Forget the Myth of Jesus

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Peter Kirby
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Re: Forget the Myth of Jesus

Post by Peter Kirby »

Secret Alias wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 9:32 am Basically whatever I add to my own discussion is removed. IJBOL. I am getting the message. I will stay out of that discussion. Happy to help the forum in whatever way I can.
The whole thread has moved here now.

And, thank you. Your contributions to the forum have impressed me and continue to do so.
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DCHindley
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Re: Forget the Myth of Jesus

Post by DCHindley »

If Acts preceded the Letters of Paul, why has it not been transmitted that way?

Acts is always bound with the General Letters (James, Jude, 1-2 Peter, 1-2-3 John, text group "a"), never with the Paulines ("p") unless the ms has both "a" and "p." I think I had already posted a table with the statistics of text groups (e, a, p, r) in the various mss from Trobisch & TNT (some only have one text group, some have 2 or 3 or more, but almost always organized into text groups, not all mixed where the copyist might have felt a book *should* fit in relation to the others).

Any solution will have to deal with those groups, as that is how 98% of the mss grouped their content, with maybe 3 notable exceptions, which he attributes to personal archives rather than a mss tradition.

DCH
andrewcriddle
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Re: Forget the Myth of Jesus

Post by andrewcriddle »

spin wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 4:00 am
andrewcriddle wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2024 9:13 am I think Acts helps us to understand how Jews Greeks and Romans interacted in the mid 1st century. The 2nd century was different.
andrewcriddle wrote: Tue Feb 06, 2024 11:53 am It is the right sort of interaction for the period. E.G Roman citizenship is rather rare in the Eastern mediterranean and it is binary one has it in an all or nothing way. This is true for the 1st century but not the 2nd.

EDITED TO ADD

It may be a (very early) 2nd century text but it is based on 1st century material.
Am I mistaken in thinking that this all is argument (proof) by assertion?
For the claims about the history of Roman citizenship and other issues upon which I am relying see Roman Society and Law in the NT by AN Sherwin-White.

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Re: Forget the Myth of Jesus

Post by andrewcriddle »

Secret Alias wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 6:46 am How else is it justified? Let's be real here. Andrew knows that the Marcionites EXPLICITLY said Acts is a forgery. So it's not like we have to develop a comprehensive argument that the alleged "first century characteristics" MIGHT be false. Clearly Acts claims to be a "first century" document written from within the innermost circle of the apostle Paul. This is not inferred. The document's authenticity lives or dies by its claim to be written by someone in the first century. The Marcionites - On the True Faith, Adamantius - EXPLICITLY states in the third century that this claim is fake. So whatever arguments we cobble together in the modern era is necessarily bolstered by the witness of the followers of "Marcion." That's a compelling case against authenticity. How else is the witness of the Marcionites refuted when on top of the Marcionite witness Luke 1:2 is CLEARLY an echo of Papias? There is only answer. Andrew subscribes to the "only bad people forge texts" because he's hyper-suspicious of other alleged texts that look like they come from identifiable eras. If he was open to all texts being authentic, then he'd be consistent. He's not suspicious of Acts being a forgery because he believes that the author is a good person.
Could we have the relevant citations from Adamantius about the Marcionite attitude to the Acts of the Apostles please ?
I'm not saying you are wrong but I'm unclear about just what the Marcionite position was on this point.
In particular did the Marcionites not only disagree with Acts but explicitly date it late ?

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Re: Forget the Myth of Jesus

Post by andrewcriddle »

Secret Alias wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 5:42 am Nope. I also thinks he assumes that the early Christians were incapable of manufacturing a text which deliberately imitated the "first century" characteristics he identified. Like God or the Holy Spirit would prevent such men from "making up things." That's what's really behind this silly notion. Bad people can forge documents. Good people, guided by truth, can only speak the truth. Luke seems to echo Papias's criticisms of Mark in his opening lines. But because "good people" say Luke was the ultimate authority on Paul, no point following up on the breadcrumbs that lead to a middle to late second century origin for the Lukan corpus. Trust the "good people" and you'll never go wrong. It's a first century document because "good people" tell us so.
I find dating Acts of the Apostles at around the same time as the Acts of Paul implausible.
Acts of the Apostles has real problems as an account of Paul but it is more in touch with the real Paul than is the Acts of Paul.

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Re: Forget the Myth of Jesus

Post by rgprice »

I'm quite confident that the first person parts of Acts come from an earlier source. The only real challenge I face is addressing how knowledge of this earlier source was lost. I don't think this is really too big a challenge, because it is clear that the church fathers actually knew far less about about the scriptures and the origins of Jesus worship than they claimed or believed. They are wrong about many, many things and clearly misunderstood many aspects of how the religion actually started and where the scriptures came from. However, it does seem a little odd that we don't have any indication from any source that there was an early narrative about Paul that preceded "Acts of the Apostles". It is also odd that Marcion's scriptures didn't include an Acts of the Apostle.

My contention is that what we now call the Gospel of Mark was written to be followed by Acts of the Apostle, which is why Mark ends the way it does. What came next was the story of Paul's persecutions, and then Paul being sent to Galilee (not Damascus) where Jesus revealed himself to Paul on the road where he was planning to meet Peter and the apostles.

Now, this all makes sense, but it would be comforting if there was some early witness to this narrative.

What "Luke" has done is take over Acts of the Apostle and completely turn it upside down. But he left enough of the original in tact that the nature of the original story can be obtained. The original story, of course, is about how Paul became the only true apostle, how the Jews tried to kill him, and how he was saved when he was "handed over to the Gentiles", whom he in turn ended up "saving". Paul is taken to Rome where he is ultimately freed.

This story became the model for the first Gospel, which was very similar to the Gospel of Mark. In the first Gospel Jesus is first revealed to John the Baptist similarly to how he was revealed to Paul. He then makes his way to Jerusalem, as Paul did, where he is tried and "handed over to the Gentiles", who do not physically save him, however he is ultimately "freed", whereby he in turn ends up "saving the Gentiles".
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Re: Forget the Myth of Jesus

Post by Secret Alias »

Adamantius's reference to Acts https://books.google.com/books?id=KI6Bu ... ts&f=false "We do not accept anything beyond the Gospel and the Apostle" = that codex = "the Apostolic" so https://books.google.com/books?id=KI6Bu ... 20&f=false In other words, WE understand the "Apostolikon" to be "the letters of Paul" but the Marcionites = the Gospel (of Paul) and the Apostle (letters). Important distinction. The entire collection is the Apostolikon so the "spurious apostolikon" of the orthodox includes Acts.

It can't be that the Megethius doesn't know that "Mark" and "Luke" are in his sacred canon. He must mean Acts.
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Re: Forget the Myth of Jesus

Post by rgprice »

Secret Alias wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 1:57 pm Adamantius's reference to Acts https://books.google.com/books?id=KI6Bu ... ts&f=false "We do not accept anything beyond the Gospel and the Apostle" = that codex = "the Apostolic" so https://books.google.com/books?id=KI6Bu ... 20&f=false In other words, WE understand the "Apostolikon" to be "the letters of Paul" but the Marcionites = the Gospel (of Paul) and the Apostle (letters). Important distinction. The entire collection is the Apostolikon so the "spurious apostolikon" of the orthodox includes Acts.

It can't be that the Megethius doesn't know that "Mark" and "Luke" are in his sacred canon. He must mean Acts.
Interesting. Adamantius says, "Produce your Apostolikon - even though it is much mutilated - and I will prove that Mark and Luke worked with Paul."

Is he talking about showing him passages in the Pauline letters that mention Mark and Luke? Or is he talking about showing him parts of a narrative in his Apostolikon that mention Mark and Luke?

Also, this dialogue assumes that the Mark who wrote the Gospel of Mark is the Mark who worked with Paul, not a Mark who was an associate of Peter's. This of course is correct.

Edit: Nevermind, I read further and see that he did mean the mentions of Luke and Mark in the letters.
Secret Alias
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Re: Forget the Myth of Jesus

Post by Secret Alias »

This is why this stuff is so tricky. A normative scholar is going to look at this word and that phrase and make "rules" up where the Dialogue is something like a "photograph" of an actual event. The text is tricky. On the surface the story goes like this. One side says one thing. Another side says no way. Then the orthodox say "bring me the Marcionite apostolikon" and voila the Marcionite apostolikon agrees with the orthodox text.

If this is actual history the Marcionites suffered from mental retardation. Paul's references to "Mark" and "Luke" are in their collection of letters. So why are they arguing that their apostolikon doesn't say that? They'd have brain damage not to know what's actually in the letters of Paul. On the surface then the original point of the Marcionites was - Acts portrait of Mark and Luke as disciples of Paul is spurious and "apostolikon" is the world they used in place of "New Testament." "Apostolic" = of or pertaining to the Apostle where the gospel and the letters are his handiwork.

No matter how you slice it on some level Acts has to be original reference. They had to have known that Mark and Luke appear in their canon of letters. We can't assume that our enemies are mentally retarded. There are limits for how much we can believe in what the ancient (biased) reports tell us. The judge in the Dialogue is like Aileen Canon. Now the Marcionites had a lobotomy. It''s perilously close to being worthless.
Secret Alias
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Re: Forget the Myth of Jesus

Post by Secret Alias »

"I do not believe in your false apostolic (witness)." Το σώ φάλσω ου πιστεύω αποστολικώ

There are six references to "false" - φάλσα - like this. All come from the Marcionite:

Schmid τώ σώ φάλσω ού πιστεύω αποστολικά. ­

This is not Greek. It is Latin. No one has noticed this before. The Marcionite is speaking a Latinized Greek or Latin words have been transposed into Greek. Pretty connects the discussion of "false" bishops to Irenaeus's episcopal order. This would suggest Rome is the locale of the dialogue. https://books.google.com/books?id=aAK7B ... on&f=false

At one point in the Dialogue the Marcionite speaks of "false" φάλσα gospels and Adamantius responds that they are not "forgeries" πλαστά. Lieu's footnote:

Tsutsui, Auseinandersetzung, 128, suggests that Megethius’ use of the Latin loanword ‘falsa’, where in reply Adamantius uses the normal πλαστά, ‘probably goes back to the source…The author wants in this way to make the Marcionites appear linguistically foreign’. See Tsutsui, Auseinandersetzung, 241–9. Pretty, Adamantius, 98–9, is overly influenced by Tertullian’s vocabulary when he translates the verbs: ‘corrupted … did not completely erase … remove’.
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