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6 years ago  ::  Feb 10, 2009 - 10:05PM #1
koolpoi
Posts: 6,472
If Paul had never had his vision of Jesus,how would Christianity be different?
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 10, 2009 - 10:05PM #2
koolpoi
Posts: 6,472
If Paul had never had his vision of Jesus,how would Christianity be different?
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2009 - 9:36AM #3
RJMcElwain
Posts: 2,955

koolpoi wrote:

If Paul had never had his vision of Jesus,how would Christianity be different?


If you agree with Dennis' reasoning, Christianity would not be particularly different. Assuming that most of what we know about Paul is not historical but is the accumulation of the ideas of other writers at that time, it's reasonable to assume that if the Paul we read about had not been there, the writers would have invented another character to spread their evolving NT theology.

Robert J. McElwain

"The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." (Supposedly)Thomas Jefferson

"He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral."
St. Thomas Aquinas

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. Plato
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2009 - 12:03PM #4
MisterC
Posts: 1,865

RJMcElwain wrote:

If you agree with Dennis' reasoning, Christianity would not be particularly different. Assuming that most of what we know about Paul is not historical but is the accumulation of the ideas of other writers at that time, it's reasonable to assume that if the Paul we read about had not been there, the writers would have invented another character to spread their evolving NT theology.


I'm not much into "what if's." By the time we got 1 Corinthians, the orthodox copy, we had a treatice on rules to being a "good Christian." Romans is a somewhat haphazard collection of treatices on doctrine, Philemon is a metaphor on Christians as "slaves," Galatians a treatice on the irrelevancy of the law, etc. Most retain their Gnostic characteristics, but the purpose in the Catholic "final draft" is clear: instructional. They were probably never letters or epistles.

Let me be very clear: Christianity NEVER needed "Paul." When the "letters" surfaced, they were the books of  the Marcionites and Gnostic sects and were a huge embarrassment. If one reads Justin Martyr, 1 Clement, and so forth, one can see that Johanine Christianity was doing quite well without this intruder, the "apostle of the heretics," to quote Tertullian.

The question one should ask is this: "Had there not been the Jewish Roman war of 66-73, would there have been Christianity?" My answer is NO. If there had been a "historical Jesus," the teachings would have been considered a form of Pharisaic Judaism and would have lived as that.
Dennis

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6 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2009 - 12:20PM #5
RJMcElwain
Posts: 2,955
Dennis,

You really need to put some of this stuff into a couple of Fourth R articles.:)
Robert J. McElwain

"The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." (Supposedly)Thomas Jefferson

"He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral."
St. Thomas Aquinas

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. Plato
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2009 - 1:10PM #6
MisterC
Posts: 1,865

RJMcElwain wrote:

Dennis,

You really need to put some of this stuff into a couple of Fourth R articles.:)


I'll try. I'm swimming uphill, though, I fear, from what I read (except for Darrell Doughty) in the Paul Seminar.
Yesterday, I started rewriting the reconstruction of Galatians the way I think it might have come across to a modern thug (or redneck), as the Galatians of Galatia proper were... (Duly noted that the late great Clarence Jordan, author of The Cotton Patch Gospels and Letters did something similar. I'll post it here when I finish. Here are the first few verses:

"Folks, this is me. Remember, God and Jesus are speaking directly through me to all of you in Galatia, so these are their words, not mine. You best listen, y'heah!" If that's not enough, I got my buddies to cover my backside!"

"God and Christ wish you grace and peace, but you have some trouble right here! I can not believe how quickly you fools have stepped out on me and are worshipping something else, not any good news but what others are telling you about the good news of Christ. Even if an angel from heaven or I should preach something different from what we preached to you, let the angel from heaven be accursed. Hell, even more than him, let ME be accursed! Am I seeking approval from man or of the pathetic God of this aeon? Or am I trying to please you, BUD?! Heck, if I was trying to please people, I would not serve Christ, I would serve people! Listen up! The gospel preached by me is NOT man's gospel. For I did not receive it from any of that Jerusalem crowd or was I taught it in some book, but I received it through an apocalypse of Jesus Christ! Put that in your pipe and smoke it!"

Whaddya think?

Dennis

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6 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2009 - 1:34PM #7
teilhard
Posts: 51,054

MisterC wrote:

I'm not much into "what if's." By the time we got 1 Corinthians, the orthodox copy, we had a treatice on rules to being a "good Christian." Romans is a somewhat haphazard collection of treatices on doctrine, Philemon is a metaphor on Christians as "slaves," Galatians a treatice on the irrelevancy of the law, etc. Most retain their Gnostic characteristics, but the purpose in the Catholic "final draft" is clear: instructional. They were probably never letters or epistles.

Let me be very clear: Christianity NEVER needed "Paul." When the "letters" surfaced, they were the books of  the Marcionites and Gnostic sects and were a huge embarrassment. If one reads Justin Martyr, 1 Clement, and so forth, one can see that Johanine Christianity was doing quite well without this intruder, the "apostle of the heretics," to quote Tertullian.

The question one should ask is this: "Had there not been the Jewish Roman war of 66-73, would there have been Christianity?" My answer is NO. If there had been a "historical Jesus," the teachings would have been considered a form of Pharisaic Judaism and would have lived as that.
Dennis


Maybe ...

Yes and No ...

I do agree
that The Historical Lord Jesus of Nazareth
( probably ) WAS a "Pharisee" ...

However ...

There ( reportedly ) WERE other "Christian" Missionaries
-- OTHER than "Paul" 
"out there" in The Mediterranean World
in that First-Century CHAOS
of Religious Ecumenism-and-Melding ...

So ... who knows ... ???

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6 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2009 - 2:14PM #8
amcolph
Posts: 17,449

koolpoi wrote:

If Paul had never had his vision of Jesus,how would Christianity be different?


We'd all be Ebionites.

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 01, 2009 - 9:05AM #9
Kcdad
Posts: 2

I will go with the Ebionites, or dead option. Paul made Christianity palatable to the Gentiles which forced Rome to accomodate it, which allowed Rome to coopt it.


Either way, I think it is clear that "Kingdom" wisdom as Jesus taught it does not exist in Christianity.

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6 years ago  ::  Mar 01, 2009 - 11:44AM #10
MisterC
Posts: 1,865

Christianity is Paulianity. The scary thing about this is that Paul began as the "apostle of the heretics" and the Paulines had to be injected liberally with a variety of glosses that assured an orthodox and literal reading, Acts created to steal Paul from the Marcionites, Valentinians, Montanists and other groups who understood the letters before the orthodox glosses of the third century (and possibly later). "Without Paul" there was still the Johanine kerygma, found also in 1 Clement and other places.


One cannot really say with any accuracy what if.  There is absolutely no evidence anyone paid any attention to Paul until the Gnostics and Marcion adopted him as the only apostle. Think about the way the author of Galatians (probably Marcion) thought about "Paul." The author assumes an apostolic "heavenly being" role for Paul, saying he was welcomed "as an angel of God" in one instance (4:14)  and that, even it "an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed!" (1:8). The author obviously considers "Paul" to be an apostolic figure who is greater than the angels from God, since if an angel comes from heaven with something different than what "Paul" is saying, he is to be cursed! One really should look at the historical context of this and decide if such (blasphemous) rhetoric would have been used by Paul or by someone attempting to almost deify him, a figure in the past mythologized. 


So, one can credit or blame Marcion and Gnostic thinkers for the Paulianity that is Christianity today. Noting the "gospel" of John and the "Dialogue" of Justin Martyr, it would have undoubtedly be just as supersessionist and anti-Jewish as it would have been without the second century creation of "Paul." In other words, there was no Paul, so how can one argue what Christianity would have been without him! One can only mutter about life without the Gnostics or Marcion.


Dennis


 


 


 

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