Re: [Synoptic-L] Christological Peculiarities
- On Sat, Oct 2, 2010 at 8:49 AM, Ronald Price <ron.price@...> wrote:
> . . . Cephas and James andThe point is, the upstart Paul did oppose Cephas et al., but on an aspect of
> 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.
their behavior, not their doctrine. 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; yet that didn't inhibit Paul from opposing Cephas and the Jewish
Christians in Antioch when he thought their actions warranted this. This
makes it a reasonable conclusion that when Paul says he and the Pillars were
in agreement on the Gospel, that's in fact the case.
> That there was a clear distinction between what Paul proclaimed and whatI think the reality described by 1:11 is more complex than Paul having had a
> 'pillars' believed is surely evident from Gal 1:11 (Paul received his
> be revelation, not from human testimony), and Gal 2:2 (he had to explain
> 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.
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) and found this message or the behavior it justified
(or both) grounds to oppose them forcefully; Paul's vision of the risen
Jesus (1 Cor 9:1 et al.) served to convince him of the truth of this
proclamation by showing him that Jesus had indeed been raised from the dead
and led him to a re-evaluation of the gospel he had opposed and of its
Bultmann famously said that the range of the term "gospel" embraced both the
content of the proclamation and the act of proclamation; his existential
interpretation of the latter sense doesn't make a lot of sense as an
historical exegesis of Paul, but he wasn't wrong to observe the semantic
range of the word EUANGELION, which Paul uses to refer both to the message
proclaimed and to the act of proclaiming it, which he also refers to as his
APOSTOLH (the expressions in parallel to one another in Gal 2:7�8).
> > On a more general level, we differ about the degree to which Paul couldBy "hiding the ball" I mean "systematically concealing the fact that he and
> > engage in "hiding the ball" in Gal (and likely elsewhere); I think a
> > consideration of the rhetorical situation of the letter demands that Paul
> > make no claims the Galatians couldn't verify.
> I'm not sure what you mean by "hiding the ball". But if you mean using
> subtle rather than open criticism, then surely any subtle statement would
> 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
the authorities in Jerusalem differed fundamentally on the content of the
gospel," which I maintain is implausible given the evidence of the letters
for contacts between the Pauline mission and Christians in Jerusalem,
Antioch, and Rome.
Your last sentence neglects the extent of travel in the early Empire, and
the use made of this mobility to connect early Christian communities;
Michael Thompson's essay in Bauckam's *Gospels for All Christians* is a good
survey. We know that Paul organized Corinthians and Macedonians for an
embassy to Jerusalem (1 Cor 16:3�4; 2 Cor 9:4), and by Thompson's
calculations travel from South Galatia to Jerusalem would have taken about
the same amount of time as travel from Philippi; North Galatia was somewhat
more remote, but in either case it's not unreasonable that Paul would have
anticipated or even encouraged travel between the Galatian churches and
Jerusalem, as he did in the case of his Macedonian converts.
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,
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, inThis seems a rather narratively insensitive way to read Mark; Peter and the
> 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
> first gospel's implied criticism of Peter's christology would have been
> derived directly from Paul.
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,
In historical terms, once Jesus is executed, a Christology like that
ascribed to Peter in 8:27�33 becomes untenable unless one goes the Docetist
route (which seems unlikely for Jews who knew Jesus in the flesh); if Jesus
was a human being who was crucified (whatever else he was), you can offer an
interpretation of his death, or you can de-emphasize his death and direct
attention to his teachings (as *Thomas* does), or you can reject him as a
false prophet (as did a majority of Jews who knew anything about him), but
you can't any longer maintain that he's the Messiah and deny that
crucifixion was part of God's paradoxical will for him. What would such a
Christology look like?
Austin Graduate School of Theology
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- 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