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Re: [Synoptic-L] Christological Peculiarities

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  • Jeff Peterson
    I m writing on a deadline, so I have less time than I d like to engage in this interesting discussion, but I d differ with Ron and Jack on what the evidence of
    Message 1 of 36 , Oct 1, 2010
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      I'm writing on a deadline, so I have less time than I'd like to engage in
      this interesting discussion, but I'd differ with Ron and Jack on what the
      evidence of Galatians establishes.

      With his credibility and his relations with the churches in a whole region
      on the line, Paul asserts that from the outset of his ministry the churches
      of Judea recognized the gospel that he preached as the same faith to which
      they adhered (Gal 1:23), he reports that he and the Jerusalem Pillars were
      in agreement on the content of the gospel and mutually recognized one
      another's apostolates (Gal 2:1�10), and he relates how he publicly opposed
      Cephas over a matter of conduct, arguing from the faith in Christ they had
      both adopted (Gal 2:11ff).

      The Agitators in Galatia may well have had Jerusalem connections (perhaps to
      the "false brothers" Paul mentions as distinct from the Pillars in Gal 2:4)
      or appealed to Jerusalem authorities in making their case to the Galatians,
      and even if not it's not at all clear that Paul had definite enough
      knowledge of them to rule this possibility out. To make assertions about his
      relations with Jerusalem which would not be confirmed by authorities there
      would be to risk losing the Galatian churches needlessly. (And similarly
      with what Paul asserts in 1 Cor 15:1�11 about Jerusalem-based apostles and
      what he presupposes as the convictions of the Roman community in Rom 6:3�4
      et al.)

      Jeff Peterson
      Austin Graduate School of Theology
      Austin, TX

      On Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 11:24 AM, Jack Kilmon <jkilmon@...> wrote:

      > --------------------------------------------------
      > From: "Ronald Price" <ron.price@... <ron.price%40virgin.net>>
      > Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2010 2:51 AM
      > To: <Synoptic@yahoogroups.com <Synoptic%40yahoogroups.com>>
      > Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Christological Peculiarities
      > > Jeff Peterson wrote:
      > >
      > >> Gal 2:14ff is evidence that Peter and Paul agreed on the unique
      > >> soteriological significance of Jesus Christ and the eschatological
      > >> reconstitution of the people of God through his death and resurrection.
      > >
      > > Jeff,
      > >
      > > I beg to differ.
      > >
      > > I put it to you that the "gospel" to which Paul refers here was the
      > gospel
      > > according to Paul. He may have wished his readers to deduce that Peter
      > > agreed with his gospel, and his choice of words may have been designed to
      > > foster that very deduction, but Paul does not actually state that Peter
      > > accepted his gospel. Instead his reported verbal reproof of Peter quickly
      > > morphs into a typical written Pauline presentation of this gospel.
      > >
      > > Ron Price
      > >
      > > Derbyshire, UK
      > >
      > > http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
      > I agree with Ron. The use of Euaggelion ("good message") is used at its
      > earliest in Galatians, Romans and Corinthians and did not refer to any
      > written scripture but to the "proclamation regarding Jesus" from whomever
      > was telling the story. Shymeon Bar Yonah had been a student of Jesus
      > himself with some indication he enjoyed special status. It is likely that
      > Jesus knew him and his brother for many years. Paul never knew Jesus, was
      > not taught by him, never heard him speak, hence he made it up as he went
      > along. Telling his audience "I sure told him (Peter) where to get off" was
      > part of Paul's braggadocio.
      > Jack Kilmon

      [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
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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;


        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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