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Monthly Archives: August 2009

Paul and The Lord’s Supper

This was posted by “spin” over at FRDB in regards to the Eucharist ceremony that Paul describes in 1 Cor 11:17-34. It really goes to show how one needs to learn Greek in order to see past all of the Christian interpretation of translations:

Paul felt it was necessary to reprimand his Corinthians over their behavior when they partook in the group’s communal meal, which Paul calls “the lordly supper” — kuriakos deipnos. This is usually translated as “the lord’s supper” (which would be deipnos tou kuriou), but kuriakos is an adjective (used only twice in the christian scripture), hence “lordly” for want of better representation. This will help to avoid the perhaps undue influence that the phrase “lord’s supper” would bring to the text.

Here is the reconstructed text (arrived at through reduction of the current text):

Now in the following instructions I do not commend you, for your meetings do more harm than good. In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. No doubt there have to be factions among you, for only so will it become clear which of you have approval. When you come together, it is not the lordly supper you eat, for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not! A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world. So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for each other. If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment.

Is it that I have so mangled the text that I have lost sight of its significance or is this a communal meal of the sort that people adhering to Jewish customs partook in? We find such a communal meal mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls and believers who had become recognized members of the community could partake in the meal, though they could be excluded from it.

Paul’s complaint, so far, seems to have nothing to do with the Jesus inaugurated ritual meal, but with how members of Paul’s Corinthian community treated each other by not partaking as good responsible members should. It was not an ordinary meal where one could gluttonize or get drunk, but a meal in which all members should be able to partake and not miss out because of the gluttony of some. If one needed to think of one’s body one should do that at home.

If this analysis is correct, let’s look at the text as it has become:

17 Now in the following instructions I do not commend you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19 No doubt there have to be factions among you, for only so will it become clear which of you have approval. 20 When you come together, it is not the lordly supper you eat, 21 for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. 22 Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not! 23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. 32 When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world. 33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for each other. 34 If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment.

The phrase in red is not well supported by the manuscript evidence, so it can be reduced to a footnote as is done in the NRSV. It seems to be a late erroneous attempt at clarifying the significance of “body”, shifting from the body of the individual to that of Jesus. It’s not the lord’s body that the member doesn’t discern but his/her own, such that s/he comes to the meal with the wrong attitude and gluttonizes.

The green section is mainly the Lucan presentation of the last supper. Its presence draws attention onto itself and away from Paul’s complaint about the poor attitude of his Corinthians when they come to the communal meal.

Interestingly enough, “spin” is right; the only other instance of “Lordly” or “lord-like” (κυριακον) is in Revelation 1:10. Some scholars have posited that John’s Revelation was originally a Jewish apocalypse that was reappropriated by Christians and thus Christianized by interpolating a bunch of “Jesuses” and “Christs” into the text. The Didache, the “Ascension of Isaiah”, also suffer a similar fate – originally Jewish works that were later Christianized. What if Paul’s letters were the same? What if Paul’s letters were originally part of the Dead Sea Scrolls community and were reappropriated by Christians? I think another person, DC Hindley, has a similar conclusion. But not necessarily related to the Dead Sea Scrolls community (usually referred to as the Essenes), but some other Jewish interaction with the ger toshavim.

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2009 in eucharist, interpolation, lord's supper, paul

 

Propheciezed or Derived?

So was Jesus’ life really predicted according to Jewish scripture? Or was his life derived from Jewish scripture?

The first line of evidence for this is the fact that the Hebrew Bible is split into three types of writings: Torah (Law), Neviim (Prophets), and Ketuvim (Writings). Prophecy ended in Israel on the deaths of the last prophets; Zechariah, Malachi, etc. Daniel, who is considered a prophet according to Christians, was not considered a prophet in Judaism since he lived after the time period that prophecy had ended.

Accordingly, the psalms are not prophetic. They are simply the hopes and dreams of Jews written to songs. The word “psalm” comes from the Greek word ψαλμος (psalmos) which was derived from the verb ψάλλω (psallo). When I fingerpick my guitar, I ψάλλω it. Psalms are songs to be sung, usually accompanied by a stringed instrument which is plucked with fingers. So the psalms are listed among the Ketuvim, along with Daniel. Though in John, Jesus fubs and calls the Psalms “Torah”:

Psalm 82:6

I said, ‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.’

John 10:34

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’

(Why does Jesus say “your law”? Isn’t it his law too, being Jewish?) Jesus’ entire crucifixion scene, according to Christians, was “predicted” by the 22nd psalm. But this makes no sense since the psalms aren’t prophetic. Therefore, Jesus’ crucifixion scene must have been derived from the 22nd psalm!

Psalm 22:1

My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?

Matthew 27:46

the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, […] “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Psalm 22:18

They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture

Matthew 27:35

When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots

Psalm 22:7

All they that saw me laugh me to scorn, they shoot out the lip, they shake their heads

Matthew 27:39

And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads

Psalm 22:8

He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him

Matthew 27:43

He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if He will have him

Though Luke changes Jesus’ last words, they are still derived from a psalm:

Luke 23:46

And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, He said, Father into thy hands I commend My Sprit…

Psalm 31:5

Into thine hand I commend my spirit

Other aspects of the crucifixion are derived from other psalms:

Matthew 27:24

When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

Psalm 26:6

I will wash mine hands in innocency

Matthew 27:34

And they gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall…

Psalm 69:21

They gave me also gall for my meat, ……and they gave me vinegar to drink

John 13:18

He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.

Psalm 41:9

Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me

Mark 15:28 says “and the scripture was fulfilled which says, “He was counted with the lawless ones” (Isaiah 53:12)”. But Mark 15:28 doesn’t show up in some earlier manuscripts, so some Bibles either leave it out, or have a little annotation to denote this. So it means this “prophecy” was inserted into the text at a later time period. But what if that was endemic to the entire text? That an original author wrote a narrative gospel and another author realized that there were “similarities” between Tanakh texts and the gospels?

Also, the name “Barabbas” literally means “son of the father” or “descendent of the father” (Bar Abba). The reason why it’s “Barabbas” in the text is the same reason why it’s “Jesus” in the text. These stories were originally written in Greek and so the ending of a noun in Greek depends on its grammatical context. So for example, if I said “They crucify Barabbas” in Greek it would be αυτοι σταυρώνει Βαραββαν. Notice the ending – it’s a “ν” which is “n” in Greek – it literally says “Barabban”. If I wanted to say “Barabbas writes the good news” it would be Βαραββας γραφει τα ευαγγελια. Barabbas ends with a sigma – “s”. If I wanted to write “What does your father want, Barabbas?”, in Greek it would be τι κανει ο πατερας σου θελει, Βαραββα; which would literally be “What does your father want, Barabba?”

So that entire sequence is really between Jesus, who is supposed to be the actual “Son of the Father” and his polar opposite – a violent insurrectionist – who is literally named “Son of the Father”. Some manuscripts of Matthew even have Barabbas named “Jesus Barabbas”. So one “barabba” is sacrified for sin while the other “barabba” is released. This seems to mimic the scapegoat ceremony in Leviticus 16. Or, seems to be derived from Leviticus 16. Of course, this probably slipped passed the overzealous redactor who inserted “prophecies fulfilled” in the text, or that entire scene might have said at the end “and so they released Barabbas to fulfill Leviticus 16” which doesn’t really make sense.

Of course, there’s also the derived virgin birth (Matthew 1:23, Isaiah 7:14), the derived “slaughter of the innocents” (Matthew 2:18, Jer. 31:15), the derived “flight from Egypt” (Matthew 2:15, Hosea 11:1). What if the entire narrative itself was derived from the Hebrew Bible? This process is called “Midrash” – no wonder Christians are so zealous that Jesus “fulfilled” so many “prophecies”. But it seems like it was the other way around. Jesus didn’t fulfill any prophecies, the “prophecies” gave life to Jesus.

Another idea is that the original gospel Mark was written as a play. What if the reason that so much of the Passion sequence is derived from the psalms is because the Passion sequence, also, was supposed to be played to music?

And of course, keeping with Gnostic tradition, Mark ends his midrash of the Hebrew Bible at 16:8; which Matthew and Luke didn’t like:

The terms “Abrupt Ending” [Mark 16:8] carry with them a begging of the question.

It is only abrupt if you assume a longer ending. There is nothing incomplete, nothing rushed, nothing out of place – it ends, and moreover it ends with what is decisive historically: nobody knows. Jesus slips through un-noticed so the scriptures may be fulfilled and those of us in on the secret can inherit everlasting life.

As you add in the specious material after 16:8 the problems start to mount. In the original ending you had to explain the historical silence regarding Jesus. It is done so effectively with stupid, fearful disciples, and an ignorant Jewish church.

So when you re-introduce the spectactular appearance before multitudes after death, now you are back to explaining why nobody noticed him.

[…]

Jerome tells us in his 120th epistle that the long ending of Mark “is met with in only a few copies, almost all the codices of Greece being without the passage”. (The earliest manuscript we have with the ending is the Codex Washingtonianus (5th c.) which itself has a large interpolation after v.14, attesting to the volatility of the Markan ending (as do the variations in many other manuscripts).

Either the vast majority of manuscripts of Greece (in the late 4th c.) were an aberration or Irenaeus’s source (in the late 2nd c.) was. We have earlier sources again as non-witnesses, both Matthew and Luke, neither of which support the long ending, a strange occurrence for they usually follow Mark.

[…]

The gospels of Matthew and Luke diverge wildly after more or less following Mark’s [Passion Narrative] through 16:8. That was the end of Mark’s gospel.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2009 in gnosticism, jesus, midrash

 

Dating Acts of the Apostles

Conservative Christian apologists want Acts of the Apostles (AoA) to be dated as early as possible. Looking at all of the evidence, however, indicates that AoA is a late 2nd century work. Here are some arguments for early dates and for later dates

Early Date for AoA

1. Doesn’t mention the death of Paul or Peter, which by tradition was around 64 CE
2. Reference to a “Theophilus” who was supposedly a High Priest in the 40s CE
3. Unfamiliar with and contradicts Paul’s letter to the Galatians

Later Date for AoA

1. Usage of Josephus (90s CE)

Josephus is the only known source to name Theudas. Additionally, he is named as an insurrectionist. The author of Acts makes a chronological mistake, “After him (Theudas) Judas the Galilean rose up.” But this mistake is based on the fact that Josephus mentions these two out of chronological order! The author of Acts is following the order of mention (Theudas then Judas) in Josephus Antiquities 10.5.1-2 without a careful reading of the context.

2. Glut of other ΠΡΑΞΕΣ (praxes – “acts”) type material in the 2nd century.
3. Theology similar to Polycarp (c. 125 CE) and the Pastoral Epistles
4. First witness to AoA and Pastoral Epistles is Irenaeus (c. 175 CE)
5. First witness to a collected Pauline epistle canon is Marcion (c. 140 CE), thus the first emphasis on the popularity of that apostle
6. Motivation to tame the elevated status of Marcion’s Paul and the elevated status of James to the Ebionites/Thomas
7. Written in third person, with unnatural transitions to first person plural (“we”) passages coinciding with sea voyages and unnatural transitions back to third person after sea voyages.
8. Theophilus was also the name of an eclectic Christian in the 2nd century (who I wrote about here) who seems to not know about the Jesus story.

Based on all of the internal and external evidences, I would conclude that AoA was written no earlier than Josephus and no later than Irenaeus. Dating it earlier than that seems to be based solely on apologetical grounds. It seems unreasonable that AoA would be written in the 40s or 60s CE and sit invisible and unused in Christian polemics until 110 – 130 years later. Also considering the unstable nature of papyrus used in the 1st century makes it even more unlikely that it would sit invisible without someone taking care of it (or copying it) to make sure it wasn’t destroyed.

 
 

The Many "Christs" in the Bible

Jesus Christ is ιησου χριστου in Greek. But the word “christ” is written multiple times in the Tanakh or LXX (Old Testament). The translators of our modern Christian Bibles conveniently leave out and translate χριστου literally as “anointed” or “anointed one” when in English and not refering specifically to Jesus.

Isaiah 45 LXX
45:1 ουτως λεγει κυριος ο θεος τω χριστω μου κυρω / This the Lord God says to my christ Cyrus

1 Samuel 2 LXX
2:10 […] και υψωσει κερας χριστου αυτου / […] and exalt the horn of his christ

1 Samuel 2 LXX
2:35 […] και διελευσεται ενωπιον χριστου μου πασας τας ημερας / […] and he will minister before my christ always

1 Samuel 12 LXX
12:3 ιδου εγω αποκριθητε κατ’ εμου ενωπιον κυριου και ενωπιον χριστου αυτου / Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence of YHWH and his christ.

2 Samuel 19 LXX
19:22 και απεκριθη αβεσσα υιος σαρουιας και ειπεν μη αντι τουτου ου θανατωθησεται σεμει οτι κατηρασατο τον χριστον κυριου / Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said, “Shouldn’t Shimei be put to death for this? He cursed the LORD’s christ

1 Chronicles 16 LXX
16:22 μη αψησθε των χριστων μου και εν τοις προφηταις μου μη πονηρευεσθε / Do not touch my christ; do my prophets no harm

2 Chronicles 6 LXX
6:42 κυριε ο θεος μη αποστρεψης το προσωπον του χριστου σου μνησθητι τα ελεη δαυιδ του δουλου σου / O LORD God, do not reject your christ. Remember the great love promised to David your servant

Psalm 2 LXX
2:2 παρεστησαν οι βασιλεις της γης και οι αρχοντες συνηχθησαν επι το αυτο κατα του κυριου και κατα του χριστου αυτου διαψαλμα / The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Christ

Psalm 17 LXX
17:51 μεγαλυνων τας σωτηριας του βασιλεως αυτου και ποιων ελεος τω χριστω αυτου τω δαυιδ και τω σπερματι αυτου εως αιωνος / He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing kindness to his christ, to David and his descendants forever

Psalm 27 LXX
27:8 κυριος κραταιωμα του λαου αυτου και υπερασπιστης των σωτηριων του χριστου αυτου εστιν / The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his christ

Lamentations 4 LXX
4:20 πνευμα προσωπου ημων χριστος κυριου συνελημφθη εν ταις διαφθοραις αυτων ου ειπαμεν εν τη σκια αυτου ζησομεθα εν τοις εθνεσιν / The LORD’s christ, our very life breath, was caught in their traps. We thought that under his shadow we would live among the nations

These (and many more like it) instances of “christ” are all nouns in the LXX. They’re titles. So someone claiming to be the “christ” or the “messiah” is in no way blasphemy, since it was a title held somewhat regularly among Jewish leadership and those who they thought were doing YHWH’s divine work – even in the case of Cyrus who was a non-Jewish Christ.

Another thing that confuses me about early Christianity is that all Jews were supposed to make sacrifices – burnt sin offerings – to YHWH while the temple was still standing. In the Temple, there would be booths were Jews could buy the necessary animal to present to the High Priest as their burnt offering to YHWH. But there’s no record of Christians not doing this, or them actively refusing to do it, etc. For all intents, Christians are invisible prior to the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. Why would Christians still be making burnt offerings to YHWH if they thought that their sins had already been cleansed by Jesus? And if they didn’t make burnt sin offerings, why wasn’t there some huge stink about it recorded by any Jews in the 1st century?

There’s an episode about Paul in Acts of the Apostles (21:23-26) where he’s about to make a burnt offering as a completion of the Nazirite vow, but other than that, there’s no record of Christians refusing to do these burnt offerings. Not even in any letters by Christians written in the 1st century.

Unless, of course, Christians prior to the destruction of the 2nd Temple were all Ebionites… or if Christians prior to the destruction of the Temple weren’t Jewish at all.

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2009 in early Christianity, ebionites, jesus myth

 

The (not so) Eternal Kingdom?

So I’m having an exchange with this dude on facebook where I pointed out that Matthew makes quite a few references to Jesus sending people to hell (5:22; 5:30; 10:28; 13:41-42; 13:49-50; 18:8-9; 25:46 – and those are just the ones where he directly says it himself, and not through a parable!). Facebook doesn’t really allow long winded discourses so I can’t really flesh out my arguments there. But the guy came back in remonstrance of Matt 25:46 claiming that the Greek word αιωνιον::aionion doesn’t mean “forever” in Greek.

It most certainly does. Well, more accurately it can.

Matthew in 25:46 says that people who don’t believe will be sent to “eternal punishment” whereas the righteous will earn “eternal life”. The thing is, Matthew uses αιωνιον for both “eternals” so this guy is special pleading if he thinks that aionion doesn’t mean eternal since he’ll most definitely argue that the second “eternal” in “eternal life” really means “eternal”. Jesus also uses the same word for “eternal” in John 3:16 (ζωην αιωνιον::zoin aionion – life eternal), arguably the most famous passage in all Christianity.

He then argued (and I agreed) that the concept of “hell” is pagan. But virgin births, worshiping human kings as gods, and the “logos (Word)” are also pagan concepts as well. Really, Christianity is a pagan religion that’s only superficially Jewish. The only Jewish aspects of Christianity are the word “christ” being analogous to a king (or a high priest, which the author of Hebrews does) and quoting Jewish scripture (albeit in a non-Jewish way).

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2009 in eternal life, eternal punishment, hell

 

Anointed with the Oil of Knowledge

“And about your laughing at me and calling me Christian you know not what you are saying. First, because that which is anointed is sweet and serviceable, and far from contemptible. For what ship can be serviceable and seaworthy, unless it be first called [anointed]? Or what castle or house is beautiful and serviceable when it has not been anointed? And what man, when he enters into this life or into the gymnasium, is not anointed with oil? And what work has either ornament or beauty unless it be anointed and burnished? Then the air and all that is under heaven is in a certain sort anointed by light and spirit; and are you unwilling to be anointed with the oil of God? Wherefore we are called Christians on this account, because we are anointed with the oil of God”
– Theophilus of Antioch, “To Autolycus” 1.12 (2nd century)

Here Theophilus, writing in the 2nd century, says that being a Christian has nothing to do with Jesus, but has to do with “being anointed with the oil of god”. The Holy Spirit is mentioned, but “speaks through Moses and the rest of the prophets, so that the writings which belong to us godly people are more ancient, yea, and are shown to be more truthful, than all writers and poets.” This means Theophilus traces his religion to Moses and other Hebrew prophets, but not Jesus.

He also explicitly claims that his scriptures are more ancient than all the pagan writers and poets. By this Theophilus means the Hebrew Scriptures. But it also equally rules out any Christian scriptures, gospels or epistles. According to Theophilus, in chapter 11 “Of Repentance” he teaches that salvation is by following the law. It has nothing to do with faith in Jesus, his blood, or the crucifixion. Most importantly, in chapter 13, on the resurrection, Theophilus uses Hercules and Aesculapius as proof of the resurrection of the dead, but not Jesus! I can’t think of a reasonable explanation of this except he had never heard of it.

This shows one of the many varieties of “Christianities” that were around in ante-Nicea Christianity. If that’s the case, then I can call myself a “Christian Gnostic” because I [want to be] anointed with the “oil of knowledge” without having to latch onto any of the other dogmas of “orthodox” Christianity.

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2009 in early Christianity, gnosticism

 

Apostolic Succession, part II

Here is a nice rundown of “Apostolic Succession” tracing the authorship of the gospel of Mark (the first gospel written) compiled by Joe Wallack at FRDB:
 
Continuing with a timelion for Attribution of authorship to “Mark” and the broader issue of claimed Source of authority, Revelation verses Historical witness:

c. 50 Paul

Paul is clearly claimed Revelation. He is unaware of any Canonical Gospel. I don't believe Paul ever refers (uses the word “disciples”) to any Disciples of Jesus.

c. 90 Forged Paul – 2 Thessalonians

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/…r=1&version=31

Again, the author is clearly claimed Revelation. He is unaware of any Canonical Gospel. He never refers to any Disciples of Jesus.

c. 90 More Forged Paul – Ephesians

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/…r=1&version=31

Again, the author is clearly claimed Revelation. He is unaware of any Canonical Gospel. He never refers to any Disciples of Jesus.

Add to this that the earliest physical evidence for any Canonical Gospel is P52 with a mid-range date of c. 165 and we have it on good authority that there was no attribution of authorship to “Mark” in the first century because there was no Gospel “Mark” to attribute to at the time.

c. 100 Epistle of Barnabas

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.vi.ii.i.html

Once again, the author is clearly claimed Revelation. He is unaware of any Canonical Gospel. He never refers to any Disciples of Jesus. He never even mentions Peter, James El-all.

c. 110 First Clement

http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studi…t/1clement.htm

JW:
Stop yer Timelion. Transition to toned down Revelation. Unaware of any Canonical Gospel. Never refers to any Disciples of Jesus but does mention Peter. Implies that Peter was a historical witness but no evidence that Peter either wrote or was even the source of any writing.

CAUTION – It's generally agreed that extant “Ignatius” contains massive amounts of Forgery so out of CAUTION I will take the Four Epistles considered most Likely authentic:

c. 110 The Epistle of Ignatius to the Romans

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0107.htm

JW:
Toned down Revelation. Unaware of any Canonical Gospel. Never refers to any historical Disciples of Jesus but instead refers to himself as a Disciple of Jesus (point Doherty). Does mention Peter. States that Peter issued commandments as an Apostle. So early second century with First Clement and Ignatius/Forged Ignatius we are gradually getting closer to an Assertian that Peter was a historical witness and the source for a related written support.

c. 110 The Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0106.htm

JW:
Toned down Revelation. Unaware of any Canonical Gospel. Never refers to any historical Disciples of Jesus. Does not mention Peter. Asserts that Jesus' Passion had historical witness. Disputes Gnostic claims that Jesus was spirit only.

c. 110 The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0105.htm

JW:
Toned down Revelation. Unaware of any Canonical Gospel. Never refers to any historical Disciples of Jesus. Does not mention Peter. Strong hierarchy Assertian and doctrine of birth, passion and resurrection.

Christian doctrine starts with Paul's Assertian of resurrection. Now it has expanded to passion and birth. Why birth? Apparently at the time of Magnesians there are those who deny that Jesus was born. Presumably these are Gnostics who existed before any Canonical Gospel.

c. 110 The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0104.htm

JW:
Emphasis is on Revelation. Unaware of any Canonical Gospel. Never refers to any historical Disciples of Jesus. Does not mention Peter. Strong hierarchy Assertian and three mystery doctrine of virginity of Mary and birth and death of Jesus.

c. 125 Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0136.htm

JW:
Emphasis is on Revelation. Unaware of any Canonical Gospel. Does show awareness of supposed Jesus' sayings. Never refers to any historical Disciples of Jesus. Does not mention Peter. Emphasis on morals and ethics that even hierarchy is subject to. Doctrines of Faith expanded to Negative command. It is blasphemy (evil) not to believe them. Note the development of Doctrine here:

1) What's important is belief in Jesus.

2) Belief in Jesus includes basic doctrines.

3) Not believing in these doctrines is evil.

c. 125 The Apology of Aristides

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1012.htm

JW:
Toned down Revelation. Philosophical argument with historical emphasis. Aware of an unidentified Gospel. Refers to twelve historical Disciples of Jesus. Does not mention Peter. Emphasis on morals and ethics.

c. 135 The Gospel of Marcion

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Itha…7/Gospel1.html

Per Tertullian and Epiphanius Marcion did not claim that his Gospel was from historical witness. Marcion's Gospel has Peter and the twelve as Disciples and as historical witness to Jesus' Ministry and Passion but never shows them as understanding Jesus' Mission. Note that this is the first point in the Timelion where there is basic agreement with “Mark” regarding the role of Peter and the Disciples. They were historical witness to Jesus' Mission but did not understand it and did not document it. This is probably the best category of evidence to evaluate which was earlier, Marcion “Luke” or orthodox “Luke”, because the primary purpose of the original Gospel is to discredit Peter and the Disciples. It is orthodox “Luke” which flips the issue and makes Peter and the Disciples historical witness that did understand Jesus and the Gospel that is the Reaction to the original (“Mark”) is likely the later.

c. 145 Second Clement [Forged]

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1011.htm

JW:
Emphasis on Revelation. The Church as a witness is spiritual (as opposed to historical). Quotes supposed historical conversation between Jesus and Peter. No explicit assertian that Peter documented his witness. Emphasis on Eschatological.

c. 145 Epistle of the Apostles

http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studi…ng/episaps.htm

JW:
Claimed Witness has completely flipped here from Revelation to Historical.
Explicit claim that historical disciples (including Peter, Cephas and Judas) have written this Gospel. Assertian that supposed authors are aware of Gnostics Simon and Cerinthus. Conflict between orthodox and Gnostics, both originally based on Revelation, which has moved to supposed Historical claims. Note that for this author to claim that Peter and Cephas are part of a joint effort behind the Gospel and no mention of “Mark” indicates that this author either has never heard of “Mark”, does not consider it authoritative or even considers it a Gnostic product.

c. 155 Justin Martyr

http://www.textexcavation.com/justinmartyr.html#misc

Justin also refers to the memoirs of the apostles, or some variation thereof, a number of times:

* Apology 1.33.5.
* Apology 1.66.3.
* Apology 1.67.3.
* Dialogue 100.4.
* Dialogue 101.3b.
* Dialogue 102.5.
* Dialogue 103.6a.
* Dialogue 103.8.
* Dialogue 104.1b-2.
* Dialogue 105.1.
* Dialogue 105.5b.
* Dialogue 105.6.
* Dialogue 106.1.
* Dialogue 106.3.
* Dialogue 106.4.
* Dialogue 107.1.

JW:
Familiar with Synoptics. Claimed Witness has completely flipped here from Revelation to Historical. Explicit claims that historical disciples have written Gospels. No attribution of names to Gospels (one possible reference to Peter's memoirs, http://www.textexcavation.com/justin…ml#sonsthunder ). No mention of “Mark” and no mention of Paul. No mention of Acts. It would appear that at this time orthodox Christianity accepted that there were Gospels from Historical witnesses but had not given these Gospels official names.

The Timelion is starting to flesh out here:

1) Revelation from Paul. Ignore Historical witness.

2) Revelation from Paul supplemented by Historical witness.

3) Orthodox/Gnostic split. Orthodox say HW understood. Gnostics (Marcion El All) say they did not.

4) Orthodox flip from emphasis on Revelation to emphasis on Historical. Paul is associated with Gnostics and not mentioned by orthodox.

5) Justin Martyr.

6) Acts written reconciling Paul/Revelation to Peter/History. Orthodox bring Paul back into mention.

Joseph

And then step (7) is Irenaeus naming the gospels, the first witness to the Pastoral Epistles, and his arguments against the Gnostics in “Against Heresies” in 180 CE…

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2009 in early Christianity

 
 
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