Ignatius derived Pilate from Simon Magus and connected him with Jesus

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Giuseppe
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Ignatius derived Pilate from Simon Magus and connected him with Jesus

Post by Giuseppe »

I assume that the reader knows the mythicist Alvar Ellegaard's view that Ignatius was the first in the Christian record to mention Pilate in connection with Jesus.

Both Ellegaard and Earl Doherty have pointed out that Ignatius insisted on a dating of the crucifixion "under Pilate" in opposition to Docetists denying the carnal reality of Jesus.
In particular, Doherty, following Solomon Reinach on this point (when Reinach was still a mythicist, i.e. before that he read the Robert Eisler's works), thinks that Ignatius arrived so far to attack early "mythicist" adversaries.

Now, Ellegaard doesn't explain why Ignatius mentioned precisely Pilate inter alia, even if Ellegaard was very brilliant in recognizing that Ignatius introduced Pilate even before the writing of the first gospel.

I think that I have found the true reason behind the Ignatius's choice of Pilate and only Pilate.


In the epistle of St. Ignatius Ad Trallianos (§ 11), Simon Magus is called "the first-born Son of the Devil". Accordingly, Ignatius knew Simon Magus as basic icon of docetism.

This is surprising, since it means that, being Simon a Samaritan, and being one who was considered as the originator of a try of Samaritan co-optation of the Jesus myth, along a line that dates back to the Samaritan Dositheus and even John the Baptist (of which the tomb was placed in Samaria, Sebaste) then Ignatius, by arguing against Docetists and Simon Magus, was replying probably against the famous claim of the Magus, reported by Irenaeus:

This man, then, was glorified by many as if he were a god; and he taught that it was himself who appeared among the Jews as the Son, but descended in Samaria as the Father while he came to other nations in the character of the Holy Spirit.

As Paul_the_Uncertain has reported in his blog, Simon Magus was someway an early "mythicist" insofar he denied that a historical Jesus was in his (of Simon) place when he, Simon, apparently suffered on the cross.

Now, we have independent confirmation of a Samaritan cult of Jesus as "Son of Joseph". Simon Magus was probably part of that cult. It can't be a coincidence that the only Samaritan insurrectionist reported by Josephus was crucified precisely by Pilate, and that this insurrectionist was posing someway as the new Moses and probably as the Samaritan Messiah Son of Joseph. I am not saying that Simon Magus was the name of the Samaritan false prophet slain by Pilate. What I am saying is that Simon Magus was part of that Samaritan tradition that saw the Samaritan false prophet slain by Pilate as a messianic figure.

Simon Magus and the docetists could have denied that he, as the Samaritan Messiah, suffered really under Pilate, and in the same time they could have insisted that Simon Magus was "Jesus".

As reaction, Ignatius would have said the exact contrary: Jesus was real, i.e. he wasn't Simon, and Jesus was crucified really by Pilate, so taking Pilate from the Samaritan source represented by the his opponents.


The reader has to persuade himself/herself that my case is virtually stronger once we realize that Ignatius mentioned Simon Magus.
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Giuseppe
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Re: Ignatius derived Pilate from Simon Magus and connected him with Jesus

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What represented "Simon Magus", "Dositheus" and partially "John the Baptist"? Beyond if existed or less, their names represented the sectarian claim that:
  • Jesus was a Samaritan;
  • Jesus was the Messiah Son of Joseph;
  • Jesus only appeared to suffer;
  • Jesus only appeared to suffer under Pilate.
The Gnostic features of Simon Magus are better explained (docet Stuart) as the later derivation of anti-demiurgism from that Samaritan branch of Christianity that denied that Jesus was davidic: Marcion denied that Jesus was davidic and in this Marcion was with "Simon Magus"; but Marcion denied that Jesus was also the Messiah Son of Joseph and in this Marcion was anti-Samaritan.

From this we can infer that, during all that time and independently from Christians, some Samaritans preserved the memory of the Samaritan Impostor slain by Pilate as the incarnation of the Messiah Son of Joseph.

By the time Ignatius knew them, those Samaritans were going to co-opt the Jesus of the Christians in their field.

The reaction of Ignatius: "Simon Magus" was a liar (all the claims above are false) and, as collateral effect, if it was false that "Jesus only appeared to suffer under Pilate", then the true claim, for Ignatius, became: "Jesus really suffered under Pilate".

Result: with Ignatius, it was the first time in the History that the name of Pilate was connected with Jesus by Christians (and not more, as happened until then, with an independent Samaritan tradition).

Alvar Ellegaard was right.
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Giuseppe
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Re: Ignatius derived Pilate from Simon Magus and connected him with Jesus

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Further evidence that "Simon Magus" was connected with the cult of the Samaritan false prophet slain by Pilate:

He rejects Jerusalem, and substitutes Mount Gerizzim for it. Instead of our Christ, he proclaims himself.

https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/080802.htm

In the moment itself when "Simon Magus" wanted to usurp the title of Christ of the Christians, or so he was imagined/feared in the eyes of Christians like Ignatius, the name of "Pilate", like a virus, infected first the Christian tradition, through the Ignatius's reaction.
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Re: Ignatius derived Pilate from Simon Magus and connected him with Jesus

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So Ellegaard:

Paul and Peter — significantly, the only ones named by Ignatius — and perhaps a few more of the apostles, were apparently still remembered. Paul's letters seem to have been circulated among the churches of God all over the Diaspora, though we have to admit that we do not know how widely they were read. Anyway, from these letters it could be inferred that the seminal visions of the risen Jesus had taken place in the thirties of the first century. It was natural (though of course not logically compelling) to suppose that Jesus' death had taken place not too long before he was raised to heaven. Thus one could conclude that Jesus had lived in the first decades of the first century.
This was enough to date Jesus' death, Roman style, in the time of the then Roman prefect of Judaea, Pontius Pilate.

(Jesus: One Hundred Years Before Christ, p. 199)

Note that, by the time of Ignatius, the memory of Paul was already confused with the memory of Simon Magus (think about the Simonian co-optation — real or only presumed — of the memory of Paul, so well explained by Roger Parvus) , so I don't see a contradiction between the Ellegaard's view that Paul was the temporal reference to anchor Jesus with Pilate and my view that "Simon Magus" (= the Samaritan memory of the Impostor slain by Pilate) was the temporal reference to anchor Jesus with Pilate, through Ignatius.


The fact that Ignatius has given us the first clearly datable mentions about the roles of Mary, John the Baptist, Pilate etc. does not exclude the possibility that those names had begun to circulate in the churches of God. But it was certainly Ignatius' authority that provided them with credibility among the faithful.

(Jesus: One Hundred Years Before Christ, p. 209)
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MrMacSon
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Re: Ignatius derived Pilate from Simon Magus and connected him with Jesus

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Giuseppe wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:33 pm
I assume that the reader knows the mythicist Alvar Ellegaard's view that Ignatius was the first in the Christian record to mention Pilate in connection with Jesus.

Both Ellegaard and Earl Doherty have pointed out that Ignatius insisted on a dating of the crucifixion "under Pilate" in opposition to Docetists denying the carnal reality of Jesus.

Where does Ignatius do this? Texts and verse?

eta: The Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians:


Chapter IX

Stop your ears, therefore, when any one speaks to you at variance with Jesus Christ, who was descended from David, and was also of Mary; who was truly born, and did eat and drink. He was truly persecuted under Pontius Pilate; He was truly crucified, and [truly] died, in the sight of beings in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth. He was also truly raised from the dead, His Father quickening Him, even as after the same manner His Father will so raise up us who believe in Him by Christ Jesus, apart from whom we do not possess the true life.

Stop your ears, therefore, when any one speaks to you at variance with Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was descended from David, and was also of Mary; who was truly begotten of God and of the Virgin, but not after the same manner. For indeed God and man are not the same. He truly assumed a body; for "the Word was made flesh," and lived upon earth without sin. For says He, "Which of you convicteth me of sin?" He did in reality both eat and drink. He was crucified and died under Pontius Pilate. He really, and not merely in appearance, was crucified, and died, in the sight of beings in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth. By those in heaven I mean such as are possessed of incorporeal natures; by those on earth, the Jews and Romans, and such persons as were present at that time when the Lord was crucified; and by those under the earth, the multitude that arose along with the Lord. For says the Scripture, "Many bodies of the saints that slept arose," their graves being opened. He descended, indeed, into Hades alone, but He arose accompanied by a multitude; and rent asunder that means of separation which had existed from the beginning of the world, and cast down its partition-wall. He also rose again in three days, the Father raising Him up; and after spending forty days with the apostles, He was received up to the Father, and "sat down at His right hand, expecting till His enemies are placed under His feet." On the day of the preparation, then, at the third hour, He received the sentence from Pilate, the Father permitting that to happen; at the sixth hour He was crucified; at the ninth hour He gave up the ghost; and before sunset He was buried. During the Sabbath He continued under the earth in the tomb in which Joseph of Arimathaea had laid Him. At the dawning of the Lord's day He arose from the dead, according to what was spoken by Himself, "As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of man also be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." The day of the preparation, then, comprises the passion; the Sabbath embraces the burial; the Lord's Day contains the resurrection.

Chapter X

... He who was Himself the Judge was judged by the Jews, falsely so called, and by Pilate the governor; was scourged, was smitten on the cheek, was spit upon; He wore a crown of thorns and a purple robe; He was condemned: He was crucified in reality, and not in appearance, not in imagination, not in deceit. He really died, and was buried, and rose from the dead ...

http://earlychristianwritings.com/text/ ... onger.html


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Re: Ignatius derived Pilate from Simon Magus and connected him with Jesus

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Giuseppe wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 9:16 pm
The Gnostic features of Simon Magus are better explained (docet Stuart) as the later derivation of anti-demiurgism from that Samaritan branch of Christianity that denied that Jesus was davidic ...

  • On what basis do you say that??



Giuseppe wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 9:16 pm
... Marcion denied that Jesus was davidic and in this Marcion was with "Simon Magus"; but Marcion denied that Jesus was also the Messiah Son of Joseph and in this Marcion was anti-Samaritan.

From this we can infer that, during all that time and independently from Christians, some Samaritans preserved the memory of the Samaritan Impostor slain by Pilate as the incarnation of the Messiah Son of Joseph.

  • That seems to be made-up wishful thinking : a nonsequitur
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Re: Ignatius derived Pilate from Simon Magus and connected him with Jesus

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Giuseppe wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 9:30 pm
Further evidence that "Simon Magus" was connected with the cult of the Samaritan false prophet slain by Pilate:

He rejects Jerusalem, and substitutes Mount Gerizzim for it. Instead of our Christ, he proclaims himself.

https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/080802.htm

In the moment itself when "Simon Magus" wanted to usurp the title of Christ of the Christians, or so he was imagined/feared in the eyes of Christians1 like Ignatius, the name of "Pilate", like a virus, infected first the Christian tradition,2 through the Ignatius's reaction.

1 When - ie. what year period/s - and where was Simon imagined/feared in the eyes of Christians?

2 What do you mean by:
  • "like Ignatius, the name of "Pilate", like a virus, infected first the Christian tradition, through Ignatius's reaction" ??



The full passage, fwiw:


Clementine Homily 2

Chapter XXII. Doctrines of Simon

First Aquila began to speak in this wise: Listen, O dearest brother, that you may know accurately everything about this man, whose he is, and what, and whence; and what the things are which he does, and how and why he does them. This Simon is the son of Antonius and Rachel, a Samaritan by race, of the village of Gitthæ, which is six schoeni distant from the city. He having disciplined himself greatly in Alexandria, and being very powerful in magic, and being ambitious, wishes to be accounted a certain supreme power, greater even than the God who created the world. And sometimes intimating that he is Christ, he styles himself the Standing One. And this epithet he employs, as intimating that he shall always stand, and as not having any cause of corruption so that his body should fall. And he neither says that the God who created the world is the Supreme, nor does he believe that the dead will be raised. He rejects Jerusalem, and substitutes Mount Gerizzim for it. Instead of our Christ, he proclaims himself. The things of the law he explains by his own presumption; and he says, indeed, that there is to be a judgment, but he does not expect it. For if he were persuaded that he shall be judged by God, he would not dare be impious towards God Himself. Whence some not knowing that, using religion as a cloak, he spoils the things of the truth, and faithfully believing the hope and the judgment which in some way he says are to be, are ruined.

https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/080802.htm


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Giuseppe
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Re: Ignatius derived Pilate from Simon Magus and connected him with Jesus

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MrMacSon wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 11:53 pm
Giuseppe wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 9:16 pm
The Gnostic features of Simon Magus are better explained (docet Stuart) as the later derivation of anti-demiurgism from that Samaritan branch of Christianity that denied that Jesus was davidic ...

  • On what basis do you say that??
I quote Stuart in answer on this point that finds me entirely in agreement:

Stuart wrote: Wed Sep 14, 2022 11:40 am The Marcionites are but one of many sects that opposed Davidic origin in favor of Josephine origin. In fact the Macrionites broke even with Josephine sects holding that Jesus had no earthly lineage.


MrMacSon wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 11:53 pm
Giuseppe wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 9:16 pm
... Marcion denied that Jesus was davidic and in this Marcion was with "Simon Magus"; but Marcion denied that Jesus was also the Messiah Son of Joseph and in this Marcion was anti-Samaritan.

From this we can infer that, during all that time and independently from Christians, some Samaritans preserved the memory of the Samaritan Impostor slain by Pilate as the incarnation of the Messiah Son of Joseph.
  • That seems to be made-up wishful thinking : a nonsequitur
No, it isn't. All the experts on Samaritanism agree that the Samaritan Impostor was considered the Messiah Son of Joseph by his followers. Since Simon Magus wanted the reconstruction of the temple on the mount Gerizim, then Simon Magus was probably in line with the Samaritan Impostor, if not even the same person.

Ellegard has already mentioned Ignatius as the first Christian who introduced Pilate. I am corroborating his argument by adding that Ignatius derived from the Samaritan Simon Magus the name of the Roman governor who crucified the Messiah Son of Joseph and connected Pilate with his (of Ignatius) Jesus..
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Re: Ignatius derived Pilate from Simon Magus and connected him with Jesus

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MrMacSon wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 12:07 am 1 When - ie. what year period/s - and where was Simon imagined/feared in the eyes of Christians?
Ignatius hated Simon Magus.
The Samaritan Simon Magus claimed that the Samaritan Messiah suffered apparently under Pilate, which is a historical truth (less: apparently). Ignatius feared the Simonian proselitism and accordingly he reacted by saying that the Messiah who really suffered under Pilate was the davidic Jesus (corollary: not the Simonian Christ).
MrMacSon wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 12:07 am
2 What do you mean by:
  • "like Ignatius, the name of "Pilate", like a virus, infected first the Christian tradition, through Ignatius's reaction" ??

I mean what Ellegaard meant (see his quote above, p. 209).
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Re: Ignatius derived Pilate from Simon Magus and connected him with Jesus

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In short:
  • Paul: Jesus was crucified in outer space.
  • Josephus: the Samaritan Impostor was defeated by Pilate.
  • Simon Magus: I, or my mentor who now lives in me, appeared as "Jesus" in Judea under Pilate.
  • Ignatius: Jesus really suffered under Pilate.
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