CADRE Comments

A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

In a section of his Chapter in The Empty Tomb entitled, “Paul and the Pharisees,” Carrier reviews the Rabbinic writings in an attempt to separate Paul from the Pharisees so as to drive a wedge between their firm belief in bodily resurrection and Paul’s resurrection views. As with previous sections of his chapter (about the Sadducees , the Herodians, Qumran, Paliggenesia , the Assumption of Moses, the Scribes, Philo, and the Pharisees) there are several problems with his analysis.

The Rabbinic Writings as Questionable Sources of Pharisaic Belief

Carrier mistakenly assumes that the Rabbinic writings reflect the Pharisaic views of Paul’s time. This assumption is inexplicable because Carrier contradicts himself by his speculation that at least one sect of Pharisees taught a two body resurrection belief that left no trace in the Rabbinic writings. In any event, the Rabbinic writings were composed 200 to 400 years after Paul’s letters. Those hundreds of years were not without significance. Indeed, the very fabric of Jewish society was rent by the crushed rebellion and destruction of the Temple -- until then the focus of Jewish religious life -- in 70 AD. Following another failed rebellion – the Bar Kokhba revolt of 132-135 AD – the Jewish people were driven from Judea and banned from Jerusalem, which was reestablished as a pagan city. Jewish messianic beliefs were crushed and the Jewish faith was forced to undergo radical transformation.

For these reasons and others, scholars are skeptical about how much the Rabbis really knew about the Pharisees. “The Rabbis, though they claim pedigree from their connection to the Pharisees, do not seem to know much about them. The earliest rabbinic literature is redacted at least 130 years after the Pharisees cease to exist as a visible group.” Claudia Setzer, Resurrection of the Body in Early Judaism and Early Christianity, page 22. As noted by leading Jewish scholar Neil Gillman, “it would be historically questionable to view the Judaism of the rabbis as flowing directly from Pharisaism.” The Death of Death, page 121. Thus, even if Carrier succeeded in showing complete incompatibility between Rabbinic and Pauline views on resurrection, he would have failed to distinguish Paul from the Pharisees.

The Rabbis and Paul Believed in Transformation of the Body and the Universe

Carrier’s reconstruction of Rabbinic views on resurrection is flawed. Carrier argues that the Rabbis were so committed to the continuity between the old body and the resurrected body that they believed that God accomplished eternal life for believers not by changing their bodies, but by changing the laws of nature. According to Carrier, the Rabbis believed that God changes the universe to accommodate our bodies but Paul believes that God gives us new bodies to accommodate the transformed universe. TET, page 118. This raises the question – unanswered by Carrier – as to just how God could change everything, even the laws of nature, without affecting the resurrected body? An entire universe and the natural order changes but our bodies do not? This is not an either/or situation. Paul too believed the universe would change, but he believed the body would change with it. A transformed universe and body makes much more sense of Rabbinic views than the notion that the entire universe would be transformed but the body no different than before.

Furthermore, a Rabbinic passage unmentioned by Carrier demonstrates that in fact the Rabbis did believe that the universe and the resurrected body were transformed into improved states of being:

Not like this world is the World to Come. In the World to Come there is neither eating nor drinking; nor procreation of children or business transactions; no envy or hatred or rivalry; but the righteous sit enthroned, their crowns on their heads, and enjoy the lustre of the Schechninah.

Ber 17a.

Obviously a body that needs neither food nor drink, and apparently experiences no sexual desire, is not the same old same old. As noted by a leading Jewish scholar, "Life will be conducted on an entirely different plane." Abraham Cohen, Everyman's Talmud, page 366. The resurrected body is different than the old one.

Furthermore, in the Talmud a Gentile asks whether the dead are raised naked. In response, the Rabbi answered, “If a kernel of wheat is buried naked and will sprout forth in many robes, how much more so the righteous." (b. Sanh. 90b). There is good reason to believe, as W.D. Davies suggests, that the Rabbi is referring to a transformed glorious body rather than simply a nice set of clothes. “When R. Meier used the analogy of the seed he was thinking most certainly of the glorious new body....” Paul and Rabbinic Judaism, page 310. The point is not just that the resurrected will avoid embarrassment, but that the question itself misses the point. For example, in Enoch 62:15-16 and 98:2, the resurrected are also said to wear “garments of glory” when they are resurrected. The reference to "garments of glory" is not to their clothes, but to their transformed, glorified state. So, there is good reason to view this as a direct reference to a glorified resurrected body rather than one that has all the human failings as the pre-resurrection body.

Different Audiences, Questions, and Agendas

Carrier contends that Paul does not use the same kinds of arguments or scriptures as the Rabbis do when discussing resurrection. I will discuss further below the erroneous nature of this contention, but there is a more fundamental flaw here. Carrier gives no consideration to the vast difference in time or the differing audiences and genre of Paul’s letters and the Rabbinic writings. Paul’s letters are highly occasional letters to largely non-Jewish audiences. The Rabbinical writings are extended discussions of Jewish law by Jewish scholars, edited over hundreds of years, sometimes presenting debates between the scholars.

Most of the Rabbinic discussions of resurrection involve responses to questions and challenges by Sadducees or Samaritans, not by Greeks. The primary focus of Rabbinic resurrection discussions was whether the resurrection was attested by scripture. This is not the challenge Paul faced. Another important focus of the Rabbis was the identity of the old with the new. This is why the Rabbis focus on the appearance of the resurrected body being the same, going so far as to explain a resurrection of the dead who bore their wounds and infirmities only to be thereafter healed by God. Nothing about this sequence, however, foreclosed a transformation of the old body into a more glorified one. In 2 Baruch 49:1-51:1 (written in the Second Temple Period), the dead are raised in the exact form in which they died so that “they may be recognized and recognize each other as the same people who died.” Richard Bauckham, “Life, Death, and the Afterlife in Second Temple Judaism,” in Life in the Face of Death, page 92. Once identity is established, their bodies are transformed into glorious new ones. Thus, Carrier is too quick to draw conclusions about the Rabbinic stress on the identity of the resurrected body with the previous one.

More to the point, Paul faced a different question posed by a different audience. He had to answer the question, “with what kind of body” do the dead rise? This is a question of mechanics. But “[i]n fact, relatively little material in Jewish texts deals with” the “mechanics of resurrection.” Gillman, op. cit., page 131. The Sadducees and Samaritans would not have had the same aversion to the physical as Paul’s Hellenized opponents did. So, for example, while it is true that Paul does not refer to Ezek. 37 in 1 Cor. 15 and the Rabbinic writings sometimes do, the implication is not that Paul could not have been a Pharisee, but that he was smart enough to realize to whom he was writing. It would have been counterproductive for Paul to refer to scriptures like Ezekiel's valley of the bones with its graphic relayering of skin and sinew as an example of resurrection. Paul was trying to defeat distaste for a resurrected body, not prove that the resurrection was gleaned from scripture or that it was possible with God's power. Paul had to walk a fine line, not abandoning the continuity between old and new while stressing that it is not a distasteful old body being resuscitated. He threads the needle well, emphasizing a transformative process that renders the old body less objectionable to even Greek tastes.

As a result, Carrier should be more wary than to assume that Paul and the Rabbis had the same reasons to write the same things, even if they shared some beliefs. Context, genre, audience, and socio-political realities matter.

Paul Uses Some of the Same Material as the Rabbis


Carrier is simply wrong that Paul does not use any of the metaphors or scriptures used by the Rabbis. In fact, as recognized by Jewish scholar Alan Segal in a book recommended to me by Carrier, “Paul uses two traditional Jewish metaphors at once in saying that the dead have only fallen asleep (Isa. 26:19; Dan 12:2).” Isa. 26:19 refers to those lying in the dust “awakening” and Daniel 12 states that “many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake.” Paul three times in 1 Cor. 15 refers to the dead who will be raised as being “asleep.” He also uses the metaphor in the same way often in 1 Thess. 4 and 5. Furthermore, Paul’s references to glorious celestial bodies in verse 41 draws on imagery from Daniel 12, which refers to the resurrected who “will shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” Dan. 12:2-3. As noted by Richard B. Hays, “In Daniel, as in Paul’s teaching, there is no thought that the risen righteous ones actually become stars; rather, the metaphor is used to suggest something about the glorious state they will enjoy when they rise from the dead.” Interpretation, First Corinthians, page 271. See also Dale Martin, The Corinthian Body, pages 118-20. Thus, two of the three scriptures Carrier complains are absent are in fact used by Paul.

Furthermore, in addition to citing two of the three scriptures denied by Carrier, and using the analogy of sleeping in reference to the resurrection, Paul and the Rabbinic materials both use the seed analogy to describe resurrection. (1 Cor. 15:37, b. Sanh. 90b, Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer, Section 33). Carrier’s rejection of this fact is unconvincing (and will be addressed more fully at another time). For now it is enough to note that it is not just Paul and the Rabbis who used the seed analogy to describe the resurrection of the body, but other early Christian writings such as the Gospel of John (12:23-24), 1 Clement (Clement 24) and Tertullian (Apology 48).

What Did the Resurrection-Believing Jews of Paul's Time Believe?


Carrier admittedly but inexplicably ignores Jewish texts from the Second Temple Period that deal with the resurrected body. To the extent that the Pharisees were the party of resurrection belief, how can we ignore the most important texts of the Second Temple Period that discuss resurrection? Many of these believed, like Paul, in a resurrection that saw the old body transformed into a new glorious body. “Two common and closely related images show the righteous raised into heavenly glory. According to one, which has biblical precedent in Dan 12:3, they will shine like the stars (1 Enoch 104:2; 4 Ezra 7:78, 125; 2 Baruch 51;10; Pseudo-Philo, Biblical Antiquities 33:5; 4 Maccabees 17:4-6)… [The second states that] they are said to be like the angels (1 Enoch 104:4; 2 Baruch 51:5, 10, 12).” Bauckham, op. cit., page 92. Thus, the majority view of Paul’s resurrection belief – that he believed in resurrection of the old and transformation into the new – fits neatly into Second Temple Jewish belief.

Carrier's analysis of Paul's relationship with the Pharisees by way of Rabbinic Judaism is fundamentaly flawed in its premises, fails to account for significant differences of genre, audience, and context, between the writings of Paul and the Rabbis, and makes substantive factual errors.

9 comments:

Scholars are sceptical about how much the rabbis knew about the Pharisees? NT Wright's book 'The resurrection of the Son of God' knows no such scepticism, with its quote on page 192 about how 'of course' a Pharisaic argument was preserved in rabbinical traditions. But it would be nit-picking to criticise Wright for claiming that 'of course', rabbinical traditions preserved an argument of the Pharisees, wouldn't it?


'Carrier admittedly but inexplicably ignores Jewish texts from the Second Temple Period that deal with the resurrected body.'

Of course, so does Paul - mainly because his view had nothing in common with the standard view that the body would be raised as it was when it died.

However Layman pretends that Carrier does not draw the readers attention to these texts.

Here are some of the texts that Layman mentions :-

Dan 12:3 - mentioned by Carrier on page 204
2 Baruch 51:5, 10, 12 mentioned by Carrier on page 206, where he points out how Paul answers the question of what sort of body returns in exactly the opposite manner to the author of 2 Baruch.

I haven't bothered to check the rest to see on what page Carrier 'ignores' them. Mainly because Paul ignores all scriptural proof-texts, like Isaiah 26:19 or Ezekiel 37 or Isaiah 60:12 or Job 19:26. All ignored by Paul because he did not find them useful for his argument.

Mind you Paul did find Genesis 2:7 useful. He quotes it in 1 Corinthians 15:45, presumably to contrast the process of God creating life from dead matter with the process of resurrection.

And, of course, John 12:23-24 is not about the resurrection, but about the crucifixion and the growth of the Christian church, unless Layman really thinks that one body of Jesus went into the ground and 'much fruit' came out. (More than one Jesus came out)

Layman also forgets to mention that 1 Clement tells his readers that the Phoenix proves it has been resurrected by depositing its old bones for all to see. I guess that must be what Jesus did.

Paul tells the Corinthians that they are idiots for not realising that the mortal body is just a seed which dies. Of course what comes out of the ground is not the dead seed , he implies. And the Corinthians were idiots for expecting a corpse to come back out of the groud. 'You do not plant the body that will be.' he tells them.

But the Gospels are adamant that the body of Jesus that came out of the ground was the body that went into the ground.

Even a skilled lawyer like Layman has to concede that the Pharasaic view was not that a transformed body was raised. It was the same body complete with wounds and blemishes. This was not Paul's view , as Paul tells people they are idiots for wondering how God can transform a heap of dust into a living body.

Layman also cites Tertullian - Apology 48 'Light, every day extinguished, shines out again; and, with like alternation, darkness succeeds light's outgoing. The defunct stars re-live; the seasons, as soon as they are finished, renew their course; the fruits are brought to maturity, and then are reproduced. The seeds do not spring up with abundant produce, save as they rot and dissolve away;-all things are preserved by perishing, all things are refashioned out of death.'

Layman claims this is just like what Paul says. And, of course , it isn't. Paul doesn't use the seed analogy as 1 Clement and Tertullian do. They use it as part of the regular cycle of nature. Paul doesn't.

Scholars are sceptical about how much the rabbis knew about the Pharisees? NT Wright's book 'The resurrection of the Son of God' knows no such scepticism, with its quote on page 192 about how 'of course' a Pharisaic argument was preserved in rabbinical traditions. But it would be nit-picking to criticise Wright for claiming that 'of course', rabbinical traditions preserved an argument of the Pharisees, wouldn't it?

When you find something in the first century that appears in the Rabbinic writings, I think you can be more confident of a connection. It is kind of like a river that flows for many miles, with different tributaries feeding it along the way. If you find x in one tributary that appears somewhere downstream, you can have more confidence about its origins. But if you find y and z, you will not be as sure of where it came from.

Of course, so does Paul - mainly because his view had nothing in common with the standard view that the body would be raised as it was when it died.

I think you missed my point. I was quite clearly referring to Carrier's claim that Paul ignored certain texts in the context of resurrection. He lists three. Of those three, Paul alludes to two. I have not accused Carrier of ignoring those passages in his entire discussion.

2 Baruch 51:5, 10, 12 mentioned by Carrier on page 206, where he points out how Paul answers the question of what sort of body returns in exactly the opposite manner to the author of 2 Baruch.

I did not say that Carrier ignored this passage throughout his entire discussion. I don't have the book with me, so I'll have to check it later. But perhaps Carrier discusses this passage in a later section. If so, I'll get to it. In a footnote, however, Carrier expressly says he's only looking at the Rabbinic materials to reconstruct Pharisaic resurrection beliefs. I think that's an incorrect approach to take.

I haven't bothered to check the rest to see on what page Carrier 'ignores' them. Mainly because Paul ignores all scriptural proof-texts, like Isaiah 26:19 or Ezekiel 37 or Isaiah 60:12 or Job 19:26. All ignored by Paul because he did not find them useful for his argument.

I think Paul does allude to 26:19 and explained why it would have been counterproductive for him to refer to Ezek. 37. The Rabbis and Paul were addressing different audiences with different concerns. Demanding that Paul in a few letters use all the scriptures referenced in Rabbinic material hundreds of pages long gathered over hundred years is a sign of desparation, not a substantive point. The Rabbis often were directly engaging arguments attributed to the Sadducees and Samaritans and others about whether resurrection was attested by scripture. They scoured the scriptures looking for any possible reference. Some of those references were likely not originally understood to attest resurrection.

Mind you Paul did find Genesis 2:7 useful. He quotes it in 1 Corinthians 15:45, presumably to contrast the process of God creating life from dead matter with the process of resurrection.

Who said Paul did not cite the Old Testament?

And, of course, John 12:23-24 is not about the resurrection, but about the crucifixion and the growth of the Christian church, unless Layman really thinks that one body of Jesus went into the ground and 'much fruit' came out. (More than one Jesus came out)

I disagree with that. Jesus death and resurrection produced the fruit of the church.

Layman also forgets to mention that 1 Clement tells his readers that the Phoenix proves it has been resurrected by depositing its old bones for all to see. I guess that must be what Jesus did.

I did not forget. I don't see how it was relevant, although I have been hoping to do a post on resurrection analogies.

Paul tells the Corinthians that they are idiots for not realising that the mortal body is just a seed which dies. Of course what comes out of the ground is not the dead seed , he implies. And the Corinthians were idiots for expecting a corpse to come back out of the groud. 'You do not plant the body that will be.' he tells them.

Paul uses the seed analogy to show that God's creative power can cause a dead seed to transform into something different and better. Just as God will raise the "icky" dead body and transform it into something different and better.

But the Gospels are adamant that the body of Jesus that came out of the ground was the body that went into the ground.

The Gospels were concerned with stressing identity, somewhat as the Rabbis were. But they also have a resurrected Jesus walking through walls and ascending into heaven. They do not deny that Jesus had an exalted body.

Even a skilled lawyer like Layman has to concede that the Pharasaic view was not that a transformed body was raised. It was the same body complete with wounds and blemishes. This was not Paul's view , as Paul tells people they are idiots for wondering how God can transform a heap of dust into a living body.

Actually, even the Rabbis new that what was raised was transformed. How else do you get a human being out of a pile of dust, as the Rabbis themselves new. And there is material from the Second Temple Period that shows that a transformed body was exactly what many Jews expected.

Layman also cites Tertullian - Apology 48 'Light, every day extinguished, shines out again; and, with like alternation, darkness succeeds light's outgoing. The defunct stars re-live; the seasons, as soon as they are finished, renew their course; the fruits are brought to maturity, and then are reproduced. The seeds do not spring up with abundant produce, save as they rot and dissolve away;-all things are preserved by perishing, all things are refashioned out of death.'

Layman claims this is just like what Paul says. And, of course , it isn't. Paul doesn't use the seed analogy as 1 Clement and Tertullian do. They use it as part of the regular cycle of nature. Paul doesn't.


Umm, they all use the seed analogy to explain God's power in raising and transforming. A dead seed to a beautiful flower. A dead body to a glorified body. No one is claiming that resurrection is just a part of nature. They are all using examples of God's creative power to explain how the dead body is restored to life.

Any time someone reminds us that Rabbinicism cannot be expected to faithfully reproduce the ideaologies, sentiments, and world-view details from a completely different time and context like pre-70 Judaism, I just have to say, preach it, brotha/sista!

Another possible reason to construe this passage as referring to a transformed glorious resurrection state:

Not like this world is the World to Come. In the World to Come there is neither eating nor drinking; nor procreation of children or business transactions; no envy or hatred or rivalry; but the righteous sit enthroned, their crowns on their heads, and enjoy the lustre of the Schechninah.

I pointed out how the lack of eating and drinking and sexual desire indicated a transformed bodily state. When I first read this I thought there may also be something about the righteous being enthroned with crowns on their heads that indicated a transformed body. I found further support fo this idea when while 1 Enoch I. When describing the resurrected righteous, the author refers to:

"And I will bring forth in shining light those who have loved My holy name, and I will seat each on the throne of his honour. And they shall be resplendent for times without number...."

I take this as additional evidence that a transformed resurrection body is intended. One that has seen the weaknesses of the previous fleshly body -- such as the need to eat, drink, and sexual desire -- removed. One that is described as being honored by God Himself as ilustrated by their being placed on thrones. A glorious one perhaps not unlike that envisioned by Paul.

Sorry, reference is to 1 Enoch 108:12-13.

'Carrier's analysis of Paul's relationship with the Pharisees by way of Rabbinic Judaism is fundamentaly flawed in its premises, fails to account for significant differences of genre, audience, and context, between the writings of Paul and the Rabbis, and makes substantive factual errors.'

Bearing in mind Layman's genre, context and audience tests, which works would he recommend for finding out what Pharisees believed?

Or will he ignore his 'genre', 'context' and 'audience' tests whenever it suits him?

And will Layman drop his 'lack of eating indicates a transformed body' argument when talking about the resurrected Jesus eating?

Like the proven lawyer that he is , Layman has no consistent methodology except to throw out a load of arguments that are inconsistent with each other.

And of course, distortion. Carrier does not demand that Paul use 'all' the scriptural passages. But that doesn't stop Layman claiming that it is demanded that Paul use 'all' the scriptural references.

But why criticise an opponent accurately, when it is much easier to distort what he says? This is a proven lawyer tactic.

{{But why criticise an opponent accurately, when it is much easier to distort what he says? This is a proven lawyer tactic.}}

(It occurs to me now that Steven may be a lawyer... {lopsided g} That would explain a lot.)

While some of your critiques are reasonable enough, Steven, you yourself have been selectively distorting what Layman said and meant. He didn't claim, for instance, that a lack of eating _is a necessary indication_ of a transformed body; only that those particular rabbis thought so, the point being that the reference indicates rabbis _of Paul's time_ (or prior) believed the body would be transformed as a completion of the resurrection process. There may be very little difference between St. Paul and those rabbis (at least) on the notion of whether the body initially returns in much the same condition before being further transformed.

True, the seed analogy wouldn't allow for that, but the seed analogy is an _ANALOGY_ and is not intended to be pressed beyond its immediate illustration purposes (just as there is no indication in the slightest that Paul expected the resurrected body to literally throw off a bunch of 'dying' bodies to be buried and raised again as children) . Paul obviously believes non-dead human bodies may be transformed into the resurrected state without first being "planted", or he wouldn't have taught that in the final pericope of what is now 1 Cor 15; and that leaves open a possibility of agreement, I think, with his contemporaries on that point, even if he disagrees with them on other points.

(And there is no contextual reason to believe Paul meant something different than to teach that living not-yet-transformed bodies will be transformed, and was actually replying to opponents by quoting them on that topic in order to oppose them--since I expect you're going to try bringing up 1 Cor 6 against Layman, concerning the eating, which _does_ have contextual evidence to that effect, by contrast with the end of 1 Cor 15.)


And Layman wasn't replying to _Carrier's_ claim that "Paul ignores all scriptural proof-texts... all ignored by Paul because he did not find them useful for his argument." He was responding to _YOUR_ claim about Paul on this, and in fact quoted _you_ cut-n-paste on it. _You_ were the one attempting to cite a total lack of such references (to standard rabbinic prooftexts concerning the Res) as evidence for the sheer difference between Paul's notion and theirs. It was because _you_ had written that, that Layman wrote in reply (after quoting _you_ on it), "Demanding that Paul in a few letters use all the scriptures referenced in Rabbinic material hundreds of pages long gathered over hundred years is a sign of desparation, not a substantive point."

To which I will add that trying to deflect the riposte by painting Layman as (facetiously) replying to someone else's claim on this (when clearly he's quoting, and replying, to _you_) is also a sign of desperation. (Granted, I thought he _might_ have overstepped a bit in his reply to you; but evidently you didn't think so, or you wouldn't have tried to paint him as facetiously painting Carrier that way, rather than replying to _your_ quote. Either that or you couldn't even recognize your own quotation to which he was replying.)

Since this is Layman's thread I'll let him deal with you in it henceforth (despite what I expect will be a strong temptation to keep putting my own comments in {wry s}). But I wanted to reassure him that some of us do recognize when he is being distorted himself.

Bearing in mind Layman's genre, context and audience tests, which works would he recommend for finding out what Pharisees believed?

Or will he ignore his 'genre', 'context' and 'audience' tests whenever it suits him?


Where do you think I have ignored such tests? There is no guarantee we can retrieve a complete and accurate picture of the Pharasaic beliefs prior to the destruction of the Temple. Which of course does not mean that we must assume the stuff in the Rabbinic sources written hundreds of years after the fact must accurately represent what all Pharisees believed during Paul's time.

And will Layman drop his 'lack of eating indicates a transformed body' argument when talking about the resurrected Jesus eating?

Not unless you can explain to me how a resurrected body is identical to the previous body when it does not have to eat or drink or experiences sexual desire, whereas the previous body needed to eat, drink, and experiences sexual desire. Obviously a body could be transformed and still eat and drink, but the lack of a need to eat or drink is indiciative of a different kind of body.

To use one of Carrier's remarks as an example, a transformed body could have wings. The wings would be an indication of transformation. Such a resurrected body would be different than the previous body. But just because a body does not have wings does not mean it is not transformed. There are many discussions of gloried resurrected bodies that are different than the previous body but which do not place wings on the resurrected.

That being said, I doubt Jesus needed to eat. It simply served a purpose.

Like the proven lawyer that he is , Layman has no consistent methodology except to throw out a load of arguments that are inconsistent with each other.

Please be specific.

And of course, distortion. Carrier does not demand that Paul use 'all' the scriptural passages. But that doesn't stop Layman claiming that it is demanded that Paul use 'all' the scriptural references.

I was responding to you there, not to Carrier.

Carrier lists three specific scriptures and makes a big deal out of Paul not using them. I showed that Paul did make use of two of them.

As for your last sentence, did you mean to say the following:

But why criticise an opponent accurately, when it is much easier to distort what he says? This is a proven [Carr] tactic.

Because that would be more accurate. :)

On the issue of tracing Rabbinic materials back to Jesus' and Paul's time, there is a recent book on the issue that attempts to apply set methods to do just that:

Traditions Of The Rabbis From The Era Of The New Testament: Prayer And Agriculture, by David Instone-Brewer.

The book has received a lot of praise and I have read some of its analysis. It certainly comes across as a scholary attempt to wade through the material and determine where it came from.

Of course, that is no gaurantee that it came from Pharisees or represented broad Pharisaic belief. And it still does not address the issues of context and genre to which I referred.

Nevertheless, additional volumes will be forthcoming and will likely cover topics more germane to the issue of resurrection. I intend to obtain them as soon as I learn they come out.

Use of Content

The contents of this blog may be reproduced or forwarded via e-mail without change and in its entirety for non-commercial purposes without prior permission from the Christian CADRE provided that the copyright information is included. We would appreciate notification of the use of our content. Please e-mail us at christiancadre@yahoo.com.