Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: Re; refuting bad apologetics

Expand Messages
  • león
    ... I think it is relevant to the discussion in the sense that, since Saul s description of his conversion and his discourse in 1Cor. is the only
    Message 1 of 15 , Feb 9, 2007
      --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Robert Griffin"
      <muggleorsquib@...> wrote:
      >
      > As far as I'm aware, humans have been making ethical changes since
      > before the beginning of written history. This is not unusual, and
      > does give some hope for our future. However, it is completely
      > irrelevent to Paul's discussion in 1 Corinthians and to the
      > discussion of the resurrection of Jesus (what was it? did it really
      > occur? what did folks mean when they wrote about it?...)
      > The claim the Paul (and the other disciples) were only referring to a
      > re-evaluation of the impact of Jesus' life when they spoke or wrote
      > about the resurrection seems extremely farfetched to me. They don't
      > appear to be claiming what anyone could claim of Socrates, Diogenes,
      > or Isaiah or Moses. . . .
      >


      I think it is relevant to the discussion in the sense that, since
      Saul's description of his conversion and his discourse in 1Cor. is the
      only near-contemporary attestation that we have (wouldn't it be great
      if we had letters of Barnabbas or of Apollos to compare and contrast
      Paul's developing christology to? - lacking these, what "other
      disciples" were saying this?), then saying that people were
      claiming Jesus had risen bodily at that time is a projection back into
      Paul's day of a position which didn't really surface in any texts
      until the author of Mark and the subsequent gospels spoke of such a
      thing (very probably a couple of decades later).

      That is, if Paul was *not* talking about a physical re-animation of
      Jesus' body (a tenable position, and one which I admit to leaning
      toward), then placing such claims to his physical rising so early is
      really "just-so" anachronistic speculation, unsupported by historical
      evidence.

      I've been up late working on a website and I need to sleep, but I
      wanted to say a few words on this.

      peace

      Ã"

      r. leon santiago
      heathen at large
      Tempe, AZ
    • Gordon Raynal
      Hi Robert, ... And that is what I addressed in terms of the language used... in Galatians a revelation from God and in I Corinthians the affirmation that
      Message 2 of 15 , Feb 9, 2007
        Hi Robert,
        On Feb 8, 2007, at 3:31 PM, Robert Griffin wrote:

        > Gordon,
        >
        > The point I'm addressing is the context of the current thread on
        > Crosstalk, where among other things we are looking at Paul's claim
        > (in 1 Corinthians) to have seen the Jesus after the resurrection (and
        > ascension).

        And that is what I addressed in terms of the language used... in
        Galatians "a revelation from God" and in I Corinthians the
        affirmation that Jesus "was raised... according to scripture... and
        ***appeared*** to Peter, the 12, James, 500... Paul." Revelation?
        Appearance? What is such language indicating? The answers that have
        been given are:
        1. these words point to what is told in the later written story
        telling of the gospels as being historical remembrances where in
        Jesus shows up for conversations, dining, disappearing, rising up
        into the sky as "seen with the eyes/ heard with the ears" encounters
        akin to seeing a friend and having a chat. (Mind you the very same
        story language also talks about Jesus "descending into the lower
        parts of the earth" Eph. 4:9 and "sat down at the right hand of the
        Majesty on high" Heb. 1:3) About the former "encounters" people of
        this interpretive stance suggest the stories (or some of them) are
        biographical/ historical remembrances and make some extended
        arguments about "eyewitness testimony" and the faithful carrying of
        that in oral tradition until the decades later when the Gospels were
        written down. I've never seen such about the descent into the earth
        or the sitting on the big throne in heaven, although these are very
        much at the heart of the matter as to the significance of Jesus'
        resurrection.
        2. This language refers to "visionary experience" and those of a
        mystical theology/ philosophical bent define this in terms of
        metaphysical "encounter," while those of a purely psychological
        understanding focus upon this as something entirely mundane... either
        as suggesting some kind of illusory/ delusional brain activity or as
        normal emotional operations.
        3. This language is metaphorical/ poetical theological language.
        This sort of language, as I noted, can be understood in quite
        ordinary ways wherein one does not have to either venture into
        metaphysical or psychological examinations. And in light of this one
        can understand the theological usage of such language as "seeings/
        appearances" and "revelations" in terms of that ordinary use in
        discourse.
        >
        > As far as I'm aware, humans have been making ethical changes since
        > before the beginning of written history. This is not unusual, and
        > does give some hope for our future. However, it is completely
        > irrelevent to Paul's discussion in 1 Corinthians and to the
        > discussion of the resurrection of Jesus (what was it? did it really
        > occur? what did folks mean when they wrote about it?...)

        How one chooses to understand that language has everything to do with
        the questions you raise. And it is also entirely relevant to Paul's
        understanding of resurrection no matter which of the above options
        (or permutations thereof) one chooses. Paul's whole point of the
        significance of Jesus Christ's resurrection is about ethical
        transformation (read again I Cor. 15:56-58) The TANAK testifies that
        both Enoch (Gen. 1:24) and Elijah ( II Kings 2:1ff) were taken by God
        into God's presence. Matthew tells the story (contra Paul's way of
        talking about it) that "many bodies of the saints who had fallen
        asleep (aka died) were raised" (Matthew 27:52) at Jesus' death and
        they showed up out of those tombs after Jesus was later raised "on
        the 3rd day." (Most interesting to try to visualize this as a
        historical remembrance, to say the least:)! Let's just say that that
        Abraham and Sarah were among those that were resurrected after some
        1800 to 2000 years and per the story have to hang out in those tombs
        from Friday afternoon til Sunday morning. That would surely be an
        interesting experience;)!). Jesus' birth, life, ministry, suffering,
        death, resurrection, descent, ascent, enthronement, rule and coming,
        again in any understanding, is about ethical proclamation to the
        core. Put plainly, others get to heaven, Jesus is "King of Kings and
        Lord of Lords" there and in that he accomplished and is accomplishing
        a complete ethical makeover of the whole creation.

        And as for "did it really occur?" All three of the above options
        allow for a yes answer. Spelling out those yeses obviously points to
        some fundamental disagreements, but then should the conversation turn
        to theology/ ethics (not the purpose of this list), then it is quite
        possible to find lots of agreements no matter the above choice chosen.

        > The claim the Paul (and the other disciples) were only referring to a
        > re-evaluation of the impact of Jesus' life when they spoke or wrote
        > about the resurrection seems extremely farfetched to me.

        I, of course, accept that this is your evaluation. I quite
        disagree. I would argue that the whole of the TANAK heritage
        capitalizes in the use of creative theological writing to give
        expression to theo-ethical convictions. Moses, for example, wanted
        to see God, and so there's that marvelous of him having to hide
        behind the rock, God passes quickly by and only allowing for Moses to
        see his hind parts:)! That's an "appearance" story and one filled
        with "revelation:)!" If one will, for arguments sake, think through
        the 3rd option above, then one will find it none to surprising that a
        crowd of Hebraic/ Jewish folk utilized this metaphorically rich,
        theological/ ethical story telling tradition and framed their
        understanding of Jesus in terms of precisely this kind of creative
        theological communication. And my point is, this can be understood
        as intellectual work... very careful and thoughtful intellectual
        work, whether one is religiously drawn to it or not.

        Back to Paul. The language of Galatians is revelation language about
        what God did. In I Corinthians the 15th chapter explicitly begins
        with Jesus' death and resurrection as being "in accord with
        scriptures." This is theological writing that utilizes a theological
        heritage of communication. It "appears" to me, that it is most
        "revealing" to think through the 3rd option as central and essential
        to understanding what resurrection means even if one wants to make a
        case for either metaphysical or emotional understandings:)!

        Gordon Raynal
        Inman, SC
      • Bob MacDonald
        ... What was it about this sect of Jews that circa 32-36 C.E. made Saul so violently opposed to it? Saul/Paul objected to denial of Torah by the sect and the
        Message 3 of 15 , Feb 9, 2007
          --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, león <taino_leon@...> wrote:
          What was it about this sect of Jews that circa 32-36 C.E. made Saul so
          violently opposed to it?

          Saul/Paul objected to denial of Torah by the sect and the acceptance
          of Gentiles into Israel without circumcision - the very thing he
          defended with such force later.

          The problem with the negative approach to a psychological 'crisis'
          which is where this conversation seems to have been over the past day
          or so, is that it fails to take in the positive aspects of the
          covenant dialogue, the issue of Paul's experience of his relationship
          with his God, the God of Israel, through love of Torah and in its
          fuller revelation for Paul, love of God through his Lord, Jesus Christ.

          His writing about his experience of love resulted in the disputes and
          evolution of 'Christian' sectarian theology through how we read Paul's
          letters. Explanation of theology or psychology should not be mistaken
          for the reality of the love or his original intent.

          Is there evidence that what people see as unique to Paul (Gentiles not
          requiring circumcision etc), precedes his conversion? The 'evidence'
          is provided by Acts in the Peter-Cornelius episode. Post hoc reasoning
          would say that Paul would never have been commissioned to go to the
          Gentiles with this message if such a radical break with the covenant
          sign had only occurred to him.

          Bob MacDonald
          Victoria BC
          http://drmacdonald.blogspot.com
        • Robert Griffin
          Hi Gordon, From what I ve read, I believe most such metaphorical usages are intended to be read as straightforward narrative. Some examples from the far
          Message 4 of 15 , Feb 9, 2007
            Hi Gordon,
            From what I've read, I believe most such 'metaphorical' usages are
            intended to be read as straightforward narrative. Some examples from
            the far fringes:
            My favorite: When Yogananda claims that his parents saw the man who
            was to become his guru several hundred miles away from where that man
            actually was, Yogananda appears contextually to be claiming that
            something extremely unusual happened.

            When the Ahmadiyya (Qadiyani) Muslims claim that Jesus survived the
            crucifixion, fled through Galilee, Nisibis, and Afghanistan to settle
            and die in Kashmir, they go to a lot of trouble to treat this as non-
            metaphorical history.

            The various claims that Jesus visited India, Kashmir, or Ladakh (or
            Tibet) are handled by their propagators as non-metaphoric fact.

            All of the above can be neatly and nicely treated as metaphor, but
            the literary context makes it clear that this is not the authors'
            intent. I understand you probably disagree with me on this. I'd be
            interested in a demonstration with regards to any of the above.

            A somewhat similar modern American phenomenon is UFO material. We
            can get a lot of inspiration from treating it all as metaphorical,
            but is that an appropriate approach to the literature?

            Be Well,
            Bob Griffin


            > > The claim the Paul (and the other disciples) were only referring
            to a
            > > re-evaluation of the impact of Jesus' life when they spoke or
            wrote
            > > about the resurrection seems extremely farfetched to me.
            >
            > I, of course, accept that this is your evaluation. I quite
            > disagree. I would argue that the whole of the TANAK heritage
            > capitalizes in the use of creative theological writing to give
            > expression to theo-ethical convictions. Moses, for example,
            wanted
            > to see God, and so there's that marvelous of him having to hide
            > behind the rock, God passes quickly by and only allowing for Moses
            to
            > see his hind parts:)! That's an "appearance" story and one filled
            > with "revelation:)!" If one will, for arguments sake, think
            through
            > the 3rd option above, then one will find it none to surprising that
            a
            > crowd of Hebraic/ Jewish folk utilized this metaphorically rich,
            > theological/ ethical story telling tradition and framed their
            > understanding of Jesus in terms of precisely this kind of creative
            > theological communication. And my point is, this can be
            understood
            > as intellectual work... very careful and thoughtful intellectual
            > work, whether one is religiously drawn to it or not.
            >
            > Back to Paul. The language of Galatians is revelation language
            about
            > what God did. In I Corinthians the 15th chapter explicitly begins
            > with Jesus' death and resurrection as being "in accord with
            > scriptures." This is theological writing that utilizes a
            theological
            > heritage of communication. It "appears" to me, that it is most
            > "revealing" to think through the 3rd option as central and
            essential
            > to understanding what resurrection means even if one wants to make
            a
            > case for either metaphysical or emotional understandings:)!
            >
            > Gordon Raynal
            > Inman, SC
            >
          • Gordon Raynal
            Hi Bob, ... I m not exactly sure what you mean by this statement, but, of course, most all stories, save surreal ones, are told with narrative realism. Said
            Message 5 of 15 , Feb 9, 2007
              Hi Bob,

              On Feb 9, 2007, at 3:36 PM, Robert Griffin wrote:

              > Hi Gordon,
              > From what I've read, I believe most such 'metaphorical' usages are
              > intended to be read as straightforward narrative.

              I'm not exactly sure what you mean by this statement, but, of course,
              most all stories, save surreal ones, are told with narrative
              realism. Said realism gives us absolutely no indication that said
              story is a historical or biographical account.

              > Some examples from
              > the far fringes:
              > My favorite: When Yogananda claims that his parents saw the man who
              > was to become his guru several hundred miles away from where that man
              > actually was, Yogananda appears contextually to be claiming that
              > something extremely unusual happened.
              >
              > When the Ahmadiyya (Qadiyani) Muslims claim that Jesus survived the
              > crucifixion, fled through Galilee, Nisibis, and Afghanistan to settle
              > and die in Kashmir, they go to a lot of trouble to treat this as non-
              > metaphorical history.
              >
              > The various claims that Jesus visited India, Kashmir, or Ladakh (or
              > Tibet) are handled by their propagators as non-metaphoric fact.

              Many traditional stories, once generations removed, are regarded by
              those later as factual remembrance or essentially factual. But the
              ancients just like the moderns knew how to spin myths, legends,
              parables. And the creators and hearers/ readers knew what they were
              doing in such literary creations. That later readers/ generations
              historicize such stories, of course, doesn't turn creative fictions
              into facts.
              >
              > All of the above can be neatly and nicely treated as metaphor, but
              > the literary context makes it clear that this is not the authors'
              > intent. I understand you probably disagree with me on this. I'd be
              > interested in a demonstration with regards to any of the above.

              Yes, we quite disagree. I'm not quite sure what would count as "a
              demonstration" for you. If you want a list of Bible stories that I
              think are creative theological fiction, well... let's start at
              Genesis 1, proceed on to the 2nd chapter... and go right on down to
              through the Gospels. This is not to say that I believe there are no
              instances of historical reference... remembrance of some actual
              persons, some deeds, some words ... some underlying accounts of
              events that did occur. But I don't at all think the vast majority of
              the Bible stories are historical/ biographical materials, but rather
              as a whole are better understood in terms of the poetics and creative
              narratives of explicitly theo-ethical communication. It has only
              been in very modern times that the questions of scientific
              historiography have been asked of these and such stories as you
              sight. And to this day most all people in all cultures don't study
              much history and for the most part could care less about it. To say
              the least the theological/ ethical and communal value for all
              societies is not based in "the historicity" of narratives. I don't
              for a minute think, for example, that the powerful story of Jonah has
              any thing to do with the accounting of some guy named Jonah who was
              swallowed by a big old fish and later vomited out. Neither do I
              think the author of said story thought he was crafting a story to
              remember such a set of events. But that in no way at all suggests
              any diminished value to the story. Quite the opposite, actually. To
              understand a story in terms of genre is absolutely important in terms
              of understanding the very nature of the communication. And so with
              that judgment about Jonah, it remains theologically and ethically
              one of the most profound stories. That the majority of church folks
              in SC think it is a remembrance doesn't exactly work to push me to
              think they're on to something;)! But at the same time it is not hard
              at all to engage such persons in conversations about the theological,
              ethical... and human meanings is such story telling. To do so one
              precisely points to the matters of thought and poetry in such a story.

              Should you want to entertain this alternative to your position, I'd
              suggest you read Thomas Thompson's, "The Mythic Past." Thomas, has
              now and again, actually written a few notes on this list. And then
              again, if you have not, read such as Crossan, Mack and the Five
              Gospels by the Jesus Seminar, they will provide other resources for
              thinking about this alternative.
              >
              > A somewhat similar modern American phenomenon is UFO material. We
              > can get a lot of inspiration from treating it all as metaphorical,
              > but is that an appropriate approach to the literature?

              Pardon, but I don't at all get your point about this. I don't at all
              think the production of cultural/ communal theological and ethical
              craftsmanship... speech and writings that connect persons across
              generations in terms of theology, ethics, communal and personal
              praxis... is at all on par with UFO stories. And who is going to get
              what sort of inspiration??? Unless you are meaning this as a joke
              that I'm just missing, what is the relevance of this to the crafting
              of the the TANAK, the Christian Scriptures, the Koran, the Gita,
              etc? So, you'll have to clarify the point here.

              Gordon Raynal
              Inman, SC
            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.