Proposition regarding authorship of Luke, Acts, Paul & creation of the NT

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
rgprice
Posts: 549
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:57 pm

Re: Proposition regarding authorship of Luke, Acts, Paul & creation of the NT

Post by rgprice »

@Charles
Interesting. And quite right. That someone would do what is being proposed at least to some degree, should not really be surprising. This type of stuff was not at all unheard back then.

To quote from Matthias Kingardt:
With regard to this closely knit literary tradition, we also have to acknowledge
that our customary time frame of the gospels’ emergence is outdated. The
model presented here does not necessitate, or even indicate, longer periods
between the single stages of the gospel tradition. I believe it entirely plausible
that the overall emergence of the gospels could have been completed within a
very short period of time.
In view of all this, I would like to point out that, although
it is not impossible that a gospel existed before the middle of the second century,
there is simply not even the slightest shred of evidence for any written gospel prior
to that time.
But I think it goes beyond the Gospels. All of the NT material seems to have arisen in a short period of time. Once you take the position that second century Roman Christianity was a reaction to Marcion's "New Testament", it becomes apparent that virtually all of the material that is different from Marcion's New Testament had to have been produced after Marcion's New Testament, in reaction to it.

I think that the Gospel of Mark preceded Marcion's Gospel and that some collection of Pauline letters preceded Marcion, but it seems rather clear that at the very least some layer of revisions to the Pauline letters was produced in reaction to Marcionism. It also seems apparent that the orthodox version of the Pauline letters is built upon Marcion's collection. This is because Colossians and Ephesians are quite Marcionite in character and it seems also certain that those letters would have been added to any potential original Pauline letter collection. And they would have originated in Marcionite or proto-Marcionite circles. The fact that they exist in the orthodox collection indicates that the orthodox collection doesn't originate from a pre-Marcionite collection.

So the Pauline letters that exist in the NT must be derived from Marcion's publication. If it is indeed true that the Gospel of Luke is also a derived from Marcion's publication (which I believe it is) then we have a Gospel derived from Marcion's publication and Pauline letters derived from Marcion's publication. It makes perfect sense that whoever derived the one from Marcion would have done the same procedure to derive the other as well.

So this person takes the Evangelion and the Apostolikon, he modifies them, and then he adds a new story called Acts of the Apostles to tie it all together. So if we start with the that fact such a procedure makes perfect logical sense, and we add to it the fact that the timeframe is now very short, it doesn't leave room for all of these documents to have been produced by vast schools of different people.

We know that Marcion's works came out sometime around the early-mid second century, perhaps 120-140 and that by the mid second century, around 150-170 church fathers like Irenaeus were citing from "The Old and New Testament", referencing virtually every single book that currently exists in the modern NT by their current names.

This indicates that sometime between around 130 and 160 Marcion's publication was transformed into some collection that looked almost identical to the modern New Testament. It's very unlikely that this happened through lots of layers of different people contributing and editing, and modifying texts, etc. Its far more reasonable to conclude that someone or some small group of people took Marcion's work, collected up a few additional works, made edits and modifications, and then came out with their own anti-Marcionite publication that appropriated Marcion's works.

There just isn't much room for very many cooks in that kitchen. It had to have been the work of either a single individual or a single small group of individuals working in unison. Given the alignment between the orthodox Pauline letter collection and Acts of the Apostles, it indicates that there is some relationship between the two. Either, someone would had to have made the orthodox Pauline letters first, from which the writer of Acts worked, someone would had to have produced the orthodox Pauline letters after Acts and written in some parts that align the two, or the person who wrote Acts also produced the orthodox version of the Pauline letters. The last option seems by far the simplest.
Charles Wilson
Posts: 1744
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:13 am

Re: Proposition regarding authorship of Luke, Acts, Paul & creation of the NT

Post by Charles Wilson »

Thank you rgp --

I've tried to Map the Background Documents for Acts and have made some progress. Some examples:

1 Corinthians 1: 10 - 16 (RSV):

[10] I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
[11] For it has been reported to me by Chlo'e's people that there is quarreling among you, my brethren.
[12] What I mean is that each one of you says, "I belong to Paul," or "I belong to Apol'los," or "I belong to Cephas," or "I belong to Christ."
[13] Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
[14] I am thankful that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Ga'ius;
[15] lest any one should say that you were baptized in my name.
[16] (I did baptize also the household of Steph'anas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any one else.)

This goes to Tacitus, Histories, Book 4:

"While things were in this state, while there was division in the Senate, resentment among the conquered, no real authority in the conquerors, and in the country at large no laws and no Emperor, Mucianus entered the capital, and at once drew all power into his own hands. The influence of Primus Antonius and Varus Arrius was destroyed; for the irritation of Mucianus against them, though not revealed in his looks, was but ill-concealed, and the country, keen to discover such dislikes, had changed its tone and transferred its homage. He alone was canvassed and courted, and he, surrounding himself with armed men, and bargaining for palaces and gardens, ceased not, what with his magnificence, his proud bearing, and his guards, to grasp at the power, while he waived the titles of Empire. The murder of Calpurnius Galerianus caused the utmost consternation. He was a son of Caius Piso, and had done nothing, but a noble name and his own youthful beauty made him the theme of common talk; and while the country was still unquiet and delighted in novel topics, there were persons who associated him with idle rumours of Imperial honours. By order of Mucianus he was surrounded with a guard of soldiers. Lest his execution in the capital should excite too much notice, they conducted him to the fortieth milestone from Rome on the Appian Road, and there put him to death by opening his veins. Julius Priscus, who had been prefect of the Praetorian Guard under Vitellius, killed himself rather out of shame than by compulsion..."

"Priscus" => "Crispus". "Caius" => "Gaius". I've written at some length on this before. Notice esp. Calpurnius Galerianus, who had the "face of an angel". This, of course, refers to "Stephen Martyr".

The last 2 chapters of Acts are most interesting, especially while looking at Tacitus and Histories. As an example:

Acts 27: 13 - 20 (RSV):

[13] And when the south wind blew gently, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, they weighed anchor and sailed along Crete, close inshore.
[14] But soon a tempestuous wind, called the northeaster, struck down from the land;
[15] and when the ship was caught and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and were driven.
[16] And running under the lee of a small island called Cauda, we managed with difficulty to secure the boat;
[17] after hoisting it up, they took measures to undergird the ship; then, fearing that they should run on the Syr'tis, they lowered the gear, and so were driven.
[18] As we were violently storm-tossed, they began next day to throw the cargo overboard;
[19] and the third day they cast out with their own hands the tackle of the ship.
[20] And when neither sun nor stars appeared for many a day, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.

The Moffatt translation has an interesting Note to a verse:

[17] once it was hoisted aboard, they used ropes* to undergird the ship, and in fear of being stranded on the Syrtis they lowered the sail and lay to

[NOTE]
Naber's suggestion.jpg
Naber's suggestion.jpg (33.33 KiB) Viewed 51 times
What is this all about? Ropes? Losing sight of the sun for days?

Tacitus, Histories, Book 3:

A sudden outbreak had been excited in Pontus by a barbarian slave, who had before commanded the royal fleet. This was Anicetus, a freedman of Polemon, once a very powerful personage, who, when the kingdom was converted into a Roman province, ill brooked the change. Accordingly he raised in the name of Vitellius the tribes that border on Pontus, bribed a number of very needy adventurers by the hope of plunder, and, at the head of a force by no means contemptible, made a sudden attack on the old and famous city of Trapezus, founded by the Greeks on the farthest shore of the Pontus. There he destroyed a cohort, once a part of the royal contingent. They had afterwards received the privileges of citizenship, and while they carried their arms and banners in Roman fashion, they still retained the indolence and licence of the Greek. Anicetus also set fire to the fleet, and, as the sea was not guarded, escaped, for Mucianus had brought up to Byzantium the best of the Liburnian ships and all the troops. The barbarians even insolently scoured the sea in hastily constructed vessels of their own called "camarae," built with narrow sides and broad bottoms, and joined together without fastenings of brass or iron. Whenever the water is rough they raise the bulwarks with additional planks according to the increasing height of the waves, till the vessel is covered in like a house. Thus they roll about amid the billows, and, as they have a prow at both extremities alike and a convertible arrangement of oars, they may be paddled in one direction or another indifferently and without risk.

Note the word "Planks". Have we seen that before?

Acts 27: 44 (RSV):

[44] and the rest on planks or on pieces of the ship. And so it was that all escaped to land.

Of Syrtis:
Polybius, Histories:

But next summer the new Consuls Gnaeus Servilius
B. C. 253. Coss. Gn. Servilius Caepio G. Sempronius Blaesus.
and Gaius Sempronius put again to sea with their full strength, and after touching at Sicily started thence for Libya. There, as they coasted along the shore, they made a great number of descents upon the country without accomplishing anything of importance in any of them. At length they came to the island of the Lotophagi called Mēnix, which is not far from the Lesser Syrtis. There, from ignorance of the waters, they ran upon some shallows; the tide receded, their ships went aground, and they were in extreme peril. However, after a while the tide unexpectedly flowed back again, and by dint of throwing overboard all their heavy goods they just managed to float the ships. After this their return voyage was more like a flight than anything else. When they reached Sicily and had made the promontory of Lilybaeum they cast anchor at Panormus. Thence they weighed anchor for Rome, and rashly ventured upon the open sea-line as the shortest; but while on their voyage they once more encountered so terrible a storm that they lost more than a hundred and fifty ships.

OHH!!! One last thing: What WAS this Madness all about?:

Continuing Tacitus, Book 3:

The matter attracted the attention of Vespasian, and induced him to dispatch some veterans from the legions under Virdius Geminus, a tried soldier. Finding the enemy in disorder and dispersed in the eager pursuit of plunder, he attacked them, and drove them to their ships. Hastily fitting out a fleet of Liburnian ships he pursued Anicetus, and overtook him at the mouth of the river Cohibus, where he was protected by the king of the Sedochezi, whose alliance he had secured by a sum of money and other presents. This prince at first endeavoured to protect the suppliant by a threat of hostilities; when, however, the choice was presented to him between war and the profit to be derived from treachery, he consented, with the characteristic perfidy of barbarians, to the destruction of Anicetus, and delivered up the refugees. So ended this servile war..."

Where have we seen THIS before?:

Acts 8: 30 - 39 (RSV):

[30] So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?"
[31] And he said, "How can I, unless some one guides me?" And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
[32] Now the passage of the scripture which he was reading was this: "As a sheep led to the slaughter
or a lamb before its shearer is dumb,
so he opens not his mouth.
[33] In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken up from the earth."
[34] And the eunuch said to Philip, "About whom, pray, does the prophet say this, about himself or about some one else?"
[35] Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this scripture he told him the good news of Jesus.
[36] And as they went along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "See, here is water! What is to prevent my being baptized?"
[38] And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.
[39] And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught up Philip; and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.

You might have thought that this was a story about "Jesus" being led to slaughter as the Paschal Lamb, yes?

No. This is Treachery:
"and the eunuch saw him no more..." Yeah. It's hard to see someone when you've been murdered.
***
There wasn't much time to write the NT and it was easier to steal rather than create but, as stated, if you are following orders to glorify the new Political Order, why not write from something that is already there? It's easy enough to abuse the language for a political end.

Best to you, RGP.

CW
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