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

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

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:00 am

Paul the Uncertain wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:38 pm

I looked at the Greek quickly online. I don't see anything at 1:18-19 that places Paul, Peter and James in the same room at the same time. Perhaps you could point it out to me, so it can be clear to me, too, as clear as it would need to be for Paul's audience to understand Mere James' role.
I refer to the academic article mentioned also by Richard Carrier in the his book (at the moment I have not the book ready to hand). At any rate, given the fact that in the second visit to Jerusalem, Paul sees the three Pillars in the same room, then it is more probable than not that also in the first visit he met Paul and James in the same room.


https://biblehub.com/interlinear/galatians/1.htm
According to your objection, any Pagan who met a mere Christian could show himself as an Apostle. By doing simply "copy and paste". I don't think so.
I'm unsure that I'm parsing your first sentence correctly. Paul's claim does imply that he didn't get it from a pagan, but would anybody accuse him of getting it from a pagan? Nothing on the page suggests that Paul was rebutting that kind of accusation.
No, no, I am saying that there were two ways a not-Christian (a Pagan or a Jew like the pre-christian Paul) could heard about the Christian message:

1) from a mere brother

2) or, from an apostle.

In the first case, the knowledge derived by the our not-Christian outsider has to be more little than the knowledge derived in the second case. In the second case, he would have known surely a lot of things about how the sect worked.

Would anybody accuse Paul of getting it from a fellow Jewish Christian, somebody who could easily have heard several Jerusalem apostles preach? Sure. Even assuming brother of the Lord in that context says no more than that, "no more than that" doesn't exclude being able to come up with or recall sermon topics.
Well, I context with strong personal certainty that your “sure”. If the knowledge about Christ derived from a mere brother was so useful, then not only Paul, but any not-Christian would have made what Peregrinus Proteus did later: to usurp for himself the title of Apostle (or prominent Christian), by doing simply “copy and paste” from the hearsay by the first mere Christian idiot.

In the my metaphor of the presumed pedophile, the pedophile can't be accused so easily of the his presumed vice if he claims that he has met a child in company of an adult. In the same way, Paul can't be accused of “copy and paste” of the Gospel worthy of an Apostle, if the only Apostle met by him is Peter in company of a mere brother.


Paul writes that he'd been far away from Jerusalem for years, and he apparently had had only hostile contact with the Jerusalem church before then. Any typical Jerusalem Jewish Christian could easily know more about the ideas circulating among the Jerusalem based apostles than Paul did at the time of his first meeting with Peter.
Any argument derived from the legend of Paul persecutor is not worhty of the my attention. I am sorry. Pliny and Tacitus (both anti-Christian persecutors) derived from mere Christians their Gospel, but they didn't usurp the title of Apostle for themselves. The gnosis of an Apostle does the real difference. Paul is accused of copy and paste from a previous Apostle, not from a mere Christian.


This hypothetical Mere James doesn't have to understand what the apostles preach as well as an apostle would, he just has to know what the different Jerusalem apostles preach.
From what a mere brother knew - Christ crucified and risen, period - it is not possible to usurp the title of Apostle for themselves. The Apostles knew things not known by the mere brothers. Paul reveals what he says in 1 Cor 2:6-11 only to Perfects.

Did he derive that particular gnosis from a previous apostle or from Christ himself?

Who was not-perfect didn't know that gnosis.
Paul is a sophisticated religious thinker. If Mere James hummed a few bars of any melody Paul enjoyed, then Paul could plausibly fill in the orchestration.
if Paul could, why couldn't another not-Christian, too? You ignore the exact difference between what a “Perfect” knew and what a mere brother knew.



Paul needs to eliminate, at a minimum, everybody he mentions from the set of his possible informants about any Jerusalem apostolic teachings congruent with what became his gospel. He doesn't do that with James. James cannot help Paul as a potential witness if Paul doesn't, at a minimum, establish what James would testify and why James is qualified to give that testimony. Paul doesn't do that with James, either.
your entire argument collapses since a mere brother didn't know what “only the Perfects among you” could know. The question for the Galatians was: how could Paul know the gnosis reserved to only the Perfects? The mere knowledge of a “crucified Christ” can't make you an Apostle, despite of all my candor. Not even Richard Carrier can show himself as an Apostle, in the my eyes.

This would be a good time to say that I'm not an adherent of the polar opposite view, that brother of the Lord ought to be read at face value, as some apologists happily do, that Paul says he met a kinsman of Jesus. There are a lot of possible interpetations between "any old Christian" and "another of Mary's boys." Maybe they each have their plusses and minuses.
I like a lot your profession of Jesus agnosticism, but this discussion has made me more sure about the force of the Carrier's argument.

If Paul had known only a mere brother, would have he seen him posing as an Apostle? He could. Would have he derived from him how an Apostle works? He could. What he couldn't derive in anyway from a mere brother, was the secret gnosis of the Apostles.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:14 am

GakuseiDon wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:26 pm
Paul lists "apostles" as first in his list of groups above. How many were out on the road 'apostling' we don't know, but I wonder about taking it to mean that Paul didn't meet any other Christians, as Giuseppe (if I am reading him correctly) is implying.
I am saying that Paul met only Peter and a mere Christian (James) and no apostles. He didn't meet apostles because they were 'apostling' out Jerusalem, but because it is his interest to show to have met only the First Apostle Peter, and a mere witness of the happened meeting: the brother James.

The MERE presence of a mere brother in the same room (where Paul met Peter) assures for the 100% the Galatians that what Peter and Paul talked about was not the secret gnosis reserved only to Perfects among us”, since the Christian outsider James was listening the discussion.

whatever Peter revealed to Paul, the Galatians can be sure 100% that the informations given by Peter to Paul were not secret gnosis worthy of an Apostle, because otherwise also the mere brother James would be became ipso facto powerful just as an Apostle.

The case is really complete, in my view. Thank you Paul the Uncertain! :cheers:
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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

Post by GakuseiDon » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:26 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:14 am
The MERE presence of a mere brother in the same room (where Paul met Peter) assures for the 100% the Galatians that what Peter and Paul talked about was not the secret gnosis reserved only to Perfects among us”, since the Christian outsider James was listening the discussion.

whatever Peter revealed to Paul, the Galatians can be sure 100% that the informations given by Peter to Paul were not secret gnosis worthy of an Apostle, because otherwise also the mere brother James would be became ipso facto powerful just as an Apostle.
What non-gnosis matters do you think they talked about, such that Paul claimed that the result was that they gave Paul their approval for his gospel message?
It is really important, in life, to concentrate our minds on our enthusiasms, not on our dislikes. -- Roger Pearse

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

Post by Paul the Uncertain » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:42 am

@GakuseiDon

Yes, I did have 1 Corinthians 12:28-29 in mind as I was thinking about the term apostles. Based on the plain meaning of the term, apostles would seem to go away from their homes on missions to recruit converts and advise the already converted. That agrees with what Paul depicts apostles doing, including himself, throughout the letters. Reputed pillar James in Galatians 2 evidently dispatches other people as apostles, and that "executive" activity, too, is plausibly an aspect of the apostolic function.

For what it's worth, there is no evidence here of any "chain of command" beyond labile personal attachments (e.g. Barnabas to Paul). The governance style would seem to be "collegial" in modern terms. Then as now, collegial means driven by treachery and intrigue, lol. That would bear upon:
My guess is that there would be leaders who can give an official blue tick of verification to them, thus Paul's need to gain the leaders' approval for his own particular Gospel.

While I agree with that overall, I think the model may be more like "reputation" online or "endorsements" or "likes." That is, it enhances your credibility to be associated with established opinion leaders. Even Einstein was more-or-less crying in the wilderness until Max Planck said good things about his ideas. Even so, Max Planck had no authority to command Einstein to do anything.

Paul has the additional constraint that the visionary foundation for his own authority among the Nations also endorses Peter's authority among the Jews. Paul needs some accommodation with Peter to be coherent and to achieve his aspiration to a unified movement of Jews alongside Gentiles. With Peter, in turn, comes a Jerusalem network of collegial ties to people who have their own personal foundations for a place in the movement.
How many were out on the road 'apostling' we don't know, but I wonder about taking it to mean that Paul didn't meet any other Christians, as Giuseppe (if I am reading him correctly) is implying.
Agreed, we don't know how many apostles were available (or even willing) to meet Paul Who?. And as mentioned above, part of the apostolic function may have been staying at home and choosing who else goes on the road.

@Giuseppe
At any rate, given the fact that in the second visit to Jerusalem, Paul sees the three Pillars in the same room, then it is more probable than not that also in the first visit he met Paul and James in the same room.
If you say so, lol.
No, no, I am saying that there were two ways a not-Christian (a Pagan or a Jew like the pre-christian Paul) could heard about the Christian message.
Plus, contact with any of the other officers mentioned at 1 Corinthians 12:28-29, or a personal visionary experience. Not two ways, but lots of ways.
has to be more little than the knowledge derived in the second case.
That simply is not how interpersonal communication works. The amount of information that moves on a two-way channel depends on the characteristics of the stations at either end.

We (including the Galatians) know that Paul is an expert in both the subject matter and in interpersonal communication methods. By hypothesis, we know nothing about James except that he doesn't hold church office (not even that really, since he could be a teacher, for example, and not be an apostle). James may indeed be nothing in his own right, but he could be the slave, kinsman, or lover of an apostle for all we know by the hypothesis.

And that's the bottom line. Unless the Galatians already know James' implausibility as a source for Paul (or whatever other use he's supposed to serve), then Paul has to say. And by hypothesis Paul doesn't say. Oops.
your “sure”
It's just the English equivalent of the Italian si, certo. It doesn't call for rebuttal.
Any argument derived from the legend of Paul persecutor is not worhty of the my attention. I am sorry.
OK. No need to be sorry. But if Paul's testimony about his personal activity is unreliable, then why are we discussing Paul's testimony about his personal activity?

So far as I can tell, the rest proceeds on the assumption that James must be an apostle in order to convey information about apostolic preaching to an expert interrogator. If that isn't the case, let me know, but if it is, I feel I've already shown that that simply isn't the case and isn't justified as an assumption.

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

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:12 am

GakuseiDon wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:26 am
Giuseppe wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:14 am
The MERE presence of a mere brother in the same room (where Paul met Peter) assures for the 100% the Galatians that what Peter and Paul talked about was not the secret gnosis reserved only to Perfects among us”, since the Christian outsider James was listening the discussion.

whatever Peter revealed to Paul, the Galatians can be sure 100% that the informations given by Peter to Paul were not secret gnosis worthy of an Apostle, because otherwise also the mere brother James would be became ipso facto powerful just as an Apostle.
What non-gnosis matters do you think they talked about, such that Paul claimed that the result was that they gave Paul their approval for his gospel message?
Not so different from what they talked about during the second visit. I assume here the scenario described by Loren Rosson:
) So by agreeing to Paul’s demands they were only endorsing their own past practice and keeping things status quo — despite increased misgivings, and increased pressure from outside groups, as time went on.

But the pillars broke their promise...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/rossonl.wo ... tioch/amp/

In other terms: during the second meeting, Peter accorded to Paul the same things he accorded to him during the first visit. With the only difference that, this time, Peter broke the promise. So no secret gnosis discussed here, but only mere politics. A mere brother could hear without problems.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:27 am

Paul the Uncertain wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:42 am
Any argument derived from the legend of Paul persecutor is not worhty of the my attention. I am sorry.
OK. No need to be sorry. But if Paul's testimony about his personal activity is unreliable, then why are we discussing Paul's testimony about his personal activity?
About Paul persecutor, a serious case is made for the interpolation of the relative passages.

https://vridar.org/2014/12/20/paul-the- ... rpolation/

This is the reason I can't build a serious argument on it.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:00 am

Paul the Uncertain wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:42 am
By hypothesis, we know nothing about James except that he doesn't hold church office (not even that really, since he could be a teacher, for example, and not be an apostle). James may indeed be nothing in his own right, but he could be the slave, kinsman, or lover of an apostle for all we know by the hypothesis.

And that's the bottom line. Unless the Galatians already know James' implausibility as a source for Paul (or whatever other use he's supposed to serve), then Paul has to say. And by hypothesis Paul doesn't say. Oops.
If the premise is:

1) that Paul has to prove his distance from any apostle;

2) that Paul has to prove that he didn't “copy and paste” directly from Peter, who is apostle,

...then anything is necessary for Paul make his argument is precisely what he wrote: he met only an apostle (so proving en passant the point 1), and the presence of a mere Christian outsider (mere James) confirms that this apostle (Peter) didn't reveal nothing of too much secret of an Apostle (so proving the point 2) but only mere politics.

The presence of a mere James alone neutralizes the risk of an exchange of top secret apostolic gnosis from the apostle Peter. Gnosis that otherwise, in absence of the mere brother James, Paul would have shown as the his own.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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

Post by Paul the Uncertain » Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:11 am

@Giuseppe

From Godfrey's extract from the 1972 O'Neill book:
The astounding reversal of roles he [Paul] underwent, from a fierce persecutor of the Church to an evangelist of the faith, and from a precociously zealous Jew to an opponent of Jewish customs, is no argument in favour of Paul’s position.
I dissent. Paul's main argument focuses on two visits to Jerusalem, both of them after he began his preaching career. To rebut charges that his preaching is derivative of Jerusalem, Paul must also account for his contacts with the same organization before his preaching began. To do so is just as relevant to the accusation as his remarking that three years elapsed between his conversion and his first collegial visit to Jerusalem, and his disclosing his whereabouts during those years.

Everything in this field "could be" an interpolation. There is nothing here that is inherently implausible (it even has a name in psychology, enantiodromia), nothing digressive, nothing that interrupts the "flow," nor, contrary to claim, does it fail to favor Paul's argument. Being a persecutor explains how he could have had contact with the group but not have been consciously instructed or doctrinally influenced by his contacts with them.

I am, of course, open to the argument that his lopsided ego-commitment to his own excellence in Judaism, and his expression of that by open hostility toward fellow Jews in the context of foreign exloiters and puppet kings explains why he had the visions that he did. That's what drives enantiodromia. However, we would not expect Paul's argument to be other than his conscious apprehension of his behavior. At that level, the radical change could only speak well of the power of his vision and of the personage whom he encountered.

Amazing grace that saved a wretch like me.

ETA (the post that came while I was composing the above). If the issue is secret gnosis, then Paul need make no public explanation at all. The public wouldn't know what he was talking about. Apart from that, I believe I've addressed any issues revived in this new post.

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

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:49 am

Even if we accept as authentic the part about Paul the persecutor, it confirms only the absolute foreigness of Paul with the movement persecuted by him. To such degree, this may make even the his argument: which Apostle would reveal the his secret gnosis to a persecutor? Not even under torture!
Paul the Uncertain wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:11 am
ETA (the post that came while I was composing the above). If the issue is secret gnosis, then Paul need make no public explanation at all. The public wouldn't know what he was talking about. Apart from that, I believe I've addressed any issues revived in this new post.
In red your error.

To be Apostle means to be someone who receives the secret gnosis directly by God, or from someone who talks directly with God, during an initiation reserved “for the only Perfects among you”.

So the Galatians know that Paul is claiming the possession of secret apostolic gnosis, since Paul has said them that he is an apostle made directly by God (=without initiation by other previous Apostles).


Therefore the public would know what he was talking about: possession of secret divine knowledge. Paul shows this knowledge:

Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are Perfects; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away;

The outsider Corinthians are listening these words. They know which is the claim of Paul: he is posing as an Apostle, here, a dispenser of secret mysteries.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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

Post by Paul the Uncertain » Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:15 pm

@Giuseppe

It's not unusual in the real world for some participants in a meeting to have private exchanges which they'd prefer not to share with others at the same meeting. They can excuse themselves and meet more privately (caucus), resuming the larger meeting when they're done. Alternatively, they can send the lower-status third party (by hypothesis) on some errand, and continue the meeting without him.

Paul makes no claim that James is ever present when he's meeting with Peter. Even if Mere James was "in attendance," nothing prevents him from having missed any confidential parts over those two weeks. It's not as if we (including the Galatians) are ever going to hear about any of this from him.

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