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Re: Early christian history (Licia & Bill)

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  • Stephen C. Carlson
    ... No, I didn t think that your post was a series of imputations. Ian tends to believe that people don t think for themselves and simply mouth the party
    Message 1 of 23 , Apr 1 4:11 AM
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      At 03:44 PM 3/31/99 -0500, Licia Kuenning wrote:
      >Does anybody besides Ian Hutchesson think my post in
      >reply to Bill was a "series of imputations"?

      No, I didn't think that your post was a series of
      imputations. Ian tends to believe that people don't
      think for themselves and simply mouth the party line.
      However, when we get to find out what Ian actually
      believes (when he is not in gadfly mode), we find that
      the evidentiary basis for his ideas is much worse than
      basis for the consensus of scholarship.

      For example, on the issue of whether Sadducees were
      present in the first century, the mention by Josephus
      and the gospels in the first century is strong evidence
      for their presence. Ian's use of Daniel and Enoch,
      which predate the first century (and therefore are
      incompetent as evidence about the first century), is
      a howler.

      As for Bill Pinard, many of us here have already
      encountered him and formed our own opinions. Basically,
      Bill has produced a harmony of the gospel texts and
      believes that his harmony is a reconstruction of the
      original document used by the apostles. As in most
      exercises of the sort, these reconstructions are only
      loved by their creators.

      Stephen Carlson
      --
      Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
      Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
      "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
    • Michael Davies
      ... But acts tells us what the basis of division was. ... Well, yes, it does. Acts 6:1-6 presents a picture of ideological unity. ... Is there any evidence tht
      Message 2 of 23 , Apr 1 1:22 PM
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        > > I don't see any sign of ideological tensions in the report
        > > in Acts. Maybe you can correct me, but isn't all we know about the
        > > tensions in Acts that there was a concern among the "Greek"
        > > Christians that their widows were being shortchanged?

        Rene:
        > I think we have to ask ourselves: "On what basis was this division
        > between 'Hellenist' and 'Hebrew' (6:1)?"

        But acts tells us what the basis of division was.

        > Did it exclude ideology?

        Well, yes, it does. Acts 6:1-6 presents a picture of ideological
        unity.

        > I see
        > the passage 6:1-6 as probably reflecting rivalry between two groups of
        > ethnically Jewish Jesus-followers, and Stephen as a "Hellenist" Jewish
        > Christian (one who ideologically was more relaxed re: Torah observance,
        > and a Greek-speaker).

        Is there any evidence tht he was "more relaxed re: Torah observance"?
        If so you've got a point, if not then you haven't.

        > More importantly, though, isn't the stoning of Stephen the result of a
        > significant "ideological" conflict (7:53-54) between Hellenist and
        > High Priest (7:1), between Hellenist and and members of the synagogue
        > (6:9)?

        Yes it is. So are Paul's reports of persecuting the church of
        God in Jerusalem the result of a
        > significant "ideological" conflict between Non-Hellenist and
        > High Priest, between Non-Hellenist and and members of the
        > synagogue.

        Steve
      • Lewis Reich
        ... I don t know, was it? All we know is how the text presents it. Lewis Reich LBR@sprynet.com
        Message 3 of 23 , Apr 1 8:50 PM
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          On 31 Mar 99, at 21:41, rene joseph salm wrote:

          > More importantly, though, isn't the stoning of Stephen the result of a
          > significant "ideological" conflict (7:53-54) between Hellenist and High
          > Priest (7:1), between Hellenist and and members of the synagogue (6:9)?

          I don't know, was it? All we know is how the text presents it.

          Lewis Reich
          LBR@...
        • rene joseph salm
          ... I wonder if you re referring to Acts 7. This tells us about the ideological conflict between Stephen and the Jewish non-Jesus-followers, who stoned him.
          Message 4 of 23 , Apr 2 2:21 PM
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            On Thu, 1 Apr 1999, Michael Davies wrote:

            >
            > > > I don't see any sign of ideological tensions in the report
            > > > in Acts. Maybe you can correct me, but isn't all we know about the
            > > > tensions in Acts that there was a concern among the "Greek"
            > > > Christians that their widows were being shortchanged?
            >
            > Rene:
            > > I think we have to ask ourselves: "On what basis was this division
            > > between 'Hellenist' and 'Hebrew' (6:1)?"
            >
            > But acts tells us what the basis of division was.

            I wonder if you're referring to Acts 7. This tells us about the
            ideological conflict between Stephen and the Jewish non-Jesus-followers,
            who stoned him. This is a different conflict than that between
            "Hellenists" and "Hebrews" of 6:1, who are distinct camps of
            Jesus-followers (in what way they were distinct is what I'd like to know).

            > > Did it exclude ideology?
            >
            > Well, yes, it does. Acts 6:1-6 presents a picture of ideological
            > unity.

            We read about "Brothers," a division of labor (distribution of food
            vs. prayer and serving the word), the 12 deciding for the "whole
            community," pleasing the whole community, and laying hands on those
            chosen to "wait on tables." To me this is not ideological unity, but
            coming to agreement on a pressing practical matter. Nor is ideological
            unity implied, for we also read about Hellenist Jesus-followers, and
            Hebrew Jesus-followers, one group complaining against the other. This to
            me implies some ideological disunity. What we can say about this passage
            is that general agreement involving two groups of Jesus-followers was
            reached.

            > > I see
            > > the passage 6:1-6 as probably reflecting rivalry between two groups of
            > > ethnically Jewish Jesus-followers, and Stephen as a "Hellenist" Jewish
            > > Christian (one who ideologically was more relaxed re: Torah observance,
            > > and a Greek-speaker).
            >
            > Is there any evidence tht he was "more relaxed re: Torah observance"?
            > If so you've got a point, if not then you haven't.

            Whether or not Stephen was more or less relaxed re: the Torah does not
            affect the author's division of the Jesus-followers into two groups,
            which, as I see it, is the main point, for this division into "Hellenists"
            and "Hebrews" must have included idealogical disunity of some kind. (If
            not, then what was the nature of this division?) My seeing Stephen as more
            relaxed re: Torah is one construction of the situation (note the
            "probable" above). If you see him otherwise, I'd be interested in learning
            why.

            > > More importantly, though, isn't the stoning of Stephen the result of a
            > > significant "ideological" conflict (7:53-54) between Hellenist and
            > > High Priest (7:1), between Hellenist and and members of the synagogue
            > > (6:9)?
            >
            > Yes it is. So are Paul's reports of persecuting the church of
            > God in Jerusalem the result of a
            > > significant "ideological" conflict between Non-Hellenist and
            > > High Priest, between Non-Hellenist and and members of the
            > > synagogue.

            Good. I'm glad we agree on the main point so far as my original cite to
            Jeanie is concerned.

            - Rene
          • Licia Kuenning
            Bill Pinard writes, ... I had nothing of the sort in mind. All I mean by Christians is people who believe that Jesus is the Christ and that he rose from the
            Message 5 of 23 , Apr 4 11:54 PM
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              Bill Pinard writes,

              > I do not believe that the apostolic church was christian.
              > The definition of "christian" is argued mostly by christians
              > since they claim that there are true christians and false
              > christians.

              I had nothing of the sort in mind. All I mean by "Christians"
              is people who believe that Jesus is the Christ and that he
              rose from the dead. They come in lots of varieties.

              > Anyway, christian is defined by the churches that call
              > themselves as such;

              No it isn't; it's a common English word. In fact it was
              originally coined by non-Christians. It occurs only 3 times
              in the NT, always with reference to what the members of
              the church were called by outsiders. Those who used it
              wouldn't have had much detailed knowledge of the doctinres
              being taught--they would have been referring to something
              that was obvious to outside observers.

              (In any case, you were the first to use the word in this
              exchange. Obviously *you* must have meant by it something
              different from what I mean, and what (in a rough way) I think most
              people mean, and what those meant who first called the disciples
              "Christians" at Antioch. But you haven't explained your
              unusual definition, so the meaning of your statement remains
              obscure.)

              >>> May I suggest that you not look for "early christian history"
              >>> which has been well documented by christian historians;
              >>> but rather, look deeper...look behind what christianity
              >>> might be trying to cover up.
              >>
              >> Sounds like a good recipe for coming up with mares' nests.
              >> I won't deny that Christianity changed, but we still have to get
              >> our data from the records, not from paranoid speculation.
              >
              > Bill:
              > True. But we must be careful of what I call "the default
              > mode" in our thinking. One man's fear is another women's
              > faith, or visa versa.

              Sorry, but it's completely obscure to me what you're talking
              about here.

              > Please consider my solution to the synoptic problem
              > which I have entitled "William's Hypothesis" (WH). It
              > should give you some new "data" to reconsider everything
              > you have ever thought abaout the formation of the new
              > testament. It is in the Adobe Acrobat Reader .pdf file
              > and the free reader can be downloaded from www.adobe.com.
              > But you probably already have the reader on your
              > computer.

              I don't; and if it's too complicated for you to explain on the
              list, then I don't have time to look into it. Too much else
              to do.

              Licia Kuenning

              Licia@...
              kuenning-licia@...
            • Mm4csjr16@aol.com
              I have a question - was it common around the time of Jesus to name a particular school of thought after it s teacher? Could you please list some examples of
              Message 6 of 23 , Apr 5 6:41 AM
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                I have a question - was it common around the time of Jesus to name a
                particular school of thought after it's teacher? Could you please list some
                examples of this? Also could you list the various schools of thought about
                Jesus' divinity (such as adoptionism) with a brief definition and which ones
                modern scholars believe the original Apostles to be in? I think it would be
                helpful in clearing up what "Christianity" actually means.

                Peace Be with You All
                Jeanie
              • Jon Peter
                ... It depends what you mean. I would say naming was mixed. Rabbinical schools (i.e. legal theories) were just getting started in Jesus day and these
                Message 7 of 23 , Apr 5 10:29 AM
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                  Jeanie asked:

                  > I have a question - was it common around the time of Jesus to name a
                  > particular school of thought after it's teacher?

                  It depends what you mean. I would say naming was mixed. Rabbinical schools
                  (i.e. legal theories) were just getting started in Jesus' day and these
                  eventually became known as 'school of Hillel' or of Shamash etc., i.e.,
                  founders. Pagan mystery initiates were labeled with the deity name. Early
                  Christians said "I am of Paul" or "I am of Apollos." The Jewish religious
                  denominations or sects I can think of were never named after a founder.
                  Adepts of Greek philosophical schools often had teachers' names
                  attached.Groups of all kinds seemed to have nicknames or several forms of
                  reference.

                  Could you please list some
                  > examples of this? Also could you list the various schools of thought
                  about
                  > Jesus' divinity (such as adoptionism) with a brief definition and which
                  ones
                  > modern scholars believe the original Apostles to be in? I think it would
                  be
                  > helpful in clearing up what "Christianity" actually means.
                  >

                  Ye old debate. Others are better qualified to answer. My own view is that
                  Son of God theology came as a revival of old pre-Exilic Hebrew-Canaanite
                  beliefs which were expurgated from tanakh but survived in pop religion and
                  lore. Few scholars seem to share this approach however.

                  Regards,

                  Jon
                • Michael Davies
                  ... It is too facile to say that Christian means whatever any church calling itself Christian says it means. I d suggest Christian means the use of a standard
                  Message 8 of 23 , Apr 5 11:53 AM
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                    Bill:
                    > > Anyway, christian is defined by the churches that call
                    > > themselves as such;

                    Licia:
                    > No it isn't; it's a common English word.

                    It is too facile to say that Christian means whatever any church
                    calling itself Christian says it means. I'd suggest Christian
                    means the use of a standard set of words such as Jesus, Gospel,
                    Christ, Salvation, Cross. Same for e.g. Buddhism. You cannot
                    define Christian (or Buddhist) in terms of any particular meanings
                    assigned to those words.

                    Steve
                  • David L. Snow
                    ... various schools of thought about ... As you may well know, the modern definition of christian is one who believes Jesus fulfilled the messianic
                    Message 9 of 23 , Apr 5 1:00 PM
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                      At 09:41 AM 4/5/99 -0400, Mm4csjr16@... wrote:
                      >I have a question - < edited out prior text>.... Also could you list the
                      various schools of thought about
                      >Jesus' divinity (such as adoptionism) with a brief definition and which ones
                      >modern scholars believe the original Apostles to be in? I think it would be
                      >helpful in clearing up what "Christianity" actually means.
                      >
                      >Peace Be with You All
                      >Jeanie

                      As you may well know, the modern definition of "christian" is one who
                      believes Jesus fulfilled the 'messianic prophecy' of the OT, and/or one who
                      follows the religion based on the teachings of Jesus.

                      Refinement of these 2 definitions has been going on for a little less than
                      1970 years now, and we seem as confused as ever, leading to different
                      sects, churches, denominations, etc.

                      To address your first question as to the 'schools of thought' of the
                      original Apostles, I would refer you to Helmut Koester's book, 'Ancient
                      Christian Gospels, Their History and Development' which includes all early
                      Christian writings as well as the Synoptic Gospels.

                      For your 'implied' second question concerning what 'Christianity' actually
                      means, I would direct you to Ben Witherington's book on "The Christology of
                      Jesus" which may help with the historical Jesus' self-understanding.

                      Dave

                      Dave
                    • William
                      ... Licia, I was tired when I responded and upon thinking about what I had said I thought that it would be good to repost my thoughts on the matter.
                      Message 10 of 23 , Apr 5 4:20 PM
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                        >Subject: Re: Early christian history
                        >Sent: 4/1/19 12:43 PM
                        >Received: 4/5/99 4:44 AM
                        >From: Licia Kuenning, Licia@...
                        >To: Crosstalk, crosstalk@...
                        >
                        >Bill Pinard writes,
                        >
                        >> I do not believe that the apostolic church was christian.
                        >> The definition of "christian" is argued mostly by christians
                        >> since they claim that there are true christians and false
                        >> christians.
                        >
                        Licia:
                        >I had nothing of the sort in mind. All I mean by "Christians"
                        >is people who believe that Jesus is the Christ and that he
                        >rose from the dead. They come in lots of varieties.
                        >
                        Bill:
                        >> Anyway, christian is defined by the churches that call
                        >> themselves as such;
                        >
                        Licia:
                        >No it isn't; it's a common English word. In fact it was
                        >originally coined by non-Christians. It occurs only 3 times
                        >in the NT, always with reference to what the members of
                        >the church were called by outsiders. Those who used it
                        >wouldn't have had much detailed knowledge of the doctinres
                        >being taught--they would have been referring to something
                        >that was obvious to outside observers.
                        >
                        >(In any case, you were the first to use the word in this
                        >exchange. Obviously *you* must have meant by it something
                        >different from what I mean, and what (in a rough way) I think most
                        >people mean, and what those meant who first called the disciples
                        >"Christians" at Antioch. But you haven't explained your
                        >unusual definition, so the meaning of your statement remains
                        >obscure.)
                        >
                        Bill:
                        >>>> May I suggest that you not look for "early christian history"
                        >>>> which has been well documented by christian historians;
                        >>>> but rather, look deeper...look behind what christianity
                        >>>> might be trying to cover up.
                        >>>
                        Licia:
                        >>> Sounds like a good recipe for coming up with mares' nests.
                        >>> I won't deny that Christianity changed, but we still have to get
                        >>> our data from the records, not from paranoid speculation.
                        >>
                        >> Bill:
                        >> True. But we must be careful of what I call "the default
                        >> mode" in our thinking. One man's fear is another women's
                        >> faith, or visa versa.
                        >
                        Licia:
                        >Sorry, but it's completely obscure to me what you're talking
                        >about here.
                        >
                        Bill:
                        >> Please consider my solution to the synoptic problem
                        >> which I have entitled "William's Hypothesis" (WH). It
                        >> should give you some new "data" to reconsider everything
                        >> you have ever thought abaout the formation of the new
                        >> testament. It is in the Adobe Acrobat Reader .pdf file
                        >> and the free reader can be downloaded from www.adobe.com.
                        >> But you probably already have the reader on your
                        >> computer.
                        >
                        Licia:
                        >I don't; and if it's too complicated for you to explain on the
                        >list, then I don't have time to look into it. Too much else
                        >to do.
                        >
                        >Licia Kuenning
                        >
                        >Licia@...
                        >kuenning-licia@...
                        >
                        Licia,

                        I was tired when I responded and upon thinking about what I had said I
                        thought that it would be good to repost my thoughts on the matter.

                        "Christians" are disciples of Christ; and of course most people refer to
                        themselves as "christians" when they believe that Jesus is the Christ.
                        This is just part of our cultural mind-set.

                        But if "christ" is a mediator between man and God then anyone who has a
                        mediator or a "christ" is in fact a generic "christian". But most people
                        do not think in those terms.

                        I should have used the word "christianity" instead of "christian".
                        Christians are individuals who believe in a christ/mediator between
                        themselves and God. However, "christianity" is a religious system that
                        sets forth the doctrines and practices of a "true" christian. So that's
                        the main difference between the individual christians and the individual
                        sects of christianity that claim to be the true church of the true
                        christians.

                        My original statement about Paul the Apostle was that I do not believe
                        that Paul was an advocate of the religion of christianity; and
                        furthermore, that Jesus was not an advocate of christianity; and that the
                        apostolic church was not christian in doctrine or practices.

                        Christianity is a religious system that supplanted the apostolic
                        religious system in the first three centuries. Christianity is the great
                        apostacy that the non-christian Paul warned his followeres about.

                        William's Hypothesis lays the foundation to claim that the pre-niacene
                        "fathers" of christianity were not members of the apostolic church; and
                        that the entire "mind-set" that we have of these matters should be
                        reconsidered.

                        It is a real paradigm shift.

                        Hope this clears things up a bit. I just do not have time to email well
                        written responses. Sorry for that.

                        Bill Pinard
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