Gal 1:19 : What if Paul didn't want to meet the other apostles?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Giuseppe
Posts: 4887
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:37 am
Location: Italy

Gal 1:19 : What if Paul didn't want to meet the other apostles?

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:24 am


I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord's brother.

(Gal. 1:19)


Assuming that Paul was already in (implicit or latent) conflict with the Christians of Jerusalem before the his first visit to Peter & company, then it would be expected that he wanted to have a contact only with Peter, by avoiding any relation with the other apostles, even if they were in Jerusalem in that moment.

He didn't see them because he didn't like them, and not because they were out of Jerusalem.

Peter, in virtue of the his relative openness of mind (towards Paul's plan for the future), was the only, among the apostles, whom Paul wanted to consider worthy of a visit by him (note en passant the great pride of the man at work).

So there are under this premise two possible options about ''brother of the Lord'':


1) James was only a mere Christian, so Paul saw him just as he could see a slave in the house of Peter doing his work. This would give more force to Richard Carrier's argument (James of Gal. 1:19 as mere brother) and so this James would be different from the James Pillar.

2) alternatively, the entire allusion to James, ''but only James, the brother of the Lord'', was an astute proto-catholic interpolation designed to correct the prideful isolationism of Paul. If Paul met also the carnal brother of Jesus - as the mind of the interpolator would have thought - then he was not the independent Apostle who wanted to visit Peter and only Peter (not caring about everyone else, as unworthy of him).


I lean to follow this latter option, since in Mark, assuming that the Jesus of Mark is sometimes Paul himself (per Dykstra, Adamczewski, RG. Price, etc), when Jesus avoids deliberately to meet the his brothers and the his mother, he is really Paul who didn't like to meet other brothers in Jerusalem, apart Peter.


So the interpolator had more than a reason to add the reference to a brother of the Lord in Gal 1.19. What was in discussion was the relation between Jesus and the his relatives (and the his mother). If Paul met a brother of Jesus, then afterall, also Jesus could have met the brother of Jesus, pace Mark.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Paul the Uncertain
Posts: 285
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:25 am
Contact:

Re: Gal 1:19 : What if Paul didn't want to meet the other apostles?

Post by Paul the Uncertain » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:11 am

Well yes, but just keep it simple (OK, I know that isn't your style, but this is an easier one than many).

Paul may well have not "wanted" to meet the other apostles. Verse 1:18 at least suggests that the sole purpose of the trip was to meet Cephas. That's reasonable. Paul views him as a peer (directly commisssioned apostle to the Jews, complementary to Paul thinking he was directly commissioned apostle to the Nations). As we'll see shortly in the letter, Peter-Cephas is at least open to table fellowship with those Gentile Christians Paul has been courting for three years. Paul and Cephas have things to talk about.

It is a priori unlikely that James was the only other person of apostolic rank that Paul literally "saw." It could well be, however, that some occasion to meet with another "reputed pillar" might have come up over the course of a two week business visit. Nothing in the rest of the story (that is, treating everything from what is now 1:11 through the end of chapter 2 as one long argument for the proposition that Paul's "gospel" is a distinctive teaching, not derived from the Jerusalem church leaders) presents James as even potentially an ally of Paul.

Thus is the stage set for the slap-down in Antioch 14-17 years later. Peter-Cephas turns out to be no ally, and James to all appearances never was. Conclude that wherever Paul's gospel came from, it wasn't from either of them. That would seem to be Paul's point (plus the fun of claiming that he got the better of Peter-Cephas in an argument).

Carrier has apparently fallen in love with the argument that brother of the Lord is nothing special. That's not what's on the page: the term only comes up twice, both times cheek-by-jowl with everybody of apostolic rank and both Peter-Cephas and Paul in close proximity.

The argument that every Christian is kinda the Lord's brother is cute, but again what's on the page is that for all the times Paul uses the term brother or sister to describe some kind of Christian (I count 50 times in Galatians and 1 Corinthians) the only times he uses the full phrase is when the sense is that the behavior of the top people in the movement is relevant to some question of church-wide importance that personally involves Paul himself.

The argument from "policing" jargon is unpromising. What linguistic subcommunity has trouble keeping its terms of art sorted out within itself? Worse, we have zero evidence that anybody except Paul ever used the term. Maybe it's like "super apostle," another of his pet names for some category of distinguished antagonists. So long as Paul's first readers knew what he meant, then he can use solecisms to his heart's content.

Interpolation is always possible, but there's no foundation for it here. The "second thought" form (I did no X, except when I did a specific kind of X) is found throughout Paul's letters, and elsewhere, too. It's a calculated device, not the "afterthought" it intentionally resembles. The mention of James makes sense in this place to introduce this character who will recur in the rest of the story. He's even depicted as extending the hand of friendship right before sticking it to Paul and precipitating the alienation of Barnabas. That's an extraordinary degree of integration for something supposedly added later.

Bottom line: it really is a problem. The good news is that naively taking the phrase at face value is hardly obligatory, either. BoL could mean any of a bewildering variety of things, some of the figurative ones implying a face-to-face relationship with a natural Jesus (e.g., gasp!, a disciple), but others not so much. So long as the meaning is sincerely debatable, the bearing is far short of dispositive of the historicity question.

Giuseppe
Posts: 4887
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:37 am
Location: Italy

Re: Gal 1:19 : What if Paul didn't want to meet the other apostles?

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:37 am

Paul the Uncertain wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:11 am
Well yes, but just keep it simple (OK, I know that isn't your style, but this is an easier one than many).

Paul may well have not "wanted" to meet the other apostles. Verse 1:18 at least suggests that the sole purpose of the trip was to meet Cephas. That's reasonable. Paul views him as a peer (directly commisssioned apostle to the Jews, complementary to Paul thinking he was directly commissioned apostle to the Nations). As we'll see shortly, Peter-Cephas is at least open to table fellowship with those Gentile Christians Paul has been courtung for three years. Paul and Cephas have things to talk about.

It is a priori unlikely that James was the only other person of apostolic rank that Paul literally "saw."
I don't understand why it would be improbable. Yourself are assuming that Paul was never friend of James: so, why should he meet him? To be enemy with X is a good reason to not meet X.
Carrier has apparently fallen in love with the argument that brother of the Lord is nothing special. That's not what's on the page: the term only comes up twice, both times cheek-by-jowl with everybody of apostolic rank and both Peter-Cephas and Paul in close proximity.
The argument that every Christian is kinda the Lord's brother is cute, but again what's on the page is that for all the times Paul uses the term brother or sister to describe some kind of Christian (I count 50 times in Galatians and 1 Corinthians) the only times he uses the full phrase is when the sense is that the behavior of the top people in the movement are relevant to some question of church-wide importance that personally involves Paul himself.
I don't think that in 1 Cor 9:5 , if genuine, the construct “Brothers of the Lord” refers to “top people” since there Paul is assuming that he is more worthy than them. So they are low people, not top people.

At any rate, I don't believe that “Brothers of Lord” is genuine of 1 Cor 9:5 . The construct was not found in the epistle read by Porphyry. So accordingly your entire argument is confuted.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
Posts: 4887
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:37 am
Location: Italy

Re: Gal 1:19 : What if Paul didn't want to meet the other apostles?

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:26 am

It is not a coincidence the fact that “the term only comes up twice, both times cheek-by-jowl with everybody of apostolic rank and both Peter-Cephas and Paul in close proximity”.

In the real History, Paul wanted to meet Peter and only Peter, to find alliance and a possible channel with him, not with the other Pillars. So the episode of the Brothers in Mark reiterates this point: when the Brothers want to meet Jesus, he denies a private meeting with them, by choosing, at contrary, Peter and the 12 as the his private company. Moral: Spiritual Brothers are better than Carnal Brothers. So in the Gospel of Mark, the “fate” of the carnal Brothers is to be mentioned in any occurrence of the same point: spiritual is better than carnal. This holds also for the episode of Nazareth.

Mark was deriving this from a Paul who met only Peter in the act itself of the his rejecting a meeting with other apostles.

The Judaizer or proto-catholic, in order to rehabilitate the carnal Brothers (introduced and defamed in the same time by Mark), interpolated “only James, the Lord's brother” in Gal 1:19.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
Posts: 4887
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:37 am
Location: Italy

Re: Gal 1:19 : What if Paul didn't want to meet the other apostles?

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:44 am

So it is explained also the judaizing need of an interpolation in the other passage:

Don't we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord's brothers and Cephas?

(1 Cor 9:5)

Without that construct, Paul is more positive with Cephas (=Peter). Only the apostles as Paul, as Cephas, should have the set of rights mentioned in the context. Cephas and the others are already using that set of rights. Now also Paul will use it.


The interpolator didn't like the limitation of the privileges to the only apostles. So the extension of these privileges to the ''Brothers of the Lord'' was designed to rehabilitate the carnal Brothers, raising the latter to the status of the former, pace Paul and pace Mark.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Paul the Uncertain
Posts: 285
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:25 am
Contact:

Re: Gal 1:19 : What if Paul didn't want to meet the other apostles?

Post by Paul the Uncertain » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:59 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:37 am
I don't understand why it would be improbable. Yourself are assuming that Paul was[i wrote: never [/i]friend of James: so, why should he meet him? To be enemy with X is a good reason to not meet X.
I'm unsure what, if anything, we're in disagreement about here. The backstory is that Paul has had a prior relationship with the church generally; it was hostile in some unspecified way. I'm not sure what difference it makes whether Paul knew at the time that James would shaft him 14-17 years later. Paul (apparently) didn't plan on meeting with James, but did. In context, Paul's argument to his Galatian readers, the significance of the mention is that James is not a plausible source for Paul's gospel.
I don't think that in 1 Cor 9:5 , if genuine, the construct “Brothers of the Lord” refers to “top people” since there Paul is assuming that he is more worthy than them. So they are low people, not top people.
While I agree that Paul thinks he's the greatest thing ever, he's stuck with Peter-Cephas having the same basis for authority as himself, a direct commission from the risen Christ. In addition, there are other reputed pillars besides Peter-Cephas, one of them being James, and so at least one of the Brothers of the Lord is a reputed pillar. If Paul thinks the reputation is undeserved, that doesn't solve his problem on either occasion.
At any rate, I don't believe that “Brothers of Lord” is genuine of 1 Cor 9:5 . The construct was not found in the epistle read by Porphyry. So accordingly your entire argument is confuted.
That's a fine foundation for your disputing the wording, but it's not dispositive. And a loss of mention at 1 Cor 9:5 doesn't change the aptness of the material at Gal 1:19, and further deprives the Carrier hypothesis of possible evidence (what had been maybe 2 attested uses out of 50 opportunities becomes at most 1 use in 49 opportunities).

And Mark comes years later. I love Mark, but its relevance to the authenticity or meaning of Galatians 1:19 is strained, IMO.

Giuseppe
Posts: 4887
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:37 am
Location: Italy

Re: Gal 1:19 : What if Paul didn't want to meet the other apostles?

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:38 am

Paul the Uncertain wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:59 am


I'm unsure what, if anything, we're in disagreement about here. The backstory is that Paul has had a prior relationship with the church generally; it was hostile in some unspecified way. I'm not sure what difference it makes whether Paul knew at the time that James would shaft him 14-17 years later.
I am assuming here simply that Paul didn't like to meet the other apostles, the first visit to Jerusalem, since he knew already about their hostility against himself, as also he knew about the relative neutrality of Peter. Whereas, in the second visit, he met these other apostles velim nolim.

In other terms, I deny (here, in this thread) that the apostles were out of Jerusalem, that day. The apostles were in Jerusalem, but Paul did avoid them.

So, if Paul met James when he wanted only to meet Peter, it was because he was only a mere brother (= not a real threat for what Paul was going to obtain from Peter).

Or the meeting with James was an interpolation. Tertium non datur, the hypothesis that Paul met James (the Pillar) against the his will to see only Peter, and him only.


It seems that you think that the third possibility is given, that Paul met James the Pillar the first time, even if he didn't want to meet him. I don't think that it is probable, logically.

While I agree that Paul thinks he's the greatest thing ever, he's stuck with Peter-Cephas having the same basis for authority as himself, a direct commission from the risen Christ. In addition, there are other reputed pillars besides Peter-Cephas, one of them being James, and so at least one of the Brothers of the Lord is a reputed pillar. If Paul thinks the reputation is undeserved, that doesn't solve his problem on either occasion.
What you are doing essentially is to raise the status of a brother of the Lord to the status of a Pillar. That was also the goal of the interpolator, in my view.

That's a fine foundation for your disputing the wording, but it's not dispositive. And a loss of mention at 1 Cor 9:5 doesn't change the aptness of the material at Gal 1:19, and further deprives the Carrier hypothesis of possible evidence (what had been maybe 2 attested uses out of 50 opportunities becomes at most 1 use in 49 opportunities).
True, this is the reason I think that also in Gal 1:19 ''brother of Lord'' is a judaizing interpolation.
And Mark comes years later. I love Mark, but its relevance to the authenticity or meaning of Galatians 1:19 is strained, IMO.
I introduce Mark here only because it is already proved by Dykstra and Adamczewski that often the Jesus of Mark is Paul(-inized).


So I don't ignore the “coincidence” of a pauline Jesus, in Mark, who rejects the his carnal brothers while he prefers the his spiritual disciples. The parallelism between the Markan Jesus and the historical Paul requires, to be perfect, that also in the real history Paul saw Peter while he didn't see James. The interpolator has broken this (otherwise perfect) parallelism, by inventing a meeting between Paul and James the brother of the Lord, in Gal 1:19.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Paul the Uncertain
Posts: 285
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:25 am
Contact:

Re: Gal 1:19 : What if Paul didn't want to meet the other apostles?

Post by Paul the Uncertain » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:55 am

@Giuseppe
So, if Paul met James when he wanted only to meet Peter, it was because he was only a mere brother (= not a real threat for what Paul was going to obtain from Peter).
That doesn't follow. How could anybody have prevented Paul and Peter from meeting as they did? Why would a powerful James have wanted to prevent the meeting?

Conversely, who was Paul at this point in his career that many apostles would have been interested in meeting with him? A guy who was a persecutor, out of circulation (from their point of view) for years, and now he's back and wants to make nice? Let me check my calendar, lol.

What's on the received page is plausible enough (intending to meet with the one apostle he went to see, Paul hits it off well enough with Peter to make it a two-week stay, and along the way, one other apostle sat in for an undisclosed portion of the talks - undisclosed perhaps because nobody among Paul's Galatian audience thinks that Paul got any gospel advice from James, so none of them care how much or how little James participated).
What you are doing essentially is to raise the status of a brother of the Lord to the status of a Pillar. That was also the goal of the interpolator, in my view.
There's nothing on the page that tells us that there's more than one James in this story. If the meeting with James in its entirety is interpolated, then I'm wrong to say that Paul met with anybody but Peter on the first trip. I've already conceded that anything can be interpolated, but stated an affirmative reason why I think this isn't (conformity with a figure of speech that Paul uses elsewhere).

If there is only one James in the story, and what we read is what was written, then he was a BoL at the time of the first meeting and a reputed pillar at the time of the second meeting, 14-17 years later. I didn't raise anybody's status,

BTW, it's reputed pillar, not necessarily a title or rank, maybe just Paul's impression of their prominence or name recognition among his Galatian audience.
I introduce Mark here only because it is already proved by Dykstra and Adamczewski that often the Jesus of Mark is Paul(-inized).
I don't dispute that Mark owes a lot to Paul. I'm not on the hook for what anybody else "already proved" about the specifics of the debt.
The parallelism between the Markan Jesus and the historical Paul requires, to be perfect, that also in the real history Paul saw Peter while he didn't see James.
Why would "parallelism" have to be "perfect?" Mark's his own man. If he wants to allude to Paul, then he can make his point without assuming his audience will map the allusion onto a particular incident in Galatians. Especially not if what Paul meant by brother of the Lord wasn't kinship.

It's pretty obvious that Paul's teaching could alienate family members from one another - at one level of discourse, isn't that what happened at Antioch? A set of "brothers" including Paul had a falling out over Paul's teaching. Parallel enough to "explain" the scene in Mark, if one had to have the debt to Paul work that way.

Giuseppe
Posts: 4887
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:37 am
Location: Italy

Re: Gal 1:19 : What if Paul didn't want to meet the other apostles?

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:19 am

@Paul The Uncertain
Why would a powerful James have wanted to prevent the meeting?
because he would have realized (thing happened after, per Gal 2) that Paul was exercising a particular negative influence on Peter. He would have heard the terms of the agreement, too much supporting the pauline interests, and he would have contrasted the pauline plan on the birth.

Conversely, who was Paul at this point in his career that many apostles would have been interested in meeting with him? A guy who was a persecutor, out of circulation (from their point of view) for years, and now he's back and wants to make nice?

persecutor could already mean "heretic". For the Catholics, Luther "persecuted" the Church.
What's on the received page is plausible enough
not just. Already Carrier has pointed out the strange fact that Paul mets only Peter and James, but not the others. The fact is strange per se. So a difference is required, between to meet only the apostles, and to meet only James. Or none of both them.
Why would "parallelism" have to be "perfect?" Mark's his own man. If he wants to allude to Paul, then he can make his point without assuming his audience will map the allusion onto a particular incident in Galatians. Especially not if what Paul meant by brother of the Lord wasn't kinship.
the case of Dykstra and Adamczewski (especially of the latter) requires a perfect pattern matching between Galatians and Mark. So I wonder if the interpolator broke the pattern matching. It is not more perfect, now. But it is still visible.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
Posts: 4887
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:37 am
Location: Italy

Re: Gal 1:19 : What if Paul didn't want to meet the other apostles?

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:45 am


Galatians 1narrative themeMark 3
Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days
Meeting only with the insider(s)
Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat.
I saw none of the other apostles.
...
I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they praised God because of me.
The outsiders can't become insiders
Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”

33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.
only James, the Lord’s brother.
an outsider becomes insider????



Is the pattern matching broken because "only James, the Lord’s brother" is an interpolation?

Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Post Reply