dating the birth stories?

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mlinssen
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Re: dating the birth stories?

Post by mlinssen »

rgprice wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:38 am
cora wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:40 pm Hai,
Like I explained I am talking about the birth stories of Luke and Mathew. Luke has to do with the "infancy gospel of James" from 150. Mathew has to do with Justin Martyrs papers, in the hands or Irenaeus since 170.
Nah, I think Martyr simply knew the Gospel of Matthew around 150. Matthew having written his Gospel birth story in reaction to the publication of Marcin's Gospel is a perfect explanation and fits just fine into the timeline. Marcion's Gospel may have been around as early as 120 or 130, but was certainly known by 144. Martyr writes around 150. Matthew could even have been produced around 148 for Martyr to have commented on it by 150. But I'd have no problem assuming Matthew was written by 135 or 140.
Impossible, the direction clearly is the other way around: Proto James, then Martyr, then Matthew. Gimme 15 mins please
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Re: dating the birth stories?

Post by rgprice »

mlinssen wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:29 am It is once again the typical "weird" story with many open ends. Like Thomas, it gets copied, applied, and explained: put to use. It gets tidied up and made presentable, and if we take this story and look at the ridiculous and preposterous stories in Luke and Matthew... those suddenly seem very (relatively) reasonable!

And of course, it is only natural that her virginity gets tested afterwards. Too much detail for the gospels? But this is really it, undeniably so. Utterly undeniably, and of course the dating game played by the Church must have moved this out of focus. But indeed Cora, this is the evidence that Luke and Matthew MUST be later than 150 CE, if that dating is correct, of course

It explains everything: why Justin is rambling about the Magi, the cave, the virgin blood line... while he does mention Joseph and Mary, etc.
Of course it is afterwards that Isaiah gets thrown in and the whole Immanuel thing poses a bit of an issue there. The birth of Samson leads them to have John B be born out of Elizabeth and Zacharaias, and then of course that also creates a naming issue. Jesus must be born in Bethlehem of course, so the star also moves there. It does make some sense to follow a star into a desert and find a cave, but a house in Bethelehem? Not really ROFL. Matthew applies his Scripturtions to events - this is a closed case really. Wow

It would be fantastic to do a textual criticism of the Greek, haven't found one yet but https://www.nasscal.com/e-clavis-christ ... -of-james/ seems to be a fine source to do so

I'm surprised that this is not common knowledge - there must be (lame) arguments as to why this isn't the very source to it all? Apart from the typical Churchian dating game?
Ok, this makes some sense. I'm not sure of all the details about this or the dating of this writing, but at first blush I think what you're laying out here sounds reasonable.

Still, I think it more likely that the dating of this story is wrong and it was likely written earlier than is often proposed.

But this does make some sense for a variety of reasons. Firstly, it puts the immaculate conception of Mary up front, where, theologically, it really needs to be as opposed to being a later justification.

The issue is that the theology of Jesus requires that he be unborn in order to be pure. Being born was seen as a corruption, even among traditional Jews. But this starts with the immaculate conception of Mary, which was the necessary piece to make a birth of Jesus theologically defensible. So that makes sense.

Secondly, this makes sense of Martyr's writings, and shows how obvious the "lost source" actually was. It was hiding in plain sight, as per usual with this stuff.

Thirdly, this seems to make sense of Luke's birth story, because this may explain how the birth stories of Matthew and Luke are so similar yet distinct. It is because they used a "common source". Lol, ironically this ends up being a form of Q type situation, but in reverse :p Its a Q for the birth stories.

I'm not endorsing any of this at this point, but thank you cora for bringing this up and mlinssen for spelling it all out. Certainly something to think about.
Last edited by rgprice on Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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ProtoEvJames, Justin Martyr, Matthew: birth in a cave, Magi

Post by mlinssen »

P for Proto Evangelium of James, J for Justin Martyr 'Dialogue with Trypho', M for Matthew
With regards to Matthew I've emphasised only so much, it's all pretty overwhelming already.
The numbers indicate chapters, and most citations are only partial pieces, not full chapters

Italics for introductory stuff, and interesting epilogues!

P 17. And when they had come within three miles, Joseph turned and saw her sorrowful; and he said to himself: Likely that which is in her distresses her. And again Joseph turned and saw her laughing. And he said to her: Mary, how is it that I see in thy face at one time laughter, at another sorrow? And Mary said to Joseph: Because I see two peoples with my eyes; the one weeping and lamenting, and the other rejoicing and exulting. And they came into the middle of the road, and Mary said to him: Take me down from off the ass, for that which is in me presses to come forth. And he took her down from off the ass, and said to her: Whither shall I lead thee, and cover thy disgrace? for the place is desert.
P 18. And he found a cave there, and led her into it; and leaving his two sons beside her, he went out to seek a widwife in the district of Bethlehem.

J 70. The man who walks in righteousness, speaks in the right way, hates sin and unrighteousness, and keeps his hands pure from bribes, stops the ears from hearing the unjust judgment of blood closes the eyes from seeing unrighteousness: he shall dwell in the lofty cave of the strong rock. Bread shall be given to him, and his water [shall be] sure.
J 78. But when the Child was born in Bethlehem, since Joseph could not find a lodging in that village, he took up his quarters in a certain cave near the village; and while they were there Mary brought forth the Christ and placed Him in a manger, and here the Magi who came from Arabia found Him.

P 21. And, behold, Joseph was ready to go into Judaea. And there was a great commotion in Bethlehem of Judaea, for Magi came, saying: Where is he that is born king of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and have come to worship him. And when Herod heard, he was much disturbed, and sent officers to the Magi. And he sent for the priests, and examined them, saying: How is it written about the Christ? where is He to be born? And they said: In Bethlehem of Judaea, for so it is written. And he sent them away. And he examined the Magi, saying to them: What sign have you seen in reference to the king that has been born? And the Magi said: We have seen a star of great size shining among these stars, and obscuring their light, so that the stars did not appear; and we thus knew that a king has been born to Israel, and we have come to worship him. And Herod said: Go and seek him; and if you find him, let me know, in order that I also may go and worship him. And the Magi went out. And, behold, the star which they had seen in the east went before them until they came to the cave, and it stood over the top of the cave. And the Magi saw the infant with His mother Mary; and they brought forth from their bag gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned by the angel not to go into Judaea, they went into their own country by another road.

J 77. For at the time of His birth, Magi who came from Arabia worshipped Him, coming first to Herod, who then was sovereign in your land, and whom the Scripture calls king of Assyria on account of his ungodly and sinful character.

Chapter 2 The Pilgrimage of the Magi
1 Now Jesus having been born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, Magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem,
2 saying, “Where is the One having been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”
3 And King Herod having heard this, was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.
4 And having assembled all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he was inquiring of them where the Christ was to be born.
5 And they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus has it been written through the prophet:
6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah, for out of you will come forth One leading, who will shepherd My people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod, having called the Magi secretly, inquired of them the exact time of the star appearing.
8 And having sent them to Bethlehem, he said, “Having gone, search carefully for the Child; and when You shall have found Him, bring word back to me, so that I also having come, may worship Him.”
9 And having heard the king, they departed. And behold, the star they had seen in the east went before them until, having arrived, it stood over the place where the Child was.
10 And having seen the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.
11 And having come into the house, they found the Child with His mother Mary, and having fallen down, they worshiped Him. And having opened their treasures, they offered to Him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
12 And having been divinely warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they withdrew into their own country by another route.


P 22. And when Herod knew that he had been mocked by the Magi, in a rage he sent murderers, saying to them: Slay the children from two years old and under. And Mary, having heard that the children were being killed, was afraid, and took the infant and swaddled Him, and put Him into an ox-stall. And Elizabeth, having heard that they were searching for John, took him and went up into the hill-country, and kept looking where to conceal him. And there was no place of concealment. And Elizabeth, groaning with a loud voice, says: O mountain of God, receive mother and child. And immediately the mountain was cleft, and received her. And a light shone about them, for an angel of the Lord was with them, watching over them.

J 78. So Herod, when the Magi from Arabia did not return to him, as he had asked them to do, but had departed by another way to their own country, according to the commands laid on them; and when Joseph, with Mary and the Child, had now gone into Egypt, as it was revealed to them to do; as he did not know the Child whom the Magi had gone to worship, ordered simply the whole of the children then in Bethlehem to be massacred. And Jeremiah prophesied that this would happen, speaking by the Holy Ghost thus: 'A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation and much wailing, Rachel weeping for her children; and she would not be comforted, because they are not.'

23. And Herod searched for John, and sent officers to Zacharias, saying: Where hast thou hid thy son? And he, answering, said to them: I am the servant of God in holy things, and I sit constantly in the temple of the Lord: I do not know where my son is. And the officers went away, and reported all these things to Herod. And Herod was enraged, and said: His son is destined to be king over Israel. And he sent to him again, saying: Tell the truth; where is thy son? for thou knowest that thy life is in my hand. And Zacharias said: I am God's martyr, if thou sheddest my blood; for the Lord will receive my spirit, because thou sheddest innocent blood at the vestibule of the temple of the Lord. And Zacharias was murdered about daybreak. And the sons of Israel did not know that he had been murdered.

I'll continue this, it is a patch work really, but it is evident why Jivin' Jus keeps hammering on the cave, among others. And the bloodline of Mary - that's another post for the future

There's more to these texts than copied here, e.g. Justin prepping Scriptortions, alleged fulfilled prophecies. Justin is Matthew, or it is his twin brother.
But my current (that of today, yes) thesis is that it was Justin who took Marcion and turned it into Luke, while writing his own (Matthew). A bit of linguistical comparison should prove all that within an hour
Last edited by mlinssen on Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:38 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: dating the birth stories?

Post by rgprice »

mlinssen wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:48 am Impossible, the direction clearly is the other way around: Proto James, then Martyr, then Matthew. Gimme 15 mins please
Yeah, I'm following you. I posted that at the same time you made your post. I see what you're saying now.
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Re: dating the birth stories?

Post by davidmartin »

I'm surprised that this is not common knowledge - there must be (lame) arguments as to why this isn't the very source to it all? Apart from the typical Churchian dating game?
I thought similar that this might be the source
To seriously propose it would need some analysis of the Greek compared to NT + manuscript alternative readings around in a complete interlinear
Also, there's a good chance this document is itself layered. It might be possible to reconstruct a more original document from it
All damn hard to do + there's some other versions and variants of the infancy gospel around (Armenian/Syriac/Arabic) to be considered

Ben i think saw it as a harmony of Matthew and Luke. So it would be a duke fest between 'harmony' and 'original source'
It could explain the birth in a cave tradition separately which would date it pre-150AD

I wonder if 'Marcion' is a cypher for those Pauline Christians who rejected the virgin birth. How come you never hear about them?
Marcion was simply the more extreme member of their group?
It is after all the sort of thing the Jewish God would do, when you think he's going to zig he zags :)
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Re: dating the birth stories?

Post by mlinssen »

davidmartin wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:29 am
I thought similar that this might be the source
To seriously propose it would need some analysis of the Greek compared to NT + manuscript alternative readings around in a complete interlinear
Also, there's a good chance this document is itself layered. It might be possible to reconstruct a more original document from it
All damn hard to do + there's some other versions and variants of the infancy gospel around (Armenian/Syriac/Arabic) to be considered
Layering, oral tradition, oral memory: all mostly unproven phantasies, meant or not meant to overcomplicate things.

"It might be possible to reconstruct a more original document from it" - I hope you're a biblical copyist or translator David; if not you most certainly have missed your calling (vile sarcasm intended)

Do you always make things this difficult LOL, it's rather easy isn't it? We have Greek Justin, we have Greek Luke and Matthew (and oceans of verbatim agreement there between the latter two already). How obvious must it all become?

How sure do you have to be? 99.999% perhaps? 80-20 does it for me, and that is what I have already by merely looking at the English translations here
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Re: dating the birth stories?

Post by davidmartin »

Well, i'm very curious about the unique word 'full of grace' kecharitomene
It's such a rare form almost never used anywhere else in Greek literature (it's the form not the word that's unique). I thought it might be possible to see if there's any other unusual words in James that would fit this style of using unusual words. That would prove to me that James was the original

James "Hail, thou who hast received grace; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women!"
Luke "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women"

PS It's obvious the Salome episode is a parallel to doubting Thomas inserting his finger into Jesus's side
If you ask me (which you didn't but you'll get it anyway!) Salome originally was the midwife (as per traditional legend) but it got changed to polemically swipe those Christians who said they were following Salome, like Gospel of Egyptians where Salome seems to be against childbirth maybe even Carpocratians (Celsus - "Harpocratians who follow Salome") and said Jesus was a normal man.
So in the original it's s obvious Salome is the midwife and never gets her hand burned, she might still have done the virginity test but it had no polemical overtones in the original.
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Re: dating the birth stories?

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davidmartin wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:19 am Well, i'm very curious about the unique word 'full of grace' kecharitomene
It's such a rare form almost never used anywhere else in Greek literature (it's the form not the word that's unique). I thought it might be possible to see if there's any other unusual words in James that would fit this style of using unusual words. That would prove to me that James was the original

James "Hail, thou who hast received grace; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women!"
Luke "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women"

PS It's obvious the Salome episode is a parallel to doubting Thomas inserting his finger into Jesus's side
If you ask me (which you didn't but you'll get it anyway!) Salome originally was the midwife (as per traditional legend) but it got changed to polemically swipe those Christians who said they were following Salome, like Gospel of Egyptians where Salome seems to be against childbirth maybe even Carpocratians (Celsus - "Harpocratians who follow Salome") and said Jesus was a normal man.
So in the original it's s obvious Salome is the midwife and never gets her hand burned, she might still have done the virginity test but it had no polemical overtones in the original.
I've always loved and cherished the expression "penny wise pound foolish".
I haven't encountered a similar one as of yet, regarding focus on minute detail versus overviewing the larger overall picture; but since I find plenty of that in here it would be nice if I did

I think Bette Midler in Outrageous Fortune phrased it very well (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093690/ch ... /nm0000541):

"Does the phrase "Needledick, the Bug-Fucker" mean anything to you?"

You're either completely missing all points, david, or intentionally trying to derail this by proposing utter nonsense. I don't see much grey in the middle there
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Re: dating the birth stories?

Post by davidmartin »

there's no point in me putting lipstick on something that's already got makeup on!
i already said i thought it might be the source and if i was forced to choose i'd say it was yeah for sure. Not sure how you're reading it the other way! I get that all the time. I annoy people. I annoy myself too. Glad to be an irritant to you too!
i suggested one possible proof to help not hinder that search

As to what I said about the layering and the connection to doubting Thomas that's what i find most interesting
Cause it tells you about the early church groups floating around, which apostles were promoted, which demoted tells you things
You seem to be against seeing layers in texts but to me layers give information they don't devalue the text at all or anything like that
I see a clear layer where Salome represents certain Christian groups just like Thomas does in the gospel of John, what's wrong with that? A layered text is more likely to be earlier - it helps the theory
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Re: dating the birth stories?

Post by Ben C. Smith »

davidmartin wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:29 amBen i think saw it as a harmony of Matthew and Luke.
Right. Otherwise we face the anomaly of either Matthew or Luke (or both) drawing heavily from James yet managing to avoid drawing the same materials from James. The choice is between (A) a natural conflation of Matthew and Luke by James and (B) some kind of weird conspiracy.
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