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Author Topic: Early Christian Conflicts  (Read 940 times)
Tidewater_Wave
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« on: March 07, 2012, 02:42:49 pm »
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Let us examine for a while, the conflicts among early Christians as competing sects rivaled each other for power. Among them, the Valentinians, Marcions, Manicheans, Docetists, Donatists, and many more. When we look at the resurrection story we see Mary Magdalene and Peter racing each other to the tomb which is nothing more than a blatant reference to the competing factions of what became known as the Catholic or "Orthodox" Church and what became known as heretics who matronized Mary Magdalene. Mark and Matthew however both endorse Peter's primacy and that is what won out in history so it is what we are told is the truth today. The Gospel of Judas also is representative of what we see to be conflicts among early Christians as it flips the story around having the 12 disciples  betraying Jesus instead. "You are the ones you saw receiving offerings at the altar.  And the domestic animals you saw being brought for sacrifice are the multitude you are leading astray upon that altar" (Judas 5:14). It also fosters the notion that Judas was simply doing as Jesus told him to do. Anyways, there are many other gospels to which such conflicts can be found. What is everyone's take on this and how do you all look at the disciples. I see them as mostly personalities and characatures representing political conflicts in order to tell a story.
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Tidewater_Wave
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2012, 02:46:26 pm »
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Sorry I meant to say that Peter and Mary Magdalene were the first to see and speak of the risen Jesus. Mary was told by Jesus to announe the resurrrection to the other disciples John 20:1-4. So it was both the beloved disciple whom Peter was racing to the tomb and Mary Magdalene who outrank Peter as primary witnesses to the resurrection. I meant to say "beloved disciple" not Mary Magdalene above.
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jmfcst
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2012, 03:25:10 pm »
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The account of who saw the resurrected Christ first is an analogy of early Christian sects?!

100% conjecture. 

Reminds me when I was a child and I thought every Cowboys-Redskins game represented a battle between good and evil.
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Tidewater_Wave
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2012, 03:36:35 pm »
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The account of who saw the resurrected Christ first is an analogy of early Christian sects?!

100% conjecture. 

Reminds me when I was a child and I thought every Cowboys-Redskins game represented a battle between good and evil.

Yes it was a representation of the conflict between early "Orthodox" Christians. The canonical gospels take Peter as the primary leader after Jesus. Later traditions such as the Gospel of Mary have something different to say as Peter is corrected by Levi. "If the Savior considered her to be worthy, who ware you disregard her (Mary 10:9)? At that point however it was Orthodox vs. Heretics and looked to be the case that the role of women in the early church was being suppressed. In the Gospel of Judas too, Judas' role is flipped to the hero who fulfills his calling in life while the other disciples are the betrayers. Here we see persecution of the mid-second century frustrating and possibly dividing the church as to how to handle it. Rather than an analogy between sects, I would classify the resurrection as individuals competing for power.
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jmfcst
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2012, 04:13:34 pm »
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The account of who saw the resurrected Christ first is an analogy of early Christian sects?!

100% conjecture. 

Reminds me when I was a child and I thought every Cowboys-Redskins game represented a battle between good and evil.

Yes it was a representation of the conflict between early "Orthodox" Christians. The canonical gospels take Peter as the primary leader after Jesus. Later traditions such as the Gospel of Mary have something different to say as Peter is corrected by Levi. "If the Savior considered her to be worthy, who ware you disregard her (Mary 10:9)? At that point however it was Orthodox vs. Heretics and looked to be the case that the role of women in the early church was being suppressed. In the Gospel of Judas too, Judas' role is flipped to the hero who fulfills his calling in life while the other disciples are the betrayers. Here we see persecution of the mid-second century frustrating and possibly dividing the church as to how to handle it. Rather than an analogy between sects, I would classify the resurrection as individuals competing for power.

Once again, you simply refuse to compare your theories to Paul’s writings, which you admit were written pre60AD…Paul’s letters state that Peter was the primary apostle by choice of Jesus Christ to lead the church after the death of Christ:

Gal 2:7 “[Peter, John, and James] saw that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been to the Jews. For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles. 9 James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews.”

You’re revealing yourself to be very very ignorant because:
1)   You’re unaware and don’t really care what the NT actually says.
2)   You make complete conjectures while refusing to examine the evidence.
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I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
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A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

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Coming for to carry me home.
Tidewater_Wave
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2012, 04:45:10 pm »
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Paul declared to his Gentile followers than anyone who taught a "gospel contrary to what we porclaimed to you" even if that one was "an angel from heaven" or, he implied, Peter himself- "let him be accursed!" THis is another example of the conflicts going on within early Christianity. Paul and Peter were at odds very much of the time. It is no wonder some NT scholars believe that Paul perverted the teachings of Jesus and what was originially taught by him was lost by the end of the first century.
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2012, 04:47:44 pm »
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Paul declared to his Gentile followers than anyone who taught a "gospel contrary to what we porclaimed to you" even if that one was "an angel from heaven" or, he implied, Peter himself- "let him be accursed!" THis is another example of the conflicts going on within early Christianity. Paul and Peter were at odds very much of the time.

Except that he doesn't say that Peter preached another Gospel, all he did was rebuke Peter for trying to save face in front of the Judaizers. Apparently Peter wasn't particularly offended because later at the Jerusalem council he takes the most pro-Gentile position, not to mention the entire Cornelius story and the fact that he claimed to have had the vision that abrogated the food laws.

The idea that Peter's Christianity and Paul's Christianity were at odds is a particularly ridiculous speculation considering all of the evidence points the other way. If this were the case then why does Paul commend Peter (as Jmfsct pointed out)? If anyone would be loyal to Paul, it would be Luke, so why does Luke portray Peter so favorably in Acts?

2 Peter calls Paul's writings scripture: "So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures" (NRSV). If Peter did in fact write 2 Peter then how do you reconcile any kind of conflict with this passage? If Peter didn't write 2 Peter and it was the work of the "Petrine community," then the argument is even more bogus because this means that even their followers of the next generation considered each other brothers.

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It is no wonder some NT scholars believe that Paul perverted the teachings of Jesus and what was originially taught by him was lost by the end of the first century.

Dom Crossan and Barbara Thiering aren't serious scholars. Clairvoyance isn't an acceptable hermeneutic...
« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 04:52:29 pm by useful idiot »Logged
Tidewater_Wave
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« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2012, 05:41:39 pm »
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Paul declared to his Gentile followers than anyone who taught a "gospel contrary to what we porclaimed to you" even if that one was "an angel from heaven" or, he implied, Peter himself- "let him be accursed!" THis is another example of the conflicts going on within early Christianity. Paul and Peter were at odds very much of the time.

Except that he doesn't say that Peter preached another Gospel, all he did was rebuke Peter for trying to save face in front of the Judaizers. Apparently Peter wasn't particularly offended because later at the Jerusalem council he takes the most pro-Gentile position, not to mention the entire Cornelius story and the fact that he claimed to have had the vision that abrogated the food laws.

The idea that Peter's Christianity and Paul's Christianity were at odds is a particularly ridiculous speculation considering all of the evidence points the other way. If this were the case then why does Paul commend Peter (as Jmfsct pointed out)? If anyone would be loyal to Paul, it would be Luke, so why does Luke portray Peter so favorably in Acts?

2 Peter calls Paul's writings scripture: "So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures" (NRSV). If Peter did in fact write 2 Peter then how do you reconcile any kind of conflict with this passage? If Peter didn't write 2 Peter and it was the work of the "Petrine community," then the argument is even more bogus because this means that even their followers of the next generation considered each other brothers.

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It is no wonder some NT scholars believe that Paul perverted the teachings of Jesus and what was originially taught by him was lost by the end of the first century.

Dom Crossan and Barbara Thiering aren't serious scholars. Clairvoyance isn't an acceptable hermeneutic...

You make alot of good points but the opposite can also be argued. My next book, "The Gnostic Paul" by Elaine Pagels suggests Paul was actually somewhat Gnostic. Also, there have been arguments made to suggest that Paul perverted the teachings of Jesus which were meant exclusively for the Jews and not Gentiles. You definitely know your scripture though.
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shua
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2012, 10:30:04 pm »
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There is a conflict between Paul and Peter mentioned in Galatians. However, I don't see any evidence for a division between Mary Magdelene and Peter in the Gospels. If the Gospels were trying to diminish the role of Mary Magdelene, they wouldn't have emphasized her role in discovering the empty tomb or (in Matthew) seeing the risen Christ before the male disciples.

The earliest Gnostic texts were most likely written a century or more after the events in the Gospels, so linking the first apostles to them in any way is a stretch.
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Tidewater_Wave
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2012, 01:04:40 am »
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There is a conflict between Paul and Peter mentioned in Galatians. However, I don't see any evidence for a division between Mary Magdelene and Peter in the Gospels. If the Gospels were trying to diminish the role of Mary Magdelene, they wouldn't have emphasized her role in discovering the empty tomb or (in Matthew) seeing the risen Christ before the male disciples.

The earliest Gnostic texts were most likely written a century or more after the events in the Gospels, so linking the first apostles to them in any way is a stretch.

I was more looking at the Gospel of Mary to show her and Peter at odds than the gospels of the New Testament. The longer the Christian movement went on, the more tension and factions increased. The apostles/disciples in the case we're talking are mere personalities or characatures by this point. They represent factions of early Christian groups. The gospel of Judas demonstrates this by having the other disciples betray Jesus while Judas stands by and does what he is told to do. Even in the Gospel of John, Jesus tells Judas to "do what you are going to do."
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Jacobtm
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2012, 02:44:41 am »
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Men don't rise from the dead.

It's silly that people believe this old made up story.
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2012, 10:01:18 am »
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Men don't rise from the dead.

That's kind of the point...
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useful idiot
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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2012, 10:32:09 am »
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You make alot of good points but the opposite can also be argued.

It can be argued but there's no evidence for it.


There is a conflict between Paul and Peter mentioned in Galatians. However, I don't see any evidence for a division between Mary Magdelene and Peter in the Gospels. If the Gospels were trying to diminish the role of Mary Magdelene, they wouldn't have emphasized her role in discovering the empty tomb or (in Matthew) seeing the risen Christ before the male disciples.

The earliest Gnostic texts were most likely written a century or more after the events in the Gospels, so linking the first apostles to them in any way is a stretch.

I was more looking at the Gospel of Mary to show her and Peter at odds than the gospels of the New Testament. The longer the Christian movement went on, the more tension and factions increased. The apostles/disciples in the case we're talking are mere personalities or characatures by this point. They represent factions of early Christian groups. The gospel of Judas demonstrates this by having the other disciples betray Jesus while Judas stands by and does what he is told to do. Even in the Gospel of John, Jesus tells Judas to "do what you are going to do."

They don't represent factions. The "Gospels" of Mary and Judas were written by fringe groups in the desert a century after Mary and Peter lived. There is no evidence of a Marian or Judan(?) community in the sense that there were Johannine or Petrine communities. These were groups who were writing things a hundred years after the fact with the sole purpose of distinguishing themselves from what had become the established church.

If anything the existence of these writings indicates that there was already an established orthodoxy by the early 2nd century (represented by men like Papias, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Ignatius, and Clement of Rome, etc). If there wasn't then these writings would serve no purpose considering their readers would certainly have seen them as pseudepigraphical.  

Judas had no followers because he died shortly after the death of Christ, and Mary didn't have a separate community at odds with the established church because otherwise she wouldn't have received such favorable treatment in the Gospels. The conflict depicted in the "Gospel of Mary" between Mary and Peter only proves that Peter was seen as the leader of the Apostles among the established church. This is further proof of the lack of a lasting conflict between Peter and Paul's communities, because if Peter was still seen as the defacto head late in the 2nd century then why was Paul still so honored by the church fathers of the time?

If the Gnostic "Gospels" were written several decades after the death of Jesus there might be some credence to the various claims about them, but they weren't. Even if modern scholarship wasn't in unison on the fact that they were written much later, the form of pre-incipient Gnosticism attacked in the epistles of the canon is rudimentary and hardly unified, suggesting these heresies hadn't yet reached their systematization.
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Tidewater_Wave
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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2012, 03:33:24 pm »
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You make alot of good points but the opposite can also be argued.

It can be argued but there's no evidence for it.


There is a conflict between Paul and Peter mentioned in Galatians. However, I don't see any evidence for a division between Mary Magdelene and Peter in the Gospels. If the Gospels were trying to diminish the role of Mary Magdelene, they wouldn't have emphasized her role in discovering the empty tomb or (in Matthew) seeing the risen Christ before the male disciples.

The earliest Gnostic texts were most likely written a century or more after the events in the Gospels, so linking the first apostles to them in any way is a stretch.

I was more looking at the Gospel of Mary to show her and Peter at odds than the gospels of the New Testament. The longer the Christian movement went on, the more tension and factions increased. The apostles/disciples in the case we're talking are mere personalities or characatures by this point. They represent factions of early Christian groups. The gospel of Judas demonstrates this by having the other disciples betray Jesus while Judas stands by and does what he is told to do. Even in the Gospel of John, Jesus tells Judas to "do what you are going to do."

They don't represent factions. The "Gospels" of Mary and Judas were written by fringe groups in the desert a century after Mary and Peter lived. There is no evidence of a Marian or Judan(?) community in the sense that there were Johannine or Petrine communities. These were groups who were writing things a hundred years after the fact with the sole purpose of distinguishing themselves from what had become the established church.

If anything the existence of these writings indicates that there was already an established orthodoxy by the early 2nd century (represented by men like Papias, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Ignatius, and Clement of Rome, etc). If there wasn't then these writings would serve no purpose considering their readers would certainly have seen them as pseudepigraphical.  

Judas had no followers because he died shortly after the death of Christ, and Mary didn't have a separate community at odds with the established church because otherwise she wouldn't have received such favorable treatment in the Gospels. The conflict depicted in the "Gospel of Mary" between Mary and Peter only proves that Peter was seen as the leader of the Apostles among the established church. This is further proof of the lack of a lasting conflict between Peter and Paul's communities, because if Peter was still seen as the defacto head late in the 2nd century then why was Paul still so honored by the church fathers of the time?

If the Gnostic "Gospels" were written several decades after the death of Jesus there might be some credence to the various claims about them, but they weren't. Even if modern scholarship wasn't in unison on the fact that they were written much later, the form of pre-incipient Gnosticism attacked in the epistles of the canon is rudimentary and hardly unified, suggesting these heresies hadn't yet reached their systematization.

I'm well aware of your first paragraph. I'm not saying that there was a group who identified with Mary as much as I'm saying that a particular school of though gave way to her and Peter being used as characatures or personalities rather than literal people after Christianity had spread. The Gospel of Philip in fact wasn't even written until 275 CE. No one is taking them at face value. These gnostic gospels do represent factions at odds. There was an established church and the "heretics" were getting their side out as many had been either banned or ousted from worship by having to recite things that condemned heretics. Later on, after the Council of Nicaea, the Nicene Creed was meant for the purpose of forcing heretics to condemn themselves by such recitation. Judas may have had followers later on whether he actually did commit suicide or lived for another few decades. Regardless, once the canonical gospels were written, Judas became well known to the public and very much demonized by the Orthodox Church.

Peter was considered the patron saint of the Orthodox Church. Gospels such as Mary and Philip suggest that not everyone was on the same page. Those who did not accept Peter as the patron saint or rejected that Christ had an actual body, or maybe believed that the God Jesus spoke of was different from the God of the Hebrew Bible, were branded as heretics.  The earliest sign of Gnosticism vs. Christianity we see is in Acts  if I'm remembering correctly where Simon Magus is mentioned as a magician. There is also an argument that Paul was a gnostic as well but that's a whole different can of worms. Paul is very well regarded because if not for him, Christianity would've been dead shortly after he was killed.
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« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2012, 03:12:52 am »
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I'm writing a paper on the Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels...I may borrow some thoughts from these posts!
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jmfcst
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« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2012, 11:17:51 am »
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I'm writing a paper on the Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels...I may borrow some thoughts from these posts!

careful, you'll need to get written permission from Tidewater_Wave (aka Derek), since he claims the wisdom of his material is copyrighted.
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Do not fight with one another over my banning.  I've enjoyed the time I have spent with all of you, but the time really has come for me to leave.  It is what I want.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Y_GLT4_9I

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
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Oldiesfreak1854
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« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2012, 11:33:19 am »
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The account of who saw the resurrected Christ first is an analogy of early Christian sects?!

100% conjecture. 

Reminds me when I was a child and I thought every Cowboys-Redskins game represented a battle between good and evil.
LOL I am a Cowboys fan and find your statement pretty funny.  I don't hate the Redskins, but I don't especially like them either.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 05:09:55 pm by Oldiesfreak1854 »Logged

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