If Discussing Early Christianity Were a Sport What Would the Rules Be?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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MrMacSon
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Re: If Discussing Early Christianity Were a Sport What Would the Rules Be?

Post by MrMacSon »

neilgodfrey wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 4:40 pm I agree. But I also think we can establish with reasonable certainty that Christianity did exist in the second century on the basis of the literary evidence.
Significant corollaries to that are
  • to what extent Christianity existed in the second century AD/CE
  • what versions existed and predominated in each of the first, second and last thirds of that second century AD/CE
perseusomega9
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Re: If Discussing Early Christianity Were a Sport What Would the Rules Be?

Post by perseusomega9 »

:cheers:

one of the versions being one that insisted a guy during Pilate's time being cruxxed.
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MrMacSon
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Re: If Discussing Early Christianity Were a Sport What Would the Rules Be?

Post by MrMacSon »

Well, Paul doesn't give us a time frame (he doesn't mention Pilate) but he'd stake his life on it ;)

... even if he espoused in Galatians 3:13, citing Deuteronomy 21:23, -


.Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”


as does 1 Peter 2:24, combining Deuteronomy 21:23 with Isaiah 53:12, -

.He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree

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Secret Alias
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Re: If Discussing Early Christianity Were a Sport What Would the Rules Be?

Post by Secret Alias »

2. Rules governing discussions of the dating of Jesus

(a) there was no consensus in antiquity as to when Jesus lived if he "lived" in the ordinary sense of the word, if he was born or flew down from heaven, what year(s) the gospel was set. It's quite incredible. Pilate? But Pilate was imagined to have lived as late as Claudius by some.
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GakuseiDon
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Re: If Discussing Early Christianity Were a Sport What Would the Rules Be?

Post by GakuseiDon »

Secret Alias wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:34 pm 2. Rules governing discussions of the dating of Jesus

(a) there was no consensus in antiquity as to when Jesus lived if he "lived" in the ordinary sense of the word, if he was born or flew down from heaven, what year(s) the gospel was set. It's quite incredible. Pilate? But Pilate was imagined to have lived as late as Claudius by some.
Though there may be no consensus as to specific year, surely there is a consensus: Jesus was crucified (or pretended to be crucified) under Pilate. Pilate is generally thought to have been governor around 30 CE. That would be the rule I think, with a few exceptions.
lclapshaw
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Re: If Discussing Early Christianity Were a Sport What Would the Rules Be?

Post by lclapshaw »

GakuseiDon wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 3:03 am
Secret Alias wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:34 pm 2. Rules governing discussions of the dating of Jesus

(a) there was no consensus in antiquity as to when Jesus lived if he "lived" in the ordinary sense of the word, if he was born or flew down from heaven, what year(s) the gospel was set. It's quite incredible. Pilate? But Pilate was imagined to have lived as late as Claudius by some.
Though there may be no consensus as to specific year, surely there is a consensus: Jesus was crucified (or pretended to be crucified) under Pilate. Pilate is generally thought to have been governor around 30 CE. That would be the rule I think, with a few exceptions.
Consensus? A consensus of toddlers would, I'm sure, validate the existence of Santa Claus. Consensus, especially when motivated by a desired outcome is useless in any attempt to investigate this subject.
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GakuseiDon
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Re: If Discussing Early Christianity Were a Sport What Would the Rules Be?

Post by GakuseiDon »

lclapshaw wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 3:34 amConsensus, especially when motivated by a desired outcome is useless in any attempt to investigate this subject.
The consensus in antiquity I mean, with a few exceptions.
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Secret Alias
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Re: If Discussing Early Christianity Were a Sport What Would the Rules Be?

Post by Secret Alias »

My point was just to bring attention to some facts I've thought about for a while:

1. By the time of Irenaeus a creed was established to 'acknowledge' that Jesus was crucified under Pilate. I've never understood that. It might be that there were dissenting voices i.e. that Jesus was crucified at a generic 'time' or another time or it may be that Irenaeus was finding common ground that everyone could agree on (= ecumenism).
2. there were those who said that Jesus appeared in the 7th year of Pilate
3. Luke says that it was fifteen year of Pilate
4. Irenaeus says that there were many many years from appearance to crucifixion (something like 19)
5. the apostolic tradition of Hippolytus which seems to be related to (4) and possibly goes back to Papias

That's a wide range of dates. From 20 CE to some time in the 50s. And I think more accurately we can say:

a) an appearance either in the 7th year OR the 15th year (or possibly also the 15th of Tybi?)
b) a crucifixion a year later or 19 years later (the three year ministry idea seems to have developed from a literal reading of John which wasn't intended cf the ending of chapter 21 of John were an intentional vagueness characterizes the whole composition viz there were MANY Passovers and these were just SOME of the Passovers).
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Secret Alias
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Re: If Discussing Early Christianity Were a Sport What Would the Rules Be?

Post by Secret Alias »

3. modern scholarship overestimates or misrepresents or deliberately distorts the historical understanding or 'reality' of the man Jesus. I don't know why this has come to be. I assume it is a reaction to the 'mythical' aspects of Jesus being taken to be both man and God to have supernatural powers and supernatural 'effects' - i.e. resurrection, healing etc. But this scholarly reaction to 'theology' has created what can be argued to be a worse lie. A worse lie because in a field that is supposed to be 'sensitive' to and based on 'historical reality' a wholly artificial and ultimately modern construct has been created. It's like when Netflix does a period piece in an age where blacks, gays, Jews, women were all subordinate and a 'new reality' is presented where society at large is the complete opposite (inclusive etc). I don't know how scholarship gets sucked into this false construct called 'the historical Jesus.' But I think it stems from the same forces which 'fast track' inclusive values (i.e. that you can pick and choose what 'facts' to accept and ignore based on subjective presuppositions. I don't know which is 'cause' or 'consequence' here. Perhaps it also has something to do with the cutting of jobs in theology and the academic study of religion and Christianity in particular (as the university was to a large extent 'built around' the study of the Bible and now is trying to get away from that). Whatever the case may be the reaction to both inherited Biblical 'assumptions' about Jesus and religious scholars trying to maintain their livelihood for the next 20 - 40 years there is this unprecedented (and ultimately 'dishonest') attempt to make Christianity about something 'real' historical and ultimately 'practical' (i.e. a sociological as well as historical approach to early Christianity). You can't take the myth out of Christianity. The myth is essential to Christianity. When you start speaking about the historical Jesus (by basically subtracting all the 'myth' out of what has been passed down to us) you end up with something artificial and ultimately worthless. The 'historical Jesus' is a wholly illegitimate modern construct. It is a turning of a blind eye as it were to the man Jesus of antiquity. The man Jesus known to antiquity is a historical 'fact' and that 'fact' was inseparable from myth. With respect to the sociological origins of earliest Christianity, we must see that rather than a movement rooted in historical 'fact' and the preservation and perpetuation of historical 'facts' earliest Christianity must be seen to have originated from a 'secret' tradition which, by the end of the second century was an underground (and ultimately outlawed) association which was vehemently opposed to 'historical truth' and did everything to obscure 'history' in favor of 'holy spirit' whether by active prophetic movements, fantastic allegories, wild compositional 'mythmaking' which ultimately leads to pseudo-historical books like the Acts of the Apostles where lies are taken as 'truer than truth' merely because they were produced via 'the holy spirit.' The point here is that any emphasis of 'history' or the 'historical' in the study of early Christianity can't go much beyond the second century. If there were first century documents they were 'recomposed' or 'reconstituted' in 'the holy spirit' and so subsequently became for all intents and purposes 'second century testimonials.' Marcionism preserves a 'hope' that something was faithfully preserved from the first century but even this 'Samaritan' emphasis within Marcionism (for lack of a better terminology שמר = 'to guard/preserve') viz. the limiting of Christianity to a closed set of documents/traditions might in itself be only testament to the anti-historicism, the hostility to truth and 'reality' as such among contemporaries which was further refined by other 'revisionists' like Irenaeus, Origen and ultimately Eusebius. Bottom line: historical truth doesn't exist in our surviving evidence from earliest Christianity and any attempt to derive 'historical facts' from anti-historical documents is hopeless fully and is more of a sign of desperation (and job security) among professional scholars. They should know better but can't because they are 'feeding a family' (or 'many' in the case of divorced professors).
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Secret Alias
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Re: If Discussing Early Christianity Were a Sport What Would the Rules Be?

Post by Secret Alias »

The Rule Book Governing Christian Origins if Discussing Said Origin Were an Organized Sport

1. Rules regarding the dating of Christianity
(a) Christianity existed at least a generation before the destruction of Dura Europos. Dura Europos was captured by the Sasanian Empire after a siege in 256–57. Therefore Christianity existed from at least 236 - 7 CE. As such 236 - 7 will be henceforth referred to as TLPD that is 'the latest possible date' for the origins of early Christianity and Dura Europos itself as 'the latest possible place' TLPP for the origins of early Christianity.
(b) given that the 236 - 7 CE coincides with the Crisis of the Third Century it is unlikely that TLPD a generation before the destruction of Dura Europos would have been very productive not Dura Europos as a remote outpost and TLPP would likely have led to a worldwide religion in the age of Aurelian immediately following the Crisis of the Third Century. The fact that Paul of Samosata was involved in Christianity when Zenobia ruled Antioch and Antioch and Dura Europos (Al-Salihiyah) are almost on opposite ends of modern Syria necessarily assumes that Christianity was already diffused throughout the province of Syria and we must assume the Roman world. It is safe to assume that Christianity existed before the dawn of the third century CE.
(c) Christianity necessarily existed in the second century CE and we can't dismiss out of hand any tradition which speaks of Christians living or acting upon Roman world in the second century.
2. Rules governing the dating of Jesus
(a) there was no consensus in antiquity as to when Jesus lived or even if he "lived" or "existed" in the ordinary sense of the word, at all. One might restrict the discussion to existence of Pilate a historical figure to whom Jesus seems to have been attached. Nevertheless there was no agreement what year (i) Jesus first 'appeared', (ii) when Jesus was crucified and (iii) how many years lay between (i) and (ii).
3. Rules regarding Jesus and Christianity as 'historical' movements.
(a) Nothing about Christianity suggests that it sought to memorialize a living person. No specific dates (beyond Luke's late additions) are mentioned in the gospel. There may well have been an early liturgical cycle but no early determination of specific dates when things mentioned in the gospel took place. As such it is wrong to turn around and use these documents as 'historical documents' as they didn't have memorialization in the strictest sense of the word in mind. If the evangelist didn't see fit to preserve dates and times historicism doesn't seem to be one of the concerns of the gospel.
(b) modern scholarship overestimates or misrepresents or deliberately distorts the historical understanding or 'reality' of the man Jesus. The gospels should not be used to make history.
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