Member (Idle past 4149 days)
From: Birmingham, AL, USA
Message 79 of 82 (55977)
09-17-2003 8:56 AM
Reply to: Message 72 by Kapyong
08-25-2003 1:55 AM
The Physical Christ According To Paul
Here is the first part of my study of the Christology of Paul. This section presents a brief overview of the time period in which Jesus lived, His heritage, His life, and His teachings. I am still working on a section covering Christ's death, resurrection, and ascension. The material to be presented in these two sections should resolve any doubt concerning Paul's teaching of a historical, physical Christ.
The Physical Christ According to Paul
I. Paul presents a specific time period for the life of Jesus Christ.
There are two claims made by Paul by which we can determine the exact time of Christ’s sojourn on this earth. First we can see that Paul appealed to eyewitnesses; and, secondly, we find that Paul appeals to Old Testament prophecy.
Let us examine first the appeal to eyewitness testimony. In Galatians 3:1, Paul wrote a reprimand to the Galatians saying, “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” In I Corinthians 15:3-7, Paul further states, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.” In both of these passages the apostle Paul makes a bold appeal to eyewitness testimony of the death and resurrection of Christ, claiming that at the time of the writing of these letters, many were still alive who could verify the physical reality of Jesus Christ.
Paul also appealed to the testimony of the Old Testament prophets concerning the coming of the Messiah. According to Romans 1:2, the coming of Jesus Christ was prophesied in the Old Testament. “Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures.” Romans 5:6 tells us that “in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” This statement about Christ coming in due time is repeated in I Timothy 2:6. “Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” Also in Galatians 4:4, Paul states, “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son.” Three times we see Paul refer to Christ as having come at a previously determined point in time.
If we compare this claim with the statement found in Romans 1:2, we can reasonably expect to find a specific time given in the Old Testament in which the Messiah was to come. That time can be found in Daniel 9:25-26. “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:” The “weeks” mentioned here in Daniel refer to the Jewish sabbatical arrangement of years: seven weeks equals 49 years, and 62 weeks equals 434 years. Adding 49 to 434, we find that Daniel prophesied that Messiah would be “cut off” 483 years after the command was given to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. According to Nehemiah 2:1-8, the command to rebuild Jerusalem was issued “in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes” or 450 BC. Now if we count 483 years after 450 BC, we arrive at AD 33. This is the date given in the Old Testament for the Messiah being “cut off.” It is the “due time” to which Paul refers in his epistles. And it is the year in which Jesus Christ died on the cross: not for Himself, but as a ransom for all, dying for the ungodly.
II. Paul presents a specific heritage of Jesus Christ.
Paul states first of all in Galatians 3:16, that Jesus is a descendent of Abraham. “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” In Romans 9:5, he claims that Christ is a descendent of Israel. “Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever.” Then in Romans 1:3 Jesus is claimed to be “made of the seed of David according to the flesh.” But Paul gets even more specific than just listing the ancient ancestors of Jesus. In Galatians 1:19, Paul refers to the apostle James as, “James the Lord’s brother.” Thus Paul mentions a specific ancestry and even an immediate family for Jesus Christ.
III. Paul refers to a specific life lived by Jesus Christ.
Paul makes several references to Christ being “in the flesh.” For example, in II Corinthians 5:16, Paul claims, “we have known Christ after the flesh,” and in I Timothy 3:16, he states, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
But not all of Paul’s references to the life of Christ are so generalized. In both Romans 8:29 and 15:7, Paul taught that God wants Christians to be “conformed to the image of his Son” and that Christians should “receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.” Thus Paul explicitly instructs Christians to follow the example of Christ. We read also in Romans 15:3, “For even Christ pleased not himself” and in II Corinthians 10:1 of the “meekness and gentleness of Christ.” And in Philippians 2:5-8 we find the entire teaching of Paul on the believer’s responsibility to Christ’s example. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
IV. Paul makes reference to specific teachings of Jesus Christ.
In Romans 14:14, Paul states, “I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself.” Here he makes a direct reference to Christ’s teaching found in Matthew 15:11. “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” This teaching is echoed in Mark 7:15. “There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.” And Luke 11:39-41 further expounds on this thought. “And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also? But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.”
Paul also makes several indirect references to this teaching of Christ. In I Timothy 4:4-5 he states, “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” And in Titus 1:15, “Unto the pure, all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure.”
Another reference to the teachings of Christ can be found in Romans 15:5. “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus.” This statement is a reference to the prayer of Christ recorded in John 17, specifically verses 11 and 20-23. “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are…Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”
A third reference to Christ’s teachings can be found in I Corinthians 9:14. “Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” Paul makes another reference to this doctrine in Galatians 6:6. “Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.” And in I Timothy 5:18, Paul gives a direct quote of the words of Christ recorded in Luke 10:7. “The labourer is worthy of his reward (hire).” Matthew 10:10 also records this teaching. “The workman is worthy of his meat.”
But certainly the strongest evidence for Paul’s knowledge of the words of Christ is found in I Corinthians 11:23-26. “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.” Here Paul distinctly claims to be quoting Christ. Luke and Matthew both record these words for us. “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:26-28).” “And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you (Luke 22:19-20).”
There are also many passages found in Paul’s epistles which, while they do not contain a direct reference to Christ, yet parallel His teachings so accurately that the two can hardly be the independent thoughts of two distinct individuals. For example, compare Romans 12:1-15:7 with the Sermon on the Mount, II Corinthians 10:1 with Matthew 11:29, Philippians 2:5-8 with Luke 22:27, Galatians 4:4 with Mark 1:15, Romans 10:4 with Matthew 5:17, I Corinthians 13:2 with Matthew 17:20 and Mark 11:23, I Corinthians 10:27 with Luke 10:7-8, Romans 13:1-7 with Mark 12:13-17, Romans 13:8-10 with Matthew 22:37-40 and Mark 12:28-34, Romans 13:11 with Luke 21:28, and I Thessalonians 5:25 with Luke 12:39. Many, many more correlations could easily be added to this list.
This ends the first part of my study. I should be able to provide the conclusion shortly. Thank you for taking the time to consider my position.
|This message is a reply to:|
| ||Message 72 by Kapyong, posted 08-25-2003 1:55 AM|| ||Kapyong has not yet responded|
|Replies to this message:|
| ||Message 82 by chinger, posted 09-25-2003 6:23 AM|| ||w_fortenberry has not yet responded|
Member (Idle past 4149 days)
From: Birmingham, AL, USA
Message 81 of 82 (56709)
09-20-2003 9:10 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by Kapyong
08-28-2003 6:28 AM
Re: Acts late and suspect
You have probably already noticed that I refrained from including evidence from the book of Acts in my presentation. Let me assure you that I have done so only to demonstrate that my position can be stated using just the Pauline epistles. However, I would like to make a few statements regarding your view of the book of Acts.
First of all, you claimed,
|Acts dates about 1/2 century or so after Paul, its not certain who wrote it (probably not a follower of Paul as they differ on key issues) - it is no proof for what Paul was referring to.|
I do not agree. If you will notice the grammatical structure of Acts 16:6-10, you will find that in verses six through nine, the primary pronoun used by Luke is the third person plural. This pattern is adhered to from the beginning of the book up to verse ten of this chapter. Beginning with verse ten, however, you will notice a change in Luke's writing; for in verse ten we read not "immediately they endeavoured," but "immediately we endavoured." This change from the third person plural to the first person plural is maintained throughout the remainder of the book. Thus I contend that the book of Acts was written by a contemporary of Paul and not, as you propose, "about 1/2 century or so after" him.
You stated secondly,
|Acts DIFFERS in its retelling of Paul's visionary experience - the legend has grown in the telling.|
The slight differences which I am aware of and to which you may be referring do not evidence the growth that you attribute to them.
You also claimed,
|Acts includes elements from pagan myth, including the line from Euripides about "kicking against the goads (pricks)", and a phrase lifted from the Egyptian Mysteries (theos ho ton legon hegemon).|
Is it possible that “to kick against the pricks” was a common idiom of the time? Surely you are not so naïve as to conclude that a single idiom referring to the readily observable actions of oxen is enough to make the book of Acts suspect. As for the phase you claim is lifted from the Egyptian Mysteries, I am afraid that you have not given me enough information. I have searched for every Greek word that could possibly fit your transliteration, but I have been unable to find the phrase to which you are referring. Perhaps you could just provide me with a chapter and verse reference.
Your final claim was that...
| the GREEK New Testament (an interlinear of the Nestle Aland 26) does NOT have "Jesus of Nazareth" at 22:8, but rather "Jesus the Nazarene" (Gk NAZARAOIS). So too does Acts 26:9 have "Jesus the Nazarene"… It can be seen that Jesus' hometown of Nazareth was accidentally derived from his being termed a "Nazarene" - but not from any historical information. |
You seem to be confusing the term “Nazarene” with the term “Nazarite.” The first refers to one who comes from the town of Nazareth. The latter refers to one who has taken a Nazarite vow. Nowhere in Scripture are we informed of Jesus having taken a Nazarite vow. In fact, since part of that vow included vowing never to take of the fruit of the vine and never to touch a dead body, and since we know that Jesus did these things, we can safely conclude that He was not under a Nazarite vow. He was, however, from the town of Nazareth. You can compare the usage of this term in Acts with Matthew 2:23.
In conclusion, although I have not included references to Acts in my presentation, I would like to suggest the following references for further study of the evidences found within that book. Acts 13:22-41, Acts 17:3, Acts 17:31, Acts 19:4, Acts 20:35, Acts 24:5, Acts 26:9, Acts 26:15, and Acts 26:23.
|This message is a reply to:|
| ||Message 75 by Kapyong, posted 08-28-2003 6:28 AM|| ||Kapyong has not yet responded|