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Porphyry Against the Christians

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  • Bradley Skene
    Robert Berchman s new translation of Porphyry s *Agianst the Christians* is a deeply troubled book for many reasons I will not boor this list with. But he does
    Message 1 of 2 , May 1, 2006
      Robert Berchman's new translation of Porphyry's *Agianst the Christians* is
      a deeply troubled book for many reasons I will not boor this list with. But
      he does make the fragments available in a convenient translation.

      Probably most biblical scholars are familiar with the fragments of book XII
      of Porphyry's work in which he argues in detail from Josephus and other
      historical sources that the book of Daniel was composed during the Maccabean
      revolt because it gives an accurate account up to a certain point and then
      diverges off into fantasy, but here is a lesser known statement of Porphyry
      that might be of interest (the fragment comes from Macarius Magnes' *
      Apocriticus* and there is a huge scholarly literature debating whether he
      knew Porphyry directly, through an excerptor, through Julian, or some other
      intermediary, and he definitely lumps Hierocles and Porphyry into the same
      basket along with perhaps others, but this fragment, based as it is on
      detailed chronographical study, almost certainly comes from Porphyry):



      And what is said appears to me to be replete with stupidity: "If you would
      believe Moses you would also believe me for he has written concerning me"
      (Jn 5;46). He said it but nothing Moses wrote has been preserved for all his
      writings have been burnt with the temple. And all those written under his
      name afterwards were composed inaccurately one thousand one hundred and
      eighty years after moses death by Ezra and his followers. And even if one
      were to allow that the work is by Moses, it is impossible to show that
      Christ was said to be a God, or a divine Logos, or a demiurge. After all,
      who had even spoken of Christ as crucified? [sc. in the Pentateuch].
      fr. 68 Harnack, trans. Berchman, p. 198.


      cheers,

      Bradley A. Skene


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Gary Greenberg
      Possibly inaccurate but why stupid? Gary Greenberg New York ... his ... Service.
      Message 2 of 2 , May 2, 2006
        Possibly inaccurate but why stupid?

        Gary Greenberg
        New York

        > And what is said appears to me to be replete with stupidity: "If you would
        > believe Moses you would also believe me for he has written concerning me"
        > (Jn 5;46). He said it but nothing Moses wrote has been preserved for all
        his
        > writings have been burnt with the temple. And all those written under his
        > name afterwards were composed inaccurately one thousand one hundred and
        > eighty years after moses death by Ezra and his followers. And even if one
        > were to allow that the work is by Moses, it is impossible to show that
        > Christ was said to be a God, or a divine Logos, or a demiurge. After all,
        > who had even spoken of Christ as crucified? [sc. in the Pentateuch].
        > fr. 68 Harnack, trans. Berchman, p. 198.
        >
        >
        > cheers,
        >
        > Bradley A. Skene
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        >
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