So, in this series of post I talked about the meaning of the death of Jesus. The previous posts were:
What I tried to stress in this series of posts was that there were not 2 main factions in early Christianity as is commonly thought, just Paul and the Jerusalem church, but 3. Paul respected but disagreed with Peter and James, but Paul hated the ones who he called the ultra orthodox faction claiming the true message of Jesus: the super-apostles/false brothers and sisters. This latter group seems to be followers of Jesus who did not ascribe to the crucifixion/resurrection theology, and instead focused on Jesus’ message before he died.
It is sometimes forgotten that Peter and James with the Corinthian creed invented an entirely new religion that would have been foreign to Jesus that focused on his crucifixion and resurrection. Keep in mind Jesus knew nothing of this theology and said nothing about it, which is why the disciples got violent at the arrest, since Jesus’s arrest was not even a blip on the radar – despite Mark trying to retroactively insert it. This 3rd false-brother / sister group is reflected in sources like the Didache and Q, who know nothing of the crucifixion and resurrection. Paul countered this 3rd group with the sincere and pure message of Christ (2 Cor 11:3). What was this? Paul said “2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (1 Cor 2:2).” It is often emphasized by mythicists it is odd that Paul doesn’t discuss the life of Jesus, but given the language of 1 Cor 2:2 Paul clearly knows a lot more of Jesus than he is saying and it would make sense Paul is not discussing the life of Jesus if he is arguing against a Jesus faction that was based solely on the living Jesus and his message.
You see with writers like Dr. James Tabor and Barrie Wilson the idea of trying to recover the original message of Jesus from under the theology of Paul. But, as the pre-Pauline Corinthian creed shows the Jerusalem bunch had invented a new religion apart from Jesus that was very much like Paul except on the circumcision issue. I think what Dr. Tabor and Wilson are detecting is the theology of those who Paul calls the demonic false brother and sisters who didn’t ascribe to crucifixion/resurrection theology.
It’s interesting to note that James is only portrayed as becoming a follower of Jesus after Jesus died, so this might be a nod by the writers that the Jerusalem bunch had a Christianity very different from what Jesus taught when he was alive.