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Re: [XTalk] Paul's Gnosticism (and Jesus?)

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  • LAlbert
    ... From: William Arnal To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2002 4:40 PM Subject: [XTalk] Paul s Gnosticism (and Jesus?) Hi all: The recent
    Message 1 of 34 , May 1, 2002
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: William Arnal
      To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2002 4:40 PM
      Subject: [XTalk] Paul's Gnosticism (and Jesus?)



      Hi all:

      The recent exchange about Thomas once again forcefully (if incidentally)
      reminded me of the extraordinary character of Paul's thought, and of the
      fact that the strongest analogues I've been able to find for GThomas'
      thought and rhetoric are in fact from Paul, particularly 1 Corinthians. This
      is so much the case that I've come to define my own position on the
      allegedly "Gnostic" charascter of Thomas -- an issue Steve and I have gotten
      into in the past -- in the following terms: If one can call Paul Gnostic,
      then so is Thomas. If one is unwilling to call Paul Gnostic, then Thomas
      should not be so designated either.

      In any case, and to get to the point, Paul's letters are probably the
      earliest datable "Christian" documents we have; and 1 Cor is probably the
      second-earliest of those letters (traditionally dated to the early 50s; more
      plausibly dated to the mid- to late-40s by John Hurd). Shall we view the
      radical dualism of Paul's thought, and its disparagement of "flesh," etc.,
      as a reflection of the historical Jesus (or, failing this, of the nature of
      the earliest "Christian" movement, from which we might draw inferences about
      Jesus)? Or, better, can we see the social functionality of Paul's dualism
      (whatever it may be!) as continuous with that of the earliest Jesus
      movement? Or, finally, can we view the structure and social functionality of
      the "Christ myth" (which seems to predate Paul) as continuous with the
      social functionality of Jesus' activity?

      I'm genuinely curious about this, and would welcome some discussion on the
      topic.

      Bill


      Bill, I look foreward to your ideas in any discussion of Paul. Which, if any, of the recent spate of books on Paul, would you recommend *as a historian?* How much credence do you give to the idea of any degree of later Christian interpolations into, and/or revision of the "authentically" Pauline corpus? Finally, to what extent, and how, do you think Paul's writings/ideas may have influenced the writer(s) of Mark? I'm sorry if I put too much on your plate. :-) Thank you.

      Leon Albert
      Anthropology (ret.)
      (currently - one class on Anthro, of Religion at Pasadena City College)


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Richard Anderson
      David Friedman wrote: Richard has actually written a paper on this subject. He makes some good points, [thank you] . . . . If Luke was following Josephus by
      Message 34 of 34 , May 12, 2002
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        David Friedman wrote:

        Richard has actually written a paper on this subject. He makes some good
        points, [thank you] . . . .

        If Luke was following Josephus by writing an apology dedicated to a patron
        that would make it more likely that Theophilus was a literary creation.

        Notice that "most excellent" connected to a Roman governor. That makes it
        inconceivable that Theophilus was meant to be a Jew.
        . . .
        I don't think so. Isaiah mentions vicarious atonement.

        Theophilus as the HP is the highest ranking Jewish official in Judea but he
        is nonetheless a Roman appointee; consequently Luke has correctly addressed
        him.

        There is no evidence that Luke is dependent upon Josephus or that Josephus
        is dependent on Luke. It is more likely, according to Gary Goldberg who has
        written on this subject, that Luke and Josephus are using a common source.
        See http://members.aol.com/FLJOSEPHUS/home.htm

        Isaiah does has vicarious atonement according to most scholars (Whybray has
        a strong dissent in JSOT) but only in the Hebrew MT; there is no vicarious
        atonement in the Greek Septuagint and Luke quotes the Septuagint.

        Richard H. Anderson
        Wallingford PA
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