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Re: Questions about Paul

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  • Bob Schacht
    ... Anne, This is an overbroad and oversimplified summary, because a crucial adjective is missing. The resurrection is central to Paul s testimony as I
    Message 1 of 11 , Aug 1, 1998
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      At 03:01 PM 8/2/98 +0900, Anne Quast wrote:
      >Most of you seem to agree that the Epistles of Paul predate the canonical
      >gospels. Someone wrote this past week that nowhere does Paul write about
      >the resurrection.

      Anne,
      This is an overbroad and oversimplified summary, because a crucial
      adjective is missing. The resurrection is central to Paul's testimony as I
      understand it. What was at issue was what *kind* of resurrection Paul wrote
      about. I think the missing adjective in this case is 'bodily' or 'of the
      body'. I think it was Mahlon who wrote recently that the earliest
      resurrection testimony is ambiguous about whether Jesus came back as a
      physical body, but that in response to gnostic(?) interpretations of
      resurrection accounts (e.g., that the resurrected Jesus was merely a ghost
      or ethereal spirit), later sources increasingly emphasized the physicality
      of the resurrection appearances. Some have traced the development of this
      theme of increasing physicality through Luke, culminating in John.

      > A book I read some time ago states that Paul never
      >writes about the virgin birth.

      That sounds true enough. I'll leave it to others to answer the rest of your
      questions.

      Bob


      Robert Schacht
      Northern Arizona University
      Robert.Schacht@...

      "This success of my endeavors was due, I believe, to a rule of 'method':
      that we should always try to clarify and to strengthen our opponent's
      position as much as possible before criticizing him, if we wish our
      criticism to be worth while." [Sir Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific
      Discovery (1968), p. 260 n.*5]
    • Jack Kilmon
      ... I think the virgin birth thingy got started with the Matthean scribe in his zeal for OT attestation. Not being Semitic competent, the Matthean scribe used
      Message 2 of 11 , Aug 2, 1998
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        Anne Quast wrote:
        >
        > Most of you seem to agree that the Epistles of Paul predate the canonical
        > gospels. Someone wrote this past week that nowhere does Paul write about
        > the resurrection. A book I read some time ago states that Paul never
        > writes about the virgin birth. In Galatians Paul rants and goes on about
        > the 'Circumcision Party' or the Jewish-Christians.
        >
        > Question 1: If the resurrection and virgin birth are not mentioned in the
        > Epistles and the Epistles predate the canonical gospels, where did these
        > ideas originate?

        I think the virgin birth thingy got started with the Matthean scribe
        in his zeal for OT attestation. Not being Semitic competent, the
        Matthean
        scribe used the LXX for Isaiah which translates the ALMAH as PARTHENOS.
        From that point, I believe the Matthean scribe was engaging in midrash.
        In Hebrew textual contexts, the larger percentage of ALMAH usage is as
        "young woman" with a smaller percentage as "virgin." In Greek, the
        larger percentage of PARTHENOS is "virgin" with a smaller percentage
        as "young woman" so I am not sure what was on the Matthean scribe's
        mind,
        however, the Lukan parallel must come from the Matthean source either
        because the "Luke used Matthew" paradigm is correct or it was the
        result of later harmonization.

        >
        > Question 2: How much did the teaching of Paul influence what was written
        > in the canonical gospels? How much did it influence which gospels were
        > included in the canon?

        A great deal.

        Jack

        --
        ______________________________________________

        Min d'LA rokHEM l'maRAN yeSHUa meshyCHA niheYAH. maRAN aTHA

        Jack Kilmon
        jkilmon@...

        http://www.historian.net
      • Jim West
        ... Paul does speak of a form of resurrection- a spiritual sort. Cf. 1 Cor 15. It can be concluded that he must have known a tradition in one form or another
        Message 3 of 11 , Aug 2, 1998
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          At 03:01 PM 8/2/98 +0900, you wrote:

          >Question 1: If the resurrection and virgin birth are not mentioned in the
          >Epistles and the Epistles predate the canonical gospels, where did these
          >ideas originate?

          Paul does speak of a form of resurrection- a spiritual sort. Cf. 1 Cor 15.
          It can be concluded that he must have known a tradition in one form or
          another about jesus' resurrection.
          But you are right- no virginal "conception" (to be more accurate).

          >
          >Question 2: How much did the teaching of Paul influence what was written
          >in the canonical gospels? How much did it influence which gospels were
          >included in the canon?
          >

          Hard to say. Probably not much at all.

          >By the way, I'm not a fan of Paul's. I keep thinking that the 'Christian'
          >religion might be an entirely different thing if he hadn't taken it over.
          >

          And you would be right.
          Ecclesiastical Christianity is Paul's religion- thansk to Augustine and Luther.


          Jim

          ++++++++++++++++++++++++
          Jim West, ThD
          Adjunct Professor of Bible
          Quartz Hill School of Theology

          jwest@...
        • Tom Simms
          ... An excellent example that may even indicate that Jesus Himself knew more scripture in Greek than Hebrew but confirmation at least that the evangels worked
          Message 4 of 11 , Aug 2, 1998
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            On Sun, 02 Aug 1998 02:25:18 -0500, jkilmon@... writes:
            >
            >Anne Quast wrote:
            >>
            >> Most of you seem to agree that the Epistles of Paul predate the canonical
            >> gospels. Someone wrote this past week that nowhere does Paul write about
            >> the resurrection. A book I read some time ago states that Paul never
            >> writes about the virgin birth. In Galatians Paul rants and goes on about
            >> the 'Circumcision Party' or the Jewish-Christians.
            >>
            >> Question 1: If the resurrection and virgin birth are not mentioned in the
            >> Epistles and the Epistles predate the canonical gospels, where did these
            >> ideas originate?
            >
            > I think the virgin birth thingy got started with the Matthean scribe
            > in his zeal for OT attestation. Not being Semitic competent, the Matthean
            > scribe used the LXX for Isaiah which translates the ALMAH as PARTHENOS.
            > From that point, I believe the Matthean scribe was engaging in midrash.
            > In Hebrew textual contexts, the larger percentage of ALMAH usage is as
            > "young woman" with a smaller percentage as "virgin." In Greek, the
            > larger percentage of PARTHENOS is "virgin" with a smaller percentage
            > as "young woman" so I am not sure what was on the Matthean scribe's
            > mind, however, the Lukan parallel must come from the Matthean source
            > either because the "Luke used Matthew" paradigm is correct or it was the
            > result of later harmonization.

            An excellent example that may even indicate that Jesus Himself knew more
            scripture in Greek than Hebrew but confirmation at least that the evangels
            worked from the LXX.

            >> Question 2: How much did the teaching of Paul influence what was written
            >> in the canonical gospels? How much did it influence which gospels were
            >> included in the canon?
            >
            >A great deal.
            >
            >Jack
            >
            Ciao & gratias

            Tom Simms
          • Richard H. Anderson
            Anne Quast, greetings: I think we need to consider 2 Cor. 8:18 and notwithstanding that there is no agreement as to the identity of the person famous
            Message 5 of 11 , Aug 2, 1998
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              Anne Quast, greetings:

              I think we need to consider 2 Cor. 8:18 and notwithstanding that there
              is no agreement as to the identity of the person famous throughout the
              world for the preaching of the gospel or the identity of the document or
              the substance of the oral tradition, I would nonetheless state that Paul
              gives no biography of Jesus because someone's else had already prepared
              such an account that was circulating prior to Paul's letters.


              > Question 1: If the resurrection and virgin birth are not mentioned in >the Epistles and the Epistles predate the canonical gospels, where did >these ideas originate?
              >
              > Question 2: How much did the teaching of Paul influence what was >written in the canonical gospels? How much did it influence which >gospels were included in the canon?
            • BERNARD MULLER
              ... bits: Resurrection: Paul is dabbling a lot about resurrection(s) in his epistles. It all started in 1Th4:13-18: There Paul is answering a question of great
              Message 6 of 11 , Aug 2, 1998
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                Anne Quast wrote:
                >
                > Most of you seem to agree that the Epistles of Paul predate the canonical
                > gospels. Someone wrote this past week that nowhere does Paul write about
                > the resurrection. A book I read some time ago states that Paul never
                > writes about the virgin birth. In Galatians Paul rants and goes on about
                > the 'Circumcision Party' or the Jewish-Christians.
                >
                > Question 1: If the resurrection and virgin birth are not mentioned in the
                > Epistles and the Epistles predate the canonical gospels, where did these
                > ideas originate?
                > Since it seems everybody is answering Anne, I'll join too to give my two
                bits:
                Resurrection: Paul is dabbling a lot about resurrection(s) in his
                epistles. It all started in 1Th4:13-18: There Paul is answering a
                question of great concern for the newly Gentile converts of
                Thessalonica. To their surprise, some of them died, before the arrival
                of the Kingdom. Paul's solution: They will resurrect to be part of it.
                And then, what about Jesus? In 1Th4:14 Paul declares innocently that
                Jesus has risen (emphasis on spiritual resurrection), but it is a matter
                of BELIEF. Immediatly, Paul corrects himself by invoking the dubious
                Lord's own words from a definitively resurrected Jesus, but that seems
                to be an afterthought, repairing the damage of 1Th4:14.
                At that times, the prevalent Jewish Christians believed that Jesus, as
                the future King (Lord, Christ), after his death went to heaven
                (Heb9:24), to sit at the right hand of God as the Son of Man (or Adam)
                (interpolated from psalms: see Heb1:13,2:6), until God prepares the way
                back for him to his earthly Kingdom.
                Later on, Paul, who was leaning towards spiritual resurrection(s)
                (1Co15:44,46), had to contend with the competition of Jewish Christians.
                For them, the Kingdom was to come on earth for the "alive then" and the
                resurrected ones, all of them in a flesh and blood form. Paul rejected
                "flesh and blood" (Paul's moved the Kingdom to heaven, not to have any
                problem on the political front, especially among the Gentiles, some of
                them Roman citizens), but allowed for a more physical resurrected body.
                From that point on, stories about Jesus reappearing as a stranger
                (Lk24:13-32, Jn21:1) must have been voiced. Also the Assumption of Moses
                cleared the way to "prove" that one can die, be buried and then go to
                heaven, body and soul.
                The next step was the empty tomb in Mark's gospel. Later, Jesus in a new
                body (NOT a ghost!) appears to his disciples (Lk24:36-42). Later in
                Jn19:24-28, Jesus appears in his own body.
                Note: I am certain that 1Co15:3-11 and Jesus reapparitions in Matthew's
                gospel were late additions.

                Virgin Birth: Certainly that is not in Paul's epistles. On the opposite,
                Ro1:3, alludes to a genetic human father.
                The situation in the 70's and 80's was as follows:
                The Jewish Christians had come to accept (most likely through Mark's
                gospel) Jesus as the Son of God, but only as a title.
                The Gentile Christians, of course, were inclined to believe that Jesus
                was the pre-existent Son/Word of God (which was heretical for Jewish
                Christians). In this context, the Virgin Birth appears to be a
                compromise solution. Of course, stories of earthly women made pregnant
                by god(s), were common place in the Hellenist world; the union resulting
                in legendary figures (example: Hercules) or Greek philosophers
                (example: Plato) or many others. Even Philo of Alexandria, a eminent
                Jews, proposed this hypothesis relative to births during the O.T.
                patriarch's era. In Josephus' Antiquities, there is a story about a
                Roman aristocratic lady who sexually offered herself to a god.

                > Question 2: How much did the teaching of Paul influence what was written
                > in the canonical gospels? How much did it influence which gospels were
                > included in the canon?
                >
                > By the way, I'm not a fan of Paul's. I keep thinking that the 'Christian'
                > religion might be an entirely different thing if he hadn't taken it over.

                A huge lot, as many scholars already told you.
                Please note I already answered extensively your questions along my HJ:
                http://www.concentric.net/~Mullerb/
                Au revoir, Bernard
              • Tom Simms
                Crosstalk dumbbunnies, listen up --- ... How many times do I have to tell you Caputes Vaccua, les tete voides, of the clear NOTICE in Suetonius SOMEONE was
                Message 7 of 11 , Aug 2, 1998
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                  Crosstalk dumbbunnies, listen up ---

                  On Sun, 02 Aug 1998 12:03:33 -0400, keras@... writes:
                  >
                  >Anne Quast, greetings:
                  >
                  >I think we need to consider 2 Cor. 8:18 and notwithstanding that there
                  >is no agreement as to the identity of the person famous throughout the
                  >world for the preaching of the gospel or the identity of the document or
                  >the substance of the oral tradition, I would nonetheless state that Paul
                  >gives no biography of Jesus because someone's else had already prepared
                  >such an account that was circulating prior to Paul's letters.


                  How many times do I have to tell you Caputes Vaccua, les tete voides,
                  of the clear NOTICE in Suetonius SOMEONE was telling the Romans,
                  particularly the literary crowd, including one soon to be off'd
                  lyre strummer, all about the crucfixion and the resurrection. Paul
                  must have known there were conflicting versions for he took no sides
                  and preached from his own song book. It has always seemed to me silly
                  to argue the evangels never wrote anything to the god-fearers who
                  were all over the Empah! Since most of you never grew up under an
                  empire you don't know how you felt everyone in the world except
                  yankees who lived off Empire blood were all inthe same boat, then
                  You don't realize that Rome was the first place you'd likely send an
                  account of what happened. sheeeesh!

                  [... snip - maybe later - ...]

                  Tom Simms
                • y.kuchinsky@utoronto.ca
                  On Sun, 2 Aug 1998, Anne Quast wrote: ... As to virgin birth, it seems to me that the relevant passages were added up later both to Lk and to Mt. ... My view
                  Message 8 of 11 , Aug 3, 1998
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                    On Sun, 2 Aug 1998, Anne Quast wrote:

                    ...

                    > Question 1: If the resurrection and virgin birth are not mentioned in the
                    > Epistles and the Epistles predate the canonical gospels, where did these
                    > ideas originate?

                    As to virgin birth, it seems to me that the relevant passages were added
                    up later both to Lk and to Mt.

                    > Question 2: How much did the teaching of Paul influence what was written
                    > in the canonical gospels?

                    My view is that Mk is basically a Pauline gospel. Goulder thinks so too.

                    > How much did it influence which gospels were
                    > included in the canon?

                    The canon was beginning to be formalized ca. 140. So Pauline school's
                    influence here would have been very considerable.

                    Best,

                    Yuri.
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