Re: [XTalk] Paul's Gnosticism (and Jesus?)
- Howdy Gordon:
>1. "Radical dualism?" You, of course, know that there is a differenceSure, but I do think Paul adopts the latter. Yes, of course he uses
>between the metaphorical use of opposites (dualities of thought and
>experience) and hard and fast dualism.
metaphors of opposition, but he seems to apply these consistently to both
experience and theology. Metaphoric or mythological oppositions between,
say, "flesh" and "spirit" are pretty consistently coordinated with actual
behaviors oriented to rejecting the former and promoting the latter. Or do I
misunderstand your point?
>2. With this... to attribute a consistent philosophical dualism to >PaulI'm not sure HOW intellectual we should regard Paul to have been. I've got a
>in my view, to credit him, too much as a consistent philosophical
> His writings show him digging all over the place to make his >points.
Ph.D., and *I* dig all over the place to make my points! Paul sometimes
strikes me as pretty sophisticated. However, in a way this is all beside the
point. I don't need to describe Paul's dualism as "philosophical" for the
point to stand. Indeed, I find myself thinking right now of the huge body of
scholarship on "primitive" systems of classification, the "savage mind," and
so on, all of which seem to reinforce the idea that, even absent FORMAL
intellectual operations, people classify and "metaphorize" their world in
terms of enormously sophisticated systems of thought. The same TYPES of
mental operations are present in "I am a parrot" (I have a t-shirt that says
this, by the way -- but nobody gets it) and "I am pursuing 'the Good'" (or
what have you). So, just to clarify -- I am imputing THOUGHT to Paul (this
should be uncontroversial!), but there's no need for this to be formal
>And,Il ne matter pas. The question is how much influence on Paul the HJ
>as an aside, I seriously wonder about the 1st century influence the
>historical Paul actually had?
(mediated through the earliest "Christians," of course) might have had. I
tend to agree that Paul's influence in 1C was VERY limited. But he is
himself a 1C thinker, and so may tell us something about those who
>this). Some went to a contemplative focus and the earliest collection >ofI agree. But WHY? Why this direction? Does it have anything to do with the
>sayings in Thomas suggest this and I would say some of Paul's writing
>this kind of emphasis in places.
original content of Jesus' teaching or the character of his life? Or is it
solely a function of the circumstances of those who pursued this direction?
>Still others seem to have avowed "a CynicCynic-like, sure. Itinerant, no. I suggest reading, on this issue, the
>like" itinerant movement (as the earliest layer of Q suggest). I would
positively brilliant book, _Jesus and the Village Scribes_. I forget who
wrote it, but it'll change your life.
>And so I'm not surprised that "Jesus was taken to mean" a range of >things.But why "this thing" and not "that thing"? Or is this totally unanswerable?
Department of Religion
University of Manitoba
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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