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

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Noa Rodman
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May 23 2017 14:39
Khawaga wrote:
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.

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May 23 2017 14:43

felt some sympathy with the sicari

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May 23 2017 14:54

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.

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May 23 2017 16:39

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.

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May 23 2017 17:17

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
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May 23 2017 18:09

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
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May 23 2017 18:37

rommon's book has arrived and I can pick it up in a couple of days

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May 23 2017 21:25
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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
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May 23 2017 23:39

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?

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May 24 2017 08:34

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 wrote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

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May 24 2017 09:10
Dave B wrote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
"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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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 smile.

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May 24 2017 10:03
Rommon wrote:
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 wrote:
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.

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May 24 2017 10:40
Noa Rodman wrote:
Rommon wrote:
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.

Quote:
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.

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May 24 2017 11:08
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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)?

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May 24 2017 11:20
Noa Rodman wrote:
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.

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May 24 2017 16:57

Not all outsiders, as Acts 6 mentions:

Quote:
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).

Quote:
“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-o...

potrokin
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May 24 2017 18:28

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
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May 24 2017 20:13

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.

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May 25 2017 09:06
potrokin wrote:
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).

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May 25 2017 13:51

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.

Kautsky wrote:
the apostles had no fixed residence but moved around constantly (hence their name, apostolos, messenger, traveller, seafarer);

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 wrote:
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 wrote:
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
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May 25 2017 18:02

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
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May 25 2017 19:15

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.

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May 25 2017 19:49
Quote:
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.

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May 25 2017 20:43

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."

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May 26 2017 07:13
Dave B wrote:
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 tongue.

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.

Quote:
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.

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May 26 2017 10:02
Dave B wrote:
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:

Quote:
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 wrote:
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
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May 26 2017 11:19

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.

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May 26 2017 13:57

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
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May 26 2017 18:46

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?

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May 26 2017 21:46

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.