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Re: Books--Early Christianity

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  • hey_market
    I m not sure we ll ever find an exact cause of the break between Christianity and Judaism, for a number of reasons. Paul is as good a point of
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 19, 2002
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      I'm not sure we'll ever find an exact 'cause' of
      the break between Christianity and Judaism, for a
      number of reasons. <br><br>Paul is as good a point of
      departure as any, but I think this may be
      overplayed.<br><br>For starters, it's a somewhat artificial break, which
      is to say that Christians and Jews have been getting
      on with one another since the beginning. So, not
      everything is broken.<br><br>Yes, they may get on
      imperfectly so, especially as either side becomes more
      radical, but geez, name me any two individuals or groups
      or 'sides' of anything that have gotten along
      perfectly, especially over a couple millenia?<br><br>That
      said, we do like to think we can do better, and that
      seems fine and rational (well, actually, it's more of
      spiritual vs. rational thought), which in this case means
      both groups feeling less alientated towards one
      another.<br><br>But what makes it better? Tolerance? Paul didn't seem
      to rate highly on that score, yet ironically he was
      exceptionally accepting, thus welcoming all gentiels into the
      fold. <br><br>So it's all a bit complex, a double-edge
      sword, though I'm not sure we can say that Paul was the
      only one wielding it.<br><br>I'm just not sure that
      Paul was the source of division or cause of the break
      so much as he stood at the breaking point. In
      another words, there were movements preceding him that
      caused great tension, and most of these movements were
      all within the Jewish community itself. <br><br>The
      Essenes are one example of a jewish splintering, which
      one might think was inevitable given the pressures of
      daily Roman rule and cultural domination. <br><br>Paul
      appears to stand in the divide (vs. being the cause of
      the divide) between these polarities, and so it's
      small surprise that he has become both a bogeyman and
      champion for such a wide range of observeers, from
      liberals to conservatives to.. even
      Gnostics!<br><br>During Paul's time, which was a highly fluid situation,
      it wasn't quite so easy to know what a 'real Jew"
      was anymore. In Paul's own mind, the Pharises were
      the ones splintering off from real Jewish tradition,
      which seemed to call for a fullfilment they could not
      see (or so Paul saw the situation). <br><br>So as far
      as Paul was concerned, he was staying on course, at
      least as he saw the course flowing. <br><br>But whether
      on course or off course, either course CONTINUED to
      concretize after Paul. And of course, for Gnostics, it is
      this very concretization that is death and division.
      <br><br>We may not like the muddy mix, and we live ina
      similar mix to Paul, but it does beat certain
      altervatives.
    • ernststrohregenmantelrad
      Yes, people really shouln t pick on Paul so much. I think his message was corrupted later as well. So what do I think of Paul in my scheme? somewhere between
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 20, 2002
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        Yes, people really shouln't pick on Paul so much. I think his
        message was corrupted later as well. So what do I think of Paul
        in my scheme? somewhere between "esoteric" adaptionlists
        and full blown ones.


        --- In gnosticism2@y..., hey_market wrote:
        > I'm not sure we'll ever find an exact 'cause' of
        > the break between Christianity and Judaism, for a
        > number of reasons. <br><br>Paul is as good a point of
        > departure as any, but I think this may be
        > overplayed.<br><br>For starters, it's a somewhat artificial
        break, which
        > is to say that Christians and Jews have been getting
        > on with one another since the beginning. So, not
        > everything is broken.<br><br>Yes, they may get on
        > imperfectly so, especially as either side becomes more
        > radical, but geez, name me any two individuals or groups
        > or 'sides' of anything that have gotten along
        > perfectly, especially over a couple millenia?<br><br>That
        > said, we do like to think we can do better, and that
        > seems fine and rational (well, actually, it's more of
        > spiritual vs. rational thought), which in this case means
        > both groups feeling less alientated towards one
        > another.<br><br>But what makes it better? Tolerance? Paul
        didn't seem
        > to rate highly on that score, yet ironically he was
        > exceptionally accepting, thus welcoming all gentiels into the
        > fold. <br><br>So it's all a bit complex, a double-edge
        > sword, though I'm not sure we can say that Paul was the
        > only one wielding it.<br><br>I'm just not sure that
        > Paul was the source of division or cause of the break
        > so much as he stood at the breaking point. In
        > another words, there were movements preceding him that
        > caused great tension, and most of these movements were
        > all within the Jewish community itself. <br><br>The
        > Essenes are one example of a jewish splintering, which
        > one might think was inevitable given the pressures of
        > daily Roman rule and cultural domination. <br><br>Paul
        > appears to stand in the divide (vs. being the cause of
        > the divide) between these polarities, and so it's
        > small surprise that he has become both a bogeyman and
        > champion for such a wide range of observeers, from
        > liberals to conservatives to.. even
        > Gnostics!<br><br>During Paul's time, which was a highly fluid
        situation,
        > it wasn't quite so easy to know what a 'real Jew"
        > was anymore. In Paul's own mind, the Pharises were
        > the ones splintering off from real Jewish tradition,
        > which seemed to call for a fullfilment they could not
        > see (or so Paul saw the situation). <br><br>So as far
        > as Paul was concerned, he was staying on course, at
        > least as he saw the course flowing. <br><br>But whether
        > on course or off course, either course CONTINUED to
        > concretize after Paul. And of course, for Gnostics, it is
        > this very concretization that is death and division.
        > <br><br>We may not like the muddy mix, and we live ina
        > similar mix to Paul, but it does beat certain
        > altervatives.
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