How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
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12-06-2017, 10:50 AM
How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
Given that he knew people who knew Jesus first hand / people who allegedly witnessed Jesus' resurrection. Also that he spent years of his life preaching the gospel
message while under persecution and threat of death. That doesn't sound like the kind of life someone chooses when making up a religion, it really seems to me that he believed what he was preaching. I mean why risk so much and labor so much if it was all made up or some sort of conspiracy?

My thoughts about Paul really have me considering things, so I'm making this thread in the hopes that you guys have strong explanations, just so that I can see what logic is left standing.
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12-06-2017, 10:54 AM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
You realize we're atheists, right?
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12-06-2017, 10:55 AM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
(12-06-2017 10:50 AM)seoq Wrote:  Given that he knew people who knew Jesus first hand / people who allegedly witnessed Jesus' resurrection. Also that he spent years of his life preaching the gospel
message while under persecution and threat of death. That doesn't sound like the kind of life someone chooses when making up a religion, it really seems to me that he believed what he was preaching. I mean why risk so much and labor so much if it was all made up or some sort of conspiracy?

My thoughts about Paul really have me considering things, so I'm making this thread in the hopes that you guys have strong explanations, just so that I can see what logic is left standing.
From what I understand, the resurrection wasn't originally in that story at all, it was added at a later date altogether.

Plus from the story that is in there presently, nobody "witnesses" him ACTUALLY resurrect, they just check on him and the body is gone. Like nobody is looking at the tomb 24/7 and physically see's him moonwalk out the door.

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12-06-2017, 10:56 AM (This post was last modified: 12-06-2017 10:59 AM by seoq.)
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
(12-06-2017 10:54 AM)Clockwork Wrote:  You realize we're atheists, right?

Yes, and that's the exact reason why I posted this here. I want people who know more than me to tell me why I'm wrong, if I am wrong.

(12-06-2017 10:55 AM)OakTree500 Wrote:  From what I understand, the resurrection wasn't originally in that story at all, it was added at a later date altogether.

Plus from the story that is in there presently, nobody "witnesses" him ACTUALLY resurrect, they just check on him and the body is gone. Like nobody is looking at the tomb 24/7 and physically see's him moonwalk out the door.

You're absolutely right. I should have used the word ascension instead of resurrection. Facepalm
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12-06-2017, 10:58 AM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
(12-06-2017 10:56 AM)seoq Wrote:  Yes, and that's the exact reason why I posted this here. I want people who know more than me to tell me why I'm wrong, if I am wrong.
IF you are wrong? About a regular mortal man who RETURNS FROM THE DEAD? Who also, has 0 evidence [like ACTUAL evidence, not the bible itself] that he even existed in the first place?

I'll leave that with you to figure out why that is 100% wrong on so many levels.

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12-06-2017, 11:00 AM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
(12-06-2017 10:50 AM)seoq Wrote:  Given that he knew people who knew Jesus first hand / people who allegedly witnessed Jesus' resurrection. Also that he spent years of his life preaching the gospel
message while under persecution and threat of death. That doesn't sound like the kind of life someone chooses when making up a religion, it really seems to me that he believed what he was preaching. I mean why risk so much and labor so much if it was all made up or some sort of conspiracy?

My thoughts about Paul really have me considering things, so I'm making this thread in the hopes that you guys have strong explanations, just so that I can see what logic is left standing.

None, zip, zero, ziltch.

No such thing as a magic baby with super powers born without a second set of DNA. Humans also cannot have all the blood drained out of their body, suffer complete organ and brain death only to survive rigor mortis 3 days later.

It is a book of myth.

The NT writers are not first hand accounts but were written way after the fact.

It would be like me claiming to know Donald Trump giving me 1 billion dollars with a magic wand. Trump is a real person, but that does not make me a billionaire nor does it make magic wands real.

The Harry Potter books mention London, but you don't believe little boys can fly around on brooms.

The NT was not written because the writers knew shit about reality, the NT was written by delusional opportunists who wanted a new religion to separate themselves from the old one.

Just like the first Hebrews stole the old Canaanite character Yahweh from their prior polytheism.

The story of Paul is not a real one, it is a story that was written to glorify a hero character. Just like Robin of Batman and Robin. Robin is added in to make the main hero look good.

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12-06-2017, 11:01 AM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
I think that Anakin Skywalker should have been killed as a child. Thoughts?
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12-06-2017, 11:12 AM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
(12-06-2017 10:50 AM)seoq Wrote:  Given that he knew people who knew Jesus first hand / people who allegedly witnessed Jesus' resurrection.

I wouldn't list that as a "given". That's the claim in the story but whether or not there was an actual historical Jesus is an open question. If there was, then we still have to accept that Paul was who he said he was and that he did actually meet and talk with the people he said he did. There are conflicts in the stories (did he go to Jerusalem right after his vision or was it years later?) that make it hard to take at face value.

Quote: Also that he spent years of his life preaching the gospel
message while under persecution and threat of death.

He was preaching A gospel message; again, what was actually preached is hard to pin down. The bits about him doing it while under persecution and threat of death are very hard to swallow -- we have to believe that the people arresting him allowed him to continue to preach while they were taking him in and that's not plausible.

Quote:That doesn't sound like the kind of life someone chooses when making up a religion, it really seems to me that he believed what he was preaching. I mean why risk so much and labor so much if it was all made up or some sort of conspiracy?

If we accept the general outline of the story as accurate it only means that Paul believed it. That says nothing at all about the truth of the matter. Paul was involved only after the crucifixion and had only accounts from others about anything that happened. He also didn't preach much, if anything, about the life or actions of Jesus so his "gospel" was different than that of Mark & co.

Quote:My thoughts about Paul really have me considering things, so I'm making this thread in the hopes that you guys have strong explanations, just so that I can see what logic is left standing.

My thoughts about Paul and the rest of Acts is pretty much "cool story, bro, needs more dragons". Paul's "Damascus Road" experience can't be convincing to anybody else, his message was different, and the stories conflict on even mundane details like the order of his travels.

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12-06-2017, 11:21 AM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
(12-06-2017 10:50 AM)seoq Wrote:  Given that he knew people who knew Jesus first hand / people who allegedly witnessed Jesus' resurrection. Also that he spent years of his life preaching the gospel
message while under persecution and threat of death. That doesn't sound like the kind of life someone chooses when making up a religion, it really seems to me that he believed what he was preaching. I mean why risk so much and labor so much if it was all made up or some sort of conspiracy?

Being willing to die for really strong beliefs doesn't mean they're true.
If that's the case; the guys who crashed planes into the twin towers are enjoying their 70 virgins as we speak.

Or, he could have been motivated by hatred for the romans. Stir up the people with super-hero myths, while making sure no one ever forgets the man he so loved and admired, to undermine their regime.
Propaganda is a big part of revolutions.
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12-06-2017, 11:22 AM (This post was last modified: 12-06-2017 11:31 AM by seoq.)
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
(12-06-2017 11:00 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  
(12-06-2017 10:50 AM)seoq Wrote:  Given that he knew people who knew Jesus first hand / people who allegedly witnessed Jesus' resurrection. Also that he spent years of his life preaching the gospel
message while under persecution and threat of death. That doesn't sound like the kind of life someone chooses when making up a religion, it really seems to me that he believed what he was preaching. I mean why risk so much and labor so much if it was all made up or some sort of conspiracy?

My thoughts about Paul really have me considering things, so I'm making this thread in the hopes that you guys have strong explanations, just so that I can see what logic is left standing.

None, zip, zero, ziltch.

No such thing as a magic baby with super powers born without a second set of DNA. Humans also cannot have all the blood drained out of their body, suffer complete organ and brain death only to survive rigor mortis 3 days later.

It is a book of myth.

The NT writers are not first hand accounts but were written way after the fact.

It would be like me claiming to know Donald Trump giving me 1 billion dollars with a magic wand. Trump is a real person, but that does not make me a billionaire nor does it make magic wands real.

The Harry Potter books mention London, but you don't believe little boys can fly around on brooms.

The NT was not written because the writers knew shit about reality, the NT was written by delusional opportunists who wanted a new religion to separate themselves from the old one.

Just like the first Hebrews stole the old Canaanite character Yahweh from their prior polytheism.

The story of Paul is not a real one, it is a story that was written to glorify a hero character. Just like Robin of Batman and Robin. Robin is added in to make the main hero look good.

Bear with me here. You say Paul doesn't exist but among scholars this isn't a universally held belief. So lets assume, that at the least, some of his letters are genuine and that he did exist (for the purpose of this conversation, because this is where I'm at right now). Given this let's also assume he knew people who knew Jesus and these people claimed to have witnessed Jesus' ascension. Paul converts and then spends YEARS of his life preaching the gospel message and establishing the church all the while under persecution. Why? Because of his conversion experience and the testimony of others. If you think this is all hogwash, can you explain to me why? Is it because everyone lied to Paul, or that Paul was somehow "in on it"? Or do you just reject all of it? Again, bear with me here because I'm just trying to understand this stuff. With that said it doesn't seem unreasonable to me to believe that PAUL believed what he was saying, and that he knew people first hand who claimed that Jesus ascended. To me, if Paul existed and believed what he was preaching, it lends a lot of credibility to the Jesus story.

Edit: I should also include that Paul allegedly did a lot of work with these people who claimed to have known Jesus, while growing the church. They seemingly had just as big of a stake in spreading the gospel message as Paul did. This kind of lends credence to the idea that they weren't just straight up lying to Paul, to me at least.
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