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4605Re: [Synoptic-L] Alpha Christianity Planning Session at SBL (19 Nov)

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  • Ronald Price
    Nov 12, 2012
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      Bruce Brooks wrote:

      > Over the last century or so, there has been widespread interest, both lay
      > and clerical, in what I might call a less Pauline Christianity. At present,
      > as far as I know, there are three principal suggestions that such a
      > Christianity existed, and can be accessed by modern persons.
      > ..... 1. ... the fictive document Q
      > ..... 2. ... the also non-Resurrection Gospel of Thomas,
      > ..... 3. ... A cluster of [early] texts [representing] ... Alpha Christianity
      > (to use my term for it) ...


      Since Q (as normally reconstructed) never existed, and GTh was dependent on
      the synoptic gospels, we do indeed need to look at a third option if we are
      to explain the New Testament hints at an early non-resurrection Jesus

      However I fear you are going in the wrong direction for at least two
      reasons. Firstly Michael Goulder was already closer to the truth when he
      wrote: "... Petrine Christianity could never have been more than a
      short-lived sect of Judaism" ("A Tale of Two Missions", p.185). I differ
      from him here only in his terminology. It was a sect led by James, and it
      was far removed from Christianity as we know it. Secondly in your zeal to
      find evidence of what I would prefer to call "the early Jesus movement", you
      go too far. From the very beginning, control of the copying of documents
      which came to be part of the New Testament was in the hands of (Pauline)
      Christians and their successors. James, Peter and their followers had no
      influence whatever on the transmission of the NT texts. Even interpolations
      aimed at rehabilitating Peter would not have been approved by the historical
      Peter, for they were only rehabilitating an image of Peter which suited
      (Pauline) Christians.

      Ron Price,

      Derbyshire, UK


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