Aretas V

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Giuseppe
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Re: Aretas V

Post by Giuseppe »

If this Aretas was not a king, an interesting question is: was he not a king for the Romans?

If Paul escaped his ethnarc, surely it was for pro-Zealot sympathies of Aretas, given the known anti-Zealot tendances of Paul.
maryhelena
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Re: Aretas V

Post by maryhelena »

Giuseppe wrote: Fri Mar 12, 2021 1:51 am If this Aretas was not a king, an interesting question is: was he not a king for the Romans?

If Paul escaped his ethnarc, surely it was for pro-Zealot sympathies of Aretas, given the known anti-Zealot tendances of Paul.
The NT Paul is not a historical figure......read Thomas Brodie ch.16

Thomas Brodie: Beyond the Quest for the Historical Jesus.

PAUL: THE PENNY FINALLY DROPS

Historicized fiction.

A mass of data had suddenly fallen into place.
What hit me was that the entire narrative regarding Paul, everything the
thirteen epistles say about him or imply-about his life, his work and travels,
his character, his sending and receiving of letters, his readers and his
relationship to them-all of that was historicized fiction. It was fiction,
meaning that the figure of Paul was a work of imagination, but this figure had
been historicized-presented in a way that made it look like history, history like, 'fiction made to resemble the uncertainties of life in history' (Alter
1981 : 27)
......

So - and this reality took time to sink in - the figure of Paul joined the
ranks of so many other figures from the older part of the Bible, figures who,
despite the historical details surrounding them, were literary, figures of the
imagination.


2 Cor. 11.32,33. In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas guarded the city of Damascus in order to seize me, 33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands.

1. No historical Paul.
2. Account in 2 Cor. 11.21,33 is not, therefore, historical.
3. Aretas III lost control of Damascus, to Rome, around 64/63 b.c.
4. The story of Paul and the basket over the wall of Damascus indicates an illusion to Joshua and the escape of the spies over the walls of Jericho.
5. As Joshua led the way to the Promised Land.....so, 'Paul', as a latter day Joshua, would lead the way to a new spiritual Jerusalem.
6. Jerusalem, in 63 b.c. fell to the Roman Pompey.
7. That year became a significate year in Hasmonean/Jewish history.

''However, when seen subjectively, through the
eyes of Judeans who had just enjoyed eighty years of independence,
the events of 63 bce were probably perceived as not much less than a
complete loss of independence.''

SETTING THE STAGE: THE EFFECTS OF THE ROMAN
CONQUEST AND THE LOSS OF SOVEREIGNTY1
Nadav Sharon
https://www.academia.edu/2501352/Settin ... overeignty

Hasmonean history is the backbone to the NT allegory of early christian history. It is a history of a loss of sovereignty that opened up the prospect of developing a new spiritual kingdom. An intellectual kingdom of neither Jew nor Greek.
Last edited by maryhelena on Thu Apr 29, 2021 3:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Giuseppe
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Re: Aretas V

Post by Giuseppe »

maryhelena wrote: Fri Mar 12, 2021 3:37 am
The NT Paul is not a historical figure
That case, or Paul was the Saul mentioned in Josephus, an Herodian gangster involved in diplomatic activities with the Zealot leaders.

Under this reading, the visit of Paul to Jerusalem happened when Jerusalem was already under siege in 70 CE, and the 3 'Pillars', i.e. John of Gischala, James (son of Sapphat hence carnal brother of Jesus ben Sapphat) and Simon bar Giora rejected the proposals of unconditional surrender advanced by Paul/Saul.

After that failed diplomatic event, Saul realized that he could preach only among the gentiles.

But when Simon bar Giora was lead as prisoner in Antioch, Paul faced him publicly, in presence of the Roman emperor.

Only Barnabas, i.e. Josephus himself, remained a faithful Jew.
maryhelena
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Re: Aretas V

Post by maryhelena »

Giuseppe wrote: Fri Mar 12, 2021 4:46 am
maryhelena wrote: Fri Mar 12, 2021 3:37 am
The NT Paul is not a historical figure
That case, or Paul was the Saul mentioned in Josephus, an Herodian gangster involved in diplomatic activities with the Zealot leaders.

Under this reading, the visit of Paul to Jerusalem happened when Jerusalem was already under siege in 70 CE, and the 3 'Pillars', i.e. John of Gischala, James (son of Sapphat hence carnal brother of Jesus ben Sapphat) and Simon bar Giora rejected the proposals of unconditional surrender advanced by Paul/Saul.

After that failed diplomatic event, Saul realized that he could preach only among the gentiles.

But when Simon bar Giora was lead as prisoner in Antioch, Paul faced him publicly, in presence of the Roman emperor.

Only Barnabas, i.e. Josephus himself, remained a faithful Jew.
Here is a suggestion - Josephus, in writing his account of the war of 70 c.e. has utilized aspects of the siege of Jerusalem in both 63 b.c. and 37 b.c. History, they say, repeats itself......just a thought - ;)
maryhelena
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Re: Aretas V

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So.....Greg Doudna is going ahead with his theory that there was an Aretas V around 69/70 c.e. An Aretas V that had some connection with Damascus. ''69-70 was a time when Nabataean forces were actively allied with and provided military units under the direct control of Vespasian and Titus. In that context Roman control of Damascus could have involved Nabataean forces under Roman command...''

As readers of this forum will know the issue of Aretas and Damascus has often been debated (FRDB also had threads on this issue). Methinks Greg has a big hill to climb in his attempt to support the Jesus b. Sapphat theory about being the Jesus of the gospel story. I really can't see that an Aretas V is going to be any help in climbing that hill.

Incidentally I am presenting a paper to the regional Pacific Northwest Society of Biblical Literature, May 21-23, 2021, in the History of Christianity and North American Religions Unit, titled, “Does ‘Aretas’ of 2 Cor 11:32-33 allude to an Aretas V of 69-70 CE?” The abstract:

“A longstanding puzzle has been understanding a reference to a Nabataean ‘governor under king Aretas’ in control of the walls of Damascus at 2 Cor 11:32-33. ‘Aretas’ is universally identified as Aretas IV (ca. 9 bce-39 ce), but the problem is Aretas IV is not known to have controlled Damascus. Several solutions have been offered to reconcile 2 Cor 11:32-33 with known history, all starting from the premise that ‘Aretas’ is Aretas IV. This paper will make the case for a possibility not previously considered: that the reference may be to a previously-unrecognized Aretas V of 69-70 ce.

“A short-lived Aretas V of 69-70 ce is chronologically viable following the death of Malichus II some time in Malichus’s regnal Year 31 of 69-70 (Nisan to Nisan), yet before the beginning of the reign of Rabbel II some time in Rabbel’s Year 1 of 70-71 (Nisan to Nisan). 69-70 was a time when Nabataean forces were actively allied with and provided military units under the direct control of Vespasian and Titus. In that context Roman control of Damascus could have involved Nabataean forces under Roman command such that Paul’s claim to have escaped a commander under king Aretas controlling the walls of Damascus could be other language or circumlocution for Roman control of Damascus in 69-70, in a way that was not the case with Aretas IV. This in turn suggests new possibilities for the relative and absolute datings alluded to in Galatians 1-2.”
https://vridar.org/2021/04/17/paul-is-j ... ent-143408

Aretas III lost control of Damascus to the Roman general Pompey around 64/63 b.c. That's history - and it is that history that has to be considered in connection with the NT story regarding Paul in Damascus and escaping over the wall in a basket. ( echoes, illusions, of the OT story of Joshua's spies escaping over the wall of Jericho...enough, surely, to begin to question the historicity of the Paul story re Aretas and Damascus during the consensus Paul time frame...).

Greg Doudna wants to move the Paul in Damascus story to 69/70 c.e. Yet to do that one looses the link to Hasmonean history that the Paul story is indicating. (63 b.c. being the year in which Jewish sovereignty was lost to the Romans when Pompey entered the Holy of Holies of the Jerusalem temple.)

Aretas III lost control of Damascus around 64/63 b.c. Jewish control, sovereignty, of Judea was lost in 63 b.c.
Lysanisa controled Abilene in 40 b.c. Antigonus controled Jerusalem from 40 b.c.

In other words - both the Lukan and the Pauline writers were using foreign rulers as, as it were, placemarkers, for Hasmonean history.

Jesus historicists go looking for a second Lysanias to save the GLuke writer from an assumed error. Greg Doudna is following suit with his attempt to find another Aretas to save the Pauline writer from an assumed error.

(And no - Paul was not in Damascus in 63 b.c. Paul is, like JC, a literary creation. What the dates 63 b.c. and 40 b.c. indicate is that the NT writers had an interest in Hasmonean history - and that that history had a relevance to the story, to the political allegory, they were creating.)
Last edited by maryhelena on Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
Charles Wilson
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Re: Aretas V

Post by Charles Wilson »

Hmmm...

2 Corinthians 11: 31 - 33 (RSV):

[31] The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed for ever, knows that I do not lie.
[32] At Damascus, the governor under King Ar'etas guarded the city of Damascus in order to seize me,
[33] but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped his hands.

Let's see...I believe "Paul" is based on the Historical Character "Mucianus". Half of Acts is about this Procurator of Syria. He is in love with Titus and pushes Vespasian to march on - and starve out if necessary - Rome. Mucianus has no children and, even though he has Imperial Power in his hands, he gives it all away to Vespasian, on Vespasian's arrival at the gates of Rome. Now what was it that was so special about Mucianus in the eyes of Vespasian?

Oh, yeah!:

Suetonius, 12 Caesars, "Vespasian":

"He [Vespasian] bore the frank language of his friends, the quips of pleaders, and the impudence of the philosophers with the greatest patience. Though Licinius Mucianus,​ a man of notorious unchastity, presumed upon his services to treat Vespasian with scant respect, he never had the heart to criticize him except privately and then only to the extent of adding to a complaint made to a common friend, the significant words:
"I at least am a man..."

So - someone help me here - what could the 2 Corinthians Passage above POSSIBLY mean? I mean, I get close to seeing something and then...
What could "...let down in a basket through a window in the wall..." refer to?

Any ideas?!??

CW
maryhelena
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Re: Aretas V

Post by maryhelena »

Aretas III, Paul and Damascus - reflections of Joshua and Jericho.



Joshua chapter 1 and 2.

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites.
--
Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.

The king of Jericho was told, “Look, some of the Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land.” So the king of Jericho sent this message to Rahab: “Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land.”

But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. She said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, they left. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.” (But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.) So the men set out in pursuit of the spies on the road that leads to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as the pursuers had gone out, the gate was shut.

Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea[a] for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.

Lord that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them—and that you will save us from death.”
“Our lives for your lives!” the men assured her. “If you don’t tell what we are doing, we will treat you kindly and faithfully when the Lord gives us the land.”

So she let them down by a rope through the window, for the house she lived in was part of the city wall. She said to them, “Go to the hills so the pursuers will not find you. Hide yourselves there three days until they return, and then go on your way.”


Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel:.
Acts. 9.15

And when many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel together to kill him: but their plot became known to Saul. And they watched the gates also day and night that they might kill him: but his disciples took him by night, and let him down through the wall, lowering him in a basket. Acts. 9. 23.24.25.

The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed for evermore knoweth that I lie not. In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king guarded the city of the Damascenes in order to take me: and through a window was I let down in a basket by the wall, and escaped his hands. 2 Cor. 11. 31- 33

Both Joshua and Paul take up their roles after the death of a forerunner. i.e. Moses and Jesus.
Jericho was the start of Joshua's campaign to secure the Promised Land. Damascus was the start of Paul's campaign to the Gentiles, the foreigners, to bring them into the spiritual Promised Land.

Aretas III, Paul and Damascus in 64/63 b.c. ? Perhaps, from a later perspective, the tipping point, the point from which everything changed for the Hasmoneans. Loss of sovereignty - albeit later reclaimed for a short 3 years which ended in tragedy - opened up the road to the Gentiles. Not that physical loss can be compensated by a new theology or philosophical insights - but necessity required a shift in perspective, a shift in emphasis. A new spiritual kingdom, a spiritual Promised Land could be the way forward. The NT figure of Paul became the driving force for change. As a literary figure, writers could of course place Paul in 63 b.c. as well as the 30s c.e. After all, the new spirituality was long in the womb. ;)

Thomas Brodie: Conclusion: Christianity, insofar as it was a new religion, was founded by a school of writers, or more likely by a religious community many of whose members were writers.' The process of writing was probably interwoven with specific events and/or religious experiences-a matter that needs urgent research. (Beyond the Quest for the Historical Jesus page 185)

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Giuseppe
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Re: Aretas V

Post by Giuseppe »

About the details (and the mention of Aretas is one of them), I am not interested.

About a precise point, I find absolutely genial the Doudna's proposal about the Paul's visit to Jerusalem being really a diplomatic meeting between a pro-Roman herodian — Shaul/"Paul" — and some chiefs of the First Revolt in a besieged Jerusalem (Simon bar Giora in primis).

That gives the reason about why a so embarrassing epistle as Galatians — one where there is mention of a Peter attacked violently by Paul — was preserved: people had realized someway that that epistle had some particular connection with the Great Event of the First Revolt, a fundative act of the Christianity.


The love for a so important memory prevailed on the inevitable embarrasmment about the War origins of Christianity.

Not only this. What I have always considered as a morally dirty catholic anti-Marcionite (and even anti-Simonian) interpolation — the legend of Paul pre-Christian persecutor — was really one of the keys to realize the true immediate context of the original epistle.

Even so, I remain of the opinion that the strongest point in Vermeiren's thesis about the identity between the Jesus of paper and the historical Jesus b. Sapphat is the fact that "Mark" (or better, Mcn, for that matter, given that for me Mark is not the oldest gospel), gives the name of the crucified Zealot saved in extremis by Josephus. And this in virtue of the argument of the extreme improbability of a coincidence (= the secret dealings between a Josephus and a Jesus both in the fiction and in the real History).
maryhelena
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Re: Aretas V

Post by maryhelena »

Giuseppe wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 7:00 am About the details (and the mention of Aretas is one of them), I am not interested.
But you put up a thread on Aretas V. Funny though as I can't find any info on a King Aretas V....

Aretas (Arabic: حارثة‎, pronounced Haritha or Harithah) is the Greek form of a name borne by kings of the Nabataeans resident at Petra in Arabia. It can refer to:

Aretas I was a king in the time of Antiochus IV Epiphanes
Aretas II ruled Nabatea from 120 or 110 to 96 BC
Aretas III ruled Nabatea from 87 to 62 BC
Aretas IV Philopatris was the father-in-law of Herod Antipas; he is described as ruler of Damascus at the time of Paul's conversion
Aretas (martyr) (died 523)

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

footnote: Aretas IV never ruled Damascus - thus - Paul's statement re a King Aretas is not Aretas IV - thus - an alternative interpretation of this passage needs to be considered. As I have done above.... :)
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Giuseppe
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Re: Aretas V

Post by Giuseppe »

Doudna's words are sufficient to neutralize your objection:
In that context Roman control of Damascus could have involved Nabataean forces under Roman command.

Again, you have to face the strongest evidence supporting a thesis, not marginal details, in order to sound caustic about the proponent of said thesis (as it seems to be your intention here about Doudna's views).
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