Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Rebuttle to Slaveofone

In response to Salveofone's post found here.

Meta: Really? So Paul was not a first century Jew?

SO1: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: of course he did. He is the one who said "the letter kills but the Spirit gives life." I didn't make that up. that's a verse in the Bible by Paul. Now how else do you see that? The letter kills, but go ahead and live it anyway. I dont' see how anyone could possibly have read anything by Paul and not know this. Moreover, other Rabbis prior to Jesus said the same thing. I left the comment on your blog about Hillel standing on one leg and saying 'Don't do to anyone what you don't want done to yourself=--that's Torah, the rest is just commenary."

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

SO1: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: No, there is a fallacy called "unecessary appeall to authority." that means if I say "My highschool teacher says there's a God, so there must be." That's a fallacy of appeal to authority because my highschool teacher s not an authority on the existence of God. But there is no such fallacy as appealing to experst! how absurdly aburd! who else are going to aks? These guys who speak the langauge (you don't, I do) they spend their lives studying it systematially and they have degrees in it they are the experts, they know.. that's not a fallacy that expert testimony that is never a fallacy to use!

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).

SO1: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: Your argument was that Jesus sounded like a cynic the way I prortray him. Of coruse I was quotiong him so that cyncial likness, if it is there, is really there.. I brought up the fact that it's there in Q, meaning, Jesus must have really bleieved in a form of ethics like that. i did not say he was really a cynic. But his sounding like one was your cirticism, not something I arguef for.

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

SO1: 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: You are just informing me of your habit. that is not an argument that has a bearing on these issues. Your argument was that somehow my version of Jesus was modern and not sticking to the nature of the ancient world. I am saying that cyncism is not modern. So if Jesus sounds like a cynic the way I read him, it can' be that its modern. I'm not making him modern becasue those ideas were around back then. See?

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.

SO1: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: I've quoted them saying so. I quote several long passages of Jesus' in matt and luke. I don't see anything form you in way of actual proof. I see only your opinion.

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

SO1:I wouldn't call you Pauline because you are horribly distorting Paul with a Modernism and a Hellenism absent from him.

Meta: Prove it! Say something besides your opinion! Paul says the letter kills, show me an answer to that! Paul says the law is nailed to the cross, he says if you keep the law Christ will do you no good. He says those who preach the law are anathema becasue they perach another Jesus, how else do we take that?

Gal 2:16:Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the
faith of Jesus Christ,
even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be
justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the
works of the law shall no flesh be justified.


But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also
are found sinners, [is] therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.


For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a


For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto


I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but
Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the
faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.


I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by
the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

explain that.

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.

SO1: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: you are so confused. First you said Jesus being a cynic was bad. You dont' seem to get that that's an ancinet thing. You seem to think it's modern. no it's older the Christianity. Do you not know that?

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

SO1: Whatever that means.

Meta: It seemed like part of what you were complaining abou about was that my view is Christian. I don't think you have clear opinion.

So1:What I am saying is the higher spiritual morality you espouse is not an aspect of either Christianity, Paul, or Yeshua.

Meta; I've already proven that it is. Jesus himself says it plainly several times and I quoted them in the orignal peice. Paul says it clearly and quoted i agove. I even quoted James saying it. You offer no analysis on any of that, nor do you offer any other evidence.

SO1: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: There is no modern vs ancinet split between letter vs spirit. This is what the whle axis age was about. From Lo Tsu to Jereiemah from Buddha to Zerathustra they all have inner spirit. Of course they do! The whole ancient world was about inner spirit. They also have compassion as the essence of the law. As I've quoted before pre Christian Rabbis say it, the great and famous rabbi Hellel said it. It's all over the ancinet world.

Rabbi Hillel understood the idea of collaping law into a single principle of love:

as told by Rabbi Elly Broch

The Torah teaches us one of mankind's most basic tenets, "And you should love your friend as your self." (Vayikra/Leviticus 19:18) The Talmud (Tractate Shabbos 21a) relates an incident when the renowned sage Hillel was approached by a prospective proselyte who wished to learn the entirety of Jewish law in the time that he would be able to stand on one foot. Hillel replied, "Do not do to your friend that which you do not wish to be done to you; this is the entire Torah, and all else is the commentary which you should learn".

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!

So1:? I really don't understand what you meant to communicate with this.

Meta: Your original statment seems to imply cirticism for my view being Christian.

So1: 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:your statments sure implied it.

this whole pragraph makes it sound as though you are not a Chrisian:

The difference between an a non-Christian Jew/Gentile and a Christian Jew/Gentile is not that one follows the law and the other follows the spirit of it, but that one looks for the fulfillment of things (and how one responds to Yahweh’s grace) through Law whereas the other looks for the fulfillment of things (and how one responds to Yahweh’s grace) through Yeshua. Yeshua set himself up to replace observance of the law. A Christian believes that he is the replacement for Law observance and follows him. A non-Christian does not believe he is the replacement and continues to seek through Law what Yeshua said is now given and done through him, thereby rejecting him.

You say a Christian thinks Jesus is the replacement for the law and non Christian still seeks law. But that's just it, you condmen my view for saying the former (Jesus repaces law) which you here identify as the Christian view. So if you are against that view, you are against the Christian view. that makes me think you are not a Christian.

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

So1:Then perhaps you should be concerned with changing your non-Christian theology.

Meta: when are you going to expalin how you can contradict Jesus? I've proven my view are biblical let's see you do soemthing.

So1;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.

Meta; It is cerainly well within the totally known teachigns of christianity that we are under grace and not law, If you say otherwise you are a hertic. the bible says it and all christians say it ane we all know it you have no sound teaching and no undrstanding at all.

first of all you brought up the criticism that Jesus sounds like a cycic. as though you never heard of the passage about love your neighbor as yourself. Seccondly, Write is a modern scholar! O no, doesnt' that make him wrong? you've condmeend modern shcoalrs why should we trust him? becasue you only condem the one's that disagree with you right?

SO1: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.

Meta: It's it's just plain wrong headed to think that anyime somone says anything about the spirit over the letter that that makes them a cynic. It's even worse to think that Jesus' teachings can't be flavored with hellinistic ideas. You were the one who brought up cynics. You said two things:

(1) I made Jesus sound like a cynic

(2) that makes him modern and that's bad.

I said the cynics weren't modern. If being modern is bad then being a cynci certainly doesnt' bring on the badness of moderity because they cynics were not modern. I said the Jews had ideas of the cynics, another indication that your criticism that I'm degrading Judaism and being modern are wrong wrong wrong headed. totally wrong headed.

Your whole ideology is totally wrong headed. Every chrsians from Clement of Rome has known grace over law. that's the whole essence of the Christian faith. Not radical, not moder not unheard of not some new deal no one ever said before. That was what my grandmother taught me. Wesley said it. Luther said it. TI's not modern, it's not hippie it's not lefitst it's protestant reformation and new testament


loyal opposition said...


You might want to inform your readers where this discussion took place.

J.L. Hinman said...

Yea I meant to do that and got side tracked before bed and forgot.

slaveofone said...

I have now replied to Metacrock's comments on my first post and when I have time and opportunity, will respond to this rebuttal.

Unfortunately, time is a luxury I do not have, so I will not be able to write an argument giving the references and evidences in support of my position that I know Metacrock wants. If I was going to write an essay instead of blog, I would. But that was never my intention, nor will it be. But hopefully I will be able to clear up the confusion Metacrock has about my position and arguments--wich are many--and briefly point him in the right direction.