From the end of p.121 into the first third of p.122 in Sinouhe's post above
... From where did the divine figure send forth the messiah figure? For the divine figure to “send forth” the messiah figure, this implies location, and since it is a tacit assumption of Second Temple period Jewish thought that the divine figure dwells in heaven, this also implies a heavenly nature for the messiah figure (see the discussion above in §4.2.3). This text [Gal 4:4] further implies the pre-existence of the messiah figure in Paul’s thought by connecting the motif of God “sending” his son with the messiah figure’s birth, “born from woman, born under law” ( γενόμενον έκ γυναικίς, γενόμενον ύπό νόμον ). Paul considered Christ to be more than a human messiah figure. “God sent forth his son.”
This is accomplished by means of human birth ... Paul qualified this claim with the temporal phrase, “But when the fullness of the time came” ( ότε δέ ήλθεω τό πλήρωμα τού χρονού ), further suggesting that the messiah figure existed temporally before the sending and was residing in heaven until “the fullness of the time” had arrived.
This is raises the prospect of comments Elaine Pagel's made recently on a vodcast about the accounts of Jesus' human birth in Matthew (and Luke) being a re-birth
See the 11 minute video below. While Pagels mostly talks about the gospels according to Mark, Matthew and Luke, some of the concepts are rooted in Paul, and it's almost certain the author of Mark used Paul.
Pagels starts off talking about the account of Jesus in Mark 6 where Jesus is identified as the carpenter and Mary's son, and having siblings. She notes non-one would have you called a Jewish boy the son of his mother, Mary; they would have called him 'Jesus ben Joseph', "not Jesus ben Mariam," even if his father was not on the scene eg. if he'd died.
Pagels notes the story a lot of people have said, 'wait a minute. Mark said this man is a messiah. He's king of Israel. He's related to King David. What he doesn't even have a legitimate father. So Matthew and Luke try to respond to this story ... both create birth stories.'
She says, "he also was born again and when he was spiritually [re]born he was the son of the father in heaven ... and [of] the [virgin] mother which is [also] the holy spirit .. the birth from the virgin [also] means that that he's born of the holy spirit ... as is in the gospel of john: whoever is born of water and the spirit is born again; and that's what it means to be born again. Nicodemus is wrong: it's not a literal birth, right? It's a it's a spiritual birth.
"So [as] the Gospel of Philip suggests ... just as you have a biological father and mother ... we can be born again and be born of the Father in heaven and the holy spirit in baptism, because the name of the Lord and the name of the spirit are pronounced over the person baptized ...
"Mark in a way [also] addresses that issue in the first chapter because - and this shows you that Mark is not thinking as a literalist - what is [in] the first scene [Mark 1], Jesus is listening to John the Baptist, he goes to be baptized and he sees a vision and the heavens split apart and he hears a voice saying. 'this is my beloved son'."
"Mark is saying, 'yes he has a father, don't worry about that ... [but] he comes from god ... that fits a lot of the data
[and] in light of the fact that the disciples don't get it and he's constantly trying to tell you a secret, kind of, sort of, he's like, ah, 'it takes god from heaven revealing this to you;' like you guys are all stuck in this natural world not seeing the truth. And that's what happens in Mark over and over ..."
[it makes one wonder if aspect of G.
Mark and aspects of the disciples not understanding might be accounts of people first hearing Paul's messages]
Derek suggests, "Maybe Mark's thinking Pauline, in a sense ..."
"Paul says in Romans 6, which you recall that we're buried with Christ in baptism, we rise again with Christ - you know so, so baptism puts you through the same process that Jesus went through in burial; sort of death going into the water, burial and resurrection ...
"So the virgin birth can be taken literally as it often has been, and it can be taken as a, um, a statement about being spiritually born"
As can Gal 4:4