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Who was Paul of Tarsus


SHaYap
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It's over an hour so pour yourselves a tall cold one... @eight bits

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[01.15:26]

~

 

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Many thanks, @SHaYap.

Tabor is an interesting guy, but maybe it's ironic to go to him for the word on "What scholars actually know" about things. He's big on the Jesus's Family Tomb, for instance. If Tabor believes he's found the final resting place of Jesus's family, then he's solidly "hell yes" on whether Jesus was a real man who actually lived. Maybe even more so than Bart Ehrman.

Tabor's opinion on Jesus bleeds over into his interpretation of Paul. For example, Paul never says in plain language that anybody ever met Jesus while Jesus was "in the flesh," at least nowhere in the seven "early" letters, as Tabor likes to call them, that we can read. Paul does, however, talk about people knowing Christ kata sarka, "according to the flesh."

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He died for all, that those who live should no longer live to themselves, but to him who for their sakes died and rose again. Therefore we know no one according to the flesh from now on. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him so no more.

(2 Corinthians 5:16-17)

Does the phrase to know [someone] according to the flesh mean to be in the company of someone while they are alive? Well, not in that second sentence in the quote box. "We" know all kinds of living people - Paul and the people he's corresponding with, to name some. What's changed "from now on" is how we know them, in a spiritually enlightened way, unlike up until know, when we only knew people and things in an unelightened way.

Does the phrase mean something different in the next and last sentence after that? Could be, that is a known tactic in rhetoric to use the same words or phrases back-to-back in contrasting senses. (When the going gets tough, the tough get going.) I think it is fair to say, however, that that is not clearly the case here. Personally, I think it is simply a wrong reading.

On the very real possibility that Paul was making a simple "build" here (we don't know anybody in the old way anymore; we don't know Christ himself that way anymore), Tabor's belief about a historical Jesus, and his expectation that Paul "must have" said something about that somewhere, may have led Tabor to misinterpret Paul's otherwise modest point here. Belief in Christ changes everything, including how the believer knows and deals with his or her fellow believers.

Nevertheless, Tabor was good on factual matters, and I did enjoy both the listen and also your beverage advice.

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10 minutes ago, eight bits said:

Many thanks, @SHaYap.

Most welcome... 

 

12 minutes ago, eight bits said:

Does the phrase mean something different in the next and last sentence after that? Could be, that is a known tactic in rhetoric to use the same words or phrases back-to-back in contrasting senses. (When the going gets tough, the tough get going.) I think it is fair to say, however, that that is not clearly the case here. Personally, I think it is simply a wrong reading.

I agree. From recent autobiographies of the usual suspects of their hey days I have noticed that there were many occasions when notable individuals have, due to circumstances and the sensitive nature of their purpose (or mission) travelled "incognito" / assumed identity. 

Most interestingly, now from archives mostly ignored in the past is most revealing. Such incidents is now reliably verifiable all the way back to Greece / Athens / Sparta right up to the late 19th century. 

Nowadays it is not so convenient any longer as one's physical identity is no longer as private as in the days before photography.

Back in Saul's day, he was as much involved in the political intrigues as he was a fugitive from multiple factions for much of his life. 

Maybe that explains those "miraculous" appearances in some place on a day and some other places at such distances away that makes it improbable and out right impossible. Such questions were many in the gospels too of JC's ministerial years. 

Perhaps that's what "according to the flesh" means. 

29 minutes ago, eight bits said:

Nevertheless, Tabor was good on factual matters, and I did enjoy both the listen and also your beverage advice

Cheers.... 

~

 

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I have listened to James Tabor before, and he talks as if "Q" was a proven hypothesis. Enough said.

I see talk here about "according to the flesh". Yes, it sounds convincing for an historical Jesus. But keep in mind of the Hellenistic Philosophies with Platonic Thought Forms of differing realities, and the belief in copies (better) of things on Earth in the spheres of the Heavens. This influence is in the Pauline epistles.

So according to the flesh/spirit can mean varying realms between the corporeal, and incorporeal. Knowing Jesus in the flesh could mean a vision/dream, or a feeling. When Paul went to the Third Heaven he did not know if he was in the flesh, or not. The phrase "kata sarka" can just be an idiom adopted by a mystery religion whom devotees channel their deity (who comes to the realm of the flesh to give blessings, healings, and guidance). Or maybe People went around giving fancy handshakes to a flesh & blood Jesus saying "Yo brotha! Slap me some skin!", and later they were like "Yeah. I knew that guy once, in person".

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