What did Paul mean by brother(s) of the Lord?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
John2
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Re: What did Paul mean by brother(s) of the Lord?

Post by John2 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:10 pm

Paul the Uncertain wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:04 pm
@John 2
that gave Origen the impression that Josephus "did not accept Jesus as Christ,
I'm comfortable that Origen could figure out that Josephus was Jewish from his general reading, and need not to have relied on any specific passage. But if you think Origen needed a brief proof text, then go for it.
I think Origen may have needed a proof text because he always mentions that Josephus "did not accept Jesus as Christ" when he talks about what he thought Josephus said about James, so the question is why (even if Origen only surmised this from Josephus being Jewish, or because Josephus believed that Vespasian was the Messiah, as Doherty suggests and which I think is plausible but still doesn't explain why Origen only mentions it in connection with the James passage).
...and felt like mentioning it when he talked about what he thought Josephus said about James.
Origen explains that himself fairly well (Against Celsus 1.47, emphasis added):
... Now this writer, although not believing in Jesus as the Christ, in seeking after the cause of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple, whereas he ought to have said that the conspiracy against Jesus was the cause of these calamities ... says nevertheless— being, although against his will, not far from the truth— that these disasters happened to the Jews as a punishment for the death of James the Just, ...
That is, Origen remarks on Josephus' near-agreement with Origen's view of the matter, despite their religious differences. What more ought Origen have "felt like mentioning," in your view?

But this doesn't explain why Origen thought Josephus "did not accept Jesus as Christ." He only says that Josephus "ought to have said" that the death of Jesus was the reason Jerusalem fell instead of the death of James. And I don't know what more Origen ought to have felt like mentioning; I'm only trying to guess why he always says that Josephus "did not accept Jesus as Christ" in connection with the James passage. And Josephus' statement that Jesus was "inferior to him [Ananus] upon the comparison" works for me, particularly when you factor in the other similarities (Ananus was a "very just man" whose death caused the fall of Jerusalem).

In this scenario we can get everything we need from one passage and explain why Origen always says in connection to it that Josephus "did not accept Jesus as Christ." Imagine you were Origen and you read (or heard someone read or tell you) that Josephus thought that Jesus was inferior to "James." Maybe because James is commonly described as being priest-like (and even in Acts he is concerned with the observance of sacrifice, after the death of Jesus) might have added to the confusion of Origen (or whoever he learned his story from), since Ananus was a priest.
... the death of Ananus was the beginning of the destruction of the city, and that from this very day may be dated the overthrow of her wall, and the ruin of her affairs, whereon they saw their high priest, and the procurer of their preservation, slain in the midst of their city. He was on other accounts also a venerable, and a very just man ...
And Hegesippus says that James was called a "bulwark of the people," similar to what Josephus calls Ananus ("the procurer of their preservation"). So there are three elements shared by Ananus and James that could have contributed to Origen's confusion; they are both "priests" (with James being at least priest-like), "very just" men, and "bulwarks of the people" who were associated with someone named Jesus.
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DCHindley
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Re: What did Paul mean by brother(s) of the Lord?

Post by DCHindley » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:31 pm

WRT the marginal note hypothesis as the source for Origen's statement, the facts remain that what Origen said he read in Josephus' works cannot have come from the texts written by Josephus that have survived. Something has to bridge the gap.

Perhaps an actual non-surviving text by Josephus in which he makes that assertion? If so, why was this alternative not preserved?

It seems no one, including Eusebius, knew where it came from. This pretty much says to me "Origen read something he *thought* was written by Origen that said the destruction of Jerusalem was due to the death of James the Just." He probably didn't make it up, as he would really have preferred that Josephus had said that the death of Jesus was the cause. But what could he have read that said whet he said it said about James and the Destruction of Jerusalem.

Many, including me, have come to the conclusion that Origen had read a marginal note in a copy of Ant 20 that made him think that the city's destruction was caused by the death of James. He thought that he had access to Josephus' own autograph copy of Ant 20. My suggestion was that the writer of the marginal note, probably *not* Josephus, was also familiar with War 4 where Ananus is praised as the best thing since wheat bread, and the destruction was caused by Ananus' death, which is the opposite of his description of Ananus in Ant 20. The "marginal noter" simply made the wry comment "Is this man (Ananus, as described in Ant 20) the same one whose death caused the destruction of the city (War 4)?" Since there was no punctuation in them days, Origen read it to mean "This man (James) was the cause of the destruction of the city!" I do not think he was even aware of the passage in War 4.

Some argue that it was something that Hegesippus had said, as he gives the crazy account of James' death (thrown over the city wall into the valley below *and* stoned to death), that made Origen think that attributed the fall of the city on the death of James the Just. The problem is that as far as I can tell Hegesippus does *not* make this claim. The story of James the Just's death in Hegesippus is apparently drawn from differing accounts of his death, and conflated together. The stoning can be inferred from the story in Antiquities 20, but the throwing from the wall story is not so easy to pin down. And how do we explain the "Wall of Jesus" that James was commanded to explain?

Now I have noted that besides the incongruity of the portrayal of Ananus in War 4, the death of Ananus in War 4 was that Idumeans, who had managed to bypass his guards that had locked them out of the city, sought out Ananus and his 2nd in command, a chief priest named Jesus. They were lynched and their dead bodies thrown over the city wall. Why such vengeance? Ananus' 1st chief priest in command, the chief priest Jesus, had lectured the Idumeans, who had been locked out of the city, in an extremely insulting manner (especially Jesus). One of the Idumean commanders was named James. James later was a key commander for Simon bar Giora, until he was arrested for attempting to surrender the city to the Romans. He disappeared from the narrative, but I can see the man being dragged before a "kangaroo court" to answer the charge that Jesus the chief Priest was right about Idumeans all along - they cannot be trusted.

My suggestion was that Hegesippus had used, besides Ant 20 (for the stoning), some account of Jacob the Idumean's trial, where he was forced to rebut the claim that Ananus had him pegged correctly, a no-goodnik. But why link this to James the Just? The statement that he (James/Jacob the Just) was called "oblias, meaning the bulwark of the people."

The account of Hegesippus, as paraphrased by Eusebius in History of the Church 2.23.7, goes like this:

7) Because of his exceeding great justice
7) Δια γε τοι την υπερβολην της δικαιοσυνης αυτου,
he was called the just, εκαλειτο δικαιος
and oblias, και ωβλιας,
which in Greek signifies a bulwark of the people, ο εστιν Ελληνιστι περιοχη του λαου
and justice, και δικαιοσυνη,
in accordance with what the prophets declare concerning him. ως οι προφηται δηλουσι περι αυτου.

I looked up use of περιοχὴ (a containing, ēnclosing, compass, circumference, compass, extent, inclusion, portion circumscribed or marked off, section of a book, pod, husk, shell, fence, fortification, straitness esp. siege) and was not getting anywhere in other places in Eusebius (at least the works covered by the Perseus.org databases) or Josephus, so I also searched that word in BibleWorks 8 LXX (Rahlfs). As I started to step through the list of 25 hits, I got to LXX Psalm 59:11 (60:09 in RSV and Hebrew WTT = LXX Psalm 107:11/108:10 in RSV/WTT), and found something that I consider interesting.

(LXA Psa 60:9) LXA Psalm 60:9 Who will lead me into the fortified city? who will guide me as far as Idumea?
(BGT Psa 59:11) BGT Psalm 59:11 τίς ἀπάξει με εἰς πόλιν περιοχῆς τίς ὁδηγήσει με ἕως τῆς Ιδουμαίας
(RSV Psa 60:9) RSV Psalm 60:9 Who will bring me to the fortified city? Who will lead me to Edom?
(WTT Psa 60:11) WTT Psalm 60:11
yöbìlënî `îr mäcôr mî näHaºnî `ad-´édôm

We find the Hebrew term "ωβλιας" (oblias) is really ἀπάξει (bringing, leading) someone into the fortified city (Jerusalem), leading someone as far as Idumea. Jacob the Idumean fits this description better than James the Just of Ant 20, as we have a full account of the Idumean contribution to the Judean revolt in Josephus, and nothing like that for James brought before Ananus in Ant 20. So I proposed a hypothetical trial account, or diatribe against, James the Idumean, as the missing link.

Hegesippus used Ant 20, War 4, and a third account about Jacob the Idumean, to conflate into his account of the fabulous death of James the Just.

Of course, this kind of practical suggestion does not suit many, so don't think I am forcing my opinions upon you or anyone else. :twisted:

DCH

John2
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Re: What did Paul mean by brother(s) of the Lord?

Post by John2 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:50 pm

DC wrote:
Some argue that it was something that Hegesippus had said, as he gives the crazy account of James' death (thrown over the city wall into the valley below *and* stoned to death) ...
I think we've tussled over this before, but I thought I'd express my view again that I don't see what's so "crazy" about the account of James' death in Hegesippus, since it's in keeping with the procedure for stoning in the Talmud (with the pinnacle of the Temple serving as a platform).

San. 45a:
The place of stoning from which the condemned man is pushed to his death is a platform twice the height of an ordinary person. He is made to stand at the edge of the platform, and then one of the witnesses who testified against him pushes him down by the hips, so that he falls face up onto the ground. If he turned over onto his chest, with his face downward, the witness turns him over onto his hips. And if he dies through this fall to the ground, the obligation to stone the transgressor is fulfilled.

And if the condemned man does not die from his fall, the second witness takes the stone that has been prepared for this task and places, i.e., casts, it on his chest. And if he dies with the casting of this first stone, the obligation to stone the transgressor is fulfilled. And if he does not die with the casting of this stone, then his stoning is completed by all of the Jewish people, i.e., by all the people who assembled for the execution, as it is stated: “The hand of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people” (Deuteronomy 17:7).

https://www.sefaria.org/Sanhedrin.45a?lang=bi
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Stuart
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Re: What did Paul mean by brother(s) of the Lord?

Post by Stuart » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:12 am

Brothers can range up to sect leaders. Paul considered himself on par with any Apostle/Bishop/Sect Leader. So He would call somebody with any official position, even the highest ranking person possible, a brother. Example, Cardinals refer to each other as brother. But Cardinals also call a lowly friar or elder even a brother.

Cephas is certainly held in Galatians to be a Sect Leader. And the association between teacher (a sect leader certainly would be) and Apostle seems to be used by Paul in 1 Corinthians. Followers of various sect leaders were call by those leaders names (e.g., Valentinians, Marcionites, etc). So in 1 Corinthians 3:4 when we read:
one says, "I belong to Paul," and another, "I belong to Apollos,"
and in 1 Corinthians 1:12
each one of you says, "I belong to Paul," or "I belong to Apollos," or "I belong to Cephas," [1]
We are using the same language as the sects. And this frankly makes sense in the era before strong Orthodoxy took form and called itself universal. Unless you wish to say the Pauline letters were written well after a Catholic Church was formed -- that would be even later than I say they are written.

Paul goes on and says such leaders are teachers in verse 3:5
What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Deacons (διάκονοι) through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one [2]
So we have Paul, who calls himself an Apostle, saying he is an equal with Cephas and Apollos. He is a teacher, and one who has followers who say they belong to him, just as the others do.

My final association is of Bishop and Apostle. That can be deduced from Act 1:20 where Psalms 109:8 LXX is quoted concerning the drawing of lots where Matthias will replace Judas:
Let another take his office (ἐπισκοπὴν)
What should be noted is "office is the same word as "bishophood", that is Episcopate (ἐπισκοπὴν). This is not an accident. As Acts is generally considered to have been written after the core Pauline collection (that is the collection as it existed before the ecclesiastical or catholic layer -- endless debate about the authentic core), the concerns are "Post-Pauline" (a term we need to be careful with in respect to how we define it). And in the post-Pauline environment things have stabilized somewhat. The initial Apostles of evangelism are being replaced by more fixed place leaders governing over a territory. And a vacant post must be filled. We see these Bishop spots are symbolically represented in this Apostle replacement. We have the appearance of divine choice, buy use of lots. Although even the least cynical among us realizes the appointment process is political, as it is today, with the language of divine choice -- it seems every preacher says they have a calling, right up to the pope who is selected magically, and a puff of white smoke is sent to signal his appointment.

While it's a bit round about, we see the Sect Leader or Apostle has morphed into a Bishop. Even Marcion and Valentinus were said to be Bishops. Over time a bishop came to be a fixed locale person. But when we look at the early layers of Paul this sedentary role did not yet exist. Long winded way to say, Paul as an Apostle would have easily called a rival Apostle brother.

I could go further on that and mention the evidence that one of the split points between the heretics and the proto-orthodox was over the use of titles and there is some evidence in the scripture. So a lower status person would not be expected to salute a higher up in the heretics camp, all were brothers; but in the orthodoxy, hierarchy mattered, title mattered.



Notes:
[1 I am of the opinion 'or "I belong to Christ"' was added to the text by a scribe who did not understand the concept of sects Paul was speaking of. There is no "Christ" sect per say, as all Christians claimed that. I think he completely failed to understand verse 1:13 "Is Christ divided?" and instead added "Christ" to the list of sect leaders Paul was referring to, quite nonsensically.
[2 many translations say "servants" for διάκονοι rather than "ministers" or "deacons", to emphasize the subservient nature. But I think that is a modern perspective. Paul does not submit to any authority and I suspect he would not compel that of Apollos or Cephas either. In Galatians Paul sternly criticizes Cephas for such subservience. The translators have the modern church structure in place in their minds, but it was not so at the time of the writing, at least not universally. The term deacon means one through whom information or knowledge is given. I think that fits better.
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John2
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Re: What did Paul mean by brother(s) of the Lord?

Post by John2 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:52 pm

Stuart wrote:
Brothers can range up to sect leaders. Paul considered himself on par with any Apostle/Bishop/Sect Leader. So He would call somebody with any official position, even the highest ranking person possible, a brother. Example, Cardinals refer to each other as brother. But Cardinals also call a lowly friar or elder even a brother.

Cephas is certainly held in Galatians to be a Sect Leader.
Okay (and I can hear Bernard thinking the same thing), then why isn't Cephas called a "brother of the Lord" in 1 Cor. 9:5 if "brother" applies to everyone?
Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?
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John2
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Re: What did Paul mean by brother(s) of the Lord?

Post by John2 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:11 pm

Stuart wrote:
What should be noted is "office is the same word as "bishophood", that is Episcopate (ἐπισκοπὴν). This is not an accident. As Acts is generally considered to have been written after the core Pauline collection (that is the collection as it existed before the ecclesiastical or catholic layer ...
I see "bishophood" as being baked into Christianity (and into the Fourth Philosophy in general, of which I consider Christianity to be a faction) from the start, given that Jesus is called a bishop in 1 Peter (which I consider to be genuine and thus early) and the existence of a Hebrew equivalent in the Damascus Document (which I view as being a Fourth Philosophic writing, if not specifically Christian) and a similar hierarchal structure of twelve and three in the Community Rule.
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Bernard Muller
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Re: What did Paul mean by brother(s) of the Lord?

Post by Bernard Muller » Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:19 pm

to John2,
In the 1st and early 2nd century Christian writings, 'epískopos' means overseer (or gardian) and not bishop (as in today meaning). In the NT, that fact is very obvious in 1 Philippians 1:1 (Philippi could not have had multiple bishops), and Acts (where the 'episkopos" (in the plural) (20:28) are the elders of Ephesus (20:17)).
So in 1 Peter 2:25, 'episkopos' should be translated as Overseer, as it is in the NIV and Darby:
NIV "For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls."
Unfortunately, 'episkopos" here is often translated as "Bishop", which is misleading.
BTW, I don't think 1 Peter is from Peter.

Cordially, Bernard
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John2
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Re: What did Paul mean by brother(s) of the Lord?

Post by John2 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:05 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:19 pm
to John2,
In the 1st and early 2nd century Christian writings, 'epískopos' means overseer (or gardian) and not bishop (as in today meaning). In the NT, that fact is very obvious in 1 Philippians 1:1 (Philippi could not have had multiple bishops), and Acts (where the 'episkopos" (in the plural) (20:28) are the elders of Ephesus (20:17)).
So in 1 Peter 2:25, 'episkopos' should be translated as Overseer, as it is in the NIV and Darby:
NIV "For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls."
Unfortunately, 'episkopos" here is often translated as "Bishop", which is misleading.
BTW, I don't think 1 Peter is from Peter.

Cordially, Bernard
Why can't there be more than one bishop in a city? I ask because I've never thought about it before. Starting with Wikipedia, I see this:
Around the end of the 1st century, the church's organization became clearer in historical documents. In the works of the Apostolic Fathers, and Ignatius of Antioch in particular, the role of the episkopos, or bishop, became more important or, rather, already was very important and being clearly defined. While Ignatius of Antioch offers the earliest clear description of monarchial bishops (a single bishop over all house churches in a city) he is an advocate of monepiscopal structure rather than describing an accepted reality. To the bishops and house churches to which he writes, he offers strategies on how to pressure house churches who don't recognize the bishop into compliance. Other contemporary Christian writers do not describe monarchial bishops, either continuing to equate them with the presbyters or speaking of episkopoi (bishops, plural) in a city.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bishop#History
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Re: What did Paul mean by brother(s) of the Lord?

Post by Bernard Muller » Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:03 pm

to John2,
This article from Wiki reflects exactly what I wrote about the Ignatian letters long ago in this web page: http://historical-jesus.info/ignatius.html (one of my most read pages, day after day) .
BTW, I do not think any of these letters were written by Ignatius, and the story of a Christian from Syria (and his execution) got greatly embellished. I placed the Ignatius' letters at about 135 CE, +- 10 years, and written years apart by different prominent Christians from the city to where each epistle was addressed.

Some of the comments I received from my readers:
"About the epistles of Ignatius:
* "I just read your website about "The epistles of Ignatius: are they all forgeries?". I was absolutely impressed. Zwingende Argumente! Great work! Will this be published in a "Fachzeitschrift"? ... I appreciate good scholarship - as you call it: "highly inquisitive" ..."
* "I discovered your admirable essay only yesterday. Your methodology is impeccable, your points are apropos & well explicated, your research is thorough and satisfying, and your speculative reconstruction of the writing of the epistles is persuasive and imho very likely to be true. I'm eager to explore & learn from the rest of your site. Thanks again, Bernard, for the opportunity to think with you on this fascinating episode!"

Cordially, Bernard
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John2
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Re: What did Paul mean by brother(s) of the Lord?

Post by John2 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:26 pm

Bernard,

I can forget about Ignatius, but what about the last sentence in my citation?
Other contemporary Christian writers do not describe monarchial bishops, either continuing to equate them with the presbyters or speaking of episkopoi (bishops, plural) in a city.
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