JAT Robinson's early dating redux

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
perseusomega9
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JAT Robinson's early dating redux

Post by perseusomega9 »

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/r ... ent/399260

Bernier (who I can't stand) is revisiting Robinson's early dates for the NT
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Giuseppe
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Re: JAT Robinson's early dating redux

Post by Giuseppe »

tell me it's a joke
Steven Avery
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Re: JAT Robinson's early dating redux

Post by Steven Avery »

Discussed on a Facebook group named:
The Apostolic Fathers and Second Century Christianity

Since I believe the full New Testament was written before AD 70, I look forward to learning more.

And I asked if he is including the Theophilus Proposal.
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Irish1975
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Re: JAT Robinson's early dating redux

Post by Irish1975 »

Hard Fact #1

The canonical Gospels are completely unattested in the historical record before Justin Martyr.

Hard Fact #2

The canonical Gospels in their earliest forms are 4th century documents, i.e. products of the Roman empire.

There is no evidence that these Gospels existed before the mid 2nd century. And as for their character and content in the 2nd century, we know very little. All we have are the 4th century texts.

So Johnny submits his term paper in December, but his mom says he wrote it in October, and his friends say that it was actually composed in September. But the teacher doesn’t get Johnny’s paper until December.
davidmartin
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Re: JAT Robinson's early dating redux

Post by davidmartin »

Irish what you wrote is a little harsh
There are the 3rd century manuscripts that are pretty complete, i think to date them no later than sometime in the 2nd century makes the most sense
Once that is done the gospels simply fall into the basket of the earliest documents where i think they belong
One can then argue if they are late 2nd century or have an earlier basis
My own opinion is that the gospels were 'outsider' texts as a genre for quite a while until being grafted into the orthodox sect sometime in the mid 2nd century, hence why Justin or the Shephard or Paul etc doesn't refer to them pretty much.
When the orthodox sect did embrace a gospel it was Matthew - their own one but they were unable to make it the only one
Hence why you find hell articulated in Matthew but absent in John, major themes are not consistent which clearly shows the variety prominent at an earlier date, and that the idea of a single unified origin as propagated by the church fathers is wishful thinking, but absolutely required thinking to their mindset which is absolute and unyielding. They insisted on there being four gospels even when it undermines their own narrative! All this insight is lost if one simply tries to push the gospels out beyond the time of interest
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Irish1975
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Re: JAT Robinson's early dating redux

Post by Irish1975 »

davidmartin wrote: Wed Aug 25, 2021 4:12 am There are the 3rd century manuscripts that are pretty complete
I didn’t know about these. What are they, and roughly what percentage of the canoncial 4-Gospel Book do they include? (If we’re just talking about bits and pieces, that doesn’t cut it.) I was thinking of Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Alexandrinus. My understanding was that those 4th and 5th century manuscripts are the foundation of the modern reconstructed text.
i think to date them no later than sometime in the 2nd century makes the most sense
Once that is done the gospels simply fall into the basket of the earliest documents where i think they belong
What do you mean by “the basket of the earliest documents?” Earliest in relation to what?
One can then argue if they are late 2nd century or have an earlier basis
My instinct about this is kind of simple. The Gospels are dynamite books. If they had emerged in Christian circles earlier than the time of Justin, they would have had some kind of effect on the literature of the time (apostolic fathers, NT epistles, etc.). But any traces of that effect are lacking. But from the time of Justin onwards, the Gospels and their story leave a deep and wide mark.
My own opinion is that the gospels were 'outsider' texts as a genre for quite a while until being grafted into the orthodox sect sometime in the mid 2nd century, hence why Justin or the Shephard or Paul etc doesn't refer to them pretty much.
If this were the case, wouldn’t we have to suspect that their original form was wildly different from their canonical form?
When the orthodox sect did embrace a gospel it was Matthew - their own one but they were unable to make it the only one
Hence why you find hell articulated in Matthew but absent in John, major themes are not consistent which clearly shows the variety prominent at an earlier date, and that the idea of a single unified origin as propagated by the church fathers is wishful thinking, but absolutely required thinking to their mindset which is absolute and unyielding. They insisted on there being four gospels even when it undermines their own narrative! All this insight is lost if one simply tries to push the gospels out beyond the time of interest
The fact of there being 4 Gospels that vary and contradict one another could be explained in any number of ways. Simply putting the dates of composition earlier doesn’t seem either sufficient or necessary to explain it. At any rate I don’t like to make assumptions about what the intentions and agenda of the publishers must have been.
perseusomega9
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Re: JAT Robinson's early dating redux

Post by perseusomega9 »

Steven Avery wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 3:57 am Discussed on a Facebook group named:
The Apostolic Fathers and Second Century Christianity

Since I believe the full New Testament was written before AD 70, I look forward to learning more.

And I asked if he is including the Theophilus Proposal.
Yes I saw it in that gross apologetic masquerading as scholarship group.
andrewcriddle
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Re: JAT Robinson's early dating redux

Post by andrewcriddle »

Irish1975 wrote: Wed Aug 25, 2021 6:54 am
davidmartin wrote: Wed Aug 25, 2021 4:12 am There are the 3rd century manuscripts that are pretty complete
I didn’t know about these. What are they, and roughly what percentage of the canoncial 4-Gospel Book do they include? (If we’re just talking about bits and pieces, that doesn’t cut it.) I was thinking of Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Alexandrinus. My understanding was that those 4th and 5th century manuscripts are the foundation of the modern reconstructed text.
Papyrus 75 Papyrus 66 Papyrus 45 plus various early fragments.

Andrew Criddle
davidmartin
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Re: JAT Robinson's early dating redux

Post by davidmartin »

Hi Irish
i was thinking of the 3rd century Chester Beatty and the Bodmer papyrus
from memory i think they contain most of the NT books to a large %
My instinct about this is kind of simple. The Gospels are dynamite books. If they had emerged in Christian circles earlier than the time of Justin, they would have had some kind of effect on the literature of the time (apostolic fathers, NT epistles, etc.). But any traces of that effect are lacking. But from the time of Justin onwards, the Gospels and their story leave a deep and wide mark.
Agree on that and that's the conundrum, i also take the simple approach
The NT epistles don't mention the gospels because no gospel was accepted by their authors
In the same way Justin doesn't mention Paul and Acts doesn't mention his letters, because he wasn't fully accepted either for a while. Acts justifies Paul (and Peter) for a reason
The Shepherd of Hermas is early and has a complete system that doesn't depend on either of them
The only logical conclusion is at some point the various divisions in the churches came together under one banner and collated the NT texts they used
This disparate collection looks more like a gathering of pre-existing texts than any attempt to create them at that time. Sure, revisions probably were made before the manuscript evidence begins

I think the evidence is for a profound variety of churches with their own scriptures and different beliefs coming together
Those that were beyond the pale were excluded from this process of course and became the heretics and the waters have been muddied

In other words, at a certain point the writings collected together in the NT canon were heretical to some of the authors of those same writings
It's presented as a unified collection but these writings were forced together and the sectarian nature of this isn't very well hidden, even though the actual origins are quite well hidden by this process cause there's least 100 years of stuff we hardly know anything about
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Irish1975
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Re: JAT Robinson's early dating redux

Post by Irish1975 »

andrewcriddle wrote: Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:03 pm Papyrus 75 Papyrus 66 Papyrus 45 plus various early fragments.

Andrew Criddle
From these Wikipedia articles—
According to Kurt Aland, P75 is the key for understanding the primitive textual history of New Testament, but recently Brent Nongbri has argued that restricting the date of P75 to the late second or early third century is not realistic, and that the similarity of the text of P75 to that of Codex Vaticanus might be better explained by considering both books as products of the fourth century.

P66 is one of the oldest well-preserved New Testament manuscripts known to exist. Its original editor assigned the codex to the early third century, or around AD 200, on the basis of its style of handwriting. Herbert Hunger later claimed that the handwriting should be dated to an earlier period in the middle or early part of the second century. More recently, Brent Nongbri has produced a broader study of the codex and argued that when one takes into consideration the format, construction techniques, and provenance of the codex along with the handwriting, it is more reasonable to conclude that the codex was produced "in the early or middle part of the fourth century."
I don’t know what Nongbri or other contempoary textual critics have said about P45, but the article sources its 3rd century dating to a 1933 book by F.G. Kenyon. From what can be gathered about Nongbri’s book God’s Library, the judgments of older generations of paleographers no longer inspire much confidence.

Here is an article Nongbri published on his website about the dating of P75.
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