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Re: orion re: "Damascus"

Jim West wrote:
> But there are still problems with Paul's journey to Damascus:
> 1- why would he go that far?

Because he got word of a high concentration of memebers of the new 
movement there.  During the flight after Stephen's death, the 
believers scattered everywhere, probably including Damascus.

> 2- would his "letters" receive any attention?

It constantly amazes me that this question even comes up.  The text 
never suggests that his letters were addressed to the political 
leadership of Damascus; it explicitly says they were addressed to the 
Synagogues.  A letter to a Synagogue leader from the High Priest 
would likely rate some attention, I would think.  As the text stands, 
the political leadership of Damascus never enters the picture.  It is 
easy to infer that the Synagogues had a fairly good working 
relationship with the local leadership, but we don't have any 
indications for or against this inference.  I see no reason not to 
take the text as it stands.

> Though these problems persist- more arise by attempting to define Qumran as
> Damascus.

Agreed.  IMO such views give the Qumran site much more significance 
to its contemporaries than it actually had.  Qumran is highly 
significant to us since its discovery and the discovery of the 
scrolls, but that is no indication that anybody in Jerusalem of 
Paul's day gave it more than a passing glance.

Dave Washburn
If you don't know where you're going, don't lead.