I confess that my knowledge about Paul's letters is not as extensive as my knowledge on the gospels; and I haven't read his letters in as much detail as I have the gospels. However, I cannot recall any instances of Paul claiming that Jesus is God, though Doherty makes the assertion that he does:
quote:Earl Doherty in The Jesus Puzzle (2006):
If Paul were preaching a man who was God, his listeners and converts would demand to know about the life of this man, his sayings and deeds. (p. 25)
In fact, this appears to be a key piece to Earl's argument against an historical Jesus—Jesus couldn't have originally been a man because he was thought of as being God and no one, Paul included, would have fallen for such malarkey as claiming a mere man was God; therefore Jesus, believed to be God by early Christians, could not also have been seen as having been a flesh-and-blood human.
But for this line of argumentation to carry any weight at all we have to see in the writings of the earliest Christians (this is a restriction set up by Doherty for reasons there isn't time to mention here) an identification of Jesus as God.
But do we see this? I cannot find any instances. The closest reference I can find occurs in Philippians 2:5–11, yet even here we do not have a declaration of Jesus being God, only a claim that Jesus was in the same form as God (Magic ether? Holy Spirit juice? We don't really know what that form would be...) and even then he was not equal to God, and he certainly wasn't claimed to be one and the same as God.
I don't see the separation. God the Son, God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit are the three aspects of the Triune Christian God. That doesn't mean that they're in any way separate from each other.
Uh, just exactly when did Christianity reach Ireland, so that they could become acquainted with the Shamrock? The classic physical metaphor for the Trinity (from Eric Idle's Nuns on the Run, "In the name of The Father, and the Son, and the Holy Shamrock"; though the testimony of others has supported the Shamrock as being used to exemplify the Trinity).
By the time we got to the Council of Nicea which defined precisely what Christianity was, about three centuries after the fact, there were many interpretations and many gospels and other religious texts. But it was only the officially recognized interpretations and texts that were selected and allowed to survive, as the others were destroyed. Trinitarianism was not the norm, but rather the doctrine that was selected arbitrarily by the Council. Unitarianism also existed and was resurrected a few times thereafter.
Why do you keep quoting that passage from Mark where he doesn't say that Jesus is God?
I'm not. I'm quoting the passage from Mark you keep pretending isn't there. You know, the one where he equates Jesus with God:
quote:1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, 2 as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”— 3 “a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ 4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Really? Where does he claim that Paul claims Jesus was god? Notice the "If" in the beginning of the sentence? That usually indicates a hypothetical.
Out of curiosity, have you read the book? The 'if' statement has to do with Paul's knowledge about the historical Jesus. Doherty is saying that: If this God Paul was talking about had actually been a human, Paul should know more about his human life; Paul doesn't know much about his human life; therefore this God (Jesus) Paul is talking about most likely had not been a human.
It is a difficult thing to point out on a forum since the argument involved spans several pages; what I'm trying to point out is that Doherty's argument rests on the assumption that Paul was declaring Jesus God. But I cannot find evidence that this was going on.
Making things even more difficult is Earl's sloppy use of terminology; he uses things like 'Son of God' and 'divinity' and 'God' as though they are interchangeable in the early Christian writings. They are not. He seems completely okay with viewing the letters of Paul through the lens of a modern Christian, using Trinitarian terminology to talk about Pauline theology. For example, he says:
quote:Earl Doherty in The Jesus Puzzle (2006):
Those who derive their view of Jesus from the Gospels might be startled to realize the highly elevated nature of the Jesus preached by early Christians. He is party of the very Godhead itself. His nature is integral with that of the Father. (p. 19) ...
All this is Paul's world. God and the heavenly Christ have been working through the Holy Spirit on men such as himself, and on believers who respond to them in faith. (p. 30)
Paul does talk about having the Spirit working inside people, but not in the way Doherty describes things. And to even introduce the word 'Godhead' in describing Pauline Christianity shows, in my opinion, a serious lack of attentiveness to his sources and too heavy a reliance on modern Christian theology in building his view of the early Christian movement.
But the question remains: Where does Paul call Jesus God?
And what evidence, specifically, substantiates the historical existence of Jesus if you're a Trinitarian, but not if you're a Pauline? Or the reverse?
If your answer is "none" then how can it possibly matter whether Doherty even knows the difference between Trinitarian and Pauline theology? Your entire argument on these grounds is nothing but the Courtier's Reply. But one does not need a degree in textile science to see that your emperor has no clothes.
It's the word "Lord" that refers to God, and in Mark "Lord" is twice used to refer to Jesus.
I didn't think that was particularly clear, since "Lord" does not only refer to God. Just as the English word can refer to God, or to a man with a noble title, so can the Greek word in the gospels (kurios) mean God, or a high-ranking individual, or the owner of a slave etc. In other contexts in the Gospel of Mark (in the KJV, at least), the translators chose the word 'sir' for 'kurios'. 'Lord' might simply mean 'master'.
However, I just did a bit of research, and it seems that, in the Old Testament bit that Mark is quoting, the Hebrew word was Jehovah, which is less ambiguous.
I didn't think that was particularly clear, since "Lord" does not only refer to God.
Sure, but it's clear in context that Mark is referring to the Lord God.
There's really no ambiguity in Mark 1 that I can see. The parallel between the prophecy in Isaiah that the way would be laid for God and John the Baptist laying the way for Jesus is deliberate and obvious. Jon's simply pretending that Mark starts on the second chapter.