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

Submitted by Rommon on April 28, 2017

http://wipfandstock.com/all-things-in-common.html

And amazon pre order

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1532607938/

It's a book I wrote which is a historical reconstruction of the events described in acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-37 using all the textual data (from the Qumran documents to the early church fathers to pagan sources) and using frameworks from modern anthropology (mainly David Graeber).

Maybe some people here might be interested in looking through it :). If you do buy it and have some comments or questions let me know.

By there way it's conning out for kindle in a couple weeks.

Dave B

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On the community of goods and sharing etc

As well as the anti-christian because they were communists Lucian; did you include the anti Christian Celsus who said they were working class communists; probably AD 180

The Christian Justyn the Martry 130AD

Epistle of Barnabas internally accurately dated to 132-3 AD with original hard copy in codex sinaticus AD 390; with multiple 2nd century cross references.

And Didache, generally regarded as anything between 60 to 150 AD with early cross reference material attributing to Peter.

And written in Common ‘pidgeon’ Greek the Lingua Franca of the lower classes.

That is generally regarded as important as regard provenance as it is indicative that it hadn’t been polished up, to save embarrassment, by later intellectual Christians.

The revelation of John was also wtiten in common greek and the prick Engels took the piss out of it for it ‘bad grammar’, hopefully not realising it was the language of the masses.

Although he was an intellectual fascist when it came to language and no Chomsky, he trashed Yiddish as a bastard language as well.

I think what is politically important about probably major or at least large minority aspects of early Christianity is the idea that Satan and his ruling class spawn ruled the world.

That is actually scattered around in the JC gospel material itself as well as in the non Pauline New testament material.

It is clearly I think a theological expression of the political outlook of the oppressed.

Feuerbach and the trick cyclists would call it ‘projection’.

Rommon

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I included all of that, and some more. wow, you really know your stuff.

John was written in very simple Koine as well as the letters, and revelation was written in "bad" Koine. If it IS true that revelation was written by the same person who wrote John and the epistles of John, and that this John was Jewish peasant; then it totally makes sense that he wrote bad Greek, it was his second or third language and he likely didn't have access to a high education.

I actually think that Luke is (when understood in its context) one of the most revolutionary documents in the ancient world.

If you do end up reading my book, I'd be very interested in what you think about it.

Dave B

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think the critical idea is that the Judiac and thus Christian God was not omnipotent; which is a crucial part of modern Christianity.

Originated in strands of first century Jewish theology; as a rationalisation of why or how their God the only real one could allow Roman imperialism and colonisation of Judea etc.

Again it was an obvious theological response of and from the oppressed.

there is also in this potentially very early Christian document.

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

Beliar the great ruler, the king of this world, will descend, who hath ruled it since it came into being; yea, he will descent from his firmament in the likeness of a man, a lawless king, the slayer of his mother: who himself (even) this king.
3. Will persecute the plant which the Twelve Apostles of the Beloved have planted. Of the Twelve one will be delivered into his hands.
4. This ruler in the form of that king will come and there will come and there will come with him all the powers of this world, and they will hearken unto him in all that he desires.

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/ascension.html

It is probably interesting in that it also has Nero as the antichrist as does revelation according to John.

Eg

Hence, Nero is already fallen and Galba is. Galba ruled from June 9, 68 to January 15, 69. But immediately after he ascended the throne the legions of the Rhine revolted under Vitellius while other generals prepared military risings in other provinces. In Rome itself the praetorians rose, killed Galba and proclaimed Otho emperor.
From this we see that our Revelation was written under Galba. Probably towards the end of his rule. Or, at the latest, during the three months (up to April 15, 69) of the rule of Otho, "the seventh." But who is the eighth, who was and is not? That we learn from the number 666.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1894/early-christianity/index.htm

I think there is a bit of a problem in that there were several later rounds of rumours that Nero would come back so it could have been written later.

I am one of those not convinced that Gospel of John revelation and letters of John were all written by the same person.

I assume you are also familiar with this.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1908/christ/ch09.htm

And then there are the Marcions and Marcion circa AD150.

I think will read it.

You will make few friends; it hard to work out who hates you more for delving into this kind of thing the modern communists, anti communists and/ or the modern christians

Rommon

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I have no idea, I really hope I can get some conservative Christians (of which there are many good and sincere people) to begin to question capitalism.

The whole idea of God being omnipotent is more a platonic/Aristotelian import, there in Philo before Christianity, than it is native to Palestinian Judaism, they didn't really think in those terms. Of course it depends what you mean by omnipotent.

One big difference was that the Judaic God was one of Justice, I.e. One who grounded morality and justice, unlike the Gods of the nations who didn't care about justice (that was for the philosophers) just power. So the Jews needed to come up with theodicies, you had the zealot response, the Pharisaic response, the Essence responce, the plaronizers response, and then the Christian responce.

I'm familiar with Karl Kauskey and his work, I am very careful, however, in applying 19th and 20th century categories on the 1rst century; there isn't by any means a 1:1 equivalence, things are more complicated.

Marcion I'm not a big fan of, he basically completely missed the point of Jewish biblical theology (it's narrative, not normative) and thus didn't understand Jesus' story. I prefer the Ebionites who threw out Paul than the Marcionites who threw out Yahweh and the Hebrew Scriptures.

About the authorship of revelation, the author of John was very familiar with neo-platonic concepts and wrote for an educated gentile audience, whereas the author of revelation basically pulled from Jewish apocalyptic literature (think Daniel, Ezekiel, 1 Enoch) and christianized it.

Almost all apocalytic literature is thinly veiled political literature, but also (of course) spiritual, the 2 were completely intertwined. As you said, Satan being the ruler of the world was not seperare from the empire and its ruling classes being the rulers.

The ancients didn't divide the world into "material" and "spiritual" the two were fully intertwined.

Dave B

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well when I said omnipotent I meant mainly as a geopolitical and socio economic intercessionist as in the book of Joshua.

And I think Marcion objected to that kind of divine ‘justice’ as irreconcilable with the philosophical context of the gospel material.

Or in other words the old testament god was hypocritical, vindictive, sadistic violent and murderous bastard all in the name of tough love.

[Aside I think Marcion is important as Tertullian’s attack on him gives one of the best pieces of evidence that the gospel of Luke pretty much as we have it now was extant and established in the early part of the first century.]

I think it is politically and philosophically important as the Judiac tradition had that suffering was gods punishment or wrath for wrong doing eg Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers?

And that was used as a general explanation for when things went pear shaped for the Jews as they often did when they were repeatedly invaded and subjugated; before the Romans even which was the last straw for some of them.

The blessed are the poor thing etc was turning things on its head.

As you might expect there were several early Christian schisms cutting across several directions.

So Marcion wanted to reject the gobshite intercessionist god of the old testament but kept Paul who was OK with the rich really.

Whereas the Ebionites, "the poor" or "poor ones, wanted to retain Judiac religious practices and traditions etc etc and thus dump Paul.

They may have been some kind of splinter from the communistic Essenes;

Who;

Well when I said omnipotent I meant mainly as a geopolitical and socio economic intercessionist as in the book of Joshua.

And I think Marcion objected to that kind of divine ‘justice’ as irreconcilable with the philosophical context of the gospel material.

Or in other words the old testament god was hypocritical, vindictive, sadistic violent and murderous bastard all in the name of tough love.

[Aside I think Marcion is important as Tertullian’s attack on him gives one of the best pieces of evidence that the gospel of Luke pretty much as we have it now was extant and established in the early part of the first century.]

I think it is politically and philosophically important as the Judiac tradition had that suffering was gods punishment or wrath for wrong doing eg Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers?

And that was used as a general explanation for when things went pear shaped for the Jews as they often did when they were repeatedly invaded and subjugated; before the Romans even which was the last straw for some of them.

The blessed are the poor etc was turning things on its head.

As you might expect there were several schisms cutting across several directions.

So Marcion wanted to reject the gobshite intercessionist god of the old testament but keep Paul who was OK with the rich really.

Whereas the Ebionites, "the poor" or "poor ones, wanted to retain Judiac religious practices and traditions etc etc

They may have been some kind of splinter from the communistic Essenes;

Who;

'And their mode of life is an evidence of this liberty: none ventures to acquire any private property at all, no house, nor slave, nor farm, nor cattle, nor any of the other things which procure or minister to wealth; but they deposit them all in public together, and enjoy the benefit of all in common.
'And they dwell together in one place, forming clubs and messes in companies, and they pass their whole time in managing every kind of business for the common good.
'But different members have different occupations, to which they strenuously devote themselves, and toil on with unwearied patience, making no excuses of cold or heat or any changes of weather: but before the sun is up they turn to their usual employments, and hardly give up at its setting, delighting in. work no less than those who are being trained in gymnastic contests.
'For whatever occupation they follow, they imagine that these exercises are more beneficial to life, and more pleasant to soul and body, and more permanent than athletics, because they do not become unseasonable as the vigour of the body declines.
'For some of them labour in the fields, being skilled in matters relating to sowing and tillage, and others are herdsmen, being masters of all kinds of cattle; and some attend to swarms of bees.
'Others again are craftsmen in various arts, who, in order to avoid any of the sufferings which the wants of the necessaries of life impose, reject none of the innocent ways of gaining a livelihood.
'Of the men then who thus differ in occupation every one on receiving his wages gives them to one person who is the appointed steward: and he, on receiving them, immediately purchases the necessary provisions, and supplies abundance of food, and all other things of which man's life is in need.
'And they who live together and share the same table are content with the same things every day, being lovers of frugality, and abhorring prodigality as a disease of soul and body.
'Not only have they a common table, but also common raiment: for there are set out in winter thick cloaks, and in summer cheap tunics, so that any one who will may easily take'whichever he likes, since what belongs to one is considered to belong to all, and the property of all to be on the other hand the property of each one.
'Moreover if any of them should fall sick, he is medically treated out of the common resources, and attended by the care and anxiety of all.

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/eusebius_pe_08_book8.htm

Dave B

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

eg Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers?

as in the sins of the fathers thing

Rommon

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

When we look at the Hebrew bible, it's not one portrait of God, in the Pentateuch there's the priestly tradition, the deuteronomist tradition, the Yahwehish tradition and (for some) the Elohist, they all understand God differently according to most modern scholars. Even people who (like me) take a more conservative approach can see many different strands in the OT.

Then you also have different interpretive frameworks, philo for example, took almost everything as symbolic.

But in the end, I think the dominant biblical narrative (captivity and redemption, The god of justice undoing oppression) is absolutely necessary to understand what Jesus was doing. Luke (and the Mark/Q material behind it) is meaningless without the Hebrew bible and the Jewish tradition, Marcionism reduces it to gnostic nonsense.

For example the Jubilee and Sabbatical year laws we're central in the theology of Christian communism early on, the whole Gosel of Luke is basically (partially) a working out of the theology of the eschatological Jubilee.

When it comes to Paul I think zizek said it correctly, if Jesus was Marx then Paul was Lenin. What many apologists for capitalism say is Paul opposing communism (those who do not work should not eat, just to take one example) is really Paul just trying to keep the church functioning under difficult times. Paul was kind of a dick, and he did have a chip on his shoulder, but without him Christianity would have ended up probably dying out in the second century along with other Jewish messianic movements.

My theory is (and there is evidence to back it up) that many of the essence joined the Christians early on, due to the striking similarity of their ideologies; and that they influenced Christianity a lot, I think for example that agood case can be made that John the baprist was some type of essene.

The ebionites I think were probable Jamesian holdouts post 130ce, after which it was more or less clear that most of Christianity was going the Pauline way.

Btw it's awesome that someone else here is into this kind of thing :).

Dave B

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well good luck with those conservative Christians.

I got nowhere with them and kept getting kicked of their forums

The “Marxists” were little bit better once you broke the ice and it is probably helped by the fact their idols had dipped into it themselves 100 years ago.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1905/misc/socialism-churches.htm

I don’t suppose you know where this first quote comes from.

these do not believe in fortunes, but they preach collective property and no one among them possesses more than the others. He who wishes to enter their order is obliged to put his fortune into their common property. That is why there is amoung them neither poverty nor luxury – all possessing all in common like brothers. They do not live in a city apart, but in each they have houses for themselves. If any stangers belonging to their religion come there, they share their property with them, and they can benefit from it as if it their own. Those people, even if previously unknown to each other, welcome one another, and their relations are very friendly. When travelling they carry nothing but a weapon for defence against robbers. In each city they have their steward, who distributes clothing and food to the travellers. Trade does not exist among them. However, if one of the members offers to another some object which he needs, he receives some other objects in exchange. But each can demand what he needs even if he can give nothing in exchange.”

I think we are going to have agree to disagree on somethings and should not test libcomer's patience by getting into a more detailed theological debate.

However I do think there is a categorical discontinuity between the old testament and the gospel material

Marcion of AD 140 said that factions in the Christianity had already set about tampering with the gospels to Judiaze it and introduce more of an old testament gospel continuity.

It looks like Marcions Luke was missing the opening Nativity stuff which linked JC to old testament prophecy.

For me the whole of the old testament is just a repugnant and disgusting piece of literature.

If you start preaching Early Christian communism to the conservatives they won’t waste anytime before throwing ‘obey the emperor because God put him there and be a good slave’ Paul (member of the ruling class) in your face.

I think Zizek had a point but I would not interpret that point in the same way thus;

Lenin’s originality and importance as a revolutionary leader is most often associated with the seizure of power in 1917. But, Žižek argues in this new study and collection of original texts, Lenin’s true greatness can be better grasped in the very last couple of years of his political life. Russia had survived foreign invasion, embargo and a terrifying civil war, as well as internal revolts such as at Kronstadt in 1921. But the new state was exhausted, isolated and disorientated in the face of the world revolution that seemed to be receding. New paths had to be sought, almost from scratch, for the Soviet state to survive and imagine some alternative route to the future. With his characteristic brio and provocative insight, Žižek suggests that Lenin’s courage as a thinker can be found in his willingness to face this reality of retreat lucidly and frontally.

Lenin spent sometime successfully crushing authentic libertarian communism as did the Comintern later in revising and distorting Marxism etc.

But I suppose ironically if it hadn’t been for Stalinism etc we may not have had such an extensive collection of Marx’s material translated and made easily available to us.

Rommon

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I actually have gotten places with conservative Christians, (in Europe conservative Christians are more open to being anti-capitalism since they don't have the decades of Cold War propaganda that US conservative Christians have, but I even have gotten places with US conservative Christians), perhaps that is because I am rather conservative theologically myself, I am a sola/tota scriptura Christian.

You're quote is Josephus describing the Essenes, Josephus, along with Philo and some others give us a good picture of the Essenes, but we have to remember they are writing for educated gentiles, not Jews, so you're gonna get a somewhat distorted view (panta koina, all things in common is a Greek philosophical idiom, not from the Hebrew tradition). We get an inside view from the DDS. The similarities between the Essenes and the early Christians are striking.

Which brings us to our disagreement, I think the OT is vital in understanding Jesus, even if we take the birth narrative out of Luke, the OT is still the context, despite what Marcion thought, Luke is a thoroughly Jewish text that relies heavily on Hebrew tradition and scripture.

Romans 13 is a favorite one of right wing Christians, but they ignore its context Romans 12 ... that's why I say they aren't conservative enough, they should adhere MORE to scripture but all of it and it it's context, not cherry pick. Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder did very good work on Romans 13.

I'm not saying they early Christians were revolutionaries, they weren't, they were (like the Essenes) building parallel communities within the larger society that opposed the world (that is the Roman system).

My point with comparing Paul to Lenin is just that he was dealing with actual communities trying to stick together dispite persecution, Jesus was more a traveling agitator.

I agree about this forum not being the best to go down theological rabbit holes, but I do think the key to understanding early Christian communism is the eschatological theology of the Jubilee in early Judaism.

Dave B

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

many thanks for the source of the quote.

I have read large chunks of josephus but not all it.

can you identify where it is etc to save me the time looking for it.

Lenin used the "those who do not work shall not eat" and so did Trotsky I think but it was in reference to the capitalist class

Dave B

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

DDS is dead sea scrolls ?

potrokin

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In the following parable, Jesus clearly approves of beating slaves even if they didn’t know they were doing anything wrong.

The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it. “But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given.” Luke 12:47-48

potrokin

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What would Jesus Do? Advocate child abuse, murder, and other cruelties.

Christians are always claiming, “he’s the lamb”, “our savior”, “the king of peace”, “the embodiment of love”, and many other names they associate with a loving, merciful nature. Jesus a nice guy? Not in my book. Nor in any other person’s who is capable of compassion and rationality. Let’s examine who the hell the Jesus character really is. These verses will show not only that Jesus’ loving nature a joke but so are the Christians who worship him.

Jesus’ real mission to come to earth

Jesus says that he has come to destroy families by making family members hate each other. He has “come not to send peace, but a sword.” Matthew 10:34

Jesus says, “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace on earth! No, rather a sword lf you love your father, mother, sister, brother, more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. “The real beauty of this verse is that Jesus demands people truly love him more then they love their own family. I ask you how can we love someone that we can not see or interact with? Love is an emotion pertaining to physical existence not to faithful ideologies, yet God threatens you with death just because your love for your mother maybe stronger than your love for him. (Matthew 10:34)

Families will be torn apart because of Jesus. “Brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.” (Matthew 10:21)

Jesus strongly approves of the law and the prophets. He hasn’t the slightest objection to the cruelties of the Old Testament. (Matthew 5:17)

Jesus advocates murder and death

Jesus condemns entire cities to dreadful deaths and to the eternal torment of hell because they didn’t care for his preaching. (Matthew 11:20)

Jesus, whose clothes are dipped in blood, has a sharp sword sticking out of his mouth. Thus attired, he treads the winepress of the wrath of God. (The winepress is the actual press that humans shall be put into so that we may be ground up.) (Revelations 19:13-15)

The beast and the false prophet are cast alive into a lake of fire. The rest of us, the unchosen, will be killed with the sword of Jesus. “An all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” Revelations (19:20-21)

Jesus says he is the only way to salvation yet he purposely disillusions us so that we will go to hell

Jesus explains that the reason he speaks in parables is so that no one will understand him, lest . . . they . . . should understand . . . and should be converted, and I should heal them. (Matthew 13:10-15)

Jesus explains why he speaks in parables to confuse people so they will go to hell. (Mark 4:11-12)

Jesus advocates child abuse

Jesus is criticized by the Pharisees for not washing his hands before eating. He defends himself by attacking them for not killing disobedient children according to the commandment: He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. (Matthew 15:4-7)

Abandon your wife and children for Jesus and he’ll give your a big reward. Jesus asks that his followers abandon their children to follow him. To leave your child is abuse, it’s called neglect, pure and simple. (Matthew 19:29)

Jesus criticizes the Jews for not killing their disobedient children according to Old Testament law. (Mark 7:9)

A few other things about Jesus

Jesus says that those who have been less fortunate in this life will have it even worse in the life to come. (Mark 4:25)

Jesus sends the devils into 2000 pigs, causing them to jump off a cliff and be drowned in the sea. Clearly Jesus could have simply sent the devils out, yet he chose instead to place them into pigs and kill them. This is called animal abuse. (Mark 5:12-13)

Jesus kills a fig tree for not bearing figs, even though it was out of season. Jesus must not be as smart as Christians would have us believe, for he was dumb enough to do something this silly. You’d think the son of god (god incarnate) would know that trees don’t bear fruit in dry season. (Mark 11:13)

Jesus okays beating slaves. (Luke 12:47)

Dave B

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jesus kills a fig tree for not bearing figs, even though it was out of season. Jesus must not be as smart as Christians would have us believe, for he was dumb enough to do something this silly. You’d think the son of god (god incarnate) would know that trees don’t bear fruit in dry season. (Mark 11:13

A lot of these things were allegorical.

The fig tree was an metaphor for the nation state of Israel or the ‘Jews’ or whatever.

As from Jeremiah; one of the ‘better’ old testament tracks.

Plants bearing fruit was about people doing good deeds etc etc

This one pops up again Mark 13 wrapped around the second coming prophecy and the all things will happen before all the people of this generation are dead.

We can do the others as well if you want?

The miracle stuff is much more of a problem for the likes of myself.

Somewhat alarmingly for me the 2nd century anti Christian Celsus; if that was one person and it wasn’t written by a committee from the Celsum think tank at Ephesus.

Seemed to believe that JC had done a lot of this kind of thing attributing to the kind of magic ( of the Darren Brown type ) one could see done in the Alexandria market place.

Hypnotism was mentioned as one technique.

Rommon

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave B

DDS is dead sea scrolls ?

Yeah

It's Josephus war of the Jews 2.8

That Paul quote only makes sense if there was free food available for all, I.e. Communism or an extensive welfare system. That verse and others like it is proof of the early Christian communism.

Rommon

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Potrokin

The point of parables is exactly that they are NOT to be taken literally.

Your interpretations are not ones that any New Testament scholar, atheist, Christian, liberal or conservative would recognize as making any sense given the historical context of the text.

Those sort of cheap anti-Christian arguments where you read passages outside of the larger context and historical context and outside of recognizing its point or it's place within the larger narrative just display ignorance of the subject. It's akin to fundamentalists arguing against evolution by saying "well if we came from monkeys why are there still monkeys around" it reveals a lack of knowledge of the subject and a lack of curiosity to understand the subject.

Rommon

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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.

potrokin

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Rommon

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.

It's a load of mystical nonsense then basically.

Rommon

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If you're not willing to actually try and understand theology or the text, that's fine. But if you try and then criticize it you're gonna end up looking silly, since you'd be taking our of complete ignorance.

You can't call it "mystical nonsense" if you want, but that's really just you saying "I don't like it".

potrokin

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's clearly a load of claptrap, no doubt for the 'enlightened' initiated few who have time for it.

Dave B

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks Rommon.

http://sacred-texts.com/jud/josephus/war-2.htm

I had read that section how I forgot it I will never know.

I was thrown off by Rosa implying it was Christians; so she was dissembling a bit or was misinformed by some other.

You should send that to Marxist.org for a footnote as it has been passed around quite a bit and is in books and stuff.

It looked to me very similar to the Eusebius-Tertullian-Philo thing.

Do you think Josephus plagiarised it from philo?

Bart D. Ehrman looked at what the JC thing was all about re influences etc.

Essenes and proto Marxism was on his list; he is no communist.

I think as well that JC was to much of a liberal to be a pure Essene; mixing with barkeeps and prostitutes and chatting to promiscuous Samaritan women around the well.

I agree that he and the early Christians were more “anarcho syndicalists” than Marxist revolutionaries but that would be too anachronistic.

Serge Forward

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Whereas I'd generally agree with Potrokin's "claptrap" conclusion, his method of analysis and "evidence" for that conclusion (however correct it may be coincidentally) is frankly claptrap.

Khawaga

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If you're not willing to actually try and understand theology or the text, that's fine. But if you try and then criticize it you're gonna end up looking silly, since you'd be taking our of complete ignorance.

And that's precisely how s/he looks especially when compared to the erudition of you and Dave B. To his/her defence, however, I think potrokin is relatively young and did come out of what seems to be a pretty horrible christian-fundamentalist family.

Dave B

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There are two Lenin shall not eat quotes as below.

The second one is more famous and in a slightly different context.

I am more of a Leninologist (although I despise him) and a Marxist.

Than a historian of Christianity and theology; which just a bit of a hobby to enable to knock the modern christians around a bit.

….we are feeding many extra people, former government officials who have crept into Soviet agencies, bourgeois lying low, profiteers, etc. There must be a determined drive to sift out these superfluous mouths who are breaking the fundamental law: He who does not work shall not eat.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1921/may/21.htm

However, it persists as far as its other part is concerned; it persists in the capacity of regulator (determining factor) in the distribution of products and the allotment of labor among the members of society. The socialist principle, "He who does not work shall not eat", is already realized; the other socialist principle, "An equal amount of products for an equal amount of labor", is also already realized. But this is not yet communism, and it does not yet abolish "bourgeois law", which gives unequal individuals, in return for unequal (really unequal) amounts of labor, equal amounts of products.

This is a “defect”, says Marx, but it is unavoidable in the first phase of communism; for if we are not to indulge in utopianism, we must not think that having overthrown capitalism people will at once learn to work for society without any rules of law. Besides, the abolition of capitalism does not immediately create the economic prerequisites for such a change.
Now, there are no other rules than those of "bourgeois law". To this extent, therefore, there still remains the need for a state, which, while safeguarding the common ownership of the means of production, would safeguard equality in labor and in the distribution of products.
The state withers away insofar as there are no longer any capitalists, any classes, and, consequently, no class can be suppressed.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/staterev/ch05.htm

Rommon

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't think Tertullian wrote about the essenes ... I may be wrong though, and Eusebius wrote about them only in quoting Philo, Epiphanius wrote about them, but to be honest I think he was confused, I think he thought that the ancient Essenes, and the later Jamesian jewish Christians were part of the same group, understandable.

I don't think Josephus plagarized from Philo because their descriptions differed in ways that wouldn't make sense for Josephus to change. For example Josephus desribes them as being armed, Philo describes them as extreme pacifists ... Josephus was (in his books) trying to convince the Romans that the Jews were nice safe good subjects and that they shouldn't do to them what they ended up doing to them after the Bar Kochba revolt 50 years later. It wouldn't make sense for Josephus to describe them as armed if he was (as he was) trying to put them in a good light.

The places where they are similar are better explained by the fact that they were educated Jews writing to an educated hellenistic audience, and thus they used similar language (case in point the "Panta Koina" (all thing in common) idiom, which was common in hellenistic moral philosophy).

I think Josephus gives us the most accurate account when we compare what he writes to what the Essenes themselves wrote in the DDS, (assuming, as most scholars do, that the DDS were written by the Essenes).

Bart Emrhan is a mixed bag, he's a good textual critic, a decent historian but absolutely terrible when it comes to theology. But I think he's right about a lot of things, one being the fact that Zealots were attracted to Jesus, and that his betrayal to the authorities could have been due to the fact that the Zealots wanted him to be more revolutionary, and I think he's certainly right about the Essenes being influential, at least on John the Baptist (who I think may have been an Essene himself), who in turn was extremely influential on Jesus.

I don't think we can use modern political terms for 1rst century Jewish movements. In my book I use the word "communist" in the most broad sense. Jesus wasn't a liberal either, he was liberal on somethings, conservative on other things. Using John as a source for the historical Jesus is quite problematic, but his spending time wit prostitutes and the such in the synoptics had to do with the idea of a social reversal. But he was very strict on the torah, he wanted to undo the pharisaic loopholes.

The early Christians were waiting for the big day of Gods judgement on the nations, and in the meantime they were building communities that applied the jubilee ethic (amounting to small C communism), but rejecting revolution (which is why they didn't get wiped out in 70 or 130 CE); they were pacifists and basically rejected the Roman system.

Of course I'm talking very broadly, there were different strands, early on you had the Pauline and jamesian christians, in the second century you had proto-gnostics and then gnostics, and Docetism, marcianism, and the contiuing of the Jewish Christian Church, then you had the proto-orthodox and so on.

But the mainstream consensus among the (non-gnostic) Christians, was more or less small c communism, pacifism and escatology.

What killed it, and I hate to seem cliche about this, was the taking in of Christianity into the Imperial mainstream ... post constantine you started to get all kinds of theologians trying desperately to either explain away or "spiritualize" the traditions and passages that seemed to fly in the face of wealth an power ... the worst of these (in my opinion) was Augustine, he tried so hard to make Christianity fit with the ruling class ideologies. There were others post-constantine, but Augustine really cemented it.

Rommon

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

To his/her defence, however, I think potrokin is relatively young and did come out of what seems to be a pretty horrible christian-fundamentalist family.

Fair enough, I hope he didn't take offense to my response, I in no way intended to imply he was an idiot or anything like that. I understand issues surrounding religion can get emotional.

Rommon

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

btw, if anyone here writes for libcom or some other website/publication, you could probably get a review copy of the book for free from the publisher.

Dave B

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ok it was

Eusebius wrote about them only in quoting Philo.

This is more your area than mine and I am learning stuff from someone on Libcom and that is new.

I think it looks like Josephus was correct from archaeological evidence of a massive battle at Essene Qumran around it was abandoned.

I think.

Although in this whole subject area of antiquity I think you have to be careful about making generalisations based fragmentary evidence.

Thus you had the black panthers, Malcolm x and Martin Luther king all operating relatively ‘contemporaneously’ alongside each other with different perspectives.

We can’t be sure that the essenes weren’t also split into different strands.

I think Josephus is justifiable regarded as a pretty rock solid historian, by the standards of the time.

Possibly the first modern historian.

But he was an imperial roman collaborator, stooge, turncoat and apologist.

He was at the end of the day an Iraqi Fox news and CNN journalist or Richard Pipes like Harvard University historian of the Russian revolution.

Bart Emrhan (at least a learned agnostic for everyone else) is a mixed bag but his books do bounce along and are entertaining and reassured myself that I wasn’t making a complete tit of myself over the whole thing.

In the middle of my researches I got quite a lot from the erudite Richard Carrier (it is all a load of bollocks) versus Bart Ehrman (JC existed but it is probably all so scrambled who knows what it was about) debate.

You say that;

I don't think we can use modern political terms for 1rst century Jewish.

I agree but you are coming from another end of the analysis.

Marxist would say something like socio economic bases lead to and are connected ideology or what we call superstructure.

And thus we can join the dots.

So for instance, with my theory, with your Jubilee debt forgiveness enshrined in Judaic Law.

Am I on the right page here?

After 6AD when Judea came under more direct Roman financial Law particularly on debt.

The Jewish peasants had to pay cash or money taxes rather than in kind payments as fractions of their total product or surplus product.

Even my German Marxist professors wouldn’t understand the difference.

The stupid Judiac peasants sold their crop for cash at harvest time for cash when prices were low.

The sensible ones with a cash reserve held onto it and sold later.

After several iterations and by AD 20 the sensible peasants were safely loaning cash at interest to the stupid peasants to make the end of year Roman tax cash payment.

Got into trouble were foreclosed on under Roman debt Law which was antithetical to Jewish law; you could do that to gentiles but not fellow ‘Jews’ according to Deuteronomy.

And then the foreclosed ‘Jewish’ peasants end up working on their own former farms as day wage labourers.

So I can see slow down here this is just a story tale.

But.

It is well documented as an economic theory; Re

Adam Smith with ‘corn factors’ in English 18th century

Volume three das capital re small Roman peasants.

From Lenin (spit) the reform of the serf laws circa 1860.

And the agricultural day labour wage labour system in the gospels and the stuff bout paying filthy money taxes to the emperor,

I really want to pick your brains on other stuff later on.

Bollocks to mutual back slapping, I am impressed.

Rommon

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think it looks like Josephus was correct from archaeological evidence of a massive battle at Essene Qumran around it was abandoned.

Not only that, but there are also many documents (manuals and the such) among the DDS that corroborate Josephus's descriptions.

We can’t be sure that the essenes weren’t also split into different strands.

I think they alsmost certainly were, both Josephus, Philo, and Epiphaneus describe different groups of Essenes; and the DDS documents corroborate this as well (different manuals, different texts for different groups).

What makes me skeptical about Philo is he, in general, seems to idealize and exagurate everything, his description of the Essenes would basically mean they were all monks, very unlikely given the rest of the evidence.

Possibly the first modern historian.

But he was an imperial roman collaborator, stooge, turncoat and apologist.

He was at the end of the day an Iraqi Fox news and CNN journalist or Richard Pipes like Harvard University historian of the Russian revolution.

Absolutely, you can tell his from how he has this rosy view of the Pharisees, and this claim that the messiah was actually the emperor. That being said he was a good historian and as long as you know where he's coming from, you can learn a lot.

he is most unrealible when it comes to his descriptions of the Zealot and Sacarii revolutionaries, he basically make's them out as savages.

In the middle of my researches I got quite a lot from the erudite Richard Carrier (it is all a load of bollocks) versus Bart Ehrman (JC existed but it is probably all so scrambled who knows what it was about) debate.

Richard Carrier is really off the deep end there, his denial of the historical jesus is just so implausable and requires so much fiddling with the evidence it becomes silly. He's a good classicist, but he really get's lost in his dealing with early Christianity/second temple Judaism.

Robert M Price (unlike Richard Carrier an actual new testament scholar) had a debate with Bart Ehrman over the historicity of Jesus, and I actually think that Robert Price is a much better scholar than Bart Ehrman; but Ehrman wiped the floor with him basically because Price's position is just so weak..

If I were to point you to a historical Jesus guy I would say N.T. Wright, he'll be too conservative for your tastes definately; but he's probably the best scholar alive, Richard Horsely and James Crossley are 2 more liberal scholars who are also very good.

John P. Meier is a Catholic scholar, but he's also very good on historical Jesus stuff.

Marxist would say something like socio economic bases lead to and are connected ideology or what we call superstructure.

And thus we can join the dots.

So for instance, with my theory, with your Jubilee debt forgiveness enshrined in Judaic Law.

Am I on the right page here?

Yeah, I am probably less of a Marxist than you, I think it goes both ways, ideology influences socio-economic structures and vice versa. The Jubilee law was always a pain for the ruling class, and a hope for the oppressed.

You basically have the story right ... taxes lead to the use of money, which lead to huge increases in monied debt which destroyed traditional village economies, anytime harvests didn't go great, or the market was wonky peasants would go further into debt for the sake of taxes and rents, eventually getting forclosed on and becoming day laborers.

Huge construction projects increased the rents an taxes but also wage labor, but when those ended you had landless unemployed peasants, still in debt and desperate ... and they were pissed.

Most of the source of the debt came from the high priesthood and herodian aristocracy, who also were the growing land owners (from forclosures and other means).

The Ironic thing is some historians will say the Herodian period had huge economic growth ... which it did, huge urbanization and building projects, yet at the same time you have evidence of huge dispossesion, hell they even privitized the fishing waters (by charging fees), the two are intertwined, the growth of the cash economy through taxation and cash debt lead to the destruction of village life and the making of formerly independant peasant villages into retners, debt peons, wage workers, and eventually unemployed peasants.

The FIRST thing the zealots do is burn the debt records ... Debt was the huge problem.

Read the gospel of Luke and notice how often he refers to debt, many modern exegetes like to pretend Jesus really meant sin, and by sin he meant personal moral wrongdoing ... he actually meant debt, the greek word for "sin" is "harmatia", when Jesus says "debt" he means debt, not sin.

The entire point of the Lords prayer in Luke 10 is a Jubilary prayer ... it's debt calling for debt cancelation. "return cesars things to cesar but God's things to God" when asked about the tax, when he said God's things, he was refereing to the Levitical Jubilee law where God says the LAND belongs to God and thus ought to be redestributed with the Jubilee, he's basically saying "Cesar can have his coins, we don't need them; But this land is Gods."

Dave B

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

thanks

I am not completely off my head then.

but I did prefer the gospel of John I think it more depth.

potrokin

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Khawaga

If you're not willing to actually try and understand theology or the text, that's fine. But if you try and then criticize it you're gonna end up looking silly, since you'd be taking our of complete ignorance.

And that's precisely how s/he looks especially when compared to the erudition of you and Dave B. To his/her defence, however, I think potrokin is relatively young and did come out of what seems to be a pretty horrible christian-fundamentalist family.

Had I not had bad experiences with religion/religious people, I would still be of the opinion that christian anarchism/gnostic christianity, indeed christianity and religion of any sort was a crock of mystical shit and nothing to do with real revolutionary politics- and when I am more mature I will continue to be of such an opinion. Thats all I have to say.

Khawaga

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sure, but that comment was not about you being atheist or not, but how you argue (rather poorly when it come to religion, although on other topics you often make excellent arguments).

Steven.

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is a really interesting topic, thanks for posting about your book here.

Dave, have really enjoyed your posts as well. What would you think of getting a review copy of this book and reviewing it for libcom? I think lots of people would find that very interesting!

Auld-bod

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I second that Steven. One does not need to ‘believe’ to be interested in the history of ideas.

Steven.

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Auld-bod

I second that Steven. One does not need to ‘believe’ to be interested in the history of ideas.

exactly. I'm an atheist but anyone has to acknowledge that the Bible is one of the world's most influential texts, up there only with the Koran and Capital. And prior to modern times in the West, all radical political movements had an essentially theological basis

Dave B

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I will think about it after I have read it.

I have to be a bit careful as my SPGB friends don’t like my moralism, human nature and social instinct ideology anymore than my JC was a commie stuff.

I read the gospels late in life whilst in the party and posted on it about 10 years ago and they went ballisitic.

Hence I started my journey.

I discovered the Kautsky and Engels material later.

I have loads of sympathy with people who hate modern Christianity; not just because I do as well.

My first girlfriend was brought up in one of these mad sects and was disowned, kicked out and abandoned at the age of 16, before I met her.

It is ironic in a way in that modern Christianity is what it started out attacking.

They are the modern Pharisees and Sadducees performing the same socio-economic function with the only differences being the theological paraphernalia.

In fact when I first read it which was just pamphlet of one of the gospels given to me by a Christian for free.

I thought I might have had a joke copy with all this stuff about self righteous hypocrites dressed up in fancy costumes and funny hats etc.

I mean that is what I thought Christians were all about.

Has anything happened recently over the dead sea scroll material?

Last time I looked at it they were bickering about copyright law and the Roman Catholics who ended up with it were dragging their feet releasing stuff.

Allegedly because they didn’t like the idea of a pre messiah revelation proto Christian antecedents.

What’s the latest gossip on this, book pending, first century fragment of Mark extracted from a paper Mache ‘Egyptian’ middle class funeral mask?

Can you give me the run down on the ruling class/late christianity ‘classical’ Greek, not very good Greek, and pidgeon, I am a member of the lower class, Greek ancillary new testament material.

The Greek thing is quite important for several reasons.

There are apparently some quite clever alliterative puns in the gospel stuff that only work and are quite brilliant in Greek.

I seem to remember the born again one is one of them?

Bart seems to think that JC wouldn’t have been able to speak Greek therefore it was later fake.

But there are begging street kids in Calcutta who can speak English as part of tapping into the rich tourist trade.

I have given up trying to catch Rommon out and he will have this as well.

……….It claims that differences in class and the ownership of property are unnatural, and argues for property and women to be held in common……

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

It is funny about what goes around comes around.

The Whinstanley leveller people were accused of having women as common property.

You believe in common property.

Women are property.

Ergo women are common property.

Rommon

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Has anything happened recently over the dead sea scroll material?

Last time I looked at it they were bickering about copyright law and the Roman Catholics who ended up with it were dragging their feet releasing stuff.

As far as I know they've all been released ... I use Geza Vermes's translation.

What’s the latest gossip on this, book pending, first century fragment of Mark extracted from a paper Mache ‘Egyptian’ middle class funeral mask?

I wouldn't hold your breath, Daniel Wallace brought it up years ago during a debate (in a very dishonest way if you ask me), and so far I haven't heard any news about it, if there was a fragment of Mark there we would have heard about it.

To be honest I don't know what the whole fuss was about, very little of the actual text of the NT is in question, there are varients here and there, but its basically set.

The dating debates have little to do with manuscript data anyway.

Can you give me the run down on the ruling class/late christianity ‘classical’ Greek, not very good Greek, and pidgeon, I am a member of the lower class, Greek ancillary new testament material.

The Greek thing is quite important for several reasons.

There are apparently some quite clever alliterative puns in the gospel stuff that only work and are quite brilliant in Greek.

I seem to remember the born again one is one of them?

Bart seems to think that JC wouldn’t have been able to speak Greek therefore it was later fake.

Classical greek is what you'll find in plato, socrates, and so on.

Greek in the NT is koine or "common" greek, it's not so much "lower class" greek as much as just normal everyday greek during that time, not literary greek. That being said the quality of the greek varies in the texts.

James, Luke-Acts and some of the Pauline epistles show a very high level of greek; the Johanian material and Mark have very simply greek, Revelation bad greek.

Although you can't always tell on the greek level, we know scribes were used by some people, for example there is no way James the brother of Jesus actually wrote the epistle of James (James was not educated, and probably could speak very little if any greek); rather the epistle of James is probably a speech James gave that was translated, or something like that, James reads very much like typical Jewish wisdom literature and actually follows VERY closely much of what we find in Matthew (mainly the Q portion of Matthew) from Jesus, which indicates that it may have infact originated from James the brother of Jesus but was certainly not written by him.

As for the puns and the such, yeah there are a lot of little wordplay things and the such in the text, there are even little wordplay things that only work when you translate it from the greek to 1rst century Aramaic, so the pun is even lost in the original writing of the text.

The example you're talking about is where "Born Again" can Also mean "born from above" in John 3:3 (Gennethei Anothen, where Annothen can mean from above or again), it works in greek, not in Aramaic.

I think it is likely that Jesus actually spoke some Greek, he likely worked as a Day Laborer in Sepphoris (where there were large construction projects going on), and would probably have to speak some Greek.

That being said I dont' think the episode of Jesus with Nicodemus can be shown to be historical, for various reasons beyond that, it may have happened, but we don't know from the text. Much of John is not so much history as it is theological reflections on Jesus in narrative form.

I have given up trying to catch Rommon out and he will have this as well.

I don't know why you're trying to catch me out :P, I'm sure you'll find something I'm wrong about.

It is funny about what goes around comes around.

The Whinstanley leveller people were accused of having women as common property.

You believe in common property.

Women are property.

Ergo women are common property.

Tertullian literally and directly addresses this in his second century Apologia .... apparently some educated upper class greeks reasoned this way taking the "friends have all things in common principle" to apply to wives; Tertullian argues against it. :).

Don't try and idealize the early Christians though, there were many things that they did and believed that I'm sure many here would object to.

ajjohnstone

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I have to be a bit careful as my SPGB friends don’t like my moralism, human nature and social instinct ideology anymore than my JC was a commie stuff.

Not every member, Dave, although i do doubt that we have sufficient source material to determine Jesus social ideas, much less religious, unless the Q is accurate. And Ebonites and such, only passing secondary mentions to go by.

I go for the standard continuance of a John the Baptist follower becoming more of an eschatologist old-time prophet and a vehicle for all sorts of Jewish movements after the trauma of the 70AD Revolt

I just submitted an article (still to be approved but i think it will be) on common ownership for the Socialist Standard referring to the medieval communist religious movements such as the Taborites but it begins with the quotes of early church fathers (which i think i stole from you off our forum). A lot more could have been written as you and Rommon demonstrate of this strand of religion that never quite disappears but keeps re-surfacing.

I acquired quite a few books on the gospels before i donated them all to ACE, Vermes trilology on Jesus, for example. My interest was why the growth and expansion of Christianity as a religious poitical force. I found for an overview of how the persecuted became the persecutors Paul Johnson's history was good. Intriguing how many treated the Christian movement as "atheists" when they denounced the local city gods. But later there were many more old gods "martyrs" than those acclaimed Christian Martyrs. The "atheist" roles being reversed

All your references to the Greeks and to translations is interesting since there are a few books on how the bible was written. And regards the OT, the "authors" defined by usage of the Hebrew names for go.

The danger for you and Rommon is, there is no stop to your studies, the more you read, the more questions that arise.

Rommon

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

although i do doubt that we have sufficient source material to determine Jesus social ideas, much less religious, unless the Q is accurate. And Ebonites and such, only passing secondary mentions to go by.

I think we have plenty of information about Jesus from the synoptics, as well as the Cultural context that we have learned about, I think many of the super "skeptical" scholars who doubt everything just don't know how history works, yes People exagerate and and embellish, but that doesn't mean a good historian can't find the history behind it, we do it With People all the time With whome we have MUCH less information than Jesus.

I go for the standard continuance of a John the Baptist follower becoming more of an eschatologist old-time prophet and a vehicle for all sorts of Jewish movements after the trauma of the 70AD Revolt

That's basically the consensus, but With a lot of caviots, Jesus was different than the standard revolutionaries, but he still was in the same line of the escatalogical apocalyptic prophet.

I do think however that post 70 was when Pauline Christianity started to take shape in a way that made it a serious condender for the Legacy of the Jesus movement.

The danger for you and Rommon is, there is no stop to your studies, the more you read, the more questions that arise.

I have no problem With that :P, this is an extremely deep subject.

jaycee

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm really interested in this topic too. I'm currently reading Robert Eisenman's 'James the Brother of Jesus' which I think is good so far; although I think he stretches some points to support his thesis of James being the 'righteous teacher' of the dead sea scrolls. If you've read this book I'd be interested in hearing what you think of it.

Also I'd be interested to know if any of you know of a good general history of the idea/practice of communism.

Rommon

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm really interested in this topic too. I'm currently reading Robert Eisenman's 'James the Brother of Jesus' which I think is good so far; although I think he stretches some points to support his thesis of James being the 'righteous teacher' of the dead sea scrolls. If you've read this book I'd be interested in hearing what you think of it.

Robert Eisenman is a great scholar ... But he's wrong about the DDS being early Christian documents, and about ... that isn't a diss, most scholars are wrong about different things (I'm sure I am wrong about many Things), but you can learn a lot from People doing Research even if they come from a wrong conclusion, InFact often them coming to a wrong conclusion gives you a Whole lot of Insight into the issue.

I'm not going to go into right now the problem's With his theories, it would take to long, but I have looked into his work a bit, and I find it fascinating, even if I dont' agree With his conclusions.

Also I'd be interested to know if any of you know of a good general history of the idea/practice of communism.

among the early Christians? Yeah ... here :P
http://wipfandstock.com/all-things-in-common.html

Dave B

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There is some material in this.

Boundaries of Utopia - Imagining Communism from Plato to Stalin
By Erik van Ree

This link might be useful?

http://listverse.com/2014/10/03/10-communist-societies-that-predated-the-ussr/

Engels did the shakers here.

http://www.marxistsfr.org/archive/marx/works/1844/10/15.htm

And a bit different there are some Marcion “anarchists” here.

Marcionism hung around for quite some time in various forms.

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

jaycee

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

cheers.

I think I will purchase a copy of your book Rommon but I was thinking more of a general history of communism. Dave B, I looked at that website article (not bad) but was looking for something more in depth. it seems like a really global history of communism is quite difficult to find but will take a look at the 'plato to Stalin' book.

Rommon

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

To be honest I think it will be difficult, most communism In history wasn't written about, it was just tribal societies doing what they do, they didn't need an ideology behind it and it wasn't really remarkable, the times it got written about was when it popped up in the context of empire, market societies or something like that; then it was out of the ordinary, or when someone from an imperial or market society came across a tribal or village society.

Anthropology would (in my opinion) be the place to look.

I also think medieval village communities would be a place to look as well, since we know more about them and many of them functioned very much as pre-state village societies usually do, I.e communistically.

jaycee

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I agree with your point about most communism and tribal society, although I would say that they still needed an 'ideology' in some sense to maintain this egalitarianism and social feelings in general.

It seems like something very worthwhile to look into but like you say its an enormous topic.

Rommon

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jaycee

I agree with your point about most communism and tribal society, although I would say that they still needed an 'ideology' in some sense to maintain this egalitarianism and social feelings in general.

It seems like something very worthwhile to look into but like you say its an enormous topic.

I don't really think they did, all they needed was just the reality on the ground, i.e. they need each other to survive and thrive, and they want to be in community. I mean of course there were mythologies and such that had ideologies ... but I think communism is basically Natural, look wat what happens after a Natural disaster, usually People resort to communism to get things done.

The only time it needs an ideology (in my opinion) is if there is a structure preventing it which itself is defended by an overarching ideology.

One example of this is in feudalism; most village communities had one form of communism or another as the basic organizing principle, land was Distributed more or less democratically, Food and Resources were basically shared, and People had Natural obligations to one another.

In order for feudalism to take hold an ideology was necessary, for a long time feudalism was compatible With village communism, but once it started to impinge on it a Counter ideology poped up.

The guy in my Avatar is John Ball, a priest who led a peasant revolution against the king who was trying to Close up the commons and charge fees and taxes for what was formally shared and freed, his speaches used Christianity as the Counter ideology, however that was only necessary because kings and lords had created systems of domination and used their own ideology (part Christian, part Warrior culture, part Roman Law, part nobility ideology) to justify their systems.

Although I'm sure if you look in anthropological studies on tribal mythologies and so on you'll find ideological data, I'd be very interested to know if you find anything.

Alf

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I agree with jaycee that in primitive communist societies there is a connection between 'ideology' (in this case, mythology in the precise sense) and the production/distribution of the social product; that it's not just something people did without thinking about it. An important effort to analyse this is contained in Rosa Luxemburg's Introduction to Political Economy, particularly in chapter III, section 3, where she looks at the Australian Aborigine totem system as a kind of 'frozen' ideological form based on the need to ensure an egalitarian distribution. The anthropologist Alain Testart wrote a long book, Le communisme primitif (unfortunately not available in English) where he again looks at the relationship between ideology and the mode of production in the Australian tribal system.

Dave B

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think I am more inclined to agree with Rommon.

Primitive communist societies that still exist and those that have been recently reported on.

Had there various mythologies/idologies but I think that was ‘more’ about trying to make sense of the natural forces that they were interfacing with.

Skipping forward a bit to say Greco-Roman and maybe even Judiac stuff it changes somewhat as a reflection of different socio economic realities.

Then the God’s become narcissistic and vindictive authoritarians who need to be sucked up to in a sycophantic way and even bribed and payed off with bribes, rent money and surplus value.

This is orthodox Marxism hate it or like it; “Fuerbach And the End of Classical German Philosophy’, ‘pursuit of wealth in life being mirrored in ideology and theology’.

Yes, I hear horseshit and intellectual bollocks.

So let’s switch to something that doesn’t pretend to be intellectual bollocks at all; but which is quite brilliant, sci-fi and star trek the next generation and the Ferengi.

Like most of their culture, their religion is also based on the principles of capitalism: they offer prayers and monetary offerings to a "Blessed Exchequer" in hopes of entering the "Divine Treasury" upon death, and fear an afterlife spent in the "Vault of Eternal Destitution".

The Ferengi concepts of the afterlife are a mirror of their pursuit of wealth in life. When a Ferengi dies, he is said to meet the Blessed Exchequer, who reviews the financial statements of that Ferengi's entire life. If he earned a profit, he is ushered into Ferengi heaven: the Divine Treasury, where the Celestial Auctioneers allow him to bid on a new life. Ferengi who were not financially successful in life are damned to the Vault of Eternal Destitution.

When a Ferengi prays or bows in reverence, he holds his hands in a bowl shape with his wrists together. A typical Ferengi prayer begins with this phrase: "Blessed Exchequer, whose greed is eternal, allow this bribe to open your ears and hear this plea from your most humble debtor." As is typical, this is accompanied by placing a slip of latinum into a small statue made in the Exchequer's likeness.

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

You see I have ‘innocently’ run this past Trekies; I have been to their Cons where they get pissed up and dress up as Klingons etc.

[There is a lively fringe Trekie thing on futuristic communism, which many of them understand, star trek the next generation is catergorically a communistic system, they understand that as well albeit in an incidental way]

What I got from many of them that they understood supposedly high brow Marxist economic base ideological superstructure theory excellently.

But I am not an intellectual snob.

Sci-fi in general is I think is an interesting free arena to ‘discuss’ politics, ideology and whatever.

Skipping back again onto primitive communism etc we have this from Kautsky when he was a proper communist in 1903, putting a bit of historical flesh on Karl’s primitive communism in Kautsky’s Das capital for dummies.

Let us now turn to another and higher type of a social mode of production, for example, the Indian village community based on agriculture. Of the primitive communism which once prevailed there only a few scanty traces may now be found in India. But, according to Strabo. xv, 1, 66, Nearchus, Alexander the Great’s admiral, described countries in India where the land was common property, commonly tilled, and after the harvest the produce of the soil was divided among the villagers. According to Elphinstone, these communities were still in existence in some parts of India at the beginning of the last century.

In Java village communism continued to exist in the form of a periodical re-distribution of the arable land among the villagers, who did not receive their share as private property, but merely enjoyed the usufruct thereof for a definite period. In India the arable land has mostly become the private property of the village communes. Woods, pasture land, and uncultivated land, however, are in many cases still common property, over which all the members of the community have a right of usage.

What interests us in such a village community, which has not yet succumbed to the disintegrating influence of English rule, especially of the fiscal system, is the character which the division of labour assumes therein. As we have already noted such a division of labour among the American Indians, but a much higher type is presented by the Indian village communities.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1903/economic/ch01.htm

Elphinstone was a true born capitalist Victorian Britton who went a bit ‘native’ occasionally as some of them did, like Lockhart in the Russian revolution.

jaycee

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

surely Rommon though even in primitive communism the community needed social mores and a mythology to reinforce these mores. In particular this reminds me of Christopher Boehm's 'hierachy in the forest' which shows how hierarchy is consciously avoided and kept in check by social practice; in particular things like mocking and shunning/ostracizing (if mocking doesn't work) those who 'get too full of themselves' or threaten to put themselves above others.

The trickster myth is also closely tied in with this need to instill an opposition to greed/egotism etc.

I think it's a mistake to only see the naturalness of communism; it's certainly true but not the whole story, as human history clearly shows. Humanity is by nature both communistic/social and greedy/egoistic and this dualism will probably never be completely overcome even in an advanced communist society.

Rommon

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jaycee

surely Rommon though even in primitive communism the community needed social mores and a mythology to reinforce these mores. In particular this reminds me of Christopher Boehm's 'hierachy in the forest' which shows how hierarchy is consciously avoided and kept in check by social practice; in particular things like mocking and shunning/ostracizing (if mocking doesn't work) those who 'get too full of themselves' or threaten to put themselves above others.

The trickster myth is also closely tied in with this need to instill an opposition to greed/egotism etc.

I think it's a mistake to only see the naturalness of communism; it's certainly true but not the whole story, as human history clearly shows. Humanity is by nature both communistic/social and greedy/egoistic and this dualism will probably never be completely overcome even in an advanced communist society.

Oh I think you're right, which is why I think anthropology is where to look, not history (which really only deals With written Sources, archeology and reconstructs narratives).

If we are talking about pre-literary cultures, i.e. mostly oral cultures, there is very little to work With.

I think you're right about humanity being greedy as well as social; I just think that in situations without large institutionalized systems of violence, more and more of life moves over to the communistic side of Things, of course not everything and there are other problems. It's simply becuase communism is the easiest way to actually have a society when no one has recourse to violence.

I'm not idealist though, human beings are "naturally" capable of Extreme horror and evil as well as Extreme love.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That little article I wrote for Libcom seems to be blowing up ... I originally wrote the book for more conservative Christians, but it might end up being more popular With anarchists and socialists ... which is fine; but I do hope some conservative Christians.

Just as a disclaimer to those who read the article and are knowledgable in the Field of early Christianity; I know that what I wrote is over simplistic ... and that there are contentious issues there (some People argue it was a mostly proletarian/peasant movement, I tend to think the evidence Points to the idea that it was a mixed class movement very early on, but this is not settled).

I've also entirely left out the gnostics and the proto-gnostics for one reason, it's my position that they were not an offshoot of Christianity but rather a psudo-Neo-Platonic mystery religion that originally borrowed off Jewish mysticism and eventually borrowed from Christian narratives (if you look at some of the Nag Hammadi texts you'll find the older ones are either gnosticized jewish stories, or gosnticized pagan myths, eventually Christian narratives get in there). This is by no means the scholarly consensus, but it is my position and the position of many scholars.

Another thing, if you do buy the book, there are some parts that get a little technical, just fair warning :).

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

By the way there was this really interesting article on this kind of stuff ie theology of primitive communism including the early Christian communism thing from a Marxist perspective.

It is especially interesting as it was written in the 1940’s when the early 20th century Marxist revival of early Christian communism had started to fade out a bit.

I think the Marxist analysis is technically ok even though I have my problems with some of it.

For those here who are wailing and gnashing their teeth and feel that they are having their eyes plucked out by terrible ‘Christian apologist’ beasts and want a drop of water to cool their burning tongues etc.

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

More class conscious anti rich shit.

There is a standard ‘nasty and justified’ attack on modern Christianity at the end.

https://www.marxists.org/subject/anarchism/ridley/religion.htm

What Rommon appears to have done is really important and was a book that was begging to be written etc.

It looks like it is going to be a comprehensive treatise on the subject and is going to be valuable for data; even if we might not all end up agreeing on the interpretation.

People in general eg Bart can be amazingly stupid when it comes to ‘something’ eg early Christianity is not this or not that eg Essene because of this or that etc.

New systems of belief or ideology are invariably a fusion of pre existing systems often triggered by changes in socio economic circumstances.

There was, as Marxists anyway socio-ecomomic turmoil in Judea at the time and it is exceptionally well documented in ‘more secular contemporary’ histories of the time.

And that area then was a melting pot of cultures and ideologies as well.

For instance I think I can see Buddhist modes of analysis in the gospel material and Greek Cynicism.

The or a Greek Cynic commune or school was present in JC’s neighbourhood.

The Cynics were a little bit like CrimethInc and Punk overturning and attacking cultural norms.

Although JC was by the standards of the time ‘liberal’ when it came to sex and again, avoiding the trap, of endorsing the stoning of female adultressess (probably a prostitute).

He would probably have not endorsed copulating in the street to make a political point; like punks and the cynics would.

Rommon and myself obviously have a disagreement about Marcionism and its importance re early Christianity.

I think it is more important.

If you start off with a theological premise that the ruling class, state and whole system etc is run by Satan or an evil demiurge etc.

You are at hazard of ending up an anarchist like Bogomilism.

Unless of course, putting the horse in front of the cart, Marcionism is a theological expression of Anarchism.

Quelle surprise Rommon knows about the Gnostic Nag Hammadi texts.

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

These were discovered in 1945 dated to 350AD ish, probably buried to save them from a Christian purge of heretical material.

I am winging this a bit and Rommon is probably going to cream me over some of it.

But the theological content of some of it was similar to what some of the early church fathers were attacking in the 2nd century eg Tertullian.

Before 1945 some people suspected that this kind of AD 150 Tertullian stuff was straw man and bogey man material.

So now it looks like Tertullian was attacking something that really existed, later and in hard copy.

Some of this Gnostic stuff gets a bit wild but I think that was just an attempt theologically rationalise the evil god running the show and the hands off good god stuff being not ‘responsible’ for everything.

Which is political.

As Ridley points out, I seem to remember, this idea of a good god being in control of a load of shit is an Epicurean paradox.

It is also a philosophical paradox for the good christians eg why is their suffering; there is no answer.

We are living in interesting times.

The Marcionites eg the Cathars thought that we were living in a matrix like simulated reality created by Satan.

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

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's so rare to get a discussion partner who is open minded and knowledgable, to be honest Libcom was not the place I would expect to have a discussion on early Christianity, but hey, here it is.

BTW, the book is now out on kindle.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/All-Things-Common-Practices-Christians-ebook/dp/B0725G8NDZ/
https://www.amazon.com/All-Things-Common-Practices-Christians-ebook/dp/B0725G8NDZ/

Dave B

By the way there was this really interesting article on this kind of stuff ie theology of primitive communism including the early Christian communism thing from a Marxist perspective.

It is especially interesting as it was written in the 1940’s when the early 20th century Marxist revival of early Christian communism had started to fade out a bit.

I think the Marxist analysis is technically ok even though I have my problems with some of it.

My relationship to Marxism is complex, I like how Yanis Varufakis put it (although since being Finance minister he has somehow turned into a left wing neo-liberal apologist) when he said "i'm an erratic marxist".

I think Marx did an amazing job of analyzing Capitalism and I think his critiques have NEVER been actually dealt With by the libertarians/neo-liberal Economists, all I've ever seen from them were strawmen, circular reasonings, and question begging. Marx did something amazing, he granted everything the Liberals wanted, and then proved that even Perfect capitalism would fail.

On the other hand I think his philosophy and historical analysis was flawed, and his attempt at making an alternative to Capitalism was abismal.

People who Call themselves marxists see him as the second coming of Christ, others see him as the Devil; I see him as an amazingly good Economist, and a not-so-good philosopher and not-so-good political theorist.

I think using Marxist categories on pre-Capitalist culture can be done but must be done EXTREMELY carefully; you can't just use terms like proletarian and so on, you can't talk about the ruling class, a pure materialist Method won't work for an enchanted world. Case in point:

https://www.marxists.org/subject/anarchism/ridley/religion.htm

This falls short for that very reason, ancient Mythology and religion was NOT pre-Scientific science, it was not an attempt to understand the Natural world. This is why Aristotle's physics didn't threaten traditional Hellenistic Mythology one bit, Charles Taylor's "A Secular Age" is a great book to understand the change of mindset post enlightenment.

For those here who are wailing and gnashing their teeth and feel that they are having their eyes plucked out by terrible ‘Christian apologist’ beasts and want a drop of water to cool their burning tongues etc.

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

So many Christians use that story as an argument for eternal conscious torment (forgetting that Jesus was using it as a parable and taking from folk stories, many of which had non-jewish Zoroastrian roots) and they ignore the entire point of the story.

I consider myself an apologist of sorts; I used to (I don't have the patience any more) argue With atheists all the time, but to be honest I've given up arguing; I just don't think it's the way to Reach People.

What Rommon appears to have done is really important and was a book that was begging to be written etc.

It looks like it is going to be a comprehensive treatise on the subject and is going to be valuable for data; even if we might not all end up agreeing on the interpretation.

Thank you very much, I'm amazing something like my book hasn't been done before me ... I have no idea why.

There was, as Marxists anyway socio-ecomomic turmoil in Judea at the time and it is exceptionally well documented in ‘more secular contemporary’ histories of the time.

And that area then was a melting pot of cultures and ideologies as well.

Definately, there coudln't hvae been a better time for a guy like Jesus to show up, there was no way Judea or Galilee was going to simply Submit to Rome, not With their history, remember the Hasmoneans revolted against the greeks, it was a bloody revolt; and then Judea just kind of got sucked into Rome (through political meneuvering) without a fight ... People were not happy about it.

And there was a huge difference between Roman Rule and, say, Persian rule, the latter was tolerable, the former was not; at least not for Jews.

For instance I think I can see Buddhist modes of analysis in the gospel material and Greek Cynicism.

The or a Greek Cynic commune or school was present in JC’s neighbourhood.

The Cynics were a little bit like CrimethInc and Punk overturning and attacking cultural norms.

Although JC was by the standards of the time ‘liberal’ when it came to sex and again, avoiding the trap, of endorsing the stoning of female adultressess (probably a prostitute).

He would probably have not endorsed copulating in the street to make a political point; like punks and the cynics would.

That's the John Dominic Crossan theory, it has merit the problem is historical ... the Cynics were not a force in early 1rst Century Galilee ... and the cynic ideas that parallel With Jesus' ideas can also be grounded in Hebrew Tradition (especially the pre-exilic prophetic tradition).

I dissagree that Jesus was liberal, the story of the stoning of the adulteress was not in John, it's a later textual interpolation. Jesus was kind of liberal on somethings, but also super strict on others (he was completely anti-divorce; although if you understand how divorce worked in those days, it was more of a proto-feminist stance), he was strict on piety and righteousness; but liberal on other Things.

But I don't think liberal/conservative categories really work ... I mean it's just a different time.

Rommon and myself obviously have a disagreement about Marcionism and its importance re early Christianity.

I think it is more important.

If you start off with a theological premise that the ruling class, state and whole system etc is run by Satan or an evil demiurge etc.

You are at hazard of ending up an anarchist like Bogomilism.

Unless of course, putting the horse in front of the cart, Marcionism is a theological expression of Anarchism.

I actually think the idea that the world, the system, is run by Satanis what the early Christians believed, no doubt.

You get away from that emphasis once (in the west at least) Augustinian thought became THE way to do theology, If I was going to make a holy Trinity of those who ruined Christianity it would be Augustine/Calvin/Schleimacher ... those Three (the last one for different reasons) basically poinsoned the well of Christian theology.

So if we ignore Augustinian theology, you don't need marcionism, you still have the fall as a cosmic coup.

THe problem With Marcionism was that he made the creator that Satan, which is just incoherant (theologically), and that once you rid NT theology from the Jewish hermenuitical framework you basically nolonger have NT theology, it's impossible, everything becomes Ad Hoc because the entire NT is grounded in Jewish tradition.

If marcion read Philo and some of the wisdom traditions, or if he read and understood Job, or if he was born after Origin; he probably wouldn't have come up With his bizzare kind of gnosticism.

So now it looks like Tertullian was attacking something that really existed, later and in hard copy.

Some of this Gnostic stuff gets a bit wild but I think that was just an attempt theologically rationalise the evil god running the show and the hands off good god stuff being not ‘responsible’ for everything.

Not only did it really exist, but the Church Fathers represented them correctly ... which is quite suprising.

[quote][/As Ridley points out, I seem to remember, this idea of a good god being in control of a load of shit is an Epicurean paradox.

It is also a philosophical paradox for the good christians eg why is their suffering; there is no answer.
quote]

Which is why I reject the Augustinian God :).

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think I might disagree that the Greek cynics were not in the region?

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

I will have to run through your other stuff later; there is a lot in it.

As Marxists we would disagree with the idea of someone like JC just turning up as a Asimov type mule.

Eg;

This gives the Mule the capacity to disrupt Seldon's plan by invalidating Seldon's assumption that no single individual could have a measurable effect on galactic socio-historical trends on their own, due to the plan relying on the predictability of the actions of very large numbers of people.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mule_(Foundation)

[it’s the Marxist/Hegelian 'idea' of historical materialism that is important]

As opposed to 'populist materialism' and the great men of history idea.

It ‘wouldn’t be’ so much about JC as the individual but about the concerns of his audience and constituency.

If it hadn’t been for them we would never of heard of him.

I was really impressed when reading ‘some’ of these early Christian father intellectuals eg Origen and Tertullian.

The Celsus-Origen debate thing was fantastic.

It has to be the most important late 2nd early third century documents around; even if you are not concerned with the topic as such.

They came across as quite modern sounding intellectuals making reasoned arguments quoting their adversaries in full with context and addressing the argument.

A lot like the kind of debates we are having here.

They could even be a bit scientific; like it couldn’t have been a solar eclipse because that can’t happen when you have just had a new moon.

I am sure that there are people here now don’t understand why not.

Although there was one a hundred miles or so away from Jerusalem in November 29AD, so NASA tells us.

I have this as a link for others, can’t remember exactly what is in it, did a couple of years ago, I seem to remember it was a bit forced.

http://mailstar.net/downing.html

The Christians who tend to deal with this kind of thing are real shits.

I have read translations of the epistle of Barnabas were they decided to leave out the commie stuff whilst retaining the stuff about not eating weasels because the indulge in oral sex.

I will be back on the other stuff later!

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave B

I think I might disagree that the Greek cynics were not in the region?

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

Second Century Palestine was a COMPLETELY different world than first Century palestine, especially pre 70 CE. After 70 the Whole region changed, afte 130 the Whole region changed again.

The relevant time line for influence on Jesus would be 1 Century BCE and early 1st Century CE. Post 70 doesn't have much relevance (unless of course it's recording pre-70 thought/writings).

[it’s the Marxist/Hegelian 'idea' of historical materialism that is important]

As opposed to 'populist materialism' and the great men of history idea.

It ‘wouldn’t be’ so much about JC as the individual but about the concerns of his audience and constituency.

If it hadn’t been for them we would never of heard of him.

I both Agree and dissagree.
I agree that Jesus CANNOT be read in a vacuum, he had all kinds of influences and the material conditions were necessary for his ministry, but I think the best historical context to understand what Jesus was doing is firmly in the Jewish tradition, the Jewish prophetic tradition (especially With Isaiah), the Jewish revolutionary tradition (starting With the Macabees), and the Jewish Halakha and Midrash.

You also need to know the world he and his audience lived in.

But I do think Jesus was, in many ways, completely unique, especially in his turning the idea of the Messiah on its head, and the resistence through Peace and embrace of the rejected, this was NOT typical Zealot ideology.

But of course I focus entirely on the historical context, and that comes first, then the ideology.

The Celsus-Origen debate thing was fantastic.

It has to be the most important late 2nd early third century documents around; even if you are not concerned with the topic as such.

They came across as quite modern sounding intellectuals making reasoned arguments quoting their adversaries in full with context and addressing the argument.

A lot like the kind of debates we are having here.

They could even be a bit scientific; like it couldn’t have been a solar eclipse because that can’t happen when you have just had a new moon.

Yeah, it was great, there were many debates by the early Church fathers, Justin Martyr had a few, and there were more in later centuries.

Even in epistles you see debates if you read between the lines.

I like Celsus and how he argues, I'll take a Celsus over a Richard Dawkins as an anti-Christian any day of the week.

I have read translations of the epistle of Barnabas were they decided to leave out the commie stuff whilst retaining the stuff about not eating weasels because the indulge in oral sex.

https://www.amazon.com/Apostolic-Fathers-English-Michael-Holmes/dp/0801031087/ Is a Good translation, but of course it's always better to go back to the Greek ;). I have noticed that some translations have tried to make the commie passages a little bit obscure, usually it's through the translation of the term κοινωνήσεις, which is pretty straight forward, it means share, or hold as common, but sometimes translators get a little fancy ... I dont' think it's intended to obscure anything, I think it's just scholars being fancy :P.

Btw, you know that Barnabas' interpretation of the Food laws are allegorical right? His point wasn't that we shouldn't eat Weasel BECAUSE they do Oral sex. The Christians at that point were probably not following the Food laws (at least not the Pauline ones), the point was the Torah is the Word of God, so can we learn something if we allegorize them ... yes we can, here is a feature about a forbiden animal (scientifically true or not is besides the point) and here's how we can apply it to the New Covenant through allegory.

It's a hermenuitical Method that was well known. Philo was probably the most well known Allegorizer.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think I will do the cynic thing.

It might be of more interest to our libertarian communist friends and as we are their guests here I think we should to avoid turning it to much towards a Sunday school bible class.

Although would be happy to do that somewhere else.

The Cynics have been interpreted by others as having an anti rich, anti decadent consumerism, anti money, anti state (yes), anti ruling class moral norms, pro poor and even ‘workerist’ ideology.

That interpretation is patchy and not helped by bourgeois intelligentsia academics at Harvard etc having a monopoly interest in the subject.

And like the conservative Christians, who tend to monopolise the study of early Christian documents they choose what to focus on and even how to translate the Greek in subtle ways.

Like they use the English/translation word communicate instead of ‘share’.

Although I seem to remember re the etymology of the word communicate is related to communism and sharing.

And I think there has been some interesting separate discussions as to communication being the sharing of information.

I think I got onto the cynics from the anti Christian Lucian, bloody communists, thing; there is some kind of Cynic connection there I have forgotten what it was for the moment.

I seem to remember that the Lucian thing on Christians was in a ‘Penguin’ book on the Greek cynics; although it wasn’t plugging that angle.

That translation so happened to be a more overt or palpable description of Christian communism than they ones I was previously more familiar with.

For the others, as I am not going to teach Rommon much, Lucians scoffing at the Christians looks like a plagiarism of the communist and Christian Didache.

Didache was a manifesto about living in anarcho communist like communes etc.

But it had in it what to do with freeloaders.

Turning up, agreeing with the faith and taking in the more intellectual challenged members with convincing Bolshevik I can be your leader trust and pamper me stuff.

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

Actually, bollocks to Christianity etc, it is in fact a good read an quite entertaining as a piece of literature in it own right if you are interested in 2nd century shit.

It tends to be dismissed as just entertaining political satire.

Although I think political satire has a powerful historical potency if you are prepared to interpret it within its context.

You don’t satirise stuff that doesn’t matter.

Back to the cynics as a flower power, punk, OWS, and anti establishment subculture type thing.

What appears to be the case is that the Greek cynics seemed to have had an impact but at the end of the day we don’t know much about them.

There is about 10 of them documented.

Two of them came from JC’s neighbourhood one around 300BC and another around 100AD.

So 20% of the Greek cynics we know about, over 400 years or so came from a town a days walk from JC’s home town.

That would be like 20 noble laureates in physics coming from Kentucky.

I am a scientist with a grade A’level in statistics and know about all that kind of shit etc; but it is not a, or fits well, with a thin on the ground in Judea hypothesis.

I think I understand where Rommon is going with this.

For Rommon we have the misogynist Judaic communist Essenes and the Saint James Judaic party of the poor Ebonite’s as the ideological origin of early Christianity.

I am not accusing Rommon of misogynism; in fact he had himself recognised proto feminism in the gospel stuff.

By the standards of the time there is a lot of kick ass sisterhood stuff in it.

So all this shit in the gospel of John about live and let live who gives too much of shit about sex and multiple partners etc.

Doesn’t fit in to Rommon’s conclusion I suspect; I have not read it yet as I don’t do Kindle as I am a technophobe.

JC as a fusion Judaic Greek cynic is a good fit for me.

I mean I did the Buddhist thing but I think Buddhism or general Gymnosophists thing, as the Greeks referred to it, probably entered into it from Greek cynicism.

It was a totally different way of thinking about stuff.

About truth coming from paradoxes and ‘metaphorical irony’.

‘Metaphorical irony’, as a thing, is commonly employed by political dissident comedians under state oppression to dodge the bullet.

It is an interesting thing in itself and it is all over the place in the gospel material.

As to bollock brained mythologist not being concerned with the material world etc.

The Sun did travel across the sky and well so what.

But that is not good enough for me, I want to know why.

I like the idea of it being transported across the heavens by the most up date technology I know about; a chariot what eslse?

But an invisible or ‘Dark’ chariots.

Like modern scientist don’t believe in dark chariots; there are two of them now.

Khawaga

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sunday Bible school class, IMO, is kinda necessary if you actually want to critique Christianty beyond making just superficial statements like the new atheists do. It's nice to see that at least someone appreciating theology and it's history.

So I say, continue the Bible School. I find it interesting and it seems others do too.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Not sure how Graeber fits into this, but it seems Michael Hudson was his influence or at least looked into the history of debt before. Anyway, the anthropologist (and Narodnaya Volya revolutionary) Vladimir Bogoraz in 1928 wrote a book called 'Christianity in light of ethnography', online here:

http://az.lib.ru/t/tanbogoraz_w_g/text_1928_hristianstvo.shtml

Though it was panned in a review in Marxist-Historian journal, the table of contents looks interesting.

--

Strangely enough Marx at one point (in 1847) believed Daumer's claims that Christians practiced human sacrifice:

We know that the supreme thing in Christianity is human sacrifice. Daumer now proves in a recently published work that Christians really slaughtered men and at the Holy Supper ate human flesh and drank human blood. He finds here the explanation why the Romans, who tolerated all religious sects, persecuted the Christians, and why the Christians later destroyed the entire pagan literature directed against Christianity.

etc.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa Rodman

Not sure how Graeber fits into this, but it seems Michael Hudson was his influence or at least looked into the history of debt before. Anyway, the anthropologist (and Narodnaya Volya revolutionary) Vladimir Bogoraz in 1928 wrote a book called 'Christianity in light of ethnography', online here:

Strangely enough Marx at one point (in 1847) believed Daumer's claims that Christians practiced human sacrifice:

Thanks for the tip. I used Graeber mainly for his analysis of social-relationships and their Place in different kinds of enviroments.

That Whole thing With human sacrifice and canlibalism was a pagan slander against the Christians, you find it in some pagan literature, but it's absolutely obvious that they didn't and if you actually study the issue you'll see it's pretty Clear that it was pagan polemics ... pagans didn't like christians back then (by the way, when I say pagans I mean almost entirely upper class pagans, the poor were not really considered in the Roman world).

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave B

I think I will do the cynic thing.

It might be of more interest to our libertarian communist friends and as we are their guests here I think we should to avoid turning it to much towards a Sunday school bible class.

Although would be happy to do that somewhere else.

The Cynics have been interpreted by others as having an anti rich, anti decadent consumerism, anti money, anti state (yes), anti ruling class moral norms, pro poor and even ‘workerist’ ideology.

It's not about doing a "sunday School" thing it's about doing proper history ... if the Cynics were not in Galilee 1st Century BCE and early 1st CE they couldn't have been an influence on Jesus ... and if his entire ministry was saturated With Jewish tradition then that would seem like a better framework.

I don't care if they were the most left-wing Group of all history ... that doesn't mean we get to change actual history. I Care about actual scholarship and history not what interpretation of history fits my political Instincts.

And like the conservative Christians, who tend to monopolise the study of early Christian documents they choose what to focus on and even how to translate the Greek in subtle ways.

Like they use the English/translation word communicate instead of ‘share’.

Although I seem to remember re the etymology of the word communicate is related to communism and sharing.

It goes back and forth, from the 60s to the 90s it was all very liberal scholarship in Christian scholarship, now it's turning more conservative.

But the way you fix bad right wing scholarship is not With left With sholarship ... it's With GOOD scholarship, careful scholarship.

That Whole "communicate" vrs "share" thing is really just a linguistic issue. Koine is "common" all kinds of Words derive from that, but context and the time period influence how you translate the Words, translation is complicated. I don't think it was a political move With the early translators, I think they just didn't have the linguistic data we have today, but who knows, I do know however, that share is the correct translation.

I think I got onto the cynics from the anti Christian Lucian, bloody communists, thing; there is some kind of Cynic connection there I have forgotten what it was for the moment.

I seem to remember that the Lucian thing on Christians was in a ‘Penguin’ book on the Greek cynics; although it wasn’t plugging that angle.

That translation so happened to be a more overt or palpable description of Christian communism than they ones I was previously more familiar with.

For the others, as I am not going to teach Rommon much, Lucians scoffing at the Christians looks like a plagiarism of the communist and Christian Didache.

Oh that makes Complete sense, Peregnius was portrayed as a kind of cynic by Lucian .. and Cynics would have found common cause With Christians and it totally makes sense how a cynic could take advantage of the Christians.

It had already been happened in cynicism itself, People preying on spiritually hungry upper class People who wanted to use their Money on gurus (much like modern day New Age hucksters), Lucian pointed out that the Christians were a good target for a New age cynic huckster luke Peregnius. (Btw I Write a lot about him in the book).

Lucian was saterizing the CHristians becuase he didn't like them, the ruling class hated Christians.

But that's the late second Century, you can't read that back into pre-70 CE, Herodian Judea and Galilee, 1st Century pre-70 CE Judea and Galilee, where Jesus got his start, was a different world to the post 130 CE Hellenized Roman world where little Pockets of CHristianity were found all over the Place.

What appears to be the case is that the Greek cynics seemed to have had an impact but at the end of the day we don’t know much about them.

There is about 10 of them documented.

Two of them came from JC’s neighbourhood one around 300BC and another around 100AD.

So 20% of the Greek cynics we know about, over 400 years or so came from a town a days walk from JC’s home town.

That would be like 20 noble laureates in physics coming from Kentucky.

I am a scientist with a grade A’level in statistics and know about all that kind of shit etc; but it is not a, or fits well, with a thin on the ground in Judea hypothesis.

it's not around 100AD it was about 20 or so years later, and that's 100 years to late, and again a completely different world post 70 C.E. and just because you have very little actual cynic writing you have cynic thought elsewhere and you have proto-cynicism ... you can also see the Level of hellenistic philosophical influence in Judea and Galilee and different times ... and it just wasn't there in the late 1 BCE or the early 1 CE in Galilee.

And it simply is not reflected in Jesus's teachings when taken as a Whole, you have to ingore huge chunks of it, but they DO make sense within the Jewish propehtic traidition.

For Rommon we have the misogynist Judaic communist Essenes and the Saint James Judaic party of the poor Ebonite’s as the ideological origin of early Christianity.

I am not accusing Rommon of misogynism; in fact he had himself recognised proto feminism in the gospel stuff.

I'm just trying to do good history, whether it fits With one or another political idoelogy is besides the point.

I do think the Essenes are part of the ideological origin of early Christianity, at least Jesus, as well as the prophetic tradition.

Hellenism does come in but not With Jesus, it comes in With Paul and the Johanian literature, Paul was clearly philosophically trained, he clearly unerstood both stoicism and epicurianism, and John clearly understood the neo-platonic tradition.

But the historical Jesus didn't know anything about Greek philosophy, he knew the exodus stories, he New the prophetic traditions, and he knew the torah ideals.

The Sun did travel across the sky and well so what.

But that is not good enough for me, I want to know why.

I like the idea of it being transported across the heavens by the most up date technology I know about; a chariot what eslse?

But an invisible or ‘Dark’ chariots.

Like modern scientist don’t believe in dark chariots; there are two of them now.

I HIGHLY suggest you look into Charle's Taylor's work. It's not that simple. Mythology served many functions, but it wasn't science, Aristotle was proto-science, Homer was not.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I agree with a lot of what you are saying about the cynics as we are on really flimsy ground with them as what we do have very much second hand stuff.

However as Celsus tell us JC did actually go to Egypt as according to him an economic migrant worker.

And there were cynics in Alexandria in the first century.

As to Jesus not knowing Greek philosophy isn’t the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4 a Democritus ‘pun’ re truth lies at the bottom of a deep well that you draw out?

Bit of another point re eating people.

Does anyone know the origin of ‘food for thought’ and ‘thirst for knowledge’ and is it an ‘idiom’ in other languages?

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi Rommon

I have had my personal internet book buying private secretary order your book for me.

She rang me up a few days ago to tell me that it costs about £15.

She was concerned that I may have been drunk when I emailed her to get it for me.

My ceiling is normally £10, for second books, and I prefer to borrow from libraries.

You should feel justifiably flattered.

For others on cynic thing it has been extensively well covered by academics with books written on it and books written about the books.

The arguments end up being quite simple.

The anti cynic influence people will say something like; Greek cynicism appeared to die out around 100BC and revived suddenly in the late first century with reports of large numbers of ‘Greek cynics’ in the urban centres of the eastern portion of the Roman empire.

So; JC wasn’t interacting with urban centres being a rural peasant and all that.

The urban Greek cynic revival was post 50AD and thus post JC.

And maybe Palestine etc wasn’t Hellenised then either.

And some of the kind of the supposedly weird cynic sounding stuff in the gospel was already present in ‘Jewish Wisdom’ documents.

And there is no contemporary evidence of Greek cynicism in the first century Judea literature.

There is a bit of hyprocrisy here as we are onto the absence of evidence being evidence of absence which is what the Richard Carrier school use to deny the historicity of JC.

The Christian apologists will say absence of evidence doesn’t mean the evidence of absence when it comes to the historicity of JC.

But will say the of absence of evidence is the evidence of absence when it comes to cynic influence.

There is also a bit of straw manning,

So you get from some a hypothesises that maybe there was an influence or fusion of Greek cynic type ideas.

And they respond with an argument, that has not been made, that JC was not a Greek Cynic.

Actually the whole thing is a problem for a ‘Marxist’ because we are not supposed to believe in the primacy of the ‘influence’ of ideas in the first place, which more Hegelian Idealism.

That is that some clever bod comes up with a good idea, out of his head, which is so good that other people accept it and it spreads just because it good cerebral idea.

And we have a cerebral and philosophical human progression of enlightenment.

[You could make the case that some sections of ‘natural philosophy’ does that like theoretical physics and cosmology in the sense that it is science for science sake and of no practical use.]

But for us new ideologies are more about re-orientating modes of thought to deal with and make sense of new material realities.

So then we come across something more sensible in this anti cynic debate called ‘parallelism’ or ‘parallelmania’.

Or in other word just because you may have something similar in Greek cynicism to gospel stuff it doesn’t mean one influenced the other.

Anymore than the Russian Mir communists influenced the Scottish Saint Kilda ones, or the other away around.

Or in other words, from my potential hypothesis, certain economic conditions in the first century Roman empire produced an ideological reaction from expropriated self employed peasants etc.

That took similar forms in different groups, that only differed in their religious paraphernalia.

So a ‘Greek’ becomes a Cynic and a ‘Jew’ becomes a Christian.

So you get it in scientific methodology.

An increase in one thing and a correlated increase in another; and bad science pre supposes that one is causing the other.

Rather than a ‘hidden’ third thing is producing both the observable phenomena.

When you look at the revelation according to John it reads like a theological Maoist Shining path- red brigade stuff.

But no one would suggest that the one influenced the other.

If all that stuff about burning Rome written in 69AD was part of the previous Christian ideology I am little surprised that Nero blamed them for it.

Like they blamed Bin Laden for 9/11.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Contra Celsum by Origen

On "True Discourse," as Celsus has entitled it; probably written at the pagan intellectual centre at the Celsus library at Ephesus

Book one

CHAP. XXIX.

And now, our Jesus, who is reproached with being born in a village, and that not a Greek one, nor belonging to any nation widely esteemed, and being despised as the son of a poor labouring woman, and as having on account of his poverty left his native country and hired himself out in Egypt, and being, to use the instance already quoted, not only a Seriphian, as it were, a native of a very small and undistinguished island, but even, so to speak, the meanest of the…

CHAP. XXXVIII.

But, moreover, taking the history, contained in the Gospel according to Matthew, of our Lord's descent into Egypt, he refuses to believe the miraculous circumstances attending it, viz., either that the angel gave the divine intimation, or that our Lord's quitting Judea and residing in Egypt was an event of any significance; but he invents something altogether different, admitting somehow the miraculous works done by Jesus, by means of which He induced the multitude to follow Him as the Christ. And yet he desires to throw discredit on them, as being done by help of magic and not by divine power; for he asserts

"that he (Jesus), having been brought up as an illegitimate child, and having served for hire in Egypt, and then coming to the knowledge of certain miraculous powers, returned from thence to his own country, and by means of those powers proclaimed himself a god."

Now I do not understand how a magician should exert himself to teach a doctrine which persuades us always to act as if God….

Karl Marx

The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature

Difficulties Concerning the Identity Of the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature

….If the phenomenon is the true thing, how can the true thing be concealed? The concealment begins only when phenomenon and truth separate. But Diogenes Laertius reports that Democritus was counted among the Sceptics. His saying is
quoted:

“In reality we know nothing, for truth lies at the deep bottom of the well.” (3) Similar statements are found in Sextus Empiricus. (4)
This sceptical, uncertain and internally self-contradictory view held by Democritus is only further developed in the way in which the relationship between the atom and the world which is apparent to the senses is determined…..

http://marxists.anu.edu.au/archive/marx/works/1841/dr-theses/ch03.htm

Democritus is or was generally regarded as an atheist or Epicureuan which makes the woman at the well thing doubly amusing.

Most histories of atheism choose the Greek and Roman philosophers Epicurus, Democritus, and Lucretius as the first atheist writers. While these writers certainly changed the idea of God, they didn't entirely deny that gods could exist.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/atheism/history/ancient.shtml

the passage is also a rosseta stone for unlocking other boxes in the gospel.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave B

My ceiling is normally £10, for second books, and I prefer to borrow from libraries.

You should feel justifiably flattered.

I am flattered, and I am anxious to hear what you think about it.

I'm sorry about the price, the Publisher sets it.

I agree with a lot of what you are saying about the cynics as we are on really flimsy ground with them as what we do have very much second hand stuff.

However as Celsus tell us JC did actually go to Egypt as according to him an economic migrant worker.

And there were cynics in Alexandria in the first century.

That's true about Celsus, and I am generally inclined to believe Celsus in that what he says about Jesus is what People more or less believed about him, that his father wasn't his real father was known, some Christians claimed miraculous conception non Christians claimed Mary slept With a Roman soldier, but the fact that his father wasn't his blood father was agreed on (just to take one example), as far as Jesus going to Egypt, I agree that People thought that about Jesus, as to whether or not it is true historically who knows, I think there are reasons to believe it though.

But I do think it's a stretch to say that a Young migrant worker who may or may not have spent some time in Egypt would have been able to learn cynic philosophy enough to adjust it for a Palestinian audience.

And that he only took the parts of Cynic philosophy that we also find plenty of precedent in the Hebrew Tradition.Not only that but I don't know that there was Cynicism in Egypt in the early first Century.

By the way I'm not saying the Whole Cynic theory is a bad theory, I do think it has arguments for it, I just think that the problems With it prevent me from accepting it, and that other explanations are better; but it's an argument to be had and certainly a defensible position, I'm willing to be won over to it.

As to Jesus not knowing Greek philosophy isn’t the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4 a Democritus ‘pun’ re truth lies at the bottom of a deep well that you draw out?

I would be carefuly drawing out historical data on Jesus himself from John; scholars disagree on how much historical Jesus data can be taken from John, I think some certainly can, and I do think some of what John describes is historical, but it was written through a THICK theological lense, so I'd be careful With that. John certainly puts his own theological reflections in Jesus' mouth, not nefariously ... that was simply the genre John was working in.

I would say what we can assertain from the philosophical puns and concepts in John is that JOHN was accainted With philosophy and drew out Jesus' story through the lenses of his philosophical Insights.

Jesus' Meeting With Nicodemus may very well have happened, but as to the actual recording of the conversation, if there was a remembering of it, John shaped it for his theological purpose.

There is a bit of hyprocrisy here as we are onto the absence of evidence being evidence of absence which is what the Richard Carrier school use to deny the historicity of JC.

The Christian apologists will say absence of evidence doesn’t mean the evidence of absence when it comes to the historicity of JC.

But will say the of absence of evidence is the evidence of absence when it comes to cynic influence.

There is also a bit of straw manning,

I kind of dissagree, we don't have absense of evidence for the historicity of Jesus, we have Mountains of evidence, way more than we would expect. Here's what I would say though, if there is no evidence for cynicism in Palestine pre-70 CE, yet we would have expected evidence, it would be an innapropriate framework for a pre 70 Palestinian preacher IF better frameworks are available.

Richard Carrier doesn't say there is no evidence, he just tries to explain all the evidence differently ... something which really in the end fails miserably. But for Cynicism all we really have are parallels, but not any historical grounding.

Actually the whole thing is a problem for a ‘Marxist’ because we are not supposed to believe in the primacy of the ‘influence’ of ideas in the first place, which more Hegelian Idealism.

That is that some clever bod comes up with a good idea, out of his head, which is so good that other people accept it and it spreads just because it good cerebral idea.

Yeah but Cynicism was an idea :P, so that also doesn't fit With Marxism. But I'm not a Marxist so I'm not bound by that, I think the Jesus movement would have been impossible without the material conditions of Roman oppression and Herodian exploitation, and would have been impossible without the Hebreaic Prophetic tradition.

But I think you're actually agreeing With me ... Cynicism, revolutionary Zealot Judiasm, Sparticus, and Jesus all were shaped by the same material conditions, but that doesn't mean they depend on each other ideologically.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi Rommon

I am really glad you are back

I wasn’t complaining about the price of the book just the idea of paying £15 for them.

I think when it comes to this kind of thing you need start with a hypothesis, or one of a series and then test them.

I think Celsus can be taken as seriously as Joesphus; they both had their bias and agenda’s etc but we know what they are so that can help.

They were both reporting on ‘things’ that happened a hundred or years or so before them.

And there was an interesting rational ‘dialogue’ about how you could be sure anything had actually happened.

[That made me think as they didn’t have a print media, photography and the internet etc. I think it was the dove thing or maybe one of the talking cloud stuff where there appeared to be some kind of ‘internal logical contradiction’ in the gospel version.

Celsum pulled apart the gospel stuff including contradictions in the reports of the crucifixion narrative, as well as how JC fell for the old crucifixation feeling thirsty, here have a suck on this.]

And these documents could be bonkers eg Josephus in claiming that emperor Vespasian was the one that would be the king of kings who would emerge from Palestine to rule the world as prophesised in the old testament etc.

[The Romans quite liked the old testament as an old book and we all like the Nostradamus type stuff even today.]

Although contra celsum is more interesting in that it we have two antagonists discussing a ‘history’.

My Hypothesis is that Celsum’s true doctrine was in fact a compilation of separate anti Christian documents re written and strung together into a continuous document at the Celsus library.

[Celsum appears to have a political and ideological multi personality disorder when attacking Christianity as he attacks it from mutually exclusive ideological positions.

Eg Pagan one moment, Judaic the next and then an atheist epicurean.

Origen the christain is all too aware of that and frequently is heard banging his fist on the table over it before carrying on.]

However for all that “he” seems an intellectual and I think it is reasonable that they both Origen and Celsum had access to material around 200 AD that we don’t have now.

It is interesting in what Origen doesn’t deny or just moves on; like the physical description of JC himself.

For the historicity of Jesus thing it is relevant I think that despite throwing everything at JC the one thing Celsum doesn’t do is challenge that he existed.

As origen quoted celsum saying Mary was a whore who had sex with a roman soldier from which JC was the product; I think we are safe in saying if Celsum had said JC didn’t exist we would have heard about that as well.

It would have been fantastic for us if he had.

It wouldn’t have disturbed the integrity of Celsum’s argument to have said that JC didn’t exist after describing what he looked like.

It is even obvious in gospel stuff and Paul that JC had brothers and sisters eg James although the catholics have tried to bury it.

The is some very old Christian material that has Joseph as a widower with a brood who takes in or marries a young and pregnant mary.

It is in some of the infancy gospels.

I seem to remember one has James? leading the donkey back with pregnant Mary on it and one of Joseph’s daughters acting as midwife at the birth in a cave.

They used caves carved out of soft rock as stables as they still do and it was common practice for women to birth in the cave stables often attached homestead farms for hygiene and privacy reasons etc etc.

Justyn the Martyr circa 150AD has JC born in a cave and it appears elsewhere.

The stuff about the roman soldier as the father, possibly rape or prostitution would have been really offensive in Roman occupied Palestine eg german occupied France in the 1940’s etc.

CF monty python Life of Brian.

This could have been anti Christian judiac mud slinging.

It existed in 6th century anti Christian Judiac material.

There is a debate as to whether it pre dated that or they were plagiarising celsum’s true doctrines.

The Christians in the 6th century, feeling a bit more secure, preserved it as a justification for anti Semitism against lying slanderous ‘Jews’.

On;

And that he only took the parts of Cynic philosophy that we also find plenty of precedent in the Hebrew Tradition.

I think there is some thing whacky and in common re the the method of thought in the gospel stuff and cynicism.

I actually started off with a Buddhist-gospel thing.

I have done Buddhism.

Then I think I see the same kind of alien to western thought thing in cynicism.

But I am ok with the idea of Buddhism influencing cynicism and Judaic thought; although I am not up to speed of this ‘Jewish Wisdom’ stuff.

Thus it is possible that that kind of stuff, parallel and similarity is another thing having an influence on both.

Perhaps it is no accident that cynicism with Diogenes is contemporary with Alexander just back from India.

As to the content of the gospel documents and John I am trying be where Christians “are at” and taking it from there as basically a valid un-interfered with record.

The platonic word was made flesh thing was obviously a philosophical intrusion and prologue.

Although I still ‘like it’, Rosa did a good take on it and used it when the international Marxists all joined the let the workers kill each other.

I thought it was funny.

On Jesus going to Egypt I don’t know how locked in your are into the Matthew nativity narrative etc.

I mean how long he could have stayed there and how old he could have been there as a child labourer when he came back?

According to the infancy gospel of Thomas? JC as young child was doing the old magic trick of turning mud into birds; which is part of the few patchy references to JC in the Quran.

I have seen that kind of thing done live on stage.

I am inclined to contemplate that there may have been some nugget of truth in it as well in fact in the Luke version.

Deconstructing it is an impossible task as you can’t hope to test it; although Celsum’s take on things and Origens hand wave away is worthy of consideration.

They do do the absence of evidence thing; no 1st century documents or archaeology on the lower class sub culture of Christianity.

But there wouldn’t be.

By the second half 1st century there were loads of greek cynics on the streets of Alexandria.

There must have been a seed culture before that.

There was no record of the anti Vietnam war movement before 1965 but it was there as Noam Chomsky insists on.

Anyway the anti cynic thesis, and I really appreciate the fact the you are as being open minded on it as me.

JC may have gone to Egypt once and he may have gone again and was not probably hermitically sealed into Palestine as a peasant, land locked, redneck hillbillie.

Who knows his pissed off weaver mother or his older step brother James could have picked up proletarian cynicism whilst over there.

[ The hiring himself for labour to the Egyptians was another pop at JC but it obviously doesn’t work as well now or her were it is a badge of honour- eg according to Cicero working for a wage de-facto slavery; in fact wage slave comes from Cicero. There was a dignity to being a self employed peasant, that culture prevails in our 2nd generation Indian working class peasants over her- she has ordered your book for me and earns in IT twice what I get as an English chemist]

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What I think we can say about Celsus is that he reported what was basiaclly known about the historical Jesus, of course earlier Sources, and more established Sources take precedence. So for example about Jesus going to Egypt ... he very well might have for a bit as an adult; but he was called "Jesus the Nazarene", that's established,so if he did go to Egypt it would have been just for a short time.

Celsus' pointing out the contradictions in the gospels had nothing to do With the historical Jesus, it was just him trashing the apostles, saying they were stupid and unreliable.

By the way, It's almost certainly true, as you say, that Celsus was drawing off multiple Sources, it wasn'st just him, and the Talmud's arguments were not drawing of Celsus, but rather drawing from Jewish tradition which the Talmud itself was also drawing on.

I do think the traditions putting Jesus being born in a Cave are very reliable, it doesn't really clash With either Matthew or Luke as far as I understand.

I wouldn't give the infancy narratives ANY play when it comes to the historical Jesus, or really any of the gnostic writings, the only historical information they have is derivative from the gospels, and the rest is really just rehashed gnosticism.

I really don't think that being a maybe migrant working in Egypt, (of course maybe we have no early attestation), and even if he did it didn't effect how he was known; is enough to add cynicism to the context of Jesus' teachinges ... of course it's possible, I just don't find it likeley.

Not to mention the fact that his teachings are not relaly cynicism, not when read in their own context.

By the way, it is absolutely true the the gospel of John is saturated With philosophical Language, but that's because John's gospel was a theological reflection, NOT a historical biography; John was taking Jesus' story and Reading it in light of his theology, which was saturated With neo-platonism.

When it comes to mythecism, I usually don't engage With them for the same reason I don't deal With holocaust deniers; the evidence against them is overwhelming and you end up just arguing about possible conspiracy theories that almost never make any sense; and the are usually motivated by ideology and not scholarship, the Jesus mythicist conspiracy theories are really just as rediculous as holocaust deniers.

I don't mind Jesus being influenced by Cynicism, I mean John was influenced by neo-platonism and Paul was certainly influenced by greek philosophy; I just don't think the historical and textual evidence supports the claim tha Jesus was influenced by Cynicism ... I'm open minded to just about everything, and like I said before it's not an insane idea, I just think it doens't hold up to the evidence.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave B

The stuff about the roman soldier as the father, possibly rape or prostitution would have been really offensive in Roman occupied Palestine eg german occupied France in the 1940’s etc.

CF monty python Life of Brian.

This could have been anti Christian judiac mud slinging.

It existed in 6th century anti Christian Judiac material.

There is a debate as to whether it pre dated that or they were plagiarising celsum’s true doctrines.

The Christians in the 6th century, feeling a bit more secure, preserved it as a justification for anti Semitism against lying slanderous ‘Jews’.

There were lots of Jewish guys called Jesus. The Talmud story isn't about the Jesus.

Rommon

the Jesus mythicist conspiracy theories are really just as rediculous as holocaust deniers.

Wrong comparison. There are not even writings of eye witnesses to Jesus, whereas there are living participants to the Nazi mass murder of jews. I think already Kautsky tended to believe in the non-historicity of Jesus, so it's not just some new Atheists thing. There's even a similar claim about the non-historicity of Mohammad.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Richard Carrier is the main ones arguing against the historicity of Jesus and there is no doubt that his site is full of interesting material on this kind of thing.

I think even Carrier accepts Paul as a valid and contemporary historical, so it must be and is probably not worth delving into.

[There are question marks over whether all of the documents attributed to Paul were actually written directly by him or the same person.

Computer pattern recognition on the texts technologically ‘undisputedly identifies at least two authors.

Even the die hard christians accept this; but they suggest a secretarial argument in that the disputed ones were dictated or drafted by Paul and written up by another scribe.]

On the historicity of JC one of the ‘best’ ones is from Paul.

Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord's brother.

gallatians 1:18-2:10New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

As Bart Erhman quipped to Carrier; “if jesus hadn’t existed you would think his brother would have known about it.

Barts book on the historicity of Jesus is worth a read, he really is quite entertaining and it ain’t heavy.

What nailed it for me was the stuff in contra celsum; which was a refutation or response to a document called True Doctrines by an author called Celsum or Celsus , depending on how it declines in Latin.

As to the dating of True Doctrines it can be internally dated to three possible dates as it was written when there were 'two Emperors'.

I seem to remember there are three possible dates; eg around AD 80 , Ad 120 and AD 180.

The third date is generally accepted based solely on the somewhat tenuous argument that was when Christianity was being more persecuted.

I actually think the 180AD date conclusion and basis is doubtful.

Although ‘True Doctrines’ is quite ‘nasty’ it is still a somewhat measured intellectual attack and doesn’t sound to me very like the kind of ranting ‘send them to the gas chambers’ type stuff that you would expect in a period of persecution.

And when Origen the Christian in 230 AD responds to it he makes clear that he has no idea who wrote it, seems to think it something old that has reappeared all of a sudden.

Origen was the Christian’s number one intellectual in 230 AD and that was the reason why it was passed to him.

He had a massive library himself and apparently wrote loads of stuff; most of it trashed by later Christians as he himself by the 4th century was regarded as a bit dodgy and was posthumously excommunicated, a rare honour.

And slandered I think we can presume as he was ‘accused’ of chopping his own dick off to stop him sinning.

Some Origen’s material was kept and preserved by the Christians as ‘top shelf’ material probably due to its ‘intellectual and theological’ quality.

For instance he had read Josephus and quoted from it etc.

Thus for instance in the less famous passage in Josephus about ‘James the brother of Jesus.

That passage is interesting on its own.

There are several Jesus’s in Josephus but somehow Josephus seems to think we should automatically know or is it obvious which one, or bothers we are talking about?

However Origen unequivocally identifies or interprets that James, in Josephus, as the brother of ‘his Jesus’.

Origen also says in the same passage that Josephus didn’t believe that ‘his’ Jesus was the messiah.

That was an accurate interpretation as Josephus, as Vespasian’s poodle, said Vespasian was.

It is also important as it trashes somewhat the

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/testimonium.html

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

Origen was no idiot either as he seems to have spotted a problem with the contradiction in the nativity in Luke and Matthew, which is a more modern thing.

Anyway!

Celsum says that JC was a dwarf, ugly, shifty looking with some kind physical deformity; as well as coming from a working class and not noble background.

And Celsum comes up with a very modern argument as to why son of a divine would appear in such a form.

I mean JC is portrayed as a drop dead gorgeous movie star eg Robert Powell?

Not as some Filius Flitwick as in Harry Potter?

In the gospel document stuff there are several examples of out of context stuff I thought, laugh if you like.

But doctor heal yourself was one of them.

I actually ringed them when I first read it and my first take on it. seems to have proved later instructive.

Anyway according to Celsum and Origen they were both aware of 'reports' that JC was no ‘movie star oil painting’ and Origen says that that was how it was prophesied.

Thus;

CHAP. LXXV, in one of the books

"Since a divine Spirit inhabited the body (of Jesus), it must certainly have been different From that of other beings, in respect of grandeur, or beauty, or strength, or voice, or impressiveness, or persuasiveness. For it is impossible that He, to whom was imparted some divine quality beyond other beings, should not differ from others; whereas this person did not differ in any respect from another, but was, as they report, little, and ill-favoured, and ignoble."

Now it is evident by these words, that when Celsus wishes to bring a charge against Jesus, he adduces the sacred writings, as one who believed them to be writings apparently fitted to afford a handle for a charge against Him; but wherever, in the same writings, statements would appear to be made opposed to those charges which are adduced, he pretends not even to know them! There are, indeed, admitted to be recorded some statements respecting the body of Jesus having been "ill-favoured;" not, however, "ignoble," as has been stated, nor is there any certain evidence that he was "little." The language of Isaiah runs as follows, who prophesied regarding Him that He would come and visit the multitude, not in comeliness of form, nor in any surpassing beauty:

Personally I have prejudicially switched from JC as a Calvinistic modern Christian to a kick arse communistic revolutionary cynic and reclaim him as my ‘own’.

And trash these born again Christians in Armani suits.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, so Paul was no eye witness to Jesus. Dave B

As Bart Erhman quipped to Carrier; “if jesus hadn’t existed you would think his brother would have known about it.

Carrier's response to that:
http://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/11516

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa Rodman

There were lots of Jewish guys called Jesus. The Talmud story isn't about the Jesus.

Yeah, not that many called Jesus the Nazarene in the early first Century who traveled around as an apocalyptic prophet and god crucified under Pontius pilate.

Wrong comparison. There are not even writings of eye witnesses to Jesus, whereas there are living participants to the Nazi mass murder of jews. I think already Kautsky tended to believe in the non-historicity of Jesus, so it's not just some new Atheists thing. There's even a similar claim about the non-historicity of Mohammad.

It's completely the right comparison ... when you compare the amount of evidence for the holocuase With what we would expect the evidence to be it's overwhelming, the same goes for Jesus, InFact we would expect WAY less evidence than we have.

We have almost NO Eyewitness accounts for most of the People who know about in ancient history ... we have very very few ... most of what we have is historians recording known accounts, other historians, or oral traditions.

As far as the eye witnesses I think the gospels (the synoptics) DO record eye witnesses, even if they were not written by eye witnesses, Richard Bauckham has recently done a lot of work basically demonstrating that huge chunks of the materials in the gospels are basically directly from eye witness testimony and would have been recognized as such.

Anyway, even putting the gospels aside there is tons of evidence for the historical Jesus, more than we would expect at that time period.

Which is why I say that the mythecists are at the same Level as holocaust deniers ... to explain the evidence (if they ever actually deal With the scholarship) they have to appeal to conspiracy theories that verge on the insane.

Yeah, so Paul was no eye witness to Jesus.
Dave B wrote:
As Bart Erhman quipped to Carrier; “if jesus hadn’t existed you would think his brother would have known about it.
Carrier's response to that:
http://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/11516

The grammar is challenged in the peer review literature ... of course, EVERYTHING is challenged in the peer review literature; but the actual consenses is that James was the Brother of Jesus, (not only because of Galatians by the way), and the consensus is overwhelming. Not only that all the early Christian literature understood James as Jesus's Brother.

By the way, we have no idea if Paul was an eye witness to Jesus, we know he know about his movement early on and opposed it ... prior to that we have no idea.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave B

I seem to remember there are three possible dates; eg around AD 80 , Ad 120 and AD 180.

The third date is generally accepted based solely on the somewhat tenuous argument that was when Christianity was being more persecuted.

I actually think the 180AD date conclusion and basis is doubtful.

Origen seems to assume that Jesus and the begining of the Jesus movement was recently history, not something over 100 years ago, at least the Sources he was drawing on were Close to the time of Jesus.

There are several Jesus’s in Josephus but somehow Josephus seems to think we should automatically know or is it obvious which one, or bothers we are talking about?

However Origen unequivocally identifies or interprets that James, in Josephus, as the brother of ‘his Jesus’.

Origen also says in the same passage that Josephus didn’t believe that ‘his’ Jesus was the messiah.

If you take out the interpolation of the Jesus part of Josephus (ignoring the part about James the Brother of Jesus), the description fits perfectly, you even have the Ebionite literature, the psudo-clemantine literature (coming in the second Century) describing the same event but blaming James' Death on Paul.

There is very little doubt that James the Brother of Jesus in Jospehus refers to James the Brother of Jesus of Nazareth.

Celsum says that JC was a dwarf, ugly, shifty looking with some kind physical deformity; as well as coming from a working class and not noble background.

And Celsum comes up with a very modern argument as to why son of a divine would appear in such a form.

I mean JC is portrayed as a drop dead gorgeous movie star eg Robert Powell?

Exactly .... this is not an argument that would have happened over a mythical figure ... by the way, Celsus is just one of many non-Christian Sources on Jesus.

Personally I have prejudicially switched from JC as a Calvinistic modern Christian to a kick arse communistic revolutionary cynic and reclaim him as my ‘own’.

And trash these born again Christians in Armani suits.

Calvinism is SO anti-Christian at its core ... I don't know what to even Call it, in my opinion Calvinism is the worst thing to happen to Christianity.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

not that many called Jesus the Nazarene in the early first Century who traveled around as an apocalyptic prophet and god crucified under Pontius pilate.

Actually there were many apocalyptic prophets at the time and there were many crucifixions. I think it's the mainstream view in Judaism that the Talmud's mention of a Jesus of Nazareth does not refer to the Christian Jesus, but to one who lived some century earlier. It's possible that Celsus mistakenly based himself on this jewish story.

We have almost NO Eyewitness accounts for most of the People who know about in ancient history ... we have very very few ... most of what we have is historians recording known accounts, other historians, or oral traditions.

But we have even more compelling evidence than eye-witness accounts for eg Alexander the Great, namely a huge empire. There's archeological evidence of even some minor characters, much earlier in the Hebrew bible, eg some scribe. Like I said also, we have no eye-witness accounts for Mohammad, hence his historicity can be legitimately questioned.

but the actual consenses is that James was the Brother of Jesus, (not only because of Galatians by the way), and the consensus is overwhelming.

I think Carrier's point is that "Brother of the Lord" was a designation of any Christian believer. If I'm not mistaken, there were also lots of guys called James. There is no evidence to explain away by a conspiracy theory.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa Rodman

Actually there were many apocalyptic prophets at the time and there were many crucifixions. I think it's the mainstream view in Judaism that the Talmud's mention of a Jesus of Nazareth does not refer to the Christian Jesus, but to one who lived some century earlier. It's possible that Celsus mistakenly based himself on this jewish story.

Yes, but Jesus of Nazareth WAS always described as a specific person ... the fact that he wasn't the only apocalyptic prophet, the only person called Jesus, and the only person who was crucified, doesn't really mean anything; at all, there was no other Jesus of Nazareth that we know of, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate and who was an apocalyptic prophet of his kind, the combination refers to a specific person.

The Talmud was compiled in the 6th Century and Origen was writing in the 3rd .... so .... he obviously was not quoting from the Talmud.

By the way, NOBODY uses the fact that Jesus was mentioned in the Talmud as solid evidence for the historical Jesus, it's too late, whether or not it refers to the historical Jesus is completely irrelevant to the historical Jesus.

Although the Christians were known ... VERY early on by Jews, as Nazareans ... which makes since if they were started by a person who was known as a guy from Nazareth.

As far as your claim that the Talmud Jesus isn't the historical Jesus ... I mean, some People claim that, but Jews have generally understood it to be a Reference to Jesus, and most scholars have too ... the fact that there are historical anomolies in the Talmudic stories shouldn't suprise anyone anymore than the fact that there are discrepencies in the gospels.

All that proves is that there were seperate traditions about Jesus that didn't always agree on every detail.

But we have even more compelling evidence than eye-witness accounts for eg Alexander the Great, namely a huge empire. There's archeological evidence of even some minor characters, much earlier in the Hebrew bible, eg some scribe. Like I said also, we have no eye-witness accounts for Mohammad, hence his historicity can be legitimately questioned.

Alexander the great ruled the Whole Near east ... you'd expect more evidence from him than you would for an uppity jewish peasant. The Archeological evidence for Jeramiah's scribe is more likely to be expected (although not really expected at all, arhceologists were very Lucky to find that seal) than artheological evidence for Jesus because Baruch was in the high Court of the King, he was part of the nobility ... not an uppity peasant.

What possible archeological evidence for Jesus would you expect from when he was alive? his shoes With his signature on them? What?

I think Carrier's point is that "Brother of the Lord" was a designation of any Christian believer. If I'm not mistaken, there were also lots of guys called James. There is no evidence to explain away by a conspiracy theory.

Yeah but he's wrong ... on the grammar itself "Brother of the lord" was used by Paul as a special designation for james, other's were called Brothers, but not "Brother or the lord" in the same way James was, he was a Brother in the lord in a way which differentiated hiim from the aposltes.

No shit there were many People called james ... that's not an argument for anything. We are talking about James the Brother of Jesus, the "lord" or according to josephus "the so-called christ."

There's a reason Richard Carrier's position is held by almost no one in New Testament scholarship. He has to assume the gospel writers made up a James the Brother of Jesus, he had to assume that Josephus was talking about someone else, even though it's Clear who he's talking about, he has to argue that Paul wasn't saying what he clearly was saying, he has to assume that ALL the later Christian writers were all duped or in on inventing the Brother.

And you have to explain the entire Ebionite movement that followed Jesus' Brother over Pauline Christianity.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

By the way, If anyone bought my book from Amazon, Write a review after you read it :) (if you like it of course). It helps.

ajjohnstone

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Send a review copy to the SPGB for a review in the Socialist Standard....
Or suggest DaveB submit one for it, once he has read it
Mind you, i don't think religious debates are very popular with the editors

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

was no other Jesus of Nazareth that we know of, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate

I don't think the Talmud's mention of a Jesus of Nazareth specified though that he was crucified (and under Pilate at that).

The Talmud was compiled in the 6th Century and Origen was writing in the 3rd .... so .... he obviously was not quoting from the Talmud.

no, but when the story was transmitted orally from much earlier on, and if Celsus was familiar with the oral tradition, it is possible that was his source.

. I mean, some People claim that, but Jews have generally understood it to be a Reference to Jesus, and most scholars have too

Not really, Christian antisemitic tradition on the other hand does, which is why I objected to it.

What possible archeological evidence for Jesus would you expect from when he was alive? his shoes With his signature on them? What?

I don't expect archeological evidence, just some evidence (eg eyewitness report). And according to Christianity he was not some uppity peasant, but a prophet who caused massive commotion in Jerusalem and throughout the land. Kautsky pointed out how Josephus detailed all sorts of detailed occurrences, yet he didn't mention Jesus Christ (later interpolations don't count).

On the James thing, I think Carrier is right that that's probably the weakest pillar you could have as support for the historicity of Jesus.

Khawaga

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't expect archeological evidence, just some evidence (eg eyewitness report).

Noa, you do realize that writing was rather uncommon at the time, right? And that the material on which they did write wasn't especially durable.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Khawaga, that point holds eg of records of simple commodity exchange by ordinary people vs. records of them by kings/palace merchants. There their absence is not evidence of non-existence (or limited nature) of simple commodity production. However, I suspect stories of a saviour/miracle man would be better recorded than how many sheep a farmer sold on the local market. Besides there are tons of writings that date from that time, yet no eyewitness accounts.

Khawaga

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Khawaga, that point holds eg of records of simple commodity exchange by ordinary people vs. records of them by kings/palace merchants

Well, on simple commodity production/exchange, I completely disagree that it even existed. Marx referred to it as a theoretical fiction (in the same way that he refers to simple accumulation, which explains what accumulation is logically, but any capitalist enterprise that reproduced itself simply would not be a capitalist enterprise).

My point is that back in the day there simple wasn't that much written, hence the insistence that there should be some written "eye-wtiness" report is kind of misplaced. That was the only point I was making. Sure, there would be great if more writing from that age survived, but there wasn't that much written down to begin with.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In the previous post I was referring to this material not the Talmud material

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

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On 170 year old oral history?

The latest discovery was made two years and a day after Canadian marine archeologists found the wreck of Erebus in the same area of eastern Queen Maud gulf where Inuit oral history had long said a large wooden ship sank.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/12/hms-terror-wreck-found-arctic-nearly-170-years-northwest-passage-attempt

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I am being baited on simple commodity production Rommon.

we did it before in a massive thread where I mentioned JC making yokes and ploughs as sited by Justyn in chapter 88 on the dialogue with the Jew thing

I am going to ignore it.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Khawaga

Well, on simple commodity production/exchange, I completely disagree that it even existed. Marx referred to it as a theoretical fiction

You don't disagree that some commodity production existed before capitalism. You just can say that it didn't dominate all of society's labour, like in an abstract model, which is fucking fair enough. Just like I don't deny that there were religious rebels in the first century. There's just not one that can be identified as the Christian Jesus.

Khawaga

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Nah, commodity production did exist prior to capitalism and so did the exchange of some commodities for money (and/or other commodities), I am just tired of the assertions that the first few chapters of Capital refers to an actual historical period of simple commodity production/circulation when all the historical material is left for the end of the book. At the very beginning of Capital Marx deals with the logical presupposition of capital and leaves the historical presupposition for the end. Hence, there is no evidence for simple commodity production because it is a theoretical fiction Marx used to explain commodities, money and value in the most abstract way possible. But that commodities were produced and exchanged, is of course, pretty clear from the historical record.

Just like I don't deny that there were religious rebels in the first century. There's just not one that can be identified as the Christian Jesus.

Yes, but you're misunderstanding my point then. You assertion that "there should be some eye witness evidence" just doesn't square with the fact that the further we go back in history, the less of a historical record there is. Hence, you demand of definitive proof is a red herring (though, of course, your skepticism is a-ok.

Dave B

I am being baited on simple commodity production Rommon.

Nah, that was all Noa and I (we've had this disagreement before), We'll stop the derail (Noa, if you want to continue discussing this, please start a new thread. Though, I don't think it's necessary as our only disagreement is whether SCP is historical or logical (and I don't think the twain will ever meet)).

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

assertions that the first few chapters of Capital refers to an actual historical period of simple commodity production/circulation when all the historical material is left for the end of the book. At the very beginning of Capital Marx deals with the logical presupposition of capital and leaves the historical presupposition for the end. Hence, there is no evidence for simple commodity production because it is a theoretical fiction Marx used to explain commodities, money and value in the most abstract way possible.

Where does your "hence" come from that there is no evidence for simple commodity production? Do you just mean no evidence for it in Capital, or evidence in history?

But that commodities were produced and exchanged, is of course, pretty clear from the historical record.

Which is all what SCP refers to. So if you disagree, start another thread :)

You assertion that "there should be some eye witness evidence"

I didn't assert/demand this. I just remind that every single thing ever written about Jesus was not authored by an eyewitness. And I don't demand eyewitness/definitive proof, just any proof will do (example: I don't know if pig bones in sea last 2000 years, but Jesus allegedly drove a herd of demon pigs into the sea, so if there's even a tiny evidence of similar or other stories, it would be interesting to hear).

Dave B wrote:

I am being baited on simple commodity production Rommon.

Nah, that was all Noa and I (we've had this disagreement before), We'll stop the derail

I didn't bait Dave. I actually took on board Rommon's point about there being less records for non-important persons, but Jesus (is said to have) caused great commotions throughout the land, so he wasn't a nobody. Meanwhile Josephus recorded events of less importance.

Khawaga

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The hence refers to how there cannot be evidence for something abstract that Marx only used for the sake of his argument and logical development of capital as a category.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ajjohnstone

Send a review copy to the SPGB for a review in the Socialist Standard....
Or suggest DaveB submit one for it, once he has read it
Mind you, i don't think religious debates are very popular with the editors

The book itself has nothing to do With "religion" i.e. theology, it's history.

But the Socialist Standard can definately request a review copy from the Publisher, but I can't :(, it's the Publisher who does that, but I'd love for DaveB to review the book.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa Rodman

I don't think the Talmud's mention of a Jesus of Nazareth specified though that he was crucified (and under Pilate at that).

No, but that's not what I was refering too, the evidences for the historical Jesus doesn't include the talmud, it's way to late.

no, but when the story was transmitted orally from much earlier on, and if Celsus was familiar with the oral tradition, it is possible that was his source.

Except it isn't the same Source, you can tell by Reading the texts, Celsus' Jewish Source knew he was killed by the state and New he was claimed to be ressurected and so on and so forth ... it's the historical Jesus ... Celsus was not that late.

Not really, Christian antisemitic tradition on the other hand does, which is why I objected to it.

Actaully no ... actual historical scholarship AND many Jewish scholars say it's refering to Jesus of Nazareth killed by Pontius Pilate .... But either way it's 100% irrelevant to the historicity of Jesus.

I don't expect archeological evidence, just some evidence (eg eyewitness report). And according to Christianity he was not some uppity peasant, but a prophet who caused massive commotion in Jerusalem and throughout the land. Kautsky pointed out how Josephus detailed all sorts of detailed occurrences, yet he didn't mention Jesus Christ (later interpolations don't count)

On the James thing, I think Carrier is right that that's probably the weakest pillar you could have as support for the historicity of Jesus.

"according to christianity" is meaningless as there isn't one Christianity. According to the historians and scholarly consensus he was an uppity peasant whose movement caused some commotion after his Death.

There IS plently of evidence, eye witness traditions are in the synoptics. The gospels, the epistles, the Growth of his movement, pagan Sources and so on and so forth.

By the way, there are tons and tons of historical figures in the ancient world that almost ALL scholars Accept as definately historical for which there are no eye witness accounts.

Kautsky isn't really a New testament scholar. Josephus DID mention Jesus the (so called) Christ twice, once in Reference to James his Brother, once just himself, the probleem is the second one was interpolated, but not the Whole passage, (which is why the syriac Version has the passage but just without the interpolation).

Not only that you have the gospels, Paul, and Tacitus, Pliny and so on ...

You THINK Richard Carrier is right, ok ... but the vast majority of scholars do not, and on the greek he's simply off base.

You can believe, of course, whatever you want; but in actual scholarship the mythecist theory is seen as just as holocaust denial.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa Rodman

Khawaga, that point holds eg of records of simple commodity exchange by ordinary people vs. records of them by kings/palace merchants. There their absence is not evidence of non-existence (or limited nature) of simple commodity production. However, I suspect stories of a saviour/miracle man would be better recorded than how many sheep a farmer sold on the local market. Besides there are tons of writings that date from that time, yet no eyewitness accounts.

How many messiah accounts exist outside of Josephus? So lets say there was no Josephus, would you have heard about Judas of Galilee who led a revolution? Or the "egyptian prophet"? Or how about the other prophets/messiah figures he mentions?

You would'nt, these were not minor figures.

NO ONE viewed Jesus as a Saviour in the first Century except for a couple jews called Nazareans, most People didn't take note of him as a miracle man, there were plenty of "miracle men" at that time.

There are not "tons" of writings from that time ... not compared to what was actually going on that that time.

The writings we do have about Jesus are from People who cared enough to Write about him, i.e. those who followed him, the fact that we have several of those is amazing, the fact that we have several from those who didn't follow him is even mroe amazing.

I'm sorry you simply do not understand how ancient history Works.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Rommon

Noa Rodman

Not really, Christian antisemitic tradition on the other hand does, which is why I objected to it.

Actaully no ... actual historical scholarship AND many Jewish scholars say it's refering to Jesus of Nazareth killed by Pontius Pilate .... But either way it's 100% irrelevant to the historicity of Jesus.

Many scholars say it's not referring to the Christian Jesus. Carrier just mentions that the Talmud dates the story a century off (ie before Christ), that's not controversial I think. That only because of this reason it refers to a different Jesus is not argued btw.

There IS plently of evidence, eye witness traditions are in the synoptics. The gospels, the epistles, the Growth of his movement, pagan Sources and so on and so forth.

Not only that you have the gospels, Paul, and Tacitus, Pliny and so on ...

What eye witness traditions in the synoptics? Do you believe there are eye witness accounts?

The growth of the Christian movement is no evidence, neither are the gospels. There are no pagan sources for Jesus. Tacitus was also a possible later interpolation.

There are not "tons" of writings from that time ... not compared to what was actually going on that that time.

The writings we do have about Jesus are from People who cared enough to Write about him, i.e. those who followed him, the fact that we have several of those is amazing, the fact that we have several from those who didn't follow him is even mroe amazing.

Yes there are plenty of these apocryphal materials (+Qumran etc), just a few decades after Jesus, and they survived. We can rule out a miraculous increase in literacy between Jesus's time and a century or so later. So many after Jesus, yet none during his life or by contemporary eyewitnesses.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa Rodman

Many scholars say it's not referring to the Christian Jesus. Carrier just mentions that the Talmud dates the story a century off (ie before Christ), that's not controversial I think. That only because of this reason it refers to a different Jesus is not argued btw.

Well ... I don't know what scholars you're Reading, but the majority do. Dates are not gonna really fit, especially when you're talking hundreds of years of a gap.

What eye witness traditions in the synoptics? Do you believe there are eye witness accounts?

The growth of the Christian movement is no evidence, neither are the gospels. There are no pagan sources for Jesus. Tacitus was also a possible later interpolation.

There are stories in the synoptics which give evidence of being oral accounts of eye witness testimony, Richard Bauckham has done a lot of work on this demonstratinc such.

If you're gonna say EVERYTHING is an interpolation (Tacitus, Pliny, the Whole of Josephus, Seutoneus) you're going aganst the vast vast majority of scholarship on the issue, and just saying such doesn't mean anything, what evidence is there for calling it an interpolatoin?

Yes the gospels are evidence ... they are early written srouces, as is the Growth of the Christian movement since it's a historical phenomenon With a cause.

Yes there are plenty of these apocryphal materials (+Qumran etc), just a few decades after Jesus, and they survived. We can rule out a miraculous increase in literacy between Jesus's time and a century or so later. So many after Jesus, yet none during his life or by contemporary eyewitnesses.

[/quote]

What are you talking about? Qumran materials are mostly BEFORE Jesus and have nothing to do With Jesus or Christianity.

you're really just showing an absolute ignorance of how ancient history is done. A miraculous increase in literacy? What are you talking about ... the writers of the gospels were using oral Sources, and they were within the Generation of the eye witnesses.

Why the hell would ANYBODY Write about Jesus when he was alive? he only mattered in retrospect due to the movement that grew from his Death. If that's the standard for historicity in the ancient world, i.e. it has to be written before the person dies, and it has to be signed by eye witnesses (rather than use them as Sources), then you have no ancient history.

This is why you're basically at the Level of a holocause denier or a 911 conspiracy theorist ... you make up Your own standards for this specific historical question and then ignore all the actual evidence, or say it's been faked .... it's conspiratorial nonsense which is why NOBODY takes it seriously in historical scholarship.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There are stories in the synoptics which give evidence of being oral accounts of eye witness testimony, Richard Bauckham has done a lot of work on this demonstratinc such.

he's an exception though.

Qumran materials are mostly BEFORE Jesus and have nothing to do With Jesus or Christianity.

your first post:

It's a book I wrote which is a historical reconstruction of the events described in acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-37 using all the textual data (from the Qumran documents to the early church fathers to pagan sources)

--

A miraculous increase in literacy? What are you talking about ... the writers of the gospels were using oral Sources, and they were within the Generation of the eye witnesses.

Why the hell would ANYBODY Write about Jesus when he was alive? he only mattered in retrospect due to the movement that grew from his Death. If that's the standard for historicity in the ancient world, i.e. it has to be written before the person dies, and it has to be signed by eye witnesses (rather than use them as Sources), then you have no ancient history.

A generation of eye witnesses would be mostly death (considering the average life span then) by the time of the first writings. And even if they were still alive, since these alleged first poor followers would not be literate, they could also not check if what was written down was accurate.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is why you're basically at the Level of a holocause denier or a 911 conspiracy theorist ... you make up Your own standards for this specific historical question and then ignore all the actual evidence, or say it's been faked

Why not apply your standards to the claim that Christians made human sacrifices. No evidence required, let's just assume it's true because many people claimed it happened and why would people make up shit?

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On the supposed communist slogan of "each according to their ability", see Guesde's critique of it: http://www.marxistsfr.org/francais/guesde/works/1882/05/g18820514.htm

Fleur

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Believe what you will, I don't care, but comparing whether or not someone believes that some dude actually existed in first century Palestine actually existed to holocaust denial is really fucked up.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fleur

Believe what you will, I don't care, but comparing whether or not someone believes that some dude actually existed in first century Palestine actually existed to holocaust denial is really fucked up.

Not really, because the scholarly consensus is the same on both and those who oppose it resort to ignoring the evidence and making up conspiracy theories, while not at all understanding how history is done.

I'm not making a moral comparison, I'm making an intellectual one.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa Rodman

Why not apply your standards to the claim that Christians made human sacrifices. No evidence required, let's just assume it's true because many people claimed it happened and why would people make up shit?

Because Noa, there are Methods People use to figure out ancient history ... which if you don't care to actually study, but instead follow some crack pot conspiracy theorist who is rejected in the actual Field, it's really no point in having a conversation. It's really like trying to talk to a creationist about evolution, it's pointless.

Btw Qumran is relevant as context ...

If you're just gonna keep repeating "NO EVIDENCE" without actually looking at the evidence and what the scholarly literature is saying about it there is no point in talking to you ...

Btw, that link you posted in French, as far as I can tell doesn't deal With ANY of the actual history, scholarship or litrature on the issue .... But of course you're not interested in that.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

that link you posted in French, as far as I can tell doesn't deal With ANY of the actual history, scholarship or litrature on the issue .... But of course you're not interested in that.

It's a rejection of the slogan "each according to their ability" which you start your book with (quoting Marx). Shows I'm not a dogmatic Marxist, he made poor choices sometimes, like using this slogan.

I'm interested in the origin and development of Christianity. Kautsky dealt with that. Settling the question of the non-historicity of Jesus is just a starting point.

Auld-bod

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Rommon #97
‘I’m not making a moral comparison, I’m making as intellectual one.’

Ok, though I still think it is a very poor intellectual comparison.

From the little I know of the evidence that shows JC was a real person, I’d say that he probably did exist. Much like I think the extinction of most of the dinosaurs was prompted by a meteor hitting the earth. (The evidence supporting this has changed since I was at school – then it was argued it was probably a volcanic eruption.)

I fully believe the holocaust is a historical fact as the evidence is not only overwhelming, it has been personally authenticated to me by a workmate who was present when the Bergen-Belsen camp was liberated. Some of the stuff he told us I’ve never read in any history book – like the British officers threatening their soldiers with revolvers as many were outraged at what they were seeing. (I know there is film of American soldiers shooting some of the guards at one camp.)

There is a vast difference in the quality of the evidence between modern and ancient history.

Fleur

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Rommon on another thread:

Every position is a moral position, Anarchism is a moral position, Socialism is a moral position, the fight against exploitation and oppression are all moral positions.

But not this one, eh?

I have to admit, I find a long winded thread on theology and whether or not Jesus actually existed a bit of a weird thing to be happening on a libertarian communist website.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think the post did start off with a discussion on the historicity of early christain communism.

That was deemed a valid topic of discussion by our ‘elders’ and early Marxist fathers so I think it should be allowed as orthodoxy.

The post was split into the separate topic of the historicity of JC; by the anti historicity of Jesus people, I think?

Rommon and myself had fallen out on the possible antecedents of early Christian communist ideology.

With myself arguing for Greek cynic influence probably fused with a separate essene communism; which is relatively so well documented it must be very difficult to contest it.

Rommon was putting forward the argument that Greek cynicism wasn’t around in the first century, and or?, JC was hermetically ideologically sealed into a ideologically isolated Palestine.

Actually Jerusalem was anything but ideologically isolated; in the first century there was a ‘Jewish’ Diaspora who regularly made pilgrimages from all over the Roman Empire.

Which was in part what the possibly mythical overturning of the money changers tables about?

However when we look at early Christian ideology and the gospel documents and Acts (irrespective as to whether or not that was a fiction and whether or not it was a political novel like news from nowhere).

What it contains is some kind of ‘proto communist’ material re the condemnation of money and decadent wealth and the desire to accumulate it etc.

A raising of the social status of ‘poverty’; and even in Acts, at least material related to sharing things in common with ‘friends’.

So the question is was there anything like this kicking around elsewhere about that time that had maybe the same level of resemblance to early Christian communism as say the League of the Just communism had to the Marxist communism of twenty years later?

I think the following is interesting as it is attacking a wide range of economic relations and realities including money itself, interest on debt and even Karl’s ‘fictitious capital’

“…..letters of credit, promissory notes, and bonds, empty phantoms of property, ghosts of sick Avarice,….”

Seneca somewhat derails the subject by diverting it towards a discussion about communism amongst the ruling class eg Lycurgus.

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

- and this tract does require a bit of intelligent unpicking in general.

L. ANNAEUS SENECA,

ON BENEFITS

By Seneca

BOOK VII.

[We estimate a date of this or at least the part relevant to the cynic Demetrius as the reign of Caligula AD 37-41 ]

Had some god wished to give all our wealth to Demetrius on the fixed condition that he should not be permitted to give it away, I am sure that he would have refused to accept it, and would have said,

IX. "I do not intend to fasten upon my back a burden like this, of which I never can rid myself, nor do I, nimble and lightly equipped as I am, mean to hinder my progress by plunging into the deep morass of business transactions.

Why do you offer to me what is the bane of all nations? I would not accept it even if I meant to give it away, for I see many things which it would not become me to give.

I should like to place before my eyes the things which fascinate both kings and peoples, I wish to behold the price of your blood and your lives.

First bring before me the trophies of Luxury, exhibiting them as you please, either in succession, or, which is better, in one mass.

I see the shell of the tortoise, a foul and slothful brute, bought for immense sums and ornamented with the most elaborate care, the contrast of colours which is admired in it being obtained by the use of dyes resembling the natural tints. I see tables and pieces of wood valued at the price of a senator's estate, which are all the more precious, the more knots the tree has been twisted into by disease. I see crystal vessels, whose price is enhanced by their fragility, for among the ignorant the risk of losing things increases their value instead of lowering it, as it ought.

I see murrhine cups, for luxury would be too cheap if men did not drink to one another out of hollow gems the wine to be afterwards thrown up again. I see more than one large pearl placed in each ear; for now our ears are trained to carry burdens, pearls are hung from them in pairs, and each pair has other single ones fastened above it.

This womanish folly is not exaggerated enough for the men of our time, unless they hang two or three estates upon each ear. I see ladies' silk dresses, if those deserve to be called dresses which can neither cover their body or their shame; when wearing which, they can scarcely with a good conscience, swear that they are not naked. These are imported at a vast expense from nations unknown even to trade, in order that our matrons may show as much of their persons in public as they do to their lovers in private."

X. What are you doing, Avarice? see how many things there are whose price exceeds that of your beloved gold: all those which I have mentioned are more highly esteemed and valued.

I now wish to review your wealth, those plates of gold and silver which dazzle our covetousness. By Hercules, the very earth, while she brings forth upon the surface every thing that is of use to us, has buried these, sunk them deep, and rests upon them with her whole weight, regarding them as pernicious substances, and likely to prove the ruin of mankind if brought into the light of day.

I see that iron is brought out of the same dark pits as gold and silver, in order that we may lack neither the means nor the reward of murder. Thus far we have dealt with actual substances; but some forms of wealth deceive our eyes and minds alike.

I see there letters of credit, promissory notes, and bonds, empty phantoms of property, ghosts of sick Avarice, with which she deceives our minds, which delight in unreal fancies; for what are these things, and what are interest, and account books, and usury, except the names of unnatural developments of human covetousness?

I might complain of nature for not having hidden gold and silver deeper, for not having laid over it a weight too heavy to be removed: but what are your documents, your sale of time, your blood-sucking twelve per cent. interest? these are evils which we owe to our own will, which flow merely from our perverted habit, having nothing about them which can be seen or handled, mere dreams of empty avarice. Wretched is he who can take pleasure in the size of the audit book of his estate, in great tracts of land cultivated by slaves in chains, in huge flocks and herds which require provinces and kingdoms for their pasture ground, in a household of servants, more in number than some of the most warlike nations, or in a private house whose extent surpasses that of a large city!

After he has carefully reviewed all his wealth, in what it is invested, and on what it is spent, and has rendered himself proud by the thoughts of it, let him compare what he has with what he wants: he becomes a poor man at once.

"Let me go: restore me to those riches of mine. I know the kingdom of wisdom, which is great and stable: I possess every thing, and in such a manner that it belongs to all men nevertheless."

XI. When, therefore, Gaius Caesar [ Caligula reign AD 37-41 ] offered him two hundred thousand sesterces, he laughingly refused it, thinking it unworthy of himself to boast of having refused so small a sum. Ye gods and goddesses, what a mean mind must the emperor have had, if he hoped either to honour or to corrupt him. I must here repeat a proof of his magnanimity. I have heard that when he was expressing his wonder at the folly of Gaius at supposing that he could be influenced by such a bribe, he said, "If he meant to tempt me, he ought to have tried to do so by offering his entire kingdom."

End of Seneca “quoting” Demtrius

XII. It is possible, then, to give something to the wise man, although all things belong to the wise man. Similarly, though we declare that friends have all things in common, it is nevertheless possible to give something to a friend: for I have not everything in common with a friend in the same manner as with a partner, where one part belongs to him, and another to me, but rather as a father and a mother possess their children in common when they have two, not each parent possessing one child, but each possessing both. First of all I will prove that any chance would-be partner of mine has nothing in common with me: and why? Because this community of goods can only exist between wise men, who are alone capable of friendship: other men can neither be friends nor partners one to another.

In the next place, things may be owned in common in various ways. The knights' seats in the theatre belong to all the Roman knights; yet of these the seat which I occupy becomes my own, and if I yield it up to any one, although I only yield him a thing which we own in common, still I appear to have given him something. Some things belong to certain persons under particular conditions. I have a place among the knights, not to sell, or to let, or to dwell in, but simply to see the spectacle from, wherefore I do not tell an untruth when I say that I have a place among the knights' seats.

Yet if, when I come into the theatre, the knights' seats are full, I both have a seat there by right, because I have the privilege of sitting there, and I have not a seat there, because my seat is occupied by those who share my right to those places. Suppose that the same thing takes place between friends; whatever our friend possesses, is common to us, but is the property of him who owns it; I cannot make use of it against his will. "You are laughing at me," say you; "if what belongs to my friend is mine, I am able to sell it." You are not able; for you are not able to sell your place among the knights' seats, and yet they are in common between you and the other knights. Consequently, the fact that you cannot sell a thing, or consume it, or exchange it for the better or the worse does not prove that it is not yours; for that which is yours under certain conditions is yours nevertheless.

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3794/3794-h/3794-h.htm

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The following is a technical question for Rommon as he can read the original Greek , and totally separate from my previous post.

Is Origen changing his position here or do we have a more modern Christian interpolation into the commentary on Matthew?

Origen. Contra Celsus
BOOK I.

CHAP. XLVII.

And James is he whom Paul says in the Epistle to the Galatians that he saw, But other of the Apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother. Galatians 1:19 And to so great a reputation among the people for righteousness did this James rise, that Flavius Josephus, who wrote the Antiquities of the Jews in twenty books, when wishing to exhibit the cause why the people suffered so great misfortunes that even the temple was razed to the ground, said, that these things happened to them in accordance with the wrath of God in consequence of the things which they had dared to do against James the brother of Jesus who is called Christ. And the wonderful thing is, that, though he did not accept Jesus as Christ, he yet gave testimony that the righteousness of James was so great; and he says that the people thought that they had suffered these things because of James. And Jude,

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/101610.htm

Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (Book X)

CHAP. XLVII.

that these disasters happened to the Jews as a punishment for the death of James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus (called Christ),--the Jews having put him to death, although he was a man most distinguished for his justice. Paul, a genuine disciple of Jesus, says that he regarded this James as a brother of the Lord, not so much on account of their relationship by blood, or of their being brought up together, as because of his virtue and doctrine.

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/origen161.html

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

correction

Got my quotes the wrong way around.

…….of James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus (called Christ),--the Jews having put him to death, although he was a man most distinguished for his justice. Paul, a genuine disciple of Jesus, says that he regarded this James as a brother of the Lord, not so much on account of their relationship by blood, or of their being brought up together, as because of his virtue and doctrine……..

Is in contra celsum

And

………… James is he whom Paul says in the Epistle to the Galatians that he saw, But other of the Apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother. Galatians 1:19 And to so great a reputation among the people for righteousness did this James rise, that Flavius Josephus, who wrote the Antiquities of the Jews in twenty books, when wishing to exhibit the cause why the people suffered so great misfortunes that even the temple was razed to the ground, said, that these things happened to them in accordance with the wrath of God in consequence of the things which they had dared to do against James the brother of Jesus who is called Christ. And the wonderful thing is, that, though he did not accept Jesus as Christ, he yet gave testimony that the righteousness of James was so great; and he says that the people thought that they had suffered these things because of James. And Jude, who wrote a letter of few lines, it is true, but filled with the healthful words of heavenly grace, said in the preface, Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ and the brother of James. Jude 1 With regard to Joseph and Simon we have nothing to tell; but the saying, And His sisters are….

Is in Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (Book X)

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave B

The post was split into the separate topic of the historicity of JC; by the anti historicity of Jesus people, I think?

No, Rommon and you were blissfully dissing the "Carrier school". I just finally jumped in to point out that Rommon's comparison to Holocaust deniers is wrong. Strange why you would even need to attack the "mythicists", since what would the historicity of Jesus explain concerning your object of study (the practice of early Christians or origin of christianity)? It seems for Erhman the particular thing about Jesus' historicity that is important to explain the origin of Christianity (ie why none of the other Jewish dissident rabbis or miracle-men saw a movement arise in their wake), is the resurrection. Erhman's thinks that some people (of course just imagined) they saw him resurrected and from that Christianity developed. Seems a very weak explanation to me.
--
Anyway, some contemporary Christian group that bases itself on Acts: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hutterite#Community_ownership

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

OK

Maybe it was me and Rommon and I should have gone back and re read 100 posts.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

yeah, there are no anti-historicity people on this thread, just me, so would be easy to find, though your posts are a horror to read.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

……….Erhman's thinks that some people (of course just imagined) they saw him resurrected and from that Christianity developed. Seems a very weak explanation to me……..

I agree and I am not taking the idealist position of some kind of progressive development of theology.

There was something ‘superstructually’ ‘political’ about it that appealed to the socio economic position of an emerging ‘class’ in society.

Probably the post 6AD cash tax nexus and usury resulting in the expropriation of simple commodity producing peasants from the land to become wage slaves.

There was a parallel historical development in homeland Rome that Karl talked about re small Roman Peasants.

Elsewhere I suspect the ideological response took the form of mid Greek cynicism.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave B

Rommon and myself had fallen out on the possible antecedents of early Christian communist ideology.

With myself arguing for Greek cynic influence probably fused with a separate essene communism; which is relatively so well documented it must be very difficult to contest it.

Rommon was putting forward the argument that Greek cynicism wasn’t around in the first century, and or?, JC was hermetically ideologically sealed into a ideologically isolated Palestine.

Actually Jerusalem was anything but ideologically isolated; in the first century there was a ‘Jewish’ Diaspora who regularly made pilgrimages from all over the Roman Empire.

Which was in part what the possibly mythical overturning of the money changers tables about?

However when we look at early Christian ideology and the gospel documents and Acts (irrespective as to whether or not that was a fiction and whether or not it was a political novel like news from nowhere).

What it contains is some kind of ‘proto communist’ material re the condemnation of money and decadent wealth and the desire to accumulate it etc.

A raising of the social status of ‘poverty’; and even in Acts, at least material related to sharing things in common with ‘friends’.

So the question is was there anything like this kicking around elsewhere about that time that had maybe the same level of resemblance to early Christian communism as say the League of the Just communism had to the Marxist communism of twenty years later?

There's no falling out; we dissagree, but I respect Your position, as I said it is not a stupid position, I don't agree With it and I find the evidence to point away from it, but that my no means implies that I don't respect Your position or I don't think you are well read on the subject and thoughtful (you clearly are).

My argument wasn't that Palestine was culturally Sealed in the first Century, just that Cynicism wasn't part of the influence.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fleur

But not this one, eh?

I have to admit, I find a long winded thread on theology and whether or not Jesus actually existed a bit of a weird thing to be happening on a libertarian communist website.

I said the comparison isn't a moral comparison, that that my position is an a-moral position, anyway this isn't a political position, it's a question about history.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Auld-bod

Rommon #97
From the little I know of the evidence that shows JC was a real person, I’d say that he probably did exist. Much like I think the extinction of most of the dinosaurs was prompted by a meteor hitting the earth. (The evidence supporting this has changed since I was at school – then it was argued it was probably a volcanic eruption.)

I fully believe the holocaust is a historical fact as the evidence is not only overwhelming, it has been personally authenticated to me by a workmate who was present when the Bergen-Belsen camp was liberated. Some of the stuff he told us I’ve never read in any history book – like the British officers threatening their soldiers with revolvers as many were outraged at what they were seeing. (I know there is film of American soldiers shooting some of the guards at one camp.)

There is a vast difference in the quality of the evidence between modern and ancient history.

The point is the historical certainty based on the evidence we expect compared to the evidence we have.

The evidence we have for Jesus far outweighs the evidence we would expect (and no I don't mean by evidence just the writings, I mean the writings after being critically examined), the same goes with the holocaust.

The ONLY way to get around the evidence in both those cases is to basically insist that everything was carefully manufactured to deveive everyone, or just make up standards of "historicity" as you along.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa Rodman

I'm interested in the origin and development of Christianity. Kautsky dealt with that. Settling the question of the non-historicity of Jesus is just a starting point.

It's not a question in serious scholarship, at all.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The ONLY way to get around the evidence in both those cases is to basically insist that everything was carefully manufactured to deveive everyone, or just make up standards of "historicity" as you along.

The Church due to its basic monopoly on literacy could get away with interpolation of passages, which in case of Josephus you admit. Moreover there are the manipulations in the Gospels/Christian writings themselves. There is no such manipulation possible of a mass event in modern times, the odd fake survivor account doesn't cast doubt on the whole and isn't done in order to prove it either.

I am rather conservative theologically myself, I am a sola/tota scriptura Christian.

So you believe that Jesus really was resurrected?

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa Rodman

The Church due to its basic monopoly on literacy could get away with interpolation of passages, which in case of Josephus you admit. Moreover there are the manipulations in the Gospels/Christian writings themselves. There is no such manipulation possible of a mass event in modern times, the odd fake survivor account doesn't cast doubt on the whole and isn't done in order to prove it either.

1. The manuscripts of Josephus we have are very late, not so With New Testament manuscripts ... and we have syriac and arabic translations of Josephus without the interpolations, even With Josephus. ... by the way ... we KNOW about interpolations

2. They Church didn't have a monopoly on anything until very late antiquity or the early middle ages, the early manuscripits we have are from the persecuted Church.

3. New Testament Textual critics have basically reconstructed the New Testament completely, the NA28 is the latest incarnation of that, the text has SO many Sources, from SO many different lines, that it wouuld be impossible to actually manipulate.

Modern texts can just be manipulated by the Publisher, it would be really easy as you don't have lines of texts being hand copied all over the world so you can see if someone changed Things here or there.

This is what the Field of textual criticism does ... But look, to be honest I really don't want to continue this discussion ... if you're going to the entire Field of ancient history, early christianity scholarship, and just say they are all wrong; you should at least learn about the actual subject ... it's obvious you haven't; so there's really no point in arguing With you about this.

So you believe that Jesus really was resurrected?

Yeah, but that has nothing to do With the historical Jesus or historical studies.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

They Church didn't have a monopoly on anything until very late antiquity or the early middle ages, the early manuscripits we have are from the persecuted Church.

To connect this with the point on low literacy that Khawaga brought up, in order to justify the lack of contemporary documents (in the immediate aftermath, the 30-70 period): I asked, but then how come there are so many early manuscripts just after this period (I take the year 70 as the earliest Gospel), if the early Christians couldn't write or read? We can rule out that literacy suddenly increased. If more literate people only later joined the group of initially illiterate Christians, enabling them to write down their accounts, then how could these illiterates (supposing they were still alive 40 years later) even check or control what the more educated people were up to. Isn't it at least just as likely that an initial educated group first started a religious following by inventing the premise of someone named Jesus, ie only later illiterate followers took their word for it (based on their authority as educated persons), with the educated group later splitting among themselves into several sects.

the text has SO many Sources, from SO many different lines, that it wouuld be impossible to actually manipulate.

"Alleged" sources, and as Carrier points out, it's the same with the various Hadiths about Mohammad, all claiming to be handed down from older sources.

It would be impossible to get the story straight, not impossible to start with the invention of a most simple premise (ie the existence of someone, named Jesus, perhaps the only thing the various stories agree upon). The premise of the holocaust is more difficult to invent: the particular murder of millions of people of which we have birth-certificates etc.

Modern texts can just be manipulated by the Publisher, it would be really easy as you don't have lines of texts being hand copied all over the world so you can see if someone changed Things here or there.

I had in mind eg a Tacitus or Josephus, such documents that survive only due to the Church.

But look, to be honest I really don't want to continue this discussion ...

there's really no point in arguing With you about this.

You or Dave brought up the dispute (for which, again, I even see no reason, as the historicity of Jesus is irrelevant to the object of study - practice of early Christian communities) and you continue to call one side's reasoning comparable to holocaust-deniers.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa Rodman

To connect this with the point on low literacy that Khawaga brought up, in order to justify the lack of contemporary documents (in the immediate aftermath, the 30-70 period): I asked, but then how come there are so many early manuscripts just after this period (I take the year 70 as the earliest Gospel), if the early Christians couldn't write or read? We can rule out that literacy suddenly increased. If more literate people only later joined the group of initially illiterate Christians, enabling them to write down their accounts, then how could these illiterates (supposing they were still alive 40 years later) even check or control what the more educated people were up to. Isn't it at least just as likely that an initial educated group first started a religious following by inventing the premise of someone named Jesus, ie only later illiterate followers took their word for it (based on their authority as educated persons), with the educated group later splitting among themselves into several sects.

Literacy was not as low as some scholars have claimed (recent studies on Things like street art, buisiness docuements and the such show that mnay People required a measure of litaracy to live).

Christianity (like Judaism) was a literary religion, however unlike Judaism it was, more the most part, illigal; so the scribes that DID exist copied the manuscripts as much as they could, the earliest ones that survived were in Egypt (where a ton of Things survive because of the climate.

We know it wasn't always the most educated People copying because of the writing, but we do know they copied furiously.

It's not at all likely that educated People would invent someone within their generation and then sell it to the People IN the area where that person supposedly walked, and then couldn't get their story straight, Christianity started in Judea and Galilee ... very early on.

And the earliest materials in the gospel are the least philosophically sophisticated, and most likely to be drawn from peasant oral traiditions (mark and Q).

"Alleged" sources, and as Carrier points out, it's the same with the various Hadiths about Mohammad, all claiming to be handed down from older sources.

It would be impossible to get the story straight, not impossible to start with the invention of a most simple premise (ie the existence of someone, named Jesus, perhaps the only thing the various stories agree upon). The premise of the holocaust is more difficult to invent: the particular murder of millions of people of which we have birth-certificates etc.

If you can create a plausable narrative for how People invented Jesus (within his generation in Judea and Galilee) and got away With it, making it look like the remnants of a peasant prophet and his followers' memories, and no one caught them, go Ahead.

And no, not alleged Sources, the actual texts are pretty established.

Again, there is a reason Your theory is viewed as crack pot nonsense by the actual scholarly community.

I had in mind eg a Tacitus or Josephus, such documents that survive only due to the Church.

Again we have Josephus outside the Christian world; and scholars can do Textual Criticism on all the Greco Roman literature.

But if you just want to throw out all of Roman textual history have at it.

You or Dave brought up the dispute (for which, again, I even see no reason, as the historicity of Jesus is irrelevant to the object of study - practice of early Christian communities) and you continue to call one side's reasoning comparable to holocaust-deniers.

Because that side makes ridiculous claims without actually looking at the scholarship, and then just throws away all the evidence apriori; and then build up conspiracy theories completely ignoring the insane impluasability of them, it's the exact same thing holocaust deniers do.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's not at all likely that educated People would invent someone within their generation and then sell it to the People IN the area where that person supposedly walked, and then couldn't get their story straight, Christianity started in Judea and Galilee ... very early on.

The area would be Jerusalem, just like urban legends are invented in the city where they are supposed to have taken place. Kautsky grants that

THERE IS NO REASON whatever to doubt the statement in the Acts of the Apostles that the first communistic Messiah community was formed in Jerusalem. However, communities soon came into existence in other cities with a Jewish proletariat.

Note that very quickly most Christian communities arose outside Judea, where it would be easier to make up more incredible stories.

But what can we say about the Jerusalem community?

[quote=Kautsky]Five thousand organized members would have been something very striking in Jerusalem, and Josephus would certainly have taken notice of something so powerful. The community must have been quite insignificant as a matter of fact for all its contemporaries to have let it pass unnoticed.[/quote]

(btw, Kautsky is countering a critique by a certain doctor of theology "A.K." disputing the early communist practice)

And how long did this original Christian community, if it even existed, survive in Jerusalem? Paul (allegedly) still visited a congress in Jerusalem:

[quote=Kautsky]Now the apostles and elders come together, the party leaders as it were. Peter and James make conciliatory speeches, and finally it is decided to send Judas Barsabas and Silas, likewise “chief men among the brethren”, to Syria to tell the brethren there: “It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication.”

The leaders gave up the circumcision of Gentile proselytes. Charitable work however must not be neglected: “Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do,” is how Paul tells it in his Epistle to the Galatians (2, verse 10).

Charity and mutual aid appealed equally to Jewish and Gentile Christians; that was not a moot point. For that reason it is little mentioned in their literature, which is almost exclusively polemical. It is incorrect to conclude from the rarity of these references that it played no part in primitive Christianity; it simply played no part in Christianity’s internal divisions. These continued despite all attempts at conciliation.
...

After the congress of Jerusalem which we have just mentioned, the Acts have Paul make a propaganda trip through Greece, still preaching to the Gentiles. On his return to Jerusalem, he reports to his comrades on the success of his agitation.

“And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs” (Acts 21, verses 20f.).

He is now asked to clear himself of the charge and show that he was still a pious Jew. He is willing to do this, but is prevented by an uprising of the Jews against him; they want to kill him as a traitor to their nation. The Roman government takes him into a sort of protective custody and finally sends him to Rome; there he can carry on his agitation unmolested, not as in Jerusalem:
[/quote]

Is there any evidence of a Christian community in Jerusalem after the destruction of the Temple?

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

According to Josephus they trashed the place and there was hardly anything left.

CHAPTER 1. HOW THE ENTIRE CITY OF JERUSALEM WAS DEMOLISHED, EXCEPTING THREE TOWERS; AND HOW TITUS COMMENDED HIS SOLDIERS IN A SPEECH MADE TO THEM, AND DISTRIBUTED REWARDS TO THEM AND THEN DISMISSED MANY OF THEM.

NOW as soon as the army had no more people to slay or to plunder, because there remained none to be the objects of their fury, (for they would not have spared any, had there remained any other work to be done,) Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and temple, but should leave as many of the towers standing as were of the greatest eminency; that is, Phasaelus, and Hippicus, and Mariamne; and so much of the wall as enclosed the city on the west side. This wall was spared, in order to afford a camp for such as were to lie in garrison, as were the towers also spared, in order to demonstrate to posterity what kind of city it was, and how well fortified, which the Roman valor had subdued; but for all the rest of the wall, it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited. This was the end which Jerusalem came to by the madness of those that were for innovations; a city otherwise of great magnificence, and of mighty fame among all mankind..

https://www.ccel.org/ccel/josephus/complete.iii.viii.i.html

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa Rodman

The area would be Jerusalem, just like urban legends are invented in the city where they are supposed to have taken place. Kautsky grants that

So why would they invent Jesus, within his Lifetime, and talk about his Brother who was alive at the time, and People who would have saw him, and even talk about him being executed by Pontius Pilate who was still alive, and talk about him being from Galilee, specifically Nazareth?

What's the evidence that this would even be possible?

Note that very quickly most Christian communities arose outside Judea, where it would be easier to make up more incredible stories.

But what can we say about the Jerusalem community?

[quote=Kautsky]Five thousand organized members would have been something very striking in Jerusalem, and Josephus would certainly have taken notice of something so powerful. The community must have been quite insignificant as a matter of fact for all its contemporaries to have let it pass unnoticed.

(btw, Kautsky is countering a critique by a certain doctor of theology "A.K." disputing the early communist practice)
[/quote]

NOBODY takes the numbers recorded in Luke as literal, he exaggerates ... no one (in serious scholarship) disputes this.

Josephus DOES talk about James the Brother of Jesus as assumes that People know that he was the head of a large movement.

The other Place Christianity grew quickly early on was Galilee, where Jesus was from.

What about the Egyptian rebel?

What about Jesus Ben Ananias?

All of these People were much more significant in their Lifetimes than Jesus, yet we only have one Source for them.

This is just further evidence that Kautsky isn't really a Source on the issue, he isn't a New Testament scholar ... you might as well ask some Baptist Pastor about evolutionary biology ... what he says is irrelevant.

And how long did this original Christian community, if it even existed, survive in Jerusalem? Paul (allegedly) still visited a congress in Jerusalem:

It lasted a long time, after 70 it shrank significantly, after 130 it shrank even more.

Is there any evidence of a Christian community in Jerusalem after the destruction of the Temple?

various later historians record them there, usually as Nazareans or Ebionites, Paulene Christianity was never big there.

You have even in the early Amidah a curse on the Nazareans.

But listen, this is a really bullshit move a lot of mythecists do ... they point out problematic passages in the NT, unbelievable Things, and then think that this is evidence that the Whole thing is a myth .... People who do that simply do not understand how ancient history is done or how ancient texts were written and read.

I suggest, if you are interested in the subject, you read ACTUAL historians of early Christianity, ACTUAL near east historians, and ACTUAL New testament scholars. Not Kausky, who I'm sure is a great Marxist theoritician, but a terrible historian when it comes to Christianity. He simply doesn't know what he's talking about.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

why would they ... talk about his Brother who was alive at the time,

The life and murder of a James by the high priest (sadduccee) Ananus (or Hanan)(as told in Josephus) would be dated before the earliest Gospel (which Kautsky places after the destruction of the Temple in 73).
[quote=sceptical site]
In the New Testament writing, Jesus is said to have brothers and sisters and one of them is James. There is, however, nowhere any indication that he was killed. There is a mention in Acts 12:1-3 of another James, the brother of John who was put to the sword by Herod Agrippa I, shortly before his death in 44 C.E. The Acts are considered to be written ca 85 C.E. therefore, if the James of Acts were the same as James of Josephus, he would be mentioned in there. There is no independent identification of the James from Josephus with James of the New Testament writings, the brother of Jesus. [/quote]

Josephus doesn't say that James was the head of a large movement.

[quote=wiki]Josephus reports that Hanan's act was widely viewed as little more than judicial murder and offended a number of "those who were considered the most fair-minded people in the City, and strict in their observance of the Law", who went so far as to arrange a meeting with Albinus as he entered the province in order to petition him successfully about the matter. In response, King Agrippa II replaced Ananus with Jesus son of Damneus.[/quote]

Unlike Kautsky, I think we should be careful to assume anything about an original Christian community in Jerusalem (Kautsky spoke just about "first communistic Messiah community").

But does the invention of the figure of Jesus by some original group require that everyone of this group be located in Jerusalem at the start? We are told that already before Paul's conversion, there were Christians in Damascus. Why couldn't the original group have started in Alexandria or Antioch? There is no indication that the Gospel-writers were in Jerusalem. They could invent some Christian leaders like James and a Christian community in Jerusalem, which by the time Acts was written, would be already insignificant. That smallness seems also a good reason to place the story in Jerusalem.

Khawaga

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa, you're clearly out of your element and your arguments reek of dogma. You're better off discussing decadence theory.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Khawaga

Noa, you're clearly out of your element and your arguments reek of dogma. You're better off discussing decadence theory.

wow, speak for yourself, I read Josephus as a teenager.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

felt some sympathy with the sicari

Khawaga

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Compared to Rommon and Dave B, you clearly have not as good of a grasp on this as they do, but you still hold up Kautsky as an authority. Even I know that using him for this particular debate isn't the best.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't argue from authority. In any case, on the actual subject of early Christian practice he stands on the viewpoint that it was communist, so I do not see what Rommon has newly discovered.

Khawaga

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's not in anything new, but in the way you judge what is "authoritative" in terms of sources. In any case, anyone arguing about ancient history will have to argue from authority, that is unavoidable. It's not your arguments I take issue with, but your dealing with evidence. .

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Lets not start getting nasty.

Some of us are on a learning curve.

As to Kautsky.

There is a load of material that Kautsky doesn’t appear to have.

Epistle of Barnabas is one?

That would have been interesting as it has a proto labour theory of value in it as well as communism.

Didache is another that first surfaced in the late 1800’s and it is a really important document.

I found this stuff out for myself by just trawling through early church document stuff, really hard work because there is so much shit,

Like when I read through 50 F**king volumes of Lenin that took me the best part of a year.

On this there is no magic book that I have that I am plagisrising from.

As to it being a large movement I disagree and derive my working hypothesis from Celsus.

Some Bolshie peasant comes back from Egypt after having experience wage labour.

And starts causing a little bit of trouble for a year or so.

The state ignores it a first until it looks like it might get out of control and become serious when he attracts audiences of five thousand.

Who probably think he is a super human or something.

So they pull him in put him in the clink and slap him around a bit.

The chronology of the passion narrative is obviously a load of bollocks with him being whisked around Jeruslaem to be interrogated by the priest class, Pilate, Herod and then pilate again in 24 hours or so.

He can’t seem to miraculously get out of jail like Paul did either.

His five thousand ‘followers’ get pissed off and now think he is another fake and regretted having put the money into the collection box.

That kind of thing ie self agrandising political agitators with a bit of Darren Brown magic thrown must have been happening all over the roman empire hundreds of times.

Sold out again, another Barack Obama , Donald Trump and Greek Syriza.

Come crucifixion the disillusioned mob including several of his former supporters howl for his execution.

Actually as to a miraculous escape and why not? that is part of Celsum’s more contemporary argument.

And you see it in the Gospel stuff as well when they miss-hear him and think he is calling on Elijah to come and rescue him and they are going to see something really interesting happen; but no.

The disappointment is complete.

The remnants of the faithful go underground and are in hiding and terrified and disillusioned.

It was all a sham.

BOOK I.
CHAP. XLVI.

But how can this Jew of Celsus escape the charge of falsehood, when he says that Jesus,

"when on earth, gained over to himself only ten sailors and tax-gatherers of the most worthless character, and not even the whole of these?"

Now it is certain that the Jews themselves would admit that He drew over not ten persons merely, nor a hundred, nor a thousand, but on one occasion five thousand at once, and on another four thousand;

So Celsus says it was a small movement and Origen says that the Jews say that up to five thousand people attended one of his talks.

As to what happened to the Jerusalem Christians there is some material of questionable authenticity, that they escaped Vespasians assault on Jerusalem buy legging it to some place in modern day Jordan beginning with P. , Perea or something like that.

An angel told them to get out, like you needed advice like that after the Jewish rebellion.

You wouldn’t have seen me exit for the dust.

Good luck with the Paris Commune and national liberation stuff lads, you are real heroes, but unfortunately I have to leave to look after my sick mother in the Seychelles.

It is quite amazing how stupid the analysis of the gospel stuff can be from the materialists.

Like it must have been written after AD 70 because Jesus predicted that Jerusalem was going to get trashed and get the Warsaw uprising treatment.

And of course predictions like that are either metaphysical or introduced after the event.

[I have another prophesy argument on hold here that strongly suggests that part of the gospel stuff was written contemporaneously.

The mythycists won’t touch it with a barge pole and neither will the Christians, but I am a materialists. ]

So presumably Fred was inspired by God when he wrote to Vera ‘trigger’ Zasulich when he said that there would be a Blanquist inspired Russian revolution that would turn into a load of shit.

Brilliant JC as a political analyst in AD30; the ‘Jews’ would revolt, again, and do what they always do with their Pax Romana.

As to the authorship of the gospel stuff etc there is again some questionable stuff below filtered through Eusebius who was and intellectual idiot and forger.

He is almost certainly the culprit for interfering with the testonomium Flavius thing.

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

Pick through it if you want but I prefer to just throw this kind of stuff before disappearing up your own arsehole.

The stuff about an early semi literate Matthew having written something in a Hebrew dialect might be interesting.

You can sort of imagine something having been written phonetically using an ‘inappropriate’? alphabet an leaving others to sort it out later.

Thus ?;

From The New Testament in Scots (William Laughton Lorimer 1885–1967) Mathew:1:18ff
This is the storie o the birth o Jesus Christ. His mither Mary wis trystit til Joseph, but afore they war mairriet she wis fund tae be wi bairn bi the Halie Spírit. Her husband Joseph, honest man, hed nae mind tae affront her afore the warld an wis for brakkin aff their tryst hidlinweys; an sae he wis een ettlin tae dae, whan an angel o the Lord kythed til him in a draim an said til him, “Joseph, son o Dauvit, be nane feared tae tak Mary your trystit wife intil your hame; the bairn she is cairrein is o the Halie Spírit. She will beir a son, an the name ye ar tae gíe him is Jesus, for he will sauf his fowk frae their sins.”
Aa this happent at the wurd spokken bi the Lord throu the Prophet micht be fulfilled: Behaud, the virgin wil bouk an beir a son, an they will caa his name Immanuel – that is, “God wi us”.
Whan he hed waukit frae his sleep, Joseph did as the angel hed bidden him, an tuik his trystit wife hame wi him. But he bedditna wi her or she buir a son; an he caa’d the bairn Jesus.

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

Actually you just about make sense of that.

It is worse in Walter Scott and Thomas Hardy Novels, read them all, where dialogue is introduced and you have no idea of what is going on or is being said.

I think when it comes to this kind of thing it is of limited use walking around the cesspit and commenting on it.

You have to summon up the courage and jump in and have faith that you will be able to climb out it again and not loose yourself; and then think about it.

I am provoking Rommon here on a Demetruis inclusion into Luke as well as a Democritus inclusion in John ?

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

rommon's book has arrived and I can pick it up in a couple of days

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Like it must have been written after AD 70 because Jesus predicted that Jerusalem was going to get trashed

I don't commit to a post-70 date for Mark, it could be written a few years before. My point was that it was written already after the life and murder of a James in Jerusalem, so nobody could check with James if he had a brother called Jesus who did all those things, since James would be death already.

ajjohnstone

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I for one accept that i am one of those less versed in knowledge but i don't fear exposing my ignorance with a question of two.

First and foremost, what can we say about John the Baptist and JC relationship with him and is he the link between the Essenes and JC's teachings?

Once again we have Josephus confirming the gospels and Acts claims for his existence and are they in harmony with one another's understanding of him

As we all know, ideas don't fall from the sky and usually have many antecedents that evolve and he does seem to be absent from these exchanges.

How much is there to be derived from what the John the Baptist preached and JC and the messages being conveyed by followers of both. How distinct were these two figures historically for the local people? Did the separate communities merge?

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa Rodman .... I'm gonna end the discussion here ... suffice to say, you simply are out of Your element, you constantly display Your ignorance on how ancient history is done, the actual Sources, and historical Critical Methods ... I'm not here to debate With someone who doesn't know what he's talking about. There is a reason why NOBODY in actual New testament scholarship, early christianity scholarship or any relevant Field doubts the historicity of Jesus (a Whole bunch of them are atheist as well) ... and that's because the evidence is overwhelming.

ajjohnstone

First and foremost, what can we say about John the Baptist and JC relationship with him and is he the link between the Essenes and JC's teachings?

We know that John Baptised Jesus, and that Jesus was heavily influenced by John. As far as the link between the Essenes and John/Jesus, we have no concrete evidence other than parallels, I think a very good case can be made that John was directly influenced by the Essenes.

Jesus parts With them however on many Things, he is not really into purity all that much, he worships at the temple (although he sees it as corrupt), and he is a lot more inclusive.

Once again we have Josephus confirming the gospels and Acts claims for his existence and are they in harmony with one another's understanding of him

As we all know, ideas don't fall from the sky and usually have many antecedents that evolve and he does seem to be absent from these exchanges.

We have agreement on a core of issues, and the derevation on other issues. For example we have Clear evidence that Matthew had a different theology to Luke; yet they agree on the main issues, (basic teaching, eschatology, Death and so on), but dissagree on many details and other Things.

Josephus (once you take out the interpolation), basically accounts for Jesus as just another one of the prophets that had an impact, and puts more emphasis on James (who probably ended up being more popular in his Lifetime than Jesus was during his; Jesus' Death caused a movement, but only a small one of his followers, James' Death caused the removal of a high priest).

I'd say the basic core of this historical Jesus would be Q and Mark, and I would take most of the Q material from Luke. Of course that isn't everything, and there are stuff in both those Sources that cannot be confirmed as historical; but it's a good Place to start to get a somewhat accurate view of the historical Jesus and his teachings.

How much is there to be derived from what the John the Baptist preached and JC and the messages being conveyed by followers of both. How distinct were these two figures historically for the local people? Did the separate communities merge?

There are followers of John the Baptist Down to this day, they're called Manechians, but they are more gnostics who appropriated John than actualy descendants of John's followers (much like the gnostics who appropraited Jesus).

As far as whether the communities merged, I have no idea, there is good reason to believe that a lot of the first Christians came from the Essenes, and that after John the Baptists Death some of his followers joined With Jesus, but likely what happened With most of them is when John the Baptist died they just went home.

John the Baptist was likely more popular during his Lifetime than Jesus was, he was a known and respected figure among the peasants, Jesus was likely seen as a kind of copycat figure; he was probably known in Galilee, Galilee was a hotbed of prophetic Activity (read revolutionary Activity), but in Judea what put him on the map was his shenanigans in the temple, which is what got him killed.

Had it not been for his followers continuing after his Death (which was not common for messianic movements) we would have probably never heard of him, or perhaps only from a sentance or two from Josephus saying there was a guy who went around claiming to be the annointed one doing miracles and teaching who got punished for disrespecting the temple, or something like that, if anything.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave B

Some Bolshie peasant comes back from Egypt after having experience wage labour.

And starts causing a little bit of trouble for a year or so.

The state ignores it a first until it looks like it might get out of control and become serious when he attracts audiences of five thousand.

Who probably think he is a super human or something.

So they pull him in put him in the clink and slap him around a bit.

The chronology of the passion narrative is obviously a load of bollocks with him being whisked around Jeruslaem to be interrogated by the priest class, Pilate, Herod and then pilate again in 24 hours or so.

He can’t seem to miraculously get out of jail like Paul did either.

His five thousand ‘followers’ get pissed off and now think he is another fake and regretted having put the money into the collection box.

That kind of thing ie self agrandising political agitators with a bit of Darren Brown magic thrown must have been happening all over the roman empire hundreds of times.

There's no way Jesus had 5000 followers (the gospels are clearly exagurating), he at most had like 25-50 followers, on and off, and some more who heard about his exorcisms and his teachings and thought he was a good dude.

I have no idea if Jesus went to Egypt or not, Celsus records that he was was believed to have done so. There are a few possible explanations.

1. He did, but if he did it must have been for a short time (no more than a year or two), since he was known as the Nazarean.
2. It was a way to blacken his name, i.e. he does exorcisms because of Egyptian Magic (by the way, historically he was known as a miracle worker, whether he was or not is a different issue, People in those times were thoroughly supernatural in their worldview).
3. It was a miss-interpretation of the birth narratives in their oral tradition form, that had him staying in Eygpt for longer.

I personally think it's either 1 or 2 (since Three is very unlikely given the fact that the Egypt story was probably a literary motif rather than an oral tradition, I VERY much doubt it has any oral origins).

But he would have experienced wage labor in Galilee any way in Sephora where he probably worked as a day laborer, no need to appeal to Egypt for that.

That passion narratives have to be examined carefully and not taken at face value of course, but I do think historical data can be retrieved from them.

Sold out again, another Barack Obama , Donald Trump and Greek Syriza.

Come crucifixion the disillusioned mob including several of his former supporters howl for his execution.

Actually as to a miraculous escape and why not? that is part of Celsum’s more contemporary argument.

And you see it in the Gospel stuff as well when they miss-hear him and think he is calling on Elijah to come and rescue him and they are going to see something really interesting happen; but no.

The disappointment is complete.

The remnants of the faithful go underground and are in hiding and terrified and disillusioned.

Again, we have to take the trial narratives With a grain of salt historically, ESPECIALLY from John. The People who wanted Jesus dead were those who needed the Temple institution to keep going, the high priesthood, the aristocracy and so on, it wasn't his followers who wanted him dead.

His followers were the ones that kept his movement going to declaring that he had been ressurected.

Jesus WAS seen as a sellout to the Zealot types though, but that's not what got him killed, what got him killed was what he did in the temple.

You can go around preaching Peace and love all you want, it's when you touch Peoples profits and priviledge that People start to get angry; that's when he got noticed by the authorities, you can't just overturn the tables of bankers, declare out loud that they are corrupt and start saying the temple is going to be destroyed and get away With it.

"when on earth, gained over to himself only ten sailors and tax-gatherers of the most worthless character, and not even the whole of these?"

Now it is certain that the Jews themselves would admit that He drew over not ten persons merely, nor a hundred, nor a thousand, but on one occasion five thousand at once, and on another four thousand;

So Celsus says it was a small movement and Origen says that the Jews say that up to five thousand people attended one of his talks.

Yeah, during his Lifetime his movement was small, it was only after that it grew; mainly due to the work of James his Brother and others who turned the movement into an actual community.

As to what happened to the Jerusalem Christians there is some material of questionable authenticity, that they escaped Vespasians assault on Jerusalem buy legging it to some place in modern day Jordan beginning with P. , Perea or something like that.

An angel told them to get out, like you needed advice like that after the Jewish rebellion.

You wouldn’t have seen me exit for the dust.

Yeah, you didn't need a Divine Message to know that it was time to get out of Dodge, also very likely the Zealots would have killed the Christians even if the Romans didn't destroy Jerusalem.

Not that we should think in modern terms, but it reminds me of the Spanish civil war, the Leninists would have killed the anarchists just as much as the fascists and republicans wanted to kill them. The Christians in Judea (who were Jews by the way) didn't support the temple, they didn't keep the strictest interpretation of the Law, and by this time they were starting to be friendly to gentiles; not something that the zealots would have looked kindly upon.

Like it must have been written after AD 70 because Jesus predicted that Jerusalem was going to get trashed and get the Warsaw uprising treatment.

And of course predictions like that are either metaphysical or introduced after the event.

[I have another prophesy argument on hold here that strongly suggests that part of the gospel stuff was written contemporaneously.

The mythycists won’t touch it with a barge pole and neither will the Christians, but I am a materialists. ]

I believe in prophesy and God and so on. But I don't think Jesus predicting that Jerusalem was going to get trashed required Divine intervention, he wasn't the only one, there were many People there saying the same thing, you didn't need to hear Gods voice to see that Things were not going well in Jerusalem, there were a lot of pissed People who wanted revolution, there was a ruling class that was totally comfortable ignoring them, and there was a Roman state who had just about had enough of the Jews. Had it not been for Herod and his lapdog dynasty Judea would have probably been ransacked a lot earlier.

The stuff about an early semi literate Matthew having written something in a Hebrew dialect might be interesting.

You can sort of imagine something having been written phonetically using an ‘inappropriate’? alphabet an leaving others to sort it out later.

I highly suggest Reading Richard Bauckham's "Jesus and the eyewitnesses", he does a lot of work on the fragments from Papias and the supposed Hebrew Matthew, I know 0 Hebrew and am somewhat ignorant of the subject of the Hebrew Version of Matthew so I can't comment on it myself, but Richard Bauckham makes a good case in my opinion that there was a Hebrew core to matthew.

I am provoking Rommon here on a Demetruis inclusion into Luke as well as a Democritus inclusion in John ?

Right now Im slowly but surely doing some work on the sermon on the plain and in doing that I'm looking at Mishnaic debates around economic issues and issues of violence (since I dont' speak Hebrew, only Greek, I have to have help, so it's taking a while).

I am familiar With John in that I've read it many times and am familiar With the basic theology and narrative, but I've only gone deeper into it (on a scholarly Level) because of theological (not historical) questions, I wish I had more time :).

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Rommon

Noa Rodman .... I'm gonna end the discussion here

I had already moved on to the actual subject, the first Christian communities (specifically the one in Jerusalem). And I replied to this claim of yours Rommon

Josephus DOES talk about James the Brother of Jesus as assumes that People know that he was the head of a large movement.

Josephus doesn't say that James was the head of a large movement, you're just reading that in to him. Moreover Josephus reports that the murder of James was done by one (sadduccee) high priest, not supported by the "most fair-minded people in the City, and strict in their observance of the Law", and these successfully petitioned the priest's removal. If James was the leader of a large Christian movement in Jerusalem, which would face disapproval or persecution by the non-Christian Jews, why would the latter disagree with his elimination?

Again, I think we should be careful to assume anything about an original Christian community in Jerusalem. Christianity spread rapidly first outside Judea (prior to Paul's conversion in the 30s we are told there were already Christians in Damascus, Paul's first letter to Thessalonians dates from 49-52). In any case having James and a Christian community in Jerusalem does little to account for the spread of Christianity. Paul visits the Jerusalem community only to be forced to flee. By the time Acts was written, it would be even less significant.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[quote=Noa Rodman]Rommon

Josephus doesn't say that James was the head of a large movement, you're just reading that in to him. Moreover Josephus reports that the murder of James was done by one (sadduccee) high priest, not supported by the "most fair-minded people in the City, and strict in their observance of the Law", and these successfully petitioned the priest's removal. If James was the leader of a large Christian movement in Jerusalem, which would face disapproval or persecution by the non-Christian Jews, why would the latter disagree with his elimination?

If many of the fair minded People supported James, it follows that he was well known, he was the Brother of Jesus the so called Christ, a title used before for Jesus of Nazareth in the un-interpolated Version.

The Christians prior to 70 C.E. WERE jews, they were a Jewish movement just like the Essenes or any other Jewish movement, they were persecuted not by non-Christian Jews, but by the ruling authorities.

Again, I think we should be careful to assume anything about an original Christian community in Jerusalem. Christianity spread rapidly first outside Judea (prior to Paul's conversion in the 30s we are told there were already Christians in Damascus, Paul's first letter to Thessalonians dates from 49-52). In any case having James and a Christian community in Jerusalem does little to account for the spread of Christianity. Paul visits the Jerusalem community only to be forced to flee. By the time Acts was written, it would be even less significant.

What accounts for the spread was the proselatizing of the apostles to the Despora Jews that visited Judea.

The Chrisitan Message was more popular with them than it was with native Judeans, you also had remenants of the Jesus movement in Galilee.

By the way, 20 years isn't nothing.

The origin of the movement in Jerusalem is assumed in Pauls letters whenever he talks on the subject, that's were the Pillars are, that's where the leadership is, that is the "home base." It's where acts Places the early movement, all of the gospels, and every latter tradition, as well as Josephus.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What accounts for the spread was the proselatizing of the apostles to the Despora Jews that visited Judea.

The Chrisitan Message was more popular with them than it was with native Judeans,

Mention or references of this (in the NT of course)?

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa Rodman

Mention or references of this (in the NT of course)?

You can deduce in from acts 2-4, the fact that that the account talks about pentacost being the time when everything kicked off, and the Whole speaking in tongues thing. Acts 6 puts the idea that a large amount of the widows were greek speaking, Chapter 8 talks about the spread to Semaria and Etheopia and so on.

Celsus (I think it was him or it could have been Trypho, I'll have to look it up) also made it a point that Judeans for the most part didn't buy the Message whereas outsiders did.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Not all outsiders, as Acts 6 mentions:

Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia—who began to argue with Stephen.

And Saul/Paul himself was an outsider.

The Jerusalem community didn't last long (perhaps a matter of months), for Acts 8 says they were persecuted (by Saul), and (except for the Apostles) all of them (eg also Philip) were scattered to Judea and Samaria (not clear if this includes the 3000 followers gained by the Pentacost event, perhaps those had already normally returned to their home abroad). Special mention is made of converts gained in Samaritan villages (does this mean then just Samaritans? they were not Jewish) and Philip baptising an Ethiopian.

-
btw, Carrier sees the James story in Josephus as accidental interpolation. Wish I had come up with it, because indeed it's notable that the next priest's name was also a Jesus (ben Damneus).

“the passage was never originally about Christ or Christians. It referred not to James the brother of Jesus Christ, but probably to James the brother of the Jewish high priest Jesus ben Damneus.”

the only intelligible reading of the story is that Ananus had James the brother of Jesus falsely accused and executed, and was punished for this by being disposed as High Priest and that James’ brother Jesus, son of Damneus, was appointed new High Priest: “In effect, Josephus was saying, ‘Ananus illegally executed the brother of Jesus, which got a reaction; for his crime, he was deposed and replaced by Jesus.’” (504) This Carrier, once again correctly, says is supported by the fact that the execution of Josephus’ James in no way, except for the stoning, corresponds to the Christian accounts of James’ death.

https://rogerviklund.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/richard-carriers-article-origen-eusebius-and-the-accidental-interpolation-in-josephus-jewish-antiquities-20-200/

potrokin

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm interested in what the believers think of other religions. Are you atheists when it comes to Hinduism and Islam for example? Do you only believe in 'Christ'?

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On Josephus and Acts.

It looks to me and others that the author of Acts, almost certainly the author of Luke as well, had a copy of Josephus as well and included some material from it.

There of ‘historical’ additions in Acts that look like ‘copy and pastes’ from material in Josephus.

Although they could have both been copy and pasting from something else.

I think ‘Luke’ of Acts getting material from Josephus accounts for the impossible nativity narrative in Luke.

If the nativity in Luke is not a later addition or prologue; Marcions 140AD version doesn’t have it.

And Tertullian probably writing around AD190 in his criticism of Marcions version doesn’t seem to give a line of umbrage to Marcions omission of it which we might have expected.

So ‘maybe’ it wasn’t in Tertullians Luke either.

Origen circa 230AD had it in his commentary on the gospel of Luke although Origen seems to not like or casts some doubt on Luke’s census of Quirinius date.

As if he understands the Richard Carrier argument.

Luke says that JC was born when a census was taken in the whole world or Roman empire and when Quirinius was governor in 6AD, who also held a census in Palestine only.

Thus it is bollocks, Richard Carrier does an excellent trashing of it and ‘the every word of it is true’ Christians squirm and wriggle hopelessly.

An alternative explanation is that it was generally understood that JC was born during an Augustus census of the Roman Empire.

There were two apparently in 23-22 BC and in 9-8 BC.

[I think there was another one later and there is some extra material about man, wife and dependents poll tax thing.]

It would have been a common kind of general dating tool especially for a later international movement.

Like the hand of God thing in 1986.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argentina_v_England_(1986_FIFA_World_Cup)

I was island hopping in Greece with my football hating girl friend and must have been the only person in the world who knew nothing of it; so it doesn’t always work.

So Luke around AD90 hears that, consults his Josephus and ‘falsely’ matches the 6AD Quirinius one with the Augustus one of say 9-8AD?

And carries on.

What struck me as ‘obvious’ in Contra Celsum is that both Celsus and Origen have a historical Judaic ‘anti christian’ document, probably they understand the same document, and both ‘knew’ it as something of some historical validity.

And although they were separated by time etc and it wasn’t a live forum debate it was as if.

It just looks to me like Origen knows exactly what Celsus has read re Juidaic criticism and he has it in front of himself as well.

I have found for myself first pass intuition useful later.

I even think the authors of the gospels may have used that material from it, putting their own spin on it, and that is where we have the five thousand numbers etc.

It could have been a source of the alleged Q document?

I also think the 180AD date for Celsus is unlikely as I think Tertullian, say around AD190 and Origen of say 230AD crossed over a bit and they corresponded?

I think Tertullian of circa 190AD would have known something about a Celsum’s 180AD document and thus so would Origen.

I prefer the circa AD120 date.

And Celsum, the erudite polymath, also I seem to remember, doesn’t appear to have the gospel of John but that was bouncing around circa 180AD.

There is a fragment in Manchester Palaeo-graphically dated to 125-175 CE.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rylands_Library_Papyrus_P52

I actually think the gospel story was happening over and over again all over the place.

At some point it was inevitable that it would happen again in a more literate and better recorded environment.

So that particular story of history repeating itself, and another Rosa being biffed over the head, is the narrative that survived.

One seminal story of working class heroes is as good as the next one, why do you need another one?

Rommon

I have just read the first 70 pages and will finish it off tomorrow.

The introduction was shit and you need to sack the proof reader.

It is quite good though and has got me thinking.

You are obviously approaching it from a different ‘model’ than me and I might have to read Graeber’s book on it; I think I understand the connection now.

I suspect we are going to have to do Fuerbachs Essence of Christianity, Karl’s 1844 philosophical manuscripts, Stirner , Fred’s and Karl’s German ideology and Darwin’s social instinct theory which precipitated the post 1880 Marxist idea and return to Fuerbach and 1844; christians could have been communists.

Professor Hienrich and his friends will be going weak at the knees at wage labour in first century Palestine and profits etc.

I have found the brief volume III quote on small roman peasants etc.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

potrokin

I'm interested in what the believers think of other religions. Are you atheists when it comes to Hinduism and Islam for example? Do you only believe in 'Christ'?

Not really, so I think the God of Islam and the God of Christianity signifies the same reality, we're talking about the same God, (the ground of all being, the creator, the source of the good and so on), the dispute comes in revelation, i.e. what is true about God in history and what is true about God in revelation.

The same goes with Hinduism, the (capital G) God of Hinduism is more or less the classical concept of God, even the Platonic God, of course I differ with them on the description of God, what it is (personal or not), and whether or not it has revealed itself in history and how so.

Of course I believe other religions are wrong in the places where they contradict what I believe (that's by definition true).

when it comes to the small g gods (the avatars of hinduism, the pagan pantheon and so on) that isn't even the same category, those are more akin to things like angels and the like (which is why early Christians were called atheists).

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Jerusalem community after that initial decimation (at the hands of Saul, who went door to door) is said to consist only of the Apostles, but the Christian account of its own spread is not about proselatizing of these Apostles to the Diaspora Jews that visited Jerusalem (who then returned home and started proselytizing there) – that would be a kind of organic/passive development.

The Apostles are portrayed rather as pro-active, traveling to foreign cities, and their success is explained much due to miracles.

[quote=Kautsky] the apostles had no fixed residence but moved around constantly (hence their name, apostolos, messenger, traveller, seafarer);[/quote]

But then there's no reason for the Apostles to each time return from their travels to Jerusalem as a base.

And the normal members (gained by the Pentacost miracle) in the original short-lived Jerusalem community, were spread as the result of persecution. This would be kind of realistic actually, like the Czarist deportation of revolutionaries which helped spread their message to the far outskirts of Russia.

Acts 11

Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.

All that is said in the beginning of Acts about "things in common" etc. was about the short-lived Jerusalem community before Saul's persecution. Now the Christian communities are said to spread throughout Judea, Galilee:

Acts 11

When he [Saul] came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28 So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews,[a] but they tried to kill him. 30 When the believers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.

31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.

But this is already placed after Saul's conversion. The Jerusalem community perhaps rebounded somewhat, but it really doesn't matter anymore.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ok I have read it now.

On the things I didn’t like.

I hated all the highly Christian Paul stuff at the end trying to make out that he was part of the communist tradition as well.

I guess you are pitching it at the Christians but I think they will run rings around you on that.

Why do you think Paul was a [tent maker] artisan?

Did provincial Jewish artisans become citizens of Rome, and flash their ruling class badge around when arrested by the chief of police and receive an apology.

Then go off to Rome to speak to the Emperor.

Paul was allegedly decapitated; that was a privilege of the ruling class, the lower orders were crucified.

A tent maker in the same way as bill gates is a IT worker more like.

You could buy your way into becoming part of the roman elite but it didn’t come cheap for provincial 'Jews'.

I also didn’t like the stuff about there being some ok stuff in the old testament, with no balance.

I am with you on the concerns over usury foreclosure and debt forgiveness etc.

However the European feudal system and the catholic church didn’t like usury either.

And the feudal entail system that was still operating in the 19th century in England prevented foreclosure on land due to debt and even sale of land.

Albeit it operated to protect the ruling class more than small peasants.

There was business in England employing handy lad minders for the young profligate aristocracy over their heads in debt to money lenders to make sure they didn’t die suddenly.

They would stand in duels etc.

Because if they died their debt would get the entailed Jubilee treatment.

I did all this stuff several years ago so still a bit rusty on some stuff.

However the Damascus thing in the dead sea scrolls?

At the time I seem to remember some one saying that the Quuram site might have been called Damascus or was referred to as such.

What is the take on that now ie Paul heading of to the Essene colony to route out Christians holding out there rather than going to Syria, which would have been a bit out of his jurisdiction?

The Jews, Christians and Muslims are all supposed to believe in the same God.

The theological split between the Christians was merely routed in the Christians allegedly embracing polytheism according to Mohammed.

And the last prophet stuff, there is positive Christian stuff in the Quran which seems to take its stuff from the infancy gospel of Thomas that is old and was very popular with Christians around the 3rd century.

An interesting read.

For them the holy trinity ie the father son and holy ghost was polytheist revisionism and a slippery slope.

With some justification as all the patron saints of goose herding and what not was a thinly veiled return to Greaco Roman poly god system.

It is also a important theme in the Sunni-Shia split as the Shia’s sort of have their saints as well although they wouldn’t call it that exactly.

The south east asia muslims over here; ie most of them are appalling muslims according to the Saudi brand.

They like my next door neighbours celebrate Hindu festival days as do the monotheistic Sikhs.

They should be on the top of the list for Wahhabism head chopping as apostates ahead of the Christians.

There is absolutely no support for them over here from the vast majority of the south east asian community.

It was no suprise that the latest character here in Manchester was north African Arab or Libyan.

Two door down to my left are a Libyan family and they are such nice people.

Carlton Road is 500 yards away.

Anyway.

You refer to the common meal thing and communism etc etc.

Actually the have the same thing in Sikhism it is still understood as communistic.

There is a Sikh temple at the end of my road that still does it.

I have ‘Sikh’ friend and her father was a communist.

It was designed to uphold the principle of equality between all people regardless of religion, caste, colour, creed, age, gender or social status, a revolutionary concept in the caste-ordered society of 16th-century India where Sikhism began. In addition to the ideals of equality, the tradition of langar expresses the ethics of sharing, community, inclusiveness and oneness of all humankind. "...the Light of God is in all hearts

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langar_(Sikhism)

On Demetruis circa 40AD from Seneca’s on benefits; an article that you mentioned in a different context.

Is there a connection to refusing a gift of wealth, from Caligua and Luke’s Satan, the ruler of the world, tempting JC with a similar gift Luke 4;5

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+4

And the kingdom of philosophy?

There is a cross over and fusion with Seneca stoicism and Cynicism and a raging historical debate on Seneca and Pauline Christianity.

I suppose Demetruis could have popped over to Palestine and robbed the idea from JC, but the other away around sounds more sensible.

As to wokers and slaves being good to each other that can suit the capitalist class as well; they are always trying to sell that to us as well were I work.

So it is perhaps not as revolutionary as it might seem in the context of being obedient slaves of your tent maker boss and obeying the emperor at the same time.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I know it is a bit late in date at 340 – 397 AD.

But you mentioned Naboth and there is some commie stuff in this as well.

http://hymnsandchants.com/Texts/Sermons/Ambrose/OnNaboth.htm

Just in case you don’t have it, as if.

I have read the commie John Chrysostom c. 349 – 407 stuff as well.

He was a real big wig in the eastern church and still is with the eastern orthodox people.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Why do you think Paul was a [tent maker] artisan?

Did provincial Jewish artisans become citizens of Rome, and flash their ruling class badge around when arrested by the chief of police and receive an apology.

Paul was allegedly decapitated; that was a privilege of the ruling class, the lower orders were crucified.

Paul's decapitation is claimed by Tertullian, it is not mentioned in the Christian bible (and Rommon said he is a sola/tota scriptura Christian).

It's Acts that mentions the sharing stuff, and so if Acts is pro-Paulinian, then why would it say things that Paul would not approve of.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As to acts and Luke being pro Paul I am not so sure; although I can just understand that take on it.

As for me it didn’t work and I came away from it on the first read thinking he was ex Gestapo collaborator, member of the ruling class and Tony Blair infiltrator trying to turn them movement into a safer direction.

Driven out of Jeruslalem by Corbynite Saint James like ebonite working class Christians.

Then put on a Roman witness protection programme thing.

I can imagine the pro paul Bernstien like revisionist wing tidying up Acts a bit later to make him look better.

I might be being a bit horrid to Bernstien as when you read him he isn’t quite the bête noir as he is portrayed.

For instance he revealed the Whinstanley leveller stuff that Karl knew little off.

As to who Luke was they have linguistically pulled apart acts in particular and it looks as if the author was there for some of it.

I think Luke fancied himself as a proper objective historian and diarist.

I think Tertullian c. 155 – c. 240 is reliable; his take on and quotations of Gnostic material dug up in the 4th century nag hamadi thing was spot on.

There was plenty of room for him to exaggerate and misrepresent kind of stuff.

He was a clever bod and I think he was in all kinds of trouble intellectually when he attacked Marcion.

So much so I was on Marcion’s side, that is symptomatic of honesty.

It looks like they really may have him in a tomb; a rich bastard obviously.

Pope Benedict gave details of the discovery, saying a tiny hole had been drilled in the sarcophagus to permit inspection of the interior, revealing "traces of a precious linen cloth, purple in color, laminated with pure gold, and a blue colored textile with filaments of linen."

"It also revealed the presence of grains of red incense and traces of protein and limestone," the Pope explained. "There were also tiny fragments of bone, which, when subjected to Carbon 14 tests by experts, turned out to belong to someone who lived in the first or second century."

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave B

I hated all the highly Christian Paul stuff at the end trying to make out that he was part of the communist tradition as well.

I guess you are pitching it at the Christians but I think they will run rings around you on that.

Why do you think Paul was a [tent maker] artisan?

Did provincial Jewish artisans become citizens of Rome, and flash their ruling class badge around when arrested by the chief of police and receive an apology.

Then go off to Rome to speak to the Emperor.

Paul was allegedly decapitated; that was a privilege of the ruling class, the lower orders were crucified.

A tent maker in the same way as bill gates is a IT worker more like.

You could buy your way into becoming part of the roman elite but it didn’t come cheap for provincial 'Jews'.

What about the Things you did like :P.

My point With Paul was not so much that he was the Source of the tradition (he was not), but that the was the Source of the universalism, which he certainly was. Without the Pauline strand Christianity would have lived and died as a Jewish sect.

He was (as far as I know) a Roman Citizen by birth, through his parents (who knows how they got it). If you're questioning the historicity of some of the Acts accounts, by all means; my argument doesn't rest on their historicity.

He was probably from a wealthy Family, (if it was true that he learned under Gamaliel, there is no way he wasn't), and had Roman citizenship from birth. After he became a CHristian he may have given it up, taken up employment as a tent maker as a way to make Money as he travelled around (as well as living from the local congregations).

As to the historical reliability of that, that's neither here nor there. I'm simply talking about the effect of his universalist theology on the CHristian communism.

I also didn’t like the stuff about there being some ok stuff in the old testament, with no balance.

I am with you on the concerns over usury foreclosure and debt forgiveness etc.

However the European feudal system and the catholic church didn’t like usury either.

And the feudal entail system that was still operating in the 19th century in England prevented foreclosure on land due to debt and even sale of land.

Albeit it operated to protect the ruling class more than small peasants.

There was business in England employing handy lad minders for the young profligate aristocracy over their heads in debt to money lenders to make sure they didn’t die suddenly.

This book was not supposed to be a judgement on the old testament (positive or negative), it was a historical reconstruction; I talk about the old testament in order to explain the Source for what happened historically, thus the jubilee system.

It's not a judgement either way, whatever the purpose of the jubilee was to begin With, it became a revolutionary symbol; that's what the point was.

The rest of the stuff I'll have to address later as I'm short of time, I appreciate Your feedback though.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave B

As to acts and Luke being pro Paul I am not so sure; although I can just understand that take on it.

As for me it didn’t work and I came away from it on the first read thinking he was ex Gestapo collaborator, member of the ruling class and Tony Blair infiltrator trying to turn them movement into a safer direction.

Paul in Galatians 1 is saying it himself:

For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. 17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus. 18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas[b] and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie. 21 Then I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they praised God because of me.

The point of this story (of being a persecutor of Christians) is too show his zealousness for the law, ie he was a good Jew. And to a Roman/Gentile audience Paul's persecution of Jews would not be offensive. His conversion then would be presented as a model for an anti-Christian Gentile/Roman audience (eg the conversion of Paul's jailor in Acts 16).

Dave B

Driven out of Jeruslalem by Corbynite Saint James like ebonite working class Christians.

There's no indication in Acts that it was the Christian community who drove Paul out ("When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers and sisters received us warmly"). The story just blames the Jews (including outsiders: "Jews from the province of Asia"), so that I think it draws a parallel of Paul to Jesus (ie rejected by his own people, appearing before the Sanhedrin, the Romans again look like the reasonable guys). James and the elders are merely presented to stamp a seal of approval on Paul's mission.

jaycee

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think Rommon is right about Paul even if I agree with Dave B in terms of seeing Paul in a pretty negative light. He ruined the message of Jesus in a lot of ways- in particular taking out its revolutionary aspect and making it acceptable to the powers that be but it is true that Paul did represent the 'progressive' side of Christianity in terms of its universalism and the development of the ' Christian movement' into a world religion.

Dave B:"I also didn’t like the stuff about there being some ok stuff in the old testament, with no balance."

This seems like a strange attitude to me; the Old Testament in my view has a lot going for it (overall I'd say I prefer it to the NT tbh) not just the 'concerns over usury foreclosure and debt forgiveness' but also the slave revolts, the Prophets egalitarian/revolutionary teachings in general as well as the unique and history forming/changing philosophical insights that are found throughout.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

By the way Dave B, I don't understand at all how you can reject Paul, and then at the same time hold to a kind of Marcionism?

It simply doesn't make sense, Marcion basically replaced the OT with Paul as the interpretive framework for Jesus.

Without e OT Jesus simply makes no sense, his entire narrative, the meeeiah role, all his teachings and references, his temple theology; were all based on parts of the Old Testament.

Trying to understand Jesus without the Old Testament is like trying to understand Bolshevism without Marxism, it doesn't make sense. Marcion claimed you can throw out the OT and take a gnostic reading of Paul, but if you're throwing out Paul too there's nothing left. You might as well just say Jesus wasn't a Jew, that he was beamed down to earth when he was 30 rather than a person who grew up with the Jewish culture and religion.

You can say you don't like the OT, you can say you don't like Yahweh, that's up to you; but you can't pretend that the framework for the historical Jesus was a Jewish framework.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I know Marcion held onto Paul.

But as on all things I don’t follow the common error of throwing out the baby with the bath water.

As you might expect I don’t actually literally believe that Satan rules the world and the ruling class are his spawn and agents etc.

As Luke did in his unique in that respect temptation of Jesus thing.

What is of interest to me coming from a different direction from yourself re the cause of early christian theology is that your argument or the argument.

[Just trying to follow the polite rule of addressing the argument or hypothesis rater than the person]

Is that;

Either JC was inspired by a communist god.

And or early christianity was a just a inevitable spontaneous progressive ‘philosophical’ development of theology with its precedents in the old testament etc.

This is what I would call Hegelian idealism that Karl turned on its head.

The Hegelian idea goes something like this.

Nothing changes including ideas unless something changes it.

For Hegel the process was socratic dialectics; so you make a proposition and then interrogate it with a why, what if or if that is so does that mean and so on.

I mean that goes on in science and I will come back to that in a minute.

But then the logical question is why have a socratic dialectic in the first place which is a socratic method in itself.

Hegel said it must be thing in itself principal and deduced the existance of it by that reasoning.

So having identified it and then continuing with the Socratic dialectical method what is it and why?

He was a christian himself but came up with something like it or the spirit was a process of self revelation.

In that respect it got something in common with Buddhist thought although in this instance I don’t think there is a direct connection. More like a something to do a more general human problem of the meaning of life etc.

Even Karl and Fred themselves thought it got a bit crazy at that point so I have no intention of continuing with it.

However I think we can look at the same thing more intelligibly in materialist science and comparing some scientists views on that to Marxist materialism.

So the Marxist position is that "Necessity is the mother of invention" and that covers all things eg ideology and not just technology and inventing the wheel etc.

However on just on technology etc.

This bod says no I don’t think so, scientists like Brian Cox are just searchers for the truth and want to understand the wonders of the universe etc.

The capitalist class who fund that kind of expensive shit of course aren’t interested in that kind of shit.

So when these searchers for the truth at the Hadron collider etc have to fill out an economic impact form as justification for funding.

They do the ‘blue sky’ thesis and economically profitable stuff drops out of this kind of stuff.

I went to a really interesting lecture on tectonic plate movement African rift valley stuff on how Ethiopia would drift of into the Indian ocean in 300 million years or something.

So asked how and why did the capitalist class fund that?

He said we made up a load of shit about it and geology in general being potentially important in understanding of the location of mineral deposits and oil ; sold!

I think the capitalist are correct with their blue sky theory.

However this reposte by a scientist is more interesting;

In an address to the Mathematical Association of England on the importance of education in 1917, Alfred North Whitehead argued that "the basis of invention is science, and science is almost wholly the outgrowth of pleasurable intellectual curiosity." and in contrast to the old proverb "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer to the truth.

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

You could switch it to philosophy as well.

"the basis of invention of ideas is philosophy, and theology , and philosophy and theology is almost wholly the outgrowth of pleasurable intellectual curiosity."

Intellectual curiosity in a metaphysical sense being to understand the mind of god or not or whatever.

Which would be the Hegelian spirit.

Thst might go off in all sorts of perhaps not so ‘blue sky’ directions like Descartes evil demon and Bishop Berkley etc.

As to ‘pleasurable intellectual curiosity’ if you ‘have it’ then it can be materially successful.

I think as a materialist it was just and advantageous Darwinian instinct.

The ones that had it succeeded and those that didn’t got the Darwin award for the ones that weren’t were ‘never meant’ to survive.

On Karl and fuerbach on Christianity etc it is a bit heavy.

But it goes something like this starting in the 1840’s.

Fuerbach starts with the essence of Christianity is communism; he does that from just an analysis of the gospel text, without all the stuff we have now and certainly the Kautsky type material.

He was a bit of a country mouse without access to documents etc.

He says that there is a human essence or communistic value system that is intrinsic to humans, basically human nature or social instinct as it later became to be referred to.

And that early Christianity was an ‘anthropological trick cyclist projection’ of that onto an idealised god.

Or attributing a distilled and purified part of yours communistic social instinct, without the other shit, into one place or thinking thing.

Unfortunately I am sure I am going to loose people on this but ‘anthropological trick cyclist projection’ is just a thing that you have to just study.

So I could do a ‘if you can’t be bothered reading about it I am wasting my time’ thing.

George Eliot who certainly understood trick cyclists stuff which is why I think her bread and butter novels are so good; you could say the same thing about Shakespeare.

Liked Fuerbach so much she translated it.

Puffing myself up, I am up to speed on the tick cyclists stuff as well.

So then individualist Stirner shows up.

And bollocks to this communistic human essence theory; it is as much a immaterial fantasy as a good god thing or the same thing rehased.

Karl and Fred put back in their place re adopt a material necessity approach.
Then the scientist Darwin in his seminal second book I circa 1870 says that cooperation and social instinct ‘communism’ is a valid survival the fittest strategy.

And that Kantian ‘thing in themselves’ moral precepts as in Christianity might be expressions ‘in form’ of a ‘content’ of a social instinct.

So the post 1870 Marxists or whatever where blown away by the Arabian babbler theory of Christian communism.

They must be early Christians!

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

And from 1880 revisited it from a human essence or human nature theory.

An anathema for post modern Marxists but what became the standard position in the early 1900’s.

As to your book and what I am thinking about is an old problem of just re redistribution of wealth, concepts of property and the moral arguments of the ‘true socialists’ in Karl’s time.

Although you run with it yourself I think it is Gaeber that is making my head ache.

I am pleased from your book that I haven’t appeared to have missed much as there is nothing in it startlingly new.

I had a vague idea on Tertulllian communism but had lost it.

There was something dodgy that I liked for some reason on James with out calloused grubby hands stuff.

Do you know where that is?

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Probably unique among religions that the language of Christian writings is not that the one in which the supposed founder spoke. The Pentecost-miracle might be some attempt to explain how the first (non-Greek speaking) illiterate Jewish disciples even could talk to/convert Gentiles. Do we learn eg how Peter etc. learned to speak Greek?

If one considers the apparently extreme position that the Jerusalem community wasn't important, Paul wasn't really Jewish, etc. basically the Jews played no role in Christianity, then the problem is why was Jesus even placed in the context of Judea/Judaism. Don't know to what extent Jewish religion would have been respected in the wider world, but to a Gentile living near a Jewish community in Antioch or Alexandria it provides quite an illustrious religious backstory to easily hijack.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A Dating of Celsus Theory or Theories?

The multiple emperors?

BOOK VIII.

CHAP. LXXI.

Chadwick translation

Celsus

“….It is quite intolerable of you to say that if those who now reign over us were persuaded by you and were taken prisoner, you would persuade those who reign after them, and then others, if they too are taken prisoner, and others after them until, when all who are persuaded by you are taken prisoner. There will be a ruler who, being a sensible man and foreseeing what is happening, will utterly destroy you all before you destroy him first. …”

As others have said, eg Chadwick, the context has to be about individual rulers and that there were at Celsum’s time, more than one.

EG

Orgen Contra Celsum

Henry Chadwick 1953

Page XXVI of Introduction.

Thus there are at two possible 2nd century dates for two rulers.

161 to 169. eg Marcus Aurelius + Lucius Verus

And

179-180 Marcus Aurelius + Commodus

.

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

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

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

There is a third and obviously somewhat ‘sensational’ first century candidate.

AD 69.

When Vitellius and Vespasian were vying for power.

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

And Actually at one point 4?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domitian#Year_of_the_Four_Emperors

Including Galba

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

Galba is clearly referred to in the revelation of John.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1894/early-christianity/

We also have a Celsus at that time.

Aulus Marius Celsus, Survivor.

https://www.strategypage.com/cic/docs/cic351b.asp

A lot also rests on Celsum’s; ‘very recently’.

BOOK VI.
CHAP. X.

"Believe that he whom I introduce to thee is the Son of God, although he was shamefully bound, and disgracefully punished, and very recently was most contumeliously treated before the eyes of all men;"

And Origen says.

For he knew that if he [….Celsum who seemed to Origen as if he might have been in fact a closet Epicurean… ] acknowledged himself an Epicurean, he would not obtain any credit when focusing those who, in any degree, introduce the doctrine of Providence, and who place a God over the world. ….

And we have heard that there were two individuals of the name of Celsus, both of whom were Epicureans; the earlier of the two having lived in the time of Nero…..

We also appear to have from Celsum a reference to persecution of Christians.

Contra Celsum Book VIII

Chapter 69

“…..and as for you, if any of you transgresses even in secret, he is sought out and punished with death…..”

That is also Chadwick’s take on it.

So we have a date when JC was around ‘very recently’.

A Multiple emperors date.

Origen speculating about an Epicurean Celsum around Nero’s time being the author.

An Aulus Marius Celsus around Nero’s time (and multiple emperors just post Nero.)

And Nero like persecution of Christians.

And a date of 69AD???

Well out of the range of Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria and Origen and in fact of intellectual Christians in general.

Hence they didn’t know about it.

But a ‘feasible’ date for an anti Christian document????????

Felix Frost

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Rommon

Fleur

Believe what you will, I don't care, but comparing whether or not someone believes that some dude actually existed in first century Palestine actually existed to holocaust denial is really fucked up.

Not really, because the scholarly consensus is the same on both and those who oppose it resort to ignoring the evidence and making up conspiracy theories, while not at all understanding how history is done.

I'm not making a moral comparison, I'm making an intellectual one.

Oh, so you just happened to pick Holocaust denial as a random example of bad science? And it had nothing to do with making your opponents look bad by comparing them to Nazis and antisemites? Maybe I'm being cynical, but I can't say that I'm entirely convinced...

Your book looks interesting enough, though. I might pick up a copy for some light holiday reading this summer.

Rommon

There are followers of John the Baptist Down to this day, they're called Manechians, but they are more gnostics who appropriated John than actualy descendants of John's followers (much like the gnostics who appropraited Jesus).

I'm assuming you mean Mandeans here, and not Manechians.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think it is worth a read but expensive at £15 for 120 pages.

I think it does put all the early Christian communism material in one place.

Actually this early Christian communism, depending on the economic context, looks more syndicalist than communist.

It would appear from say contra celsum, talking about 170AD or before, that contains more detail on the economic position of the early christains, that at least a significant proportion of them were artisans.

Eg fullers, textile workers, cobblers and leather workers etc.

Although it also mentions slaves as well and seems to suggest that a lot of women were involved in it.

That is mentioned Celsum as a criticism, Celsum also says as a criticism that there are no upper class people in the movement.

Origen also says in 240AD, that they were careful not to elect people into office that ‘were not ambitious for power’.

Celsum also attacks them for scorning getting involved in the running of the state and public offices etc.

The problem might be that it was ‘just’ a model for the egalitarian redistribution of ‘income’ amongst the ‘poor’ etc.

A bit like the way these extended south East Asian families operate over here in the UK.

You can imagine how the ruling class might be ok with that kind of thing as the Russian rulling class were quite happy to let the ‘Mir’ feudal peasantry organise their own necessary labour time and consumption fund according to ability and need etc.

As long as the surplus value producing corvee labour etc was still performed etc.

However in the early Christianity stuff there is still hostility to the rich and what looks like a proto labour theory of value stuff.

That continues into the 4th century and there is some really radical stuff from people like John Chrysostom c. 349 – 407, Archbishop of Constantinople which would not be out of place in the centre left of the 2nd international.

I think the expropriation of the Palestine peasantry through the introduction of the cash tax nexus and usury leading agricultural wage labour and possibly as well renting expropriated land back to the former owners etc was probably a political stimulus.

On the historicity of JC there is also this;

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

I recently added the below, somebody tidied it up a bit for me shortly after.

a claim made by Apion (30-20 BC – c. AD 45-48):[21]
"Apion ought to have had a regard to these facts; unless he had himself had either an asse’s heart, or a dog’s impudence: of such a dog I mean as they worship. For he had no other external reason for the lies he tells of us. As for us Jews, we ascribe no honor, nor power to asses;"[22]
Origen reports in his treatise Contra Celsum that the pagan philosopher Celsus made the same claim against Christians and Jews:[23]
“For the sake of such a monstrous delusion, and in support of those wonderful advisers, and those wonderful words which you address to the lion, to the amphibious creature, to the creature in the form of an ass, and to others, for the sake of those divine doorkeepers.."[24]

There is some stuff below from Karl on Roman usury and small producers etc etc.

Eg

….completely ruined the Roman plebeians, the small peasants, this form of exploitation came to an end and a pure slave economy replaced the small-peasant economy…..

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1894-c3/ch36.htm

I guess expropriated small farmers can be replaced by slaves or if not agricultural wage labourers and share croppers etc depending on the circumstances.

Or in the case of artisans piece workers etc.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Origen also says in 240AD, that they were careful to elect people into office that ‘were not ambitious for power’.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave B

The problem might be that it was ‘just’ a model for the egalitarian redistribution of ‘income’ amongst the ‘poor’ etc.

Bogoraz's book which I linked earlier is also pretty unimpressed:
Bogoraz

It must be pointed out, however, that whenever and everywhere a group of people gathers together for some spiritual purpose, such a consumption commune is necessary. Each scientific expedition that leaves the field, from Nansen's polar expedition on the "Fram" to the one nowadays arranged by the Academy of Sciences of Research of the USSR, constitutes such a commune, has a treasurer, a common economy and a kitchen. This whole organization is aimed at keeping the members together during the work.
Even tea, which is poured into scientific societies, is also a communist agape. In bourgeois life there is more communism than is visible from the first sight.

see chapter 19 (search in text for: ГЛАВА 19 and copy-paste it into google-translate)

http://az.lib.ru/t/tanbogoraz_w_g/text_1928_hristianstvo.shtml

Bogoraz also points to some passages in the NT that indicate the authors praised money-changers and had extensive knowledge of money-related business:

In regard to stories about tax collectors, critics generally emphasize how often in the gospels and epistles of the Apostles they talk about wealth, about treasures, about profits and so on.
Thus, immediately after Luke's above-mentioned story about Zacchaeus, the monstrous parable of Jesus about slaves and mines of silver follows, narrated so broadly and with such knowledge of commercial and interest business. In Matthew the parable is repeated less widely, but the mines are replaced by larger talents. The first two slaves haggled the owner hundred percent per hundred. The third slave did not want to trade, and said to the master: "You are a cruel man, reap where you did not sow, and collect where you did not scatter," which, of course, was quite true.
The lord cursed him and said: "Why did not you give my silver to the trapezites (money-changers), then I would get my interest."
And in conclusion the moral: "The poor have the last thing taken away, and the possessor is given and multiplied."
The same praise for the money changers (trapezites) we find in Eusebius, the first historian of the church.
Even in the apocalypse of John, which is imbued with such a revolutionary spirit and is associated with the Judeo-Christian sect of the poor, we encounter an unexpected exposition of the subtleties of the trade business, brilliant jewelry descriptions that could only be known to a person dealing with all 12 kinds of precious stones described by the author. Jewelers and trapezists at that time were people of the same profession.

Chapter 20 has a criticism of Kautsky.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As to the various parables on money etc and even taking money or ‘treasure’ [as money capital] and using it wisely to make a profit and gain more etc.

Money was clearly a metaphor, and an ironic one at that, for good deeds etc and ‘personal’ moral growth etc.

Which should be obvious given the criticism of worshipping money etc.

Even without the following;

Matthew 6:19-21New International Version (NIV)

Treasures in Heaven

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+6%3A19-21

Although what you are saying is very relevant I think because there is a lot of ‘economics’ in the gospel material eg wages which you would expect to be other wise anachronistic.

Of course the Calvinistic orientated modern Christians have been known to take the profit from your investments and money capital literally.

As to the cooperative ‘common economy’ stuff; agreed.

But that is the whole point of communism isn’t it?

It works better.

I think Roman in his book was talking about the glue or rationale or whatever that held these early Christian communists together, which is an important point.

And he drags Graeber into it on that point.

In 1844 Fuerbach, Karl and Fred thought that what held such communist things together was a human essence or what became later under Darwin a social instinct.

Fuerbach worked backwards from the Essence of Christianity to deduce a social instinct; by putting the early Christians on the psychoanalytical couch so to speak.

Then decided that the early Christians had ‘projected’ their own communist instinct or value systems on to their god.

So they would distil what they like about themselves into something idealised and attribute those perfected ideals on to their own God.

It is called anthropological projection.

Projection is one of the established four pillars in psychoanalysis and you have to gen up on it really to get it.

Thus;

To Ludwig Feuerbach
In Bruckberg
Paris, August 11 1844

Since I just have the opportunity, I take the liberty of sending you an article of mine in which some elements of my critical philosophy of law [Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right. Introduction] are outlined. I had already finished it once but have since revised it in order to make it more generally comprehensible. I don't attribute any exceptional value to this essay but I am glad to have an opportunity of assuring you of the great respect and — if I may use the word — love, which I feel for you. Your Philosophie der Zukunft, and your Wesen des Glaubens, in spite of their small size, are certainly of greater weight than the whole of contemporary German literature put together.

In these writings you have provided — I don't know whether intentionally — a philosophical basis for socialism and the Communists have immediately understood them in this way. The unity of man with man, which is based on the real differences between men, the concept of the human species brought down from the heaven of abstraction to the real earth, what is this but the concept of society!

Two translations of your Wesen des Christenthums, one in English and one in French, are in preparation and almost ready for printing. The first will be published in Manchester (Engels has been supervising it) and the second in Paris (the Frenchman Dr. Guerrier and the German Communist Ewerbeck have translated it with the help of a French literary expert).

http://www.marxistsfr.org/archive/marx/works/1844/letters/44_08_11.htm

So this social instinct concept of the human species was represented metaphysically as religion and into the ‘heaven’ of metaphysical abstraction and Fuerbach brought it back down to materialist earth as a materialist and communistic human essence.

And then, communism in 1844, would be a return to and in harmony with a natural communistic frame of mind or human essence or human instinct or human nature as we would have it.

And a move away from human self-estrangement.

Thus;

(3) Communism as the positive transcendence of private property as human self-estrangement, and therefore as the real appropriation of the human essence by and for man; communism therefore as the complete return of man to himself as a social (i.e., human) being – a return accomplished consciously and embracing the entire wealth of previous development. This communism, as fully developed naturalism, equals humanism, and as fully developed humanism equals naturalism; it is the genuine resolution of the conflict between man and nature and between man and man – the true resolution of the strife between existence and essence, between objectification and self-confirmation, between freedom and necessity, between the individual and the species. Communism is the riddle of history solved, and it knows itself to be this solution.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/manuscripts/comm.htm

In November 1844.

A gob-shite pseudo-Anarchist called Stirner wrote a book called Ego And His Own on materialism; ‘materialism’

What was materialism?

The striving for the optimal fulfilment of individual egotistical human needs.

And communism was good because it was first, and all importantly, good for me and I; the fact that it was also good for other collective I’s and me’s was philosophically ‘incidental’.

Fred didn’t like it at first and the residue of the recent position is made clear.

Letters of Marx and Engels 1844 Letter from Engels to Marx in Paris

In the second place he must be told that in its egoism the human heart is of itself, from the very outset, unselfish and self-sacrificing, [..the erstwhile philosophical conscience……..] so that he finally ends up with what he is combating. These few platitudes will suffice to refute the one-sidedness. But we must also adopt such truth as there is in the principle.

And it is certainly true that we must first make a cause our own, egoistic cause, before we can do anything to further it – and hence that in this sense, irrespective of any eventual material aspirations, we are communists out of egoism also, and it is out of egoism that we wish to be human beings, not mere individuals.

Or to put it another way. Stirner is right in rejecting Feuerbach's ‘man’, or at least the ‘man’ of Das Wesen des Christentums. Feuerbach deduces his ‘man’ from God, it is from God that he arrives at ‘man’, and hence ‘man’ is crowned with a theological halo of abstraction. The true way to arrive at ‘man’ is the other way about. We must take our departure from the Ego, the empirical, flesh-and-blood individual, if we are not, like Stirner, to remain stuck at this point but rather proceed to raise ourselves to ‘man’. ‘man’ will always remain a wraith so long as his basis is not empirical man. In short we must take our departure from empiricism and materialism if our concepts, and notably our ‘man’, are to be something real; we must deduce the general from the particular, not from itself or, à la Hegel, from thin air. …blah blah

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/letters/44_11_19.htm

Or to put it another way Fuerbach had arrived at a materialistic concept of man, or this co-operative social instinct from a load of non materialist religious mumbo jumbo and psychoanalytical mumbo jumbo to boot.

And that was the end of that for 30 odd years.

Then Darwin walks onto the stage.

Trashes the Stirner idea even though he had probably never heard of him or communism.

Validates Fuerbachs original cooperative human essence thesis, calling it this time a social instinct, even though he had probably never heard of Fuerbach either.

And validates the Fuerbachs idea that the essence of Christian and Kant like thing in itself “morality” could be an ‘theological intellectualisation’ of a communist instinct which had a materialist base etc.

Thus, read around it, I will keep the quote short;

…………… its intellectual powers had become as well developed, or nearly as well developed, as in man. For, firstly, the social instincts lead an animal to take pleasure in the society of its fellows, to feel a certain amount of sympathy with them, and to perform various services for them. The services may be of a definite and evidently instinctive nature; or there may be only a wish and readiness, as with most of the higher social animals, to aid their fellows in certain general ways. But these feelings and services are by no means extended to all the individuals of the same species, only to those of the same association. Secondly, as soon as the mental faculties had become highly developed, images of all past actions and motives would be incessantly passing through the brain of each individual; and that feeling of dissatisfaction which invariably results, as we shall hereafter see, from any unsatisfied instinct, would arise, as often as it……………

http://darwin-online.org.uk/converted/published/1871_Descent_F937/1871_Descent_F937.1.html

Then the intervening Marxist thesis that communism and communist conciousness could only come about after the complete integration of all production with it being socialised leading to a defacto global inter dependence of everyone on everyone else albeit in capitalist etc.

And the majority being homogenised into a we are all in the same boat etc etc.

And the possibility of abundance with loads of etc etc’s etc.

Was now a load of bollocks again.

Hence it was safe to revisit Christian communism and the Fuerbachian position that Karl and Fred had held in 1844 before Stirner deflected them.

Communism as a social instinct also enters the fray from two ‘scientists’ like Kropotkin and Pannekoek.

If non scientist here don’t understand the implications of Darwin’s second book to communism at least they and I did.

Actually what Darwin said was more dangerous to modern Christianity than the ape stuff.

But that stuff went over their heads and they concentrated on the social Darwinism thing; which is exactly what Darwin didn’t say.

Or in other words you ‘are Christians’ because you are descended from communist apes.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

FYI

The perspective of modern anthropology towards religion is the projection idea, a methodological approach which assumes that every religion is created by the human community that worships it, that "creative activity ascribed to God is projected from man."[6][7][8] In 1841, Ludwig Feuerbach was the first to employ this concept as the basis for a systematic critique of religion.[9][10][11][12] A prominent precursor in the formulation of this projection principle was Giambattista Vico,[9][13] and an early formulation of it is found in ancient Greek writer Xenophanes, which observed that "the gods of Ethiopians were inevitably black with flat noses while those of the Thracians were blond with blue eyes."[9]

In 1912 Émile Durkheim, building on Feuerbach, considered religion "a projection of the social values of society," "a means of making symbolic statements about society," "a symbolic language that makes statements about the social order";[14][15] in short, "religion is society worshiping itself".[12][16]

In the 19th century, cultural anthropology was dominated by an interest in cultural evolution; most anthropologists assumed that there was a simple distinction between “primitive” and “modern” religion and tried to provide accounts of how the former evolved into the latter.[citation needed] In the 20th century most anthropologists rejected this approach. Today the anthropology of religion reflects the influence of, or an engagement with, such theorists as Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Émile Durkheim, and Max Weber.[17] They are especially concerned with how religious beliefs and practices may reflect political or economic forces; or the social functions of religious beliefs and practices.[

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

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On the revelation of john

It may have been written by this guy.

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

ajjohnstone

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I mentioned previously that i had written an article on Early Christianity's communism. I make no great claims other than it being a brief introduction to these events. It now has been published

https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2010s/2017/no-1354-june-2017/early-christianity-and-communism

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That was good Alan

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Felix Frost

Oh, so you just happened to pick Holocaust denial as a random example of bad science? And it had nothing to do with making your opponents look bad by comparing them to Nazis and antisemites? Maybe I'm being cynical, but I can't say that I'm entirely convinced...

Your book looks interesting enough, though. I might pick up a copy for some light holiday reading this summer..

I could have picked creationism as well. But my point was what I stated my point was.

I'm assuming you mean Mandeans here, and not Manechians

Yes, my bad.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave B

Either JC was inspired by a communist god.

And or early christianity was a just a inevitable spontaneous progressive ‘philosophical’ development of theology with its precedents in the old testament etc.

That's way too simplistic.

Jesus was a Jew, a religious Jew, so everything he did had that context; he believed that he was inspired by Yahweh. You simply cannot understand Jesus or the early Christian movement without the deuteronomic, prophetic l, apocalyptic, and eschatological Jewish traditions. Even if you can have a purely sociological narrative, it was still historically placed within a Jewish second temple context.

It wasn't spontaneous nor inevitable. I don't think Jesus would have happened without Judas of Galille earlier, I don't think Christianity would have happened without Pontius Pilate, but it could have easily not happened, had no one claimed that Jesus was ressurected there would have been no Christianity.

As for the James quote. I'm not sure but check the "pseudo-clementine" homilies and recognitions; there's a lot on James there.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think Roman in his book was talking about the glue or rationale or whatever that held these early Christian communists together, which is an important point.

And he drags Graeber into it on that point.

In 1844 Fuerbach, Karl and Fred thought that what held such communist things together was a human essence or what became later under Darwin a social instinct.

Fuerbach worked backwards from the Essence of Christianity to deduce a social instinct; by putting the early Christians on the psychoanalytical couch so to speak.

Then decided that the early Christians had ‘projected’ their own communist instinct or value systems on to their god.

I think communism is natural, but that given systems of domination and exploitation (imperial Rome or capitalist America) it very often takes mythical systems to be able to overcome them. Be it Marxist historical determinism, or Christianity, or revolutionary Judaism, or whatever. Of course not always, I would say the anarchists in the Spanish civil war didn't seem to have any mythical foundation.

But whether or not it was a projection I don't know. Their world was a supernatural world, secularist naturalism just wasn't even on anyone's table.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This wiki-entry on Arthur Drews' 1926 book is interesting. Drews gave a historical review of some 35 major deniers of Jesus historicity (radicals, mythicists) covering the period 1780 – 1926:

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

although it

again, ignores the priority of Baron d'Holbach in publishing the first critical "Life of Jesus", with Ecce Homo! – The History of Jesus of Nazareth, Being a Rational Analysis of the Gospels, (1770)

More in depth links/overview of the literature here:

http://radikalkritik.de/sample-page/articles-reviews-and-books-in-english

and in this file:
http://www.mythicistpapers.com/arthurdrews.pdf

Engels in 1882

And, if almost nothing from the whole content of the Gospels turns out to be historically provable — so that even the historical existence of a Jesus Christ can be questioned — Bauer has, thereby, only cleared the ground for the solution of the question: what is the origin of the ideas and thoughts that have been woven together into a sort of system in Christianity, and how came they to dominate the world?

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I was sort of saving that one for later Noa

All of it is an essential read for this topic so I won’t even clip from it.

Works of Frederick Engels 1882
Bruno Bauer and Early Christianity

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1882/05/bauer.htm

The resurrection idea was not original thus.

https://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/The_Myths/Myth_of_Er/myth_of_er.html

Actually Origen raises the issue in Contra Calsum.

“…Erus the son of Armenius rose from the funeral pile twelve days after he had been laid upon it…”

I am presuming here Roman, that your are following the decent of JC into Hell thing and not just one of his more superior miracles.

as compared to The Raising of Lazarus John 11:1-44?

What made early Christianity almost if not totally unique, as Celsum pointed out, was that it claimed God appeared as and a champion of and for the working class, poor and oppressed.

And was executed for it.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave B

I think it is worth a read but expensive at £15 for 120 pages.

I think it does put all the early Christian communism material in one place.

Actually this early Christian communism, depending on the economic context, looks more syndicalist than communist.

I ageee it is a bit pricy for such a short book, but that's how it is with those kind of publishers :/. I do apologize for that.

My goal was very modest, it was to lay out a case for/reconstruction of early Christian communism.

I included the main material, the strongest evidence (there were other lines I could have gone down, but I wanted to keep it short and concise), and I laid it out using the economic anthropology of David Graeber.

I actually agree with you that the communism of the Christians wasn't much of a problem for the ruling class, and your example of the Russian ruling class allowing peasant communism is a perfect parallel.

What got them in trouble was basically them telling gentiles they were not to sacrifice to the emperor or worship the local Gods, which was akin to sedition during that time. That was unacceptable.

As time went on however the Jamesian style bringing out of an anti-rich ideology become popular, and that became a problem in the later centuries, so when people like Augustine came along to make Christianity OK for the rich too, it was a god send for the ruling classes.

As for the parables like the land owner and the talents, no serios exegete would take it literally; there are also parables praising people who steal from their bosses, the point is almost always apocalyptic and escatalogical.

If you take the parables literally they are absolute nonsense, it's ridiculous to take them literally and no one ever did.

Yeah he forgives tax collectors and some of the rich, but look at the category they are in, they are among the sinners who must repent, but unlike the other sinners; they are to undo the economic damage they have done.

You don't defend tax collectors by saying they are in the same category as sinners.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On Alan’s stuff on Munzer etc a very young Engels had this to say in 1843;

Articles for The New Moral World by Frederick Engels 1843
Progress of Social Reform On the Continent

Luther always stated his object to be, to return to original Christianity in doctrine and practice; the peasantry took exactly the same standing, and demanded, therefore, not only the ecclesiastical, but also the social practice of primitive Christianity. They conceived a state of villainy and servitude, such as they lived under, to be inconsistent with the doctrines of the Bible; they were oppressed by a set of haughty barons and earls, robbed and treated like their cattle every day, they had no law to protect them, and if they had, they found nobody to enforce it. Such a state contrasted very much with the communities of early Christians and the doctrines of Christ, as laid down in the Bible.

Therefore they arose and began a war against their lords, which could only be a war of extermination. Thomas Münzer, a preacher, whom they placed at their head, issued a proclamation, full, of course, of the religious and superstitious nonsense of the age, but containing also among others, principles like these: That according to the Bible, no Christian is entitled to hold any property whatever exclusively for himself; that community of property is the only proper state for a society of Christians; that it is not allowed to any good Christian to have any authority or command over other Christians, nor to hold any office of government or hereditary power, but on the contrary, that, as all men are equal before God, so they ought to be on earth also. These doctrines were nothing but conclusions drawn from the Bible and from Luther’s own writings………………

………The report was drawn up by Dr. Bluntschli, a man of aristocratic and fanatically Christian opinions, and the whole of it therefore is written more like a party denunciation, than like a calm, official report. Communism is denounced as a doctrine dangerous in the extreme, subversive of all existing order, and destroying all the sacred bonds of society. The pious doctor, besides, is at a loss for words sufficiently strong to express his feelings as to the frivolous blasphemy with which these infamous and ignorant people try to justify their wicked and revolutionary doctrines, by passages from the Holy Scriptures. Weitling and his party are, in this respect, just like the Icarians in France, and contend that Christianity is Communism.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1843/11/18.htm

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Weitling's The gospel of the poor sinners online here (pdf 84 MB) http://brbl-dl.library.yale.edu/vufind/Record/3998723

Engels, as quoted by Dave B

Thomas Münzer, a preacher, whom they placed at their head, issued a proclamation, full, of course, of the religious and superstitious nonsense of the age, but containing also among others, principles like these: That according to the Bible, no Christian is entitled to hold any property whatever exclusively for himself; that community of property is the only proper state for a society of Christians; that it is not allowed to any good Christian to have any authority or command over other Christians, nor to hold any office of government or hereditary power, but on the contrary, that, as all men are equal before God, so they ought to be on earth also

Does that imply that the German peasants did not want to be/become simple commodity producers?

also this skeptical note from wikipedia on Müntzer:

In his final confession under torture of May 1525, Müntzer stated that one of the primary aims of himself and his comrades was ‘omnia sunt communia’ – "all things are to be held in common and distribution should be to each according to his need".[38] This statement has often been cited as evidence of Müntzer’s ‘early communism’;[39] but it stands quite alone in all of his writings and letters. Thus, it is far more likely to have been a statement of what his captors feared than what Müntzer actually believed. Indeed, even at a very late stage, Müntzer still accepted some form of social hierarchy, based on functions bound up with the work of God, rather than inheritance.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I have actually read that gospel of sinners by Wietling thing and I think even for historical purposes as an early “Marxist” it is something that is begging for a transcription.

It might not OCR that well and it I might just need a fast typist which I am not.

It is available in German I believe and think there is a modern translation which is in itself rare and under copyright.

It is right up Roman’s street and there is interesting stuff for the rest of us in the second half from about page 70.

Wietling even uses one of Romans quotes on JC reading from a judiac tract in the synagogue or whatever.

I think these ‘communist peasants/artisans etc were more like Proudhonists in the sense that they wanted to be simple commodity producers and get out of the clutches of the merchant capitalists and I suppose the landed aristocracy.

So in that sense they were resisting the beginning of the capitalist systems economic attack on simple commodity production.

Just an opinion.

Merchant capitalists can squeeze artisans by ownership and control and economies of scale over the supply of raw material.

And by ownership and control over the distribution and sale of the finished product.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There is a modern take on that below?

http://www.dairyreporter.com/Markets/NFU-slams-supermarkets-in-UK-grocery-chain-probe

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

He also I seem to remember talks about maybe John the Baptist and JC being linked to the communist Essenes etc from Josephus so it looks like they had that in the 1840's as well

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Articles for The New Moral World by Frederick Engels

The Times on German Communism
Written: on January 13, 1844;
First published: The New Moral World, Third Series, No. 30, January 20, 1844.

These extracts, however, are given in a very confused manner, showing that our correspondent did in several cases fail to hit upon the vital point of the question, and gave in its stead some rather insignificant details. Thus he omits to state the chief point in which Weitling is superior to Cabet, namely, the abolition of all government by force and by majority, and the establishment in its stead of a mere administration, organising the different branches of labour, and distributing its produce; he omits the proposal to nominate all officers of this administration, and in every particular Branch, not by a majority of the community at large, but by those only who have a knowledge of the particular kind of work the future officer has to perform; and, one of the most important features of the plan, that the nominators are to select the fittest person, by means of some kind of prize essays, without knowing the author of any of these essays; the names to be sealed up, and that paper only to be opened which contains the name of the successful competitor; obviating by this all personal motives which could bias the minds of the electors.

As to the remainder of the extracts from Weitling, I leave it to the readers of this periodical to judge, whether they contain such contemptible stuff as our correspondent thinks them to be; or whether they do not advocate in most, if not in all cases, the same principles and proposals, for the propagation of which this paper was established. At any rate, if the Times should wish to comment again on German. Communism, it would do well to provide another correspondent.

I am, Sir, yours truly,

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I linked to the English translation available online of Weitling's gospel of sinners (click download, export as pdf), it's 84 MB, it's no problem to run it by OCR, just the resulting file size would still probably be too big to upload on libcom.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well do it in bits!

send it to Marxist.org

they have a weitling site.

have you tried running it on OCR?

you might have a better one than we did for our gabrielle Deville stuff.

but we had to manually scan several hundred pages of that before we could even start.

and then the OCR completely screwed up 5% of it

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

OCR did not capture every page, but for most it worked fine. So here's the link to the upload of the OCR'd file (108 MB) of Weitling's The gospel of the poor sinners: https://www.mediafire.com/?k9u35h2l67jg4im

Seems copyrighted, so might be a waste of time to specially transcribe the remaining pages.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Na

I mean using something like this;

http://www.newocr.com/

which generates

Yale University Library
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
THE PRINCIPLE or CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY. 77 i 1
tles’ -‘ 2" i
lean st
ll’l ' L
ce (R) ‘ my
self, ABOLITION or HERITAGES. 5
the L. 12: 13. And one of the company said unto him, Master, speakto f‘: T
i’ my brother, that he may divide the inheritance with me.-14. And he
OW' ‘ said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?
It is to be se'en from this, how falsely the principles of j
ping Jesus were understood by the people. A man teaching the 1
community of goods was importuned to judge of the shar- A p
ts- i ing of an inheritance between two brothers, and to decide ‘ 1
riot _ "between them.
d to ’ ' 15. And he said unto them: Take heed and beware of covetousness, g" l
erly. ' for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he i
8de possesseth. ' 3.
sion, Even at the present time many do not understand this. ' a.
rye Thus the people have been dazzled by the cunning of the i A
money-sacks. but is it possible to live on money"! Aye,
mas- i indeed one can live on it! And how well one can live on
ldo ’ 1t! he needs not even to work. . This 1s strange! Money .;;; . y
idto ' and goods are dead things, which produce not, and yet
not Without productlon we cannot live. These things must ; l
previously be produced, produCed by men; consequently,
to‘be g. no one can live Oon his money or goods W1thout either t i}
feels working. or cheating others of the fruits of. their labor If
lank any one says he does so live, then he 1s either a fool oroa , f
tthi deceiver; a fool, If he does not understand that money_1s
f . , but a means of stealing by the exchange of products and
eust} labor, a part of the poor laborer’s strength, and thus of
that" making him work and hunger for others without being
f aware of it. A deceiver he is, if seeing and knowing this
imo . he yet strives to keep in blindness the poor, so that he may
forhe, ' spend the more comfortably and surely in useless occupa-
te tions, in lazy rest, or even in excess and debauchery, g
nest, the fruits of their hard toil. Nobody, therefore, lives upon
his goods, but through his labor or the labor of others.
in, Having much money and many goods, therefore, means

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

this was pretty good for something at originally 1845 and ahead of Karl and Proudhons 1847

System of Economical Contradictions: or, The Philosophy of Poverty

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

huh? I told you I did ran it by OCR with overall good result and uploaded it. Here's an example (just select, copy-paste) of that page you picked:

ABOLITION OF HERITAGES.
L. 12: 13. And one of the company said unto hira, Master, speak to
my brother, that he may divide the inheritance with me.—14. And he
said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you ?
It is to be seen from this, how falsely the principles of
Jesus were understood by the people. A man teaching the
community of goods was importuned to judge of the shar­
ing of an inheritance between two brothers, and to decide
"between them.
15. And he said unto them : Take heed and beware of covetousness.
for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he
possesseth.
Even at the present time many do not understand this.
Thus Hie people have been dazzled by the cunning of the
money-sacks, but is it possible to live on money 1 Aye,
indeed one can live on it! And how well one can live on
it! he needs not even to work. This is strange ! Money
and goods are dead things, which produce not, and yet
without production we cannot live. These things must
previously be produced, produced by men ; consequently,
no one can live on his money nr goods without either
working, or cheating others of the fruits of their labor If
any one says he does so live, then he is either a fool or a
deceiver ; a fool, if he does not understand that money is
but a means of stealing by the exchange of products and
labor, a part of the poor laborer's strength, and thus of
making him work and hunger for others without being
aware of it. A deceiver he is, if seeing and knowing this
he yet strives to keep in blindness the poor, so that he may
spend the more comfortably and surely in useless occupa­
tions, in lazy rest, or even in excess and debauchery,
the fruits of their hard toil. Nobody, therefore, lives upon
his goods, but through his labor or the labor of others.
Having much money and many goods, therefore, means
one having many means through power, cunning, and
cheating, of making others work for him : thus, either to
work less than they, or not at all, to have better fare' than
they, or to have every thing better, and do nothing for it.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Offering a leftwing interpretation ("hot take") of the bible – eg as I mentioned elsewhere Lincoln Steffens did it for the book of Exodus (Moses in Red: The Revolt of Israel as a Typical Revolution 1926) – perhaps is meant to win religious folks over to communism (or just liberalism), but it's fundamentally not a good approach (what Terry Eagleton, Badiou or Zizek do is even worse). And it's not a study of the origin/development of Christianity.

[quote=Lenin]The well-known German scientist, Arthur Drews, while refuting religious superstitions and fables in his book, Die Christusmythe (The Christ Myth), and while showing that Christ never existed, at the end of the book declares in favour of religion, albeit a renovated, purified and more subtle religion, one that would be capable of withstanding “the daily growing naturalist torrent” . ...

This does not mean that Drews should not be translated. It means that while in a certain measure effecting an alliance with the progressive section of the bourgeoisie, Communists and all consistent materialists should unflinchingly expose that section when it is guilty of reaction. It means that to shun an alliance with the representatives of the bourgeoisie of the eighteenth century, i.e., the period when it was revolutionary, would be to betray Marxism and materialism; for an “alliance” with the Drewses, in one form or another and in one degree or another, is essential for our struggle against the predominating religious obscurantists.[/quote]

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

that link and big green button 108.32 download button is just giving me an image of the original book

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

if you click the green download button normally in your browser a window will pop up asking if you want to save/read-open the file.

http://www.mediafire.com/file/k9u35h2l67jg4im/The+gospel+of+the+poor+sinners.+Wilhelm+Weitling+1847+English+translation.pdf

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Since a first search online about historical evidence for Jesus brings you to the "James Ossuary" (supposed bone-box of James the brother of Jesus, son of Joseph) and leads to the impression that it's authentic, I had actually to search a bit for its debunking: http://www.academia.edu/292567/Faking_Biblical_History_Falsifier_LHistoire_Biblique

I'm sure Dave B will appreciate it.

Resurrecting the Brother of Jesus: The James Ossuary Controversy and the Quest for Religious Relics; 2009, ed. Ryan Byrne, Bernadette McNary-Zak, pp. 27-28:

Chemical analysis of the ossuary’s patina (the buildup of chemical and organic material on the surface of an archaeological artifact over the centuries during which it lies in the dirt), for example, proves that the inscription is recent. Hershel Shanks originally asserted— incorrectly—that the inscription did not cut through the natural patina on the ossuary and thus had to be ancient rather than modern. The iaa, however, demonstrated that the inscription actually does cut through the patina, proving that while the ossuary is ancient, the inscription is certainly not. Further, the inscription and the area immediately around it were found to have been coated with an artificial patina produced by a mixture of chalk and water. The percentages of calcium carbonate in this mixture ‘‘suggested that its crystallization took place in heated water,’’ at a temperature of approximately 122 degrees Fahrenheit—too high for the environment of a typical Jewish burial cave from Early Roman Palestine. Only the surface area immediately in and around the inscription was found to have been covered with this fake patina. Finally, the renderings of the names in the inscription have now been shown to correspond closely to squeezes (rubbings) of inscriptions already published by Levi Rahmani in his Catalogue of Jewish Ossuaries in the Collections of the State of Israel. The name ‘‘Ya¿acob,’’ for example, is taken from inscription number 396 in the catalog; ‘‘bar Yosef’’ is a copy of number 573; and ‘‘brother of’’ is taken from number 570. We now know, in other words, not only that the inscription is fake (since it cuts through the natural patina and was coated with an artificial one), but also how the forgery was created. Oded Golan found inscriptions in Rahmani’s Catalogue that contained the names he needed to create the illusion of a connection with Jesus of Nazareth. He scanned the published squeezes of these inscriptions, resized the scanned images, and used them as a template with which he carved the inscription. He then covered his work with a coating of chalk and hot water. Worse yet, from the evidence collected in his home, we know that this was not the first time that Golan had created a forged inscription for profit.

The use of scanned images from multiple inscriptions accounts for the feature of the James Ossuary inscription that had been most puzzling to epigraphers. The script of each individual name looks genuine, since it includes typical forms and common variations in the ancient spellings of ‘‘James,’’ ‘‘Joseph,’’ and ‘‘Jesus.’’ As we have already noted, many epigraphers were puzzled by the fact that the inscription includes both cursive and formal lettering, with cursive forms of aleph, daleth, and yod only in the words ‘‘ahui diYeshua.’’ Some epigraphers had argued that the words ‘‘ahui diYeshua’’ must have been added by a later hand. Now we know the actual source of these variations in the script: Rahmani’s Catalogue. Inscriptions number 396 and 573 in the catalog feature formal spelling of aleph and yod, while number 570 has cursive spellings of those same letters.

There is no longer any doubt that the inscription on the James Ossuary is not an archaeological artifact related to Jesus of Nazareth. The ossuary itself is authentic, robbed from a Jewish burial cave somewhere in or near Jerusalem. The inscription, however, is a pastiche of squeezes of published ossuary inscriptions, created through the clever use of digital scanning technology. In addition, we now know that the arguments for the authenticity of the ossuary and its inscription were not convincing. Scholarly archaeological interpretation, conducted on the basis of long-established disciplines in the field, would never have arrived at the extraordinary claim that this inscription referred to Jesus of Nazareth.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I am no fan of the search for archaeological evidence.

And anything that comes up must be suspect.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, I never bought the James Ossuary thing, too many loose ends.

Anyway that was never part of any evidence for he historical Jesus in scholarship (where the historicity of Jesus isn't even a real question), that was more just a media hype thing.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There is no such thing as a "left wing" approach to the study of early Christianity any more than there is a "left wing" approach to the study of the history of the 30 years war.

There is a good, thorough, scholarly approach that gets to the bottom o it, and then there are historical errors.

Historically the Jesus movement is what it was, I'm quite confident that my book is accurate in what it claims, whether the outcome pleases those on the left or right or whatever doesn't really matter.

Frankly in the history and origins of Christianity, the truth of the matter is probably going to piss off both the left and the right.

Zizek isn't a historian, neither is Badiou and neither is terry eagleton, eafleton is a catholic however and he is quite well read in catholic theology.

You want to learn about the history of early Christianity and Christian origins. Read the scholars who specialize in that field. Not Marxist theoreticians.

Khawaga

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Rommon

You want to learn about the history of early Christianity and Christian origins. Read the scholars who specialize in that field. Not Marxist theoreticians.

Which was a point I was trying to get through to Noa much earlier in this thread. S/he doesn't seem to think it's an issue whatsoever.

Dave B

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I am no fan of the search for archaeological evidence.

And anything that comes up must be suspect.

My view is that as materialist is, as with Celsum, JC was a revolutionary pro working class ‘philosopher’ and Egyptian magician , and just run with that for simplicity.

If there is a load of metaphysical and metaphorical hyperbole and crap loaded onto it as in the gospel stuff, then so what.

As with talking pigs in animal farm?

I am up for Celsum being written before AD 70

Celsum was a wanker but he was an intellectual wanker who took himself seriously.

He wasn’t, as an intellectual going to come up with the asse’s heads stuff after someone with the gravitas of Josepus had dished it.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Khawaga

Rommon

You want to learn about the history of early Christianity and Christian origins. Read the scholars who specialize in that field. Not Marxist theoreticians.

Which was a point I was trying to get through to Noa much earlier in this thread. S/he doesn't seem to think it's an issue whatsoever.

Again, we should be careful to assume anything when reconstructing the history of early Christianity. Kautsky at one point (in his discussion of the passion) actually sees a glimpse of historicity in the depiction of the cruelty of Roman soldiers' whipping, since Jesus was executed as a rebel to Rome (crowned 'King of the Jews'), which Kautsky reasons must reflect a reality. The existence of Jesus actually doesn't even play a role in explaining the development of Christianity, and I even suggested further, neither does the existence of a Jerusalem community.

But if you are so impressed by numbers of scholars or whatever, I already referred to 35 "non-marxist theoreticians" given in Drews' 1926 book (not online though). Here's the overview:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Denial_of_the_Historicity_of_Jesus_in_Past_and_Present

Khawaga

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm not in any way impressed by the number of scholars, but how they deal with the available evidence. Now, I am not a student of early Christianity and you clearly know more about it that I do, but from reading this discussion, your continued preference for Marxist scholars over actual scholars of early Christianity is just strange. I like my Marxists as well, but I would not take them as authorities on subjects and phenomena that I know others scholars have spent their entire lives on researching. Sure, you have quoted non-Marxist scholars as well, but your trump-card always seems to be Kautsky. That is just strange.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I just said that Kautsky at one point grants the historicity of Jesus, which I don't. On the actual subject of early communist practice he defends that thesis, like Rommon, so attacking his cred is like shooting in your own foot. And does it need pointing out that he consulted non-Marxists scholars?

Anyway, my speculation is that it started from gentiles living near Jews in the diaspora (eg the major city Antioch). They would go to the synagogues (which were open to non-Jews), and also many gentiles had been converting to Judaism, eg the translator of the Torah in Aramaic was a convert: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onkelos. Acts mentions Paul's success with them several times, so that must have pissed off the Jews against Paul (or some figures like that). Later the Gospels could be writing/transposing Paul's own persecution/rejection by the diaspora Jews, unto the Jesus story. Also many of the sayings/parables of Jesus could have actually been first used by the first missionaries (Paul&co.) in their daily missionary practice and then placed by the Gospel writers into Jesus' mouth.

Khawaga

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I just said that Kautsky at one point grants the historicity of Jesus, which I don't. On the actual subject of early communist practice he defends that thesis, like Rommon, so attacking his cred is like shooting in your own foot. And does it need pointing out that he consulted non-Marxists scholars?

You're misunderstanding me. I am not attacking Kautsky's cred in any way, but your continuous use of Marxists as trump cards. Kautsky is just an example of that (I've got nothing against the feller).

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave B

I am no fan of the search for archaeological evidence.

And anything that comes up must be suspect.

Especially when it comes to the historical Jesus or the first 1 century of Christianity,

the chances that anything archaelogical would come from that (other then a manuscript or two) are slim to none.

My view is that as materialist is, as with Celsum, JC was a revolutionary pro working class ‘philosopher’ and Egyptian magician , and just run with that for simplicity.

If there is a load of metaphysical and metaphorical hyperbole and crap loaded onto it as in the gospel stuff, then so what.

I feel as though you're starting out With Your ideology and having that determine your conclusion.

Rather than taking in all the evidence and trying to come up With the best reconstruction.

You may be a materialist, but it's almost certain that Jesus was not ... NO ONE was back then.

the gospels may be hyperbolic and full of miracles, but they are Our best Sources .. so you have to take that into account (the hyperboly and miracles) in Your reconstruction, and sift out what can be used historically for a reconstruction.

Any reconstruction must start With Mark and Q, the earliest Direct materials on Jesus outside of Paul (who gives us very little).

You can't just Accept as historical what you like, and throw out what you find problematic ... that isn't how history Works.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa Rodman

I just said that Kautsky at one point grants the historicity of Jesus, which I don't. On the actual subject of early communist practice he defends that thesis, like Rommon, so attacking his cred is like shooting in your own foot. And does it need pointing out that he consulted non-Marxists scholars?

Anyway, my speculation is that it started from gentiles living near Jews in the diaspora (eg the major city Antioch). They would go to the synagogues (which were open to non-Jews), and also many gentiles had been converting to Judaism, eg the translator of the Torah in Aramaic was a convert: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onkelos. Acts mentions Paul's success with them several times, so that must have pissed off the Jews against Paul (or some figures like that). Later the Gospels could be writing/transposing Paul's own persecution/rejection by the diaspora Jews, unto the Jesus story. Also many of the sayings/parables of Jesus could have actually been first used by the first missionaries (Paul&co.) in their daily missionary practice and then placed by the Gospel writers into Jesus' mouth.

Whether or I agree With Kausky on whatever isn't the point, the point is he ISN'T a historical Jesus scholar, so his opinion is really not Worth any more than any one elses.

I consult actual historical Jesus and early Christianity scholars who actually study this stuff in the original lanugage, the primary documents, and know the historical context from years and years of study.

the problem With Your speculation is it basically means that the writers of the synoptics were undermining their own Project (Jesus was absolutely a Jewish ethno-nationalist, for him the Kingdom of God was for the Jews ... there were some Things in the gospels that seem otherwise, but usually that is a result of the gospel writers redactions), also it is extremely strange how so early on this Project was undertaken by different People who were unaware of each others work, and they did so knowing it was within their generation (or the previous generation), and yet they all agreed on the specifics.

NOBODY in serious scholarship would take that theory seriosuly, becuase it's basically a conspiracy theory ... and it insists one believe that People in the first and second Century were simply stupid ... that that the creators of this conspiracy were at once geniuses (they made it look so convincing that this was a historical character that it fooled everyone), and yet also completely stupid (they contradicted themselves all over the Place and didn't agree on the ideology they were trying to promote).

Listen, you can believe whatever you want, but don't pretend you're doing anything Close to historical scholarship if you basically have a conspiracy theory and Your main Sources is not even a scholar in the Field.

By the way you quoted a book from the 1920s ... it was a fringe theory then ,.. but given all the New manuscripts, evidence from archeology and further scholarship, it's not even a fringe theory any more, it's just not really in scholarship at all.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Khawaga

me. I am not attacking Kautsky's cred in any way, but your continuous use of Marxists as trump cards. Kautsky is just an example of that (I've got nothing against the feller).

If you were arguing about physics, citing a Marxist economist's opinion on that would be as silly as citing a neo-liberal Economist ... neither of them are scholars in the relevent Field ...

If you want to read from early christianity study James Dunn, or Richard Horsley or some of those guys.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Rommon

the problem With Your speculation is it basically means that the writers of the synoptics were undermining their own Project (Jesus was absolutely a Jewish ethno-nationalist, for him the Kingdom of God was for the Jews ... there were some Things in the gospels that seem otherwise, but usually that is a result of the gospel writers redactions), also it is extremely strange how so early on this Project was undertaken by different People who were unaware of each others work, and they did so knowing it was within their generation (or the previous generation), and yet they all agreed on the specifics.

As Carrier pointed out, the hypothesis of a Q-gospel is a joke. The logical thing, using Occam's razor, is that Matthew relied on/altered Mark, and Luke in turn relied/altered Mark and Matthew.

I like to hear why you think my speculation means the Gospels undermine their own project. The Gospels are doing everything to cover up that Jesus was an ethno-nationalist (as Kautsky points out). In my speculation the original Christians were gentiles in contact with or under the influence of Judaism. Perhaps some liked their new religion to be closer to Judaism (Gospel of Matthew is allegedly the most Jewish). Even an ethno-nationalist (anti-imperialist) Jesus could be attractive for non-jewish people oppressed by Rome. Perhaps the Jewish resistance was admired as an example, a bit like the USSR standing up to the US for the third world.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

We could imagine the relation of Christianity to Judaism like the Neue Marx-Lektüre (Saint Heinrich) to traditional Marxism. First it portrays itself as just the true/better version of marxism, and it has to fight an uphill battle. But then it quickly spreads to become dominant (say after the collapse of the USSR/destruction of the Temple) and it ends up persecuting the old traditional Marxists.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa Rodman

As Carrier pointed out, the hypothesis of a Q-gospel is a joke. The logical thing, using Occam's razor, is that Matthew relied on/altered Mark, and Luke in turn relied/altered Mark and Matthew.

Although Q has been questioned a bit recently (Mark Goodacre is one famous example), it's stood the test of time.

Occam's razor doesn't mean you take the most simple answer, it means you take the most simple one all Things being Equal, Your model ends up ignoring all kinds of problems, such as why Luke adjusted Matthew to be more "primitive" in the Q material, why when taken together the Q material has its own theology and so on.

Again, there's a reason why it's the mainstream.

I like to hear why you think my speculation means the Gospels undermine their own project. The Gospels are doing everything to cover up that Jesus was an ethno-nationalist (as Kautsky points out). In my speculation the original Christians were gentiles in contact with or under the influence of Judaism. Perhaps some liked their new religion to be closer to Judaism (Gospel of Matthew is allegedly the most Jewish). Even an ethno-nationalist (anti-imperialist) Jesus could be attractive for non-jewish people oppressed by Rome. Perhaps the Jewish resistance was admired as an example, a bit like the USSR standing up to the US for the third world.

Thats the Whole point, they had to try and play Down and hide all kinds of Things about Jesus ... you wouldn't have to do that if you made up a character out of thin air.

Not only that, but they got the historical data right that one WOULD have expected have been accurate if the stories and teachigns came from eye witness oral traditions.

The problem With Your speculation is that it completely ignores the evidence.

The gospels are not at all foundins myths, they are ancient Greco-Roman Biographies.

Anyone can come up With speculations, but actual historical scholars have to deal With the evidence.

Rommon

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa Rodman

We could imagine the relation of Christianity to Judaism like the Neue Marx-Lektüre (Saint Heinrich) to traditional Marxism. First it portrays itself as just the true/better version of marxism, and it has to fight an uphill battle. But then it quickly spreads to become dominant (say after the collapse of the USSR/destruction of the Temple) and it ends up persecuting the old traditional Marxists.

Which would mean that Jesus would have to have been invented within his own supposed Lifetime since Gentile christianity started in the 40s/50s, very soon after Or Paul was just talking nonsense, and the gospel writers decided to through the sent off by contradicting themselves all over the Place and including material that didn't agree With their theologies.

Listen ... This is getting really silly ... is you want to actually get into this, go to a university Library and take out some actual Works on the historical Jesus written in the last 50 or so years. James Dunn and Richard Horsley are a good start ....

Right now it's Clear you haven't read any of it, you've just read Marxist theoreticians, which is great for marxist theory and polical-economy, but rediculous for historical Jesus and early Christianity.

Noa Rodman

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thats the Whole point, they had to try and play Down and hide all kinds of Things about Jesus ... you wouldn't have to do that if you made up a character out of thin air.

Yes that's Kautsky's reasoning, to which I replied that depicting Jesus a bit as a rebel and Roman soldiers a bit cruel, would go down well with a non-Jewish audience oppressed/ruled by the Romans.

Which would mean that Jesus would have to have been invented within his own supposed Lifetime since Gentile christianity started in the 40s/50s, very soon after Or Paul was just talking nonsense, and the gospel writers decided to through the sent off by contradicting themselves all over the Place and including material that didn't agree With their theologies.

The Dutch Radical School (mentioned in the wiki-page I linked) rejected all of Paul's letters as fake, connecting them to the Marcionites from the 2nd century. But if we accept the mainstream chronology ("on faith", because really what's the evidence?), my answer is that Paul made little reference to the life/sayings of Jesus (so that his earthly existence becomes almost irrelevant), and the gospel writers later filled that in by personalizing/sensationalizing (the later in time, the more sensationalist one can be) and carrying forth their own theological agendas (thus increasing the contradictions).

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

when I said contradictions I said contradictions within the gospels themselves, not between gospels.

Paul doesn't talk about Jesus historically much, becuase he doesn't need to, it wasn't the point of his letters, but that Jesus was historical is assumed in his letters.

The gospels are no more sensationalist than any other ancient Greco-roman biography was.

The dating comes from analyzing the text, the context of the text, the assumptions of the text and what is and what is not mentioned ... and no it's not "on faith" ... there are volumes and volumes of Research and studies that establish the mainstream view.

The amount of schitzophrenia needed by the gospel writers to invent a anti-Roman Jewish nationalist, but still at the same time try and get the Romans off the hook and tame that same Jewish nationalist and make him seem universalist.

And also make him be an apocalyptic eschatalogical prophet, but then try and hide that fact as well to explain why the world is the way it is - it just doesn't make any sense what so ever.

Not to mention the fact that the gospels read exactly like Greco-roman biographies and are so Close to the subject that it would be almost impossible to make up, as well as the fact that the facts one would expect to be correct are correct for a historical person.

Just to give one example ... its funny how they put him in Nazareth, and then have to come up With a way to Place his birth in Belthleham, why Nazareth? What was the point of that? Why were the early Christians called Nazarenes if they just made that up later?

You're citing People who don't work in the Field, and theories that have been discarded for almost 100 years now.

Read the actual current scholarly literature.

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Why were the early Christians called Nazarenes if they just made that up later?

There are no designations of them as Nazarenes before the Gospels.

You're citing People who don't work in the Field, and theories that have been discarded for almost 100 years now. Read the actual current scholarly literature.

The mainstream is based on assumptions much older than the Dutch Radical School (for an overview of this apparently forgotten/ignored, rather than discarded, school see eg Bergh van Eysinga's Die holländische radikale Kritik des Neuen Testaments). The mainstream's force rests mainly on tradition and obviously the interest scholars "in the field" have to not destroy the basis of their very field (theology). There can be created new apologetic arguments (rather than evidence) since then of course, as you imply, but I'd guess there are really no new convincing arguments, or you'd have referred to them by now.

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Field of theology has nothing to do With the Field of the historical Jesus and early Christianity.

When the term "Nezarenes" comes up, it is assumed that it is already known.

The "convincing arguments" are found in volumes of scholarship written by historical Jusus and Scholars of Early Christianity.

by the way, since the Dutch Radical School tons of New physical evidence has been unearthed, the Dead Sea Scrolls for one ... a kind of big deal, not to mention all the archeological evidence and deeper studies and reconstructions of historians.

Since then you have all kinds of reaseach, the Development of "form criticism", futher understandings of second temple Judaism, further understandings of ancient genres and oral tradition ... and so on.

this idea that the Field of history is somehow constrained by theology is nonsense, empirically untrue, and frankly a conspiracy ... the Field is peer reviewed ... and the mythecists have all by dissapeared because, in scholarship, you have to actually deal With ALL the evidence, and if you have conspiracy theories, you have to back them up With the evidence and actual argument.

Like I said, read the actual scholarship if this is something you want to actually get into. Karl Kausky is not relevant scholarship; the Dutch Radicals were, but they were a flash in the pan, their theories died out because it didn't hold up to the evidence,

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

since the Dutch Radical School tons of New physical evidence has been unearthed, the Dead Sea Scrolls for one ... a kind of big deal, not to mention all the archeological evidence and deeper studies and reconstructions of historians.

Not evidence for Jesus. If by "deeper reconstructions" you have in mind eg parallels with the Essenes ("although some recent interpretations have challenged this association" wikipedia), this was in any case already an old idea.

Since then you have all kinds of reaseach, the Development of "form criticism", futher understandings of second temple Judaism, further understandings of ancient genres and oral tradition ... and so on.

Not sure what "deeper understandings of second temple Judaism" really means. New knowledge about the real social conditions of 1st century Judea, political dynamics and religious practices, etc. is fascinating in itself without connection to Christianity. And of course about the wider Roman provinces too (even especially, since that's where Christianity developed).

this idea that the Field of history is somehow constrained by theology is nonsense, empirically untrue, and frankly a conspiracy ... the Field is peer reviewed ... and the mythecists have all by dissapeared because, in scholarship, you have to actually deal With ALL the evidence, and if you have conspiracy theories, you have to back them up With the evidence and actual argument.

It seems most of the people you cited so far are theologians (don't know if you are one yourself, but it seems you were introduced by one). It's logical that this is so, because for non-christian historians (or non-Christian journals), the existence or not of Jesus is basically an irrelevant question.

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Not evidence for Jesus. If by "deeper reconstructions" you have in mind eg parallels with the Essenes ("although some recent interpretations have challenged this association" wikipedia), this was in any case already an old idea.

Evidence for the world around Jesus that makes sense of him as a historical person, this is how historical scholarship Works, especially for ancient figures. It also is evidence that the historical parts of Things like Q and Mark are deeply rooted in the second temple Jewish Cultural framework and was dealing With issues that made sense within that framework.

It seems most of the people you cited so far are theologians (don't know if you are one yourself, but it seems you were introduced by one). It's logical that this is so, because for non-christian historians (or non-Christian journals), the existence or not of Jesus is basically an irrelevant question.

What are you talking about ... Richard Horseley is a theologian? James Dunn is a theologian? John Crossan a theologian? John Meier a theologian?

What are you talking about? What's Your definition of a theologian?

The existence of Jesus in history is NOT irrelevant if you care about history ... the existence of a historical Pontius Pilate is important, the existence of a historical Cicero is important, a historical Socrates ... and so on.

It matters because history matters, whether you are religious or not.

If you don't care about history, then that's fine. If you think that becuase you don't care you can just throw out speculations and think that they could as history, that's up to you. But if you want to actually do history, deal With the scholarship.

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Here's a very simply example; some People used to argue that "New covenant" talk in the gospels was really anti-jewish proto(or actual)-marcionism, that was in the gospels, placed on the historical Jesus.

With the DDS, as well as more studies on the prophetic traditions within Judaism, and their early interpretations, scholars basically concluded that covenant renewals, and even Direct talk of New covenants was rooted deeply within the Jewish worldview.

So either you have writers who made Jesus at once a Jewish nationalist (that excluded gentiles), but who also was an anti-Jewish proto-marcionite ... i.e. the writers were both geniuses in convincing everyone that they were talking about a historical figure and getting all the Cultural and contextual details correct ... but also Complete idiots in that they made their "Jesus" an anti-Jewish-Jewish Nationalist.

OR, they were talking about a historical figure, that fit within his world. Then they told the story in a way that fit their agendas.

That's just one example of many reasons why mythecism has been dead in the water for over 100 years in scholarship.

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Evidence for the world around Jesus that makes sense of him as a historical person, this is how historical scholarship Works, especially for ancient figures.

I understand that argument. In a discussion elsewhere I mentioned such an argument for the historicity of the Israelite captivity in Egypt by Abraham Yahuda (eg also his interesting article: Medical and Anatomical Terms in the Pentateuch in the Light of Egyptian Medical Papyri, published in Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, ie a non-christian journal). I look forward to next year when a NY student's dissertation will be released on Yahuda's critique (written in Hebrew) of Freud's Moses theory (similarly btw I agree with your critique of Dave B's speculation on Jesus the egyptian magician, it's just not a good path Dave).

I don't know of such a study in detail for the NT giving specific details that could be known only to locals living at that time. Just knowing the name Pilate I don't find convincing. And we know already Luke in Acts for his historical detail drew on Josephus. What reliable new facts does the NT give that historians can use for improving their knowledge about the period?

James Dunn is a theologian? John Crossan a theologian? John Meier a theologian?

James Dunn: Emeritus Lightfoot Professor of Divinity at the University of Durham
John Crossan earned his Doctor of Divinity in 1959 at St Patrick's College, Maynooth, the Irish national seminary, though he resigned his priesthood in the late 60s.
Meier is William K. Warren Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana.

covenant renewals, and even Direct talk of New covenants was rooted deeply within the Jewish worldview.

I guess you refer to the Damascus document. Just googling it brought me to a book by Ole Filtvedt (p. 139 The Identity of God's People) that argues, as you acknowledge, that "renewal" means something different than "new".

I speculated that a part of the gentiles (inspired by diaspora Jewish communities) could have preferred that their new religion stay closer to the original Judaism, ie they would tailor what Jesus said according to their agenda. They might even have considered themselves to be Jews, like some English did I think in the 17th century.

Dave B

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think we are at crossed purposes here and there are several overlapping arguments.

Personally I think JC was a historical figure and the gospel documents have a historical value and just as much value as other contemporary material and thus worthy of investigation and discussion.

I think taking that into consideration it is sensible to just assume as a hypothesis, or my hypothesis, that he existed and it is a tale remotely connected to a reality.

As documents they obviously intrinsically play heavily on allegory and metaphor etc.

So I would interpret it or place it on a similar kind of level as Orwell’s Animal Farm as a history of the Russian revolution.

That has a gritty underlying reality to it even if we don’t believe in talking pigs etc.

There ‘appears’ to be two arguments here.

One; is Roman’s theological argument, and that is I think that the Jesus movement was an evolutionary development out of pre-existing Judaic ideology?

And ‘my’ position that is was not that; but a revolutionary overturn and rejection of pre-existing Judaic ideology triggered by new realities for which the old pre-existing Judaic ideology could no longer satisfy as a ‘rational’ analysis.

The standard Marxist approach on that is, as with Fred, is that in those circumstances there are two possibilities.

One is to ditch the whole set of the old pre-existing ideologies and start with something completely new.

The other more common approach is to re work, re-interpret or re-frame things whilst still drawing on old stuff.

So my hypothesis is that JC did in fact turn old Judaic ideas on their head but you needed an ideological framework to invert in the first place.

So I am going to go where Roman is, and do a theological analysis?

I hope he is not going to say I have not read enough books on the subject.

So Roman says I think that the Jesus movement was rooted in Jewish Nationalism.

[But there is the JC movement and JC as understood by others.]

Mattew 28

14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Mark 13:10
And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all the nations.

There are some others but that will do for the moment.

Quite to the contrary from theological reading of JC himself he was not Judaic centric?

In fact, from my perspective, the Jews would get offered the first bite of the cherry as these things went and would reject it and be cursed like the fig tree.

Roman seemed to accept that interpretation; and there is the parable about the putting new wine [ideas] into old wine skins [Jews] was at least a favourite meme of Marcion.

But it runs much deeper and ‘turn on its head’ stuff than this.

The Judaic god was a tyrannical ‘tough love’ parent child abuser; a projection and ‘transference’ of parent child relations that is all too familiar to people hacked off with modern Christianity.

In fact modern Christianity is a return to its prototype old testament forms.

If you were oppressed or suffering or even physically ‘Ill favoured’ in one way or another it was God’s punishment, as a loving parent that is.

So we have;

Exodus 34:6-7New International Version (NIV)

6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”

People who are familiar with this kind of thing directly or indirectly, without projection or transference understand it well enough!

Whilst being thrashed, or stoned, by someone out of ‘abounding in love’, to save them from themselves.

So then was JC of this kind of ilk, and Marcion incorrect, in saying that JC was not hypocritical in his ‘abounding in love’.

It is clear I think that people hacked off by their inferior social position didn’t like the idea that it was their own fault or the fault of their parents.

We actually have the same ideas now.

So if you are a grunt and refuse collector it is because you parents were shits and spent too much time in the pub and you didn’t try hard enough in school etc.

We have an ‘economic’ meritocracy to explain suffering and oppression whilst the Judaic religion had a theological meritocracy.

Just as Marxism overturned the concept of capitalist meritocracy and raised the oppressed to the status of heroes.

JC raised the status of the oppressed to the ‘blessed’ and subject of God’s love.

That was the real blasphemous shit as far as the Judaic state religion was concerned.

The healing of the sick etc is just looked at as some extraneous impressive ideological magic.

Theologically, if you believe it which is neither here nor there, for the Judaic religion it was worse than claiming to be the son of god as it was undoing God’s punishment.

Doing it on the Sabbath day was just rubbing salt in the wound.

There were probably loads of seminal stories of working class struggles running around at the time; and I think this one just kicked off and we know about it because it ticked ‘all the boxes’.

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave B

It is clear I think that people hacked off by their inferior social position didn’t like the idea that it was their own fault or the fault of their parents.

Just on that typical vengeful OT god thing. Rashi's commentary explains "He visits the iniquity of parents on the children" by referring to a previous passage in Exodus (namely the ten commandments):

Rashi

when they hold onto the deeds of their parents in their hands [i.e., emulate their ways], for He already explained this in another verse, [that it means only] “of those who hate Me” (Exod. 20:5)

of those who hate Me: As the Targum [Onkelos paraphrases: when the sons continue to sin following their fathers, i.e.], when they cling to their fathers’ deeds. — [from Sanh. 27b]

NT has its vengeful moments too btw, eg in Acts 5:

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”

9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died.

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

another passage from the NT, Matthew 26

There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.

But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?

For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.

When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.

For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.

For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.

Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,

And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.

btw I have heard Judas' betrayal explained by his disgust at this conduct of Jesus.

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

dp

Dave B

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As to the oil thing it was probably meant to be symbolic.

In Judaism, the Jewish Messiah "the anointed one"),often referred to as "King Messiah" [7] is expected to descend from King David and accomplish the unification of the twelve tribes[8] into a re-established nation. The Jerusalem Temple's rebuilding will usher in a Messianic Age[9] of global peace.

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

I seem to remember from the old testament that the kings of Israel or whatever were anointed with oil as part of the ceremony?

I think it is likely that Judas was given the name Iscariot later from the term Sicarii.

Ie Judas the back stabber etc?

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

the sins of the fathers also appears in;

Numbers 14:17

18The LORD is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.'…

http://biblehub.com/numbers/14-17.htm

Deuteronomy 5:9

9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+5:9

I think there is some pull back from that in Ezekiel.

But there is no shortage of contradictions in the old testament.

As to the acts 5 thing; yes that is in my top five of crappy things in the gospel and acts list.

Without wanting to seem to ‘apologise’ for it; it is more interesting that they didn’t or resisted going as far as blaming or crediting God for it which must have been an almost irresistible temptation.

I also don’t want to go so far as saying that some of Roman’s Jesus movement didn’t include people who understood it in the context of a national liberation movement.

As with previous Old Testament tradition.

With the resistance to Hellenisation.

That is the Hellenisation and Greek culture that never existed in Palestine according to Roman?

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

Actually old testament stuff on the afterlife, heaven, hell and Satan compared to Gospel stuff was a bit patchy and non central; although you can find it if you look hard enough.

The general idea was the concerns with earthly here and now materialism suck up to the jealous god and he will reward you or if not shit on you.

Which wasn’t that different a perspective to the ‘Hellenic’ pagan thesis.

The pagan ‘Hellenic’ take on Judaism was understanding.

The Judaic god was just one of many local national deities in the pantheon.

The Jews were thus confused as a result of national chauvinism.

Otherwise they liked and respected as a better literally documented religion than most.

Hence Vespasian picked up on it.

The killer when it comes to dating the gospel material is the prophesy that JC would come back within a generation.

That never happened and even though early Christians were stupid you could say you don’t write down prophesies that never happened.

You write down a prophesy when it was still possible.

There is connected material on that in ‘Peters’ epistle that excludes Peter as the author.

And the addendum to the gospel of John which suggests that it was also without the addendum 1st century.

My take on it is that the original version of the prophesy was about that would happen within a generation of the re-establishment of the Jewish state- the fig tree thing that is still wrapped around it.

That would also be more consistent with orthodox second temple Old Testament stuff.
Or in other words it was re written in the 1st century to keep spirits up.

I must admit I am embarrassed.

You see these Christians banding about there battered well thumbed bibles to demonstrate their faith etc.

Mine is falling to bits.

As is ‘my’ volume III of capital.

I borrowed volume III of capital an volume II, unread of course, from someone in 2003 and the git has moaned to someone else that I kept it and wants it back!

Volume II is still in pristine condition; it is shit.

I have just tipped a glass of wine over the keyboard so am going to send whilst I can.

Dave B

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It looks like I am still ok a bit?

So we have something else as well!

12"In that day I will carry out against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13"For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them.…

http://biblehub.com/1_samuel/3-12.htm

when it came to the justification of slavery in the southern US in the 19th century they used something like this.

Can’t remember exactly what it was; I might try and findd it later.

Probably going to OCR the SPGB library copy of Wietling and get around copyright problems.

Dave B

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

muy key b0ord is shit off line njkw

gdd has punishek n6ee

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa Rodman

I guess you refer to the Damascus document. Just googling it brought me to a book by Ole Filtvedt (p. 139 The Identity of God's People) that argues, as you acknowledge, that "renewal" means something different than "new".

I speculated that a part of the gentiles (inspired by diaspora Jewish communities) could have preferred that their new religion stay closer to the original Judaism, ie they would tailor what Jesus said according to their agenda. They might even have considered themselves to be Jews, like some English did I think in the 17th century.

For the theologians the ones Iisted publish almost exclusively in history and NT scholarship, not academic theology. But I mean I could basically list everyone in historical Jesus and early christianity studies and they will ALL dissmiss mythecist theories as rediculous.

The actual Word used is "New" as far as I can tell, by the way, it's not only the Damascus document, it's in other Jewish literature as well. By the way, renewal is also, if you read it closely, the theology of Paul as well.

I do find it strange however that a bunch of gentiles were privy to all the pharisaic arguments that were only written Down later in the Mishnah? Which Jesus was obviously privy to and took part in?

Your conspiracy theory is getting stranger and stranger; what that means is that the writers of the gospels were geniuses in understanding Judaism, AND they wanted to keep Judaism, but they kept undermining themselves all over the gospels as well.

The gospels record Jesus' teachings and actions and then tailor them, which ends up With some tensions ... why would they ADD those tensions in and then try and smooth them over if they were just making it up?

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave B

One; is Roman’s theological argument, and that is I think that the Jesus movement was an evolutionary development out of pre-existing Judaic ideology?

And ‘my’ position that is was not that; but a revolutionary overturn and rejection of pre-existing Judaic ideology triggered by new realities for which the old pre-existing Judaic ideology could no longer satisfy as a ‘rational’ analysis.

The standard Marxist approach on that is, as with Fred, is that in those circumstances there are two possibilities.

One is to ditch the whole set of the old pre-existing ideologies and start with something completely new.

The other more common approach is to re work, re-interpret or re-frame things whilst still drawing on old stuff.

My approach is NOT a theological approach, it's based on the best evidence we have from the earliest documentation.

It was evolutionary out of Judaism, Jesus was a jew, he worshiped at the temple, he quoted Jewish scripture ALL the time, his framework was based on Torah, eschatology, and righteousness traditions. There is no way around that, unless you just ignore the evidence.

Whatever Your approach is based on it must FIRST be based on the evidence, then afterwords you can examine the evidence through whatever framework.

I have no problem With historial Jesus scholars using the Tools of Marxism, I have done so some times (using early Marx's commodity Fetishism is a great tool for some of Jesus' teachings for example).

The problem With Your approach is you basically have to throw out all of Q and Mark, i.e. the best and earliest evidence we have.

So my hypothesis is that JC did in fact turn old Judaic ideas on their head but you needed an ideological framework to invert in the first place.

So I am going to go where Roman is, and do a theological analysis?

I hope he is not going to say I have not read enough books on the subject.

So Roman says I think that the Jesus movement was rooted in Jewish Nationalism.

[But there is the JC movement and JC as understood by others.]

Mattew 28

14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Mark 13:10
And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all the nations.

There are some others but that will do for the moment.

Quite to the contrary from theological reading of JC himself he was not Judaic centric?

In fact, from my perspective, the Jews would get offered the first bite of the cherry as these things went and would reject it and be cursed like the fig tree.

Roman seemed to accept that interpretation; and there is the parable about the putting new wine [ideas] into old wine skins [Jews] was at least a favourite meme of Marcion.

But it runs much deeper and ‘turn on its head’ stuff than this.

The Judaic god was a tyrannical ‘tough love’ parent child abuser; a projection and ‘transference’ of parent child relations that is all too familiar to people hacked off with modern Christianity.

In fact modern Christianity is a return to its prototype old testament forms.

If you were oppressed or suffering or even physically ‘Ill favoured’ in one way or another it was God’s punishment, as a loving parent that is.

So we have;

Exodus 34:6-7New International Version (NIV)

6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”

People who are familiar with this kind of thing directly or indirectly, without projection or transference understand it well enough!

Whilst being thrashed, or stoned, by someone out of ‘abounding in love’, to save them from themselves.

So then was JC of this kind of ilk, and Marcion incorrect, in saying that JC was not hypocritical in his ‘abounding in love’.

It is clear I think that people hacked off by their inferior social position didn’t like the idea that it was their own fault or the fault of their parents.

We actually have the same ideas now.

So if you are a grunt and refuse collector it is because you parents were shits and spent too much time in the pub and you didn’t try hard enough in school etc.

We have an ‘economic’ meritocracy to explain suffering and oppression whilst the Judaic religion had a theological meritocracy.

Just as Marxism overturned the concept of capitalist meritocracy and raised the oppressed to the status of heroes.

JC raised the status of the oppressed to the ‘blessed’ and subject of God’s love.

That was the real blasphemous shit as far as the Judaic state religion was concerned.

The healing of the sick etc is just looked at as some extraneous impressive ideological magic.

Theologically, if you believe it which is neither here nor there, for the Judaic religion it was worse than claiming to be the son of god as it was undoing God’s punishment.

Doing it on the Sabbath day was just rubbing salt in the wound.

There were probably loads of seminal stories of working class struggles running around at the time; and I think this one just kicked off and we know about it because it ticked ‘all the boxes’.

You are right about Jesus kind of doing a "turning on the head" of some ideas from Judaism; however we have to be careful here.

The "to the nations" part is still a part of Judaism, you'll remember that Abraham was to "bless the nations" through his offspring, and that in later Prophetic tradition the nations were to follow the Jews and turn to Yahweh (Zechariah 8:23 is a good example of this).

The saying of Jesus is just that, the "gospel" i.e. the message that the Kingdom of God that is going to destroy the Powers and rulerships of this world and establish a New order of justice is hear, will be proclaimed to everyone.

Aslo there was no ONE Picture of God in Judaism, the God of the Priestly traditions was different than that of the Dueteronomic tradition, the God of Isaiah was different than the God of the Kings.

Jesus spoke of Gods vengence and destruction of the unrighteous, you may not like it, but that's IN the historical material, now YOU may choose to reject it, but that's not something you can bring into historical Jesus studies.

You can't assume there was one Judaism, there wasn't; Compare the Mishnah, to Joesphus, to the DDS, to Philo, to the Wisdom literature ... it's all different, there are Things tying them together sure, but they don't have ONE Picture of God.

Marcion rejected the vengeful God, but it's obvious Jesus didn't, it's also obvious that Jesus core material was based on the Old Testament. Jesus' favorate books were Isaiah, Deuteronomy and the Psalms ... so if you want to figure out what Picture of God Jesus liked, that would be a Place to start .... Not Marcion; not proto-Gnostic neo-platonism.

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

We have to be VERY careful to not let what we want Jesus to be to cloud how we reconstruct history ... we must stick to a Critical examination of the evidence; there may be Things we like about him, somethings we don't, but if we are doing history we have to stick to history.

I like the story about the women caught in adultary ... it's a beautiful story and it has a beautiful Message; but it's not historical ... at least it cannot be taken as historical, the fact that I like it and it fits with a good theology doesn't make a difference.

I'm the Christian here btw, (the only one I think, if I'm not mistaken) :P.

Dave B

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Perhaps Roman can provide us with the gospel quotes he would like to use on gods vengeance on earthlings.

It is important, if I were to presume that the gospel material is a theological/political expression and creation of the oppressed rather than that of the ruling class.

The old testament is quite straightforward as regards a theological/political expression of the ruling class.

God punishes earthlings for misdemeanors often trans generationally and thus potentially as class.

And god favours or rewards earthlings often trans generationally and thus potentially as class.

Thus if you are doing badly, the oppressed, your under gods punishment and if you are doing well, the ruling class you are under gods blessing.

It is thus a theological class analysis, although perhaps not an attractive one, for an oppressed class.

It has a non theological economical mirror in the claimed meritocracy of capitalism.

As to the deferred gratification for the oppressed in the gospel material re revolutionary judgment day when the rich will be thrown into the burn pit etc.

Some of us of a more Bolshevik, Paris Commune or radical ‘Spanish’ anarchist persuasion would have them put up against the wall and shot.

The standard revision of ‘early christianity’ back to the old testament view is outlined below.

…. asserting the absolute sovereignty of God, arguing that everything eventuates as a result of God’s holy decree.

God’s sovereign governance over creation, including the plans of humanity.

https://thoughtsofalivingchristian.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/critical-analysis-of-calvins-doctrine-of-providence-and-pastoral-application/

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Rommon

strange however that a bunch of gentiles were privy to all the pharisaic arguments that were only written Down later in the Mishnah? Which Jesus was obviously privy to and took part in?

Your conspiracy theory is getting stranger and stranger; what that means is that the writers of the gospels were geniuses in understanding Judaism, AND they wanted to keep Judaism, but they kept undermining themselves all over the gospels as well.

The gospels record Jesus' teachings and actions and then tailor them, which ends up With some tensions ... why would they ADD those tensions in and then try and smooth them over if they were just making it up?

Not geniuses, just a bit familiar with Judaism, since they went to the synagogues, lived near the Jewish communities in the diaspora. These gentiles were "god-fearing". Some converted to Judaism, I mentioned one who even translated the Torah into Aramaic. But perhaps some did not convert to Judaism, and for whatever reason mixed their appreciation/understanding of Judaism with their own philosophies. Think of it as cultural appropriation. That would be fine. But when they then tried to win over the rest of the god-fearing gentiles in the synagogues and even Jews, then perhaps some Jews did not like that introduction of foreign philosophies. Perhaps these gentile Christians were no longer welcome. And some Christians would try to stay closer to Judaism, but other responded from an initial love- to a hate-relation (wrt Judaism). In a love-hate relation you have tensions.

My speculation explains why all Christian writings are in Greek and how Christianity spread in the non-jewish world.

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On Gamaliel II, head of the Yavne assembly since 80 AD (wikipedia):

In Rome, as at home, Gamaliel often had occasion to defend Judaism in polemical discussions with pagans, and also with professed Christians. In an anecdote regarding a suit which Gamaliel was prosecuting before a Christian judge, a converted Jew, an appeal to the Gospel and to the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:17 is made, with one possible reading of the story indicating that it was Gamaliel making this reference.

(Matthew 5:17: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.")

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/6495-gamaliel-ii :

Especially interesting are the accounts of the debates which the scholars held with unbelievers in Rome, and in which Gamaliel was the chief speaker in behalf of Judaism (ib. p. 85). Elsewhere also Gamaliel had frequent opportunities to answer in controversial conversations the questions of unbelievers and to explain and defend the teachings of the Jewish religion (ib. p. 76). At times Gamaliel had to meet the attacks of confessors of Christianity; one of these was the "min," or philosopher, who maliciously concluded from Hosea v. 6 that God had completely forsaken Israel (Yeb. 102b; Midr. Teh. to Ps. x., end; most completely reproduced from the old source in Midr. ha-Gadol to Lev. xxvi. 9, in Bacher, "Ag. Tan." 2d ed., i. 83). There is a satirical point in a story in which Gamaliel with his sister brings a fictitious suit concerning an inheritance before a Christian judge and convicts him of having accepted bribes; whereupon Gamaliel quotes Jesus' words in Matt. v. 17 (Shab. 116a, b). The sect of believers in Jesus, which was ever separating itself more distinctly from all connection with Judaism, and which with other heretics was classed under the name of "minim," led Gamaliel, because of its tendencies dangerous to the unity of Judaism, to introduce a new form of prayer, which he requested Samuel ha-Katon to compose, and which was inserted in the chief daily prayer, the eighteen benedictions (Ber. 28b; Meg. 17b).

--

It's actually doubtful whether "minim" refers to Christians in the 18 benedictions (apparently composed around 85AD - though remember that the Talmud was written down only later). And only in a Medieval Talmud copy (found in Cairo) we see added specifically "and notzrim" (which itself can even be questioned to whom it refers). Also some say Gamaliel II lived to around 140 AD, so not clear when his debates with the pagans and Christians in Rome was held. Differences aside, would be interesting to research this Rommon.

Dave B

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

One of the central themes in intellectualised Marxism is called ‘alienation’.

It should then be of some interest you would expect as to where and when the term originated and in what context etc etc.

It would seem to have originated from Ludwig Feuerbach’s The Essence of Christianity (1841).

Actually it didn’t, it first appeared in the general context in which it is ‘understood in a Marxist socio economic sense, albeit theologically in Tertullian’s Against Marcion.

But more on that later.

Karl Marx expressed the Entfremdung theory, of estrangement from the self, in the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 (1927). Philosophically, the theory of Entfremdung relies upon The Essence of Christianity (1841), by Ludwig Feuerbach, which states that the idea of a supernatural god has alienated the natural characteristics of the human being.

Moreover, in The Ego and its Own (1845), Max Stirner extended Feuerbach's analysis that even the idea of "humanity" is an alienating concept for individuals to intellectually consider in its full philosophic implication; Marx and Engels responded to these philosophic propositions in The German Ideology (1845).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marx%27s_theory_of_alienation

The question is what the hell does that mean?

I will try and keep it simple by referring to children’s stories and the wisdom of ‘fools’.

“They face many obstacles in their path; from rivers to irritable people, but nonetheless, they struggle bravely on, until they finally reach home.”

Bodger tires easily; but he is a brave, loyal, persevering, and tenacious companion…

Tao is a tireless, bold, and loyal animal. Tao is probably the best equipped of the three to survive in the wilderness, and has no difficulty surviving on his own when separated from the two dogs; despite this, he spends all his time seeking to rejoin them, a testament to the bond between the animals.

Luath: Luath is a young Labrador Retriever. His fur is red-gold, his eyes are brown, and he is strongly built. Of the Hunter's three pets, he is the most recent addition. He is also the most determined to push forward and reach home and the Hunters.

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

What we have then here is an [anthropogenic] projection of idealised human value systems onto non human ‘objects’ so we can look upon them with a sense of admiration, love and respect etc.

Whilst in fact it is nothing more or less than creating an unblemished mirror image of the better, desired side of ourselves.

So we can gaze on it in narcissist self love.

It doesn’t matter that much whether it is hobbits like Frodo, "Sam" Gamgee,
Scottish dwarfes or feminine welsh speaking elves.

Or for that matter pre-pubescents trying to discover the positive side of their personality and indentify the negative as in Harry Potter.

Adult intellectuals might not understand that but they do.

So according to Feuerbach early Christianity was a fictional representation of the trials, tribulations, concerns and value systems of those early Christians that liked it.

Thus it represented something real and experienced.

The real power of Harry Potter novels is that it is a reflection of adolescent school
experience for those that can still remember it.

It is often dished as a public school thing, but I went to an inner city comprehensive and a less than intellectual adult that told me to read it went, as a person of colour who went to a to a secondary modern in a more racist 1970’s.

Stirner responded that he had a humanity as well but it was a self serving individualistic one.

And thus rather than early Christianity getting back in touch with a co-operative social instinct etc it was alienating him and his humans in general from the real nature or essence of their humanity eg egotism.

That didn’t exclude co-operation or a ‘union of egotists’ or even for that matter ‘love’ of others; but he skipped over the second point with the idea that you get an egotistical buzz from ‘kissing the troubled brow’ of others without dwelling on it.

For the early Christian Marcionite Christians the idea of;

God’s sovereign governance over creation, including the plans of humanity…

Was as alien to them as was their economic position to it.

Thus from Tertullian;

What would you have the blind man's faith to have been? That Jesus was descended from that (alien) god (of Marcion), to subvert the Creator and overthrow the law and the prophets? That He was not the destined offshoot from the root of Jesse, and the fruit of David's loins, the restorer also of the blind? But I apprehend there were at that time no such stone-blind persons as Marcion, that an opinion like this could have constituted the faith of…………

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/03124.htm

Why, however, may it not be more suitable for the Creator to have delivered His own Son to His own curse, than to have submitted Him to the malediction of that god of yours—in behalf, too, of man, who is an alien to him?

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/03125.htm

As to Roman’s vindictive JC, he has gone quiet I ‘rebuke’ him and we have;

53But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem. 54When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55But He turned and rebuked them, [and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; 56for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”] And they went on to another village.

http://biblehub.com/nasb/luke/9.htm

I appreciate from personal experience that this trick cyclist shit about projection sounds a bit dodgy.

I came to it from the Marxist Erich Fromm and the proto feminist Karen Horney; they were shacked up together for a while and he influenced her.

But she became more important as a neo Freudian.

She as a bit of an anti-intellectual, which is why she is not liked and ignored too much said don’t believe me just see it in good fiction.

George Eliot was a master of it and translated feuerbachs essence of Christianity.

She was also an erudite political commentator in her novels despite her squishy love stories over-layed onto it.

George Eliot as a Psychological Novelist
Psychological Novel: Its Nature

http://neoenglishsystem.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/george-eliot-as-psychological-novelist.html

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just finished recording an interview With https://progressivespirit.net/ on my book, I'll let you guys know when it's out.

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The satirical point of the Matthew-reference (chapter 5:verses 13-17) in the Talmud (here, the passage starts at "Imma Shalom, R. Eliezer's wife, was R. Gamaliel's sister.") was according to Moritz Güdemann the following:

There was a pre-Matthew gospel in Hebrew (btw this would go against my theory) in which Jesus said that: 'A son and a daughter inherit equally', but this cannot be found anymore in the later Greek official gospels. So the Talmud/Gamaliel (already around 70-80) brought up this saying of Jesus in order to expose this self-suppression of the Christians. Matthew 5:15 reads: "Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket." To which the Talmud story/Gamaliel quips: 'Let thy light shine forth like a lamp.' 'An ass came and knocked the lamp over!' (the "ass" here is likely just a result of confusion of words in Hebrew).

Dave B

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

You might find the following of some interest Noa.

Even if it is a bit of a minefield.

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

Included in it appears to be some support of the idea that the woman caught in adultery thing that Roman wants to redact was early material.

Actually that in my opinion is the most radical passage in the gospels in that it negates the [state] judiciary and retribution for ‘anti social’ crimes that might be even too left wing for many ‘Anarchists’.

It is also consistent with other stuff like ‘judge not so you will not be judged’.

I think we can probably take most of the stuff in the Papias link ‘seriously’ as it wasn’t really in the interests of 4th century Christians to over play the existence of multiple versions.

I seem to remember that Jerome briefly believed he had found a copy of the gospel of the Hebrews but later changed his mind in that what he had was a Hebrew translation or version of an earlier Geek one?

As with contra celsum I think the hostile stuff eg coming from Judaic material albeit of uncertain provenance is the most interesting.

Some of it has JC being “hung” from a tree; which might not exclude being crucified on a tree.

Another one had the guy with the withered hand as a mason who had had an industrial accident.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+3%3A1-6&version=ESV

I suspect that JC was also a savvy political operator and knew how to play the suffragette sisterhood card as well.

That seemed to have run even into the ruling class as well as he seems to have had some upper class women on his side in; not only amongst the ‘Jewish’ ruling class but maybe even Pontius Pilates wife as well?

Just got and hacked my way today through Joel Carmichael’s “libertarian Marxist?” unriddling of Christian origins.

It has some interesting background stuff in it but whilst presuming the historicity of JC data mines and is selective in pushing his idea of a him being a national liberation anti imperialist figure.

What I got most out of it was a warning, to myself, of the trap of data mining and prejudicial selection of material.

I suspect I am going to have to go back again to the gospel material again and do a more thorough analysis of the content.

I sort went forward from it to gathering ancillary contemporary material a few years ago at that before dropping it.

This is like a revisit for me.

I don’t know exactly what Roman is interested at the moment but it sounds a bit like re rape of eve etc like the really cranky stuff in the book of enoch that it appears some of the early Christians liked.

And was in the essene dead sea scroll collection.

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

.

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave B

Included in it appears to be some support of the idea that the woman caught in adultery thing that Roman wants to redact was early material.

It wasn't in the gospel of John, we know that. The earliest fragment of Papias, in Eusebius, does not include that story ...

All it says that in the gospel of the Hebrews (a Ebionite/Nazarean Version of Matthew) there was a story of a woman accused of many sins.

I think it is probably not a Reference to the woman caught in adultery but rather to the Woman in Matthew 26:6-13.

But it was in the 10th Century that People started saying that Papias was talking about the woman caught in adultary.

But who knows.

I think we can probably take most of the stuff in the Papias link ‘seriously’ as it wasn’t really in the interests of 4th century Christians to over play the existence of multiple versions.

Papias was 1st/2nd Century.

I don’t know exactly what Roman is interested at the moment but it sounds a bit like re rape of eve etc like the really cranky stuff in the book of enoch that it appears some of the early Christians liked.

And was in the essene dead sea scroll collection.

Not at all .... the "rape of eve" stuff from the website I linked to is from an interview the radio show did With a woman who studies gnostic materials. My interview is going to be released soon, probably within the month, and it's on my book.

I don't know much about the gnostic writings, I've only really read Thomas, from the secondary materials I've read I don't really consider them to be originating from Christianity or really having anything to do With Christianity.

What I'm working on now is dealing With the sermon on the plain from Q/Luke in light of modern anthropology and within the context of Pharisaic Halakha rulings found in Mishnah/Tosefta, as well as it's early interpretation and how it would be understood in light of Greek philosophy and how it would have been understood by Palestinian peasants.

Here's a little sneak peak

https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2017/06/15/jesus-against-hillel-on-usury-by-roman-a-montero/

Dave B

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I know papias was supposed to be 1st and second century but I think most of the stuff on him comes from commentary from people a lot later like Eusebius who is highly questionable on a lot of things and needs to read cautiously?

https://danielbwallace.com/2013/06/26/where-is-the-story-of-the-woman-caught-in-adultery-really-from/

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa Rodman

Not geniuses, just a bit familiar with Judaism, since they went to the synagogues, lived near the Jewish communities in the diaspora. These gentiles were "god-fearing". Some converted to Judaism, I mentioned one who even translated the Torah into Aramaic. But perhaps some did not convert to Judaism, and for whatever reason mixed their appreciation/understanding of Judaism with their own philosophies. Think of it as cultural appropriation. That would be fine. But when they then tried to win over the rest of the god-fearing gentiles in the synagogues and even Jews, then perhaps some Jews did not like that introduction of foreign philosophies. Perhaps these gentile Christians were no longer welcome. And some Christians would try to stay closer to Judaism, but other responded from an initial love- to a hate-relation (wrt Judaism). In a love-hate relation you have tensions.

My speculation explains why all Christian writings are in Greek and how Christianity spread in the non-jewish world.

1. Diaspora synagogues didn't include Pharisaic rabbinic arguments on halacha, especially halacha that was only relevant in palestine.

2. Nor did they get into the debates of the Saducees and the Pharisees, and the revolutionaries within Palestine.

3. Nor did they know palestinian Aramaic idioms.

For Your speculations to be true, however, EVERYONE would have to be lying in the first 2 centuries of christianity (and Beyond) and no one caught them.

All the writings we have are in greek because what reason would there be for scribes to Write in Aramaic/Hebrew outside of palestine? Also most of the earliest Galilean/Judean Groups were oral, and what we have from them is the edited Version found in Q/Mark which adjusted for a gentile audience. It's not a mystery why all hte documents are in Greek.

As to why it spread in the non-jewish world, you have to know the world back them, Mystery religions were blowing up, "god-fearers" were growing, an Christianity offered all the perks of Judaism without the downside.

Anyway. The problem With Your speculation is it requires one to ignore all the textual evidence.

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

1. Diaspora synagogues didn't include Pharisaic rabbinic arguments on halacha, especially halacha that was only relevant in palestine.

There does appear some corroboration of the oral Torah tradition in the NT ('Research Overview' pp. 135–206 in The New Testament and Rabbinic Literature, 2010). I don't think this tells us much new/reliable about Judaism at the time or proves your point. The oral tradition supposedly dates back many centuries BCE (at least to the time of Ezra). Surely the diaspora Jews were not totally ignorant of oral tradition customs (like talit and tefillin). But it's one of the better arguments for historicity I'd say if one could elaborate on it.

3. Nor did they know palestinian Aramaic idioms.

In Antioch the lower-status groups mainly spoke Aramaic, so gentiles there could have understood the "rabbinic" tradition which was in Aramaic. Some argue that since these earliest Christian communities in Northern Syria were bilingual they could easily have translated the words of Jesus into Greek (pp. 171–72 Jesus and Gospel Traditions in Bilingual Context, Sang-Il Lee 2012), ie they were the bridge to the non-Jewish world.

EVERYONE would have to be lying in the first 2 centuries of christianity (and Beyond) and no one caught them.

Hardly anyone in a gentile audience could "fact-check" on Paul or the gospel of Mark (or the NT would surely mention an instance where in Paul's audience some Jew stands up who himself saw Jesus and begins an argument with Paul). Clearly the audience hadn't heard anything yet about a Jesus of Nazareth, and they are often just convinced by the miracles of Paul et al. All we have is Josephus' mention of James the brother of Jesus and Carrier argues that is an accidental interpolation.

Dave B

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Roman

I suspect that you are missing Noa’s point.

The reality as we can witness now is that religious systems as practiced by the masses is often a fusion of separate religious systems.

As people pick and mix material from former and present systems.

So in central America and Africa for example paganistic ideas are often fused into the more modern Christianity.

And that happened in northern Europe as well as can be seen more from the archaeological evidence with Christian crosses being overlaid with overtly pagan material.

A lot of it was trashed in the protestant revival.

Catholic missionaries could be more tolerant and permitted a fusion; Graham Greene introduced the subject in some of his novels set in Africa.

We still have in fact winter solstice stuff [Christmas], easter eggs and Christmas trees etc.

The south eastern Asians still celebrate Hindu festival days as do the monothesistic Sikhs.

It is often a complete anathema to the orthodox priest class and isn’t talked or written about; but that is not to say it doesn’t happen.

I think it is highly likely that the same thing was going on 2000 years ago not only with Judaism but with early Christianity; particularly as regards the integration of Platonist ideas as some kind of valid prototype of both.

With Christianity post Origen the orthodox church set about redacting that kind of idea from the record and sending the material down the memory hole.

And thus what was preserved of Origen and Justyn the Martyr became top shelf material.

Just as the Catholics in charge of the dead sea scroll material didn’t like what they saw as it called into question the originality of Christianity and gave it a precedent.

Intellectual orthodox Christians from the 4th century on wanted to expunge ‘Platonism’ as precedent for Christianity.

And disliked that for the same reasons as Roman dislikes the gospel of John for it’s Hellenism.

I seem to remember that there is archaeological evidence of special seating arrangements for ‘Jews’ at the theatre at Sepphoris; which would suggest that they were going to watch Greek plays.

The problem ‘now’ is that Judaism portrays itself as basically an ethnic, nationalist and essentially racist and non proselysing religion?

And if that is taken as standard; it is difficult, jumping into that vat of tripe again, trying to work out where all theses blonde blue eyed ‘non Semitic’ ‘Jews’ came from let alone the ‘Ethiopian’ ones.

Unless it had been a proselysing religion?

I think Roman wants to have his cake and eat it as well, with his preaching to the nations of the earth as well as it being a narrow ethnic based religion.

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

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

The basic idea is quite simple; the creator ‘old testament’ god is a complete maniac and a shit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-suvkwNYSQo

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Unless it had been a proselysing religion?

Abram Leon notes this:

Jewish proselytism took on increasingly imposing proportions toward the beginning of the Christian era. “To be members of so widely ramified and prosperous a commercial organization was a prospect that must have been enticing to not a few.” [75] As early as 139 B.C., the Jews were banished from Rome for recruiting proselytes. At Antioch, the larger part of the Jewish community consisted of converts.

btw, re: Christianity on the natural economy, Abram Leon says Christianity became indeed its ideology, but insofar as this goes along with the decay of the Roman commercial relations, that's not a progressive thing:

The revolutionary religion of the popular masses is changed into a religion of consolation for these same masses. Kautsky compares this phenomenon to social democratic revisionism. It would be more accurate to compare this evolution to the fascist phenomenon which we are experiencing at the present time. Fascism also attempts to make use of “socialism” in order to strengthen the rule of finance capital. It unhesitatingly uses the most brazen falsehoods to deceive the masses, to represent the rule of the tycoons of heavy industry as the “rule of labor.” Nevertheless the “fascist revolution” also has a certain economic and social content. It definitely closes the liberal epoch and inaugurates the epoch of the complete domination of monopoly capitalism, the antithesis of free competitive capitalism. Similarly, it is inadequate merely to say that Christianity became an instrument for deceiving the poor classes. It also became the ideology of the class of landed proprietors who seized absolute power under Constantine. Its triumph coincided with the complete triumph of a natural economy. Simultaneously with Christianity, feudal economy spread all over Europe.

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa Rodman

There does appear some corroboration of the oral Torah tradition in the NT ('Research Overview' pp. 135–206 in The New Testament and Rabbinic Literature, 2010). I don't think this tells us much new/reliable about Judaism at the time or proves your point. The oral tradition supposedly dates back many centuries BCE (at least to the time of Ezra). Surely the diaspora Jews were not totally ignorant of oral tradition customs (like talit and tefillin). But it's one of the better arguments for historicity I'd say if one could elaborate on it.

What evidence is there that the Rabbinic arguments were going on outside of Palestine? I'm not aware of any at all ....

Nor is there any evidence or the Oral Law going back to Ezra, the earliest attestation IS the new testament, and then we have the mass of it in the Mishnah.

In Antioch the lower-status groups mainly spoke Aramaic, so gentiles there could have understood the "rabbinic" tradition which was in Aramaic. Some argue that since these earliest Christian communities in Northern Syria were bilingual they could easily have translated the words of Jesus into Greek (pp. 171–72 Jesus and Gospel Traditions in Bilingual Context, Sang-Il Lee 2012), ie they were the bridge to the non-Jewish world.

Palestinian idioms? Also Palestinian politics, culture, religious debates, geography, economy and so on?

Let's get real here.

Hardly anyone in a gentile audience could "fact-check" on Paul or the gospel of Mark (or the NT would surely mention an instance where in Paul's audience some Jew stands up who himself saw Jesus and begins an argument with Paul). Clearly the audience hadn't heard anything yet about a Jesus of Nazareth, and they are often just convinced by the miracles of Paul et al. All we have is Josephus' mention of James the brother of Jesus and Carrier argues that is an accidental interpolation.

Carrier is the only one that I know of that argues that, it's completely Ad Hoc and basically in place so he can get rid of the non-redacted Jesus part of Josephus.

Yes, they could fact Check Mark, for example was there a Jesus of Nazareth who had a following that was killed by the state? Remember the main Church was IN Jerusalem (this is from our earliest documents, i.e. the Pauline letters).

BTW, we do know that people argued with Paul about him not having been with Jesus when he was alive, because Paul, in his letters, get's rather touchy about that subject.

The amount of evidence you have to write off, and the amount of twisting and turning you have to make to make your theory even possible (forget plausable) reaches up to 911 truther level.

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave B

I think it is highly likely that the same thing was going on 2000 years ago not only with Judaism but with early Christianity; particularly as regards the integration of Platonist ideas as some kind of valid prototype of both.

With Christianity post Origen the orthodox church set about redacting that kind of idea from the record and sending the material down the memory hole.

Not likely, certain, we KNOW elements of Judaism (especially Alexandrian Judaism) was heavily influenced by Judaism, Philo, much of the later wisdom literature and so on.

The same with late christianity, starting with the Johanian literature and onward.

The earliest Christianity (Q, Mark and Paul), was not influenced much by platonism, Q was thurougly Galilean peasant sayings, Mark was narrative, and Paul was a mixed bag. The Didache and Epistle of Barnabas and James also were quite devoid of Hellenistic philosophical influence.

Intellectual orthodox Christians from the 4th century on wanted to expunge ‘Platonism’ as precedent for Christianity.

And disliked that for the same reasons as Roman dislikes the gospel of John for it’s Hellenism.

What are you talking about Platonism was huge in Christianity even post 4th century, After constantine it was saturated with Platonic and Aristotilian categories.

I don't "dislike" the gospel of John, I love it, it's theologically beautiful. I just agree with most historical Jesus scholars that it isn't of much use historically ... it's NOT primarily an ancient biography in the same way matthew mark and luke were, I don't think that the fact that it is not a primary historical source for Jesus lessens its value at all. I love the gospel of John.

Unless it had been a proselysing religion?

As Noa points out, rightly, elements of Judiams did proselatize outside Judea.

The basic idea is quite simple; the creator ‘old testament’ god is a complete maniac and a shit.

that's fine; and also 100% irrelevant to doing the history of early Christianity and Christian Origins.

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What evidence is there that the Rabbinic arguments were going on outside of Palestine? I'm not aware of any at all ....

Nor is there any evidence or the Oral Law going back to Ezra, the earliest attestation IS the new testament, and then we have the mass of it in the Mishnah.

The Written and Oral Torah: A Comprehensive Introduction, Lopes Cardozo 1998, p. 84:

...the Aramaic Elephantine Papyri of Yeb (fifth century B.C.E.) cite the laws of the ketubah — the marriage contract — as well as many Pesach observances that are not obvious from the text of the written Torah. Demetrius, an author who lived in the second century B.C.E., mentions that the prohibition of eating the sciatic nerve only applies to cattle, and Pseudo Aristeas (second century B.C.E.) describes the halachot of tefillin, tzitzit, and mezuzah in detail. All of these laws are dependent upon the orally transmitted Torah for their clarification.

Fwiw, check footnote 4 here on A Grammar of Mishnaic Hebrew (Segal 1927) which argues that it is a direct lineal descendant of the spoken Hebrew of the Biblical period, as distinguished from the literary Hebrew of the Biblical period.

(Just in defense of oral tradition, it is often pointed out that even just to read the Hebrew bible requires a knowledge of the vocalization and thus reliance on the oral tradition.)

Also, as you know, diaspora Jews visited Jerusalem and Judean scholars traveled abroad (even Jesus himself is said to have visited Tyre and Sidon).

You'd have to show specific "rabbinic" arguments in the NT that definitely could not be known to a diaspora Jewish community eg in Antioch.

Palestinian idioms? Also Palestinian politics, culture, religious debates, geography, economy and so on?

Do not be afraid to bring up specific phrases or data. Just some general things like the group of Sadducees and Pharisees, the name of Pontius Pilate, etc. could be known also to someone not from that time/area. What are the specific economic, geographic etc. things in the NT that could be known only to someone from that area?

[quote=Kautsky]they [the evangelists) report that the Jews were accustomed to having Pilate release a prisoner to them at Easter, and when he now offered them the release of Jesus, they answered, “No, we should rather have the murderer Barabbas.”

It is strange that nothing is known of such a custom anywhere but in the Gospels. It is contrary to Roman institutions, which did not give governors any right to pardon. And it is contrary to any orderly law to give the right to pardon not to some responsible body but to a crowd that has happened to come together. Legal conditions of this kind can be taken at face value only by theologians.[/quote]

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The washing hands tradition, The specific debates on what is and is not allowed on the sabbath, gleaning on the sabbath, the tradition of the seat of moses being for the rabbis, these are all culturally and religiously contingant You also have the geographical data which many scholars have shown (Bauckham is the latest person I've read that has shown that); the mistakes in geography are explainable by taking a local peasant perspective.

The knowledge of the Sadducees and Pharisees are not the only thing, who they are, what they did, which class they appealed to, where they were located, what their theology was, the political situation of revolution being in the air, and so on.

Either the Gospels were the best frauds ever, that had crafted even their mistakes to make it seem like there was a historical Jesus ... or the entire Field of New Testament Scholarship, Christian Origins, and history is correct.

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Carrier's quick response to this argument of verisimilitude: http://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/10935#verisimilitude

An article by McCowan he references on Gospel geography, incidentally mentions some things Luke gets wrong, just an example:

As he "translates" the Palestinian custom of sitting crosslegged at meals into the Hellenistic fashion of reclining (7 38) and mud house roofs into tiles (5 19),"2 so he changes the house built on a rock to one with foundations dug deep (6 48) and the thin soil of rocky ground (7rerpc$ecs) of the parable of the sower to rock (Tr&rpa, 8 6). The southwind (v6roS) which brings heat (12 55) is not Palestinian. It is the east wind in both Hebrew (qadhim) and Arabic (Serqtyeh) which does so. His location of the great "sermon" which begins with beatitudes and woes on a plain illustrates his ignorance of the character of the mountain slopes by Lake Gennesaret (6 17).
....
Other examples of Luke's geographical ineptitude may be cited. The alteration in the "little apocalypse" where he adds to Mark to make it a warning not only with Mark to "those in Judea to flee into the mountains," but also to "those in the lands not to enter into her" is an outstanding blunder (21 21). It more than underlines the absurdity of the Marcan saying. The discovery of "the brow of the mountain" on which Nazareth was built would be possible only to one who had never seen it. Bethsaida is not in a lonely place (9 10, 12). Jerusalem is 120, not 60 stadia from Emmaus ('Amwas) (24 13) and a very long walk to take twice in one day.

Dave B

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think the author of the gospel of John seems to have a much more detailed knowledge of pre 70AD Jerusalem.

The gospel of john also comes across as much more first hand as well.

Another curiosity about John is he talks about ‘there IS this or that in Jerusalem as if it still existed .

You would only do that if you had actually known it before 70AD and were perhaps reminiscing afterwards even though the place had been since blitzed.

Or it had been written before 70AD.

It is possible I suppose that someone was plagiarising the 60AD version of the rough guide to Jerusalem.

On JC being an Egyptian trained magician as in contra celsum; there is another early reference to that in Justyn the Martry circa 140AD

Where bascically he briefly says that that was an accusation made by the ‘Jews’ before hand waving it away and moving on.

If it was a straw man fiction you would have expected him knock it down rather than put the pernicious idea in people’s heads, like mine.

There is something similar in Acts, deconstructing it? where a magician bod is so impressed by the ‘christian’ magic circle that he makes an offer to buy he way into it.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%208:9-24

It is obviously interesting in other respects ie buying your way into the club and pay to play etc.

Maybe it is my scientific brain; it is just easier to set predicates and working hypotheses etc and just have JC as a historical communist Darren Brown.

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave B

Maybe it is my scientific brain; it is just easier to set predicates and working hypotheses etc and just have JC as a historical communist Darren Brown.

It's pointless speculation. The real question is as Engels said:

if almost nothing from the whole content of the Gospels turns out to be historically provable — so that even the historical existence of a Jesus Christ can be questioned — Bauer has, thereby, only cleared the ground for the solution of the question: what is the origin of the ideas and thoughts that have been woven together into a sort of system in Christianity, and how came they to dominate the world?

And I propose we look at ground zero, Antioch, pretty much as the Church history itself holds.

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

The Church traces its origins to the Christian community founded in Antioch by people of the period known by a variety of names, including "Followers of the Way," and later recognized by the Apostles in Jerusalem and sent Barnabas to organize the new church (see Acts 11:19-25) (see Early centers of Christianity) was one of its leading members. It later became the Patriarchate of Antioch as one of the five major patriarchates – that is the Pentarchy – of the state church of the Roman Empire.

According to Acts 11:19-26, the Christian community at Antioch began when Christians who were scattered from Jerusalem because of persecution fled to Antioch. They were joined by Christians from Cyprus and Cyrene who migrated to Antioch. It was in Antioch that the followers of Jesus were first referred to as Christians.

A main point of interest, however, is connected with the progress of Christianity among the non-Jewish believers. Tradition holds that the first Gentile church was founded, Acts 11:20-21, where it is recorded that the disciples of Jesus Christ were first called Christians Acts 11:19-26. It was from Antioch that St. Paul started on his missionary journeys.[1]

In the dispersion of the original Church at Jerusalem, during the troubles ensuing on the bold action of Stephen, certain Cypriote and Cyrenaic Jews, who had been brought up in Greek communities and who had different perspectives on the world than the Palestinian Jews[citation needed], came to Antioch.

--

The Jewish community in Antioch lived in a quarter called Kerateion. It had its own magistrature (for some references see Cummins 2001, p. 144, Paul and the Crucified Christ in Antioch).

Dave B

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well you might want to look at this kind of material; it has an economic angle re silk in the correct time frame and I think I can see Buddhism as an analytical methodology in Christianity.

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

Greco-Buddhism in the West

Intense westward physical exchange at that time along the Silk Road is confirmed by the Roman craze for silk from the 1st century BC to the point that the Senate issued, in vain, several edicts to prohibit the wearing of silk, on economic and moral grounds. This is attested by at least three authors: Strabo (64/ 63 BC–c. 24 AD), Seneca the Younger (c. 3 BC–AD 65), Pliny the Elder (23–79 AD). The aforementioned Strabo and Plutarch (c. 45–125 AD) also wrote about Indo-Greek Buddhist king Menander, confirming that information about the Indo-Greek Buddhists was circulating throughout the Hellenistic world.
Zarmanochegas (Zarmarus) (Ζαρμανοχηγὰς) was a monk of the Sramana tradition (possibly, but not necessarily a Buddhist) who, according to ancient historians such as Strabo and Dio Cassius, met Nicholas of Damascus in Antioch while Augustus (died AD 14) was ruling the Roman Empire, and shortly thereafter proceeded to Athens where he burnt himself to death.
Buddhism and Christianity[edit]
Main articles: Buddhism and Christianity and Buddhist influences on Christianity
Although the philosophical systems of Buddhism and Christianity have evolved in rather different ways, the moral precepts advocated by Buddhism from the time of Ashoka through his edicts do have some similarities with the Christian moral precepts developed more than two centuries later: respect for life, respect for the weak, rejection of violence, pardon to sinners, tolerance.
One theory is that these similarities may indicate the propagation of Buddhist ideals into the Western World, with the Greeks acting as intermediaries and religious syncretists.[42]
"Scholars have often considered the possibility that Buddhism influenced the early development of Christianity. They have drawn attention to many parallels concerning the births, lives, doctrines, and deaths of the Buddha and Jesus" (Bentley, "Old World Encounters").
The story of the birth of the Buddha was well known in the West, and possibly influenced the story of the birth of Jesus: Saint Jerome (4th century AD) mentions the birth of the Buddha, who he says "was born from the side of a virgin,"[43] and the influential early Christian church father Clement of Alexandria (died AD 215) mentioned Buddha (Βούττα) in his Stromata (Bk I, Ch XV).[36

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Buddhism#Buddhism_and_Christianity

Dave B

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think most people are probably justifiably confused about Buddhism as there are more varieties of it than there are within the ‘Abrahamic’ religions.

Eg Judiaism, Christianity and Islam.

I believe that the secular Buddhists are more authentic and original and as such would have been radically different to western 1st century religious systems.

Just not believing in intercessionist god(s) on its own was radically different enough.

http://secularbuddhism.org/faq/

It is as such a personal approach as regards self improvement and materialistic.

I think the ‘popular’ synopsis of Buddhism as ‘shit happens’ is not to far from the truth.

But it has a positive, and proselytising programme, you could argue that it overlaps with the Marxist false consciousness idea and people like the Marxist trick cyclists Erich Fromm got into it on that basis.

I think when it arrived in and fused with the Hellinised world it led to stoicism and cynicism.

Stoicism was for the rich who liked the talk of the general idea but didn’t fancy walking the walk.

And especially with the cynics, it wasn’t just about how to live etc but the general ‘cranky’ way of looking at things.

I think when it sort of arrived in force and hit Judaism the fusion produced Christianity.

So for instance you have this; which isn’t a casual data mine of Buddhist crap.

They had study as their wealth and grain. They guarded the holy life as their treasure.
§ 284-285

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Gautama_Buddha

That is central theme in the gospel material; we did it here with the parables on the accumulation of wealth and it is the ancillary left wing epistle of James.

As with other JC and Buddhist material about seeds and plants re personal growth etc.

And thus you may have, independently

Stoic- Buddhism

Cynic- Buddhism

And

Judiac-Buddhism = Christianity?

And when they remix again later they have something in common as they share the same root?

And thus you have the Cynic-christianity argument that roman admits has legs.

And the better known Stoic- Seneca- Pauline thesis.

Thus there were arguments about Seneca plagiarising Paul whilst modern opinion is that it was the other way around.

Although with that kind of argument you are in danger of becoming an ‘idealist’ with the idea of modes of thought spontaneously arising outside of socio economic bases and being taken on board because they are just intellectually clever and cerebral.

I guess then we are pushing the argument back to the socio economic base of Buddhism and maybe we could diverge into an argument as to the historicity of Buddha?

I think the problem with New Testament scholars is they live in a hermitically sealed ‘theological’ bubble as they claim JC did.

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The forged gospel "Talmud of Jmmanuel" even has Jesus travel to India... Again, we can avoid such wild theories by concentrating on the NT writers/composers and their environment. And then it's unlikely that a brief visit by a single Indian in Antioch could determine their environment.

A better approach is eg Magnus Zetterholm's The Formation of Christianity in Antioch: A Social-Scientific Approach that stresses the legal situation in Antioch faced by Jews/Christians to explain their separation. Or Cummins' book, that highlights the Maccabean legacy in Antioch. Those are just examples of more realistic approaches, but still very tendentious.

ajjohnstone

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The debate that won't go away

https://www.indy100.com/article/historians-are-questioning-if-jesus-ever-existed-at-all-7801396?utm_source=indy&utm_medium=top5&utm_campaign=i100

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ajjohnstone

The debate that won't go away

https://www.indy100.com/article/historians-are-questioning-if-jesus-ever-existed-at-all-7801396?utm_source=indy&utm_medium=top5&utm_campaign=i100

In serious scholarship it's not a debate at all, Bart Ehrman and Reza Aslans books don't present new theories but rather pictures that have been in NT scholarship for decades.

It's alive in parts of popular culture for the same reason 911 trutherism still exists; conspiracies are fun.

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave B mentioned the question of the historicity of Buddha, which I'm guessing is even less debated in "serious scholarship" of Buddhism, than Christ in Christianity studies. Like I said, in the grand scheme of things for a historian it doesn't matter, hence it will not be debated, and for Christians/Buddhists themselves, they have no interest in questioning the basis of their own theology (their idea of "fun"). Ditto for the historicity of Mohammad.

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In the grand scheme of Things, almost nothing in history matters, so if that's Your excuse for who almost no one in "serious scholarship" doubts Jesus existed, that's not really valid; they doubt all kinds of Things that don't really matter, because for historians, truth matters for its own sake.

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I should say for an "historical materialist" (or any historian with a sound approach) what matter is how Christianity developed and spread, with a focus on the social conditions in the Roman Empire in the Near East. On the other hand, for a superficial historian the personality/individual is by itself indeed the key explanation.

In the preface to his book The Christ Myth (can be read here: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/45540/45540-h/45540-h.htm) Arthur Drews mentioned already several authors before him who came to the conclusion that Jesus was a myth. E.g. John M. Robertson, William Benjamin Smith, Emilio Bossi (Gesù Christo non è mai esistito, which apparently was republished by anarchists and socialists) etc. Drews also already addressed why most of "serious scholarship" still does not take note of this. Btw Dave B, he does lay emphasis on the Buddhist influence.

Drews' thesis is the same as that of Carrier: first Jesus was a god and only later with the Gospels was he made into a man.

Drews

According to the prevalent view of critical theologians, as presented even by Pfleiderer, the apparitions of the “Lord,” which after Jesus’ death were seen by the disciples who had fled from Jerusalem, the “ecstatic visionary experiences, in which they thought they saw their crucified Master living and raised up to heavenly glory,” were the occasion of their faith in the resurrection, and consequently of their faith in Jesus’ divine rôle as Redeemer. Pathological states of over-excited men and hysterical women are then supposed to form the “historical foundation” for the genesis of the Christian religion! And with such opinions they think themselves justified in looking down on the rationalist of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment with supreme contempt, and in boasting of the depth to which their religious-historical insight reaches! But if we really admit, with historical theology, this more than doubtful explanation, which degrades Christianity into the merely chance product of mental excitement, at once the further question arises as to how the new religion of the small community of the Messiah at Jerusalem was able to spread itself abroad with such astounding rapidity that, even so soon as at most two decades after Jesus’ death, we meet with Christian communities not only over the whole of Western Asia, but also in the islands of the Mediterranean, in the coast-towns of Greece, even in Italy, at Puteoli, and in Rome; and this at a time when as yet not a line had been written about the Jewish Rabbi. Even the theologian Schweitzer is obliged to confess of historical theology that “until it has in some way explained how it was that, under the influence of the Jewish sect of the Messiah, Greek and Roman popular Christianity appeared at all points simultaneously, it must admit a formal right of existence to all hypotheses, even the most extravagant, which seek to attack and solve this problem.”

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa, I didn't respond to the stuff you posted earlier about mistakes in Luke and so on because (frankly), I'm not going to argue against everything you can find on the internet. But first thing I noticed was the article was from the 40s, New Testament scholarship has radically Advanced since then, especially With New archeological find, the DDS and the Nag Hammadi findings. The second thing I noticed was that it was the Lukean material that was problematic, Not the earliest material (Q and Mark), Nobody argues that Luke was writing from palestine himself or had knowledge of palestine, the original Sources did. Also Richard Carriers argument is basically just "it's not enough" ... Well, Ok; but I don't know what he expects. Anyway I would love to see Carrier deal With Bauckhams Works.

By the way, the early 20th Century Christ Myth theorists have been debunked by further knowledge of second temple Judaism. By the way, the quote by Drews here is only addresssing the problem of why Christianity grew so fast ... There are plenty of theories for that.

The idea that Jesus was a god first and a man second requires a few Things.
1. Explaining away all the Pauline evidence that Jesus was thought of as a person who lived on Earth as a human being and died.
2. Pretending the Gospels had NO prior form/Sources/oral tradition that wen't back to the time of Paul ... which basically ignores the evidence from the gospels.
3. Explain why the Jesus as a god that wasn't on Earth doesn't exist anywhere in any theological early text at all? All of them we have assume he was a person.
4. Explain why he was made as a human being SO early, and done so in such a convincing way that no one thought to question it.
5. Explain why they made him as a human being during the same generation (or the generation right after) he was supposed to have lived.
6. Explain how they had that much information as to what a first Century palestinian apocaplyptic prophet would look like.
7. Explain why the Christian's practiced an adjusted form of judaism (worshiping on Sunday for example, the eucharist practice, and so on) and all tied it back to the historical person of Jesus.

There are many other problems With the theory, which again, is why its not taken seriously in modern NT scholarship or early Christianity scholarship ... it was once, but it isn't any more.

And it's not because suddenly People are more religious now than they were 100-150 years ago.

I should say for an "historical materialist" (or any historian with a sound approach) what matter is how Christianity developed and spread, with a focus on the social conditions in the Roman Empire in the Near East. On the other hand, for a superficial historian the personality/individual is indeed the key explanation.

The two are not mutually exclusive. In studying the history of the Russian revolution it would be stupid to ignore the social conditions and so on, and it would be just as stupid to ignore people like Lenin and Trotsky and so on.

NO historian explains the spread of Christianity by just saying "Jesus"!!! all of the histories account for it in terms of the historical conditions, the social conditions, as well as the history of the Group itself and Jesus' life and Death.

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

3. Explain why the Jesus as a god that wasn't on Earth doesn't exist anywhere in any theological early text at all? All of them we have assume he was a person.

Drews mentions the fight within Christianity against Gnosticism, there was such a thing as Gnostic Christianity right? and did it not regard Jesus as a purely celestial being?

4. Explain why he was made as a human being SO early, and done so in such a convincing way that no one thought to question it.

Drews says that it was a response by more Jewish-orientated Christians against Paul (or gnostics). They set up the story of a earthly Jesus firmly in a Jewish context.

5. Explain why they made him as a human being during the same generation (or the generation right after) he was supposed to have lived.

Drews thinks that the more Jewish-orientated Christian community had to trump the authority Paul claimed for himself (being visited by Jesus on the road to Damascus): so they claimed to have eaten together with an actual physical Jesus.

In studying the history of the Russian revolution it would be stupid to ignore the social conditions and so on, and it would be just as stupid to ignore people like Lenin and Trotsky and so on.

But Jesus doesn't play a role in the spread/development of Christianity itself throughout the world, which, I insist, should be the actual subject of study here. The comparison should be to the development of the USSR after the death of Lenin, and then a study of Lenin's life and sayings does nothing to explain the further course of it. Anything the Party leadership did or wanted to do could retroactively be put into Lenin's mouth. Effectively they invented a Lenin for themselves, one that did not actually exist, at least in that form. On the other hand they quasi-deleted such an opponent as Trotsky from history.

Dave B

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As to gnostics etc

Very early on, probably early 2nd century, Christian, ‘heretics’ started to dehumanise JC in various ways.

One of them had it that at the instance of meeting John the Baptist god took over or occupied JC’s ordinary bod body and left it at the crucifixtion etc.

There is a problem with ‘heresies’ as to whether or not it was original and the orthodox view in fact heretical or the other way around.

Marcion of around 140AD for instance thought that “God’s sovereign governance over creation, including the plans of humanity” was a heresy and it was Satan that had sovereign governance over creation, including the plans of humanity.

The problem that ‘gnostic heretics’ had was the same as the one Celsum and people of a more general platonist viewpoint had; what was a perfect and divine doing wandering around as a lumpen prole?

And do divine being go for shit in the desert etc?

Another historical materialist point is that what makes an ideology particularly a popular one is not the specialness of it its supposed originator but the people or significant section of society that buy into it.

And that section of society has opinions and (socio-economic) interests that lead to them taking up one idea versus another.

Ideas as such are mutations but fail unless they are suitable adapted as a good fit in; as successful ‘rationale’ in a social environment.

I would say it was because a god, or JC, was presented as an ordinary prole like its followers that it was successful.

Actually the basic Feuerbachian idea of JC being a projection of or image of the masses that supported him goes back a long way, from possibly the first materialist?

Thus from Xenophanes (c. 570—c. 478 B.C.E.)

But mortals suppose that gods are born,
wear their own clothes and have a voice and body. (frag. 14)
Ethiopians say that their gods are snub-nosed and black;
Thracians that theirs are blue-eyed and red-haired. (frag. 16)
But if horses or oxen or lions had hands
or could draw with their hands and accomplish such works as men,
horses would draw the figures of the gods as similar to horses, and the oxen as similar to oxen, and they would make the bodies of the sort which each of them had. (frag. 15)

http://www.iep.utm.edu/xenoph/

you could argue

…that the working class would draw or accept the figures of the god(s) as similar to the working class…

And thus doing a reverse anthropogenic projection from the gospel story it; appealed to those who were early christians because they were workers.

Celsum was under no doubts as to the socio economic make up of the early Christians even if others are.

Just as he never questioned the historicity of JC as an existing physical human being.

The Gnostic/marcion argument about ‘physicality’ of the material world took another turn and developed into catharism which believed that the physical world wasn’t real at all and an illusion.

Its very modern variant would be the film the Matrix and that we are living a computer simulation.

Something that has kicked off very recently by hardnosed scientists.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-we-living-in-a-computer-simulation/

I think the gospel story has a deeper "philosophical" turn to it.

I am not going to be judged as to my life on earth by some bod that can turn water into wine and conjure up a fish supper out of nothing.

Which party wouldn’t he get invited to.

Let alone the cudos you get from walking on water and healing the blind etc.

Eat shit and see how you deal with it before judging me.

Hence the theological decent to hell was seminal as I guess he was as helpless there, as it goes, as we are here?

Unless of course when he said at the last supper that they couldn’t follow him were he was going to go he really was planning on just nipping out for a pooh.

The idea of altruistic and saving decent to hell or Hades or whatever was very contemporary for the time and not just in the myth of Err.

So you had this from Ovid who isn’t a bad place to go to get some idea of what was rattling around in peoples heads at the time?

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

Dave B

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Incidentally a lot of born agains and atheist new testament scholars can get a bit upset about this kind if thing.

It doesn’t seem to occur to them that perhaps JC had an original ‘political’ idea and was pitching it in a range of terms that people were familiar with.

Be it Judaism, cynicism, stoicism, Platonism, Buddhism or foreclosure on debt.

There was an interesting article on that recently on something more recent?

By the end of the Revolutionary War, as few as a third of American farmers owned their own land. When the urban elites began to foreclose on the debts and raise the taxes of subsistence farmers – many of whom had fought a long and excruciating war to secure their “liberty” – it amounted to a direct assault on the last bastion of Americans’ economic independence.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/06/23/deep-history-of-americas-deep-state/

Tom Henry

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I have been sporadically enjoying this thread, but there is something I have just wanted to throw in for a while. I don’t require any responses or anything, I don’t want to spoil the discussion.

Isn’t the example of Jesus and his activities actually an example of how political opposition to the state is organised in states?

That is, ‘Jesus’ is less a possible example of communism than an example of how political groups become sects, rackets and dictatorships?

Jesus is a product of state formation?

The only evidence I can find for prophets (people who are ‘revolutionary’ or anti current society) existing outside states is the example of the karai prophets amongst the Amazonian Tupi-Guarani written up by the anthropologist Pierre Clastres (Archeology of Violence, 2010, p 159-162). But the phenomenon of the karai was founded on pressures on that society (such as population growth and the emergence of powerful chieftains) to form a state. They emerged in a society he describes as changing for the worse, becoming expressive of ‘social division’ and ‘inequality’. Thus the karai saw the way things were as evil and wanted to go to a better world, toward where the sun rises, and they found that their ideas resonated with others. When ten thousand Tupi-Guarani got to the mouth of the Amazon in the early sixteenth century they found the obstacle of the sea. Ten years later the last surviving 300 of them found their way to Peru, which by then was occupied by the Spanish.

So, the indications might be that

a) communism is solely a response to living in a state (or, as with the karai, seeing the state coming for you on the horizon)

b) the example of Jesus gives us the blueprint for how this opposition to the state pans out if it is ‘successful’

c) it gives us an indication of how all political groups behave

d) it hints that consciousness-raising is in fact nothing different to the strategy of Jesus, which was described as putting a sword between father and son, sister and brother, etc, - that ‘sword’ being belief (a raised consciousness, or an understanding of ‘the truth’ etc).

This would mean then that Gerrard Winstanley and the Diggers could be described as examples of communism because their particular activities did not get them or their ideology effectively anywhere.

But the example of Jesus would tell us that if Gerrard Winstanley had got anywhere he would probably end up as another Lenin, Stalin, or Pope (even though that was not his intention at all of course). In fact, following this line of reasoning, Oliver Cromwell, of course, assumed the Jesus, or proxy Jesus, role in the English Revolution.

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa Rodman

Drews mentions the fight within Christianity against Gnosticism, there was such a thing as Gnostic Christianity right? and did it not regard Jesus as a purely celestial being?

No it didn't, for all intents and purposes everyone would have thought of Jesus as a human being, except he only seemed to be human, he was actually a Divine being that looked human (like Docitism); So that actually takes away from Your theory since the Gnostics had to deal With the fact that everyone knew Jesus as a human being that lived at a specific time.

Drews says that it was a response by more Jewish-orientated Christians against Paul (or gnostics). They set up the story of a earthly Jesus firmly in a Jewish context.

The Gnostics only adopted Jesus as a figure in the mid 2nd Century at the very earliest, if they even existed before.

Paul was not a Gnostic and he understood Jesus as a historical individual, and the Gospel material goes back to Pauls time.

Drews thinks that the more Jewish-orientated Christian community had to trump the authority Paul claimed for himself (being visited by Jesus on the road to Damascus): so they claimed to have eaten together with an actual physical Jesus.

Which is nonsense because Mark, and Luke, were pro-Pauline; matthew was pro Jewish. Not only that but Paul's claim had to be defended (and he did) against those who actually knew Jesus when he was alive ... so he has it backwards.

...

There's a reason Drews theory and the other mythecist theories have been dead in the water for about 100 years and completely abandoned in scholarship.

But Jesus doesn't play a role in the spread/development of Christianity itself throughout the world, which, I insist, should be the actual subject of study here. The comparison should be to the development of the USSR after the death of Lenin, and then a study of Lenin's life and sayings does nothing to explain the further course of it. Anything the Party leadership did or wanted to do could retroactively be put into Lenin's mouth. Effectively they invented a Lenin for themselves, one that did not actually exist, at least in that form. On the other hand they quasi-deleted such an opponent as Trotsky from history.

Jesus himself doesn't, but the traditions coming out of his life, teachings, and Death do.

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Tom Henry

Isn’t the example of Jesus and his activities actually an example of how political opposition to the state is organised in states?

That is, ‘Jesus’ is less a possible example of communism than an example of how political groups become sects, rackets and dictatorships?

Jesus is a product of state formation?

Jesus, along With really all prophets in the Jewish Tradition, only exist within the context of state/ruling class oppression. Every example of a prophet (that functions as a prophet, not the judges for example in pre-state Israel), was a reaction to oppression and exploitation.

Thus the karai saw the way things were as evil and wanted to go to a better world, toward where the sun rises, and they found that their ideas resonated with others. When ten thousand Tupi-Guarani got to the mouth of the Amazon in the early sixteenth century they found the obstacle of the sea. Ten years later the last surviving 300 of them found their way to Peru, which by then was occupied by the Spanish.

A foreteller, or a Oracle or something like that is NOT a prophet. In ancient Israel (against popular conception) a prophet was not primarily someone that went around telling the future, but rather someone who would speak God's Word against the rulers, sometimes that included what God would do.

Apocalyptic prophets was more speaking about God's revelation of the condemnation of the rulers and usually included an eschatalogical vision. Other prophets were more political in that God saw the oppression of the poor and demanded justice.

A prophet is not someone that went around telling the future.

a) communism is solely a response to living in a state (or, as with the karai, seeing the state coming for you on the horizon)

b) the example of Jesus gives us the blueprint for how this opposition to the state pans out if it is ‘successful’

c) it gives us an indication of how all political groups behave

d) it hints that consciousness-raising is in fact nothing different to the strategy of Jesus, which was described as putting a sword between father and son, sister and brother, etc, - that ‘sword’ being belief (a raised consciousness, or an understanding of ‘the truth’ etc).

"communism" on the part of the Christians was based on their belief in eschatology and their wishing to follow Jesus' teachings in light of that.

Jesus wasn't successful :P, he got killed, the Christian Group outside wasn't a threat to the system, it was more of an annoying itch.

What Jesus did was preach general Jewish justice teaching (his teaching was more or less the same as John the Baptist) along With the eschatalogical coming of God's Kingdom; what made him different, however, was his pacifism and his teaching of a Complete reversal ...With that teaching he then would poke the authorities (doing his antics at the temple) trying to goad them into taking action ... and they did, and they killed him.

Tom Henry

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi Rommon, thanks for treating me kindly as I paddle out of my depth.

I don't want to derail the conversation here but could i just make a couple of comments? And don't feel you have to reply to them.

I probably should have explained the karai story better. They were looking for peace on earth, they weren't foretelling the future like an oracle in a cave. They thought if everyone went elsewhere things would be good. Their 'prophecy' was that everything was going downhill, which everyone around them also recognised, and their solution was not to rise up against things right there, but head off to somewhere else. They didn't have a centralized state to focus their hostilities upon. The mess was all around them and there was not one specific thing to attack (maybe this is always the case, but the point I am making is that they were outside of a state, not inside one), but they, and the people they talked with, recognised how things were changing, etc. Their promised land was the Land without Evil, the resting place of the gods, 'where arrows hunted by themselves', and they argued that all previous laws needed to be subverted and turned upside down.

I know, of course, that Jesus wasn't personally 'successful' (or was he?) - I meant 'Jesus' was ultimately 'successful' in material terms - in that his acolytes seized power, not that they instituted a better world. I meant specifically that what we can learn from the story of 'Jesus' is possibly more to do with how communism will 'fail' rather than how it might succeed. In the same context: was the Russian Revolution successful? Was Lenin Successful? Was Stalin successful.

On another note, could one, for a laugh (??), change one of your comments?:

"communism" on the part of the Christians was based on their belief in eschatology and their wishing to follow Jesus' teachings in light of that.

to

Communism on the part of the Marxists is based on their belief in eschatology [the study of 'end things'] and their wishing to follow Marx's Hegelian inspired critiques and theories in light of that.

:)

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Tom, I see, Yeah, I think that would definately fit With the prophetic categoery.

To be honest I'm not really that familiar With non-Jewish prophetic traditions, the Greco-Roman world didn't really have a prophetic tradition.

As far as Jesus being successful, I don't really know; I mean Jerusalem did not get restored, God did not establish his Kingdom, his movement did start eschatalogical communities of fellowship, and that was in line With Jesus's Message.

By the time CHristianity really took hold (which was after Constantine) Christianity was unrecognizable from the actual life and ministry of Jesus. Augustinian Christianity was a Whole different animal.

BTW, you're not the only one that has seen parallels between Christian eschatology and Marxist historical materialism; there are a lot there. I think much of the enlightenment, both socialist and liberal; come directly from theological positions influenced by Christianity. Marx was more Christian than he would ever care to admit.

Tom Henry

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks, yes, that's a fair point, that I glossed over, about the 'distance' between Jesus and The Roman take up of it. Although Augustinianism could be equated to later Stalinism, and all that - but that's a different discussion! Cheers.

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Rommon

[Paul] understood Jesus as a historical individual,

That's addressed by Drews:
Drews

Only once, 1 Cor. xi. 23 sq., where Paul quotes the words at the Last Supper, does the apostle apparently refer to an experience of the “historical” Jesus: “The Lord Jesus, in the night in which he was betrayed, took bread,” &c.21 Unfortunately here we have to do with what is clearly a later insertion. The passage is obscure throughout (vers. 23–32), and through its violent and confusing interruption of the Pauline line of thought may be recognised as an after-insertion in the original text, as is even acknowledged by many on the theological side.

.
Rommon

because Mark, and Luke, were pro-Pauline; matthew was pro Jewish. Not only that but Paul's claim had to be defended (and he did) against those who actually knew Jesus when he was alive ... so he has it backwards.

The author of Mark might have agreed with Paul's preaching to the gentiles, but still felt threatened by Paul's infringement on their authority.

But when Paul showed his independence by his reserve before the “Brothers” at Jerusalem, and began to attract the feelings of those at Jerusalem by his abrogation of the Mosaic Law, then they commenced to treat him with suspicion, to place every obstacle in the way of his missionary activity, and to attempt, led by the zealous James, to bring the Pauline communities under their own government. Then, seeking a title for the practice of the apostolic vocation, they found it in this—that every one who wished to testify to Christ must himself have seen him after his resurrection.
But Paul could very justly object that to him also the transfigured Jesus had appeared.125 Then they made the justification for the apostolic vocation consist in this, that an apostle must not only have seen Christ risen up, but must also have eaten and drunk with him.

(here Drews places the first Christian community in Jerusalem, but this isn't essential).

This is just a simple thesis of Drews' regarding the question why Jesus would have been humanized.

----

Anyway, some works of John M. Robertson's against the existence of Jesus:

Christianity and mythology (1910, 2nd revised ed.): https://archive.org/details/christianitymyth00robe

Pagan Christs: studies in comparative hierology
(1911, 2nd revised ed.): https://archive.org/details/paganchristsstud00robe

The historical Jesus, a survey of positions (1916): https://archive.org/details/historicaljesuss00robe

The Jesus problem; a restatement of the myth theory
(1917): https://archive.org/details/cu31924029296147

(alternatively, these are also available at hathi)

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Rommon

parallels between Christian eschatology and Marxist historical materialism; there are a lot there. I think much of the enlightenment, both socialist and liberal; come directly from theological positions influenced by Christianity. Marx was more Christian than he would ever care to admit.

That's a bunch of nonsense.

Tom Henry

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Is it though? ;)

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes, as Kautsky wrote in a review of Bebel's book on Islam:

our development does not stand on the shoulders of Christianity, but rather on the shoulders of classical antiquity one the one side, and the shoulders of Islamic culture on the other.

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa ... I don't know why you insist on using Kautsky as an athority on Christian origins, and using scholarship which is outdated by 100 years. As far as Drew's claim or "later insertion" (he would need a Whole lot of later insertions by the way as Paul mentions Jesus as a historical figure more than once), there is absolutely 0 textual-critical evidence to back that up, and the textual-critical evidnece shows the opposite. Your claim about Mark is just made up and has 0 evidence behind it.

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I merely quoted one point in Drews' thesis (it wouldn't be appropriate to post the full thing, so look it up if you care). The claim that Mark was written by a rival Christian group solely in order to challenge Paul's authority is indeed "made up" by Drews, but so are all claims by "Scholarship" about the origins of Christianity (btw, I think you're committing some fallacy of consensus). And the date of scholarship doesn't matter for judging its truth-content.

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The date does matter if since that date a ton of New evidence and information and studies have come out and the former doesn't take that into account. No not all claims are "made up", some of them have evidence backing them, others do not.

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just bluster. So far you have given as an example of new information eg the Damascus document, drawing the conclusion that "covenant renewals, and even Direct talk of New covenants was rooted deeply within the Jewish worldview."

which is irrelevant to the point that the founders of Christianity need merely have been people familiar with Judaism.

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I personally haven't done extensive Research in the DDS, I've done Research for my area of interest within Christian Origins (the economic practices and their origins from the Lukean Q material), However I've read many historians who HAVE done extensive Research into the DDS, the archeological finds in Palestine, Greco-Roman history, and second temple Judaism.

The point is not that they were familiar With "judaism" broadly, but rather early first Century second temple Palestinian Judaism. And deeply so.

Btw, it seems strange to me that the gospel writers would put failed prophecies in Jesus' mouth if they weren't actually written in his generation, or they weren't taking from actual eye witness Sources, it's also strange that they would record material by Jesus and then try and explain it away, or redact it to make it fit their theology. You haven't given really any positive evidence for Your claim by the way. You're just trying to swat Down all the evidences that go heavily against Your theory, usually by brining up scholars from the early 20th Century that push completely abandoned theories ... btw, Your argument against Q is just "ochams Razor"??? Common now, that isn't an argument that actually deals With the synoptic problem, it's just ignoring the issue.

Dave B

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think this is the question that demands an answer?

The Alethes Logos of Celsus and the Historicity of Christ David Neal Greenwood

Conclusion

As has been pointed out by others, the testimony of hostile witnesses is particularly valuable. As John Meier has noted, “such positive evidence within a hostile source is the strongest kind of evidence.”52

If Celsus, who would likely have wished Christ away from the Roman Empire if he could, testified to his existence, that in some ways is even more valuable than positive testimony from a Christian source.

Ultimately, neither Celsus nor any of the polemicists who followed him could scientifically validate the existence of Christ, but at every turn when historical issues were raised, neither he nor they ever claimed that Christ was a myth. This would have been the simplest approach, surely, to insist that there was no birth of Christ, virgin or otherwise, no deeds, miraculous or otherwise, and no death, atoning or otherwise.

This would have been devastatingly effective, had there been anyone for whom such an approach seemed credible.

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

debate on Celsus in Richard Carlile's The Lion (1828) between an anonymous critic (who btw believes Jesus was brought up as a magician in Egypt) and Robert Taylor (response on p.81).

Taylor argued against the existence of Jesus in a couple of books:

Syntagma of the evidences of the Christian religion. Being a vindication of the manifesto of the Christian Evidence Society (1828): https://archive.org/details/syntagmaevidenc00taylgoog

The Diegesis: Being a Discovery of the Origin, Evidences, and Early History of Christianity (1829): https://archive.org/details/diegesisbeingad00taylgoog

Also available at hathi.

In the latter, Taylor says Celsus might be just referring to a different guy named Jesus (there were lots of people with that name), just as the Talmud does (hence, like I said, it is reasonable to suppose that Celsus got it from a Jewish oral tradition).

So Robert Taylor (1784 – 1844) deserves credit as one of the first to reject the existence of Jesus, years before Bruno Bauer.

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So Celsus was writing about a different guy named Jesus, who the Christians followed, With the same biography and teachings, living in the same era and area ...

Not only that even within the New Testament there are arguments being addressed dealing With the historical Jesus. The birth narratives were very likely reactions to the fact that People were saying Jesus was a bastard (as seen in John).

But maybe, the apostles fabricated the arguments against Jesus being a prophet/messiah so they could argue against them so that they could convince everyone that Jesus was real ... Maybe ...

Celsus only gets part of his polemic from a Jewish Source ... the other part he gets from elsewhere.

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There isn't much use in again responding to those types of arguments (Celsus as hostile witness - although Celsus wasn't even a witness), which it turns out were already made in 1828. Robert Taylor addressed it eg also in his Syntagma:

Never should it be forgotten, that we
have only been allowed to know what the objections of Celsus
were, per favour of such extracts from his writings as his oppo-
nent, Origen found it convenient to answer ; and if Origen were
the author of the objections, as well as of the answers to them,
he would not have been the first Christian Jack-o'both-sides.

It wouldn't have done to have suffered Celsus to ask him to
show proof of the existence of Christ as a man, to have called on
him to produce a copy of the register of his crucifixion, or to
refer to any extraneous and independent evidence.

Another major book against the existence of Jesus (which btw deals with the Talmud references) is the following: William Henry Burr's Revelations of Antichrist, concerning Christ and Christianity (1879): https://archive.org/details/revelationsofant00burr

Dave B

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It is I think quite preposterous to suggest that Origen’s Contra Celsum is a complete fraud and Origen may have even invented Celsum.

It would have a fraud of breathtaking and quite unnecessary sophistication.

As is often the case with these things re Mr Taylor, there are mutually exclusive arguments that superficially are supposed to lend weight to the overall argument.

So whilst proposing that Celsum was a myth, as well he suggests Celsum did exist, and speculates that he would have asked for contemporary evidence of JC’s existence which Origen ignored as an inconvenient question.

That would be proposing that JC being a magician and the son of a whore and an archer from the 14th Legion rather than a virgin; and was short ugly, disfigured and working class was less inconvenient than he didn’t exist at all.

Of course it would have been ‘inconvenient’ for Celsus to flip and after providing such salacious details then say that he didn’t exist.

Before the nag harmardi library discovery thing of 1945 etc the christians were accused of Jack-o'both-sides stuff quite understandably as some of this Gnostic stuff that they talked about did look like complete bonkers and perfect straw man material.

They have come out smelling of roses on that one and it looks like they fairly represented that alleged ‘straw man’ as something quite real.

The asses head thing also obviously you would think wasn’t Jack-o'both-sides stuff as we have contemporary archaeological evidence of that as well as in Josephus’s Against Apion.

And Tertullian, the Christian, mentions it as well.

Actually a Christian from around 140AD does ‘seem’ to refer to contemporary ‘roman’ records in Justin the Martrys appeal to the Roman emperor to give the Christian a break.

First apology chapters 35 and 48.

“Acts” of Pilate here in the context refers to a report by Pilate of what had happened that Justyn circa 140AD seems to think is their document and they have it.

It is an intriguing subject as Tertullian mentions it in some detail around 190AD but whatever he had then certainly looks like a Christianised and forged version of it.

However it didn’t go away as circa 300AD the Roman emperor Maximin II published an anti Christian state text called the Acts of Pilate which unfortunately the Christians later burned.

I think it is reasonable to assume that at that stage there was still no JC myth story.

The third acts of Pilate dated post 400AD , which is an entertaining read albeit an obvious fraud, was almost certainly a rebuttal of that.

There was another anti Christian 15 chapter book in the late 3rd century by Porphyry of Tyre.

Burned again and shot themselves in their future foot again by our Christians

Books then are like our chapters.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porphyry_(philosopher)

There is no suggestion or indication there either of a myth story, in fact the contrary.

It is possible of course that there was a JC myth and the oral Judiac tradition decided to counter it with counter myth stories.

I guess the pagans and ‘Jews’ might prefer that ‘glass house’ anti historical approach.

The problem I have with that is that after being familiar with literary style of the time etc.

The anti Christian stuff in contra celsum is rooted in gritty and credible real materialism.

Dave B

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mr taylor is a good find mind you.

Well resourced and there is some stuff in it I hadn’t heard about.

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As today is the 4th of July, here's a fitting passage from William Burr's 1879 book (from the chapter: Was Christ crucified? – written as a court procedure):

The fourth witness, John, is called. The first three
have testified that the crucifixion took place on Friday,
which was the first day of the feast of the Passover.
John agrees with them in fixing the day on Friday, but
says it was the day before the Passover. Here is a vital
contradiction. The Passover was a memorable festival
of the Jews, like our 4th of July. It continued a week,
and the first day of the festival was as solemn and sacred
a day as the Sabbath. No truthful historian could be
mistaken as to whether a public trial and execution took
place on such an annual festival or some other day.
...
Q. — What kind of a day was the 'first day of the Passover, and
how was it observed ?

A. — It was a day of holy convocation, like unto the Sabbath ; yea,
even more solemn, inasmuch as it came but once a year. The festi-
val lasted a whole week, and the first and seventh day were as holy
as the Sabbath. No servile work could be done on the first and
seventh day, much less could any public trial or execution be per-
mitted on those solemn feast days — (Ex. xii, 16 ; Lev. xxiii, 7, 8 ;
Num. xxviii, 18, 25; Deut. xvi, 8.)
...
Moses cross-examined :

Q. — Your knowledge of the observance of the Passover is of course
confined to the time when you wrote, and you cannot testify as to
the thousand years or more of Jewish history after your time ?

A. — Certainly not.

Q. — So there may have been public trials and executions on Pass-
over feast days since you governed the Jews ?

A. — Certainly. My people may have become corrupt and degen-
erate, and may have broken the laws of God as I recorded them.

Rabbi Isaac N. Wise is next called and examined as
follows :

Q. — As a Jewish priest and reputed to be learned in Jewish law
and history, please state what you know about the observance of
the first day of the Passover, and whether it ever occurred on Fri-
day ?

A. — Allow me to answer by quoting from a book of mine entitled
The Origin of Christianity, page 30 : "In the first place the Jews
did no public business on that day ; had no court sessions, no trials,
and certainly no executions on any Sabbath or feast day. And in
the second place, the first day of the Passover never was on a Fri-
daj^, and never can be, according to established principles of the
Jewish calendar."

Q. — How do you account for the contradiction by John in fixing
the crucifixion on the day before the Passover feast ?

A. (Reading further.) — "John, in consideration of these and
several other objections, omits the paschal meal and the Lord's Sup-
per altogether, and adopts the day before the feast as the day of
the crucifixion. If it had been at all certain when Jesus was cruci-
fied, John could not set aside the statements of the Synoptics and
adopt another day. The Synoptics adopted the first day of the
Passover because they taught the dogma that Jesus died to redeem
all sinners. The fact concerning the day was shaped to suit the
dogma. Israel was redeemed from Egyptian bondage on the day
celebrated ever after that event as the feast of the Passover ; there-
fore the death of Jesus, the second redemption, must have taken
place [according to the Synoptics] on the self-same day. But this
is impossible."
...
There is exactly the discrepancy between
the Synoptics and John. The former have Christ cruci-
fied on the Passover day which preceded the Sabbath ;
the latter on the day before the Passover, making that
yearly festival fall on the Sabbath instead of the day
before, the way the Synoptics have it. Suppose Mark
Twain, Artemas Ward, and Josh Billings should each
write a story about Yankee Doodle being tried and hung
at Washington on Sunday, the 4th of July, right in the
midst of the celebration of that anniversary. It might
deceive the heathens of Australia, but Americans would
understand the joke. Ask any intelligent Jew if they ever
tried or executed a person on the first day of the Pass-
over ; or if it ever fell on Friday according to the Jewish
calendar. John, the latest and smartest of the Evangel-
ists, thought it was time to correct the error, and so he
fixed the Passover one day later.

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Almost all scholars today recognize that John's Gospel was not a historical biographical work. I'ts a different genre than the synoptics.

Try Reading modern scholarship, and actual scholarship in the New Testament and Christian Origins.

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Almost all scholars today recognize that John's Gospel was not a historical biographical work. It's a different genre than the synoptics.

You're missing the point. John was right to put the crucifixion before the first day of Passover, because having it on the first day of Passover as the synoptics do, betrays unfamiliarity with Jewish custom (not to hold trials etc. on a holiday, and the first day of Passover can't fall on a Friday).

Dave B

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don’t believe at all in the new testament chronology and there are other related problems like psalm Sunday for instance which can be seasonally dated as out of sync as well I think.

There is this on the essene passover of AD30.

http://theos-sphragis.info/essene_passover_dates.html

Perhaps our Greek reading Roman could help me on the following which I have always wondered about.

Was JC irrespective of whether he has tried at or near the Passover date, really crucified at the Passover.

So we have this translation and others, John 19:31.

Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away.

The Jews obviously had a range of important or high sabbath days

What does it or do they actually say?

As others translations say it was the Passover.

Are there versions of John that imply that it wasn’t; by not saying it was on the Passover?

I seem to remember that I got the impression when reading the others that the crucifixtion on or near the Passover looked like inference.

I think when you read them the gospel stuff in general and just do a literature like analysis of it, it looks to me it or they were originally a set of separate scenes as they appear to lurch from one thing to another.

And that they were later stitched together as a continuous narrative with the inclusions of a ‘then’ etc.

Incidentally Celsum pulls apart ‘detailed’ (material) contradictions and logical paradoxes between and within the Gospel documents, some of them are the same ones we can see today.

I say material and logical because he also engages in theological paradoxes as well like JC falling for the vinegar in a sponge think.

Which was a popular joke apparently; you got very thirsty apparently.

As regards details in the gospel material it is a bit of an anachronistic criticism and out of context; when it comes to the ‘born agains’ every little thing is perfectly true where the holy spirit gives you a perfect memory etc.

At the ‘Hellinistic’ time there was this Platonist allegory thing where you were allowed to cut a bit fast an loose over details as long as the ‘form’, the story, was ‘faithful’ to the content.

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's not just the detail of a date out of sync.

The Synoptics adopted the first day of the
Passover because they taught the dogma that Jesus died to redeem
all sinners. The fact concerning the day was shaped to suit the
dogma. Israel was redeemed from Egyptian bondage on the day
celebrated ever after that event as the feast of the Passover ; there-
fore the death of Jesus, the second redemption, must have taken
place [according to the Synoptics] on the self-same day.

Likewise:

The Pentecost, the sixth day of the third month, was known to the Jews as the day when the revelation of the decalogue on Mount Sinai took place, and it is considered so to this day. In the phraseology of the primitive Christians, the revelation on Mount Sinai was "the pouring out of the Holy Ghost." As Jesus died on Passover, to effect the second redemption precisely on the same day when the first took place, so also the second revelation, the pouring out of the Holy Ghost had to come, and on the precise day when the first occurred, the Pentecost. The Jew-Christians selected these days without reference to fact; therefore John paid no regard to either, and states that Jesus himself, before Pentecost, breathed the Holy Ghost on the disciples.

(Isaac Wise, The origin of Christianity)

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What I consider a detail, for example, is the number of 5000 members of the Christian Jerusalem community. That could be just an exaggeration, without casting any doubt on the historicity.

However, when people question the historicity of the Torah, the exaggerated numbers (eg Israelites wandering the desert, the size of the army at various battles etc.) is considered a fundamental objection. Though there are attempts to put this on a scribal misunderstanding/error in copying the numbers (the word for 1000 could also just mean something like a captain or whatever), so the numbers become reasonable.

edit:

btw, the type of arguments in favour of the historicity of the Exodus story are much the same as given for Jesus. Why would the Israelites invent a story that places their origin as a people outside the land of Israel, which they claim? Why do they invent a story in which their ancestors are depicted as slaves? And why would they give their hero an Egyptian name Moses? How could so many Israelites ever be fooled into accepting to begin to celebrate festivals to remember the Exodus story, if it didn't take place? etc.

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa Rodman

You're missing the point. John was right to put the crucifixion before the first day of Passover, because having it on the first day of Passover as the synoptics do, betrays unfamiliarity with Jewish custom (not to hold trials etc. on a holiday, and the first day of Passover can't fall on a Friday).

I see what you're saying.
It's very easy to reconcile the synoptics With John on that issue of dating once you realize that John was writing to an audience that knew nothing about Jewish custom and was thus using a Roman rather than a Jewish Calendar and was using "the day of preperation" as it was used as a common way of saying "firday".

But what John is doing is theology, he's making Jesus the passover lamb, in Johns gospel the Jewish Court doesn't do any actual case, so the dating is irrelevant, it's Pilate that does everything.

Btw, there is no indication that Mark doesn't realize that this isn't normal ... he has the trial at the High Priests house ... that's not Normal. The Whole thing was set up in the synoptics as a sort of quickly taken together show trial so that they could just get him quickly off to Pilate ... there is no indication that he thought this was according to Jewish Custom.

Again, what you need to do is read recent scholarship on the matter, and actual scholarship. not 150 year old stuff that isnt' taken seriously in actual New Testament/Early Christianity studies.

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa Rodman

What I consider a detail, for example, is the number of 5000 members of the Christian Jerusalem community. That could be just an exaggeration, without casting any doubt on the historicity.

However, when people question the historicity of the Torah, the exaggerated numbers (eg Israelites wandering the desert, the size of the army at various battles etc.) is considered a fundamental objection. Though there are attempts to put this on a scribal misunderstanding/error in copying the numbers (the word for 1000 could also just mean something like a captain or whatever), so the numbers become reasonable.

edit:

btw, the type of arguments in favour of the historicity of the Exodus story are much the same as given for Jesus. Why would the Israelites invent a story that places their origin as a people outside the land of Israel, which they claim? Why do they invent a story in which their ancestors are depicted as slaves? And why would they give their hero an Egyptian name Moses? How could so many Israelites ever be fooled into accepting to begin to celebrate festivals to remember the Exodus story, if it didn't take place? etc.

Of course it's an exaggeration ... what what are you doubting? That there WAS a Jerusalem community?

Have you looked into the actual scholarship of the Exodus verses Jesus? There is a reason why most scholars doubt the historicity of the Exodus (at least how it's recorded), but no one doubts the historicity of Jesus.

It's a lot more complicated than "why would they make it up".

Rommon

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave B, what's Your opinion on the Jubilee theology in Luke/Q and my theory (not just my theory, others as well) and it's Connection With the early Christian Communism?

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Rommon

John is doing is theology, he's making Jesus the passover lamb,

The author of John cares less about Jewish symbolism, but/and he is more familiar in this case with Jewish custom (btw also with geography, possibly because he visited it). It's the synoptics who are doing theology, again:

The fact concerning the day was shaped to suit the
dogma. Israel was redeemed from Egyptian bondage on the day
celebrated ever after that event as the feast of the Passover ; there-
fore the death of Jesus, the second redemption, must have taken
place [according to the Synoptics] on the self-same day.

I guess I have to spell it out. If we assume there was a crucifixion, the odds that if fell on the first day of Passover are tiny. To which you'd reply that "more realistically" it fell on some random day and then the Gospel writers, in order to add some symbolic theology, place it on the first day of Passover. To which I reply, that the story was from the start essentially theology.

Of course it's an exaggeration ... what what are you doubting? That there WAS a Jerusalem community?

I'm showing that for me, an exaggerated number is not enough ground to cast doubt on a story, ie I'm not some strict skeptic, although others do find this ground enough to reject the Exodus story. I do doubt a Jerusalem community (in any case, it was very short-lived and small), but on other grounds.

Have you looked into the actual scholarship of the Exodus verses Jesus? There is a reason why most scholars doubt the historicity of the Exodus (at least how it's recorded), but no one doubts the historicity of Jesus.

It's a lot more complicated than "why would they make it up".

So what reason is it? If you take away the miracles of the Exodus, the story of some semitic tribe dwelling in Egypt is quite believable. Why wouldn't some part of the Israelites' ancestors have come from Egypt? Splitting of the sea not taken as the red sea, but just a reed swamp where the Egyptian's chariots' wheels get stuck, etc. Without speculating that some natural events like the eruption of Santorini caused plague-like phenomena.

I already mentioned a scholar on the historicity of the Exodus: Abraham Yahuda's Language of the Pentateuch in its Relation to Egyptian (1933) and The Accuracy Of The Bible (1934), and his 1947 article: Medical and Anatomical Terms in the Pentateuch in the Light of Egyptian Medical Papyri, published in Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, i.e. a non-religious journal. That's at least putting work into the argument, whereas for the NT you have pointed to no such thing.

edit:

It's not just "why would they make it up", but why would they make it contradictory (eg Genesis even within the same book), against their apparent interest or honour (eg detailing all the sins of their leaders), etc. Such types of arguments are I think what is called begging the question.

Dave B

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On the crucifixtion narrative and dates etc and even the exodus thing.

There were all sorts of problems reconciling the John version with the synoptics.

The new testament scholars jumped through gymnastic hoops trying to sort it out and failed basically preferring to dish John as the less reliable account.

Then when the dead sea schrolls came up it was realised for the first time I think that the essenes used a different system to calculate the Passover date, using a ‘solar system rather than a lunar one.

Then enter the astronomers and computer geeks in the late 1990’s.

A bod decided for fun to write a computer programme historically calculating all the positions of the planets and their moons etc just for fun.

I went to a lecture by the guy who did it at the Manchester Astronomical society; a really nice ordinary young working class bod.

The mathematics was alone was complicated, it was called the three body problem, do it for three and the rest will drop out.

Prior to that.

It was solved as late as the early 1970’s by a little known young nobody who was given the impossible task as an exercise.

He cracked it mathematically and the just had then enough computer power to make it work.

It made the voyager sling shop missions possible just in time as that it itself was a once in 200 year opportunity.

They knew it was possible it was calculating it that was the problem.

With more computing power it became something a lap top or 1990’s PC could run.

It became historically important as eclipses 2000 years ago could be precisely calculated and thus historical events could be precisely calibrated; as that was always a bit wobbly before that.

Thus for instance it know looks like Galleo had seen Neptune much earlier and miss identified it as a moon of Saturn I think.

Neptune just so happened to be just behind the line of sight of Saturn when he was looking at it.

As to absence of evidence etc there was an total eclipse in 29AD that passed over Palestine in November I think but it was about 100 miles NE of Jeruslem.

No written record of it apart from somebody was regarded as a bit of a prick called phlegon or something.

He lived in a place on the north coast of the black sea call Brythia or something and it did pass straight over that.

Anyway there is a NASA site somewhere and as regards eclipses etc you can just plug in the dates and it draw a nice map for you etc.

On some of them they will add historical or potential historical reports of it.

I believe before all that calculating moon and sun positions etc was possible but a nightmarish slide rule problem.

But when the essenene solar Passover calculating system was revealed in the contemporary dead sea schrolls material it became a doddle to look a that kind of stuff suddenly.

I seem to remember that the essene system, which was probably more sensible, usually would put their Passover after the orthodox one sometimes by quite a lot.

AD30 was exceptional in that in placed the Essene Passover before the orthodox one.

When you look at it from that perspective all the John- synoptic problems disappear everything slots in nicely and in fact the John narrative looks better.

In fact the John narrative even looks too good to be true.

As you have JC being crucified on the orthodox date of the pre Passover sacrifice of the Lamb for and in preparation for the orthodox Passover.

And it looks ‘great’ if you decide to wheel in the Isaiah stuff.

It has a bit of background as apparently it fits in with the syriac didascialia thing; old stuff with also the don’t stone the adultress stuff in it?

I can’t be arsed checking my 5 year old addled memory thing on this and don’t ask about the setting of the date of the orthodox Passover versus essene stuff it was worse that Karl’s transformation problem.

I seem to remember that pope Benedict or the Vatican around 2005 back tracted somewhat and did a JC essene Passover thing.

That was a bold repentance.

As I have it we have JC celebrating essene Passover and Essenes being communists and I am a genius for seeing communism in the gospel stuff before I knew this stuff

As to JC couldn’t have been an essene because of this or that.

There are National Rifle Association Christians and Chris Hedege’s just about the only thing they have in common is festival days.

Yeah so OK there might have been capitalist essenes as well it depends on what you might think is mumbo jumbo Passover dating is more rooted that something like that.

There was no mention of a lamb meal at JC’s and his gangs last supper and the essenes did have a problem with that as well.

The essene solar calendar was in the dead sea schroll jubillee stuff as well as in the book of Enoch which some of the early Christians seemed to like eg Jude?

On the ‘Q’ and ‘L’ thing the obvious question frequently asked is where were the New York Times aricles on that kind of stuff?

Maybe there were and a section of the Judiac community had him marked down as another in the long list of prohets.

And gave him a reasonable press, maybe that was what this ‘gospel’ of the Hebrews was all about.

‘Gospel’ in that sense being a ‘non Christian’ account.

The Christian authors of the gospel stuff just plagiarised it putting their later messiah own spin on it.

In fact you could make the case that JC never explicitly said he was.

So we come to the Porphyry bod who was supposed to have been a Christian and turned into an orhodox Platonist,

A lot of the early Christian intellectuals like Justin, Tertullian and even Origen had a Platonist bent. And I think the came to it from that.

I think by the late 3rd century Christianity had started to drift away from intellectual Platonism like ‘practical’ Stalinism drifted away from Marxism.

And the neo Platonist Porphyry who had JC as a ‘philosopher’ dished it as revisionism.

Whatever it was it must have been good given the response and hence all early Christian Platonist were sent into the memory hole and excommunicated.

Rommon

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa, the date of the crucifixion/trial in John has nothinh to do With Jewish custom because on John it wasn't the Jews that did the trial. As Many (most recently Bauckham) have pointed out, much of the Q/Mark material that is geographically wrong is what one would expect from a Galilean peasant tradition.

Actually the synoptics are extremely familiar With Jewish custom and Law, you have mishnaic allusions all over the Place. Right now I'm doing work on the Sermon on the plain, and there are multiple even in those 29 verses.

John was writing to Gentiles, that is obvious. As to whether or not the writer himself was familiar With Jewish custom and the such, is a different issue.

But the fact that the synoptics have the "trial" on the passover, doesn't prove anything, in fact it fits in With the entire point, the "trial" was ad hoc.

according to the synoptics the crucifixion was not on the morning of Nisan 15. But there is debate as to the exact time. When you have multiple Sources putting it around that same time, there is no reason to doubt that it happened some time around there. Had it been a Christian invention it would have likely been the day of atonement, as that would have fit With Later CHristian theology.

What John is doing is taking a historical fact and theologizing it, playing With it.

I can't comment too much on Exodus and the Old Testament, I'm not studied enough in it.

BTW, when you're talking early Christianity and New Testament, the most important scholarship is post 1960s. Almost all the NT scholars you cited have theories that are not taken seriously in scholarship any more.

The thing is, this Whole discussion With you has been you digging up outdated scholarship, then me refuting the arguments, then you bringing up New outdated scholarship ...

If this is something that interests you why don't you get into modern Scholarship, and go and read what modern historial Jesus scholars are saying, rather than just Cherry picking debunked Sources.

Rommon

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave B

Then when the dead sea schrolls came up it was realised for the first time I think that the essenes used a different system to calculate the Passover date, using a ‘solar system rather than a lunar one.

Yeah, although to be honest I don't necessarily buy the attempts to reconcile John and the synoptics using an Essenic Calendar. Because John doesn't betray much Essenic theology, he's much less eschatalogical and apocalyptic than the Q and Markean tradition. Also the one reconcilation Method I think is valid is that John was using the Roman system.

But here's what I will say, scholarship before the DDS and after are way different. As well as the studies of oral tradition that happened in the 50s and 60s. And the progress in understanding the complexity of second temple Judaism.

I'm not sure if I understood Your answer on Luke and Q's Jubilee theology ...

Noa Rodman

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Rommon

Actually the synoptics are extremely familiar With Jewish custom and Law, you have mishnaic allusions all over the Place. Right now I'm doing work on the Sermon on the plain, and there are multiple even in those 29 verses.

That's known by anyone. Those "old" 19th-early 20th century books against the existence of Jesus already pointed out tons, without seeing it as an objection to their thesis in the slightest.

Had it been a Christian invention it would have likely been the day of atonement, as that would have fit With Later CHristian theology.

it was invented by Christians still close to Judaism. The day of atonement doesn't fit with the symbolism of Jesus as Passover lamb. The symbolism of the story is quite on the nose:

Mark 14

Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.
23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.
24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

Do you seriously think the main part of the story of Jesus just by a coincidence fell on Passover or was a mere added piece of symbolism, and not the heart of the message? And given the frequent use of parables by the NT authors, one can easily consider the entire crucifixion story itself to be another symbolic illustration, just a bit more fleshed out.

Rommon

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What I seriously think is that NT writers took the historical Jesus and wrote his story in a way so as to make theological Messages, so they took actual accounts and then added symbolism to it (as almost all NT scholars and historians of early christianity understand now).

This is Clear when you look at how both Matthew and Luke use the Q and Markean material, and how the oral traditions reflected the historical events but were then re-framed to work within a theological narrative.

Noa Rodman

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Do you consider also the Pentecost miracle to be a historical fact just re-framed for theological purpose? Again, Pentecost was

known to the Jews as the day when the revelation of the decalogue on Mount Sinai took place... In the phraseology of the primitive Christians, the revelation on Mount Sinai was "the pouring out of the Holy Ghost." As Jesus died on Passover, to effect the second redemption precisely on the same day when the first took place, so also the second revelation, the pouring out of the Holy Ghost had to come, and on the precise day when the first occurred, the Pentecost.

The NT writers didn't theologize historical accounts, but re-used stories from the Hebrew bible. Or so crudely having Jesus ride two donkeys into Jerusalem because they misunderstood a verse from the Prophets. Acts even re-uses the story of Jesus' trials for Paul. They were as lazy story-writers as those of The Force Awakens who copied plots from the older Star Wars movies.

Dave B

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think the thesis is clear?

He was arrested on the evening of Tuesday 4th April AD 30 after celebrating the Essene Passover.

I like that idea as it is my birthday.

Tried crucified on Wednesday 5th on the orthodox day for sacrificing unblemished lambs or goats etc

Spent three days dead on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Came back on Sunday?

[Although I don’t believe he was crucified at the Passover time as too much seemed to have happened to fast to fit it in.]

Although the arrest as part of the sacrificial process can still slot in and be wrangled into the seminal day of sacrificing the unblemished lamb thing.

I think John must have had a handle on Judiac theology to slot in the broken bones thing?

As he didn’t have his legs broken [John] as you are not allowed to break the bones of the Passover lamb.

Anyway from the Vatican and pope and they never get anything wrong!

http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/homilies/2007/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20070405_coena-domini.html

The traditional site of the last supper is in the old Esssene quarter, near the ‘Essene Gate’.

That has stood up to some recent archaeological stuff with special essene baths etc and fits in with Josephus etc.

The Essenes weren’t allowed to go for a shit in Jerusalem and had a special toilet just outside the city walls from the Essene gate; located and dug as a communist toilet.

A strict interpretation of something in Deutromony on where you went for a pooh; they had all the bases covered.

There was all kinds of stuff about going for a pooh at night rather than they day; I don’t think I would like that.

My grandfather was always into the idea of regular and controlled bowel movements as a key to longevity but it is not for me as mine can get a bit loose and pressing especially after a night on the wine.

So if JC was planning on going for a pooh when he said they couldn’t follow him where he was going it was a bit of a walk.

The traditional sites appear to have been well marked out in Origen’s day circa 230AD thus.

Book one CHAP. LI.

…., let him know that, in conformity with the narrative in the Gospel regarding His birth, there is shown at Bethlehem the cave where He was born, and the manger in the cave where He was wrapped in swaddling-clothes. And this sight is greatly talked of in surrounding places, even among the enemies of the faith, it being said that in this cave was born….

Justin has JC born in a cave which were used as stables carved out of the soft rock.

As to only orthodox communist Essenes celebrating Passover on essene Passover date, well I think you need to get out more.

It is just as likely to a political dissident thing and rebellion F**k off against the ruling class roman puppet organised religion.

I would have celebrated Passover on the Essene date as well.

Noa Rodman

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

He was arrested on the evening of Tuesday 4th April AD 30 after celebrating the Essene Passover.
...

Tried crucified on Wednesday

I think Friday is what all the Gospels agree is when he was crucified. So he would be arrested Thursday night (actually already Friday morning), after having eating a last meal that Thursday evening.

Dave B

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

or?

Jaubert bases herself primarily on two early texts, which seem to suggest a solution to the problem. First she refers to an ancient priestly calendar handed down in the Book of Jubilees, which was a Hebrew text produced in the second half of the second century before Christ. ……………….. and the Passover meal is held after sunset on Tuesday evening.

According to Jaubert, Jesus celebrated the Passover following this calendar, that is, on Tuesday evening, and was arrested during the night leading into Wednesday.

Jaubert sees here the solution to two problems: first, Jesus celebrated a real Passover meal, as the Synoptic tradition maintains; yet John is also right, in that the Jewish authorities, following their own calendar, did not celebrate the Passover until after Jesus' trial, and Jesus was therefore executed on the vigil of the real Passover, not on the feast itself. Both the Synoptic and the Johannine traditions thus appear to be correct on the basis of the discrepancy between two different calendars.

The second advantage emphasized by Annie Jaubert shows at the same time the weakness of this attempted solution. She points out that the traditional chronologies (Synoptic and Johannine) have to compress a whole series of events into a few hours: the hearing before the Sanhedrin, Jesus being sent over to Pilate, Pilate's wife's dream, Jesus being handed over to Herod, his return to Pilate, the scourging, the condemnation to death, the way of the Cross, and the crucifixion.

To accomplish all this in the space of a few hours seems scarcely possible, according to Jaubert. Her solution, though, provides a time frame from the night leading into Wednesday to the morning of Good Friday.

She also argues that Mark gives a precise sequence of events for "Palm Sunday", Monday, and Tuesday, but then leaps directly to the Passover meal.

According to the traditional dating, then, two days remain of which nothing is recounted.

Finally, Jaubert reminds us that, if her theory is correct, the Jewish authorities could have succeeded in their plan to kill Jesus in good time before the feast. Pilate then delayed the crucifixion until Friday, so the theory goes, through his hesitations.

One argument against this redating of the Last Supper to Tuesday, of course, is the long tradition assigning it to Thursday, which we find clearly established as early as the second century.

Jaubert responds by pointing to the second text on which her theory is based: the so-called Didascalia Apostolorum, a text from the early third century that places the Last Supper on Tuesday. She tries to show that this book preserved an old tradition, traces of which are also found in other texts.

In reply it must be said that the traces of tradition to which she refers are too weak to be convincing.

The other difficulty is that Jesus is unlikely to have used a calendar associated principally with Qumran. Jesus went to the Temple for the great feasts. Even if he prophesied its demise and confirmed this with a dramatic symbolic action, he still followed the Jewish festal calendar, as is evident from John's Gospel in particular.

True, one can agree with Jaubert that the Jubilees calendar was not strictly limited to Qumran and the Essenes. Yet this is not sufficient to justify applying it to Jesus' Passover. Thus it is understandable that Annie Jaubert's theory – so fascinating on first sight – is rejected by the majority of exegetes.

http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/the-dating-of-the-last-supper.html

Noa Rodman

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As for the nature of the last meal, it seems obvious to be just the chagigah;

[quote=some 1886 book]When this feast was joined with the Passover, "It was eaten first, that the Passover might be eaten y^tJTl ?y, after being filled'" (7". B. Pesach. 70 a). Thus the chagigah was like the agape, which once preceded the Eucharist. [/quote]

btw Dave, turns out you're in company of Proudhon an avid commentator of the NT;

La Bible annotée (Nouveau Testament): les Actes des apôtres, les Epîtres, l'Apocalypse annoté: https://archive.org/details/labibleannoteno00sacygoog (not clear if Robert Aron's 1951 edition of Proudhon's Portrait de Jésus is just republication of part of this or some other material)

Jésus et les origines du christianisme: https://archive.org/details/jsusetlesorigin00rochgoog

Noa Rodman

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

To turn to a bit lighter stuff (tho not Dave's literal shit-posting), I experienced a miracle once. I watched Robert Downey Sr.'s 1972 movie Greaser's Palace ("a parable based on the life of Christ") with the character of Jesse played by Allan Arbus. Now iirc just a few days later, or even on the same day, I watched an episode of Curb your enthusiasm in which Arbus made a cameo appearance. What are the odds.

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Another cultural reference. I always found the song 'What If God Was One Of Us' touching ("Nobody calling on the phone. Except for the pope maybe in Rome"). It is perhaps the most Christian/religious song to become quite popular lately. The writer Eric M. Bazilian, who is Jewish (which looked up out of curiosity, not Armenian), said that he wrote it to court a girl (iirc they are happily married).

Dave B

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well there are others, this one is a famous one.

http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/04/14/author-predicts-titanic-sinking-14-years-earlier/

As we can see I think it has a ‘materialist basis’.

These exegetes live in a bubble world.

So they had no idea about alternative Essene dates for Passover, so non existed.

Then it becomes obvious later that there were things about esseneism that they didn’t know anything about.

And then go on to say they now know everything about esseneism and JC wasn’t an essene; that they know about.

So when you say there might have been variations of esseneism that could accommodate JC they say where is the evidence.

Which is fair enough.

But I would call on contemporary evidence in that religious crap has pick and mix aspects to it.

Predicated on the ‘outrageous materialist’ assumption that when it comes to stuff like that it happens all the time.

It is not talked about in orthodox texts but Hindus attend Sikh temples, and Sikhs and unorthodox muslims celebrate Hindu festivals like Diwali.

Impossible from a bubble minded ‘exegete’ analysis of the Quran.

Hindu polythesism is unequivocally totally prohibited in the Quran.

Rommon

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Reason almost no historian believes that the NT writers were just making up Jesus to fit the Hebrew bible rather than theologizing historical accounts is because the theologizing is very often clumsy, and the accounts are forced to fit rather than just drawn out; and they very often don't hold together.

not only that but the synoptics were written as ancient biography; within the second generation .... this is not something that happens.

not only that but if you de-theologize the synoptic stories, and stay With mark and Q de-theologized, you have an outline of the historical Jesus, someone who fits perfectly in early 1st Century Palestine. You cannot say that the writer of Mark (for example) was just a lazy writer, he was (and anyone who has studied Mark knows this) very meticulous and some would say a literary genius. The reason it gets clumsy is because he's taking historical traditions from a person that People revere and making a Picture of him to fit a narrative.

Not only that but once you go With the mythecist account you end up being forced to construe a large conspiracy and you have to ignore so many loose ends With the theory and you end up With something so implausable it can't be taken seriously.

Which again, is why no historian, New testament and christian origisn scholar, takes it seriously .... You have to dig from pre-world war one writings to find scholarhips supporting it.

Noa Rodman

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Besides the 2 books of Robert Taylor which I already mentioned, there are online also publications of several orations delivered at his misleadingly named Christian Evidence Society (founded in 1824); in the journal The Republican eg the fifty-sixth oration, and separately eg the ninetieth oration.

Taylor often cited the 1792 work of Edward Evanson (1731–1805) ‘The Dissonance of the four generally received Evangelists, and the Evidence of their Authenticity examined.’ In this work Evanson (who btw was a fully believing Christian, so did believe in Jesus' existence) rejects the gospels according to Matthew, Mark, and John, the epistles to the Romans, Ephesians, Colossians, and Hebrews, and those of James, Peter, John, and Jude, besides part of the other books of the Testament. He was answered by Priestley (in reply to whom he published in 1794 a ‘Letter to Dr. Priestley's Young Man’), expelled from a book club, and ‘pestered by anonymous letters.’

Dave B

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think this guy was the originator of the myth theory?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles-Fran%C3%A7ois_Dupuis#Christ_myth_theory

Noa Rodman

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes, Depuis is mentioned by Taylor and Drews. For another overview: Jesus: Myth or history (1946) by Archibald Robertson (not a mythicist himself).

Another early work is Examen du Mosaïsme et du Christianisme (1834) by M. Reghellini (volume 1, volume 2, volume 3):

Jesus was an invention of radical zealots who exploited him as an emblem of the doctrines of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity already present in rabbinical writings – including of course, the end of slavery; indeed, '"the death of Christ is an allegory of the fate of slavery".

Bruno Bauer's works don't seem to be online. Neither is Paul-Louis Couchoud's The Creation of Christ: An Outline of the Beginnings of Christianity (2 vol., Watts, 1939).

Dave B

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think from a proto Marxist and Hegelian perspective it was David Strauss who set the ball rolling before Bauer?

The two-volume LIFE OF JESUS by David Freidrich Strauss in 1835 is one of the landmark treatments in Leben-Jesu research. It is good to have it back in print in the translation of Mary Ann Evans (novelist George Eliot) and with the detailed introduction by Peter Hodgeson, providing setting in the lifetime of Strauss and analysis of his subsequent editions. Older assessments saw in Strauss roots for later eschatological concerns, form and redaction criticism. We can now note that he paid considerable attention to narrative, deconstructed many a periscope, and sought the idea behind the imageries. So caught up in his critical, negative analysis did Stra

http://www.siglerpress.com/Strauss.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruno_Bauer#Conflict_with_David_Strauss

George Eliot was obviously interested in this as she also translated Feurbach's essence of Christianity.

The Earl of Shaftesbury called the 1846 translation by Marian Evans "the most pestilential book ever vomited out of the jaws of hell."

One of the other bod’s you mentioned was a Unitarian who didn’t believe in the Holy trinity shit so they obviously had their own theological axe to grind over rejecting three of the four gospels.

Some of? The Unitarians were more materialistic and ‘lefty’ in outlook and have quite an impressive list of followers including the first evolutionist? Darwin’s grandfather and the pro working class novelist Elizabeth Gaskel.

And very early anti slavery people.

My grandparents on one side of the family were nominal Unitarians although I didn’t have a Christian upbringing at all.

Clearly re Strauss and the miracles etc the very early anti Christians from 1500 years beforehand put it down to Egyptian magic and/or sorcery (black supernatural satanic magic).

The standard 300AD roman state anti Christian text was called acts of Pilate.

Unless it was a work full of went to work today and didn’t crucify anyone called Jesus and there is still no one called Jesus being a pain in the arse and doing magic etc etc.

It is reasonable to assume it was an alternative narrative to the gospel stories?

We might guess what was in the maxilian II version by the probably fourth century Christianised version as a counter narrative to the counter narrative.

thus;

Pilate says to them: What evil practices? They say to him: He is a magician, and by Beelzebul prince of the demons be casts out the demons, and all are subject to him. Pilate says to them: This is not casting out the demons by an unclean spirit, but by the god Aesculapius.

And the Jews answering, say unto Pilate: Did we not tell thee that he was a sorcerer? behold, he has sent a dream to thy wife.

And the elders of the Jews answered, and said to Jesus: What shall we see? first, that thou wast born of fornication; secondly, that thy birth in Bethlehem was the cause of the murder of the infants; thirdly, that thy father Joseph and thy mother Mary fled into Egypt because they had no confidence in the people.

Some of the bystanders, pious men of the Jews, say: we deny that he was born of fornication; for we know that Joseph espoused Mary, and he was not born of fornication. Pilate says to the Jews who said that he was of fornication: This story of yours is not true, because they were betrothed, as also these fellow-countrymen of yours say.

Etc.

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/gospelnicodemus-roberts.html

It is actually an extremely sophisticated text by contemporary standards.

Especially when compare to other stuff that was knocking around about walking and talking crosses the size of mountains.

On Aesculapius there is a bit of a complicated Therapeutae/ essene early christian and Alexandria with a buddhist theme to it.

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

I guess with the myth idea, taking it from Carrier, that it was set up early and believed and established as pseudo-historical 50-100 years later?

On oral tradition and all that shit on the 50-100 years span there is quite a lot of it now as regards ‘who do you think your are stuff’ and people trawling through their family history stuff.

A lot of it turns out to be crap but it is the amount and nature of what turns out to be correct is interesting.

My grandfather was a scouser and claimed that he was in the Liverpool regiment and was at Gallipoli and got shot in the left arm.

What he omitted to mention was that he was transferred to the, spit, Manchester East Lanchashire fusiliers in 1916 or something and got shot as a Mancunian.

It was on his war record.

Noa Rodman

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Again, I don't like your posting style Dave, this isn't Twitter. Spare us the stream of consciousness. And spurting out family stories is inappropriate. Einstein's paper on general relativity was also serious stuff, but he didn't feel the need to mix in personal anecdotes to keep the reader's interest.

I guess with the myth idea, taking it from Carrier, that it was set up early and believed and established as pseudo-historical 50-100 years later?

On oral tradition and all that shit on the 50-100 years span there is quite a lot of it now as regards ‘who do you think your are stuff’ and people trawling through their family history stuff.

A lot of it turns out to be crap but it is the amount and nature of what turns out to be correct is interesting.

Crucifixion was a shameful death (tho the actual expression found often in the NT is "hanging on a tree"). Such a death (and the preceding via dolorosa) would not be something to boast about to the younger generations (even in "heroic" Jewish martyrology like the siege of Masada, it's not something to be proud of/emulated). So I think in reality normally such a horrible execution would not be preserved in such detail, but rather be covered up or beautified. Compare e.g. to Holocaust survivors who generally didn't say much to their kids about what they experienced in the camps. Imagine how Mary would have felt among the Jerusalem Christian community if it each time retold the story of how her son was horribly executed. Your grandfather's story about being shot is an example of boasting. If Jesus had been executed as a rebel against Caesar, or really heroically died fighting Rome, the way his followers would have boasted is that Jesus took down a bunch of Romans with him, Samson-style.

Dave B

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I am just projecting I suppose.

I like to know who people are and their personal histories

Dave B

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

And I did it in the context of oral histories.