16 Jul 2014 
#94 Carrier's lame arguments in OHJ against "James, the brother of the Lord" in Galatians 1:19

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Carrier, in his book "On The Historicity Of Jesus" (OHJ) contends the following:
 
"Paul goes on to say that this James (unless he means a different one) was one of the three pillars of highest repute in the church, 'James and Cephas and John' (Gal. 2.9). The Gospels imagine these three as disciples, not the family of Jesus. In fact, the Gospels uniformly report that this James and John were the brothers of each other, not of Jesus. Might Paul have only known them as such, too?
 
Certainly in Gal. 1.19 Paul meant either James the Pillar or another James. And if he meant James the Pillar, then he did not mean he was liter­ally the brother of Jesus—as that James appears to have been the brother of John, not Jesus. So to maintain that Paul means this James was the literal brother of Jesus, you have to conclude that Paul meant a different James in 1.19 [because that James appears to be John's imagined brother!] than the one he mentions soon afterward (in Gal. 2.9 and 2.12)."
 
The gospels (still used by Carrier even if they are deemed fiction by him) also has a James who is a brother of Jesus. Carrier seems to have tunnel vision here: see one James and not the other.
Carrier thinks that Paul would have imagined, when writing `Galatians`, that John had a brother (without saying so), which will be imagined later (this time duly specified) in the gospels, which for Carrier are all fiction, from beginning to end!!!
 
Now if Carrier would treat Acts just like he does for the gospels (extracting some data --even if imagined!--), he would know that "James", brother of John, was executed fairly early (during Agrippa I`s reign, around 42), and the only prominent James left, was one of the pillar at the council (around 52), and the one he met still later before his arrest (around 58) (according to Acts).
 
If the "James" was not the same one that Paul met in Jerusalem (around 38) after his conversion, Paul would have say it when naming the "James" at the council of Jerusalem.
And because Carrier thinks "brother of the Lord" means "Christians" and the pillars were Christians, and the "imagined" James, brother of John, was Christian, then "brother of the Lord" would not distinguish the "James" of Gal 1:19 with the others.
 
All of that makes this Carrier's thesis on the matter rather ridiculous.
All of that in order to avoid considering "James, the brother of the Lord" as a blood brother of Jesus!
 
However Carrier has another thesis (in case the first one does not work for him!). See next:
 
"So it's just as likely, if not more so, that Paul means he met only the apos­tle Peter and only one other Judean Christian, a certain "brother James'. By calling him a brother of the Lord instead of an apostle, Paul is thus distin­guishing this James from any apostles of the same name"
 
Now, Carrier is talking about a lesser James, a Judean Christian, which just happened to visit Peter during these two weeks (let's say to ask for some salt!).
Just before that he argued in favor of James (brother of John), certainly an apostle. Now he makes a point about another "James", this one not being an apostle!
I note also than in Gal 1:19 Peter is not named as an apostle as also that "James". Furthermore, Paul never mentioned the "James" of Gal 1:19, 2:9 & 2:12 was/were apostle(s).
 
But why would Paul mention "brother James" if he was of no importance, an individual who will not be called again in the narration? That "James" had to be somebody of significance, maybe not at the time, but certainly in the future. Actually, Carrier answers that, see next quote.
 
And it is strange that Carrier calls that "James" "brother James" when he is trying to demonstrate that lesser Christian had to be called "the brother of the Lord", something rather pompous for a small man if it means just "Christian".
 
Then things get really complicated:
 
"Paul would then be simply classifying a meeting with 'Cephas' as a meeting with 'the apostles' (as anticipated in 1.17) [Cephas is singular, not plural!], and then making sure he named all the Christians he met on that occasion (Cephas and James) in anticipation of his claim that no one in Judea had ever seen him (1.22). The latter claim would be a lie if he had met any Christian [but he would have met two of them then!], even one who was not an apostle, during his visit to Cephas (in 1.18). So Paul has to name all the Christians he met on that occasion. And, lying or not, that number needed to be low for his argument to hold. Accordingly, Paul says there was only one other: brother James."
 
Note: after about no less than ten pages (582-592) where Carrier is wrestling with"brother(s) of the Lord"), he draws that conclusion:
"However, I must argue a fortiori, and to that end I shall say it's reasonably possible these probabilities go the other way around. In other words, that Paul would speak like this on those two occasions could be only 50% expected on mythicism but exactly what we expect on historicity (or 50% expected on historicity but only 25% expected on myth, etc.). In other words, I actually think this evidence is twice as likely on mythicism, but, though I doubt it, I'll allow that it might be twice as likely on historicity. I certainly cannot reasonably believe these passages (including their internal ambiguity and surrounding silence) are any more expected than that on h than on —h."

On the same topic, see also here.

Cordially, Bernard

Tags: {brother(s)} {brother of the Lord} {Carrier} {Carrier's OHJ} {Galatians} {Galatians 1:19} {Jesus' historicity} {mythicism}
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