Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
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30-10-2015, 11:02 PM (This post was last modified: 31-10-2015 04:47 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
Any in-depth discussion about Paul needs to address the following issue...

Paul’s Fictional Epiphany

[attachment=3050]

The account in Acts of Paul’s abrupt, theatrical conversion to belief in Jesus on the road to Damascus is very familiar to most Christians. Is it historical?

Paul was a man eager to be believed and desperate to shore up his own credibility, as his ideas were without precedent and not based on traditional Jewish dogma. If Paul had experienced a visit from Jesus’ ghost on the road to Damascus and been temporarily blinded, he undoubtedly would have mentioned it in his letters, but he does not.

The author of Acts was trying to make his readers believe that Paul had received his commission - and therefore his legitimacy - directly from Jesus. The difficult fact for the author of Acts was that Jesus had died many years before Paul surfaced. It was managed by having Jesus’ ghost appear to Paul, who then, allegedly, went from being intensely pro-Jewish to becoming a fan of Jesus and fiercely pro-Christian.

The road to Damascus story was probably written sometime at least fifty-plus years after this epiphany was supposed to have happened, by someone (real identity unknown) who did not witness it, (if he did he would have said so) and by someone who never even claimed he had met Paul.

The author of Acts, through the story of the apparition, retrospectively falsely anointed Paul as Jesus’ new spokesman.

Paul did decide that his Christ was an important character. This may have been an idea that Paul promoted after a deliberation over political issues. It was probably just before, or in the early 50’s CE, roughly fifteen years after Yeshua’s death, that Paul launched a tale about his Christ designed to sell a new theology to the wider world.
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30-10-2015, 11:11 PM (This post was last modified: 31-10-2015 04:21 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
Q, you wrote
"Actually, if you knew the NT better, you’d be able to argue effectively that Paul downplayed Jesus’s divinity compared to the gospels!"

Q, sometimes you say the strangest things. Paul's Christ was a god/man without much "man."

Paul Knew Almost Nothing of Jesus

“Paul created a theology of which none but the vaguest warrants can be found in the words of Christ...Through these interpretations Paul could neglect the actual life and sayings of Jesus, which he had not directly known...Paul replaced conduct with creed as the test of virtue. It was a tragic change.”
(Will Durant)

Most Christians incorrectly assume Paul was restating Jesus’ teachings. Yet Paul never claimed he was inspired or influenced by Jesus or Jesus’ disciples. Paul held his messages came from God and were about his Christ. They were not from the Jesus in the Gospels, who was someone else.

Paul’s Christ was not the wise teacher full of parables and anecdotes we think we know from the Gospels. Amazingly, in the twenty-first century, we know more about “Jesus” than Paul did!

Paul wrote,
“Even if we did once know Christ in the flesh, that is not how we know him now” (2 Cor. 5:16, NJB.)

What an extraordinary statement! It only begins to make sense if we realize that Paul was only interested in the idea of a resurrected spirit, his Christ figurehead. A “once human” Jesus, someone with a personality and ideas, was never a topic Paul was comfortable discussing.

Someone passing himself off as Paul wrote that “Christ” was a mystery, one that he had a particularly good understanding of:

“Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Eph. 3:4, KJV,) and

“Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds” (Col. 4:3, KJV.)

Paul did not give a fig tree about the details of Jesus’ life, family, miracles or Jesus’ teachings. The only facts about Christ that mattered to Paul were that a Christ was crucified and resurrected. Paul rambled on and on about the supposed significance of Christ’s death and resurrection, not about the details of Jesus’ life.

( http://www.sonofman.org/paul1.htm
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamin...-did-paul-
know-about-jesus-not-much/ )

Consider Galatians:

“Then god who had specially chosen me while I was still in my mother’s womb, called me through his grace and chose to reveal his son in me, so that I might preach the Good News about him to the pagans. I did not stop to discuss this with any human being nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were already apostles before me, but I went off to Arabia at once and later went straight back from there to Damascus. Even when after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him for fifteen days, I did not see any of the other apostles; I only saw James, the brother of the Lord, and I swear before God that what I have just written is the literal truth” (Gal. 1:15–20, NJB.)

After God “called” Paul, Paul more or less snubbed Yeshua’s family and supporters by shooting off to Arabia for three years. If Paul had thought Yeshua was the Son of God, surely he would have jolted to Jerusalem to meet James, Jesus’ brother, and Peter and Mary, two of Jesus’ close associates. Should not Paul have been anxious to meet the other Mary, Yeshua’s mum, the mother of God? Yet Paul very obviously was not. Something more important enticed him to Arabia. Three years later, Paul visited Jerusalem again, and there is definitely something very odd about the way Paul casually downplays the fact that he met James, Yeshua’s brother and Cephas, who was one of Yeshua’s disciples.

In all his writings Paul did not express any pleasure or awe in associating with Yeshua’s family or followers. This is strong circumstantial evidence that Yeshua never was Paul’s Christ.

The Gospel stories are sadly short of genuine historical facts about Jesus, as they were written by no one is sure whom, by people who had no known connection to Yeshua .

Things could have been different. Paul, who was educated and literate, could have saved much of the painstaking guesswork of historians over the last three hundred years (Jesus’ historicity has only been seriously studied in this time) by jotting down some facts about Jesus as related by Yeshua’s family and disciples. Paul should have outshone the Gospels and made them redundant. He did not. Instead, Paul wrote about things he thought were important: his own Christ, and his own ethics.

This was not a deliberate omission on Paul’s part; he was obviously totally unaware that people in the future might care to know about Yeshua. Interestingly, the author of the epistle of James, who may have been Jesus’ brother, also neglected to document a single fact about Jesus in his letter. Neither Paul nor James knew Jesus was going to become a hero-figure - because the Gospels had not been written yet, so Jesus’ status as a legendary character had not yet been created.

Who then, was Paul’s Christ? It was someone who Paul thought had existed in heaven since the beginning of time, yet only revealed to the world via Paul’s own peculiar interpretation of Jewish scripture. In the Gentile world of the time there was competition from many dying and rising gods such as Mithras. Those gods often did not have a mortal life that was remembered, just like Paul’s Christ. It was only the myth of them dying and rising again that gave them significance, just like Paul’s Christ. Paul’s Christ, real identity uncertain, appears to have been a Judaic myth invented to compete with these other cults. The idea that Paul’s Christ would one day be equated with Yeshua was probably never on Paul’s radar.

It is true that “Paul” mentions “Jesus” many times, yet “Jesus” may have been edited into Paul’s writings, where he had written only

“Christ.” I cannot prove this happened, yet it is a distinct possibility given that there was a culture that encouraged “pious fraud” amongst Christians in the second, third and fourth centuries (more on this later.) Or, it could be that Paul was using the (very common) name to represent a spirit, not a person.

“Paul” does say, once, in 1 Tim 6; 13, that Pontius Pilate crucified Jesus, yet this was probably not written by Paul. “Paul” does talk about what Christ allegedly said on the night he was betrayed, in the first letter to the Corinthians, but this whole passage is unique in that regard and therefore it too is suspiciously “unPauline.”

Most Christians who become aware of Paul’s lack of commentary on Jesus are perplexed, and with good reason. The almost complete absence of descriptions of Jesus in Paul’s writing undermines the account about Jesus’ activities in the Gospels. If Yeshua had been an inspiring, miracle working individual, someone with real feelings, empathy for his fellows, and charisma, who preached wise anecdotes that had so impressed his disciples and the crowds, Paul would have documented it, and he did not. Paul knew none of these stories about Yeshua.

Outside of Jewish scripture Paul only ever acknowledged one source of wisdom—himself.

Just who Paul thought his Christ was is a difficult concept to grasp, and maybe it is not worth spending too much time on. It is worth remembering that the sources of Paul’s ideas are obscure; that Paul’s writings have been tampered with, and that original meaning is often lost in translations. Further complications are introduced by realizing that the Jesus stories we know so well only finished being cobbled together in the fourth century, and that Paul had never read them.

( http://www.jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/parttwo.htm )
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31-10-2015, 01:47 PM (This post was last modified: 31-10-2015 04:22 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(30-10-2015 01:34 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
Quote: Q, you wrote

"What Paul said was He received the gospel from Jesus,"

Well, actually, as already explained to you, NO. You simply ignored my arguments why. Here is a repeat of my argument, perhaps better worded, as presented by Earl Doherty, who is a much better known author than me. I doubt you will read it, and if you do you won't understand it. I'm putting it here for anyone who is interested in the truth...

Doherty writes in part, “Paul lives in a world of divine REVELATION… It would seem that for Paul the mark of the true apostle is the reception of the proper visionary REVELATION and authority from God… Paul operates in a world of perceived REVELATION from God…” so the person who may misunderstand Doherty is yourself. I wrote, “Paul said He RECEIVED the gospel from Jesus”.

Whether or not Paul DID receive his gospel or not is a highlight of this debate, of course. You are taking the stance he didn’t and you quoted Doherty, who agrees. However, I did indeed express the facts under debate quite accurately.

Quote: "Did Paul also manufacture Jesus’s statement, “The Father and I are One!” "

No. the gospels weren't written at the time Paul wrote so Paul would never have heard this statement.

Not the issue. The issue where I was refuting you was that Paul and the gospels differ on the divinity of Jesus. They do not. Actually, if you knew the NT better, you’d be able to argue effectively that Paul downplayed Jesus’s divinity compared to the gospels!

Quote: So Jesus said he is a part of, and equal to, his father, but Jesus also spoke of his father as someone else:

“...for the father is greater than I” (John 14:28, NJB,)

You might exceed your own father in education, strength and so on, but would humbly acknowledge him as senior. You are overreaching here.

As for mentioning Christians who warred over heresy here, instead of complaining about 4th century controversies—for which there is more textual evidence than your Pauline theories, by the way—you’d do better to pursue peace with Christians and other theists rather than attacking us incessantly. Be the solution you envision, sir!

Quote: Some Christian apologists use logical fallacies to justify their beliefs; for example

- A lot of other people believe too (Argumentum ad numerum.)
Or they appeal to the testimony of an authority not discussing their specialty. (Argumentum ad verecundiam.)
Or it is a very popular belief (Argumentum ad populum.)
Or it is a very old belief (Argumentum ad antiquitatem.)
Or the belief has been repeated often (Argumentum ad nauseam.)
Or they are afraid of the consequences of not believing (Argumentum ad baculum.)
Or an argument has not yet been proven false (Argumentum ad ignorantiam.)

None of these fallacies are based on a rational examination of facts.[quote]

Thanks for sharing more about your journey, but atheists have fallen prey to all these logical fallacies and more, as I’ve seen during my brief tenure at TTA.

[quote]The Jewish people were not looking for a new religion, they were longing for freedom.

I love how you bold it as if you are teaching me something. Of COURSE the Jews were looking for a Messiah to fulfill warrior prophecies and throw off the hated shackles of Rome. That’s part and parcel of the entire NT dialogue, not just Paul.

The problem is that Christianity as it appears in the NT isn’t a new religion, but Judaism. Or if you like, because you love to tell us all (in the name of your atheistic zeal for Judaism?) that it WAS a new religion—let's call it Judaism with a reformer.

PS. If there was no inimical intent in your studies, once you were an atheist/and since you “always suspected” Christian untruths regardless, why do seven years of study? After becoming a Christian, I did about seven days of study on Islam—anyone reading the Qu’ran can see the difficulties there. No, I think you have an axe to grind. If it's "so obvious" how bad the Bible is when you read it, why go further?

Quote: "You posted hundreds of words against religion in general, citing everyone from President Reagan to Gregory Paul, lashing out."

No. Just against Christianity.

Did you read it? Examine the study for yourself? Where is your commentary on it?

My commentary is that you still don’t understand formal debate concepts. We are resolved: “Paul is a charlatan” not “Christianity sucks” or “Religion is wrong”. One more time, if you cannot confine yourself to the resolution, you have the emotional strength of a child and this debate becomes irrelevant and more of a time waster for me than it is already. You wrote recently that you don't mind my critique, indeed you crave it, but I will withhold it if your rants will not address the resolution YOU chose for this debate!

Quote: "I wonder where (our PC society, no doubt) you formulated the idea that someone who speaks out publicly against homosexuality is not merely homophobic, but a closet homosexual."

I never said anything remotely like this, and this is the second time I've told you that.

Way to duck and dodge. Try answering my actual query! You are guilty of the worst imaginable gay baiting by insisting that Paul, whom everyone knows is against homosexuality, is a gay liar and charlatan. Shame on you. Stop it.

Quote: "You had to have reason and evidence to accept a letter as authentic, rather than what the world says, that willy-nilly decisions were made."

Bullshit! There was lip service paid to this ideal, but it was never put into practise.

You couldn’t be more wrong, although we can say this about deutero-Paul theory. I would be happy to cite thousands of words here against this latest polemic of yours but you are AGAIN off topic. Stop.

Quote: 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

4 Nicodemus was perplexed, and saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

Correct! As I wrote, you seem AMAZED that Jesus taught being born again is different than the physical birth, yet, as I wrote, here it is with Nicodemus. As a doctor, you fully understand many of the wonders of human birth. I wish you indeed also would understand the second, spiritual birth/rebirth.

Quote: NO, you are just extremely lazy because you haven't even tried to understand what I am saying.

There may have been a real historical Yeshua. If there was, he was knocked off by the Romans for being a political insurgent.

A few decades later the Roman government, who controlled the spread of literature at the time, wrote the gospels and thereby created "Jesus." They used the memory of the political insurgent, but reinvented his story. They put pacifist words in his mouth. It's called propaganda...a rewrite of history, and the government (the Flavians) were very good at it.

Surely you can understand this, even if you don't agree with it.

The reason why I challenged you is because of the statistical difficulties involved. You posit Paul as a Roman conspirator but since he lines up doctrinally and in every way with the other 8 NT authors, were they all conspirators? Or only the 4 authors/sources of the 4 gospels? And were the two dozen different OT authors all conspirators, for Babylon, perhaps?

Or is it as you wrote--Jesus did a little insurgency, than conspirators twisted his words to lie and say he did miracles, than a charlatan, Paul, changed these things and wrote more lies, then a new set of gospel writers wrote more lies, then Roman conspirators wrote deutero-Paul--you see how ridiculous this all sounds?

Of course, you are down the natural outcome of a road—the Bible isn’t a conspiracy, it’s a conspiracy atop a conspiracy atop a conspiracy ad infinitum. I’d ask you to listen to yourself but spiritual blindness, it seems, makes this impossible for you.

Quote: "I think you are confusing “universally accepted” with “universally accepted in secular universities by religion professors”. You know that hundreds of millions of people read the scriptures without your ideas imposed on the Bible."

A logical fallacy. Argumentum ad numerum. The fact that millions of people believe something does not make it true.

It is also a logical fallacy because you are appealing to the testimony of an authority not discussing their specialty. (Argumentum ad verecundiam.)

I’d let this slide but… you are 100% wrong. I was rather pointing out your use of the word “universal” when you meant “a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the persons”. You KNOW that most persons disbelieve the few persons you said were “universally in accord”. I wasn't making an ad populum appeal, I was pointing out you used the wrong words. And if you stopped ranting for a moment, you would have written "Sorry, meant almost universal among scholars."

"I love how you bold it as if you are teaching me something."

Writes he who is so self righteous he refuses to learn anything new...Drinking Beverage
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31-10-2015, 02:28 PM (This post was last modified: 31-10-2015 05:19 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(30-10-2015 01:34 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
Quote: Q, you wrote

"What Paul said was He received the gospel from Jesus,"

Well, actually, as already explained to you, NO. You simply ignored my arguments why. Here is a repeat of my argument, perhaps better worded, as presented by Earl Doherty, who is a much better known author than me. I doubt you will read it, and if you do you won't understand it. I'm putting it here for anyone who is interested in the truth...

Doherty writes in part, “Paul lives in a world of divine REVELATION… It would seem that for Paul the mark of the true apostle is the reception of the proper visionary REVELATION and authority from God… Paul operates in a world of perceived REVELATION from God…” so the person who may misunderstand Doherty is yourself. I wrote, “Paul said He RECEIVED the gospel from Jesus”.

Whether or not Paul DID receive his gospel or not is a highlight of this debate, of course. You are taking the stance he didn’t and you quoted Doherty, who agrees. However, I did indeed express the facts under debate quite accurately.

Quote: "Did Paul also manufacture Jesus’s statement, “The Father and I are One!” "

No. the gospels weren't written at the time Paul wrote so Paul would never have heard this statement.

Not the issue. The issue where I was refuting you was that Paul and the gospels differ on the divinity of Jesus. They do not. Actually, if you knew the NT better, you’d be able to argue effectively that Paul downplayed Jesus’s divinity compared to the gospels!

Quote: So Jesus said he is a part of, and equal to, his father, but Jesus also spoke of his father as someone else:

“...for the father is greater than I” (John 14:28, NJB,)

You might exceed your own father in education, strength and so on, but would humbly acknowledge him as senior. You are overreaching here.

As for mentioning Christians who warred over heresy here, instead of complaining about 4th century controversies—for which there is more textual evidence than your Pauline theories, by the way—you’d do better to pursue peace with Christians and other theists rather than attacking us incessantly. Be the solution you envision, sir!

Quote: Some Christian apologists use logical fallacies to justify their beliefs; for example

- A lot of other people believe too (Argumentum ad numerum.)
Or they appeal to the testimony of an authority not discussing their specialty. (Argumentum ad verecundiam.)
Or it is a very popular belief (Argumentum ad populum.)
Or it is a very old belief (Argumentum ad antiquitatem.)
Or the belief has been repeated often (Argumentum ad nauseam.)
Or they are afraid of the consequences of not believing (Argumentum ad baculum.)
Or an argument has not yet been proven false (Argumentum ad ignorantiam.)

None of these fallacies are based on a rational examination of facts.[quote]

Thanks for sharing more about your journey, but atheists have fallen prey to all these logical fallacies and more, as I’ve seen during my brief tenure at TTA.

[quote]The Jewish people were not looking for a new religion, they were longing for freedom.

I love how you bold it as if you are teaching me something. Of COURSE the Jews were looking for a Messiah to fulfill warrior prophecies and throw off the hated shackles of Rome. That’s part and parcel of the entire NT dialogue, not just Paul.

The problem is that Christianity as it appears in the NT isn’t a new religion, but Judaism. Or if you like, because you love to tell us all (in the name of your atheistic zeal for Judaism?) that it WAS a new religion—let's call it Judaism with a reformer.

PS. If there was no inimical intent in your studies, once you were an atheist/and since you “always suspected” Christian untruths regardless, why do seven years of study? After becoming a Christian, I did about seven days of study on Islam—anyone reading the Qu’ran can see the difficulties there. No, I think you have an axe to grind. If it's "so obvious" how bad the Bible is when you read it, why go further?

Quote: "You posted hundreds of words against religion in general, citing everyone from President Reagan to Gregory Paul, lashing out."

No. Just against Christianity.

Did you read it? Examine the study for yourself? Where is your commentary on it?

My commentary is that you still don’t understand formal debate concepts. We are resolved: “Paul is a charlatan” not “Christianity sucks” or “Religion is wrong”. One more time, if you cannot confine yourself to the resolution, you have the emotional strength of a child and this debate becomes irrelevant and more of a time waster for me than it is already. You wrote recently that you don't mind my critique, indeed you crave it, but I will withhold it if your rants will not address the resolution YOU chose for this debate!

Quote: "I wonder where (our PC society, no doubt) you formulated the idea that someone who speaks out publicly against homosexuality is not merely homophobic, but a closet homosexual."

I never said anything remotely like this, and this is the second time I've told you that.

Way to duck and dodge. Try answering my actual query! You are guilty of the worst imaginable gay baiting by insisting that Paul, whom everyone knows is against homosexuality, is a gay liar and charlatan. Shame on you. Stop it.

Quote: "You had to have reason and evidence to accept a letter as authentic, rather than what the world says, that willy-nilly decisions were made."

Bullshit! There was lip service paid to this ideal, but it was never put into practise.

You couldn’t be more wrong, although we can say this about deutero-Paul theory. I would be happy to cite thousands of words here against this latest polemic of yours but you are AGAIN off topic. Stop.

Quote: 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

4 Nicodemus was perplexed, and saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

Correct! As I wrote, you seem AMAZED that Jesus taught being born again is different than the physical birth, yet, as I wrote, here it is with Nicodemus. As a doctor, you fully understand many of the wonders of human birth. I wish you indeed also would understand the second, spiritual birth/rebirth.

Quote: NO, you are just extremely lazy because you haven't even tried to understand what I am saying.

There may have been a real historical Yeshua. If there was, he was knocked off by the Romans for being a political insurgent.

A few decades later the Roman government, who controlled the spread of literature at the time, wrote the gospels and thereby created "Jesus." They used the memory of the political insurgent, but reinvented his story. They put pacifist words in his mouth. It's called propaganda...a rewrite of history, and the government (the Flavians) were very good at it.

Surely you can understand this, even if you don't agree with it.

The reason why I challenged you is because of the statistical difficulties involved. You posit Paul as a Roman conspirator but since he lines up doctrinally and in every way with the other 8 NT authors, were they all conspirators? Or only the 4 authors/sources of the 4 gospels? And were the two dozen different OT authors all conspirators, for Babylon, perhaps?

Or is it as you wrote--Jesus did a little insurgency, than conspirators twisted his words to lie and say he did miracles, than a charlatan, Paul, changed these things and wrote more lies, then a new set of gospel writers wrote more lies, then Roman conspirators wrote deutero-Paul--you see how ridiculous this all sounds?

Of course, you are down the natural outcome of a road—the Bible isn’t a conspiracy, it’s a conspiracy atop a conspiracy atop a conspiracy ad infinitum. I’d ask you to listen to yourself but spiritual blindness, it seems, makes this impossible for you.

Quote: "I think you are confusing “universally accepted” with “universally accepted in secular universities by religion professors”. You know that hundreds of millions of people read the scriptures without your ideas imposed on the Bible."

A logical fallacy. Argumentum ad numerum. The fact that millions of people believe something does not make it true.

It is also a logical fallacy because you are appealing to the testimony of an authority not discussing their specialty. (Argumentum ad verecundiam.)

I’d let this slide but… you are 100% wrong. I was rather pointing out your use of the word “universal” when you meant “a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the persons”. You KNOW that most persons disbelieve the few persons you said were “universally in accord”. I wasn't making an ad populum appeal, I was pointing out you used the wrong words. And if you stopped ranting for a moment, you would have written "Sorry, meant almost universal among scholars."

Q, you wrote
"The problem is that Christianity as it appears in the NT isn’t a new religion, but Judaism."

You really have excelled yourself by writing stupid things in your last post. Christianity is not Judaism. The following sections of the new Testament prove why...

!. The book of Acts...

“Stephen was filled with grace and power and began to work miracles and great signs among the people” (Acts 6:8, NJB.)

The term “the Jews,” with a negative connotation, was introduced. Stephen debated “the Jews” from synagogues outside Jerusalem, so he was being used to represent Gentile Christianity.

Pharisees denounced Stephen, and he was put on trial before the Sanhedrin and accused of being an agitator. In a long speech in Acts 7, an angel-faced Christian Stephen replied by claiming the Jewish Law had now lost its relevance, as it had been replaced by faith in Christ. He delivered an ominous charge; the Jews had betrayed and killed Christ, just as their ancestors had killed earlier prophets:

“Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:51–56 KJV.)

The confident Christian Stephen openly slandered Jews by saying they’d always, throughout history, got things wrong, and that they’d repeated the act by killing Jesus. To add some color and weight to the argument, Jesus then appeared in the clouds next to Yahweh, just to prove how correct Stephen was, but the belligerent Jews never noticed the dynamic duo. They were so steamed up they stoned Stephen:

“At this all the members of the council shouted out and stopped their ears with their hands; then they all rushed at him, sent him out of the city and stoned him” (Acts 7:57–58, NJB.)

So the obstinate, misguided, teeth-gnashing, Christ-murdering Jews were pitched against Stephen, the angel-faced Christian apologist. Jewish beliefs were portrayed as incorrect and out-dated, and Jews as inflexible, angry, and aggressive when a Christian criticised them. Those stubborn Jews were so headstrong they never even noticed Yahweh had a newly invented son, Jesus. Christianity, the new kid on the block, was now the real religion. It had found its voice, then rejected its roots, like an opinionated adolescent who despises his deluded old dad.

2. Paul, one of the creators of Christian theology, wrote

“For this is what I received from the Lord, and in turn passed on to you: that on the same night he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread, and thanked God for it and broke it, and he said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this as a memorial of me.’ In the same way he took the cup after supper, and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me.’ Until the Lord comes, therefore, every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are proclaiming his death, and so anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will be behaving unworthily toward the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone is to recollect himself before eating this bread and drinking this cup; because a person who eats and drinks without recognizing the Body is eating and drinking his own condemnation. In fact that is why many of you are weak and ill and some of you have died. If only we recollected ourselves, we should not be punished like that. But when the Lord does punish us like that, it is to correct us and stop us from being condemned with the world. So to sum up, my dear brothers, when you meet for the Meal, wait for one another” (1 Cor. 11:23–34, NJB.)

If Paul actually wrote this, he was attempting to change some of the social habits of the community, perhaps to foster unity between different classes of people who finished work at different times, and invented a weak story about the Lord to do it. What’s surprising is that he acknowledged that a flesh-and-blood person ate and drank with others; nowhere else do any of the genuine Pauline letters discuss what Jesus supposedly said, which is why I suspect this passage was an interpolation.

There is a compelling reasons why this story isn’t historical. Jesus was Jewish, as were his disciples, and they obeyed the Torah. To them, eating human flesh or drinking blood, even in a symbolic sense, would have broken the strict kosher dietary rules. Even today Jews still insist on draining blood from slaughtered animals, as written in scriptures, (Lev. 7:26–27, 17:10–14) and will only eat the meat from animals that chew cud and have cloven hooves (Lev. 11:3, Deut. 14:6.) Yeshua and his followers would’ve been repulsed by the thought of anyone drinking his blood or eating his body.

Paul criticized “the Jews”

“For you, my brothers, have been like the churches of God in Christ Jesus which are in Judaea, in suffering the same treatment from your own countrymen as they have suffered from the Jews, the people who put the Lord Jesus to death, and the prophets too. And now they have been persecuting us, and acting in a way that cannot please God and makes them the enemies of the whole human race, because they are hindering us from preaching to the pagans and trying to save them” (1 Thess. 2:14–16 JB.)

Paul sounds like a Roman government employee. He was astonishingly critical of “the Jews,” accusing them of murdering Jesus. He damned an entire nation and an ancient religion. It’s interesting to realize that he was probably referring to the Nazarenes, the very people who were Yeshua’s true disciples.

Christianity has always been at loggerheads with Judaism. Churches say Jesus was the messiah as promised to the Jewish nation in scripture. Jews, Jesus’ own people, say he definitely wasn’t. (http://www.youtube.com/user/JewsforJudai...-g_TtGhI). There’s no common ground in the argument. Paul’s condemnation of the Jews added fuel to the fire.

Devout Jews (such as the Nazarenes) despised Paul and rejected his ramblings. The idea that their mysterious, perfect, one and only God could be incarnated in a Christ was unthinkable to them. They couldn’t imagine that their God could die, or that a Christ’s death somehow addressed man’s sins. For them the kingdom of God promised in scripture never was in a hypothetical heaven, but was to be on earth in the here and now. Their messiah wasn’t some savior of souls, but a leader of the Jews who was to herald in a glorious age in which Israel triumphed and pagans recognized the glory of their god, Yahweh. He was to build the temple, (Ezek. 37:26–28) gather all Jews back to Israel, (Isa. 43:5–6) and, importantly, bring an end to Roman rule. He was supposed to end all exploitation, corruption, famine, disease, and war. Paul’s Christ had done none of these things, and Paul had attributed his Christ to initiating a host of changes to dogmas of Judaism.

Paul claimed:

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified” (Gal. 2;16, KJV)

and

“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law” (Gal. 3:13, KJV)

and

“Before faith came, we were allowed no freedom by the Law; we were being looked after till faith was revealed. The law was to be our guardian until the Christ came and we could be justified by faith. Now that that time has come we are no longer under that guardian, and you are, all of you, sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. All baptized in Christ, you have all clothed yourself in Christ, and there are no more distinctions between Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female, but all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:23–28, NJB.)

Jews didn’t buy this. They wouldn’t be Jewish if they did. They believed - and still do - that the way to find favor with God was to obey “the Law” - that is, the Torah, as allegedly taught by Moses. There’s no mention in their scriptures about an end to the covenant God made with their ancestors on Mount Sinai. Jews regarded the Law almost like a gift from their God, not a curse, or an imposition on freedom. They didn’t recognize such thing as a “new covenant.” Why would they give up centuries of tradition to believe a renegade like Paul?

Imagine a hypothetical modern analogy; a fanatic from a small cult, such as the “branch davidians,” grabbing a microphone during a Catholic mass at the Vatican, and proclaiming that David Koresh was Jesus’ son, and Koresh’s teachings replaced the sermon on the mount. Paul was behaving like a deluded fanatic.

Paul had an ambivalent attitude to Jewish scripture, which varied with the audience he was writing to. At times he used it to justify his own ideas, such as when writing to “Hellenized” Jews in the diaspora. Yet when writing to Gentiles he claimed large parts of it were redundant.

Yeshua had died over a decade before Paul appeared on the scene, and I think would have been perplexed and offended by the idea that his death could somehow give Gentiles a ticket to heaven. He hated the Romans, (they did nail him to a cross!) and never imagined that Yahweh, whom he never regarded as his temporal sire, would grant them a place in heaven!

Most Jews believed God dwelt in the temple, in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital. Paul made a cavalier dismissal of the importance of the temple by suggesting that all believers become a temple for God:

“And that is what we are—the temple of the living God” (2 Cor. 6:15, NJB) and

“Didn’t you realize that you were God’s Temple” (1 Cor. 3:16 JB.) He was trying to expand God’s seat of power out of Jerusalem and into the whole known world. Yet for most first century Jews this downplayed the importance of the temple, the geographical pivot of Judaism.

Jews thought they were Abraham’s descendants and God’s special people. Yet Paul claimed:

“Those therefore who rely on faith receive the same blessing as Abraham, the man of faith.” (Gal. 3:9, NJB,) and

“Merely by belonging to Christ you are the posterity of Abraham, the heirs he was promised” (Gal. 3:29, NJB.)

He wanted believing Gentiles to consider themselves God’s chosen, so that they too were special, and weaken the patriotic fervor of Jews by downplaying their exclusivity.

Throughout Paul’s travels, Paul the photo Christian was initially welcome in synagogues because he masqueraded as a traditional Jew, but after Jews heard what he had to say, he was rejected, sometimes even beaten and pelted with rocks; a repetitive pattern portrayed in Acts. They liked to think they were a chosen race, superior in all ways, and in God’s eyes, to the pagan hordes. These Jews must have imagined Paul was upsetting their God, and the whole Jewish community would suffer as a consequence. Is it any wonder they physically attacked him? Jesus’ own people were attacking Paul because he was promoting Christian ideas, a fact that should raise eyebrows in today’s churches.

In the decades Paul was preaching, the Nazarenes were expanding into a significant force under James’ leadership in Jerusalem. They also enjoyed a strong membership among Jews throughout the empire. They definitely didn’t preach the divinity of Christ, nor intend to start a new religion. Paul, when he wasn’t pretending to be one of them, considered them competitors. He got very upset when he encountered rival missionaries, who were probably Nazarene, and complained bitterly about them hijacking “his” converts. He cursed them, using the undeniable truth of his own gospel as justification:

“I am astonished at the promptness with which you have turned away from the one who called you and have decided to follow a different version of the Good News. Not that there can be more than one Good News; it is merely that some trouble makers among you want to change the Good News of Christ; and let me warn you that if anyone preaches a version of the Good News different from the one that we have already preached to you, whether it be ourselves or an angel from heaven, he is condemned” (Gal. 1:6–9, NJB.)

He sounds like an upset child whose best friend has gone off to play with someone else. It’s ironic that he was accusing his adversaries of the very thing he was guilty of - preaching a fabrication! He clearly undermined Yeshua’s family and disciples behind their backs. He was surprised and angry to find himself competing with them for people’s allegiance. They were treading on what he considered his turf. How dare they preach old-fashioned Jewish theology and disrupt his mission to set up communities of believers! Those annoying war-mongering Jews promoted subversive fantasies about a messiah, but today’s God had revealed to him the real Christ, the up-to-date modern Christ! He, not them, was plugging the “good news.” He claimed he knew what the flexible, expansionist, less violent, less Judaic God expected in these modern, pro-Roman times. He thought of himself as an educated, savvy sophisticate who knew a stack more about selling religion than the old fashioned anti-Roman Jewish bumpkins from Jerusalem!

3. the gospel authors had "the Jews" say statements like

“His blood be on us and our children” (Matt. 27:24–25, NJB.)

thereby creating a wall of division and animosity between Jews and the Christian world.


Q, your own babble makes it clear that Judaism and Christianity are two separate entities.

PS I just found this comment from Aliza in another boxing ring debate...

"When you go from thinking that this person is a good teacher who is going to restore the land of Israel to actually worshiping this human as though he was G-d, then it ceases to be a Jewish concept. That's it; end game. We’ve now gone from the Roadrunner to Pride and Prejudice. It’s just no longer Jewish and the Jewishness of the founders doesn't factor into the equation."
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31-10-2015, 02:42 PM (This post was last modified: 31-10-2015 09:04 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(30-10-2015 01:34 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
Quote: Q, you wrote

"What Paul said was He received the gospel from Jesus,"

Well, actually, as already explained to you, NO. You simply ignored my arguments why. Here is a repeat of my argument, perhaps better worded, as presented by Earl Doherty, who is a much better known author than me. I doubt you will read it, and if you do you won't understand it. I'm putting it here for anyone who is interested in the truth...

Doherty writes in part, “Paul lives in a world of divine REVELATION… It would seem that for Paul the mark of the true apostle is the reception of the proper visionary REVELATION and authority from God… Paul operates in a world of perceived REVELATION from God…” so the person who may misunderstand Doherty is yourself. I wrote, “Paul said He RECEIVED the gospel from Jesus”.

Whether or not Paul DID receive his gospel or not is a highlight of this debate, of course. You are taking the stance he didn’t and you quoted Doherty, who agrees. However, I did indeed express the facts under debate quite accurately.

Quote: "Did Paul also manufacture Jesus’s statement, “The Father and I are One!” "

No. the gospels weren't written at the time Paul wrote so Paul would never have heard this statement.

Not the issue. The issue where I was refuting you was that Paul and the gospels differ on the divinity of Jesus. They do not. Actually, if you knew the NT better, you’d be able to argue effectively that Paul downplayed Jesus’s divinity compared to the gospels!

Quote: So Jesus said he is a part of, and equal to, his father, but Jesus also spoke of his father as someone else:

“...for the father is greater than I” (John 14:28, NJB,)

You might exceed your own father in education, strength and so on, but would humbly acknowledge him as senior. You are overreaching here.

As for mentioning Christians who warred over heresy here, instead of complaining about 4th century controversies—for which there is more textual evidence than your Pauline theories, by the way—you’d do better to pursue peace with Christians and other theists rather than attacking us incessantly. Be the solution you envision, sir!

Quote: Some Christian apologists use logical fallacies to justify their beliefs; for example

- A lot of other people believe too (Argumentum ad numerum.)
Or they appeal to the testimony of an authority not discussing their specialty. (Argumentum ad verecundiam.)
Or it is a very popular belief (Argumentum ad populum.)
Or it is a very old belief (Argumentum ad antiquitatem.)
Or the belief has been repeated often (Argumentum ad nauseam.)
Or they are afraid of the consequences of not believing (Argumentum ad baculum.)
Or an argument has not yet been proven false (Argumentum ad ignorantiam.)

None of these fallacies are based on a rational examination of facts.[quote]

Thanks for sharing more about your journey, but atheists have fallen prey to all these logical fallacies and more, as I’ve seen during my brief tenure at TTA.

[quote]The Jewish people were not looking for a new religion, they were longing for freedom.

I love how you bold it as if you are teaching me something. Of COURSE the Jews were looking for a Messiah to fulfill warrior prophecies and throw off the hated shackles of Rome. That’s part and parcel of the entire NT dialogue, not just Paul.

The problem is that Christianity as it appears in the NT isn’t a new religion, but Judaism. Or if you like, because you love to tell us all (in the name of your atheistic zeal for Judaism?) that it WAS a new religion—let's call it Judaism with a reformer.

PS. If there was no inimical intent in your studies, once you were an atheist/and since you “always suspected” Christian untruths regardless, why do seven years of study? After becoming a Christian, I did about seven days of study on Islam—anyone reading the Qu’ran can see the difficulties there. No, I think you have an axe to grind. If it's "so obvious" how bad the Bible is when you read it, why go further?

Quote: "You posted hundreds of words against religion in general, citing everyone from President Reagan to Gregory Paul, lashing out."

No. Just against Christianity.

Did you read it? Examine the study for yourself? Where is your commentary on it?

My commentary is that you still don’t understand formal debate concepts. We are resolved: “Paul is a charlatan” not “Christianity sucks” or “Religion is wrong”. One more time, if you cannot confine yourself to the resolution, you have the emotional strength of a child and this debate becomes irrelevant and more of a time waster for me than it is already. You wrote recently that you don't mind my critique, indeed you crave it, but I will withhold it if your rants will not address the resolution YOU chose for this debate!

Quote: "I wonder where (our PC society, no doubt) you formulated the idea that someone who speaks out publicly against homosexuality is not merely homophobic, but a closet homosexual."

I never said anything remotely like this, and this is the second time I've told you that.

Way to duck and dodge. Try answering my actual query! You are guilty of the worst imaginable gay baiting by insisting that Paul, whom everyone knows is against homosexuality, is a gay liar and charlatan. Shame on you. Stop it.

Quote: "You had to have reason and evidence to accept a letter as authentic, rather than what the world says, that willy-nilly decisions were made."

Bullshit! There was lip service paid to this ideal, but it was never put into practise.

You couldn’t be more wrong, although we can say this about deutero-Paul theory. I would be happy to cite thousands of words here against this latest polemic of yours but you are AGAIN off topic. Stop.

Quote: 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

4 Nicodemus was perplexed, and saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

Correct! As I wrote, you seem AMAZED that Jesus taught being born again is different than the physical birth, yet, as I wrote, here it is with Nicodemus. As a doctor, you fully understand many of the wonders of human birth. I wish you indeed also would understand the second, spiritual birth/rebirth.

Quote: NO, you are just extremely lazy because you haven't even tried to understand what I am saying.

There may have been a real historical Yeshua. If there was, he was knocked off by the Romans for being a political insurgent.

A few decades later the Roman government, who controlled the spread of literature at the time, wrote the gospels and thereby created "Jesus." They used the memory of the political insurgent, but reinvented his story. They put pacifist words in his mouth. It's called propaganda...a rewrite of history, and the government (the Flavians) were very good at it.

Surely you can understand this, even if you don't agree with it.

The reason why I challenged you is because of the statistical difficulties involved. You posit Paul as a Roman conspirator but since he lines up doctrinally and in every way with the other 8 NT authors, were they all conspirators? Or only the 4 authors/sources of the 4 gospels? And were the two dozen different OT authors all conspirators, for Babylon, perhaps?

Or is it as you wrote--Jesus did a little insurgency, than conspirators twisted his words to lie and say he did miracles, than a charlatan, Paul, changed these things and wrote more lies, then a new set of gospel writers wrote more lies, then Roman conspirators wrote deutero-Paul--you see how ridiculous this all sounds?

Of course, you are down the natural outcome of a road—the Bible isn’t a conspiracy, it’s a conspiracy atop a conspiracy atop a conspiracy ad infinitum. I’d ask you to listen to yourself but spiritual blindness, it seems, makes this impossible for you.

Quote: "I think you are confusing “universally accepted” with “universally accepted in secular universities by religion professors”. You know that hundreds of millions of people read the scriptures without your ideas imposed on the Bible."

A logical fallacy. Argumentum ad numerum. The fact that millions of people believe something does not make it true.

It is also a logical fallacy because you are appealing to the testimony of an authority not discussing their specialty. (Argumentum ad verecundiam.)

I’d let this slide but… you are 100% wrong. I was rather pointing out your use of the word “universal” when you meant “a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the persons”. You KNOW that most persons disbelieve the few persons you said were “universally in accord”. I wasn't making an ad populum appeal, I was pointing out you used the wrong words. And if you stopped ranting for a moment, you would have written "Sorry, meant almost universal among scholars."

"If there was no inimical intent in your studies, once you were an atheist/and since you “always suspected” Christian untruths regardless, why do seven years of study? After becoming a Christian, I did about seven days of study on Islam—anyone reading the Qu’ran can see the difficulties there. No, I think you have an axe to grind. If it's "so obvious" how bad the Bible is when you read it, why go further?"

1. Because I'm a humanitarian, and
2. I like to know what I'm talking about before I open my mouth.

http://www.markfulton.org/the-psychologi...istianity/
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31-10-2015, 03:14 PM (This post was last modified: 31-10-2015 03:35 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(30-10-2015 01:34 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
Quote: Q, you wrote

"What Paul said was He received the gospel from Jesus,"

Well, actually, as already explained to you, NO. You simply ignored my arguments why. Here is a repeat of my argument, perhaps better worded, as presented by Earl Doherty, who is a much better known author than me. I doubt you will read it, and if you do you won't understand it. I'm putting it here for anyone who is interested in the truth...

Doherty writes in part, “Paul lives in a world of divine REVELATION… It would seem that for Paul the mark of the true apostle is the reception of the proper visionary REVELATION and authority from God… Paul operates in a world of perceived REVELATION from God…” so the person who may misunderstand Doherty is yourself. I wrote, “Paul said He RECEIVED the gospel from Jesus”.

Whether or not Paul DID receive his gospel or not is a highlight of this debate, of course. You are taking the stance he didn’t and you quoted Doherty, who agrees. However, I did indeed express the facts under debate quite accurately.

Quote: "Did Paul also manufacture Jesus’s statement, “The Father and I are One!” "

No. the gospels weren't written at the time Paul wrote so Paul would never have heard this statement.

Not the issue. The issue where I was refuting you was that Paul and the gospels differ on the divinity of Jesus. They do not. Actually, if you knew the NT better, you’d be able to argue effectively that Paul downplayed Jesus’s divinity compared to the gospels!

Quote: So Jesus said he is a part of, and equal to, his father, but Jesus also spoke of his father as someone else:

“...for the father is greater than I” (John 14:28, NJB,)

You might exceed your own father in education, strength and so on, but would humbly acknowledge him as senior. You are overreaching here.

As for mentioning Christians who warred over heresy here, instead of complaining about 4th century controversies—for which there is more textual evidence than your Pauline theories, by the way—you’d do better to pursue peace with Christians and other theists rather than attacking us incessantly. Be the solution you envision, sir!

Quote: Some Christian apologists use logical fallacies to justify their beliefs; for example

- A lot of other people believe too (Argumentum ad numerum.)
Or they appeal to the testimony of an authority not discussing their specialty. (Argumentum ad verecundiam.)
Or it is a very popular belief (Argumentum ad populum.)
Or it is a very old belief (Argumentum ad antiquitatem.)
Or the belief has been repeated often (Argumentum ad nauseam.)
Or they are afraid of the consequences of not believing (Argumentum ad baculum.)
Or an argument has not yet been proven false (Argumentum ad ignorantiam.)

None of these fallacies are based on a rational examination of facts.[quote]

Thanks for sharing more about your journey, but atheists have fallen prey to all these logical fallacies and more, as I’ve seen during my brief tenure at TTA.

[quote]The Jewish people were not looking for a new religion, they were longing for freedom.

I love how you bold it as if you are teaching me something. Of COURSE the Jews were looking for a Messiah to fulfill warrior prophecies and throw off the hated shackles of Rome. That’s part and parcel of the entire NT dialogue, not just Paul.

The problem is that Christianity as it appears in the NT isn’t a new religion, but Judaism. Or if you like, because you love to tell us all (in the name of your atheistic zeal for Judaism?) that it WAS a new religion—let's call it Judaism with a reformer.

PS. If there was no inimical intent in your studies, once you were an atheist/and since you “always suspected” Christian untruths regardless, why do seven years of study? After becoming a Christian, I did about seven days of study on Islam—anyone reading the Qu’ran can see the difficulties there. No, I think you have an axe to grind. If it's "so obvious" how bad the Bible is when you read it, why go further?

Quote: "You posted hundreds of words against religion in general, citing everyone from President Reagan to Gregory Paul, lashing out."

No. Just against Christianity.

Did you read it? Examine the study for yourself? Where is your commentary on it?

My commentary is that you still don’t understand formal debate concepts. We are resolved: “Paul is a charlatan” not “Christianity sucks” or “Religion is wrong”. One more time, if you cannot confine yourself to the resolution, you have the emotional strength of a child and this debate becomes irrelevant and more of a time waster for me than it is already. You wrote recently that you don't mind my critique, indeed you crave it, but I will withhold it if your rants will not address the resolution YOU chose for this debate!

Quote: "I wonder where (our PC society, no doubt) you formulated the idea that someone who speaks out publicly against homosexuality is not merely homophobic, but a closet homosexual."

I never said anything remotely like this, and this is the second time I've told you that.

Way to duck and dodge. Try answering my actual query! You are guilty of the worst imaginable gay baiting by insisting that Paul, whom everyone knows is against homosexuality, is a gay liar and charlatan. Shame on you. Stop it.

Quote: "You had to have reason and evidence to accept a letter as authentic, rather than what the world says, that willy-nilly decisions were made."

Bullshit! There was lip service paid to this ideal, but it was never put into practise.

You couldn’t be more wrong, although we can say this about deutero-Paul theory. I would be happy to cite thousands of words here against this latest polemic of yours but you are AGAIN off topic. Stop.

Quote: 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

4 Nicodemus was perplexed, and saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

Correct! As I wrote, you seem AMAZED that Jesus taught being born again is different than the physical birth, yet, as I wrote, here it is with Nicodemus. As a doctor, you fully understand many of the wonders of human birth. I wish you indeed also would understand the second, spiritual birth/rebirth.

Quote: NO, you are just extremely lazy because you haven't even tried to understand what I am saying.

There may have been a real historical Yeshua. If there was, he was knocked off by the Romans for being a political insurgent.

A few decades later the Roman government, who controlled the spread of literature at the time, wrote the gospels and thereby created "Jesus." They used the memory of the political insurgent, but reinvented his story. They put pacifist words in his mouth. It's called propaganda...a rewrite of history, and the government (the Flavians) were very good at it.

Surely you can understand this, even if you don't agree with it.

The reason why I challenged you is because of the statistical difficulties involved. You posit Paul as a Roman conspirator but since he lines up doctrinally and in every way with the other 8 NT authors, were they all conspirators? Or only the 4 authors/sources of the 4 gospels? And were the two dozen different OT authors all conspirators, for Babylon, perhaps?

Or is it as you wrote--Jesus did a little insurgency, than conspirators twisted his words to lie and say he did miracles, than a charlatan, Paul, changed these things and wrote more lies, then a new set of gospel writers wrote more lies, then Roman conspirators wrote deutero-Paul--you see how ridiculous this all sounds?

Of course, you are down the natural outcome of a road—the Bible isn’t a conspiracy, it’s a conspiracy atop a conspiracy atop a conspiracy ad infinitum. I’d ask you to listen to yourself but spiritual blindness, it seems, makes this impossible for you.

Quote: "I think you are confusing “universally accepted” with “universally accepted in secular universities by religion professors”. You know that hundreds of millions of people read the scriptures without your ideas imposed on the Bible."

A logical fallacy. Argumentum ad numerum. The fact that millions of people believe something does not make it true.

It is also a logical fallacy because you are appealing to the testimony of an authority not discussing their specialty. (Argumentum ad verecundiam.)

I’d let this slide but… you are 100% wrong. I was rather pointing out your use of the word “universal” when you meant “a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the persons”. You KNOW that most persons disbelieve the few persons you said were “universally in accord”. I wasn't making an ad populum appeal, I was pointing out you used the wrong words. And if you stopped ranting for a moment, you would have written "Sorry, meant almost universal among scholars."

"you’d do better to pursue peace with Christians and other theists rather than attacking us incessantly."

Ah, NO.

I won't stop criticizing Christianity. Here's why.

Christianity was conceived to control people. It wasn’t built on a foundation of facts, so at its very core it’s fundamentally flawed. The punishment for not realizing this is the belief in something that is false.

What’s more, Christianity undermines international relations, promotes prejudices, stonewalls science, wastes resources and compromises psychological health. Children are still singing hymns, prattling off prayers and having their heads filled with tales about sin, Satan, Jesus, angels and creationism, in school! Right now, there are little ones lying in bed trembling at the idea that the devil wants to drag them to hell. Communities lorded over by the Vatican, or other businessmen, are milking the market. Every week, millions of hours are wasted in churches praising a god that doesn’t exist. Wars inflamed by religion are still being waged, homosexuals hounded, women denied the same opportunities as men, and there is still resistance to science and rational thought. Christians are turning to prayer rather than each other, and feel guilt about their own sexuality and other imaginary sins. The Vatican condemns condoms, but Catholic priests don’t change diapers, nurse people slowly dying from Aids, or pay for their expensive medicines. All of this is a travesty against humanity!

I think too many people believe Christianity is a benign belief that does no harm, that some people need it as a “crutch” to help them in difficult times, whereas Christianity is often the cause of the problem.

Prior to about the eighteenth century, if someone had been caught criticising Christianity, they could be burned at the stake. That had nothing to do with theology or ethics; it was all about power. Fortunately, Christian power has faded over the last three centuries in better-educated parts of the world. Part of the reason for that is that brave humanists and scientists refused to be silent or stop work when hounded by churches, often putting their lives in danger by doing so. If it hadn’t been for them, the Western world might still be living in the squalor and ignorance of the Dark Ages.

I believe the world would be a better, happier and safer place if Christianity disappeared. Visualize a world in which many more minority groups are respected. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all the time and energy currently used in going to church was somehow channeled into humanitarian projects to improve dietary health, sanitation and education? Think of the good work that could be done through secular organizations using money saved by not subsidizing churches.

Some people would suffer a temporary deep-seated loss, but I think most individuals would be happier and healthier, particularly if they embraced a newfound confidence in the wisdom and companionship, not of imaginary friends in the sky, but of their fellow men. The only people likely to suffer any long-term consequences would be some bean counters and clergy, who would lose their jobs, income and status, although most of them would be happier too when they found more meaningful employment. (http://www.clergyproject.org).

We’re currently in a very fast moving period in history, with yearly advances in communication, computing, energy production, astronomy and medicine. Secular humanism, always at the cutting edge of ethical guidelines, is replacing antiquated dogma, so is on the up. It’s easier to be a pro-active secularist than it used to be. I hope I’m doing my bit by helping people grow out of Christianity. I see it as my duty to step up and speak for the children, rationality and science. I know I’m not always right about everything, but I also know that if I do nothing, then I will always be wrong.

I invite everyone to join me. There are very lively public discussions in the public arena about reason and superstition, science and faith, so why not contribute? To encourage people to employ reason is to help them be clear-headed, open-minded, and to not waste time, or make life hard for others with irrational restrictions. Reason helps us, the human race, to progress to new heights. Science and genuine empathy, not faith and dogma, should be what gives us direction. Christian prejudices should be countered, because all people deserve respect, regardless of their gender, culture, religion or sexual inclination. I think the lies and immorality in the bible and the poor Christian philosophy promoted in churches, schools and the media should be challenged in the public arena and around dinner tables. It would be nice to see all parents allow their children a secular education.

I think Christianity will one day be socially unacceptable, in the same way smoking, homophobia, sexism and high fructose corn syrup are on the nose in most modern communities today.

Changing society’s standards seems like a daunting task, yet it has happened throughout history. Consider the abolition of slavery, the suffragette movement, the war against cigarette advertising, and the fight for gay respect. Change is initiated by inspiring visionaries like Emmeline Pankhurst, Harvey Milk and Christopher Hitchens, people who voiced objections to the way things were. They made a better world for all of us by putting in the effort. Humanity needs proactive people like them. If we all just sit around and watch, things won’t change, and the human race might drive itself into oblivion. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ2LehsA1dk).
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31-10-2015, 03:32 PM (This post was last modified: 31-10-2015 04:50 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(30-10-2015 01:34 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
Quote: Q, you wrote

"What Paul said was He received the gospel from Jesus,"

Well, actually, as already explained to you, NO. You simply ignored my arguments why. Here is a repeat of my argument, perhaps better worded, as presented by Earl Doherty, who is a much better known author than me. I doubt you will read it, and if you do you won't understand it. I'm putting it here for anyone who is interested in the truth...

Doherty writes in part, “Paul lives in a world of divine REVELATION… It would seem that for Paul the mark of the true apostle is the reception of the proper visionary REVELATION and authority from God… Paul operates in a world of perceived REVELATION from God…” so the person who may misunderstand Doherty is yourself. I wrote, “Paul said He RECEIVED the gospel from Jesus”.

Whether or not Paul DID receive his gospel or not is a highlight of this debate, of course. You are taking the stance he didn’t and you quoted Doherty, who agrees. However, I did indeed express the facts under debate quite accurately.

Quote: "Did Paul also manufacture Jesus’s statement, “The Father and I are One!” "

No. the gospels weren't written at the time Paul wrote so Paul would never have heard this statement.

Not the issue. The issue where I was refuting you was that Paul and the gospels differ on the divinity of Jesus. They do not. Actually, if you knew the NT better, you’d be able to argue effectively that Paul downplayed Jesus’s divinity compared to the gospels!

Quote: So Jesus said he is a part of, and equal to, his father, but Jesus also spoke of his father as someone else:

“...for the father is greater than I” (John 14:28, NJB,)

You might exceed your own father in education, strength and so on, but would humbly acknowledge him as senior. You are overreaching here.

As for mentioning Christians who warred over heresy here, instead of complaining about 4th century controversies—for which there is more textual evidence than your Pauline theories, by the way—you’d do better to pursue peace with Christians and other theists rather than attacking us incessantly. Be the solution you envision, sir!

Quote: Some Christian apologists use logical fallacies to justify their beliefs; for example

- A lot of other people believe too (Argumentum ad numerum.)
Or they appeal to the testimony of an authority not discussing their specialty. (Argumentum ad verecundiam.)
Or it is a very popular belief (Argumentum ad populum.)
Or it is a very old belief (Argumentum ad antiquitatem.)
Or the belief has been repeated often (Argumentum ad nauseam.)
Or they are afraid of the consequences of not believing (Argumentum ad baculum.)
Or an argument has not yet been proven false (Argumentum ad ignorantiam.)

None of these fallacies are based on a rational examination of facts.[quote]

Thanks for sharing more about your journey, but atheists have fallen prey to all these logical fallacies and more, as I’ve seen during my brief tenure at TTA.

[quote]The Jewish people were not looking for a new religion, they were longing for freedom.

I love how you bold it as if you are teaching me something. Of COURSE the Jews were looking for a Messiah to fulfill warrior prophecies and throw off the hated shackles of Rome. That’s part and parcel of the entire NT dialogue, not just Paul.

The problem is that Christianity as it appears in the NT isn’t a new religion, but Judaism. Or if you like, because you love to tell us all (in the name of your atheistic zeal for Judaism?) that it WAS a new religion—let's call it Judaism with a reformer.

PS. If there was no inimical intent in your studies, once you were an atheist/and since you “always suspected” Christian untruths regardless, why do seven years of study? After becoming a Christian, I did about seven days of study on Islam—anyone reading the Qu’ran can see the difficulties there. No, I think you have an axe to grind. If it's "so obvious" how bad the Bible is when you read it, why go further?

Quote: "You posted hundreds of words against religion in general, citing everyone from President Reagan to Gregory Paul, lashing out."

No. Just against Christianity.

Did you read it? Examine the study for yourself? Where is your commentary on it?

My commentary is that you still don’t understand formal debate concepts. We are resolved: “Paul is a charlatan” not “Christianity sucks” or “Religion is wrong”. One more time, if you cannot confine yourself to the resolution, you have the emotional strength of a child and this debate becomes irrelevant and more of a time waster for me than it is already. You wrote recently that you don't mind my critique, indeed you crave it, but I will withhold it if your rants will not address the resolution YOU chose for this debate!

Quote: "I wonder where (our PC society, no doubt) you formulated the idea that someone who speaks out publicly against homosexuality is not merely homophobic, but a closet homosexual."

I never said anything remotely like this, and this is the second time I've told you that.

Way to duck and dodge. Try answering my actual query! You are guilty of the worst imaginable gay baiting by insisting that Paul, whom everyone knows is against homosexuality, is a gay liar and charlatan. Shame on you. Stop it.

Quote: "You had to have reason and evidence to accept a letter as authentic, rather than what the world says, that willy-nilly decisions were made."

Bullshit! There was lip service paid to this ideal, but it was never put into practise.

You couldn’t be more wrong, although we can say this about deutero-Paul theory. I would be happy to cite thousands of words here against this latest polemic of yours but you are AGAIN off topic. Stop.

Quote: 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

4 Nicodemus was perplexed, and saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

Correct! As I wrote, you seem AMAZED that Jesus taught being born again is different than the physical birth, yet, as I wrote, here it is with Nicodemus. As a doctor, you fully understand many of the wonders of human birth. I wish you indeed also would understand the second, spiritual birth/rebirth.

Quote: NO, you are just extremely lazy because you haven't even tried to understand what I am saying.

There may have been a real historical Yeshua. If there was, he was knocked off by the Romans for being a political insurgent.

A few decades later the Roman government, who controlled the spread of literature at the time, wrote the gospels and thereby created "Jesus." They used the memory of the political insurgent, but reinvented his story. They put pacifist words in his mouth. It's called propaganda...a rewrite of history, and the government (the Flavians) were very good at it.

Surely you can understand this, even if you don't agree with it.

The reason why I challenged you is because of the statistical difficulties involved. You posit Paul as a Roman conspirator but since he lines up doctrinally and in every way with the other 8 NT authors, were they all conspirators? Or only the 4 authors/sources of the 4 gospels? And were the two dozen different OT authors all conspirators, for Babylon, perhaps?

Or is it as you wrote--Jesus did a little insurgency, than conspirators twisted his words to lie and say he did miracles, than a charlatan, Paul, changed these things and wrote more lies, then a new set of gospel writers wrote more lies, then Roman conspirators wrote deutero-Paul--you see how ridiculous this all sounds?

Of course, you are down the natural outcome of a road—the Bible isn’t a conspiracy, it’s a conspiracy atop a conspiracy atop a conspiracy ad infinitum. I’d ask you to listen to yourself but spiritual blindness, it seems, makes this impossible for you.

Quote: "I think you are confusing “universally accepted” with “universally accepted in secular universities by religion professors”. You know that hundreds of millions of people read the scriptures without your ideas imposed on the Bible."

A logical fallacy. Argumentum ad numerum. The fact that millions of people believe something does not make it true.

It is also a logical fallacy because you are appealing to the testimony of an authority not discussing their specialty. (Argumentum ad verecundiam.)

I’d let this slide but… you are 100% wrong. I was rather pointing out your use of the word “universal” when you meant “a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the persons”. You KNOW that most persons disbelieve the few persons you said were “universally in accord”. I wasn't making an ad populum appeal, I was pointing out you used the wrong words. And if you stopped ranting for a moment, you would have written "Sorry, meant almost universal among scholars."

"I’d ask you to listen to yourself but spiritual blindness, it seems, makes this impossible for you."

This is so ironic, coming from you.

"You are guilty of the worst imaginable gay baiting by insisting that Paul, whom everyone knows is against homosexuality, is a gay..."

I did not say this, and this is the third time I've told you so. I said that Paul may have been gay. And I didn't intend it as a derogatory comment (either to Paul as a person, or to his intellectual integrity), I was just stating a possibility.
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31-10-2015, 04:29 PM (This post was last modified: 31-10-2015 04:32 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(30-10-2015 01:34 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
Quote: Q, you wrote

"What Paul said was He received the gospel from Jesus,"

Well, actually, as already explained to you, NO. You simply ignored my arguments why. Here is a repeat of my argument, perhaps better worded, as presented by Earl Doherty, who is a much better known author than me. I doubt you will read it, and if you do you won't understand it. I'm putting it here for anyone who is interested in the truth...

Doherty writes in part, “Paul lives in a world of divine REVELATION… It would seem that for Paul the mark of the true apostle is the reception of the proper visionary REVELATION and authority from God… Paul operates in a world of perceived REVELATION from God…” so the person who may misunderstand Doherty is yourself. I wrote, “Paul said He RECEIVED the gospel from Jesus”.

Whether or not Paul DID receive his gospel or not is a highlight of this debate, of course. You are taking the stance he didn’t and you quoted Doherty, who agrees. However, I did indeed express the facts under debate quite accurately.

Quote: "Did Paul also manufacture Jesus’s statement, “The Father and I are One!” "

No. the gospels weren't written at the time Paul wrote so Paul would never have heard this statement.

Not the issue. The issue where I was refuting you was that Paul and the gospels differ on the divinity of Jesus. They do not. Actually, if you knew the NT better, you’d be able to argue effectively that Paul downplayed Jesus’s divinity compared to the gospels!

Quote: So Jesus said he is a part of, and equal to, his father, but Jesus also spoke of his father as someone else:

“...for the father is greater than I” (John 14:28, NJB,)

You might exceed your own father in education, strength and so on, but would humbly acknowledge him as senior. You are overreaching here.

As for mentioning Christians who warred over heresy here, instead of complaining about 4th century controversies—for which there is more textual evidence than your Pauline theories, by the way—you’d do better to pursue peace with Christians and other theists rather than attacking us incessantly. Be the solution you envision, sir!

Quote: Some Christian apologists use logical fallacies to justify their beliefs; for example

- A lot of other people believe too (Argumentum ad numerum.)
Or they appeal to the testimony of an authority not discussing their specialty. (Argumentum ad verecundiam.)
Or it is a very popular belief (Argumentum ad populum.)
Or it is a very old belief (Argumentum ad antiquitatem.)
Or the belief has been repeated often (Argumentum ad nauseam.)
Or they are afraid of the consequences of not believing (Argumentum ad baculum.)
Or an argument has not yet been proven false (Argumentum ad ignorantiam.)

None of these fallacies are based on a rational examination of facts.[quote]

Thanks for sharing more about your journey, but atheists have fallen prey to all these logical fallacies and more, as I’ve seen during my brief tenure at TTA.

[quote]The Jewish people were not looking for a new religion, they were longing for freedom.

I love how you bold it as if you are teaching me something. Of COURSE the Jews were looking for a Messiah to fulfill warrior prophecies and throw off the hated shackles of Rome. That’s part and parcel of the entire NT dialogue, not just Paul.

The problem is that Christianity as it appears in the NT isn’t a new religion, but Judaism. Or if you like, because you love to tell us all (in the name of your atheistic zeal for Judaism?) that it WAS a new religion—let's call it Judaism with a reformer.

PS. If there was no inimical intent in your studies, once you were an atheist/and since you “always suspected” Christian untruths regardless, why do seven years of study? After becoming a Christian, I did about seven days of study on Islam—anyone reading the Qu’ran can see the difficulties there. No, I think you have an axe to grind. If it's "so obvious" how bad the Bible is when you read it, why go further?

Quote: "You posted hundreds of words against religion in general, citing everyone from President Reagan to Gregory Paul, lashing out."

No. Just against Christianity.

Did you read it? Examine the study for yourself? Where is your commentary on it?

My commentary is that you still don’t understand formal debate concepts. We are resolved: “Paul is a charlatan” not “Christianity sucks” or “Religion is wrong”. One more time, if you cannot confine yourself to the resolution, you have the emotional strength of a child and this debate becomes irrelevant and more of a time waster for me than it is already. You wrote recently that you don't mind my critique, indeed you crave it, but I will withhold it if your rants will not address the resolution YOU chose for this debate!

Quote: "I wonder where (our PC society, no doubt) you formulated the idea that someone who speaks out publicly against homosexuality is not merely homophobic, but a closet homosexual."

I never said anything remotely like this, and this is the second time I've told you that.

Way to duck and dodge. Try answering my actual query! You are guilty of the worst imaginable gay baiting by insisting that Paul, whom everyone knows is against homosexuality, is a gay liar and charlatan. Shame on you. Stop it.

Quote: "You had to have reason and evidence to accept a letter as authentic, rather than what the world says, that willy-nilly decisions were made."

Bullshit! There was lip service paid to this ideal, but it was never put into practise.

You couldn’t be more wrong, although we can say this about deutero-Paul theory. I would be happy to cite thousands of words here against this latest polemic of yours but you are AGAIN off topic. Stop.

Quote: 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

4 Nicodemus was perplexed, and saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

Correct! As I wrote, you seem AMAZED that Jesus taught being born again is different than the physical birth, yet, as I wrote, here it is with Nicodemus. As a doctor, you fully understand many of the wonders of human birth. I wish you indeed also would understand the second, spiritual birth/rebirth.

Quote: NO, you are just extremely lazy because you haven't even tried to understand what I am saying.

There may have been a real historical Yeshua. If there was, he was knocked off by the Romans for being a political insurgent.

A few decades later the Roman government, who controlled the spread of literature at the time, wrote the gospels and thereby created "Jesus." They used the memory of the political insurgent, but reinvented his story. They put pacifist words in his mouth. It's called propaganda...a rewrite of history, and the government (the Flavians) were very good at it.

Surely you can understand this, even if you don't agree with it.

The reason why I challenged you is because of the statistical difficulties involved. You posit Paul as a Roman conspirator but since he lines up doctrinally and in every way with the other 8 NT authors, were they all conspirators? Or only the 4 authors/sources of the 4 gospels? And were the two dozen different OT authors all conspirators, for Babylon, perhaps?

Or is it as you wrote--Jesus did a little insurgency, than conspirators twisted his words to lie and say he did miracles, than a charlatan, Paul, changed these things and wrote more lies, then a new set of gospel writers wrote more lies, then Roman conspirators wrote deutero-Paul--you see how ridiculous this all sounds?

Of course, you are down the natural outcome of a road—the Bible isn’t a conspiracy, it’s a conspiracy atop a conspiracy atop a conspiracy ad infinitum. I’d ask you to listen to yourself but spiritual blindness, it seems, makes this impossible for you.

Quote: "I think you are confusing “universally accepted” with “universally accepted in secular universities by religion professors”. You know that hundreds of millions of people read the scriptures without your ideas imposed on the Bible."

A logical fallacy. Argumentum ad numerum. The fact that millions of people believe something does not make it true.

It is also a logical fallacy because you are appealing to the testimony of an authority not discussing their specialty. (Argumentum ad verecundiam.)

I’d let this slide but… you are 100% wrong. I was rather pointing out your use of the word “universal” when you meant “a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the persons”. You KNOW that most persons disbelieve the few persons you said were “universally in accord”. I wasn't making an ad populum appeal, I was pointing out you used the wrong words. And if you stopped ranting for a moment, you would have written "Sorry, meant almost universal among scholars."

Q, you wrote

"Of COURSE the Jews were looking for a Messiah to fulfill warrior prophecies and throw off the hated shackles of Rome. That’s part and parcel of the entire NT dialogue..."

I agree.

Do you think Jesus was a Jew?

Do you think Jesus thought he was the messiah?
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02-11-2015, 02:40 PM
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
Quote: Everywhere else that Paul talks about this, it is God who reveals the gospel, not Jesus Christ. For example...

“I, Paul, appointed by God to be an apostle” (1 Cor. 1:1, NJB)

“From Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus who has been called to be an apostle, and specially chosen to preach the Good News that God promised long ago through his prophets in the scriptures” (Rom. 1:1–3, NJB.)

Quite clearly, it is God who Paul thinks talks to him. What Paul means by this is that he thinks he has a special talent at interpreting scripture.

Not that I’m much interested in more of your Bible “interpretations” Mark, but you picked the wrong verses to make your point. 1) Paul being chosen or appointed by God to be an apostle does not preclude meeting Jesus on the Damascus road. 2) The other verse has Paul stating He is a servant of Jesus Christ rather than the Father! Your point is possible but not made with emphasis here.

Quote: "You might exceed your own father in education, strength and so on, but would humbly acknowledge him as senior. You are overreaching here."

This is not the issue.

Jeebus, in the gospels, could not decide whether he was the same thing, or separate from, his father.

I see. You are changing the issue again? Can we get back to Paul? Because if the gospels say BOTH things about Jesus, you’ve just undone one of your own arguments about Paul’s lying doctrine, besides!

Quote: you’d do better to pursue peace with Christians and other theists rather than attacking us incessantly.

How very Christian of you. You Christians all imagine you are under constant attack. Stop playing the poor me card.

We're having a discussion on the intellectual content of the Bible. Stop whingeing about how hurt your butt is... and defend your book.... unless, of course, you can't.

What a surprise (not)! You pulled my statement from its context. YOU are the person on the attack in the same post where YOU say the Christians weren’t peaceable or peacemakers. As I wrote, be the change you envision in the world.

And again, if you cannot control yourself to 1) stay on YOUR debate resolution 2) stay intelligent and factual rather than ranting like a five-year-old, I will exit the debate and you can have a (pyrrhic) victory. Choose.

Quote: My commentary is that you still don’t understand formal debate concepts. We are resolved: “Paul is a charlatan” not “Christianity sucks” or “Religion is wrong”. One more time, if you cannot confine yourself to the resolution, you have the emotional strength of a child and this debate becomes irrelevant and more of a time waster for me than it is already.

Haha. I was responding to the following statement from you.

And humanity is fighting an often-losing battle against unplanned pregnancy, poverty and STDs! YES, to be after strange flesh is self-destructive. This does not include marital sex.

I couldn't let this statement go without comment, as Christianity actually contributes to the problem.

It is YOU who wandered off the topic.

No, you weren’t.

PS. Even if Paul thought “sex is dirty” as you wrote, that makes him a prude, not a charlatan. YOU need to stay on topic.

Quote: "You posit Paul as a Roman conspirator but since he lines up doctrinally and in every way with the other 8 NT authors, were they all conspirators? Or only the 4 authors/sources of the 4 gospels? And were the two dozen different OT authors all conspirators..."

The new Testament was chosen, stitched together, edited and interpolated over a period of about 300 years. Most of the letters in the new Testament have been tailored to back up the Pauline epistles. The one glaring and obvious exception is the book of James which is adamantly anti-Pauline (as discussed.)

Were they all conspirators? Well... the original authors of the gospels were. Paul of course was. I think Peter and John were in on the game. So was the author of Acts. I don't know about Jude.

I don't know why you make the silly comment that you think that I think the old Testament authors were conspirators against Judaism. When you write ridiculous things like this I have to question
A) your intelligence and
B) whether you make any genuine effort to understand anything anyone else has written

I did not write the OT writers conspired against Judaism. You twisted what I wrote. I do also note that above you admit to the following conspirators:

Matthew’s author(s)

Mark’s “”

Luke’s “”

John’s “”

Peter

Acts’s author

Paul (or if you like, deutero-Paul)

That’s 7 different conspirators by YOUR count, each one with differing doctrines and agendas. I think perhaps at this point I should leave the debate since I’m apparently debating a paranoid man with severe delusions… do you have anything to say for yourself here? Were all 7 writers/teams of writers Roman conspirators? Is that why Rome killed and persecuted all 7? Give me a break, dude!

Anyway, Mark, I hope my restatement of YOUR concept illustrates that I not only understand it, but point out the inherent logical difficulties. I reject the Noble Qu’ran as uninspired, and it had one (oral) author, Muhammed. The Bible has dozens of authors—or as you believe—teams of authors and redactors, forcing you by design to make a silly statement—there were dozens of conspirators over many centuries. No.

Quote: Or is it as you wrote--Jesus did a little insurgency,

so far so good

than conspirators twisted his words to lie and say he did miracles,

well done, you've managed to string two coherent thoughts together

LAST TIME. Either speak to me like a gentleman or this (tiresome, ponderous) debate ends. Period.

Quote: For example, I am telling you that Paul was raised in the Pharisaic tradition, one that gave him the idea that "revelation" was an interpretation of Scripture.

You however, believe that a dead man, as a spirit, visited Paul and revealed a new gospel to him. This is despite the fact that Paul himself barely says this, but rather claims that he was a special interpreter of Scripture.

Yours is the ridiculous story, not mine.

Paul was a charlatan.

Thanks for presenting a Hume argument that miracles are unlikely and so must not happen. Again, however, you STATE Paul was a charlatan without providing evidence. PS. As Paul makes the case, it wasn’t a NEW gospel. And I’ve already refuted where you wrote Jesus had a different gospel—you said the quotations I made attributed to Jesus were “later insertions” to back up Paul’s case. So you have even MORE conspirators than 7 different writers doing different things that “became scripture hundreds of years later”! You have conspirators adding statements to the conspirators who wrote Jesus’s words to verify the conspirators who wrote Paul and deutero-Paul.

Quote:To anyone who has not been raised in Christianity, my explanation of the events makes far more logical sense than yours.

I was not raised in Christianity. You sound foolish.

Quote: The fact Paul didn't write about half the stuff attributed to him is almost universally accepted. Pick up almost any book on Paul and that fact is admitted."

I was discussing scholarly opinion, a fact I make clear.

Now, you didn’t. The more so since it is utterly untrue that ALMOST ANY BOOK ON PAUL says that. It is also a modern, even post-modern statement you are quoting.

Quote: "As I wrote, you seem AMAZED that Jesus taught being born again is different than the physical birth, yet, as I wrote, here it is with Nicodemus. As a doctor, you fully understand many of the wonders of human birth. I wish you indeed also would understand the second, spiritual birth/rebirth."

No, I am not amazed about anything in the babble. I'm simply suggesting perhaps you could come back down to planet earth and stop pretending you believe in primitive theological concepts that are ridiculous.

Being "born again," the idea of an eternal theme park in the sky (heaven), a man being sacrificed 2000 years ago for our sins, spirits, gods, miracles, etc etc are all concepts that slip easily from your tongue, yet they have no place in modern rational parlance.

No, no, no. YOU wrote how the Bible didn’t “get” we couldn’t enter into a womb again. I wrote that Jesus and Nicodemus discussed the topic—that precise topic—and then you shifted the goal posts after butchering the normal understanding of John 3.

Quote:
You really have excelled yourself by writing stupid things in your last post. Christianity is not Judaism. The following sections of the new Testament prove why...

I’ve refuted these misstatements of yours on other threads. PS. The topic is Paul.

Quote: Ah, NO.

I won't stop criticizing Christianity. Here's why.

The debate topic is Paul, not Jesus, not Christianity in general. No.

Quote:”You are guilty of the worst imaginable gay baiting by insisting that Paul, whom everyone knows is against homosexuality, is a gay..."

I did not say this, and this is the third time I've told you so. I said that Paul may have been gay. And I didn't intend it as a derogatory comment (either to Paul as a person, or to his intellectual integrity), I was just stating a possibility.

Not at all. The evidence you cited that Paul was gay was that he bashed gays. You are gay baiting. Stop it. Also, it has nothing to do with Paul being a charlatan, unless you can prove he was gay. Facts or kindly stop.

Quote:Q, you wrote

"Of COURSE the Jews were looking for a Messiah to fulfill warrior prophecies and throw off the hated shackles of Rome. That’s part and parcel of the entire NT dialogue..."

I agree.

Do you think Jesus was a Jew?

Do you think Jesus thought he was the messiah?

I dunno—do you think you can return to the debate topic of PAUL instead?

What I propose to you is that we do a debate in person and telecast it online. I’m tired of your sophistry, rudeness and lack of facts—an utter lack of facts.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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02-11-2015, 04:52 PM (This post was last modified: 02-11-2015 09:27 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
Q, you wrote

Paul being chosen or appointed by God to be an apostle does not preclude meeting Jesus on the Damascus road."

If I had met Jesus on the road to Damascus, I would tell the world about it. So would you. Please show us where Paul wrote that he met Jesus on the road to Damascus.

Jeebus was dead. D E A D. You don't "meet" dead people unless you're mentally unwell or have been smoking something.
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