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Old 07-31-2001, 02:37 PM   #1
Vorkosigan
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Post Is Senaca the Author of a play that led to the Gospels?

http://www.nazarenus.com/

This author, who seems to be an academic, and another scholar, have developed an argument that the Passion narrative is in reality based on a play about Jesus by the Roman playwright Seneca.

You have read it to get the full flavor of its seriousness. I have no idea whether he is right, and kind of doubt it. Although he seems to be within shouting distance of something interesting involving Greco-Roman drama and the Passion narrative.

For example:

After a discussion of the innovative use of fire in Roman theatre, he writes:

"The fire lit upon the altar in Seneca¡¯s tragedy of Jesus must have been an impressive sight, for it is mentioned by all four evangelists; it was one of those special effects of which Roman audiences were especially fond. In the context of the first two episodes of Act One, which took place inside, behind closed doors, it helped provide a visual focus for the audience while the questioning was taking place inside the House of the High Priest, and it helped to emphasize that it was still night."

Interesting, eh?

Michael

[ July 31, 2001: Message edited by: turtonm ]
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Old 07-31-2001, 04:36 PM   #2
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I've started to read it. I notice that the authors 1) assume that Luke-Acts was written by Luke the companion of Paul, and that the events in Acts are historical 2) think that the synoptics and John agree on the passion narrative because they all saw the play, not because they all had a copy of Mark and/or Q in front of them and copied the words. They must also assume that Mark saw the play in Rome in the middle of the first century.

But it is interesting. I'll keep reading.
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Old 07-31-2001, 04:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Toto:
<STRONG>I've started to read it. I notice that the authors 1) assume that Luke-Acts was written by Luke the companion of Paul, and that the events in Acts are historical 2) think that the synoptics and John agree on the passion narrative because they all saw the play, not because they all had a copy of Mark and/or Q in front of them and copied the words. They must also assume that Mark saw the play in Rome in the middle of the first century.

But it is interesting. I'll keep reading.</STRONG>
I think the dating is a bit of a problem, since it requires very early gospels. Personally I do not see why it is so supremely important that the Gospelers saw the play. If they all had a copy at one time or another....then the dating is not so important.

I immediately related this to MacDonald's argument that the gospels should be read in the light of greco-roman literature. I think also Sammer's approach explains the weak Passion parallels in MacDonald, it is related to the Homeric epics, but not directly.

Michael
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Old 08-01-2001, 01:55 AM   #4
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Michael,

The way you latch onto every theory no matter how unsupported never fails to amuse me. Not content with MacD's failure to find any parallels to Homer without massive twisting and distortion you now feel the problem can be avoided by ensuring that the parallels are to a text that not only does not exist but that no one ever suspected existed.

Yours

Bede

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Old 08-01-2001, 02:00 AM   #5
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There's another copy of this at http://www.metrum.org, a site "devoted to the memory of Livio Catullo Stecchini".

Stecchini got a PhD from Harvard in history in 1946 and was Professor of "ancient measure" at MIT. He wrote an appendix to a book called The Secrets of the Pyramids by Peter Thompkins, which accounts for most of his hits on Google. He evidently had some theories about the dimensions of the pyramids reflecting the dimensions of the earth.

Richard Carrier might know more about this.

[ August 01, 2001: Message edited by: Toto ]
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Old 08-01-2001, 05:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bede:
Michael,

The way you latch onto every theory no matter how unsupported never fails to amuse me.
&gt;sigh&lt; The way apologists cannot read never fails to amuse me. Do you guys get special training, or does it just come naturally?

Above I said:
  • I have no idea whether he is right, and kind of doubt it.

It's hard to be more direct than that. I suppose, though, that if one cannot read, no amount of openness will be enough.

It's an interesting site, with some interesting ideas. That's all.

Speaking of latching onto crazy ideas, how 'bout that virgin birth, eh?

Michael
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Old 08-01-2001, 07:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Toto:
<STRONG>There's another copy of this at http://www.metrum.org, a site "devoted to the memory of Livio Catullo Stecchini".

Stecchini got a PhD from Harvard in history in 1946 and was Professor of "ancient measure" at MIT. He wrote an appendix to a book called The Secrets of the Pyramids by Peter Thompkins, which accounts for most of his hits on Google. He evidently had some theories about the dimensions of the pyramids reflecting the dimensions of the earth.

Richard Carrier might know more about this.

[ August 01, 2001: Message edited by: Toto ]</STRONG>

That's too bad. Tompkins is a Pyramidiot.

Michael
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Old 08-01-2001, 07:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by turtonm:
<STRONG>http://www.nazarenus.com/

This author, who seems to be an academic, and another scholar, have developed an argument that the Passion narrative is in reality based on a play about Jesus by the Roman playwright Seneca.
</STRONG>
Whaaaaa? Is he implying that the entire
Christian movement is based on four
theatrical reviews?



Eh hem, uh, aren't we long overdue for
the sequel?
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Old 08-01-2001, 08:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kosh:
<STRONG>

Whaaaaa? Is he implying that the entire
Christian movement is based on four
theatrical reviews?



Eh hem, uh, aren't we long overdue for
the sequel? </STRONG>

No, three. He says John never saw the play, but had access to the text.

Michael
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Old 08-01-2001, 10:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by turtonm:
<STRONG>That's too bad. Tompkins is a Pyramidiot.

Michael</STRONG>
The co-author, Jan Sammer, posts to crosstalk2, where Stecchini's association with pyramidiots has been used as evidence against him. Sammer also seems to have held Velikovsky in high regard.

Sammer has a website of interesting stuff.

I'm still working my way through the site, but the theory makes a certain amount of sense. It is highly speculative, but not impossible, and seems to explain some things. I'm sure that some of the details are wrong, but there might be something of value in the overall thesis.

Should we hold those bizarre beliefs against the authors? Are pyramidiots and Velikovsky fans any worse than theists, as far as scholarly credibility?

[ August 01, 2001: Message edited by: Toto ]
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