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Interpretation the Trinity is polytheistic

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  • One more from Ehrman (on his blog) concerning the Poem in Phil. 2:

    ".......Paul is simply quoting an earlier poem..................... the poem was around before Paul. ................ Which makes it pre-Pauline. Which makes it very old indeed. Which means incarnation Christologies were probably around before Paul........."




    Comment


    • Originally posted by thormas View Post

      But that is not the bottom line. You ignore or refuse to accept the ability of scholars to read Paul and make note of things that devote readers or bottom liners miss.

      It is obvious that there was something already in (circa) 32 CE that Saul persecuted. In addition, something all can see, (1 Cor: 15) he acknowledges that he 'received' from others the information about the death and the resurrection of Jesus and that Jesus died for our sins. Additionally, it is the case, made clear with the help of scholars/experts, that he assumes common knowledge and practices among Christians. There is pre-Pauline 'Christian' beliefs and practices that he inherits or receives and does not invent. If you disagree, provide the information and not just your opinion - but that of expert scholars.

      I respect your right to your opinion..........but it is not backed up by any scholars to refute what I have presented. You are simply wrong about Paul's knowledge. Who do you think he 'received' the information from......the risen Jesus,,,,,,,,over coffee?

      I haven't been discussing the resurrection but regardless of physical appearances (which I doubt) - what we have is the 'experience and belief' (of the disciples) that Jesus was risen and exalted by God......after his death.



      See Ehrman above - "Paul received this core of the Gospel message from those who were Christians before him."

      And again from Ehrman, "(1 Cor. 8:6) This verse may well incorporate another pre-Pauline creed of some kind.......... a confession of God the Father and the second a confession of Jesus Christ......... “through” Christ that all things come into being and that believers themselves exist."
      Nevertheless, the fact remains that there is no actual evidence of very early post-mortem Christian devotion to the man Jesus as a person who had been bodily raised from the dead. Paul recites the Little Creed of 1 Cor 15 whereby Jesus “appears” to himself, Paul, and to others. But in Paul’s case it was not a physical appearance and there is no good reason to think it was in the other instances. It’s certainly not when Christians today “experience” the “risen Jesus” in their lives.

      We only have the word of those who wrote and compiled the gospels of what took place but none of these accounts were eyewitness accounts. The gospels were NOT compiled by those with firsthand knowledge of Jesus Christ and his life but decades later.

      As you yourself say “what we have is the 'experience and belief' (of the disciples) that Jesus was risen and exalted by God......after his death”. I agree. What we are talking about is a subjective belief system dating from a gullible era of belief in miracles, signs and wonders.









      “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by mikewhitney View Post

        I'm sorry that you missed some of the discussions on this topic. It is hard to keep up with the discussion.
        I have missed nothing.
        Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
        Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
        But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

        go with the flow the river knows . . .

        Frank

        I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by thormas View Post


          It's a belief statement. Simple as that.

          You don't think (you don't believe) one can be so definitive about God's intentions; I think (or believe) one can. And of course humans make assumptions about God and of course it is from the human (the only one we have) perspective: we assume there is a God, we assume he is loving, we assume this, we assume that, and on and on..... We have done this since we became 'man' and will continue till the end.

          And it is not any more selective that your belief:+} It is important for you to have something grounded in the Tanakh..............it is not for me since the Tanakh is also human assumption/belief.

          Also, I consider (i.e. believe) the self-revealing of God, i.e. grace, to be the epitome of God's revelation and creation.
          I believe this in a general universal sense of the relationship between humanity and Creation, but the difference is you still hang on the specific Biblical understanding which to me is too anthropomorphic from the cultural perspective at the time it was written.
          Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
          Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
          But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

          go with the flow the river knows . . .

          Frank

          I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by thormas View Post

            That's just it, the 'developed form' predated Paul and it is assumed, not explained, in his writings. It was what he persecuted and then received and passed on to his groups.

            Hurtado says, chronology matters and there was 'something already there, already professed' that Paul persecuted within 2-3 years after the death of Jesus.

            I get the canon and the gospels but Hurtado is going much earlier. As for Thomas I have never seen it dated that early but that would still make it contemporary with Matthew - 50 years after Jesus and 30 after Paul. I have seen dates of 100 CE and 250 CE.

            The early Christian devotion had Jesus as a man raised and exalted by God​​ (again dy​​​​adic devotion) that Hurtado traces to months or 1-2 years after the death of Jesus.
            To this point, I give you Hurtado from the first link above:

            "Were there other circles of Jesus-followers who didn’t share these beliefs? If so, we have no evidence of them. And Paul wasn’t reluctant to indicate or engage issues of difference with others! So, it’s conspicuous that there is no mention of differences over christological issues. Without evidence of major christological differences, or of circles that didn’t regard Jesus as glorified and sharing in divine honor, to posit such circles is an exercise in fantasy. Not good historical practice. To be sure, there are later references to “Ebionites” who may or may not be actual groups by that name. But these groups can’t be placed early or function as rival versions of earliest believers, nor is it clear that they denied the glorified status of Jesus."


            I have no problem discussing the later formulations but Hurtado aims much earlier.
            First I have problems with Hurtado making assumptions about what early Christians believed when there is absolutely nothing before 50 AD either way. Paul's testimony becomes later and becomes the standard line. Yes, it is a given that Paul heard testimony from 'some' early believers, but I believe Paul also wrote of disagreements, disunity, and problems with what early believer believed. Based on what the evidence demonstrates there were non-Trinitarian beliefs in contention after 50 AD.

            Yes, Ehrman acknowledge that Paul met with early believers that believed as he did, but also believing in a 'glorified Jesus' can have different interpretations. Yes Paul chose the Trinitarian belief and promoted it, and that lead to it being the standard of traditional Roman Christianity.
            Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
            Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
            But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

            go with the flow the river knows . . .

            Frank

            I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by 37818 View Post

              Silly you. There is only one God, John 17:3, 1 Corinthians 8:6, ". . . But to us there is but one God, the Father, . . ." 1 Timothy 2:5, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; . . ."
              In complete. Yes, the claim of One God well grounded in the Tanakh, but yes the Roman belief of 'three distinct persons' as one God became the standard with Jesus Christ the incarnate separate God seated at the right hand of God the Father, which is a polytheistic tritheism belief..
              Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
              Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
              But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

              go with the flow the river knows . . .

              Frank

              I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Tassman View Post

                Nevertheless, the fact remains that there is no actual evidence of very early post-mortem Christian devotion to the man Jesus as a person who had been bodily raised from the dead. Paul recites the Little Creed of 1 Cor 15 whereby Jesus “appears” to himself, Paul, and to others. But in Paul’s case it was not a physical appearance and there is no good reason to think it was in the other instances. It’s certainly not when Christians today “experience” the “risen Jesus” in their lives.

                We only have the word of those who wrote and compiled the gospels of what took place but none of these accounts were eyewitness accounts. The gospels were NOT compiled by those with firsthand knowledge of Jesus Christ and his life but decades later.

                As you yourself say “what we have is the 'experience and belief' (of the disciples) that Jesus was risen and exalted by God......after his death”. I agree. What we are talking about is a subjective belief system dating from a gullible era of belief in miracles, signs and wonders.








                Tasman, I am disappointed as I had hoped for more. All you give is denial and there is no nuance in your comments.

                If you're looking for evidence I have given what counts for 'evidence' in this particular discipline. And I have given at least 3 scholars, experts in their fields who all concur on the early evidence of Jesus devotion and belief (honorifics) about him. Again, if your position is solid there must be similar experts who agree with you and you should present them. If not, yours is only opinion and simply an opinion that has not been formed by critically considering the texts.

                However, you seem now to have switched the discussion to bodily resurrection. Again, I don't have a dog in that fight. I have no earthly idea what happened but I tend to not accept the very detailed gospel descriptions of the bodily resurrection. However, it is obvious that something did happen and the followers of Jesus, including and obviously the earliest followers, at least some of the disciples, had an 'experience' of the crucified Jesus, 'risen and exalted' by God. I have no argument with your comment on Paul's experience vs physical appearance. It is interesting though that you miss in that 'little creed' that Paul explicitly states that he 'delivered what he also received' .................and I gave you Ehrman on what this means.

                Again, I have not been talking about the gospels (you're again switching subjects) .......I have been focused on Paul and the 'pre-Pauline' Jesus devotion and beliefs.

                You passed right over what I did say we had: it was the belief but it was also the experience of the disciples. And both are presented in Paul who persecuted the followers of Jesus perhaps as early as 1-2 years after the death of Jesus, who was an eye witness who knew (at least some of) the disciples and who reports what he received from earlier Christians.

                Again, I await not opinion but scholars who refute those I have presented and who back you.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post

                  I believe this in a general universal sense of the relationship between humanity and Creation, but the difference is you still hang on the specific Biblical understanding which to me is too anthropomorphic from the cultural perspective at the time it was written.
                  Of course it is anthropomorphic but within that presentation they are saying something about their belief in the God who is in relationship or covenant with humanity. And I think it is perfectly acceptable and necessary, if one values the texts, to re-present them (including in less anthropomorphic ways) to each new generation of men and women.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post

                    First I have problems with Hurtado making assumptions about what early Christians believed when there is absolutely nothing before 50 AD either way. Paul's testimony becomes later and becomes the standard line. Yes, it is a given that Paul heard testimony from 'some' early believers, but I believe Paul also wrote of disagreements, disunity, and problems with what early believer believed. Based on what the evidence demonstrates there were non-Trinitarian beliefs in contention after 50 AD.

                    Yes, Ehrman acknowledge that Paul met with early believers that believed as he did, but also believing in a 'glorified Jesus' can have different interpretations. Yes Paul chose the Trinitarian belief and promoted it, and that lead to it being the standard of traditional Roman Christianity.
                    You'll have to be much more specific. What assumptions? Hurtado (and Hengel and Ehrman, among others) is meticulous is specifying what specific texts, what specific words he is focusing on. If you have a problem with Hurtado, be specific: what part of the texts, which words and which of his comments. Then at least we have some shared basis for discussion.

                    Part of the argument is that, although all acknowledge that Paul is the earliest NT writer, one must look at what Paul is saying and what is assumed in his letters, including to the pre-Pauline Roman community, and of course, ask what Saul was persecuting in the first year or two after the crucification of Jesus - there had to be something there that incensed him about this 'messianic figure' since, apparently, he was never incensed over other such men.

                    If you look carefully, the disagreements were not over devotion or beliefs (i.e. Christology) but about how one (specifically pagans) become followers; it is not the what or who of Jesus but the how of who were his followers. And it is the what and the who that he 'received' (and that he persecuted in 31/32 CE) - thus it is pre-Paul and as Hengel said this understanding/explanation of Jesus 'exploded' with their resurrection (appearances) experience. What is difficult for many to get their heads around is that 'risen and exalted, Messiah, Lord, Son of God, saving death, devotion alongside of the Father' - were not later developments imposed on Christianity but were there from the beginning. Paul inherited them, he did not invent them. (This is not to deny Paul's later insights and innovations). Again, if you disagree (that's fine), refute Hurtado and Hengel by reference to others of like expertise and honesty.

                    I have not been talking about the trinity at this early stage and (as previously discussed I might be in greater agreement with you on some of these issues). I would be glad to discuss the trinity and Paul but the dyadic devotion was already taking place in a few months/years of the crucification.

                    Again, these scholars show there was no real disagreement over beliefs in/about Jesus or devotion to him at this stage (later definitely).

                    Last edited by thormas; 10-30-2020, 09:23 AM.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by thormas View Post

                      You'll have to be much more specific. What assumptions? Hurtado (and Hengel and Ehrman, among others) is meticulous is specifying what specific texts, what specific words he is focusing on. If you have a problem with Hurtado, be specific: what part of the texts, which words and which of his comments. Then at least we have some shared basis for discussion.
                      Assumptions as to what the Christians believed before 50 AD for which there is absolutely no evidence. I have already addressed Ehrman , Hengel, and Hurtado, and the fact that it is completely in contradiction with the Tanakh.

                      I believe Ehrman's view is more complex than you present. I have his books and live near UNC w=here I have listened to his talks. One citation does not represent Ehrman's view on the NT. Henndel and Hurtado are apologists justifying what they believe.



                      Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                      Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                      But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                      go with the flow the river knows . . .

                      Frank

                      I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                      Comment


                      • Ehrman has written that 1Cor.15......specifically verses 3-5 (excepting Paul's introduction) are not only pre-Pauline but is a "very ancient tradition about Jesus" ......... with some scholars believing they were originally in Aramaic. Ehrman also writes that Paul indicates that "he did not devise this statement himself but 'received' it from others. He goes on to write, "....Paul is indicating that this is a tradition already widespread in the Christian church, handed over to him by Christian teachers, possibly even the apostles themselves."

                        Ehrman also cites Roman 1:3-4 as pre-Pauline and ancient wherein Jesus is described as 'decended from David according to the flesh and appointed Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness...'

                        This is the simple point: that there is a wealth of beliefs and devotion to Jesus that is ancient in what became Christianity that pre-dates Paul (who learned and inherited it) who is writing a short 18+ years after the crucification .......but persecuting the followers as early as 33 CE.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post

                          Assumptions as to what the Christians believed before 50 AD for which there is absolutely no evidence. I have already addressed Ehrman , Hengel, and Hurtado, and the fact that it is completely in contradiction with the Tanakh.

                          I believe Ehrman's view is more complex than you present. I have his books and live near UNC w=here I have listened to his talks. One citation does not represent Ehrman's view on the NT. Henndel and Hurtado are apologists justifying what they believe.


                          Actually you haven't truly addressed Ehrman or the others other than with a general statement of your disbelief..........which is simply an opinion.

                          Hey. perhaps we have been in the same UNC 'Adventures in Ideas' class of Ehrman. I have taken attended 2 or 3. I have know he is more complex and I was just looking at his 'When Jesus became God' book on the specific pre-Pauline traditions.

                          Again, Hengel and Hurtado are honest brokers and serious scholars who are following the 'evidence.' So rather than simply right them off out of hand - be specific and refute their position.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by thormas View Post
                            Ehrman, again from his blog, writes:

                            (Paul) "admits in 1 Cor. 15:3-5 that he “received” from others the view that Christ died for sins and rose from the dead, before appearing “first” to Cephas and then others. I should stress, this language of “receiving” and “passing on” has long been understood as a standard way of indicating how tradition was transmitted from one person to another. Paul did not “receive” this information from his visionary encounter with Jesus (Jesus didn’t tell him: first I appeared to Cephas then to… and then to… and then finally to you!). Paul received this core of the Gospel message from those who were Christians before him."
                            Precisely where in Scripture is it stated that Paul did NOT receive this information from Christ directly? ?

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Trucker View Post

                              Precisely where in Scripture is it stated that Paul did NOT receive this information from Christ directly? ?
                              I refer you to Ehrman and there are numerous others who explain what 'received and passed on' means.

                              However, this is referring to specific usages. I have not said anything about Paul's claim that he received revelation from Christ.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by thormas View Post

                                Actually you haven't truly addressed Ehrman or the others other than with a general statement of your disbelief..........which is simply an opinion.

                                Hey. perhaps we have been in the same UNC 'Adventures in Ideas' class of Ehrman. I have taken attended 2 or 3. I have know he is more complex and I was just looking at his 'When Jesus became God' book on the specific pre-Pauline traditions.

                                Again, Hengel and Hurtado are honest brokers and serious scholars who are following the 'evidence.' So rather than simply right them off out of hand - be specific and refute their position.

                                Paul's letter to the Galatians likely is the earliest letter unless another one was before AD47 or 48. The timing of this letter fits in like a puzzle piece into the Acts early time frame and the biographical details from Paul. It is a tight puzzle piece but makes the best sense.

                                So the deity of Christ is known by the Galatians at that time.

                                Paul certainly learned the life and preaching of Christ from those around him. However, he had to understand the gospel in light of the first century Jewish situation, the Old Testament writings, the Law, and the outreach to the gentiles. On the latter point, Paul would have applied his deep understanding of the Torah combined with a deep search of the relevance and application to the Gentiles, since this was Paul's calling. Paul had the perfect background to undertake this calling.

                                Comment

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