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10473Re: Paul and Jesus' teaching

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  • bjtraff
    Jul 1, 2002
      --- In crosstalk2@y..., "brmcc2000" <brmcc@c...> wrote:

      > a) The fact he reported was that he knew of no one who had ever
      > suggested that Paul had ensured that each of his churches was given
      > firm possession of as much of Jesus' teachings as possible through
      > providing each with a written version of them.
      > [My comment: Fortunately Mt and Lk saw things otherwise.]
      >
      >b) The implication of this fact for him is the obvious one: that,
      >while Paul was acquainted with some traditions of Jesus' teaching,
      >he did not think it important that his churches be put in firm
      >possession of the full body of Jesus' teachings.

      I wonder why (b) does not include the qualification "Jesus' teachings
      *in writing*, since the conclusion found in (b) is based on an
      assumption rooted in "no written version" of Jesus' teachings. After
      all, 2 Thessalonians 2:15 specifically tells us that Paul and others
      were passing on traditions (PARADOSEIS) both "word (of mouth) and by
      letter (LOGOU EITE DI EPISTOLHS HMWN). See also 1 Corinthians 11:2
      where Paul reminds the Corinthians of the teachings (PARADOSEIS) that
      he had "passed on" [to them]. Since he does not elaborate on the
      point, we can see from these passages that Paul believed not only in
      written instruction, but also oral teachings, something that makes a
      great deal of sense in a 1st Century setting.

      >Which raises the question: what did Paul think his churches did need
      >to live their lives of faith? His Gospel? His Gospel plus the
      >Septuagint? His Gospel plus some (written) collection of key
      >Septuagint passages?

      Based on 2 Thessalonians, together with passages like 1 Cor. 2:1-5, I
      would argue that he expected them to believe in the gospel he
      preached both orally and in his letters, and supported by appeals to
      his miracle working ability which he claimed came directly from God.

      In my own view, this preoccupation with a 21st Century need to "get
      it in writing" is out of place in the world in which Paul operated.
      He taught both through letters, and through oral traditions, and to
      ignore this fact is to miss a crucial element to Pauline (and other
      1st Century) thought, both Christian and non-Christian.

      Peace,

      Brian Trafford
      Calgary, AB, Canada
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