righteousness = right standing with God
Traditional method (the law)
Righteousness obtained through obedience to law
Problem: no one has ever been able to do it (Rom 3:23: "All have sinned....")
"Sin" includes thought life & desires
New covenant method
Righteousness obtained through faith
Abraham righteous by faith
"The wages of sin is death" (Rom 6:23)
Jesus did not sin, but accepted death
Can offer his death as substitution for others
Problem of "faith"
Paul: dynamic life changing inner condition
"Be transformed by the renewing of your minds" (Rom 12:2)
repentance (metanoia) = change of mind
Role of action in faith
Libertines': belief is sufficient
Therefore no constraints on behavior
James vs. Paul
differing definitions of 'faith'
for James is just 'belief'
"Faith without works is dead" (Jas 2:26)
use of Abraham as proof text
Jewish Christians: Abraham & gentile household circumcised before time of Moses (Gen 17:26f)
Paul: "Abraham 'believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness'" (Gal 3:9, Gen 15:6), prior to institution of circumcision
James: Abraham "justified [e.g. made righteous] by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar" (Jas 2:21, see Gen 22)
1st letter from Corinth to Paul (lost)
2nd letter from Corinth to Paul (lost)
2 Corinthians (partial?)
2 Corinthians may be composite, made up of both second and third letters of Paul to the Corinthians, in which case:
3rd letter from Corinth to Paul (lost)
3 Corinthians [consisting of excerpts from 2 Corinthians]
There is an apocryphal 3 Corinthians, embedded in the Acts of Paul, but scholars are agreed that it is not authentic
Problems at Corinth
Some identifying with various itinerants who have passed through
Paul, Peter, Apollos, etc.
Question of Freedom as Christians
Meat sacrificed to idols
Extra-marital sex, esp. with prostitutes
Proper order in the assemblies
Charismatic gifts (tongues, prophecy, etc.)
Paul's view of sexuality
Sex as mystical union of male & female
Paul's response to prostitution and sexual libertinism at Corinth
"Meat for the belly and the belly for meat"
Marriage is result of the sexual act, not a ceremony
Role of marriage
Marriage as image of Christ's relationship with the Church
Sex within marriage (required)
Sex outside of marriage (forbidden)
Freedom to serve God fully if not married
No blanket identification of sex with sin
Jesus the person
"Christ" not his last name
Messiah = Hebrew/Aramaic for 'anointed'
Christ = Greek for 'anointed'
Title derives from practice of anointing Israelite kings
Question of Jesus' social standing
'techton' = "builder" (not just "carpenter")
more like lower middle class than 'peasant'
Normal language would be Aramaic
Aramaic quotes in Mark (Mark 5.41, 15:34)
Retroversion often improves or clarifies sayings
Matt 23:23: "You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel!"
Matt 5:48 ("Be perfect/complete") = Luke 6:36 ("Be merciful")
Jesus must have been able to speak, and perhaps read, some Greek.
Jesus invited to read from Torah in Synagogue
Probably could read Hebrew as well as Aramaic
The fact that he could read puts him a notch above most people in the ancient world
Rich textual base
Contrast most classical works
Textual corruption (sources of textual variants)
Haplography (Adulterer's Bible)
reading and hearing error (Rev. 1:5)