"a commonplace belief among historians of the early church that early Christianity did not emphasize Jesus’ crucifixion"

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: "a commonplace belief among historians of the early church that early Christianity did not emphasize Jesus’ crucifix

Post by Ben C. Smith »

mlinssen wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 12:36 pmYeah, it is, isn't it. Epiphanius also wrote an Against Heresies indeed. Don't have it but it sounds interesting
Online in Greek: http://khazarzar.skeptik.net/books/panariog.htm.

With the exception of some papyrus fragments, Irenaeus is not extant in Greek; only an early Latin translation survives in full. All of the Greek which one finds for Irenaeus comes from patristic quotations (especially Eusebius, Epiphanius, and Hippolytus) and florilegia.
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Re: "a commonplace belief among historians of the early church that early Christianity did not emphasize Jesus’ crucifix

Post by mlinssen »

MrMacSon wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 12:25 pm
1 I just had another look, I don't think that text is Irenaeus, I think it's Epiphanius, judging by the heading on p. 207 or 208

(and I can't find it in the English version of Irenaeus' Against Heresies, though there are a few passages which are similar: I,3.1; II,12.7; and IV,35.4 - which might suggest Epiphanius was using Irenaeus)

mlinssen wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 1:58 am
The screenshot I made is of Thomas logion 55, which says exactly what Irenaeus?? is quoting, and the other quote is Thomas logion 16

55 said IS : he-who-will hate his father not with his(F) mother he will be-able make-be Disciple not to I and not he hate his(PL) brother with his(PL) sister not he carry of his Stauros within my(F) manner he will come-to-be not he been-made Worthy-one to I

16 said IS : Perhaps they think viz. the(PL) human : have I come to cast of a(n) Peace upon the World and they know not : have I come to cast of some(PL) division upon the earth a(n) fire a(n) sword a(n) War there-be five Indeed will come-to-be in a(n) house there-be three will come-to-be upon two and two upon three the father upon the child and the child upon the father and they will stay to foot they in-case they been-made the(PL) Solitary

Cheers, that's interesting 'alignment' with Thomas logia for a Church Father (who, as I noted above, may be Epiphanius, which would be interesting).
15:1 Then they declare of their Limit, the one they call by a number of names, that he has two activities, the stabilizing and the divisive.105 Insofar as he stabilizes and makes firm, he is Cross; but insofar as he divides and separates, he is Limit.

15:2 They say the Saviour has made his activities known in the following ways. First the stabilizing, with the words, 'He who doth not bear his cross and follow me, cannot be my disciple,'106 and again, 'Take up thy cross and follow me.'107

15:3 But his divisive activity with the words, 'I came not to send peace, but a sword.'108 John too, they say, has made the same thing known by saying, 'The fan is in his hand. He will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.'

Epiphanius indeed, Book 1 of Panarion, https://web.archive.org/web/20150906041 ... on_bk1.htm
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Re: "a commonplace belief among historians of the early church that early Christianity did not emphasize Jesus’ crucifix

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Ben C. Smith wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 12:39 pm
mlinssen wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 12:36 pmYeah, it is, isn't it. Epiphanius also wrote an Against Heresies indeed. Don't have it but it sounds interesting
Online in Greek: http://khazarzar.skeptik.net/books/panariog.htm.

With the exception of some papyrus fragments, Irenaeus is not extant in Greek; only an early Latin translation survives in full. All of the Greek which one finds for Irenaeus comes from patristic quotations (especially Eusebius, Epiphanius, and Hippolytus) and florilegia.
Thank you once again Ben! Too much LOL

Odd, that fact about Irenaeus
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Re: "a commonplace belief among historians of the early church that early Christianity did not emphasize Jesus’ crucifix

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...
Last edited by MrMacSon on Sat Feb 27, 2021 4:19 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: "a commonplace belief among historians of the early church that early Christianity did not emphasize Jesus’ crucifix

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MrMacSon wrote: Fri Feb 26, 2021 1:00 amAnother possibility is the notion of the lamb ‘helmeted’ in its entrails was motivated the narrative about Jesus’ crown of thorns.
I sent you a PM.
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Re: "a commonplace belief among historians of the early church that early Christianity did not emphasize Jesus’ crucifix

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'The Crucifixion of the Paschal Lamb' by Joseph Tabory, in The Jewish Quarterly Review, New Series, Vol. 86, No. 3/4 (Jan. – Apr., 1996), pp. 395-406; via JSTOR: https://www.jstor.org/stable/1454912

Justin's description [in Dial. 40] of the crucifixion of the paschal lamb by the Jews is intended to prove that the offering of the lamb was a perfect prefiguration of the crucifixion of Jesus. However, Justin could not have been an eyewitness to the Jerusalem sacrifice as he was born some 30 years after the destruction of the Temple. One might assume that Justin saw Jews preparing lambs for the Passover meal in the same manner that they were prepared in Jerusalem during the Temple period since there is evidence of Jews doing so in spite of the objection of the rabbis. However, this custom was apparently not practised in the area where Justin lived, as he points out to his opponent [Trypho] that the Jews no longer offer[ed] the paschal sacrifice. His description might have been a theoretical reconstruction based on his belief that the sacrifice of Jesus was prefigured by the offering of the paschal lamb. Theological considerations might have led him to imagine that the paschal lamb had not only been offered in the traditional manner of sacrifices, but that it had actually being crucified. After all, Justin had accused the Jews of eliminating … passages from the Greek Bible which [had supposedly] prophesied the coming of Jesus [Dial. 73], although scholarly opinion maintains that these passages were added by Christian scholars and copyists. We might argue therefore that his description is not historically accurate.

On the other hand it has been assumed that Justin's description was based on the Samaritan practice of offering the paschal lamb, a ritual which Justin might have witnessed personally during his childhood in Shechem. However there are certain discrepancies between the Samaritan custom, as described by modern observers, and Justin's portrayal. The contentions of this paper are that the Samaritan custom has indeed changed since Justin's time; that Justin accurately portrayed the contemporary Samaritan ritual; and that this ritual was similar to the paschal sacrifice in Jerusalem. To prove these points this paper…compare[d] Justin's account with modern accounts of the Samaritan ritual and with a reconstruction of the ancient Jewish practise based on rabbinic sources.

A summary of the end of the article:

Moreover, after the destruction of the Temple it would seem that one of the new rabbinic stipulations was only prohibition of roasting the lamb, but not of cooking it by other means. There was also disagreement between two key rabbis, R. Akiva and R. Yose ha-Galili, regarding the fate and cooking of the internal organs of the paschal lamb: according to R. Yose ha-Galili, these organs were replaced inside the lamb after cleaning and the entire land was roasted in this fashion. But R. Akiva, on the other hand, said the organs were hung around the lamb's head and neck for roasting, as in the form of a helmet.

Some have thought the similarity of the lamb ‘helmeted’ in its entrails with the crowned Jesus may have served as additional evidence of the connection between the two events.

And further speculation:

Another possibility is the notion that the lamb ‘helmeted’ in its entrails motivated the narrative about Jesus’ crown of thorns.
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Re: "a commonplace belief among historians of the early church that early Christianity did not emphasize Jesus’ crucifix

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Homer used the word stauros for an ordinary pole or stake, or a simple piece of timber.[ Iliad xxiv.453. Odyssey xiv.11] This was the meaning and usage of the word throughout the Greek classics.[ eg.Thucydides iv.90. Xenophon, Anabasis v.2.21]
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Re: Re:Stauros

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MrMacSon wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 1:17 am
.
The Valentinian system

2.6 Horos

A figure entirely peculiar to Valentinian Gnosticism is that of Horos (the Limiter). The name is perhaps an echo of the Egyptian Horus.[14][21]

The task of Horos is to separate the fallen Aeons from the upper world of Aeons. At the same time he becomes a kind of world-creative power, who in this capacity helps to construct an ordered world out of Sophia and her passions. He is also called Stauros (cross), and we frequently meet with references to the figure of Stauros. Speculations about the Stauros are older than Christianity, and a Platonic conception may have been at work here. Plato had already stated that the World-Soul revealed itself in the form of the letter Chi (X), by which he meant that figure described in the heavens by the intersecting orbits of the sun and the planetary ecliptic. Since through this double orbit all the movements of the heavenly powers are determined, so all "becoming" and all life depend on it, and thus we can understand the statement that the World-Soul appears in the form of an X, or a cross.[14]

The cross can also stand for the wondrous Aeon on whom depends the ordering and life of the world, and thus Horos-Stauros appears here as the first redeemer of Sophia from her passions, and as the orderer of the creation of the world which now begins. Naturally, then, the figure of Horos-Stauros was often assimilated to that of the Christian Redeemer. We possibly find echoes of this in the Gospel of Peter, where the Cross itself is depicted as speaking and even floating out of the tomb.

(These paragraphs are from V.5 here https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/1911_Enc ... lentinians,
which is a reproduction of [14] Bousset, Wilhelm (1911) "Valentinus and the Valentinians," Encyclopædia Britannica. 27 (11th ed.). pp. 852–857)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentini ... ian_system

21, Legge, Francis (1914). Forerunners and Rivals of Christianity. New York: University Books. p.105.

.

It's interesting that Stauros was the name of a theological entity in what would have been a theological system - albeit a gnostic one - concurrent with early Christianity and particularly with Justin Martyr.
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More from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

.
IV. ... In the Gnostic systems of Irenaeus i. 29, 30, the Anthropos (i.e. the Primal Man) no longer appears as the world-creative power sinking down into the material world, but as a celestial aeon of the upper world (or even as the supreme god), who stands in a clearly defined relationship to the fallen goddess; it is possible that the role of the Anthropos is here transferred to Sophia Achamoth. The fallen Sophia next becomes, in like manner, a world creative power. And now the highest of the world-creating angels, Jaldabaoth, appears as her son, and with this whole conception are then linked up the ideas of liberation and redemption. Next to the Sophia stands a male redeeming divinity. In all the Gnostic systems known to us Christ already appears as the Saviour, and so in this respect a Christianizing of Gnosticism has been carried out; but originally this Saviour-divinity had nothing in common with the figure of the Christian Redeemer. This is clear from Irenaeus's account of the Gnostics (i. 30). For here the redemption is actually and essentially effected through the uniting in marriage of the fallen goddess with her higher celestial brother, and they are expressly described as the bride and bridegroom. That is to say, we have here the purely mythical idea of the deliverance of a goddess by a god, and of the celestial marriage of a divine pair. This myth can only with difficulty be connected with the historic redemption through Jesus of Nazareth, by further relating that Christ, having been united to the Sophia, descends into the earthly Jesus.

V. (5) A figure entirely peculiar to Valentinian Gnosticism is that of IPoros (the Limiter). The name is perhaps an echo of the Egyptian Horus. The peculiar task of Horos is to separate the fallen aeons from the upper world of aeons. At the same time he becomes (first, perhaps, in the later Valentinian systems) a kind of world-creative power, who in this capacity helps to construct an ordered world out of Sophia and her passions. He is also called, curiously enough, Stauros (cross), and we frequently meet with references to the figure of Stauros. But we must not be in too great a hurry to conjecture that this is a Christian figure. Speculations about the Stauros are older than Christianity, and a Platonic conception may have been at work here. Plato had already stated that the world-soul revealed itself in the form of the letter Chi (X); by which he meant that figure described in the heavens by the intersecting orbits of the sun and the planetary ecliptic. Since through this double orbit all the movements of the heavenly powers are determined, so all "becoming" and all life depend on it, and thus we can understand the statement that the world-soul appears in the form of an X, or a cross. The cross can also stand for the wondrous aeon on whom depends the ordering and life of the world, and thus Horos-Stauros appears here as the first redeemer of Sophia from her passions, and as the orderer of the creation of the world which now begins. This explanation of Horos, moreover, is not a mere conjecture, but one branch of the Valentinian school, the Marcosians, have expressly so explained this figure (Irenaeus i. 17, I). Naturally, then, the figure of HorosStauros was often in later days assimilated to that of the Christian Redeemer.

V. (9) At the centre of the whole Valentinian system naturally stands the idea of redemption, and so we find here developed particularly clearly the myth of the heavenly marriage already known from Irenaeus i. 30 to be Gnostic. Redemption is essentially accomplished through the union of the heavenly Soter with the fallen goddess. There is great uncertainty in the Valentinian system as to who this celestial Soter is. In the Gnostic systems of Irenaeus i. 30 he is the Christos, the celestial brother who turns back to the fallen sister. In the Valentinian system the redeemer is likewise sometimes brought into relation with the Christos, sometimes, in a significant way, with the Anthropos, and sometimes again with Horos-Stauros. In the fully developed Ptolemaean system he appears as the common offspring of the whole Pleroma, upon whom all the aeons confer their best and most wonderful qualities (we may compare here the Marduk myth, in which it is related that all the gods transfer their qualities and powers to the young god Marduk, who is recognized as their leader). And this celestial redeemer-aeon now enters into a marriage with the fallen goddess; they are the "bride and bridegroom" ...

(10). (10) With this celestial Soter of the Valentinians, and the redemption of Sophia through him, is connected, in a way which is now not quite intelligible to us, the figure of Jesus of Nazareth and the historical redemption connected with his name. The Soter, the bridegroom of Sophia, and the earthly Jesus answer to each other as in some way identical. Here again we recognize the entirely artificial compromise between Gnosticism and Christianity. It is characteristic of this that in one passage in the account of Irenaeus it is directly stated that the redeemer came specially on account of the psychici, for the pneumatici (the Gnostics) already belong by nature to the celestial world, and no longer require any historical redemption, while the hylici have fallen beforehand into damnation, so that with the psychici only is there any question as to whether they will turn to redemption or damnation, and for them the historical redeemer is of efficacy (Irenaeus i. 6) ...

https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedia ... ostic.html
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Re: "a commonplace belief among historians of the early church that early Christianity did not emphasize Jesus’ crucifix

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Damn that is good stuff
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Jesus got impaled, not crucified

Post by mlinssen »

I forgot all about it, as I have been very busy these past months finalising the first part of my Thomas Commentary - I hope you put my absence here to good use!

This forum is one of the places where I get and develop ideas, and as a result of this thread I published a quite solid case for the impaling of Jesus:

The Gospels testify: did Jesus die on the cross?

https://www.academia.edu/45655884/The_G ... n_content_

Free for all, as usual.
We had a Discussion on it, and a quite lively one, and I collected all of it into an 85-page document. It is attached as a secondary file to the paper above, but if you're signed in to Academia.edu this link should also work:

https://www.academia.edu/attachments/66 ... r-dropdown

There's quite a bit of additional research in it, among others on Martin Hengel's Crucifixion
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