Born in the Second Century

24. The Shining Weapon. Or, First Corinthians Late and Spurious.

May 28, 2022 Chris Palmero
Born in the Second Century
24. The Shining Weapon. Or, First Corinthians Late and Spurious.
Show Notes Chapter Markers

A haze of mystery surrounds the figure of Paul and his confusing, contradictory letters - especially the Matryoshka Doll that is his First Letter to the Corinthians, which seems to have eight smaller letters hiding inside of it. But host Chris Palmero reveals that First Corinthians is not only the key to understanding how and when Paul's letters were actually written. It's also "the shining weapon" that just might help us cut through the haze of mystery and reveal the truth about the Historical Paul.

BORN IN THE SECOND CENTURY continues its New Testament journey with a series of episodes on the Historical Paul and his most important letter. First Corinthians will be revealed as a late and composite patchwork - the product of serial editing over a period of decades, and clashing doctrines and opinions of the Pauline clerics who wrote in the name of a semi-mythical figure.

Anyone who listens to this episode can learn about why the historical Paul should be considered the greatest genius in the history of the universe, about the many strange problems in the initial chapters of First Corinthians, about the strange "glitch in the matrix" feeling that we sometimes get when reading Christian texts, about the source of Paul's mysterious "ailment" to which (some of) his letters allude, and about why these second century clerics chose to write in Paul's name.

Opening reading: The great psychologist Julian Jaynes believed that ancient people had no consciousness. Might this help us understand why Paul's letters sometimes resemble angry, argumentative online comment sections, rather than actual epistles?

Note: the host reads "ultra-literal" New Testament translations at one point. These come from 

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Reading: JULIAN JAYNES, The Mind of Iliad.
The PROBLEM of First Corinthians.
OPENING Remarks.
First Corinthians The SHINING WEAPON.
OVERVIEW of First Corinthians, As Read.
Reading: The GNOSTIC Segment of First Corinthians.
Intro to the CRITICAL READING of First Corinthians.
The FACTION Segment.
The TEMPLE Segment.
The GNOSTIC Segment Revisited.
CLOSING Remarks.