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Re: [Synoptic-L] Re: [GTh] Christological Peculiarities

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  • Bob Schacht
    ... Well, Kopacek is too careful a scholar to speculate beyond the documents he has. He does not consider himself to be a New Testament scholar, so he leaves
    Message 1 of 36 , Sep 26, 2010
      At 05:31 PM 9/26/2010, E Bruce Brooks wrote:

      >To: Synoptic
      >Cc: GPG
      >In Response To: Bob Schacht
      >On: Early Christianities
      >From: Bruce
      >I had suggested that "there were from the beginning many
      >Christologies, or to put it perhaps more usefully, several
      >soteriologies. ..."
      >BOB: This is, in brief, the thesis of Tom Kopacek, Patristics scholar
      >and former Crosstalker. However, the way Tom sorts out the
      >soteriologies is a bit different than Bruce's. Covering the period
      >from AD 90 to 318, on the basis of Christological and soteriological
      >factors, Kopacek distinguishes the following:
      > > * Ebionite Christianity
      > > * Nazarene Christianity
      > > * Marcionite Christianity
      > > * Gnostic Christianity.
      > > The first two are "Jewish" varieties of Christianity. He then also
      > > identified a "Catholic" Christianity distinct from these 4 that
      > > emerged in opposition to Gnostic Christianity ca. AD 90 - 150.
      >BRUCE: I wouldn't call the period from AD 90 to 380 "early." By early,
      >I mean during the lifetime, and within a few years after the death, of
      >Jesus. That Marcion's variant of Christianity belongs to the 2c is
      >obvious. But the other three look like being already up and running in
      >the 1c. Not that they didn't evolve during their lifetime (and some do
      >seem to have kept on until the 4c), but I am here concerned with their
      >Patristics has an important part to play, but more in the period of
      >consolidation than in that of formation.

      Well, Kopacek is too careful a scholar to speculate beyond the
      documents he has. He does not consider himself to be a New Testament
      scholar, so he leaves that to others. You are free to speculate; he
      chooses not to speculate. But I think that the varieties of
      Christianity that he identifies, except of course for the Marcionite
      variety, can all be traced back before AD 90.

      Bob Schacht
      Northern Arizona University

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Ronald Price
      ... Jeff, What I m trying to say here is that one can accept a hero who has minor flaws, such as the earnest but fallible Peter who emerges from a casual
      Message 36 of 36 , Oct 3, 2010
        Jeff Peterson wrote:

        > ..... Your "ordinary follower of Jesus" would
        > have found it just as difficult to believe that while the Pillars didn't
        > understand how followers of Jesus should conduct themselves at table, Paul
        > did;


        What I'm trying to say here is that one can accept a hero who has minor
        flaws, such as the earnest but fallible Peter who emerges from a casual
        reading of the gospel of Mark. But a follower of Jesus can't accept a hero
        who is fundamentally on the wrong track christologically. So Paul could not
        have portrayed Peter in this way without upsetting many of his Galatian

        > I think the reality described by 1:11 is more complex than Paul having had a
        > visionary experience which included a command to "Preach this," with a list
        > of propositions appended. Rather, as persecutor he had already heard what
        > Jesus' followers were proclaiming about him (viz., the crucified Messiah had
        > been raised and enthroned with God, inaugurating the age of deliverance
        > promised in Scripture) .....

        James and Peter were expecting the kingdom of God to come with power
        (Mk 9:1, derived from logia saying C12), i.e. the overthrow of the Roman
        occupiers and the establishment of God's kingdom on earth. This clearly
        hadn't happened when Paul came on the scene. Paul's supporter, Mark, had to
        replace the hopes of the original disciples for the establishment of a new
        Israel (saying C21, c.f. Mt 19:28) with a reward in the life to come (Mk
        10:29-30). This echoed Paul's promise of eternal life (e.g. Rom 6:22-23).
        The idea that the kingdom had been inaugurated by the coming of Jesus arose
        after the deaths of the original disciples when it began to look as if the
        return of Jesus was delayed and might be delayed a lot longer.

        > Your last sentence [regarding the ability or otherwise of the Galatians to
        > check Paul's claims] neglects the extent of travel in the early Empire, and
        > the use made of this mobility to connect early Christian communities;
        > ..... We know that Paul organized Corinthians and Macedonians for an
        > embassy to Jerusalem (1 Cor 16:3–4; 2 Cor 9:4),

        Travel was indeed facilitated by the Pax Romana, and also by the widespread
        Roman roads. But it was still slow. Your example above concerns a journey
        which Paul regarded as most important. Travelling several days merely to
        check on the truthfulness or otherwise of Paul's assertions in Galatians
        would have been a lot less palatable.

        > It was very shortsighted of Paul to maintain that he and the Pillars agreed
        > on the gospel if contact with their followers was a real possibility for his
        > converts, and if the reaction of a Jerusalem Christian to an acclamation
        > like "Praise be to the God and Father of our crucified Messiah Jesus, who
        > raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand" would have been,
        > "Come again?"

        But as I indicated earlier in this thread, I don't think Paul claimed that
        the pillars agreed on the gospel.

        > ..... Peter and the
        > other disciples are depicted as uncomprehending regarding Jesus' impending
        > death and resurrection during his ministry, but their eventual enlightenment
        > and proclamation of these events is clearly anticipated (9:9; 13:9–13; 14:9,
        > 27–28; 16:7).

        I don't see 9:9 or 14:9 as indicating eventual enlightenment.
        As for 14:28 and 16:7, I take these verses as early interpolations designed
        to rehabilitate Peter. They are quite inconsistent with the rest of the

        > In historical terms, once Jesus is executed, a Christology like that
        > ascribed to Peter in 8:27–33 becomes untenable .....

        I agree. But my understanding of what transpired is that James, Peter et al.
        changed to a 'Son of Man' christology (see my reconstruction of the logia),
        Paul faced up to the inconsistency by glorying in the crucifixion (e.g. 1
        Cor 1:23 : "we proclaim Christ crucified"), but playing down the belief in
        Jesus as messiah by (for the most part) using "Christ" merely as a sort of

        Ron Price

        Derbyshire, UK

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