Food for Debate-History

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Old man shouts at clouds's picture
My last post about my reading

My last post about my reading

I just discovered Tatian, and read Oratio ad Graecos (letter to the Greeks) where he lambasts their philosophy, arts, traditions, gods, habits, dancing and antiquity claiming christianity is older.Much older and makes many claims to attempt to justify his claims

He then and at length, extols the virtues of Christianity in fulsome terms by continuing to denigrate the Greeks and their lives, and yet in all of the 130 pages of translation not one mention of Jesus, the Christ, the Saviour. Lots of references to the Logos (which of course was Philo's philosophy).

Tatian also edited all four gospels into one book, (The Diatessaron) chronicling the life of Jesus and erasing contradictions. It was in use all over the middle East for a couple of centuries and even up to the 19th century in places.
He is also credited with the order of the NT in the Latin Codex Fuldensis, written at the request of bishop Victor of Capua in 545 AD. Although the text is clearly dependent on the Vulgate, the order of the passages is distinctly how Tatian arranged them.

Tatian comes across as a supercilious tosser with visions of grandeur and converting these nasty smelly heathen greeks. He certainly objects to just about everything they do think or say. Not much about forgiveness and the loving god either.

Its a good read!

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
I Know, I know I said my last

I Know, I know I said my last post..but...
Athenagoras of Athens. Mid/ late Second Century. He was an anti Nicene writer. Brilliant read because a 2nd Century Christian doesn't mention Jesus once...

Now this guy is writing about the 'Resurrection of the Dead" and the return of the faithful, and in all of this he doesn't mention any Christ, messiah, Jesus, miracles or Passover miracle. He does mention the need for baptism and to be "resurrected" at judgement.
(NOTE: There are some who maintain this is not by Athenagoras but by a later 4th Century Unknown writer. which to my mind makes it even more interesting as the Nicene creed had achieved dominance under Constantine at this time)

Here is his conclusion. I recommend you read all of the link for the context:

"Nor again is it the happiness of soul separated from body: for we are not inquiring about the life or final cause of either of the parts of which man consists, but of the being who is composed of both; for such is every man who has a share in this present existence, and there must be some appropriate end proposed for this life. But if it is the end of both parts together, and this can be discovered neither while they are still living in the present state of existence through the numerous causes already mentioned, nor yet when the soul is in a state of separation, because the man cannot be said to exist when the body is dissolved, and indeed entirely scattered abroad, even though the soul continue by itself--it is absolutely necessary that the end of a man's being should appear in some reconstitution of the two together, and of the same living being. And as this follows of necessity, there must by all means be a resurrection of the bodies which are dead, or even entirely dissolved, and the same men must be formed anew, since the law of nature ordains the end not absolutely, nor as the end of any men whatsoever, but of the same men who passed through the previous life; but it is impossible for the same men to be reconstituted unless the same bodies are restored to the same souls. But that the same soul should obtain the same body is impossible in any other way, and possible only by the resurrection; for if this takes place, an end befitting the nature of men follows also. And we shall make no mistake in saying, that the final cause of an intelligent life and rational judgment, is to be occupied uninterruptedly with those objects to which the natural reason is chiefly and primaily adapted, and to delight unceasingly in the contemplation of Him who is, and of His decrees, notwithstanding that the majority of men, because they are affected too passionately and too violently by things below, pass through life without attaining this object. For the large number of those who fail of the end that belongs to them does not make void the common lot, since the examination relates to individuals, and the reward or punishment of lives ill or well spent is proportioned to the merit of each."

I'm so interested again that I shall be starting a thread that details the pre Nicene and those sects competing with the ultimately successful Nicene Creed and giving us all a chance to argue the toss with "Facts"; as in the "gospels were true, historical and had no other interpretation or origin" promulgated by 'drive by' posters like Brad and others.

Sushisnake's picture
Lovely, lovely packet of

Lovely, lovely packet of information to be used like a fly swatter! :-D

Thanks, Old Man. It's bookmarked for future reference.


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