billd89 wrote: ↑Tue Jan 24, 2023 7:08 pm
Leucius Charinus wrote: ↑Tue Jan 24, 2023 5:21 pm
billd89 wrote: ↑Tue Jan 24, 2023 1:33 pm
In other threads, I've shown how 'new literature' was typically responded to 60-80 years later
, not even in the same generation.
That is equivalent to trying to demonstrate that all geological and topographic land forms are the result of sedimentary deposits over long periods of time. It's clearly false. The topography of the land forms around Mt St Hellens by pyroclastic processes was altered in one day. The same applies in some cases to new literary output.
Some, or few? No: exceptions
prove the rule
. And slow accretion is the logical process seen in religious/cultural development along historical lines in Antiquity.
That is the traditional model. An alternative model was proposed by Russell Gmirkin in relation to the development of the Hebrew bible. The slow accretion modelled by the Documentary Hypothesis has a rival theory involving some sort of "Big Bang" when all the raw materials were available within an elite literary school with unlimited library resources and support provided by a ruler.
I am strongly suggesting that we temporarily put down the standard models and go back to the primary evidence. The primary evidence is a time capsule known as the NHL which was created during the imperially supported Christian revolution of the 4th century. We have to ask what actually happened between the years of 325-360 CE prior to Julian's brief rule?
The idea that Gnosticism is the product of Christianity (or even a response to it) is false.
This idea has not been tested before (AFAIK) because:
(1) PRIMARY EVIDENCE:
All the primary evidence is mid 4th century. The Gnostic apocrypha (which includes the texts in the NHL) are dated around the middle of the 4th century or later. Fragments of NHL / NTA texts in Greek from Oxy are dated early only by paleographical dating in isolation. It is not unreasonable to relax the upper bounds of these manuscripts to the 4th century. The C14 results are 4th century. The archeology becomes unambiguous in the 4th century. Imperial 4th century coinage carries the Chi Rho.
The idea that Gnosticism is the product of Constantine's Christianity (or even a response to it) is not refuted by the primary evidence. It is consistent with a timeframe where orthodox Christianity is pushed hard by Constantine and his army from 325 C. There was an immediate literary "Gnostic" reaction in Alexandria. There is a window of opportunity for Gnostic material to have been authored as a reaction to the NT Bible circulated (325 CE or earlier) by the lawful Pontifex Maximus and Emperor Constantine.
(1a) Primary Evidence and the Arian Controversy:
If the above is reasonable then Arian controversy was about the authorship of these unofficial Gnostic gospels and Other Interesting Acts of the Apostles. It's the exact same time period. Ergo the Arian controversy was over books. This fact has been buried by the church industry because it was embarrassing to have to admit that the NT Bible Story Book got bad press when it was released.
So the idea that Gnosticism is the product of Constantine's Christianity (or even a response to it) is able to explain the political nature of the Arian controversy as a literary controversy (base on books we have - the NT apocrypha) in addition to a purely rhetorical and/or philosophical controversy described in all sorts of wishy-washy ways by the 4th and 5th century FF.
2) SECONDARY EVIDENCE: Has this been fabricated
The secondary evidence is not being recognised as pseudo-historical dissembling. By this I mean the narratives of the heresiologists. These guys give us our chronological backbone to the evolution of the conflict between the heresies and the orthodoxy. They are fabricated sources IMO. How can this be tested?
Here is the classic example: the "Blessed" Saint, and now Doctor of the Church, and Bishop Irenaeus of Lyons picks up his stylus and writes:
"I have just read the Gospel of Judas"
And the paradigm says we believe the 2nd century secondary evidence provided by the Bishop of Lyons to deduce that the Gospel of Judas was extant in the 2nd century.
This is almost an example of irresponsible use of the historical method. What if Irenaeus is not a reliable historical source? As I suspect. I suspect the FF are part of the fabrication of the Christians.
I mean what are the earliest extant Greek manuscripts for Irenaeus? Irenaeus has been swaddled by the Latin church industry ever since c.380 CE. Irenaeus has been doctored.
The idea that Gnosticism could not be the product of 4th century imperial style Christianity (or even a response to it) is more or less completely dependent upon whether you accept or question the historical integrity of Irenaeus as a 2nd century literary source.
The reliability of the mainstream paradigm is based on the reliability of the secondary (heresiological) evidence. This is not being a responsible follower of the historical method. Historical reconstructions should as far as possible ===> stay with the primary evidence Luke.
Constantine is overrated generally, but wildly and absurdly exaggerated in your fervid, skewed imagination. I can't help you, frankly.
We don't know what went down in Constantine's rule. You may - in which case why do you think he is overrated? Many find it reasonable to conclude he sponsored Christianity, circulated the NT Bible, made the Bishops tax exempt, got rid of the pagan opposition "Religious Industry" and elevated the "Nicene Church industry" to the purple. At the end of his rule Christians (in lip service or otherwise) held the top positions in the army and the business sector.
The Thrice Blessed Constantine, in the wildly and absurdly exaggerated / fervid, skewed imagination of Eusebius, is compared to Moses three times.
If it were not for Constantine Christianity would have become an extinct cult.