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Re: Saul in Jerusalem?

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  • Mike Grondin
    ... Not so. It only means they hadn t met him personally. But let s break this last sentence of yours into several parts: 1. Did Paul have any role at all in
    Message 1 of 25 , Aug 16, 2000
      --- Yuri wrote:
      >The view that Paul was completely unknown in Jerusalem until much
      >later [than the time of the persecution of the Hellenists -MG] is
      >well supported by Gal 1 ... Here's the relevant part ...
      >
      > 22 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that
      > are in Christ.
      > 23 They only heard the report: "The man who formerly persecuted
      > us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy."
      >
      >... It seems like ... Paul is narrating his first ever visit to
      >Jerusalem. ... "personally unknown to the churches of Judea that
      >are in Christ" ... hardly squares with him being some kind of a
      >big man in Jerusalem before conversion.

      Not so. It only means they hadn't met him personally. But let's break
      this last sentence of yours into several parts:

      1. Did Paul have any role at all in the persecutions (which may have
      taken place in 36CE upon the installation of a new High Priest)? I
      think this is undeniable.

      2. Did Paul have a *major* role? This seems far more questionable.
      Luke's account gives him one, but Luke is interested in elevating his
      (Paul's) status, so we can't put too much reliance on that. Gal 1
      gives him one, especially with the word 'the' ("THE man who formerly
      persecuted us" - as opposed to 'A man who ...'). But here again, the
      account is being written by someone (in this case, Paul himself) who
      wants to elevate Paul. So maybe Paul was nothing more than a sort of
      "policeman" during the persecution, as some have suggested. My own
      intuition is that that's unlikely, but I can't think of any
      relatively untainted evidence to the contrary.

      3. Was Paul in Jerusalem during the persecution? Well, first I don't
      buy your suggestion that Gal 1 implies, or even "sounds as if", Paul
      had never been in Jerusalem before. That would mean that he had
      never, for example, made a pilgrimmage to Jerusalem for any of the
      festivals. Being the kind of a footloose guy that we know him to have
      been, this seems highly unlikely. But was he there *during the
      persecution*? And, more specifically, did his activities during the
      persecution take place in Jerusalem, in Judea outside of Jerusalem,
      or even outside Judea? I myself don't have any strong intuitions
      about this, but it does seem to me (on the basis of (1) above) that
      one has to match the location of the persecution with the location of
      Paul. It won't do to claim, for example, that the persecution was
      limited to Jerusalem (or Judea), but Paul wasn't there.

      Anyway, I feel we're drifting further and further away from "the
      dock". I guess it's up to Odell to say how all this affects his and
      Kevin's search for the source of "the Temple saying".

      Mike
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