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Re: [Synoptic-L] Christological Peculiarities

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  • Jack Kilmon
    ... From: Ronald Price Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 11:51 AM To: Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L]
    Message 1 of 36 , Sep 29, 2010
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      --------------------------------------------------
      From: "Ronald Price" <ron.price@...>
      Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 11:51 AM
      To: <Synoptic@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Christological Peculiarities

      > I had written:
      >
      >>> For those of us who acknowledge that the apostle Peter was not in any
      >>> way
      >>> responsible for either 1 Peter or 2 Peter,
      >
      > David Cavanagh replied:
      >
      >> Well, surely that should be "hold" rather than acknowledge. I'm
      >> perfectly well aware that 2 Peter is generally considered pseudonymous,
      >> but I had never heard that said of 1 Peter ...
      >
      > David,
      >
      > For the conclusion that 1 Peter was pseudonymous see e.g. :
      >
      > Duling & Perrin, "The New Testament", 3rd. Edn. (Harcourt Brace, 1994),
      > p.476,
      >
      > Udo Schnelle, "The History and Theology of the New Testament Writings"
      > (SCM,
      > 1998), pp. 400-401,
      >
      > Bart Ehrman, "The New Testament" (OUP, 1997), p.373.
      >
      >> ..... In the first generation "Christian" and
      >> "Jew" were not contrasting labels.
      >
      > Admittedly the term 'Christian' may not have been widely known in the
      > first
      > generation. I'll rephrase my statement, trying also to take into account
      > David Mealand's comment on 'son of God':
      >
      > There remains no evidence that Peter ever came to accept Jesus as the Son
      > of
      > God in the sense proclaimed by Paul (c.f. e.g. Rom 1:3-5; 1 Cor 15:3b-4;
      > Php
      > 2:5-11), i.e. that he ever became what we would now call a 'Christian'.
      >
      >> I also wonder what interest the early
      >> church could possibly have had in presenting Peter as a Christian and
      >> indeed the first amongst the apostles if he was not.
      >
      > They would naturally have assumed he was a Christian because the synoptic
      > gospels presented him as the leading follower of Jesus during his
      > lifetime.
      >
      > Ron Price
      >
      > Derbyshire, UK

      I could never understand why it could be argued that Peter wrote the Petrine
      Epistles. On 1 Peter:

      This epistle is written to the "exiles of the dispersion" in Pontus,
      Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia." The historical Shymeon bar
      Yona/Kefa/"Peter" died in the Neronian Roman persecution of 64-67 CE when
      there WERE NO Christian communities in Pontus-Bithynia. This epistle could
      ONLY have been written during the persecution of Domitian in 95 CE, the same
      during which John of Patmos wrote Revelation and I Peter was stimulated by
      the completed Revelation already in circulation (96-98 CE). This epistle
      was CLEARLY written when Christians in those provinces were being persecuted
      and the
      FIRST time that happened was the last few years of the 1st century. Even
      the governor of this province, in a letter to Trajan in 112 CE testified
      that Christians first came there around 90 CE:

      Alii ab indice nominati esse se Christianos dixerunt et mox negaverunt;
      fuisse quidem sed desisse, quidam ante triennium, quidam ante plures annos,
      non nemo etiam ante viginti.

      Therefore if some in these Asian churches, founded by Paul, had been
      Christians for THREE years, others more and a few ABOVE TWENTY years ago in
      112 CE, by my calculations there were Christians there in 90 CE still many
      years after the death of Shymeon Bar Yona/Kefa/Peter. Peter had been dead
      25 years!
      We can't set aside the beautiful literary, almost classic, Greek and
      extensive knowledge of Greek philosophy, including Gnosticism (also
      something later than the lifetime of Peter).
      It is hard for me to imagine an illiterate, Aramaic speaking Galilean
      fisherman (Acts 4:13) who needed his own Greek interpreter to help him with
      his exchanges in Antioch and other Greek speaking communities (Papias,
      Irenaeus, Justin, Eusebius) wrote an Epistle in the most literary and
      rhetorical Greek of the NT. There is also no Aramaic interference in the
      sophisticated Greek syntax of 1 Peter which would have been present if
      dictated to an amanuensis. The author of 1 Peter refers to himself as a
      SUMPRESBUTEROS, a title that did not arise until the late first century and
      would not have been used for a disciple (Apostles and elders distinguished
      at Acts 15:6). Additionally, "Babylon" was not used as a code word for Rome
      until quite late in the 1st century. This author is writing to churches
      that were founded by Paul which Peter would not have done if Paul was alive.
      There are 35 references to the LXX in 1 Peter and Shymeon Bar
      Yonah/Kefa/Petros could not read no less use the LXX which, btw, was not
      widely used by Christian authors other than Paul until the last two decades
      of the 1st century.

      The letter is clearly referring to a persecution in Asia and that began
      under Domitian long after the death of Peter. This letter is not only
      theologically Pauline but uses a Pauline structure and the Paul invented
      XARIS UMIN KAI EIRHNH that appears in Pauline or Pauline influenced Romans,
      Corinthians, Ephesians, Galatians, 2 Thessalonians, Colossians, Philippians,
      Philemon, Titus and 1 and 2 Timothy.
      It was not unusual, as well, for a pseudepigraph to also be pseudotoponymic
      as well and this epistle has all the hallmarks of having been written in
      Asia Minor rather than Rome, a claim to support the pseudonym.


      Now on to II Peter.

      II Peter was written LATER than I Peter (not the same author) and we have
      established that I Peter was written at the end of the 1st century during
      the Domitian persecution. II Peter uses I Peter as a source and also uses
      Jude. At the time of II Peter, the Pauline epistles had been collected and
      collated:

      II Peter 3:15-16
      ... our dear brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom that God gave
      him ... His letters contain certain things that are hard to understand,
      which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures,
      to their own destruction.

      This did not occur until the early second century but MOST important of all,
      a "New Testament" added to the OT did not happen until 150 CE and the
      Pauline epistles were not considered "scripture" until then. That the
      historical Peter would even see the collected epistles of Paul (some written
      after his death) and considered them SCRIPTURE is totally absurd. II Peter
      probably dates to about 170 CE.

      Jack Kilmon
      San Antonio, TX
    • 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
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        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;

        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
        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
        converts.

        > 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
        narrative.

        > 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
        surname.

        Ron Price

        Derbyshire, UK

        http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
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