Ventriloquising the Dead

Discuss the world of the Greeks, Romans, Babylonians, and Egyptians.
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mbuckley3
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Ventriloquising the Dead

Post by mbuckley3 »

The differentiation of the words of Jesus -(between those attributed to a terrestrial figure, those attributed to a risen/heavenly figure, and those of the latter transferred to the former)- is such a basic feature of NT and patristic studies that we perhaps become anaesthetised to it. A wake-up call is provided by this example from, so to speak, the other side of the street.

Considering the tomb in Thebes of the great poet Pindar, Pausanias retails the claim that a particular hymn then still extant was a 'posthumous' work, ie not a pseudepigraph as it was still authentically 'by' Pindar :

"It is also said that on reaching old age a vision came to him in a dream. As he slept Persephone stood by him and declared that she alone of the deities had not been honoured by Pindar with a hymn, but that Pindar would compose an ode to her also when he had come to her. Pindar died at once, before ten days had passed since the dream. But there was in Thebes an old woman related by birth to Pindar who had practised singing most of his odes. By her side in a dream stood Pindar, and sang a hymn to Persephone. Immediately on waking out of her sleep she wrote down all she had heard him singing in her dream. In this song, among the epithets he applies to Hades is 'golden-reined' - a clear reference to the rape of Persephone." (9.23, LCL tr.)
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Secret Alias
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Re: Ventriloquising the Dead

Post by Secret Alias »

It's in Celsus too. I happen to have had the exclusive privilege of working with a number of ventriloquists. There is a surprising amount of work for ventriloquists out there. Here's one of them I used to know


Drove a BMW. Came from money. Had a nice house in the best neighborhood in Toronto. Did better than me.
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John T
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Re: Ventriloquising the Dead

Post by John T »

Ventriloquists can have many characters but the characters are nothing more than puppets of the ventriloquist.

Much like twitter, I wonder just how many posters on this site are make believe characters of a handful of mythicists?
Inquiring minds would like to know.
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Secret Alias
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Re: Ventriloquising the Dead

Post by Secret Alias »

I always loved the acts that captured the traditional mysticism associated with these art forms. Like Jeff McBride
mbuckley3
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Re: Ventriloquising the Dead

Post by mbuckley3 »

While the OP was about the curious assertion that a text's authenticity depended on its posthumous origin, Stephan's entertaining contributions serve as an excuse to remind readers of the classic case of actual/alleged 'ventriloquising the dead'.

John Chrysostom, Homily 40 on 1 Corinthians, (on 1 Cor.15.29) :

"Or will you that I should first mention how they who are infected with the Marcionite heresy pervert this expression? And I know indeed that I shall excite much laughter; nevertheless, even on this account most of all I will mention it that you may the more completely avoid this disease : viz., when any catechumen departs among them, having concealed the living man under the couch of the dead, they approach the corpse and talk with him, and ask him if he wishes to receive baptism; then when he makes no answer, he that is concealed underneath says in his stead that of course he should wish to be baptised; and so they baptise him instead of the departed, like men jesting upon the stage. So great power has the devil over the souls of careless sinners. Then being called to account, they allege this expression, saying that even the Apostle has said, 'They who are baptised for the dead.'" (NPNF tr.)
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