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

Post by Leucius Charinus »

Jair wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 1:55 pm I’m not even going to try to get into the XP or IC stuff because I don’t know Greek. But am I correct in deducing that what’s being debated is whether Dura was a Christian place, or a Chrestian place in the 300s?
I understand that the opening post may appear complicated to those who have not become familiar with the terminology related to the conflict between two series of Christian books - 1) the NTC = NT canonical books, and 2 - the NTA = NT apocryphal books. This conflict involves the study or heretics and heretical writings, is generally called heresiology and is championed by the writings of the orthodoxy AGAINST the writings of the heretics.

Having said this, tangentiation has lead to a discussion of the so-called "Christian house-church" at Dura Europos. Whether Yale Divinity college has arrived at their interpretation of one room in a house at Dura Europos being "Christian" in a legitimate fashion, or whether the identification of its being "Christian" is simply a product of 1930's confirmation bias by the Yale Divinity team and its sponsors.

A further discussion related to the difference between "Christian" and "Chrestian" in the earliest sources is an added element that appears all through the evidence from antiquity and has not been satisfactorily resolved. Recently it was demonstrated that - contrary to all the modern translations - Chrestos and Chrestians appear throughout the Nag Hammadi library for example. What does this mean? Nobody knows at the moment.

Finally people will notice that Huller wants to keep discussing the mountainman theory that Constantine commissioned the invention of the NT canonical literature and the church history of Eusebius in the epoch 312-324 CE. Whereas the OP makes it crystal clear that everyone can retain their pet theories for the NT canonical (NTC) literature as either historical sources from the 1st / 2nd centuries (where Jesus is historical) OR whether the NT canonical material is a fabrication of the 1st / 2nd century (where Jesus is either mythical or fictional).

What the OP outlines is an alternative theory for the NT Apocryphal literature which is independent of the NT canonical literature no matter in which century the NT canonical literature first appeared on planet Earth. I hope this clarification helps.
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Re: Heresiology before 325 CE has been forged: NT Apocryphal literature is a Post-Nicene reaction to the NT Bible.

Post by Jair »

That does make sense. Have multiple reputable archaeologists studied the house in Dura since the Yale dig in 1930? If so, what’s the consensus? And where do you lean regarding the Dura house? You had said something about graffiti earlier, IIRC. Are you hypothesizing that the art is more likely graffiti from a later date than the 300s?

Regarding the NTA, I’m by no means a scholar, but that’s a very broad category of writings, isn’t it?
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Leucius Charinus
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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: Mon Apr 11, 2022 12:56 pmIf it is a first letter last letter abbreviation coupled with an overbar is uniquely Christian. End of story.

OK. So what happens if the abbreviations are not coupled with an overbar?

In the preliminary report of the Dura discovery Hopkins did not show these abbreviations as having overbars. Moreover, in the concluding section of the report he wrote this:
  • “Very possibly, however, in short inscriptions this line above was not considered necessary.”
No overbar implies that these inscriptions do not conform to the trade mark Christian abbreviations called nomina sacra. End of story.
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Re: Heresiology before 325 CE has been forged: NT Apocryphal literature is a Post-Nicene reaction to the NT Bible.

Post by Leucius Charinus »

Jair wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 6:27 pm That does make sense. Have multiple reputable archaeologists studied the house in Dura since the Yale dig in 1930? If so, what’s the consensus?
The walls of the house church were gathered together and shipped back to Yale Divinity College in packing cases pretty soon after the "discovery". They were further studied and "restored" over the decades and are probably still part of an exhibit. The consensus of scholars believe it to be legit as claimed by Yale.
And where do you lean regarding the Dura house?
I lean towards confirmation bias. Nobody knows what Jesus and Peter looked like. So to identify them in the murals in one room of this house at Dura is a stupendous exercise in group think. The critical trade mark presence of Christians is the claim that there are Christian "nomina sacra", sacred abbreviations, present in the room. These are two (or 3) Greek letters with an overbar above them. Without the overbar the abbreviations most likely have other significance which is not specifically Christian. The preliminary report does not show overbars and the author / discoverer Clark Hopkins writes “Very possibly, however, in short inscriptions this line above was not considered necessary.”. In other words, Hopkins did not see any overbars. Ergo Christian provenance evaporates. (IMO)
You had said something about graffiti earlier, IIRC. Are you hypothesizing that the art is more likely graffiti from a later date than the 300s?
No. The house was buried in the mid 3rd century (c.245 CE) as a result of defense efforts of the Roman garrison against an invasion by the Persians. Dura was a Roman garrison town and they constructed a rampart inside the walls to better be able to repel the enemy. The construction of this rampart buried alot of houses along the western wall including the house (containing the "Religious Room") in question. So the house, its religious room, its murals, its graffiti and the rest of the stuff was essentially preserved since the 3rd century. The Romans at Dura were eventually defeated by the Persians and the city fell into ruin and was gradually buried by the sand until its discovery in recent times.

The questions relate to the interpretation of the evidence preserved there.
Regarding the NTA, I’m by no means a scholar, but that’s a very broad category of writings, isn’t it?
Yes it is probably extending to hundreds of texts including the Nag Hammadi Library, the "Gnostic Gospels" and all sorts of weird Jesus and Apostle Story Books.

Here are a couple of lists:

Tabulation for some of the texts in the NTA include these:

http://mountainman.com.au/essenes/Autho ... _Index.htm

https://www.earlychristianwritings.com/apocrypha.html
Last edited by Leucius Charinus on Thu May 12, 2022 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Heresiology before 325 CE has been forged: NT Apocryphal literature is a Post-Nicene reaction to the NT Bible.

Post by mlinssen »

Leucius Charinus wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 6:58 pm
Secret Alias wrote: Mon Apr 11, 2022 12:56 pmIf it is a first letter last letter abbreviation coupled with an overbar is uniquely Christian. End of story.

OK. So what happens if the abbreviations are not coupled with an overbar?

In the preliminary report of the Dura discovery Hopkins did not show these abbreviations as having overbars. Moreover, in the concluding section of the report he wrote this:
  • “Very possibly, however, in short inscriptions this line above was not considered necessary.”
No overbar implies that these inscriptions do not conform to the trade mark Christian abbreviations called nomina sacra. End of story.
An oldy of one year ago:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7828&p=123134

Nomina sacra in Thomas: only IS is fully covered, ⲥ⳨ⲟⲥ even has no superlinears at all. While on that topic, how about the stirograms in Christian and Chrestian MSS? Can you guess which belong to what?
stirograms_NHL-ChristianMSS.jpg
stirograms_NHL-ChristianMSS.jpg (290.91 KiB) Viewed 243 times
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Re: Heresiology before 325 CE has been forged: NT Apocryphal literature is a Post-Nicene reaction to the NT Bible.

Post by StephenGoranson »

Jair asked on Thursday: "....Have multiple reputable archaeologists studied the house in Dura since the Yale dig in 1930? If so, what’s the consensus?...."

The consensus is that Dura had a Christian building. There are differences on details; for example, did one painting represent the Samaritan woman at the well or Mary? (The relevant bibliography is huge.)

The excavation was a joint French and Yale Uni project. Some artifacts are at Yale Art Gallery.

Another widely-held view: Christian writings before Constantine were many and diverse.

Also, division between canonical and apocryphal works was a process over time.
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Leucius Charinus
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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: Thu May 12, 2022 8:28 pm
Leucius Charinus wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 6:58 pm
Secret Alias wrote: Mon Apr 11, 2022 12:56 pmIf it is a first letter last letter abbreviation coupled with an overbar is uniquely Christian. End of story.

OK. So what happens if the abbreviations are not coupled with an overbar?

In the preliminary report of the Dura discovery Hopkins did not show these abbreviations as having overbars. Moreover, in the concluding section of the report he wrote this:
  • “Very possibly, however, in short inscriptions this line above was not considered necessary.”
No overbar implies that these inscriptions do not conform to the trade mark Christian abbreviations called nomina sacra. End of story.
An oldy of one year ago:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7828&p=123134

Nomina sacra in Thomas: only IS is fully covered, ⲥ⳨ⲟⲥ even has no superlinears at all.
Any general theory for the appearance of the "traditional series" of nomina sacra in the Greek NT codices and manuscripts must now also account for the appearance of the nomina sacra in the Coptic NHL. The obvious question is how they are related. Which was produced first. Who copied who? What motived the respective editors to employ this system of abbreviations? Any ideas?
While on that topic, how about the stirograms in Christian and Chrestian MSS? Can you guess which belong to what?
stirograms_NHL-ChristianMSS.jpg
These are questions that need answers as well. I don't have the answers. I suspect that the editors of the NHL were responding to what they found in Constantine's Bible. But I could be wrong.
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Re: Heresiology before 325 CE has been forged: NT Apocryphal literature is a Post-Nicene reaction to the NT Bible.

Post by mlinssen »

Leucius Charinus wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 4:02 am
mlinssen wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 8:28 pm
Leucius Charinus wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 6:58 pm
Secret Alias wrote: Mon Apr 11, 2022 12:56 pmIf it is a first letter last letter abbreviation coupled with an overbar is uniquely Christian. End of story.

OK. So what happens if the abbreviations are not coupled with an overbar?

In the preliminary report of the Dura discovery Hopkins did not show these abbreviations as having overbars. Moreover, in the concluding section of the report he wrote this:
  • “Very possibly, however, in short inscriptions this line above was not considered necessary.”
No overbar implies that these inscriptions do not conform to the trade mark Christian abbreviations called nomina sacra. End of story.
An oldy of one year ago:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7828&p=123134

Nomina sacra in Thomas: only IS is fully covered, ⲥ⳨ⲟⲥ even has no superlinears at all.
Any general theory for the appearance of the "traditional series" of nomina sacra in the Greek NT codices and manuscripts must now also account for the appearance of the nomina sacra in the Coptic NHL. The obvious question is how they are related. Which was produced first. Who copied who? What motived the respective editors to employ this system of abbreviations? Any ideas?
While on that topic, how about the stirograms in Christian and Chrestian MSS? Can you guess which belong to what?
stirograms_NHL-ChristianMSS.jpg
These are questions that need answers as well. I don't have the answers. I suspect that the editors of the NHL were responding to what they found in Constantine's Bible. But I could be wrong.
The textual evidence in the NHL overwhelmingly points to priority, as you clearly spotted by even glancing at the NS. The obfuscsted presence of Chrestian did already, and the (lack of) maturity of nomina sacra does likewise

You have invested a lot of time and energy into all of this. The majority of material (if not all) is very useful, but your theory has fallen through - whether you like it or not, whether you acknowledge it or not, that doesn't matter.
You can now invest time in denial, saying "oh yeah we need to find answers to that" while you know that you're the last one on earth who would actually want an answer - or you can man up, admit that this is what can happen when doing research, and throw most of your theory overboard

You're not a bad guy Leucius. Just accept the facts, dig deeper, and find new ones. Or become a grumpy old denier.
Most of the people on this forum are wrong, some are dead wrong, and some make complete idiots of themselves - it's your choice to which of those three you want to belong

:whistling:
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Leucius Charinus
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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: Fri May 13, 2022 4:43 am
These are questions that need answers as well. I don't have the answers. I suspect that the editors of the NHL were responding to what they found in Constantine's Bible. But I could be wrong.
The textual evidence in the NHL overwhelmingly points to priority, as you clearly spotted by even glancing at the NS. The obfuscsted presence of Chrestian did already, and the (lack of) maturity of nomina sacra does likewise

You have invested a lot of time and energy into all of this. The majority of material (if not all) is very useful, but your theory has fallen through - whether you like it or not, whether you acknowledge it or not, that doesn't matter.
I have always been prepared to say "I could be wrong" because we are dealing with theories in ancient history (about the origins of Christian literature) which by their nature must remain hypothetical. Certainty is for the theologians. This needs to be highlighted as well.
You can now invest time in denial, saying "oh yeah we need to find answers to that" while you know that you're the last one on earth who would actually want an answer - or you can man up, admit that this is what can happen when doing research, and throw most of your theory overboard.
I take this to be a reaction to my "theory" that the NHL is a response to Constantine's Bible? I am happy to accept that some questions must remain unanswered, and that some questions can be answered to varying degrees of confidence. I am also happy to accept that discussions can be fruitful because all sorts of other ideas can be included.
You're not a bad guy Leucius.
Of course I am not. I am an old surfer. I have done too many dawn patrols and clocked up too many kilometers of wall time on waves.
Just accept the facts, dig deeper, and find new ones.
Evidence is king in history. Facts and evidence are almost always mute. They do not come attached with little labels. They do not speak. It is the investigative historian who must interpret the facts (the evidence) and make it speak by means of making hypothesis about the evidence. We do not need to accept the interpretations (theological or profane). We can dig deeper and find new interpretations of the existing evidence. You have done this with your Coptic translations of the NHL.
Or become a grumpy old denier.
I am already old. Probably older than most people here. Most days I make an effort not to be grumpy and most days I succeed. Considered discussion is invaluable and has guided me for most of my life.
Most of the people on this forum are wrong, some are dead wrong, and some make complete idiots of themselves - it's your choice to which of those three you want to belong

:whistling:
I can accept being all three on various occasions, but on other occasions there are many other alternatives. People on this forum can be just interested in what evidence we do have and how that evidence is being interpreted by a complete spectrum of opinion. My choice is to accept the evidence as king and to attempt to interpret it with a little help from my friends and detractors.

We may at the moment disagree about the chronological primacy of the NHL over the NT and LXX canonical literature. There is plenty of common ground on other issues. However I am happy to discuss our disagreements without chest-beating on the proviso that the evidence is king.

In the spirit of such discussion perhaps you would like to respond to and comment upon this quote:

"Apart from archaeological evidence, the only facts we can attain are the texts. We must therefore reason about the texts that relate facts, not about the facts related by the texts."

("From Christianity to Gnosis and from Gnosis to Christianity (1993), Jean Magne)

My interests are broad spectrum:
http://mountainman.com.au/
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Re: Heresiology before 325 CE has been forged: NT Apocryphal literature is a Post-Nicene reaction to the NT Bible.

Post by mlinssen »

Leucius Charinus wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 7:00 pm We may at the moment disagree about the chronological primacy of the NHL over the NT and LXX canonical literature. There is plenty of common ground on other issues. However I am happy to discuss our disagreements without chest-beating on the proviso that the evidence is king.

In the spirit of such discussion perhaps you would like to respond to and comment upon this quote:

"Apart from archaeological evidence, the only facts we can attain are the texts. We must therefore reason about the texts that relate facts, not about the facts related by the texts."

("From Christianity to Gnosis and from Gnosis to Christianity (1993), Jean Magne)

My interests are broad spectrum:
http://mountainman.com.au/
If evidence is not king then what is - opinion?
The completeness of superlinears seems to be a solid indication of their maturity / development - and that is my motivation of what I see in this evidence. What's yours?

Can you provide Magne's elaboration here? As it is unclear to me what he means with this opinion
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