Pauline epistles pre vs. post war

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rgprice
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Pauline epistles pre vs. post war

Post by rgprice »

I know there are several threads about this, but I'd like this to be a wholistic and even-handed comparison of the arguments for and against dating the earliest layer of the Pauline epistles to one of three different time period:
A) 1st century BCE
B) 1st century CE prior to the First Jewish-Roman War
C) After the First Jewish-Roman War.

I've listed these in chronological order, but I'll address option B first, as its the consensus position.

B> Arguments in favor of the Pauline letters having originated in the first century, prior to the First Jewish-Roman War:

1) Tradition - enough said
2) Aretas reference in 2 Cor 11 being Aretas IV - who reigned from 9 BC to 40 CE.
3) Mentions of going to Jerusalem in Galatians, 1 Cor and Romans imply a functioning city not under occupation.
4) The general lack of overt discussion about the war or the destruction of the temple. Some passage that imply strongly the war has not yet occurred, e.g. 1 Cor 10.
5) The Gospel of Mark can be viewed as preface to the Pauline letters. By setting the story during the reign of Pilate, the writer implies that Paul's ministry follows shortly after.

C> Arguments in favor of the Pauline letters having originated after the First Jewish-Roman War:

1) There is no real account of Paul or these letters until the 2nd century. References to Paul or Pauline letters are often dated to the mid-late 1st century, such as 1 Clement, HOWEVER, these datings are highly dubious. They are based on assumptions of circular reasoning. The first time we know for sure that people are aware of Paul is the middle of the 2nd century via Marcion.
2) There is little or no evidence of the supposed communities visited by Paul prior to the war. Dating Paul's ministry to 40-60 CE implies that these communities existed for 100 years prior to the "breakout" of Christianity in the 2nd century. Where are these community's traditions? Why do they seem to have such little impact on 2nd century Christianity?
3) The Pauline message fits perfectly into a world in which the Temple had been destroyed. "Paulinism" judges the priesthood harshly, it opposes circumcision, it opposes the Law, it identifies the body as the Temple of God, not the Temple in Jerusalem. Destruction of the Temple, in accordance with Jewish traditions, would be seen as evidence that the status quo of the Temple priesthood was flawed and displeased God. It would have been seen as evidence that the priestly interpretation of the scriptures was incorrect, thus providing the opening for new interpretations.
4) Some passages do imply that the Temple had been destroyed and that the war had happened. Examples:

Galatians 4:
25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.


1 Thess 2:
14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, 15 who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, 16 hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost.


1 Thess 2 :14-16 is suspected of being an interpolation due its apparent reference to the war.

1 Cor 2:
6 Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; 7 but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8 the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;

Is this referring to those who brought about the destruction of the Temple?

Romans 10:
1Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. 2 For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. 3 For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.


Romans 11:
11 I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 3 “Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” 4 But what is the divine response to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.

7 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; 8 just as it is written,

“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes to see not and ears to hear not,
Down to this very day.”

9 And David says,

“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
And a stumbling block and a retribution to them.
10 “Let their eyes be darkened to see not,
And bend their backs forever.”

11 I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. 12 Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! 13 But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too.

Why does Paul ask if God has rejected his people? Why would people think that? Because of the destruction of the Temple? What is their transgression?

Romans 13:
1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.

Is this issue being raised because of the outcome of the war? The Jews tried to reject the governing authority. They were judged harshly.

A> Arguments in favor of the Pauline letters having originated in the 1st century BCE:

1) The Aretas reference in 2 Cor 11 more closely resembles Aretas III - who reigned from 87 - 62 BCE
2) Many aspects of the Pauline letters seem to align with events from the 1st century BCE. See: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5464
3) The Pauline letters imply that something has happened which shows that the Jews have been judged harshly by God, yet overall the letters do seem to imply that the Temple is unharmed. Might the judgement against the Jews be the loss of the Hasmonean kingdom to Pompey in 63 BCE? Might Paul's ministry have been prompted by the integration of the Hasmonean kingdom into the Roman Empire?
4) Philippians 4:22 "All the holy ones greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household." - Caesar Augustus?

While these are supposed to be arguments in favor, I would point out that if A were true it would imply that these groups Paul visited existed for 200 years prior to the 2nd century explosion of Christianity. Surely they would have had something to say about it by then eh?

I'm sure I haven't covered all the possible arguments in favor of these datings, nor the arguments against them.
lclapshaw
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Re: Pauline epistles pre vs. post war

Post by lclapshaw »

First of all thanks for the link to my thread! :)

Personally, I am coming around to the opinion that some of all of the above may be true. That is to say that perhaps the letters 1 and 2 Corinthians (mostly) and Philippians (mostly), (and perhaps 1 Thessalonians and some of Romans might be from the mid to late 1st century BCE while letters like Galatians, 2 Thessalonians, Ephesians, et all could be from the 1st century-early-mid 2nd century by others adding to what they wanted Paul to say after his letters had been found and made into the longer letters that we have now. This could have also been for financial gain if a market existed for them.

Letters like the 'Pastorals' being from the mid to late 2nd century to fill the needs of an emerging cult/religion.

And then we have all of the "Catholic" cleaning up to bring 'Paul' in line with the orthodox XCanity of late 2nd century and beyond.

It's a real mess. But that's kind of how it looks to me.
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GakuseiDon
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Re: Pauline epistles pre vs. post war

Post by GakuseiDon »

rgprice wrote: Mon Jan 09, 2023 12:56 pm5) The Gospel of Mark can be viewed as preface to the Pauline letters. By setting the story during the reign of Pilate, the writer implies that Paul's ministry follows shortly after.
...
1) There is no real account of Paul or these letters until the 2nd century. References to Paul or Pauline letters are often dated to the mid-late 1st century, such as 1 Clement, HOWEVER, these datings are highly dubious. They are based on assumptions of circular reasoning. The first time we know for sure that people are aware of Paul is the middle of the 2nd century via Marcion.
Yes, if Mark is a preface to the Pauline letters, then the author of Mark was aware of Paul. So whenever you date Mark (say, 90s CE), Paul was prior. Given that Mark has Jesus living in the time of Pilate, with an apostle called Peter whom Paul interacts with, then Mark's Paul lived around the middle of the First Century CE.

If Marcion's Gospel was first, you still get the same result: Jesus coming to earth in the 15th year of Tiberius, with an apostle Peter whom Paul apparently interacts with. So again that would place Marcion's Paul as living around the middle of the First Century CE.

It's possible Paul lived post-Jewish War or pre-CE, but Occam's Razor would come into play here. That is, what we have is a fairly solid prior probability based on the above (either Mark or Marcion) is a Paul who lived mid-First Century CE. That's the starting point. Then we can proceed to arguments for or against that,
rgprice wrote: Mon Jan 09, 2023 12:56 pmWhy does Paul ask if God has rejected his people? Why would people think that? Because of the destruction of the Temple? What is their transgression?
Isn't their transgression the rejection of Jesus?
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mlinssen
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Re: Pauline epistles pre vs. post war

Post by mlinssen »

rgprice wrote: Mon Jan 09, 2023 12:56 pm I know there are several threads about this, but I'd like this to be a wholistic and even-handed comparison of the arguments for and against dating the earliest layer of the Pauline epistles to one of three different time period:
A) 1st century BCE
B) 1st century CE prior to the First Jewish-Roman War
C) After the First Jewish-Roman War.

I've listed these in chronological order, but I'll address option B first, as its the consensus position.

B> Arguments in favor of the Pauline letters having originated in the first century, prior to the First Jewish-Roman War:

1) Tradition - enough said
2) Aretas reference in 2 Cor 11 being Aretas IV - who reigned from 9 BC to 40 CE.
3) Mentions of going to Jerusalem in Galatians, 1 Cor and Romans imply a functioning city not under occupation.
4) The general lack of overt discussion about the war or the destruction of the temple. Some passage that imply strongly the war has not yet occurred, e.g. 1 Cor 10.
5) The Gospel of Mark can be viewed as preface to the Pauline letters. By setting the story during the reign of Pilate, the writer implies that Paul's ministry follows shortly after.

C> Arguments in favor of the Pauline letters having originated after the First Jewish-Roman War:

1) There is no real account of Paul or these letters until the 2nd century. References to Paul or Pauline letters are often dated to the mid-late 1st century, such as 1 Clement, HOWEVER, these datings are highly dubious. They are based on assumptions of circular reasoning. The first time we know for sure that people are aware of Paul is the middle of the 2nd century via Marcion.
2) There is little or no evidence of the supposed communities visited by Paul prior to the war. Dating Paul's ministry to 40-60 CE implies that these communities existed for 100 years prior to the "breakout" of Christianity in the 2nd century. Where are these community's traditions? Why do they seem to have such little impact on 2nd century Christianity?
3) The Pauline message fits perfectly into a world in which the Temple had been destroyed. "Paulinism" judges the priesthood harshly, it opposes circumcision, it opposes the Law, it identifies the body as the Temple of God, not the Temple in Jerusalem. Destruction of the Temple, in accordance with Jewish traditions, would be seen as evidence that the status quo of the Temple priesthood was flawed and displeased God. It would have been seen as evidence that the priestly interpretation of the scriptures was incorrect, thus providing the opening for new interpretations.
4) Some passages do imply that the Temple had been destroyed and that the war had happened. Examples:

Galatians 4:
25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.


1 Thess 2:
14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, 15 who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, 16 hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost.


1 Thess 2 :14-16 is suspected of being an interpolation due its apparent reference to the war.

1 Cor 2:
6 Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; 7 but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8 the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;

Is this referring to those who brought about the destruction of the Temple?

Romans 10:
1Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. 2 For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. 3 For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.


Romans 11:
11 I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 3 “Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” 4 But what is the divine response to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.

7 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; 8 just as it is written,

“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes to see not and ears to hear not,
Down to this very day.”

9 And David says,

“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
And a stumbling block and a retribution to them.
10 “Let their eyes be darkened to see not,
And bend their backs forever.”

11 I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. 12 Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! 13 But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too.

Why does Paul ask if God has rejected his people? Why would people think that? Because of the destruction of the Temple? What is their transgression?

Romans 13:
1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.

Is this issue being raised because of the outcome of the war? The Jews tried to reject the governing authority. They were judged harshly.

A> Arguments in favor of the Pauline letters having originated in the 1st century BCE:

1) The Aretas reference in 2 Cor 11 more closely resembles Aretas III - who reigned from 87 - 62 BCE
2) Many aspects of the Pauline letters seem to align with events from the 1st century BCE. See: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5464
3) The Pauline letters imply that something has happened which shows that the Jews have been judged harshly by God, yet overall the letters do seem to imply that the Temple is unharmed. Might the judgement against the Jews be the loss of the Hasmonean kingdom to Pompey in 63 BCE? Might Paul's ministry have been prompted by the integration of the Hasmonean kingdom into the Roman Empire?
4) Philippians 4:22 "All the holy ones greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household." - Caesar Augustus?

While these are supposed to be arguments in favor, I would point out that if A were true it would imply that these groups Paul visited existed for 200 years prior to the 2nd century explosion of Christianity. Surely they would have had something to say about it by then eh?

I'm sure I haven't covered all the possible arguments in favor of these datings, nor the arguments against them.
If you observe very closely what you have written down pretty accurately, you will see that there is no trace of any destruction of anything, before nor after

Only Josephus attests to the 70 CE Temple destruction, and it's a folly. One single menorah on the Arc of Tiberius is all that we have to go on.
Look at the coins during this period: all nicely peace and quiet.
Judea capta? Sure, but how?

There never was a war. Do you really think that these pathetic hillbillies without culture, architecture, great cities and stories, libraries, and anything else that makes a nation, were little more than nomads? The idea that the Roman army had any difficulty in overrunning this shit little country is hilarious
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Re: Pauline epistles pre vs. post war

Post by Giuseppe »

I would add in support of a post-70 dating:
  • that the famous Hymn to Philippians seems to be a Docetist passage and the famous passage 1 Corinthians 2:6-12 seems to fit more a gnostic (=anti-demiurgist) thing than a Jewish thing.
  • That the same name "Paulus" is more expected for the fabricated icon of the gentilizers (=the "little" ones) in polemic against the judaizers (=the "adult" ones), than for an apostle who coincidentially became famous, already during his life, also as an icon of the gentilizers.
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Re: Pauline epistles pre vs. post war

Post by maryhelena »

rgprice wrote: Mon Jan 09, 2023 12:56 pm I know there are several threads about this, but I'd like this to be a wholistic and even-handed comparison of the arguments for and against dating the earliest layer of the Pauline epistles to one of three different time period:
A) 1st century BCE
B) 1st century CE prior to the First Jewish-Roman War
C) After the First Jewish-Roman War.

I've listed these in chronological order, but I'll address option B first, as its the consensus position.

B> Arguments in favor of the Pauline letters having originated in the first century, prior to the First Jewish-Roman War:

1) Tradition - enough said
2) Aretas reference in 2 Cor 11 being Aretas IV - who reigned from 9 BC to 40 CE.
3) Mentions of going to Jerusalem in Galatians, 1 Cor and Romans imply a functioning city not under occupation.
4) The general lack of overt discussion about the war or the destruction of the temple. Some passage that imply strongly the war has not yet occurred, e.g. 1 Cor 10.
5) The Gospel of Mark can be viewed as preface to the Pauline letters. By setting the story during the reign of Pilate, the writer implies that Paul's ministry follows shortly after.

C> Arguments in favor of the Pauline letters having originated after the First Jewish-Roman War:

1) There is no real account of Paul or these letters until the 2nd century. References to Paul or Pauline letters are often dated to the mid-late 1st century, such as 1 Clement, HOWEVER, these datings are highly dubious. They are based on assumptions of circular reasoning. The first time we know for sure that people are aware of Paul is the middle of the 2nd century via Marcion.
2) There is little or no evidence of the supposed communities visited by Paul prior to the war. Dating Paul's ministry to 40-60 CE implies that these communities existed for 100 years prior to the "breakout" of Christianity in the 2nd century. Where are these community's traditions? Why do they seem to have such little impact on 2nd century Christianity?
3) The Pauline message fits perfectly into a world in which the Temple had been destroyed. "Paulinism" judges the priesthood harshly, it opposes circumcision, it opposes the Law, it identifies the body as the Temple of God, not the Temple in Jerusalem. Destruction of the Temple, in accordance with Jewish traditions, would be seen as evidence that the status quo of the Temple priesthood was flawed and displeased God. It would have been seen as evidence that the priestly interpretation of the scriptures was incorrect, thus providing the opening for new interpretations.
4) Some passages do imply that the Temple had been destroyed and that the war had happened. Examples:

Galatians 4:
25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.


1 Thess 2:
14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, 15 who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, 16 hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost.


1 Thess 2 :14-16 is suspected of being an interpolation due its apparent reference to the war.

1 Cor 2:
6 Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; 7 but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8 the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;

Is this referring to those who brought about the destruction of the Temple?

Romans 10:
1Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. 2 For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. 3 For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.


Romans 11:
11 I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 3 “Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” 4 But what is the divine response to him? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.

7 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; 8 just as it is written,

“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes to see not and ears to hear not,
Down to this very day.”

9 And David says,

“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
And a stumbling block and a retribution to them.
10 “Let their eyes be darkened to see not,
And bend their backs forever.”

11 I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. 12 Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! 13 But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too.

Why does Paul ask if God has rejected his people? Why would people think that? Because of the destruction of the Temple? What is their transgression?

Romans 13:
1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.

Is this issue being raised because of the outcome of the war? The Jews tried to reject the governing authority. They were judged harshly.

A> Arguments in favor of the Pauline letters having originated in the 1st century BCE:

1) The Aretas reference in 2 Cor 11 more closely resembles Aretas III - who reigned from 87 - 62 BCE
2) Many aspects of the Pauline letters seem to align with events from the 1st century BCE. See: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5464
3) The Pauline letters imply that something has happened which shows that the Jews have been judged harshly by God, yet overall the letters do seem to imply that the Temple is unharmed. Might the judgement against the Jews be the loss of the Hasmonean kingdom to Pompey in 63 BCE? Might Paul's ministry have been prompted by the integration of the Hasmonean kingdom into the Roman Empire?
4) Philippians 4:22 "All the holy ones greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household." - Caesar Augustus?

While these are supposed to be arguments in favor, I would point out that if A were true it would imply that these groups Paul visited existed for 200 years prior to the 2nd century explosion of Christianity. Surely they would have had something to say about it by then eh?

I'm sure I haven't covered all the possible arguments in favor of these datings, nor the arguments against them.
Three options for Paul's letters ? Before one tries to fit NT Paul into a historical time frame, surely the thing to do is to question his historicity. Until the historicity of NT Paul can be established one is simply blowing in the wind. That the historicity of NT Paul has been questioned I'm sure you are aware. (Thomas Brodie doing good work on Paul). Did not Robert Price label NT Paul the 'paper apostle'. (someone can correct that if I'm mistaken..)

The Damascus and Aretas dating has nothing to do with a historical Paul. The NT figure of Paul is ahistorical.

Aretas III controlled Damascus in 63 b.c. It's the dating that is relevant. 63 b.c., - not a historical, flesh and blood, Paul - and what that date means for Hasmonean history. gLuke places his Jesus nativity story around 6 c.e. (around 70 years from 63 b.c. ) The historicity of gospel Jesus has been questioned - thus no Jesus nativity around 6 c.e. under Quirinius (Governor in Syria until 12 c.e.) Why would gLuke place his Jesus nativity story around 70 years from 63 b.c. ? Why would NT Paul place himself in Damascus under Aretas III around 63 b.c. ? The logical answer is that 63 b.c. was an important date for the writers of the gospel story. History is what it is - narratives about that history something else.

Aretas IV did not control Damascus. And just as a matter of interest consider Josephus and Aretas IV. The Josephan narrative has a war between Herod/Antipas and Aretas IV. While one can question the Josephan narrative about this war it's time-stamp, just prior to the death of Tiberius in 37 c.e places this Josephan narrative 100 years from 63 b.c., a time period in which a war involving Aretas III and the Hasmonean Aristobulus took place.

Aretas III

Aretas advanced towards Jerusalem at the head of 50,000 men, besieging the city for several months. Eventually, Aristobulus bribed Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, deputy of the Roman general Pompey. Scaurus ordered Aretas to withdraw his army, which then suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Aristobulus on the journey back to Nabatea.

Ironic really - around 37 c.e. a reversal of fortunes for the Nabataeans when they defeated the army of Herod/Antipas. Josephus perhaps using the history of around 63 b.c. to colour his narrative of 37 b.c. Rome this time turning back from pursuing Aretas IV to Petra. Illusion of times past ? Well, that is what is often claimed for the gospel writers is it not - turning to the OT to fill out their Jesus story. Josephus, the historian, remembering times past with his placing his 37 c.e. narrative 100 years from the history of 63 b.c.

Debating NT Paul and thus dating his letters in regard to Paul in Damascus under Aretas:

A) 1st century BCE = Aretas III controlled Damascus; date usually discounted necessitating Aretas IV being elevated to control of Damascus i.e. history side-stepped in order to uphold a NT interpretation.

B) 1st century CE prior to the First Jewish-Roman War = the gospel follow on story upheld by a belief in a historical gospel Jesus.. requiring Aretas IV to have control of Damascus.

C) After the First Jewish-Roman War. = has to reject Aretas III and Aretas IV - a proposed Aretas V has been suggested. here

63 b.c. Roman control of Judaea. A control and occupation in which the NT story is set. Hasmonean history is relevant to the gospel Jesus story - as it was relevant to Josephus - who claimed Hasmonean ancestry. Bottom line - the NT story has a Hasmonean root......
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Re: Pauline epistles pre vs. post war

Post by Irish1975 »

What if it isn't possible to use the war of 66-73 to date the NT texts? Or any of the conflicts between Judea and Rome stretching from Pompey to Hadrian? Either because the NT literature has no evident connection to these events, or because our information about these wars is inadequate.

Imagine that in a thousand years, the USA is long gone, and humans have a collection of a dozen or so Hollywood Westerns. They have one, two, or three sources of information about the American Civil War, WWI, and WWII. The hot topic of debate is, were these stories produced immediately after the Civil War, between WWI and WWII, or after WWII? One or two of the movies allude to (probable) 20th century events, and one movie explicitly suggests that Native Americans have been defeated utterly and confined to reservations. And so forth.

What would be the quality of that debate?
lclapshaw
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Re: Pauline epistles pre vs. post war

Post by lclapshaw »

Irish1975 wrote: Tue Jan 10, 2023 9:20 am What if it isn't possible to use the war of 66-73 to date the NT texts? Or any of the conflicts between Judea and Rome stretching from Pompey to Hadrian? Either because the NT literature has no evident connection to these events, or because our information about these wars is inadequate.

Imagine that in a thousand years, the USA is long gone, and humans have a collection of a dozen or so Hollywood Westerns. They have one, two, or three sources of information about the American Civil War, WWI, and WWII. The hot topic of debate is, were these stories produced immediately after the Civil War, between WWI and WWII, or after WWII? One or two of the movies allude to (probable) 20th century events, and one movie explicitly suggests that Native Americans have been defeated utterly and confined to reservations. And so forth.

What would be the quality of that debate?
An interesting question for me is why the civil wars and political upheavals following the death of Nero is never even peripherally evident?
rgprice
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Re: Pauline epistles pre vs. post war

Post by rgprice »

Irish1975 wrote: Tue Jan 10, 2023 9:20 am What if it isn't possible to use the war of 66-73 to date the NT texts? Or any of the conflicts between Judea and Rome stretching from Pompey to Hadrian? Either because the NT literature has no evident connection to these events, or because our information about these wars is inadequate.

Imagine that in a thousand years, the USA is long gone, and humans have a collection of a dozen or so Hollywood Westerns. They have one, two, or three sources of information about the American Civil War, WWI, and WWII. The hot topic of debate is, were these stories produced immediately after the Civil War, between WWI and WWII, or after WWII? One or two of the movies allude to (probable) 20th century events, and one movie explicitly suggests that Native Americans have been defeated utterly and confined to reservations. And so forth.

What would be the quality of that debate?
I think it would be pretty easy for a lot of stories, even ones not directly related to the wars.

I like to use The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as an example. This is clearly a post-Civil War story, set prior to the Civil War.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - another clearly post-Civil War story.

I think you would actually be hard pressed to find stories that you weren't able to tell if they were written before or after major US wars.
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maryhelena
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Re: Pauline epistles pre vs. post war

Post by maryhelena »

Irish1975 wrote: Tue Jan 10, 2023 9:20 am What if it isn't possible to use the war of 66-73 to date the NT texts?
One consequence of that would be to cast doubt on the historicist of NT Paul. Dating texts, while interesting in and off itself, is not going to provide insight into the story the texts contain. For that one needs history.
Or any of the conflicts between Judea and Rome stretching from Pompey to Hadrian? Either because the NT literature has no evident connection to these events, or because our information about these wars is inadequate.
The NT texts have no 'evident connection' to historical events ? Well, this thread has focused on Aretas and the NT Paul. History relates Aretas III ruled Damascus until about 63/62 b.c. Aretas III was involved with Hasmonean history.

The gospel of Luke places it's Jesus birth narrative around 6 c.e. - 70 years from 63 b.c. A time when one Hasmonean ruler, Aristolulus II was removed by Rome and replaced by Hyrancus II. Similarly, in 6 c.e. Rome removed the Herodian ruler Archelaus and Judea came under direct Roman rule.

The gospel of Luke places Lysanias of Abilene with a list of rulers in the 15th year of Tiberius. Historically, Lysanias of Abilene ruled from around 40 b.c. to 33 b.c. It was not only Lysanias that ruled in 40 b.c. - Herod was made King by the Romans and Antigonus was King and High Priest in Judaea.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysanias

The father of Lysanias was Ptolemy, son of Mennaeus, who ruled the tetrarchy before him. Ptolemy was married to Alexandra, one of the sisters of Antigonus, and he helped his brother-in-law during the latter's successful attempt to claim the throne of Judea in 40 BC with the military support of the Parthians. Ptolemy had previously supported Antigonus's unsuccessful attempt to take the throne of Judea in 42 BC.

Josephus says in The Jewish War that Lysanias offered the Parthian satrap Barzapharnes a thousand talents and 500 women to bring Antigonus back and raise him to the throne, after deposing Hyrcanus though in his later work, the Jewish Antiquities, he says the offer was made by Antigonus. In 33 BCE Lysanias was put to death by Mark Antony for his Parthian sympathies, at the instigation of Cleopatra, who had eyes on his territories.

Coins from his reign indicate that he was "tetrarch and high priest"

Both Aretas III and Lysanias of Abilene had connections to Hasmonean history. Marc Antony executed Antigonus in 37 b.c. and he also executed Lysanias of Abilene around 33 b.c.

gLuke's use of both 6 c.e. and the 15th year of Tiberius and it's mention of Lysanias indicate gLuke is referencing Hasmonean history as being relevant to his Jesus story.

What would be the quality of that debate?
The quality of the debate would be raised from it's present futile arguments over debating NT texts. A text tells a story - in the case of the NT story - a story that has become believed to be historical by millions of people. Why defuse such people from their delusion ? Because knowledge is not static - it moves as and when it moves. Years of belief, as intellectual history demonstrates, can't stop intellectual progress. The story is there - what is that ancient story about ? To see clearly, now and for the future, the curtain of belief needs to be pushed aside.
Last edited by maryhelena on Tue Jan 10, 2023 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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