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

316 posts / 0 new
Last post
Noa Rodman's picture
Noa Rodman
Offline
Joined: 4-11-09
Jun 5 2017 06:27

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+sin...

Noa Rodman's picture
Noa Rodman
Offline
Joined: 4-11-09
Jun 5 2017 18:36

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_LHistoi...

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
Offline
Joined: 3-08-08
Jun 5 2017 19:07

I am no fan of the search for archaeological evidence.

And anything that comes up must be suspect.

Rommon's picture
Rommon
Offline
Joined: 23-03-17
Jun 5 2017 19:09

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's picture
Rommon
Offline
Joined: 23-03-17
Jun 5 2017 19:19

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's picture
Khawaga
Offline
Joined: 7-08-06
Jun 5 2017 19:32
Rommon wrote:
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
Offline
Joined: 3-08-08
Jun 5 2017 19:32

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's picture
Noa Rodman
Offline
Joined: 4-11-09
Jun 5 2017 20:52
Khawaga wrote:
Rommon wrote:
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_...

Khawaga's picture
Khawaga
Offline
Joined: 7-08-06
Jun 5 2017 21:02

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's picture
Noa Rodman
Offline
Joined: 4-11-09
Jun 5 2017 21:29

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's picture
Khawaga
Offline
Joined: 7-08-06
Jun 5 2017 22:02
Quote:
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's picture
Rommon
Offline
Joined: 23-03-17
Jun 6 2017 09:38
Dave B wrote:
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.

Quote:
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's picture
Rommon
Offline
Joined: 23-03-17
Jun 6 2017 09:49
Noa Rodman wrote:
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's picture
Rommon
Offline
Joined: 23-03-17
Jun 6 2017 09:51
Khawaga wrote:
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's picture
Noa Rodman
Offline
Joined: 4-11-09
Jun 6 2017 12:01
Rommon wrote:
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's picture
Noa Rodman
Offline
Joined: 4-11-09
Jun 6 2017 12:07

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's picture
Rommon
Offline
Joined: 23-03-17
Jun 6 2017 13:10
Noa Rodman wrote:
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.

Quote:
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's picture
Rommon
Offline
Joined: 23-03-17
Jun 6 2017 13:18
Noa Rodman wrote:
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's picture
Noa Rodman
Offline
Joined: 4-11-09
Jun 6 2017 16:53
Quote:
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.

Quote:
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's picture
Rommon
Offline
Joined: 23-03-17
Jun 7 2017 07:10

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's picture
Noa Rodman
Offline
Joined: 4-11-09
Jun 7 2017 10:44
Quote:
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.

Quote:
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's picture
Rommon
Offline
Joined: 23-03-17
Jun 7 2017 11:09

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's picture
Noa Rodman
Offline
Joined: 4-11-09
Jun 7 2017 11:56
Quote:
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.

Quote:
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).

Quote:
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's picture
Rommon
Offline
Joined: 23-03-17
Jun 7 2017 12:09
Quote:
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.

Quote:
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's picture
Rommon
Offline
Joined: 23-03-17
Jun 7 2017 12:48

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's picture
Noa Rodman
Offline
Joined: 4-11-09
Jun 7 2017 18:20
Quote:
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?

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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
Offline
Joined: 3-08-08
Jun 7 2017 22:35

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's picture
Noa Rodman
Offline
Joined: 4-11-09
Jun 8 2017 07:28
Dave B wrote:
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 wrote:
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)

Quote:
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:

Quote:
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's picture
Noa Rodman
Offline
Joined: 4-11-09
Jun 8 2017 07:44

another passage from the NT, Matthew 26

Quote:
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's picture
Noa Rodman
Offline
Joined: 4-11-09
Jun 8 2017 07:43

dp