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Old 05-23-2013, 08:29 PM   #21
Sheshbazzar
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Earl repeatedly asserts as a fact, that the 'Pauline epistles' are earlier than, and preceded [sic] the written Gospels.
That is a very controversial position on Christian history ... .
Umm ... very controversial? Really? Do we find it stated as such in the standard Introductions to the NT (i.e., Brown, Kummel, Koester, Cousar, D. Martin, R.P. Martin, Ehrman, Schnakenberg, Moffatt, Powell, Porter, Gundry, Carson & Moo, Thompson/Green/Achtemeir, DeSilva, Boring, Haegner, just to name a few)?

Is this noted anywhere in the professional periodical literature? If so, where?

Which NT scholars claim that the Gospels are earlier than the Pauline Epistles?

Names please!

Jeffrey
I was intending to save this for the reopening of the other, presently locked thread, but I thank you Jeffrey for directly asking this, and providing me this opportunity.

You may note that I have been a member here since 2003, and have exceeded 7,000 posts. By far the largest majority of which have been made in this BC&H Forum.

During this time I have never, -not even once- made a single 'argument from authority'.

I have never once cited or quoted from any 'professional periodical literature'

I have never once quoted either the public nor the private views or arguments of any published 'professional scholars' or popular authors.

I have never once even so much written the name of any 'professional scholar', nor citied their books, in support of my position.
Not even when I knew that I could produce a hundred whose views supported my arguments.

And I am not about to start now.

I will not play off 'authority figure' against 'authority figure', nor fall to the practice of bowing to the god of consensus.

I take personal responsibility for my own translations, interpretation, and understanding of the content of ancient texts, and of human history, and for whatever views or ideas I may endorse.

I am not a 'name dropper', and I am not impressed by arguments that consist of listing a long line of 'authority figures' and 'authoritative works' or lengthy quotations therefrom.

This is my ethos, and my reasons for this are many.
Fine, Shesh, and it's nice that you are now tasting the servings of Dr. Jeffrey Gibson for yourself. It will be interesting to see how you cope with them.

I don't fault you for failing to appeal to authority figures (after all, you have no authority figures to appeal to for your claims), and it's a little difficult to appeal to authority to support your anti-authority position. But an alternate expectation is certainly workable and valid: namely, that you engage with arguments that are offered against your position, especially in the very forum where you put them forward, rather than simply label those counter-positions "horse-shit."

I have amply demonstrated in the other thread that you refused to engage with any such disagreements with your declarations, often employing transparent dodges and red herrings of your own devising, accompanied by true bluster meant to avoid having to defend your claims. All such things are, of course, things which Jeffrey makes a show of deploring, so I wish you the best of luck!

Earl Doherty
Your failure to express your views in a sensible manner is not my fault.

When you wrote;
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You scoff: ...unless you wish to believe that a dead 'Jesus' actually communicated this to 'Paul' from heaven."
....that implies that you oppose this view, and that you support the contrary, that being that 'Jesus' DID communicate with Paul from heaven.

And then when you follow this up by strongly asserting;
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" Well, that is exactly what I wish to believe, not from a "dead Jesus" in the sense of one who had been on earth, but from a Jesus who resided in heaven, died and rose there, and was now in communication with the entire sect of early Christians."
I have to take you at your words. Certainly you have since repeatedly denied that you intended it to be taken in the actual sense indicated by your words.

Yet when your arguments are examined, your premise remains that 'Paul' actually was taught by 'Jesus' talking to him from heaven, and from no human source.
The very premise of your argument becomes that Paul got his information and 'gospel' in exactly the way Paul claims to have gotten his gospel,. ...by the supernatural means of communicating with a Heavenly being.

The contrary argument that I and others here are defending, is that there is no Heavenly being, and spite of what 'Paul' may have thought, claimed, or wrote, no such conversation ever took place.
And whatever Paul thought or wrote was either quoted from, or inspired by the spoken or written words of human beings that he had previously encountered.

My position as an Atheist is that NO voice from heaven ever spoke to Paul or taught Paul the words; "the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me"

Paul had either previously naturally heard these words from others (most likely given the details) or made these words up himself, based upon what he had read, seen, and heard from other humans. NO invisible Jesus involved.

This is an Atheist Forum. We do not believe in communications from dead and resurrected heavenly beings. 'Paul' received his 'visions' and 'communications' via way of men and mens writings.
Why does it take so long to get something into your head? I do not believe in communications from the dead, neither to Paul nor anyone else. All it needed was that THEY believed it.
But here again you are avoiding addressing the fact that your Theory claims that Paul communicated with a heavenly 'Jesus', and that communication with a heavenly 'Jesus' was the source of Paul's words in 1 Cor 11:24, and that Paul did not learn this saying from men.

You claim you are an atheist. How do you reconcile that claim with your claim that the actual source for 'Paul's Eucharistic words was the heavenly 'Jesus' ?
That 'THEY believed' that was the source, is not germane to the question of what -was- the actual source, if NOT a real 'Jesus' speaking from heaven.

Paul got those Eucharistic formula words from somewhere. If you don't believe in a God named 'Jesus' living in heaven and actually talking to people, Paul must have gotten those words, or fashioned that text from words and writings that he had heard from other men.

I am not asking you what 'Paul' claims (I can read that) I am asking YOU what do YOU propose was the real source of Paul's Eucharistic formula in 1 Cor 11:24 ?
Was it really taught to Paul by a supernatural Deity named Jesus? or did Paul hear or derive it by natural means from hearing or reading the teachings of men?

I'm not being insulting, I am just trying to figure out or establish what it is that you are claiming, as it appears that you are claiming to believe there was (or is?) a real heavenly Jesus that communicated these things to Paul.
...which I suppose your theory would require if you reject the idea that Christians earlier than Paul might have in fact informed him of their beliefs, and been either the direct source of, or provided the inspiration for the words of 1 Cor 11:24.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:38 AM   #22
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Lots of people hear voices in their heads. There's no need to believe in a god in heaven or a Jesus in heaven to think that Paul thought that he was in communication with Jesus, and that Jesus spoke to him.

It has been theorized (based on no real evidence) that Paul had epilepsy. Or perhaps he ate too much ergot infested grain or some other drug like substance, and then he heard Jesus tell him stuff.

Can this be the end of your confusion on this issue?
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:13 AM   #23
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Lots of people hear voices in their heads. There's no need to believe in a god in heaven or a Jesus in heaven to think that Paul thought that he was in communication with Jesus, and that Jesus spoke to him.....
When did Paul say he heard voices in his head? There is no such thing in the Pauline letters.

The Pauline writer claimed he was SEEN by Jesus--See 1 Cor.15

The author of Acts claimed Paul was Blinded and heard a voice--See Acts 9.

Again, we see that the Pauline writer is not corroborated.
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It has been theorized (based on no real evidence) that Paul had epilepsy. Or perhaps he ate too much ergot infested grain or some other drug like substance, and then he heard Jesus tell him stuff.

Can this be the end of your confusion on this issue?
No, Toto. It has been SPECULATED that Paul had epilepsy. Speculation is a direct product of no real evidence.

In order to develop a theory one must first have data.

There is no data in the Pauline letters to theorize that Paul had epilepsy.

The data shows that the Pauline Corpus have MULTIPLE authors and are products of forgeries, false attribution and fiction.
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:51 AM   #24
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Jeffrey, you've got your work cut out for you if you are going to take on the likes of aa and Shesh. They don't debate using the same rational methodology that you and I are capable of. On the other hand, maybe you can get an inkling of how frustrating it is for me to deal with you when you refuse to apply that rational potential to our discussions in a positive and informative way...
Your post is most amusing. You very well know that Jeffrey has refused to apply any rational potential to these discussion.

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...I think I'll sit on the sidelines here for a while. Why shouldn't I get to enjoy the entertainment? Actually, aa gave you a lot of openings for some proper rebuttal. I'm a little disappointed that you failed to take him up on so many of them.

Earl Doherty
When one sits on the sideline they imagine they see openings.

Jeffrey knows that there are no real holes in my argument.

If there were real holes in my argument ALL of BC&H would come down on me like a TON of BRICKS.

Based on the Abundance of evidence from antiquity, my argument is that ALL the writings under the name of Paul were most likely composed AFTER c 180 CE and are products of fiction, false attribution and forgeries.

The long held presumption that Paul wrote letters to Churches before c 70 CE is baseless and was never based on any actual evidence but on logical fallacies.

Not even Apologetic writers of antiquity knew when Paul lived, when he died and what he wrote.

There is no corroboration for the Pauline letters by authors of the Canon and it was claimed simultaneously that Paul died under Nero c 54-68 CE but was still ALIVE after gLuke was composed.

The Pauline Corpus does not represent the history or teachings of the Jesus cult at all.

The Jesus cult was developed without the Pauline letters sometime in the 2nd century.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:43 AM   #25
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But here again you are avoiding addressing the fact that your Theory claims that Paul communicated with a heavenly 'Jesus', and that communication with a heavenly 'Jesus' was the source of Paul's words in 1 Cor 11:24, and that Paul did not learn this saying from men.

You claim you are an atheist. How do you reconcile that claim with your claim that the actual source for 'Paul's Eucharistic words was the heavenly 'Jesus' ?
That 'THEY believed' that was the source, is not germane to the question of what -was- the actual source, if NOT a real 'Jesus' speaking from heaven.

Paul got those Eucharistic formula words from somewhere. If you don't believe in a God named 'Jesus' living in heaven and actually talking to people, Paul must have gotten those words, or fashioned that text from words and writings that he had heard from other men.

I am not asking you what 'Paul' claims (I can read that) I am asking YOU what do YOU propose was the real source of Paul's Eucharistic formula in 1 Cor 11:24 ?
Was it really taught to Paul by a supernatural Deity named Jesus? or did Paul hear or derive it by natural means from hearing or reading the teachings of men?

I'm not being insulting, I am just trying to figure out or establish what it is that you are claiming, as it appears that you are claiming to believe there was (or is?) a real heavenly Jesus that communicated these things to Paul.
...which I suppose your theory would require if you reject the idea that Christians earlier than Paul might have in fact informed him of their beliefs, and been either the direct source of, or provided the inspiration for the words of 1 Cor 11:24.
No, you're not being insulting, but you are being unnecessarily obtuse. Do you mean to say that the history of religion on this planet is not full of people who have claimed to hear the voice of their god? Have you ever heard of 'hearing voices in one's head' (ask Son of Sam!)? Have you ever heard of hallucination? Have you ever heard of someone in a state of meditation or deprivation or high on mushrooms getting an idea and being convinced it was communicated to him from some spiritual or mystical source? Have you ever heard of wishful thinking?

Paul obviously spent considerable time poring over the Jewish scriptures (as did countless Jews of his day, trying to uncover/imagine new meanings to the words on the page). He reads a passage and a new interpretation occurs to him. Maybe he missed a few meals and is feeling light-headed. He becomes convinced that God (or Jesus) has communicated this new interpretation to him. Glory be! He has been visited with a divine revelation! He runs out into the street, shouting: "I have received my gospel from no man, but from a revelation of/from Jesus Christ!"

As for his Lord's Supper words, we know for certain (because he tells us) that he got this from the Lord himself, in some imagined fashion. I have pointed out that sacred meals, with interpretations attached to the savior gods they worshiped, were rife in the mystery cults, which Paul was obviously exposed to, since some of his other soteriological elements conform to pagan precedents, not Jewish ones. The Christ cult believed that their heavenly Jesus sacrificed himself, in Paul's mind it was "for sin." You think he didn't ponder that concept for hours on end? You think he didn't try to develop a mystical understanding of that spiritual process? He speaks of the cup being "the new covenant in my blood." It was a widespread idea that Christ's blood sacrifice replaced the old blood covenant established by Moses. (God no longer wants those old sacrifices of animals.) So Paul interprets the cup of the thanksgiving meal as the ritual element representing the new covenant, involving the Son of God's own blood (since blood is always necessary) that has inaugurated this new spiritual process. The "bread" (a close parallel to bread or meat or whatever consumed in the sacred meals of the day) becomes the "body" of Christ which Paul is already focused on in other mystical concepts like the "body of Christ" which he sees believers as sharing in.

And so on. It is perfectly reasonable to consider that Paul has developed all this stuff out of his own head, prompted by the concepts and precedents of the day and his own convictions that he was blessed with direct communication from heaven (something he is constantly crowing about). After all, if he got it from "somewhere" as you say, implying some previous source, then that source would have developed it in the same way; you're simply moving the problem back further. What, you think there really was a Last Supper and Jesus invented it all?

Now stop this repetitive nonsense, Shesh. You're wasting both my time and yours, and I daresay you are not creating a very flattering impression all round.

Earl Doherty
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:52 AM   #26
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Lots of people hear voices in their heads. There's no need to believe in a god in heaven or a Jesus in heaven to think that Paul thought that he was in communication with Jesus, and that Jesus spoke to him.

It has been theorized (based on no real evidence) that Paul had epilepsy. Or perhaps he ate too much ergot infested grain or some other drug like substance, and then he heard Jesus tell him stuff.

Can this be the end of your confusion on this issue?
I wish that it could...but your reply still does not address where or from what 'Paul' was recieving such specific information.
Hearing 'Voices in their head', the content is still informed by what they have been exposed to.
(matter of fact, for years I was legal guardian a schizophrenic nephew that suffered from 'hearing voices in his head',. ..he came into my care when the 'voices in his head' caused him to violently attack his parents in their sleep at 2:00 am, after a period of institutionalization and meds he was released into the care of my wife and I, and lived in our home for over a decade.. 20 years latter he still hears 'voices' and carries on muttering and often angry conversations with his invisible voices. )

If 'Paul' was hearing 'Jesus tell him stuff' -someone- had first been telling him some 'stuff' about 'Jesus'.

And that is what is evidenced in his writings, there were 'Christians' before Paul, and he was acquainted with these Messianic in 'The Way' -proto-'Christian' believers and their beliefs BEFORE his 'conversion' or the beginning of 'hearing 'Jesus' voice in his head.

What 'Paul' was 'hearing', (if anything), had been informed by what he had formerly been hearing from these messianic believers in The Way.
Even by his own testimony he would not have known of any Jesus except by way of first encountering and persecuting them in whom before him were in that 'Way' (1 Cor 15:9, Gal 1:13, 1:23, Acts 22:4, 26:11)

If you are going to work from the premise that there was a real 1st century Paul, and that he had a 'conversion experience', you need to deal with his admissions there were believers in 'this Way' before him, and that he was familiar enough with their beliefs to be able to identify them from among other Jews, and seek them out for these reported persecutions.

And if you are not going accept the veracity of 'Paul's ' words on these purely physical matters, there is little sense in trying to claim that his 'spiritual' visions', flights of fancy, or bouts of epilepsy are of any veracity or credible value.

Earl is insisting that Paul got his information on the Eucharistic formula directly from 'Jesus' (by the way one that never was a human and had never set foot on earth) and no man.
Although one can accept that Paul may have believed or have convinced himself of that, if there is no actual God 'Jesus' (the atheist view) it is impossible that 'Jesus' was the source of the Eucharistic formula of 1 Cor 11:23-24.

Thus either Paul had actually learned that formula directly from the Believers in The 'Way' or their writings, or Paul himself had dreamed it up, or devised it inspired by what he had heard from these foregoing Believers with whom Paul was admittedly acquainted.

As an atheist I am not about to accept an 'explanation' that it was a God 'Jesus' that actually spoke to Paul or ever taught Paul anything.

Paul most certainly DID NOT get those Eucharistic formula words from any non-existent God. Earl Doherty's claims be damned.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:01 AM   #27
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Lots of people hear voices in their heads. There's no need to believe in a god in heaven or a Jesus in heaven to think that Paul thought that he was in communication with Jesus, and that Jesus spoke to him.

It has been theorized (based on no real evidence) that Paul had epilepsy. Or perhaps he ate too much ergot infested grain or some other drug like substance, and then he heard Jesus tell him stuff.

Can this be the end of your confusion on this issue?
I wish that it could...but your reply still does not address where or from what 'Paul' was recieving such specific information.
Hearing 'Voices in their head', the content is still informed by what they have been exposed to.
(matter of fact, for years I was legal guardian a schizophrenic nephew that suffered from 'hearing voices in his head',. ..he came into my care when the 'voices in his head' caused him to violently attack his parents in their sleep at 2:00 am, after a period of institutionalization and meds he was released into the care of my wife and I, and lived in our home for over a decade.. 20 years latter he still hears 'voices' and carries on muttering and often angry conversations with his invisible voices. )

If 'Paul' was hearing 'Jesus tell him stuff' -someone- had first been telling him some 'stuff' about 'Jesus'.

And that is what is evidenced in his writings, there were 'Christians' before Paul, and he was acquainted with these Messianic in 'The Way' -proto-'Christian' believers and their beliefs BEFORE his 'conversion' or the beginning of 'hearing 'Jesus' voice in his head.

What 'Paul' was 'hearing', (if anything), had been informed by what he had formerly been hearing from these messianic believers in The Way.
Even by his own testimony he would not have know of any Jesus except by way of first encountering and persecuting them in whom before him were in that 'Way' (1 Cor 15:9, Gal 1:13, 1:23, Acts 22:4, 26:11)

If you are going to work from the premise that there was a real 1st century Paul, and that he had a 'conversion experience', you need to deal with his admissions there were believers in 'this Way' before him, and that he was familiar enough with their beliefs to be able to identify them from among other Jews, and seek them out for these reported persecutions.

And if you are not going accept the veracity of 'Paul's ' words on these purely physical matters, there is little sense in trying to claim that his 'spiritual' visions', flights of fancy, or bouts of epilepsy are of any veracity or credible value.

Earl is insisting that Paul got his information on the Eucharistic formula directly from 'Jesus' (by the way one that never was a human and had never set foot on earth) and no man.
Although one can accept that Paul may have believed or have convinced himself of that, if there is no actual God 'Jesus' (the atheist view) it is impossible that 'Jesus' was the source of the Eucharistic formula of 1 Cor 11:23-24.

Thus either Paul had actually learned that formula directly from the Believers in The 'Way' or their writings, or Paul himself had dreamed it up, or devised it inspired by what he had heard from these foregoing Believers with whom Paul was admittedly acquainted.

As an atheist I am not about to accept an 'explanation' that it was a God 'Jesus' that actually spoke to Paul or ever taught Paul anything.

Paul most certainly DID NOT get those Eucharistic formula words from any non-existent God. Earl Doherty's claims be damned.
I hope you won't miss my immediately prior post on this topic, Shesh. But if you still can't get your head around what I and others have been saying, then I give up on you. You can rant away as you've done here to your heart's content. I'm sure you're the only one who just can't "get" it.

Earl Doherty
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:07 AM   #28
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As for his Lord's Supper words, we know for certain (because he tells us) that he got this from the Lord himself,
When you stop this repetitive nonsense, I'll stop my protesting.

There is no 'Lord God Jesus'. Paul got nothing from an entity that did not and does not exist.
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:28 AM   #29
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As for his Lord's Supper words, we know for certain (because he tells us) that he got this from the Lord himself,
When you stop this repetitive nonsense, I'll stop my protesting.

There is no 'Lord God Jesus'. Paul got nothing from an entity that did not and does not exist.
You seem to be the only person in the world who thinks that Doherty means that the Lord existed outside of Paul's imagination.

Just accept that you have misunderstood this on a basic level.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:22 PM   #30
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I am not misunderstanding this.
Doherty's claim that Paul had no knowledge of the Gospels is founded on his idea that 'Paul' came up with all of his information on Jesus in exactly the manner that 'Paul' claims, by means of a personal exclusive 'revelation'.
That claim by Paul is not credible.

What 'Paul' claimed, personal divine revelation, one 'not received from any man', backed 'Paul' into a corner formed by his lie.
"Paul' (and his ghost writers) could not ever admit or betray that he had any knowledge of the written Gospels, because to do so would reveal that he had been taught, and had received knowledge of Jesus from men, revealing him to be a false witness and a liar.

His repeated denials (Thou doeth protest too much!) are a tip off that he did in fact receive his Gospel from men.

'Paul' -and every writer ever writing under that pseudonym- knew the Gospels
but deliberately engaged in the deception of pretending not to have.

The 'Pauline Epistles' are all forgeries, and all of them were produced after The Gospels, and with a full knowledge of The Gospels.

Doherty's early 'Paul' Theory is going down.
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