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Author Topic: Is Jesus the Logos of Greek philosophy?  (Read 9466 times) Average Rating: 0
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Asteriktos
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« Reply #45 on: August 16, 2006, 12:35:45 AM »

Ok, let's suppose that both you gentlemen are correct (though I personally think it's highly debatable): Mark and Luke might have been among his disciples during his earthly ministry, and Paul might have known of him before his death. Now, that being granted, would you consider this "historically accurate" truth, or something more like a possibility that can't be verified for certain? It doesn't matter much to me anyway, since I think eyewitness testimony is about as persuasive as information received through tarot card reading or astrology, but I still think that for Christians it would all come back to simply having faith.
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« Reply #46 on: August 16, 2006, 12:55:47 AM »

Now, that being granted, would you consider this "historically accurate" truth, or something more like a possibility that can't be verified for certain?

Asteriktos The Legendary,
I'm not arguing that these are not matters of Faith; in fact, I agree with you on that point.
But by the same token, the Christian Faith requires that some things must be accepted as historical facts. The whole basis of the Christian Faith is that God entered human time, space and history at the Incarnation. Therefore, a distiction between "faith" and "historically accurate" is artificial when it comes to Christianity. The Christian Faith depends on a belief in events which historically took place.
It is agnostics who relegate these events to the realm of mythology. Wink
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« Reply #47 on: August 16, 2006, 01:03:05 AM »

Well, I guess there is the difference. I would agree with you to an extant. However, since the Gospel of John was written at least 60 years after Jesus died, I wonder how much of it was stuff that Jesus/John would have been saying in 33AD, and how much of it was stuff that took decades to develop in the heads of Christians. For the traditional view to be true, someone would have to first demonstrate conclusively that it was even the Apostle John who wrote the Gospel, because if it was not all him then who knows what the authors might have had in their heads? (The only book I've read attempting to show this was John Breck's Scripture In Tradition, and to be quite honest, even as an Orthodox Christian I didn't find his arguments based on the chiasmus and such to be very persuasive). But even if it was John, or mostly him, there might still have been redactors who in attempting to "clarify" John's thought, actually distorted it.

As far as Paul goes, corruption is too strong a word, but I certainly think he made a difference. Just look in Acts 1-15, the original disciples clearly did not understand how universal their message was supposed to be; it had been a big step for them to even minister to Samaritans. According to the Gospels Jesus and his disciples were almost all from the country, and almost always avoided areas that were more hellenistic (e.g., he avoided the two largest cities in the area that he was generally ministering to, which also happened to have been the most influenced by Greek/Rome). Paul was the first one to come onto the scene who knew a good bit about the Greek world, and also didn't shy away from it, but was willing to fully engage it on it's own terms.

I'm still interested to hear where this Platonism is in St. John's Gospel. Also, what are some reasons you could give that would place the Gospel of St. John to a late date? Interested in hearing the argument for this.

As for authorship, I wonder if you are familiar with the quote from Irenaeus, who quotes Polycarp confirming that St. John wrote the Gospel? I'm sure that youre aware of this - if you are, I'd love to hear your take on it.

For St. Paul, I think if we are to talk about any "corruption" we would have to specifically address certain areas of "influence" "corruption" or whatever we want to call it.

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« Reply #48 on: August 16, 2006, 08:12:58 AM »

Saint Paul was the greatest theologian of all time and chief among the Apostles.

The title "chief among the Apostles" or "prince of the Apostles" is given to Peter. The angel that visited St Gregory, Bishop of Rome told him that the Lord chose him to be patriarch and "successor of the greatest apostle". Too bad Rome really had to take that respect and run with it.
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« Reply #49 on: August 16, 2006, 09:25:20 AM »

CRC - The title might actually be given to both Peter and Paul.  I'm trying very hard to remember how they are referred to Liturgically when mentioned together...
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« Reply #50 on: August 16, 2006, 05:56:57 PM »

The title "chief among the Apostles" or "prince of the Apostles" is given to Peter.

The Divine Liturgy of Saint James states that both Peter and Paul are chief among the Apostles.
There are early references in church history, also, stating that the seat of Rome belonged to both Peter and Paul.

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« Reply #51 on: August 16, 2006, 05:58:35 PM »

In any case, two of the four Gospels were written by people who had never met Jesus; Luke wasn't an eyewitness, and neither was Mark.

Mark wrote the testimony of Peter and Luke was a historian and disciple of Paul.

Faith without evidence is blind.

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« Reply #52 on: August 18, 2006, 05:38:03 AM »

since I think eyewitness testimony is about as persuasive as information received through tarot card reading or astrology

I am struck by the absurdity of this comment. How did you reach this conclusion? 
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« Reply #53 on: August 18, 2006, 09:06:32 AM »

I'm not sure I want to post in this thread again, because I'm not prepared (in more ways than one) to answer all the questions addressed to me. But as to your question, EA, I reached that conclusion after taking some courses on human psychology at college, and after working with the public in my job for a few years, and after talking with people online and offline, and after reading various texts. People see what they want to see, or as is more likely they see what they have been conditioned to see. They might not realise that they are being biased, but they almost certainly are (I don't claim to have escaped this tendency). As to why I compared it to tarot and astrology, I think both those things are complete bunk, and it was a bit of an exaggeration, but my point was that trusting in the testimony of your average Joe is a complete crapshoot. People deceive, they misrepresent, they distort, and that's when they are even trying to be sincere and honest! You trust eyewitness testimony? I'm guessing that you are going to be a defender and not a prosecutor? Grin Though I can understand needing to believe in the important of eyewitness testimony, since half the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is built on that foundation (either directly or indirectly).
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« Reply #54 on: August 21, 2006, 10:54:15 AM »

I'm not sure I want to post in this thread again, because I'm not prepared (in more ways than one) to answer all the questions addressed to me. But as to your question, EA, I reached that conclusion after taking some courses on human psychology at college, and after working with the public in my job for a few years, and after talking with people online and offline, and after reading various texts. People see what they want to see, or as is more likely they see what they have been conditioned to see.

This is true, and yet not true; which is to say, it is exaggerated. And then there's the issue of the conditioning. Skeptical moderns, after all, are conditioned towards skepticism, and therefore are biased to see less in ancient texts than is actually there. Modern skepticism isn't skeptical enough about itself; it privileges its own perspective in discounting all the others as unreliable.

Agnosticism is really atheism; the philosophical distinction between two is negligible.

Moderns are particularly suceptible to doubt because all experience is not accessible all the time. But that's just the way the world is. There's no reason to discount the gospel testimony simply because there's a step between the witnesses and the texts. On that basis you could simply discount all history.
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« Reply #55 on: August 21, 2006, 12:38:44 PM »

Oh, I don't think it's exaggerated at all. In fact, you just proved my point. You said what you've been conditioned by others, and perhaps yourself, to say. Thanks for the help. Smiley Of course I realise that such a claim is not very helpful, as it cannot be proven wrong, since each time you answer I could just say "See! I knew you'd say that!"  But just because it is not a viable argument/tactic used in debates does not mean it is not true.

Quote
Agnosticism is really atheism; the philosophical distinction between two is negligible.

Well had you said "the difference between the two is, in practice, negligible" I would have, at least in part, agreed. But the philosophical distinction? It's miles apart for me. While I may live my life (practically speaking) like there is no God whom I must check with before doing something, nonetheless I consider atheism (philosophically speaking) even more unacceptable than theism. If I had to choose between theism and atheism, I'd be a theist (well, a deist). Thankfully, I don't have to make that choice though, because as hard as you try, and as hard as atheists like George Smith try, you cannot eliminate the middle ground between theism and atheism.
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« Reply #56 on: August 21, 2006, 03:15:57 PM »


Agnosticism is really atheism; the philosophical distinction between two is negligible.



Exactly so. An agnostic is merely a timid atheist.
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« Reply #57 on: August 21, 2006, 03:37:40 PM »

An agnostic--one like me anyway, I can't speak for others--says that we cannot know if there is or isn't a God. A theist says we can know that there is one. An atheist says we can know that there isn't one. Seems different enough to me right from the first premises, but you boys believe as you wish, since you must. Wink

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« Reply #58 on: August 21, 2006, 03:43:24 PM »

Quote
but you boys believe as you wish, since you must

Belief as you wish, because you can't  Cheesy
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« Reply #59 on: August 21, 2006, 04:05:07 PM »

[quote author=Αριστοκλής link=topic=9694.msg132486#msg132486 date=1156187757]
Exactly so. An agnostic is merely a timid atheist.
[/quote]

Or one could just as fairly say that an agnostic is merely a timit theist. Theism and atheism have more in common with each other than either has in common with agnosticism. Agnosticism is the rational posistion of neutrality, until the issue can be difinitively proven one way or the other. It is both theism and atheism that make the absolute statements without proof, they are the systems that are based not on reason but on faith (or emotionalism in may cases).
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« Reply #60 on: August 21, 2006, 04:09:15 PM »

Yeah, I can usually argue an atheist into an agnostic position.
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« Reply #61 on: August 22, 2006, 03:53:29 PM »

Oh, I don't think it's exaggerated at all. In fact, you just proved my point. You said what you've been conditioned by others, and perhaps yourself, to say. Thanks for the help. Smiley Of course I realise that such a claim is not very helpful, as it cannot be proven wrong, since each time you answer I could just say "See! I knew you'd say that!"  But just because it is not a viable argument/tactic used in debates does not mean it is not true.

The problem is in that word "conditioned". You're using it as if it meant "subverted by subconscious psychological factors", which is how it was used in the original research on testimony. But you've switched to a context in which it means "affected by outside influences". That includes logical argument, because rational persuasion is, in this sense, a form of conditioning. But of course the problem then is that it's a form of conditioning which has nothing wrong with it. This is a common failure in modern discourse, because when subjectivity get turned up that high, discourse becomes meaningless in its intent, and one might as well not talk at all. Every time you do talk, you cast a vote against that subjectivity, so the obvious reality is that subjectivity is not absolute, and objectivity is not absolutely absent.

The same is true with eyewitness testimony. There are certainly ways in which it is unreliable, but it is clearly not as unreliable as "tarot cards". Such a claim is hyperbolic.

Quote
Well had you said "the difference between the two is, in practice, negligible" I would have, at least in part, agreed. But the philosophical distinction? It's miles apart for me. While I may live my life (practically speaking) like there is no God whom I must check with before doing something, nonetheless I consider atheism (philosophically speaking) even more unacceptable than theism.

On one level, I think atheism is unsupportable. But given the acceptance of the Baconian standard for empirical claims, saying that God doesn't exist, and saying that one cannot tell that God exists: they are one and the same statement. And you personally are making a stronger statement: that your past acceptance of the existence of God is now overturned. You've turned against the evidences of your own life.
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« Reply #62 on: August 23, 2006, 02:22:41 PM »

Has anyone provided a patristic quote stating that Jesus is the Logos of Greek philosophy?
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« Reply #63 on: August 23, 2006, 03:04:02 PM »

Has anyone provided a patristic quote stating that Jesus is the Logos of Greek philosophy?

Try this article, http://www.coptic.net/articles/ClementOfAlexandria.txt
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« Reply #64 on: August 23, 2006, 04:48:37 PM »

Is Clement of Alexandria early enough of a patristic witness?
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« Reply #65 on: August 23, 2006, 05:15:39 PM »

Is Clement of Alexandria early enough of a patristic witness?

Matthew, just how early a witness will you 'accept'?  Shocked

Clement of Alexandria died ca. 215 AD, but he was already well know by the time of Pope Victor, which would be around 188 or 189 AD. We're talking about one of the founders of the Alexandrian School here; not just somebody who was taught in the Alexandrian Tradition. Geesh!

Or, once again, did you just type something out without sufficient investigation....


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« Reply #66 on: August 23, 2006, 08:13:55 PM »

Clement of Alexandria died ca. 215 AD, but he was already well know by the time of Pope Victor, which would be around 188 or 189 AD.

That would mean that he lived close in time to when the Gospel of John was written. Thank you.

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« Reply #67 on: August 23, 2006, 10:06:58 PM »

That would mean that he lived close in time to when the Gospel of John was written.


(I know, I'm already hating myself for posting so much to Matthew, but his posts are sooo much like a terrible car accident---sometimes you just have to gawk at the horror)

Before anyone posts with information indicating when the Gospel of John was written, I just want to know....

Matthew,

How close is 'close in time' to you, as you used this phrase in your above quoted response?
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« Reply #68 on: August 23, 2006, 11:35:21 PM »

The Gospel of John was written somewhere in the late 90s, and 215 would be a difference of about 100 years. I don't believe that is enough time for church theologians to think up interpretations of the text that were the exact opposite of what John intended. If that were to happen, someone would have protested.
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« Reply #69 on: August 30, 2006, 03:30:03 AM »

Just as there are many types of Christ in the Old Testament, the same can be found in the pre-Christian philosophies and theologies of the Gentiles. I wouldn't be surprised if John deliberately demonstrated that Jesus is the Logos of Greek philosophy, but fully revealed in the flesh to mankind. In the Greek philosophers, there is an evolution in their understanding of what the Logos was. Only in John's Gospel is the doctrine fully developed and revealed. This is not to say that John copied Greek philosophy, but that Greek philosophy, at least subconsciously, awaited the coming of Christ.

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