Aretas V

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
maryhelena
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Re: Aretas V

Post by maryhelena »

Baley wrote: Thu May 27, 2021 4:17 am Greg Doudna's hypothesis indeed seems reasonable and merits further investigation. To limit oneself a priori to the consensus interpretation is quite restrictive.
What limits one is historical evidence - something which Greg Doudna does not have for an Aretas V. The assumption that there was an Aretas V and that this assumed Aretas V is the Aretas mentioned in 2 Cor. 11.32. is unwarranted. Historical evidence is that Aretas III controlled Damascus from 85 b.c. to 72 b.c. and from 69 b.c. to 63/62 b.c.

Historical evidence: Aretas III controlled Damascus.

Aretas III (/ˈærɪtəs/;[1] Arabic: حارثة الثالث‎ Ḥārthah; Greek: Αρέτας Arétās) was king of the Nabataean kingdom from 87 to 62 BCE. Aretas ascended to the throne upon the death of his brother, Obodas I, in 87 BCE.[2] During his reign, he extended his kingdom to cover what now forms the northern area of Jordan, the south of Syria, and part of Saudi Arabia. Probably the greatest of Aretas' conquests was that of Damascus, which secured his country's place as a serious political power of its time. Nabataea reached its greatest territorial extent under Aretas' leadership.[3]

The city was taken from the loosening grip of the Seleucid Empire in 85 BCE by Aretas, who styled himself as Aretas Philhellen (Philhellen, "friend of the Greeks").[4] He ordered the mints of Damascus to produce the first silver Nabataean coins,

Nabataean rule of Damascus was interrupted in 72 BCE by a successful siege led by the Armenian king Tigranes II. Armenian rule of the city ended in 69 BCE when Tigranes' forces were pulled out to deal with a Roman attack on the Armenian capital, allowing Aretas to re-take the city.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aretas_III

History is primary. History first - then develop theories about that history, the whys and wherefores. Starting with assumptions and then having to somehow reconstruct history to fit the assumptions......that's not a method that can move forward the search for early christian origins. Indeed, imagination, intuition and insights always have a role to play in the search for new knowledge - they can suggests avenues for research - what they can't do is establish 'truth', they can't establish facts. For that it's evidence that is required. Ideas, if they are to be useful for living on terra-firma - have to connect with physical reality. And in connection with NT studies - assumptions and ideas have to connect with historical evidence.
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Baley
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Re: Aretas V

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The assumption that there was an Aretas V and that this assumed Aretas V is the Aretas mentioned in 2 Cor. 11.32. is unwarranted. Historical evidence is that Aretas III controlled Damascus from 85 b.c. to 72 b.c. and from 69 b.c. to 63/62 b.c.
Your wikipedia article proves nothing, right? There is no evidence that the Aretas mentioned in 2 Cor. 11.32 is this Aretas III at all. It's an assumption based on the timeframe that consensus interpretation favours.

Edit: To be clear, I tend to follow the consensus interpretation myself. I do think that Greg Doudna's Aretas V hypothesis is interesting, especially in the light of non-consensus dating of gospel events.
Last edited by Baley on Thu May 27, 2021 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
maryhelena
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Re: Aretas V

Post by maryhelena »

Baley wrote: Thu May 27, 2021 9:43 am
The assumption that there was an Aretas V and that this assumed Aretas V is the Aretas mentioned in 2 Cor. 11.32. is unwarranted. Historical evidence is that Aretas III controlled Damascus from 85 b.c. to 72 b.c. and from 69 b.c. to 63/62 b.c.
Your wikipedia article proves nothing, right? There is no evidence that the Aretas mentioned in 2 Cor. 11.32 is this Aretas III at all. It's an assumption based on the timeframe that consensus interpretation favours.
Wrong. Aretas III ruled Damascus. The Wikipedia article cites Nabetaeam coins that Aretas III minted in Damascus. There is no other Aretas that ruled Damascus.
The choice is between accepting historical evidence or blaming the writer of 2 Cor. as being a bad historian. Attempts to save the blushes of the 2 Cor. writer by attempting to rewrite Natabaean history by proposing that Aretas IV is the Aretas of 2 Cor.is apologetics not history. Attempting to propose an Aretas V is speculation.
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Giuseppe
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Re: Aretas V

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The possibility that an Aretas III is meant is remote beyond any possibility. Not even Alvar Ellegaard (!) advanced a Paul contemporary of the Qumranic Teacher of Justice. To my knowledge, Paul is from 1° or 2° century. Tertium non datur.

In both the cases, an Aretas III is excluded a priori.

Given that the only two reasonable candidates are Aretas IV and Aretas V, it is too much easy to realize why the latter is probably the Aretas who is meant.
maryhelena
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Re: Aretas V

Post by maryhelena »

Giuseppe wrote: Fri May 28, 2021 5:30 am The possibility that an Aretas III is meant is remote beyond any possibility. Not even Alvar Ellegaard (!) advanced a Paul contemporary of the Qumranic Teacher of Justice. To my knowledge, Paul is from 1° or 2° century. Tertium non datur.

In both the cases, an Aretas III is excluded a priori.

Given that the only two reasonable candidates are Aretas IV and Aretas V, it is too much easy to realize why the latter is probably the Aretas who is meant.


Greg Doudna on Aretas IV

Only one king Aretas is known in the first century CE and that is the Nabataean king Aretas IV, whose reign is generally dated from about 9 BCE to 40 CE. All discussions of the 2 Corinthians allusion have assumed that the reference is to Aretas IV. But there is a problem, an elephant in the room: Damascus was part of the Roman province of Syria throughout the time of Aretas IV. If 2 Corinthians 11 is set to one side, nothing in known history attests to or supports Aretas IV ever having been in control of Damascus

Aretas V = No historical evidence for Aretas V - so - speculation and an attempt to re-write Nabataean history to support an interpretation of 2 Cor. 11.32.

2 Cor 11.32
In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king guarded the city of the Damascenes...

Natabaean history:

Aretas III (/ˈærɪtəs/;[1] Arabic: حارثة الثالث‎ Ḥārthah; Greek: Αρέτας Arétās) was king of the Nabataean kingdom from 87 to 62 BCE. Aretas ascended to the throne upon the death of his brother, Obodas I, in 87 BCE.[2] During his reign, he extended his kingdom to cover what now forms the northern area of Jordan, the south of Syria, and part of Saudi Arabia. Probably the greatest of Aretas' conquests was that of Damascus, which secured his country's place as a serious political power of its time. Nabataea reached its greatest territorial extent under Aretas' leadership.[3]

The city was taken from the loosening grip of the Seleucid Empire in 85 BCE by Aretas, who styled himself as Aretas Philhellen (Philhellen, "friend of the Greeks").[4] He ordered the mints of Damascus to produce the first silver Nabataean coins,

Nabataean rule of Damascus was interrupted in 72 BCE by a successful siege led by the Armenian king Tigranes II. Armenian rule of the city ended in 69 BCE when Tigranes' forces were pulled out to deal with a Roman attack on the Armenian capital, allowing Aretas to re-take the city.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aretas_III

Aretas III ruled Damascus.
Aretas IV - no historical evidence that he ruled Damascus.
Aretas V - no historical evidence for such a Natabaean king.

Perhaps Greg Doudna would do well to re-consider what he wrote about the Josephan figure of John the baptizer.


Josephus’s John the Baptist passage of Ant. 18.117-119
is a chronologically dislocated story of the execution of Hyrcanus II by Herod the
Great.

"Is Josephus's John the Baptist Passage a Chronologically Dislocated Story of the Death of Hyrcanus II?"

https://www.academia.edu/43060817/_Is_J ... rcanus_II_

Greg has no problem with suggesting a chronological dislocated story in Josephus. Greg 's theory is that the Josephan John the baptizer figure is a dislocated story about Hyrcanus II. Hyrcanus died re Josephus around 30 b.c. (Greg suggests the date might be earlier, around 34 b.c.)

Hyrcanus was the eldest son of Alexander Jannaeus, King and High Priest, and Alexandra Salome. After the death of Alexander in 76 BCE, his widow succeeded to the rule of Judea and installed her elder son Hyrcanus as High Priest. Alexander had numerous conflicts with the Pharisees.[2] However Hyrcanus was supported by the Pharisees, especially later in his tenure.[3]

When Salome died in 67 BCE, she named Hyrcanus as her successor as ruler of Judea as well,[4] but soon he and his younger brother, Aristobulus II, dissented over the right to the throne.


''''''''''''''''''''Hyrcanus feared that Aristobulus was planning his death. Such fears were furthered by Hyrcanus' adviser, Antipater the Idumean. According to Josephus, Antipater sought to control Judea by putting the weak Hyrcanus back onto the throne. Hyrcanus took refuge with Aretas III, King of the Nabataeans, who had been bribed by Antipater into supporting Hyrcanus' cause through the promise of returning Arabian towns taken by the Hasmoneans.

The Nabataeans advanced toward Jerusalem with an army of 50,000, took the city and besieged the Temple where Aristobulus had taken refuge for several months.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyrcanus_II#Accession

As for Alexander Jannaeus - well - he lost a battle against Aretas III.

Greg is happy to suggest that the Josephan figure of John the baptizer is a dislocated story about Hyrcanus II.

There we go - back to Hyrcanus II and Alexander Jannaeus - - the chronological time frame for Aretas III.

Perhaps Greg needs to have a rethink. Seems to me he was on far better ground with the Hasmoneans than he is with Natabaean history.

So - re Greg - no John the baptizer prior to the war between Aretas IV and Herod Antipas - i.e. the story is a dislocation of Hyrcanus II.
So - no Paul in Damascus in the time of Aretas III - but Hyrcanus II was there - and earlier his father, Alexander Jannaeus.

So - both stories - the Josephan story regarding John the baptizer and the NT story regarding Paul - run right back to earlier Hasmonean history.

(and no Paul is not Hyrcanus II - nor is Paul a Herodian - Paul, like the Josephan John the baptizer figure - reflects Hasmonean history. It seems it was Hasmonean Jews that sought to make a future spiritual kingdom from the ruins of their earthly kingdom. )
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Giuseppe
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Re: Aretas V

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According to your logic, why not also Aretas II or Aretas I? Nonsense. :confusedsmiley:
maryhelena wrote: Fri May 28, 2021 7:41 am So - both stories - the Josephan story regarding John the baptizer and the NT story regarding Paul - run right back to earlier Hasmonean history.
you seem to be unable to see the difference:
  • John the Baptist can be transposed in Asmonean times precisely because he was not a Christian at all
  • Paul can't be transposed under Aretas III because his story is strictly connected with the birth of Christianity, and no historian, to my knowledge, argued that both Jesus and Paul lived under Asmonean times.
Renè Salm believes that Jesus lived under Ianneus, but he doesn't think that a Paul lived under Aretas III.
maryhelena
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Re: Aretas V

Post by maryhelena »

Giuseppe wrote: Fri May 28, 2021 9:24 am According to your logic, why not also Aretas II or Aretas I? Nonsense. :confusedsmiley:
maryhelena wrote: Fri May 28, 2021 7:41 am So - both stories - the Josephan story regarding John the baptizer and the NT story regarding Paul - run right back to earlier Hasmonean history.
you seem to be unable to see the difference:
  • John the Baptist can be transposed in Asmonean times precisely because he was not a Christian at all
  • Paul can't be transposed under Aretas III because his story is strictly connected with the birth of Christianity, and no historian, to my knowledge, argued that both Jesus and Paul lived under Asmonean times.
Renè Salm believes that Jesus lived under Ianneus, but he doesn't think that a Paul lived under Aretas III.
Aretas III ruled Damascus . The NT writer, by referencing an Aretas and Damascus, has linked the time of Aretas III with Paul. Paul being, re the NT story, fundmental to the development of Christianity. The link between Paul and Aretas and Damascus demonstrates that Christian origins has its roots in the time of Aretas III. Roots not in Nabatean history but in Hasmonean history. Josephus relates the history between the Hasmonean Kings and Aretas III.

The NT figure of Paul reflects Christian development....... a development that has its origin in the time of Aretas III. 2 Cor. II. 32 has linked together, as it were, the old and the new. Hasmonean history and the NT figure of Paul. History plus theology, history plus a new philosophical world view. Earthly Jerusalem gives way to the heavenly Jerusalem.

(not forgetting of course the Toldot Yeshu story set in the time of Alexander Jannaeus)
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Giuseppe
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Re: Aretas V

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There is no evidence at all for a Paul lived under Aretas III. Josephus mentions a Saul who resembles the Saul persecutor of Acts. Josephus mentions even a Simon Atomos who, for Detering, is a possible candidate for Simon Magus.

Josephus never mentioned a figure resembling a Paul lived under Aretas III.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Aretas V

Post by neilgodfrey »

I understand that Greg Doudna hopes to publish the case for an Aretas V from an examination of the sources in the near future.
maryhelena
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Re: Aretas V

Post by maryhelena »

Giuseppe wrote: Fri May 28, 2021 8:35 pm

Josephus never mentioned a figure resembling a Paul lived under Aretas III.
Josephus never mentioned a figure called Aretas V - so don't know where this type of argument gets you.....expect perhaps to negate your own argument re an assumed Aretas V. :popcorn:

Some years ago, on the Jesus Mysteries List (sadly now no longer functioning) this comment was made:

"The historicity of Paul is the last line of defense in the battle to save the
veracity of the Bible." Jake from JM list.

Both the gospel JC and Paul of the epistles are fictional characters. The NT is a Christian origin story. It is not a historical document dealing with the historical origins of Christianity. The NT story is, as it were, the end product. An end product years in development; an end product embellished with mythology, allegory and imagination. The twists and turns, the blood and guts of history, are woven into this final NT product. The job, for those wanting to understand the historical origins of Christianity, is to unwrap the nicely packaged NT origin story and allow history to shed light upon it's stories.

Trying to establish historicity for the NT origin story has not been done and can't be done. If one wants to uphold the NT origin story then it is much better to acknowledge errors - contextually, no Aretas ruled Damascus during the NT chronological time frame - than to attempt to rewrite history, in this case Nabataean history, in order to support a belief in the NT Christian origin story.

In a nutshell:

The NT Christian origin story places Paul in Damascus under Aretas.

Nabataean history: Aretas III is the only known Aretas that controlled Damascus.

Paul, of the NT Christian origin story, is contextually bound to it's chronological time frame. A JC time frame involving Pilate in Judaea. Thus, the NT Paul cannot have been in Damascus during the rule of Aretas III.

So - history, Nabataean history, collides with the NT Christian origin story. Nabataean history verse the NT Christian origin story. History verse allegory. Attempts to view the allegory as itself being history does, in actuality, negates the very history the allegory is attempting to reflect.

History is primary - and can allow light to fall upon the NT allegorical origin story.
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