The Pauline Paradox

Ben Masada

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It seems I have made a non sequitur. No I don't think you offensive. I like your frank style actually, and I wish that it fit into the world better.

I don't think so, Dream. The world is not ready for me.

Ben
 

Ben Masada

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At the same time I'm fairly creative and don't appreciate extremely controlled conversations, such as when one is invited to a meetings to discuss issues that have already been decided before one's arrival. That is an extreme example, but a forum can become like that by degrees when there is no going back or going sideways. I wouldn't want to remove the original topic or obscure it through other topics, but every argument has many assumptions. If we are not agreed on the assumptions, then how can a discussion continue?

Dream, the main objective of our discussions is to learn. There is no learning in agreements just for the sake of interfaith understanding. All the learning is in controversy. No wonder Jews have a rich field of literature as a result of comments from the Scriptures: The controversial discussions between Hillel and Shamai.

Ben
 

Dream

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Dream, the main objective of our discussions is to learn. There is no learning in agreements just for the sake of interfaith understanding. All the learning is in controversy. No wonder Jews have a rich field of literature as a result of comments from the Scriptures: The controversial discussions between Hillel and Shamai.

Ben
Remember also that I added
Please ignore my previous comment about not being able to continue the conversation. Of course communication can continue and controlling the topic is somewhat important. I mentioned an extreme example not an apple from our orchard.
I would not short the Jews on the richness of their literature, and their back & forth argumentative learning seems very effective. I say 'Their' method not caring who actually invented it but whomever preserves it for the next generation and makes it valuable, it belongs to them. That method can be hard to follow for someone who isn't used to it, but the concept is similar to that of debate forum. Rather than people arguing, the positions and hypothetical truths are the ones that argue. From this comes much learning, mostly because it makes learning fun. Isn't that about right?

To a degree you can get away with a little bit of that back & forth in an internet forum, but its not the same situation. To champion a position that you are not personally committed to is fine as long as everyone is in on it. Come to think of it, it would be interesting if we could have a section just for such a thing; where one can take up and argue for or against something -- not just anything but a set of topics on a schedule. For example for a given week the subject could be one of the propositions put forward by a controversial philosopher.
 

Ben Masada

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Remember also that I added I would not short the Jews on the richness of their literature, and their back & forth argumentative learning seems very effective. I say 'Their' method not caring who actually invented it but whomever preserves it for the next generation and makes it valuable, it belongs to them. That method can be hard to follow for someone who isn't used to it, but the concept is similar to that of debate forum. Rather than people arguing, the positions and hypothetical truths are the ones that argue. From this comes much learning, mostly because it makes learning fun. Isn't that about right?

To a degree you can get away with a little bit of that back & forth in an internet forum, but its not the same situation. To champion a position that you are not personally committed to is fine as long as everyone is in on it. Come to think of it, it would be interesting if we could have a section just for such a thing; where one can take up and argue for or against something -- not just anything but a set of topics on a schedule. For example for a given week the subject could be one of the propositions put forward by a controversial philosopher.

I couldn't agree with you more. A fantastic idea this of yours.

Ben
 

padre775

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Doing an exegesis on Paul is really a chore because, at first glance (and maybe second) he seems to be saying contradictory things (e.g., men being over women, but also saying that in Christ there is no male or female; some verses that suggest that Christ has replaced the Law and others that say that God's covenant with Israel would endure forever, etc.).

The good news is that for the past 15 years or so there's a new scholarly movement, led by James D.G. Dunn, that has a fresh interpretation of Paul. Our main problem, they say, is that we've been conditioned to reading Paul through the eyes of Martin Luther (who took Paul's ideas and applied them to the 16th century Roman Catholic Church). The New Perspective on Paul, as it's called, starts by claiming that Paul actually only wrote Philippians, Romans, First and Second Corinthians, First Thessalonians, Galatians and Philemon. The other letters attributed to Paul were actually written much, much later.

Here's the theological bottom line of the New Perspective folks: Paul was speaking to two audiences; to observant Jews he basically said, "Keep on keepin' on -- God never reneges on a covenant." To the increasingly large number of Gentile followers he said, "You've finally been included in God's covenant -- just don't try to become Jewish to 'earn' your way in. You're in by God's grace. So, basically, we have two co-equal covenants. Anyway, that's the New Perspective's take on Paul.
 

Ben Hur

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Doing an exegesis on Paul is really a chore because, at first glance (and maybe second) he seems to be saying contradictory things (e.g., men being over women, but also saying that in Christ there is no male or female; some verses that suggest that Christ has replaced the Law and others that say that God's covenant with Israel would endure forever, etc.).

Talking about contradictions as Paul was concerned, tell me something new. If you read Romans 10:4, "Christ was the end of the Law." Then, in Ephesians 2:16, the Law was abolished on the cross. All contradictions to Matthew 5:17-19 which declares about Jesus that he came to confirm God's Law down to the letter. And for the Covenant, if you read Hebrews 7:7,22, "With the new priesthood of Jesus there was a change in the Law as Jesus became the guarantee to a better covenant."
 

Thomas

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The good news is that for the past 15 years or so there's a new scholarly movement, led by James D.G. Dunn, that has a fresh interpretation of Paul.
It's really enlightening, too. I particularly like N.T. Wright.

Paul was faced with the problem: Does the New Covenant in Christ invalidate Word of Scripture, the faith of the people of Israel, and everything he believes in?

It took him years to work it out. The insight 'struck him blind' whilst persecuting the Christians, and he abandoned his trip to Damascus, and headed off to Arabia — the home of Elijah and his spiritual 'centre' — and there he worked it out.

God bless,

Thomas
 

Passerby

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Paul has some paradoxes a lot more disturbing than Jesus' geneology.

Jesus called God "Father" like a lot of magicians in the Jewish tradition. Elijah, Honi etc.

Just about all kings claimed to be the son of a god. Alexander the Great and Zeus, Ra-Moses, (Son of Ra/Ramses), and Moses himself (Son of Unnamed God).

So, Paul had Jesus do the Moloch Sacrifice thing on the Mt. of Olives, where Solomon built his Temple to Moloch, so Hebrew fathers could sacrifice their sons. Guaranteed to horrify the Jews of the first century.
 
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