Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere: Paulogia Starting Christianity Without Resurrection (OR trying To) · Debates under That Video · Φιλολoγικά/Philologica: Is Vyasa Proof Anonymous Works Can Easily Get Authors?
How Christianity (Probably) Began... No Resurrection Required
Jan. 28th 2019 | Paulogia
- 2:32 neighbours talking to neighbours, merchants talking to customers ...
- 1) contradicted by actual Christian self documentation of its beginnings (yes, I believe self documentations of other religions too, I believe what Muslims say about Mohammed and what Mormons say about Joseph Smith, except that their revelations came from God, which is more a theological than per se a historic proposal);
- 2) involves a type of Evangelism very clearly not invented back then, but coming from clergy-less sects pretending laymen are the proper missionaries since no clergy is needed anyway. These sects are a branch of Protestantism, and arose after 1517. Possibly they had predecessors in some Medieval sects (Albigensians, Waldensians, Lollards), but nothing reaching back to the early days of Christianity.
- 2:44 "as the movement began a life of its own, Peter the Fisherman was not around to personally affirm or correct the tales being told."
As a solution to Christianity arising without an actual Resurrection, you have painted yourself into a corner.
How did after this the self documentation screw up sufficiently to affirm what you are denying and pretend Peter was preaching in Jerusalem on Pentecost day (49 days after events at least purported as resurrection) and personally heading the "movement" (more correctly termed Church) along with clergy still around from when Jesus named them?
- 3:21 "Saul changed his name to Paul, and began recruiting for Christianity and writing letters to Churches"
Again, a blatant contradiction against the even social and personal events recorded, as in Saul retired to Arabia and was vetted by a "movement" (or better called Church) that was already very much solid enough to see if he was in line with what was already being taught or not.
3:30 You take Galatians 2 as Paul once meeting Peter and John but not seeing eye to eye on things ...
Actually, if we suppose Cephas and James and John are identic to apostles Peter, James and John (which has been disputed), there were more than one meeting, and the one where they didn't see eye to eye was concerning only Peter and concerning a kind of taqqiya he did to please Jews.
If we suppose they weren't so identic, we see St. Paul had to deal with "false brethren" masquerading as clergy, and unmasking them bc of a doctrine which real "pillars" at Apostle Council in Jerusalem, had dismissed.
Note, there Sts Paul and Barnabas certainly met the real Peter.
- 3:32 "after several decades, a variety of Greek speaking people, who had never met Jesus or even Peter, took it upon themselves to begin to write down some of the stories that had circulated"
Key to your point is Gospellers:
- all coming after several decades
- all coming without having seen either Jesus nor Peter
- all being concerned with stories circulating, none with eyewitness testimony.
With such a scenario, why would any Christians who were still around from the time of the Crucifixion have accepted it, or if none were, why would anyone have accepted things they knew were written with no bigger authority than their own hearsay?
Crucial to your point is, original followers of Jesus being totally gone, leaving a void, and actually another group filling in the gap.
It may work for Pentecostal sects, but we are dealing with a "movement" (better called Church) that actually required attendance on Sundays. And got it. No trace of any break, other than local, when having to flee.
- 4:10 No, Mark doesn't show a very low profile about the supernatural. Healing of the paralytic with power to forgive sins. I'll give the due credit to Karlo Broussard, even if he's a Vatican II-er. Here's his essay:
- 5:31 It is in fact not consistent with the spread of all other world religions.
Would you pretend for a moment an equally central claim to Islam, namely God speaking to Mohammed, was one he never actually made and arose only decades later?
Would you pretend that Islam was not organised on June 8th 632, and that the Caliphate only later developed sayings into Surats, and only later claimed the Surats were direct revelations from God?
On the contrary, you admit very readily that the Ummah was sufficiently organised on June 8th 632 to already get a Caliph within days or weeks and to clearly remember very well what Mohammed's life was all about.
So, why don't you admit the same about the Church? Well, because the self documentation given by it involves facts which your philosophy won't accept as even possible.
It is not consistent with human nature that a very loose movement reinvents its historic origin making it look as a very well established and organised one from day 1.
- Abandoned Void
- Islam did indeed likely exist prior to Mohammad, and much of the Quranic texts and hadiths were written long after he supposedly lived. So your point here is moot, but it doesn't really matter for the sake of the video, anyway
- Hans-Georg Lundahl
- @Abandoned Void Written down is one thing.
Oral tradition can more or less faithfully take a text from oral redaction to later writing down even centuries later (like from Homer to Peisistratus) and therefore obviously also decades later (like from Mohammed to Omar, or whoever it was who made the writing down from seven copies).
A group like Islam is actually not known from pre-Islamic Arabian peninsular history. Your "likely" is simply a likelihood of pure ignorance.
- 5:38 No, a hallucinating fisherman making it to rally a totally new crowd while making it believe they are just the old crowd plus newcomers, and that new crowd disappearing or nearly enough so to when someone else hallucinates and resets it totally on new bases, thereby founding a third crowd which even so has the impression to be the first crowd plus newcomers ... that is neither mundane, nor boring, and least of all exactly what you would expect.
It doesn't rhyme with human nature and is not consistent with how other world religions arose and spread either.
- 5:55 You are making the word "legend" a magical, cover all, explanation.
Real texts actually marked out as actual "legends", ecclesiastic or popular, seem to have a far firmer grasp on factual realities than what you are proposing for the rise of Christian Story. But your problem would partly be, you have a very loose grasp on what legend is supposed to mean outside the contexts when you find it useful.
6:06 I suppose the lives of the apostles are also in the genre you dismiss as "legend" (and they are in a book called "legenda aurea").
The thing is, what the actual use of that word is, most of history is in fact legend more than your pretended requirements of proven historicity.
- 6:17 "Gospels are anonymous"
No, the fact remains, the Church has accepted them as coming from:
- Matthew, one of the twelve
- Mark, a disciple of Peter who was one of the twelve
- Luke, a disciple of Paul and a researcher among eyewitnesses
- John, a disciple, often identified with one of the twelve, certainly either way some eyewitness.
How many other anonymous works on your view have acquired full authorship status?
Mahabharata's Vyasa would be a case in point, but that's a totally other culture, less good on documentation.
- Abandoned Void
- The Church is, and this might shock you, completely wrong and at odds with history. The gospels don't even claim to be written by those figures, and they were written long after these people would have been alive. They're absolutely anonymous accounts. And they're competing accounts of different traditions within early Christianity, no less, with gospels like Luke outright claiming to be the only true gospel. That isn't getting into how our oldest copies of each show some quite extreme textual variances, implying that they were being constantly rewritten in earlier traditions and likely the composed work of several different authors building on the original stories.
- Hans-Georg Lundahl
- @Abandoned Void "The Church is, and this might shock you,"
A fact if I accepted it like that might shock me, but a claim I do not accept ... I've heard it since I was 1/4 of my now age.
"completely wrong and at odds with history."
Where do you claim to get your historic knowledge from? I claim to get it from a community called Church, what community back then do you get yours from?
Reconstructions from now don't arbitrarily trump knowledge from back in the relevant days, even if a host of academic institutions were to give them more creedence.
"The gospels don't even claim to be written by those figures,"
No, but Papias, an early Church Father, claims it for them.
"and they were written long after these people would have been alive."
That amounts to an alternative claim about authorship. Did you live closer to the relevant people's lifetime than Papias did? He wrote the claim c. 150 AD.
"They're absolutely anonymous accounts."
This is however incompatible with any alternative claim of authorship.
"with gospels like Luke outright claiming to be the only true gospel."
It actually doesn't. Here is the relevant text, Luke 1:
 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a narration of the things that have been accomplished among us;  According as they have delivered them unto us, who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word:  It seemed good to me also, having diligently attained to all things from the beginning, to write to thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,  That thou mayest know the verity of those words in which thou hast been instructed.
- It doesn't state that these "many" were doing a bad job, Luke doesn't claim to do an "I'm better" just a "me too";
- He doesn't mention who the other ones were, and the tradition by Clement the Stromatist implies he was ignorant of Matthew, while both Mark and John were later than he.
"That isn't getting into how our oldest copies of each show some quite extreme textual variances,"
The oldest copies aren't necessarily the best ones. Sinaiticus (probably not what you meant, but one of the earlier codices of whole Bible) is one of the older ones, uniquely or nearly preserved from back then - but probably so because it was rejected for reading and yet not burnt as an Arian pseudo-copy. You forgot to mention what you count as "quite extreme" textual variances ...