Carrier, Aretas and Damascus

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maryhelena
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Re: Carrier, Aretas and Damascus

Post by maryhelena »

yakovzutolmai wrote: Tue Aug 17, 2021 6:11 am
maryhelena wrote: Mon Aug 16, 2021 9:38 pm
The above is speculation.

The issue under consideration in this thread is dealing with an Aretas who controlled Damascus. History: Aretas III controlled Damascus during the years 85 to 72 b.c. and 69 to 64/63 b.c.
Then what is there to discuss?

Do the Roman epitomes conclusively discount that Aretas IV might have temporarily controlled Damascus during his conflict with Antipas? If not, then why would we say that Paul couldn't have faced this incident in the 30s? Even deference to Aretas, by Damascus city leaders, over Antipas and Herodian agents, could lead to the language seen in 2 Corinthians 11.

If we're transposing Paul to the 80s BCE, then we're certainly forced to speculate about a far greater number of issues. Which seems fruitful as discussion. I don't see the problem.

The issue invites speculation.
Speculation is having Aretas IV having control of Damascus within the standard NT timeline.

I'm not transporting Paul anywhere. I view Paul as a paper apostle. Consequently, it's the dating of Aretas III that is of interest. Dating that indicates Hasmonean history has a relevance for the NT story.
StephenGoranson
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Re: Carrier, Aretas and Damascus

Post by StephenGoranson »

yakovzutolmai wrote, in part:
"Do the Roman epitomes conclusively discount that Aretas IV might have temporarily controlled Damascus during his conflict with Antipas?"

No, they don't.
That Paul escaped Damascus is, of course, possible. Even Rainer Reisner, who admitted that he could not yet *prove* how that might have happened--as selectively and repeatedly and dogmatically quoted by maryhelena--proposed how that could be. History is not as black and white as some try to insist.

Yes.
Imagining Paul in BC (BCE) causes more problems than it solves. For example (quoting H-D Betz, Anchor Bible):
"The Gallio inscription enables us to date the reign of Iunius Gallio's proconsulship in Achaea to the years 51/52 or 52/53. These dates agree with Paul's 18-month visit in Corinth and the reference to Gallio in Acts 18:11-17. This visit would then have occurred in AD 51-53."

The above is not absolute proof, of course, but to ignore it is not what historians properly do,
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maryhelena
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Re: Carrier, Aretas and Damascus

Post by maryhelena »

StephenGoranson wrote: Tue Aug 17, 2021 6:32 am yakovzutolmai wrote, in part:
"Do the Roman epitomes conclusively discount that Aretas IV might have temporarily controlled Damascus during his conflict with Antipas?"

No, they don't.
That Paul escape Damascus is, of course, possible. Even Rainer Reisner, who admitted that he could not yet *prove* how that might have happened--as selectively and repeatedly and dogmatically quoted by maryhelena--proposed how that could be. History is not as black and white as some try to insist.

Yes.
Imagining Paul in BE (BCE) causes more problems than it solves. For example (quoting H-D Betz, Anchor Bible):
"The Gallio inscription enables us to date the reign of Iunius Gallio's proconsulship in Achaea to the years 51/52 or 52/53. These dates agree with Paul's 18-month visit in Corinth and the reference to Gallio in Acts 18:11-17. This visit would then have occurred in AD 51-53."

The above is not absolute proof, of course, but to ignore it is not what historians properly do,
There is no historical evidence that Aretas IV controlled Damascus. Speculation is all such proponents - whether Christian apologetic historians or amature historians - have to offer. Hope, as they say, springs eternal..... but that does not prevent it from being in vain.
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Re: Carrier, Aretas and Damascus

Post by Paul the Uncertain »

The issue invites speculation.
No. It requires speculation, a maryhelenaism for considering the full range of seriously possible hypotheses.

Paul leaves out a few details which are some of relevance to our inquiry:

Paul does not say that his Aretas controls Damascus.
Paul does not say why he wishes to leave Damascus, nor why just then rather before or later.
That nicely complements Paul not saying why he came to Damascus in the first place, what he did while he was there, how long he was there, nor who, if anybody besides the basket people, he dealt with.
Paul does not say why anybody connected with his Aretas wants to arrest him.
Paul does not say how he would know whether or not anybody connected with his Aretas wants to arrest him; we have no other witnesses to this fact claim (or any of this, actually).
Paul does not say how he would know whether or not an ethnarch of Aretas was keeping watch on the city. (For example, Is Paul free to move about the city, and saw Nabatean sentries for himself? Maybe he asked them whom they were looking for? After all, how would they know Paul if they saw him?)
Paul does not say how much resources be believes the ethnarch is devoting to the watch-keeping. (For example, sentries at each gate 24/7/365, irregularly schedule patrols, a few coins shrewdly distributed...?)
Paul does not say how he'd know that, either.
Paul does not say how much resources devoted to watch-keeping would be needed for Paul to take precautions when leaving Damascus. (Is Paul a "launch on warning" kind of guy, or does he wait for a detonation?)
...

All that's on the page is that after an enumerated recital of all the times Paul faced the music, there was this one time (and maybe only this one time?) when he ran away. Apparently Paul is telling this to people who are already familiar with the story. Maybe that's why he brings it up at all; pre-emptive surrebuttal.

There is nothing here that eliminates Aretas IV being the person Paul refers to, because there is nothing here that requires that Aretas to do anything specific, or to have any specific relationship with Damascus.

Filling in any of that is hypothesis specification. There's a lot to fill in.

If Aretas III floats your boat, then that's peachy. So, too, Aretas IV.
Last edited by Paul the Uncertain on Tue Aug 17, 2021 6:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
yakovzutolmai
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Re: Carrier, Aretas and Damascus

Post by yakovzutolmai »

maryhelena wrote: Tue Aug 17, 2021 6:44 am There is no historical evidence that Aretas IV controlled Damascus. Speculation is all such proponents - whether Christian apologetic historians or amature historians - have to offer. Hope, as they say, springs eternal..... but that does not prevent it from being in vain.
Sure.

The allegorical interpretation (Jericho) fits best, in my opinion. That tells me that the author of the epistle is drawing on Josephus to find a historical context for the allegorical tokens.

He's inventing a siege of Damascus in the 30s, because the goal is to locate Christian history there. Josephus is extremely vague about the 30s, so its a good place for interpolation.

(Per Kokkinos, it would seem there were more sons of Herod alive at 30 AD than generally thought, and so the decade may be marred by a rather scandalous set of Herodian intrigues which Josephus would be compelled to leave out of his history)
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maryhelena
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Re: Carrier, Aretas and Damascus

Post by maryhelena »

Paul the Uncertain wrote: Tue Aug 17, 2021 6:49 am
The issue invites speculation.
No. It requires speculation, a maryhelenaism for considering the full range of seriously possible hypotheses.

Paul leaves out a few details which are some of relevance to our inquiry:

Paul does not say that his Aretas controls Damascus.
Paul does not say why he wishes to leave Damascus, nor why just then rather before or later.
That nicely complements Paul not saying why he came to Damascus in the first place, what he did while he was there, how long he was there, nor who, if anybody besides the basket people, he dealt with.
Paul does not say why anybody connected with his Aretas wants to arrest him.
Paul does not say how he would know whether or not anybody connected with his Aretas wants to arrest him; we have no other witnesses to this fact claim (or any of this, actually).
Paul does not say how he would know whether or not an ethnarch of Aretas was keeping watch on the city. (For example, Is Paul free to move about the city, and saw Nabatean sentries for himself? Maybe he asked them whom they were looking for? After all, how would they know Paul if they saw him?)
Paul does not say how much resources be believes the ethnarch is devoting to the watch-keeping. (For example, sentries at each gate 24/7/365, irregularly schedule patrols, a few coins shrewdly distributed...?)
Paul does not say how he'd know that, either.
Paul does not say how much resources devoted to watch-keeping would be needed for Paul to take precautions when leaving Damascus. (Is Paul a "launch on warning" kind of guy, or does he wait for a detonation?)
...

All that's on the page is that after an enumerated recital of all the times Paul faced the music, there was this one time (and maybe only this one time?) when he ran away. Apparently Paul is telling this to people who are already familiar with the story. Maybe that's why he brings it up at all; pre-emptive surrebuttal.

There is nothing here that eliminates Aretas IV being the person Paul refers to, because there is nothing here that requires that Aretas to do anything specific, or to have any specific relationship with Damascus.

Filling in any of that is hypothesis specification. There's a lot to fill in.

If Aretas III floats your boat, then that's peachy. So, too, Aretas IV.
Speculate about Aretas IV all you like. What you can't do is provide historical evidence that he had any control of Damascus during the standard model NT timeline.
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Jax
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Re: Carrier, Aretas and Damascus

Post by Jax »

StephenGoranson wrote: Tue Aug 17, 2021 6:32 am yakovzutolmai wrote, in part:
"Do the Roman epitomes conclusively discount that Aretas IV might have temporarily controlled Damascus during his conflict with Antipas?"

No, they don't.
That Paul escaped Damascus is, of course, possible. Even Rainer Reisner, who admitted that he could not yet *prove* how that might have happened--as selectively and repeatedly and dogmatically quoted by maryhelena--proposed how that could be. History is not as black and white as some try to insist.

Yes.
Imagining Paul in BC (BCE) causes more problems than it solves. For example (quoting H-D Betz, Anchor Bible):
"The Gallio inscription enables us to date the reign of Iunius Gallio's proconsulship in Achaea to the years 51/52 or 52/53. These dates agree with Paul's 18-month visit in Corinth and the reference to Gallio in Acts 18:11-17. This visit would then have occurred in AD 51-53."

The above is not absolute proof, of course, but to ignore it is not what historians properly do,
Aw come on! Acts is an obvious story. Why on earth would you consider it an historical account of Paul when it disagrees with what Paul writes in his own letters? It's a Christian Greek novel nothing more.
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Jax
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Re: Carrier, Aretas and Damascus

Post by Jax »

Paul the Uncertain wrote: Tue Aug 17, 2021 6:49 am
The issue invites speculation.
No. It requires speculation, a maryhelenaism for considering the full range of seriously possible hypotheses.

Paul leaves out a few details which are some of relevance to our inquiry:

Paul does not say that his Aretas controls Damascus.
Paul does not say why he wishes to leave Damascus, nor why just then rather before or later.
That nicely complements Paul not saying why he came to Damascus in the first place, what he did while he was there, how long he was there, nor who, if anybody besides the basket people, he dealt with.
Paul does not say why anybody connected with his Aretas wants to arrest him.
Paul does not say how he would know whether or not anybody connected with his Aretas wants to arrest him; we have no other witnesses to this fact claim (or any of this, actually).
Paul does not say how he would know whether or not an ethnarch of Aretas was keeping watch on the city. (For example, Is Paul free to move about the city, and saw Nabatean sentries for himself? Maybe he asked them whom they were looking for? After all, how would they know Paul if they saw him?)
Paul does not say how much resources be believes the ethnarch is devoting to the watch-keeping. (For example, sentries at each gate 24/7/365, irregularly schedule patrols, a few coins shrewdly distributed...?)
Paul does not say how he'd know that, either.
Paul does not say how much resources devoted to watch-keeping would be needed for Paul to take precautions when leaving Damascus. (Is Paul a "launch on warning" kind of guy, or does he wait for a detonation?)
...

All that's on the page is that after an enumerated recital of all the times Paul faced the music, there was this one time (and maybe only this one time?) when he ran away. Apparently Paul is telling this to people who are already familiar with the story. Maybe that's why he brings it up at all; pre-emptive surrebuttal.

There is nothing here that eliminates Aretas IV being the person Paul refers to, because there is nothing here that requires that Aretas to do anything specific, or to have any specific relationship with Damascus.

Filling in any of that is hypothesis specification. There's a lot to fill in.

If Aretas III floats your boat, then that's peachy. So, too, Aretas IV.
In answer to one of your points: Paul would know for sure that the Arabians were outside the city if it were under siege by them. Like when Tigranes II occupied the city.
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Jax
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Re: Carrier, Aretas and Damascus

Post by Jax »

In Damascus, the ethnarc of King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes placed under guard in order to apprehend me.

From The New Testament by David Bentley Hart.

It is obvious that the Arabians were outside of the city and surrounding it. If this is about Aretas III and Tigranes II then it would make sense, Aretas IV and the Romans not so much.
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Re: Carrier, Aretas and Damascus

Post by Paul the Uncertain »

Speculate about Aretas IV all you like. What you can't do is provide historical evidence that he had any control of Damascus during the standard model NT timeline.
Nor have I tried to. You keep posting this mantra as if I have claimed that Aretas IV ever controlled Damascus. I haven't, and I strongly doubt that he ever did.

Nevertheless, for the reasons stated here and in the blog, and even apart from any reliance on the standard model, I find it more likely that Paul's Aretas is IV than III, although not by so much as to eliminate III as a serious possibility.

It is not my problem that for your favorite hypothesis to overturn the standard model of Christian origins, you need a win on this point, not merely going the distance.

And if someday you succeed in your quest, then that will be fine with me. Godspeed.
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