Historicity's Problems And Theudas As Our Only Candidate; 4 Genuine Historical Identifications

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Post Reply
User avatar
neilgodfrey
Posts: 4792
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:08 pm

Re: Historicity's Problems And Theudas As Our Only Candidate; 4 Genuine Historical Identifications

Post by neilgodfrey »

maryhelena wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 11:27 pm
neilgodfrey wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 11:24 pm
maryhelena wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 11:11 pm
neilgodfrey wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 10:53 pm
maryhelena wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 10:39 pm
Because, Neil, it would make no sense to name historical figures from a prior century in a story set within a different century. On top of which the main figure in the story, a story set in a later century, is not a historical figure but a literary figure.
Why did the author choose to create a fictional story in a later century from the plot outline of that historical narrative?
That question is a question for the author of the story plotline.....
Did any of the first readers know the story was based on historical events and persons?
Neil, first readers of the story are no longer around hence unavailable to be questioned................
Okay -- I thought those last two questions might have been part of your view of gospel origins. So it looks to me like you concede that the gospel story itself is fiction (though a fiction inspired by certain historical events and persons). My view is also that it is a fiction inspired by certain historical events and persons but with the addition that the theory can also answer those questions I asked of yours.
User avatar
maryhelena
Posts: 2367
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:22 pm
Location: England

Re: Historicity's Problems And Theudas As Our Only Candidate; 4 Genuine Historical Identifications

Post by maryhelena »

neilgodfrey wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 11:56 pm
maryhelena wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 11:27 pm
neilgodfrey wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 11:24 pm
maryhelena wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 11:11 pm
neilgodfrey wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 10:53 pm

Why did the author choose to create a fictional story in a later century from the plot outline of that historical narrative?
That question is a question for the author of the story plotline.....
Did any of the first readers know the story was based on historical events and persons?
Neil, first readers of the story are no longer around hence unavailable to be questioned................
Okay -- I thought those last two questions might have been part of your view of gospel origins. So it looks to me like you concede that the gospel story itself is fiction (though a fiction inspired by certain historical events and persons). My view is also that it is a fiction inspired by certain historical events and persons but with the addition that the theory can also answer those questions I asked of yours.
So your theory can read the minds of the authors of the gospel story.......
User avatar
neilgodfrey
Posts: 4792
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:08 pm

Re: Historicity's Problems And Theudas As Our Only Candidate; 4 Genuine Historical Identifications

Post by neilgodfrey »

maryhelena wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 12:02 am
neilgodfrey wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 11:56 pm
maryhelena wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 11:27 pm
neilgodfrey wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 11:24 pm
maryhelena wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 11:11 pm

That question is a question for the author of the story plotline.....
Did any of the first readers know the story was based on historical events and persons?
Neil, first readers of the story are no longer around hence unavailable to be questioned................
Okay -- I thought those last two questions might have been part of your view of gospel origins. So it looks to me like you concede that the gospel story itself is fiction (though a fiction inspired by certain historical events and persons). My view is also that it is a fiction inspired by certain historical events and persons but with the addition that the theory can also answer those questions I asked of yours.
So your theory can read the minds of the authors of the gospel story.......
No, that's not how it works. It is based on evidence that leads us to understand the functions of stories -- that they would have no meaning unless written with a certain intent of understanding in mind. This is common enough in many forms of literary analysis. Example: when we see regular use of puns we can conclude that the author had a certain message and audience understanding in his or her mind.

It is the same as yours, in a way -- you don't rely on "reading of minds" to decide that the author was drawing on certain figures from an earlier time.
User avatar
maryhelena
Posts: 2367
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:22 pm
Location: England

Re: Historicity's Problems And Theudas As Our Only Candidate; 4 Genuine Historical Identifications

Post by maryhelena »

neilgodfrey wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 12:48 am
maryhelena wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 12:02 am
neilgodfrey wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 11:56 pm
maryhelena wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 11:27 pm
neilgodfrey wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 11:24 pm

Did any of the first readers know the story was based on historical events and persons?
Neil, first readers of the story are no longer around hence unavailable to be questioned................
Okay -- I thought those last two questions might have been part of your view of gospel origins. So it looks to me like you concede that the gospel story itself is fiction (though a fiction inspired by certain historical events and persons). My view is also that it is a fiction inspired by certain historical events and persons but with the addition that the theory can also answer those questions I asked of yours.
So your theory can read the minds of the authors of the gospel story.......
No, that's not how it works. It is based on evidence that leads us to understand the functions of stories -- that they would have no meaning unless written with a certain intent of understanding in mind. This is common enough in many forms of literary analysis. Example: when we see regular use of puns we can conclude that the author had a certain message and audience understanding in his or her mind.
We can conclude......
It is the same as yours, in a way -- you don't rely on "reading of minds" to decide that the author was drawing on certain figures from an earlier time.
Good - thanks for that clarification on mind-reading....
User avatar
neilgodfrey
Posts: 4792
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:08 pm

Re: Historicity's Problems And Theudas As Our Only Candidate; 4 Genuine Historical Identifications

Post by neilgodfrey »

maryhelena wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 12:55 am
neilgodfrey wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 12:48 am
maryhelena wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 12:02 am
neilgodfrey wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 11:56 pm
maryhelena wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 11:27 pm

Neil, first readers of the story are no longer around hence unavailable to be questioned................
Okay -- I thought those last two questions might have been part of your view of gospel origins. So it looks to me like you concede that the gospel story itself is fiction (though a fiction inspired by certain historical events and persons). My view is also that it is a fiction inspired by certain historical events and persons but with the addition that the theory can also answer those questions I asked of yours.
So your theory can read the minds of the authors of the gospel story.......
No, that's not how it works. It is based on evidence that leads us to understand the functions of stories -- that they would have no meaning unless written with a certain intent of understanding in mind. This is common enough in many forms of literary analysis. Example: when we see regular use of puns we can conclude that the author had a certain message and audience understanding in his or her mind.
We can conclude......
It is the same as yours, in a way -- you don't rely on "reading of minds" to decide that the author was drawing on certain figures from an earlier time.
Good - thanks for that clarification on mind-reading....
I think there is a misunderstanding here. And you may have typed your reply before you saw that I had added a detail to my original comment.

All things being equal, we don't have to be mind readers to know if an author was making fun of a subject or treating it seriously.

If we read lots of puns in a work we can conclude that the author very likely had an audience in mind who would recognize and appreciate those puns. If we see a story with lots of allusions to other texts or to historical events then we can conclude that the author was drawing deliberately on those events -- that's "mind reading" but it is based on evidence.

The classic example in ancient literature is Virgil's Aeneid. We don't have to be mind readers in any mystical sense to know that Virgil had in mind Homer's epics and that he was writing to an audience that we can know likewise recognized those Homeric allusions. Perhaps not everyone in the audience would recognize all of them but the evidence is pretty compelling to give us an idea what was in the minds of both author and audiences.
User avatar
maryhelena
Posts: 2367
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:22 pm
Location: England

Re: Historicity's Problems And Theudas As Our Only Candidate; 4 Genuine Historical Identifications

Post by maryhelena »

neilgodfrey wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 1:03 am
maryhelena wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 12:55 am
neilgodfrey wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 12:48 am
maryhelena wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 12:02 am
neilgodfrey wrote: Wed Apr 27, 2022 11:56 pm

Okay -- I thought those last two questions might have been part of your view of gospel origins. So it looks to me like you concede that the gospel story itself is fiction (though a fiction inspired by certain historical events and persons). My view is also that it is a fiction inspired by certain historical events and persons but with the addition that the theory can also answer those questions I asked of yours.
So your theory can read the minds of the authors of the gospel story.......
No, that's not how it works. It is based on evidence that leads us to understand the functions of stories -- that they would have no meaning unless written with a certain intent of understanding in mind. This is common enough in many forms of literary analysis. Example: when we see regular use of puns we can conclude that the author had a certain message and audience understanding in his or her mind.
We can conclude......
It is the same as yours, in a way -- you don't rely on "reading of minds" to decide that the author was drawing on certain figures from an earlier time.
Good - thanks for that clarification on mind-reading....
I think there is a misunderstanding here. And you may have typed your reply before you saw that I had added a detail to my original comment.

All things being equal, we don't have to be mind readers to know if an author was making fun of a subject or treating it seriously.

If we read lots of puns in a work we can conclude that the author very likely had an audience in mind who would recognize and appreciate those puns. If we see a story with lots of allusions to other texts or to historical events then we can conclude that the author was drawing deliberately on those events -- that's "mind reading" but it is based on evidence.

The classic example in ancient literature is Virgil's Aeneid. We don't have to be mind readers in any mystical sense to know that Virgil had in mind Homer's epics and that he was writing to an audience that we can know likewise recognized those Homeric allusions. Perhaps not everyone in the audience would recognize all of them but the evidence is pretty compelling to give us an idea what was in the minds of both author and audiences.
So....still an issue of 'can conclude'...

So.....I have concluded that the gospel story of Simon from Cyrene and his two sons, Alexander and Rufus, is a reflection upon the historical figures of Aristobulus II and his two sons, Alexander and Antigonus....

So......?
User avatar
neilgodfrey
Posts: 4792
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:08 pm

Re: Historicity's Problems And Theudas As Our Only Candidate; 4 Genuine Historical Identifications

Post by neilgodfrey »

maryhelena wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 1:19 am

So....still an issue of 'can conclude'...

So.....I have concluded that the gospel story of Simon from Cyrene and his two sons, Alexander and Rufus, is a reflection upon the historical figures of Aristobulus II and his two sons, Alexander and Antigonus....

So......?
So I don't think that your views are in theory very different from many others. Like others, yours is also proposing that the gospel narrative is a fiction based on historical events for inspiration. I don't see any difference in that respect between what you conclude and what I conclude. Perhaps it is not quite correct to consign all theories except your own to "meaningless myth" or something like that while yours "alone" (that is the impression conveyed in your comments) is viable because it is based on "real events".
User avatar
maryhelena
Posts: 2367
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:22 pm
Location: England

Re: Historicity's Problems And Theudas As Our Only Candidate; 4 Genuine Historical Identifications

Post by maryhelena »

neilgodfrey wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 1:54 am
maryhelena wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 1:19 am

So....still an issue of 'can conclude'...

So.....I have concluded that the gospel story of Simon from Cyrene and his two sons, Alexander and Rufus, is a reflection upon the historical figures of Aristobulus II and his two sons, Alexander and Antigonus....

So......?
So I don't think that your views are in theory very different from many others. Like others, yours is also proposing that the gospel narrative is a fiction based on historical events for inspiration. I don't see any difference in that respect between what you conclude and what I conclude.
This quote is why I posted to this thread:

Neil: In other words, we have only a myth at the beginning of our search for historical origins.

Now, it seems you are saying that, yes, we have a myth at the beginning of our search for historical origins - but that that myth is
''based on historical events for inspiration''.


Perhaps it is not quite correct to consign all theories except your own to "meaningless myth" or something like that while yours "alone" (that is the impression conveyed in your comments) is viable because it is based on "real events".
Ah, now a personal dig re an impression conveyed in (my) comments.....

Neil, any conclusion based upon historical events is worth investigation. I draw the line on conclusions based on non-historical events i.e. events, particularly in Josephus, that cannot be historically verified. For instance: Theudas is the subject of this thread - a Josephan figure with no external historical evidence. Same goes for Jesus ben Saphat.

''meaningless myth' - I can't remember saying such a thing about 'myth'. Such an idea does not feature in my approach to the gospel Jesus myth. My ideas 'alone' ? Members of this forum are free to challenge anything I write. And, Neil, one does not present ideas - one does not present a theory - without having confidence in it. I'm not interested in playing games - I'm interested in moving the issue of christian origins forward. That requires historical arguments. Hence I'm not interested in being distracted by arguments that resolve around supposed, maybe, probably, historical Josephan characters. That's to shortchange or sabotage the debate over christian origins.

I have concluded that the gospel story of Simon from Cyrene and his two sons, Alexander and Rufus, is a reflection upon the historical figures of Aristobulus II and his two sons, Alexander and Antigonus....

So .....??

Why no comment on what I have concluded if you ''don't see any difference in that respect between what you conclude and what I conclude.''..

Did you find what I concluded interesting ? How does what I have concluded regarding Simon from Cyrene and his two sons, Alexander and Rufus - that these three literary figures are reflecting the historical figures of Aristobulus II and his sons, Alexander and Antigonus. How does what I have concluded add to what you yourself have concluded ?
User avatar
neilgodfrey
Posts: 4792
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:08 pm

Re: Historicity's Problems And Theudas As Our Only Candidate; 4 Genuine Historical Identifications

Post by neilgodfrey »

maryhelena wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 3:23 am This quote is why I posted to this thread:

Neil: In other words, we have only a myth at the beginning of our search for historical origins.

Now, it seems you are saying that, yes, we have a myth at the beginning of our search for historical origins - but that that myth is
''based on historical events for inspiration''.

So what is wrong, in your view, with other arguments that also claim the gospels to be fictions based on real historical events and persons?
maryhelena wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 3:23 am
neilgodfrey wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 1:54 am Perhaps it is not quite correct to consign all theories except your own to "meaningless myth" or something like that while yours "alone" (that is the impression conveyed in your comments) is viable because it is based on "real events".
Ah, now a personal dig re an impression conveyed in (my) comments.....
I'm sorry you interpreted my comment as "a personal dig". Not at all. I am seriously trying to address some aspects of what I understand to be the argument you present here from time to time -- and I have tried to explain that if anything I have said misconstrues your case then I am sorry but I am trying to seriously engage with your words and welcome clarification.
User avatar
maryhelena
Posts: 2367
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:22 pm
Location: England

Re: Historicity's Problems And Theudas As Our Only Candidate; 4 Genuine Historical Identifications

Post by maryhelena »

neilgodfrey wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 4:52 am
maryhelena wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 3:23 am This quote is why I posted to this thread:

Neil: In other words, we have only a myth at the beginning of our search for historical origins.

Now, it seems you are saying that, yes, we have a myth at the beginning of our search for historical origins - but that that myth is
''based on historical events for inspiration''.

So what is wrong, in your view, with other arguments that also claim the gospels to be fictions based on real historical events and persons?


Maybe if you could be specific I would be able to answer your question...

maryhelena wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 3:23 am
neilgodfrey wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 1:54 am Perhaps it is not quite correct to consign all theories except your own to "meaningless myth" or something like that while yours "alone" (that is the impression conveyed in your comments) is viable because it is based on "real events".
Ah, now a personal dig re an impression conveyed in (my) comments.....
I'm sorry you interpreted my comment as "a personal dig". Not at all. I am seriously trying to address some aspects of what I understand to be the argument you present here from time to time -- and I have tried to explain that if anything I have said misconstrues your case then I am sorry but I am trying to seriously engage with your words and welcome clarification.
Oh.. I did not notice any answers to the questions I asked you. A one sided questioning is not debate....
Post Reply