The Biblical Criticism Search Engine

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
andrewcriddle
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Re: The Biblical Criticism Search Engine

Post by andrewcriddle » Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:35 pm

slevin wrote: On a more cheerful note, how about spin's reference to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_of_Abonoteichus ?
Wasn't that interesting? I really enjoyed reading the whole thread, but especially this rejoinder, outstanding.

I did not know anything about either Alexander himself, nor of Lucian's hostility to him, nor of the fact that coins were minted, and statues prepared, for this charlatan, in mid second century CE.
Wikipedia wrote: Lucian admired the works of Epicurus, a eulogy of which concludes the piece, and whether he was the master of fraud and deceit as portrayed by Lucian, he may not have been too different from other oracles of the age, when a great deal of dishonest exploitation occurred in some shrines.
Host of questions now arise: Why didn't Lucian expose the Christians as frauds? Why didn't Lucian write about Paul, and his many churches, surely far more numerous than this chap, Alexander of Abonoteichus???? Should we understand that lucian did not mention them, because the Christians of that era, did not criticize Epicurus? Or were there simply no Christians, and no Paul around, at the time of Lucian?
Lucian has a go at Christians in Peregrinus

Andrew Criddle

slevin
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Re: The Biblical Criticism Search Engine

Post by slevin » Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:54 am

Andrew Criddle wrote:Lucian has a go at Christians in Peregrinus
Thank you Andrew.
Unsure of myself, I sought instruction on this matter, by returning to PK's Biblical Criticism Search Engine. There are many wonderful ideas on this subject, embedded within that marvelous resource, and I have only just scratched the surface, studying the posts from a decade earlier.

However, as I began reading, I noticed something:

At least one author, obviously learned, intelligent, and well educated, at the old forum, described Peregrinus Proteus as if he had been a living, breathing human, not a fictional character devised by the imagination of Lucian. That sentiment would seem to correspond to your own appraisal, I guess, from your reply today, Andrew. I understand that two or three other authors from third century CE, also described Peregrinus, as though he had actually lived, and had actually engaged in self immolation at the Greek Olympic Games--a rather bizarre conduct for one reputed to have been a Christian. I would welcome your thoughts on the matter. Apologies if you had already replied on the former forum, and I simply haven't yet worked my way through to your former post, from a decade ago.

So, then I wondered, whether other folks may have puzzled on this distinction, between Peregrinus the living human, and Peregrinus the fictional character in a work of fiction by Lucian, an author renowned in his own lifetime, not only for skill in writing fiction, but more importantly, for describing the proper conduct to adopt, if one seeks to commence historical investigation. It seems to me, (honestly, only at the very outset of inquiry, I have a long, long way to go), that most other participants at the original bc&h forum, embraced Lucian's text as biographical account, rather than elaboration of a fictional character. That's when I expanded my search and found this interesting article, written a decade ago:

http://www.radikalkritik.de/islucians.pdf
Hermann Detering wrote:The old issues that inspired the acumen and imagination of scholars from BAUR to HARNACK, the question whether Peregrinus was historical at all or just a figure of fiction by Lucian, nowadays seem to be forgotten, obsolete, of no interest.
I haven't finished Detering's article, but I thought I should cite it, right away, if only to acknowledge Andrew's very welcome comment. Is there a link available, to an article explaining, how we know whether Tertullian, for example, as one of those who had commented on Peregrinus, had relied upon Lucian's text for confirmation of Peregrinus' supposed life story?

Stephan Huller
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Re: The Biblical Criticism Search Engine

Post by Stephan Huller » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:30 am

Peregrinus was almost certainly a real person. The parallels with Polycarp are uncanny IM0. The interest in a fiery death also ropes in 'Ignatius' (= Syriac Nurono) and likely takes us back to the Aramaic seraph which means both 'fiery one' AND 'angel.'
http://cal1.cn.huc.edu/showjastrow.php?page=1632 (Jastrow)

srp vb. to burn

JBA usually שׂרף as in Hebrew.

1 to burn JLAtg, Gal, JBA, LJLA. KohR[1]15:3(15) : ויהב על ההוא מסמרא ושרפיה it put it on the nail and burned it.

D View a KWIC

1 to urge Sam.

Gt View a KWIC

1 to be burnt, burned Gal, JBA. PTŠab7.a:3[2]var : מצדתא הוא פריסן והוויין משתרפן גו שימשא nets were spread and would be burned up in the sun.

The Sam. usage "to urge" may result rather from a phonetic confusion with srhb.

Page refs. in other dictionaries: DJPA: 573a; DJBA: 1190b; Jastrow: 1632; Levy Ch-W: 2:519; Tal Sam: 613a; DNWSI: 1194;

http://cal1.cn.huc.edu/showjastrow.php?page=1029 (Jastrow)

srp, srpˀ (srāp̄, srāp̄ā) n.m. seraph: a type of angel

1 seraph: a type of angel JLAtg, PTA, Syr. FTP Gen30:22 : לא למלאך ולא לשרף P Is6:2 : ܘܣܪ̈ܦܝܢ ܩܝܿܡܝܢ ܠܥܠ ܡܢܗ JSmem 1:05 : ܘܒܬܫܡܫܬܐ ܗܿܝ ܕܣܪ̈ܦܐ ܪ̈ܘܚܢܝܐܼ܂ ܩܝ̈ܡܝܢ ܟܗ̈ܢܐ ܕܒܗܿ ܙܕܩ ܗܘܐ ܕܢܩܘܡ ܐܕܡ
Hebrew.

Page refs. in other dictionaries: LS2: 1050[501]; DJPA: 573a; Jastrow: 1029; Payne-Smith: ~2745; J. Payne-Smith: 392; Levy Ch-W: 2:519;

View a complete KWIC
The underlying idea that this man - knowing Jesus was the fiery angel of the Marcionites (cf. what the Church Fathers write about Apelles) his desire to die aflame seems connected to a visible manifestation of Jesus via his death.

Just to make clear, Ignatius is Latin and the form preserved in the Greek material, Nurono is the Syriac term, Seraph is the proposed Aramaic original concept beneath the two aforementioned terms linking Ignatius, Polycarp and Peregrinus as a single historical figure living in the middle of the second century and known to Lucian.
Last edited by Stephan Huller on Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

Stephan Huller
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Re: The Biblical Criticism Search Engine

Post by Stephan Huller » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:40 am

So to contextualize this properly. 'Peregrinus' was not likely his name nor 'proteus.' We was likely simply a 'stranger' both in the Marcionite and Platonic sense (i.e. someone who claimed to be a wandering alien). In a specifically Christian sense (= Marcionite) he was Jesus the Stranger, something proven by his mode of death to his followers manifested as it was by means of fire.

It would seem then that what Lucian is reporting on is an attempt by this man to prove to Christians that indeed he was a god or a manifestation of their divinity. Lucian is merely trying to reframe this in a way that his pagan audience could understand without promulgating the doctrines of the sect (either deliberately i.e. so as not to 'assist' in interesting people in the religion or because he really didn't care).

slevin
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Re: The Biblical Criticism Search Engine

Post by slevin » Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:04 pm

So, referring to the link above, Detering answers my question. There are several authors who attest to the existence of "Peregrinus", besides Lucian.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aulus_Gellius
Wikipedia wrote: The work, deliberately devoid of sequence or arrangement, is divided into twenty books.[3] All these have come down to us except the eighth, of which nothing remains but the index.[3] The Attic Nights are valuable for the insight they afford into the nature of the society and pursuits of those times, and for its many excerpts from works of lost ancient authors.
But, how do we know, then, that Gellius is not simply repeating what Lucian had written?

Tatian's explanation of Peregrinus is faulted by Detering, for appearing exceptionally accepting, for a Christian theologian, of Cynical philosophers, in general, suggesting that Tatian's extant text, may not correspond to his original description of Peregrinus.

Detering is even more suspicious of Tertullian's text Ad Martyras, and states clearly, his denial of his authorship, in view of the linguistic differences from Tertullian's genuine texts.

I fail to follow Detering's argument regarding regarding remission of sin, by martyrs.

I was very impressed by Detering's analysis of Lucian's text, suggesting that Lucian had been describing, not an unknown Christian bishop, but rather, Marcion, himself. In Detering's view, Peregrinus (“stranger”) is Marcion.

Stephan Huller
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Re: The Biblical Criticism Search Engine

Post by Stephan Huller » Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:16 pm

No even Detering thought my analysis was better. It's not Marcion but Polycarp.

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Re: The Biblical Criticism Search Engine

Post by Peter Kirby » Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:25 pm

Stephan Huller wrote:No even Detering thought my analysis was better. It's not Marcion but Polycarp.
I think I was persuaded also. Maybe you could put this all together sometime and try to slip it past peer review. ;)
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Re: The Biblical Criticism Search Engine

Post by Peter Kirby » Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:31 pm

slevin wrote:I congratulate spin, for taking the time and trouble to make this chart, I am sure it must be lovely, wish I could see it as a chart, and wonder, if it is strictly a problem of mine, if so, not to worry, else, if it is also a problem for others, then, maybe there is some magic switch inside the google search engine, which must be thrown, in order to observe charts as charts!!!!
No, I'm afraid that the most straightforward approach would be for someone (a human) to recreate the chart from the raw "code" that you are seeing.

This is some kind of failure in which the webpage retrieved wasn't displaying (on the old forum's end) whatever code was being used as a chart, and there is no switch that can be flipped.

(For what it matters, there's three layers of the BC&H archives: the "Vbulletin" software that ran the old forum [which isn't being run on my server], the Httrack software that retrieved these HTML pages [so my server is just displaying HTML pages], and the "Gigablast" search engine that is allowing searches of these webpages. Not all of the archives are indexed by Google at this time, but Google is used for some of the non-archive "custom search engines" below the archive search.)
"... almost every critical biblical position was earlier advanced by skeptics." - Raymond Brown

slevin
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Re: The Biblical Criticism Search Engine

Post by slevin » Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:05 am

Peter Kirby wrote:I think I was persuaded also.
You mean you think that the person criticized by Tertullian, (five volumes written in 207 CE), identified by name as Marcion, had been deliberately misidentified by Lucian, as "Peregrinus", --"stranger" in English. But, then, why call his fictional character, "stranger", since Marcion was not a stranger, but a prominent theologian at the time, with his own churches and texts? Lucian, as I understand him, was someone who opposed charlatans, and exposed their greed. The thoughtful rejoinder on the old forum proposed that Peregrinus had actually existed, but had been Ignatius. Seems like a lot of speculation, not a lot of data. Where do Paul's epistles fit into all this story? Does the Roman Catholic Tertullian, living in Carthage, recently converted to Montanism, author of trinitarianism, identify Lucian of Samosata (Eastern Turkey, a bit south of Marcion's home on the Black Sea)?
Hermann Detering wrote: I come back to the starting-point or rather to the starting-points of this investigation: to Peregrinus Proteus and Marcion. In my opinion the arguments put forward for the
thesis that they were actually not two different characters but one and the same person, don’t seem to be too daring. Admittedly, indubitable conclusive proof has not yet been
given. But, where in the field of investigation of Early Christianity is there indubitable proof? So I propose to take this thesis as a working hypothesis to be tested as such for
some time. Those who are not interested may feel free to forget it. However, as long as no answer has been given to the problems I’ve tried to present, the question at least will
remain: Is Marcion Peregrinus? – Is Peregrinus Marcion?
Does Tertullian provide any historical data on Marcion? Marcion was certainly a real person, even if Peregrinus seems fictional. Marcion's followers constructed temples to worship, still extant at the time of Augustine. Lucian was quite explicit about the distinction between history and fiction, and made clear, at least to me, by his reference to Greek mythological figures, Zeus and others, that Peregrinus was a work of fiction, not an historical account. So, I am unpersuaded by Detering's assessment. If Tertullian did not provide biographical information about Marcion, independent of Lucian's fictional history, regarding Marcion/Peregrinus, then, by Lucian's own classification, Tertullian's Latin compositions cannot be studied as historical writing.
Peter Kirby wrote:No, I'm afraid that the most straightforward approach would be for someone (a human) to recreate the chart from the raw "code" that you are seeing.
Were there many such charts in the old forum?
If so, it could be worthwhile to insert a bit of code into the software of this forum, capable of translating the hypertext, found in the old forum. That is an issue for the engineer who designed this forum's software. Wish I could assist, but alas, I don't know anything about this subject (either!).

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Re: The Biblical Criticism Search Engine

Post by Peter Kirby » Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:34 am

slevin wrote:
Peter Kirby wrote:I think I was persuaded also.
You mean you think that the person criticized by Tertullian, (five volumes written in 207 CE), identified by name as Marcion, had been deliberately misidentified by Lucian, as "Peregrinus", --"stranger" in English. But, then, why call his fictional character, "stranger", since Marcion was not a stranger, but a prominent theologian at the time, with his own churches and texts? Lucian, as I understand him, was someone who opposed charlatans, and exposed their greed. The thoughtful rejoinder on the old forum proposed that Peregrinus had actually existed, but had been Ignatius. Seems like a lot of speculation, not a lot of data. Where do Paul's epistles fit into all this story? Does the Roman Catholic Tertullian, living in Carthage, recently converted to Montanism, author of trinitarianism, identify Lucian of Samosata (Eastern Turkey, a bit south of Marcion's home on the Black Sea)?
Hermann Detering wrote: I come back to the starting-point or rather to the starting-points of this investigation: to Peregrinus Proteus and Marcion. In my opinion the arguments put forward for the
thesis that they were actually not two different characters but one and the same person, don’t seem to be too daring. Admittedly, indubitable conclusive proof has not yet been
given. But, where in the field of investigation of Early Christianity is there indubitable proof? So I propose to take this thesis as a working hypothesis to be tested as such for
some time. Those who are not interested may feel free to forget it. However, as long as no answer has been given to the problems I’ve tried to present, the question at least will
remain: Is Marcion Peregrinus? – Is Peregrinus Marcion?
Does Tertullian provide any historical data on Marcion? Marcion was certainly a real person, even if Peregrinus seems fictional. Marcion's followers constructed temples to worship, still extant at the time of Augustine. Lucian was quite explicit about the distinction between history and fiction, and made clear, at least to me, by his reference to Greek mythological figures, Zeus and others, that Peregrinus was a work of fiction, not an historical account. So, I am unpersuaded by Detering's assessment. If Tertullian did not provide biographical information about Marcion, independent of Lucian's fictional history, regarding Marcion/Peregrinus, then, by Lucian's own classification, Tertullian's Latin compositions cannot be studied as historical writing.
No, not of the Marcion/Peregrinus thesis (although I appreciate your pointed critique).

I've never been persuaded at all regarding that.

But I have found the Ignatius/Peregrinus thesis, the Ignatius/Polycarp thesis, the Polycarp/Peregrinus thesis, and the combined Ign.-Poly.-Pere. thesis to be of some modicum of interest.

That said, said theses must be properly developed, and I'm not sure that they have. So my suggestion to Huller that he should publish.
slevin wrote:Were there many such charts in the old forum?
Not so much.
"... almost every critical biblical position was earlier advanced by skeptics." - Raymond Brown

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