Re: [XTalk] Paul's Gnosticism (and Jesus?)
- Howdy Bob. I'm guessing your weather down there is MUCH better than ours up
here -- Canada as a whole seems to be deferring spring indefinitely. Anyway,
>I've had similar thoughts, although I have not attempted a detailedI've not attempted a detailed analysis either. I just keep tripping over the
>analysis. I consider Paul proto-Gnostic.
fact that when I look at some aspect of Thomas, the best ancient Christian
(and I include here "Gnostics") parallel I can find usually ends up being
>How about another possibility: That Paul's dualism here is due to theI have some problems with the way you use Acts here to make your point --
>*audience* that he is addressing, amongst whom platonic dualism was (I
>suppose) commonplace? Paul's debate style (e.g. Mars Hill) famously >takes
>into consideration certain aspects of his target audience.
indeed, I think Paul himself would have had serious problems with how Luke
makes him speak, PARTICULARLY in that speech. We HAVE a large bunch of
(apparently -- and Dutch radicals notwithstanding) primary sources! So why
bother with a MUCH later and dubious source?
This aside, though, I have to agree that the tone Paul adopts differs from
letter to letter (of course) and that 1 Corinthians, e.g., contains a whole
LOT of ideas and expressions NOT found in, say, 1 Thess (although there's
some common ground too). What does seem to me to be pretty consistent is: a)
an inversionary rhetoric (however expressed; even in texts like 1 Thess:
"when they say, 'there is peace and security' . . ."); and b) the "Christ
myth" (although this is NOT present everywhere!). So regardless of audience,
I think, we CAN assert that Paul does indeed devalue this world (and
"flesh") in one way or another; and that his central myth (Christ crucified
and resurrected) not only intrinsically devalues the world but actually
MOCKS it. These are really striking features, and I wonder to what extent
(to repeat my question, probably unnecessarily) they tell us anything about
Department of Religion
University of Manitoba
"I wish that I was born a thousand years ago.
I wish that I'd sailed the darkened seas
on a great big clipper ship,
going from this land here to that,
in a sailor suit and cap."
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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
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.
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