>Well, if that's the extent of your definition, then "major
>historical player" becomes just about meaningless. I think you need
>to say more to avoid the appearance of idiosyncratic usage of that
>phrase. Otherwise, all you've shown is that Paul wasn't around
>during pre-Pauline Christianity.
I don't find meaningless that the movement spread to Africa and up into
Syria and perhaps even to Rome with no Paul. I don't find meaningless that
the missional practice, the social locale for the movement, the central
charter, the collection of the words of Jesus, the foundational "midrashic
moves" were pre-Pauline. I don't find that despite all the wranglings that
the core of the movement as expressed in the Common Sayings Tradition was
the base upon which all sorts of later sermons, reflections, writings,
exegesis, etc, is "meaningless." So, we'll have to disagree about that.
>Look, I think a good case can be made that without a Paul, the
>movement fails. Why do I say that? Because if the movement had
>continued to treat gentiles as Jewish proselytes (which was
>apparently the case) then the movement remains centered in the
>diaspora communities and fails to attract the numbers of gentiles
>necessary to survive the fall of Jerusalem.
Per my note to Don, I think you're making a very large generalization here
that I don't think is justified. And thank you very much, but Coptic
Christianity is quite alive and well! As a matter of fact there was an
article in the paper the other day that noted that Egypt has made Christmas
an official holiday for everyone. Before this, Christians got the day off,
but now it is a national holiday. To be sure Christianity might be a tad
different had not Peter and Paul been touted as the new Romulus and Remus,
so to speak... but the vitality was there. And that vitality wasn't
centered in kosher issues... it lay elsewhere.
>And no, I don't think that Acts made Paul a star. I think that came
>about through a combination of his writings and his martyrdom. Acts
>intensified his star status, but the audience was already ready to
>accept that on other grounds.
We do disagree!