måndag, juli 31, 2006

The 4 gospels

Liz Calhoun wrote: “And Goran, I recently read a work on NT studies that suggested that the Fourth Gospel was intended to REPLACE the previous three, late in the 1st century.”

A far as I understand, the 4th gospel (John) is the 3rd and the 1st (Matt) is the newest. There is no trace of it in the West before Ireneus’s Adversus Haeraeus around 170, who pleads 4 gospels, saying they are like the 4 winds (= 4 directions ;=)

Up till around 180 there are a number of Greek and Latin Prologues to the other 3 (many of them anti-Marcionite, that is post 140, some monarchic, that is advocating a shift in power from the autonomy of the local congregation to the regional authority of a metropolitan bishop) but there is no Prologue to Matt.

The claim often heard that Bishop Papias talks of the gospel of Matt around 140 is bogus. He does nothing of the sort. He talks of a sayings gospel (like the famous Q); the logia, the words of Jesus collected “in the Hebrew language” (= Aramaic) by (the real) Matthew Levi the Publican and interpreted by all “as best they could”. Pages 8-10 or so of which was found in Oxyrhynchos in Egypt in 1889.

The gospel of Thomas is the same kind of collection of sayings (the latter 1/3 of Thomas to my mind being a later Gnosticist addition).

Originally the 4 gospels were used in different parts of the world, each in its own Patriarchate; the oral Aramaic gospel in Jerusalem or Caesarea, Mark in Rome, Luke in Antioch and lastly Matt – where?

IMO in Alexandria (see the confusion of geographic and historic detail, the “in King Herod’s days” (all Herodian kings were King Herod), the Magi, the slaying of the Innocents, all not so subtly placing the child Jesus in Egypt (cf the horrible “childhood gospels”) and so on.

The present order reflects a time when several gospels were put into use in one place, the resulting collection – as always in Antiquity – being added to a core; the eldest in the middle, the ones newer to that place front and back.

The eldest Western order (preserved in some manuscripts) was Matt, John, Mark, Luke + Acts + Letters of Paul. Later the Catholic Letters (= general subjects, without addressees) + Johannine letters + Apocalypse. Originally these collections were all separate - a state of affairs that lasted well into the 2nd Millennium.

All scriptures were not accepted in all Patriarchates – Alexandria, for instance, not accepting the Corpus johanneum, having their own apocalypsis; The Shepherd of Hermas. Antioch likewise did not accept the 2nd century Alexandrian letters, and so on. The standing and placing of Alexandrian Hebrews and non-Pauline Pastorals differed.

There also were many more scriptures read than are found in our (different) modern post mid 16th century "canonical" Bibles.

The story of the woman in the Temple yard was especially difficult for later generations influenced by Neo Platonism; originally Luke 21:39ff, it ended up in Byzantine manuscripts (in different places) in John (in modern “translations” John 7:51-8:11, if not excised all together ;=)

The order we use today is the (late) Antiochene one (which became the Alexandrian).

Matt was most certainly put together (from both sayings gospel and story gospel) as a lectionary, to be read continuously in the local/regional churches, the way the Torah is read in the Synagogue. It is clearly dependent on the published Letters of Paul (after 100) not seldom following Paul when he disagrees with Mark and Luke. Matt is very clearly competing with the Judaism of its day, which makes me think much of it post-dates the parting of the ways after the 2nd Jewish War of around 130, upon which Judaism became illegal and Christianity hurried to proclaim its loyalty to the Emperor and conformity to the Ways of the World (the Pastorals, Alexandrian letters).

Our present European lectionaries are all based on the Carolingian Lectionary, which used Matt supplementing it with the other 3 for “lacunae”.
Från diskussion på Father Jake Stops the World (länk till höger)

Shellfish - and other animals

Not so New here wrote: ” … are now outdated, while the homosex prohibition remains very, very, very important.”

This is claimed arguing that the word arsenokoîtai in 1 Cor 6:9 is a “compound” of ársen and koítä in Lev 20:13, the law parallel (If a man… then…) to the cultic purity taboo in Lev 18:22, and that consequently all of Lev 18 (intentionally mis-translated as “incest”, Moloch, “homosexuality” and “bestiality”) is brought forth into the NT under the name of “Holiness Code”, thereby turning 1st Temple Levitical cultic purity taboos into “moral” “law” for the Christian congregation.

Well, some of them ;=)

Point 1. arsenokoîtai is probably Corinthian slang never used in writing before 1 Cor (middle of the 50-ies). The Old Latin transla-tion (perhaps only ¾ of a century later) gives it as masculorum concubitores; male bedfellows.

Now, since pre modern bedfellows always were of the same gender (or in the case of wet-nurses, of “none”), most probably arseno-koîtai refers to male “bedfellows” in a secondary sense; well endowed men who prostituted themselves with both men and women (= xärai; widow).

Self supporting women were called “widows”, since widows – and the occasional elder sister standing in for a younger brother, such as Martha in Luke 11 – enjoyed some but not all, of the legal, political and economical rights only men had in Antiquity.

Until the 13th century (Thomas Aquinas’ Summa contra gentiles?) arsenokoîtai was discussed as prostitution.

Point 2. present “moral” is a 12th century Scholastic concept; before, moral meant life, way of life, cf Plutarch’s Moralia: Lives of Famous Men (some of them imaginary, such as the Persian King Sardanapalos – ever even more lascivious than a woman ;=)

Point 3. the fact that two words happen to stand side to side in one context in one text does not make a different word in an other context in a text several hundred years later into a “compound”.


Nor did anyone think about anything of the sort before the mid 16th century, when this claim was invented by Dr Johannes Calvinus who, because of his Indo European Integrism, needed scriptural “proofs” where the Scholastics simply could do with the bare “verity” of their Neo Platonist Absolute Truth (= the communion of the little nous, the mind/sperm of the male academic with the big Nous, The Highest Being).

According to late 20th century Roman exegesis the man responsible for the present mis-translation of arsenokoîtai as “man-fucker” was Thomas Aquinas in his Summa contra gentiles. I haven’t checked, so I cannot say whether this is factual or an in-reading of late-modern social prejudice, but it is clear that 1 Cor 6:9-11 was not among the several “words” (most of them later abandoned) claimed by the 12th century Scholastics to refer to their Neo Platonist/Gnosticist category Spilling of Semen without procreationary purpose (the Spilling of Semen was of course “heterosexual” to them – had they known the word ;=)

So Roman late 20th century exegesis claims that koítä; bed, is a verb meaning to lay (with) – according to Pater Zerwick 1966 (note to Rom 13:13) it is an euphemism, according to Boswell 1980 (referring to the same) it is gross...

Middle of the road Calvinist exegesis, however (such as the New York-Stuttgart “Novum” of the International Bible Societies), still claim it’s a noun, translating it “bed, marital relationship (Heb 13:4), sperm (koítän exo conceive Rom 9:10) sexual impurity (Rom 13:13)”.

Of course “bed” is the only one among these that is correct, but we can take that an other time…

Thing is they both u n d e r s t a n d koítä as sex. And this is a very interesting example of how the different theological traditions sometimes come to “explain” the same Neo Platonist teaching in ways not only incompatible, but mutually exclusive.

They agree on their Neo Platonism, but they have not coordinated their techniques ;=) Which gives the lie away…

The truth remains that koítä means the Bed of the Master and Mistress, the only Bed there was in the pre modern House. Household members slept on mats and cots on the floor or in the attic all through the 19th century.

Stable boys slept together in the hay – blankets were for the horses!

Conclusion: Dr Calvinus’s claim that 1 Cor 6:9 somehow “saves” a Neo Platonist interpretation of the Levitical cultic purity taboos and the Tradition (LXX and NT nómos is not “law” but Tradition, remember) of the elders as “law”, bringing it into the Christian congregation (contra Mark 7 et al) as Social legislation for Geneva and the other cities of the Plain, makes practically all of post 16th century radical Neo Platonist theology (= Calvinism) dependant on the sexualization of the word Bed.

Which is why they get so upset about the “shell-fish argument” that they discard the kosher taboos of Leviticus 11, but exalt the cultic ones of Leviticus 18.

This – not to mention Dr Calvinus’s defence of usury – threatens the order of things, for without the distortion of the Spilling of Semen as anti-gay being “proved” by Saint Paul’s Corinthian slang word arsenokoîtai in 1 Cor 6:9, much of 20th century Calvinism falls; the congregational discipline, the authority of the Pastor, the “moral” teachings – Transformation itself.

As Rome is not Integrist, nothing of this really matters to them – they still can invent freely according to their nous/NOUS concept of “natural law”.
Från diskussion på Father Jake Stops the World (länk till höger)

tisdag, juli 18, 2006


Jag kan inte undanhålla er detta!
Det påminner om den gamle tecknaren OA:s serie om mannen som gör vad som faller honom in...

tisdag, juli 11, 2006

Slaveriet i NT

Jag är hemma med feber och ont i halsen, och kom att titta efter hur många pro slaveriställena i Nya testamentet egentligen är.
Och fann följande uttalanden om Slaveriet, emot och för, i krono-logisk ordning:
c:a 57 Paulos själv i brevet till Filémon; Paulos skickar den för-rymde Onésimos (= den snälle/nyttige) tillbaka till sin herre Filémon:
v.12 såsom sände jag åstad mitt eget Hjärta
v. 16 nu icke längre såsom en träl,
utan såsom något vida mer än en träl: såsom en älskad Broder.
Detta är han redan för mig i högsta måtto,
så mycket mer då för dig,
han, din Broder både efter Köttet och i Herren!
v. 17 Om du alltså håller mig för din medbroder,
så tag emot honom såsom du skulle taga emot mig själv. (1917)
c:a 100 Efesos. Antagligen samme Onésimos (nu Biskop i Efesos) i Efesier: 6:5-8 om slaven, 9 om herren.
c:a 140 Rom. Marcion i Kolosser (samma text som Efesier, men förkortad och med andra värderingar!!!):
Kol 3:22-24, 25 om slaven, 3:26-4:1 om herren.
c:a 140 Alexandria. 1 Petrus 2:13-3:18a "om undersåtares, tjänares och makars plikter" (ingresser i 1917)
c:a 155 Pastoralbrevs-kretsen i Smyrna:
Titus 2:9-10 skicka sig dem till behag
1 Timotheos 6:1-2 så att icke Gud och läran bliva smädade
1981 Riesenfeldts 40-miljonersöversättning i 1 Kor 7:21 Och även om du kan bli fri, så förbli hellre vad du är…
Svaret är alltså det alexandrinska 1 Petrus och Smyrna-kretsens Pastoralbrev; summa 3 ställen, hälften av de 6 misogyna - som ju oxå finns i 2:a århundradets pseudo-epigrafiska Petrus- och Pasto-ralbrev samt i Smyrna-upplagans tillägg i 1 Kor 11 och 14.
Ställena visar en tydlig progression från Paulos själv, som tydligt förutsätter slavens fulla mänsklighet och förnekar slavens sociala under-ordning (jfr Gal 3:25, 26-29), till Riesenfeldts fasansfulla förbli hellre vad du är även om du kan bli fri... (jfr med 1917s över-sättning av samma vers).