Is Paul Described as Having a 'Stopover' in Rome?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
mbuckley3
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Re: Is Paul Described as Having a 'Stopover' in Rome?

Post by mbuckley3 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:08 pm

Stephan, Stephan, I was merely pointing to literary dependency, not making any claims for the historical accuracy of the farrago that is the (C2) Acts of the Apostles. A priori, it should have no more privilege than, say, the Acta Pauli. Indeed, you could argue that a more plausible reconstruction could be made from the latter.

My excursus on the Acts of Peter was a gentle caveat : the Actus Vercellenses is not necessarily an accurate version of a C2 text. But as our mentor Morton Smith pointed out, late sources can preserve early materials, early sources can be fantasists : it was a companion of Alexander who told the tale of the king's meeting with the queen of the Amazons...

Anyway, back to your original point : 'demorantis', and a way to preserve 'was delaying ' as its meaning. In ch. 1-3 it is implied that Paul will indeed continue to Spain, before returning to death in Rome. Normally, this is taken as an invention deriving from Romans 15.28, "I will go on by way of you to Spain" . But as you well know, ch.15-16 were not in the original published text, i.e. Marcion's, and appear unknown also to Tertullian (s.v. Ben's thread of 17 Sept 2015). So it is perhaps more likely that the pseudonymous 15.28 derives from an existing account of Paul's mission to Spain, such as the (lost) 'Acts of Paul ' from which ch.1-3 have been excerpted. In this narrative arc, jail in Rome is just a delay. While I would maintain that the situation is lifted from the Acts of the Apostles, there is no necessity also to import the two year timeline : it could have been a quick jailbreak, hell, even a 'stopover '...

Stuart
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Re: Is Paul Described as Having a 'Stopover' in Rome?

Post by Stuart » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:24 pm

The whole story is late. The Paul legend is almost certainly confined to what today is Turkey and Greece. Romans chapter 16 is a very late addition, and even claims itself to have been written by one Tertius and addressed to one Phoebe, and mostly consists of greetings to a mixture of legendary Christian characters, plus some families (their patriarchs or matriarchs) likely with bishopric claims the author is endorsing by their name dropping inclusion along side legendary patron saints. That the ending doxology is sometimes found after chapter 14 or 15 instead indicates that it is likely a tack on. (Other indications such as vocabulary also suggest a secondary addition.)

The purpose of the mention is twofold, to support Acts of the Apostles journey, and likely to support some churches in the Iberian Peninsula claiming Paul as their patron saint by presenting a plausible link, so they can claim antiquity.

There were all sorts of apocryphal acts circulating by the latter half of the 2nd century and 3rd century. (I don't push the NT writings into the 3rd century, mid and late 2nd is late enough to explain their content.) Different factions claimed different stories. And the stories grew. Initially the placement in Palestine would be for the Greek mainland (i.e., Turkey and Greece) legendary saints to have authority from the source (i.e., Jerusalem). Most likely these derived from the disciples of theses legendary saints. Prison myths likely started with the concept of being a slave or prisoner in chains to God/Christ, which then became concrete prisoners of the Romans, and for the biggest legends in Rome itself.

I think we are better off looking at these as abstracts, as fanciful tales in the same sense as the temptations of saint Anthony in the desert. (The parallels to tales of the Buddhist monk Xuanzang are striking; and yet it's clear the stories are completely independent of each other, no influence, just common human motifs.) The greater the saint the greater the deeds and the greater the travels which were associated with them.

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Secret Alias
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Re: Is Paul Described as Having a 'Stopover' in Rome?

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:26 pm

The Vercelli Acts are dated to 200 CE. So early.

Stuart
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Re: Is Paul Described as Having a 'Stopover' in Rome?

Post by Stuart » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:45 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:26 pm
The Vercelli Acts are dated to 200 CE. So early.
Early 3rd century. If accurate and not ambitiously dated with the early end of the dating range, as is the case with most New Testament reported dates. (That is there is usually a date range, such a P75 could be 175 CE to 350 CE, but is commonly reported as 175 CE as if no range existed.)

Paul is supposed to be a mid-1st century character. So even an early date is roughly the same distance as we are from the Civil War.

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Re: Is Paul Described as Having a 'Stopover' in Rome?

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:57 pm

Ok. I have limited time for these idiotic word games you play.

Subset 1 = all the texts ever created in Christian antiquity
Subset 2 = all the texts from Christian antiquity which have survived

Only a complete moron things that Subset 2 is the same thing as Subset 1. You have a tendency to have this absurd position for reasons I don't understand but I am not a trained psychologist and am not qualified to make psychological judgements. No reasonable person thinks that we are in possession of 'all of the gospels' or 'all of the texts of the Acts of Peter.' Indeed you readily accept a reconstruction of the Marcionite gospel from 'echoes in Patristic literature.' So why do bother making stupid arguments or statements like this? That 'the texts that survive' somehow represent 'all the texts ever created.' Scholars say that the Vercelli Acts go back to 200 CE based on echoes of the text in writers like Irenaeus and Tertullian etc from what I remember. To think that any trained scholar who attribute the origins of text based on the surviving fragments alone is too idiotic to believe even for a minute.

It reminds me of the people who think that Josephus's account of the Jewish War = a minute by minute account - a transcript - of the events of the war. What makes people so stupid?

Stuart
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Re: Is Paul Described as Having a 'Stopover' in Rome?

Post by Stuart » Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:37 pm

I think you put way too much weight in legends, and assume they have real life events behind them. So I tease you on this weak point.

You also constantly overstate what I say. The point is the legends of Paul and other patron saints lives are at best barely connected to any real person. They are stories which often occur at a much later date, when they have heightened popularity. Apocryphal acts of Paul, including those used by the Acts of the Apostles appear to come from the later half of the 2nd century when he was becoming quite famous, and the appetite for the stories of his life were most in demand. Vercelli Acts would definitely fits that time frame. So too likely chapter 16 of Romans. Tertullian dates from Septimus Severus (and I agree with you the version we have is a later editor's edition), and Irenaeus and Clement likely date from the first half of the 3rd century as well, the former being more a compendium of writers with an later editor weaving them together -- not that dissimilar to some of the Pauline letters as we have them.

But the Vercelli Acts are still a full century and a half after the supposed person Paul had already lived and died. They are part of filling that now growing and significant in size Christian audience that wants to know it's ancient heroes and patron saints lives - the ones whose relics they come to get cured by touching and leaving some money for the curators of the site or church where they are held.

This is where we part on analysis. I always ask, what is the source, why did it come about? You don't ask that question, and instead look for the "kernel of truth" in the biblical equivalent of tales from the brothers Grimm.

As for scholar's dating, with all due respect, they may be fine in relative dependency dating (though they do get that wrong at times), but they are locked down in a series of interconnected dates where many of the piers to which such dates are moored have been decisively broken. The entire dating of material before the 5th century is probably off as much as a century in some cases. Often those dates are based on the apocryphal pseudo autobiographical material, or the legendary pseudo biographical material Eusubius gives. Again this material is in the same business as the Apocryphal Acts, to fill in the back stories of Christian heroes. These tales may well be told in good faith, but we can say the same of those about William Tell.

Back to your question, not asking these source questions is what makes you stupid.

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Secret Alias
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Re: Is Paul Described as Having a 'Stopover' in Rome?

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:13 am

And Marcion, the figure you devote all your time here promoting, is not a legend? How do you explain the following:

1. those who say Marcion was apostolic - Clement of Alexandria, Marutha
2. those who say Marcion came to Rome c. 147 CE - Justin Martyr
3. those who say Marcion came to Rome c. 161 - 169 CE - Irenaeus

I would even argue that there are two different dates for Anicetus in (2) Hegeppius and (3) Irenaeus.

How can a historical figure have a range of dates like this - over a century? Answer: all our information from early Christianity is bad. There is no way that one can shame someone for using legendary material. All surviving accounts of early Christians are legendary and pseudepigraphal.

mbuckley3
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Re: Is Paul Described as Having a 'Stopover' in Rome?

Post by mbuckley3 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:42 am

Stephan, I really don't want to interrupt your broadsides against Stuart, but I'm curious. As to this particular example, a Marcion of the apostolic age, you solved this with your (rather brilliant) reading of Justin 1Apol.26 ('Justin's First Reference to Marcion' - 27 Dec 2019). It explains how Marcion and/or Marcionites could claim he was a mid-C1 figure yet 'still teaching' in the mid-C2, and I would hope that you still stand by that interpretation...

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Secret Alias
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Re: Is Paul Described as Having a 'Stopover' in Rome?

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:12 pm

I love hearing the word brilliant associated with my name but it's not true. I just allow thoughts to come into my brain with little in the way of a filter. The downside is I lack a filter.

If you want to hear my thoughts on this (they are wilder than merely taking Justin's word on matters). I can publish the preliminaries of a paper I have been working on. As always I attempt to bypass the original problem (who is Marcion?) with another question which leads me to Marcus Granius Marcellus as my answer.

The short answer is, I am sympathetic to Chapman's idea of a corruption of Hegesippus to explain some of the Marcion anomalies. I think Hegesippus put Marcellina's visit at 147 CE or there abouts influencing the statement in Justin. If Marcion was Marcus Granius Marcellus proconsul of Bithynia and Pontus (and uncle perhaps to Pliny the Elder and grand uncle to the author of one of the earliest reports on Christians) Clement and Marutha are right.

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Secret Alias
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Re: Is Paul Described as Having a 'Stopover' in Rome?

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:17 pm

But I might be wrong ... Just getting to the point I have to come up with AN ANSWER as I am getting on in years.

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