Apostate Abe wrote:
In general, interpreting a text as spiritual/metaphorical, when it otherwise appears to make good sense interpreted literally, is a dangerous practice, because with spiritual/metaphorical interpretations you lose explanatory power. Literal interpretations tend to have most explanatory power.
Hold on now, do you mean to tell me that interpreting a mythological and supernatural story is best to do from a literal position? I think that the Marcionite translation, for whatever its worth, may well expose more of the original Gnostic meaning of the Pauline Epistles. The Gnostics were not literalists. Plus, considering the fact that the entire NT doesn't appear into the historical and literary record until the 2nd century, it makes sense to see this as addressed to a diaspora audience and spiritual / mystical in content. Also, in CiE Murdock points out:
DM Murdock wrote:
"When Vespasian was in Judea making pretenses to messiahship, one might imagine he would be besieged with agitators who believed that the messiah had already come, especially if Christ had not only existed but had done all the astounding miracles said of him, including healing the sick, multiplying fishes and loaves, raising other people and himself from the dead, with the bodies of "saints" pouring out of their graves and wandering the streets of Jerusalem, as well as Christ ascending to heaven! Yet there is no mention in any history of the era of any such agitation - which might have orginated in the Jerusalem Church, one might think, if it had really existed as such at the time. The gospel depiction of the Jewish and Roman milieus of the time of Jesus's purported advent becomes absurd and naive when the true history and politics of the region are understood.
Here's a brief quote form p.449 discussed at booktalk:
http://www.booktalk.org/christ-in-egypt ... 40-60.html
...Could it be that Paul's own Syro-Gnostic Christ was syncretized with the Alexandrian-Philonic Logos at Corinth and then spread by Apollos throughout the Therapeutan collegia network? If the theory about Apollos is correct, then Therapeutae branches would be the same as the Christian churches in Paul's letters. Since we know that there existed mystery schools and religious brotherhoods in these very cities addressed in the Pauline epistles, it would not be surprising to find them both representative of the Therapeuts and engaged in the creation of Christianity...."
Now mind you this ties the entire thing to a mystical setting. And the mystical setting was more than than likely changed around in translation during the later years of orthodox historicizing. The "collegia" brotherhood network, the Therapuets of Philo, the Logos of Philo, etc. etc., is addressed to allegorical short works. So I do wonder if the Marcionite (pre-Acts) version is more correct and later translations merely the case of trying to harmonize Galatians with what was later written down in Acts?
...Picking up on page 455 of CiE, Murdock wrote:
The solution to these various problems with identifying the Therapeuts and the first Christians in Egypt, as well as their texts as the basis of the canonical gospels and epistles, lies in a "radical" analysis of the data concerning Christian origins along strictly scientific lines, without fervent faith or blind belief in the gospel story preventing us from seeing the facts. What we discover when we look closely at the evidence is that the gospel story represents a largely fictional account begun towards the end of the first century, and reworked and reformatted until the end of the second century, at which point it was solidly written into history and backdated to the beginning of the first century. With these facts in mind, especially that there is no credible scientific evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ at any point, or for the existence of the four canonical gospels as we have them before the end of the second century, the pieces of the puzzle begin to fall neatly into place.
One of these pieces would be the allegorizing "short works" of the Therapeuts depicted by Philo around 20 to 30 AD/CE that possibly discussed the coming messiah or a spiritual savior not yet incarnate, Hellenized texts that were later Gnosticized and historicized in several different directions until they eventually ended up codified in the four canonical gospels at the end of the second century. Another, of course, would be the pre-existing Church structure complete with hierarchy and holidays that existed in Egypt and elsewhere, known by the name of "Therapeuts" and other designations.
Viewing this situation scientifically and logically, factoring in all the correspondences between the Egyptian and Christian religions, could we not reasonably conclude that, rather than having been instituted by a supernatural Jewish son of God, a significant part of Christianity constitutes the natural outcome of a Hellenizing and allegorizing Jewish sect living outside of Alexandria, home of the famed library possessing half a million texts from around the known world, including many discussing religion and mythology?
_________________The Jesus Mythicist Creed:
The "Jesus Christ" of the New Testament is a fictional composite of characters, real and mythical. A composite of multiple "people" is no one.The celestial Origins of Religious BeliefZG Part 1Jesus: Hebrew Human or Mythical Messiah?