Evidence Christianity started as mythicist

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Evidence Christianity started as mythicist

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:39 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:54 pm
(Jerome says he flourished after the War.)
Where did you read that in Jerome's works? Jerome had Paul's public life much earlier.
I am going to guess that he means the following, reading the dispersal of the Jews as referring to the effects of the First Jewish War:

Jerome, On Famous Men 5: 5 Paul, formerly called Saul, an apostle outside the number of the twelve apostles, was of the tribe of Benjamin and the town of Gischala in Judea. When this was taken by the Romans he removed with his parents to Tarsus in Cilicia. Sent by them to Jerusalem to study law he was educated by Gamaliel, a most learned man whom Luke mentions. .... / 5 Paulus apostolus, qui ante Saulus, extra numerum duodecim apostolorum, de tribu Beniamin et oppido Iudaeae Giscalis fuit, quo a Romanis capto cum parentibus suis Tarsum Ciliciae commigravit, a quibus ob studia legis missus Hierosolymam, a Gamaliele viro doctissimo cuius Lucas meminit, eruditus est. ....

Jerome, Commentary on Philemon 1.23: 23 “Epaphras my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus greets you” (= Philemon [1.]23), he says. We have received the following story about this Epaphras, Paul’s fellow prisoner. They say that the apostle Paul’s parents were from the region of Gischala in Judea, and that when the whole province was laid waste by the hands of the Romans, and the Jews were dispersed into the world, they were moved to the city of Tarsus in Cilicia. As a young man he followed the condition of his parents. And thus what he testifies about himself can be confirmed: “Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s seed? So am I” (= 2 Corinthians 11.22). And again elsewhere he says, “Hebrew of Hebrews” (= Philippians 3.5). and the other things that indicate that he was a Jew more than a man of Tarsus. But if this is so, we can conjecture that Epaphras too was arrested at that time when Paul was taken, and that having been found with his own parents in Colossae, a city of Asia, he later received the word about Christ. This is why it is written to the Colossians, as we said above, “Epaphras, who is one of you, a slave of Christ, greets you, being always earnest over you in his prayers” (= Colossians 4.12).


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Re: Evidence Christianity started as mythicist

Post by Bernard Muller » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:47 pm

to Paulg,
Yes, I put all the Pauline epistles as post-70
If so, how can you explain why the considered genuine Pauline epistles do not use the fall of Jerusalem to make a point or two in their favor, just like the Synoptics gospels did in the parable of the tenants:
Matthew: 21:33 Hear another parable: There was a man that was a householder, who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge about it, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into another country. 21:34 And when the season of the fruits drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, to receive his fruits. 21:35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. 21:36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them in like manner. 21:37 But afterward he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. 21:38But the husbandmen, when they saw the son, said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and take his inheritance. 21:39And they took him, and cast him forth out of the vineyard, and killed him. 21:40 When therefore the lord of the vineyard shall come, what will he do unto those husbandmen? 21:41They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those miserable men, and will let out the vineyard unto other husbandmen, who shall render him the fruits in their seasons.

Note: Thessalonians 2:14-16 is widely seen as an interpolation: http://historical-jesus.info/hjes3xx.html

Galatians 4:25 Now this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia and answereth to the Jerusalem that now is: for she is in bondage with her children. 4:26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, which is our mother.

I don't think what I bolded could have been written after 70. In 70, Jerusalem was destroyed but not mount Sinai (where part of the Law is delivered to Moses).

Cordially, Bernard

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Irish1975
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Re: Evidence Christianity started as mythicist

Post by Irish1975 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 4:11 pm

maryhelena wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:08 am

Thomas Brodie
Beyond the Quest for the Historical Jesus


page 146-147

The idea that Paul was a literary figure did not remove the possibility that behind the epistles lay one outstanding historical figure who was central to the inspiring of the epistles, but that is not the figure whom the epistles portray. Under that person's inspiration - or the inspiration of that person plus co-workers - the epistles portray a single individual, Paul, who incorporates in himself and in his teaching a distillation of the agelong drama of God's work on earth.

The highlighted “possibility” is enough for a minimally historical Paul. The figure that the epistles “portray” is not all that important or interesting.

Brodie doesn’t really have a serious theory of Paul’s non-existence. For that we have to look to Hermann Detering’s book The Fabricated Paul. Great book with lots of insights, but the thesis is not persuasive.

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Re: Evidence Christianity started as mythicist

Post by Bernard Muller » Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:29 pm

to Ben,
That would put Gamaliel alive after the first Jewish war, when Jerusalem was fully destroyed.

And in The Vulgate Preface to Paul's Letters (2006), Jerome had Paul going to Jerusalem:
"For this is shown by him to have written travelling to Jerusalem,"
Also in Jerome, On Famous Men 5: "Sent by them to Jerusalem"

It looks to me Jerome misplaced in time the first Jewish war. Furthermore Gischala was in Galilee and not in Judea. And there was no reported dispersion of Jews into the world as a result of the events of 70. Plenty of errors here!

Cordially, Bernard

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Re: Evidence Christianity started as mythicist

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:49 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:29 pm
to Ben,
That would put Gamaliel alive after the first Jewish war, when Jerusalem was fully destroyed.

And in The Vulgate Preface to Paul's Letters (2006), Jerome had Paul going to Jerusalem:
"For this is shown by him to have written travelling to Jerusalem,"
Also in Jerome, On Famous Men 5: "Sent by them to Jerusalem"

It looks to me Jerome misplaced in time the first Jewish war. Furthermore Gischala was in Galilee and not in Judea. And there was no reported dispersion of Jews into the world as a result of the events of 70. Plenty of errors here!
Not trying to defend the tradition (if that is what it is) that Jerome relates concerning Paul, but Josephus reports that the Romans sent Jewish people to the triumph in Rome, to the Egyptian mines, and to other provinces as fodder for blood sports. He puts the number thus deported at 97,000 (Wars 6.9.3 §420, ἐννέα μυριάδες καὶ ἑπτακισχίλιοι). I could see where someone might describe this as a dispersion of the Jews into the world.

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Re: Evidence Christianity started as mythicist

Post by Bernard Muller » Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:06 pm

to Ben,
According to Josephus, these 97,000 were taken from Jerusalem after its fall among the multitude of Jews found in Jerusalem:
From Wikipedia:
Josephus claims that 1.1 million people [Tacitus put the number of besieged at 600,000] were killed during the siege, of which a majority were Jewish. Josephus attributes this to the celebration of Passover which he uses as rationale for the vast number of people present among the death toll.[23] The revolt had not deterred pilgrims from Jewish diaspora communities from trekking to Jerusalem to visit the Temple at Passover, and a large number became trapped in the city and perished during the siege. Armed rebels, as well as the frail citizens, were put to death. All of Jerusalem's remaining citizens became Roman prisoners. After the Romans killed the armed and elder people, 97,000 were still enslaved, including Simon bar Giora and John of Giscala.

As per Josephus' Wars, Book VI, Ch. 9

So the dispersion (by enslavement) was rather limited, and only affecting Jews found in the city.

Cordially, Bernard

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Evidence Christianity started as mythicist

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:08 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:06 pm
to Ben,
According to Josephus, these 97,000 were taken from Jerusalem after its fall among the multitude of Jews found in Jerusalem:
From Wikipedia:
Josephus claims that 1.1 million people [Tacitus put the number of besieged at 600,000] were killed during the siege, of which a majority were Jewish. Josephus attributes this to the celebration of Passover which he uses as rationale for the vast number of people present among the death toll.[23] The revolt had not deterred pilgrims from Jewish diaspora communities from trekking to Jerusalem to visit the Temple at Passover, and a large number became trapped in the city and perished during the siege. Armed rebels, as well as the frail citizens, were put to death. All of Jerusalem's remaining citizens became Roman prisoners. After the Romans killed the armed and elder people, 97,000 were still enslaved, including Simon bar Giora and John of Giscala.

As per Josephus' Wars, Book VI, Ch. 9

So the dispersion (by enslavement) was rather limited, and only affecting Jews found in the city.
So what? I said I could see how someone could describe that as a dispersion of the Jews. And it obviously could be. Easily. (Especially since Josephus says that most of the deportees were not actually from Jerusalem, but were from all over the country, and were stuck in Jerusalem because of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. But, even without that, it could easily be described as a dispersion.)

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Re: Evidence Christianity started as mythicist

Post by Paulg » Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:59 pm

From Jerome’s Lives of Illustrious Men, we have the following.

Paul, formerly called Saul, an apostle outside the number of the twelve apostles, was of the tribe of Benjamin and the town of Giscalis in Judea. When this was taken by the Romans he removed with his parents to Tarsus in Cilicia. (Jerome, De Viris Illustribus, 5.)

NOTES: Gischala is NOT in Judea. It is in Galilee. Palestine was annexed to the Roman Empire in 70 as an imperial province and given the name Judaea. Gischala was taken by the Romans under Titus in 67.It was the last town in Galilee to be taken by the Romans.

We can interpret this to mean that Paul was still a young man when he moved to Tarsus to escape the Romans. This is completely at odds with the Acts version of events.

PS this is just one item of evidence that shows when the religion was launched. There are many others from multiple sources all pointing to the same conclusion. My e-book lists all the evidence.
http://www.vividpublishing.com.au/onchristianorigins/
_________________________________________________________________________

There is no need to postulate "authentic" and "unauthentic" letters of Paul if you accept what actually happened and discard the confusing mixture of fact and fiction which is Acts. The church was established after AD70 and organised itself very quickly as all successful religions do. See Mormonism. (sorry ...another analogy) The religion took off from the starting blocks (as per Acts) but not in AD30.
_________________________________________________________________________

Arguing that Christianity was different from every other human authored religion is the logical fallacy called "special pleading." If you are a supernaturalist I can understand taking that position. Are you are supernaturalist?

In the argument about black presidents I think you are confusing abduction and induction. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Sanders_Peirce

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Re: Evidence Christianity started as mythicist

Post by Bernard Muller » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:02 am

to Paulg,
From Jerome’s Lives of Illustrious Men, we have the following.
Paul, formerly called Saul, an apostle outside the number of the twelve apostles, was of the tribe of Benjamin and the town of Giscalis in Judea. When this was taken by the Romans he removed with his parents to Tarsus in Cilicia. (Jerome, De Viris Illustribus, 5.)
This is only the first part of:
Paul, formerly called Saul, an apostle outside the number of the twelve apostles, was of the tribe of Benjamin and the town of Gischala in Judea. When this was taken by the Romans he removed with his parents to Tarsus in Cilicia. Sent by them to Jerusalem to study law ...

How do you explain the parent of Paul would send him to a fully ruined city in order to study law?

And with what I said in posting.php?mode=reply&f=3&t=7537#pr116630 and with Tacitus & Suetonius writing about Christians being persecuted during Nero's reign, I would not trust a faulty statement by a Christian author writing more than two centuries after 70 CE.
PS this is just one item of evidence that shows when the religion was launched. There are many others from multiple sources all pointing to the same conclusion. My e-book lists all the evidence.
Knowing what you consider evidence in your favor, I am not interested to learn your other pieces of evidence.

Cordially, Bernard

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Re: Evidence Christianity started as mythicist

Post by davidmartin » Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:05 pm

what's interesting about Jerome's piece is it clearly mirrors the gospel Jesus's story
Born in Galilee (but confusion over Judea), escapes when persecutors come with his parents (to Tarsus not Egypt) then goes to Jerusalem to study law (as per child Jesus at the temple)
Like Bernard I highly doubt Jerome's account has any accuracy. It looks cobbled together from the gospel's own story presumably to set the record straight against other versions of Paul's origins which were known to exist (Ebionites said he was a gentile convert and not Jewish at all, what Jerome's version does it explain how come Paul is 'of Tarsus' and yet Jewish a bit like how Jesus's story explains he is 'of Nazareth' but born in Bethlehem)

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