Re: Cephas

Bart D. Ehrman <BARTUNC@uncmvs.oit.unc.edu> writes:

>  ...  (The basic point is that there are distinctively Pauline
>  phrases used in these verses which make everyone who subscribes
>  to this view think that Paul has modified the wording of the
>  document in line with his own way of saying things.  Once that's
>  admitted, though, the idea that he must have left the names as
>  they were originally found is seriously compromised) (Guess I
>  just pushed myself to a summary...)

OK, you've half convinced me: "pisteuthEnai" (+ acc), "energein" and
"apostolE" are certainly all good Pauline words, and probably your JBL
article points out other features. [Bart, I haven't managed to read
your article yet, but I will - with great interest.] And I can see the
force of the argument which says that if Paul is telling it his way
(rather than citing an existing formula) he might have been expected
to change Peter to Cephas at the same time. But two points still
strike me:

(1) Paul would have been partly responsible for the construction of
this hypothetical formula. Might not this explain some of the typical
Pauline usage?

(2) Whether or not there was ever a written Jerusalem agreement, there
is also some quite untypical language in these verses. "Petros", of
course, is one example (assuming identity). But I was thinking
primarily of "to euangelion tEs akrobustias". Nowhere else in any
letter does Paul write of his "gospel of the uncircumcision" or indeed
of a "gospel of the circumcision" either. And isn't it an odd, rather
negative description?

It feels to me like Paul in 2:7 is taking over and trying to turn to
his own advantage someone else's term: either a Jerusalem expression
or (perhaps more likely) the preferred usage of his Galatian
opponents. Then, in the following verse, Paul deftly transforms the
negative sounding "gospel of the uncircumcision" into the positive
sounding, typically Pauline "apostolic mission to the nations".

Could one imagine the Judaisers in Galatia arguing along these lines:
"Paul preaches his 'gospel of the uncircumcision', but it was Peter to
whom the gospel was delivered and it is a gospel of circumcision and
obedience to the Law"? In fact, could Paul be taking up the phrases
"to euangelion tEs akrobustias/tEs peritomEs" here deliberately to echo 
and remind his readers of the accusations of his enemies, turning their 
own catch-phrase back against them, so to speak? In which case, maybe 
Paul switches to "Petros" for the same reason, because that name (rather 
than "KEphas") was the one Paul's opponents always used when speaking of
the apostle they claimed as their own authority, Simon the Rock.

Bart, please accept my apologies if I'm taking you over ancient and
well-trodden ground. It's new to me.

Bill Raines

The Revd. William Raines  ||   Tel: 061-224 1310
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