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Re: Earl's "brilliance" per Robt Price (complete)

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  • Bill2200@aol.com
    I m posting messages less frequently than I was several weeks ago, and have no doubt that many people are grateful for this! And I ve been beaten to the punch
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 28, 1999
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      I'm posting messages less frequently than I was several weeks ago, and have no
      doubt that many people are grateful for this! And I've been beaten to the
      punch on this one too, but will still offer some thoughts.

      From David Engle:

      > Today Earl indignantly protested Stephen's slighting of his originality,
      and
      > defended himself thusly:

      I had no problem with Earl's defense in light of the inaccurate depiction of
      his work. But critics of Earl or his work are likely to react differently.

      > Earl, have you ever wondered why, during the 100+ yrs of "mythic Jesus"
      > scholarship you mentioned, neither Wells nor anyone else ventured to make
      > such a patently unsupportable and heavily contradicted claim?

      > The fact is that you have simply ignored the obvious epistolary evidence --
      > evidence which even fellow mythicists have seen?

      Ah, the "obvious" epistolary evidence people keep talking about but never can
      manage to produce.

      > Do you imagine yourself so much more "brilliant" than your predecessors
      that
      > you somehow discovered what they could not?

      He might be. If he is, we've all been given our chance to see the light!

      > Even Ian Hutchesson dashed-off a "liddle list" of Pauline claims of Jesus'
      > humanity.

      Hmmm...I'm reading over your post. Ian described these as "Paul's 'facts'
      regarding Jesus" and "indications of Jesus in the eyes of Paul", but does not
      say these are claims of Jesus' humanity. And perhaps one reason Earl didn't
      respond directly to this post is because the only examples which DO on the
      surface seem to hint at humanity were answered in other posts.

      > To refresh your memory I've included it below. Like all
      > contradictory evidences you simply ignored it earlier.

      David, put yourself in Earl's place. Do you have any idea what it's like for
      your work to be all the rage on the forum and how hard it is to keep up with
      the large number of posts? Can you be more forgiving if the man hopes to have
      a life outside of Crosstalk and misses a post you feel is important? This
      point is in addition to my point above, showing there was no need to reply
      directly to Ian's message.

      > You gave a long post
      > on Hebrews instead, which John DeGoes and others proceeded to shred for you
      > by showing that it, too, references Christ's humanity.

      Selective memory at work here? John showed examples of passages which, when
      observed in isolation and with gospel stories in your head, offer a human
      Jesus as the more probable interpretation. Earl showed that when you look at
      the WHOLE picture, his mythical interpretation is clearly preferable. His
      reply was Feb. 19. I leave it to you to read it.

      > FOLLOWING IS IAN HUTCHESSON'S POST ...
      >
      > In an effort to deal with the "man or myth" thread, I've put together a
      > liddle list of Paul's "facts" regarding Jesus. Can anyone add any more
      > examples of indications of Jesus in the eyes of Paul?
      > ---------------------------------------------
      >
      > Romans 1:3-4
      >
      > son of God
      > born of a descendant of David according to the flesh declared the son of
      God
      > with power by the resurrection from the dead
      > ---------------------------------------------

      I don't know the Greek, but will only add here that Earl likes the translation
      "of David's seed" or "of David's stock" better than a "descendant of David".

      > Gal 4:4
      >
      > God sent forth his son, born of a woman, born under the law
      > ---------------------------------------------

      I think Ian himself later criticized interpreting this as indicating a human
      (but don't have the post handy, so may be remembering wrong). Anyway, I've
      read that Dionysius was also born of a woman.

      Bill
    • Earl D
      ... The someone named Robert Price is a member of the Jesus Seminar and co-editor of the Journal of Higher Criticism at Drew University. ... I did not say
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 1 10:44 AM
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        David Engle wrote:

        >At last Earl quotes someone name Robert Price who called Earl's discovery of
        >the non-human Jesus in the epistles "brilliant."

        The "someone named Robert Price" is a member of the Jesus Seminar and
        co-editor of the Journal of Higher Criticism at Drew University.

        >Earl, have you ever wondered why, during the 100+ yrs of "mythic Jesus"
        >scholarship you mentioned, neither Wells nor anyone else ventured to make
        >such a patently unsupportable and heavily contradicted claim?

        I did not say that no one has ever put forward a fully mythic Jesus. Wells,
        in fact, is as far as I know the first to offer this compromise position,
        earlier proponents of the theory mostly regarding Jesus as originally of a
        completely mythic nature.

        >Even Ian Hutchesson dashed-off a "liddle list" of Pauline claims of Jesus'
        >humanity. To refresh your memory I've included it below. Like all
        >contradictory evidences you simply ignored it earlier. You gave a long post
        >on Hebrews instead, which John DeGoes and others proceeded to shred for you
        >by showing that it, too, references Christ's humanity.

        I would say that John did nothing of the sort. He simply pointed to the
        same old tired indicators that, given Gospel preconceptions, he and others
        feel refer to an historical Gospel Jesus. John in fact had very little, if
        anything, to say in rebuttal to my own counter-analyses of these passages,
        such as the epistle's overall silence on the "voice" of the Gospel Son, or
        the obvious heavenly context of "oikumene" in 1:6, or 2:3 as a picture of a
        revelatory event, or the fact that every single so-called historical
        reference in Hebrews is based, in one way or another, on a scriptural
        passage (quite a phenomenon, don't you think?), and so on.

        >Earl, do you suppose you could muster some of that intellect to reply to
        >Ian's post now?

        As Bill has pointed out, I have at various times responded to these
        particular passages, including in the posting I just sent before this one.
        On Romans 1 and Galatians 4 I will not repeat myself here (and will also
        recommend a read of my Article No. 8, Christ as "Man", which deals with
        these and other similar passages at considerable length:
        <http://www.magi.com/~oblio/jesus/supp08.htm>). Stevan has also obligingly
        commented on many of them. But I will add a couple of comments of my own.

        >Romans 1:3-4
        >
        >son of God
        >born of a descendant of David according to the flesh declared the son of God
        >with power by the resurrection from the dead

        Here I will simply stress what leads into this quote: "Paul...set apart for
        the gospel of God, which he promised/announced beforehand through his
        prophets in the holy writings, the gospel concerning his Son, who was...(of
        David's stock, etc.) I can't envision a clearer statement that the
        "information" Paul provides about the Son comes from God's gospel imbedded
        in scripture. With that admission, all else is preconception.

        >1Cor 11:23ff
        >
        >Jesus on the night he was betrayed took bread
        >gave thanks, broke the bread
        >took wine

        As Stevan has pointed out, all this info came by direct revelation from the
        Lord himself, as 23a clearly announces. This in itself would imply that
        such info was NOT available through apostolic tradition, else Paul would be
        making an ass of himself by saying he got it from the Lord. (I discuss this
        whole question in my Article 7, "The Source of Paul's Gospel".)

        >2Cor 8:9
        >
        >though Christ was rich, for our sakes he became poor

        Why not take these sentiments as non-literal? After all, when was Christ
        ever "rich"? Instead, I would parallel them to the thought in the first
        verses of the Phil. 2 hymn. From the richness of full divinity and equality
        with God, Christ descended through the layers of heaven, taking on
        increasingly lower forms and semblances, thus becoming "poorer".
        One might compare a similar thought in Odes of Sol. 7:3f, and it is
        telling that here the Odist is addressing God: "He has generously shown
        himself to me in his simplicity / because his kindness has diminished his
        grandeur." Here the Odist is not introducing any historical figure who
        represents the form God has taken on. Rather, it is God himself who
        undergoes the transformation; it is God to whom the poet is relating, not
        Jesus. God, in approaching humanity with knowledge of himself allows
        humanity to understand him by assuming human conceptions. All philosophers
        believed that the true nature of God was utterly alien to anything the human
        mind could comprehend, and so he had to "translate himself" into concepts
        the material world was familiar with.

        I regret not having more time to make a greater number of replies, and more
        detailed ones, to the many comments that are being made (although I am sure
        there are many on this list who are happy that this is so). Bill is correct
        in suggesting that I have a life outside of HJ considerations, not the least
        because there is a new lady in it--one who is of Persian extraction, leading
        me to a mighty effort to learn the Persian language. And I thought Greek
        was tough!

        Best wishes,

        Earl Doherty
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