Laura's Book "From Paul to Mark" is out!!!!

JeanneT

Jedi
FOTCM Member
I am still waiting for the paper version that I ordered from Amazon. Last week I ordered from German Amazon but even after a whole week of waiting to get an email confirmation that the book is shipped I didn't receive anything and the status was that the book is preparing for shipping.

This Monday I cancel the order and I ordered from the main Amazon site.
Until now, two days later it is the same story. I will wait this week and see if they will be able to send the book. If not I will have to order the Kindle version.
This time and this book I wanted to have in a paper version but if it is not possible Kindle version will do the job.
My amazon order from the US was quite late, well after the promised date, a little beaten up, but it finally came and I am thrilled! So, hopefully, you will receive your copy soon, Konstantin.
 

Dirgni

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I am still waiting for the paper version that I ordered from Amazon. Last week I ordered from German Amazon but even after a whole week of waiting to get an email confirmation that the book is shipped I didn't receive anything and the status was that the book is preparing for shipping.

It seems mine was quite a "speedy" delivery. I ordered my paper version from German Amazon on Sunday 16th. It was sent to a German address using DHL (a German parcel service) and it seems it did not have to travel through half the country. It took several days (ca. Friday) before it was sent out and it reached me only last Saturday about noon soon after it was delivered.

Maybe if you wait longer before cancelling?
 

Odin

Padawan Learner
Congratulations to Laura for finishing this book, I just placed my order :)

I understand this project has taken years to complete and I admire your commitment to finish it. Its truly inspiring!

As I was reading the description of the book on Amazon I had very moving experience. It was like energy was pouring in from the top of my head and down into the rest of my body. I had chills all over and tears in my eyes. I have only had this sensation a couple of times but then while meditating.

Cant wait to get it and start to :read:
 

moyal

Jedi
I think I found a (small) mistake on page 115 (chapter "History by Josephus"):
When Laura writes about the feud between the brothers Hyrcanus and Aristobulus for rule of the hasmonean kingdom after the death of Queen Salome Alexandra, she repeatedly refers to Aristobulus as "Aristobulus I".
But this is Aristobulus II.
Aristobulus I was actually the first husband of Queen Salome Alexandra and the brother of Alexander Jannaeus, as it is explained in footnote 338 on page 114.
 

Laura

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
I think I found a (small) mistake on page 115 (chapter "History by Josephus"):
When Laura writes about the feud between the brothers Hyrcanus and Aristobulus for rule of the hasmonean kingdom after the death of Queen Salome Alexandra, she repeatedly refers to Aristobulus as "Aristobulus I".
But this is Aristobulus II.
Aristobulus I was actually the first husband of Queen Salome Alexandra and the brother of Alexander Jannaeus, as it is explained in footnote 338 on page 114.

Yes, you are correct; it's a typo.
 

Laura

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Dear Laura,
I would like to congratulate you on publishing the book "From Paul to Mark: PaleoChristianity".
I haven't read your book yet, but I will probably read it in the future, though I hope it may not be your last UFT.
In particular, I would like to learn about your perspective on Paul.

It's usually a good idea to actually read a book in its entirety before commenting on or rejecting this or that idea which has been covered in said book and dealt with extensively with evidence that one may not be aware of. Keep in mind that the bibliography of the book contains only about 1/10th of the actual books and papers I studied on the topic and that I did have the guidance and advice of well-known professional biblical scholars while doing my research.

That is to say, I read your comments on my husband's blog and could only think that what you have been learning is "standard biblical studies" with no access to the latest, most rigorous research.

As to my "perspective on Paul", I made that rather clear at one point in the text as follows:


I would ask the reader to refer back to my statement in the Foreword: “any cosmology that is
sufficiently explanatory of the phenomena we observe in our universe has deeper dynamics and
implications”; cosmology is definitely part of apocalyptic and Pauline literature. In my research
on Paul, my eyes were constantly scanning for any evidence that his cosmology might have any
resemblance to more modern formulations in terms of physics and mathematics. I was trying to
determine if Paul was a true apocalyptic mystic or a con artist, because that, of course, would
influence my interpretation of the few data points left to us. And that interpretation would also
have a bearing on how to formulate a rational, plausible, historical reconstruction. I read several
books that purported to analyze Paul psychologically, and that led me off into a year-long study
of evolutionary psychology. That then led to another year of studying genetics and evolution,
which led, eventually, to the topic of Intelligent Design, and I became convinced that there was
much to be said for Intelligent Design by way of Information Theory. Having said that, I must
also say that Intelligent Design in no way suggests that one must be a Creationist or even a
religious believer; I’m not. It just means another layer of reality to try to study by inference. As
far as I can see, nothing could be more fascinating.

Getting back to Paul, I needed to figure out if I thought Paul was sincere or a con-man as so
many have suggested. When reconstructing history, one has to accept certain propositions and
then run the experiment to see how many problems are solved and questions answered. It is clear
that there were many ideas and concepts common at the time that may have influenced Paul’s
thinking. However, that is not necessarily evidence of fraud; rather, that is evidence of common
ground with other mystics whose insights may, in fact, reflect a ubiquitous, interpenetrating,
hyperdimensional information field.

It can be said that Paul did not invent much, but what he did was to apply all the material
he had to an overarching messiah for all humanity with the aim of unifying human beings rather
than using gods as a support for inter-ethnic hatred, war, death, and destruction. That fact
alone weighed heavily on the scales in favor of Paul being sincere and truly driven to evangelize
his messiah to all people, Jews and Gentiles alike. Of course, the cynical response to that is that
Paul was an agent for the Empire engaged in suppressing rebellion. That it might be beneficial
to the Empire is true enough on the face of it, but there was more to what Paul was saying than
that and I will get into it in some depth here because I think it is important for the historical
reconstruction.

And so I will proceed with the assumption that Paul was truly sincere and dedicated to his
mission, and that his visions and insights were not just fraudulent claims; whether they were
true reflections of some other reality cannot be determined here, though I will speculate a bit in
that direction. (p. 233)
 
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Mariama

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Thank you so much Laura for this fantastic work. I will be ordering this week!!!! :cheer::cheer:
That's great to hear, trhouston and welcome to our forum! I noticed that you never introduced yourself in the newbies section. Could you please tell us a bit about yourself, it doesn't have to be very personal: e.g. are your reading SOTT, how did you find us and so on. It's obvious that you know about Laura's (latest) work, but perhaps you have read The Wave as well? If you don't know what to write, just have a look at other posts from newbies who came before you. :welcome:
 
I am about to finish my second year of theological studies. Therefore, it cannot be expected that the most rigorous analyzes are discussed at the undergraduate level. Rather, these studies are designed to familiarize students with the tools of biblical analysis and interpretation. Hence, biblical languages as well as individual literary and historical methods are taught there. However, the university where I am studying has a very positive aspect. It is not a formation school.

In order to study strictly Catholic, Evangelical or Orthodox theology in Poland, one must be faithful to a given religion. There are only two places here where there is some sort of general theology / biblical studies.

However, Paul also got my attention during a course called "Introduction to the New Testament 2".

Was Paul a fraud? In my opinion, this is a very well-asked question. Unfortunately, most interpretations are the opinions of individual denominations, which distorts the general view of the situation. On the other hand, even if Paul was truly sincere and dedicated to his mission, did he really stand out from the other mystics of his time?

At the same time, there are still doubts as to which letters can be considered as letters written by Paul, and in which his authorship can be clearly excluded.

Hence, I am particularly interested in whether your book is available in PDF format. Recently, I read books, especially important to me, in this format. Then I have the ability to quickly jump between books, and I usually save comments in MS Word immediately.
 

Laura

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I am about to finish my second year of theological studies. Therefore, it cannot be expected that the most rigorous analyzes are discussed at the undergraduate level. Rather, these studies are designed to familiarize students with the tools of biblical analysis and interpretation. Hence, biblical languages as well as individual literary and historical methods are taught there. However, the university where I am studying has a very positive aspect. It is not a formation school.

In order to study strictly Catholic, Evangelical or Orthodox theology in Poland, one must be faithful to a given religion. There are only two places here where there is some sort of general theology / biblical studies.

There is a big difference between theological studies and biblical studies which is discussed several times in my book.

In Whose Bible Is It Anyway?, Philip R. Davies wrote:

Assuming a historical identity to something that was properly a literary construct is simply bad
method.…

Scholars who earn PhDs and write devotional books may well convey the impression that
competence in scholarship delivers authority in pastoral matters and questions of Christian belief.
But it is a mischievous impression. As a general principle, scholarship does not make a better
religious believer, nor religious belief a better scholar. … The purpose of ‘bible study’ is religious
understanding of scripture … such study may occasionally draw on academic methods or resources.

… Academic study, for which I reserve the term ‘biblical studies’, by contrast is interested in
how and why biblical literature came to be written, in the constraints and nuances of the original
languages, the history of transmission of text and canon. It is by contrast uninvolved in questions
of authority or inspiration.

… So even though both ‘scripture’ and ‘biblical studies’ appear to an outsider to be examining
the same thing, namely a book with the name ‘Bible’ on its cover, in fact they are not. A discipline
is not the same thing as a subject area like ‘bible’ – or else astronomy and astrology would be the
same discipline, as would alchemy and chemistry. A discipline is defined by methodology, by aims,
practices and presuppositions.



However, Paul also got my attention during a course called "Introduction to the New Testament 2".

Was Paul a fraud? In my opinion, this is a very well-asked question. Unfortunately, most interpretations are the opinions of individual denominations, which distorts the general view of the situation. On the other hand, even if Paul was truly sincere and dedicated to his mission, did he really stand out from the other mystics of his time?

Paul was not a fraud as I believe becomes clear in my book. First, by virtue of his theology and second by the attestation of the Gospel of Mark.

There are quite a number of studies that deal effectively with Paul's mysticism. And, yes, even though he utilized some elements of bricolage in his theology, there were certain aspects that were quite startling for the place and time.




At the same time, there are still doubts as to which letters can be considered as letters written by Paul, and in which his authorship can be clearly excluded.

Certainly there are doubts; I discuss that extensively in more than one place in my text. One has to go deeply into studies of Marcion in order to get a better picture of the problem. One piece of evidence, in a field where there is almost NO evidence, is the following:

Suggestively, by using only the letters’ internal evidence Douglas Campbell identifies a collection of letters that is identical to the first known collection of Paul’s letters: that of Marcion which consisted of Romans, Ephesians, Colossians, Laodiceans, Galatians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Philemon and Philippians.

BeDuhn (2013) argues that Ephesians was actually known to Marcion as Laodiceans, and that his
collection did not contain a letter to the Ephesians.

Based on his reconstructed frame, Campbell places the authentic letters of Paul in this chronological order: 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, Laodiceans (known as Ephesians in our NT), Colossians, Philemon, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, Romans.

It is certainly interesting that such a study should lead to such a conclusion, and that should be taken as a datapoint.

The oldest MS, P46, originally included ten letters in the following order: Romans, Hebrews, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Galatians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians. Missing were Philemon and the Pastorals.

Hebrews must be set aside for many reasons and one wonders why Philemon was missing if it was part of Marcion's collection?

Further, regarding the rejection of Ephesians:

...scholars who reject the authenticity of certain letters use a variety of
arguments. In general, they base these on the presence of anachronisms (i.e., referencing something
before it could have possibly been referenced, e.g., a reference to a person who hadn’t been
born yet when the text in question was supposed to have been written) and by “focusing on the
[differences or contradictions in] vocabulary, phrases, social situation, Christology and ecclesial
understanding of the letters,” as the authors of The Authentic Letters of Paul put it. But
aside from the presence of verifiable anachronisms, all other arguments tend to be circular when
applied to the letters in question; such arguments presume what they set out to answer. And,
notably, most often they do not take interpolation into account (though interpolation arguments
can run into the same problems, thus the mess we’re in!).


The best method that exists today for identifying whether a text has multiple authors is to use complex statistical computer analysis, which didn’t exist at the time most style analyses of Paul were conducted, and which even today is not 100% accurate. And the latest such studies show no obvious and meaningful variation among the letters attributed to Paul. "the [statistical] plots for Romans and 1 Corinthians are as widely spread in Mealand’s analyses as the plots for Ephesians, while only the sample drawn from the first half of Ephesians tends to be an outlier.” (Campbell, 2014, p. 288)


Hence, I am particularly interested in whether your book is available in PDF format. Recently, I read books, especially important to me, in this format. Then I have the ability to quickly jump between books, and I usually save comments in MS Word immediately.

The finished book, 626 pages, is not available in PDF. You can easily purchase either hardcopy or kindle from amazon.
 
There is a big difference between theological studies and biblical studies which is discussed several times in my book.







Paul was not a fraud as I believe becomes clear in my book. First, by virtue of his theology and second by the attestation of the Gospel of Mark.

There are quite a number of studies that deal effectively with Paul's mysticism. And, yes, even though he utilized some elements of bricolage in his theology, there were certain aspects that were quite startling for the place and time.






Certainly there are doubts; I discuss that extensively in more than one place in my text. One has to go deeply into studies of Marcion in order to get a better picture of the problem. One piece of evidence, in a field where there is almost NO evidence, is the following:







It is certainly interesting that such a study should lead to such a conclusion, and that should be taken as a datapoint.

The oldest MS, P46, originally included ten letters in the following order: Romans, Hebrews, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Galatians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians. Missing were Philemon and the Pastorals.

Hebrews must be set aside for many reasons and one wonders why Philemon was missing if it was part of Marcion's collection?

Further, regarding the rejection of Ephesians:






The finished book, 626 pages, is not available in PDF. You can easily purchase either hardcopy or kindle from amazon.
"There is a big difference between theological studies and biblical studies which is discussed several times in my book."

I agree. However, it does not change the fact that in Poland this difference is negligible. Unfortunately. But it's not a normal country, so it doesn't make much sense to talk about it either.

"... Academic study, for which I reserve the term 'biblical studies', by contrast is interested in
how and why biblical literature came to be written, in the constraints and nuances of the original
languages, the history of transmission of text and canon. It is by contrast uninvolved in questions
of authority or inspiration. "

I strongly agree with that.

"Paul was not a fraud as I believe becomes clear in my book. First, by virtue of his theology and second by the attestation of the Gospel of Mark."

Your book may explain that. Does the Gospel of Mark explain that? I have doubts here. I believe your book is a better work to be referred to here.

"The best method that exists today for identifying whether a text has multiple authors is to use complex statistical computer analysis, which didn't exist at the time most style analyzes of Paul were conducted, and which even today is not 100% accurate. the latest such studies show no obvious and meaningful variation among the letters attributed to Paul. "the [statistical] plots for Romans and 1 Corinthians are as widely spread in Mealand's analyses as the plots for Ephesians, while only the sample drawn from the first half of Ephesians tends to be an outlier. "(Campbell, 2014, p. 288)"

It is remarkably interesting. I do not have a program for such analysis. Even nowadays, there is talk of a rather vague criterion. It's like capturing the style that belongs to the person. And I've heard about it, but I don't have access to it.

However, I do not want us to refer to anyone else's analyzes. I am interested only in what I see myself. And when I talk to you, I am only interested in what you see and what you are sure is your observation.

You may ask me why. I will anticipate any question. I simply think that I will trust what you have noticed rather than someone who noticed it and make specific assumptions before.

But is it certain that I will agree with you on every point? If the matter is important, I will ask you for a long time.

It doesn't matter where I study. Nobody tells me to agree with what anyone says in my studies.

It is not about criticizing anyone. It's a natural tendency. I don't trust what others write, and you probably don't. I know you don't either.

When I start reading your book, I may be asking you questions before I finish it.

In my opinion, you are talking about very important topics. My studies are not relevant here. What matters is the truth.

And I personally believe you are getting closer to this truth. After your last statement, I must admit that I like it very much. And I rarely say this. It was great and I share it very much! I find it hard to believe!
 
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