Did Paul consider himself the only one to see Jesus?

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rgprice
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Re: Did Paul consider himself the only one to see Jesus?

Post by rgprice »

@Bernard
Regarding C, I agree its an interpolation, but not necessarily "late". Its from before the Gospels. The purpose of the interpolation is to divest Paul of his special status. That's why it is noted that Paul is last in the list. That's why it says 500 brothers saw him. The point of the interpolation, the way I read it, is precisely to counter Paul's claim that he's the only one who has had a personal revelation of Jesus Christ. "Oh Paul says Jesus was reveled to him? Guess what Jesus has been revealed to all of us, he's not special!" If I were to guess, I'd wager that 1 Cor 15 was added after the First Jewish-Roman War, but before 100 CE.

I don't follow D.

E) Mark's "messianic secret" is that Jesus is Paul.

F) "Jesus' disciples and James couldn't have been those who lead the Church at its very beginning." Well, yeah, but I'd say the biggest evidence of this is what Paul says in Romans and some of his other letters, which is that in many places congregations worshiping Jesus already existed before Paul ever got there. But Paul's letters indicate that no one from Jerusalem proselytized to the Gentiles, so how were these other congregations established? How is it that, by the 50s CE, when Paul supposedly wrote Romans, there is already an organized congregation of Jesus worshipers in Rome for Paul to write to? There is no indication that anyone from Jerusalem had gone to Rome to start the congregation.

Are we to expect that somehow word got from Jerusalem to Rome that some wandering Jewish vagrant named Jesus was executed, and a bunch of people, apparently Gentiles by Paul's letter, decided to form a cult worshiping the guy? That makes no sense at all, not least of which some Jewish guy being executed in Jerusalem would have been commonplace.

G) Yeah, the epistle of James is actually a pretty big deal. It's one of the major pieces of evidence against historicity. The fact that its a forgery, and yet the person falsely taking the name of James said nothing about being a brother of Jesus clearly shows that the idea that James was a brother of Jesus didn't exist at this time. The point of taking James' name was to appropriate authority. Not to fully appropriate as much authority as you can in the process of forgery would be absurd. The only reason not to say that you are Jesus' brother is because that concept doesn't exist yet.

H) I wouldn't put too much stock in Hegesippus, but I agree that prior to Paul I think what existed was a cult that worshiped an unrevealed Jesus. I think this is most evidence in traditions about John. Who was John "the Baptist"? "The Baptist" label is an erroneous invention of Mark's, where he's just associating some real unknown real early Christian John with an unrelated well-known John. But the real John most likely was someone who was preaching the future coming of Jesus, or possibly not even Jesus, just a coming of the Messiah. And this John most likely had some congregants and worshipers and may have started a congregation in Ephesus. So, prior to Paul, these people were worshiping some heavenly Messiah who was purely a figure derived from scriptures. This was some suffering servant type heavenly figure and again his name may not have even been identified as Jesus, who knows. Paul then, had his "revelations" and claimed that the messiah of this group had been reveled to him personally. Paul now claimed to have seen the suffering servant himself! James was likely a worshiper of this Johannine Christ. It was a group worshiping a heavenly suffering servant derived from scripture.

I) I'm not sure exactly what Paul added. I think the main thing Paul added was claims of personal revelation.
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Did Paul consider himself the only one to see Jesus?

Post by Ben C. Smith »

MrMacSon wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:35 am
Ben C. Smith wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 5:03 pm Are you sure you understand what I am saying?
Yes, you wrote
Ben C. Smith wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:49 am Therefore, any argument from silence (Paul does not mention revelations to those people, therefore they did not claim them) is obviously invalid. But that invalidity does nothing to establish the proposition that the other apostles did receive revelations.
You're proposing the other apostles [probably] did receive revelations but they did not claim them.
A perfectly reasonable position to take (after many years of trying to demonstrate exactly the opposite), and one which did and does not involve the moving of goalposts. You are free to disagree with my conclusion; that is fair. But the comment about moving goalposts demonstrates that you did not understand that part of my argument.
Bernard Muller
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Re: Did Paul consider himself the only one to see Jesus?

Post by Bernard Muller »

to rgprice,
Regarding C, I agree its an interpolation, but not necessarily "late". Its from before the Gospels. The purpose of the interpolation is to divest Paul of his special status. That's why it is noted that Paul is last in the list. That's why it says 500 brothers saw him. The point of the interpolation, the way I read it, is precisely to counter Paul's claim that he's the only one who has had a personal revelation of Jesus Christ. "Oh Paul says Jesus was reveled to him? Guess what Jesus has been revealed to all of us, he's not special!" If I were to guess, I'd wager that 1 Cor 15 was added after the First Jewish-Roman War, but before 100 CE.
It is more likely 1 Cor 15:3-11 was added after gLuke was known:
Notice the similarities between:
1 Co 15:3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures
and
Lk 24:45-46 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,"

Furthermore. gMark has "after three days" and never on "the third day" for the resurrection, but "Luke" changed all of them by on "the third day".
I don't follow D.
Really, that's easy to understand: "the twelve" and "according to the scriptures" are not elsewhere in the Pauline epistles so these words likely come from the interpolator.
I was confused here and answered the wrong D.
My new answer: Paul described Jesus (not only being fully human) as not giving sign he was divine & extraordinary (and not "servant" of Gentiles, which Paul would have loved if Jesus did). No reason to become Christians
E) Mark's "messianic secret" is that Jesus is Paul.
That's very farfetched. How did you come to that conclusion? What supporting evidence do you have?
F) "Jesus' disciples and James couldn't have been those who lead the Church at its very beginning." Well, yeah, but I'd say the biggest evidence of this is what Paul says in Romans and some of his other letters, which is that in many places congregations worshiping Jesus already existed before Paul ever got there. But Paul's letters indicate that no one from Jerusalem proselytized to the Gentiles, so how were these other congregations established? How is it that, by the 50s CE, when Paul supposedly wrote Romans, there is already an organized congregation of Jesus worshipers in Rome for Paul to write to? There is no indication that anyone from Jerusalem had gone to Rome to start the congregation.
I explained that the Church of Jerusalem was first created and led by Greek speaking Jews (http://historical-jesus.info/hjes3x.html). After a persecution in which Paul participated, these proto-Christian Jews dispersed out of Jerusalem. Some might have gone in other Judean cities and became Jewish Christians founding churches there. That's why Paul could claim years later there were churches in Christ in Judea.
For Rome, Christian churches were created by early Christians well before Paul wrote Romans.
Tacitus wrote: Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment [before the Greek dispersion out of Jerusalem?], again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.
Are we to expect that somehow word got from Jerusalem to Rome that some wandering Jewish vagrant named Jesus was executed, and a bunch of people, apparently Gentiles by Paul's letter, decided to form a cult worshiping the guy? That makes no sense at all, not least of which some Jewish guy being executed in Jerusalem would have been commonplace.
I think a lot more was preached about Jesus, like he had resurrected, and would be the savior (of the believers) when the world end would come (soon).
G) Yeah, the epistle of James is actually a pretty big deal. It's one of the major pieces of evidence against historicity. The fact that its a forgery, and yet the person falsely taking the name of James said nothing about being a brother of Jesus clearly shows that the idea that James was a brother of Jesus didn't exist at this time. The point of taking James' name was to appropriate authority. Not to fully appropriate as much authority as you can in the process of forgery would be absurd. The only reason not to say that you are Jesus' brother is because that concept doesn't exist yet.
Argument from silence: not saying James was a brother of Jesus is probably because that fact was already widely known among Jesus' congregations targeted as the audience for the letter.
H) I wouldn't put too much stock in Hegesippus, but I agree that prior to Paul I think what existed was a cult that worshiped an unrevealed Jesus.
Hegesippus indicated James was not a Christian (of course James' death circumstances were invented) and the thing he said about Jesus is he showed the gate associated with some salvation:
"'What is the gate of Jesus?
and he replied that he was the Saviour.

[notice the past tense. Saviour, allegedly, but only by having preached the way to salvation (through the "gate"). There is no explanation to indicate otherwise]
` On account of these words
[and nothing else! Let's not forget Hegesippus would have loved to show James as a Christian. Instead, he only had at his disposal (as likely believed also by Jewish Christians then) "the gate of Jesus" with some notion of salvation associated to it]
` some believed that Jesus is the Christ."

Cordially, Bernard
Last edited by Bernard Muller on Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
davidmartin
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Re: Did Paul consider himself the only one to see Jesus?

Post by davidmartin »

F) "Jesus' disciples and James couldn't have been those who lead the Church at its very beginning." Well, yeah, but I'd say the biggest evidence of this is what Paul says in Romans and some of his other letters, which is that in many places congregations worshiping Jesus already existed before Paul ever got there. But Paul's letters indicate that no one from Jerusalem proselytized to the Gentiles, so how were these other congregations established? How is it that, by the 50s CE, when Paul supposedly wrote Romans, there is already an organized congregation of Jesus worshipers in Rome for Paul to write to? There is no indication that anyone from Jerusalem had gone to Rome to start the congregation.
What if the "Jerusalem church" was a local variant/offshoot from some previous movement, thus the 'James' and 'Peter' are just local leaders of this group and don't really represent the whole movement. These guys are focused on Jewish membership only and never set foot in Rome. That would make this description of the Jerusalem church fit
Meanwhile other offshoots did indeed go to the gentiles before Paul and setup the churches he talks about (these would be the other apostles)
Only by having a movement split into separate (competing) groups could it make sense
The entire history of the Christian religion is chock full of schisms and rivalry's like the best of them, right there in the earliest texts we have onwards - the idea that by the time of Paul at least it wasn't fragmented is a pious romance and certainly there wasn't one single 'Jerusalem church' that was the first and only church... despite the best efforts of Acts and who knows what else to harmonise things it just doesn't fit together and these competing 'sects' or 'churches' can explain some of the difficulties
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