11 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 For I did not receive it or learn it from any human source; instead I received it by a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former way of life in Judaism, how I was savagely persecuting the church of God and trying to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my nation, and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. 15 But when the one who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I could preach him among the Gentiles, I did not go to ask advice from any human being, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before me, but right away I departed to Arabia, and then returned to Damascus.
Chagigah 15aBabylonian Talmud
§ The Gemara stated earlier that Aḥer chopped down the saplings, becoming a heretic. With regard to him, the verse states: “Do not let your mouth bring your flesh into guilt” (Ecclesiastes 5:5). The Gemara poses a question: What was it that led him to heresy? He saw the angel Mitatron, who was granted permission to sit and write the merits of Israel. He said: There is a tradition that in the world above there is no sitting; no competition; no turning one’s back before Him, i.e., all face the Divine Presence; and no lethargy. Seeing that someone other than God was seated above, he said: Perhaps, the Gemara here interjects, Heaven forbid, there are two authorities, and there is another source of power in control of the world in addition to God. Such thoughts led Aḥer to heresy.
Notes and References
"... According to Galatians 1:16, Saul now understood that the glorious human figure seated on the throne was Jesus.21 There is an affinity of Paul’s views with those known in rabbinic sources, where a second power is given authority alongside God (e.g. bḤagigah 15a; 3 Enoch 16). These were exactly the views which were typical of the early Christians, including Paul, who on the basis of Psalm 110 (“The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand’”) gave the exalted Christ a position of prominence and divine authority, albeit derived from God the Father (1 Cor 15:24–28; cf. Matt 22:44). The problem posed for his contemporaries by Paul, was that he seemed to have engaged in what might have appeared as an “undisciplined” apocalyptic exegesis, whose christological consequences were at odds with the total exegesis of the Scripture he inherited from his Pharisaic teachers. Thus, for Paul, the Law of Moses and the culture in which he had been brought up took a subordinate place to the exalted messiah whom he had met in an apocalyptic vision. However much Paul may have protested, as the accounts in Acts suggest that he did, the basic challenge he posed was that it was not the tradition handed down from Moses through the elders and teachers to the ancient “fathers” which mattered, but the exercise of “apocalyptic imagination” which authenticated that tradition. That was the decisive move: first experience, and only then, the tradition ..."
Rowland, Christopher "Paul as an Apocalyptist" in The Jewish Apocalyptic Tradition and the Shaping of New Testamenmt Thought, edited by Loren T. Stuckenbruck (pp. 137-138) Fortress Press, 2017
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