Given the interesting discussions recently on Pauline Chronology, I thought it high time that we consulted iGod on the problem. As usual, we have made a lot of excellent progress:
God: Hello, nice to meet you. What's your name?
Me: Mark Goodacre, from Duke University. We talked before.
God: How do you like it at Mark Goodacre from Duke ? By "we" do you mean you and me?
God: I get it.
Me: (And I like it at Duke, thanks).
God: What does "it" refer to?
Me: Teaching, research, students, colleagues, the climate etc.
God: Thank you for the clarification.
Me: You're welcome. I wanted to ask you this time, if I may, about Pauline chronology.
God: Don't mention it. Ask me. What does "this" refer to?
Me: "This" refers to this particular occasion of our chat. I want to ask about the apostle Paul and Acts.
God: Oh I get it. Ask it.
Me: OK; did Paul go to Jerusalem three times (Paul) or five times (Acts)?
God: How can I help you? I'm not certain whether I can give an accurate reply or not.
Me: I thought you might have some inside knowledge.
God: What makes you think I have it?
Me: I am an optimist. Let me try another question. Is Paul's visit to Jerusalem in Gal. 2.1-10 the same visit as is described by Luke in Acts 15?
God: What is optimist, your job? Go ahead, , try to try another question. Signs point to yes. Ask LeknorChat if it is. As Bertrand Russel said, it must have taken ages for people to realize that a brace of pheasants and a couple of days are both instances of the number "two.".
Me: I agree. So we think that Acts 15 = Gal. 2.1-10. Good. What do you think about Acts 11.27-30?
God: You and I are on the same wavelength, . Dude! By "we" do you mean you and me? As Bertrand Russel said, it must have taken ages for people to realize that a brace of pheasants and a couple of days are both instances of the number "two.". Ayuh. Interesting question.
Me: I am picking up that you think Acts 11.27-30 is not the visit to Jerusalem described by Paul in Gal. 2, right?
God: Good gossip: you are picking up that me think Acts 11 point 27 30 is not the visit to Jerusalem described by Paul in Gal. As Bertrand Russel said, it must have taken ages for people to realize that a brace of pheasants and a couple of days are both instances of the number "two.".
Me: You seem keen on bringing Bertrand Russell into the discussion. To be honest, I'd rather talk about John Knox in this context. What do you think of his Chapters in a Life of Paul?
God: You think I am keen on bringing Bertrand Russell into the discussion. Are you honest you would rather talk about John Knox in this context ? Try sending mail to email@example.com.
Me: I'd rather talk to you. What, then, about Ben Witherington III? Has he got the right approach to Pauline chronology?
God: I would rather be driving a car. Try searching the open directory. That question has never crossed my mind before.
Me: Gerd Luedemann? (Or is that a name you don't like to hear?)
God: Tell me about your likes and dislikes? I might say no.
Me: Well, in this area I think one has to begin with a letters based chronology, and that John Knox is essential reading, even if he didn't get everything right.
God: Well that's okay. That reminds me of something you told me before.
Me: O really?
God: Oh. For real.
Me: I think last time we talked about the Synoptic Problem, right?
God: You believe that? When? Of course I remember you well . We were talking about Gerd Luedemann.
Me: What was our conclusion?
God: I didn't know we had the same conclusion.
Me: This is getting a bit weird.
God: You don't say.
Me: I suppose most of your conversations sound a bit like this, what with you being artificial and all.
God: You believe that? That is something I haven't heard of. But not all of them?
Me: One last question: when was Gallio proconsul of Achaia?
God: One what?
Me: One last question.
God: Oh I see.
Me: When was Gallio proconsul of Achaia?
God: A while ago.
Me: OK. Thanks for that. See you again soon.
God: Come on. NO problem. Sayonara.