James Littlefinger: from simple 'brother' to Pillar

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James Littlefinger: from simple 'brother' to Pillar

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:28 pm

I divide in two parts this long post.

There is a point in Galatians that I think is a strong clue of authenticity of that epistle.

I mean the mythicist interpretation of Gal 1:19 : Paul is going to secure the Galatians that he saw only a simple brother, James, and only an apostle (probably already a Pillar), Peter, shortly too, so he, Paul, is a true apostle from the start.

Who has read Detering on Galatians realizes easily what is the interpolation argument:
the proto-catholic interpolator inserted the first visit to Jerusalem (by having in mind Acts) in order to make Paul a factual servant of Peter in first place, and a banal observer of the simple ''fact'' that James is brother of Jesus (a descriptive 'fact' as well as is descriptive ''fact'' Gal 4:4: ''born by woman, born under the law'') in second place. So, contra Marcion, Saint Paul is both dependent on Saint Peter and a strong witness of the biological family of Jesus by simply ''seeing'' James. The interpolator used the verbe ''to see'' in Gal 1:19 to emphasize that is a simple 'fact' that Jesus had a biological family, just as is a simple 'fact' that Jesus was ''born by woman'').

But I have a problem with this argument.

In Gal 2 James is put implicitly in a negative light
: the ''some people came from James'' are false apostles for both the Paul of Marcion and the Saint Paul of protocatholics. The proto-catholics and marcionites were both enemies of excessive-Judaizers as the ebionites. It's expected that Marcion could put the ''James party'' in a negative light. But is it expected in equal degree that proto-catholics could do the same? Could a proto-catholic tolerate the fact that Saint Paul despised the 'so-called Pillars' (among them: James brother of Jesus) because of their excessive Judaism? Could a Catholic sell so easily James as icon of the ebionites?
The Christian apologist Bernard thinks that the brothers of Lord weren't Christians. I don't accept his arguments a priori, but I think that he, as pious Christian, gives strong evidence that he doesn't like the latent hostility between Paul and James in Gal 2. If he doesn't like that fact, even more so the proto-catholics didn't like it, too. In other terms, I'm saying that Detering fails partially to explain why the proto-catholic interpolator didn't change the negative show of James in Gal 2. After all, he was the brother of Jesus!
Maybe a possible objection by Detering may sound so: the mother and brothers of Jesus in the Gospels are negatively represented, so the Catholic interpolator could be justified 'still' in the epistle to introduce a semi-negative James brother of Jesus to use against Marcion. But this 'solution' does not seem satisfactory, since in incipit of Acts ''his mother and brothers'' are Christian converts, so it is assumed that no longer they consider Jesus a madman (therefore no reason more for a late Catholic interpolator to denigrate James basing on Acts). And Acts doesn't mention no James brother of Jesus that is Pillar of Jerusalem, too.

The historicist argument (assuming an authentic Galatians 1 & 2) is well described by Zeba Crook when he says that:
Crook claimed Paul “wished” James wasn’t the brother of Jesus (because that made James a greater authority than Paul).

On the same frequency, Loren Rosson finds a clue/reason to doubt about Carrier's mythicism when he writes:
Carrier is being a bit obtuse here. No one, least of all Crook and Goodacre, is leaning on Christian faith doctrine; this is a scholarly construct based on objective assessments of Paul’s relationship to James and the other pillars. Even if you know nothing of Acts 15, it’s not hard to see the power struggles implied in Gal 1-2. (As an aside, I even suggest that James used his authority treacherously.) This is a feeble swipe on Carrier’s part and one of his least persuasive arguments.
https://rossonl.wordpress.com/2014/06/2 ... -theories/

A ''James brother of Jesus who made virtually him a greater authority than Paul'' is the same reason that may move a Catholic interpolator to insert Gal 1:19 in a former marcionite epistle to catholicize it. Therefore the historicists seem to think as proto-catholics.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: James Littlefinger: from simple 'brother' to Pillar

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:29 pm

But I see TWO strong reasons to doubt about Crook's and Rosson's claims on Paul 'that “wished” James wasn’t the brother of Jesus'.

First, I can apply a Reductio ad Absurdum on their historicist argument.

1) a ''brother of Jesus'' has by definition a greater authority than other apostles.
2) In virtue of 1, Paul “wished” James wasn’t the brother of Jesus
3) Paul, in 1 Cor 9:5, equates directly his own rights even to the same brothers of Jesus, deliberately ignoring the point 1 and not showing the slightest shame in referring with vis polemica explicitly to the brothers of the Lord (against the point 2).
4) Absurd.

Second, I see that the Carrier's mythicist interpretation offers the unique exegesis of ''brother of Lord'' in Gal 1:19 that does justice entirely of Gal 1 and Gal 2.

The first visit of Jerusalem is introduced by Paul as proof of his genuine claims of independent apostleship: only a simple generic Christian, James, is witness of the fact that Paul consults with Peter for a few days and with no one else, for which Paul has really become a Christian and apostle solely through the divine election from his birth.

But, after 14 years, something is changed profondly in Jerusalem. Paul observes now that one who was a simple baptized Christian during the first time he saw Peter, namely James, in whiletime has made a prodigious career and became even Pillar (and probably also an apostle). This is unacceptable for Paul. For Paul, an apostle is by definition only one who saw the resurrected Christ before he became officially a Christian. He can not become an apostle one that is already Christian, because the spiritual possession is much more powerful and legitimate when it involves someone who is not even become a Christian. Because this reason Paul recognized willingly at first the authority of Peter. Peter and the other pillars like him were those who had suddenly seen the heavenly Jesus, becoming from that time on the apostles, and only after officially 'Christians'. But James, the simple ''brother of Lord'', the simple baptized Christian outsider, is an usurper when is called ''Pillar'' by others because Paul had known him for what he was really: a simple vulgar Christian of low rank.

Therefore I think that the ''brother of Lord'' in Gal 1:19 is functional not only to confirm the pauline apology of his own personal independence as True Apostle, but also to show that a coup d'état took place during the period when Paul was absent from Jerusalem for fourteen years: during that period James, from being a simple ''brother of Lord'', is became even Pillar of Jerusalem (!!!!), with strong negative influence even on Peter, the true legitimate Pillar!

In the eyes of Paul, this is a real betrayal, which gives him the right not only to turn against those ''some sent by James'', but to break even with the original Pillar Peter in Antioch. From then on, Peter and Paul become therefore mortal enemies. Because the latter became totally submissive to that usurper of James.

Therefore, the power struggles implied in Gal 1-2 are evidence of the use of the costruct ''brother of Lord'' to refer to low rank Christians in a polemical context, precisely as it is used in 1 Cor 9:5, where Paul complains that he is treated as the last of the simple ''brothers of the Lord'', despite being an apostle with the same rights of Cephas.

Richard Carrier wins totally on all the line. His exegesis of Gal 1 and 2 is the unique exegesis that explains the power struggles of Gal 1-2 and at the same time 1 Cor 9:5.

And I may find further evidence in support of this.

Not only James, but John is a ''so-called'' Pillar too, so maybe even John was a simple ''brother of Lord'' before to become (unlawfully) a Pillar.

They are therefore the same 'sons of Zebedee' described negatively by Mark. Zebedee is symbol (I go to memory) of a guy in Josephus that tried to retain for himself sacred spoils: therefore an usurper for excellence.
They usurped the title of apostles.

And when the name 'James' figures among the names of the brother of Jesus in Mark, what Mark is doing is to raise a subtle symbolic link among the name 'James' and the name 'Judah', so to allude to 'Judah Iskariot', the betrayer.
Judah Iskariot does not emit a word in Mark. All he does is use his mouth to kiss on the cheek Jesus (the mouth is used to eat at Antioch). Judah is insignificant at the beginning just as it is James, ''the brother of the Lord'' during the first visit of Paul to Jerusalem. Yet as the evangelist feels the need to say in advance that Judah is the one who later will betray Jesus, so Paul feels the need to remind the Galatians in advance that James was at the beginning only a mere brother of the Lord, therefore, no in right more than the Galatians themselves to rebel against his personal power, the power of Paul the Apostle chosen by God from the womb and before he could never listen about Christ by others.

Paul is Lord Eddard Stark. :thumbup:
James is Lord Petyr Baelish, said 'Littlefinger'. :thumbdown:
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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