A website of outlines of scholarly works and some of my own exploratory ventures as a companion to posts on my Vridar blog.

NOTICE: My Vridar Blog has now moved to vridar.org


Archaeology of Palestine and Old Testament Origins

Thomas L. Brodie: The New Testament's Dependence On the Old -- Illustrated

Gospel of Mark

Gospel of Peter

Gospels of Mark and Peter

Josephus and Christian origins

Justin Martyr on Christian origins

Paul and Christian origins

"The Creation of Christ: An Outline of the Beginnings of Christianity" by P. L. Couchoud

NOTE ALL THE FOLLOWING LINKS ARE OUTDATED. ALL POSTS ARE NOW AT VRIDAR BLOG. Will update the links below sometime in coming weeks. (30th June, 2013 -- Neil)

Volume I

Part 1 THE APOCALYPSES (168 B.C. to A.D. 40)

1. Pre-Christian Foundations of Christianity

I had earlier posted these without the same sorts of commentary as Earl Doherty's forerunner? Paul-Louis Couchoud and the birth of Christ

These posts contained PDF files of:

The Foreword

Chapter one: Preliminary

Chapter two: The Profaned Temple (concerning the time of Antiochus Epiphanes)

Chapter three: The Dream of Daniel (the first appearance of the Divine Man/Son of Man as an entirely metaphoric figure)

Chapter four: The Revelations of Enoch (traces the evolution of this Daniel figure)

Chapter five: The Revelations of Moses (continuing the evolution of this figure into a real heavenly person)

2. John the Baptist and the foundations of Christianity

Chapter six of part 1, titled "The Prophet John the Baptist"

3. The first signs of Christianity

This looks at the earliest appearances of uniquely Christian terms for the Christ figure, Christian practices such as baptism and visionary experiences, and the break from John the Baptist. Chapter seven of part 1, titled "Elements of Christianity".

Part 2 THE PROPHETS (A.D. 40 to A. D. 130)

4. The swarming of the prophets

Introduction to who was spreading the Christian movement and how. Chapter one of Part 2.

5. Earliest divisions in the Christian movement

Chapter two of Part 2. Titled "Divisions"

6. The struggles of Paul

First half of chapter three of Part 2, titled "Struggles and Sufferings of St. Paul"

7. The sufferings of Paul

Second half of chapter three of Part 2. Couchoud argues that the Crucified Christ concept was largely the result of Paul projecting his own sufferings into a saving divinity.

8. The Crucified God: origin and original meaning of the concept

Chapter four of Part 2. This explains the mystical nature of the original concept of a crucified deity. Couchoud's title, "The Crucified God".

9. War of the heavenly Christs: John's sacrificed Lamb versus Paul's crucified God

First half of chapter five of Part 2. Titled "The Sacrificed Lamb".

10. The Christ of John's Revelation: nemesis of Paul's crucified Christ

Second half of chapter five, Part 2.

Part 3 THE GOSPELS (A.D. 130 to A.D 150)

11. Christianity in the gap years, 70 CE to 120 CE

Chapter one of Part 3. This chapter looks at Christianity in the various Roman provinces. Couchoud's title, "The Christian Provinces".

12. Why early churches chose a book over living prophets

Chapter two of Part 3. Couchoud's title for this chapter is "Conflicts".

13. How Christ became flesh: the role of the celestial high priest

Chapter three of Part 3. Discusses the place of the Book of Hebrews. Title "The Celestial High Priest".

14. Christ descends to earth: Marcion's contribution to Christianity

Chapter four of Part 3. A related post is Marcion's authorship of his Gospel: an overlooked question, that links to Professor Markus Vinzent's blog where a contemporary scholar is re-opening this question. Title, "Marcion".

15. Another explanation of Gospel origins from a Christ myth perspective

A section of the same chapter above. I doubled up here. Woops.

16. The earliest gospels 1 - Marcion's gospel

Chapter five of Part 3. The Gospel of Marcion. Couchoud's title, "The Good God on Earth (The Gospel of Marcion)".

17. The earliest gospels 2 - the gospel of Basilides

First few pages of chapter six, Part 3. Title in Couchoud's volume: "The Son and Heir of God (The Gospel according to St. Mark)".

18. The earliest gospels 3 - the gospel of Mark

The remainder of chapter six, Part 3.

19. The earliest gospels 4 - Matthew

Chapter seven, Part 3. Title: "The Messiah of Israel (The Gospel according to St. Matthew)".

Volume II

20. The earliest gospels 5 - gospel of John

Chapter eight, Part 3. Title: "God Incarnate (The Gospel according to St. John)"

21. The earliest gospels 6(a) - on the cusp of Luke

First part of chapter nine, Part 3. This brings us to Rome's perspective and the beginnings of efforts to "catholicize" or bring some order to the chaotic scene of Christianity.

22. The earliest gospels 6(b) - Luke

Part of chapter nine, Part 3. Introduces the key role of Clement in the production of the gospel of Luke and much of the New Testament corpus. Couchoud's title: "Jesus of Nazareth (The Gospel according to Saint Luke)".

22. The earliest gospels 6(c) - Luke's gospel

Continuing chapter nine, Part 3.

23. Couchoud on Acts of the Apostles

Continuing chapter nine, Part 3. Focus on the role of Clement and the function of the Acts as a catholicizing tract. Marcion is identified as Simon Magus.

24. Paul's letter to the Romans and the formation of the canonical edition

Continuing chapter nine, Part 3. Further discussion of Clement's editorial hand.

25. Epistle to the Galatians

Continuing chapter nine, Part 3.

26. The Pastorals, a remedy for a grave defect in Paul's epistles

Continuing chapter nine, Part 3.

27. 2 Peters, 1 Jude and 2 Revelations: the first New Testament

Concluding chapter nine, Part 3, and the likely role of Clement.

28. Jesus formed

Chapter ten, Part 3. Title, "Jesus Formed".

Appendix I

The Gospel According to Marcion

Appendix II

The Historicity of Jesus