NTJ != HJ, ∴ no evidence of HJ?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
maryhelena
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Re: NTJ != HJ, ∴ no evidence of HJ?

Post by maryhelena »

Jax wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 7:43 am

Would the portrayal of miracles be a dividing line between a historical and non-historical Jesus?
A dividing line between a historical Jesus and a non-historical Jesus?

Taking the non-historical Jesus as being the gospel Jesus - then there is no dividing line. There is a void. The gospel Jesus is a bit like that Emperor with his invisible clothes - underneath the miraculous clothes he is naked.

What that means is not that one has to go searching for a naked historical Jesus......it means that you have no way to identify any one individual as the historical Jesus. The Jewish gospel writers were sticking to their guns here - no Jewish man is going to be deified. (a point further observed in Josephus with his many Jesus figures....)

Thus, searching for a no-name, naked, Jesus is a pointless waste of time. It's not even a needle in a haystack - there is no needle...

There is one major historical claim in the gospel story. Roman agents crucified a 'king of the Jews'. The question is when did Rome do that? Yes, the gospel story is set in the time of Pilate - but that gospel story also includes references to King Herod (40 b.c. and to Lysanaus (40 b.c.) - indicating that the time of Pilate is not the beginning but the end of the story the gospel writers are articulating. A story that began 70 years earlier.

1. Antigonus entered and seized Jerusalem forcefully in 40 BCE - Jesus is depicted as triumphantly entering Jerusalem in the passion

2. Antigonus cuts off the ears of his uncle - Jesus repairs the severed ear of the sentry

3. Antigonus had a 3 year reign - Jesus had a 3 year ministry

4. Antigonus is the crucified king of the Jews.

5. Antigonus was executed in Antioch - "....The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch". Acts 11.25.

Of course, there is more to the gospel Jesus story than the crucifixion - but that cross has become the very symbol of Christianity. I would suggest that it is the Roman execution of a King of the Jews that became the model for the gospel writers for their Jesus crucifixion story.

''Dion Cassius says, 'Antony now gave the Kingdom to a certain Herod, and having stretched Antigonus on the cross and scourged him, which had never been done before to a king by the Romans, he put him to death'. The sympathies of the masses for the crucified king of Judah, the heroic son of so many heroic ancestors, and the legends growing, in time, out of this historical nucleus, became, perhaps, the source from which Paul and the evangelists preached Jesus as the crucified king of Judea.'' (History of the Hebrew's Second Commonwealth, 1880, Cincinnati, page 206)

Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise (1819-1900), scholar and novelist



Antiquities book 15. ch.2

]When Antony had taken Antigonus prisoner, he decided to keep him for his triumph, but when he heard how the nation was still rebellious and in their hatred for Herod, still favoured Antigonus, he decided to behead him in Antioch, for in no other way could the Jews be pacified. Strabo of Cappadocia supports me in this, when he says: "Antony had Antigonus the Jew brought to Antioch and beheaded there. I believe he was the first Roman to behead a king, thinking there was no other way to change the mind of the Jews to receive Herod, whom he had set in his place, for even tortures could not force them to acknowledge him as king. With their great fondness for their former king, he felt that this disgrace would diminish his memory and also lessen their hatred of Herod." Such is Strabo's account.

To turn the Jews away from Antigonus in order to diminish his memory - beheading won't do that - but a dishonorable element of his execution could do that. Hanging him on a cross/stake and flogging him. A curse to the Jews (Gal.3.13) An event best forgotten. But Paul turned the cross around - from being a curse to being the instrument of salvation. Obviously, not by upholding physical crucifixion - rather to move away from such anti-humanitarian concepts and place value in spiritual sacrifices - intellectual or philosophical 'sacrifices'.

(I've often wondered about the OT curse of hanging on a cross/stake/tree - maybe it's about the evil doer/criminal being removed from terra-firma - feet above the ground. Feet removed from the sacred ground, feet no longer able to dishonor or bring shame to the sacred ground, feet no longer able to defile the sacred ground)
I have long enjoyed Antigonus as a likely suspect for the Christ cult passion account. Timeline fits well as well, for me anyway, as this helps support an early Paul, for at least some of the letter fragments. The only thing that bothers me now is how well does it fit with the views of Marcion?
I'm out of my comfort zone re the synoptic problem.
As for Paul - I follow Brodie with this figure not being historical.
If Paul is a literary figure, like JC, then issues of is he early or late don't feature. Viewed as a composite figure one can have an early and a later Paul. i.e. 'Paul' represents two developments in NT story development. Maybe the early 'Paul' is Marcion and the late 'Paul' someone else. As Brodie suggests, a school of scribes were involved in the development of the NT story. (that Marcion is dated late would indicate that his teaching still survives at a late date - Marcion would then simply be a school of thought, of ideas).

With that view of things - Marcion, the ideas involved in that 'school', would be pre 70 c.e. The later 'Paul' post 70 c.e.

Would Marcion be interested in Antigonus and Jewish history? Indeed. However, if the early philosophical, spiritualizing, movement was to emphasize spiritual issues, issues to widen the scope of OT ideas in order to appeal to the Gentiles, then any nationalistic concerns would have to be put on the back-burner. Progress, however, is not to turn ones back on ones origins - so eventually the Jewish root would need to be accommodated. An origin story of birth narratives and history would need to be written up. Two steps forward but one step backwards - remembering where one has come from. Something along these lines.... ;)

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)


That said, I now have Galatians (apparently 'found' by Marcion) and 2 Corinthians (seemingly not known by the earliest Christian writers) in my crosshairs as possibly being spurious, at least in part, to the original Pauline corpus.
As it sits now I am leaning towards the compiled letters of Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and 1 Corinthians, in collected letter form, and a core of Romans being original to an early Paul with the rest of the letters being added over time to support an evolving orthodox Christianity with the bulk added in the second century.
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Jax
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Re: NTJ != HJ, ∴ no evidence of HJ?

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Last edited by Jax on Sat May 01, 2021 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Jax
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Re: NTJ != HJ, ∴ no evidence of HJ?

Post by Jax »

maryhelena wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 8:35 am Would the portrayal of miracles be a dividing line between a historical and non-historical Jesus?
A dividing line between a historical Jesus and a non-historical Jesus?

Taking the non-historical Jesus as being the gospel Jesus - then there is no dividing line. There is a void. The gospel Jesus is a bit like that Emperor with his invisible clothes - underneath the miraculous clothes he is naked.

What that means is not that one has to go searching for a naked historical Jesus......it means that you have no way to identify any one individual as the historical Jesus. The Jewish gospel writers were sticking to their guns here - no Jewish man is going to be deified. (a point further observed in Josephus with his many Jesus figures....)

Thus, searching for a no-name, naked, Jesus is a pointless waste of time. It's not even a needle in a haystack - there is no needle...

There is one major historical claim in the gospel story. Roman agents crucified a 'king of the Jews'. The question is when did Rome do that? Yes, the gospel story is set in the time of Pilate - but that gospel story also includes references to King Herod (40 b.c. and to Lysanaus (40 b.c.) - indicating that the time of Pilate is not the beginning but the end of the story the gospel writers are articulating. A story that began 70 years earlier.

1. Antigonus entered and seized Jerusalem forcefully in 40 BCE - Jesus is depicted as triumphantly entering Jerusalem in the passion

2. Antigonus cuts off the ears of his uncle - Jesus repairs the severed ear of the sentry

3. Antigonus had a 3 year reign - Jesus had a 3 year ministry

4. Antigonus is the crucified king of the Jews.

5. Antigonus was executed in Antioch - "....The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch". Acts 11.25.

Of course, there is more to the gospel Jesus story than the crucifixion - but that cross has become the very symbol of Christianity. I would suggest that it is the Roman execution of a King of the Jews that became the model for the gospel writers for their Jesus crucifixion story.

''Dion Cassius says, 'Antony now gave the Kingdom to a certain Herod, and having stretched Antigonus on the cross and scourged him, which had never been done before to a king by the Romans, he put him to death'. The sympathies of the masses for the crucified king of Judah, the heroic son of so many heroic ancestors, and the legends growing, in time, out of this historical nucleus, became, perhaps, the source from which Paul and the evangelists preached Jesus as the crucified king of Judea.'' (History of the Hebrew's Second Commonwealth, 1880, Cincinnati, page 206)

Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise (1819-1900), scholar and novelist



Antiquities book 15. ch.2

]When Antony had taken Antigonus prisoner, he decided to keep him for his triumph, but when he heard how the nation was still rebellious and in their hatred for Herod, still favoured Antigonus, he decided to behead him in Antioch, for in no other way could the Jews be pacified. Strabo of Cappadocia supports me in this, when he says: "Antony had Antigonus the Jew brought to Antioch and beheaded there. I believe he was the first Roman to behead a king, thinking there was no other way to change the mind of the Jews to receive Herod, whom he had set in his place, for even tortures could not force them to acknowledge him as king. With their great fondness for their former king, he felt that this disgrace would diminish his memory and also lessen their hatred of Herod." Such is Strabo's account.

To turn the Jews away from Antigonus in order to diminish his memory - beheading won't do that - but a dishonorable element of his execution could do that. Hanging him on a cross/stake and flogging him. A curse to the Jews (Gal.3.13) An event best forgotten. But Paul turned the cross around - from being a curse to being the instrument of salvation. Obviously, not by upholding physical crucifixion - rather to move away from such anti-humanitarian concepts and place value in spiritual sacrifices - intellectual or philosophical 'sacrifices'.

(I've often wondered about the OT curse of hanging on a cross/stake/tree - maybe it's about the evil doer/criminal being removed from terra-firma - feet above the ground. Feet removed from the sacred ground, feet no longer able to dishonor or bring shame to the sacred ground, feet no longer able to defile the sacred ground)
I have long enjoyed Antigonus as a likely suspect for the Christ cult passion account. Timeline fits well as well, for me anyway, as this helps support an early Paul, for at least some of the letter fragments. The only thing that bothers me now is how well does it fit with the views of Marcion?
I'm out of my comfort zone re the synoptic problem.
As for Paul - I follow Brodie with this figure not being historical.
If Paul is a literary figure, like JC, then issues of is he early or late don't feature. Viewed as a composite figure one can have an early and a later Paul. i.e. 'Paul' represents two developments in NT story development. Maybe the early 'Paul' is Marcion and the late 'Paul' someone else. As Brodie suggests, a school of scribes were involved in the development of the NT story. (that Marcion is dated late would indicate that his teaching still survives at a late date - Marcion would then simply be a school of thought, of ideas).

With that view of things - Marcion, the ideas involved in that 'school', would be pre 70 c.e. The later 'Paul' post 70 c.e.

Would Marcion be interested in Antigonus and Jewish history? Indeed. However, if the early philosophical, spiritualizing, movement was to emphasize spiritual issues, issues to widen the scope of OT ideas in order to appeal to the Gentiles, then any nationalistic concerns would have to be put on the back-burner. Progress, however, is not to turn ones back on ones origins - so eventually the Jewish root would need to be accommodated. An origin story of birth narratives and history would need to be written up. Two steps forward but one step backwards - remembering where one has come from. Something along these lines.... ;)

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)


That said, I now have Galatians (apparently 'found' by Marcion) and 2 Corinthians (seemingly not known by the earliest Christian writers) in my crosshairs as possibly being spurious, at least in part, to the original Pauline corpus.
As it sits now I am leaning towards the compiled letters of Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and 1 Corinthians, in collected letter form, and a core of Romans being original to an early Paul with the rest of the letters being added over time to support an evolving orthodox Christianity with the bulk added in the second century.
Personally, I just find Paul too "organic" and messy to be a completely fictional entity. While JC does seem to be a completely fictional composite I find Paul to uncomfortable to the Christ cult to be complete fiction. Why make up such an odd spokesman for your cult only to later need to adjust the message to conform to where you want the message to go? Possible I guess, just seems unlikely in my opinion.
Bernard Muller
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Re: NTJ != HJ, ∴ no evidence of HJ?

Post by Bernard Muller »

Why make up such an odd spokesman for your cult only to later need to adjust the message to conform to where you want the message to go?
According to my research, all documented on my website:

I kind of agree with that: the initial cult was about Jesus as the Son of Man in the Psalms (8.4b-8, 80.17-19, 110.1-2, 110.5-6, 132:11-18 and the "king of the Jews" having to rule (even if human Jesus never did that): so he had to be saved in heaven after his crucifixion, and ready to come back to effectively reign as King.
Some Jews & Gentile god-fearers believed in that, but that was hard to digest for plain Gentiles.

When Paul preached to these Gentiles (especially to the challenging & inquisitive Corinthians), he had to alter considerably his message and concentrated his preaching on "Christ's crucified", but unable to explain why that had salvitic value. That will come later (for atonement of sins for the believers), as also "Son of God".
Furthermore "King" was out and Jesus, as "from the seed of David" appears only once, in his last letter. Jesus in heaven was emphatically (as granted) kept but Paul stressed dead human Jesus' passage from earth to alive in heaven: resurrection.

Even earlier, for the Thessalonians, Paul suggested that the saved ones would not stay on earth, but go to heaven. And Jesus would not come back all the way to earth. Paul also added the dead Christians will resurrect (that was doubted later by some Christians of Corinth, as also the elects shedding their fleshy body for a spriritual one).

Later, gMark as the first gospel, has to reconcile Paul's heavenly (Jesus, when on earth had to show proof of his divinity: an inconspicuous Jesus could not be believed anymore) with eyewitness(es)' testimony (about a not divine Jesus) by using all kind of tricks (such as the disciples did not see, did not understand, etc. http://historical-jesus.info/28.html).
Also invented: parables, Jesus as a teacher, itinerant, Jesus predicting the fall of Jerusalem, etc.

Even later, the Godly conception (to prevent pre-existence) and the bodily resurrected Jesus' reappearances (for demonstrating the Resurrection) were invented.

And so on, such as Jesus' "ministry' lasting more than one year and the exact dating of Jesus' birth.

So the hoax was essentially a product of evolution, by individuals who were not honest but had to develop gradually new concepts in order to keep their converts and make new ones.

Cordially, Bernard
Last edited by Bernard Muller on Sun May 02, 2021 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
maryhelena
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Re: NTJ != HJ, ∴ no evidence of HJ?

Post by maryhelena »

Jax wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 9:34 am
I have long enjoyed Antigonus as a likely suspect for the Christ cult passion account. Timeline fits well as well, for me anyway, as this helps support an early Paul, for at least some of the letter fragments. The only thing that bothers me now is how well does it fit with the views of Marcion?
I'm out of my comfort zone re the synoptic problem.
As for Paul - I follow Brodie with this figure not being historical.
If Paul is a literary figure, like JC, then issues of is he early or late don't feature. Viewed as a composite figure one can have an early and a later Paul. i.e. 'Paul' represents two developments in NT story development. Maybe the early 'Paul' is Marcion and the late 'Paul' someone else. As Brodie suggests, a school of scribes were involved in the development of the NT story. (that Marcion is dated late would indicate that his teaching still survives at a late date - Marcion would then simply be a school of thought, of ideas).

With that view of things - Marcion, the ideas involved in that 'school', would be pre 70 c.e. The later 'Paul' post 70 c.e.

Would Marcion be interested in Antigonus and Jewish history? Indeed. However, if the early philosophical, spiritualizing, movement was to emphasize spiritual issues, issues to widen the scope of OT ideas in order to appeal to the Gentiles, then any nationalistic concerns would have to be put on the back-burner. Progress, however, is not to turn ones back on ones origins - so eventually the Jewish root would need to be accommodated. An origin story of birth narratives and history would need to be written up. Two steps forward but one step backwards - remembering where one has come from. Something along these lines.... ;)

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)

Personally, I just find Paul too "organic" and messy to be a completely fictional entity. While JC does seem to be a completely fictional composite I find Paul to uncomfortable to the Christ cult to be complete fiction. Why make up such an odd spokesman for your cult only to later need to adjust the message to conform to where you want the message to go? Possible I guess, just seems unlikely in my opinion.

I very much doubt that Paul is 'completely fictional', i.e. to be pure imagination with no reflection of a historical figure or figures. Like the literary gospel JC, a literary Paul can, likewise, reflect an historical figure or figures. (composite literary figures can be whatever their originators deem to be required - James Bond has done well despite being a composite figure....)

Page 146
The idea that Paul was a literary figure did not remove the possibility that behind the epistles lay one outstanding historical figure who was central to the inspiring of the epistles, but that figure is not the figure whom the epistles portray. Under that person’s inspiration – or the inspiration of that person plus co-workers - the epistles portray a single individual, Paul,…..
Page 153
The production of thirteen epistles bearing Paul’s name may, perhaps, have drawn special inspiration from one individual, but, if so, that individual’s name and history are probably irretrievable, and the available evidence indicates that the thirteen epistles come not from one person but from a group or school.

Thomas Brodie: Beyond the Quest for the Historical Jesus

Yep, 'Paul' is a big hurdle to jump - but for those in the mythicism camp one that has to be taken if mythicism is to move forward. Ironic really, as the Jesus historicists are trapped with their assumed historical Jesus - so - mythicists seem to be trapped by their assumed historical Paul. Jesus and Paul are part of a story - an origin story for christianity. Like origin stories, the NT story is not itself history. It might contain historical references, illusions, echoes - but that is all. It serves a purpose in that it's a neat tidy package. But as any historian knows - history requires artifacts, coins, monuments, inscriptions. Words alone, however convincing they may be, don't have the final say. Words can enlighten but they can also enslave. Sometimes its necessary to read between the lines...
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Jax
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Re: NTJ != HJ, ∴ no evidence of HJ?

Post by Jax »

maryhelena wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 1:09 am
Jax wrote: Sat May 01, 2021 9:34 am
I have long enjoyed Antigonus as a likely suspect for the Christ cult passion account. Timeline fits well as well, for me anyway, as this helps support an early Paul, for at least some of the letter fragments. The only thing that bothers me now is how well does it fit with the views of Marcion?
I'm out of my comfort zone re the synoptic problem.
As for Paul - I follow Brodie with this figure not being historical.
If Paul is a literary figure, like JC, then issues of is he early or late don't feature. Viewed as a composite figure one can have an early and a later Paul. i.e. 'Paul' represents two developments in NT story development. Maybe the early 'Paul' is Marcion and the late 'Paul' someone else. As Brodie suggests, a school of scribes were involved in the development of the NT story. (that Marcion is dated late would indicate that his teaching still survives at a late date - Marcion would then simply be a school of thought, of ideas).

With that view of things - Marcion, the ideas involved in that 'school', would be pre 70 c.e. The later 'Paul' post 70 c.e.

Would Marcion be interested in Antigonus and Jewish history? Indeed. However, if the early philosophical, spiritualizing, movement was to emphasize spiritual issues, issues to widen the scope of OT ideas in order to appeal to the Gentiles, then any nationalistic concerns would have to be put on the back-burner. Progress, however, is not to turn ones back on ones origins - so eventually the Jewish root would need to be accommodated. An origin story of birth narratives and history would need to be written up. Two steps forward but one step backwards - remembering where one has come from. Something along these lines.... ;)

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)

Personally, I just find Paul too "organic" and messy to be a completely fictional entity. While JC does seem to be a completely fictional composite I find Paul to uncomfortable to the Christ cult to be complete fiction. Why make up such an odd spokesman for your cult only to later need to adjust the message to conform to where you want the message to go? Possible I guess, just seems unlikely in my opinion.

I very much doubt that Paul is 'completely fictional', i.e. to be pure imagination with no reflection of a historical figure or figures. Like the literary gospel JC, a literary Paul can, likewise, reflect an historical figure or figures. (composite literary figures can be whatever their originators deem to be required - James Bond has done well despite being a composite figure....)

Page 146
The idea that Paul was a literary figure did not remove the possibility that behind the epistles lay one outstanding historical figure who was central to the inspiring of the epistles, but that figure is not the figure whom the epistles portray. Under that person’s inspiration – or the inspiration of that person plus co-workers - the epistles portray a single individual, Paul,…..
Page 153
The production of thirteen epistles bearing Paul’s name may, perhaps, have drawn special inspiration from one individual, but, if so, that individual’s name and history are probably irretrievable, and the available evidence indicates that the thirteen epistles come not from one person but from a group or school.

Thomas Brodie: Beyond the Quest for the Historical Jesus

Yep, 'Paul' is a big hurdle to jump - but for those in the mythicism camp one that has to be taken if mythicism is to move forward. Ironic really, as the Jesus historicists are trapped with their assumed historical Jesus - so - mythicists seem to be trapped by their assumed historical Paul. Jesus and Paul are part of a story - an origin story for christianity. Like origin stories, the NT story is not itself history. It might contain historical references, illusions, echoes - but that is all. It serves a purpose in that it's a neat tidy package. But as any historian knows - history requires artifacts, coins, monuments, inscriptions. Words alone, however convincing they may be, don't have the final say. Words can enlighten but they can also enslave. Sometimes its necessary to read between the lines...
Yeah, ok, that's fair enough. I guess the question is was Bond a mythicist or historical JC advocate first. We are really trying , after all, to get a handle on what was going on in the early Christian cults, not whether Paul or JC actually existed as they are represented to us now. That would be impossible IMO.
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