Intro - reading the 1st to mid-2nd c. writings on Christianity

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Hal Smith
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Intro - reading the 1st to mid-2nd c. writings on Christianity

Post by Hal Smith » January 18th, 2019, 2:12 pm

Hello. I am in the process of reading the 1st to mid-2nd c. writings on Christianity, from the times of the apostles (eg. John) and those who knew them (eg. Polycarp). They are sometimes inspirational and can give greater insight into Christianity from that foundational period, and the reader can notice things that are often overlooked. This is especially true for the Old Testament pseudigraphia authored in that time, which may reflect a transitioning period in Christianity when it had a stronger focus on Jewish culture and community than it does today.

I collected a list of 14 writings with an Old Testament or pre-Christian theme that scholars commonly consider to have Christian interpolations, reworking, or authorship, such as 4 Esdras. They are typically in Greek and since this forum's users have a lot of experience working with early Christian Greek language texts, I would like to share questions that I came across while reading them and don't know how to answer, ranging from questions of meaning and interpretation to fun, philosophical ones. For example, in 4 Esdras 5, Ezra calls the angel Uriel "Lord", and I don't know if this implies that Uriel was god-like, or if he could just mean it in the sense of "master" or "ruler". And in another passage, Uriel says that he will answer Ezra's question if Ezra can solve a riddle, and Uriel asks if he can measure a blast of wind. So I wonder if Ezra could have solved it by using something like a wind-sock or sail. I would like to ask: Which forum section, if any, is good for these questions? I would like to put it in the Septuagint section, but the instructions say that the section is for translation, rather than for text criticism. Maybe "Cool stuff" or "Other"?
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Hal Smith

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Intro - reading the 1st to mid-2nd c. writings on Christianity

Post by Jonathan Robie » January 18th, 2019, 2:59 pm

Hi Hal,

I assume you will be citing the Greek and asking questions about the Greek text? If so, then Church Fathers and Early Patristic Greek Texts is probably the right place.

We don't discuss English translations on B-Greek. So this, for instance, would not be appropriate here:
For example, in 4 Esdras 5, Ezra calls the angel Uriel "Lord", and I don't know if this implies that Uriel was god-like, or if he could just mean it in the sense of "master" or "ruler".
Please cite the relevant text in Greek and ask questions about the Greek text.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Hal Smith
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Joined: January 17th, 2019, 6:03 pm

Re: Intro - reading the 1st to mid-2nd c. writings on Christianity

Post by Hal Smith » January 18th, 2019, 3:14 pm

Thanks, Jonathan.
You mean that the forum in general is not for asking these kinds of questions that don't relate to the Greek language? (eg. Asking about dates for texts in the Other section)?
I am not looking for debates, just potential answers to questions that arose when reading the materials.
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Hal Smith

Hal Smith
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Joined: January 17th, 2019, 6:03 pm

Re: Intro - reading the 1st to mid-2nd c. writings on Christianity

Post by Hal Smith » January 18th, 2019, 4:08 pm

I read that the forum has a concern that text criticism, etc. could devolve into chaos.

So my proposal is that I will make one thread per each of the pseudagraphic writings that I have questions on. I will put the threads in the Other section (after all, there is a very wide variety of topics there), I will cite the Greek where I can, and I will aim to limit myself to a few follow up posts and encourage responders to do the same so that it won't go into chaos.
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Hal Smith

Hal Smith
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Joined: January 17th, 2019, 6:03 pm

Re: Intro - reading the 1st to mid-2nd c. writings on Christianity

Post by Hal Smith » January 18th, 2019, 5:32 pm

I made a thread on 4 Esdras, so you can see what I mean:
https://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/vi ... =34&t=4683
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Hal Smith

Jonathan Robie
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Re: Intro - reading the 1st to mid-2nd c. writings on Christianity

Post by Jonathan Robie » January 18th, 2019, 10:52 pm

That's pretty far off of what we do here on B-Greek, which is mostly about the biblical Greek language and biblical Greek texts.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Hal Smith
Posts: 20
Joined: January 17th, 2019, 6:03 pm

Re: Intro - reading the 1st to mid-2nd c. writings on Christianity

Post by Hal Smith » January 19th, 2019, 9:22 am

OK. You can delete the thread then, please.
Is there another forum that you think might be good for it, like a Messianic Christian forum, since 4 Esdras has an OT theme?
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Hal Smith

Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Intro - reading the 1st to mid-2nd c. writings on Christianity

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » January 19th, 2019, 2:26 pm

Hal Smith wrote:
January 19th, 2019, 9:22 am
Is there another forum that you think might be good for it, like a Messianic Christian forum, since 4 Esdras has an OT theme?

Hal,

For a long time I have been looking for a forum where theological and historical questions, hermenutics, exegesis and language issues could all be discussed and have not found one. Several attempts were made in late 1990s to launch such a forum and, as far as I know, all of them dried up. The Biblical Hermenutics Stack Exchange doesn't function as a discussion forum. The biblical language and exegesis forums on CARM are dominated by polemics.

If you find a place for your project, I would like to hear about it.
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C. Stirling Bartholomew

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