Carrier, Aretas and Damascus

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Jax
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Re: Carrier, Aretas and Damascus

Post by Jax »

maryhelena wrote: Sat Sep 04, 2021 11:40 pm
Jax wrote: Sat Sep 04, 2021 6:35 am
maryhelena wrote: Wed Sep 01, 2021 10:19 pm
StephenGoranson wrote: Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:40 am The posibility was raised whether 2 Cor. 11: 32-33 was an interpolation.
maryhelena responded in part (Tue Aug 24, 2021 1:05 am): “Interpolation in 2 Cor.11.32 - way too much to loose by that approach...” [presumably, for “loose” read “lose”]

Stephen - this thread is not a grammar or spelling test - all your continued attempts to set yourself up as a master of such is pathetic.

Standard Christian apologist toolkit: make it seem that your opponent is ill-lettered and ignorant to negate anything that they have written. It's how their worldview operates, any flaw, no matter how trivial, is grounds for dismissing the whole thesis.
Lane, he is just a buzzing mosquito - won't do me any harm. I lived in Africa (East and South) for over 50 years and although got a few mosquito bites never did come down with malaria. So no worries on my behalf. :D

Good for you re coming back at Richard Carrier. At least you got more for your money this time......

https://www.richardcarrier.info/archive ... ment-32915

Perhaps part of Carrier's problem is his reluctance to put 'boots on the ground'. Much like the current US - strike from the skies......

Jesus from Outer Space is Carrier's thing - too much distraction to get involved with history - especially history of Aretas III i.e.first century b.c. history. A historical Paul active in b.c. - or heaven forbid - a paper apostle Paul - and Carrier has no where to place them in his Jesus from Outer Space theory. He needs the whole bang shoot of the NT chronological timeline. A working assumption that is seriously flawed. i.e. no historical Jesus means there is no need to have a historical NT Paul follow the gospel's timeline.

As for me - a paper apostle Paul opens the door wider for searching for early christian origins. (Yep, quoting Brodie on an ahistorical Paul is, so to speak, handy - but I've viewed the NT Paul as ahistorical before I read Brodie..) This thread has, re Aretas III, only added to that viewpoint.

If its historical research into early christian origins that interests one - then the NT figure of Paul, whether historical or a paper apostle - is simply a small fish in a far bigger historical context. The NT Paul is interesting for the theology/philosophy set down in the epistles. Apart from that - there are far bigger fish to catch in the historical search for early christian origins.
:D Thanks Mary, and yeah, I feel that I got some of my monies worth this time. ;)

Working on my reply to his reply now but I can only post there once a month so have plenty of time to compose it. :)
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maryhelena
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Re: Carrier, Aretas and Damascus

Post by maryhelena »

davidmartin wrote: Sun Sep 05, 2021 11:11 am MH what do you think about the contradictions in the Paul writings?

EG In Galatians he claims his gospel was not taught to him by anyone else, nor did he make it up but it came by personal revelation
Then isn't he the only one who knew it, and therefore any other apostles couldn't have been preaching the same thing?!

But if Paul is the 'last apostle' as he says, then the contradiction is that his gospel can't have been the same as what the earlier apostles preached
This contradiction is underlined by his having to go to Jerusalem to make sure his gospel was acceptable to them which it doesn't appear to have been, but at the same time he condemns any other gospel than his own
This just doesn't make sense
The obvious take on this is that Paul (or the Paul character as you might prefer it) is teaching something different
How can he not be, if no-one else but he knows it?
The contradictions go on that elsewhere he claims the other apostles teach the same gospel as he does, but how can they?
Some years ago I read an article by Steve Mason (no longer on the Bible and Interpretation website but incorporated into his book: Josephus, Judea, and Christian Origins: Methods and Categories. The whole book is available for download:

https://www.academia.edu/40012218/Two_E ... Detractors )


This a brace of chapters on Paul's situation in the first Christian generation. Breaking with the prevailing scholarly assumption that 'to euangelion' (usually 'the gospel') was shared among early Christians, who differed only about its content, I argue that this language was distinctively Paul's and understood by both him and his many detractors as such. That is why it is programmatically featured only by the Paul-like 'Mark' but then scrubbed by 'Matthew', 'Luke', and 'John', though the first two depend heavily on Mark. The second essay, on Paul's defence of his Euangelion in Romans, first appeared in a FS for Richard Longenecker, Gospel in Paul, ed. by Ann Jervis and Peter Richardson (1994). I reprinted it with slight updates for Josephus, Judea, and Christian Origins: Methods and Categories (Hendrickson 2009). Hendrickson handed the book off to Baker, and Baker returned the rights to me. The essay that precedes it I wrote for the 2009 volume. It is a kind of biography of To Euangelion (I prefer: 'The Announcement') through the first three Christian generations, which should help to contextualise the Romans study

Maybe time to have another read of the material......what did strike me and has stayed with me ever since is Mason's term -
The Announcement
- a term he used to refer to Paul's position compared to the earlier apostles.

The whole NT story has Jesus first followed by Paul. However, I think a problem does arise with an ahistoricist position that upholds ideas about, for example, Jesus from Outer Space, that everything begins with Paul and the gospel Jesus story is tagged on to that position. That position, seems to me, to be found wanting. And in that regard I think Steve Mason's argument on Paul's Announcement has much to offer. Yes, it basically follows the NT framework of first Jesus then Paul - and yes, that's a story of Christian origins. But the historical reality of the origins of the Jewish roots of early Christianity requires not just Pauline theology/philosophy but also 'boots on the ground'. History of ideas is all very well - but history itself can inform ideas, can generate new ways of thinking. Necessity, they say, is often the mother of invention. Perhaps one way to view the NT story - the gospels are the body of the story and the spirit of the story is Pauline theology/philosophy. Hence - one can't have one without the other.

Anyway, have a look at Steve Mason's argument re Paul and The Announcement.

Chapter 9: Pauls Announcement "Good News" and
Its Detractors in Earliest Christianity


===========
Correction: only two chapters of the book available at the linked download.
Last edited by maryhelena on Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
davidmartin
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Re: Carrier, Aretas and Damascus

Post by davidmartin »

Yes that is interesting thankyou. I've just read it, i like his style and his point about the announcement fits a 'Pauline offshoot' Mark very well.
But it would be nice to see him conclude that Paul's couldn't have been the first gospel and seems to see his opponents as re-interpreters according to Greek philosophy without considering that this might be just Paul's polemic and extreme characterisations of his opponents. Anyway Paul might not have used Greek philosophy but he sure did use it's rhetoric. To be truly fair from a modern point of view surely one must assume equally valid understandings existed and avoid dismissing his opponents so casually such that only Paul is left, that's not radical or challenging. So wish he had gone further

Relating to this is 1 Corinthians. "I follow Apollos, I follow Peter etc" it's talking about different teachings about the same thing. Paul's presentation is they all teach the same teaching about the same thing but the subtext is they don't, because he spends half his time opposing different viewpoints that clearly would have come from these other apostles. Paul is good at creating narratives and those narratives often don't make a lot of sense until seen as being exactly that - a narrative. If Paul has to go to extreme lengths to create this then the reality must have been he was up against powerful alternatives to his gospel. Given all this crediting Paul with being the first follower of Jesus is simply to believe the narrative and not see it for what it is
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DCHindley
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Re: Carrier, Aretas and Damascus

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maryhelena wrote: Sun Sep 05, 2021 10:29 pm Some years ago I read an article by Steve Mason (no longer on the Bible and Interpretation website but incorporated into his book: Josephus, Judea, and Christian Origins: Methods and Categories. The whole book is available for download:

https://www.academia.edu/40012218/Two_E ... Detractors )
Looks like that link is to an excerpt of Chapters 9 & 10 of his book Josephus, Judea, and Christian Origins: Methods and Categories, © 2009, by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc

Chapter 9 ‘Paul’s Announcement (to euaggellion): "Good News” and its Detractors in earliest Christianity’

Chapter 10 ‘"for I am not ashamed of the gospel" (Rom 1:16): The gospel and the first readers of Romans’

I had also got tripped up by the way he republished some of the chapters of the book. He has several chapters available that way. They all include the title, index & introduction from the main book, but the actual text is two of the chapters. If he has all of them posted at www,Academia.edu I don't know, he did not say when I inquired of him.

DCH
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maryhelena
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Re: Carrier, Aretas and Damascus

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DCHindley wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 4:57 am
maryhelena wrote: Sun Sep 05, 2021 10:29 pm Some years ago I read an article by Steve Mason (no longer on the Bible and Interpretation website but incorporated into his book: Josephus, Judea, and Christian Origins: Methods and Categories. The whole book is available for download:

https://www.academia.edu/40012218/Two_E ... Detractors )
Looks like that link is to an excerpt of Chapters 9 & 10 of his book Josephus, Judea, and Christian Origins: Methods and Categories, © 2009, by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc

Chapter 9 ‘Paul’s Announcement (to euaggellion): "Good News” and its Detractors in earliest Christianity’

Chapter 10 ‘"for I am not ashamed of the gospel" (Rom 1:16): The gospel and the first readers of Romans’

I had also got tripped up by the way he republished some of the chapters of the book. He has several chapters available that way. They all include the title, index & introduction from the main book, but the actual text is two of the chapters. If he has all of them posted at www,Academia.edu I don't know, he did not say when I inquired of him.

DCH
Your right David - only two chapters of the book. One sees the book cover - but it's only the two chapters. OK - will correct my earlier post.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Carrier, Aretas and Damascus

Post by neilgodfrey »

DCHindley wrote: Mon Sep 06, 2021 4:57 am
maryhelena wrote: Sun Sep 05, 2021 10:29 pm Some years ago I read an article by Steve Mason (no longer on the Bible and Interpretation website but incorporated into his book: Josephus, Judea, and Christian Origins: Methods and Categories. The whole book is available for download:

https://www.academia.edu/40012218/Two_E ... Detractors )
Looks like that link is to an excerpt of Chapters 9 & 10 of his book Josephus, Judea, and Christian Origins: Methods and Categories, © 2009, by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc

Chapter 9 ‘Paul’s Announcement (to euaggellion): "Good News” and its Detractors in earliest Christianity’

Chapter 10 ‘"for I am not ashamed of the gospel" (Rom 1:16): The gospel and the first readers of Romans’

I had also got tripped up by the way he republished some of the chapters of the book. He has several chapters available that way. They all include the title, index & introduction from the main book, but the actual text is two of the chapters. If he has all of them posted at www,Academia.edu I don't know, he did not say when I inquired of him.

DCH
The full book with all chapters is downloadable at https://au1lib.org/book/1072035/ec4af9 but I post this as a warning to avoid it or at least check its legal status before downloading.
StephenGoranson
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Re: Carrier, Aretas and Damascus

Post by StephenGoranson »

2 Cor 11:32-33, I would guess, is not an interpolation. It sounds, imo, like Paul writing. What some kids today might call a humblebrag. And likely historical, Aretas IV seeing Paul as a potential troublemaker.

The mention of (historical) Gallio in Acts also seems based on history (not the exact quotes), because what would be theological motive to include it?
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maryhelena
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Re: Carrier, Aretas and Damascus

Post by maryhelena »

StephenGoranson wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 5:50 am 2 Cor 11:32-33, I would guess, is not an interpolation. It sounds, imo, like Paul writing. What some kids today might call a humblebrag. And likely historical, Aretas IV seeing Paul as a potential troublemaker.

The mention of (historical) Gallio in Acts also seems based on history (not the exact quotes), because what would be theological motive to include it?
Indeed, Gallio is a historical figure.

The book of Acts is an origin story - and as the origin story of Adam and Eve in Genesis is not an accurate account of human development - the origin story in the book of Acts is not an accurate account of early Christian development.
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Re: Carrier, Aretas and Damascus

Post by StephenGoranson »

In case of interest here is a review of a book mentioned above:
https://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2021/2021.09.11/

Robyn Faith Walsh, The origins of early Christian literature: contextualizing the New Testament within Greco-Roman literary culture. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2021. Pp. 325. ISBN 9781108835305 $99.99.
Review by
Brent Nongbri, MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion, and Society. brent.nongbri@mf.no
ABuddhist
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Re: Carrier, Aretas and Damascus

Post by ABuddhist »

StephenGoranson wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 5:50 am 2 Cor 11:32-33, I would guess, is not an interpolation. It sounds, imo, like Paul writing. What some kids today might call a humblebrag. And likely historical, Aretas IV seeing Paul as a potential troublemaker.
1. The fact that you say "I guess" suggests that reasons exist for arguing quite plausibly that it was an interpolation.

2. A skilled forger could easily imitate Paul's writing style, especially for such a short text (rather than, for example, the Pastorals).

3. A humble bit of bragging could easily be a lie.

4. The best lies seem plausible - such as a claim that Aretas IV persecuted Paul.
StephenGoranson wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 5:50 am The mention of (historical) Gallio in Acts also seems based on history (not the exact quotes), because what would be theological motive to include it?
1. Authors of fake histories (such as the Historia Augusta) regularly include historical figures doing fictional things.

2. Associating the Christian figures in Acts with a given place/time could itself be theological motivation to include real people from a given place/time doing fictional things.
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