I need some help from the biblical scholars and ancient historians out there.
Found this obscure and very interesting link by accident -
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.