Sean Ingham wrote:So you are proffering two layers of linguistic mystification here. One, that αδελφος does mean"brother of the flesh" and that you can somehow know that Gal 1:19 refers to Jesus and not to God in the non-titular use of κυριος. What you offer in your defence is that Jesus did have a brother named James and that is somehow relevant, despite the fact that post-Pauline literature shows no interest in this rejected brother converting to Christianity and becoming so important in the Jerusalem church until Acts and then Acts knows nothing about the James of Gal 1:19 being related to Jesus. (These are called "loud silences".) The language issue of how you decide the meanings of the terms remains unaddressed.
What Jason has showed you is a language issue. He has shown you that the phrase in question (not merely the word), was naturally understood by users of the Greek language who were proximate to Paul, with the referent of biological kinship. So far Stephen, David,and Jason have given you the following points.
* Appeals to Paul's use of αδελφος for fictive kinship are irrelevant, since we do not have a sufficiently large corpus of Paul's writings to make reliable determinations on the meaning he ascribed to single words
* In this case a single word is not in question, but the syntax of the phrase in which it is used; so lexical-syntactical analysis is required, not merely a prescriptive claim that Paul only ever used αδελφος for fictive kinship
* The function of the article before the ἀδελφὸν τοῦ κυρίου is to identify which James Paul was talking about; this is a typical use of the article when a phrase such as this is referring to biological kinship, it is not an honorific
* Just because a person uses a word almost always with a particular literal or figurative or metaphorical meaning does not imply that his use of the word has that same meaning by default; letters to fellow believers cannot count as a sufficiently balanced corpus of an author's usage of a word, and 'word meanings are determined by context, not word counts'
* There is no evidence that Paul uses σαρκος every time he wants to identify biological kinship; there is evidence that he uses σαρκος in at least two places to contrast
biological kinship with fictive kinship
* 1 Corinthians 9:5 has merely the plural form of that which is found in Galatians 1:19, so it does not count as evidence for understanding Galatians 1:19
* We also have to look at the other writings in the same period because Paul is communicating through his letters with other people who will understand the word in ways evidenced by their own writings; the more peculiar the language Paul uses is to himself, the more misunderstood he would be
The last point is particularly important. We have examples in other writings in the same period, of the phrase Paul uses in Galatians 1:19 being used to refer to biological kinship. This means we can definitely say that this is a reading which would have occurred naturally to the recipient of the text. Until we have sufficient examples of the phrase being used to refer to fictive kinship, we cannot assert that this is a reading which would have occurred naturally to the recipient of the text.
Thus far we have only one proposed reading which has evidence; biological kinship.