A book on first and second century Christian communism using David Graeber's work

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Noa Rodman's picture
Noa Rodman
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Jul 13 2017 20:03

Mostly what I'm annoyed with.

Is your unnecessarily.

Breaking up sentences midway.

Into several lines.

Until the post become so long.

That it tires the reader to scroll down.

-
Anyway, still lots more to discuss, but best for another time on another thread. So unless others want to join in still, or Rommon put in a last word, let's perhaps give this thread a rest.

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Rommon
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Jul 24 2017 10:13

Yeah, to be honest I didn't really want this thread to become a historical Jesus argument ... I kind of wanted it to be about my book and its subject smile.

potrokin
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Jul 28 2017 09:14
Rommon wrote:
Just to take one example:

The entire point of Luke 12 is the opposite of what you're making it out to be, the "slave" is the rulers of the world, "the belongings" are the people, as the master is God or the messiah, the whole point is that God will punish the oppressors. It's escataloical, the entire gospel of Luke is defined in like 4:18-19 which references the Jubilee in which land is redistributed, debts are canceled and slaves are freed.

whoever gave you the exegesis you espoused either is an idiot who hasn't got a clue what he's talking about, or he's purposefully lying about the meaning of the text to make a cheap ideological quip.

And perhaps people like you who like the mystical are reading too much into it- perhaps to sell books etc to establish a career for yourself. Perhaps it says what it clearly says. It is after all from a time when slavery was the norm. Perhaps all forms of religion are outdated and no longer required.

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Jul 28 2017 09:36
potrokin wrote:
And perhaps people like you who like the mystical are reading too much into it- perhaps to sell books etc to establish a career for yourself. Perhaps it says what it clearly says. It is after all from a time when slavery was the norm. Perhaps all forms of religion are outdated and no longer required.

1. I don't like the mystical ... being a believing Christian doesn't mean one automatically is into the "mystical".

2. It's not "People like me," whatever that means, it's New Testament scholarship, which includes atheists, believers and all kinds of People who study the text.

3. Do you REALLY think me Publishing a book on early Christian communism is something I would do to make Money ...Or make a "career" for myself?

4. It does say what it clearly says, within its context, both historical and literary, and in the context of the book of Luke. If you really want to know what it's saying, read the entire book of Luke (in a good translation, such as the NRSV or the ESV), and do a little bit of Research into second temple Judaism. If your goal is just to trash Christianity then you're really just wasting your time, no one is interested (other than maybe atheist echo Chamber circle jerks).

5. Outdated and no longer required for what? Anyway, your opinion is your opinion.

potrokin
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Jul 28 2017 11:01
Rommon wrote:
potrokin wrote:
And perhaps people like you who like the mystical are reading too much into it- perhaps to sell books etc to establish a career for yourself. Perhaps it says what it clearly says. It is after all from a time when slavery was the norm. Perhaps all forms of religion are outdated and no longer required.

1. I don't like the mystical ... being a believing Christian doesn't mean one automatically is into the "mystical".

2. It's not "People like me," whatever that means, it's New Testament scholarship, which includes atheists, believers and all kinds of People who study the text.

3. Do you REALLY think me Publishing a book on early Christian communism is something I would do to make Money ...Or make a "career" for myself?

4. It does say what it clearly says, within its context, both historical and literary, and in the context of the book of Luke. If you really want to know what it's saying, read the entire book of Luke (in a good translation, such as the NRSV or the ESV), and do a little bit of Research into second temple Judaism. If your goal is just to trash Christianity then you're really just wasting your time, no one is interested (other than maybe atheist echo Chamber circle jerks).

5. Outdated and no longer required for what? Anyway, your opinion is your opinion.

1. Yes it does
2.Yes it is
3.Possibly
4.What? As opposed to the believing christian circle jerk on here?
5. Everything

Even if it is allegorical- what use is that if the vast majority of people have misinterpreted it to harm a great many people? What use is it at all? There are huge problems with getting your ethics and morals from a book that was put together about 2000 years ago or whenever it was and it's not a book we need to read for that purpose anymore. There maybe a historical purpose for this thread but that only goes so far really. Surely if this is a history thread then it should be in the History section. But if this is going to get all theological then you can expect people to object- as some have done already, or atleast to question such a thread. But the history of christiany has been done to death- there are whole university courses on it. But to conflate christianity with anarchism or communism is a serious mistake in my view.

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Jul 28 2017 10:53

1. just claiming that doesn't make it so.
2. same as above, New Testament scholars are not all "like me."
3. no, not possibly.
4. How many Christians are there on Libcom other than me?
5. Many People don't agree, and Your opinion is not very relevant since you don't know what you're talking about.

I didn't say it was allegorical, I said actually READ what it's saying in it's context.

If you don't believe in God then it's just another historical document, if you are an atheist I'm not going to argue that it's useful to you. If it get's theological, I don't see why you would Object, since you don't have a dog in that fight.

Your "view" isn't really based on anything concrete ... all you've done is display Your ignorance on the subject. I get that you're Young, but if you're going to go out and give an exegesis, do Your Research first.

potrokin
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Jul 28 2017 11:04

You've said it's metaphors- surely the same as allegorical and I have done my research thanks. But no, clearly you are the 'expert' on all of this.

potrokin
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Jul 28 2017 12:06
Rommon wrote:

I said actually READ what it's saying in it's context.

I have.

Dave B
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Jul 28 2017 17:28

l
I don’t think you can attack allegory and metaphor per se in political discourse.

You get allegory and metaphor for instance in Animal Farm, 1984 and for that matter in more modern examples in Harry Potter with 'allegories' on racism and fascism and lying mainstream media in an unusual platform for children.

They seem to understand it well enough when you talk to them.

It frequently uses a more powerful tool which is ironic metaphor and which was a favourite technique of political dissidents to dodge prison.

On Irony on its own re Christianity there was something good today as below;

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47525.htm

It did become a history thread.

But so , shit happens.

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Aug 25 2017 17:34

Yeah, and Marx uses plenty of allegories and metaphors. Some even drawn from the Bible (shock and horror!).

This made me laugh:

Rommon wrote:
3. Do you REALLY think me Publishing a book on early Christian communism is something I would do to make Money ...Or make a "career" for myself?

potrokin wrote:
3.Possibly

I'd say definitively not. I'd be very surprised if Rommon's book was printed in more than 1000 copies. The topic is of interest to such a small group of people that it is more or less impossible for Rommon to make money on this. Shit, even quite well-known academics may see a yearly royalty check for maybe $20 for a well-selling book. It's really only the Zizeks of the world that makes money off of writing academic books. One of the only reasons publishers will actually publish books like Rommon's is because libraries will buy them (or rather: the book will be part of a bundle of books sold/licensed to a library).

Anyway, those comments weren't really why I came to post in this thread. I just came across this article in a Norwegian newspaper about the dead sea scrolls and its many forgeries. Machine translation here.

I guess my question for Rommon is whether any of the scholarship has been taken in by forgeries (i.e. have based their analysis on them) or whether it is well known that about a tenth (?) or so of the scrolls are fakes. I found it interesting since at some points this discussion has been concerned with the historical record.

Dave B
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Aug 26 2017 09:06

the alleged forgeries come from another set of material I think?

.....More recently, additional scroll fragments have come to light. Since 2002, around 70 Dead Sea Scrolls fragments have appeared on the antiquities market, said Eibert Tigchelaar, a professor at the University of Leuven in Belgium, in an interview with Live Science..........

https://www.livescience.com/56429-are-new-dead-sea-scrolls-forgeries.htm...

Dave B
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Aug 26 2017 14:34

As this has flared up again.

I thought I could paste the following from a thread on it in ‘our’ place; and my lot don’t like it either.

Concerns another early anti Christian 300AD document of some quality.

………….

As an update really as something I said earlier about an anti Christian document by Porphyry circa 300AD being destroyed and not knowing what was in it wasn’t precisely true.

There is another manuscript possibly comnected to it which contains much anti christian material.

The ‘complete’ and extensively quoted anti christian material contained in it is dated as probably originating and have been written by Sossianus Hierocles around 310 AD.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sossianus_Hierocles

And perhaps at least plagarised from the anti Christian book by Porphyry.

The anti christian material is, on its own interesting, as an extremely sophisticated textual criticism of the gospel material questioning its accuracy, logical and material impossibilities, as well as a forensic analysis of material contradictions between the gospel documents themselves.

Again there is an absence of a JC historical myth analysis.

The book from which it originated presents itself as dialogue or debate between an anti Christian and a Christian as with origen’s contra celsum.

And as such contains a quite modern and first rational attack on the gospel material.

And for that alone should be an entertaining and historical read for anti Christians.

From a historical political perspective the anti Christian from circa 300AD then clearly views and objects to the gospel material and Christianity as an act of theological class warfare, attack and hostility towards and against the rich.

And gospel material and Christianity was fabricated by the ‘poor’ in their own interests.

The anti Christian representative of the ruling class and rich of 300AD unlike modern anti Christians clearly doesn’t interpret it as a positive thing in keeping the poor happy with their lot etc.

More like a protest against the early Christian idea that the rich are shits because they are rich.

Thus mirroring the analysis of ‘Marxist’ like Rosa , Kautsky and Engels from 1500 years later who also viewed it as such; from the opposite perspective?

CHAPTER V. Objection based on the saying about the camel going through the eye of a needle (Matt. xix. 24, etc.).
Let us examine another saying even more baffling than these, when he says, "It is easier for a camel to go through a needle,than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven."
If it be indeed the case that any one who is rich is not brought into the so-called kingdom of heaven though he have kept himself from the sins of life, such as murder, theft, adultery, cheating, impious oaths, body-snatching, and the wickedness of sacrilege, of what use is just dealing to righteous men, if they happen to be rich ? And what harm is there for poor men in doing every unholy deed of baseness ?

For it is not virtue that takes a man up to heaven, but lack of possessions. For if his wealth shuts out the rich man from heaven, by way of contrast his poverty brings a poor man into it. And so it becomes lawful, when a man has learnt this lesson, to pay no regard to virtue, but without let or hindrance to cling to poverty alone, and the things that are most base. This follows from poverty being able to save the poor man, while riches shut out the rich man from the undefiled abode.
Wherefore it seems to me that these cannot be the words of Christ, if indeed he handed down the rule of truth, but of some poor men who wished, as a result of such vain talking, to deprive the rich of their substance.

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/macarius_apocriticus.htm#THE DATE OF THE APOCRITICUS.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_of_a_needle

…………..
on Karl and allegories and metaphors?

How about this from the original chapter one?

At the risk of cross posting

Let us take Robinson Crusoe on his island. Modest as he naturally is, nevertheless he has various needs to satisfy and must therefore perform useful labours of various sorts, make tools, build furniture, tame llamas, fish, hunt etc. We do not refer at this time to praying and other such activities, since our Robinson derives enjoyment from them and regards such activity as recreation. Despite the variety of his productive functions, he knows that they are only various forms of activity of one and the same Robinson, and thus are only different modes of human labour.

Necessity itself compels him to divide his time exactly between his various functions. Whether the one takes more space and the other takes less in the totality of his activity depends upon the greater or lesser difficulty which must be overcome for the attainment of the intended useful effect. Experience teaches him that much, and our Robinson who saved watch, diary, ink and pen from the shipwreck begins to keep a set of books about himself like a good Englishman.

His inventory contains a list of the objects of use which he possesses, of the various operations which are required for their production, and finally of the labour-time which particular quanta of these various products cost him on the average. All relationships between Robinson and the things which form his self-made wealth are here so simple and transparent that even Mr. Wirth[6] can understand them without particular mental exertion. And nevertheless all essential determinations of value are contained therein.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/commodity.htm

Intellectual blindness

“For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind may see and those who see may become blind.”

Dave B
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Aug 26 2017 18:38

Actually there is some other interesting stuff in.

THE APOCRITICUS OF MACARIUS MAGNES

Including attacks on Paul, historical report of his decapitation

… And yet no sooner was he seized in Rome than this fine fellow, who said that we should judge angels, had his head cut off.....

An older version of our current Bart Erhmans objection’ to Paul being a Roman citizen

and critique of the old testament etc.

Not sure they haven’t missed the obvious with the bishop thing and the alternative look at;

……….He held that neither of the author's appellations was necessarily his proper name, as of course Macarius Magnes may simply mean "The Blessed Magnesian."

Given its platonic content it may be something to do with;

…..Plato on utopia

The Laws is one of Plato's last dialogues. In it, he sketches the basic political structure and laws of an ideal city named Magnesia………..

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/plato-utopia/

I can’t be arsed going back to that and reading Plato again and joining any dots up as you tend to read this stuff first out of sequence once.

There is another online version here

https://archive.org/stream/apocriticusofmac00macauoft/apocriticusofmac00...

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Aug 28 2017 11:34
Khawaga wrote:
I'd say definitively not. I'd be very surprised if Rommon's book was printed in more than 1000 copies. The topic is of interest to such a small group of people that it is more or less impossible for Rommon to make money on this. Shit, even quite well-known academics may see a yearly royalty check for maybe $20 for a well-selling book. It's really only the Zizeks of the world that makes money off of writing academic books. One of the only reasons publishers will actually publish books like Rommon's is because libraries will buy them (or rather: the book will be part of a bundle of books sold/licensed to a library).

Anyway, those comments weren't really why I came to post in this thread. I just came across this article in a Norwegian newspaper about the dead sea scrolls and its many forgeries. Machine translation here.

I guess my question for Rommon is whether any of the scholarship has been taken in by forgeries (i.e. have based their analysis on them) or whether it is well known that about a tenth (?) or so of the scrolls are fakes. I found it interesting since at some points this discussion has been concerned with the historical record.

The funny thing With my book is that basically many American conservative Christian scholars (a HUGE market in the English speaking world) have an Automatic reaction against ANYTHING questioning the market ideology; which I find quite sad, so much bad political theology gets done by People who are tied to a market/nationalist ideology (starting With Augustine to be honest).

But Yeah, most of the time books like this get a tiny readership, and it's Libraries, or academics ordering through Libraries. I'm certainly not making any Money from the book.

As far as the DDS forgeries. this is nothing New; there have been manuscript forgeries since the begining of textual criticism. However, the MAIN Qumran documents that have been studied, verified and so on are basically proven Beyond a doubt. The forgeries are little scraps here and there that are usually "New discoveries", or fragments that supposedly havn't been studied and pubilshed yet.

This would effect Textual Critical studies and Research that is specifically geared toward Qumran texts. But Scholarship based on Second Temply Judaism and Early Christianity usually will only deal with the verified documents.

Sometimes you get some slippage though. One example is a couple years ago some, very prominant and capable, NT scholars and textual critics started announcing a very old fragment of Mark found in an Egyptian mask (these masks were made from paper mache, using discarded documents), some of them even brought it up in Public debates (famously Danial Wallace, who did so in a very Shady and unethical way in my opinion). That was over 10 years ago and since then nothings been published or verified on the so-called fragment of Mark ... At all ... This makes me think it turned out to be a dud.

But it's very rare that the historians/NT scholars and so on will start considering a manuscript before the analysis on it has been done and it's authenticity verified ... there are exceptions (the "Secret gospel of Mark" for example, which most People now think is a forgery), but they are rare.

The DDS documents I use are the Geza Vermes translation, and there are also fascimilies of the verified manuscripts avaiable on different biblical scholarship software programs (I use logos); but those are basically almost 100% safe.

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Aug 28 2017 11:40
Dave B wrote:
the alleged forgeries come from another set of material I think?

.....More recently, additional scroll fragments have come to light. Since 2002, around 70 Dead Sea Scrolls fragments have appeared on the antiquities market, said Eibert Tigchelaar, a professor at the University of Leuven in Belgium, in an interview with Live Science..........

https://www.livescience.com/56429-are-new-dead-sea-scrolls-forgeries.htm...

Yeah, these News stories come out every now and then ... my general rule is to ignore it until it goes through the analysis/peer review process.

Sensationalist archeologists are a dime a dozen.

This is not only a problem in New Testament/Early Christianity/Second Temple Judiasm ... You get this stuff in many Fields. Which is why it's best to be very conservative and wait for the ideas and New "discoveries" to be scrutinized.