What happened between Jesus death & the gospels being written?

by yaddayadda 52 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Narkissos


    One fascinating detail (to me), yet difficult to interpret, is that the book of Acts directly links Paul's own name (Acts 13:9) with Sergius Paulus' (Lucius Sergius Paulus' family being known in Cyprus in the 2nd century AD, possibly before): it is the same Latin name and the same Greek transliteration, although English translations artificially distinguish between Paul and Paulus. Prior to the meeting with Paulus and the defeating of the "Jewish false prophet(s) / magician(s)" Bar-Jesus / Elymas, which echoes the similar encounter between Peter and Simon in chapter 8, Acts called him exclusively Sa(o)ul, a name unheard of in the Pauline epistles. It seems to be a pretty convincing case of distinct traditions and characters merging and reduplicating in the book of Acts, even though reconstruction is probably impossible.

  • Terry
    This is a false dilemma that oversimplifies the diversity and breadth of early Christianity (as represented in the NT). You can find a Christianity that is markedly non-Pauline, even anti-Pauline to an extent (e.g. Matthew) and you can find a Christianity that is vehemently anti-Rome (e.g. Revelation). Between its pages, you can find many different ideas on what constitutes salvation (and what one is saved from), on who Jesus is supposed to be, what destinies lie in the future, etc.

    A Christianity that can be all things is a Christianity which is, in essence, no thing.

    Are there this many divergent opinions about matters of fact in other venues? The 4th Century B.C. Gave us Euclid's ELEMENTS and it is still valid today in any translation. Yet, a work from a reputedly divine source (scripture) fosters nothing but contradictory valuations.

    Ask yourself "why"?

    I posit the reason there were so many Christianities with equal confidence of certitude is because there was no Christianity at all. It was man-on-the-street opinion. Much the same as you have about UFO's today. There are trends and consensus but no means of demonstrating factual evidence one way or the other. It devolves to argument and camps.

    Masada got rid of one possibility. Constantine got rid of most of the others. Christianity became the default setting.

  • Joe Grundy
    Joe Grundy


    Thanks for that - I am amazed by how much I learn on this board.

    I'm particularly fascinated by the story of the visit to Pafos, probably because one can actually walk on the mosaic floors of the Roman public buildings and grand houses where presumably Paul would have had his audience. The mosaics were only discovered in the early 1960s, sso escaped vandalism, alteration, etc. Photos here: http://www.todheugh.plus.com/cyprus2004/slides/Mosaics-of-Pafos-1.html

    The altercation with 'bar-Jesus' has always seemed a bit odd to me. I understand that Jesus/Yeshua was a fairly common Jewish name, and 'bar' means 'son of' or 'student/disciple of' (doesn't it?). In my cynical way, I wondered if this was an allegorical account of the victory of Paul's new religion over Judaism. Or does it have something to do with the other 'messiahs' that were around before and after the 'NT JC'? It wouldn't be surprising if some of their adherents had come here as things got more difficult in Roman-occupied Palestine, and Cyprus at the time seems to have been very tolerant of various religions - the gods were apparently happy to co-exist.

    Cyprus at that time had a large and prosperous Jewish community, far enough away from Jerusalem perhaps to have relaxed some of the more stringent requirements of their religion. Barnabas, as a Cypriot Jew, would have had a friendlier welcome than an 'outsider'.

  • peacefulpete

    Joe Grundy...I made a silly thread a while ago about Paul's legendary stop on Malta that might entertain you. Paul the snake dentist

  • Joe Grundy
    Joe Grundy


    Thanks for that link.

    May I offer you another which shows that the 'snake in the firewood' legend lived on?


    This was about 5 miles from my home before I moved out here.

  • hooberus

    There are also numerous resources and books from the conservative position as well.




  • peacefulpete

    There are many hypotheses for the Synoptics literary relationships. here's site I posted a while back: Great site on Synoptic Relationships

    There are some yet today who favor a Matthew first development, Mark being an abridement of Luke and Matt perhaps made for stage presentation. While I've toyed with this idea I have returned to Goodacre's reconstruction, its makes sense, has a consistant abiltity to explain and is beautifully simple. No Q, UrMark-Matt-Luke(using both), with Matt and Luke having each some few traditions gleaned from elsewhere. I've read a couple books on it and concluded it made more sense than the Q (2 source) hypothesis. The fact that the Q hypothesis is IMO on its way into disfavor doesn't mean the mass of research done with Q in mind is valueless. Observations are often valid even when explanations need to be adjusted. It seems to me that without the Q research Farrer and Goodacre would have had a much harder time identifying the subtleties involved.

    However your question again reaches further back then these 3 revisions of the same story from the late first to mid second century.

    What research have you already done to arrive at the conclusions you have? ; ; In my opinion until you rethink some of these your present question will lead only to worthless reconstructions of imagined historical Jesuses. There have been many threads on this forum that demonstrate the complex redaction history of the Gospels and the preGospel sources of many of the "sayings". We also have discussed the influences on the formative Jesus stories which include the wider religious mythos and Jewish metaphor. Something we have also touched upon is the very attractive hypothesis that the Jesus stories are a composite of already fully developed John the Baptist and Simon Magnus legends, who were themselves revered as messiahs in their respective camps. Also contributing was the anticipation of a returning Joshua/Jesus savior. In a number of NT texts the name "Jesus" is a title bestowed upon the Christ figure in fullfillment of this anticipation. If there is something within this comment you would want to dealve into, just ask, but be specific as its a huge topic.

    In other words, "Unless you accept my presupposition as valid, then any conclusion you have that is not based on my presupposition, is invalid."

    XJW4EVR, of the clearing the brush class.

  • peacefulpete

    Those certainly are "other words", not mine.

    Those certainly are "other words", not mine.

    No they are yours, but just distilled down to the irreducable minimum.

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