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[Synoptic-L] Christmas

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  • Brian E. Wilson
    Brian Wilson wrote - ... I was wondering about - ... Does this make sense if Paul did not know something like the Christmas story of Matthew/Luke? ...
    Message 1 of 38 , Dec 11 1:41 AM
      Brian Wilson wrote -
      >
      "I was wondering about -
      >
      >2 Corinthians 8.9 - "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
      >that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor."
      >
      Does this make sense if Paul did not know something like the "Christmas
      story" of Matthew/Luke?"
      >
      Jeffrey Gibson replied -
      >
      >It only makes sense if and only if (a) this is not a referent to a fact
      >that, despite what the Gospel tradition seems to imply, Jesus came from
      >a well off family but in his adult life chose poverty, and (b)...
      >
      I am not sure that this interpretation of 2 Cor 8.9 can seriously be
      held to be what Paul intended. For the logical conclusion would be that
      in Paul's view the Christians at Corinth had all at one time been poor
      in terms of material possessions, but that as a result of them becoming
      Christians they had all become materially wealthy, because of the
      financial generosity of Jesus. This does not seem to square with what we
      know of the situation at Corinth, with the general attitude of Paul to
      material possessions shown in the rest of his writings, or the
      representation of Jesus in the gospels and the rest of the NT. I think
      this interpretation therefore does not need to be included in any
      attempt to understand 2 Cor 8.9.

      My point is that Paul's understanding of the pre-existence and human
      life of Jesus in 2 Cor 8.9 seems to be his "Christmas story" which would
      seem to depend on something like the Christmas story we find in
      Matthew/Luke. I am not suggesting that Paul knew the Gospels of Matthew
      and Luke. My thought is that maybe Paul had written Jesus tradition
      which was also available, later, to Au-Matthew and Au-Luke. If not, then
      the question remains how to explain this "Christmas story" in Paul.

      I wondered -
      >
      >Also about the similarities between Romans 1.3 and Lk 1.26-35:
      >
      >descended from David - of the house of David
      >according to the flesh - you will conceive in your womb
      >Son of God - Son of God
      >in power - and the power of the Most High
      >the spirit of holiness - the Holy Spirit will come upon you
      >
      To which you replied -
      >
      >Rather than Rom being a referent to the tradition in the earlier
      >portion of GLuke, it seems more likely that the theologoumenon narrated
      >in Luke is based upon the tradition that Paul calls to mind in Romans.
      >
      I am not sure that the two possibilities you describe are mutually
      exclusive. Many scholars have considered that Au-Luke is using some of
      the oldest Jewish-Christian tradition in these chapters. The tradition
      called to mind in Romans could have been one and the same tradition as
      that preserved in GLuke, it would seem.

      I added -
      >
      >I suppose we could ask a similar question about the Fourth Gospel. Are
      >there any indications that John knew the Christmas story of
      >Matthew/Luke?
      >
      You replied -
      >
      >Do you have any texts in John in mind as possible allusions?
      >
      Yes. But I was hoping others (including yourself) on Synoptic-L might
      want to give their views on this at this stage.

      Best wishes,
      BRIAN WILSON

      E-MAIL : brian@... HOMEPAGE
      SNAILMAIL ; Rev B. E. Wilson,
      10 York Close, Godmanchester, www.twonh.demon.co.uk
      Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE18 8EB, UK
    • Steven Craig Miller
      To: Mark Preece,
      Message 38 of 38 , Dec 16 5:05 AM
        To: Mark Preece,

        << The author seems to be going to some lengths to establish that this all
        happens in a very compressed period of time -- in fact, on a single day. In
        light of this, is it really plausible to think "DE" ("then he led them
        out...") means anything other than "very soon thereafter"? Certainly not
        "many days later". >>

        The issue as I see it is whether one is going to accuse Luke here of
        inconsistency (and I have no problem with doing that) or impression. My
        suggestion is not that DE means "many days later," only that it means
        "but/and/then" and that Luke could have used it merely to imply that this
        event recorded in Lk 24:50 also took place. It seems to me that to be fair
        the charge of inconsistency demands a higher threshold than the accusation
        of impression (or ambiguity). Then, after you accuse Luke of inconsistency,
        you seem to want to suggest that Luke didn't care for historical details.
        Frankly, an ambiguous example as this simply can't prove such a conclusion.
        Your example would carry more weight if Luke had written, "and on this day"
        (or some such). But he didn't, all Luke wrote was "and" (DE).
        Unfortunately, the Greek particle DE doesn't tell us when.

        Also, I find it kind of ironic that one can suggest that Luke might not be
        concerned with historical details in light of such passages as Lk 1:1-4;
        2:1-2; and 3:23-38. Now here is a guy (and I assume that the author of
        Luke's gospel was male) who attempts to record Jesus' genealogy from his
        papa and grand-papa, all the way back, generation by generation, to Adam
        and ultimately to God! He obviously cares for such details, or he wouldn't
        have put them into his gospel.

        -Steven Craig Miller
        Alton, Illinois (USA)
        scmiller@...
        Disclaimer: "I'm just a simple house-husband (with no post-grad degree),
        what do I know?"
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