07 Dec 2012 
#6 Paul's historical Jesus

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Let's not consider here the mythicist theories, including the one of Doherty, with its dubious interpretations and pleas for interpolation (c/w middle Platonism, world of myth/lower heavenly realm and early Christian communities being mystery cults). Let's understand Paul's info about HJ as any person from the street would (that is as most of the earliest Christians). Then we have:
1) His name is Jesus (Ro 5:15 "the one man Jesus Christ", 2 Cor 8:9, etc).
2) He was a Jew (said to be descendant of Abraham (Gal 3:16), Israelites (Ro 9:4-5), Jesse (Ro 15:12) & David (Ro 1:3)).
3) He was a minister/servant to (only) Jews (Ro 15:8).
4) He was of no reputation and humble (Php 2:7-8).
5) He was crucified (1 Cor 1:23, 2:2, 2:8, 2 Cor 13:4).
6) The crucifixion happened in the heartland of the Jews: see here.
7) He had brothers (contemporaries of Paul) (1 Cor 9:5).
8) These brothers were travelling with "a "sister", a wife" (1 Cor 9:5).
9) One of Jesus' brothers was named "James" (Gal 1:19), whom Paul met several times (Gal 1:19, 2:9).
10) James lived for a long time in Jerusalem (Gal 1:19, 2:9).
11) James was also an important member of some Jewish sect (Gal 2:2, 9, 12).

Notes:
a) I have been avoiding "crucified as Christ" because it is not clear, according to Paul, if HJ was considered "Christ" by any of his contemporaries before the crucifixion.
b) Also Paul wrote Jesus was poor, in poverty (2 Cor 8:9) and becoming of a woman (Gal 4:4).
c) Paul said Jesus was "determined/marked out to be the Son of God ... by the resurrection from the dead" (Ro 1:4) meaning Jesus did not provide any indication he was the Son of God prior to his alleged resurrection.
d) See also: Were the earliest Christians of Corinth told about Jesus in a worldly manner? (Yes, according to a basic analysis of 2 Corinthians 5:16b)

I will continue in a next post, where I will try to demonstrate that these few infos about HJ are enough to ascertain only one individual (among all male Jews of a generation) can be specified as such.

Cordially, Bernard

Tags: {earthly & human Jesus} {historical Jesus} {Paul} {Paul's historical Jesus}
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