1. Hmmm . . .
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    24 Sep '06 19:061 edit
    Originally posted by jaywill
    Upon close examination and comparison of Matthew with Romans 7 and 8 it is clear that Paul was teaching exactly the same thing that Christ was teaching.

    You failed to quote the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:3,4 -

    [b]"For what the law could not do, in that is was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin and conce living.

    So Matthew's record of Christ's teaching is the same as Paul's teaching.
    [/b]I’m too tired to make more than just a few comments:

    (1) Paul’s Christ/law dialectic is very complex—especially in Romans. This is one case where I think the whole thing needs to be examined, without pulling verses out.

    (2) Admittedly, I did pull verses out. You asked for an example where Jesus and Paul seemed to say different things. The most clear-cut example I could find was the Ephesians verse (although there is apparently some scholarly dispute about whether Paul was, in fact, the author of Ephesians).

    (3) The disparity of the Matthew and Ephesians statements about abolishing the law I still think is pretty sharp—there is not talk there about fulfilling the law, but abolishing it.

    In order to reconcile the two, I think you need to re-interpret the “plain” text, which you have essentially done, basically using Romans to reinterpret Ephesians. I have, again, no objection to that, as long as someone knows that’s what they’re doing, and doesn’t claim it’s in any way obvious (and, in fact, it might make a difference if Paul was the author of Ephesians or not).

    (4) It seems to me that doing away with certain aspects of the law is vastly different from “underplaying” them.

    (5) It does not always seem clear to me what nomos refers to in the NT, or if it always refers to the same thing. Jesus in Matthew I think is clearly referring to the Torah, and not just halakha (the “legal” portion of Torah and its interpretation) or the “moral code.”

    That’s all pretty sketchy, but now I’m too tired (after a long, late night). Perhaps at some point we can “arm” ourselves with the whole Pauline Christ/law dialectic, and have fun with that...

    _____________________________

    I really do recommend that you take a look at the Ehrman book. It will only shake your faith if your faith is too tightly bound to the “graven word.”
  2. Joined
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    25 Sep '06 10:27
    ========================================
    (1) Paul’s Christ/law dialectic is very complex—especially in Romans. This is one case where I think the whole thing needs to be examined, without pulling verses out.
    =================================

    On a forum like this where concise and short posts are the norm, of course there is limitation.

    However, there are sections of Paul’s teaching which are also very practical and simple. And patience and much experience are needed to master anything worthwhile.

    ============================
    (2) Admittedly, I did pull verses out. You asked for an example where Jesus and Paul seemed to say different things. The most clear-cut example I could find was the Ephesians verse (although there is apparently some scholarly dispute about whether Paul was, in fact, the author of Ephesians).

    Brother Paul became a pattern and a model. He was a model of one who was indwelt with the Spirit of the resurrected Christ and really saturated with that Spirit. He gained Christ and grew in Christ to a very deep degree. He spoke from his experience of living Christ. He taught from what he lived. What he ministered to the church was what he lived in his daily life. For him to live was Christ.

    In this regard he was a very normal sheep of Christ as a pattern and example for us other sheep of Christ to follow. Of course his great education in Judaism formed a rich backround for him to be able to expound God’s economy by means of the Old Testament.

    Jesus said He and the Father would come to make an abode with those who loved Him. He said He was the true vine and we should abide in Him. Without Him we could do nothing. As the branch abides in the vine so the believers in Christ must abide in the living Christ.

    Paul’s ministry is just an extrapolation and development of these basic teachings of Jesus. That is living in the sphere and realm of the resurrected and indwelling Son of God. That is living a life united and mingled with the Triune God.

    ”the last Adam became a life giving Spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45)

    Jesus in resurrection transfigured Himself into a form in which He could indwell man, give divine life to man, live in and through man, and mingle man with God. He became a divine life giving Spirit. Paul fully develops Christ’s promises and teachings from his deep experiencial and subjective enjoyment of these realities.

    =====================================

    (3) The disparity of the Matthew and Ephesians statements about abolishing the law I still think is pretty sharp—there is not talk there about fulfilling the law, but abolishing it.
    ========================================

    I would like to come back to Matthew’s gospel latter and try to sort this matter out with you about the law. I think I can show you that as Jesus dealt with the law so also the Apostle Paul followed the same way. I don’t say that it is easy to grasp. But I think I can demonstrate that Paul followed Christ.

    ===================================
    In order to reconcile the two, I think you need to re-interpret the “plain” text, which you have essentially done, basically using Romans to reinterpret Ephesians. I have, again, no objection to that, as long as someone knows that’s what they’re doing, and doesn’t claim it’s in any way obvious (and, in fact, it might make a difference if Paul was the author of Ephesians or not).
    ===========================

    I am not sure where I refered to Ephesians. But as stated, I think if latter I can show you have Christ dealt with the law in Matthew’s gospel you will reconsider that Paul’s dealing with the law is the same. But in this post I haven’t begun to talk about that yet.

    I hope you will remain opened to consider some points with me about Matthew’s gospel of the kingdom.

    ===========================
    (4) It seems to me that doing away with certain aspects of the law is vastly different from “underplaying” them.
    ===========================

    Choice of words may not be the best. But if you consider Romans 14 and 15 you will see that Paul instructs the churching people to be accomodating and receptive to one another. He realized that some would have ordinances of this type and some of that type. He knew diet and regarding of certain days was still important to some believers in Christ.

    Though he teaches that the Christians should not fight or exclude one another over these ordinances he does labor much to point them to Christ the Head. Especially in Colossians Paul labors to cause the believers to hold fast the Head Christ as the reality of all the shadows and types of Old Testament rituals:

    ”He made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our offenses;

    Wiping out the handwriting in ordinances, which was against us, which was contrary to ys; and He has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross. …
    Let no one therefore judge you in eating and in drinking or in respect of a feast or of a new moon or of the Sabbath,

    Which are a shadow of the things to come, but the body is of Christ.

    Let no one defraud you by judging you unworthy of your prize …” (See Col. 2:13-17)


    Then he speaks about ” holding the Head, out from whom all the Body, being richly supplied and knit together by means of the joints and sinews, grows with the growth of God” (v. 19)

    Jesus spoke in terms of abiding in the vine as branches. Paul speaks in terms of holding fast the Head out from whom comes all the nourishment and rich supply of life for the Body of Christ.

    Can you see the parallel? Christ speaks of the true vine and the abiding branches. Paul speaks of the ascended Head and the supplied and agrowing Body.

    Jesus says that without abiding in Him and He in us we can do nothing. Paul says let no one rob you of your prize in experiencing the rich supply from the Head of the Body. The ordinances of the law are shadows. The solid body is Christ the Head.

    Yet Paul is balanced also. He knows in Romans that some believers are immature and have trouble grasping the deeper matters of the all-uinclusive Christ. So he says for the Christians to receive one another as Christ has received them. They should not dispute with each other over Sabbath keeping or feast days or diet, if it means excluding each other from the church life. They are to receive one another.

    Can you detect the balance in this man’s shepherding of the New Testament church? He can teach that Christ is now our living law of divine life – ”For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has freed me from the law of sin and of death” (Rom. 8:2). Yet at the same time he wants not legality by spiritual growth into maturity of realization of his revelation:

    ”Now him who is weak in faith receive, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his considerations. One believes that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegatables … one judges one day above another; another judges every day alike … whether we live, we live to the Lord, and whether we die, we die to the Lord … Therefore receive one another, as Christ also received you to the glory of God”

    Romans 14 and 15 really are Paul’s governing instructions on how the Christian church should receive members into the fold. And here he recognizes that level’s of maturity conscerning the new covenant economy make accomodation necessary. Yet he is still strong that the law of life if the law with live today as believers in Jesus. He is the spontaneous indwelling priniciple which causes us to gravitate to God’s holiness, righteousness, and glory. The life giving Spirit is the realm within which the new covenant believers must learn to live and move.

    Because of length I must stop here.
  3. Lisbon
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    25 Sep '06 13:133 edits
    Originally posted by vistesd
    A questionable text in Paul—

    [b]Woman Apostle?


    Of the various “offices” listed in the NT for the early church—apostles, bishops, deacons, prophets, teachers, evangelists (and a single mention of “pastor” )—women are mentioned specifically in three: apostle, prophet and deacon. They are all mentioned by St. Paul.

    Despite sometimes getting a “ba dministrative ones—and not just child-rearing and serving meals to the males.[/b]
    Hi vistesd,

    At last I have the chance to comment on some of your views regarding the roles of women in Church, posted in this and another thread as well.

    Regarding Galatians 3:28, its context refers to salvation; Paul is saying that salvation is independent of sex, race or social status.

    Galatians 3
    26 For ye are all sons of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus.
    27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ.
    28 There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female; for ye all are one man in Christ Jesus.
    29 And if ye are Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise. (ASV)

    Regarding the mention to Phoebe in Romans 16:1-2

    This is how the ASV renders these verses:

    Romans 16
    1 I commend unto you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church that is at Cenchreae:
    2 that ye receive her in the Lord, worthily of the saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever matter she may have need of you: for she herself also hath been a helper of many, and of mine own self.

    As you know, "servant" is the Greek word diakonos, a term meaning "one who serves or ministers."

    It is of common gender, and occurs in some verses in the New Testament: Matthew 20:26; 22:13; John 2:5,9; 12:26; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:8,12; 4:6, et cetera.

    For example, in Romans 13:4, governments are reffered to as God’s deacons (servants).

    Context tells us if the writer is talking about someone with the office of a deacon (Philippians 1:1, 1 Timothy 3:8), or if he is talking about a servant.

    In verse 2 is said that the saints should assist her, it doesn't say she had authority over them.

    For example, Paul used this word (paristerni) in 2 Timothy 4:17 referring to Christ; naturally he was not saying he had authority over Christ.

    It seems Phoebe was an active and dedicated servant of the Church in Cenchreae, therefore, Paul praises her and tells other disciples to assist her.

    Next I'll be addressing your view of Junia as an apostle.

    Take care.
  4. Joined
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    25 Sep '06 23:282 edits
    Originally posted by vistesd
    [b]Can you give us a clear example of an original saying and a tacked on saying?

    For one, the story of the adulterous woman in John 8:1-8:11. Ehrman’s comments—

    “Despite the brilliance of the story, its captivating quality, and its inherent intrigue, there is one other problem that it poses [in addition to questions raised in the story itself]. A ...[text shortened]... ally part of the Gospel[/b].”* (Emphasis added.)

    From Bart D. Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus[/b]
    So you have serious reservations about John 8:1-11.

    So if we eliminate the first 11 verses from John chapter 8 how do you feel about chapters 1 through 7 and chapters 8 verse 12 on?

    Do you feel the entire gospel of John is not reliable because of the textural problems related to 8:1-11?

    In fact the account of verses 1 through 11 sound so much like Christ, I have no problem with them at all. Especially since the result of His discourse is the the people were self-convicted one by one. And this started with the older ones who had lived longer. And finally the younger ones also realized they had no ground to condemn the woman.

    This account sounds too much like the style of Christ. And it sounds too realiztic.

    Furthermore the immediately following passage in verse 12 follows it quite logically. I can see why John would follow the account of the adulterous woman and the conscience convicting teaching of Jesus with this:

    Verse 12 - "Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall by no means walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life"

    In his epistle John again teaches that no one is without sin. If he believes he is he is a liar.

    "If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8)

    This is striking parellel to John's record of how Jesus caused the mob to be self convicted that none of them was without sin. Why should it be a fabrication of a story? It has the style of Jesus written all over it.

    John goes on in his epistle - "If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us." (1 John 1:10)

    In his gospel this "light" enlightens every man - "This was the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man" (John 1:9)

    This is perfectly consistent with John recording the story of the self conviction of the mob around the forgiven adulterous woman -

    "But when they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her. ... And when they heard that, they went out one by one, beginning with the older ones. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman ..."

    Surely, this account brings out John's introductory point - "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it" (1:4,5)

    This self righteous mob had the light of divine life shine into them. Christ, the light of the world, the light which enlightens every man who comes into the world, shined upon their consciences. He could relax and stoop down and just let the divine life of God do its work in the hearts of the religious mob. The older ones who had lived longer and sinned longer knew they were disqualified. Then the younger ones followed in self conviction.

    Everything, everything about the story has the fragrance of the Son of God. So I have no problem with it. And verse 12 flows quite seemlessly from it. John records that this is an "Again" repetition of what He had told them before:

    "Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall by no means walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12)

    He had just literally demonstrated that.
  5. Hmmm . . .
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    26 Sep '06 02:091 edit
    Originally posted by jaywill
    ========================================
    (1) Paul’s Christ/law dialectic is very complex—especially in Romans. This is one case where I think the whole thing needs to be examined, without pulling verses out.
    =================================

    On a forum like this where concise and short posts are the norm, of course there is limitation.

    However, ther ...[text shortened]... h the new covenant believers must learn to live and move.

    Because of length I must stop here.
    On a forum like this where concise and short posts are the norm, of course there is limitation.

    I know, I know. 🙂

    I am not sure where I referred to Ephesians.

    No, you haven’t. But that was my main contrast to the Matthew passage, because it is the only one I could find (in response to your challenge to rwingett, and your invitation for anyone else to join in) that had the word “abolish” in it as well. And it is why I say that you either have to reinterpret (using contextual passages, no doubt) either the clear statement in Matthew or the clear statement in Ephesians—one saying “I have not come to abolish,” the other saying “He abolished.” One of them cannot mean “abolish,” for both of them be consistent. The question of “fulfilling” the law, for example, I am not disputing here.

    My basic point is that you will have to employ some hermeneutical method of interpreting to do that—a bit like “midrash”—like your wonderful Bethel-Temple-Christ “midrash.” (I’m starting to get tired of that word myself; if I can come up with a better one, I will.) The text is not “self-interpreting”—we interpret, according to whatever hermeneutical principles we apply.

    What does the “law” (nomos) mean in all these passages? Does it always mean the same thing? It is clear to me that in the Matthean passage, Jesus is speaking of Torah (and not just, for example, mitzvot or halakha).

    I hope you will remain opened to consider some points with me about Matthew’s gospel of the kingdom.

    When I no longer remain open to argument, I’ll let you know. I trust you will do the same.

    BTW, I’m going to respond to your next post, and then I may not be able to post for awhile, but I will read whatever you present in the meantime.
  6. Hmmm . . .
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    26 Sep '06 02:101 edit
    Originally posted by jaywill
    So you have serious reservations about John 8:1-11.

    So if we eliminate the first 11 verses from John chapter 8 how do you feel about chapters 1 through 7 and chapters 8 verse 12 on?

    Do you feel the entire gospel of John is not reliable because of the textural problems related to 8:1-11?

    In fact the account of verses 1 through 11 sound so much light of life" (John 8:12)


    He had just literally demonstrated that.[/b]
    So you have serious reservations about John 8:1-11.

    It’s always been one of my favorites. The point is, it is not in the earliest and best manuscripts of the Gospel; it’s style is (in the Greek) different from the rest of John—I imagine what the textual scholars are getting at here is something like if you were to find suddenly passages in a fragment of a discovered Hemingway novel that sounded a lot like, say, Faulkner.

    Does the fact that—according to the scholars who research this stuff, and study the ancient manuscripts—conclude that it was not part of the original Gospel bother you? Why should it? The story carries its own meaning.

    Do you feel the entire gospel of John is not reliable because of the textural problems related to 8:1-11?

    That was never my point. Don’t presume too much; whether or not I think the Gospel of John is a reliable historical witness as a whole would have little to do with whether one verse here or there were found to be questionable.

    Furthermore the immediately following passage in verse 12 follows it quite logically.

    What you might mean to say is that the whole theme is coherent. I don’t see how that line follows at all logically from verse 11. Watch how smoothly the transition is, however, from 7:52—

    > NRS John 7:52 They replied, "Surely you are not also from Galilee, are you? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee."

    > NRS John 8:12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life."

    Actually, if you back up to the beginning of chapter 7, skip 8:1-11, and then continue on from 8:12, you can see how the whole exchange follows smoothly.

    This is striking parallel to John's record of how Jesus caused the mob to be self convicted that none of them was without sin.

    The moral is, as you say, strikingly parallel—one would hardly expect otherwise if the Epistle were written by the same author (there is apparently some scholarly dispute over this, according to my study bible, but not a whole lot—it seems the majority agree that 1st John was written by the same author of the Gospel). One could also, however, imagine a later scribe inserting (somewhat clumsily perhaps) the wonderful story of the adulterous woman to crate a story to go with the moral.

    It has the style of Jesus written all over it.

    Agreed. Whether it has the (literary) style of the author of the Gospwl all over it may be another question.

    As for the rest, I agree that the thematics are consistent.

    Whether this story was originally part of the Gospel or not affects no issue of Christian doctrine (theology, Christology, soteriology). I have just about finished the Ehrman book, and I have yet to find him questioning doctrinal matters. But I respect the scholars who pour over the ancient manuscripts to try to sort out the original versions, as much as they can with the evidence at hand.

    I really have zero committment to the question of whether or not these passages were originally part of John's Gospel. As I said, I like the story.
  7. Hmmm . . .
    Joined
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    26 Sep '06 02:21
    Originally posted by xpoferens
    Hi vistesd,

    At last I have the chance to comment on some of your views regarding the roles of women in Church, posted in this and another thread as well.

    Regarding Galatians 3:28, its context refers to salvation; Paul is saying that salvation is independent of sex, race or social status.

    Galatians 3
    26 For ye are all sons of God, through faith, i ...[text shortened]... assist her.

    Next I'll be addressing your view of Junia as an apostle.

    Take care.
    Context tells us if the writer is talking about someone with the office of a deacon (Philippians 1:1, 1 Timothy 3:8), or if he is talking about a servant.

    I’m not sure I understand—are you saying that the context indicates that Phoebe was simply a servant, and not in the “office” of deacon? How so?

    I don’t see where the context you provided argues that one way or the other. If someone says to a lay congregant, “I want you to assist the Bishop,” would that indicate that the Bishop has no authority over the lay congregant?

    I admit that the case of Phoebe could be interpreted either way. I see it as equivocal—I don’t simply give weight to the “male authority” position (for great want of a better phrase) out of hand.

    As I noted to Jaywill, I may not be able to post for a bit, but I will catch up and read your responses with interest, as always.
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