I need some help from the biblical scholars and ancient historians out there.

Found this obscure and very interesting link by accident -

http://wapedia.mobi/en/Cynic?t=5.

This references a mythical Q Document that has never been found (all very Da Vinci Code-ish).

This is all new to me. I was aware of the historical links with Stoicism (they're Cynics who've abandoned fun) and early christianity, but never direct linkage of traditional Cynicism to, of all historical figures, the J Man himself.

If this is indeed correct, then the bible is an even more screwed up misrepresentation of the times than we already accept. It raises the possibility that Jesus, if he existed, was executed for criticising authority and was a political, not divine, martyr. In fact it would be reason in itself for the bible to be deliberately censored, manipulated and totally reconstructed. Traditional Cynics reject all authority, both secular and theistic. And people think David Irving is a screwed up revisionist.

The whole thesis is - Hellenistic culture was far more predominant in the region than originally thought, and had a far greater impact on Jewish thought than previously thought. It may in fact have been the dominant cultural meme.

This is what they are contesting. They claim he was a political radical and a cynical, authority abusing loudmouth, not religious in any way. As an example, trashing the temple full of merchants was not for desecration of the house of god, just a blatant "screw you" to authority in general.

Reading about the Q Document makes my head hurt. Can anybody enlighten me in simple English ?

Why is this of interest to me ? I embraced traditional cynicism a long time ago - without knowing it, I have lived most of my life using a parallel philosophy (with the exception that I prefer hedonism to asceticism). Discovering Cynicism for me was akin to a non-believer discovering an atheist community for the first time. I no longer felt alone.

http://atheistnexus.ning.com/group/cynics

Tags: bible, christianity, cynics, jesus, q document, revisionism, stoics, synoptic gospels

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THe trouble is that nobody really knows who wrote Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The authors certainly never personally knew Jesus, so where did they get their information especially the sayings of Jesus. The Gospel of Thomas found at Nag Hamadi has sayings of Jesus, but was that Thomas the Apostle known as "The Doubting Thomas". If he was, why was that Gospel banned from the Canonic Scriptures by the Council of Nicea. Of course the Church wanted to cover up the relationship between Jesus and Mary Madgalene: Husband and Wife. By the time Nicea and subsequent Councils finished 'editing' the bible, it finished up as a hotch-potch of meaningless drivel. I just finished reading most of the Old Testament, or what was left of that after the Church got at it. It is so much bullshit, I got fed up after Kings II. I was a Roman Catholic and they don't do the OT after Exodus. They must not want Roman Catholics to read about all the Genocidal slaughter ordered by "god".
All that I know is what Chris has in his second paragraph. Mark wrote the first gospel, really the only biography of Jesus. Matthew and Luke both built on Mark’s story by adding a lot of quotes. Matthew and Luke added the same quotes to Mark, but they were added to different events in the biography. This indicates that one did not copy from the other, but that they both used a common source, a book of common wisdom or quotes. This is the Q document.

Although the Q document has never been found, it has been reconstructed. It is all of the text that is common to Matthew and Luke that is not found in Mark.
Yes, I have summised most of what you have said already. Roo dug up another interesting article (which does mention the temple trashing incident) -

http://www-oxford.op.org/allen/html/acts.htm

All of this looks like its adding proof that there is bugger all proof of anything. Still, I would find comfort in the idea of Jesus being the obnoxious town drunk urinating in broad daylight on statues of the Caesar and taking dumps at the front of town meetings and storming out.
I've never been one to believe that there was an actually jesus, but this article and Q doc has intrigued me. I will see what I can drum up.

My view of jesus is that his life story is merely a calendrical system that predicts, tracks and prepares for the positioning of our sun. http://www.usbible.com/Astrology/gospel_zodiac.htm
Danny: On the other hand, it seems like you are intrigued by the idea of a more secular Jesus, a revolutionary of sorts, who slogan could have been "Fight the Power!"

No, more of a Diogenes / Bukowski / Lenny Bruce figure puncturing pompous egos, taking the wind out of the sails of idealogue's rhetoric and urinating on symbols of authority. That would turn me into a believer.
Now this is the Jesus i would hang a pix of on the wall.
The Gospels seemed to not only contradict each other, but seemed to include material that was not included in other documents.

It was believed(because the gospels were believed to be true to fact, if not alway's understood) that there was a subsequent document that they were perhaps derived from.

The q-document is a defunct theory, created by those that still believed in a "correct' religious interpertation of the gospels. IE..a document would fill in the gaps.

What has actually happened, is that each gospel, was written utilizing the previous gospel as it's source. Each gospel writer used previous gospels, and expanded upon them. When an author of a gospel realized that a previouis gospel was missing pertainent information regarding a prophecy, they would fill the gaps, NOT due to a q-document, but because they were all writing the gospels in accordance WITH the prophecies, not because the prophecies came true.

So three of the gospels, are written in accordance with each other.

From what I've read, Luke appears to be the only gospel that is an independant source. I cannot remember the order of the other gospels , but each was built from each other. IE mark, then John , the mathew, each writing their gospel using the material of a previous one.(not sure of the order)

Religious theologians did not want to accept this, as they considered them all to be from a divinely inspired souce(Possibly the q-document). They didnt' want to accept that the gospels, are literally a re-iteration of the same story, by different authors, attempting to describe a concept to different audiences while keeping within the theme of the "saviour" propehcies of the Jews.

I would suggest reading whatever John Shelby Spong books you can get your hands on, to understand a christian, but very balanced and well educated view of the gospels, who wrote them and what they actually mean.

The Q-document is a myth, defuncted :)

Cheers
There are hundreds of Biblical scholars who would argue your point on the q document being a myth. I suggest you read any book by Bart Ehrman on the subject.
LOL. The inimitable Q. This is an in-joke for the Star Trek: Next Generation fans.
I've used the 'attack on money changer incident' for years to argue that the writer of that part of the gospels knew little about Jewish law or the Jerusalem temple complex. Imo had Jesus behaved in such a way he would have been immediately arrested by the temple guards.

BUT----Imo there may have been a wondering Rabbi in C1st CE Judea called something like thing Yeshua bar Yosef.That person may have founded a small orthodox sect,as has been common in Jewish history. However,the Jesus of the Gospel in my opinion is almost certainly myth. The faith of Christianity was the invention of later writers,notably the [probably two at least] writers identified as Saul Of Tarsus.


A secular humanist and skeptic, I find serious scholarly effort in studying and discussing them as if they were history a lot of fun. I'd probably have as much fun doing the the same to "Lord Of The Rings" or learning to speak Klingon.

@ALEX: Now THAT's witty. (I'm kicking myself for not thinking of the real Q)
and here I was thinking I was the only nontheist interested in Historical Biblical Criticism :-)
Have you ever considered a possible connection between Yeshua ben Yosif and the Essenes of Qumran? Forty days in the wilderness, perhaps?

Yes,and dismissed it about 30 years ago. There is an esoteric tradition which claims Jesus was definitely an Essene. There are masses of entries on the net.

Something I've long considered as crackpot fringe. A simple view; until Saul especially stuck his oar in Christianity was a very traditional Jewish.There are also claims Jesus was a Zealot.


A glance at the links below may go some way to explain my skepticism.



http://www.j-lorber.de/kee/4/h-essene.htm



http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/jae/index.htm


http://www.mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/xenochian.html


http://littlebirdsings.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/was-jesus-an-essene/


http://www.religionislies.com/zealot.html


http://www.eclectica.org/v7n3/rogers.html

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