Dura-Europos domus ecclesiae? Archaeology, Iconography & MSS

Dec 2011
1,829
CORRECTION:
We can factually place this early Jewish-Christian sect in Dura-Europos at this period. Therefore, the theory that the DE is Jewish-Christian is rated statistically higher.
Should read: We can begin to factually place the possibility of an early Jewish-Christian sect in Dura-Europos.
 
May 2011
2,648
Rural Australia
RE: The relevance of DP24 to the claim that the house church is Christian ...

However, DP24 is unequivocal and primary evidence of the existence of Christianity in the area at this time. Which of course, is concan's point.

The secure dating of DP24 is significant for the claim that there were early Christians present in Dura-Europos at the time.
But this is not the claim under discussion.

The claim that the house church is Christian is the claim being discussed.

We can factually place this early Jewish-Christian sect in Dura-Europos at this period. Therefore, the theory that the DE is Jewish-Christian is rated statistically higher.
But likewise we can factually place Jewish sects in Dura so there is no statistical advantage whatsoever..

AlpinLuke understands that we cannot connect DP24 directly with the house church.

DP24 is a great evidence [despite the attempts to decontextualize it] that Christians were present in the area in that time. But it's correct to say that we cannot connect it directly with the "house church".
BTW in earlier discussions at post #723 AlpinLuke has offered an independent analysis on the assumption that the house was occupied by a Jewish gladiator. At the following post I accepted this analysis and suggested there may not be much difference between a Jewish gladiator and a Jewish sodlier in the Roman army stationed at Dura.

This analysis suggests that, in regard to the house church being either Christian or Jewish, we have a coin flip.

I will respond separately to other issues.
 
May 2011
2,648
Rural Australia
UPDATE:


To clarify what I am responding to specifically from your "The Runes of Christ at Dura Europos" pdf.

"Another resolution is to reserve judgement on the appearance of these overbars until some explanation is provided for their omission in the preliminary report." p 4.

It is a significant omission IMHO not to incorporate Hopkins statement from the prelim. into your paper.

Per Hopkins, difficulty reading graffiti. see xviii, prelim. Hopkins Introductory remarks.
This is handwaving and I omitted it for that reason. Hopkins appears to have been unaware that one of the key characteristics of Christian nomina sacra is that they have overbars. From the article cited:

In the preliminary report Hopkins did not show the nomina sacra with overbars. Moreover, in the concluding section of the report he wrote: “Very possibly, however, in short inscriptions this line above was not considered necessary.” [13] It could be concluded from this that Hopkins did not in fact see an overbar above either the XPIC or XN IN graffiti. As a result of reading this report, Avi-Yonah in 1940 called them “individual freaks”:

[13] Preliminary Report, Additional Note, A. D. Nock and C. Hopkins, p.285​

The article explores what I consider to be a very real possibility. If there were no overbars over the Greek characters are there any other lternative explanations for these runes that have already been catalogued as "Abbreviations in Greek Inscriptions".? The answer to this question is yes.

We can be quite certain as historians that in 1932 the Australian (foaled in NZ) racehorse Phar Lap won the Agua Caliente Handicap in Tijuana, Mexico, in track-record time .

However how certain can we be that in 1932 at Dura Europos Clark Hopkins discovered the earliest known Christian house church?

My estimate at the moment would be about 50%. A coin flip. IDK.
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
24,527
Lago Maggiore, Italy
RE: The relevance of DP24 to the claim that the house church is Christian ...



But this is not the claim under discussion.

The claim that the house church is Christian is the claim being discussed.



But likewise we can factually place Jewish sects in Dura so there is no statistical advantage whatsoever..

AlpinLuke understands that we cannot connect DP24 directly with the house church.



BTW in earlier discussions at post #723 AlpinLuke has offered an independent analysis on the assumption that the house was occupied by a Jewish gladiator. At the following post I accepted this analysis and suggested there may not be much difference between a Jewish gladiator and a Jewish sodlier in the Roman army stationed at Dura.

This analysis suggests that, in regard to the house church being either Christian or Jewish, we have a coin flip.

I will respond separately to other issues.
K. J, I keep my stance and my doubt. I remember a similar experience on Historum: there was an author suggesting that King Authari [a Lombard King in Northern Italy in VI century CE] was the "model" on which they built King Arthur. He wasn't lucky, I live where the Lombards reigned and I do know their history [and I know Authari]. Anyway, I contacted the museum at Monza about him and the Grail [here we've got a fantastic blue glass, not crystal, cup from Roman age used by a Lombard Queen which deserves to be the Grail!]. The academical institution showed me a great patience and they helped me. The piece is really remarkable [even Napoleon used it when he was crowned King of Italy].

Furthermore, I contacted a well known Italian medievalist [Cardini] about the eventual transmission of the Lombard tales regarding Authari to the British isles and he discussed the matter without problems.

When I contacted Yale about Dura Europos I obtained a positive answer from the crew of the university and I know to whom they passed my request. But I never obtained an answer.

I repeat that my experience with academical institutions tells me that some of them follow rules about contacts from not academics ... anyway a kind answer saying "we don't deal with requests coming from not academics" would have been appreciated.

The silence of Yale is justified [they can ignore me for the rest of the eternity], but it doesn't help me to make the matter clear in my mind.
 
Likes: Cepheus
Dec 2011
1,829
RE: The relevance of DP24 to the claim that the house church is Christian …

But this is not the claim under discussion.

The claim that the house church is Christian is the claim being discussed.

But likewise we can factually place Jewish sects in Dura so there is no statistical advantage whatsoever..

AlpinLuke understands that we cannot connect DP24 directly with the house church.
Strawman.

No one said that DP24 is connected "directly" with the DE.

Again:
However, DP24 is unequivocal and primary evidence of the existence of Christianity in the area at this time. Which of course, is concan's point.

The secure dating of DP24 is significant for the claim that there were early Christians present in Dura-Europos at the time.
 
Dec 2011
1,829
But likewise we can factually place Jewish sects in Dura so there is no statistical advantage whatsoever..
False.

Being able to factually place evidence of a Christian artifact in the area enhances the probability of that sect being physically located in Dura-Europos.

Additionally, the Jewish synagogue has determinate characteristics that are very different to the DE lending additional credence to the claim of the DE as not Jewish only.
 
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Dec 2011
1,829
BTW in earlier discussions at post #723 AlpinLuke has offered an independent analysis on the assumption that the house was occupied by a Jewish gladiator. At the following post I accepted this analysis and suggested there may not be much difference between a Jewish gladiator and a Jewish sodlier in the Roman army stationed at Dura.

This analysis suggests that, in regard to the house church being either Christian or Jewish, we have a coin flip.

I will respond separately to other issues.
All theories should be factored in.

The DE could have been used by multiple sects, sharing the house on different days. Who knows ?

BASED ON WHAT WE KNOW though, the DE has both the characteristics of Christian iconography absent the critical Jewish iconography we found in the Jewish synagogue.
 
Dec 2011
1,829
This is handwaving and I omitted it for that reason. Hopkins appears to have been unaware that one of the key characteristics of Christian nomina sacra is that they have overbars. From the article cited:

In the preliminary report Hopkins did not show the nomina sacra with overbars. Moreover, in the concluding section of the report he wrote: “Very possibly, however, in short inscriptions this line above was not considered necessary.” [13] It could be concluded from this that Hopkins did not in fact see an overbar above either the XPIC or XN IN graffiti. As a result of reading this report, Avi-Yonah in 1940 called them “individual freaks”:​
[13] Preliminary Report, Additional Note, A. D. Nock and C. Hopkins, p.285​

The article explores what I consider to be a very real possibility. If there were no overbars over the Greek characters are there any other lternative explanations for these runes that have already been catalogued as "Abbreviations in Greek Inscriptions".? The answer to this question is yes.

We can be quite certain as historians that in 1932 the Australian (foaled in NZ) racehorse Phar Lap won the Agua Caliente Handicap in Tijuana, Mexico, in track-record time .

However how certain can we be that in 1932 at Dura Europos Clark Hopkins discovered the earliest known Christian house church?

My estimate at the moment would be about 50%. A coin flip. IDK.
Hopkins appeared to have difficulty reading the artifacts in situ under the conditions that they were in.

Additionally, Hopkins hopes that additional study will shed light on any items that he is missing.

Hopkins thought it was important enough to bring up in his short prelim introduction so it seems fair to view it as pertinent information. Right ? I would not categorize this as a trivial point then. That would make it more than "handwaving" IMHO.

All pertinent items should be considered in our evaluation.
 
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Dec 2011
1,829
BTW in earlier discussions at post #723 AlpinLuke has offered an independent analysis on the assumption that the house was occupied by a Jewish gladiator. At the following post I accepted this analysis and suggested there may not be much difference between a Jewish gladiator and a Jewish sodlier in the Roman army stationed at Dura.

This analysis suggests that, in regard to the house church being either Christian or Jewish, we have a coin flip.
We should consider all information, but statistically, I don't see how drilling in on a Jewish gladiator or Jewish soldier overrides all of the other evidence to the degree that you are suggesting.

It seems quite the stretch.
 
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Dec 2011
1,829
However how certain can we be that in 1932 at Dura Europos Clark Hopkins discovered the earliest known Christian house church?

My estimate at the moment would be about 50%. A coin flip. IDK.
The absence of critical Jewish elements usually found in sites considered singularly Jewish is significant. The possibility of "mobile" menorah's notwithstanding.

If the DE instillation is "kind of" Jewish, but not really, then where does that take us ? What type of sects could be in play here ?

The factual evidence of multiple mural iconography seemingly related to Christian cult myths with a baptistry suggest early Christian activity. This is not an unreasonable conclusion.

The totality of ALL pertinent evidence has to be included in the probability assessment.

If we are going to use statistical language then we should adhere to the basic tenants of statistical reasoning.
 

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