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eight bits

Lena Einhorn on a New Testament "Time Shift"

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eight bits

This week, a re-enactment (with some revisions) of Lena Einhorn's 2012 talk before a major Bible studies conference was posted to YouTube.

Einhorn, an MD-PhD who took an interest in the historical Jesus questions, is best known for her "time shift" hypothesis: that Gospels-Acts are to be read on two levels, a "Clark Kent" level, about a fictional mild-mannered chatty pacificist preacher active in the 30's of the First Century, and a "Superman" level, about a real-life dashing alpha-male freedom fighter active 15-20 years later, who yanked the Romans' chain, hard.

While her hypothesis is not my personal favorite, very few people on either side muster evidence as competently as she does. That there is some connection between the events of the 50's and the canonical story of Jesus seems solidly established. However, that may be as simple as "story mining" by the gospel authors, and maybe outright plagiarism from Josephus by Luke and John. As the classic radio-TV police-procedural drama show Dragnet used to put it: only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

It's about 47 minutes, and a great talk.

 

Edited by eight bits
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seanjo

Interesting.

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Davros of Skaro

Be sure for those out there interested check out this book review. Also check out the comment section where Einhorn engages the reviewer.

Lena Einhorn on the Claudian Christ Theory

https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/11048

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eight bits

For a guy who's never held a full-time job in his field at an actual institution of higher education, Carrier is very free with who's an amateur and who's a professional. At least "amateur" Einhorn gets her facts straight, as opposed to

Quote

And indeed, there were Christians dating him even to the 70’s B.C., so variable could they be with where to put him (OHJ, Ch. 8.1).

No there weren't. This is a piece of crap Carrier picked up whole from the Theosophists, who mistranslated a paragraph of Epiphanius' Panarion long ago to fit their agenda. Now it fits Carrier's agenda and he won't let go of it, although he's been corrected on it, and it's easy to check. For a professional like himself, that is.

To be fair to the Theosophists, they at least understood that Epiphanius was expressing his own beliefs in the paragraph, and not the beliefs of any "Christian group" except his fellow orthodox Christians.

But isn't that Carrier? Ignorance is the human condition, but incorrigible ignorance has no place in serious scholarship. Really none.

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Davros of Skaro
1 hour ago, eight bits said:

For a guy who's never held a full-time job in his field at an actual institution of higher education, Carrier is very free with who's an amateur and who's a professional. At least "amateur" Einhorn gets her facts straight, as opposed to

No there weren't. This is a piece of crap Carrier picked up whole from the Theosophists, who mistranslated a paragraph of Epiphanius' Panarion long ago to fit their agenda. Now it fits Carrier's agenda and he won't let go of it, although he's been corrected on it, and it's easy to check. For a professional like himself, that is.

To be fair to the Theosophists, they at least understood that Epiphanius was expressing his own beliefs in the paragraph, and not the beliefs of any "Christian group" except his fellow orthodox Christians.

But isn't that Carrier? Ignorance is the human condition, but incorrigible ignorance has no place in serious scholarship. Really none.

The least you could do is cite where you're getting the information from;

https://uncertaintist.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/epiphanius-didnt-write-about-a-pre-christian-jesus/

 

I checked it out. Epiphanius does not say this. I always considered it irrelevant so when Carrier, and even Robert Price mentioned it, I just accepted it without checking.

 

"Ehrman says the fact that “the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus were recent events” is “the view of all of our sources that deal with the matter at all” (p. 251). This is false. And it’s astonishing that he would not know this, since several other scholars have discussed the sources that place Jesus in the reign of Jannaeus in the 70s B.C. Ehrman seems to think (and represents to his readers) that G.A. Wells just made this up (pp. 247-51). In fact, Wells is discussing a theory defended by others, and based in actual sources: Epiphanius, in Panarion 29, says there was a sect of still-Torah-observant Christians who taught that Jesus lived and died in the time of Jannaeus, and all the Jewish sources on Christianity that we have (from the Talmud to the Toledot Yeshu) report no other view than that Jesus lived during the time of Jannaeus. Though these are all early medieval sources, it nevertheless means there were actual Christians teaching this and that the Jews who composed the Babylonian Talmud knew of no other version of Christianity.

This is indeed a strange curiosity, since it is hard to explain how a religion that taught from its inception a Jesus who lived and died under the Romans, and Pontius Pilate specifically, could ever evolve a sect that placed him a hundred years earlier, or how this sect could become so ubiquitous east of the Roman Empire that the Jews there had not heard of any other. Make of that what you will. My point here is that Ehrman falsely claims no sources say this (when in fact several do) and misleads readers into thinking Wells just made this up, when in fact others have made the same argument, including:


Alvar Ellegård, Jesus: One Hundred Years before Christ (Overlook 1999)
Michael Wise, The First Messiah (Harper 1999)
Frank Zindler, The Jesus the Jews Never Knew (American Atheist 2003)
John Marco Allegro, The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Christian Myth (Prometheus 1984).


These are all arguably “fringe” scholars, and they may well be as wrong as Wells or even more so. I am not defending anything they argue (I do not believe Christianity originated in the 70s B.C.). I am merely pointing out that Ehrman misleads his readers (and demonstrates his shoddy and careless research) by not even mentioning any of this (neither the many other scholars nor the primary sources), but in fact even arrogantly and ignorantly declaring the contrary (that there are no sources that say this), as if he checked (which is what a naive reader will assume he did)."

https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/1026

 

Thanks eight. I still don't see Einhorn's reasoning that the messianic claimnent "The Egyptian" mentioned by Josephus is actually Jesus though.... LOL!

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eight bits
13 hours ago, MERRY DMAS said:

The least you could do is cite where you're getting the information from;

Also, since that blog post first appeared, archive.org has somehow managed to get the rights to the recent Williams translation

https://archive.org/details/ThePanarionOfEpiphaniusOfSalamis_201603/page/n165

So, people now can just read for free what Epiphanius actually wrote in section 29, and also see that what Epiphanius was writing about in the paragraph of interest was his own personal opinion concerning the mechanics of the Davidic succession, and not the views of any "group" who believed Jesus was born under a different king than Herod the Great.

But the Uncertaintist thanks you for the plug :) .

13 hours ago, MERRY DMAS said:

Thanks eight. I still don't see Einhorn's reasoning that the messianic claimnent "The Egyptian" mentioned by Josephus is actually Jesus though.... LOL!

I am unpersuaded about that conclusion, to say the least. But the "time shift" itself is interesting. I think Einhorn would be stronger if she looked at all the credible hypotheses that gain traction from such a phenomenon. All her displaced events happen before or just about at the early end of the estimated date range of Mark, so just as Josephus' "Woe to Jerusalem" Jesus from the 60's is available as fodder for all of the canonical gospels who depend on Mark, so are the bandit-rebel stories of those days.

Fictional "purely literary" Jesus hypotheses therefore benefit as much as this particular "Jesus was really _______" hypothesis. Also, it's a boost for "Jesus is a composite figure, not any one specific person" historical hypotheses.

 

 

 

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third_eye

Curious thing to me is , when John still had his head on right, he was already making grand events of baptizing believers before JC was made into that Christian Prince of Peace because, he was just another one of many little lost Jewish Rabbis wandering around all over Judah, Herod never saw this JC coming because JC never got his followers wet I guess ...

~

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eight bits
On 11/29/2018 at 9:37 AM, third_eye said:

Curious thing to me is , when John still had his head on right, he was already making grand events of baptizing believers before JC was made into that Christian Prince of Peace because, he was just another one of many little lost Jewish Rabbis wandering around all over Judah, Herod never saw this JC coming because JC never got his followers wet I guess ...

Dunker John is in Josephus (Antiquities 18,5,2), and is as much of a "time marker" as the notorious "census" of 6 CE. John the Baptist is clearly portrayed as Pilate's contemporary in both Josephus and the New Testament. Who knows? Maybe Pilate and Herod Antipas had a real-life discussion about jurisdiction when John fatally dissed Antipas' second marriage, and maybe that incident got recycled by Luke for his distinctive contribution to the ever-improving Passion narrative.

There's nothing in Josephus about John having been anybody's "forerunner" or "Elijah." Not only John himself, but the people who remembered him and saw Antipas' military catastrophe as God's pay-back for offing John, pretty much seem to have viewed John as his own man, not somebody else's opening act and audience warmer. In Mark, Jesus simply nominates himself to continue the work when John is arrested, presumably on the strength of Jesus' religious experiences at baptism and then in the desert. No parallels to Paul there, lol.

I think making Theudas parallel to John is forced (sorry, Dr Einhorn). The River Jordan is just too rich and timeless a symbol to think that two public figures of different decades couldn't independently have seen the propaganda value of operating there. Also, if the idea is "forerunner," then it is unclear how related Theudas is to "The Egyptian" in any historical sense. There's also no indication of John having been a miracle-worker (strictly a spiritual guru if we go by Josephus, or the NT for that matter), and no indication that any action was ever taken against his followers ("literary" or not, Mark's Antipas is a reluctant executioner, of John alone, and John's disciples can deal directly for the corpse with the powers that be, although what the girl did with the head isn't narrated).

Given the timing, the well-respected prophet John (if any of our sources is to be believed) is as solid a "relevant antecedent" for the Egyptian as the "false" prophet (in Jospehus' estimation anyway) Theudas appears to be. It would also make for cleaner lines in the correspondence charts, and maybe even help explain how, if there was a time shift, Jesus ends up in the "hole" between John and Theudas.

 

 

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third_eye
4 minutes ago, eight bits said:

I think making Theudas parallel to John is forced (sorry, Dr Einhorn). The River Jordan is just too rich and timeless a symbol to think that two public figures of different decades couldn't independently have seen the propaganda value of operating there. Also, if the idea is "forerunner," then it is unclear how related Theudas is to "The Egyptian" in any historical sense. There's also no indication of John having been a miracle-worker (strictly a spiritual guru if we go by Josephus, or the NT for that matter), and no indication that any action was ever taken against his followers ("literary" or not, Mark's Antipas is a reluctant executioner, of John alone, and John's disciples can deal directly for the corpse with the powers that be, although what the girl did with the head isn't narrated).

I kinda skirt Josephus when it comes to anything remotely related to the biblical narratives because, frankly, he was mainly an ex-Jewish and wannabe Roman man of the times of his world. I find him less than reliable when comes the tales involving Judaism or anything religious. Josephus was a initially a military man through and through and by today's standards, more of a diplomat or politician.

I do like the records that the Saracens kept about Nabi Yahya , or the John who lost his head, to the rest of us non Arabs ...

~

 
Quote

The Umayyad Mosque, also known as the Great Mosque of Damascus (Arabic transliteration: Ğām' Banī 'Umayya al-Kabīr) or formerly the Basilica of Saint John the Baptist (Greek transliteration: Vasilikí tou Agíou Ioánni tou Vaptistí), located within the circuit walls of the old city of Damascus, is one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world. It is considered the fourth-holiest place in Islam. After the Arab conquest of Damascus in 634, the mosque was incorporated into the Christian Basilica dedicated to John the Baptist (Yahya). The mosque holds a shrine which today may still contain the head of John the Baptist, honored as a prophet by both Christians and Muslims alike, and is believed to be the place where Isa (Jesus) will return at the End of Days. The tomb of Saladin stands in a small garden adjoining the north wall of the mosque. Pre-Islamic period Damascus was the capital of the Aramaean state Aram-Damascus during the Iron Age. The Arameans of western Syria followed the cult of Hadad-Ramman, the god of thunderstorms and rain, and erected a temple dedicated to him at the site of the present-day Umayyad Mosque. It is not known exactly how the temple looked, but it is believed to have followed the traditional Semitic-Canaanite architectural form, resembling the Temple of Jerusalem. The site likely consisted of a walled courtyard, a small chamber for worship, and a tower-like structure typically symbolizing the "high place" of storm gods, in this case Hadad. One stone remains from the Aramaean temple, dated to the rule of King Hazael, has survived and is currently on display in the National Museum of Damascus. The Temple of Hadad-Ramman continued to serve a central role in the city and when the Romans conquered Damascus in 64 CE they assimilated Hadad with their own god of thunder, Jupiter. Thus, they engaged in a project to reconfigure and expand the temple under the direction of Damascus-born architect Apollodorus who created and executed its design. The symmetry and dimensions of the new Greco-Roman temple impressed the local population.

~

  • Wiki link
  • This is just a tiny portion and there's an extensive write up over at Wikis

~

 

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eight bits
18 hours ago, third_eye said:

I kinda skirt Josephus when it comes to anything remotely related to the biblical narratives because, frankly, he was mainly an ex-Jewish and wannabe Roman man of the times of his world. I find him less than reliable when comes the tales involving Judaism or anything religious. Josephus was a initially a military man through and through and by today's standards, more of a diplomat or politician.

Alas, we're stuck with him. He was also a priest, of the better caste, so not necessarily a bad source for what was up with Dunkin' John. Josephus' version differs enough from the Gospels and from Paul (why the washing, for instance) that I'm willing to risk its independence, and Josephus' competence to assess the situation.

While all sources agree that Antipas executed John, there's nothing in Josephus about the head being passed around. While I'm with you that it is interesting that in the Seventh Century, Islam incorporated John into its line of prophets, and found relics to suit, I think it's too late for anything confidently historical to emerge from that.

Mark created a market for loose John heads, which turned out to be a good tourist draw, for Christian and Muslim alike. Where the Mandaeans really fit into all that I just don't know.

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third_eye
3 minutes ago, eight bits said:

Alas, we're stuck with him. He was also a priest, of the better caste, so not necessarily a bad source for what was up with Dunkin' John. Josephus' version differs enough from the Gospels and from Paul (why the washing, for instance) that I'm willing to risk its independence, and Josephus' competence to assess the situation.

Yeah I guess so, I had mostly regarded his writings more so as 'memoirs' rather than anything intrinsically historical. Priestly caste or no, he still is part of that 'Seeker of smooth things' crowd that has that taint of being too cosmopolitan for the Old School old Jew camel knee Righteous ones. Something like Saul of Tarsus before he went old school and graduated as Paul. It has been noted that Josephus was also very keen, too keen perhaps, to drop anything that might be too flattering on the Jews that would give the ROman readers the wrinkly noses, imagined or otherwise.

~

3 minutes ago, eight bits said:

While all sources agree that Antipas executed John, there's nothing in Josephus about the head being passed around. While I'm with you that it is interesting that in the Seventh Century, Islam incorporated John into its line of prophets, and found relics to suit, I think it's too late for anything confidently historical to emerge from that.

Little Constantine's mom had enough of the solidus exchanged to ducats to spend to make the miracles I guess, maybe there should be something allotted to Helenism aside from Hellenism ...

~

3 minutes ago, eight bits said:

Mark created a market for loose John heads, which turned out to be a good tourist draw, for Christian and Muslim alike. Where the Mandaeans really fit into all that I just don't know.

I bet the first few Popes of the days knows ... :D

~

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