How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
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12-06-2017, 11:27 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.
He claimed to have known people who claimed to have known Jesus. Please demonstrate that those claims are true. A single name would be a good start.

(12-06-2017 10:50 AM)seoq Wrote:  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.
How much more true is someting just because i (honestly) believe it? Does the honesty or strengh of my belief add anything to the truth value of my belief? Does believing in something make it true, or demonstrate that it is true?
If i am persecuted for my belief, does that add any truth value to my belief? Does being persecuted for my beliefs make them true?

(12-06-2017 10:50 AM)seoq Wrote:  I mean why risk so much and labor so much if it was all made up or some sort of conspiracy?
He was wrong and didnt know it, and refused to change his mind. Happens every day.

(12-06-2017 10:50 AM)seoq Wrote:  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.
Why should anyone need an explanation other than yours? How about you give good reasons to believe yours?

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12-06-2017, 11:37 AM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
(12-06-2017 11:27 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  He claimed to have known people who claimed to have known Jesus. Please demonstrate that those claims are true. A single name would be a good start.

I'm working off the assumption that he knew people who knew Jesus (since this is what he claims). I'm not trying to claim that this is true, that's just what I'm allowing myself to assume. With regards to the historicity and truth of this it seems that whether he actually knew these people can be argued either way (by others that is, not by me).

Quote:Why should anyone need an explanation other than yours? How about you give good reasons to believe yours?

I'm actually not trying to convince anyone. I just want to see what arguments can be formed against the things I'm wondering about.
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12-06-2017, 11:38 AM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
There are no primary sources that record Jebus's biographic information or teachings. The gospels were written several decades after his death (if he existed) and there are no reliable testimonies of the resurrection.

There is not even any historical evidence of Paul ever existing, except for the account given in the Bible. If he did exist, he never met Jesus in person and many of the writings attributed to him are likely to have other authors.

The writings attributed to him reveal that the earliest Christians were regularly hallucinating, entering ecstatic trances, making prophesies, talking to spirits, speaking in tongues etc.--so much, in fact, that contemporaries thought they were lunatics (e.g., 1 Corinthians 14). Indeed Paul admitted he received his understanding of Christianity from revelation directly from God.

So (if he existed) he didn't meet Jebus (if he ever existed).

If he actually wrote anything - and we can't say for sure - those were unreliable anecdotes provided by others.

And he experienced hallucinations.

And you ask about Paul's credibility?

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12-06-2017, 11:38 AM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
(12-06-2017 11:22 AM)seoq Wrote:  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.

Nothing like a fuck-ton of assumptions to establish a base for determining truth. It's a story. It's been edited and translated and copied over centuries. How you can hope to establish motives of somebody who may or may not have existed and may or may not have done any of the things ascribed to him is beyond me.

Given that Kirk new the possible consequences, why did he violate the prime directive so often?

Quote:To me, if Paul existed and believed what he was preaching, it lends a lot of credibility to the Jesus story.

Then you are pretty gullible.

Read up on Jim Jones, Sun Myung Moon, David Koresh, Marshall Applewhite, and thousands of others like them. Their followers believed they saw them perform miracles including reviving the dead and producing food out of nothing and this is all recent and on videotape and not scraps of parchment from 2000 years ago.

Also read up on Marcion and the various gnostic groups that were contemporary with Paul and yet had very different "gospel" messages. Apocalyptic Judaism was a cottage industry and a version similar enough to what Paul preached eventually won out but there's no evidence for it any more than any of the others.

Did Paul exist? Probably... did he believe or was he a conman? who knows? Are his claims believable? Not at all.

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12-06-2017, 11:42 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.

It's widely accepted, even in Christian circles, that Paul suffered an epileptic seizure during his "vision".

It's also widely accepted, based on empirical evidence, that those with temporal lobe epilepsy tend to have "visions of God" and a sense of being "chosen". Source: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story...=104291534

This sense can even be reproduced artificially. The God Helmet is a standard open-face helmet with small magnetic inducers incorporated into it. When worn by subjects, the magnets stimulate the temporal lobe in the brain, causing many subjects to get powerful spiritual sensations.

[Image: image_thumb%5B4%5D.png?imgmax=800]

So you have to ask yourself, "What is more likely? That God - the existence of which has never been proven - influenced Paul? Or that Paul suffered from epilepsy?"

As well, people go to their deaths all the time based on falsehoods and the promise of some spiritual reward. Ask any suicide bomber.
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12-06-2017, 11:45 AM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
Your guys' posts are sobering. I appreciate it.
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12-06-2017, 11:46 AM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
(12-06-2017 11:37 AM)seoq Wrote:  I'm working off the assumption that he knew people who knew Jesus (since this is what he claims).

Why would you do that? If you are going to assume some parts are true without good evidence then you may as well assume the rest is true.

There are times when you have to assume things but when those assumptions start leading you to ridiculous conclusions then you need to back off from them. In this case it seems to head in one of two directions... either Paul is right and the supreme overlord of the universe appeared to a bunch of illiterate iron age barbarians, did some parlor tricks, and disappeared again or Paul was wrong and was either conned by others into believing something or was doing his share of conning others for his own reasons. Which of those is more reasonable?

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12-06-2017, 11:52 AM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
(12-06-2017 11:46 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(12-06-2017 11:37 AM)seoq Wrote:  I'm working off the assumption that he knew people who knew Jesus (since this is what he claims).

Why would you do that? If you are going to assume some parts are true without good evidence then you may as well assume the rest is true.

There are times when you have to assume things but when those assumptions start leading you to ridiculous conclusions then you need to back off from them. In this case it seems to head in one of two directions... either Paul is right and the supreme overlord of the universe appeared to a bunch of illiterate iron age barbarians, did some parlor tricks, and disappeared again or Paul was wrong and was either conned by others into believing something or was doing his share of conning others for his own reasons. Which of those is more reasonable?

I guess it might help to point out that I have spent a lot of time thinking about Christian theology and spent a lot of time around fundamentalist Christians. While some others may be able to quickly discern for themselves what is believable and what is not, for me it is a little bit more complicated. I'm still in the process of figuring things out for myself.
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12-06-2017, 11:57 AM (This post was last modified: 12-06-2017 01:22 PM by Bucky Ball.)
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.

You don't actually know any of that. All they are, are oft repeated claims, which today have not a shred of evidence for them.
It does sound like a life a crazy power-hungry person choses who is a fanatical zealot. There were at least two (supposed) Pauls. The one in Acts, and the one who may have written some of the letters, have very different philosophies ... so they are not the same person. We know for a fact that the journeys as recounted cannot have happened as told. Maybe there was no "Paul" ?
http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/paul.htm If Paul "persecuted" the church as he/they claim, by what authority did he do that ? Romans would not permit Jews to disrupt the peace in Jerusalem. That early, Christians were all still Jews. How does it make any sense that Paul persecuted his own people ? The Romans would not allow cult squabbles to land people in THEIR prisons. Jerusalem was occupied. If he was smart enough to study at the feet of Gamaliel, as he claims, why did NOT ONE scholar mention he had defected ?

In any case, the Greek used by the Pauline writer to describe what today is called the "resurrection" does not mean that he "rose from the dead", and Paul does not say that. It means "exalted", (and Paul, ... if he existed, was a Jewish Apocalyptic), and in the Apocalyptic tradition, Jewish heroes were 'exalted', (not "risen") ... see Ehrman's book, as well as "The Trouble With Resurrection", by CHRISTIAN seminary professor of NT, Dr. BB Scott.
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...other-look

There is not a shred of evidence or logic left standing when the BS is exposed.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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12-06-2017, 12:02 PM
RE: How much believability does Paul's testimony add to the Jesus story?
(12-06-2017 11:52 AM)seoq Wrote:  While some others may be able to quickly discern for themselves what is believable and what is not, for me it is a little bit more complicated. I'm still in the process of figuring things out for myself.

Sounds like you're on a good path.

If you go where the evidence leads - not necessarily where you want it to lead, but where it leads regardless of your predispositions - you really can't go wrong.
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