I decided to reblog this on All Along the Watchtower knowing that Nicholas here is quite interested in 2nd Temple Judaism. The author doesn’t appear to be getting a whole lot of critique on his work, as it appears many of his readers are of the non-theist variety.
However, I stated in a previous comment on the mission of Paul and the mission of Christ are completely different for obvious reasons. To quote Christ’s teaching on the greatest commandment and oversimplify Paul’s entire message in (1 Cor. 15) is a non sequitur in my opinion because of the goal in the strictness of their own respective narratives. Nonetheless, what is the overall theme in Christ’s message in the greatest commandment? It’s love. “Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.” And the author asks does Paul teach this? He answers, “No.” So, even though Paul’s overall message is how do those new followers become a part of a new covenant as stated by the author’s example, we’re to assume that Paul doesn’t teach on love? What about just before that particular passage the author quotes in 1 Cor 15. ?
“If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.” (1 Cor. 13:3)
Naturally, we’ll compare it to the small part from Jesus in Mark: “The second is this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself, there is no greater commandment than these.”
To say that these two do not reflect each other when one says having no love that one is nothing and that loving your neighbor is one of two greatest commandments is an extreme stretch.
The author writes:
“Those who practiced this two-fold Mosaic concept better than the Pharisees, Jesus taught, would be saved from judgment when evil (Rome) was overthrown and the Son of Man soon returned within one or two generations, tops. In other words, approximately in 80 CE to perhaps 140 CE. That was what Jesus promised (Matt. 18:11-12, 18:8-9; Luke 13:28-29, 14:15-24) ”
If I were making this argument I would have used Mt. 24:32 and Lk 21:32 because nothing here that the author quoted indicates Jesus promising anything about generations in those particular passages; however, in the two that I referenced it at least speaks to some degree of what generations shall witness. Nonetheless, using many of these parables and then making a leap that that’s what Jesus claimed is absurd to the degree that there simply isn’t any context to make the claim in those passages, even if I was inclined to want to believe the author’s overall thesis, I’d find this evidence to be highly suspect.
Taking a look at the graph on his other post with the dating of the sources, I’m going to bow out of the conversation, out of politeness, I don’t think the author and I could move any further within the context of his assertions within the sphere of historicity. We’re fundamentally dealing with two separate schools of thought with the dating of the New Testament. However, as he is usually a polite ole’ chap I wanted to give one final comment. The only thing I’d be curious about is the process of selecting sources The author quoted Ehrman; however, much like Ehrman’s work, others who’ve challenged his position like NT Wright, Larry Hurtado, James Dunn, and Richard Bauckham–who is arguably the leading English speaking scholar on early Christian history is missing. Of course, I could rehash their arguments in the comments here, but it is too time-consuming and I wouldn’t change his mind. Nonetheless, I find it suspect when I encounter a thesis with these rebuttals missing; why not present the best arguments against your position? Another example that I’ve presented is that NT Wright argues that Paul’s zeal, in fact, is founded in a heavily Jewish upbringing and Wright is probably the most approachable and easily refutable comparative to the other scholars and his work is simply missing…?
Did Saul and Jesus teach two fundamentally different religions?
This is the question I pose to anyone who professes belief in the Christian canonical New Testament. When one closely compares Saul’s epistles and “Christ” — six epistles which are probably not authored by Saul — with the Jewish-Jesus and the Gospel-Jesus, the differences will shock many Christians. If one made a list of everything Saul denotes Jesus did, stated, and experienced from birth to death, they would indeed be shocked by just how little Saul mentions; it’s near nothing. Yet, that isn’t really the controversy. The shock is about what Jewish-Jesus and Gospel-Jesus taught about his God and His coming kingdom and whether that aligned with what Saul taught about his God and His kingdom.
Saul’s “Christ” vs. the Jewish-Jesus
As I expounded in the previous post Saul the Apostate – Intro to Part II, a necessary…
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