to Neil Godfrey,
On your own blog post, you wrote:
If Paul’s crucified messiah really was a scandalous polar opposite (so opposite as to be virtually inconceivable or blasphemous to many Jews) to a standard messianic idea with which Jews as a whole identified, then we would expect to find Paul addressing that contrary messianic figure somewhere and making it clear why it was deficient and why his crucified messiah was indeed superior.
That's what Paul did in his later epistles: the crucified messiah is superior because his sacrifice for atonement of sins of his followers (Christians) made him the Savior for eternity.
On your own blog post, you also wrote:
And this is not surprising when we attempt to find out what the “Jewish” idea of a messiah actually was in the time of Paul. There was none. Or more correctly, there were several ideas alongside an apparent lack of interest in the idea altogether.
Definitively, Paul was not warm about the main traditional idea of a Jewish Messiah, a messiah who would liberate the Jews and install a Kingdom on earth superior to the one of their occupier.
Here are allusions, in the NT, to that Kingdom of earth and/or Jesus Christ as his King and/or liberator.
a) Mark's gospel:
""Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!" ..."
b) Matthew's gospel:
"your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."
"When the Son of Man
[Jesus] comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people on from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the King will say to those on his right, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world ... But he will say to those on his left ' "Depart from me, ..., into the eternal fire ...'"
c) Luke's 'Acts':
"Therefore, when they
[the disciples] had come together, they asked Him [Jesus], saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?""
d) 'Revelation' (with 'James' & gMatthew, the most Jewish NT text):
- God's wrath:
"... hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne
[God] and from the wrath of the lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"
- The Kingdom of one thousand years:
"... they will be priests of God and of Christ and they will reign with him for a thousand years. When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth - Gog and Magog - to gather them in battle. In number they are like the sand of the seashore. They surrounded the camp of God's people, the city
[Jerusalem] he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them."
- The "New Jerusalem":
"The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.
[the "New Jerusalem", a kingdom twice the size of Mexico!]"
- About the Word of God, who is also, king of kings, and the Lamb (17:4), which is also Jesus Christ (14:1, 21:14), as the ultimate conqueror: 19:11-21 (too long to quote here).
That Jewish Messiah was anti-Roman and Paul & his Christians did not want to look as rebels. In 'Romans', Paul asked the Christians to be obedient and fearful of Roman authorities. Paul put the Kingdom in heaven accessible by relatively few Christians (some already dead) in spiritual bodies. The whole process would be of little consequence for the Roman Empire.
Also in 1 Cor 15:50, Paul showed his aversion about believing flesh and blood to inherit the kingdom of God.
I do not care about Morton Smith's opinions, and his observations are not closely related to the topic of this thread. Furthermore, I do not see why bother making points about Paul & other apostles being persecuted because they preached "Christ crucified". Paul never said that in his epistles.
Furthermore, Paul, most likely did not first named his Lord Jesus: "Christ". That title was inherited from Jewish Christians in Antioch, at the latest (according to Acts 11:26). He had to work from that title and progressively changed the function & purpose of that Messiah.