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Old 07-27-2009, 02:55 PM   #11
Tristan Scott
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Elzie Crisler Segar started drawing Popeye on January 17, 1929, in his Thimble Theatre comic strip. Segar based the look and character of Popeye on Frank "Rocky" Fiegel, a man he had known growing up in Chester, Illinois. Here's a picture



Here's a picture of Popeye around 1933

here's an actual picture of Jesus:

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Old 07-27-2009, 03:14 PM   #12
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This actually strengthens the case for the historicity of Christ. If Popeye, a figure generally understood to be wholly fictional, is actually based on a real person, then does it not follow that the Gospel figure of Christ is quite likely based on a real person, too? Thanks, Jay.
Well, it doesn't follow that because a certain fictional person is based on a historical person that therefore any other given fictional person is based on a historical person.
Since writers usually start with some sort of template when they create characters, you could say that every fictional character is based loosely on some real person. But this makes the idea of a historical Jesus virtually meaningless.

That's why it is better to frame the question as Earl Doherty does, as one of Christian origins. Did Christianity start with a mythical Savior, or was it inspired by a real person who was crucified? If Christianity did start with a mythical savior, and a later writer composed stories based on some itinerant preacher named Jesus, was that the historical Jesus?
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:18 PM   #13
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I've wondered if Jesus of Nazareth can be compared to Uncle Sam, a personification of an abstract ideal.
He is presented as a concrete man, in whom others saw many flaws:
The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say: Behold a man that is a glutton and a wine drinker, a friend of publicans and sinners.--Mt 11:19.
He himself refused to be identified as the personification of the ideal:
Why do you ask me about the Good? The Good is One.--Mt 19:17.
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:44 PM   #14
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. . . So I would suggest that the writers of the New Testament gospels were inspired by the original success of much of the unrealistic gnostic Jesus characters to move towards realism in their clone/versions of the character. . .


Warmly

Philosopher Jay
If one is to take this approach then it seems much more plausible to surmise,as you state, that the gnostic writings came first which were then heavily redacted to create the more "realistic" writings. Any thoughts on the time frame of the gnostic writings and subsequent redaction towards the more "realistic" writings?
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And the Father who created the universe has given to his archangelic and most ancient Word a pre-eminent gift, to stand on the confines of both, and separated that which had been created from the Creator. And this same Word is continually a suppliant to the immortal God on behalf of the mortal race, which is exposed to affliction and misery; and is also the ambassador, sent by the Ruler of all, to the subject race.

And the Word rejoices in the gift, and, exulting in it, announces it and boasts of it, saying, "And I stood in the midst, between the Lord and You; neither being uncreated as God, nor yet created as you, but being in the midst between these two extremities, like a hostage, as it were, to both parties: a hostage to the Creator, as a pledge and security that the whole race would never fly off and revolt entirely, choosing disorder rather than order; and to the creature, to lead it to entertain a confident hope that the merciful God would not overlook his own work. For I will proclaim peaceful intelligence to the creation from him who has determined to destroy wars, namely God, who is ever the guardian of peace."
That was written by Philo.
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Old 07-27-2009, 04:27 PM   #15
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. . . So I would suggest that the writers of the New Testament gospels were inspired by the original success of much of the unrealistic gnostic Jesus characters to move towards realism in their clone/versions of the character. . .


Warmly

Philosopher Jay
If one is to take this approach then it seems much more plausible to surmise,as you state, that the gnostic writings came first which were then heavily redacted to create the more "realistic" writings.

The Chronological Precedent of the Canon before the Non Canonical

The surmise that the Gnostic authors were a precursor to the Canonical authors lacks evidence from the document tradition and besides, the entire world of contemporary academic scholarship argues the reverse for a very good reason. The textual snippets and copy-pastes present in the apocryphal gospels and acts have been sourced from the canon and rearranged via combination and permutation. Here is a summary page of academic opinion on this specific issue:
An Index of Summary Comments

"insipid and puerile amplifications" [Ernest Renan]

"excluded by their later and radical light" [John Dominic Crossan]

"severely conditoned responses to Jesus ... usually these authors deny his humanity" [Robert M. Grant]

"they exclude themselves" [M.R. James]

"The practice of Christian forgery has a long and distinguished history" [Bart Ehrman]

"The Leucian Acts are Hellenistic romances, which were written to appeal to the masses" [Watson E. Mills, Roger Aubrey Bullard]

"The key point ... [NT Apocrypha] have all been long ago considered and rejected by the Church.

"The names of apostles ... were used by obscure writers to palm off their productions; partly to embellish and add to ... partly to invent ... partly to support false doctrines; decidedly pernicious, ... nevertheless contain much that is interesting and curious ... they were given a place which they did not deserve." [Tischendorf]

"Gnostic texts use parody and satire quite frequently ... making fun of traditional biblical beliefs"[April Deconick]

"heretics ... who were chiefly Gnostics ... imitated the books of the New Testament" [Catholic Encyclopaedia]

"enterprising spirits ... pretended Gospels full of romantic fables and fantastic and striking details, their fabrications were eagerly read and largely accepted as true by common folk who were devoid of any critical faculty and who were predisposed to believe what so luxuriously fed their pious curiosity." "the heretical apocryphists, composed spurious Gospels in order to trace backward their beliefs and peculiarities to Christ Himself." [Catholic Encyclopaedia]

"the fabrication of spurious Acts of the Apostles was, in general, to give Apostolic support to heretical systems, especially those of the many sects which are comprised under the term Gnosticism. The Gnostic Acts of Peter, Andrew, John, Thomas, and perhaps Matthew, abound in extravagant and highly coloured marvels, and were interspersed by long pretended discourses of the Apostles which served as vehicles for the Gnostic predications. The originally Gnostic apocryphal Acts were gathered into collections which bore the name of the periodoi (Circuits) or praxeis (Acts) of the Apostles, and to which was attached the name of a Leucius Charinus, who may have formed the compilation." [Catholic Encyclopaedia]


Quote:
Any thoughts on the time frame of the gnostic writings and subsequent redaction towards the more "realistic" writings?

Read Philosophers Jay's point about the importance of a brief study of the history of the appearances of clones of Popeye, and Superman which followed the publication of the major precedent work in strict chronological order.

The gnostic writings are perhaps the last desperate attempts of the Second Sophistic to free itself from the monumental changes Constantinian political legislation in concert with the support of Constantine's military were wreaking in the Alexandrian empire of the Greek civilisation. It was under seige!

The greeks were under seige from the army and in the philosophical arena their entire lineage of Plato and Pythagoras was under seige by the New Testament Canon, raised to the status of Holy Writ by Constantine. The Greek academics struck back using the weapon of the pen. The Gospel of Mary and the Acts of Paul and Thomas and Pontius Pilate were never supposed to have been written. They were written as a satire of canon. They were thus perhaps authored ** after ** the canon was publicised.

There are over 100 gnostic texts -- the estimated dates of authorship are scattered across the second to the fifth century.



In the above diagram the top series of boxes provides the parallel estimates for the chronology of the authorsip and preservation of the canon through to Nicaea, the period of closure on the canon, and its official preservation by the dominant "Guardian Class". The apocrypha were IMO authored by the old "Guardian Class" - the temple networks which Constantine trashed and illegalised. There was no question of presrvation. Constantine and a century of followers made these books illegal. They were to be handed over to the fire for destruction. They were not to be hidden at Nag Hammadi or anywhere else. The penalty for sectreting these books was death by immediate beheading. Clones of the Gospels and Acts was serious business in the 4th century. The apocrypha were not unlike a cartoon or a movie version of the new testament. The emperors and the bishops were taking it very seriously at that time. The apocrypha were perhaps "light relief". They were certainly political weapons.


If you want a list of the detailed estimates for each of the gnostic texts have a look at this list

This is an important issue.
When did the gnostic clones appear?
Perhaps after the main official launch of the canon.
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:48 PM   #16
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Hi No Robots,

Good observation. I agree that if a preposterous character like Popeye has an historical basis, we cannot dismiss the possibility of an historical antecedent for Jesus just on the grounds that the character is fantastic.

On the other hand, it does suggest that masses of people are easily fooled by characters and cannot ascertain the historicity of characters just by reading or watching them.

Another good example is the movie "Pay It Forward" and the lead character Trevor McKinney played by Haley Joel Osment. In the movie, the lead character does a number of selfless good deeds and starts the "Pay It Forward Foundation" In a number of my classes, students who have seen the film have told me that it is based on a "real kid." As proof, they point to the charitable "Pay It Forward Foundation" as a real existing charitable institution.

In truth, the movie is pure fiction and the lead character is fiction. The "Pay
It Forward Foundation" was the result of the popularity of the movie and was not founded by Trevor McKinney. My students are usually disappointed when I tell them that Trevor is a fictional character and they find it hard to believe he wasn't historical. (or maybe they don't want to believe it?)

Thus, belief in masses of people in the historical or non-historical nature of a character does not mean that the character is either historical or non-historical. One has to investigate each character to determine how it was created.

Warmly,

Philosopher Jay


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Originally Posted by No Robots View Post
This actually strengthens the case for the historicity of Christ. If Popeye, a figure generally understood to be wholly fictional, is actually based on a real person, then does it not follow that the Gospel figure of Christ is quite likely based on a real person, too? Thanks, Jay.
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Old 07-29-2009, 05:24 PM   #17
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On the other hand, it does suggest that masses of people are easily fooled by characters and cannot ascertain the historicity of characters just by reading or watching them.
We must also remember that in comparing the historicity of Popeye
and Jesus that the people in antiquity were not in general educated
and that a very small minority could actually read and/or write Greek.

Public opinion about Jesus, with the exception of what Eusebius prepares,
must have been a relatively small monority affair which itself was subject
to a few key learned preservers of the greek texts who had flocks of illiterate
believers to nourish.

The first public appearance of Jesus occurred almost three centuries
after his supposed existence. The timeframe of Popeye is possibly
an arbritrary zone whereas the purported timeframe of Jesus
is a specific time period in the remote past, for which - at that time -
we cannot expect any retrospective eye-witnesses. Thus we must
necessarily rely upon the transmission of either an oral tradition
or a preserved written tradition (as is the case with the NT).

The first public appearance of Jesus was Nicaea.
Popeye was presented in the local media.
Jesus was given the high technology treatment as well.
Fourth century Hollywood was the Codex.
Was any opportunity given at this time
for critical questioning of "the history"?

Philosopher Jay we are dealing with a series and a variety of "publication dates"
and "Authorship dates" with the new testament. It is difficult to establish any
unambiguous corroboration with the Eusebian account of the transmission of the
NT written documents to the fourth century. Be that as it may, we can set the
canon aside for the moment, to look at the clones.

Irrespective of the canon, the Popeye clones have a life of their own.
The NT apocrypha have a separate mystery somehow connected to the canon.
Study of the rise of clones teaches us that the clones
do not normally appear before the major official launch
of the Key Cloned Concept.

Setting aside for just one moment the fact that Eusebius
has already informed us that the Jesus CLones appeared
before the Council of Nicaea, I have a question for you.
Does analogy instructs us that it is more logical to conclude
that the Jesus clones are most likely to have been authored
after the Nicaean major political publication?
Ancient history is a giant four dimensional jigsaw puzzle.
Three dimensions of space and one of time.
We are looking at the mystery of christian origins.

Modern questions and answers assist persective.
Your questions continue to make everyone think.
I grew up with Popeye and Jesus and Superman myself.

Thanks for the memory.

I managed to give up the idea that superman dwelt within me
when I learnt that I could not fly up up and away out of the
school yard. Popeye I knew was a cartoon. It took me
a few decades longer to be able to deal with the Jesus
person in any specific historical sense, since in Jesus
our history and and tradition-via-great-authority is conflated.
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Old 07-29-2009, 05:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilosopherJay View Post
On the other hand, it does suggest that masses of people are easily fooled by characters and cannot ascertain the historicity of characters just by reading or watching them.
We must also remember that the people were not in general educated and that a very small minority could actually read and/or write Greek. Public opinion about Jesus, with the exception of what Eusebius prepares, must have been a relatively small monority affair.

The first public appearance of Jesus occurred almost three centuries
after his supposed existence. .
According to the Hindu Prank Postulate (HPP) there were actually multiple Jesus running round the hillside performing in a theatrical performance that got out of hand. The HPP was an ideological trojan horse performed by hindu actors to prevent the eastern spread of the Roman Empire. However, the actors who portrayed Jesus at times had difficulty staying in character and had to have a replacement, or clone, if you will. One such actor was so charismatic fellow that the people around him actually wanted to proclaim him as king and so he fled the scene back to India. His replacement fell in love with Mary Magdalene, fled to what is known as modern day france, and fathered many children (the holy grail). Yet another who was very advanced in yoga/tantric energy actually survived the crucifiction and went back to India along with his disciples to live long and peacful lives. Thus, there were in fact many different historical actors who portrayed Jesus just as there was an actual historical person whom the character popeye was based on.
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Old 07-30-2009, 11:45 AM   #19
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Default Sometimes It is Hard to Tell the Clone From the Original

Hi Mountainman,
In regards to:
Quote:
Does analogy instructs us that it is more logical to conclude
that the Jesus clones are most likely to have been authored
after the Nicaean major political publication?
I would say that it is a difficult question. Historically, cloning runs both ways. For example, one can regards the many present government constitutions that refer to the rights of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness as clones of the American Declaration of Independence. But the Declaration of Independence itself may be seen as a clone of the ideas of John Locke and the French Philosophes, like Voltaire, Rousseau and Diderot.

Another example, taken from the world of entertainment (which is not that far removed from politics or religion) is James Bond. Certainly after the success of Bond in the early 1960's, there were many James Bond clones. However, the Bond movies themselves may be seen as a clone of numerous spy novels and movies, such as Alfred Hitchcock's Secret Agent (1936) and North by Northwest (1959).

Cloning can be difficult to detect. I watched the movie "Kitty Foyle" last night and was amazed to see a series of flashbacks introduced through the use of a glass globe with a snow scene inside. It reminded me of the snowing glass globe in the opening scene in "Citizen Kane." I knew that Ginger Rodgers had won an Academy Award for "Kitty Foyle" in 1941 and "Citizen Kane" was released in 1941. I was not sure who had cloned from whom.

It turns out that "Citizen Kane" was released in May, 1941 and "Kitty Foyle" was released in December, 1941. This suggests that the makers of CK stole the idea from KF. However, both films were made at RKO studios and apparently CK was filming in the Summer of 1940, while Dalton Trumbo was still working on the script for Kitty Foyle. All that I know at the moment is that the globes for both films were made by the RKO prop department. I still cannot say for sure who cloned the idea of using the snow globes from whom.

Of course, "Kitty Foyle" is largely an unseen and forgotten film today, with only a few cinephiles appreciating it, while "Citizen Kane" remains on the top ten list of all time great films of many cinema critics. So in this case KF plays the role of the gnostic texts and CK plays the role of the NT. Perhaps the most interesting thing is that their snow-globe scenes were produced within months of each other at the same studio.

Warmly,

Philosopher Jay

Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainman View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilosopherJay View Post
On the other hand, it does suggest that masses of people are easily fooled by characters and cannot ascertain the historicity of characters just by reading or watching them.
We must also remember that in comparing the historicity of Popeye
and Jesus that the people in antiquity were not in general educated
and that a very small minority could actually read and/or write Greek.

Public opinion about Jesus, with the exception of what Eusebius prepares,
must have been a relatively small monority affair which itself was subject
to a few key learned preservers of the greek texts who had flocks of illiterate
believers to nourish.

The first public appearance of Jesus occurred almost three centuries
after his supposed existence. The timeframe of Popeye is possibly
an arbritrary zone whereas the purported timeframe of Jesus
is a specific time period in the remote past, for which - at that time -
we cannot expect any retrospective eye-witnesses. Thus we must
necessarily rely upon the transmission of either an oral tradition
or a preserved written tradition (as is the case with the NT).

The first public appearance of Jesus was Nicaea.
Popeye was presented in the local media.
Jesus was given the high technology treatment as well.
Fourth century Hollywood was the Codex.
Was any opportunity given at this time
for critical questioning of "the history"?

Philosopher Jay we are dealing with a series and a variety of "publication dates"
and "Authorship dates" with the new testament. It is difficult to establish any
unambiguous corroboration with the Eusebian account of the transmission of the
NT written documents to the fourth century. Be that as it may, we can set the
canon aside for the moment, to look at the clones.

Irrespective of the canon, the Popeye clones have a life of their own.
The NT apocrypha have a separate mystery somehow connected to the canon.
Study of the rise of clones teaches us that the clones
do not normally appear before the major official launch
of the Key Cloned Concept.

Setting aside for just one moment the fact that Eusebius
has already informed us that the Jesus CLones appeared
before the Council of Nicaea, I have a question for you.
Does analogy instructs us that it is more logical to conclude
that the Jesus clones are most likely to have been authored
after the Nicaean major political publication?
Ancient history is a giant four dimensional jigsaw puzzle.
Three dimensions of space and one of time.
We are looking at the mystery of christian origins.

Modern questions and answers assist persective.
Your questions continue to make everyone think.
I grew up with Popeye and Jesus and Superman myself.

Thanks for the memory.

I managed to give up the idea that superman dwelt within me
when I learnt that I could not fly up up and away out of the
school yard. Popeye I knew was a cartoon. It took me
a few decades longer to be able to deal with the Jesus
person in any specific historical sense, since in Jesus
our history and and tradition-via-great-authority is conflated.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:27 PM   #20
mountainman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilosopherJay View Post
Hi Mountainman,
In regards to:
Quote:
Does analogy instructs us that it is more logical to conclude
that the Jesus clones are most likely to have been authored
after the Nicaean major political publication?
I would say that it is a difficult question. Historically, cloning runs both ways.
If we accept the modern sense of cloning, then the act
of cloning is an act of imitation of an earlier prototype
which occurs in an historical sense sequentially after
the act of the creation of the prototype. Thus I cannot
perceive cloning runing both ways in a chronological sense,
and the modern world of intellectual property priority dates
reflects this notion.

In the ancient world of course, things were not so clear.
Cloning may have appeared to be operating all over the
shop, but I would think that if the data were available to
us then we would be able to track the appearance of ideas
with a greater degree of clarity and specific chronology.

I you mean by. cloning can run both ways, that two (or more)
opposing ideologies can clone the products of each other then
I have no objection. I would still expect the mechanics of who
cloned-who and when to be "trackable" in time with precedent
dates in the spirit of modern intellectual property.

Quote:
For example, one can regards the many present government constitutions that refer to the rights of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness as clones of the American Declaration of Independence. But the Declaration of Independence itself may be seen as a clone of the ideas of John Locke and the French Philosophes, like Voltaire, Rousseau and Diderot.
This has a strict chronology.


Quote:
Another example, taken from the world of entertainment (which is not that far removed from politics or religion) is James Bond. Certainly after the success of Bond in the early 1960's, there were many James Bond clones. However, the Bond movies themselves may be seen as a clone of numerous spy novels and movies, such as Alfred Hitchcock's Secret Agent (1936) and North by Northwest (1959).
This is actually an extremely good analogy of the New testament, particularly since it involves the promotion of a single name - James Bond. I have no doubt that the New Testament was itself cloned out of the milieu of literature available at a specific point in time. We have a whole stack of spy novels and movies which were brought together in James Bond. Analogously the authors/editiors of the NT also had such material to work with in order to come up with the canonical new testament.

After James Bond became successful, the James Bond clones started to appear. The NT clones are thought to have been produced over a period from the second century to the fourth or fifth, and therefore these clones were obviously still in production after Jesus was promoted at Nicaea.

I am actually very surprised by this since it is reasonable to expect there to be a change in something related to the entire genre of the NT apocryphal acts and gospels created before and after Nicaea. I say this on the basis that if the authors on the far side of Nicaea thought things were bad, they were in for a shock after the new testament was "REGISTERED" via Constantine. It hit super-status over and above everything else at that time - and it must have been a virtually unknown sect demographically, even allowing for the fact that Eusebius tells us the truth about the "tribe of christians" and the "groups of gnostic detractors".

Quote:
Cloning can be difficult to detect. I watched the movie "Kitty Foyle" last night and was amazed to see a series of flashbacks introduced through the use of a glass globe with a snow scene inside. It reminded me of the snowing glass globe in the opening scene in "Citizen Kane." I knew that Ginger Rodgers had won an Academy Award for "Kitty Foyle" in 1941 and "Citizen Kane" was released in 1941. I was not sure who had cloned from whom.

It turns out that "Citizen Kane" was released in May, 1941 and "Kitty Foyle" was released in December, 1941. This suggests that the makers of CK stole the idea from KF. However, both films were made at RKO studios and apparently CK was filming in the Summer of 1940, while Dalton Trumbo was still working on the script for Kitty Foyle. All that I know at the moment is that the globes for both films were made by the RKO prop department. I still cannot say for sure who cloned the idea of using the snow globes from whom.

Of course, "Kitty Foyle" is largely an unseen and forgotten film today, with only a few cinephiles appreciating it, while "Citizen Kane" remains on the top ten list of all time great films of many cinema critics. So in this case KF plays the role of the gnostic texts and CK plays the role of the NT.

Perhaps the Gnostic is Gary Larson's Far-Side depiction
of a giant hand reaching for a snow globe within which
an old farmer is walking as quickly as he can to his front
porch (where Martha awaits?) saying:
"Dang Ma! Blizzard's a-coming!
Which of course leads us to consider the penalties which in todays world and which in the ancient world were imposed on authors for cloning the work of others. From what I understand, the Jesus clones were illegal - bigtime.


Quote:
Perhaps the most interesting thing is that their snow-globe scenes were produced within months of each other at the same studio.
The Historia Augusta immediately springs to mind here. Thank you for your interesting response about the clones of Popeye (and the precedents or prior creations leading to the creation of Popeye), Superman, now James Bond, the various Declarations and the "Snow Globe".
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