2007-09-16

When did Peter first see the resurrected Jesus?

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by Neil Godfrey

Following is an attempt to explain the mixed messages given the role of Peter in the post-resurrection narratives of the canonical gospels. It argues that Peter first met the resurrected Jesus, as per 1 Corinthians 15:5, some time after the writing of the gospels of Mark and Matthew but just prior to Luke’s gospel — or more likely as late as that redaction of Luke by the author of Acts (Tyson) and around the time of the Pastorals.

Let’s start with the widely held scholarly views that (1) the Gospel of Mark was the first gospel to be written; and that (2) the epistles of Paul were written before the Gospel of Mark.

Let’s also assume for now that Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians contains evidence that some of the earliest Christian communities believed that the resurrected Christ first appeared to Peter.

Christ . . . rose again . . . and that he was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve . . . . (1 Cor. 15:3-5)

Paul’s resurrection appearances catalogue in Corinthians

It seems odd that the same author who wrote Galatians should also give Peter (Cephas) this place of honour here, even to the point of declaring himself far behind Peter’s status with:

For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle . . . . (15:9)

Contrast the attitude of the author of Galatians who speaks of Peter as one who:

“seemed to be something — whatever [he was] it makes no difference to me . . . . for [he who] seemed to be something added nothing to me . . . . who seemed to be [a pillar]. . . .” (Gal. 2:6-9)

and who then goes on to effectively declare James and Peter as being false apostles:

But when Peter had come to Antioch I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed . . . . when [certain men came from James] he withdrew and separated himself [from the gentiles], fearing those who were of the circumcision . . . . But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “. . . . Why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews?” (Gal. 2:11-14)

That passage, when read with the author’s earlier discussion about false brethren, places Peter squarely among those false brethren according to Paul:

“false brethren secretly brought in . . . . that they might bring us into bondage . . . . to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour” (Gal. 2:3-5)

The evidence of Galatians supports the argument that the catalogue of resurrection appearances in 1 Cor.15:3-11 is not original to that letter. If, as other evidence indicates, Paul was from early times accounted as an apostle “to the heretics”, and if his letters were first known as a collection among the Marcionite Christians, then this catalogue of resurrection appearances in 1 Cor.15:3-11 has a simple explanation: it was an attempt by “orthodox” Christians to demonstrate Paul’s compatibility with and support for “orthodoxy”. “Orthodoxy” traced its foundation to Peter and the Twelve and James and that is what the catalogue of appearances supports.

We have then Galatians informing us of a major rift between between predominantly gentile Christians led by Paul and mostly Jewish ones led by James and Peter.

1 Corinthians tells us that Peter was certainly held in the highest esteem among many early Christians regardless of the authenticity of the passage to the original author.

The Gospel of Mark’s lack of resurrection appearances

Now come to the gospel of Mark. (I assume here that Mark’s ending is at 16:8 and that the following verses were a later attempt to give the gospel a more palatable ending for new audiences. See a brief discussion of the evidence here.)

In this earliest of the canonical gospels Peter is treated with as little respect as the author of Galatians shown him. His name, meaning Rock, is nowhere associated with a firm foundation for the church but rather appears to be more compatible with the quickly withering fruit that comes from rocky soil (Tolbert). From an excellent enthusiastic beginning his career with Jesus gradually degenerates until by the end he falls, like Judas and the rest of the Twelve, ignorantly and blindly into the camp of those who deny their Lord before men and thus their souls. Mark drives home the failure of this disciple for his readers by having Jesus send a reminder to Peter that those who wish to see Jesus again must go the Galilee (the metaphorical place of the kingdom of God that replaced the kingdom of Jerusalem), a reminder Mark bitingly tells readers, Peter did not even receive. He was not so blind and deaf as to be beyond redemption. It was as if Jesus did not really care that he got the message. After all, he had already made taught:

For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed . . . . (Mark 8:38)

The tears of Peter are a warning to Mark’s readers of the fate of one who denies Christ. There is no narrative redemption in them in this gospel. The tears Peter wept were the signs of anguish over his condition, no more effective for salvation than Judas’s torments that led him to hang himself or the bitter wailing of those other evangelists tell us is the fate of those in hell.

There is no resurrection appearance to Peter in Mark’s gospel.

This despite — or more likely because of — Peter’s prominence in rival Christian factions. Mark’s attack on Peter and the Twelve must have been in response to the prominence of Peter and the Twelve among significant numbers of Christians with whom he disagreed (Weeden, Fowler, Kelber, Tolbert). Like the author of Galatians, most likely.

The place of Peter from the beginning

So before Mark wrote (I refer to Mark as the author for convenience — no-one knows the identity of the original author except those who read more than is warranted into what Eusebius said Papias said — see “authorship“. Ditto for the other gospels too.) . . . . . so it is safe to say that before Mark wrote, Peter was held in very high esteem among many Christian communities. But not all.

The bland but blunt instrument of Matthew’s first resurrection appearance

The Gospel of Matthew rehabilitates Peter from Mark’s denigration. Matthew in response to Mark (whom he was in large measure copying and re-writing) chooses to drop Mark’s bitter reference to Peter after the resurrection completely. Where Mark had sarcastically concluded his gospel with the women running in fear from the tomb too frightened to breath a word to anyone, let alone Peter, about what they had just seen, Matthew sends them none other than Jesus himself. By so doing, he overturns Mark’s biting attack on the credibility of the witnesses. He re-writes Mark: Sure the women ran like blazes from the tomb, but they were really on their way to tell the disciples, and moreover Jesus met them on the way — so the women’s testimony suddenly has authority of having seen the resurrected Jesus himself.

Many have commented on the apparent pointlessness of Matthew’s account of Jesus appearing to the women here. He doesn’t tell them anything that they have not already heard from the angel in the tomb. But Matthew has a very real point to make when we think of him wrestling with the best way to re-write Mark’s account to redeem the authority of the apostles. He changed Mark’s young man (possibly meant to be the same as the young man who fled naked from Jesus at his arrest in Gethsemane) to an angel. That was a first step in giving the apostles an authoritative base. Next he had Mark’s fearfully fleeing women run smack bang into Jesus himself. The women were not running in fear as Mark had said. Matthew explains that they were running in joy and only became fearful when they unexpectedly ran into Jesus himself. And they did tell the disciples not just the message of an angel but the very message of Jesus himself. Matthew has added the Jesus appearance to the women to undo Mark’s cynicism. It hardly mattered that he could not think of anything more to add about what Jesus might have said than what Mark had already fed him with the speech of the young man in the tomb. The point was the authority of eyewitness and its links between the empty tomb and the disciples to counter Mark’s renunciation.

But Matthew does not give Peter a resurrection appearance. Peter is not even named by Matthew — presumably to muffle the memory of Mark’s sarcastic naming of him in his closing verses (Mark 16:7). Instead Matthew leaves it to the reader that Peter is among the eleven disciples who saw Jesus on a mountain in Galilee at the end.

Presumably then Matthew, and therefore Mark, was writing before the passage in 1 Corinthians 15:5 (“he was seen by Cephas”) was known to him.

But what was certainly known to Matthew was the prominence of Peter as a leader in the church. Hence Matthew 16:17-18:

Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, . . . . And I also say unto you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, . . . . And I will give you the keys of the kingdom, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. . . .

By the time of Luke’s gospel

By the time Luke wrote his gospel, however, it appears that there were (noncanonical) stories floating that Peter’s prominence among the churches was even more securely grounded by the resurrected Jesus having appeared first to him.

But this story had not yet taken on the flesh and bones of narrative detail. It was presented as “an event”, “a fact”, a new piece in the armory of those in the trenches battling for the superiority of their pro-Petrine faction’s historical priority.

It may have first appeared in 1 Corinthians 15 then. Luke’s briefest, almost incidental mention, that the resurrected Jesus had appeared to Peter, is certainly strange. Luke tells good stories, fleshed out narratives. He has just told a good one of the two travelers to the village Emmaus (24:13-33). These two rush off to tell their detailed experience with the resurrected Jesus to the disciples, where they blurt out:

The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon! (Luke 24:34)

A strange thing to say when the group they are addressing clearly included Simon Peter himself. (Since the group numbered the eleven the only one absent therefore was Judas.) Did he not tell anyone that he had seen Jesus? How did the 2 travelers know he had appeared to Simon? But most bizarre of all, it seems the 2 travelers had no interest in pouring out their own experience of having just walked and talked with one resurrected from the dead — only to tell others someone else had seen him! The story of the 2 travelers meeting Jesus has been awkwardly edited to bring in to the narrative a report of Jesus having appeared (first) to Peter.

This passage may be a later interpolation to give the story link with the 1 Corinthians 15 catalogue of appearances. If so, I would suspect it was from the redactor of an early version of Luke — the same one who wrote the pro-Petrine Acts and edited Luke to make it fit as a companion to Acts (Tyson).

He seems not have had one for Jesus’ appearance to Peter.

Luke 24 follows the order of 1 Corinthians 15:4-5, with the same words, mentioning an appearance to “Simon” followed by an appearance to the entire group. “The Lord has been raised and appeared to Simon” . . . . The combination of “raise” and “appear” in the passive voice may seem unremarkable, but it is found only in these two places. Wolfgang Schenk has developed a detailed argument based upon the similarities among Luke 24, 1 Corinthians 15, and Galatians 1. Although the relation may seem tenuous at first sight, the question deserves serious attention. Luke 24:34 may well be a reflection of 1 Corinthians 15:4-5. (Pervo, p.70)

And the gospel of John?

If we take John’s gospel as later than Luke’s (some scholars doubt that is the case, however — Matson, Shellard, et al) then we still have no narrative of the resurrected Jesus appearing first to Peter.

By the time of Luke-Acts and the Pastorals

By the time the Book of Acts was being written the values expressed in the Pastoral epistles were casting a longer shadow across the progenitors of orthodoxy:

Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach . . . . but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. (1 Timothy 2:11-14)

The author of that probably liked the original ending in Mark: women running like scared rabbits and too scared to open their mouths (16:8). He might have had a harder time with Matthew’s attempt to undo Mark’s damage by having the women run into Jesus instead of oblivion (28:9). At least the author of John’s gospel had the good sense to have the first woman witness of the resurrected Jesus fail to recognize him (John 20:11-16). But the Gospel of Luke reaffirms the ascendancy of the male role, despite some possible ambiguity over the gender identity of the two travelers to Emmaus.

If the passage in Luke about the appearance of the resurrected Jesus to Simon Peter was from the hand of the author of Acts (and other recent posts here express reasons for a late date for Acts) then we can surmise at least one good reason for him wishing to include this passage in Luke. Acts is about the parity between Peter and Paul. Both perform similar miracles (raising the dead, healing the cripples) and undergo similar experiences (e.g. flogging, prison, false prophets). Yet the author is also at pains to demonstrate Paul’s submission to Peter and the Twelve (e.g. Acts 15). Paul’s conversion is to be by the direct revelation of Jesus himself — just as he appeared to all the apostles, first of all Peter, in 1 Corinthians 15. (I’ve already cited Pervo and Tyson for what I consider very plausible arguments that the author of Acts and Luke did know and used Paul’s letters.)

This author had no other stories about this resurrection appearance of Jesus to Peter to draw on. Only the bare fact that it happened. So it was clumsily placed in the mouths of the two travelers to Emmaus. From that somewhat ill-balanced position the author could speak of Paul’s conversion as a result of a vision and not risk it over-shadowing the experience of Peter who had been the very first to see the resurrected Christ.

By the time 2 Peter was written, as if from the pen of the apostle himself, it seems telling that not even that author could go past his seeing Jesus on the mountain at his transfiguration (2 Peter 1:16-17) — presumably he thought this account would give him more authoritative status than a mere appearance of a resurrected Jesus! Some scholars wonder if the transfiguration appearance was a retelling of an original resurrection appearance. If so, then it was muted sufficiently as such to require the subsequent evolution of a separate — and newly prioritized — appearance of the resurrected Jesus to Peter possibly as late as around the early second century. Ignatius is the first non-canonical author to reference it. But that leads us to a new set of questions about dates and identities that will have to be addressed another time.

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Neil Godfrey

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26 Comments

  • Josh
    2014-05-12 13:43:30 UTC - 13:43 | Permalink

    It seems that man of the commentaries disagree with your interpretation that the travelers were the ones to declare “Jesus appeared to Simon”, but rather the eleven declaring this to the travelers as they walked in. Your questions as to the absurdity of the travelers first declaring this encounter with Peter are great questions if this was the case. However, it makes sense that if Jesus appeared to Peter earlier that day, Peter would have hold the eleven and in their joy, would have wanted to tell any of the disciples (the travelers to emmaus). Then the travelers share their story after they are told that Peter has seen Jesus. I don’t know Greek, but in looking at biblehub, it seems from the translations that it was indeed the eleven who declared that Peter had seen Christ and not the travelers.

    • Susan Wilson
      2015-02-12 23:42:52 UTC - 23:42 | Permalink

      Yes Josh, I agree with what you have written. It was the ‘Eleven (disciples) and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and he has appeared to Simon (Peter).”‘ who declare to the two men arriving from Emmaus.

    • Martin Lewadny
      2018-12-15 05:25:30 UTC - 05:25 | Permalink

      The Greek does not solve the problem here . Contextual and development of the narrative is important as well. Look at the progression of the narrative and you have to see the ambiguities in linking up a clear subject with the verbal plural participle. Btw there is a MSS variant as well so some scribe had his own difficulties.

      As far as the subject of the verb one must not forget that the text says “and those that were with the eleven”. There were others with the eleven. So who is making this hearsay statement. The whole chapter is full of hearsay testimonies.

      I translate the text thus, not the Lord has risen. That would put an active voice to the verb but it is passive. So better: “The Lord has been raised or “was raised” . In context this would mean most likely God who raised him. So in full…The Lord was raised and he appeared to Simon.”

      There is much that is convoluted about these mixed episodes. Luke is monkeying around with his alleged, unstated sources…

      • Martin Lewadny
        2018-12-15 06:08:15 UTC - 06:08 | Permalink

        Be careful here without jumping to quick conclusions. BTW Bible Hub will not help you do surgical nuanced work on the texts. Learn the Biblical languages and you will not be tossed by every wave that comes along…. Mr. Sellars do you know Greek..??Or Susan Wilson. ? If not, be very careful with your final conclusions. My hunch is that neither do, though I could be wrong. It wouldn’t matter anyway, right. There are more serious problems in the text that Neil pointed out. Read more carefully. Learn to deal with major and minor problems than simpy guessing or thinking some holy “spirit” gives you confirmation of which view is supposedy the correct reading. Like my old professor Dr. J.W Montgomery used to say… Perhaps you have just have a bad case of heart-burn when you deciced that God gave yout the right interpretation. Stop all this subjective spiritual presupostionalism. It has absolutely no place in serious Biblical scholarship!

        Some advice. Hebrew, Aramaic, nor Greek solves all the problems as you might think. These languages raise more problems than you can imagine. You must be trained his historical – cultural..grammatical heremeneutics. God is not required for any reading of the Bible, whether sacred or secular. We all share the same texts. Right? The Bible belongs to no individual or group. These texts were all found accidently and the canon is an accident of history as well when a bunch bishops , scribes, scholars made choices and deliberations, not based on history but on theology!

        Btw just to correct something…the text does not say with the eleven…but with “them”…I assume the “them” is the eleven, minus Judas. But here again…it is so convoluted if one compares Luke here with I Cor. 15. What “Twelve” received an “appearance ” of Jesus? You mean Judas was a recipient of an “appearing” ? I should say not! Then who is the 12 in the so-called “creed” in I cor. 15. Moreover, since when is a theological creed, not a historical one to be put on par with history?

        And how do we know it is a legitimate creed anyway given the polemics of the late 1st and 2nd centuries, since Luke-Acts fits the times frames as many have pointed out…scholars such as Tyson, Pervo, and many many more.???..

        Keep digging and learning folks… You must never fear to engage in the interpretation of Biblical texts. If you do have fear then you will never arrive at a different and better interpretation of a given text… God will not strike you dead or condemn to hell as the forger of 2nd Peter says..in 3:14ff.

        If you are lazy or fearful in your interpretations of these all too human texts, which reflect upon “spirit” and “flesh” stuff at the existential level of life then you will mess up…not before God or Jesus or the Flying Hermeneutic Monster who will sweep in to destroy you. You will “mess” up before man… and your peers , if you have any in your life. Many of us are intelligent and competent re many aspects of human knowledge, wisdom and life…. Not all… And I would rather go to a good mechanic to fix my car, but not expect him to know about ancient texts and what to do with them…

        Come to terms with your diverse readings. But make sure you have good reasons for explaining them… and defending them… This is for learning and managing in a world filled with all kinds of people telling you or me that God showed them the real meanings of this or that word, etc. There is nothing supernatural about Hebrew/Aramaic or Greek. Just learn what we as humans know about it right now as well as these human texts.

        Its turtles all the way down…yes, it is human all the way down…

  • Gary Sellars
    2015-01-17 05:37:43 UTC - 05:37 | Permalink

    Didn’t bother to finish the article as the one writing is obviously “post-christian” in his beliefs and therefore not a credible witness, i.e., *would* bother to lie and misrepresent the Scriptures and the facts.

  • Green Planet
    2015-05-26 01:31:16 UTC - 01:31 | Permalink

    Nano-nano. Based upon your writings I have concluded that you must be from my planet. You’re weird, and you ignore some parts of New Testament writings so that you can invalidate others by arriving at conclusions that would be repudiated by the former parts that you ignored, had you not ignored them. This behavior is just plain weird, and has nothing to do with honest, fact-seeking scholarship. When will you be visiting our planet? We miss you.

    • Neil Godfrey
      2015-05-26 01:39:56 UTC - 01:39 | Permalink

      I prefer to follow the norms of reasoned argument and appeals to evidence. If you would like to engage in the same, justifying your criticism with reasoned argument and appeals to evidence, you are most welcome.

      • Gary Sellars
        2015-05-26 10:17:46 UTC - 10:17 | Permalink

        The best way to read Scripture is like an innocent child who knows nothing but that God likes to play hide and seek and who, with bated breath, waits to see a clue behind which He’s hiding.

        • Neil Godfrey
          2015-05-26 11:06:51 UTC - 11:06 | Permalink

          Why do you think this is the “best way to read” a text that you label as “Scripture”?

          Do not innocent children take on the teachings of their parents no matter what the beliefs or culture to which they themselves (the parents) have been born?

          • Gary Sellars
            2015-05-26 13:47:48 UTC - 13:47 | Permalink

            I only said it for those who have ears to hear.

            • Neil Godfrey
              2015-05-26 21:05:36 UTC - 21:05 | Permalink

              Your “god-inspired” anti-intellectual arrogance contributes nothing to civil society.

        • David Ashton
          2015-05-26 12:26:54 UTC - 12:26 | Permalink

          What is it then about the accounts of the resurrection appearances in Matthew, Luke and John that strike readers like me, with the best will in the world without a prior anti-religious animus, as contrived or dream-like stories rather than realistic reports, even apart from such weird supernatural aspects as Jesus suddenly vanishing after the “Emmaus Encounter”, or the crucifixion scars “preserved for recognition purposes” but not part of “Christ’s perfectly glorified body” (Craig Blomberg)? Forty (?) days with the Twelve and yet hardly any preserved record of these world-historical conversations.

          • David Ashton
            2015-05-26 12:28:59 UTC - 12:28 | Permalink

            I meant to write “Eleven” but slipped up like St Paul.

  • gary
    2017-03-29 15:43:20 UTC - 15:43 | Permalink

    Very interesting post. So you believe that the Early Creed in First Corinthians 15 is a later insertion into the text by the proto-orthodox; Paul did not write it? What percentage of scholars hold this view would you say?

    Also, you mention that the author of Acts “redacted” the Gospel of Luke. If this is true, wouldn’t we find copies of Luke with the original version and copies with the redacted version? Is this the case?

    Thanks!

    • Neil Godfrey
      2017-04-02 01:39:18 UTC - 01:39 | Permalink

      A list of some earlier scholars who proposed various interpolations into Paul’s letters is at http://vridar.org/2014/09/08/list-of-scholars-believing-pauls-letters-were-interpolated/ Add to that list our current Robert M. Price for the 1 Cor. 15 verses.

      Most scholars of these works are believers and doing theology, and reluctant to judge their primary sources by the same standards classicists and ancient historians judge their sources, so I am more interested in the arguments for or against a case than the numbers of those holding a view either way.

      I have posted here a series of posts on Joseph Tyson’s work on Luke and Acts; you will, I think, see answers to your second question there. The original gospel that was later developed into the Gospel of Luke was never part of the “porto-orthodox” scribes and followers, but was reshaped by someone in the middle of the second century to become an anti-Marcionite polemic. The same redactor added Acts to have a similar function — such are Tyson’s arguments, and I confess that I have been influenced by them.

  • James D williams
    2017-03-29 19:17:59 UTC - 19:17 | Permalink

    From the Bible Hub: …still, not so sure about Jesus…

    “And they … returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon.
    And they told what things were done in the way,…
    And as they … spoke, Jesus himself stood in the middle of them, …
    But they were terrified and affrighted, …
    And he said to them, Why are you troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
    And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered,…”

  • Pingback: 18 Vridar Posts on the Gospel of Luke’s Emmaus Road / Cleopas Narrative |

  • Martin Lewadny
    2018-12-14 07:45:56 UTC - 07:45 | Permalink

    Mr. Sellers and Green Planet. It appears you are dabbling in “gobble-di-gook or gobble-di-kook” hermeneutics that has never had any real part to play in the historical hermeneutics of the Bible.

    Tell us what you mean by the your so-called biblical connection between being naive and untrained as a historical, scientific and critical investigator of these texts (without your privileged theology and hermeneutics) .. ie. being a child….your childish readings. Moreover, the esoteric ears hermeneutic…Ya ,your secret interpretation…how convenient…

    I think neither of you are trained in the scientific and historical analysis of the Bible you claim to know so well. And if you quote mine the text regarding receiving the kingdom of god as a child you will be destroyed in your childlike and naive understanding of texts and Jewish Christian history as your discover that you don’t really know what you are saying both to scholars and lay people alike.

    You are both ignorant of the highly complex nature of the Biblical texts. In my view you are both trolls regarding diverse interpretations of biblical texts and can’t argue the texts clearly for yourselves. So “put forth your case” as Isaiah says….

    Neil challenged your comments, so do your best to defend your unproven trolling comments. What does it mean to interpret as a child? Are you serious? Get some training before you start spouting off how the Bible is to be received as a “child” when it comes to such serious matters? Did not Paul say to grow up in knowledge and wisdom. It appears your simplistic propaganda regarding hermeneutics and the Bible is sickening.

    You are still preaching. So you should shut up about your special little child-like readings and get mature about this. As a former pastor and professor I do have the experience and right to tell you this! And since both of you are illegitimate children of the Reformation (with all your own “private” readings of the scriptures (which I do expect ). I expect you to put forth your own “weird” interpretations of texts and then let your peers and others judge them.

    To me your comments are mere repeats of biblical rhetoric which neither of you have incorporated into your own work with these most complex and not child-like scriptures. Sorry, I don’t want to participate in your immature and implausible readings!

    So cough up your expert exegesis and hermeneutics and see if they stand the test.
    If you can’t contribute substantial ideas and illuminating thoughts concerning the texts in question then neither of you should be listened to.

    You both sound like fundi Christians. Grow up! I don’t usually write such things , but both of you seem so sure about what God’s so-called scriptures demand as far as hermeneutics. It differs in every book if you know anything about how the Bible is to be interpreted. Each books provides its own hermeneutic logic. You are both controlled and possessed by the canon…and you get nervous and anxious when someone or something shows you something different from that same controlling hegemony.

    I could never have fun with guys like you, either in class or privately when it comes to working with these ancient human texts. I wish I didn’t have to write this but I am getting fed up with Bible readers who use cutesie-tootsie Bible hermeneutics and ignore the great info provided on such sites as this one.

  • Martin Lewadny
    2018-12-14 08:45:04 UTC - 08:45 | Permalink

    Neil, I am sorry (but not really) about this former post of mine in response to letting us know about all the problems and contradictions and “weird” things not only going on in us ,but in the texts themselves. And if you fundis are whining out-there: grow during this war that you guys started.!! Yes, you Christians of many ilks started your violent war against anyone who finds stuff in these scriptures that disagree with your “own private releasings of scriptures” (2 Pet. 1:20ff). Evangelicals are out on the limbs of the tree called Christianity. They are claiming scripture as their own. They don’t realize they are sawing off their very limb of their private interpretations of the prophecies of scripture, which depend on the Catholic bestowal of the Bible upon them. They have cut themselves off from their foundations in Catholic Christianity.
    Catholics have their personal pope…Protestant Fundigelicals have their Pope too…It is a Paper Pope that they think they got the last scoop on! Shame on them all!!

    Jesus himself couldn’t stand so-called “fundis” either!. And btw, he was not a nice guy about it!

    This is not my interpretation. Go back to the texts and you will see for yourself.

    An important principle rule of investigation …in any field of human endeavour….First…Observe what is there and not there in the field of investigation before you rush to interpret…and so conclude.

    There is a very nuanced and delicate relationship between observing a crime scene or some other scene of events or sayings and then interpreting the crime scene with absolute certainty……One must proceed accordingly as an investigator…induction…deduction…abduction…
    verifying and falsifying as much as possible the data at each point before a tentative or even correct reading as a detective can be given…

    Neil and others here provide opportunities for further investigation… I am excited to introduce and encourage others into various investigations of these very fascinating, challenging, etc. texts that have come down to us from human being struggling with god issues, life issues, etc.
    I love investigating these rich texts from so many contexts… I don’t have to believe them to understand them…. If I experience them too in some strange way that may shed light on their meaning and use , but not necessarily regarding their ontological reality apart from my use of the them…so…

    Even though I have had very serious health issues for the last 4 years (I suffer from serious auto-immune diseases..no known cures)..similar .. but not equal to Dr. Hector Avalos) I feel that I am getting stronger, and so I am getting ready to launch a UTube Channel and perhaps website called A.S.I.S (Ancient Scriptures Investigation Services). BtW I need help with such a plan. I have never done this before but I miss teaching and speaking orally.

    I have also just finished a brand new scholar’s translation of the Greek New Testament(s) by myself, and would like to publish it, but don’t know much about how to do that.

    I am also working on a second book entitled The Deep Things of the Satan: Deconstructing, Detecting, and Destroying the Devil in the Christian Bible and Modern Christianity.

    I assure you there is no book like this out there at this moment in history. I have spent over 40 years + trying to I.D and capture “the satan” since I was 16 years old when I first discovered he was born, not ontologically, but in a book called the Bible. Like Robert M. Price’s book…”Jesus is Dead”…I am planning on showing also that “The Devil is Dead”.

    If anyone can help me I would appreciate it.

    This site has been a first step for me in trying to get out there again in public after being in private so long.

  • Charles
    2018-12-14 13:56:42 UTC - 13:56 | Permalink

    Why does Paul refer to Cephas/Peter as both names? Sometimes it seems within the same paragraph?

    • db
      2018-12-14 19:29:27 UTC - 19:29 | Permalink

      Per Mk. 3:13-19,
      Base Name: Simōni (Σίμωνι)
      Cognomen: Petron (Πέτρον) literally “the Rock”

      Per John 1:42
      Simon “the Rock” (son of John): Simōn (Σίμων) Kēphas (Κηφᾶς) literally “the Rock”

      Per Paul,
      Most say “the Rock” is one person, my speculation is that they are two; Kēphas one of the founders and Petron a successful proselytizer among the potential Hellenic and Jewish candidates. His name indicates that he was possibly a circumcised non-jew who supported new convert circumcision.

    • Martin Lewadny
      2018-12-15 06:32:49 UTC - 06:32 | Permalink

      I hope you saw Neil’s new list of articles on that on this section here. Lots of good ones. I would say more work needs to be done on the Onomastics of the New Testament. I have been delving into the literary significance of “naming” in literature on my own, especially in connection with my work on the alleged “naming” of Peter as “Satan” and that is just the beginning of the implications. And since we are talking about Luke-Acts.. Luke “exorcises” the episodes from both Mark and Matthew regarding Jesus calling Peter =Satan! Wow! Something is up there. Well, I think Neil has highlighted this. He has to make Peter look good in the “tradition” and memory of Jesus. But we know better. Mark and Matthew blows the whistle on apostate Peter!

      Luke has to have a high view of Peter. Matthew too tries to rehabilitate Peter but it is over…. Luke doesn’t even give a hint of Peter’s apostasy, except for a very interesting statement that Satan was going to sift Peter, test to see if he is chaff or or real wheat seed. Peter the Rock man…what a Joke! And also see MaRK 4 where both “rock” motifs, seeds, soil, the satan, the enemy all come together…. We know that Peter tried to remove the seed of God’s word sown in Jesus heart at his baptism… The voice, spirit, word went “into” Jesus and even in Matt. we have the Satan trying to remove that word or seed of God from Jesus’ heart… So Peter tries to do the same with Jesus in Mark 8 and in Matthew 16. No wonder Jesus tells him to bugger off and be a follower,,,behind me (the Greek is beautiful and playful here)…. And so from that moment on…Peter lived a lie….a liar three time over in Mark and elsewhere.. apparently thedevil lies on behalf of god to test those who are claiming or who are being proclaimed by others as “a son of God”..

      So there is more than meets the eye exegetically and in other ways in these texts…

  • Neil Godfrey
    2018-12-14 20:03:33 UTC - 20:03 | Permalink

    In the Epistle of the Apostles Peter and Cephas are both listed as part authors: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/apostolorum.html

    Do you have access to these” works?

    – Lake, K. 1921. “Simon, Cephas, Peter.” The Harvard Theological Review 14 (1): 95–97.
    – Scott, James M. 2003. “A Question of Identity: Is Cephas the Same Person as Peter?” The Journal of Biblical Studies 3 (3).
    – Allison, Dale C. 1992. “Peter and Cephas: One and the Same.” Journal of Biblical Literature 111 (3): 489–95. https://doi.org/10.2307/3267263.
    – Ehrman, Bart D. 1990. “Cephas and Peter.” Journal of Biblical Literature 109 (3): 463–74. https://doi.org/10.2307/3267052.

    • db
      2018-12-15 01:37:16 UTC - 01:37 | Permalink

      Ehrman, Bart D. (Autumn, 1990). “Cephas and Peter”. Journal of Biblical Literature. 109 (3): 463–474. doi:10.2307/3267052

      Allison, Dale C. (Autumn, 1992). “Peter and Cephas: One and the Same”. Journal of Biblical Literature. 111 (3): 489–495. doi:10.2307/3267263

      According to Ehrman, “whereas Paul mentions Cephas by name eight times in his letters (1 Cor 1:12; 3:22; 9:5; 15:5; Gal 1:18; 2:9, 11, 14), he mentions Peter only twice ‘(Gal 2:7, 8),” and “what is initially intriguing, and what has been most frequently observed in this connection, is that when he does mention Peter in Gal 2:7-8 he names Cephas in the same breath — and in such a way as to provide no indication that he is referring to the same person” (p. 467).

      Available online @ “Peter and Cephas: One and the Same” (PDF). biblicalstudies.org.uk.

    • Martin Lewadny
      2018-12-15 06:12:04 UTC - 06:12 | Permalink

      Great resources Neil!

  • Martin Lewadny
    2018-12-15 06:39:53 UTC - 06:39 | Permalink

    Oh, btw the way I forgot to say that Peter as a stumbing stone fits the picture in Mark 4..Peter is the man who gets sown the word of God from Jesus and it doesn;t take root in him given that he is simply has a “rock-based heart”…what the hell…yes ,,,hell is waiting for Peter as an apostate…he was choked out by the opposition. Peter does almost everything the satan does in Jewish scripture…!

    I am not surprised Jesus called him satan…. (no definite article but that doesn’t really matter here). Peter is an opposer and satan is an opposer… .. they share the same character…are essentially the same character….only in the story though…..

    Anyway… hope something of this little blurb might shed some light and inspire further research….

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