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historic Jesus

Aug 01, 1996 07:08 PM
by Jerry Hejka-Ekins

Hi Abrantes,

You wrote:
>Continuing the discussion that Toldoth, and also HPB, when
>referring to Jesus as living one century before Pilate, I argued
>the pauline epistle 1Tm. I already mentioned that this epistles
>was recogniced by the first canons of the church, and the
>discussion was around other books such as Revelations and
>epistle of James, but never around 1 Timoty. I also refered to
>Paulicians that respect all paulines epistles.

That 1Tim was recognized by the early church fathers may very
well be so, especially if you keep in mind that in those days the
words of Paul received in a vision was considered just as
authentic as words written in his own hand.  This is why I
rejected your suggestion in an earlier post that I was accusing
early church members of forgery.  However, the widely held
rejection of the authenticity of 1Tim comes from modern
scholarship--not from what was traditionally accepted or not
accepted in the days of the early church fathers.  The early
Church Fathers may have for their own theological reasons
accepted as genuine Epistles that under scientific scrutiny are
shown to be false.

>Even herectics as Marcion include the epistles of Paul as Holy
>Writ. Marcion produced his own canon without OT and using only a
>heavily edited Luke and some pauline epistles.  HPB at book III,
>chapter III (start 116, end 145) page 143 says that Marcion
>refused ALL gospels, what is wrong....HPB some lines before
>refered to Tertulian (Adv Marcion) and Epiphanius (Panarion)
>that accused Marcion to adulter Luke, so Marcion recogniced a
>Luke edition of gospel...What pauline epistles Marcion did
>recognice??  HPB didn't say. In another posting I refers to some
>comments of Dr. Lardner about Marcion canon.

HPB does quote Adv. Marc. that Tertullian and Epiphanius accused
Marcion of "...erasing passages from the Gospel of Luke which
were never in Luke at all." (160).  But on the same page of ISIS,
HPB also cites the author of SUPERNATURAL RELIGION who argues
that Marcion was accused "falsely."  So, I see no contradiction
here when HPB on p. 162 says that "Marcion...recognized no other
gospels than a few Epistles of Paul."   So it appears that in
this case, HPB would have rejected Dr. Lardner's comments in your
other posting.  This is because Dr. Lardner's comments assume the
veracity of Tertullian's and Epiphanius' accusations, where HPB
argues them to be false.  HPB may recognize Dr. Lardner as a
"competent scholar" as you say in you other post, but that does
not mean that HPB considered him infallable.  It is not uncommon
in HPB's writings to quote a scholar as an authority on one page,
and rip apart that same authority's arguments on another.  In
this case, HPB's position is very clear that Marcion would not
have accepted the Gospel of Luke in his canon.  A look at Dr.
Lardner's sources of information would probably throw more light
upon this issue.

Probably Marcion only recognized Luke, because he could not
refuse a gospel that was considered as the gospel of Paul. Even
2Tm4:11 and Colossians 4:14 refers to Luke, as Paul`s disciple.

As I showed above, HPB's position is that Marcion recognized no
Gospels--whether they be Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.  This
leaves the question of which Epistles of Paul did Marcion
recognize, and what form were they in.  It is unlikely that he
would have known them in the form that we have them today.  Of
the thirteen letters attributed to Paul, only the letter to the
Romans, the two to the Corinthians and the one to the Galatians
are universally accepted as genuine by modern Biblical scholars.
On the other hand, these four letters make a body of literature
that is longer than the other ten letters put together.  If these
four are the Epistles recognized by Marcion, then he could not
have accepted the references to Luke in the two Epistles you have
speculated upon above.

>Marcion recognized Luke, and Luke referred to Pilate 3:1, 23:1
>and Herode the great 1:5 and his son Herod 23:7. So, Marcion
>rejects Toldoth that referred to Jesus as living one century

I have already shown the flaws in your above argument: Marcion,
according to HPB did not recognize the Gospel of Luke, and
considers the accusations of Tertullian and Epiphanius against
Marcion to be false.  If you think about it, T. and E. accusing
Marcion of erasing from Luke, passages that are really in Matthew
is a very strange accusation.  Even your quoted commentator on
Lardner's commentary of this incident, attributes it to
Tertullian's falty memory:  "The third instance referred to by
Lardner probably occurs at the end of chap. ix of this same book
iv, where Tertullian again mistakes Matt. v:17 for a passage of
Luke, and charges Marcion with expunging it..."

Regarding your linking of the Toldoth to Marcion--I'm a bit
concerned.  I find no justification for this linking in HPB's
arguments.  Did you find such a link in HPB's writings?  If so,
where?  For the most part, the Gnostics were not at all concerned
with an historical Jesus, and I submit that the Toldolth would
have been of little or no concern to Marcion one way or the
other.  It is the Roman Church that placed so much importance
upon an historical resurrected Jesus.  The Gnostics for the most
part were more concerned with the salvation that comes through
the knowledge and experience of the spirit of Christ.  The Roman
Church, on the other hand, was (and is) more concerned with
salvation through a vicarious atonement from God that was made
possible through the death of a man whom the Roman Church calls
Jesus the Christ, son of God.  The savior of the Gnostics, on the
other hand, did not need to be located in any period in time or
linked to any historical events.  The Jews just kept records and
tried to keep out of the way of the more politically powerful

I must remind you for the third time that HPB writes about three
Jesus: An historical Jesus; a biblical Jesus; and a theological
Jesus.  When HPB is referring to the Toldoth and the "Syrian
heresies" where the "Original Christianity is to be found..."
(137), she is talking about the historical Jesus.  When she is
discussing the arguments between the Gnostics and the church
fathers, she is talking about the theological Jesus.  When she is
talking about passages from the Gospels and the Epistles, she is
talking about the biblical Jesus.  But sometimes she will discuss
the biblical or the theological Jesus in order to throw more
light upon the historical Jesus, or vice versa.  For this reason,
HPB requires a close reading in order to understand her points
and which Jesus she is discussing.  Another serious problem in
reading HPB is that most readers know only of the biblical Jesus
and assume that this is the only meaningful source of information
about the historical Jesus.  Therefore, the reader becomes
confused when HPB writes from an entirely different point of
view, where she represents the NT as being very deceptive
concerning the historical Jesus.

I hope this helps

   |Jerry Hejka-Ekins,                      |
      |Member TI, TSA, TSP, ULT                |
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