Re: [XTalk] Re: Messiah in spite of himself
- In a message dated 12/1/2003 9:54:20 AM Central Standard Time,
If views of the Messiah were as variegated and as widespread as Robert and
Bob suggest then surely one would expect Paul to clarify just which of these
Messiah's he had in view. It would be irresponsible not to, right? It seems
more reasonable to suppose that Paul offers no clarification in these
hundreds of cases because he happily assumes that his readers know exactly
what he is talking about. (Hence I think the mistake of scholars who find
the evidence of the intertestamental period ambiguous; it is only ambiguous
if one doesn't bring the right assumptions. In the UK one doesn't need
always to refer to Prime Minister Blair, either the PM or Blair will do.)
This, however, is precisely the situation in which Paul's letters were
written. He wrote to the initiated who already knew Paul's Christ and quite likely
knew no other except in passing, with no details. Paul ought to assume that
his readers knew what he was talking about--he proselytized most of them, or
knew well those who did.
This is another example of why I remain so skeptical of arguments from
expectations. They have been so often shown wrong in other milieus that one cannot
expect them to be correct when we bring them to the New Testament table. If
an ancient writer meets our expectations in a case like this, it is
Rikk, you do not address the numerous Christological disputes Paul takes up
in his letters. If there were no variant concepts of Christ afoot, then why
must Paul spend so much time disputing them?
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- Dear Listers,
I had indicated two weeks ago that I would submit my own response to
responses of others re the thread "Messiah in spite of himself" in an
article which Jeffrey Gibson has offered to upload to the Xtalk articles
page. With the demand of other matters, it has taken far longer than I had
envisioned to complete the article. And with the holidays at hand, it
looks like I cannot get this article out until after the first of the year.
I plan in the article not only to deal with matters related to the "Messiah"
thread but also to incorporate in it issues related to the "4Q521" thread
and the "Gospel of Mary Magdalene" thread, which I had introduced.
Happy holidays to you all.