Evidence of a John the Baptist connected (via Apollos) with the original Book of Revelation

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Giuseppe
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Evidence of a John the Baptist connected (via Apollos) with the original Book of Revelation

Post by Giuseppe »

I have only made 2 + 2.

So Roger Parvus:

If this was the theme of the Corinthian wisdom, it would explain too the Apostle’s building imagery in 1 Cor. 3:10-17 and the way he lays it out. For we know from Revelation that some Christians expected God both to provide a new and magnificent earthly Jerusalem and to dwell therein: “I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling of God with men’” (Rev. 21:3). It was prophesied that the twelve gates of the city will be made from twelve pearls (Rev. 21:21). Prophesied too that the city walls will be made of jasper and pure gold (Rev. 21:18), and that the foundations of the walls will be decorated with every precious stone. Rev. 21:19-20 lists the twelve kinds of precious stone that will be used. On the foundations the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb will be inscribed (Rev. 21:14). To me it is plausible that Simon/Paul had this kind of prophetic wisdom in view when he warned that the only foundation is Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 3:11) and surmised that building on it with “gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or straw” (1 Cor. 3:12) may be wasted effort. The Apostle’s words, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you (1 Cor. 3:16)” would be a counter thrust to any prophecy like that in Rev. 21:3 where it is foretold that God will dwell in “the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven” (Rev. 21:3).

In fact, some have proposed that the most extensive personal contribution the author of Revelation made to the work was its first three chapters (1:1-3:22) and its conclusion (22:6-21). And interestingly enough, those parts may have been written with an awareness of the issues discussed in the central section of 1 Corinthians; marriage to unbelievers, for instance, and the eating of food that had been sacrificed to idols. Dale B. Martin writes: “It is entirely possible, as surprising as it may be for modern Christians, that Revelation was written, at least in part, to condemn a form of Pauline Christianity existing in western Asia Minor at the end of the first century. Those are the kind of comfortable Christians John wants to afflict. (New Testament History and Literature, p. 357)

Note that I am not suggesting that the book of Revelation had already been written by the 50s. It obviously wasn’t, since its visions about Nero redivivus point at least to a date of composition after his death in 68 CE. What I am suggesting is that the community from which the Revelation prophecies emanated was already in existence in the 50s and that already at least some of its members were prophesying an end-time reign of Christ on earth. Many mainstream scholars agree that the author of Revelation brought older oracles into his work and incorporated some of them with little or no alteration.

https://vridar.org/2014/03/31/a-simonia ... ntroversy/


And so Earl Doherty:

From this introduction to the dispute in Corinth, Paul launches directly into his great discourse on the folly of worldly wisdom vs. God's wisdom, and it is folly in itself not to regard this discussion as directly relating to the dispute with Apollos.

https://www.jesuspuzzle.com/jesuspuzzle/supp01.htm

Hence:
John the Baptist's ipsissima verba appear in Book of Revelation.

It was expected, then, as natural reaction against John the Baptist:
  • that a moderate pauline ("Mark") made John the Baptist subjected to Paul's Jesus
  • that a radical pauline (Marcion) hated John the Baptist.
perseusomega9
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Re: Evidence of a John the Baptist connected (via Apollos) with the original Book of Revelation

Post by perseusomega9 »

This has implications for the Apollos in Acts who only knew John's baptism and had to be taught by Priscilla and Aquila about Paul's gospel.
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Re: Evidence of a John the Baptist connected (via Apollos) with the original Book of Revelation

Post by Giuseppe »

perseusomega9 wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 6:27 am This has implications for the Apollos in Acts who only knew John's baptism and had to be taught by Priscilla and Aquila about Paul's gospel.
I interpret it not to mean that Apollos didn't know Jesus, since in 1 Corinthians he clearly does. The Apollos's point, beyond what Acts want us believe (i.e. that Apollos is an inferior Christian), is that to know accurately the things about Jesus (via scriptures) one has to know precisely the "baptism of John", i.e. the revelation of John (since, due to Mark's invention, the revelation of John was replaced by his baptism). In other terms, the Book of Revelation.

Many, included Doherty, have thought (wrongly) that Apollos was from some Gnostic milieu insofar in Acts his actor appear to give special meaning to a initiation rite as the 'baptism of John'. The reality is that the "baptism of John" is totally a Mark's invention, created to eclipse what John had better to give: an apocalyptic revelation.
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Re: Evidence of a John the Baptist connected (via Apollos) with the original Book of Revelation

Post by Giuseppe »

As corollary of the fact that "Mark" (author) replaced the apocalyptic revelation of John with an elusive initiation rite called 'baptism' (what better than an initiation rite could eclipse - and work as - a secret revelation ?):

The Baptist Passage in Josephus is totally interpolated.

There was never a baptism of John.
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Re: Dating the Emergence of 'Christos Gnoticism' in Asia Minor

Post by billd89 »

Roger Parvus:
What I am suggesting is that the community from which the Revelation prophecies emanated was already in existence in the 50s and that already at least some of its members were prophesying an end-time reign of Christ on earth. Many mainstream scholars agree that the author of Revelation brought older oracles into his work and incorporated some of them with little or no alteration.

And so Earl Doherty:
it is folly in itself not to regard this discussion as directly relating to the dispute with Apollos.

This means:
During the mid 50s, there existed already a Christos movement, in a number of communitities where such beliefs were already current. Paul and others knowingly engaged these Logos-Christos Gnostics, knew their points, and spoke their language in 40 AD. What presupposes this Judaic Gnostic intellectual milieu was novel? Within reason, it was at least a generation old (c.20 AD) confirmed: from Philo Judaeus c.35 AD, we know there were many such heterodox, radical allegorists preaching what Philo considered heresy. (From a tradtional Palestinian Jewish standpoint, Philo's own Logos Doctrine c.25 AD was pretty far out-there too; he doesnt elaborate his opponents' most radical ideas, so he must be considered 'conservative' among a wide spectrum of Allegorists.)

On the Christos Doctrine itself, Apollos' Epistle to the Hebrews (Melchizedekians = Alexandrians) shows the Christos-Logos doctrine was fairly recent c.50 AD and unfamiliar in the great metropolis, so arriving c.40-45 AD. Where does the Christos Doctrine originate? Alexandria had just suffered an enormous (the first recorded) progrom - the Jewish community was devastated. I highly doubt this idea begins in Jewish or Gentile Alexandria so late: the Christos Doctrine is probably Phoenician or Syrian in its oldest form(s).

(Proto-)Gnosticism is a different, much larger topic: it is likely to have emerged in Middle Egypt c.100 BC onwards. (Very fuzzy.)

The pressing need for personal salvation and dire forecast behind Revelation prophecies are different but related strands in this weaving. Paul had studied this kind of material, knew how to answer and mould listeners' expectations on familiar religious & philosophical terrain, as he preached in heterodox communities and radical synagogues which were already in existence c.40 AD. Paul's message was not entirely new-new in all its particulars, the ground was tilled.

In coastal Asia Minor and cities where Paul worked, these Judaic communal beliefs included foretellings of palingenesis, a Destruction of Reality and Cosmic Renewal. (The destruction part had just happened to Alexandrian Judaism in 38 AD.) Classical Gnosticism is characterized by an Evil/Furious Demiurge: as when God flooded the Earth to wipe out Mankind. So next time, with Fire? (Evil Demiurge, check! Definitely 'Gnostic'.) These "older oracles" were two or more generations older? Therefore, we are talking about Gnostic/Apocalyptic teachings found in Asia Minor by at least 25 BC, if not much earlier.

It seems probable that radical 'Egyptian' (Alexandrian Jewish) teachings radiated out to the Diaspora for generations before Christ, but there's no reason to assume Alexandria is where it all began. The ideas came to Alexandria from the hinterlands, found translators, and transited the metropolis via trade-networks to the coastal cities of the Eastern Med.
Last edited by billd89 on Thu Sep 09, 2021 7:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Giuseppe
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Re: Dating the Emergence of 'Christos Gnoticism' in Asia Minor

Post by Giuseppe »

billd89 wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 7:11 am This means:
During the mid 50s, there existed already a Christos movement, in a number of communitities where such beliefs were already current.
I am inclined to think so (assuming Pauline authenticity) even if I concede that the alternative view (no Christians before 70 CE) is serious and worthy to investigate.
billd89 wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 7:11 am Paul and others knowingly engaged these Logos-Christos Gnostics, knew their points, and spoke their language in 40 AD.
It doesn't appear to me that Paul and the enemies of Paul in Corynth (Apollos between them) were 'Gnostics' or anti-demiurgists. My conclusion above is contrary.

Where possibly John the Baptist is made anti-demiurgist, is in proto-John (an anti-demiurgist gospel), unless John the Baptist is interpolated in that gospel to make it anti-anti-demiurgist.
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Gnostics, Anti-Demiurge

Post by billd89 »

Not all Gnostics were stridentally Anti-Demiurge. This is the point Friedlander (1889), Pierson (1979), and Jonas (1934) among others have followed, however unpopular. The Gnostic label is admittedly problematic, but German scholars in the 1930s used 'Hermetic' & 'Gnostic' interchangeably. At the other extreme, current scholars have created narrow and artificial definitions that were never relevant to the pious heterodox worshipper of the 1st C.

Folk-religion and popular philosophies in a largely illiterate period & zone were nowhere near as dogmatic as you imagine; the battle-lines were (mostly) drawn much later.

The Logos Doctrine was old, probably before 150 BC. It was lately augmented then supplanted by a Christos doctine, already known in some form(s) to Alexandria c.35-40 AD. Apollo presented a (implied Alexandrine) Christos preaching in c.40 AD, but it was not PAUL's. Then (45-50 AD) Apollo - assumed Author of Hebrews, to a Melchizedekian synagogue back in Alexandria- had to reiterate his new-&-better Pauline Christos Doctrine to those backsliding Melchizedekians. The Alexandrian Melchizedekians were not Christians or Chrestiani - they believed in a Logos/Two Power doctrine that was one (urban, Egyptian) strand of radical Judaism, soon disappeared. Melchizedekians should have become 'Jesus Christians' eventually - I suspect there were Jesus Christians in Alexandria as early as c.55 AD.

I'm really not seeing John the Baptist in all this; that was certainly a cult, a faraway rural cult (way beyond Asia Minor). But there were many such cults back then. I'm also not at all convinced - I mean, I disbelieve - that any ritual purification w/ water was automatic proof of that John's cult & purported belief system. I also think 'John the Baptist' is the most exaggerated tracing of Christianity. Any old baptist/water ritual was conflated w/ 'John the Baptist' - and that's absurd, frankly.
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Re: Gnostics, Anti-Demiurge

Post by Giuseppe »

billd89 wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 8:02 am Not all Gnostics were stridentally Anti-Demiurge.
I agree with this. My point, when I say that the Gnostics were anti-demiurgists, is that the only Gnostics who influenced the fate of Christianity were the anti-demiurgists among them. The reaction against their anti-demiurgism was what provoked a total revision of the Christian scriptures in the canon.

Remove the anti-demiurgists from the Gnostics, and you remove any their influence very worthy of the name, on Christianity.

To all pratical POVs.

Corollary: a Gnostic who adored YHWH as supreme god is a gnostic who didn't influence really Christianity.
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Re: Evidence of a John the Baptist connected (via Apollos) with the original Book of Revelation

Post by Giuseppe »

Another corollary of my first post of this thread:

no connection at all between Hebrews and Apollos.

Save on a point: in Revelation there is no crucifixion, only immolation. So also in Hebrews: no crucifixion, only immolation.
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Re: Apollos & Hebrews

Post by billd89 »

Giuseppe wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 8:47 amno connection at all between Hebrews and .
There are many scholars who think Apollos may well have written Hebrews, but no incontrovertible proof.
Start with Martin Luther?

Circumstantial evidence leads us to see
1) Hebrews is written to Hellenistic Jews who are focused on Melchizedek.
2) Melchizedek literature is cited, without exception (that I know of) as 'Alexandrian' in form/style.
3) No attestation of Melchizedek veneration in Judea c.50 AD
4) Melchizedek/Logos belief was intellectual, cosmopolitan and 'Egyptian' = Alexandrian synagogue network.
5) Apollos is identified as an Alexandrian Jew: highly intellectual, exactly the kind of writer who would produce Hebrews.

Against the John the Baptist party-line, attached to Apollos:
6) Baptism was not exclusively John's practice; Acts 18:25 "though he knew only the baptism of John" looks interpolated.
7) No compelling evidence of John cult in Egypt until when?

I've also seen nothing to suggest a) Roman Priscilla ever resided at Alexandria or b) preached to/reformed Melchizedekians. She's Roman, doesn't fit the discourse. A Roman would emphasize Roman topics, overwhelmingly; they would be as bad as New Yorkers in that regard. Likewise, an Alexandrian sees the world through his Alexandrian eyes: Melchizedek is a core belief and relic culture among some Alexandrian Jews (for reasons I have argued before.)
Last edited by billd89 on Thu Sep 09, 2021 2:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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