Peter in the Clementine Homilies Does Not Accept the Sacredness of the Pentateuch

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davidmartin
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Re: Peter in the Clementine Homilies Does Not Accept the Sacredness of the Pentateuch

Post by davidmartin » Wed May 06, 2020 4:14 pm

Hi John,
just thought i'd mention i'm not wedded to this theory and i get doubts about it but its better to have challenges!
The problem I have with this scenario is that I can't think of any evidence that all Jewish Christians -or any Jewish Christian leaders- ever rejected Paul despite his differences with them
LOL, well rejection comes in degrees, it might have merely been 'ok Paul do your thing but we will carry on as before!'

There is some evidence in the Clementines which appear to show hostility to Paul over the Torah. There's the murky figure of Certinthus that does appear as a nemesis to Paul in one church father's account (I forget which). It's not much to go on I admit
Ultimately I just find it hard to believe that Paul's radical convictions would have been accepted so easily, and Acts is kind of smoothing over the differences

I also feel that the term 'Jewish Christian leaders' is only referring to the Nazarene branch itself and it's leaders. I see other groups around that could have been closer to the original, early church if you will that are distinct again. Paul in my mind is actually closer to those folks than they are with his emphasis on holiness and transformation (although all of this stuff is Jewish in origin, but small differences can be a big deal!)

The rapprochement thing is based on distinctness existing between Paul and the Nazarene's ideas, their teachings and theology. If they are the same then sure it makes no sense. But if they are different there's scope for a coming together
I think that is how hell got into the mix. Paul never actually taught this but the Nazarenes did so it emerged kind of late to the party

One of the pieces of evidence is found in the Preaching of Peter, a genuine early 2nd century work before proto-orthadoxy got its act together (by writings Acts!)
Here it says "we having opened the books of the prophets which we had, found, sometimes expressed by parables, sometimes by riddles, and sometimes directly (authentically) and in so many words naming Jesus Christ, both his coming and his death and the cross and all the other torments which the Jews inflicted on him, and his resurrection and assumption into the heavens before Jerusalem was founded (MS. judged), even all this things as they had been written, what he must suffer and what shall be after him. When, therefore, we took knowledge of these things, we believed in God through that which had been written of him"

this is kind of crazy
'Peter' is supposed to have been convinced about Jesus via interpretation of scripture not actually from knowing Christ! that is seriously strange
Also Peter can talk about 'the Jews', that is just outrageous language
Its obvious this is the gentile proto-orthadoxy speaking here becoming convinced of Paul's gospel via their own understanding of prophecy. There's no direct connection to Jesus at all to be found but they loved the Hebrew scripture and this permitted them to partake of it without having to follow the law
But if there was no contact with Nazarenes where did hell come from?

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Re: Peter in the Clementine Homilies Does Not Accept the Sacredness of the Pentateuch

Post by John2 » Wed May 06, 2020 6:44 pm

davidmartin wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 4:14 pm

Ultimately I just find it hard to believe that Paul's radical convictions would have been accepted so easily, and Acts is kind of smoothing over the differences

But there's nothing radical about saying that Gentiles aren't required to observe the Torah. It is and has been the case in Judaism. This is why Jewish Christian leaders were okay with Paul teaching his Torah-free gospel to Gentiles ("I had been entrusted to preach the gospel to the uncircumcised ... James, Cephas, and John ... gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we should go to the Gentiles").

The only issue that Acts smooths over is Paul overstepping his bounds and teaching that Jewish Torah observance was no longer necessary ("You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. But they are under the impression that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or observe our customs"). But even in that respect, since Paul says he was willing to at least pretend to be Torah observant (as per 1 Cor. 9:20), Acts is actually only guilty of being silent about his insincerity. And in my view that's because I think the author of Acts had known Paul and also used writings that I consider to be Nazarene or that in any event espouse Jewish Torah observance (Mark and Matthew).

I also feel that the term 'Jewish Christian leaders' is only referring to the Nazarene branch itself and it's leaders. I see other groups around that could have been closer to the original, early church if you will that are distinct again.

But the leaders are the ones who decided and promulgated doctrine, and what they are said to have decided regarding Gentile Torah observance in Acts is found in what is thought to be one of the earliest Christian writings, the Didache.

Acts 15:19-21:

It is my [James'] judgment, therefore, that we should not cause trouble for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead, we should write and tell them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals, and from blood. For Moses has been proclaimed in every city from ancient times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.

Here we see that James and other leaders forbade Gentiles from eating food sacrificed to idols and that while they did not require them to observe the Torah they expected them to learn about it in synagogues on the Sabbath, which is similar to the position in Did. 6:

See that no one cause you to err from this way of the Teaching, since apart from God it teaches you. For if you are able to bear all the yoke of the Lord, you will be perfect; but if you are not able, what you are able that do. And concerning food, bear what you are able; but against that which is sacrificed to idols be exceedingly on your guard; for it is the service of dead gods.



Yet Paul writes in 1 Cor. 8:4-7:

So about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world, and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many so-called gods and lords), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we exist. And there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we exist.

But not everyone has this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that they eat such food as if it were sacrificed to an idol. And since their conscience is weak, it is defiled.



So the Didache is more in line with the position of Jewish Christian leaders on this matter than with Paul, and I think this shows the influence that the former had on early churches.

The rapprochement thing is based on distinctness existing between Paul and the Nazarene's ideas, their teachings and theology.If they are the same then sure it makes no sense. But if they are different there's scope for a coming together

The only distinction I can see between Paul and Jewish Christian leaders (besides the minor issue of eating food sacrificed to idols) is the necessity of Jewish Torah observance. Paul says that his teaching was otherwise the same as Jewish Christian leaders in 1 Cor. 15:3-11:

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. And last of all he appeared to me also ... Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.

Peter' is supposed to have been convinced about Jesus via interpretation of scripture not actually from knowing Christ! that is seriously strange
Also Peter can talk about 'the Jews', that is just outrageous language

The citation you gave from the Preaching of Peter strikes me as being similar to what Paul says he learned from Jewish Christians in 1 Cor. 15:3-11, i.e., that Jesus' death and resurrection were "according to the Scriptures." I don't get the impression from this that Peter didn't know Jesus. And it is in keeping with the NT gospels, which present the disciples as knowing Jesus but not "getting it" when he was alive.

And Paul talks about "the Jews" (e.g., "To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews"), and I think the reference in 1 Thess. 2:14 is genuine too ("You suffered from your own countrymen the very things they suffered from the Jews"). As does Josephus (e.g., "The Jews took this prediction to belong to themselves in particular, and many of the wise men were thereby deceived in their determination"). It doesn't seem like outrageous language to me.
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Peter in the Clementine Homilies Does Not Accept the Sacredness of the Pentateuch

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed May 06, 2020 7:35 pm

John2 wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 6:44 pm
davidmartin wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 4:14 pm

Ultimately I just find it hard to believe that Paul's radical convictions would have been accepted so easily, and Acts is kind of smoothing over the differences
But there's nothing radical about saying that Gentiles aren't required to observe the Torah.
How common was it for Gentiles to be welcomed fully into the Jewish faith without observing at least some parts of the Torah? (Like circumcision.) How broad do you intend this statement to be?
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John2
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Re: Peter in the Clementine Homilies Does Not Accept the Sacredness of the Pentateuch

Post by John2 » Thu May 07, 2020 11:39 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 7:35 pm
John2 wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 6:44 pm
davidmartin wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 4:14 pm

Ultimately I just find it hard to believe that Paul's radical convictions would have been accepted so easily, and Acts is kind of smoothing over the differences
But there's nothing radical about saying that Gentiles aren't required to observe the Torah.
How common was it for Gentiles to be welcomed fully into the Jewish faith without observing at least some parts of the Torah? (Like circumcision.) How broad do you intend this statement to be?

By "observe the Torah" I meant all of the Torah, since James' requirements in Acts 15:20 have a basis in the Torah, and he also expected Gentiles to hear the Torah being read in synagogues on the Sabbath, which seems to imply Sabbath observance as well. And Rabbinic Judaism has the Noachide laws. But a full on convert would be required to observe all of the Torah (or all of it that pertains to them, since no one person can really observe "all" of the Torah).

And while I'm a little rusty on the subject, there are also (now mostly archaic) requirements of certain Gentiles in the Torah too, such as slaves, captured women or resident aliens, but that''s not exactly the same situation as being a "God fearer."
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Re: Peter in the Clementine Homilies Does Not Accept the Sacredness of the Pentateuch

Post by Stuart » Thu May 07, 2020 5:27 pm

John2,

I think you mean the Noahic covenant, and the seven laws for gentile "god fearers"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Laws_of_Noah

Christianity was definitely split into two camps on this, Mosaic and Noahic, as represented in the literature by James and Paul respectively.
“’That was excellently observed’, say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken.” - Jonathan Swift

John2
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Re: Peter in the Clementine Homilies Does Not Accept the Sacredness of the Pentateuch

Post by John2 » Thu May 07, 2020 6:49 pm

Stuart wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 5:27 pm
John2,

I think you mean the Noahic covenant, and the seven laws for gentile "god fearers"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Laws_of_Noah

Yes, that is what I am referring to.

Christianity was definitely split into two camps on this, Mosaic and Noahic, as represented in the literature by James and Paul respectively.

But James is the one who promulgated the quasi-Noachide requirements for Gentiles in Acts 15:20, one of which Paul disagrees with in 1 Cor. 8 (eating food sacrificed to idols). And since James was also in the "Mosaic" camp for Jews (e.g., James 1:1, 2:10-11, and Acts 21:21-24), Jewish Christian leaders appear to have been in both "camps." And since Paul's mission was to Gentiles and he taught against the necessity of Torah observance for Gentiles and Jews, I wouldn't say he was in the "Mosaic" camp. And if he was in any way otherwise in the "Noachic" camp then he was in the same camp as Jewish Christian leaders.

I would say Christianity was split into a camp that believed that Jewish Torah observance was necessary (Jewish Christians) and a camp that didn't (Paul), with both camps perhaps being to some extent "Noachic" with respect to Gentiles.

There were however some Jewish Christians who believed that Gentiles should be circumcised (the false brothers Paul mentions in Gal. 2:4 and those mentioned in Acts 15:1), and according to Acts 15:5 there were also Pharisee Christians who believed that Gentiles should observe all of the Torah, but Acts 15:19-21 says that Jewish Christian leaders decided that Gentiles needn't be circumcised and should observe quasi-Noachide requirements. So I suppose there were three Jewish Christian camps with respect to Gentiles (circumcision, all of the Torah, and quasi-Noachide) but only the views of the third one prevailed.
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davidmartin
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Re: Peter in the Clementine Homilies Does Not Accept the Sacredness of the Pentateuch

Post by davidmartin » Fri May 08, 2020 2:00 am

ok, but at the least the differences in the gospels reflect these camps
hence Matthew appears more pro-Torah than say John or Mark

John2
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Re: Peter in the Clementine Homilies Does Not Accept the Sacredness of the Pentateuch

Post by John2 » Fri May 08, 2020 3:54 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 8:55 pm
You seem to have a "throw the baby out with the bathwater" approach to Christian writings,


I am a completely unoriginal thinker. The Marcionites said it was a forgery when it was first released. So who do you believe?

And the orthodox said Marcion mutilated and forged Luke and Paul's letters. And Justus of Tiberius criticized Josephus (and vice versa). That's what people do. So I think the question isn't who do you believe but who do you have and what value can you find in it.
Last edited by John2 on Fri May 08, 2020 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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John2
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Re: Peter in the Clementine Homilies Does Not Accept the Sacredness of the Pentateuch

Post by John2 » Fri May 08, 2020 4:11 pm

davidmartin wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 2:00 am
ok, but at the least the differences in the gospels reflect these camps
hence Matthew appears more pro-Torah than say John or Mark

I see Mark as being just as pro-Torah as Matthew, in part because it is said to have been written by a follower of Peter (who sided with the people James sent to Antioch in Galatians) and also because of how Jesus upholds the Torah in his condemnation of the Pharisees' oral Torah in 7:3-13, since if Jesus had also set aside the Torah in any way then he would be a hypocrite too:

Now in holding to the tradition of the elders, the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat until they wash their hands ceremonially. And on returning from the market, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions for them to observe, including the washing of cups, pitchers, kettles, and couches for dining.

So the Pharisees and scribes questioned Jesus: “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders? Instead, they eat with defiled hands.”

Jesus answered them, “Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. They worship Me in vain; they teach as doctrine the precepts of men.’

You have disregarded the commandment of God to keep the tradition of men.”

He went on to say, “You neatly set aside the commandment of God to maintain your own tradition. For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever you would have received from me is Corban’ (that is, a gift devoted to God), he is no longer permitted to do anything for his father or mother. Thus you nullify the word of God by the tradition you have handed down. And you do so in many such matters.”
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davidmartin
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Re: Peter in the Clementine Homilies Does Not Accept the Sacredness of the Pentateuch

Post by davidmartin » Fri May 08, 2020 8:13 pm

Johnt2, my point isn't to get into pro vs anti Torah. Jesus was about the heart of things so the real Torah
Just to show the various gospels are influenced by camps and the multifarious groups that existed in early Christianity all left their impression

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