Was "James the Lord's brother" Paul's thorn?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
gryan
Posts: 590
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:11 am

Re: Was "James the Lord's brother" Paul's thorn?

Post by gryan »

davidmartin wrote: Tue May 31, 2022 3:08 am Paul seems to describe his opponents as preaching something both different and new to the Galatians?
Re: "something both different and new to the Galatians"

Rather than a "new" Gospel, I see the qualitatively different Gospel as one that is outmoded.
As I read Gal 1:6-7, the syntax and meaning may be translated as follows:

"Unless there are some who are troubling [ταράσσοντες] you and wanting to corrupt the gospel of Christ, I am surprised that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ for a qualitatively different [ἕτερον] gospel which does not exist anymore (ὃ οὐκ ἔστιν ἄλλο).

Per this discussion, https://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/vi ... php?t=5525 , I interpret ἄλλο as an adjective functioning adverbially ("exist anymore") in Gal 1:6-7. Also later in the book ("think otherwise") :

Gal 5:10
I am confident in the Lord that you will not think otherwise (ὅτι οὐδὲν ἄλλο φρονήσετε·). The one troubling you will bear the judgement, whoever that may be.

I read Paul describing the qualitatively different Gospel as a form of the Gospel that once existed, but does not exist anymore. It is outmoded.

Paul speaks of the transition from the outmoded Gospel to the Gospel in the "now" of the letter in Gal 2:15-16,

...We ourselves are Jews by birth, and not Gentile sinners. Nevertheless--knowing that except through the faithfulness of Jesus, a person is not justified by works of law--even we ourselves have believed in Christ Jesus that we might be justified by the faithfulness of Christ, and not by works of the Law, because all flesh will not be justified by works of the Law.

I take "all flesh" as spotlighting Gentile "flesh". The qualitatively different Gospel may have been ok for people who were already practicing Jewish "works of the law." For them the faithfulness of Christ and the works of the law might work together such that "not one jot" would be removed from the law. But for Gentiles, another Gospel was needed, one without requirement of "works of the law."

Matthew 5:17-20 is saying "except through the faithfulness of Jesus, a person is not justified out of works of law" as it were: "unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven":

17Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them. 18For I tell you truly, until heaven and earth pass away, not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen, will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

19So then, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do likewise will be called least (ἐλάχιστος, cf. 1 Cor 15:9, "I am least ἐλάχιστος of the apostles") in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever practices and teaches them will be called great (μέγας) in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

I think Matt is showing us the old Gospel (combining works of the law with following Jesus) that Paul considers outmoded--i.e. outmoded given the death of Jesus and the coming of the Spirit to uncircumcised Gentiles.
gryan
Posts: 590
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:11 am

Re: Was "James the Lord's brother" Paul's thorn?

Post by gryan »

davidmartin wrote: Tue May 31, 2022 3:08 am gryan doesn't the gospel of John support your theory, in that Jesus's brothers are said not to believe him and neither is James mentioned (by name)?
I agree.
i think it does but i wondered whether Salome might be found in John somewhere?
I doubt it, but if you have some clue, I'm listening.
it certainly seems the Ebionites revered James the brother going by the Clementines account
In my mind I can imagine reconstructing what went on and think about how an 'official' state sponsored version of Christianity might have arose and who better to lead it than an actual brother who may have never even been a disciple?
I doubt it. As I imagine it, Jesus followers might have been politically insignificant. And in Jerusalem, if they were "poor" that probably means not having much political power. I also doubt my image of it. I don't know. I need to see some relevant ancient text.
It then magically ends up preaching standard Judaism and ruffles no feathers but was never original. I find that quite plausible, the stumbling block is did it arise before or after Paul. Could it have been a response to Paul rather than a response to the initial phase itself. I really don't have a clue on that one but I do wonder if that might have been the case.
As I read Galatians, there were followers of Jesus in Damascus and in Jerusalem before Paul's conversion and he persecuted them. In terms of human influence, their witness might have been part of what changed Paul's mind. But in Gal 2:16, I see Paul participating in a change from a Gospel with, to a Gospel without works of the law. I do think James and Cephas and John saw and understood this when the gave Paul the right hand of fellowship. So they were in it together, more or less. I can only say what I say based on texts, and my interpretation of those texts.
In that scenario how quickly could an 'Ebionite' James just appear and start preaching it seems logical to give it a bit of time rather than imagine it appeared overnight out of nowhere. Paul seems to describe his opponents as preaching something both different and new to the Galatians?
Based mainly on my reading of Galatians, I think Paul saw James the Lord's brother's followers (some from James) as annoying younger brother types (as Ishmael was to Isaac) tagging along where they had no business, causing trouble with such outmoded ideas as observance of circumcision for proselytes.
davidmartin
Posts: 1049
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:51 pm

Re: Was "James the Lord's brother" Paul's thorn?

Post by davidmartin »

I find it hard to see how there would have been any doubt over those aspects of the law, that the founder himself wouldn't have cleared all that up and given set instructions. The idea he didn't just seems odd, the gospels basically are light on strict observance and the value of it because that's simply what he taught and never intended any observance for gentiles beyond his summations of the law's requirements
That there was confusion to me just indicates a disturbance in the transmission coming from outside influence. I take the view that Paul is closer to the source than the brother James is here but I'm open to the possibility he emphasised things in stronger terms that might have been a cause of friction. It's only a suggestion perhaps the law observant (requirement!) was encouraged by the authorities or at least someone thought it was the thing to do
After all the gospels have the religious authorities complaining that soon everyone will be following him, well, maybe that was the true facts on the ground. If they persecuted why not try and corrupt as well? Maybe i'm making the mistake of thinking it's all too obvious and falling into a trap of my own making!
gryan
Posts: 590
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:11 am

Re: Was "James the Lord's brother" Paul's thorn?

Post by gryan »

davidmartin wrote: Tue May 31, 2022 6:22 am After all the gospels have the religious authorities complaining that soon everyone will be following him, well, maybe that was the true facts on the ground.
It sounds like you are taking Hegesippus's account at face value when he writes:

" So, when many even of the ruling class believed, there was a commotion among the Jews, and scribes, and Pharisees, who said: "A little more, and we shall have all the people looking for Jesus as the Christ.
They came, therefore, in a body to James, and said: 'We entreat thee, restrain the people: for they are gone astray in their opinions about Jesus, as if he were the Christ...'"
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... ippus.html

I have not studied that aspect of the account. I start with Paul and then go on to other NT documents. Hegesippus is later. Even so, I think I need to reflect further on this.
gryan
Posts: 590
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:11 am

Re: Was "James the Lord's brother" Paul's thorn?

Post by gryan »

Re: The Diatessaron on Mary the mother of James the little...mother of the sons of Zebedee and Salome and Mary the mother of James.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatessaron

Somewhere on this Mythvision video, Ehrman says that "angels fear to tread" in the field of reconstructing the Diatessaron. Why would this be such a fear laden project? I really don't know. If someone can explain, I'd like to know. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlWuH6SRfKQ

So, just for fun, this is what the Diatessaron says concerning the women at the tomb:

"And there were in the distance all the acquaintance of Jesus standing, and the women that came with him from Galilee, those that followed him and ministered. One of them was Mary Magdalene; and Mary the mother of James the little and Joses, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee, and Salome, and many others which came up with him unto Jerusalem; and they saw that...

And on the First-day on which he rose, he appeared first unto Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. And some of those guards came to the city, and informed the chief priests of all that had happened. And they assembled with the elders, and took counsel; and they gave money, not a little, to the guards, and said unto them, Say ye, His disciples came and stole him by night, while we were sleeping. And if the judge hear that, we will make a plea with him, and free you of blame. And they, when they took the money, did according to what they taught them. And this word spread among the Jews unto this day. And then came Mary Magdalene, and announced to the disciples that she had seen our Lord, and that he had said that unto her.
And while the first women were going in the way to inform his disciples, Jesus met them, and said unto them, Peace unto you. And they came and took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Fear not: but go and say to my brethren that they depart into Galilee, and there they shall see me. And those women returned, and told all that to the eleven, and to the rest of the disciples; and to those that had been with him, for they were saddened and weeping. And those were Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and the rest who were with them: and they were those that told the apostles."
http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/0 ... f],_EN.pdf
andrewcriddle
Posts: 2239
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:36 am

Re: Was "James the Lord's brother" Paul's thorn?

Post by andrewcriddle »

gryan wrote: Thu Jun 02, 2022 6:06 am Re: The Diatessaron on Mary the mother of James the little...mother of the sons of Zebedee and Salome and Mary the mother of James.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatessaron

Somewhere on this Mythvision video, Ehrman says that "angels fear to tread" in the field of reconstructing the Diatessaron. Why would this be such a fear laden project? I really don't know. If someone can explain, I'd like to know. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlWuH6SRfKQ

All surviving Diatessaron manuscripts (as distinct from ancient commentaries and allusions) have been heavily assimilated to the local text of the separated Gospels. The standard attempts to reconstruct the Diatessaron concentrate on readings found both in the Western and Eastern Diatessaronic tradition. However scholars increasingly suspect that many of these agreements may be coincidence and not evidence for the original text.

Andrew Criddle
gryan
Posts: 590
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:11 am

Re: Was "James the Lord's brother" Paul's thorn?

Post by gryan »

1 Cor 12:7-8 "he" vs "it"

...and that by the exceeding greatness of the revelations I might not be exalted overmuch, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of the Adversary (ἄγγελος Σατανᾶ, masculine singular), that he might buffet (κολαφίζῃ, 3 person singular) me, that I might not be exalted overmuch. 8Concerning this [i.e. "this man" τούτου, should be read as Masculine, not Neuter] thrice the Lord did I call upon, that it he might depart (ἀποστῇ, 3 person singular) from me... YLT

If Paul's adversary was a person, the bolded 3rd pers singular verbs should both read "he" rather than "it".
gryan
Posts: 590
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:11 am

Re: Was "James the Lord's brother" Paul's thorn?

Post by gryan »

ABuddhist wrote: Thu May 26, 2022 2:16 pm
gryan wrote: Thu May 26, 2022 8:50 am @ ABuddhist

...Hong Xiuquan claimed during the 19th century to be Jesus's brother based upon a visionary experience, but he persuaded enough people to believe him that he conquered 1/3 of China, more-or-less.
Yes, this horrific war in China--a result of Hong's vision that he was "actually the younger brother of Jesus Christ"-- is mentioned at min. 24:27 of this video, "New Religions of the 21st Century | Yuval Harari | Talks at Google"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6BK5Q_Dblo
davidmartin
Posts: 1049
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:51 pm

Re: Was "James the Lord's brother" Paul's thorn?

Post by davidmartin »

gryan wrote: Tue May 31, 2022 11:52 am It sounds like you are taking Hegesippus's account at face value when he writes:

" So, when many even of the ruling class believed, there was a commotion among the Jews, and scribes, and Pharisees, who said: "A little more, and we shall have all the people looking for Jesus as the Christ.
They came, therefore, in a body to James, and said: 'We entreat thee, restrain the people: for they are gone astray in their opinions about Jesus, as if he were the Christ...'"
not really, i was thinking of the gospels, Hegesippus, didn't remember he said that. Very similar wording is found in John about it's popularity at 11:45. I wonder why is it we think it wasn't or imagine it wasn't or couldn't be. Mark again speaks of crowds of followers and if you think about it, for a charismatic preacher this is what you'd expect to see. I suppose that all this was gone by the 2nd century after the wars so we're talking about some really early time period, the first phase of it. It could have been significant, for now i'm assuming it was, it helps my theory a lot if it was but no need to go to church fathers its all in the NT writings. I haven't mentioned the Odes but they continually talk about the significance of the movement in it's earliest days (and about serious problems with deviant teachings and so on) i think it was quite well developed early on.
gryan
Posts: 590
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:11 am

Re: Was "James the Lord's brother" Paul's thorn?

Post by gryan »

davidmartin wrote: Sat Jun 04, 2022 2:30 pm
gryan wrote: Tue May 31, 2022 11:52 am It sounds like you are taking Hegesippus's account at face value when he writes:

" So, when many even of the ruling class believed, there was a commotion among the Jews, and scribes, and Pharisees, who said: "A little more, and we shall have all the people looking for Jesus as the Christ.
They came, therefore, in a body to James, and said: 'We entreat thee, restrain the people: for they are gone astray in their opinions about Jesus, as if he were the Christ...'"
not really, i was thinking of the gospels, Hegesippus, didn't remember he said that. Very similar wording is found in John about it's popularity at 11:45. I wonder why is it we think it wasn't or imagine it wasn't or couldn't be. Mark again speaks of crowds of followers and if you think about it, for a charismatic preacher this is what you'd expect to see. I suppose that all this was gone by the 2nd century after the wars so we're talking about some really early time period, the first phase of it. It could have been significant, for now i'm assuming it was, it helps my theory a lot if it was but no need to go to church fathers its all in the NT writings. I haven't mentioned the Odes but they continually talk about the significance of the movement in it's earliest days (and about serious problems with deviant teachings and so on) i think it was quite well developed early on.
I see. Hegesippus was echoing John 11:45f

45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

“What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”
Post Reply