No Christology in the Q community

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
robert j
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Re: No Christology in the Q community

Post by robert j » Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:11 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:45 pm
robert j wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:23 pm
Note: I put Paul's conversion in 35 ... and in Jerusalem again in 52.

Tell me where do you think I went wrong?
That's a period of 17 years. On what basis should the “after 3 years” and the “after 14 years” clearly be seen as having a different starting point? I think they both start at the very significant turning point in Paul’s back-story --- his revelation from God and sojourn in Arabia.
Both interpretations (14 years or 17 years) are possible, as is a third:
  1. The 14 years begins with Paul's conversion event (= the most important event for Paul himself, presumably).
  2. The 14 years begins with the first visit to Jerusalem (= a most natural antecedent for the "again" in 2.1).
  3. The 14 years begins with the trip to Syria and Cilicia (= the most recent use of the coordinating ἔπειτα in 1.21).
Yes, I agree that the text does not offer a clear choice here.

robert j
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Re: No Christology in the Q community

Post by robert j » Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:26 pm

I haven’t spent much time sorting out the details of those time periods. 3 years, 14 years, 17 years?

Certainly those details are of academic interest, but I think Paul's back-story in Galatians is full of equivocations --- I swear to God; they wouldn’t recognize me; in private; secret --- and should be taken with a grain of salt. I think Paul needed the perception of a wider spiritual movement to provide greater credibility for his entrepreneurial evangelizing. There are no named independent witnesses for the far-away Galatians to rely on (besides Paul’s own partners) other than three ‘witnesses’ in far-away Jerusalem --- two with among the more common names and one with perhaps one of the rarest. Not unlike me basing my own testimony on Jim and John and a guy named Pebble in Cleveland.

On the other hand, Paul’s claim that he previously had told his converts about his early harassment of believers, that some of his converts were considering getting circumcised, that he was sick and they cared for him --- for these kind of passages we have independent witnesses, though not in the traditional sense. Certainly if Paul was representing to write about events and teachings that his audience were involved-in --- but when his converts read it they had no idea what he was going-on about --- they would think he had truly gone off the deep-end and reject him entirely. These kind of passages, I think, provide a significantly greater level of reliability in an historical sense. Of course assuming authentic and reasonably intact letters.
Last edited by robert j on Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:00 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: No Christology in the Q community

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:05 pm

Personally, I think there may be something in the Marcionite version lacking the latter verses in chapter 1 and also some manuscripts lacking the "again" in 2.1. Maybe these verses are later editorial additions, or maybe Paul himself added them for a published edition. I am not committed to either of these options, but I think they deserve a hearing.
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robert j
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Re: No Christology in the Q community

Post by robert j » Sun Mar 31, 2019 3:24 pm

Paul may have crafted very significant portions of his back-story by borrowing stories from the Jewish scriptures.

It looks like Paul told similar back-stories to both the Galatians and the Corinthians, based on what seem to be portions of that back-story in letters to both congregations. Portions that appear to fit together like puzzle pieces.

I’ve posted this table before ---

Paul
Galatians chapter 1
and 1 Corinthians chapter 15
Numbers
Chapter 12 in the LXX (NETS)
and a bit of Jeremiah chapter 1
For you have heard of my former way of life in Judaism … (Gal 1:13)

For I delivered to you first of all … (1 Cor 15:3)
... I was persecuting the assembly of God … (Gal 1:13)

… I persecuted the assembly of God. (1 Cor 15:9)
And Mariam and Aaron spoke against Moses … (Numbers 12:1)

"And why were you not afraid to speak against my attendant Moses?” And the anger of the Lord’s wrath was against them ... (Numbers 12:8-9)
And last of all, as the ektroma he appeared also to me … because I persecuted the assembly of God. (1 Cor 15:8-9)

[Paul was like the ektroma because, like Miriam, he was ignorant and he sinned]
… Mariam was leprous like snow … And Aaron said to Moses, “I beg you, Sir, do not lay extra sin upon us, because we were ignorant in that we sinned. Do not let her be like unto death, like an ektroma coming out of a mother’s womb… " (Numbers 12:9-12)
But when God, the One having selected me from my mother's womb, and having called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles. (Gal 1:15-16)And a word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you, and before you came forth from the womb, I had consecrated you; a prophet to nations I had made you.”(Jeremiah 1:4-5).

[And like Jeremiah, Paul's calling, his appointment, came later. Jeremiah was a youth (1:6) when the Lord said to him --- ]

"Behold, today I have appointed you over nations ... " (Jeremiah 1:10)
… the gospel having been preached by me, is not according to man … but by a revelation of Jesus Christ. (Gal 1:11-12)

But when God ... was pleased to reveal His Son in me ... (Gal 1:15-16)
… And the Lord … said to them, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet of you for the Lord, in a vision I will be known to him, and in sleep I will speak to him." (Numbers 12:5-6)
But when God … having called me by His grace … (Gal 1:15)

… I went away into Arabia and returned again … (Gal 1:17)


[Like Miriam, Paul separated himself in the land of Moses, and returned cleansed]
And Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “O God, I beg you, heal her!” And the Lord said to Moses … Let her be separated for seven days outside the camp, and afterwards she shall enter.” And Mariam was kept apart outside the camp … until Mariam was cleansed (ἐκαθαρίσθη).
(Numbers 12:13-15)


Bernard Muller
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Re: No Christology in the Q community

Post by Bernard Muller » Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:13 am

This thread has been exploding in many directions.
However since I am feeling rather secure about Jesus being crucified in 28, according to my research (as explained in http://historical-jesus.info/appa.html & http://historical-jesus.info/appb.html and I consider Acts as not complete trash (why should I?) or dependent on Paul's epistles, I still stand by my tabulation of Paul's 2nd & 3rd journey.

Some remarks:

1) "again" in Gal 2:1 is witnessed in the vast majority of ancient texts about Galatians: Reference: http://www.laparola.net/greco/index.php for Gal 2:1 & selecting variants reading.
So I have reasons to stick with 14 years in Jerusalem from the earlier visit to that city.
Furthermore, if "again" was not originally in Paul's epistle, why would Paul specify 14 years? By doing so, he had to provide a starting point in time for these 14 years.

2) I believe that some unusual event is triggered by a preceding event which happened soon before.
- Such as to explain why John the Baptist suddenly get very popular and the Romans let crowds to meet him. See http://historical-jesus.info/digest.html.
- Such as why would the Church of Jerusalem want to see Paul explaining his gospel to the Gentiles ASAP (Gal 2:1-5). That's explained by Acts 18:12-17.
- Such as (according to Acts) why would a conflict be happening between the preaching of "Greek" proto-Christians in Jerusalem and other Jews (which I placed in 35) & starting persecution against those "Greeks"; and why would the "riot" happen in Ephesus (which I placed in 56)?
The best explanation would be these dates correspond to an anniversary of Jesus' crucifixion in period of 7 (very sacred number) years period (most likely because of big expectations for the Kingdom to come then), causing a great rapid increase of proto-Christians or Christians, at the detriment of local Jews or interest group, such as silversmiths.
Please note I never used that 7 years theory of mine to date anything about Paul's travel and events within them. It just provides more solidity to my dating.
And (from Acts) the aforementioned persecution (7 years after Jesus' crucifixion) and the "riot in Ephesus", caused by a sudden sharp drop in the sale of representations of Diana (7 x 4 years after Jesus' crucifixion), is mathematically unlikely to happen at random in time after 7 years periods. The chance of that happening (by chance) is about 2 chances out of 100, that's 2%.
And there are also the tumult in Rome among Jews about a Chrestus (most likely date for that in 49 = 28 + (3x7)) and the big increase of Christians in Antioch (most likely date for that is 42 = 28 + (2x14)).
For details and further explanations, consult http://historical-jesus.info/appb.html under 3.5

3) Yes I know, Acts took a beating lately and many trashed the whole text. But I don't follow trend.

4) We can always find some remote parallels from the vast OT to almost any text passages in the NT, if one put some efforts in the endeavor. BTW, ektroma (1 Cor 15:8-9) is part of an interpolation, as I found out and explained with many arguments here: http://historical-jesus.info/co1c.html#add.

5) Gal 1:18-24 fits well in the original text, despite Marcion's deletion of that passage. And certainly Marcion could not accommodate James as brother of the Lord and Paul preaching the same faith as the one of the churches of Judea.

Cordially, Bernard
Last edited by Bernard Muller on Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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robert j
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Re: No Christology in the Q community

Post by robert j » Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:26 am


Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul, 1989, by Richard B. Hays, (then) Assoc. Professor, Duke University ---

“In Paul we encounter a first-century Jewish thinker who, while undergoing a profound disjuncture with his own religious tradition, grappled his way through to a vigorous and theologically generative reappropriation of Israel’s Scriptures.” (p. 2)

Apparently Paul also reappropriated the Scriptures to help craft his autobiography --- as shown in my table posted above with some autobiographical portions of Paul's back-story in relation to Numbers chapter 12 and Jeremiah.

(note: The study in the table above is my own, not from Hays.)

“… the issues raised by his (Paul’s) readings are fundamentally hermeneutical issues, because of the undeniable gap between the “original sense” of the Old Testament texts and Paul’s interpretation, even in cases where the citations are in verbatim agreement with the LXX.” (Hays, p. 6)

Israel’s Scriptures were Paul’s ‘bitch’. He used and abused them, twisting them to satisfy his own needs.
Last edited by robert j on Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:12 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Bernard Muller
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Re: No Christology in the Q community

Post by Bernard Muller » Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:41 am

to robert j,
robert j wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:26 am

Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul, 1989, by Richard B. Hays, (then) Assoc. Professor, Duke University ---

“In Paul we encounter a first-century Jewish thinker who, while undergoing a profound disjuncture with his own religious tradition, grappled his way through to a vigorous and theologically generative reappropriation of Israel’s Scriptures.” (p. 2)

Apparently Paul also reappropriated the Scriptures to help craft is autobiography.

(note: The study in the chart above (Paul/Numbers, LXX) is my own, not from Hays.)

“… the issues raised by his (Paul’s) readings are fundamentally hermeneutical issues, because of the undeniable gap between the “original sense” of the Old Testament texts and Paul’s interpretation, even in cases where the citations are in verbatim agreement with the LXX.” (Hays, p. 6)

Israel’s Scriptures were Paul’s ‘bitch’. He used and abused them, twisting them to satisfy his own needs.
I agree, but I think rather strange "Apparently Paul also reappropriated the Scriptures to help craft is autobiography."
The quotes you supplied do not support that statement (more so what I bolded).
Furthermore Paul's epistles can hardly be considered to contain an autobiography.

Cordially, Bernard
I believe freedom of expression should not be curtailed

robert j
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Re: No Christology in the Q community

Post by robert j » Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:26 am

Bernard Muller wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:41 am
to robert j,
robert j wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:26 am

Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul, 1989, by Richard B. Hays, (then) Assoc. Professor, Duke University ---

“In Paul we encounter a first-century Jewish thinker who, while undergoing a profound disjuncture with his own religious tradition, grappled his way through to a vigorous and theologically generative reappropriation of Israel’s Scriptures.” (p. 2)

Apparently Paul also reappropriated the Scriptures to help craft is autobiography.

(note: The study in the chart above (Paul/Numbers, LXX) is my own, not from Hays.)

“… the issues raised by his (Paul’s) readings are fundamentally hermeneutical issues, because of the undeniable gap between the “original sense” of the Old Testament texts and Paul’s interpretation, even in cases where the citations are in verbatim agreement with the LXX.” (Hays, p. 6)

Israel’s Scriptures were Paul’s ‘bitch’. He used and abused them, twisting them to satisfy his own needs.
I agree, but I think rather strange "Apparently Paul also reappropriated the Scriptures to help craft is autobiography."

Furthermore Paul's epistles can hardly be considered to contain an autobiography.
Typo on my part, I meant his autobiography (now fixed). Paul's back-stories contain autobiographical information, but sure, his letters don't constitute autobiographies. I generally use "back-story", which I think is an appropriate term.
The quotes you supplied do not support that statement (more so what I bolded).
The citation from Hays says Paul reappropriated the Jewish scriptures for his theological purposes. My point was that Paul "also" apparently used the scriptures to help craft some autobiographical portions of his back-story ---- as shown in the table above. (Post edited to clarify)

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Re: No Christology in the Q community

Post by Bernard Muller » Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:39 pm

This thread has been exploding in many directions.
However since I am feeling rather secure about Jesus being crucified in 28, according to my research (as explained in http://historical-jesus.info/appa.html & http://historical-jesus.info/appb.html and I consider Acts as not complete trash (why should I?) or dependent on Paul's epistles, I still stand by my tabulation of Paul's 2nd & 3rd journey.

Some remarks:

1) "again" in Gal 2:1 is witnessed in the vast majority of ancient texts about Galatians: Reference: http://www.laparola.net/greco/index.php for Gal 2:1 & selecting variants reading.
So I have reasons to stick with 14 years in Jerusalem from the earlier visit to that city.
Furthermore, if "again" was not originally in Paul's epistle, why would Paul specify 14 years? By doing so, he had to provide a starting point in time for these 14 years.

2) I believe that some unusual event is triggered by a preceding event which happened soon before.
- Such as to explain why John the Baptist suddenly gets very popular and the Romans let crowds to meet him. See http://historical-jesus.info/digest.html.
- Such as why would the Church of Jerusalem want to see Paul explaining his gospel to the Gentiles ASAP (Gal 2:1-5). That's explained by Acts 18:12-17.
- Such as (according to Acts) why would a conflict be happening between the preaching of "Greek" proto-Christians in Jerusalem and other Jews (which I placed in 35) & starting persecution against those "Greeks"; and why would the "riot" happen in Ephesus (which I placed in 56)?
The best explanation would be these dates correspond to an anniversary of Jesus' crucifixion in period of 7 (very sacred number) years period (most likely because of big expectations for the Kingdom to come then), causing a great rapid increase of proto-Christians or Christians, at the detriment of local Jews or interest group, such as silversmiths.
Please note I never used that 7 years theory of mine to date anything about Paul's travel and events within them. It just provides more solidity to my dating.
And (from Acts) the aforementioned persecution (7 years after Jesus' crucifixion) and the "riot in Ephesus", caused by a sudden sharp drop in the sale of representations of Diana (7 x 4 years after Jesus' crucifixion), is mathematically unlikely to happen at random in time after 7 years periods. The chance of that happening (by chance) is about 2 chances out of 100, that's 2%.
And there are also the tumult in Rome among Jews about a Chrestus (most likely date for that in 49 = 28 + (3x7)) and the big increase of Christians in Antioch (most likely date for that is 42 = 28 + (2x14)).
For details and further explanations, consult http://historical-jesus.info/appb.html under 3.5

3) Yes I know, Acts took a beating lately and many trashed the whole text. But I don't follow trend.

4) We can always find some remote parallels from the vast OT to almost any text passages in the NT, if one put some efforts in the endeavor. BTW, ektroma (1 Cor 15:8-9) is part of an interpolation, as I found out and explained with many arguments here: http://historical-jesus.info/co1c.html#add.

5) Gal 1:18-24 fits well in the original text, despite Marcion's deletion of that passage. And certainly Marcion could not accommodate James as brother of the Lord and Paul preaching the same faith as the one of the churches of Judea.

Cordially, Bernard
I believe freedom of expression should not be curtailed

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: No Christology in the Q community

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:05 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:39 pm
Furthermore, if "again" was not originally in Paul's epistle, why would Paul specify 14 years?
I will field this one, since it is quick and easy. The notion that the original epistle lacked "again" in 2.1 makes sense when paired with the notion that the Marcionite version of Galatians may have lacked 1.18-24. In that case, the passage would run as follows:

Galatians 1.15-17; 2.1: 1.15 But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased 16 to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus. .... 2.1 Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also.

In this scenario the 14 years are there to stress how long Paul waited to visit (and thus how little Paul depended upon) the apostles in Jerusalem. So your implied argument against the cogency of the suggestion falls; the above is perfectly cogent. However, you are correct to point out that all extant versions of Galatians bear 1.18-24 and most bear the "again" in 2.1. The suggestion is, therefore, more conjectural than you (Bernard) have ever felt comfortable with, and it is no surprise at all that you would reject it.
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