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[Xtalk] Paul's cites of Christ apparitions 1Co 15.3-7

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  • Jon Peter
    In past online debates about the so-called lack of any gospel material in Paul s letters (claimed e.g. by Earl Doherty), I don t remember anyone rebutting that
    Message 1 of 7 , May 30, 1999
      In past online debates about the so-called lack of any gospel material in
      Paul's letters (claimed e.g. by Earl Doherty), I don't remember anyone
      rebutting that by pointing out ICo 15.3ff. --

      "that Christ ... appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that he
      appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time... Then
      he appear to James, then to all the apostles..."

      This is all gospel content isn't it? Does anyone have an opinion as to what
      implication should be made about this passage respecting Acts' dating,
      authenticity, etc and likewise, synoptic Resurrection stories?

      Regards,

      Jon


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    • Steven Carr
      In message , Jon Peter writes In past online debates about the so-called lack of any
      Message 2 of 7 , May 30, 1999
        In message <000201beaabd$4b75ba20$20440418@...>, Jon
        Peter <jnp@...> writes
        >In past online debates about the so-called lack of any gospel material in
        >Paul's letters (claimed e.g. by Earl Doherty), I don't remember anyone
        >rebutting that by pointing out ICo 15.3ff. --
        >
        > "that Christ ... appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that he
        >appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time... Then
        >he appear to James, then to all the apostles..."
        >
        >This is all gospel content isn't it? Does anyone have an opinion as to what
        >implication should be made about this passage respecting Acts' dating,
        >authenticity, etc and likewise, synoptic Resurrection stories?

        Why is that all Gospel content? Where is the Gospel reference to the
        'Twelve', 500 , James or an appearance to Peter by himself?

        --
        Steven Carr

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      • Jack Kilmon
        Jon Peter wrote: In past online debates about the so-called lack of any gospel material in Paul s letters (claimed e.g. by Earl Doherty), I don t
        Message 3 of 7 , May 30, 1999
          Jon Peter wrote:
          >
          > In past online debates about the so-called lack of any gospel material in
          > Paul's letters (claimed e.g. by Earl Doherty), I don't remember anyone
          > rebutting that by pointing out ICo 15.3ff. --
          >
          > "that Christ ... appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that he
          > appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time... Then
          > he appear to James, then to all the apostles..."
          >
          > This is all gospel content isn't it? Does anyone have an opinion as to what
          > implication should be made about this passage respecting Acts' dating,
          > authenticity, etc and likewise, synoptic Resurrection stories?

          Paul was writing between the late 5th to the mid 7th decade. The
          gospels
          post date Paul. How could any of the genuine Pauline material contain
          gospel material. They could contain material from the oral histories
          used by the gospelers but they do not contain the later developed
          christological concepts of a virgin birth or the trinity.

          Jack
          --
          ______________________________________________

          taybutheh d'maran yeshua masheecha am kulkon

          Jack Kilmon
          jkilmon@...

          http://www.historian.net

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        • Bernard Muller
          Steven Carr wrote: In message , Jon Peter writes In past online debates about the
          Message 4 of 7 , May 30, 1999
            Steven Carr wrote:
            >
            > In message <000201beaabd$4b75ba20$20440418@...>, Jon
            > Peter <jnp@...> writes
            > >In past online debates about the so-called lack of any gospel material in
            > >Paul's letters (claimed e.g. by Earl Doherty), I don't remember anyone
            > >rebutting that by pointing out ICo 15.3ff. --
            > >
            > > "that Christ ... appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that he
            > >appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time... Then
            > >he appear to James, then to all the apostles..."
            > >
            > >This is all gospel content isn't it? Does anyone have an opinion as to what
            > >implication should be made about this passage respecting Acts' dating,
            > >authenticity, etc and likewise, synoptic Resurrection stories?
            >
            > Why is that all Gospel content? Where is the Gospel reference to the
            > 'Twelve', 500 , James or an appearance to Peter by himself?

            Bernard writes:
            Good point Steven. But an apparition to Peter alone is mentioned (but
            not described) in Lk24:34.
            However, in the sequence of 1Co15:5-8 (then ..., then ...), there is no
            mention of the apparitions to:
            a) the 2 disciples on the road to Emmaus (Lk24:13-35), then
            b) the same 2, plus the 11, plus "those with them" (Lk24:33) in a room
            (could not contain 500. Furthermore, there are only 120 believers at
            that time (Ac1:15)) in Jerusalem, in Lk24:36, then
            c) the same ones, over and over again, as in Ac1:1-3 (for 40 days)
            d) the 2 women (Mt28:8-10) in Jerusalem, then
            e) the 11, on top of the mountain in Galilee (Mt28:16-20)
            f) Mary Magdalene only, in Jerusalem (Jn20:10-18), then
            g) the disciples minus Thomas (only maximum of 10 present out of the
            "12"), in a room (not 500!) (Jn20:19-23), then
            i) the disciples, in a room again (Jn20:24-29), then
            j) a group of 7 disciples in Galilee (Jn21)

            I would say that batch is hard to harmonize with 1Co15:5-8

            Bernard
            http://www.concentric.net/~Mullerb/

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          • Bernard Muller
            Jon Peter wrote: In past online debates about the so-called lack of any gospel material in Paul s letters (claimed e.g. by Earl Doherty), I don t
            Message 5 of 7 , May 30, 1999
              Jon Peter wrote:
              >
              > In past online debates about the so-called lack of any gospel material in
              > Paul's letters (claimed e.g. by Earl Doherty), I don't remember anyone
              > rebutting that by pointing out ICo 15.3ff. --
              >
              > "that Christ ... appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that he
              > appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time... Then
              > he appear to James, then to all the apostles..."
              >
              > This is all gospel content isn't it?

              No it is not, as I explained in a post I piggy back on Steven's reply to
              you. (no offence, I just found your initial post). Actually, there are
              so much discrepancies between 1Co15:5-8 and the gospels account of post
              mortem apparitions that one may wonder: why, if the 1Co15:5-8
              apparitions were true and well known in Christiandom, the gospelers did
              not "synchronize" with them. The gospelers, between each other, and with
              1Co15:5-8, are almost totally out of sync., on the matter of
              resurrection appearances (among other things).
              Please note there are no apparition to James in the canonical gospels,
              but only in "Hebrews" and "Philip". And there, the apparition account is
              very different between the two.
              Of course, early on, Paul brought about Jesus' resurrection only to
              "prove" the (heavenly body) resurrection of dead Christians during the
              big Day. And resurrection of Jesus is described as an act of faith
              (1Co15:13-17, a bit washy washy here but clearer in 1Th4:14). "Hebrews",
              an early letter, says that he went to heaven after his death. Period.
              And Mark's gospel, the earliest one, do not have any resurrection story,
              only the empty tomb.
              Furthermore, the whole of 1Co15:3-11 has so many problems that I am
              certain it is a latter Christian interpolation (90-100).
              For more details, see
              http://www.concentric.net/~Mullerb/co1c.shtml#facts

              Bernard

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            • Steven Carr
              Is there any evidence that Thallus wrote in 52 AD?-- Steven Carr http://www.bowness.demon.co.uk/christ.htm
              Message 6 of 7 , May 31, 1999
                Is there any evidence that Thallus wrote in 52 AD?

                --
                Steven Carr
                http://www.bowness.demon.co.uk/christ.htm

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              • Jon Peter
                Thank-you to Bernard, Jack and Steven C. for responding to my question on Paul s apparition list (1Co 15.3-8).Now, some reflections…1Co15.3-8 doesn t
                Message 7 of 7 , Jun 1, 1999
                  Thank-you to Bernard, Jack and Steven C. for responding to my question on
                  Paul's apparition list (1Co 15.3-8).

                  Now, some reflectionsÂ…

                  1Co15.3-8 doesn't seem a likely interpolation. Although Paul's list of
                  sightings doesn't match the synoptic-Acts accounts, the discrepancies can be
                  read as evidence of authenticity rather than of forgery. Parallels with Acts
                  and Mark 16.7, Luke 24.34 show that all stem from one set of agreed-upon
                  reports. Paul's version is merely abbreviated -- appropriate for his
                  purpose.

                  If Paul's witness-list was rotely consistent with others, we would suspect a
                  harmonizer. Instead Paul's citation comes in the form one would expect to
                  find 'in passing,' leading to a larger discourse on resurrection.

                  These were not oral histories arriving in the 50s. Paul received the info at
                  an early date, of, say, 35 CE, at his 1st meeting with Peter and James. Here
                  were eyewitness accounts reported by mutual acquaintances. We are just a few
                  years after the death and reappearances. The men clashed theologically but
                  agreed on having seen Jesus. The effect was powerfully energizing and made
                  them zealots (not uncommon for visionaries). James as a witness is also
                  significant and credible because his stature as "the Righteous" is
                  independently attested by Josephus.

                  Now, as for the discrepancies, I see no negative argument to be made from
                  them, rather, the contrary.

                  (1) "Peter first" problem

                  Paul's writing that Peter was the 1st witness (rather than recalling the
                  women) can be explained in several ways. Perhaps when Peter and James told
                  Paul their stories, they left a strong impression centered on themselves, at
                  the expense of the females who were forgotten or downgraded. Even more
                  likely, Paul mentioned Peter alone to the Corinthians due to his stature and
                  the likelihood that the Cors recognized and respected the name. Perhaps
                  Paul's memory was foggy (he was writing in 50s or so). Perhaps some of the
                  Gospel apparitions were apocryphal or allegorical and not told to Paul.
                  Regardless of the reasons, what is crucial and undeniable is that Lk24:34.
                  puts Peter as the first male. He's the first "name" figure of repute, and
                  one of the first witnesses -- hence, Paul's account jibes in that important
                  respect.

                  (2) Non-mention of Clopas and companion, and solo sightings:

                  The road-to-Emmaus story likewise would have no impact on Corinthians and so
                  Paul would not necessarily mention it because he would have to explain it
                  laboriously. Or, James/Peter didn't tell Paul about them.

                  (3) "More than 500 at once"

                  This is not real problem either. There's no discrepancy. Some people use
                  numbers in their descriptions, and some don't. Also, number amounts are
                  easily subject to errors in transmission. The essential point in both is,
                  "lotsa people saw him at the same time" after the selective sightings. This
                  is the key common element and it shows sufficient consistency.

                  (4) "the Twelve"

                  Paul says 'the 12' saw Jesus, while the gospels mention only 11 (lacking
                  Judas) or sometimes 10. Again, no problem. The 12 was an "institution." Paul
                  referred to them conveniently by this shorthand, for the sake of making his
                  point to an audience. Why confuse people with 'the 10; or 'the 11'? Also,
                  he could easily have forgotten that briefly 'the 12' were missing one man.
                  The important thing is that Paul invokes this august assembly as witnesses,
                  like the other texts do. He mentions them as coming in a sequence that is
                  not unlike the gospel versions.

                  (5) "James"

                  The confirmation of James' apparition experience is omitted from the canon
                  and comes only (as Bernard noted) in GospHebrews and GospPhilip. Not a
                  problem either. There are many easily imaginable reasons for the canon's
                  non-mention.

                  Well, what about interpolation? The problem in arguing for it is that
                  1Co15.3-8 is essentially the primitive Gospel proclamation as it was
                  *initially* preached apostolically, and as Paul confirms he preached to the
                  Galatians. It's inherently implausible as the sort of material someone might
                  want to cook-up and add later for polemical reasons. On the other hand, Paul
                  would likely have referred to it in some way.
                  Finally, in terms of interpolation themes, these usually travel in flocks
                  don't they? And yet. this witness-list theme is omitted from the usual
                  places where you'd expect to find them, such as spurious 2nd cent. epistles.
                  If anyone's willing to give me a scenario or arguments on interpolation, I
                  will tackle it specifically.

                  Conclusion:

                  Brevity does not show unimportance. On the contrary, this little 1Co15.3-8
                  formula refers to a huge event taking place "according to the scriptures,"
                  around which everyone is mobilized. This text capsulates the original
                  apostolic preaching of Paul, Peter and James recorded at an very early date.
                  Christ rose, he was witnessed, and this was in accord with the scriptures.
                  Paul says "I gave you Corinthians the very same message I myself got." (cf
                  also Gal)
                  Hence 1Co15.3-8 shows the original proclamation as Paul recalled it from his
                  first meeting with Peter / James. All of them were following the same script
                  thereafter. This text is strongly parallel in the gospels, as I've shown.
                  There is no radical disconnection between Paul and the Gospels, as some
                  critics assert. One can easily see how, decades after the proclamation in
                  this formula, written gospels followed in the same mold as a natural
                  progression. As the decades passed and the church grew, there came a need
                  for pastoral and doctrinal letters, and for the lead apostles to preserve
                  sayings and anecdotes. Epistles and gospels alike came from this:

                  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that
                  Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was
                  buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
                  And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen
                  of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto
                  this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James;
                  then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one
                  untimely born.

                  Regards,

                  Jon


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