Witulski's view about Revelation

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neilgodfrey
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Re: Witulski's view about Revelation

Post by neilgodfrey »

Peter Kirby wrote: Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:38 pm
This volume – part of his Habilitationsschrift! – argues that Revelation was written very late, around 132 AD.

Witulski argues that Rev 2:12-17.18-27; 13:1-18; 17:9-14 and 21:1-8 not only allows this very late dating, but substantiates it.

According to Witulski, the two beasts of Revelation 13 are the Emperor Hadrian and the Sophist Antonius Polemon, a friend and political advisor of the Emperor. The “throne of Satan” (Rev 2:13) can just as easily be identified with Traian’s temple in Pergamum.
So, it's a book. 84 euro. Yay for unusual conclusions in obscure, practically-inaccessible German monographs.
As low as $10 US via second hand stores and maybe even free via a library probably not too far from you if you are in the U.S. (check worldcat.org)
yakovzutolmai
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Re: Christos Replaces Logos

Post by yakovzutolmai »

billd89 wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 7:31 am
Giuseppe wrote: Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:18 amthis means that the theology of redemption by sacrifical death of the Son ...is ... Jewish in essence, but born in reaction to a previous theology of the salvific Revealer.
The Christos (viz. Jesus) replaced the Logos (viz. Melchizedek) Doctrine as a hot trend in Diaspora synagogues c.55-75 AD, yes. The Saviour-Revealer was Melchizedek (for Alexandrian Jews), abstracted as "Logos" for far-flung communities purchasing Egyptian books (sermons, hymns, etc.); even in Egypt, Melchizedekianism (relic military cult; Intercessor for Jewish warriors, c.250 BC = Saviour) was on the wane 100 BC -70 AD, after which it becomes an anathema, heresy.

I want to know when/where the "Christos" myth first appears; perhaps it was Byblos (Adon Myth, radiating from a port city). I don't buy into all this Late Dating; by the time smthg is recorded in script its been in existence orally a generation or two earlier. And Alexandrian Xtian Gnosticism is far too advanced & complex c.125 AD to support 'Late Gospels': foundational material should be 2-3 generations older.
1) Is there a "Joshua" myth which precedes them all? Not eschatological or sectarian, but esoteric or theological (priestly).
2) If Christos in an innovation, then on what? Logos? Or maybe this "Joshua"?
3) What is the purpose of Christos? What is he supposed to do? A propitiation for sins? That seems inconsistent at the beginning.

I'd assume anti-John, for example:
And Christ ascended to heaven, and is the Son of Man in Heaven.
That whosoever doeth as he command should not perish, but have eternal life.
For God has seen the sin of the world, and he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever follows him should also be carried up into everlasting life.
For God sent his Son into the world to condemn the world; so that the wickedness of the world would be brought to an end.
He that believeth not on him is condemned; he that believeth but doeth not is also condemned, because he hath not followed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. And they will be destroyed with the world by the followers of light.
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
This effortless inversion is pretty consistent with Jamesian doctrine, and the spirit of zealotry. "You had better fight on our side because the battle is here and if you don't you'll go to hell."

Paul coming in and taking a hard U-turn in response to that. It would appear.

I see what you were trying to do with the Phoenician cult. I would say that all these older archetypes must be present in Judaism already, albeit forms of Judaism we no longer remember, and the source you're looking for is probably already there.

This is Bart Ehrman's big hangup (one of them). Christianity seems revolutionary and novel, but that's probably because its origins are misunderstood and more significantly, Judaism is misunderstood.

If the Melchizedekian cult comes out of the Oniade warrior colony in Egypt, then their influence on Christos doctrine is obvious. The Book of Daniel is Hasmonean, and comes after the founding of the Oniade colony. So these are separate traditions would could collide and produce something akin to Jamesian eschatology.

Again, I posit the return of the Oniads to Judea under Herod, which catalyzes the Christos cult. Marked by its violence. However, later Christianity probably invoking existing Judaic and Greek esoterica to steer the cult's forms towards a more pacifistic doctrine.
yakovzutolmai
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Re: Christos Replaces Logos

Post by yakovzutolmai »

yakovzutolmai wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 3:42 pm
The Saviour-Revealer was Melchizedek (for Alexandrian Jews), abstracted as "Logos" for far-flung communities purchasing Egyptian books (sermons, hymns, etc.); even in Egypt, Melchizedekianism (relic military cult; Intercessor for Jewish warriors, c.250 BC = Saviour) was on the wane 100 BC -70 AD, after which it becomes an anathema, heresy.
Again, I posit the return of the Oniads to Judea under Herod, which catalyzes the Christos cult. Marked by its violence. However, later Christianity probably invoking existing Judaic and Greek esoterica to steer the cult's forms towards a more pacifistic doctrine.
I'm certain this is it, and part of a larger arc where Josephus is concealing the truth.

1)The Oniade warriors had nothing to do anymore, in Egypt, after supporting Caesar.
2)Herod invites Zamaris of Babylon who has nothing but a military bodyguard to defend all the North.
3)Simon Boethus is brought into the High Priesthood (how can the Boethusians not be connected to the Oniads given the Sadducee/Boethusian dichotomy which goes back to Simeon the Just).

Therefore: the Alexandrian warriors migrate to Batanea to support Zamaris and Herod. Batanea = Beit Honniyo.

The "Melchizedek" cult, there in Batanea, the "lands around Damascus", becomes the epicenter of the zealot/Sicarii radicalism. The Christos cult. The immanent eschaton. The final battle. Fight now and win the kingdom of God, or die in hell. If you don't believe, then anyway the best you'll face is degradation, humiliation and crucifixion at the hands of the Romans.
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billd89
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Re: Dating

Post by billd89 »

yakovzutolmai wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 3:51 pmAgain, I posit the return of the Oniads to Judea under Herod, which catalyzes the Christos cult. Marked by its violence. However, later Christianity probably invoking existing Judaic and Greek esoterica to steer the cult's forms towards a more pacifistic doctrine.
1)The Oniade warriors had nothing to do anymore, in Egypt, after supporting Caesar.
2)Herod invites Zamaris of Babylon who has nothing but a military bodyguard to defend all the North.
3)Simon Boethus is brought into the High Priesthood (how can the Boethusians not be connected to the Oniads given the Sadducee/Boethusian dichotomy which goes back to Simeon the Just).

Therefore: the Alexandrian warriors migrate to Batanea to support Zamaris and Herod. Batanea = Beit Honniyo.

The "Melchizedek" cult, there in Batanea, the "lands around Damascus", becomes the epicenter of the zealot/Sicarii radicalism. The Christos cult. The immanent eschaton. The final battle. Fight now and win the kingdom of God, or die in hell. If you don't
believe, then anyway the best you'll face is degradation, humiliation and crucifixion at the hands of the Romans.
Archaeological evidence establishes (Chaldean) Jews in Elephantine for ~150yrs. They arrived as Persian mercenaries, c.525 BC (say: 1,000 men Age 20-35) and by 500 BC all are retired. By 475 BC, nearly all are deceased. Did Jewish women come along, as camp followers? Did they invite nephews or wives from their Jewish homeland, in the next generation? Yet, there's a thriving Jewish community there 410 BC: these must be adult grandchildren of the original settlers, who had intermarried with whomever was local, mixed ethnic offspring. Here is how weird syncretistic beliefs appear in isolated communities, Judaism gone wild.

Historical sources indicate the Ptolemies relied on Jewish mercenaries. These may have arrived in a steady stream from 'Israel', historically Jewish areas, even remote Diaspora communities over several hundred years, but esp. c.275-175 BC. Again: a soldier wasnt virile for more than about two decades, the Oniad warriors of 175 BC were certainly dead c.100 BC. And what evidence do we have there were "Jewish soldiers" in Egypt as late as 50 BC? The Melchizedek military cult was dying out.

All this also presupposes many father-warriors raised sons to be soldiers. Perhaps. If so, my Melchizedekian thesis looks iron-clad: Battle-God Melchizedek as a Divine Warrior-Intercessor (c.275 BC) morphed into a Logos-Saviour Cult (100-75 BC) about 3-4 generations later. These Roman Egyptianized Jews and Samarians -descendants of the mercs- venerate the same ancestral 'solar god' but theirs was a flagging faith. It disappears c.70 AD. Perhaps, some Alexandrian Melchizedekians took flight c.38 AD for Byblos and colonies of Asia Minor, where Christianity appears? There's a synthesis in Epistle to the Hebrews, it must be explained.

If Egypt's Jewish warrior colonies sought immigrant soldier-replacements over the centuries, then the indigenous Melchizedek cult should have died out before. Monotheisitic Yahwehism was ascendant after 170 BC. Even Philo's Judaism doesnt sound very orthodox to what we should expect, IF Alexandrian Jewry had followed Jerusalem's dictates. It was not so. Melchizedekianism survived, remained exquisitely Alexandrian during the first century of Roman rule. The relic cult became adaptive, and the Logos Myth was spun out from Alexandria c.125-75 BC as smthg culturally advanced.

Dating John towards the middle of the 2nd C. AD is absurd, nonsensical. The Logos Myth is much older than that, and it appears to be Alexandrian.

Melchizedekians proselytized a kind of radical, universalist & intellectual Judaism. Then those Jews disappear, c.50-75 AD. Where the Christos Myth comes from -and how it got hitched on- is the Million Dollar Question. I think it certainly pre-dates the Jesus stories, but it's also OLD.
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Re: Dating

Post by yakovzutolmai »

billd89 wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 5:22 pm All this also presupposes many father-warriors raised sons to be soldiers. Perhaps. If so, my Melchizedekian thesis looks iron-clad: Battle-God Melchizedek as a Divine Warrior-Intercessor (c.275 BC) morphed into a Logos-Saviour Cult (100-75 BC) about 3-4 generations later. These Roman Egyptianized Jews and Samarians -descendants of the mercs- venerate the same ancestral 'god', Melchizedek, but its a flagging faith. Perhaps, Alexandrian Melchizedekians took flight c.38 AD for Byblos and colonies of Asia Minor, where Christianity appears? There's a synthesis in Epistle to the Hebrews, it must be explained.
Sikh-like Egyptian Jews who haven't fully adopted Hasmonean doctrinal innovations.

There is Alexandria, then there's Leontopolis. The latter is an independent community. I think, deliberately left out of historical treatment. The hypothesis is that with Caesar's victory and Rome's accession to power in Egypt, Egypt's traditional military forces are obsolete. The Legions take over. Some theoretical or ceremonial military role for the Leontopolitans disappears.

You could even mark this as a shift in power, among Egyptian Jewry, from Leontopolis decisively to Alexandria. The former fully committed to the House of Onias, the latter split between Leontopolis, Jersualem and Greco-Roman culture. In all the persecutions of Jews in Alexandria, which Jews do the Alexandrians find fault with?

Wars I 9:3-4
Now, after Pompey was dead, Antipater changed sides, and cultivated a friendship with Caesar. And since Mithridates of Pergamus, with the forces he led against Egypt, was excluded from the avenues about Pelusium, and was forced to stay at Asealon, he persuaded the Arabians, among whom he had lived, to assist him, and came himself to him, at the head of three thousand armed men. He also encouraged the men of power in Syria to come to his assistance, as also of the inhabitants of Libanus, Ptolemy, and Jamblicus, and another Ptolemy; by which means the cities of that country came readily into this war; insomuch that Mithridates ventured now, in dependence upon the additional strength that he had gotten by Antipater, to march forward to Pelusium; and when they refused him a passage through it, he besieged the city; in the attack of which place Antipater principally signalized himself, for he brought down that part of the wall which was over against him, and leaped first of all into the city, with the men that were about him.

4. Thus was Pelusium taken. But still, as they were marching on, those Egyptian Jews that inhabited the country called the country of Onias stopped them. Then did Antipater not only persuade them not to stop them, but to afford provisions for their army; on which account even the people about Memphis would not fight against them, but of their own accord joined Mithridates. Whereupon he went round about Delta, and fought the rest of the Egyptians at a place called the Jews' Camp; nay, when he was in danger in the battle with all his right wing, Antipater wheeled about, and came along the bank of the river to him; for he had beaten those that opposed him as he led the left wing. After which success he fell upon those that pursued Mithridates, and slew a great many of them, and pursued the remainder so far that he took their camp, while he lost no more than fourscore of his own men; as Mithridates lost, during the pursuit that was made after him, about eight hundred. He was also himself saved unexpectedly, and became an unreproachable witness to Caesar of the great actions of Antipater.
Again we encounter a story by Josephus that leaves us wanting.

I am convinced Josephus either contained the story of these militants and Christians, and was redacted and interpolated in multiple rounds (along with all the rest, i.e.: Origen). Or, Josephus himself is writing history as apology for critics of the Jews. As if the so-called Sicarii are the main story, and are being pushed into the background. I also think Josephus is therefore deliberately vague on the differences among Egyptian Jewish factions.

Let's call it a hypothesis. We don't know if it's true, but a Sikh-like colony of militant Jewish cultists who exist outside of the Hasmonean novelties then moving to "beyond Jordan" by the Christian era explains a lot.

I hate to add more to this, but let's not leave anything uncovered.

I think Josephus is lying that Ptolemy Menneus killed his son Philippion. I think Philippion married Alexandra the Hasmonean and the pair fled, and they ended up as the parents of Bazeus, where Philippion is the Tiridates II usurper in Parthia, which Armenian history identifies as owing taxes to Rome through Herod.

This means that Bazeus (Zamaris) is the son of a Hasmonean princess, and Mariamne Boethus as Helena is an Oniad. Making Izates the union of Sadducee and Boethusian factions. Thus an object of interest for these Jewish-Egyptian "Sikhs".

In other words, my hypothesis is that the Jews split into Hasmonean and Egyptian factions after the revolt against Seleucia. In Batanea, among a Sikh-like band of Egyptian Jewish warriors, they identified the family of Adiabene as a reunion of the original schism and interpreted it - via Hasmonean eschatological literature - as the redemption of zion.
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billd89
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So many insights! Where to begin?

Post by billd89 »

yakovzutolmai wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 6:21 pm Sikh-like Egyptian Jews who haven't fully adopted Hasmonean doctrinal innovations.
Exactly this. But I cannot prove it.
There is Alexandria, then there's Leontopolis. The latter is an independent community. I think, deliberately left out of historical treatment. The hypothesis is that with Caesar's victory and Rome's accession to power in Egypt, Egypt's traditional military forces are obsolete. The Legions take over. Some theoretical or ceremonial military role for the Leontopolitans disappears.

You could even mark this as a shift in power, among Egyptian Jewry, from Leontopolis decisively to Alexandria. The former fully committed to the House of Onias, the latter split between Leontopolis, Jersualem and Greco-Roman culture. In all the persecutions of Jews in Alexandria, which Jews do the Alexandrians find fault with?
Also this. Leontopolis. Perhaps 100,000+ Jews live in the area, Jewish farmers with the most fertile land on earth. And what do we know about their syncretistic culture? Almost nothing.

I suspect that Leontopolis might be the homeland of the Sethian Gnostics. I havent studied the area well enough to draw any probable conclusions yet.
In other words, my hypothesis is that the Jews split into Hasmonean and Egyptian factions after the revolt against Seleucia.
Right. Jewish factionalism was rife, but both Josephus and Philo pretend it's non-existent in Egypt. The Sicarii infiltrate Alexandria 73 AD to kill their enemies: Roman-Jewish elites, anti-Zealot Jews opposed to Total War, and perhaps to eradicate the vestiges of the Melchizedek cult? The universalistic Saviour cult and Therapeutae sound too soft, liberal, pacifist.

Gnosticism explodes, thereafter.
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Re: Witulski's view about Revelation

Post by Charles Wilson »

Remember: Melchizedek => "Malachi-Zadok", a possible Political Group/Sect.
As for Revelation...

More Later,

CW
yakovzutolmai
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Re: So many insights! Where to begin?

Post by yakovzutolmai »

billd89 wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 6:59 pm Right. Jewish factionalism was rife, but both Josephus and Philo pretend it's non-existent in Egypt. The Sicarii infiltrate Alexandria 73 AD to kill their enemies: Roman-Jewish elites, anti-Zealot Jews opposed to Total War, and perhaps to eradicate the vestiges of the Melchizedek cult? The universalistic Saviour cult and Therapeutae sound too soft, liberal, pacifist.

Gnosticism explodes, thereafter.
A Roman prefect died trying to subdue Leontopolis, the next one got it done.

Also, I see the Basilidean school of Gnosticism as a direct consequence of the rebellion of Lukuas of Cyrene (I presume, the location to which these Sicarii fled).

Indulge me. I think Osroes I of Parthia was a descendent of Izates, and the Kitos War (in which Babylonian Jewry rose up against the Roman Army) was very much a continuation of the Sicarii zealotry of 65-70. Imagine the object of your messianic hopes taking control of Babylonia, Armenia and Assyria completely.

After the failure of the Kitos Revolt, there would have been a lot of soul-searching, I imagine. I identify it as a major catalyst for early second century Gnosticism and its popularity, especially Christian Gnosticism.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Christos Replaces Logos

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billd89 wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 7:31 amby the time smthg is recorded in script its been in existence orally a generation or two earlier.
What evidence or what models or what exemplars do you point to as models to justify this claim?
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Re: Christos Replaces Logos

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yakovzutolmai wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 3:42 pmI don't buy into all this Late Dating; by the time smthg is recorded in script its been in existence orally a generation or two earlier.
So the Gospel of Mark was written a generation or two after 70 CE? Between 100 and 150CE
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