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Re: Re: Acts as a Legal Brief

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  • INTERPRES
    ... JAN: See my response to LEWIS. Paul s words in Galatians are not particularly conciliatory, and do not indicate that Paul would be satisfied with his brand
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 1, 1998
      >STEVAN
      >The brief does that, and indeed, so far going along with Jan,
      >is an argument that Xianity is Judaism
      >and so a religio licta (against Jan it does not argue that it should
      >supercede, but rather that it is a variety of, Pharisaic Judaism).
      >And certainly it does argue what you say it does.
      >
      JAN: See my response to LEWIS. Paul's words in Galatians are not
      particularly conciliatory, and do not indicate that Paul would be satisfied
      with his brand of Judaism coexisting with the traditional kind:
      "But what does the scripture say? 'Throw out the slave woman
      and her son; for the son of the slave woman will not share the father's
      property with the son of the free woman.' So then, my brothers, we are not
      the children of a slave woman, but of the free woman."
      The slave woman is "the present city of Jerusalem"--the Temple hierarchy.
      Does Paul say anywhere that accepting Jesus as the Messiah was optional for
      Jews? I'm afraid not. So what talk can there be of coexistence with
      traditional Judaism? Paul is most uncompromising in arguing that because of
      the new promise, the gentiles could now have a share in Abraham's blessing,
      but both gentiles and Jews had to attain salvation through an acceptance of
      Jesus. There was to be no coexistence with Pharisaic Judaism that denied
      Jesus' Messiahship.
      Attacks against the Temple hierarchy are present throughout the passion
      narratives, so much so that they constitute a pattern whose existence calls
      for an explanation. My hypothesis is the ambition of the early church to
      supersede the Temple hierarchy, to "throw out the slave woman and her son".

      Regards,

      Jan
    • Stevan Davies
      ... It s a metonym for Judaic leadership and approach generally. ... I can t find anything here to disagree with. But the specific question is whether this is
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 1, 1998
        > >STEVAN
        > >The brief does that, and indeed, so far going along with Jan,
        > >is an argument that Xianity is Judaism
        > >and so a religio licta (against Jan it does not argue that it should
        > >supercede, but rather that it is a variety of, Pharisaic Judaism).
        > >And certainly it does argue what you say it does.
        > >
        > JAN: See my response to LEWIS. Paul's words in Galatians are not
        > particularly conciliatory, and do not indicate that Paul would be satisfied
        > with his brand of Judaism coexisting with the traditional kind:
        > "But what does the scripture say? 'Throw out the slave woman
        > and her son; for the son of the slave woman will not share the father's
        > property with the son of the free woman.' So then, my brothers, we are not
        > the children of a slave woman, but of the free woman."
        > The slave woman is "the present city of Jerusalem"--the Temple hierarchy.

        It's a metonym for Judaic leadership and approach generally.

        > Does Paul say anywhere that accepting Jesus as the Messiah was optional for
        > Jews? I'm afraid not. So what talk can there be of coexistence with
        > traditional Judaism? Paul is most uncompromising in arguing that because of
        > the new promise, the gentiles could now have a share in Abraham's blessing,
        > but both gentiles and Jews had to attain salvation through an acceptance of
        > Jesus. There was to be no coexistence with Pharisaic Judaism that denied
        > Jesus' Messiahship.

        I can't find anything here to disagree with. But the specific
        question is whether this is Paul's view in the defense arguments
        found in the latter part of Acts.

        There I don't find Paul arguing
        this way. There he argues that his faith is a form of Pharisaic
        Judaism. It could well be said that Paul here is arguing to save
        himself and fudging things greatly, as he seems to have fudged things
        less in Romans, and not at all in Galatians. Or, if you wish to be
        a sceptic, that he's irrelevant and that Luke is making it all up.
        I'd be interested to know if you can find anything in Paul's defense
        arguments that an imaginary Paul couldn't have explained away as
        consistent with his position in Galatians. Try. You show how it's
        inconsistent and I'll be Paul and show that it isn't.

        > Attacks against the Temple hierarchy are present throughout the passion
        > narratives, so much so that they constitute a pattern whose existence calls
        > for an explanation. My hypothesis is the ambition of the early church to
        > supersede the Temple hierarchy, to "throw out the slave woman and her son".

        I'm sure it is the ambition of EVERY CULT OR SECT THAT EVER WAS
        to supercede the preceding heirarchy and take over. But the specific
        desire precisely to take over the Temple per se and run it I think is
        completely not-the-case. Analogy: it was NOT the desire of Joseph
        Smith to take over the Vatican per se although he sure would have liked to
        take over Christianity generally.

        Steve
      • INTERPRES
        JAN (earlier text) ... Judaism ... STEVEN ... JAN: It s a FORM Pharisaic Judaism alright, with the Messiah Jesus added on (e.g., Acts 28:20). Somewhat like
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 5, 1998
          JAN (earlier text)
          >> Does Paul say anywhere that accepting Jesus as the Messiah was optional
          >> for Jews? I'm afraid not. So what talk can there be of coexistence with
          >> traditional Judaism? Paul is most uncompromising in arguing that because
          >> of the new promise, the gentiles could now have a share in Abraham's
          >> blessing, but both gentiles and Jews had to attain salvation through an
          >> acceptance of Jesus. There was to be no coexistence with Pharisaic
          Judaism
          >> that denied Jesus' Messiahship.
          >
          STEVEN
          >I can't find anything here to disagree with. But the specific
          >question is whether this is Paul's view in the defense arguments
          >found in the latter part of Acts.
          >
          >There I don't find Paul arguing
          >this way. There he argues that his faith is a form of Pharisaic
          >Judaism.

          JAN: It's a FORM Pharisaic Judaism alright, with the Messiah Jesus added on
          (e.g., Acts 28:20). Somewhat like today's "Jews for Jesus."

          STEVEN:
          >It could well be said that Paul here is arguing to save
          >himself and fudging things greatly, as he seems to have fudged things
          >less in Romans, and not at all in Galatians.

          JAN: He's not fudging on the crucial element, i.e., "I have this chain on me
          for the sake of him for whom the people of Israel hope." His whole strategy
          in the upcoming trial depends on being a better, more authentic Jew than
          those who not only rejected "him for whom the people of Israel hope" but
          even plotted to have him killed.

          STEVEN:
          > Or, if you wish to be
          >a sceptic, that he's irrelevant and that Luke is making it all up.

          JAN: Given that Acts ends before it can record the verdict against Paul ,
          Acts can be regarded as "witness for the defense" material, intended to sway
          the upcoming verdict in Paul's favor. Under these circumstances, even if
          Luke makes things up on occasion, he does so in a way that's consistent with
          Paul's position and purpose.

          STEVEN:
          >I'd be interested to know if you can find anything in Paul's defense
          >arguments that an imaginary Paul couldn't have explained away as
          >consistent with his position in Galatians. Try. You show how it's
          >inconsistent and I'll be Paul and show that it isn't.

          JAN:
          Sorry, I don't really understand what's wanted of me. What "Paul's defense
          arguments" do you have in mind? I do believe the statements he is credited
          with in Acts are consistent with the passage I cited from Galatians, but
          given the purpose of Acts, the emphasis is different. The purpose of Acts is
          to show that Paul is the representative of authentic Judaism. As such it
          emphasizes Paul's Pharisaic credentials, but it nowhere tones down his
          emphasis on Jesus' messiahship, which was the point of the trial.
          >
          JAN (previously)
          >> Attacks against the Temple hierarchy are present throughout the passion
          >> narratives, so much so that they constitute a pattern whose existence
          calls
          >> for an explanation. My hypothesis is the ambition of the early church to
          >> supersede the Temple hierarchy, to "throw out the slave woman and her
          son".
          >
          STEVEN:
          >I'm sure it is the ambition of EVERY CULT OR SECT THAT EVER WAS
          >to supercede the preceding heirarchy and take over. But the specific
          >desire precisely to take over the Temple per se and run it I think is
          >completely not-the-case.

          JAN:
          Why then do the gospels try to lay all the blame for Jesus' death on the
          Temple authorities in general and the High Priest in particular? Does that
          make sense if they were written when the Temple no longer existed and there
          was no high priest in Jerusalem? The High Priest and the Temple Hierarchy
          are accused of having plotted to murder Jesus, the Messiah of Israel. Is
          that just a gratuitous accusation, or one made with the definite purpose to
          have the guilty ones removed from their positions? And who else could remove
          the High Priest and the Sanhedrin except the Emperor? Now if you're Paul,
          how do you get the Emperor to act? The only way that occurs to you is to get
          the backers of the Temple to accuse you of propagating an illicit religion,
          a capital offense. It's risky, but it allows you to appeal to the Emperor
          claiming that all along you've been propagating the authentic version of
          Judaism, (the "Jews for Jesus" version) and that your accusers, those who
          reject Jesus as Messiah, are no longer to be considered as Jews. You have a
          talented hack writer write a tendentious story proving that Jesus was the
          "one for whom the people of Israel hope" and showing what callous schemers
          the Temple authorities were, and how they virtually blackmailed the kindly
          and naive Pilate into giving his consent for the execution. The first
          version has some shortcomings, so you have Luke rework it, adding some Stoic
          elements likely to appeal to people high up in the Roman hierarchy (such as
          Seneca and Burrus). Then you have Luke write the story of the shadow
          Sanhedrin (also known as the early church) being groomed to succeed the
          wicked Messiah-killers in Jerusalem. Present the credentials of some of the
          members of this shadow Sanhedrin, with an emphasis on yourself and your
          trials and tribulations.

          STEVEN:
          >Analogy: it was NOT the desire of Joseph
          >Smith to take over the Vatican per se although he sure would have liked to
          >take over Christianity generally.
          >
          JAN:
          Did Joseph Smith accuse the Pope of murder and sacrilege? If he had, I would
          start suspecting that he wanted the Pope's job.
        • Lewis Reich
          ... It might. ... It might have a purpose other than having the guilty ones removed from their positions. For esample, it might have been intended to show
          Message 4 of 5 , Sep 5, 1998
            On 5 Sep 98, at 23:16, Jan wrote:

            >
            > JAN:
            > Why then do the gospels try to lay all the blame for Jesus' death on the
            > Temple authorities in general and the High Priest in particular? Does that
            > make sense if they were written when the Temple no longer existed and
            > there was no high priest in Jerusalem?

            It might.

            > The High Priest and the Temple Hierarchy are accused of having
            > plotted to murder Jesus, the Messiah of Israel. Is that just a
            > gratuitous accusation, or one made with the definite purpose to
            > have the guilty ones removed from their positions?

            It might have a purpose other than having the guilty ones removed from their
            positions. For esample, it might have been intended to show that Jesus was
            not truly guilty of the offense for which he was crucified (an offense against the
            Empire) but was merely judicially railroaded. That might have the effect of
            reassuring Roman opinion, concerned that the new sect were followers of a
            rebel against the Empire.

            Lewis Reich
            LBR@...
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