Sunday, March 24, 2024

The Gospel Behind the Gospels

Skeptics of the New Testament usually assume a long gap exists between the events in the gospels and the recording of the events in writing, They further tend to assume that the first source of writing about these events was the gospel of Mark. Thus they assume events were exaggerated and miracles were made up and so on during this gap period. In this essay I am going to dispel this myth by demonstrating that there were written records of the gospel events that existed before the writing of Mark's gospel. I will further demonstrate that there were multiple sources transmitting the information. Mark's was not the first gospel written but merely the first of the canonical gospels to be written. None of the early works survive in MS form but we find traces of them in copies of latter works.Nor was Mark' the first teaching of the Resurrection.


A, The circulation of Gospel material can be shown in four areas:

(1) Oral tradition

(2) saying source Material

(3) Non canonical Gospels

(4) traces of pre Markan redaction (PMR)

(canonical material that pre-date Mark, assumed the to be the first Gospel, also called Pre Mark Passion narrative PMPN).

B. Oral Tradition (in Two Major Sources)

Scholars have always recognized that the telling of the gospel stories began with the transmission of oral tradition. Of course the problem with oral tradition is that it's not written, Once written it becomes written tradition. Yet the form of the oral transmission can cling to the writing, It is possible to identify sources of oral tradition even when written down. We see oral tradition reflected in the New Testament in two major sources:

Pauline references to sayings

The great scholar Edgar Goodspeed held that oral tradition was not haphazard rumor but tightly controlled process,and that all new converts were required to learn certain oral traditions and spit them back from memory:
Our earliest Christian literature, the letters of Paul, gives us glimpses of the form in which the story of Jesus and his teaching first circulated. That form was evidently an oral tradition, not fluid but fixed, and evidently learned by all Christians when they entered the church. This is why Paul can say, "I myself received from the Lord the account that I passed on to you," I Cor. 11:23. The words "received, passed on" [1] reflect the practice of tradition—the handing-down from one to another of a fixed form of words. How congenial this would be to the Jewish mind a moment's reflection on the Tradition of the Elders will show. The Jews at this very time possessed in Hebrew, unwritten, the scribal interpretation of the Law and in Aramaic a Targum or translation of most or all of their Scriptures. It was a point of pride with them not to commit these to writing but to preserve them.[1]


In my essay "Community as author" I deal with the validity of oral tradition. At this point I give examples of the traces of oral tradition in Paul's writings: 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 has long been understood as a formula saying like a creedal statement.

"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

1Cr 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

1Cr 15:5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

1Cr 15:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

1Cr 15:7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

1Cr 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

Koster theorizes that Paul probably had a saying source like that of Q available to him. Paul's use of Jesus' teachings indicates that he probably worked from his own saying source which contained at least aspects of Q. That indicates wide connection with the Jerusalem church and the proto "Orthodox" faith.

Parable of Sower 1 Corinthians 3:6 Matt.

Stumbling Stone Romans 9: 33 Jer 8:14/Synoptics

Ruling against divorce 1 cor 7:10 Mark 10:11

Support for Apostles 1 Cor 9:14 Q /Luke 10:7


On my site I have 16 verses, found in gospels but found in Paul first. That can only mean Mark was usmg material which had been aroound since the begining. To see these passages in nice cool looking easy to read chart go to my site the religious a priori,(scroll down to the blue box)[2]

These passages indicate that Paul knew versions off Jesus' teaching and Gospel stories two decades before Mark was written, What this means is the Gospel material was being transmitted in an era decades before the writing of Mark. This material also indicates oral tradition (as with the pericopes) we can assume this material goes back to era of the events themselves since we only abouit about 18 years between Crucifixion and Paul's early epistles.

[1] Edgar J. Goodspeed, An Introduction to the New Testament, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1937

[2]Joseph Hinman, "Gospel behind the gospels," The Religious a priori, website., 2010. http://religiousapriorijesus-bible.blogspot.com/2010/05/gospel-behind-gospels-part-1.html

54 comments:

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

make a comment.

Anonymous said...

Good to see the site back to normal!

Joe: Skeptics of the New Testament usually assume a long gap exists between the events in the gospels and the recording of the events in writing, They further tend to assume that the first source of writing about these events was the gospel of Mark. Thus they assume events were exaggerated and miracles were made up and so on during this gap period.

I can only speak for myself, but I believe the creed Paul repeats in 1 Cor 15 is an oral tradition that dates to very soon after the crucifixion (less than five years).

The written tradition would have been later, but would pre-date Mark.

I think it is important to differentiate between histories and teachings.

Jesus taught the disciples; they called him "rabbi" after all. Jesus likely expected them to memorise his teaching word-for-word, as was the way of the time, so they could repeat them when sent out preaching. The oral tradition for his teachings therefore pre-dates his crucifixion, and we pretty much know that. Further, we would expect them to stay pretty constant, because Jesus made sure the disciples had it right.

On the other hand, there is no reason to suppose the histories - accounts of what actually happened - were like that. The most important was the passion narrative, and clearly Jesus did not teach his disciples what to say and how to memorise that!

Furthermore, I would say that the passion narrative was based on speculation and rumour rather than what anyone actially saw. The disciples fled Jerusalem when Jesus was arrested (Mark 14:27); everything after that point was guesswork, based largely on what they saw in the Old Testament (pretty sure Koester even says this).

For example, when the creed in 1 Cor 15 says "He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures" it means that after consulting the Old Testament they determined that that is what happened.

Consequently, the passion narrative was a rather fluid work that was added to over time, as new verses were discovered in the OT and new rumours appeared. This is how the "community as author" worked.

Joe: Koster theorizes that Paul probably had a saying source like that of Q available to him. Paul's use of Jesus' teachings indicates that he probably worked from his own saying source which contained at least aspects of Q. That indicates wide connection with the Jerusalem church and the proto "Orthodox" faith.

Sure, sounds reasonable. As I said, we would expect the sayings of Jesus - his teachings - to be written down, and to be relatively stable.

There seems to be a view that Paul changed Jesus' teachings to his own version of Christianity, and personally I do not see it. Paul believed in converting gentiles, which led to issues on following Jewish law, while Jesus' message was just for Jews, but I see no disagreement beyond that. Paul added a bunch trying to understand the crucifixion, but I think the real difference is that Paul has been twisted to support modern Christianity, which is at odds with Jesus.

Joe: These passages indicate that Paul knew versions off Jesus' teaching and Gospel stories two decades before Mark was written,

As far as I can see, those examples are all teachings. None of them suggest Paul was familiar with what Jesus actually did. I think Paul had an agenda - he wanted to minimise the authority of the disciples - and that likely led to him playing down the historical Jesus, but it does mean there is a lack of evidence for your claim.

Pix

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

you seem to assume that all the people who followed Jesus just vanished the day of the crispification or maybe the day og the resurrection, a totally different group that had no connection to Jesus then took up the task of maintaining Christianity that knew no eyewitnesses.

The same people did both. The Peter Paul met was the Peter who was with Jesus in Getsemany. They knew what evets their concept of history was to say what happened; they would keep it straight.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

crucifixion not crispification. hey, I just woke up.

Anonymous said...

Not at all. I assume the people who followed Jesus fled Jerusalem, because Mark alludes to that, but these were the same people who later thought they saw the resurrected Jesus (in Galilee some weeks later), and then founded Christianity. As I said, the saying documents would be what they were taught by Jesus, what Jesus had them memorise.

When it comes to the passion, there were no witnesses - not in the community anyway. The same Peter that was with Jesus and that Paul later met, was the Peter who had run off, and returned to his life as a fisherman in Galilee.

This is why Mark says they saw Jesus in Galilee. This is why the Gospel of Peter has Peter see Jesus while fishing. And ultimately this is likely the source of John 21.

And okay, they kept the story straight as far as they knew it, but they simply did not know it that well because they were not there.

And by the time Matthew was written, they were dead, and later authors were not so constrained, so could make up Peter seeing the empty tomb and seeing Jesus in Jerusalem, and all the rest.

Anonymous said...

"Both Denker and Crossan have contributed substantially to a better understanding of the passion narrative by demonstating how it was developed through scriptural interpretation. The relationship of the Gospel of Peter and of the canonical Gospels to these exegetical traditions not only determines the judgement about literary dependence; it also provides insights into the growth of the narrative traditions which ultimately formed the account of Jesus' suffering and death."
- Koester, Ancient Christian Gospels, p220

"One can assume that the only historical information about Jesus' suffering, crucifixion, and death was that he was condemn to death bu Pilate and crucified. The details and individual scenes of the narrative do not rest on historical memory, but were developed on the basis of allegorical interpretation of Scripture."
- Koester, Ancient Christian Gospels, p224

Pix

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Pix: "When it comes to the passion, there were no witnesses - not in the community anyway. The same Peter that was with Jesus and that Paul later met, was the Peter who had run off, and returned to his life as a fisherman in Galilee."

That is absurd. No eye witnesses. When it's time to execute Jesus everyone who knew about him just vanished a new group came in who were not there the crucifixion that's crazy. why would none 0f those who followed him watch him die?

why wouldn't the 12 take Control of the movement? they were trained by him no one would object to their leadership. they would all want to carry on his teachings.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

"The details and individual scenes of the narrative do not rest on historical memory, but were developed on the basis of allegorical interpretation of Scripture."

That doesn't mean they did not know the facts of his death, It does not mean they made up the crucifixion. It just means the scene where Jesus says to Jon take care of my mother, that might not have happened but it doesn't mean we don't how he died or that the tomb was empty.

im-skeptical said...

"... it doesn't mean we don't how he died or that the tomb was empty."

No part of the story of Jesus is a known historical fact. It is likely that there was a charismatic preacher with a following of disciples, and he was regarded as an enemy of the state by the Romans, and crucified. It is unlikely that he was buried in a tomb, based on what we know about how the Romans treated enemies of the state on those days. It is likely that his followers spread enhanced stories about the life and death of Jesus. And it is certain that those stories were further enhanced over the following decades.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

im-skeptical said...
"... it doesn't mean we don't how he died or that the tomb was empty."

No part of the story of Jesus is a known historical fact.

yes there is, Historians acknowledge Jesus existence as fact He was from the Galilee, he was was a prophet and moral teacher he was crcified under pilet. His followers claimed he rose from the dead.

It is likely that there was a charismatic preacher with a following of disciples, and he was regarded as an enemy of the state by the Romans, and crucified. It is unlikely that he was buried in a tomb, based on what we know about how the Romans treated enemies of the state on those days.

that's not something historians say it's atheist Pramada. since Josephus got his crucified friend a tonb it's likely Jesus got one too.


It is likely that his followers spread enhanced stories about the life and death of Jesus. And it is certain that those stories were further enhanced over the following decades.

theoral tradition was controled so it wasn't like the telephone game.

im-skeptical said...

"it wasn't like the telephone game"

The evidence is in the bible. Just read the stories in the order they were written. It's obvious that the narrative changed drastically as time went on.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

skep says: "The evidence is in the bible. Just read the stories in the order they were written. It's obvious that the narrative changed drastically as time went on."

How do you know the order in which they were written? In what way do you see the narrative changing, by "Stories" I assume you Mean Pericopes?



Anonymous said...

Joe: The other Gospels are certain that his friends and family were there, at least some of them. see John, John the Apostle, Mary the mother and Mary Magdelon.

And why should I believe them? They were written after all the witnesses were dead, and so unable to confirm or deny.

Joe: secular history can't accept miracles.

And yet you routinely cite Koester as an authority! And he was an ordained minister; yor really think he could not accept miracles?

Joe: you talk about the resurrection you are having a theological discussion. as historian I understand that, I keep the two separate. That does not negate evidence for the res.

I am not arguing against the resurrection.

I am arguing against the empty tomb and the sightings of Jesus in Jerusalem, none of which appear in Paul's corpus. Paul's Christianity was fine without them.

The evidence indicates the risen Jesus was first (thought to be) seen in Galilee. Once you accept that you can get both your theology and your history straight.

Joe: Jesus was bot executed for blasphemy since the Romans killed him they did not mess with that.

But according to the gospels he was convicted of blasphemy.

Are you arguing that a member of the Sanhedrin, the people that convicted him of blasphemy, would choose to give him an honourable burial on the technicality that he was executed for something else?

Jewish law required burial, but not honourable burial. We know that because even those convicted of blasphemy had to be buried, but were not buried honourably. All Joseph of Arimathea had to do was get Jesus in the ground, and a communal grave for the crucified satisfied that requirement.

Joe: it didn't.

Read the gospels. Mark has Jesus seen in Galilee, not Jerisalem, then Matthew has a very brief appearance in Jerusalem before Galilee, then later still Luke has the appearance in Jerusalem and instructions not to go to Galilee! It is a changing story.

Mathew adds the guard to counter claims the disciple stole the body, Luke has the risen Jesus eat fish to counter claims it was just a ghost they saw, and John has the spear in the side to counter claims Jesus was not actually dead. None of these are in Mark; the story changed. Claiming it did not is just ignoring the evidence.

Joe: Mark was not the first to tell or wrote about the resurrection PMPN included the empty tomb. More detailed disclosure does not mean a fictional accoumnt, if some points are fixational the basic poits are there in Mark.

We do know for a fact material got added to the narrative after Mark, so it seems a good bet this process was happening before Mark too. I say the addition of the empty tomb, and later the women seeing it was part of that process, neither of which were part of the early creed.

Paul explicitly states that we know Jesus rose on the third day because that is what the Old Testament tells us; hence it was not because that was when the tomb was found empty. That was made up later.

Pix

im-skeptical said...

"How do you know the order in which they were written? In what way do you see the narrative changing, by "Stories" I assume you Mean Pericopes?"

- There is broad agreement among unbiased biblical scholars that
1: Pauline epistles (the original ones) came first,
2: followed by Mark,
3: then Matthew,
4: Luke,
5: and finally John.

Here is an interesting article about what Paul tells us about the man - Jesus. https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2012/12/what-did-paul-know-about-jesus-not-much/
This is closest to when Jesus lived, but it is strikingly absent of details on where he came from, how he lived, what he did while he was alive, and even his ministry in the final years of his life. But Paul got the ball rolling. The gospels that followed filled in more and more. And you can clearly see the development of the Christology, from man to fully divine being.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Anonymous said...
Joe: The other Gospels are certain that his friends and family were there, at least some of them. see John, John the Apostle, Mary the mother and Mary Magdelon.

PX: And why should I believe them? They were written after all the witnesses were dead, and so unable to confirm or deny.

First that empirically false. John was still alive he lived into the early part of the next century. If you were 23 when Jesus was crucified you would be 60 when Mark was written so it is possible for a few. That's not the point, I proved in th OP that thd material of the Gospels was in circulation before Paul was writing




Joe: secular history can't accept miracles.

And yet you routinely cite Koester as an authority! And he was an ordained minister; yor really think he could not accept miracles?

Koester could not accept miracles for theologocal reasons, very different from secular historians.


Joe: you talk about the resurrection you are having a theological discussion. as historian I understand that, I keep the two separate. That does not negate evidence for the res.

I am not arguing against the resurrection.

Fine but I am always defending it

I am arguing against the empty tomb and the sightings of Jesus in Jerusalem, none of which appear in Paul's corpus. Paul's Christianity was fine without them.

Pau; gives no list of where sightings took place. i don't think he ever says.


The evidence indicates the risen Jesus was first (thought to be) seen in Galilee. Once you accept that you can get both your theology and your history straight.

He was first seen at the site of the empty tomb.Tell me what beig a Gailee first guys is going to do for my theology?

Joe: Jesus was not executed for blasphemy since the Romans killed him they did not mess with that.

But according to the gospels he was convicted of blasphemy.

Chapter and verse.

Are you arguing that a member of the Sanhedrin, the people that convicted him of blasphemy, would choose to give him an honourable burial on the technicality that he was executed for something else?

Ray Brown made a big deal of this and he argued that they had to bury him in a Tomb so as not to profane the Holy day Passover.



Jewish law required burial, but not honourable burial. We know that because even those convicted of blasphemy had to be buried, but were not buried honourably. All Joseph of Arimathea had to do was get Jesus in the ground, and a communal grave for the crucified satisfied that requirement.

read Brown

Joe: it didn't.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Read the gospels. Mark has Jesus seen in Galilee, not Jerisalem, then Matthew has a very brief appearance in Jerusalem before Galilee, then later still Luke has the appearance in Jerusalem and instructions not to go to Galilee! It is a changing story.

so what is the big point of your obsession?

Mathew adds the guard to counter claims the disciple stole the body, Luke has the risen Jesus eat fish to counter claims it was just a ghost they saw, and John has the spear in the side to counter claims Jesus was not actually dead. None of these are in Mark; the story changed. Claiming it did not is just ignoring the evidence.

If the res really happened there was really a guard on the tomb, frankly I don't see how anyone would be convinced without that. Jeus ate thefiwsh because he wanted torpove he was not ghost, ect

Joe: Mark was not the first to tell or wrote about the resurrection PMPN included the empty tomb. More detailed disclosure does not mean a fictional accoumnt, if some points are fixational the basic poits are there in Mark.

We do know for a fact material got added to the narrative after Mark, so it seems a good bet this process was happening before Mark too. I say the addition of the empty tomb, and later the women seeing it was part of that process, neither of which were part of the early creed.

No we don't know that. It's contrary to the way Koster, Danker and Crosson see the development. How could Christianity even get started with the resurrection? the empty tomb is a side effect of resurrection Koester and Crosson both say all four gospels worked from the pre Mark passion narrative they got different details of it. that's where they are talking it's not growing over overs writer tells it.

Paul explicitly states that we know Jesus rose on the third day because that is what the Old Testament tells us; hence it was not because that was when the tomb was found empty. That was made up later.

That is an unwarranted assumption. it seems obvious to me and always had that Paul is saying the facts were predicted by the prophets

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Skep's time line:

1: Pauline epistles (the original ones) came first,
2: followed by Mark,
3: then Matthew,
4: Luke,
5: and finally John.

1 and 2 I agree with and have always known but the rest is just tradition.6

You know scholars like Koester and Crosson theorize a source that preceded Mark, Pre Mark passion Narrative. like Q and forall we know it coud be Q. they assume all four Gospels and Peter used this source Marl was not the first source of knowledge

im-skeptical said...

Read: https://www.worldhistory.org/The_Gospels/

Just read them in that order and see the progression.

Anonymous said...

Joe: First that empirically false. John was still alive he lived into the early part of the next century. If you were 23 when Jesus was crucified you would be 60 when Mark was written so it is possible for a few. That's not the point, I proved in th OP that thd material of the Gospels was in circulation before Paul was writing

How do you know when the disciple John died? If that is based on him writing any of the books in the NT attributed to him, that is very poor evidence!

Joe: Koester could not accept miracles for theologocal reasons, very different from secular historians.

Why could an ordained minister not accept miracles?

Joe: Pau; gives no list of where sightings took place. i don't think he ever says.

Right, so everything Paul says is consistent with what I am claiming.

Joe: He was first seen at the site of the empty tomb.

So why does Mark think he was first seen in Galilee?

Remember, "ommunity as author"; the community believed Jesus was first seen in Galilee when Mark was written in AD 70. How can you rationalise that with Jesus talking to the disciples in Jerusalem on Easter Sunday.

Joe: Tell me what beig a Gailee first guys is going to do for my theology?

Why should it do anything except establish it on decidedly more believable foundations?

Joe: Chapter and verse.

Mark 15:63 The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. 64 “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”
They all condemned him as worthy of death. 65 Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, “Prophesy!” And the guards took him and beat him.

Joe: Ray Brown made a big deal of this and he argued that they had to bury him in a Tomb so as not to profane the Holy day Passover.

You are reading into it what you weant to be there. Here is the text. It only says Jesus was buried; not honourable, not in a tomb.

"That Jesus was buried is historically certain. That Jewish sensitivity would have wanted this done before the oncoming Sabbath (which may also have been a feast day) is also certain, and our records give us no reason to think that this sensitivity was not honored. That this burial was done by Joseph of Arimathea is very probable, since a Christian fictional creation of a Jewish Sanhedrist who does what is right is almost inexplicable, granted the hostility in early Christian writings toward the Jewish authorities responsible for the death of Jesus. Moreover, the fixed designation of such a character as "From Arimathea," a town very difficult to identify and reminiscent of no scriptural symbolism, makes a thesis of invention even more implausible҆ While probability is not certitude, there is nothing in the basic preGospel account of Jesus' burial by Joseph that could not plausibly be deemed historical." (R.E. Brown, DMV2, pg. 1240-41)

Pix

Anonymous said...

Joe: so what is the big point of your obsession?

That the gospels are wrong, and that the disciples believed they saw the risen Jesus in Galilee, not Jerusalem. The point here is the truth - what actually happened!

Joe: If the res really happened there was really a guard on the tomb, frankly I don't see how anyone would be convinced without that.

You are so close! You acknowledge no one would be convinced with out that - that is exactly why the community added it to the story. Here is Brown's view:

"Yet there is a major argument against historicity that is impressive indeed. Not only do the other Gospels not mention the guard at the sepulcher, but the presence of the guard there would make what they relate about the tomb almost unintelligible." (R.E. Brown, DMV2, pg. 1311-12)

Joe: Jeus ate thefiwsh because he wanted torpove he was not ghost, ect

No, the community made up Jesus eating the fish because they wanted to prove Jesus was not a ghost. Remember, in the oldest gospel we still have, Jesus was seen in Galilee days, or weeks later. The community in AD 70 believe that, but twenty years later that belief had changed to include a brief appeararance in Jerusalem first, as we read in Matthew, and then to reject the Galilean appearance altogether when Luke was written.

Joe: That is an unwarranted assumption. it seems obvious to me and always had that Paul is saying the facts were predicted by the prophets

I already quoted Koester saying they made up the events of the passion from the OT.

Pix

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

im-skeptical said...
Read: https://www.worldhistory.org/The_Gospels/

Just read them in that order and see the progression.

3:31 PM

there is no progression, they are all taking from the same Pre Mrk Passion Narrative. All the stuff you call progression was in the tradition before the gospels existed.

im-skeptical said...

"there is no progression, they are all taking from the same Pre Mrk Passion Narrative. All the stuff you call progression was in the tradition before the gospels existed."

- You are relying on what a few biased religious authors are telling you instead of using your own brain. I'm asking you to read it for yourself. There may be a pre-Mark passion narrative, but there is no birth narrative. Jesus didn't call himself the son of God who has become flesh. If you read the material for yourself, in the order it was written, you can clearly see the progression.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...


- You are relying on what a few biased religious authors are telling you instead of using your own brain. I'm asking you to read it for yourself. There may be a pre-Mark passion narrative, but there is no birth narrative. Jesus didn't call himself the son of God who has become flesh. If you read the material for yourself, in the order it was written, you can clearly see the progression.

You really think I haven't read them several hundred times? including in Greek. i don't think yoy get the concept. All four gospels are drawing upon the pre Mark redaction; the elements that appear to be a progression were together in one text before Mark was weitten.

im-skeptical said...

"i don't think yoy get the concept. All four gospels are drawing upon the pre Mark redaction; the elements that appear to be a progression were together in one text before Mark was weitten."

I don't deny that there was an original narrative that all the gospels drew upon. But you must see that the original narrative was only a part of the story that finally emerged. Each of the gospels expanded and added more to the story that wasn't there before. Yes, it is a progression, and it is obvious. If you've read the bible as much as you claim, I don't understand how you could fail to see that.

Anonymous said...

I saw something that bothered me can you please respond leader, Jesus ben Sapphat, a warlord in Galilee aligned with John, becomes the historical Jesus, well known to Josephus who tells in Vita of entering into secret league with Jesus and tells stories about Jesus in Galilee. Jesus's fate is not told in Josephus but he could well have come to Jerusalem at the time John's forces did, or by some other means. Then there is the critical incident in which Josephus tells of interceding to have an unnamed acquaintance brought down from the cross after being crucified by the Romans, given medical treatment and restored to live again, among three crucified the other two of whom died of their injuries after being taken down, the one who lived could well have been Josephus's former comrade Jesus in light of the parallel story so central to Christianity of Jesus resurrected back to life after "Joseph of Arimethea" (= Josephus son of Matthias), "secret disciple of Jesus" (ie, no one else knew Josephus was and Josephus was not confirming that), interceded to have Jesus taken down from the cross.

Paul's letters do not date themselves internally pre-70 CE, apart from the Aretas allusion understood to be Aretas IV mentioned above. The reason the letters. considered genuine of Paul ARE firmly dated pre-70 by ca. 100% of New Testament scholars is paradoxically on the basis of texts which many of the same scholars openly concede are not reliable for history: namely the Gospels and Acts.

In the end, the argument for the letters of Paul as post- 70, apart from plausibility and making better sense closer to the time of publication of the collection as you noted, is its consistency with a picture in which Christian origins is arguably better understood as emerging out of and in the aftermath of the First Revolt.

Anonymous said...

Whether Jesus was advocating violent resistance to Rome or even a warlord as you say is contentious to say the least. If that was the case, the later Christians certainly had a huge motive to re-write history so they could appeal to the gentiles - and the fact that they wrote in Greek indicates that was their target audience. I would not like to say either way.

I am not sure what you refer to with "Josephus who tells in Vita of entering into secret league with Jesus and tells stories about Jesus in Galilee". Josephus mentions Jesus very little.

With regard to the incident where Josephus has three people taken down from crucifixion, connecting that to Jesus is very suspect. The Romans crucified a lot of people. Josephus indicates the three were part of a large group all crucified together, which does not fit the gospel accounts. More of a problem, why would Pilate agree to have a convicted warlord - one proclaimed to be the new king of the Jews - taken down? Josephus is taking about rank-and-file rebels of no great consequence; quite a different situation.

Pix

Anonymous said...

Can you please respond to this it's a garbage Mississippi resurrected in heaven and of no historical existence, take on features of Jesus(es) of the 60s secondarily. But either way, in this reconstruction the 30s Jesus disappears from history, is gone. May productive discussion flourish.

Reply
Submitted by David Madison on Sun, 08/22/2021 - 12:31

Anonymous said...

Medicrock can I talk to you about something please

Anonymous said...

I'm a Christian struggling with my faith can I please talk to you

Anonymous said...

The resurrection story was disproven because Jesus was embalmed. It is also the consistent witness of biology that bodies do not come back to life once dead, so you guys worship a Jewish zombie.

-Pix

im-skeptical said...

re: Jesus ben Sapphat

I have always thought that Jesus could be a conflation of two (or more) people. The name was not uncommon. Some elements of the biblical story are strikingly similar to Jesus ben Sapphat. Others are indicative of a preacher. Still others tell of a faith healer or magician. When people spoke about the words and deeds of Jesus in those days, who could say that they were always referring to the same guy? The authors of the gospels didn't have photos, or any definitive means of verifying that all those stories about Jesus actually referred to one and the same person.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...


Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'm a Christian struggling with my faith can I please talk to you

5:58 AM

I would love to talk to you mu email is Metacrock@gmail.com

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The resurrection story was disproven because Jesus was embalmed.

No he wasn;t show me the proof/


It is also the consistent witness of biology that bodies do not come back to life once dead, so you guys worship a Jewish zombie.

That is what makes it a miracle. if it happened a lot wouldn't mean anything

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Skep

You are relying on what a few biased religious authors are telling you instead of using your own brain. I'm asking you to read it for yourself. There may be a pre-Mark passion narrative, but there is no birth narrative. Jesus didn't call himself the son of God who has become flesh. If you read the material for yourself, in the order it was written, you can clearly see the progression.

You think because arrive at the same conclusions you do then I must not really have read or not thinking. I have experienced miracles and presence of God i know God is real firsthand, I know to take the word of God seriously.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I saw something that bothered me can you please respond leader, Jesus ben Sapphat, a warlord in Galilee aligned with John, becomes the historical Jesus, well known to Josephus who tells in Vita of entering into secret league with Jesus and tells stories about Jesus in Galilee. Jesus's fate is not told in Josephus but he could well have come to Jerusalem at the time John's forces did, or by some other means. Then there is the critical incident in which Josephus tells of interceding to have an unnamed acquaintance brought down from the cross after being crucified by the Romans, given medical treatment and restored to live again, among three crucified the other two of whom died of their injuries after being taken down, the one who lived could well have been Josephus's former comrade Jesus in light of the parallel story so central to Christianity of Jesus resurrected back to life after "Joseph of Arimethea" (= Josephus son of Matthias), "secret disciple of Jesus" (ie, no one else knew Josephus was and Josephus was not confirming that), interceded to have Jesus taken down from the cross.

None of that is real it's all made up nonsense by people who hate Christianity. you need to stick with real historians,

Paul's letters do not date themselves internally pre-70 CE, apart from the Aretas allusion understood to be Aretas IV mentioned above. The reason the letters. considered genuine of Paul ARE firmly dated pre-70 by ca. 100% of New Testament scholars is paradoxically on the basis of texts which many of the same scholars openly concede are not reliable for history: namely the Gospels and Acts.


scholarship as a whole accepts Paauls letters as historians and dates them from 50 to 63. He died in 64 so he could't wtite letter after that.

In the end, the argument for the letters of Paul as post- 70, apart from plausibility and making better sense closer to the time of publication of the collection as you noted, is its consistency with a picture in which Christian origins is arguably better understood as emerging out of and in the aftermath of the First Revolt.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Skep:

I've read the NT about a 100vtims.Whenwas studying Greek I read about half the NT in Greek

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

get some training as a historian and all these wild fancies will look stupid to you. The assumption Jesus of NAZ was a war lord in the AD60's rebellion against Rome is idiotic. there is not one shred of evidence for, it's really just based upon the fact that both have Jesus a first name.

Anonymous said...

You missed my point, which is the main reason I did not respond to this one earlier. You argue eloquently that Josephus wrote post-70 which is what I know and said and never said otherwise, therefore your argument establishing that point is both correct and immaterial to the actual point. The actual point is the dating not of Josephus but of Paul's letters. You agree with 100% of mainstream scholarship that those letters (referring, with you, to the genuine letters) were written 50s CE, not one decade earlier or one decade later. The problem is, nothing in Paul's letters with the exception of the claim of an Aretas IV allusion at 2 Cor 11 establishes a pre-70 date directly at any point in those letters, nor have you cited any. You cite an indirect argument from silence, a lack of unambiguous backward allusion to events of 70 in Paul's letters. On Aretas IV, I have submitted an article to a peer-reviewed journal removing the Aretas IV argument for date of Paul's letters by establishing (per argument of my journal submission) from Nabataean evidence that there was another Nabataean king between Malichus II and Rabbel II, ca. 69-70 CE, who may have been named Aretas, the leading candidate for the name, thereby raising another first-century CE possibility for the Aretas referent at 2 Cor 11. All of the argument for the existence of the additional Nabataean king at ca. 69-70 CE whose most plausible name candidate was Aretas, is established independently of 2 Cor 11. There is no reason anyone, whether yourself or any other, should accept that until and if it is vetted through peer review and published (and even then only if the argument holds up to further critical reading and review), but for purposes of this discussion I ask you to assess (if responding to me) how secure you believe the argument for the 50s dating of Paul's letters stands minus the 2 Cor 11 Aretas argument. Does your 50s dating of Paul's letters stand without need of 2 Cor 11, in other words--given that that is the only hard-date argument internal to the letters for a pre-70 date of letter-writing activity of Paul. (Thomas Thompson at Copenhagen has stated for the record that he finds my submitted article proposing a 69-70 CE Aretas V "an entirely convincing hypothesis that should be published".) Again, no reason for you to accept that at this point, not asking you to, but am asking, as a thought experiment, for you to segregate out 2 Cor 11 from your argument-structure for the 50s CE date and assess whether your conclusion on that stands unaffected if 2 Cor 11 were to be removed.

Anonymous said...

Could you respond to this someone is denying the dating of that the pistols

Daniel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

on the dating of the era of the apostles in Papias 1-2 generations before Papias as circular argument, while I follow your point partway, there is this: Papias claimed he knew the daughter of one of them, a daughter of Philip, one of Papias's claimed sources. That seems to be a non-circular claim of a date for the apostles one or two generations prior to Papias, depending on the age of that daughter. Nothing in Papias distinguishes the father of Philip's daughter from the apostle by that name in Papias's list of seven names. That there was an originally single figure artificially become and presented as a doublet of two Philips in Acts is argued convincingly by Christopher Matthews, Philip Apostle and Evangelist: Configurations of a Tradition, 2002, Brill.

Belatedly thank you for your time in commenting, referring to content

Anonymous said...

Concerning the argument from silence, that argument may not be as secure as you assume. Who can forget John A.T. Robinson's argument that ALL New Testament writings including the Gospels and Acts are pre-70 because there is no unambiguous backward allusion to 70 in ANY New Testament writing. The same fallacy which applied in the case of John A.T. Robinson's argument with respect to his argument for pre-70 Luke-Acts is paralleled with respect to pre-70 dating of Paul's letter-writing. (Admittedly, the 2nd CE legendary book of Acts retrospectively implies that Paul's letter-writing activity was pre-70, as do the legends of Paul executed by Nero, but those are impeachable on grounds I do not think need to be argued here with you [and there is no space to do so anyway].)

As brought out by Paul George in "Jesus of the Books" (2018): "The humiliation and defeat of the Jews [of 70] is a past event in Paul's writings. Four years after the end of the Great War in 1918, Pope Pius XI issued his first encyclical Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio. In this work of about 11,500 words the Great War is mentioned 14 times. Nine years later the same term gets only one mention in his much longer Quadragesimo Anno. Both encyclicals deal with similar themes. Using the writings of the Pope as a guide and noting the indirect references to the War in Paul, we can reasonably speculate that he was writing about 10 years after the event.”

Anonymous said...

Please respond to this it bothered me but I'll have to quote it in parts it's pretty long part 1 Game-changer: Kenneth W. Clark, "Worship in the Jerusalem Temple after A.D. 70", NTS 6 (1960); 269-80. The temple cult continued operable in Jerusalem in the 70-135 period and ended with Hadrian, not earlier in 70. A misbegotten scholarly construction that the temple cult and sacrifices in Jerusalem ceased in 70. Very convincing, after reading this one wonders how could scholars have thought otherwise all this time? Gone are all the arguments for pre-70 dating of Hebrews, many other texts, on the basis of speaking of the temple cult as still operable.

-- The differences you cite between the two versions of the three-and-one crucifieds (Vita, and the Christian Gospels' Passion story), accurate observations, ironically give weight in favor of argument that the Passion legend version reflects two hearsay versions of an event rather than a mimesis phenomenon in which the Gospel version was inspired literarily by the story in Vita. This is if the premise is accepted that Joseph of Arimethea is Joseph b. Matthias based on roles and description, proper name and garbled pronunciation of patronymic. In this light the Jesus crucifixion/resurrection Gospel story derives from a point of view of observers who saw bodies taken down from crosses looking all to be dead and then one seen alive again, interpreted as miracle and evidence of divine favor and significance, many ancient parallels in which unusual events are interpreted as omens or signs of cosmic significance.

Anonymous said...

Part 2 can you respond to this Jesus b. Sapphat is on the short list of major figures or leaders of the Revolt. Josephus gives the fates of most of them, but Jesus b. Sapphat is among the smaller number of major figures of whom Josephus does not tell their fate. This heightens the focus on the reasonable question whether the Vita version of the underlying story whose version in the Christian Passion features a "Jesus", reflects Jesus b. Sapphat.

-- that Jesus b. Sapphat independently has other similarities to the Gospels' Jesus is illustrated by the George Solomon 19th century book named earlier, in which Solomon was able to make that argument entirely apart from identification of the Vita crucified as Jesus b. Sapphat. The only published argument in print to my knowledge which proposes the Vita crucified survivor story was Jesus b. Sapphat is the earlier-cited Vermeiren, Chronological Revision of the Origins of Christianity (2015). That is, Jesus b. Sapphat as the origin of the crucified/risen Jesus of Christian origin-tradition claim was not even voiced, let alone considered or discussed or refuted, prior to 2015 (to my knowledge).

Daniel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Part 5 he respond to this The Christian Passion story appears to have combined or melded into one fictitious combined story the trial of Jesus b. Ananias of ca. 62 CE per Josephus--who was released by Roman procurator Albinus [presumably with the help of a bribe] against the wishes of fellow Jewish accusers calling for his death--and Jesus b. Sapphias crucified per the Vita-story/reconstruction argument. That is, the Barabbas version in which Jesus is freed after a trial, and the crucified Jesus, combined into a single Passion story. That Josephus's 60s Jesus b. Ananias is the story of Jesus's trial in the Gospels is now mainstream NT scholarship at this point in the wake of the good work of Weeden.

-- Imagine the coincidence, so far: the most critical elements of the single Christian Passion story--the trial with a merciful procurator seeking to release against Jewish accusers, and the resurrection after being crucified with two others-reflect a Jesus and a Jesus both of 60s told in Josephus. Both of these origins to the Passion Story Jesus are named "Jesus" in history of the 60s (versus no known historical Jesus of the 30s independent of 2nd CE Christian origin claims). How is it that two Jesuses of history (Weeden suggests Jesus b. Ananias could be non-historical though he assumes the 30 CE Jesus still is, but never mind that), both of the 60s, when combined produce the Christian Passion Story of Jesus? What is going on there?

Daniel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

can you respond to this please part 3 Gospel episode of the Gesarene demoniac and the 2000 pigs (Mk 5) already has a literature in existing NT scholarship identifying key essentials of that story as a story reflective of the time of Vespasian and Placidus's Fifth Legion in Transjordan in 68 CE--a story of a massacre of a Roman military unit by one reading of the swine into the sea--at the same time Jesus b. Sapphat is active and engaged in combat with Roman legions in the region. Josephus does not specifically situate Jesus b. Sapphat in transjordan, and the victories the Jewish rebels did inflict on Romans told by Josephus are situated by Josephus in Galilee not in transjordan, but those may be quibbles in light of the similarities in context and name of the warrior figure Jesus on the Jewish side opposing the Romans compared to Jesus of the Gospel story of the same 68 CE context.

-- The outer space preexistence and post-existence of Jesus Christ in Christian texts neither argues positively or negatively with respect to the Jesus b. Sapphat hypothesis, since on the one hand, the cosmic Christ can be argued to account for creation of all of the stories of the human figure Jesus, but on the other hand, is also not inconsistent with an actual human figure being reified in status and memory by supporters into such cosmic categories. There is a potential falsification of the Jesus b. Sapphat hypothesis however, not if a cosmic Christ idea can be shown to exist pre-70 but if a pre-70 cosmic Christ can be shown who was named "Jesus".

ReplyDelete

Anonymous said...

Here is where I will go a step further, not as claim of certainty but as suggestion or a probing: a suggestion that Jesus b. Ananias is indeed highly fictionalized as Weeden says, but--(drawing on that very argument) is a version of Jesus b. Sapphat. The existence of multiple and divergent tellings of figures in Josephus is well-established as a phenomenon from many comparative examples of doublets in Josephus, likely originating from Roman collection of multiple stories of the war and siege from Roman prisoner interrogations (which Josephus likely played a key role), lots of hearsay and garbling of facts and names. So here is my hypothesis going into the prosopography: "Sapphat" or something close to that is the true proper name of this Jesus's patronym, which may or may not be related to "Sepphoraeus" the patronym of Judah of 4 bce (War 1.648-655), if one wants to see a link of this Jesus to the zealot hypothesis. "Sapphat", a Greek name, also could fit into a known pattern in which Jewish (hebrew) names sounding alike phonetically were often attached to the same person, e.g. "Joseph" the patronym of Jesus of the Gospel story. Then concerning Jesus b. Ananias, and the reason underlying why he was accused and tried, argued for linking him (maybe) to the "Egyptian" of the 50s who Lena Einhorn, as well as t

Anonymous said...

Can you respond to that crank rabbinic legends, also suggest was Jesus of the Gospels. I think the "Egyptian" could be Josephus's wilderness "Bannus" as well, and I have a speculative possibility for the meaning of "Bannus" to add to the other creative suggestions which have been proposed by others: it was a Jesus but not just any Jesus, a Jesus who was considered like the mighty conquering Joshua bar Nun of old, therefore given a nickname/pun "bar Nun" or "Bannus". Then at the later time of the siege of Jerusalem, this figure Jesus's nickname, "bar Nun" or "Bannus", was misheard or misunderstood as "bar Ananias". (Lots of examples in Josephus of garbled spellings of proper names.) As for the objection that Jesus b. Ananias died from being hit by a stone from a Roman catapault, that account of his death need merit no more confidence of having actual truth to it than the very parallel and similar report of Josephus's own death from being hit by a stone in the head. The report inside besieged Jerusalem concerning Josephus's demise, witnessed by many inside the walls of Jerusalem, was simply mistaken in Josephus's case, and there is no obvious reason to know whether such a similar report

im-skeptical said...

"You think because arrive at the same conclusions you do then I must not really have read or not thinking. I have experienced miracles and presence of God ..."
- That doesn't address the issue of how the gospel narrative changes.

"I've read the NT about a 100vtims.Whenwas studying Greek I read about half the NT in Greek"
- And you never noticed how the narrative changes from Paul to Mark, to Matthew, Luke, and especially ending with John. Amazing. I'm not a biblical scholar. But you don't have to be one to see how the story develops over time. All you have to do is read it.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

pix is this you?

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

step flaming. I want discussion I don't want sped all my time answering this stuff while someone writes a book in the comment section, give me a chance to answer keeping it how many you post.

Anonymous said...

He's such an obnoxious crank bThe categories of ‘being much more than human, sent by God into the world’ and ‘human being making many controversial statements’ are not mutually exclusive. We may well think that the first category is empty but if people do consider it to be populated and describe an individual they think belongs to both categories they do not necessarily contradict themselves. If we encounter their literature it is not out of the question for us to think that their descriptions were in fact influenced, even determined, by elements of the real history of a controversial person.
On the other hand I don’t see a way of making it probable, simply from the content of these descriptions, that this sort of ‘determination by reality’ is taking place. There is debate about whether the message attributed to Jesus is political - but if it is that does not show that the writers of the story had a real historical record before them. Angels can give political advice. I’d probably ask for some if an angel walked into the room.
I don’t see why an angel should not be, if he chooses, to all appearances the brother of a real person, full of family resemblance and speaking freely of family history. (My projected best-seller ‘An Angel Stole my DNA’ will cover this possibility in more modern terms. Like my other project, ‘Jesus: Caesar’s Double Agent’, it will make me very rich.). The statement ‘your bro was really an angel’ is very hard to subject to Popperian falsification, at least if you are in a culture where angels are believed in.
So I don’t think that there’s any use in trying to prove that Jesus really existed by considering just what was said about him and I don’t think that the fact that the status attributed to ‘Jesus’ from an early date was a supernatural one shows strongly that those referring to ‘Jesus’ had no remembered or recorded real individual in mind. Existence is not a predicate, as Kant insists so boringly. What predicates need to be true of a person for that person to be/have been Jesus? I don’t think we have got as far as an answer to that question - and that is partly because of the heterogeneous mixture of human and supernatural predicates that have become associated with that name?
The related question of how those who spoke of Jesus knew whereof the spoke has troubled thoughtful Christians from a very early stage, I think.

Reply
Submitted by Richard Carrier on Sun, 12/20/2020 - 16:09