Did Paul know Jesus?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
jude77
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Re: Did Paul know Jesus?

Post by jude77 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:53 pm

You're asking a very interesting question here. I certainly don't have a definitive answer, but I would offer this in relation to your exegesis of Galatians 1:22 ("I was personally unknown, however, to the churches of Judea that are in Christ"). You take that to mean that Paul was unknown to those congregations because they didn't exist at the time of Paul's persecutions. Now, it has been a looooong time since I studied Greek, and I would certainly yield to others who would offer a different translation than the one that follows, but my reading of vs. 22 would be something like, "I was unknown by sight to the churches in Judea", or "they didn't know what I looked like" (agnooumenos to prosoko). So I think in vs 22 Paul is saying those churches existed during his persecutions, but that no one in them could have recognized him. So, while I'm not convinced that Paul was persecuting Jesus or hisfollowers during Jesus' lifetime (there doesn't seem to be any evidence of this in the Gospel texts), I do think it's very possible that he was opposing them as many Pharisees did. I hope you will only take my comment as an observation and continue researching your theory because I find it very compelling.

All the best to you.

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arnoldo
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Re: Did Paul know Jesus?

Post by arnoldo » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:50 pm

DCHindley wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:49 pm
arnoldo wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:33 am
DCHindley wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:03 am
What this has-to-be-wrong hypothesis does is bracket off material that relate to Christ myth theology. The verses under scrutiny in this thread (1 Cor. 2:2; 2 Cor. 5:16) have been underlined (for whatever reason I cannot select a color). What this demonstrates is that the Christ myth interpolator had his own POV quite different from the POV of the writer of the original letters as read by the interpolator. The dynamics of an interpolator introducing Christ myth theology into an original letter that knew nothing of Jesus as the expected Judean messiah, much less Jesus as a semi-divine savior figure, demonstrates that the proponents of the Christ myth found communities that read letters of Paul that dealt with ways that gentiles who trusted in the Judean god could co-inherit the fruitful land promised by God to Abraham's offspring.

This is similar to scholars on Marcion proposing that Marcion had read ur-texts of one or more collections of letters of Paul, then proposed what he thought was genuine, and what he imagined were Judaic adulterations interpolated into the original letters of Paul. While my hypothesis takes the opposite approach (letters by a Judean who was within the fringes of mainstream of the accepted practices of Diaspora Judeans, which were interpolated by Christ-myth theology).

... But, what do I know anyhow, eh?
No, it is an interesting theory. Along this lines it would be possible Paul didn't also know Cephas, no?

Galatians 2:11( Young's Literal Translation)
And when Peter came to Antioch, to the face I stood up against him, because he was blameworthy,

Dont know what happened to your original message above. Maybe you pulled it once you realized this was a can of worms. :scratch:
I deleted it for no particular reason.
DCHindley wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:49 pm
The way I figure it, Paul knew a Cephas, a John and a James (Jacob). Paul, to legitimatize his theological stance that gentiles who trust in the Judean God should be accepted as co-heirs to the promises God had made to Abraham, he had lined up priests among the Temple apparatus who would accept these as if from Judeans in the diaspora. These three were likely his priestly contacts.

The interpolator him/herself had known of disciples of Jesus, one Simon aka Peter, one named John, and Jesus' brother James/Jacob. These figures who surrounded Jesus functioned as leaders of his movement after his death, at least until the utter obliteration of Judean society and culture due to Roman response to the Judean rebellion of 66-74 CE.

Of these particular names, James/Jacob and John were exceptionally common in that era, especially in Judean dominated areas. Cephas is a Greek variant of a Hebrew/Aramaic name that is translated Caiaphas in the NT and slightly different in Josephus, although not necessarily the HP by that name in the NT). Peter as a name is not well attested but would be suitable for someone's nick-name if he was known as laying a foundation for something.

My guess would be that Peter represented the Gentile followers of Jesus (who they venerated as a divinely appointed ruler of the future messianic kingdom), primarily resident in Judea, Galilee/Transjordan, Trachonitis, Samaria and Southern Syria up to Antioch. James seemed to have this same role among native born Judeans in these same areas. John, my guess is, was interested in the Hellenized Judeans of the Diaspora who were re-settling in Judea, but not those actually living in the Greek speaking areas.

Paul, for his part, may have worked with Greek speaking households of one of the branches of the Herodian family (possibly one of the princes appointed as client kings of a buffer state against the Parthian empire.

When I did my thing with Galatians, I came up with the following:

Galatians 1:6-24

Recovered "original" text read by interpolator:

1:6a I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you so graciously [i.e., God]
6b [...]
6c and turning to a different (sort of) good news,

7a not that there is another (sort of) good news, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the (actual) good news 7b [...].

8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you good news contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed.

9 As we have said before, so now I say again, If any one is preaching to you a good news contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.

10a Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant
10b [...].

11 For I would have you know, brethren, that the good news which was preached by me is not man's good news.

12a For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation
12b [...].

13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it;

14 and I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers.

15 But when it pleased God, who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace,

16a to reveal
16b [...]
16c to me that I might declare [God's]
16e “good news” among the Gentiles, I did not confer with flesh and blood,

17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia; and again I returned to Damascus.

18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and remained with him fifteen days.

19a But I saw none of the other apostles except James
19b [...].

20 (In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!)

21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia.

22a And I was still not known by sight to the churches
22b [...]
22c in Judea;

23 they only heard it said, "He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy."

24 And they glorified God because of me.

The interpolator's introduced Christ myth theology:

6b through Christ

7b (about) the Christ

10b of Christ

12b of Jesus Christ

16b his Son
<him (as)> per existing text

19b the Lord's brother

22b of Christ

Gal 2:1-21

Recovered "original" letter read by the interpolator:

2:1 Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me.

2 I went up by revelation; and I laid before them (but privately before those who were of repute) the good news which I preach among the Gentiles, lest somehow I should be running or had run in vain.

3 But even Titus, who was with me, was not compelled to be circumcised, though he was a Greek,

4a (in spite of false brethren secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy out our freedom which we have
4b [...],
4c in order to bring us into bondage,

5 to whom we did not yield submission even for a moment, that the truth of the good news might be preserved for you).

6 And from those who were reputed to be something (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)--those, I say, who were of repute added nothing to me;

7a but on the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the good news to the uncircumcised,
7b - 8 [...],

9 and when they perceived the grace that was given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised;

10 only they would have us remember the Poor, which very thing I was eager to do.

11 But when Cephas came to Antioch I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.

12 For before certain men came from James, he ate with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party.

13 And with him the rest of the Jews acted insincerely, so that even Barnabas was carried away by their insincerity.

14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the good news, I said to Cephas before them all, "If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?"

15 We ourselves, who are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners,

16a yet who know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith
16b [...],
16c even we have believed
16d [...],
16e in order to be justified by faith
16f [...],
16g and not by works of the law, because by works of the law “shall no one be justified.” (Ps 143:2)

17a But if, in our endeavor to be justified 17b [...],
17c we ourselves were found to be sinners, are we
17d [...]
17e then a servant of sin? Certainly not!

18 -20 [...];

21a I do not nullify the grace of God;
21b [...].

Christ myth theology introduced into original text by the interpolator:

4b in Christ Jesus

7b just as Peter had been entrusted with the good news to the circumcised

8 for he who worked through Peter for the mission to the circumcised worked through me also for the Gentiles

16b in Jesus Christ

16d in Christ Jesus

16e in Christ

17b in Christ

17d is Christ

18 If I build up again those things which I tore down, then I prove myself a transgressor.

19 For I through the law died to the law, that I might live to God.

20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me

21b for if justification were through the law, then Christ died to no purpose

IMHO, this interpolator was trying to harmonize these differing traditions, by equating Paul's Cephas with the interpolator's Peter, Paul's Jacob (the priest) with Jesus' "brother" Jacob (who was probably not really a priest but a Rechabite), and Paul's John (the priest) with John the disciple of Jesus (probably not a priest). At a much later time, whoever organized the distribution of approved NT manuscripts, added "wh is also Cephas" to John 1:42 "You shall be called Cephas" (which means Peter)." Nowhere else in the Gospels or Acts speaks of Cephas, only Peter, except in the Pauline corpus letters to the Galatians and 1 Corinthians.

This might be a good place to offer up this table of the readings for Cephas as opposed to Peter in this block of text:


Verse
GNT (based on earliest manuscripts)
TR (Received Text/Byzantine tradition)
KHFAS
PETROS
1 COR 1:12 Κηφᾶ = KHFA Κηφᾶ = KHFA ALL
1 COR 3:22 Κηφᾶ = KHFA Κηφᾶ = KHFA ALL
1 COR 9:5 Κηφᾶ = KHFA Κηφᾶ = KHFA ALL
1 COR 15:5 Κηφᾷ = KHFA Κηφᾷ = KHFA ALL
GAL 1:18 Κηφᾶν = KHFAN Πέτρον = PETRON p46, 01, 02, 03 06, 012, 018, 020
GAL 2:7 Πέτρος = PETROS Πέτρος = PETROS ALL
GAL 2:8 Πέτρῳ = PETRW Πέτρῳ = PETRW ALL
GAL 2:9 Κηφᾶς = KHFAS Κηφᾶς = KHFAS 01, 03, 04, 018, 020 p46, 06, 012
GAL 2:11 Κηφᾶς = KHFAS Πέτρος = PETROS 01, 02, 03, 04, 015 p46, 06, 012, 018, 020
GAL 2:14 Κηφᾷ = KHFA Πέτρῳ = PETRW p46, 01, 02, 03, 04, 015 06, 012, 018, 020

Key:
p46 (c. AD 81-96 [Kim]/c. AD 150 [Comfort]/c. AD 200 [Aland])
p66 (c. AD 90-110[Hunger]/c. AD 150 [Comfort]/c. AD 200 [Aland])
p75 (c. AD 175-225 [Martin/Kasser]/c. AD 275-300 [Comfort]/III [Aland])
p106 (c. AD 200-250 [Comfort]/III [Aland])
01 = א (Sinaiticus, IV)
02 = A (Alexandrinus, V)
03 = B (Vaticanus, IV)
04 = C (Ephraemi Rescriptus, V)
06 = D (Claromontanus, VI)
012 = G (Boernerianus, IX)
015 = H (Euthalianus, VI)
018 = K (Moscow, IX)
020 = L (Rome, IX)

DCH
I appreciate your analysis why an interpolator would alter the earlier pauline extant texts. It would be nice to find early unaltered fragments of pauline writings to back up your theory. Who knows, maybe Papyrus 46 has indications of a scribe altering the writings.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papyrus_46
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DCHindley
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Re: Did Paul know Jesus?

Post by DCHindley » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:10 am

arnoldo wrote:
DCH wrote:Dont know what happened to your original message above. Maybe you pulled it once you realized this was a can of worms. :scratch:
I deleted it for no particular reason.
Ahh, no sweat. I can be wordy, but a lot of that had been created around 1997 and updated in 2003, and again parts have been periodically updated using Unicode Greek starting 2011. Maybe its my own sabbatical cycle. Anyhow, I can quickly copy and paste from those early files for use in discussions like this, but I have never had the luxury of time and resources to fully think about the likely sources and their relationships one to another. I have then to relate it to modern research, such as textual criticism, hypotheses about Marcion's texts, Q studies, and so on. I do try to format it to craftily make the points "pop" but I think so out of the box that most folks cannot appreciate it, like you, if only on a theoretical level. :confusedsmiley:
arnoldo wrote:I appreciate your analysis why an interpolator would alter the earlier pauline extant texts. It would be nice to find early unaltered fragments of pauline writings to back up your theory. Who knows, maybe Papyrus 46 has indications of a scribe altering the writings.

I recall reading somewhere that among all the documents and fragments recovered to date, few if any show markings to suggest that segments were being marked to allow copying into another document, but I have to assume that any writer who used sources, such as historians, would have had to find and copy key passages. I'll assume that by a mixture of his memory and access to manuscripts s/he compiled pericopes which could be used to make access to sources much easier. I think we do have examples of texts being copied more or less randomly on things like the backs of out of use rolls that can range from business account information to out of vogue or book-trade copies flawed enough to be useless literary writers.

David Trobisch proposed that all copies of NT books came from a standard edition, and only a few "non-standard" books continued to be preserved, but eventually died out. These had to have been edited into their present form, for some books several times, in ways similar to the way elite authors or their freedmen "published" collected letters or memoirs or treatises. We have absolutely no hard evidence for them doing it, but we can be fairly certain it happened.

DCH

John2
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Re: Did Paul know Jesus?

Post by John2 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:06 am

jude77 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 12:53 pm
You're asking a very interesting question here. I certainly don't have a definitive answer, but I would offer this in relation to your exegesis of Galatians 1:22 ("I was personally unknown, however, to the churches of Judea that are in Christ"). You take that to mean that Paul was unknown to those congregations because they didn't exist at the time of Paul's persecutions. Now, it has been a looooong time since I studied Greek, and I would certainly yield to others who would offer a different translation than the one that follows, but my reading of vs. 22 would be something like, "I was unknown by sight to the churches in Judea", or "they didn't know what I looked like" (agnooumenos to prosoko). So I think in vs 22 Paul is saying those churches existed during his persecutions, but that no one in them could have recognized him. So, while I'm not convinced that Paul was persecuting Jesus or hisfollowers during Jesus' lifetime (there doesn't seem to be any evidence of this in the Gospel texts), I do think it's very possible that he was opposing them as many Pharisees did. I hope you will only take my comment as an observation and continue researching your theory because I find it very compelling.

All the best to you.
If we go by Acts (which sounds weird to me to say given how much I used to dislike it), even if only for the assumption that it was aware of Galatians, I get the impression that the Judean churches did not exist until after Paul (as Saul) persecuted Christians in Jerusalem. In 8:1-4 the context is the day of the stoning of Stephen in the early 30's CE.
And Saul was there, giving approval to Stephen’s death.

On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. God-fearing men buried Stephen and mourned deeply over him. But Saul was ravaging the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison. Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.


It sounds to me as if the Judean churches had not been established yet, since "those who had been scattered" from Jerusalem had just begun to preach there. Notice the parallel in 8:14-17 regarding Samaria; would Judea at this point not have also been in a pre-established state?
When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. On their arrival, they prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit. For the Holy Spirit had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
And according to 9:1-2, Paul (as Saul) is still in Jerusalem:
Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out threats of murder against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest to ask for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women belonging to the Way, he could bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
So if nothing else, perhaps the author of Acts read Gal. 1:22 the same way I do.
May the four winds blow you safely home.

Bernard Muller
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Re: Did Paul know Jesus?

Post by Bernard Muller » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:56 pm

2 Cor 5:16; So that we henceforth have known no one according to the flesh, and even if we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him no more

See http://historical-jesus.info/20.html
if anyone know about somebody or something from the past does not necessarily mean he/she had to be an eyewitness.
Paul (and his converts in Corinth) had the opportunity to know about Jesus and his crucifixion as Christ (king of the Jews) first hand from eyewitnesses still alive (such as James, his brother and/or some of Jesus Galileans followers, and/or proto-Christians, all of them in Jerusalem, etc).
Even if Paul is silent about a historic Jesus (for good reason: Jesus was not really "historic" during his lifetime), he indicated, in passing, some characteristics about the historical (somebody/something existing in the past) Jesus: he was a Jew from Zion, humble, not looking like a Son of God, poor, servant of the Jews, having blood brothers, one being James, and crucified in Zion (= heartland of the Jews). So Paul knew about the earthly human Jesus, even if he claimed he did not know him (or rather was not interested in that Jesus, because detrimental to his teachings, except for his crucifixion as Christ, at first a controversial divine mystery, which eventually he learned to explain later (as the salvatic sacrifice)).
See http://historical-jesus.info/hjes3x.html

Cordially, Bernard
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