On Paul as the demon-possessed by "Legion" and the irony of "YHWH-saves"

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Giuseppe
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On Paul as the demon-possessed by "Legion" and the irony of "YHWH-saves"

Post by Giuseppe » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:51 pm

Mark 5
5 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes.[a] 2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” 8 For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”

9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.

18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed

My personal exegesis of the passage:

Paul is the possessed man. Before the his conversion he adores the "Lord of Legions", i.e. Sabaoth, the Jewish god creator. Before the his conversion to the Jesus of a higher god.

Paul is not healed immediately by Jesus. As immediate effect of the exorcism, Paul is only in the position to send the Spirit possessing him ("Legion") on the Gentiles (=the pigs). This means: Paul is still victim of wrong views insofar he believes that it is a good thing to preach the worship of the Jewish demiurge among the gentiles.

But the Jewish demiurge will destroy the (judaizing) gentiles. He will impose them the purification of the his same sins ("in the lake").

Only then Paul is really exorcized: when he realizes that the god adored by him was only an inferior god, an evil demiurge, Sabaoth, the Lord of Legions. Because he carried destruction on who he had to save to be saved (the gentile pigs). Note the irony of the name of Jesus: "YHWH-saves". How is it possible the fact that YHWH doesn't save who he had to save? Answer: YHWH is a false god.

At this point Paul can preach the higher god, the unknown Father of which "Jesus" is the Son.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
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Re: On Paul as the demon-possessed by "Legion" and the irony of "YHWH-saves"

Post by Giuseppe » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:17 pm

Now, I have always thought that Mark was an anti-Gnostic gospel. Designed to combat the Gnostics. So why is there a story where the point is implicitly anti-YHWH? The answer is that the entire story is a judaizing parody of Paul. Of the gnostic legend of Paul.

Just as the Gnostics loved to interpret the pauline epistles in two ways: one for the Judaizing outsiders (according to which Paul was a mere adorer of YHWH) and one for the Gnostic insiders (according to which Paul adored a god higher than YHWH) ...

... so "Mark" was doing an anti-Gnostic parody of that double reading. The Gnostic readers would have realized the point and how definitely the entire passage would fit their anti-YHWH theology, but only to see, at the end of all, a Paul reduced to a brute slave (sic) of a Jesus who is merely the propagandistic cipher of the Judaizers.

So the parody is: what does it matter for you Gnostics to know the secret message of a text (and being proud by this), when really the entire text is directed against you?
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
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Re: On Paul as the demon-possessed by "Legion" and the irony of "YHWH-saves"

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:09 am

If therefore Paul is the demon-possessed, then how was the his work interpreted by "Mark" ? The his mission was to inform the gentiles about the great miracles done by Jesus on this earth:

So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed

Now, it is true that Paul talks in Galatians about the his conversion by Jesus, but it is just as true that he doesn't talk about earthly miracles of Jesus on this earth. So this passage talks about a basic not-understanding of Paul by "Mark", despite of the his being a pauline.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
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Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:37 am
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Re: On Paul as the demon-possessed by "Legion" and the irony of "YHWH-saves"

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:46 am

But really, more than a basic not-understanding of Paul by "Mark'', in view of the fact that the entire passage is an anti-Gnostic parody (i.e., designed only to a certain degree to be meant seriously), it is more probable that "Mark" was reducing the revelations of the apostle (as shown really in the his epistles), to mere tardive "good news" of an earthly hero, with the great defect, moreover, of being the gospel preached by someone who couldn't even to be a true follower of the earthly Jesus on this earth.


So "Mark" did here what the author of Acts would have done later in a more explicit way: to reduce Paul to the status of 13° apostle, the last of all “and not even worthy of being considered an apostle”.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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