Re: [Synoptic-L] Christological Peculiarities
- Jeff Peterson wrote:
> ..... I don't see why heJeff,
> couldn't have said "Cephas and James and John have misunderstood the gospel"
> if in fact he thought they were wrong in theory, as opposed to wrong about
> the gospel's implications for practice.
Such a statement would have been open to ridicule, for Cephas and James and
John had known Jesus in the flesh, and the ordinary follower of Jesus would
have found it difficult to believe that they had not understood all about
Jesus and his mission, whereas the upstart Paul had understood it.
That there was a clear distinction between what Paul proclaimed and what the
'pillars' believed is surely evident from Gal 1:11 (Paul received his gospel
be revelation, not from human testimony), and Gal 2:2 (he had to explain his
gospel to James, Peter and John). For although Paul claimed that these
apostles blessed his mission, he gave no indication that his explanation of
his gospel had led them to adopt it in their own mission.
> On a more general level, we differ about the degree to which Paul couldI'm not sure what you mean by "hiding the ball". But if you mean using
> engage in "hiding the ball" in Gal (and likely elsewhere); I think a serious
> consideration of the rhetorical situation of the letter demands that Paul
> make no claims the Galatians couldn't verify.
subtle rather than open criticism, then surely any subtle statement would be
impossible to falsify because of the ambiguity. We must bear in mind also
that we're discussing the first century, not the 21st. century. A first
century inhabitant of Galatia would surely have found it extraordinarily
difficult to verify anything relating to people or events in Antioch or
To take us back to this List, Peter's christology was depicted as primitive
and reprehensible by the author of Mark's gospel (8:27-33) who was, in
Goulder's terminology, a Pauline. If the Mark of Phm 24 was the author of
this gospel (and why falsely attribute authorship to a nonentity?), then the
first gospel's implied criticism of Peter's christology would have been
derived directly from Paul.
- Jeff Peterson wrote:
> ..... Your "ordinary follower of Jesus" wouldJeff,
> 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
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 aJames and Peter were expecting the kingdom of God to come with power
> 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) .....
(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 toTravel was indeed facilitated by the Pax Romana, and also by the widespread
> 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 16:34; 2 Cor 9:4),
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 agreedBut as I indicated earlier in this thread, I don't think Paul claimed that
> 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?"
the pillars agreed on the gospel.
> ..... Peter and theI don't see 9:9 or 14:9 as indicating eventual enlightenment.
> 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; 13:913; 14:9,
> 2728; 16:7).
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 thatI agree. But my understanding of what transpired is that James, Peter et al.
> ascribed to Peter in 8:2733 becomes untenable .....
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