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Re: Questions about Paul

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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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