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Source: (consider it) Thread: Words of Paul=Jesus?
Evangeline
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So it was recently Synod in my Anglican diocese. Conversationally, somebody raised the issue that they heard a lot more of Paul's words than Jesus' being quoted. The response from a prominent member of the Synod was that

"In orthodox Christology, the words of Paul ARE the words of Jesus."

This is news to me, that on the face of it seems ludicrous. Can anybody more familiar with this "orthodox christology" help?

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Doc Tor
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I'm just surprised they didn't say "The words of Paul trump the words of Jesus."

Presumably, this is the heresy that the Bible is the Word of God, rather than Jesus is the Word of God (which we know, because that's what the Bible tell us). I wouldn't call it 'orthodox' in any way.

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Evangeline
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
I'm just surprised they didn't say "The words of Paul trump the words of Jesus."


They did that a bit later by saying that Paul speaks to the church so that is more relevant to us now than Jesus' words.
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Doc Tor
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Paul would have given them a right telling off for even thinking that.

Nowhere near orthodox.

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Evangeline
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I didn't even think that Christology covered that sort of thing? R there 2 issues here, one of Christology and the other of how we approach scripture?
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Gramps49
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I would say the church came out of the theology of Paul. But I would also add there are times when Paul got things wrong.

I also agree with Doc Tor, the Bible is the manger on which the living Word of God rests. Jesus is that Word, all other is staw.

I see many parts of Christendom working to rediscover the words of Jesus, giving it more importance than the opinions of a fallible man. Paul does give us insight into who Jesus is and what he means for him and us, but his writings should never be equated with the words our Lord.

[ 22. October 2017, 23:13: Message edited by: Gramps49 ]

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
I'm just surprised they didn't say "The words of Paul trump the words of Jesus."

Presumably, this is the heresy that the Bible is the Word of God, rather than Jesus is the Word of God (which we know, because that's what the Bible tell us). I wouldn't call it 'orthodox' in any way.

Sorry, I think it is rather small-o (and probably big-O too) orthodox to say that the Bible is the (small w) word of God. It is orthodox Christian teaching that the Bible is uniquely divinely inspired. Jesus is the (big W) Word of God because he is the unique revelation of God; but the Bible is the unique testament to Christ as that Word of God.

You may disagree with that, perhaps with good reason, but to suggest that it's "heresy" or "unorthodox" is simply not historically correct.

So, if you begin with that historically very orthodox assumption that the Bible is the word of God, and that Paul is part of the Bible, then it stands to reason that Paul's words are divinely inspired.

I wouldn't go so far as to say Jesus = Paul, however, Paul is frequently quoting Jesus (e.g our communion liturgy). The Pauline letters are also the earliest documents we have/closest chronologically to Jesus, and seem to be presented as representing the teachings of Jesus.

That being said, I am sympathetic to the argument being made, just not the way it's being framed. I have in recent years adopted a somewhat similar rubric based on "Jesus is our best revelation of God"-- therefore my "canon w/in the canon" prioritizes those texts that are "closest to Jesus" over those that are further. That is really helpful when dealing with Joshua or Leviticus. Not so much, though, when dealing with Paul, since you end up having to decide do we prioritize the later reported words of Jesus (gospels) or the earlier reported teaching (in general) of Jesus (Paul).

And THAT being said, I don't find as much conflict between Jesus & Paul as many do (Jesus & Joshua, that's another issue...), so it's more of a theoretical issue for me than an actual one.

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Gramps49
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I wouldn't go so far as to say Jesus = Paul, however, Paul is frequently quoting Jesus (e.g our communion liturgy). The Pauline letters are also the earliest documents we have/closest chronologically to Jesus, and seem to be presented as representing the teachings of Jesus.

Now that this is a heresy if I have ever seen one. I really don't think you mean Jesus equals Paul. Paul would probably be the first to object to that equation.

Moreover, Paul really does not quote Jesus all that much with the exception of the words of institution/communion. He actually does not appear to know the parables, or the sayings, or even many of the miracles.

But I do not think Paul was interested in quoting Jesus more than just the words of institution. Paul was more interested in discussing what Jesus meant for the Christian community.

Jesus is unparalleled in the Christian Scriptures, in my book.

Just this summer I read a book entitled The Islamic Jesus by Mustafa Akyol. Mustafa said if the New Testament only included the Gospels, Muslims would have no trouble accepting it, but Paul basically adds a layer of paganism that he just cannot accept.

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Evangeline
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:

That being said, I am sympathetic to the argument being made, just not the way it's being framed. I have in recent years adopted a somewhat similar rubric based on "Jesus is our best revelation of God"-- therefore my "canon w/in the canon" prioritizes those texts that are "closest to Jesus" over those that are further. That is really helpful when dealing with Joshua or Leviticus. Not so much, though, when dealing with Paul, since you end up having to decide do we prioritize the later reported words of Jesus (gospels) or the earlier reported teaching (in general) of Jesus (Paul).

And THAT being said, I don't find as much conflict between Jesus & Paul as many do (Jesus & Joshua, that's another issue...), so it's more of a theoretical issue for me than an actual one. [/QB]

Thanks, that's a helpful summation, I am familiar (living in Sydney one can't not be) with that view, I think it's the idea that the words of Paul are the words of Jesus that makes me uneasy-I don't think Paul would say that.

Instinctively I have always prioritised the Gospels, surely the words of Jesus (even when recorded by another) must trump everyone else's. I'd also go so far (perhaps it is a huge leap) as to suggest that Paul's letters do not present the gospel, so much as offer a commentary and encouragement to those who have already heard it. For those of us who can't hear the gospel preached "first or secondhand", then we need the Gospels first and foremost and Paul's letters offer some general commentary and some particularly applied advice on the teachings of Jesus.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
the Bible is the unique testament to Christ as that Word of God.

An eminently Protestant claim.

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Anglican_Brat
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quote:
Originally posted by Evangeline:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:

That being said, I am sympathetic to the argument being made, just not the way it's being framed. I have in recent years adopted a somewhat similar rubric based on "Jesus is our best revelation of God"-- therefore my "canon w/in the canon" prioritizes those texts that are "closest to Jesus" over those that are further. That is really helpful when dealing with Joshua or Leviticus. Not so much, though, when dealing with Paul, since you end up having to decide do we prioritize the later reported words of Jesus (gospels) or the earlier reported teaching (in general) of Jesus (Paul).

And THAT being said, I don't find as much conflict between Jesus & Paul as many do (Jesus & Joshua, that's another issue...), so it's more of a theoretical issue for me than an actual one.

Thanks, that's a helpful summation, I am familiar (living in Sydney one can't not be) with that view, I think it's the idea that the words of Paul are the words of Jesus that makes me uneasy-I don't think Paul would say that.

Instinctively I have always prioritised the Gospels, surely the words of Jesus (even when recorded by another) must trump everyone else's. I'd also go so far (perhaps it is a huge leap) as to suggest that Paul's letters do not present the gospel, so much as offer a commentary and encouragement to those who have already heard it. For those of us who can't hear the gospel preached "first or secondhand", then we need the Gospels first and foremost and Paul's letters offer some general commentary and some particularly applied advice on the teachings of Jesus. [/QB]

It's a little bit more complicated than that with the gospels. We don't have the unfiltered, straight words of Jesus, because Jesus didn't write anything down.

The gospels, then are from a historical-critical viewpoint, the words of Jesus filtered through the lens of each evangelist. So, you don't have necessarily a debate between Jesus and Paul, you really have a debate between Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and Paul.

Rather suggesting that the gospels trump Paul (Which, in Protestant theology seems inconsistent, no good Protestant I believe would use Matthew's judgment of the Sheep and Goats to undermine the Pauline doctrine of justification by grace through faith alone), one could say, that the New Testament is an inspired, but not perfect, human witness to Jesus Christ, and discovering the real Jesus is a matter of wrestling with the imperfect but indispensable documents we have.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
the Bible is the unique testament to Christ as that Word of God.

An eminently Protestant claim.
Fair enough. And I’ll grant that regularly talking about Scripture as the Word of God is likely more common in (some) Protestant circles than elsewhere in Christianity.

That said, the Catechism of the Catholic Church does at numerous places describe or refer to the OT, the NT, Scripture as a whole and Holy Tradition as a whole (no pun intended) as “the Word of God.” (And yes, the Catechism capitalizes “Word” when the reference is to Scripture or Tradition rather than to Jesus.). So talking about Scripture as “the Word of God” isn’t just a Protestant thing. At the least, it’s a Western Christianity thing.

Is it something seen or done in Orthodoxy? Sometimes? Rarely? Never?

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
the Bible is the unique testament to Christ as that Word of God.

An eminently Protestant claim.
Fair enough. And I’ll grant that regularly talking about Scripture as the Word of God is likely more common in (some) Protestant circles than elsewhere in Christianity.

That said, the Catechism of the Catholic Church does at numerous places describe or refer to the OT, the NT, Scripture as a whole and Holy Tradition as a whole (no pun intended) as “the Word of God.” (And yes, the Catechism capitalizes “Word” when the reference is to Scripture or Tradition rather than to Jesus.). So talking about Scripture as “the Word of God” isn’t just a Protestant thing. At the least, it’s a Western Christianity thing.

Is it something seen or done in Orthodoxy? Sometimes? Rarely? Never?

The Orfies and the Caffix both regard the Scriptures as the Word of God. The Protestant part is the "unique."

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Anglican_Brat
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I heard it elegantly stated that the Word of God, properly spoken is Jesus.

Scripture can only rightly called "the word of God" in its derivative function of revealing Jesus Christ to the church. Or, to use Martin Luther's more down-to-earth "the Bible is the straw that cradles the Baby Jesus".

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
The Orfies and the Caffix both regard the Scriptures as the Word of God. The Protestant part is the "unique."

Sorry. I thought I was being clear, but looking back, maybe I wasn’t.

I knew you were taking issue with “unique.” And I was agreeing that’s a uniquely Protestant take on things.

I asked about Orthodox usage because I realized that while I knew of many Catholic instances of referring to Scripture as “the Word of God,” I wasn’t as familiar with how common that is (or isn’t) in Orthodoxy. So I thought I’d ask rather than making assumptions one way or the other.

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Evangeline
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
It's a little bit more complicated than that with the gospels. We don't have the unfiltered, straight words of Jesus, because Jesus didn't write anything down.

The gospels, then are from a historical-critical viewpoint, the words of Jesus filtered through the lens of each evangelist. So, you don't have necessarily a debate between Jesus and Paul, you really have a debate between Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and Paul.

Rather suggesting that the gospels trump Paul (Which, in Protestant theology seems inconsistent, no good Protestant I believe would use Matthew's judgment of the Sheep and Goats to undermine the Pauline doctrine of justification by grace through faith alone), one could say, that the New Testament is an inspired, but not perfect, human witness to Jesus Christ, and discovering the real Jesus is a matter of wrestling with the imperfect but indispensable documents we have. [/QB]

I am aware of what the gospels are and how they came to be. In these parts 'inerrancy' is big when talking about the Bible by the same people who are claiming the words of Paul are the words of Jesus. I struggle to see if an inerrant Bible says Jesus said this, how can it not be so. Sure, the exact words of Jesus are not recorded (for starters the Bible was written in Koine and Jesus spoke Aramaic) but the message must be faithfully (if not fully by each evangelist) recorded.

As a matter of interest how do you, as a good Protestant reconcile Matthew's story of Jesus' words about the sheep and the goats from Paul's words about justification by faith? How do you interpret Jesus' words in Matthew?

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Anglican_Brat
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quote:

As a matter of interest how do you, as a good Protestant reconcile Matthew's story of Jesus' words about the sheep and the goats from Paul's words about justification by faith? How do you interpret Jesus' words in Matthew? [/QB]

I think this deserves its own thread: Sheep and Goats and Grace

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cliffdweller
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Cleaning up a bit of misunderstandings:

quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller: I wouldn't go so far as to say Jesus = Paul, however, Paul is frequently quoting Jesus (e.g our communion liturgy). The Pauline letters are also the earliest documents we have/closest chronologically to Jesus, and seem to be presented as representing the teachings of Jesus.

Now that this is a heresy if I have ever seen one. I really don't think you mean Jesus equals Paul. Paul would probably be the first to object to that equation.
[/qb]

Well, except I said I wouldn't say that Jesus = Paul.
For the most part I agreed with what you said.


quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
the Bible is the unique testament to Christ as that Word of God.

An eminently Protestant claim.
Fair enough. And I’ll grant that regularly talking about Scripture as the Word of God is likely more common in (some) Protestant circles than elsewhere in Christianity.

That said, the Catechism of the Catholic Church does at numerous places describe or refer to the OT, the NT, Scripture as a whole and Holy Tradition as a whole (no pun intended) as “the Word of God.” (And yes, the Catechism capitalizes “Word” when the reference is to Scripture or Tradition rather than to Jesus.). So talking about Scripture as “the Word of God” isn’t just a Protestant thing. At the least, it’s a Western Christianity thing.

Is it something seen or done in Orthodoxy? Sometimes? Rarely? Never?

The Orfies and the Caffix both regard the Scriptures as the Word of God. The Protestant part is the "unique."
Similarly, I didn't say that the Bible was the unique (small or big w) word of God. Rather, I said that the Bible is the unique testament to Christ as that Word of God.

That may or may not still be an "eminently Protestant claim"-- I'm not really in a position to say, and OK if it is-- but it's a different claim than the one I think you heard (the the Bible is the unique word of God).

[ 23. October 2017, 05:33: Message edited by: cliffdweller ]

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Jay-Emm
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
however, Paul is frequently quoting Jesus (e.g our communion liturgy). The Pauline letters are also the earliest documents we have/closest chronologically to Jesus, and seem to be presented as representing the teachings of Jesus.

You do have an explicit part [found it 1Co 7] where the passage is "Jesus, not Paul commands ... Paul, not Jesus says ..."
Which kind of explicitly shows that both happening and not happening at different (very close points).
Whether the first part comes from common teaching, explicitly the sermon on the mount, or inspiration is not said.
How strong&close Paul considered his authority/interpretation in the second part is also not said.

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Evangeline:
So it was recently Synod in my Anglican diocese. Conversationally, somebody raised the issue that they heard a lot more of Paul's words than Jesus' being quoted. The response from a prominent member of the Synod was that

"In orthodox Christology, the words of Paul ARE the words of Jesus."

This is news to me, that on the face of it seems ludicrous. Can anybody more familiar with this "orthodox christology" help?

That is part of the near-deification of Paul taught by Moore College.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Similarly, I didn't say that the Bible was the unique (small or big w) word of God. Rather, I said that the Bible is the unique testament to Christ as that Word of God.

To me, the issue is that it is The Church that is the witness to Christ. There are rare instances of someone picking up a Bible and coming to faith without any prior contact to the Church, but that is a very unusual event.

What the Church witnesses to is what the Church has learnt from itself, that is that witness is informed by Tradition, which includes the Bible. What may be the particular Protestant (or, even just Evangelical) perspective is the emphasis on the Bible as the supreme authority for checking the authenticity of our witness.

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mr cheesy
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Well it seems to me that the witness is actually the Holy Spirit, who of course has worked through the the church and speaks to us through the bible - but crucially works and speaks in other ways.

It also strikes me that there is something slightly ridiculous in saying that there is a difference between the "words of Paul" and the "words of Jesus" given that both come to us mediated by thousands of years of tradition, the church, interpretation etc and so on.

It might be comforting to believe that those who assembled the NT stories managed to keep the stories separate and that the one idea didn't seep into the other, but that seems to me to be more a statement of faith than factual. It seems fairly clear to be that at least some of the statements of Jesus have been edited to include Pauline ideas.

I'm not sure that it matters a whole lot.

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Martin60
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(We should end the thread there, but I've just ruined that!)

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anoesis
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
It seems fairly clear to be that at least some of the statements of Jesus have been edited to include Pauline ideas.

It'd be interesting to see you unpack this a bit.

[That's a completely face-value statement, btw, not snark - I can't, off the bat, call to mind what you might be referring to.]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:
It'd be interesting to see you unpack this a bit.

[That's a completely face-value statement, btw, not snark - I can't, off the bat, call to mind what you might be referring to.]

Well not very easily without causing a big argument, I know others have strong opinions in other directions. But to me the idea that Mark is an allegorical rewriting of Paul is a strong one and it seems to me that various other parts of the gospels make most sense if they'd been written by someone with a strong grounding in Pauline theology.

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Martin60
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Ah c'mon! This is the thread and this is the realm for it. So what in Mark is Pauline, for a start?

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Well it seems to me that the witness is actually the Holy Spirit, who of course has worked through the the church and speaks to us through the bible - but crucially works and speaks in other ways.

It also strikes me that there is something slightly ridiculous in saying that there is a difference between the "words of Paul" and the "words of Jesus" given that both come to us mediated by thousands of years of tradition, the church, interpretation etc and so on.

It might be comforting to believe that those who assembled the NT stories managed to keep the stories separate and that the one idea didn't seep into the other, but that seems to me to be more a statement of faith than factual. It seems fairly clear to be that at least some of the statements of Jesus have been edited to include Pauline ideas.

I'm not sure that it matters a whole lot.

I would agree with the above

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by anoesis:
It'd be interesting to see you unpack this a bit.

[That's a completely face-value statement, btw, not snark - I can't, off the bat, call to mind what you might be referring to.]

Well not very easily without causing a big argument, I know others have strong opinions in other directions. But to me the idea that Mark is an allegorical rewriting of Paul is a strong one and it seems to me that various other parts of the gospels make most sense if they'd been written by someone with a strong grounding in Pauline theology.
Which could be hypothesized to suggest that Paul was well grounded in the oral tradition of Jesus

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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# 38

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Do I detect the ghost of a circular argument hovering tantalisingly out of reach?

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cliffdweller
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# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
Do I detect the ghost of a circular argument hovering tantalisingly out of reach?

More of a chicken and egg.

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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# 38

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
Do I detect the ghost of a circular argument hovering tantalisingly out of reach?

More of a chicken and egg.
Yes, that's probably a better way of putting it.

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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I don't know. I suppose this is a deeper question about how one understands the texts that we have.

It seems to me that one has to believe that the two traditions (which for simplicity we are calling here the "words of Jesus" versus the "words of Paul") were kept for posterity entirely apart so that we can compare the one with the other like we might compare eyewitness accounts to a crime.

In reality we don't know what happened. We don't know exactly who wrote the gospels, we don't know how they interacted with the epistles and the epistle writers. We have every indication that at least some of the epistles were written before the gospels and some of the gospel texts themselves say that they are the summation of other writings.

It seems to me highly likely that the gospels were written down in an environment that was heavily influenced by Pauline ideas. Of course, you are all perfectly at liberty to disagree, but to me this is all clutching at straws.

This is the thing we've been handed down through the ages by those mystical people who collected the ideas and wrote down the holy scripts, those who collected them into a handy tome, those who made mistakes when they copied them and those who did the editing to make it hang together.

In that context, it seems particularly strange to me to be claiming that there is some gospel writing that it independent of Paul - and even that there is some epistle teaching that is independent of the gospels.

Better minds than I have in the past put forward (what I think are) persuasive arguments about the influence of Paul on Mark, but ultimately it's all just supposition and interpolation.

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Jengie jon

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Do I have to point this out? Not all Protestants understand 'unique' to mean 'only'. Take for instance a certain John Calvin.

Jengie

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LutheranChik
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# 9826

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The discussiom reminds me of my LCMS childhood, when I was explicitly taught that every utterance in Scripture, let alone Jesus' versus Paul's, pwas the actual "Word of God" and needed to be given equal gravitas.Imagine my surprise when I got to university and learned that Luther wanted to chuck whole books out of the canon...and when I learned that the Gospwls were written long after the Epistles, and quotes attributed to Jesus may or may not have been actual remembered quotes.

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Nick Tamen

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# 15164

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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
Do I have to point this out? Not all Protestants understand 'unique' to mean 'only'. Take for instance a certain John Calvin.

Sure, but I didn’t understand the assertion that the use of “unique” was “eminently Protestant” as being grounded in an assumption that “unique” meant “only.” I understood the assertion to be premised on the belief held by Catholics and Orthodox but rejected by (most) Protestants that Holy Tradition is equal to Holy Scripture with regard to the claimed “uniqueness.” Or put another way that Scripture is part of but not all of Holy Tradition.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
Do I have to point this out? Not all Protestants understand 'unique' to mean 'only'. Take for instance a certain John Calvin.

Unique:

A 1 Of which there is only one; one and no other; single, sole, solitary

2a That is or forms the only one of its kind; having no like or equal; standing alone in comparison with others, freq. by reason of superior excellence; unequaled, uparalleled, unrivaled.

2b of persons.

B a thing of which there is only one example, copy, or specimen; espl, in early use, a coni or medal of this class

b something of which only one is possessed by a person or persons.

2 a A thing, fact, or circumstance by reason of exceptional or or special qualities stands alone and is without equal or parallel in its kind

b. a person of this class

(OED)

Sure is a lot of "only" in there. It's the basic, underlying, foundational meaning of the word Unique. Which only makes sense since it comes from the latin root uni meaning one. If Protestants don't mean "unique" when they say "unique," then yes it does need to be pointed out, and huffing about it is grossly unwarranted.

ETA: and what Nick Tamen says in the post immediately preceding this one is, in fact, what I meant.

[ 23. October 2017, 21:42: Message edited by: mousethief ]

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leo
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# 1458

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Paul was writing a lot earlier than the gospels so maybe he was nearer the actual Jesus.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Paul was writing a lot earlier than the gospels so maybe he was nearer the actual Jesus.

He didn't know him personally, so not quite. The idea that he wrote stuff down earlier doesn't make it closer to Jesus, it makes it more likely that Paul's stuff we read today is nearer to what Paul originally wrote. What we think that Jesus said is what others tell us he said, so probably less accurate.

Which then strikes me that if we think God was interested in us knowing him and Jesus etc, that God was not very interested in the precise text, but rather the general thrust. If we were supposed to have precise text we'd have a Koran/Quran or a Book of Mormon. Glad we don't.

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Zappa
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# 8433

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Ah c'mon! This is the thread and this is the realm for it. So what in Mark is Pauline, for a start?

Dammit I'm a bit rusty, but I know when I was writing my dissertation on Paul I found enough echoes of Paul in Mark to become conservative enough to go back to the Mark = John-Mark thesis. But I can't remember them now [Hot and Hormonal]

And I find myself in pretty much agreement with Cliffdweller's post above ...

all of which is not what I popped in to say.

I do think and often say in preaching and teaching that one of the problems we have with the Paul/Jesus dichotomy is what Paul didn't say. I have always argued that we don't have many Jesus sayings in Paul precisely because they were part of the agreed discourse between Paul and his audiences. When I was a sports umpire I didn't blow the whistle and argue the sub-clauses of rule 37.b:ii. I just kicked arse. And I think Paul does that precisely because the loose oral sayi9ng, probably pretty much in that sort of Q format, were undisputed, more or less. So why reinvent the wheel when you're kicking Corinthian or Galatian butt?

Which may or may not be tangential.

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k-mann
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# 8490

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Well, what is the principled difference between, on the one hand, saying that the words of Paul is the words of Jesus or, on the other hand, saying that the words of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John is the words of Jesus?

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Katolikken

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by k-mann:
Well, what is the principled difference between, on the one hand, saying that the words of Paul is the words of Jesus or, on the other hand, saying that the words of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John is the words of Jesus?

What does "principled" mean here? Looks like a weasel word waiting to spring a no-true-scotsman on any potential answer.

The words of the Evangelists, or many of them, actually purport to be the words of Jesus. They tell us, "Jesus said this and did that." Paul does that exactly twice that I know of: in the words of institution, and in introducing "It is more blessed to give than to receive."

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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k-mann
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# 8490

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They both claim to present us with the teaching of Christ, the Gospel og Christ. I don't see why Matthew, Mark, Luke or John are more reliable than Paul in doing that. We might say that Matthew and John are perhaps more reliable, if we grant that they are two of Christ's apostles, but we also know that both Matthew and Luke is based on Mark, who wasn't a disciple. And Luke was the co-worker of Paul.

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"Being religious means asking passionately the question of the meaning of our existence and being willing to receive answers, even if the answers hurt."
— Paul Tillich

Katolikken

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keibat
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# 5287

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responding to k-mann:
quote:
We might say that Matthew and John are perhaps more reliable, if we grant that they are two of Christ's apostles, but we also know that both Matthew and Luke is based on Mark, who wasn't a disciple. And Luke was the co-worker of Paul.
If we grant...
But in fact, we do not know who wrote any of the four canonical Gospels. The closest we can come with any real degree of certainty is that the Fourth Gospel looks as though it must have come via John, = 'the Beloved Disciple' – though probably not actually written by him. (I like Barnabas Lindars' suggestion that it is based on notes taken during John's sermons). There is nothing in the first three Gospels to say who wrote them: the identifications with Mark, Matthew and Luke are all based solely on tradition.

One very good relatively recent work of good scholarship on the origins of the Gospels, from an interesting and new perspective, is Richard Bauckham's Jesus and the Eyewitnesses (2006)

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keibat from the finnish north and the lincs east rim

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by k-mann:
They both claim to present us with the teaching of Christ, the Gospel og Christ. I don't see why Matthew, Mark, Luke or John are more reliable than Paul in doing that.

Not what you asked.

quote:
We might say that Matthew and John are perhaps more reliable, if we grant that they are two of Christ's apostles, but we also know that both Matthew and Luke is based on Mark, who wasn't a disciple. And Luke was the co-worker of Paul.
We also know that Mark was based on the testimony of Peter, who was. Etc etc. But again nothing to do with the question you asked.

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Jay-Emm
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# 11411

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quote:
Originally posted by keibat:
There is nothing in the first three Gospels to say who wrote them: the identifications with Mark, Matthew and Luke are all based solely on tradition.
[/QB]

While the strictly true in all cases.
Luke&Acts have clearly been written as though part of a pair, and Acts does have some first person narration (from Acts 16?). So (if the stuff in them is considered valid), there is a bit on who the person was in the general sense (someone who traveled with Paul, not Barnabus or JohnMark, even if not who in the sense of a name*)

*which wouldn't mean an awful lot without the detail.

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bib
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# 13074

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I have always had some difficulties with Paul's teaching, never with what our Lord Jesus Christ said. In fact , I would even go as far as to say that Paul has damaged Christianity for some Christians, particularly in his limited understanding of the role of women. He seems much more judgemental than how I have always felt the Lord would be and imposes strictures that would make the baby Jesus cry.

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Martin60
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# 368

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That astounds me, as Jesus gave us hell and damnation, limited atonement, eternal torture, penal substitutionary atonement, racism you name it. Paul gave us sexism and homophobia - allegedly - what else?

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Steve Langton
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# 17601

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quote:
Originally posted by bib:
I have always had some difficulties with Paul's teaching, never with what our Lord Jesus Christ said. In fact , I would even go as far as to say that Paul has damaged Christianity for some Christians, particularly in his limited understanding of the role of women. He seems much more judgemental than how I have always felt the Lord would be and imposes strictures that would make the baby Jesus cry.

by Martin 60
quote:
That astounds me, as Jesus gave us hell and damnation, limited atonement, eternal torture, penal substitutionary atonement, racism you name it. Paul gave us sexism and homophobia - allegedly - what else?
Martin is basically right here. bib clearly doesn't know his gospels at all well if he hasn't realised that Jesus is in fact the strict one compared to Paul.

Having said that, Jesus certainly didn't give us racism - at worst some apparent ambiguities because he was operating in the transition period between the time when God operated specially through Israel and the time, brought in by Jesus, when everything is opened up to the whole world. (He is critical not of Jews racially - how could he be as a Jew himself - but of various ways the national religion had developed. It is a problem to this day of how you can critique such a religion of one ethnic group as a religion and not have people accusing you of racism....)

I'm not sure you can say simply that Jesus gave us penal substitutionary atonement. He certainly atoned for our sins in a way that involves substitution, his standing in our place; but his own primary images for that seem to be about payment of debt rather than punishment for crime, and the substitutionary images around the Passover Lamb with which he identified himself. Yes there are some aspects of it where the imagery of the criminal court is used, but these are not as I see it primary.

'Hell and damnation... eternal torture' Indeed. Anyone who presents Jesus as a softie who didn't talk about such things clearly hasn't read the gospels. Jesus indeed speaks of these things more than other NT writers; if you don't like that, just don't believe in Jesus. But don't misrepresent him to suit what you'd rather believe - be honest about what he said. And bear in mind that in John 3 Jesus says
quote:
`And this is the judgment, that the light hath come to the world, and men did love the darkness rather than the light, for their works were evil;
John 3:19 (YLT)

That, those who end up in hell get what they want and what they prefer to heaven.

"Limited atonement" - I'd need a bit more definition to comment on that. Is Martin referring to the specific Calvinist doctrine so-called, or is he simply saying that Jesus clearly didn't believe in universal salvation?

'Sexism' I'll leave aside for now - this post will be long enough as it is. Though it does perhaps need saying that Paul's supposed sexism was nevertheless far better than what most women faced outside the church at that time.

'Homophobia'? Yes Paul disagreed with those who want to do 'gay sex'. But the basic Christian teaching here comes from Jesus in Mark 10 and its Matthean parallel, with a very strong assertion about the inherent heterosexuality of marriage and therefore of sexual activity. That assertion is so strong that on another thread Shipmate St Deird not only failed to come up with an 'other interpretation', but could apparently only get round Jesus' words by declaring Jesus himself to have been mistaken (and apparently able to be so because God wasn't competent at self-incarnation and his incarnate self couldn't therefore be relied on to interpret his own OT words). Isn't it fabulous that we live in the era when we have St D available to tell us what Jesus should have said...? Detailed discussion of that is I guess for DH, but the basic point is relevant here that Paul was following Jesus rather than him independently giving us his own version of the Christian position - and of course neither was 'homophobic' but simply disagreeing with an inordinate practice.

I repeat - don't make up to suit your own preferences a Jesus different from the Jesus actually portrayed in the gospels. Either honestly accept him or honestly reject him, but don't mess around with him.

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:


I repeat - don't make up to suit your own preferences a Jesus different from the Jesus actually portrayed in the gospels. Either honestly accept him or honestly reject him, but don't mess around with him.

Or perhaps take a bit of notice of the context and stop assuming the bible can be read in isolation.

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arse

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Martin60
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# 368

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Ooooh, you dangerous radical mr cheesy! As for racism, calling a Syro-Phoenician woman a dog ...

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Love wins

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