historian of early Christianity

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: historian of early Christianity

Post by Leucius Charinus »

mlinssen wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 9:27 pmWhat Eusebius wrote is not history
This is IMO one of the central problems in the investigation of the origins of Christian literature.
- and if it is then I can call myself historian too.
The thing is that with rhetoric tricks like these it becomes obvious that they have nothing to offer content wise, so they flee into context: they refer to their BFF as historians, church writings s historical records, themselves as exercising "true scholarship" and so on.
It reminds me of a version of Plato's Cave.
Here is a live example of what a graduate student from a theology school has to remark:

Hey Derek!

I really appreciated your creativity on this! A few things right off the bat, I was alarmed by the lack of scholarly sources cited that address the resurrection of Jesus. I'm afraid this simply won't convince people who are well read on the subject. The belief that Jesus died by crucifixion, was buried, and that his disciples (including Paul) had genuine experiences that they sincerely believed were appearances of a resurrected Jesus are strongly held by the vast majority of scholars, including skeptical ones. Now, these historical facts (which are so strongly evidenced its ridiculous) don't get you a resurrection! For the simple reason that the main issue is miracles. If miracle's don't happen, Jesus' resurrection is not the best explanation. If miracle's do happen, Jesus' resurrection is the best explanation. I advise skeptics to simply hold to the very respectable position of simply denying miracles and leaving it at that (which many NT scholars do). Rather than engaging in very weak argumentation that lacks serious engagement with the primary sources and historical context.

A graduate student - and one already trained in all the tricks of the passive aggressive trade
The church industry has a tertiary sector and has had such since the 4th century. The object is still to pump out more church clergy. Business is business.
Paul the Uncertain
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Re: historian of early Christianity

Post by Paul the Uncertain »

@mlinssen
Here is a live example of what a graduate student from a theology school has to remark
What was the context here?

What work was the grad student commenting upon, and how did they have an opportunity to comment upon it (in what appears to be a personal communication with the author)?

A few years ago, when he was still a mere grad student, Ian Mills (of New Testament Review fame) gave a straightforward explanation of "methodological naturalism," wherein however reluctantly (Ian is up front that he is a confessing Christian) he accepted that his work which aspires to "historical" status would need to be premised on exclusively natural cause-and-effect. Ian understood that "If miracles do happen," in the supernatural sense, then there is no such thing as "explanation." ("God wills it" being the devout restatement of "stuff happens," no more and no less).

Your grad student seems to be much less sophisticated than Ian. (Also, we've descended way down from the intellectual level of Crossan, whether or not he's fairly called a historian).
andrewcriddle
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Re: historian of early Christianity

Post by andrewcriddle »

Paul the Uncertain wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 2:53 am @mlinssen
Here is a live example of what a graduate student from a theology school has to remark
What was the context here?

What work was the grad student commenting upon, and how did they have an opportunity to comment upon it (in what appears to be a personal communication with the author)?

A few years ago, when he was still a mere grad student, Ian Mills (of New Testament Review fame) gave a straightforward explanation of "methodological naturalism," wherein however reluctantly (Ian is up front that he is a confessing Christian) he accepted that his work which aspires to "historical" status would need to be premised on exclusively natural cause-and-effect. Ian understood that "If miracles do happen," in the supernatural sense, then there is no such thing as "explanation." ("God wills it" being the devout restatement of "stuff happens," no more and no less).

Your grad student seems to be much less sophisticated than Ian. (Also, we've descended way down from the intellectual level of Crossan, whether or not he's fairly called a historian).
I'm uneasy about methodological naturalism in this sense. Is a critical historian required for example to deny apriori that the rather sinister theurgist Maximus of Ephesus predicted the death of the Emperor Valens ?
After the general and multiform slaughter of all men, in which we shall be the victims of the massacre, the emperor will die a strange death, and will not be given burial or the honour of a tomb.
Solely on the grounds that such precognition is impossible on naturalist principles. See Maximus

Andrew Criddle
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arnoldo
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Re: historian of early Christianity

Post by arnoldo »

Philip Jenkins presents that much of early christian history has been lost.
Paul the Uncertain
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Re: historian of early Christianity

Post by Paul the Uncertain »

andrewcriddle wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 5:21 am I'm uneasy about methodological naturalism in this sense. Is a critical historian required for example to deny apriori that the rather sinister theurgist Maximus of Ephesus predicted the death of the Emperor Valens ?
After the general and multiform slaughter of all men, in which we shall be the victims of the massacre, the emperor will die a strange death, and will not be given burial or the honour of a tomb.
Solely on the grounds that such precognition is impossible on naturalist principles. See Maximus

Andrew Criddle
The fact claim seems modest enough: people often make successful predictions; why not Maximus? Once.

I don't see any inherent naturalism-materialism issue in accepting the report of it as true. What would be fraught would be to insist that a successful pediction of such modesty must be "precongition."

Ehrman's Razor (the miraculous is always the least likely explanation of whatever is observed) may be an easier position to adopt and defend if someone preferred not to rule out paranormal or supernatural causation completely while still wishing to pursue secular scholarship.
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mlinssen
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Re: historian of early Christianity

Post by mlinssen »

Paul the Uncertain wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 2:53 am @mlinssen
Here is a live example of what a graduate student from a theology school has to remark
What was the context here?

What work was the grad student commenting upon, and how did they have an opportunity to comment upon it (in what appears to be a personal communication with the author)?

A few years ago, when he was still a mere grad student, Ian Mills (of New Testament Review fame) gave a straightforward explanation of "methodological naturalism," wherein however reluctantly (Ian is up front that he is a confessing Christian) he accepted that his work which aspires to "historical" status would need to be premised on exclusively natural cause-and-effect. Ian understood that "If miracles do happen," in the supernatural sense, then there is no such thing as "explanation." ("God wills it" being the devout restatement of "stuff happens," no more and no less).

Your grad student seems to be much less sophisticated than Ian. (Also, we've descended way down from the intellectual level of Crossan, whether or not he's fairly called a historian).
It was in a Discussion on academia.edu, in reaction to the following paper:

https://www.academia.edu/77285538/The_M ... surrection

The Discussion has ended so it can't be accessed by people who didn't participate
lclapshaw
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Re: historian of early Christianity

Post by lclapshaw »

StephenGoranson wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 7:32 am Robert Benchley (in 1920, historywise): "There may be said to be two classes of people in the world; those who constantly divide the people of the world into two classes, and those who do not."
Actually, there are 10 types of people. Those who understand binary and those that do not. :cheers:
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Leucius Charinus
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Re: historian of early Christianity

Post by Leucius Charinus »

andrewcriddle wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 5:21 am I'm uneasy about methodological naturalism in this sense. Is a critical historian required for example to deny apriori that the rather sinister theurgist Maximus of Ephesus predicted the death of the Emperor Valens ?
After the general and multiform slaughter of all men, in which we shall be the victims of the massacre, the emperor will die a strange death, and will not be given burial or the honour of a tomb.


Solely on the grounds that such precognition is impossible on naturalist principles. See Maximus

Andrew Criddle
Is a critical historian required for example to deny methodological naturalism apriori ? I tend to think that this problem is common to both sacred and profane histories and thus to both Biblical and Classical historians, as is expressed below:

"Let me admit from the start that I am rather impervious to any claim that sacred history poses problems which are not those of profane history."

p.3, ON PAGANS, JEWS, and CHRISTIANS, Arnaldo Momigliano, 1987; Chapter 1: Biblical Studies and Classical Studies - Simple Reflections upon Historical Method

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