1 Crointhians 1:19-25

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KaseiJin
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 07:08 am
@Deckard,
That would not be an interpretation, jeeprs, however, but rather an application of statements taken out of context, which, anyone is free to participate in, yet from which no claim towards any external reality can be ascertained. To assert that what Paul had been talking of had been within the realm of Greek philosophy, or esoteric didactics, is to assert an understanding about as defenseless as that that the Torah had begun with a single word.

---------- Post added 05-27-2010 at 11:45 PM ----------

Then, getting back with Deckard, here.
Deckard;169419 wrote:
Is it correct to call this passage from 1 Corinthians an "echo" of the Isaiah 29?

No, that would not be correct. Paul does make application of Isaiah 29:14 from LXX, but that text there differs from the Masoretic text--and we would be on much surer grounds here in taking the Masoretic text as being closest to the exemplar from which the Septuagint had been interpreted.

When we do this stuff, we have to rein in our imaginative pursuits, and stick to the real thing. This was an actual letter...let me repeat that to help let it soak in; it was an actual letter written to a group of followers made up mostly of those introduced to Pauline doctrine from when Paul had created the group out of a local synagogue. There had been a real development, created by several troupes (or ambassadors of them) passing through there (Apollos', Peter's), and Paul was not happy about that. For that reason he specifically and expressly wrote them (vss 4:14~17) that he'd send Timothy to 'put into their minds, his (Paul's) methods.' Additionally, that they should become 'imitators of his methods.' This pressure comes up in other areas as well.

Simply because we are so extremely far removed from the real historical events, and simply because Pauline theology pitifully failed, we have no reasonable, realistic grounds to make just any ole application we wish to, nor to read into the text just any imaginative treatsie we long for.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 09:32 am
@KaseiJin,
KaseiJin;169483 wrote:
Yes, and this is simply part of the technique used. It's the same with his 'not being worthy of being called an apostle' type stuff. There is a bit of cultural emotion in such linguistic style, and we'll find it in other literature of the time.

As you would guess, I'd be cautious about trying to link this passage as any reverberation of a gospel pericope, while the general mentality of humility before YHWH would most surely have been around--and not only of that early Christian cult.
That's interesting. Could you point me to the other literature of the time where that linguistic style is present?

I think we agree that Paul was seeking to be an organizer. I think there's reason to believe he was a charismatic preacher. His devotion to Jesus can hardly be doubted.

I think where we're diverging is in the issue of humility before YHWH. The Jew was expected to be humble before the Torah as the connection to God. Another layer of separation existed in the Jewish clergy who interpreted the Torah for common people. Greek wisdom, in the form of Plato, would place the mind as the link to God. Are you saying that Paul was placing himself as the intermediary?

Early Christians were embracing beliefs that did not rest on the authority of ancestral transmission or social acceptance. They themselves were not accepted. They were known as secretive and possibly abberant. Humility doesn't lead a person to choose such a path. It takes a kind of self-possession and something like arrogance to rely on nothing but one's own experience and understanding. The spirit of the early Christians was one of excitement and expectation of dramatic events. They felt they were in the "know" regarding the future of the Roman Empire and humanity in general. They were preoccupied with faith more than humility. Paul reminded them that neither faith nor works is the matter of importance: but love. If there's no link between that and what Paul learned from the Christians who came before him... then it's an amazing coincidence.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 12:17 pm
@KaseiJin,
KaseiJin;169409 wrote:

So, just as a matter of clarification, 'echo' will always carry the sense of alluding to another tenet, pericope, or document,

Deckard;169419 wrote:
Is it correct to call this passage from 1 Corinthians an "echo" of the Isaiah 29?

KaseiJin;169518 wrote:

Then, getting back with Deckard, here.

No, that would not be correct. Paul does make application of Isaiah 29:14 from LXX, but that text there differs from the Masoretic text--and we would be on much surer grounds here in taking the Masoretic text as being closest to the exemplar from which the Septuagint had been interpreted.

I still don't know what an echo is in the way that you are using the term. Can you provide an specific example of something that would be correctly called an echo?
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 01:27 pm
@KaseiJin,
KaseiJin;169518 wrote:
Simply because we are so extremely far removed from the real historical events, and simply because Pauline theology pitifully failed, we have no reasonable, realistic grounds to make just any ole application we wish to, nor to read into the text just any imaginative treatsie we long for.
I see where you're coming from now. My narrative is that in the Christian world the religion occasionally relives it's origin. It did repeatedly prior to the Protestant Reformation, which was a larger scale reinactment. I go on to suggest that it did it again in a dramatic way during the 20th century with the global labor class appearing as the downtrodden that Christianity gives hope to. So I'm saying that we can deduce a fair amount about the early Christians from more recent experience. I realize this is rooted in my own intution rather than the obviously more informed basis you draw from. But there you have it.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 01:31 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;169486 wrote:
An interpretation from the viewpoint of comparative religion. I agree with Arjuna that this a gnostic reference. That doesn't mean it is a gnostic doctrine, but more a gnostic element within orthodoxy. It is concerned with the profound idea of 'dying to the conscious mind' where 'conscious mind' is what the 'wisdom of the Greeks' signifies. This represents a profoundly spiritual understanding which is also represented in (for example) the Zen Doctrine of No Mind (Suzuki) and also in the teachings of Ramana Maharishi. You can't really rationalise or intellectualise this understanding, for obvious reasons. "The wisdom of God is folly to the world". This kind of understanding is also fundamental to Catholic monasticism and mysticism. Comparison from Taoism: 'he who knows it, knows it not, while he that doesn't know it, knows it'.

---------- Post added 05-27-2010 at 08:11 PM ----------

St John of the Cross


Thank you. I don't pretend to be a bible scholar, but this is the sort of "resonance" that "wisdom of the Greeks has for me." Sophisticated abstractions.
 
KaseiJin
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 08:15 pm
@Arjuna,
There's a lot here, I'll have to get back with some points later; but will try some basics first (and will go in a kind of logical order, rather than chronological order).

Deckard;169604 wrote:
I still don't know what an echo is in the way that you are using the term. Can you provide an specific example of something that would be correctly called an echo?

[INDENT]As an example, we see an echo of the motif seen in Dan 12:1,2; Isa 26:19, in Mat 27:53;
we see an echo of the pericope seen at Zec 13:7, in Mk 14:50; Mt 25:56b, etc.;
we can see a quite possibly so echo of the Jacob story motif in Gen 27:40 area onward, in Lk 24:13~32;
we see an echo of Gen 1:1, in Jn 1:1;
we see pericope and motif echos from a number of canonical and non-canonical texts in Ro 1:24~31; etc.
[/INDENT]Just as 1 Co 1:10~12 is not a pericope or motif echo, neither is 1 Co 1:19~25--although we can see application of the wording of Isa 19:12.

Arjuna;169552 wrote:
That's interesting. Could you point me to the other literature of the time where that linguistic style is present?


Arjuna;169552 wrote:
Early Christians were embracing beliefs that did not rest on the authority of ancestral transmission or social acceptance. They themselves were not accepted.

Here we can see one more point of needed clarification. It is common enough that folks do not take the care to more precisely distinguish the true early Christian movement with the later, 'early Christianity,' and it causes some confusion. When we speak of early Christianity, we should always limit that to up to mid first century. The early Christian cult, just like that of the Essenes and Herodians, and a few others, was very much a YHWH-based religious belief system within Judaism proper. If those hot-headed people had not rebelled against Rome, and the temple had not been destroyed (at least then), we'd probably also see a very different Christianity today (if, in fact it would have survived).

Arjuna;169552 wrote:
The spirit of the early Christians was one of excitement and expectation of dramatic events. They felt they were in the "know" regarding the future of the Roman Empire and humanity in general.


This is the best understanding of the early cult, yes, but not only of theirs; it was the general expectation of the time which is likely why the nation had the boldness to revolt against Rome--they really had faith in YHWH's said promised etched in their prophetic documents. Of course, Paul really highlighted this element (since his writings are the earliest which survived), and, of course, he was dead wrong. . . it was all myth and emotion.

Arjuna;169643 wrote:
My narrative is that in the Christian world the religion occasionally relives it's origin. . . So I'm saying that we can deduce a fair amount about the early Christians from more recent experience.


Thank you for that explanation, Arjuna. The problem with that, is the starting place. From what I can see of what you have said thus far, here and there, and in light of the post quoted above, your starting place (premise) is in historical error. Firstly, what can be to any serious degree ascertained about the early Christian cult, tells us that it was very much a politico-religious eschatological movement within Judaism which did focus on Mosaic code re-interpretation and (somewhat like the Muhammadan movement) lower social-class focused.

Nothing became so overly secretive about it until the real persecution had begun (and that was well post-mid first century, so not early). Additionally, the main theme, much more than anything else, was that kingdom which would be set up by YHWH's messiah; pure myth which can easily be seen so today, thus making it easier to focus on the emotional elements within the canonical texts we have today.

The spiral of events post 70CE, especially, and further, post mid second century, will be found to be markers to which Christianity has never returned to;and most likely would never be able to return to. Therefore, in summary, it is a misconception and a fallacy to hold the position that any development in Christianity today, can shed knowledge on the early cult; way too much has happened since those days.

This here, then, quite readily has connection with the thread on 'how to read the Bible.' As I had mentioned there on a number of occasions, it takes much more than mere present life-time/style based emotion to actually be able to really read those documents...whether canonical or not.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 09:18 pm
@KaseiJin,
KaseiJin;169807 wrote:

Thank you for that explanation, Arjuna. The problem with that, is the starting place. From what I can see of what you have said thus far, here and there, and in light of the post quoted above, your starting place (premise) is in historical error.
I really do appreciate your communication. Maybe the difference in our views is breadth of focus. I believe Christianity was a development latent within the Israelite perspective for centuries. I think I know you well enough now to guess that you're already misunderstanding me. I'm looking at attitudes that existed for centuries and set the stage for ideological and spiritual crises. They shape mythology. The deepest layer of what became Christianity is a conflict within the Israelite psyche related to their understanding of themselves as having a special covenant with God, but finding themselves victimized by powerful (evil) Gentiles. The problem was simply the nature of divine justice. As the Israelites absorbed Indoeuropean images, the justice problem transmuted these images into a Jewish solution, but at a cost. These images became a lightning rod for frustration.

The experience of the inhabitants of Jerusalem with Antiochus IV precipitated a spiritual crisis. Bitterness was taking hold and deforming Judaism. Christianity was born out of this deformation.

At this point I'll stop. Whether my interpretation seems to hold any truth or appears to you wildy imaginative, I ask you: is your interpretation of the agenda of Paul or any other Christian holyman devoid of any background scenario about what shapes events? Whatever it might be, I hope it gives consideration to just how bizarre humanity can be. If it doesn't, you'll be missing part of the story.Smile
 
KaseiJin
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 10:21 pm
@Deckard,
Thank you Arjuna. If we focus (as is the more specific concern of this particular thread) on any various epistle written by Paul (the authentic ones, more especially) we will (and I'm simply speaking of the biblical literature related fields, as opposed to the more narrow theology field, or the philosophy field, or humanity studies, sociology, and some others) already be quite narrow in scope.

If one wished to explore theses on why a certain social movement developed, or so forth and so on, that'll automatically be a different ball game. As human activity is a long, stretched out continuum, we can always find 'roots' or possible/thinkable 'roots' to certain developments, so you are correct on that, and I am with you there, as well.

If, however, we are looking at the specific starting place of the Christian movement as seen in that created by one Yeshua in the third or so decade of the first century, and are trying to describe the state and position of that particular group alone, then we are going to have to rely on the information we can accumulate about that so as to be able to make any secure claims about it. It may well be that the socio-politico-belief-system environment/circumstances that you have mentioned gave birth to the cult, but we still will have the details of a content (doctrine and body of teaching) being presented by that cult, an objective, a reasoning, and so on. We have to look at what we can mustard out of historical documents to see that, and these texts play a big role there.

At this stage, in this discipline, therefore, we focus on what the group was doing, and teaching and the reality of that history, not how that came to be through the passage of human endevour over centuries of time; that's all. I would agree that some of what you have presented, again, is very fair, indeed, but a different field.

To what degree have you involved yourself in the field of biblical literature and textual critisim, I do not know, but, we base our interpretation on the available data and in combination with a number of critical forms of analysis. In this sense, perhaps we can see how there has been some talking past each other in some ways. I yet maintain, nevertheless, that in looking at and reading these texts (as per this thread in example) we have a limited scope into which one must be careful not to read more than is there. (while at the same time, being careful not to take too little out any possible assignments involved with a certain point, passage, pericope, motif, etc.)
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 10:53 pm
@Deckard,
hmmm. And what of 'The Living Christ', I wonder. Is he writ large in this learned study, or just one of the cast and crew?
 
Deckard
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 11:08 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;169828 wrote:
hmmm. And what of 'The Living Christ', I wonder. Is he writ large in this learned study, or just one of the cast and crew?

The historical and hermeneutic approach definitely wasn't a part of the early Church. How did they talk and think about these verses? How does this compare to the way that they are being talked and thought about on this thread. How does the early Church compare to say a modern day evangelical preacher?
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Thu 27 May, 2010 11:36 pm
@KaseiJin,
KaseiJin;169822 wrote:
At this stage, in this discipline, therefore, we focus on what the group was doing, and teaching and the reality of that history, not how that came to be through the passage of human endevour over centuries of time; that's all. I would agree that some of what you have presented, again, is very fair, indeed, but a different field.
I see what you're saying. What stands out the most to me about 1 Corinthians is that Paul is telling them that the world is about to end. I think Paul really believed that Armageddon could start at any time and pretty much every rule he was giving them was in some way related to that. He was telling them that they were profoundly separate from the rest of the world. He saying: this is it: get your affairs in order. Being divided and embroiled in legal battles with each other demonstrates a complete failure to grasp the situation as Paul saw it. How exactly a group of people come to believe that sort of thing... that interests me. But then somebody did a survey of Americans in 1999. The question was: do you think it's possible that the Second Coming will take place in the year 2000? 40% of the respondents said yes. That's from a book by Bernard McGinn. Have you ever read anything by him, by the way? He edited a great book about apocolypticism. Thanks!
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 12:30 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;169829 wrote:
The historical and hermeneutic approach definitely wasn't a part of the early Church. How did they talk and think about these verses? How does this compare to the way that they are being talked and thought about on this thread. How does the early Church compare to say a modern day evangelical preacher?


well I know....I was only kind of stirring, really. I admire KJ's exegetical (is that the word?) skill and will admit that it is an area of scholarship that I don't know much about. I think I will observe this one from the sidelines, and apologies for 'rowdy interjection from audience'.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 01:00 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;169847 wrote:
well I know....I was only kind of stirring, really. I admire KJ's exegetical (is that the word?) skill and will admit that it is an area of scholarship that I don't know much about. I think I will observe this one from the sidelines, and apologies for 'rowdy interjection from audience'.

I can't keep up with these guys either but there is still a point worth making and in light of Arjuna's observations about the apocalyptic mindset of early Christians as well as many modern Christians. The texts only became objects of relatively calm and rational study when Church established itself and scholars relaxed enough to realize that maybe the apocalypse wasn't really due to happen any day now. Add to this the last two centuries or so of atheistic approaches to the texts that analyze in terms of history, anthropology and literature rather than revelation. Then consider again (for example) the modern Evangelical Christian preacher who certainly gathers ideas from centuries of exegesis and even from modern academia and yet still tries to recreate that original Christian experience of an apocalypse that could happen tomorrow.

And even before Christ the Hebrew rabbis studied and poured over texts. The Christian movement was arguably the result of a careful reading of texts, of hints and ideas in texts that suggested a savior was coming - Prophecy or self-fulfilling prophecy? The prophetic texts made real. The word made flesh.
 
KaseiJin
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 01:18 am
@Arjuna,
Any expounding on a concept of a 'living messiah' will have to spelled out in linguistical terms; additionally, there are quite thinkable more than just one. If, in the direction of the more general cast of this thread's theme, we wished to pull that out of the extant written documents of the early movement (and again, please do allow me to point out, that that would be up to around mid-first century) we'd have to study those documents (along with the other necessary stuff).

Without drawing any further attention to what we should hold as 'early,' here, it must be kept in mind that the text of Yeshua's group would have primarily been any number of scrolls which made up the Palestinian cannon within the LXX (to a material degree). [it was after Christian scribes {practically non-existent in the early group} altering and misuse of the LXX which eventually caused the Jews to go back to only the Hebrew text, in the later second century] Oral tradition was the tool of the day in such circles, with some thinkable 'notebook'-like stylus sheets.

However, the historical and hermeneutic method was very much used by those who begain doing public discourse. Just take a good look at the epistle entitled 'to the Hebrews.' (esp. 10:1~12:1) When you use the word 'verses' there, Deckard, with the that 'they,' in the context of your post, (note 'early church'), you'll find that we'll be primarily looking at those scrolls. (and they weren't all our canon of today [or that decided by council around 90 CE, either]) Then, we'll be looking at the epistles, and maybe some 'sayings' documents of some sort which were 'pre-Markian.'

The direct and immediate audience of Paul's letters, however, read them as straight to the event of the moment--when, as at 1 Co 1:19~25, such is the case.

Arjuna;169836 wrote:
What stands out the most to me about 1 Corinthians is that Paul is telling them that the world is about to end. I think Paul really believed that Armageddon could start at any time and pretty much every rule he was giving them was in some way related to that.


Firstly, no I don't think I have read that book, though have read some similar, perhaps. I am, most unfortunately, not surprized with the survey results at all, I will have to admit. There is much misreading of the Bible, especially as though it were a single work, in the first place. (one of my dear uncles was a KJV only Bible thumper...)

Yes, we can verify that especially with what is very well atested to as being the earliest Christian canonical document we have, namely 1 Thessalonians.

[INDENT]vss.1:7~10 (highlighted amplification format)the believers in Macedonia and Achaia themselves keep reporting about how you believers in Thessalonian wait for YHWH's son from the heavens, namely, Yeshua.

vss.4:13~17 (ditto)Further, we (this is an editorial style; it refers to Paul's troupe . . . of which Timothy was doing the work here) don't want you to be ignorant about those (among you) who have died, because this is what YHWH/Yeshua (it's hard to tell which is being referred to here)'s word tells us: we who are living at the presence of Yeshua (when he has returned) will by no means go into the kingdom before those who have died (as of time of writing) because they will be resurrected first, and then we'll all be caught up with Yeshua. So keep comforting each other with these words.

vss.5:1~3 You don't need anything to be written to you about when Yehsua will come, because you know well it will be like a thief in the night...
[/INDENT]
oops...time squeeze here...gotta run, but hope to get back tomorrow night or so with a further development of this...but let me check, I may have...yeah, post number 65 (and maybe some others around there, too...I'll check it out later....sorry)
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 05:53 am
@Deckard,
Textual analysis is one thing. Does anyone want to speak to the spiritual meaning of the verse?
 
KaseiJin
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 07:15 am
@Deckard,
jeeprs, that's very much a useless exercise, because other than what can be deduced about Paul's specific and time-locked intended meaning in penning just as he had penned them, as best as the original exemplar can be reconstructed from the hundreds of possible wordings there, one would be saying that one can make it mean any darn thing their heart so desires . . . and would assert that yet they too, among all other opinions, would be right.

In taking such a route, then my assertion that there is absolutely no spiritual meaning there at all, is as equally valid as any other person's assertion of one particular pet theory. Additionally, it's not going to really be open to a field of knowledge beyond what the author would have had, and Paul, as fair as the personage can be determined, had been raised and instructed in strict Pharisaic Judaism (although he obviously eventually rebelled against that to a degree).
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 08:21 am
@KaseiJin,
Deckard;169851 wrote:
The texts only became objects of relatively calm and rational study when Church established itself and scholars relaxed enough to realize that maybe the apocalypse wasn't really due to happen any day now.
Yes exactly. Noticing that sheds light on an aspect of Christianity for the last 2000 years. Generation after generation there have been Christians who read Paul's words and thought he was talking directly to themselves. They stand in contrast to Augustinian types who don't take that part of Christianity literally. That's only one of many internal conflicts that made Christianity so dynamic. (Yea I said made... I think it's a dying religion... but if I'm wrong and it's still alive and well 1000 years from now, that wouldn't completely surprise me either.)

KaseiJin;169920 wrote:
jeeprs, that's very much a useless exercise, because other than what can be deduced about Paul's specific and time-locked intended meaning in penning just as he had penned them, as best as the original exemplar can be reconstructed from the hundreds of possible wordings there, one would be saying that one can make it mean any darn thing their heart so desires . . . and would assert that yet they too, among all other opinions, would be right.
I guess the reason I think that understanding the spiritual meaning of apocolypticism is useful is that it's still shaping events today. A less obvious part of the unfolding story of Islam is that apocolypticism that mirrors (I didn't say echoes :bigsmile:) Christianity is present and is just as intense and pointed as that which we see in 1 Corinthians. And who stands as the Powerful Evil Gentile King in their outlook? That would be the US and anyone else who stands with them.

And as for events that shaped our world: both the US and Russia have vibrant apocolyptic streaks. Understanding the history of either will require grasping how apocolypticism shaped events. So take a closer look at the mythology of the Cold War. It's two entities identifying each other as the antichrist... the precursor of the end.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 04:37 pm
@Arjuna,
jeeprs;169879 wrote:
Does anyone want to speak to the spiritual meaning of the verse?


KaseiJin;169920 wrote:
jeeprs, that's very much a useless exercise


Isn't this a case of not being able to see the wood for the trees? The only reason the episode is remembered is because of the spiritual meaning of the story. Otherwise it would be lost to history.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 05:53 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;169879 wrote:
Textual analysis is one thing. Does anyone want to speak to the spiritual meaning of the verse?

Personally I find the textual analysis stuff fun when I'm in the right mood. However, this does require that you distance yourself from what is actually being said in the text and I would never say that a direct encounter with the text is useless. That would be like taking art history without ever really encountering a the paintings and allowing them to move you.

This discussion seems to be tangential but really it is a tangent of a tangent and as luck would have it, it comes right back in line with the OP. Clearly Paul would have discouraged the learned and academic analysis of the verses in the name of a God who says:

"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Fri 28 May, 2010 06:10 pm
@Deckard,
well I suppose that is all I am getting at. Thanks.
 
 

 
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