relevant, but isn'rt mentioned. If you can provide a passage from Paul's letters where such a context arises, then you might be able to start a valid case.

Giuseppe
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Re: Was the birth story in Luke/Matthew originally referred to John the Baptist

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Jan 22, 2020 10:59 am

Nasruddin wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 10:31 am
You don't think it possible that Mark could well have had 'problems' of his own?
Sure. It is just that the point. John the Baptist was entirely a "problem" of his own (= of "Mark"), not of Paul. To the point that Paul didn't have that problem, i.e he didn't know John the Baptist (and the anti-Christian threat connected someway with him).
But the Argument from Silence can only stand (and even then not firmly) if John the Baptist was missing from a context where he would be relevant, but isn'rt mentioned. If you can provide a passage from Paul's letters where such a context arises, then you might be able to start a valid case.
If, of all the earliest Christian writings, we had only the epistles of Paul, then we should doubt about the existence of John the Baptist (or the his connection with Jesus) for the simple fact that Paul didn't mention him.

But you are ignoring too much easily the fact that "Mark" (author) is pauline. This fact alone has a lot of implications. It says basically that Paul and "Mark" feared the same threats, shared the same enemies. That that is what has to be expected by default.

The fact that "Mark" feared John, the fact that "Mark" had to neutralize someway an enemy, a problem called John, differently from Paul, is what persuades entirely me that Paul didn't know John the Baptist.

Because, if he had known him, then Paul would have feared suddenly the threat represented by John for the his Gospel (that is the same Gospel of Mark from a theological POV).
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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MrMacSon
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Re: Was the birth story in Luke/Matthew originally referred to John the Baptist

Post by MrMacSon » Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:13 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:03 pm
Nasruddin wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:26 pm
... Paul would only get his information about any rivalry from those who experienced it (the early disciples of Jesus)
There's no evidence of or for this.
Nasruddin wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:07 pm
It could be possible that Paul heard nothing about the rivalry, even if other people knew. Or perhaps he believed that John and Jesus were in harmony. All we can say is there is no direct reference to John the Baptist in his existing letters.
My [main] point was and is that there is no evidence that Paul recounts or reflects on anything from his meeting(s) with Peter and/or James, or other 'Pillars'.

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