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Old 06-14-2013, 01:48 AM   #121
mountainman
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Here is the more complete response.
I can see your position and it is reliant upon conditional logic.



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Toto - what don't I understand about ridicule?

What do you understand about the reference that allows you to ignore that Arius is involved in these events?

It's clear about the beginnings of the Arian controversy - the words of Arius.
The ridicule referred to here was pagans ridiculing Christians for not getting their act together.

Parse through your quote:
The people of God were in a truly flourishing state, and abounding in the practice of good works. No terror from without assailed them, but a bright and most profound peace, through the favor of God, encompassed his Church on every side. Meantime, however, the spirit of envy was watching to destroy our blessings, which at first crept in unperceived, but soon revelled in the midst of the assemblies of the saints.
In other words, everything was going fine for Christians, but then envy led to trouble. Christians at this time ascribed many ills to the sin of "envy," a violation of one or two of the 10 Commandments depending on how you count them.
At length it reached the bishops themselves, and arrayed them in angry hostility against each other, on pretense of a jealous regard for the doctrines of Divine truth. Hence it was that a mighty fire was kindled as it were from a little spark, and which, originating in the first instance in the Alexandrian church, (3) overspread the whole of Egypt and Libya, and the further Thebaid.
The result of envy was dissension in the church, sparked from Arius' home church in Alexandria...
Eventually it extended its ravages to the other provinces and cities of the empire; so that not only the prelates of the churches might be seen encountering each other in the strife of words, but the people themselves were completely divided, some adhering to one faction and others to another. Nay, so notorious did the scandal of these proceedings become, that the sacred matters of inspired teaching were exposed to the most shameful ridicule in the very theaters of the unbelievers.
Read carefully - the church was divided, the prelates were arguing. (This would be the "orthodox" faction versus Arius.)
This is the story presented by Eusebius but it is not followed by Philip of Side who states that Nicaea was characterised by the opposition of Arius and the philosophers against the Bishops. Besides reading carefully we must acknowledge that we are looking at what Eusebius, the master heresiologist, is writing about Arius, the master heretic, and the entire Arian controversy which lasted generations if not centuries.

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As a result, non-Christian unbelievers ridiculed them in their theaters. [Ha ha - look at those silly Christians arguing over an iota!]
The pagans were having their most ancient and highly revered temples destroyed to their foundations by Constantine and had been prohibited to conduct business-as-usual in the remaining pagan temples. Constantine was promoting what he considered to be sacred matters of inspired teaching in the form of the Bible, to which the pagans were expected to conform.

The expected ridicule would be summarised as [Ha ha - look at this silly Christian story book. The cross walks and talks!]


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The ridicule was that of non-believers making fun of the Christian factions duking it out over some silly theological doctrine.
That is what the Christians report. We do not have before us the reports from the non believers. I don't take what the Christians report as gospel.

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There is no reference to Arius ridiculing orthodox Christians, or one group of Christians ridiculing another.

Arius has been ridiculed and demonised as a master heretic by all Christians following Nicaea. There are ample references in Constantine's letter of 333 CE that Arius ridiculed the church. He is supposed to have pained and wounded and grieved the church by his books which were antichristian.




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Is it not reasonable to think that (1) Arius is somehow involved in this ridicule of these sacred matters of inspired teaching at that time in Alexandria, and (2) that these sacred matters of inspired teaching is a reference to the canonical books of the bible.
No, it is not reasonable.
It appears to be not a reasonable option because your contra logic here is reliant upon the Arian controversy being an argument over an iota. This is not the case. The ultimate political origin and specification of the Arian controversy is conjectured from the evidence preserved by the victors of that controversy.

My position is that, using your terminology above, the nation itself, not the church was divided, the people were arguing about having to join a new centralised monotheistic state church. (This would be the "orthodox" faction versus the pagans.) As a result, non-Christian unbelievers ridiculed the newly appeared orthodox holy writ (i.e.the bible) in their theaters. [Ha ha - look at those silly Christians!!!!]

As evidence, my claim is that the gnostic acts and gospels are samples of this literary ridicule, which was most likely read or performed in the theatres of the pagans. Eusebius's description of the appearance of the Acts of Pilate is generally taken to be related to the rule of Diocletian, but my claim is that this description fits in perfectly 325 CE with Arian controversy over books.





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Old 06-14-2013, 04:44 AM   #122
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Strangely enough it ostensibly didn't bother the regime or the non-Arians to be sitting together at Nicaea or for some rulers to be Arians. Or for Arian ideas to survive among the Visigoths.
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:40 PM   #123
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I still think that the text indicates that Arius wrote other books on account of his dislike for the canonical accounts. The word fabricate, as you point out below, may be taken to be "form" or "mold". In this case Arius molds his books and writings in reaction to the canon.
Assuming for the moment that the NT was a 4th century fabrication, I can see where you are coming from when you say "Arius molds his books and writings in reaction to the [fabricated] canon."

I am more inclined to think that the books of the NT as we know them were around since the later half of the 2nd century (the time of Irenaeus, who clearly accepts all of them, and only them, as authoritative). The fly in that ointment, though, is the fact that almost every single manuscript of the NT seems to have, or be derived from, four uniformly ordered and named sets of books (4 Gospels; Pauline Letters; Acts & the General epistles; and then the Revelation of Jesus to his Servant John).

David Trobisch makes a good case that this phenomenon being due to being due to the publication of these sets of books by an authoritative body (perhaps, he says, by Polycarp of Smyrna in Asia Minor). Irenaeus bishop of Lugdunum (now part of France) came from Asia Minor and claimed to have once been a student of Polycarp. He believes that there are little clues in some of these books that spell out Polycarp's name or those of his associates, etc.

But nothing really prevents dating them to the 4th century, if one can explain away the paleographic evidence, which compares these manuscripts against the fonts and scribal techniques found in secular documents, that show that some mss may have been copied as far back as the early 2nd century. It would also require explaining away the other early Christian literature that quote NT books, from the epistles of Barnabas and that to Mathetes, Justin's Dialogue with a Jew, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen, as compositions of the 4th century or later projected back into the 2nd through fourth centuries. But I would expect anachronisms in these texts pointing to the 4th century or later, and I am not aware of any that seem especially strong to me.

There is evidence that the surviving mss of Josephus had been tampered with because of two places that describe the governorships of Pilate and his immediate predecessor. Josephus gives the specific number of years of their governorships, where everywhere else the coming and going of governors are dated to years of the emperor's reign.

Eusebius, when he uses Josephus to disprove the 21 CE date of Jesus' death in the Acts of Pilate published by Maximinus II Daia (the Junior Augustus ruling the SE corner of the empire), some time between 310 (when the retired Augustus Maxentius seized control of Italy and N Africa from the control of Constantine) & 312 CE (when Constantine regains control), cryptically says "if the testimony of Josephus is to be believed" regarding the start of Pilate's governorship, which suggests the 12th year of Tiberius (26 CE). This is open acknowledgment that some folks did not think the text of Josephus regarding the start of Pilate's governorship was correct.

I think what happened was the Acts of Pilate published by Maximinus Daia were genuine, possibly retrieved from evidence used to determine whether Pilate overstepped his bounds as governor when he was recalled by Tiberius in 36 CE. These Acta were sort of a personal diary of official acts performed by Roman officials, and not sent to Rome as regular reports as many say.

As Tiberius was dead by the time Pilate got there in early 37 CE, chances are he had to answer before his successor Gaius (Caligula). Pilate was banished (allowed to retire) to Vienna in Gaul, so there must have been some findings by the officers in charge of the inquiry, but not enough to deserve a stricter punishment, such as confiscation of his properties or suicide. As evidence for an imperial inquest, a copy of Pilate's Acta may have been in one of several Roman archive, or the emperor's own Acta may have recorded this incident related from Pilate's Acta.

When Maximinus Daia entered in an alliance with Maxentius in 311, these records might have become available to him.

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Old 06-16-2013, 07:23 AM   #124
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For all the discussion about the alleged conflict with the Arian "heresy," it is interesting how little is mentioned about the fact that they were not considered heretics when the so-called bishops of all stripes were invited to the alleged Nicaea Council was called in 325. The the emperors who sided with the Arians were not routinely called heretics, and we don't see routine condemnation of the entire Visigoth regime that allegedly belong to this horrible "heretical" sect of Arianism.

And for all the power in the hands of the regime religion it is interesting that there were always decrees and councils against heresies that never seemed to get wiped out, IF such sects even actually existed.
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:47 AM   #125
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I still think that the text indicates that Arius wrote other books on account of his dislike for the canonical accounts. The word fabricate, as you point out below, may be taken to be "form" or "mold". In this case Arius molds his books and writings in reaction to the canon.
Assuming for the moment that the NT was a 4th century fabrication, I can see where you are coming from when you say "Arius molds his books and writings in reaction to the [fabricated] canon."

I am more inclined to think that the books of the NT as we know them were around since the later half of the 2nd century ....
With respect you do not quite understand my position. We may assume for the moment that your hypothesis about the chronology of the canon is correct - that it was 2nd century. When I say "Arius molds his books and writings in reaction to the [fabricated] canon." where I am coming from is that Arius's reaction to the canon is ridicule, EVEN IF the canon really originated in the 2nd century. The simple claim is the Arius wrote books that ridiculed the canon (independent of its chronology before 325 CE). This is my position at the moment.







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Old 06-18-2013, 07:00 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by Duvduv View Post
For all the discussion about the alleged conflict with the Arian "heresy," it is interesting how little is mentioned about the fact that they were not considered heretics when the so-called bishops of all stripes were invited to the alleged Nicaea Council was called in 325.

The fragments of the history of Philip of Side strongly suggest that there were very many philosophers ALSO at this council, and that Arius was not on the side of the bishops, but on the side of the philosophers.

When wearing Christian glasses, these philosophers appear to be Christians. When the Christian glasses are removed, these philosophers do not have to be Christian philosophers at all.


BTW my website has now been cleared with google after being subject to hacking.





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Old 06-18-2013, 07:32 AM   #127
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Hi, MM. This must have implications for the religious identity of some emperors in addition to the fact that the Council accommodated the "heretics" before they were labeled as "heretics." No explanation of that among the apologists I imagine.

Then there is the matter of the Visigoths, or at least the Visigoth ruling elite, and whether "Arian" meant what people think it means, as opposed to a Greek monotheistic philosophy. But unless I am mistaken, even the Visigoths did not leave over any texts, philosophical or "Christian."

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Originally Posted by Duvduv View Post
For all the discussion about the alleged conflict with the Arian "heresy," it is interesting how little is mentioned about the fact that they were not considered heretics when the so-called bishops of all stripes were invited to the alleged Nicaea Council was called in 325.

The fragments of the history of Philip of Side strongly suggest that there were very many philosophers ALSO at this council, and that Arius was not on the side of the bishops, but on the side of the philosophers.

When wearing Christian glasses, these philosophers appear to be Christians. When the Christian glasses are removed, these philosophers do not have to be Christian philosophers at all.


BTW my website has now been cleared with google after being subject to hacking.





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Old 06-18-2013, 08:19 AM   #128
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The Fragment is very interesting however it is also very confusing. It is really hard to follow the narrative.
Here's a brief reference to him:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_of_Side
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:47 AM   #129
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In any case, on the other thread dealing with Arius Toto posted the following:

There is in fact no evidence that Arius was anything other than a Christian. Further discussion will waste time and resources at best, and at worst lead to the sort of bickering and insults that dragged the old forum down.

But this logic can be applied to virtually every subject that is debated on the Forum simply because there is no empirical corroborative evidence, and claims must be based on circumstantial evidence, inference and reliance on the claims of ancient biased Christian writers. What else is there?

It cannot be empirically proven or disproven that Arius was a Christian, and the same goes for a host of issues, not the least of which are Marcion or Justin. Therefore, it would seem to me that it is valuable to pursue these matters using whatever arguments from evidence, inference, context, content, etc. since there is really no other way of making an argument.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:42 AM   #130
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Originally Posted by Duvduv View Post
In any case, on the other thread dealing with Arius Toto posted the following:

There is in fact no evidence that Arius was anything other than a Christian. Further discussion will waste time and resources at best, and at worst lead to the sort of bickering and insults that dragged the old forum down.

But this logic can be applied to virtually every subject that is debated on the Forum simply because there is no empirical corroborative evidence, and claims must be based on circumstantial evidence, inference and reliance on the claims of ancient biased Christian writers. What else is there?

It cannot be empirically proven or disproven that Arius was a Christian, and the same goes for a host of issues, not the least of which are Marcion or Justin. Therefore, it would seem to me that it is valuable to pursue these matters using whatever arguments from evidence, inference, context, content, etc. since there is really no other way of making an argument.
There is nothing to pursue here. The subject has been exhausted, along with the patience of the moderators.

With the other issues you mention, there are open questions of interpretation of the evidence, and there is the possibility of a productive discussion.
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