gryan wrote: ↑Mon Sep 19, 2022 5:15 am
I'm of the opinion that the "history" of Christianity (when history is understood as a multiply attested, politically powerful movement with power authorized by use of conventional top down propaganda) begins with the adoption of the religion by Constantine; nevertheless, I agree with the Referee Report. I'm not convinced that all the literature of Christian origins (eg. the NT) used by propaganda experts in the age of Constantine consisted of forgeries produced by those same experts.
At the time I wrote that (after 2 years of research) I dismissed the provenance of the NT apocryphal (NTA) literature and was focused on the NT canonical (NTC) books. As you are probably aware the NTA consists of hundreds of texts including the "Gnostic Gospels" and the contents of the Nag Hammadi Library. In my 2007 article I dismissed this class of Christian literature with the line "many were called but few were chosen".
Since that time I have made a long study of the NTA. Just so we are on the same page here is what I mean by (some of) the NTA (NT Apocryphal texts)
http://mountainman.com.au/essenes/Autho ... _Index.htm
Political Context of the Authorship of the NTA
The proposition that I am exploring is that this entire class of Christian literature was authored in reaction to the circulation by Constantine of the NTC and LXX Bible codices c.325 CE as a political instrument in the Roman empire.
The people who wrote the NTA were not the imperial crew who circulated the NTA. There is reason to believe that they were non-Christian authors and not Christians. They were the first generation to receive the NT Bible as a political instrument. And an avalanche of "Other Jesus Story Books" was precipitated (IMO). The political history of these massive "Codex Wars" was embarrassing to the victors and they buried it as deep as they could. IMO the Arian controversy involved books - books deemed heretical - the books of the NTA.
Arius of Alexandria we know to be an author of books. I think it is reasonable to believe that some of these books are to be found today among the NTA. And that Arius was not a Christian but rather a Platonist philosopher / logician.
Here is an article I wrote in 2009 which covers the beginning of a political explanation of the appearance of "heretics" and the heretical books now known as the NTA:
Arius Satirized Constantine’s Jesus:
The Hidden History of the New Testament Apocryphal Literature
https://www.academia.edu/37961293/Arius ... Literature
So I now agree that all of Christian literature did not "consist of forgeries produced by those same experts". I trust this makes some sort of sense.