Wednesday, May 17, 2006

slaveofone v. Metacrock

Since comments are not the place to get into lengthy discussions or arguments, I thought I would post my responses here instead.

In the blog subject "Must Christians Keep the Law?", Metacrock argues for a Yeshua who was a Greek Philosopher, a Paul who urged his people to take up and follow Greek concepts of morality, and a Christianity based on following a spiritual aspect of the Law instead of the letter. I responded in the comment section. Metacrock responded. You can read those here. The following is my second response:
Meta: Really? So Paul was not a first century Jew?

Yes, really. Which is why Paul, being a first century Jew, didn't appeal to a higher morality attained through following a spiritual law that has replaced following the letter.

Meta: That's a very irresponsible argument since most modern scholars argue that the early layer of Q source is cynical/stoic in nature.

From where I'm standing, it is irresponsible to use the "most scholars say" argument (otherwise known as argumentum ad populum), because it is fallacious. Just because "most scholars" argue something it does not therefore follow that something is true.

Meta: They further argument (as per Helmutt Kosester) that Greek cynical thought was so popular among first century Jews that it could be found all over Palestine and the Diaspora (see my Doherty paper when I am reading to link it up).

Whether or not Cynicism and Stoicism were prevalent in First Century Palestine tells us nothing about whether or not Yeshua could be considered one of them. I wasn't speaking about the characteristic of a country, I was speaking about the characteristic of Yeshua. In logic, this fallacy is called a straw man.

Meta: I think you are not mindful of the text of hellinistic influnces.

I prefer to see what Hellenistic influence the texts themselves show me instead of forming my opinions about that influence based on how Hellenism influenced the general culture or by basing my opinions on the Modern belief that "most scholars" agree with.

Meta: I know of no injunction in the OT to be honorable in keeping the law. The shame/honor thing wasn't part of it. Guilt and peace have a lot more to do with it. That's certainly the way it look in Paul's world.

The shame and honor culture didn't come from the OT, it's comes from the culture in which the OT existed. Paul did not follow a higher Hellenistic morality based on universals and neither did Yeshua, nor did they teach us to attain to a higher internalized spiritual morality.

Meta: You could accuse me of being Pauline, that's ok with me. I would accept that.

I wouldn't call you Pauline because you are horribly distorting Paul with a Modernism and a Hellenism absent from him.

Meta: You yourself identified "My Jesus" as a Greek Cynical philosopher. Now where do you get off calling that "modern?" Seems like a contradiction to me.

I "get off" calling your Jesus Modern because the belief that Yeshua was a Greek Cynic, Stoic, or Wisdom/Morality Teacher is what "most modern scholars" (your own words) believe and who are to thank for the common acceptance of that belief (as you yourself witness by appealing to them). Doesn't seem like a contradiction to me.

Meta: So you are saying Christians follow Jesus? O no, how dreadful. I would never have thought of that.

Whatever that means.

What I am saying is the higher spiritual morality you espouse is not an aspect of either Christianity, Paul, or Yeshua. And that, in fact, it is degrading to most cultures in the ancient world (including Judaism) because it makes their "letter keeping morality" lower than our "inner spiritual keeping morality". It is a bigoted thing to say. And Paul never said it.

Meta: Well excuse me for putting up Jesus up on a pedestal.He's only the incornate logos. Where does he get off thinking he's the Messiah! Wow the nerve of us Christians, having our own faith and everything!

? I really don't understand what you meant to communicate with this.

Perhaps it would benefit you to know that I consider myself a Christian also and that I am not an anti-Christian or a leftist going around saying Christian have some kind of nerve for believing Christ is the Messiah or that Christ is incarnate... It may benefit you to know that I believe these things also and that I also put him up on a pedestal.

Meta: I'm not concerned with non Christian theology, I'm concerned with Christian theology.

Then perhaps you should be concerned with changing your non-Christian theology.

You recommend something for me to read so I recommend you read N.T. Wright's Christian Origins and the Question of God series (particularly "Jesus and the Victory of God"), which deal with Q, Cynicism, Stoicism, Paul, and Yeshua and argues quite compellingly that there is little or no Cynic in Yeshua and to what extent Hellenism does and does not influence the texts--contrary to popular Modern belief.

It is because of the veracity of Wright's arguments and evidences that I believe Yeshua is no Cynic or Stoic or Greek Philosopher, that Christianity is not about following the higher spiritual aspect of law instead of its letter, and that Paul in no way recommended this. It is not due to my lack of knowledge about the influence of Hellenistic culture or what "most scholars think". I am aware of the influence and their arguments and Wright has destroyed them.

2 Comments:

Blogger J.L. Hinman said...

why don't you come on my message board and we can discuss? It seems to me the message board is better desined for a back and forth kind of debate.


Sense of the Numinous

choose the Bible/scholarship board

6:29 PM  
Blogger J.L. Hinman said...

You are clearly ignorant of the traditions you pretend to defend.Rabbi Heliel was told by a pagan that if he coudl recite all the Troah while standing on one leg he would convert. He stood on one leg and said "do not do to others what you would hate to be done to yourself." He then said, "taht is Troah, the rest is commentary."

you know so little and you gett so angry becasue beileve differently than you.

9:51 PM  

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