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Old 10-31-2001, 08:11 PM   #11
aikido7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Polycarp:
<STRONG>[b]

I asked for your explanation of a passage in Galatians, Unless you can explain how your theory accounts for this verse (and others), then we can consider it falsified.
Peace,

Polycarp</STRONG>
It is indeed an interesting idea that we can boil down the poetics of Scripture, of very different writers in very different circumstances, and find some "true/fales" dogma to hang onto "for the sake of simplicity." I am just surprised to hear it from you.

If we look at patterns in the textual poetics, it is clear that Paul had no use for the teachings of Jesus, for he mentions them hardly at all. The introduction in Romans stands. The key for Paul is the crucifixion and resurrection, which took root from his appearance experience on the road to Damascus. My reading shows me that Paul--like the gospel writers--read back into history the systemic of his "theology." And in Galations, faith brings about justification and this is only through the crucifixion.

Fundamentalism of the sort you seem to be attempting sometimes unwittingly destroys this original power by literalizing but then again, so too do various forms of liberal/philosophical rationalizing, whether of the intellectual sort or the spiritualistic sort.

A proof-texting war can be minimized by going beyond to discuss the meaning behind the texts that points to a shared Christian faith.

Story, story, story. Paul does not tell them. He argues points and doctrine. And that's okay, but Jesus was the one who told the stories, in the long tradition of the great Hebrew sages keeping the covenant with the One God. Fundamentalists and the Jesus Seminar need to see more movies and television (want to understand Revelation? Watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer!).
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Old 11-01-2001, 07:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by aikido7:
It is indeed an interesting idea that we can boil down the poetics of Scripture, of very different writers in very different circumstances, and find some "true/fales" dogma to hang onto "for the sake of simplicity." I am just surprised to hear it from you.

If we look at patterns in the textual poetics, it is clear that Paul had no use for the teachings of Jesus, for he mentions them hardly at all. The introduction in Romans stands. The key for Paul is the crucifixion and resurrection, which took root from his appearance experience on the road to Damascus. My reading shows me that Paul--like the gospel writers--read back into history the systemic of his "theology." And in Galations, faith brings about justification and this is only through the crucifixion.
Whoa there, fella !! Here’s a portion of what you said in your first post of this thread:

“In what may be a challenge to both biblical illiteracy and "scientific" creationism, a careful reading of the New Testament shows Jesus' designation as "the Son of God" keeps getting moved further and further back in time in mythic terms, just as the texts themselves tell us in real time.”

Are you saying that you were not attempting to present true/false dogma by making this statement? If you were not making a truth claim, then there’s no point in debating anything. You’re right, I’m right, everybody’s right…

What appears to be happening here is that you came across a theory that sounded appealing to you, so you latched onto it. I then presented clear evidence that contradicted your ideas. You then resorted to labeling me as one who attempts “fundamentalism”, as if this somehow protects your claims from criticism.

Why make a claim if you aren’t willing to address criticism of it? Paul’s letters are earliest, but they don’t support your theory, as I’ve demonstrated from the first two examples given.

To modify a statement you made in your opening…

Some criminals admit they were wrong. Why can’t free-thinkers ?

Peace,

Polycarp
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Old 11-01-2001, 06:00 PM   #13
aikido7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Polycarp:
<STRONG>[b]

Whoa there, fella !! Here’s a portion of what you said in your first post of this thread:

“In what may be a challenge to both biblical illiteracy and "scientific" creationism, a careful reading of the New Testament shows Jesus' designation as "the Son of God" keeps getting moved further and further back in time in mythic terms, just as the texts themselves tell us in real time.”

Are you saying that you were not attempting to present true/false dogma by making this statement? If you were not making a truth claim, then there’s no point in debating anything. You’re right, I’m right, everybody’s right…

What appears to be happening here is that you came across a theory that sounded appealing to you, so you latched onto it. I then presented clear evidence that contradicted your ideas. You then resorted to labeling me as one who attempts “fundamentalism”, as if this somehow protects your claims from criticism.

Why make a claim if you aren’t willing to address criticism of it? Paul’s letters are earliest, but they don’t support your theory, as I’ve demonstrated from the first two examples given.

To modify a statement you made in your opening…

Some criminals admit they were wrong. Why can’t free-thinkers ?

Peace,

Polycarp</STRONG>
What may be happening is that you came across a way of interpreting Paul's letters that seemed appealing to you, so you grabbed onto it. When presented with alternative evidence that seems to threaten your ideas, you then resort to labeling me a "freethinker" who does not measure up to the ethics of a criminal.

Diversity in ways of seeing the text does not devalue ideas or scholarship any more than diversity in gospel accounts devalues faith.

I stand by my understanding of the text because it is verifiable and makes sense. If that gets in the way of seeing the Bible as a product of divine inspiration for you, that was not my intention. Inspiration proceeds as God intends for it to proceed and if that is not how you see it, it is how I do. The complex processes or oral tradition, source revision and personal commentary combined to produce Paul's theology, then that was the way it was intended to be. Deciding in advance what kind of revelation God should bring about and then expecting the texts to be in agreement with that decision is ridiculous.

Divine inspiration should not be taken to cancel out the conclusions of what human beings drew based on what they knew. And being human, they reached different understandings and drew different conclusions based on what they knew.

Paul's concern is with the meaning of Jesus' death on the cross. It is only human that he would sometimes retroject his current system of thought back onto his frugal apprehensions of the earthly Jesus.
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Old 11-01-2001, 08:42 PM   #14
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aikido started off this thread in with the following statement:

Quote:
Originally posted by aikido7:
In what may be a challenge to both biblical illiteracy and "scientific" creationism, a careful reading of the New Testament shows Jesus' designation as "the Son of God" keeps getting moved further and further back in time in mythic terms, just as the texts themselves tell us in real time.

Paul's letters are earliest, and he tells us Jesus was elevated to sonship with God at the time of his crucifixion.

Mark, the earliest narrative gospel, moves the moment of sonship back a little further with Jesus' moment of baptism at the Jordan River.

Matthew and Luke, the only gospels who have (widely different) birth narratives, tell us of a Jesus who becomes the Son of God at his own conception.

And--last but not least--John's gospel has the Son of God existing at the beginning of time.

Viruses evolve. Why can't the theology of the early Christian communities?
Now, setting aside the comparison of Christianity to a virus, Polycarp asked about two particular passages from Paul:

Galatians 4:4 But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law,

Philippians 2:5-8 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!


All Polycarp has asked is for aikido's interpretation of these passages, especially in light of his opening statement. I think that this is a reasonable request. Now, will you answer his question please?

I have specifically refrained from offering my own questions to give you the opportunity to reply to this simple one quickly, allowing us to see where you have gained your ideas. Please stop evading him, and give us your understanding of these specific passages.

Thank you.

Nomad

[ November 01, 2001: Message edited by: Nomad ]
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Old 11-01-2001, 10:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nomad:
<STRONG>All Polycarp has asked is for aikido's interpretation of these passages, especially in light of his opening statement. I think that this is a reasonable request. Now, will you answer his question please?
[ November 01, 2001: Message edited by: Nomad ]</STRONG>
One of the hazards of scholarship is that it can sometimes show things more complex than we would like them to be. New Testament scholarship is no exception but by paying attention and subverting one's own secular or ecclesiastical agenda as much as is possible, the outlines of some hazy truth do emerge. Really.

If we read the introduction to Luke's gospel in a careful, attentive way, we can recognize the general pattern of what good biblical scholarship is all about. And the process by which Luke's gospel came into being is similar to the process by which other Gospels and epistles also came into being.

In what seems a rude affront to our pietistic sensiblities, the New Testament is a product of many human beings over many years who labored to pick and choose, revise and refine, translate and transform, collect and interpret--and finally write down the teachings of and the teachings about Jesus.

I can only hope that analytical study of the texts can add greatly to the knowledge of divine inspiration and how it works to those who believe in it. Good scholarship reveals how revelation came into history.

Paul's conviction that Jesus, who had once lived and taught among his original followers, was now risen from the dead and seated at the right hand of the Father IS the cornerstone of the confession that he was indeed Son of God.

Phillipians 2:5-8 is actually a fragment of an underlying "Christ Hymn" and contanins words and emphases rare or unknown elsewhere in Paul's letters. Some scholars believe it is pre-Pauline. Polycarp now knows this; he has subsequently dropped this chapter from Philippians from his agenda.

Galatians 4:4 (and Romans early in 8) do talk about God sending his savior, but they are focused on the eschatological nature of the cosmic drama. They do not elaborate on the preexistence of the Savior. So Peter has Jesus becoming the Son of Man at the parousia, Paul has him enthroned as exhalted Lord at his resurrection, he is adopted as Christ at the baptism by Mark, begotten as savior by Luke and Matthew and is deemed Eternal God by John at the beginning of Creation.

Paul, along with other Hellenistic Jews, hijacked the early movement's trend to see Jesus as the chosen son towards some future parousia and began enhancing Jesus' status in a backwards direction.

Paul is retrojecting his "meaning of the crucifixion" theology back onto the earthly Galilean. Mark did this with his theology. Luke and Matthew did the same, and so did John. And Christians today who also believe in a Living Christ do this as well.

Nomad, if you can set aside any literalistic sensibilities to the virus-as-metaphor (or is that evolution-as-metaphor?) used in a wholly innocent--not demonic--manner to illuminate the growth of theology, then I think that I can agree wholeheartedly with your own agenda, I think I understand it, and you are absolutely correct in holding and advocating it!
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Old 11-02-2001, 06:09 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by aikido7:
Paul's conviction that Jesus, who had once lived and taught among his original followers, was now risen from the dead and seated at the right hand of the Father IS the cornerstone of the confession that he was indeed Son of God.

Phillipians 2:5-8 is actually a fragment of an underlying "Christ Hymn" and contanins words and emphases rare or unknown elsewhere in Paul's letters. Some scholars believe it is pre-Pauline. Polycarp now knows this; he has subsequently dropped this chapter from Philippians from his agenda.

Will your presumptions never cease? I haven’t dropped anything from “my agenda”. I simply wasn’t receiving a direct response from you when I was using two passages as evidence, so I thought it would be a little easier for you to focus on one verse if I elaborated on a specific one in particular.

If you would look closely at what you’ve written in regards to a “pre-Pauline hymn” in Philippians, you’ll find that it undermines your argument even further than was the case previously. I hope you're not saying that this is an interpolation. The evidence for it being original is very strong. The earliest manuscript of Philippians is the famous P46 dated to the second century. The entire passage in question is in this manuscript. I agree that it is a pre-Pauline section, something I was going to get around to explaining if I ever received a direct response from you. Now that you have responded, can you see how this goes completely against the grain of your theory? Before Paul’s time, there was a Christian hymn that spoke of Christ in terms of pre-existence. Even if the hymn did not originate with Paul, the fact that he used it in a letter would indicate his approval of its contents. Jesus, the son of God, existed prior to his earthly life. Certainly this doesn’t square with your concept of an evolving virus.

Quote:
Galatians 4:4 (and Romans early in 8) do talk about God sending his savior, but they are focused on the eschatological nature of the cosmic drama. They do not elaborate on the preexistence of the Savior. So Peter has Jesus becoming the Son of Man at the parousia, Paul has him enthroned as exhalted Lord at his resurrection, he is adopted as Christ at the baptism by Mark, begotten as savior by Luke and Matthew and is deemed Eternal God by John at the beginning of Creation.
Are you serious? How does God send someone who does not exist?

The Philippians passage demonstrates the Christian belief in the pre-existence of Jesus was around before the writing of this letter. The Galatians passage shows that Paul believed the Son existed prior to his being “born of a woman”. The Son is sent when the time “had fully come”. I see little possibility for ignoring the implications of these two Pauline sections.


Peace,

Polycarp
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Old 11-02-2001, 10:39 AM   #17
Nomad
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Quote:
Originally posted by aikido7:

If we read the introduction to Luke's gospel in a careful, attentive way, we can recognize the general pattern of what good biblical scholarship is all about. And the process by which Luke's gospel came into being is similar to the process by which other Gospels and epistles also came into being.
This is all very interesting aikido, and you may even be right, but what you are doing here is mere propadandizing. All sorts of things can lead us to the truth, but simply asserting this tataulogy hardly brings us any closer to that truth. What exactly in Luke's introduction allows us to "recognize the general pattern of what good biblical scholarship is all about"? As you brought it up, but did not say, then I would not mind clarfication what you meant to say here.

Quote:
In what seems a rude affront to our pietistic sensiblities, the New Testament is a product of many human beings over many years who labored to pick and choose, revise and refine, translate and transform, collect and interpret--and finally write down the teachings of and the teachings about Jesus.
And this is yet another tataulogy. A better way to examine questions about the Bible is to focus on specific examples, and see what we can come up with.

Quote:
I can only hope that analytical study of the texts can add greatly to the knowledge of divine inspiration and how it works to those who believe in it. Good scholarship reveals how revelation came into history.
A nice sentiment shared by all. Thank you aikido. At the same time, it would help if you could have just gotten to the point...

Quote:
Paul's conviction that Jesus, who had once lived and taught among his original followers, was now risen from the dead and seated at the right hand of the Father IS the cornerstone of the confession that he was indeed Son of God.
Right. Now the question is when did Christians like Paul think that Jesus actually BECAME the Son of God. That was what your opening post was all about. You still have not demonstrated through evidence that your belief that Paul saw this taking place at Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection is actually true. That was why Polycarp asked you to interpret the two passages he offered.

All of that now said, we do finally get to you addressing those passages. Let's see what you said:

Quote:
Phillipians 2:5-8 is actually a fragment of an underlying "Christ Hymn" and contanins words and emphases rare or unknown elsewhere in Paul's letters. Some scholars believe it is pre-Pauline. Polycarp now knows this; he has subsequently dropped this chapter from Philippians from his agenda.
Well, having read his response, you would appear to be in error as to his having dropped it, let alone that it forms any part of an "agenda". Since when is asking a question necessarily agendizing?

On the other hand, you have noted that many, if not most scholars believe that this hymn predates Paul. Obviously, if Paul is including it in a letter, then he also happens to agree with what it says. And from the text we can see that Jesus was the Son of God long before He died on the cross. In fact, He appears to be the Son of God even before He comes into this world. Given that Paul is endorsing this view, why do you continue to insist that Paul disagreed with it?

See how a straight forward reading of the text, without using one's own theological blinders produces a clearer understanding of what is most likely to be the truth?

Quote:
Galatians 4:4 (and Romans early in 8) do talk about God sending his savior, but they are focused on the eschatological nature of the cosmic drama. They do not elaborate on the preexistence of the Savior.
I assume you are referring to Romans 8:3. In both cases God sends His Son, but I see nothing about this Sonship being conferred at the time of the death and resurrection of Jesus. In fact, from Galatians it appears to be an accomplished fact that Jesus is God's Son even before He was "born of a woman, born under the law". What further elaboration from Paul would you require before you would accept this as being true?

Quote:
So Peter has Jesus becoming the Son of Man at the parousia, Paul has him enthroned as exhalted Lord at his resurrection, he is adopted as Christ at the baptism by Mark, begotten as savior by Luke and Matthew and is deemed Eternal God by John at the beginning of Creation.
But now you are back to your assertions, acting as if you never even talked about these verses at all. We already know that Paul has endorsed a hymn that calls Jesus the pre-existent Son of God. Further, it is widely accepted that this hymn predates Paul, and even if it does not, then Paul wrote it himself, making it even more likely to be attached to his own theology and Christology.

It is not a good sign when you accept that Pauline passages say "x", then continue to assert that Paul did not believe "x". Perhaps you could clarify why you have created this disconnect.

Quote:
Paul, along with other Hellenistic Jews, hijacked the early movement's trend to see Jesus as the chosen son towards some future parousia and began enhancing Jesus' status in a backwards direction.
Oh dear, back to more assertions and propagandizing. This is not a good sign aikido. Please stick with the evidence, and produce it for us. You must have reasons for believing what you just wrote. Given that Galatians and Philippians don't support you, perhaps you have something tangible (IOW, more than your opinions) to examine. If so, I would welcome seeng your evidence.

Quote:
Paul is retrojecting his "meaning of the crucifixion" theology back onto the earthly Galilean.
For simplicity's sake, let's stick with Paul for a moment. What evidence do you have for your belief aikido?

Quote:
Nomad, if you can set aside any literalistic sensibilities to the virus-as-metaphor (or is that evolution-as-metaphor?) used in a wholly innocent--not demonic--manner to illuminate the growth of theology,
I have to pause here, but on what basis did you think that I was considering your use of the virus=Christianity is demonic?

Quote:
then I think that I can agree wholeheartedly with your own agenda, I think I understand it, and you are absolutely correct in holding and advocating it!
Give it a shot aikido. What do you think my agenda happens to be? With all due respect, I do not think that you have a clue, but I would like to see your guess. Then I would know what you are understanding and supporting in my efforts.

Thank you again.

Nomad
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Old 11-03-2001, 10:17 AM   #18
aikido7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nomad:
<STRONG>

Give it a shot aikido. What do you think my agenda happens to be? With all due respect, I do not think that you have a clue, but I would like to see your guess. Then I would know what you are understanding and supporting in my efforts.

Thank you again.

Nomad</STRONG>
God's truth highlights the conflict of opposing ideologies, but since you will not find that verse in Paul or the parables, you and Polycarp are correct. My argumnets and opinions stand on nothing.

Perhaps I need to give up my tautological "propagandizing" and start witnessing. And reading the Bible more. And listening to what others say from the pulpit a little bit more obediently.

And when I have time, reading what disciplined--sometimes profound--and erudite scholars in the Christian tradition have found studying the complex texts of the New Testament writings.
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Old 11-03-2001, 01:32 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by beachbum:
<STRONG>

ROTFLMAO. Good catch. I don't think Amos understood you.</STRONG>
No suppository needed by me. If hezekiah would have understood a fraction of what I wrote he might have floated.

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