Heresiology before 325 CE has been forged: NT Apocryphal literature is a Post-Nicene reaction to the NT Bible.

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Post Reply
StephenGoranson
Posts: 695
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:10 am

Re: Heresiology before 325 CE has been forged: NT Apocryphal literature is a Post-Nicene reaction to the NT Bible.

Post by StephenGoranson »

Thanks, LC, for your reply (Saturday) to my mention of Minim/heretics. Though Constantine may have caused a bump in heresy writings, the interaction of earlier minut (Hebrew, heresy) and the Birkat haMinim (blessing/condemnation of Minim [some texts add Notsrim]) and Greek texts on heresy are not properly dismissed. Dura Europos is important.
Here I add to what Andrew and his link to (missed) Ben Smith on rabbinic references to, apparently, Houses of Ebionites/)Abidan and Houses of Nazarenes/Nitsraphi. I doubt Constantine and co. forged these.
I discussed these, pages 92 and following in The Joseph of Tiberias Episode in Epiphanius: Studies in Jewish and Chistian Relations (1990):
Joseph_of_Tiberias.pdf
Also there, apparent polemic against evangelion. Dismissing Jewish writing misses the Jewish-Christian spectrum.
Original ancient mss are rare; Qumran being an exception. But inscriptions may last longer. For instance the Marcionite inscription dated 318/319 south of Damascus--it refers to that "church" as a synagogue.
Also maybe relevant: Graydon Snyder, Ante Pacem: Archaeological Evidence of Church Life Before Constantine, 1985/1991; 2003 revised ed.
User avatar
Leucius Charinus
Posts: 1408
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:23 pm
Location: memoriae damnatio

Re: The Eusebian fiction

Post by Leucius Charinus »

arnoldo wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 6:57 pm
The Emperor Julian's account is even older and probably of greater significance.

It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that the fabrication of the Galilaeans is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. Though it has in it nothing divine, by making full use of that part of the soul which loves fable and is childish and foolish, it has induced men to believe that the monstrous tale is truth. Now since I intend to treat of all their first dogmas, as they call them, I wish to say in the first place that if my readers desire to try to refute me they must proceed as if they were in a court of law and not drag in irrelevant matter, or, as the saying is, bring counter-charges until they have defended their own views. For thus it will be better and clearer if, when they wish to censure any views of mine, they undertake that as a separate task, but when they are defending themselves against my censure, they bring no counter-charges.

https://tertullian.org/fathers/julian_a ... 1_text.htm

Greetings Arnoldo. I used to think that Ante Nicene Christian history could be explained by a Eusebian fiction postulate supported by this arraignment by the last pagan emperor Julian. But I no longer do because although the forgery and fabrication may have started with Eusebius it certainly didn't stop with Eusebius. The source we call Eusebius had continuators and these sources supposedly write from the vantage point of the 5th century and provide a Christian history of the 4th century including the Arian controversy and the conflict between the orthodoxy and their canonical NT and the "heretics" and their Apocryphal NT.

After the death of Julian, the Christian Nicene Church industry in the later 4th century went on to invent further strands of their "Ecclesiastical History" such as:

EH3 - Martyrology;
EH4 – Hagiography;
EH5 - The Cult of Saints and Martyrs;
EH6 - The Holy Relic Trade;


These were extremely popular inventions for more than a thousand years. Completely fabricated of course. I also contend that these same people responsible for the invention of the above obvious pseudo-historical fabrications were also responsible for the invention of:

EH7 - Ante Nicene Heresiology - Heresy, Heresiologists, Heretics, Heresiarchs and the Index Librorum Prohibitorum.

Many high-profile bishops and academics who flourished in the later 4th century were, later in the middle ages, made “Doctors of the Church”. This period produced the traditional four doctors of the Western Church: Augustine, Ambrose, Jerome, and Gregory the Great and four doctors of the Eastern Church: Athanasius, Chrysostom, Basil, and Gregory of Nazianzus. The western empire had its (Latin) scriptorium in Rome with Damasus and Jerome. The eastern empire had the imperial library of Constantinople. Almost without exceptions all Christian authors indulged in heresiological writings. (That is they were highly concerned with the heretics and their heretical books). In this epoch both the Greek and Latin scriptoria collaborated to harmonise the above pseudo-historical accounts. They also collaborated to harmonise the revised Nicene orthodoxy which entered the law codes of the Roman Empire through the Theodosian decrees.

The "Doctors of the Latin Church" were appointed first by the church industry in 1298 CE while the "Doctors of the Greek Church" were appointed second by the church industry in 1568 CE. Between the 4th century and the 13th-16th century the church industry attempted to get its Latin and Greek manuscripts of pseudo-historical polemic as consistent as possible. Particularly with its heresiology which is featured in the OP.

To conclude this saga of early Christian sources being appointed as "Doctors of the Church" this year (2022) the Pope appointed Irenaeus as a "Doctor of the Church". WTF. IMO Irenaeus is a source fabricated by the later 4th century Latin church industry in order to obfuscate the political history of the 4th century when the Bible Codex was first circulated, and when it was received by a massive heretical / dissident avalanche of "Other Gospels", "Other Acts" etc etc etc of the NT apocrypha.
User avatar
Leucius Charinus
Posts: 1408
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:23 pm
Location: memoriae damnatio

Re: Heresiology before 325 CE has been forged: NT Apocryphal literature is a Post-Nicene reaction to the NT Bible.

Post by Leucius Charinus »

mlinssen wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 9:48 pm
[Lundhaug writes:]

I also hope to have shown that in order to properly understand Gos. Phil. and Exeg. Soul, they need not and should not be approached from the perspective of a predetermined category of “Gnosticism.”
Lundhaug has shown he is trying to understand these NHL tracts in the context of the orthodox perspective which IMO is a waste of time. He is aware of the growing concern among scholars that there is something wrong with the category of "gnosticism" when applied to what we think we know about the traditional orthodox history of Christianity.

This problem has been expressed in a number of ways. Here for example is Karen King's statement:

“Why is it so hard to define Gnosticism? The problem . . . is that a rhetorical term has been confused with a historical entity. There was and is no such thing as Gnosticism, if we mean by that some kind of religious entity with a single origin and a distinct set of characteristics. Gnosticism is, rather, a term invented in the early modern period to aid in defining the boundaries of normative Christianity.

"What is Gnosticism"? (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 2003)

This problem has a simple and elegant solution. The gnostics were not 2nd/3rd century Middle Platonists as the 2nd/3rd century heresiological FF sources (such as Irenaeus, Justin, etc) would have us believe. There is no compelling evidence that any of the philosophical schools had any knowledge of the Christian writings or cult in these early centuries. Nobody was interested then. They did not lie about the Platonist influence but they lied about the century of that influence.

Rather I would argue that the gnostics are 4th century post Nicene Neo-Platonists.

Consider this statement by Gibbon:

The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people, as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate, as equally useful.

The Nicene age philosophers in the Alexandrian Academy were well aware that Constantine's new religious cult was false. The "Platonising Sethian treatises" in the NHL need not have been written by Christians. They look to have been written by Neo-Platonists. The Falsifying Fathers did not lie about the Platonist influence on so-called "Christian gnostic writings". But they lied about the century in which that Platonist influence flourished.

The philosophers entered the fray at the Nicene council. Since that went badly for everyone except the Constantinian faction, the highly literate Neo-Platonist writers took up the stylus and started writing their own versions of Constantine's Jesus Story Book.

The entire effort of Gnosticism consisted precisely in acclimatizing Plotinic logic within biblical creationism at a highly specific moment in history --- immediately following the Nicene Council. (IMHO)
User avatar
Leucius Charinus
Posts: 1408
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:23 pm
Location: memoriae damnatio

Re: Heresiology before 325 CE has been forged: NT Apocryphal literature is a Post-Nicene reaction to the NT Bible.

Post by Leucius Charinus »

StephenGoranson wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 4:04 am Thanks, LC, for your reply (Saturday) to my mention of Minim/heretics.
You're welcome SG.
Though Constantine may have caused a bump in heresy writings, the interaction of earlier minut (Hebrew, heresy) and the Birkat haMinim (blessing/condemnation of Minim [some texts add Notsrim]) and Greek texts on heresy are not properly dismissed.
In the OP I am essentially proposing a new historical paradigm for the authorship and date of composition of the Greek and Coptic NT Apocryphal (NTA) corpus (including the NHL). The alternative proposal is that these are largely a post-Nicene avalanche of books written by Neo-Platonist writers in reaction to the Constantine Bible. There wasn't a bump in heretical "Other Jesus Books", there was a mountain, which the church I believe has attempted to obscure and erase.

My explanation of the pre-Nicene Greek heresiological texts (Irenaeus et al), is that they were fabricated in the later 4th century by the Latin church under Damasus, in order to obscure the "book wars" during the rule of Constantine.

I repeat this in case you are assuming I am attempting to provide a theory for the composition and date of authorship of the NT canonical (NTC) literature. See especially point 5) in the OP:

5) All theories for the authorship of the NTC and the history of Christian origins may be entertained in relation to the transmission of the NTC to the 4th century, The proposal here is that no matter when the NTC was composed, whether Jesus is historical or mythical, when the NTC was published by Constantine, none of the books of the NTA had been authored.

Dura Europos is important.
I found an index of articles here:
https://people.duke.edu/~goranson/

As you must be aware I don't share the mainstream theories and opinions about Christian origins. This includes the often-repeated claim for the discovery of a Christian house-church at Dura Europos. I am inclined to argue that this was a Jewish house-church. I have set out my arguments for this proposition here:

The Runes of Christ at Dura Europos
https://www.academia.edu/38115589/The_R ... ra_Europos

Here I add to what Andrew and his link to (missed) Ben Smith on rabbinic references to, apparently, Houses of Ebionites/)Abidan and Houses of Nazarenes/Nitsraphi. I doubt Constantine and co. forged these.
The OP proposes that the new testament apocryphal writings were produced by elite Neo-Platonist philosophical writers and other literate pagans in reaction to the sudden and unexpected publication of the NT and LXX Bible codex as a political instrument in the Roman empire c.325 CE. Constantine may have received the NT canonical writings from the 1st, 2nd or 3rd centuries. I acknowledge that Dura Parchment 24 from the mid 3rd century deserves a reasonable explanation.
I discussed these, pages 92 and following in The Joseph of Tiberias Episode in Epiphanius: Studies in Jewish and Chistian Relations (1990):
Joseph_of_Tiberias.pdf
After I read these pages I read in your abstract "That Epiphanius and Joseph met in Scythopolis between 355-360 CE appears reliably historical" I'd be interested to learn your source for this and, at the same time ask you a question. The question is whether you have read of the account in Ammianus Marcellinus (Book 19,CH 12) of what looks to be the first attested Christian state inquisition at Scythopolis c.359 CE. Here is an extract for this:
http://mountainman.com.au/essenes/res_gestae_19.htm

Also there, apparent polemic against evangelion. Dismissing Jewish writing misses the Jewish-Christian spectrum.
I don't see a Jewish-Christian spectrum in any of the NT Apocryphal writings which I believe can be explained using Hellenistic literature alone, although this is often responding to Jewish and Christian issues presented in the Greek NT canon and the Greek LXX which were both packaged together and circulated c.325 CE

Original ancient mss are rare; Qumran being an exception.
The Nag Hammadi Library I believe will become instrumental in understanding what went down in the Roman Empire when the NT canonical Jesus Story Book was published by the Emperor, and rightful Pontifex Maximus, Constantine.
But inscriptions may last longer. For instance the Marcionite inscription dated 318/319 south of Damascus--it refers to that "church" as a synagogue.
This is the Deir Ali Inscription - χρηστοu: "JS the Good": The archaeological remains of a Marcionite synagogue/church include an inscription dated to 318 CE:
  • "The meeting-house of the Marcionists, in the village of Lebaba, of the Lord and Saviour JS the Good - Erected by the forethought of Paul a presbyter, in the year 630 Seleucid era." [4] (318 CE)

    [4] Philippe Le Bas and William Henry Waddington, Greek Inscriptions grecques et latines recueillies en Grèce et en Asie Mineure (1870), volume 3, inscription 2558.
Also maybe relevant: Graydon Snyder, Ante Pacem: Archaeological Evidence of Church Life Before Constantine, 1985/1991; 2003 revised ed.
Thanks. I have conducted a review of the evidence presented by Snyder. I don't really find any of it to be - in some cases compelling, and/or in other cases unambiguously "Christian".
http://mountainman.com.au/essenes/Ante% ... Review.htm

Unfortunately I do not have any faith that the church industry deals fairly with relics and artefacts and other archaeological material.

Snyder: "The real founders of the science of early Christian archaeology came in the 19th century: Giuseppe Marchi (1795-1860) and Giovanni de Rossi (1822-1894)...[the latter] published between 1857 and 1861 the first volume of "Inscriptiones christianae urbis Romae". Pope Pius IX moved beyond collecting by appointing in 1852 a commission - "Commissione de archaelogia sacra" - that would be responsible for all early Christian remains."

FWIW I have also checked "The Christians for Christians Inscriptions of Phrygia" and made a review of data presented by Elsa Gibson
http://mountainman.com.au/essenes/article_074.htm

New Testament archaeology is IMO an oxymoron. It's rarer than hen's teeth. Dura Parchment 24 from the mid 3rd century is the best pre-Nicene evidence I have examined. If you have other candidates for early Christian archaeology then chances are that I have already looked at them. The crucifix appears in the late 6th century. The C14 date for the Gospel of Judas appears to now hover over the 4th century. Hence I question the paradigm which has been received from the church industry of antiquity via the church industry of the middle ages.
StephenGoranson
Posts: 695
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:10 am

Re: Heresiology before 325 CE has been forged: NT Apocryphal literature is a Post-Nicene reaction to the NT Bible.

Post by StephenGoranson »

LC, I note that you did not respond to my ‘Joseph of Tiberias” 1990 relevant pages,
https://people.duke.edu/~goranson/jannaeus.pdf

nor to the pre-325 Marcionite “synagogue’ inscription, etcetera. Ignoring evidence? So I’ll be selective.

IF interested, see Vassilius Tzaferis, Christian Symbols of the 4th Century and the Church Fathers, Hebrew U. Jerusalem dissertation, 1971.

The genuine Dura mss and the house church are surely Christian. The mss was found in fill because many tons of fill were filled inside the west wall in a desperate, failed attempt to save the city–nothing suspicious about that. The house church (which was architecturally modified), down West Street from the actual synagogue, was surely Christian, as re-presented in a Yale U zoom conference earlier this year. Also, "7 vs. 8: The Battle Over the Holy Day at Dura-Europos",:
https://people.duke.edu/~goranson/Dura-Europos.pdf
User avatar
Leucius Charinus
Posts: 1408
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:23 pm
Location: memoriae damnatio

Re: Heresiology before 325 CE has been forged: NT Apocryphal literature is a Post-Nicene reaction to the NT Bible.

Post by Leucius Charinus »

StephenGoranson wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 7:04 am LC, I note that you did not respond to my ‘Joseph of Tiberias” 1990 relevant pages,
https://people.duke.edu/~goranson/jannaeus.pdf
I read pp92 ff in your article https://people.duke.edu/~goranson/Josep ... berias.pdf

However I tend to agree with the view that there is nothing in the DSS or in the Jewish writings (including the Talmud) directly relevant to the emergence of the NT canonical literature, or to the appearance of Christians, or to the emergence of the NT apocryphal literature. I did ask a question about your source on Epiphanius visiting Scythopolis.
nor to the pre-325 Marcionite “synagogue’ inscription, etcetera. Ignoring evidence?
I responded to this inscription by pointing out it makes reference to Jesus the Good and not to Jesus the Christ. This ambiguity between Chrestos and Christos is not trivial and has been discussed at length in this thread an many others in this forum. So I am not ignoring the evidence I am asking how are we to explain this evidence.
The genuine Dura mss and the house church are surely Christian.
I have already acknowledged that Dura Parchment 24 is likely to be Christian (or Chrestian) however I cannot agree that the house church is Christian and have furnished an article which outlines the reasons for rejecting this association despite Yale Divinity College's assertions to the contrary.

Here is that article again:
The Runes of Christ at Dura Europos
https://www.academia.edu/38115589/The_R ... ra_Europos

The mss was found in fill because many tons of fill were filled inside the west wall in a desperate, failed attempt to save the city–nothing suspicious about that.
The mss was actually discovered by Susan Hopkins in a workman's bucket. I have stated that in all likelihood it is an artefact from the mid 3rd century. However it is a fragment of a "Harmony Gospel" not a fragment of any canonical literature.
The house church (which was architecturally modified), down West Street from the actual synagogue, was surely Christian, as re-presented in a Yale U zoom conference earlier this year. Also, "7 vs. 8: The Battle Over the Holy Day at Dura-Europos",:
https://people.duke.edu/~goranson/Dura-Europos.pdf
I saw your note in the Classical Texts section. I do not dispute that many scholars consider the Dura house church to be Christian. However I have outlined arguments against this identification and am happy to discuss this. Hopefully in a separate thread seeing that the OP is specifically engaged in the history of the emergence of the NT apocryphal literature.


ETA: I have responded about the Dura discovery here:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=9290
User avatar
Secret Alias
Posts: 14371
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:47 am

Re: Heresiology before 325 CE has been forged: NT Apocryphal literature is a Post-Nicene reaction to the NT Bible.

Post by Secret Alias »

There is just no point reasoning with him. There is no attempt at being reasonable, deciding what's more probable/likely etc. According to this guy it's more likely that you'd have fourth century 'factory' falsifying:

1. gospels, letters of Paul and the rest of the New Testament
2. writings of the Church Fathers who comment on (1) as we see in Tertullian's Against Marcion which starts by saying the present work was
(a) originally written by the same author but then
(b) someone came along and wrote a new version which
(c) this version is my rewrite of the rewrite of the original
3. then Against Marcion itself forward five different 'approaches' to Marcion including Book Four which goes through the Gospel of Luke section by section accusing Marcion
(a) of stealing only this gospel
(b) removing passages from Luke
(c) removing passages from Matthew
(d) demonstrating in each chapter of how the Jewish Scriptures which Marcion rejects properly explain the gospel

There is no way that a factory somewhere in the Roman Empire was busy not only inventing New Testament scriptures but Patristic commentary on these forgeries to the level of complexity just described above. But there are obvious parallels to other modern conspiracy theories advocated at this forum.
User avatar
Leucius Charinus
Posts: 1408
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:23 pm
Location: memoriae damnatio

Re: Heresiology before 325 CE has been forged: NT Apocryphal literature is a Post-Nicene reaction to the NT Bible.

Post by Leucius Charinus »

Secret Alias wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 6:46 pm According to this guy it's more likely that you'd have fourth century 'factory' falsifying:

1. gospels, letters of Paul and the rest of the New Testament
Wrong. The subject matter is specifically the NT apocryphal literature. Not the NT canonical literature. Most people understand the difference.
StephenGoranson
Posts: 695
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:10 am

Re: Heresiology before 325 CE has been forged: NT Apocryphal literature is a Post-Nicene reaction to the NT Bible.

Post by StephenGoranson »

The Dura Europos church has wall paintings of New Testament scenes. (And Christian graffiti.) Archaeologist-excavated.
The Excavations at Dura-Europos. Final Report VIII. Part II The Christian Building. 1967.

"The oldest inscription from any Christian church building is from a Marcionite church in a small village south of Damascus. The inscription, in Greek, identifies the building as the "gathering place [synagoge ] of the Marcionites of the village of Lebabon of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ under the leadership of Paul the presbyter" and is dated 318–319. “
https://www.encyclopedia.com/environmen ... marcionism
User avatar
mlinssen
Posts: 1931
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:01 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Heresiology before 325 CE has been forged: NT Apocryphal literature is a Post-Nicene reaction to the NT Bible.

Post by mlinssen »

StephenGoranson wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 4:22 am The Dura Europos church has wall paintings of New Testament scenes. (And Christian graffiti.) Archaeologist-excavated.
The Excavations at Dura-Europos. Final Report VIII. Part II The Christian Building. 1967.
There appears to be a good deal of interpretation going on there - do you have a link to the wall paintings perhaps?

Oh wait LOL

https://artgallery.yale.edu/collections/objects/34498
yuag_50fcc236-64da-42ab-87d2-e2e518e2e41c.jpg
yuag_50fcc236-64da-42ab-87d2-e2e518e2e41c.jpg (23.94 KiB) Viewed 154 times
For more enjoyment: https://artgallery.yale.edu/overall-sea ... 20painting

I especially like "Christ walking on water"
yuag_74687270-ba41-4f58-87c2-34994932526c.jpg
yuag_74687270-ba41-4f58-87c2-34994932526c.jpg (20.68 KiB) Viewed 149 times
And the "good shepherd" of course. Loads of LOLz
Post Reply