Witulski's view about Revelation

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Charles Wilson
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Re: Christos Replaces Logos

Post by Charles Wilson »

neilgodfrey wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:29 pm
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
Neil --

I have Mark at no earlier than around 110. The John Fragment has been carbon dated to around 125, so, Soup-to-Nuts puts the Compositions to that 15 year period 110 - 125, more likely 115 - 120.
Does that seem realistic to you?

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perseusomega9
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Re: Witulski's view about Revelation

Post by perseusomega9 »

John fragment?
Charles Wilson
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Re: Witulski's view about Revelation

Post by Charles Wilson »

perseusomega9 wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 5:09 amJohn fragment?
The "Script" P52 Fragment.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rylands_L ... apyrus_P52

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perseusomega9
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Re: Witulski's view about Revelation

Post by perseusomega9 »

Not carbon dated
Charles Wilson
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Re: Witulski's view about Revelation

Post by Charles Wilson »

perseusomega9 wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:32 am Not carbon dated
Correct, my apologies.
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billd89
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Re: Time-frame, in Antiquity, sloooooows...

Post by billd89 »

neilgodfrey wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:14 pm
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?
neilgodfrey wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:29 pm [I wrote:]"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."

So the Gospel of Mark was written a generation or two after 70 CE? Between 100 and 150CE
No. The consensus for composition is 66-74 AD, and the basic oral teaching might be 15 years earlier. 'Within a generation' ~ 10-25 yrs.

Backtrack. For most myths, oral teaching is probably a generation or two (30-75 years) before the script begins to circulate widely. Whichever (re-copied) fragment survives -in the future!- is not likely the oldest but rather the newest or from the 'early popularity' of the work's dissemination, say +10-25 years, conservatively.

Hypothetical Model: Estimation of Time-Progression for Novel Religious Work's Dissemination in Antiquity
Teaching. Year 0.
Teaching First Written. Year 10.
Teaching becomes popular. Year 35-50.
Teaching becomes famous Gospel. Year 50-75.
Gospel becomes 'canonical'. Year 75-125.

Oldest Surviving Fragment, c. Year 65.

So a LATER well-known/much-copied novel work by an Anon. dated to 125 AD was likely 'originally composed' anywhere from 50-100 yrs earlier.
billd89 wrote: Wed May 19, 2021 6:39 amOrigen wrote Contra Celsum at the request of Ambrosius, in response to Celsus’ True Logos, an attack on Christianity. Celsus was dead by this stage, and True Logos had been composed 70 to 80 years previously. The fact that it was still in circulation may have worried Christians like Ambrosius, but there must have been a lag-time of several decades for many works to become 'popular'. In this famous case, it took nearly 3 generations!
Time slows by decades. Condensing time (to even early 20th C speeds, for example) is the mistake; imagining that everything spread overnight (the 21st C norm) is absurd, thoughtless. Look at the time-frame of four or five famous works by ancient philosophers, then add a generation or two: that's how slowly the work of an unknown preacher actually spread in Antiquity.

The 'True Doctrine' of Celsus is one example. I presume Celsus should have been reasonably 'well-known' c.200 AD - if he was famous, then time-scale for popularity {Hypotheticals, in brackets} might be condensed somewhat. By here's a time-frame from the history we have:
255 AD
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c.253 AD: Origen dies, Age c.69.
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250 AD
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248 AD: Contra Celsum, written. Origen is about 64yo. Celsus has been dead 70yrs.
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245 AD ~~~{Likely: True Doctrine well-known, 'canonical' in its authority.}~~~
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240 AD
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230 AD ~~~{Likely: True Doctrine gains popularity.}~~~
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220 AD
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210 AD
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200 AD {Likely: True Doctrine begins to spread, a generation later, by the teachings of Celsus' students.}
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190 AD
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c.184 AD: Origen born.
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c.180? AD: Celsus dies, Age c.65?
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175 AD: True Doctrine, written. Celsus is Age c.60. Celsus had extensive knowledge of the New Testament, which had been quasi-canonical for about two generations.
--





.....
c.115? AD: Celsus born.


Contra Celsum, 2.27.
"After this he says that certain (Christian) believers, like persons drunk by establishing their secondary writ from primary scripture, they even refashion the Gospel thrice, four-fold, indeed manifold, so they might deny refutations. Now I know of no others who have altered the Gospel, save the followers of Marcion {after 150 AD}, and those of Valentinus {after 135 AD}, and, I think, also those of Lucian {?? c.120 AD?} ..."

Origen is a very learned Church Father, with a vast library. He's writing historically, looking backwards in time from Celsus' day(=175 AD). But (excepting those listed) he knows of no other tampered Gospel, circulating in his own time (c.245 AD) OR the past. Also note: the "Gospel" reference is in the singular, which he means a collection (= 'the Canon'), certainly considered one whole, sacred unit in his day (c.245 AD). Since Marcion (c.145 AD), Tatian's reference (c.150 AD), and the Muratorian Canon (c.170 AD) all point likewise to well-known and familiar Gospels, such (in whatever forms) were 2-3 generations old - NOT NEW. The 'Gospel' was accepted as 'the Jesus Story' of Mark,Matthew,Luke + John = in (4) different forms. But there were also (3) counterfeit versions that Celsus would have known (thinks Origen), although O. sounds uncertain if there might be yet others from the 2nd C. AD? Curious.

What other (now-known) counterfeit 'Jesus Gospels' did Origen miss, c.50-200 AD? Isnt that telling, at least in terms of our time-frame theory?

I wonder if Origen (who speaks familiarly but vaguely of a suspiciously heretic group: "Lucian's followers") might mean the same Thomasine sect that GJhn is supposed to have disputed. That would fit Celsus' claim these early Xtian groups wrote counter-narratives against each other (viz., John against 'GThom'), in addition to often revising their own Gospels. Timewise, that implies GThom dated ~15-30yrs before GJhn (as responses went, then).
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Re: Time-frame, in Antiquity, sloooooows...

Post by yakovzutolmai »

billd89 wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 1:22 pm Backtrack. For most myths, oral teaching is probably a generation or two (30-75 years) before the script begins to circulate widely. Whichever (re-copied) fragment survives -in the future!- is not likely the oldest but rather the newest or from the 'early popularity' of the work's dissemination, say +10-25 years, conservatively.
I don't know. Oral tradition is one of these fantastical conceits of normative scholarship. I think the gospels were absolutely based on a writer and a literary/philosophical perspective and not in the slightest based on oral/historical perspective.

The gospels are literary, obviously. There's no oral tradition of history. There's no "church" in the 50-60's. Ridiculous, made up, speculative, fictional and imaginary tripe from "scholarship".
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billd89
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Just like nearly all the scholars of Gnosticism

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Late Daters: Some one thought it up at the very last minute, wrote it all down, sent it everywhere immediately. Simples!
(This is a natural bias towards the gratified instantaneous, for the Internet Generation.)

I'm absolutely convinced that popular folk-culture myth/faith absolutely never has that origin and transmission, certainly not where >90% of the population was illiterate in pre-modern times. 'The Gospels' become the familiar institutionalized, sanitized artifacts ~200-250yrs after the first oral preachings issued, percolated, spread, to slowly take root in different & far-flung communities of poor & despised Chrestiani! Logically, this 'organic' process was long, thru many stages, by fits & starts.

Ditto, the Hermetica. The writings are compiled, collated 200-250yrs later - and just a pitifully narrow selection survived the censors' fires. Survivorship bias totally warps our understanding, too. (The myopic Late Daters plague that field, also.)

If it's actually a 'purely literate thing' it must follow the same Trajectory & Timeline for other books' dissemination, 100-200 AD - no begging exceptionalism.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Time-frame, in Antiquity, sloooooows...

Post by neilgodfrey »

billd89 wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 1:22 pm
neilgodfrey wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:14 pm
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?
neilgodfrey wrote: Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:29 pm [I wrote:]"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."

So the Gospel of Mark was written a generation or two after 70 CE? Between 100 and 150CE
No. The consensus for composition is 66-74 AD, and the basic oral teaching might be 15 years earlier. 'Within a generation' ~ 10-25 yrs.

Backtrack. For most myths, oral teaching is probably a generation or two (30-75 years) before the script begins to circulate widely. Whichever (re-copied) fragment survives -in the future!- is not likely the oldest but rather the newest or from the 'early popularity' of the work's dissemination, say +10-25 years, conservatively.
My question re the date of the Gospel of Mark was intended to point out that your claim about some apparent standard of there being 2 to 3 gens of orality before a text makes its appearance actually puts the gospel of Mark very late. The "consensus" date -- to fudge the actual meaning of "consensus" to meet ideological interests -- is actually founded upon the need to support the conventional model of Christian origins: the date is agreed upon to allow for that gospel to serve as the kind of evidence that is sorely needed to support that conventional model.

I was looking for some method that might apply to different types of texts that could justify the 2 or 3 generation claim. It sounds like an assumption especially tailored to fit conventional biblical studies.
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Re: Just like nearly all the scholars of Gnosticism

Post by yakovzutolmai »

billd89 wrote: Wed Sep 22, 2021 10:05 pm Late Daters: Some one thought it up at the very last minute, wrote it all down, sent it everywhere immediately. Simples!
(This is a natural bias towards the gratified instantaneous, for the Internet Generation.)
We also have the bias of 20/20 hindsight. We encounter this information having already witnessed the result of history, the evolution toward catholicism.

A late set of documents can invoke long-extant tropes and beliefs, but fundamentally change how they're interpreted. We're fooled into giving too much weight to the late interpretation, because we can't remember the period which preceded it.

Catholic tropes could have been fundamentally different from what preceded them by implication and substance, without being radically different in form or superficial presentation.

Also, Christian scholarship ignores the East.
Imagine three evolutions of though:
1) Mythicist
2) Mythicist -> expectation
3) Mythicist -> expectation -> historical realization

There are countless mythicist sects. The Dead Sea Scrolls provide evidence of an expectation sect. Finally, our understanding of early Christianity includes evidence of a realization sect. We see Eastern sects continue in the tradition of prophetic realization: Simon Magus, Elchasai, John the Baptist.

Meanwhile, in the West, Christ is always at a distance. He's there when Simon of Cyrene is crucified, but invisible. Or, he revealed himself to his disciples but then left. There's a downplaying of historicity.
1) historical realization (tropes) -> allegory -> mythicist viewpoint
2) historical realization (substance) -> discarded

The West is trying to reassert the mythicist tradition, in spite of the popularity of realization sects.

The oral tradition which arrives in the doctrines of catholic Christianity didn't necessarily evolve from the historical tropes, and so certainly these tropes can be layered on at a late date without invalidating the spiritual/philosophical tradition.

Again, I really don't see any catholic writers emerge until the late 2d and then it explodes. Whatever the oral tradition was, it couldn't have been exactly catholic. Which supports a late dating model for catholic literature.

And finally, one also has to consider the Roman-Parthian border as a source of intermittent catalysis. Ideas within the Pax Romana will evolve and equilibrate faster and in a divergent direction from the progress in the East. Meaning that each side will periodically induce major and rapid evolutionary change in the other. This dynamic is perfectly visible. This means you can have a strain of tradition with a steady evolution, but which is periodically influenced by alien, parallel ideas, forcing major changes in a short period of time (that is to say, you can't merely study the evolution within a school in order to understand where its tropes come from because those tropes could come from the outside).

We even see that, suddenly, Abgar of Edessa brings catholicized Christianity to the East, from which point the gospel Jesus remains a consistent influence even among bizarre pseudo-Christian sects. The narrative of Jesus of Nazareth persisted. Edessa converts, apparently otherwise full of Marcionites, ca. 200. So the "conventional" narrative of Christian history shows abundant evidence of spreading for the first time, in the East, during the same period in which we begin to see actual evidence of writers and churches in the West.

For all these texts to have been circulating for a century beforehand, but then suddenly cohere around 200 makes little sense.
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