What Happened?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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mlinssen
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Re: What Happened?

Post by mlinssen »

davidmartin wrote: Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:48 am So if this is so, then how could original Christianity have been Jewish when there's this lack of knowledge of Jewish scripture on display in 2nd century and arguably in the gospels and even Paul (Ben pointed out some wild stuff in his writings too)?
That could be explained if the original form was more of a mystical, spiritual movement within Judaism and wasn't really about all this detailed, learned exegesis of scripture you see attempted eg by church fathers, it just used a few psalms and scripture in a familiar, everyday fashion
A more earthy type of Jewish Christianity is pointed to here potentially quite different to what came later
It wasn't Jewish at all, very far from it.
The entire fantasy about very early Christianity being very Jewish is a counter reaction to its astonishing anti-Judean nature, both in Mark and Thomas.
People call it antisemitism but that's rubbish, there are perfectly good reasons for hating Judeans when you're Samarian. And whether you take the viewpoint that Thomas was Samarian or not, the very anti-Pharisee and anti-Judaic attitude in Thomas is clear; as well as in the canonicals for that matter although all the anger is redirected to the Pharisees alone: it is their praying, caring and giving alms that is criticised, not those practises in general (Judaism)

I know they all want to scream that early Christianity was so very Jewish, but if I look at it I only see that is so very anti-Judean
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MrMacSon
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Re: What Happened?

Post by MrMacSon »

mlinssen wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 1:07 am
the very anti-Pharisee and anti-Judaic attitude in Thomas is clear; as well as in the canonicals for that matter. although all the anger is redirected to the Pharisees alone: it is their praying, caring and giving alms that is criticised ...
.
Then what happened in Judaism - with respect to the main Jewish factions and sects - after the fall of the Temple might be relevant.

Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakai is said to have asked Vespasian to be able to go to Yavne*. He and his students are said to have founded a new religious center there. Other places of Judaic learning were founded by his students in Lod and in Bnei Brak. What others did might not be that well documented.

* ben Zaki is also said to have told Vespasian he would be emperor (something Josephus is also said to have prophesied). When Vespasian asked, ben Zaki is said to have replied, "Thus has it been passed down unto us, that the holy house will not be given into the hands of a mere commoner, but rather into the hands of a king, as it says (Isaiah 10:34): 'He shall cut down the forest thickets with an iron [instrument], and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one'."

After the Destruction of the Second Temple, and the exit of many/ most/ all of the priests from Jerusalem, the "House of Hillel" and the "House of Shammai" -- named after Hillel, a Pharisee (though died ~10-20 c.e.), and Shammai (d. ~30 c.e.), of course -- came to (continued to?) represent two distinct perspectives on Jewish law: indeed, disagreements between the two schools of thought are found throughout the Mishnah b/c discussions of those disagreements were the basis of the Mishnah.

The Mishnaic period, aka the period of the Tannaim (the teachers, rabbinic sages), lasted at least a century. This period is commonly divided up into five periods according to generations. There are approximately 120 known Tannaim: teachers, rabbinic sages. Some Tanna worked as laborers (e.g., charcoal burners, cobblers) in addition to their positions as teachers and legislators.1 They were also leaders of the people and negotiators with the Roman Empire.
  1. eg. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Hananiah (d. 131 c.e.), the seventh most frequently mentioned sage in the Mishna, was a tailor who's permanent residence was in Peki'in, a place between Yavne and Lydda.
The [Pharasaic] School of Hillel is said to have dominated and been the basis for Rabbinic Judaism (there are several notable exceptions. The Mishna provides a list of 18 matters in which the halacha was decided in favor of Beit Shammai).

The Gamaliels and Gamliels are descendants of Hillel, with the key redactor of the Mishnah, Yehudah HaNasi (aka Judah the Prince, b.135 c.e.), being a direct descendant of Hillel through them.

So, perhaps the terminus post quem for Thomas on the basis of it being anti-Pharisee could extend beyond 70 c.e.. say, to the end of the first century. Thmas could be result of someone, at least, annoyed by the dominance of the Pharisees in that early Tannaic/ Mishnaic period( ??)
davidmartin
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Re: What Happened?

Post by davidmartin »

Ben, sorry I found the writing i incorrect referred to above
It is the Dialogue of Jason and Papiscus
To me that's a strange name so i originally thought of Bel and the Dragon!

Here it is said of Genesis
"In Hebrew it is: `In the Son, God made the heaven and the earth"
Interestingly the wiki article mentions further discoveries of this lost work, wonder if they ever got published?
mlinssen wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 1:07 am It wasn't Jewish at all, very far from it.
The entire fantasy about very early Christianity being very Jewish is a counter reaction to its astonishing anti-Judean nature, both in Mark and Thomas.
People call it antisemitism but that's rubbish, there are perfectly good reasons for hating Judeans when you're Samarian. And whether you take the viewpoint that Thomas was Samarian or not, the very anti-Pharisee and anti-Judaic attitude in Thomas is clear; as well as in the canonicals for that matter although all the anger is redirected to the Pharisees alone: it is their praying, caring and giving alms that is criticised, not those practises in general (Judaism)

I know they all want to scream that early Christianity was so very Jewish, but if I look at it I only see that is so very anti-Judean
ah, OK. I do see this as a valid possibility i'm not disputing this
I definitely agree some big hunk of orthodox Jewishness was projected back on Jesus and his followers in Acts, gospels and so on, which goes all the way back to the 'Judaisers' as i see it
There is also anti-Judaic stuff in Paul (original Paul and pseudo Paul), the gospels especially John, and so on - but this is arguably not dating back to the believed time of Jesus but later. That doesn't mean it's irrelevant to the original movement's own attitudes but it's not a direct connection

I think a problem is what you stated in your last paragraph about early Christianity being 'very Jewish'
I don't know if that really means anything except a vague notion of ultra orthodox Jewish piety, but really it's meaningless
This notion is used in the NT and today as well, but what does it mean?
A lot of Jewish groups existed and many were very different from each other yet still very Jewish. It makes sense to ask 'what kind of very Jewish'
Even Samaritans would consider themselves very Jewish too (still do!)

So i can see how very early Christianity could reasonably be called Jewish without having to fit in with the preconceived notions of what that means
There's definitely a bit of a paradox in Christianity's attitude to Judaism, both for and against at the same time!
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Re: What Happened?

Post by mlinssen »

davidmartin wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 4:40 am So i can see how very early Christianity could reasonably be called Jewish without having to fit in with the preconceived notions of what that means
There's definitely a bit of a paradox in Christianity's attitude to Judaism, both for and against at the same time!
Well, you might as well call it German then, or Chinese.
If you look at the Samaritan history, and the Judean one, you see centuries of hate against one another.
Both were Jewish, unsure about whether they would be called Israelite, I'm unfamiliar with the exact definition of that over periods of time

The destruction of Mount Gerizim and its temple in 110 BC by John Hyrcanus, consequently being chased, enslaved and circumcised - the Samaritans fled as far as Egypt and almost became extinct.
Then their being denied to worship in the last remaining temple, Jerusalem, in 6 BC - that was grounds enough for the Samaritans rejecting everything Judaic including their religion.
And then the funny thing is, after 70 CE the Judeans go through the exact same ordeal!

So I see Thomas writing after 110 BC, but has to be under Roman rule given logion 100, so after 63 BCE at least.
Did his text catch on then? Did it lie on a shelf and did it get revived after 6 CE? Can't tell

But whether or not it got written then and reused later, the ruthless annihilation of everything Judaic in 70 surely was another event that called for radical rethinking on religion, as Mac describes, as well as putting blame on anything that would help rationalise the events

And John, yes, he helps establish the Samaritan background - to Jesus, but I'll take that as a tick off the box
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mlinssen
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Re: What Happened?

Post by mlinssen »

MrMacSon wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:08 am
mlinssen wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 1:07 am
the very anti-Pharisee and anti-Judaic attitude in Thomas is clear; as well as in the canonicals for that matter. although all the anger is redirected to the Pharisees alone: it is their praying, caring and giving alms that is criticised ...
.
Then what happened in Judaism - with respect to the main Jewish factions and sects - after the fall of the Temple might be relevant.

Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakai is said to have asked Vespasian to be able to go to Yavne*. He and his students are said to have founded a new religious center there. Other places of Judaic learning were founded by his students in Lod and in Bnei Brak. What others did might not be that well documented.

* ben Zaki is also said to have told Vespasian he would be emperor (something Josephus is also said to have prophesied). When Vespasian asked, ben Zaki is said to have replied, "Thus has it been passed down unto us, that the holy house will not be given into the hands of a mere commoner, but rather into the hands of a king, as it says (Isaiah 10:34): 'He shall cut down the forest thickets with an iron [instrument], and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one'."

After the Destruction of the Second Temple, and the exit of many/ most/ all of the priests from Jerusalem, the "House of Hillel" and the "House of Shammai" -- named after Hillel, a Pharisee (though died ~10-20 c.e.), and Shammai (d. ~30 c.e.), of course -- came to (continued to?) represent two distinct perspectives on Jewish law: indeed, disagreements between the two schools of thought are found throughout the Mishnah b/c discussions of those disagreements were the basis of the Mishnah.

The Mishnaic period, aka the period of the Tannaim (the teachers, rabbinic sages), lasted at least a century. This period is commonly divided up into five periods according to generations. There are approximately 120 known Tannaim: teachers, rabbinic sages. Some Tanna worked as laborers (e.g., charcoal burners, cobblers) in addition to their positions as teachers and legislators.1 They were also leaders of the people and negotiators with the Roman Empire.
  1. eg. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Hananiah (d. 131 c.e.), the seventh most frequently mentioned sage in the Mishna, was a tailor who's permanent residence was in Peki'in, a place between Yavne and Lydda.
The [Pharasaic] School of Hillel is said to have dominated and been the basis for Rabbinic Judaism (there are several notable exceptions. The Mishna provides a list of 18 matters in which the halacha was decided in favor of Beit Shammai).

The Gamaliels and Gamliels are descendants of Hillel, with the key redactor of the Mishnah, Yehudah HaNasi (aka Judah the Prince, b.135 c.e.), being a direct descendant of Hillel through them.

So, perhaps the terminus post quem for Thomas on the basis of it being anti-Pharisee could extend beyond 70 c.e.. say, to the end of the first century. Thmas could be result of someone, at least, annoyed by the dominance of the Pharisees in that early Tannaic/ Mishnaic period( ??)
Lovely history, I'll keep that!
I just responded to David, please read that as well.
I thought the Pharisees were gone after 70 CE, just about?
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Re: What Happened?

Post by Secret Alias »

What is the reliability of these sources who thought that Nero was a proselyte? That Titus died from a fly bite or who thought that Emperors spent a great deal of their time conversing with Jews? Who thought that that first century Jews 'forgot' what to do when Passover fell on a Sabbath? Really. Believing any of this is akin to using Aesop to argue for the existence of talking animals or Clement to investigate the mating habits of the phoenix bird or Clement of Alexandria for the bisexuality of hyenas. People laugh at the Trump legal team. Rabbinic history makes the Trump legal strategy appear like the gold standard of litigation. It is amazing how many participants at this forum don't realize that with ancient texts we're basically trudging at the bottom of an outhouse septic tank that hasn't been cleaned in almost two thousand years.

Only now that I have a son going through high school do I have to justify my thirty year study of these texts. I now describe it as a study in nonsense. and myself as an expert in the history of nonsense. In short - very little of what we examine in this field isn't reducible to being described as utter nonsense.
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: What Happened?

Post by Ben C. Smith »

davidmartin wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 4:40 am Ben, sorry I found the writing i incorrect referred to above
It is the Dialogue of Jason and Papiscus
Ah, yes, good show. Thanks. That text recently made my Top Ten list for texts I wish somebody would find (not counting all the lost gospels, epistles, acts, and apocalypses).
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Re: What Happened?

Post by John2 »

Come on, Ben, what do YOU think happened?
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Re: What Happened?

Post by mlinssen »

Secret Alias wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 7:42 am Only now that I have a son going through high school do I have to justify my thirty year study of these texts. I now describe it as a study in nonsense. and myself as an expert in the history of nonsense. In short - very little of what we examine in this field isn't reducible to being described as utter nonsense.
Three decades it took you to find out all of this is fiction, propaganda, fairy tales and folklore?
It's all politics, aimed at providing explanation for problems, pretty much like Kayleigh does exactly the same. She has the exact same virtues of the average gospel- and history writer of old

It's all fake news and the very little core of truth is, after a few millennia, old news

Except for Thomas of course but then again he doesn't write about or for religion
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Re: What Happened?

Post by MrMacSon »

mlinssen wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 7:38 am Lovely history, I'll keep that!
I just responded to David, please read that as well.
Cheers. Will do.
mlinssen wrote: Thu Nov 26, 2020 7:38 am I thought the Pharisees were gone after 70 CE, just about?
I think what happened within Judaism in the period after 70 CE and whether what the Jewish priests were doing and producing, eg. the Tosefta, had an influence on the gospel writers seems to have largely been overlooked. Hence that potted history and http://www.earlywritings.com/forum/view ... f=6&t=7348 (and previously a repository thread, http://www.earlywritings.com/forum/view ... f=6&t=3591)

Various identities of the early Tannaic/ Mishnaic period are said to be represented in the NT, eg. Aquila "Ponticus" of Sinope.

Some identify Simeon ben Hillel, the son of Hillel the Elder and father of Gamaliel I, with the Simeon of Luke 2 who blessed the infant Jesus.
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