Posted: Jul 19, 2013 9:09 pm
by spin
RealityRules wrote:
spin wrote:
neilgodfrey wrote:(I think most of us know that "church" in the NT refers to an assembly.)
It seems rather hard when confronted with "the churches of Judea that are in Christ" [Gal 1:22] not to be swayed by later interpretations and ignore what the phrase actually says, which has no necessary direct connection to christianity at all.

Even if "the churches of Judea that are in Christ [Gal 1:22] ... has no necessary direct connection to christianity at all", that is likely to mean that Galatians 1 (and probably other "Pauline" texts) were co-opted into Christian texts ie. further supporting a hypothesis that Christianity is a 'constructed theology' and less likely to have been constructed around a real Jesus.

I don't see how you get what "that is likely to mean".

Mine is an effort to read what the text says, not what posterity says. The nature of these letters is very different from the gospels: the former are instructions to groups explaining the thoughts and motivations of the writer, while the latter tell stories about Jesus doing wonderful things. The most wonderful thing in Paul are his revelations. I don't know their nature, but there are a range of natural explanations--ranging from dreams to psychotic events--which won't interfere with the writer's interpretation as revelations.

Paul has a revelation of the messiah, who we learn elsewhere is Jesus. He specifically says his good news about the messiah didn't come to him from other people, but through a revelation. According to his narrative to the Galatians he eventually presented his message to the Jerusalem messianists and, whatever their reaction was, he lost respect for them. Nothing in this suggests that those prior messianists knew anything about Paul's messiah. Paul first learned of his messiah through his revelation, when god saw fit to reveal him, so Paul obviously had no real world experience of his messiah.

If this relatively faithful reading of Galatians is correct, it would seem that Paul's revelation is the start of Jesus religion, for, whether Jesus existed or not, Paul's proselytism wasn't based on knowledge of a real Jesus.