Paul, Jerusalem, and the Judaizers

I tried out the search engine of the Australasian Digital Theses Program tonight and discovered one paper on Galatians:

Ian Jeffrey Elmer, Paul, Jerusalem and the Judaisers: The Galatian Crisis in its Broader Historical Context. Australian Catholic University, 2007. You can read the abstract and download the paper from ACU.

I haven’t had time to read it, of course, but I did look through the bibliography and noticed one mistake. He incorrectly lists the author of “The Samaritan Pentateuch and the New Testament” NTS 22 (1976): 441-443. as E. Plummer when it is in fact Reinhard Pummer. I guess I will allow him one mistake :). It should be an interesting read as I disagree with his premise and heartily disagree with his concluding paragraph:

In the light of these findings, then, it seems that the various Law-observant opponents whom Paul encountered in Jerusalem, Antioch, Galatia and Corinth, and to whom he alludes in Philippians, were directly commissioned by and acted under the authority of James, Peter and the Jerusalem church…the only logical inference we can draw from the evidence is that Paul is fighting, on several fronts, a war against a single group of adversaries whose origins must be attributed to the circumcision party around James at Jerusalem.

Might I add that I also disagree with the decision to prohibit copying from the pdf file. It is a lot of work to retype everything.

The idea of a split between Paul on the one hand and Peter on the other was of course the emphasis of Baur and the Tubingen school. Stephen Neill in his The Interpretation of the New Testament makes one of his engaging comments in relation to the Tubingen theories: “It is not often that a theory can be so completely overthrown. Most theories, even though heavily attacked, can find something to say for themselves, at least as an alternative theory if not as the only possible theory. But occasionally the contrary evidence is of such a kind that the theory has no possibility of survival at all” (59). Apparently for Elmer this theory has survived and in response to criticism of Baur’s thesis he comments, “Other Pauline scholars are reluctant to accept Baur’s view…” (184). Hmmm, reluctant indeed.

It should be an interesting read at any rate. Good night all.

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