Paul the Apostle, His Life Letters and Thought– Part Thirty Three

p. 518-- he goes with the translation ‘after receiving the Spirit by faithing what you heard… have you started with the Spirit but finished with the flesh (3.3). This may refer literally to the foreskin and hence to circumcision but in Gal. 5.17-18 flesh is the natural opposite of Spirit and flesh is connected to the Law. Sanders thinks flesh=works of the Law.p. 519--- In bringing up Abraham and arguing against circumcision Paul avoids Gen. 17.9-27 and instead focuses on Gen. 12.1-3; 15.6, … [Read more...]

Paul the Apostle, His Life Letters and Thought– Part Thirty Two

The main argument runs from Gal. 2.14-3.29.p. 502—The main issue is who is in the in group and who is not. The question about 2.14-21 is where does Paul stop quoting his rebuke of Peter. He quotes Lightfoot to the effect that we can’t really distinguish text and commentary here very well. But Sanders thinks it is sequential and thinks the quote should stop after vs. 14.p. 503--- In any case Paul is saying what he deeply believes in 2.15-21. This is one of the places where English t … [Read more...]

Paul the Apostle, His Life Letters and Thought– Part Thirty One

p. 489—With regard to tithing and purity laws it applied only to Jewish farmers who grew food in Palestine. It was a non-issue in the Diaspora, “nor do we know of any purity laws, such as hand washing or immersion that governed Jewish meals in the Diaspora.” This leads to the suspicion that the issue was Jews fraternizing too closely with Gentiles coming into contact with idolatrous practices. “I think this was probably the problem.” He gives the example of Josephus fraternizing with Gentile … [Read more...]

Paul the Apostle, His Life Letters and Thought– Part Thirty

p. 473—It is important to distinguish: 1) what Paul’s conclusion was on the matter; 2) how he argued for it, and 3) his reason for coming to the conclusion. A distinction between the arguments and the reason behind them is important.p. 475--- This is an angry letter, dictated in anger and it led him to make a few extreme statements which when compared to his other letters are exaggerations. The proof is that he modifies or retracts some of these things in Romans. He finds anger in the abs … [Read more...]

Paul the Apostle, His Life Letters and Thought– Part Twenty Nine

p. 460-61-- The practice of circumcision was very ancient at least as far back as 3000 B.C. The Hebrew form of it involved removing the entire foreskin, the Egyptian practice seems to have just involved making a slit in the foreskin, and mainly involving Egyptian priests. On how ancient the Jewish practice was see John. 5.2 and Exod. 4.25 using flint knives. It was practiced by a variety of ancient people (e.g. the Moabites and Edomites) but not the Philistines, Babylonians, Greeks, … [Read more...]

Paul the Apostle, His Life Letters and Thought– Part Twenty Eight

p. 443--- GALATIANSp. 444- Lightfoot pointed out long ago that the people who know a region well do not call it by the names assigned by a conquering empire (e.g. Hapsburg Empire included Hungary and part of Italy). But no ordinary resident of the region would say that Budapest or Venice was Austrian.p. 446--- In Lightfoot’s day Galatians was usually seen as an early letter prior to 1 Cor. but Lightfoot put it later. He said was closest in tone and style to 1-2 Cor. and Romans. The … [Read more...]

Paul the Apostle, His Life Letters and Thought– Part Twenty Seven

p. 433--- The saints in Judaea are the Christians in Jerusalem and environs.p. 434- the collection was successful. Paul went again to Corinth, wrote to Rome, and sailed for Jerusalem, money in hand. He thinks maybe 2 Cor. 8-9 are two letters and perhaps either followed 2 Cor. 1-7 (again assuming it’s a letter fragment).p. 435---Gal. 2.7-10 makes clear the collection is for the poor in Jerusalem. 1 Cor 16.1-4 makes clear he expected the Corinthians to pony up each week on Sunday a … [Read more...]

Paul the Apostle, His Life Letters and Thought– Part Twenty Six

p. 422- Romans says little about Christ’s return or res. Of the dead. But see Rom. 6.5; 8.18-30; 13.11-12--- the latter clearly envisions decisive events lie in the near future. He thinks Rom. 6.5 refers to participation in Christ’s death through the ritual of water baptism. But ‘baptism into his death’ probably refers to the work of the Spirit mortifying the old self not what happens in baptism (see 1 Cor. 1). He take Rom. 8.11 to mean that the Holy Spirit is already giving life to the believ … [Read more...]

Paul the Apostle, His Life Letters and Thought– Part Twenty Five

pp. 400ff. A discussion of dualism.p. 405--- “divine punishment remained the only real ‘solution’ to evil and suffering that pure monotheism had to offer.” [This is absolutely false, but what is true is that Jews regularly attributed human suffering to the wages of sin, and sometimes to divine punishment as well. Sander’s statement doesn’t even comport with Josephus who affirms both free will and divine sovereignty].p. 406--Sanders argues that this severe doctrine was ameliorated by th … [Read more...]