davidmartin wrote: ↑Tue Aug 31, 2021 3:26 am
what i find fascinating is the thought that the circumcision party actually did influence things despite being at odds with Paul
Is that where a doctrine like hell came from? That's what i think as my original interest in this stuff derived from looking at the hell doctrine as i doubted it was original given how patchy it appears in the NT
Judging by the Clementine literature, if this indeed reflects something of them, they were powerful and persuasive right down into the patristic era
But it's them rather than Paul that is the fringe group IMO. Their claims rest upon a family connection and their insistence of winning over Peter to their cause. It seems they constructed a gospel that influenced Matthew. Why should Acts seek to smooth over the history? That makes sense if the orthodox Christians accepted some of the circumcision party's claims, sought to admit them into their ranks and convert them. The church can then claim the traditions of James as their own and trace their apostolic lineage back through them, while fully accepting Paul! Not a bad days work
The pillar James and his churches had more in common with Paul having a high Christology and similar views on salvation (as per gospel of John). If this is correct differences between Paul and a reconstructed pillar James shouldn't obscure the greater difference with the circumcision group who didn't see salvation except through their interpretation of the law
Seeking back into the origins means one can go past the upstart circumcision group back to Paul then from there to a reconstructed original group, and that pathway is highlighted by the information found in the epistles and gospels that point to a messianic revival movement making an impact approximately when and where it was thought to have started
Re: pseudo-cementine recognitions
Last night I was skimming them with a view for my Jameses hypothesis. There was one series of dialogues where one scene has the name James with no epithet, for which there is a translator's footnote saying "presumably the Lord's brother". In the next James scene, the James is the son of Zebedee, brother of John. In the next James scene, the James is James son of Alphaeus. Then, in the next James scene, it is "our James". That series told me that the writers was acutely aware of the multiple Jameses problem one faces when reading the name James in the NT. The only place I saw where James was called explicitly, "the Lord's brother" was in the intro by Rufinus. This is my memory of what I saw in last nights incomplete reading. The other thing I noticed was that there was no place where James was interviewed about his memories of growing up with Jesus or what it was like to have Mary as his mother. Kind of like reading the epistle of James in the NT, there was no evidence given to suggest that this was someone who knew Jesus in the ordinary historical sense of a blood brother.
Also, I'm not actually convinced that pseudo-clement is anti-Paul. The "enemy" reference is a possible reference to Paul, especially, in my mind, given Paul's statement in Galatians: "Have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?" I think a lot of ancient readers read that and thought, Yes, Paul--your truth is offensive to me. I think the community that produced gMatt may have experienced that sentiment as somewhat of a goad to write out things that were obviously produced in dialogue with Paul's writings, and done so with a grudging respect, even done with a sense of obedience to the saying of Jesus: "Love your enemies." I think Paul is a poster child for Matt 25 -- "If you have done it for the least of these my brethren you have done it unto me." It was been argued in scholarly circles that "my brethren" refers to the disciples, but has anyone published a recognition that "the least of these" could be an allusion to Paul? Paul famously talked about being hungry and naked and weak and in need of hospitality. I think the community of Matt would have taken Paul in out of a sense of hospitality, and would have treated him as a brother, but with a sense of superiority suggested in the saying that goes something like this: "whoever breaks one of the least of the commands, and teaches others to do likewise will be least in the kingdom."
Another place where Matt is written obviously in dialogue with Paul is in the scene where Peter calls Jesus Christ and Jesus replies: "flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my father in heaven." That resembles Gal where Paul talks about a revelation of Christ that is not from a human source, then goes on to say, "I did not consult immediately with flesh and blood." Neither in Matt, in respect to Peter, who is pictured as being equal to Paul in the quality of his revelation, nor in Gal, IMHO, does this imply that refusal to discuss Jesus as a flesh and blood person with a flesh and blood history. Also, I find it interesting that the opposition is between a flesh and blood source, and "my father in heaven" which is a family metaphor. In other words, the contrast is between the flesh and blood father of Jesus and the heavenly father as a source of the revelation. I think this speaks against family lineage as the source of Jesus' Lordship.
This has implications for how I imagine Paul's consult with James the Lord's flesh and blood brother. I Imagine Paul respected James for his kinship with Jesus. I imagine Paul telling James about his experience of revelation and getting James's feedback on its meaning. I can imagine James the Lord's brother saying to Paul: "flesh and blood did not reveal that to you. It came from our father in heaven." So imagine a real confirmation of Paul's call coming from James the Lord's brother. This is all speculation, of course. That said, I also imagine that when it came to table fellowship with uncircumcised Gentile converts, Paul and James the Lord's brother had different practices and teachings. Paul was offended that James the Lord's brother's influence was hampering his mission which involved table fellowship between "brothers" of Jewish background like himself, and those of Gentile background. In Gal Paul laments that under the influence of some from James, not only did Peter withdraw from table fellowship, also other "Jews" and even Barnabus was led in a similar direction. Paul does not say how it worked out between him and Cephas, after his open confrontation with Cephas. This is because, for the purposes of the letter to the Galatians, it does not matter. Paul is the role model most fitting for imitation by the Galatians, not Peter. Paul is saying implicitly: "Don't be like Peter--become as I am". And Paul's argument against Cephas's decision to eat with Gentiles in Antioch "won" in the sense that Paul's argument was published in the NT, and Peter's response is nowhere to be found, except, in some respects in documents like pseudoClement, where Peter talks about not eating with unbaptized believers. In pseudoClement, Peter has standards about who he will eat with. But oddly, as far as I read it, the standard was baptism, not circumcision. So the Peter of pseudoClement is maybe open to eating with uncircumcised converts as long as they are baptized.
These are some musings on James in pseudo Clement and echoes of Paul, perhaps as beloved enemy, in Matt. For my current hypothesis on the origin of the phrase "James the Just" see here: viewtopic.php?p=126443#p126443