Two failures of the 270s creation proposal?

Discussion about the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, pseudepigrapha, Philo, Josephus, Talmud, Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology, etc.
ABuddhist
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Re: Two failures of the 270s creation proposal?

Post by ABuddhist »

Secret Alias wrote: Sun Dec 18, 2022 2:35 pm
Firstly, the fact that a work is more recent than it claims to be and is reacting to and responding to older works can be used in supporting the work's greatness as an intertextual materpiece
Yeah right. Why are you making stupid arguments. Certain things are never true. Like no one ever says naked old body looks better, sexier than naked 19 year old body. No one except for my dog or any dog says this steak would be better after being rolled around on the floor for 5 minutes.
1. You assert that my argument is stupid without providing evidence that my argument is stupid or even addressing the example which I provided (GMark) in defending my argument. Why, therefore, should we accept your assertion as true?

2. A naked old body can look sexier than a 19-year-old's body when the 19-year-old's body has various problems, such as skin disease, severe scarring, etc., and the older body lacks such defects and has been well maintained. Why, therefore, should we accept your assertion as true?
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Secret Alias
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Re: Two failures of the 270s creation proposal?

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Why, therefore, should we accept your assertion as true?
Am I to understand that you are arguing that ancient people might have viewed novelty as something that augmented the authority of a religion?

So for instance, if the gospels were invented by Constantine in the fourth century. This suggestion might strengthened the authority of the gospels? Really? How so? How could having MORE TIME elapse between the event and the report help the authority of report in antiquity?
ABuddhist
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Re: Two failures of the 270s creation proposal?

Post by ABuddhist »

Secret Alias wrote: Sun Dec 18, 2022 2:56 pm
Why, therefore, should we accept your assertion as true?
Am I to understand that you are arguing that ancient people might have viewed novelty as something that augmented the authority of a religion?

So for instance, if the gospels were invented by Constantine in the fourth century. This suggestion might strengthened the authority of the gospels? Really? How so? How could having MORE TIME elapse between the event and the report help the authority of report in antiquity?
I am not making such an argument now, nor have I ever. But my argument in this thread has never been about whether the Pentateuch, if more recent, was more authoritative (or should be though to be more authoritative); rather, my argument has been about how the Pentateuch, even if as recent as Gmirkin claims it to be, can still be appreciated as the product of a sophisticated Hebrew culture - and indeed, a more recent Pentateuch can even make the Hebrews' culture seem even more sophisticated and impressive because the Pentateuch's authors would have been deliberately paralleling and responding to ideas from Plato et al. while still creating a beautiful text rather than some other scenario (such as coincidence).
Last edited by ABuddhist on Mon Dec 19, 2022 9:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Secret Alias
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Re: Two failures of the 270s creation proposal?

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That's not what I was taking issue with. You were questioning Goranson for "assum[ing], without providing reasoning, that a more recent and derivative Pentateuch trivializes Hebrew culture" saying:
the value of a culture or its products is not based upon newness and orginality - otherwise, for example, Shakespeare and English culture would be always regarded as inferior to, for example, Euripides and Greek culture.
Religion isn't the same as literature. A religious text usually purports to manifest or represent "the truth" or represents a "true account" of a particular set of historical circumstances. So a text which purports to pass on the details of the origin of the Jewish people from Adam to Moses would indeed be affected by the lateness of the text. For one, an account of how Jesus crossed the Atlantic Ocean and set up a culture in America would be affected by whether or not the text was written closer or much later than the time of the crossing. But more particularly a text written late enough so that it could be copied from other sources (in this case Greek sources) also presents a problem for the authority of the religion.

If Jews and Samaritans shared a common hatred of the Gentiles as the ancient claimed (the Samaritans reportedly using fire to erase footsteps of Gentiles https://books.google.com/books?id=dhDlz ... on&f=false or pissing on their hands https://books.google.com/books?id=VTU-A ... 0a&f=false) surely being able to prove that their most holy text originated from sources among the very same Gentiles would pose a challenge for the continued authority of the tradition(s). "Trivializing" may be a subjective terminology but something like "trivialize" seems to be appropriate.
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Re: Two failures of the 270s creation proposal?

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Secret Alias wrote: Sun Dec 18, 2022 4:29 pm That's not what I was taking issue with. You were questioning Goranson for "assum[ing], without providing reasoning, that a more recent and derivative Pentateuch trivializes Hebrew culture" saying:
the value of a culture or its products is not based upon newness and orginality - otherwise, for example, Shakespeare and English culture would be always regarded as inferior to, for example, Euripides and Greek culture.
Religion isn't the same as literature. A religious text usually purports to manifest or represent "the truth" or represents a "true account" of a particular set of historical circumstances. So a text which purports to pass on the details of the origin of the Jewish people from Adam to Moses would indeed be affected by the lateness of the text. For one, an account of how Jesus crossed the Atlantic Ocean and set up a culture in America would be affected by whether or not the text was written closer or much later than the time of the crossing. But more particularly a text written late enough so that it could be copied from other sources (in this case Greek sources) also presents a problem for the authority of the religion.

If Jews and Samaritans shared a common hatred of the Gentiles as the ancient claimed (the Samaritans reportedly using fire to erase footsteps of Gentiles https://books.google.com/books?id=dhDlz ... on&f=false or pissing on their hands https://books.google.com/books?id=VTU-A ... 0a&f=false) surely being able to prove that their most holy text originated from sources among the very same Gentiles would pose a challenge for the continued authority of the tradition(s). "Trivializing" may be a subjective terminology but something like "trivialize" seems to be appropriate.
But I, and Goranson, were not talking about literature or religion -or even history, for that matter. Rather, we were talking about culture. A culture's greatness can be maintained even through works which are not accurate - even if they are wrongly believed to be acccurate. Culture, furthermore, is completely separate from religiouss authority. And religious authority can be separated from the assumption that the religion's texts are accurate and old records about past events. Certainly, Mahayana Buddhism does that all the time; cf., for example, Mu Soeng's commentaries about the Diamond and Heart Sutra.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Two failures of the 270s creation proposal?

Post by neilgodfrey »

Secret Alias wrote: Sun Dec 18, 2022 4:29 pm So a text which purports to pass on the details of the origin of the Jewish people from Adam to Moses would indeed be affected by the lateness of the text.
It only takes a generation to acquire a new historical consciousness. Imagine the story of the times of Josiah or of Ezra. A group of people are told by an honourable priesthood that lost or forgotten texts have been uncovered and they inform them of their "true origins". Most people have no knowledge of their past beyond what their parents told them of their experiences -- and that will be patchy enough. If those people are worshipers of Yahweh and the new texts tell them that Yahweh said they would be cast out and "lost" for breaking the sabbath, but eventually he would call them back to his laws, then those people can be persuaded that sabbath observance is important -- something their ancestors had forgotten. And the story went that that law was given long ago, maybe as much as 40 generations earlier, to Moses, by God himself.

So within a generation or two at most a critical mass of the population can be persuaded that they are the true inheritors of ancient traditions.

Not everyone might agree. Some older ones may doubt. But they will be deemed to be outsiders and of little consequence -- and probably simply ignored.

It is even easier to believe if after a generation or two the rulers decree exile or death or "mere" social exclusion on "rebels".

We are not talking about societies with established institutions to foster literacy and facilitate public access to archives and museums etc.
Last edited by neilgodfrey on Sun Dec 18, 2022 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ABuddhist
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Re: Two failures of the 270s creation proposal?

Post by ABuddhist »

neilgodfrey wrote: Sun Dec 18, 2022 6:27 pm
Secret Alias wrote: Sun Dec 18, 2022 4:29 pm So a text which purports to pass on the details of the origin of the Jewish people from Adam to Moses would indeed be affected by the lateness of the text.
It only takes a generation to acquire a new historical consciousness.
Consider also the varying narratives about slavery in the United Staes, with various elites often advocating one or another narrative about slaves' experiences.
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Secret Alias
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Re: Two failures of the 270s creation proposal?

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I am sorry. All of the examples you give are modern. Celsus says at the beginning of his book:
There is, he says, an authoritative account from the very beginning, respecting which there is a constant agreement among all the most learned nations, and cities, and men (ὅτι ἔστιν ἀρχαῖος ἄνωθεν λόγος, περὶ ὃν δὴ ἀεὶ καὶ τὰ ἔθνη τὰ σοφώτατα καὶ πόλεις καὶ ἄνδρες σοφοὶ κατεγένοντο) ... Moses having, he says, learned the doctrine which is to be found existing among wise nations and eloquent men, obtained the reputation of divinity.
But importantly Celsus excludes the Jews from the list of "first nations" or authoritative people because of the lateness of Moses. I think that was standard in antiquity.
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Re: Two failures of the 270s creation proposal?

Post by ABuddhist »

Secret Alias wrote: Sun Dec 18, 2022 7:09 pm I am sorry. All of the examples you give are modern. Celsus says at the beginning of his book:
There is, he says, an authoritative account from the very beginning, respecting which there is a constant agreement among all the most learned nations, and cities, and men (ὅτι ἔστιν ἀρχαῖος ἄνωθεν λόγος, περὶ ὃν δὴ ἀεὶ καὶ τὰ ἔθνη τὰ σοφώτατα καὶ πόλεις καὶ ἄνδρες σοφοὶ κατεγένοντο) ... Moses having, he says, learned the doctrine which is to be found existing among wise nations and eloquent men, obtained the reputation of divinity.
But importantly Celsus excludes the Jews from the list of "first nations" or authoritative people because of the lateness of Moses. I think that was standard in antiquity.
1. But modern people may better understand history - and how to reconstruct history - than Celsus did. After all, modern historians can access written materials in many more langauges and can use dating methods which Celsus could not have.

2. Gmirkin and Celsus therefore agree about "Moses" (and the tradition which he represents) being late. They just diverge about how late that is.
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Re: Two failures of the 270s creation proposal?

Post by StephenGoranson »

What?
"But I, and Goranson, were not talking about literature or religion -or even history, for that matter. Rather, we were talking about culture." Sun Dec 18, 2022 4:44 pm--according to ABuddhist
fwiw, I do not endorse that characterization about what "we" were addressing.
I could elaborate, but probably to little avail.
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