Thursday, November 5, 2015

An Interview With Antonio Piñero About The Historical Jesus (Part 5)

The present series is an interview with Antonio Piñero conducted by Kike R. Tremiño. It was originally published on the "La crónica social" by the magazine Servimedia on October 9, 2008.

Part 1 is available here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, and Part 4 here.

KRT: So the four canonical Gospels were written under Pauline influence?

AP: The way the New Testament is printed misleads readers. How? Well, the Gospels are printed first, followed by Paul's letters. People then spontaneously think that's the chronological order, but it is just the opposite: first wrote Paul, who died somewhere around A.D. 60 or 62 during the reign of Nero, and then the Gospels were written, starting around A.D. 71 and even beyond 100.

In my opinion, the four Gospels, although very different from each other, are strongly influenced by the great Pauline synthesis for how we must interpret Jesus. Everyone follows the Pauline interpretation of Jesus' death, i.e., a vicarious sacrifice for all humanity by the Son of God according to the divine plan of salvation from eternity past). Matthew advocated the need not only to believe in this, but also to keep the law of Moses in order to be saved. John says almost the opposite. But in the four Gospels one finds the same fundamental stream of theology.

KRT: And what about the apocryphal Gospels?

AP: We speak of the apocryphal Gospels as a theological system because such writings are composed in a very broad time span, ranging from A.D. 130 to the ninth or tenth century. Moreover,  many of them are lost, others we only have fragments containing them. I'm inclined to think that there could be sixty or seventy (maybe even more) apocryphal Gospels. Most of these are also Pauline in thought, but there are six or eight that are very Jewish-Christian, following the thinking of James. Remember, for James Paul was the world's worst scoundrel and biggest liar. One of these Judeo-Christian texts is more a novel than a what we call apocryphal Gospel. It's more of a collection of Pseuodoclementine homilies or "Acknowledgments." It is not a Gospel, but rather speaks of very old messages given by Peter. It consists of thousands of pages when you bring together the Greek and Latin versions. And finally there are other gnostic apocryphal Gospels that put forth a way of thinking that is totally different to Pauline theology, the opposite even. It is very spiritual, very Platonic. In those, the Pauline view of salvation, where salvation is by faith in Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, is worthless. The only people who get saved are those who receive a special revelation from the revealer Jesus.

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