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Re: Re; refuting bad apologetics

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  • 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
    • 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 2 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 3 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 4 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
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