How many Karl Kautsky are found today?

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Giuseppe
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How many Karl Kautsky are found today?

Post by Giuseppe »

It has been Bermejo-Rubio who has invited warmly me to read Karl Kautsky the first time, and only after the reading I knew the reason of this unexpected invitation:
the reading of Kautsky had to be, in the intentions of the prof, someway "therapeutic" when made by a mythicist (I use a medical expression because I feel that, as mythicist, was treated as a crazy).

The reason is that Kautsky was a Jesus historicist, and a proponent of the Seditious Jesus Hypothesis, with the important clarification:

Although Jesus usually appears as gentle and submissive, occasionally he says something of a quite different nature which suggests that whether he really existed or is only an imaginary, ideal figure, he lived as a rebel in the original tradition, one who was crucified for his unsuccessful uprising.


We may grant, if we have to, the probability that Jesus lived and was crucified, probably because of an attempted rebellion; but that is all that can be said of him. What is said about his teaching is so devoid of evidence, so contradictory and so unoriginal, such a collection of general moral commonplaces that were on everyone’s lips at that time, that no part of it can be traced back to any genuine doctrine of Jesus’.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/kautsk ... 13b.htm#s4

Do you see it? Kautsky was a historicist despite of the his recognition that the Testimonia Flaviana are total interpolations. It requires a real courage the profession of a historicist belief based only on the Gospels.

But how many Karl Kautsky can we find today? Not even Bermejo-Rubio rejects entirely Josephus. And who rejects totally Josephus, is like Chrissy Hansen, i.e. minimalist historicists, not at all proponents of the Seditious Jesus Hypothesis.
Chrissy Hansen
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Re: How many Karl Kautsky are found today?

Post by Chrissy Hansen »

"It requires a real courage the profession of a historicist belief based only on the Gospels"

Uh... since when? Until the mid-20th century most people tended to agree that the Testimonia Flaviana were interpolations, regardless of their position on Jesus' historicity.

Ken Olson thinks Jesus existed and rejects the Testimonia Flaviana. So do I (as you noted). So does Ivan Prchlik. Like quite a few people do. It isn't some great or courageous profession at all. Even if he thinks they are authentic, Ehrman still largely thinks the Testimonia Flaviana are useless. E.P. Sanders, R. T. France, etc. also considered the Testimonia Flaviana largely useless for Jesus as well, considering them interpolated beyond recovery (even if they are partially authentic).

I will also say while a minimalist myself, I am actually partial to the seditious Jesus hypothesis. But I have a soft spot for Marxist approaches in particular.
Giuseppe
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Re: How many Karl Kautsky are found today?

Post by Giuseppe »

Chrissy Hansen wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 10:10 am

Ken Olson thinks Jesus existed and rejects the Testimonia Flaviana. So do I (as you noted). So does Ivan Prchlik. Like quite a few people do. It isn't some great or courageous profession at all. Even if he thinks they are authentic, Ehrman still largely thinks the Testimonia Flaviana are useless. E.P. Sanders, R. T. France, etc. also considered the Testimonia Flaviana largely useless for Jesus as well, considering them interpolated beyond recovery (even if they are partially authentic).

I will also say while a minimalist myself, I am actually partial to the seditious Jesus hypothesis. But I have a soft spot for Marxist approaches in particular.
to my knowledge, Ken Olson doesn't think that a seditious Jesus existed (he may clarify better what are his own views). And your 'being partial to the seditious Jesus hypothesis' is not still a positive assertion à la Samuel Zinner ('Jesus was a Rebel').
I would be curious about Ivan Prchlik's view...
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Ken Olson
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Re: How many Karl Kautsky are found today?

Post by Ken Olson »

Giuseppe wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 10:23 am to my knowledge, Ken Olson doesn't think that a seditious Jesus existed (he may clarify better what are his own views). And your 'being partial to the seditious Jesus hypothesis' is not still a positive assertion à la Samuel Zinner ('Jesus was a Rebel').
I think there was more likely than not a person, whose name was probably Jesus, and who was either the founder or an early lawgiver or codifier of a particular type of Judaism that had some institutional continuity with the religion that came to be called Christianity (outside of Judea).

I also think he was probably executed by the ruling authorities in Judea. That they considered him seditious is fairly likely. Inoffensive people rarely get executed, at least not individually (mass executions are a different case). You generally have to do something that pisses off the authorities.

But there are numerous cases in history of people being executed for religious nonconformity who were not actually engaged in or advocating armed rebellion against the state. So I think Jesus may have ticked off the temple priesthood and other religious authorities (such as the Pharisees), but I don't know that he was preaching armed rebellion against Roman rule in Palestine (or against anyone else). I do think it very possible that *some* of his followers in Judea *may* have taken part in the rebellion against Rome of 66-74 CE.

Best,

Ken
Last edited by Ken Olson on Sat Feb 10, 2024 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DCHindley
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Re: How many Karl Kautsky are found today?

Post by DCHindley »

Chrissy Hansen wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 10:10 am ... I will also say while a minimalist myself, I am actually partial to the seditious Jesus hypothesis. But I have a soft spot for Marxist approaches in particular.
Yeah, I've been saying that on this forum since 2014, and probably before that on other boards. Marxists like Engels & Karl Kautsky considered all sorts of factors, such as philosophical and political events "in the air" (not meant to be scare quotes) that allowed the precipitation of Christianity from the intellectual cloud. Also, Albert Kalthof (a "Monist") also was a progressive social thinker in that same period. I think there were differences of opinion over whether the movement started in Jerusalem and than later hopped to Rome, or originated in Rome and only in the mind of imaginative Christians did it develop in Judea. I think to them it was a post war (after 73 CE) development.

Here is the first time I summarized things in 2014:
DCHindley wrote: Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:03 am
... If one were to ask me, the Marxists Engels and Kautsky, and the Monist Kalthoff, have made the best attempts at actually explaining, with plausible antecedents, how the Christian salvation-myth could have formed in the 1st century Roman empire without a human Jesus actually existing.

Not to say I agree with their explanations, just that they have done a far far better job than any modern JM proponent has. When someone gets around to re-examining those explanations, I'll get around to examining these newer ones.

"On the History of Early Christianity," by Frederick Engels, First Published in Die Neue Zeit newspaper, 1894-95, Translated into English by the Institute of Marxism-Leninism, 1957 from the newspaper. Transcribed: by director@marx.org.
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/wo ... /index.htm

The Rise of Christianity, by Albert Kalthoff, Translated by Joseph McCabe from Die Entstehung des Christentums:
Neue Bzitriige zum Christusproblem
(1904), Issued for the Nationalist Press Association, Limited, London: Watts & Co,
1907
http://www.archive.org/details/riseofch ... 00kaltrich

Foundations of Christianity, by Karl Kautsky, Translated by Henry F. Mins, Russell & Russell, New York: 1953, Based upon the 13th German ed. of Der Ursprung des Christentums: eine historische Untersuchung, Dietz: Stuttgart, 1923, first edition 1908. Transcribed by Sally Ryan for Marxist Internet Archive, who claims it is in the public domain.
http://www.marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1908/christ/

Enjoy.
DCH
Giuseppe
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Re: How many Karl Kautsky are found today?

Post by Giuseppe »

So afterall, Chrissy, I are correct in thinking that there are no proponents of the seditionist Jesus who reject also (totally) Josephus on Jesus. Hence the uniqueness of Kautsky in my eyes (not for the reasons adduced by DCHindley above).
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