Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
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17-11-2015, 12:23 PM
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(17-11-2015 03:50 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(16-11-2015 11:11 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Learn how to present facts in a debate because yet again we've followed this procedure:

1) You quote scripture to say Paul is a charlatan

2) I present scripture that refutes your position

3) You say "Someone else added the verse later" without any documentary, peer-reviewed, or any other kind of proof.

This is not a debate so much as you demonstrating reams of special knowledge "proving" which parts of the Bible are Pauline and which aren't.

How do you turn this

"It doesn't even sound like something Paul would've written, and may well have been an interpolation coming from the time when it was decided that Paul had, in fact, been a miracle worker."

into

"You say "Someone else added the verse later" without any documentary, peer-reviewed, or any other kind of proof." ?

The truth is that you can't prove Paul wrote this, and neither of us, or anyone else, can be sure who did.

If your truth is no one can be sure who wrote which Pauline documents, how do you frequently in this debate tell me what is interpolated and what is redacted, and without any such disclaimers? Be consistent.

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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17-11-2015, 03:27 PM (This post was last modified: 17-11-2015 09:16 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(16-11-2015 11:13 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(13-11-2015 07:29 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I found this on the web...

In his epistles, Paul never claimed to have performed any miracles, even though to have announced this would have assisted his missionary work enormously, especially when he faced many challenges to his authority. Of course, had he made any such claim himself, he might have been asked to provide evidence, or to have performed just one more deserving miracle.

After a safe interval of around fifty years, Acts of the Apostles claimed that Paul really had performed miracles, although each such miracle was matched by at least one even more awe-inspiring and worthy miracle performed by St. Peter. According to Acts, Paul's first miraculous cure was improbably similar to Peter's first cure. In both cases, a man who had been lame since birth was immediately cured by being commanded to stand and walk. Peter's first miracle cure was performed in the name of Jesus, at the Temple, where the faithful saw the healed beggar praising God, and was the opportunity for some outstanding proselytising. Paul's first cure was clumsy and without apparent purpose, given that Paul did not tell the man about Jesus and he was even mistaken for a pagan god.

Acts says that Paul also resuscitated a young man who foolishly fell asleep in an upper storey window and fell to the ground, although the story leaves some uncertainty as to whether the young man was really dead when Paul intervened to revive him.

In an apparent miracle of dubious morality, Paul blinded Elymas (Bar-jesus) the sorcerer, for trying to frustrate his attempts to convert Sergius Paulus (Acts 13:11).

On this evidence, it can be concluded that Paul did not perform any miracles at all.


Paul himself referred to the signs and wonders which he had been given power to perform in 2 Corinthians and Romans 15, but he did not specify what they were. Luke recorded Paul's miracles soon after they occurred:

Acts 13:6-11 - Paul blinds Elymas who was a false prophet.


Acts 14:8-10 - Paul heals a lame man in Lystra.


Acts 19:11-12 - Paul performed many miracles including healings and casting out demons.


Acts 20:9-12 - Paul raised Eutychus from the dead.


Acts 28:8-9 - Paul healed diseases

You have a logical fallacy (again). If Paul never claimed to perform miracles in his writings, as an empiricist you have undone one of your claims to Paul being a charlatan. And I say thank you.

I say Paul never performed any miracles, and that the author of Acts, writing 50 plus years later, turned Paul into a miracle worker. I say Paul was a charlatan as he fabricated theology and promoted it as the truth.

You then claim that as Paul didn't invent stories about his own miracles, he wasn't a charlatan! Is this "christian logic?"

What is more you are indirectly admitting that
- Paul didn't perform miracles
- the author of Acts invented the miracle stories.
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17-11-2015, 03:40 PM (This post was last modified: 17-11-2015 09:28 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(17-11-2015 12:19 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(16-11-2015 09:55 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Men and women of the forum, and random visitors, please forgive me for lowering the standard of this debate temporarily while I respond to the ad homonyms from Q. I will get back to discussing the real topic, Paul, shortly.

"You're clearly not an expert..."

Well...I never said I was. Do you think you are?

"--or even interested--in the words of Paul and Jesus as in the NT;"

Reread my posts. They are full of quotations from Paul and (supposedly) from Jesus. I discuss them with a real, genuine interest. What I don't do is read them with the bias of reverence, which is clearly what you do.

"All you have done is cite commentaries of persons who side with your liberal views."

That's what a debate is. I provide my evidence and reasons for my opinions, and you are supposed to do the same. The audience then weighs up the facts for themselves and comes to a conclusion. You seem to be suggesting I should present your argument for you.

Do you have any smoking gun evidence that Paul was a charlatan...

Yes. Reread my posts. And there is more coming.

Yes, I'm an expert on the writings of Paul and Jesus. And if you like, comparatively with you. Which of us has studied Ancient Greek? Which of us has a Bachelor's of Religion with a Paul and the New Testament emphasis? I specifically took courses in Paul and the Acts from a secular college. Which of us has read the NT 30 times? I have thousands of words of Paul memorized, besides. I only rarely need to consult an online source to find a refutation of your silly "Pauline" doctrines.

You, sir, are no expert. Just, as you wrote, a liberal commentator.

Yes, I'm an expert on the writings of Paul and Jesus.

"X" - the great unknown

"spirt" - a drip under pressure Big Grin

Q, even you know that Jesus never wrote anything. You cannot, therefore, be an expert on the writings of Jesus.

You claim to be an expert on the writings in the New Testament. What you mean by this is that you have assumed they are the truth, and have pored over them ad nauseam, privately and with others, and discussed what they may or may not mean.

What you haven't done is investigate whether they may be authentic, whether they contain the truth, and why they were written.

You haven't made any effort to understand ancient Jewish, Roman and Christian history in the very eras in which these ramblings were produced.

That is why when you read the writings of someone like myself, who has investigated the history, you are completely out of your depth. You cannot imagine there is anything truthful in what I write because that would undermine all your presumptions.

All you can do is pretend to be greatly offended, or dismayed, or bored, because you can't retort with any facts of your own, because you don't have any.

You are no expert Q, you are just someone who has rote learned nursery rhymes.
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17-11-2015, 06:25 PM
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(17-11-2015 12:23 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(17-11-2015 03:50 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  How do you turn this

"It doesn't even sound like something Paul would've written, and may well have been an interpolation coming from the time when it was decided that Paul had, in fact, been a miracle worker."

into

"You say "Someone else added the verse later" without any documentary, peer-reviewed, or any other kind of proof." ?

The truth is that you can't prove Paul wrote this, and neither of us, or anyone else, can be sure who did.

If your truth is no one can be sure who wrote which Pauline documents, how do you frequently in this debate tell me what is interpolated and what is redacted, and without any such disclaimers? Be consistent.

You keep bringing this up, so I keep having to repeat myself. Does anything I write ever sink into your thick skull? Here I go again...

No one is sure whether a character called Paul wrote the letters attributed to him. Most scholars think "he" wrote about half of them. Nearly all scholars admit the Pauline letters have been edited and interpolated. Anyone who comments on these letters is, therefore, guessing, to a degree, about their authenticity. I have a right to do that. I am offering an opinion. It has a similar value to your opinion that all the letters are Pauline and unaltered. If you wish to present a case for that opinion...feel free...if you don't then shut the fuck up about it.
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17-11-2015, 06:36 PM (This post was last modified: 17-11-2015 09:35 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(17-11-2015 12:19 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(16-11-2015 09:55 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Men and women of the forum, and random visitors, please forgive me for lowering the standard of this debate temporarily while I respond to the ad homonyms from Q. I will get back to discussing the real topic, Paul, shortly.

"You're clearly not an expert..."

Well...I never said I was. Do you think you are?

"--or even interested--in the words of Paul and Jesus as in the NT;"

Reread my posts. They are full of quotations from Paul and (supposedly) from Jesus. I discuss them with a real, genuine interest. What I don't do is read them with the bias of reverence, which is clearly what you do.

"All you have done is cite commentaries of persons who side with your liberal views."

That's what a debate is. I provide my evidence and reasons for my opinions, and you are supposed to do the same. The audience then weighs up the facts for themselves and comes to a conclusion. You seem to be suggesting I should present your argument for you.

Do you have any smoking gun evidence that Paul was a charlatan...

Yes. Reread my posts. And there is more coming.

Yes, I'm an expert on the writings of Paul and Jesus. And if you like, comparatively with you. Which of us has studied Ancient Greek? Which of us has a Bachelor's of Religion with a Paul and the New Testament emphasis? I specifically took courses in Paul and the Acts from a secular college. Which of us has read the NT 30 times? I have thousands of words of Paul memorized, besides. I only rarely need to consult an online source to find a refutation of your silly "Pauline" doctrines.

You, sir, are no expert. Just, as you wrote, a liberal commentator.

I only rarely need to consult an online source to find a refutation of your silly "Pauline" doctrines.

Well maybe that is why you can't you post something scholarly? Where are your arguments? Where are your facts? You barely mention what Paul said or did...you are too busy telling us how you are feeling, how smart you are and how wrong I am.

doctrine |ˈdɒktrɪn|
noun
a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a Church, political party, or other group.

I think it is glaringly obvious who believes in "silly Pauline doctrines," and it's not me.
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17-11-2015, 06:53 PM (This post was last modified: 17-11-2015 09:05 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(17-11-2015 12:17 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(16-11-2015 05:05 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  You stated that "much of Paul" was written after "some of the gospels."

I disagree, and politely asked you to present reasons for your argument. You are either

- too lazy to do it, or

- you have checked your facts and realized that you are wrong

What is more, you are not honest enough to admit either.

You write "My argumentation here is irrelevant..." yet you haven't even presented your case.

You then have the audacity to claim I don't know how to conduct myself in a debate.

No. A good debate has both sides providing some opinion/commentary AND some facts. There is no need for me to refute your stance with facts beyond what I've presented to date, since only I presented facts. You have only conjecture and (perverted) Bible commentary.

No. A good debate has both sides providing some opinion/commentary AND some facts.

Hallelujah! Stop whinging and produce some facts!

There is no need for me to refute your stance with facts beyond what I've presented to date, since only I presented facts.

FFS! You stated some of the gospels were written before some of Paul, yet you are too lazy or too uninformed to back your statement up with facts.

You have only conjecture and (perverted) Bible commentary.

Here you go again, attaching derogatory labels to my writing, but not saying why and not refuting any of my arguments. This is pathetic. You are too frightened to step in to the argument.
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17-11-2015, 07:12 PM
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(17-11-2015 12:21 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(16-11-2015 10:06 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Oh dear. The lights are on but nobody's home.

You think that because Paul didn't claim to have performed miracles, he couldn't have been a charlatan?

That's just like saying the sky is blue because cows aren't helicopters.

No, I'm pointing out that in this very debate you first expressed your anti-supernatural bias against Jesus and Paul and then have claimed that Paul never claimed to work in miracles--so thanks both for waffling and for making the debate claims for me!

you first expressed your anti-supernatural bias against Jesus and Paul

WTF?

Extraordinary claims (such as miracles) require extraordinary evidence to be believed. There is no extraordinary evidence. How can you possibly claim that I'm biased and keep a straight face?

"and then have claimed that Paul never claimed to work in miracles--so thanks both for waffling and for making the debate claims for me!"

This just demonstrates how incredibly stupid you are. I think you are trying to say Paul was an honest character because he didn't claim to have done miracles. Somehow that makes sense to you.

You may be trying to make some other point, but your grip on English expression is not good enough for you to express yourself coherently.
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17-11-2015, 07:23 PM
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(17-11-2015 12:20 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(16-11-2015 09:58 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  "Perhaps this debate should end."

You are so shell shocked you have nothing to fire back

I think it should end because I've seen no TTA members posting anything regarding it elsewhere. I think they are as bored as I am.

"2,870 views"

Everyone's watching from their armchairs. There's nothing like a good thrashing, particularly of a cocky opponent.
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17-11-2015, 09:51 PM (This post was last modified: 18-11-2015 02:43 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(17-11-2015 12:23 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(17-11-2015 03:40 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  At some stage in this debate (if one could call it that) I must mention the theory that Paul was working for the Roman government. I have added a little more evidence to my argument since I last posted it.

Was Christianity a Product of the Roman Government?

What drove Paul so ardently in his efforts? Did the Roman government employ Paul to mar the power of messianic Judaism, and particularly Nazarenism? Was the Roman government trying to stop a war?

Paul taught that the Jewish messiah was the Christ, who had already been and gone, maybe because Rome did not want hopeful Jews rallying under a yet to arrive militaristic Messiah who would challenge Roman rule.

Rome knew a revolt was brewing in Palestine in the 50’s and 60’s. The government sent many different procurators to Palestine to control the unrest, yet many of them were corrupt, which only made matters worse.

All Jews felt a connection with Jerusalem and the temple; they even sent money as an annual gift to the priests in the temple. The government was aware that many Jews in the Diaspora did not assimilate well with Gentiles in a political and social sense, and that made them suspicious of the Jews’ Palestinian connections and the religion that inspired their obvious differences.

Jewish extremists throughout the empire (such as Yeshua) promoted the subversive idea that their own Jewish king should govern the world on behalf of God and in place of Caesar. If the government could not pacify these Jews, it would set a dangerous precedent for other races to revolt. The government needed to keep control over the trade routes to Asia and Egypt. The government was probably frustrated at having to repeatedly use force to suppress Jewish extremists, as it was disruptive, expensive, and taxing on morale. Maybe the government thought that if it could undermine Jewish extremism using propaganda, it would prevent a whole world of hassle.

In an effort to achieve this, it is conceivable that Rome had a network of covert agents engaged in suppression of Jewish extremists, and that Paul was one of them. If so, there might have been many “Pauls” working as government employees. Paul wrote to a community in Rome to introduce himself, and it is obvious from his letter that this group already had some beliefs about a Christ, beliefs that they may have learned about from one of Paul’s co-workers.

The Roman government must have been worried that Judaism was attracting converts from Gentiles. Paul’s role may have been to stop the spread of the subversive religion. If so, Paul tried to infiltrate the Nazarenes to undermine them and their Messianic message. It could be that he passed information about the Nazarenes on to Roman authorities.

Paul’s “conversion,” in which “God’s” new ideas were revealed only to him, and by which he became the founding member of his own Christ fan club, was his rather dubious, yet ardently promoted, modus operandi.

This could explain why Paul wrote with such passion; he was desperate to sell his watered down, non-militaristic version of Judaism, one that downplayed the importance of the temple and all the Jewish ethnocentric antisocial practices. Paul’s (and the government’s) aim was to counter Jewish messianic fervor, which was building in momentum and needed to be quelled. They failed, because Jews in Palestine revolted in the war of 66 -70 CE.

What actual evidence is there that Paul was a funded insurgent? It is known that Paul was a Roman citizen, yet, if the account in the book of Acts is to be believed, Paul did not publicly reveal himself as such until he was about to be physically assaulted by Roman soldiers, which indicates that Paul was trying to norm with the community, and simultaneously hide his true identity. Being a funded agent would help explain how Paul managed to support himself financially, and undertake his ministry without doing any tent making.

It might also be why Paul hoped a financial gift to the Nazarenes in Jerusalem would be accepted; he was trying to endear himself to the Nazarenes using bribery.

Paul’s writings make it clear that he had little genuine respect for Pharisaic Judaism. Paul often insisted that the Torah was obsolete. He was, by anyone’s standards, over zealous in promoting his own theology, and too diligent in denigrating any Jewish beliefs that might be thought of as promoting Jewish exclusivity.

This idea makes clear why Paul not only promoted his new interpretation of Judaism, but also why Paul aligned himself with the non - religious administration of the Romans; the following is an extract from Paul’s letter to a Roman Jewish community:

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, who- ever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” (Romans 13:1-7 NIV.)

One could argue that Paul sounds more like a pro administration lobbyist than an evangelist.

This theory would explain the way Paul finished off his letter to the Philippians:

“All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household” (Phil. 4:22, KJV.)

Paul had contact with the Emperor Nero’s (Roman Emperor from 54-68 CE) family, and even permitted himself to speak on their behalf!

Paul being a Roman associate fits with the fact the book of Acts states:

“Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul” (Acts 13:1, KJV.)

The earliest Christian community at Antioch boasted a member of Herod Antipas’ family, the pro-Roman Tetrarch who had murdered John the Baptist, and Paul (Saul) was associated with him.

Paul being a government agent would explain why, in the book of Acts, he was repetitively roughed up by Jews, yet was never attacked by Gentiles. There is little doubt that fundamentalist Jews would have viewed Paul as a charlatan.

Paul’s so-called “arrest” by Roman troops in Jerusalem does not necessarily mean that he was not in league with Rome. Paul was, in fact, being protected. Things had got a little out of control and Paul became a source of civil unrest, a diehard dogmatist causing trouble wherever he went. Instead of undermining Judaism, Paul incited Jews to the point of violence, something Rome did not want.

The “arrest” was, in fact, for Paul’s own safety. If Paul had not been arrested, Jews, Jesus’ own people, might have killed him.

Reading between the lines, Paul was never treated by the Romans like a prisoner. Rather, there were remarkable Roman resources used to protect him. Paul had to be moved to Rome, as it was the best place for his own protection.

Paul wrote the following to a Gentile audience.

"Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."
(Ephesians 2; 11-22 KJV)

Paul was trying to welcome Gentiles into the “commonwealth of Israel” with his spiel about a Christ, and thereby diminish the exclusivity of Israel, and morph it (Israel) into being a peaceful part of the Roman empire.

If Paul was a spy, he was a cog in the wheel of a cunning government plan, and he knew that he was promoting manufactured dogma as a means to an end. This would mean that Rome, via Paul, created the Christ, a benign pacifist Messiah.

We do not hear from Paul after he is placed under so called “house arrest” in Rome in the early 60s. Palestine was nearly out of control. The anti-Jewish propaganda project had not worked, and the time for talk was over; the military had to be brought in. Paul had become redundant. The government no longer needed him. There is a Christian “tradition” that Paul was executed in Rome, but there is no valid reason why that would have happened, and no good evidence that it did.
( http://archives.politicususa.com/2011/12...d-to-paul- of-tarsus-it-isnt-what-you-think.html )

Rome was not into controlling people’s minds or interfering with their belief systems unless they started impacting on Rome’s ability to garner supply of goods, services and money. Jewish messianic beliefs, such as those entertained by the Nazarenes, did just that.

If Paul’s project had been successful, the first (66-70 CE) and the second (132-5 CE) Jewish wars would have been averted. Yet it was doomed to failure. People who have been bought up in a strong religious faith rarely change their allegiances. A modern analogy might be Christian missionaries trying to promote Christianity in a strongly Islamic country such as Afghanistan.

Thijs Voskuilen and Rose Mary Sheldon, who co-wrote “Operation Messiah,” came to a similar conclusion about Paul. They postulated that Paul was:

“...supporting the imperial structure, benefiting from it, cooperating with it, often saved by it. The end product for Rome was exactly what it wanted - a loyal, other –worldly, spiritual movement that was completely divorced from Palestinian revolutionary movements, from Jewish nationalism and from any challenge to Roman imperial authority. Its followers were supposed to pay taxes and be loyal citizens of the emperor.”

It is quite possible that Jewish and Gentile intellectuals, also working for the Roman government, after the first Jewish war, and after Paul’s failure, wrote the Gospels. The fact that belief in the divinity of Jesus arose in many diverse areas of the empire a number of decades after Jesus’ death suggests that it came from a central, well- coordinated source, and it most definitely was not Yeshua’s Jewish friends in Jerusalem. This would explain why the true identities of all four Gospel authors are unknown.

The Roman led spin-doctors, who could have been the original authors of the Gospels, knew that ideas could be just as effective as force. They tried to weaken Judaism by infiltrating and diluting it with Gentiles, just like Paul tried to do with his Christ story. They too told a tale that the Jewish Messiah had already been and gone, and he was not a political activist, but a benign religious preacher who was a spiritual intermediary between God and man.

If the idea caught on, there would be no more Messiahs and no more revolts.
It could be that Yeshua’s real story, that of a brave Nazarene martyr, was turned around 180 degrees to create an entity that was the very opposite of what the real man was. Jesus was made to say

“Blessed are the peacemakers,” “turn the other cheek,” “love your enemies” and “pay your taxes,”

which, if believed and followed, meant you did not cause trouble and you obeyed your Roman superiors. To promote this would have been a lot easier than having to use the army again.

In those times it was easier to push propaganda than it is today, because the public was less informed and less able to check out the facts. These publicists twisted the knife to wound Judaism by blaming Jesus’ death on the Jews and making Romans look like the innocent good guys. It was made out that Jesus’ own people had effectively killed their own Messiah.

The government hoped the story of the new idol would convince people that true spirituality and the promise of eternal life were synonymous with getting along with them. In those days it was always the winners who wrote the history.

Ever since ancient times, people in power have tried to control popular opinion, and have not hesitated to flagrantly manipulate the facts. The creation of Christianity by the Romans appears to be one such an example.

Creating a new religion, with a charismatic central hero figure, and embedding guilt and fear while castigating the enemy and promising believers an afterlife, is just brilliant! Consider how well it has lasted until now.

The Romans, who controlled most of the known world, wanted to keep control. They were smart. They saw how powerful the Jewish religion was amongst the Jews, so they used that knowledge to their own advantage. They would not have felt guilty about what they were doing. They just saw this as an effective strategy for delivering change and keeping the peace.

In modern times, the use of tactics like this is called propaganda, disinformation or psychological warfare, and it continues to this very day. Consider the scores of governments who have used a version of “God” to justify war.

It is fascinating to imagine these subversive tricks as part of the first-century Roman government machine, and jaw dropping to realize that the dogma has survived until today, without being exposed for what it really is. This propaganda is still coloring the way people, and in particular trusting Christians, look at the world.

It is ironic that the Gospels, purporting to be so truthful, were so manufactured, and that they became one of the most successful literary enterprises ever undertaken in world history.

The politically motivated spin may have been very clever, but it did not achieve its original aims. Just as Paul failed to stop the first war of 66-70 CE, the Gospel authors too failed in their original intention, as they did not prevent the second major war with the Jews in 132-6 CE.

The reader may be wondering why, if this is true, it is often claimed that the government persecuted Christians, particularly as there is a “tradition” that Domitian (Titus Flavius Dominatus Augustus, Roman Emperor from 81-96 CE) did just that, but the evidence for this is weak.

The fact is persecution of Christians was not a policy of the state until over a century later, when it did occur in isolated areas, and only for relatively short periods.
( http://www.amazon.com/The-Myth-Persecuti...Martyrdom/ dp/0062104527 )

Generally speaking, Rome was tolerant of all religions, including Christianity. In those days the ideas of one government (as controlled by one emperor) were often completely different to the next emperor. After the Flavian dynasty (the rule of Vespasian, Titus and then Domitian) ended with Domitian’s assassination in 96 CE, there was a brand new emperor. Persecution happened sporadically many years later, but usually only if Christians refused to worship the state’s gods. By this time the militaristic ambitions of peasant Jews had been finally and definitively crushed in the second Jewish war of 132-6 CE, and there were different agendas on the government’s mind.( http://www.religionfacts.com/christianit...cution.htm ) Moreover, some stories of persecutions of Christians by the Roman government are now recognized as exaggerations and fabrications.

The significance of this is enormous. If this is true, Christianity has been the most monumental fraud ever inflicted on humankind.

Paul was a charlatan.

References:
Cresswell, Peter 2010 “Jesus the Terrorist” O books, Winchester, UK.
Eisenman, Robert H. “James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls”
Thijs Voskuilen and Rose Mary Sheldon co-wrote “Operation Messiah”
http://www.amazon.com/Between-Rome-Jerusalem-Roman- Judaean-Relations/dp/0275971406
http://www.angelfire.com/wi/famtree/romned.html http://www.uhcg.org/HoI/James-Bro-of-Jesus.html
http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/jesus-pacifist- shepherd-or-zealot-warrior/
http://bhairavah.blogspot.com.au/2009/11...jesus.html
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/libr...s-jews-by- josephus/id345414791
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLypbbijk2I

I love how you merely posted your own biased commentary with occasional Pauline verses with exclamation marks as if no Christian! ever noticed! that Paul sent greetings to people in Caesar's household! wow, what a revelation!

Q, you write...

I love how you merely posted your own biased commentary with occasional Pauline verses with exclamation marks as if no Christian! ever noticed! that Paul sent greetings to people in Caesar's household! wow, what a revelation!

Here is the passage...

21 Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you.

22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household.

23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.


Q, I think you will find, oh great expert, that Paul was (probably) writing from Rome to another community, and the saints that he refers to are sending their greetings to this community. The people in Caesar's household are not the ones receiving the greeting. You clearly haven't understood what Paul writes, and you've also completely missed my point, which is...

These saints are from Caesar's, ie Nero's, household. That is why the passage is remarkable. Paul is in league with Nero's household. He has access to pen and paper and a mailman. He says hallo from members of Caesar's household ie he allows himself to speak on their behalf.

Think about that for a while. What does it tell you about Paul's affiliations?
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18-11-2015, 02:52 PM (This post was last modified: 19-11-2015 02:25 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(17-11-2015 12:19 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
(16-11-2015 09:55 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Men and women of the forum, and random visitors, please forgive me for lowering the standard of this debate temporarily while I respond to the ad homonyms from Q. I will get back to discussing the real topic, Paul, shortly.

"You're clearly not an expert..."

Well...I never said I was. Do you think you are?

"--or even interested--in the words of Paul and Jesus as in the NT;"

Reread my posts. They are full of quotations from Paul and (supposedly) from Jesus. I discuss them with a real, genuine interest. What I don't do is read them with the bias of reverence, which is clearly what you do.

"All you have done is cite commentaries of persons who side with your liberal views."

That's what a debate is. I provide my evidence and reasons for my opinions, and you are supposed to do the same. The audience then weighs up the facts for themselves and comes to a conclusion. You seem to be suggesting I should present your argument for you.

Do you have any smoking gun evidence that Paul was a charlatan...

Yes. Reread my posts. And there is more coming.

Yes, I'm an expert on the writings of Paul and Jesus. And if you like, comparatively with you. Which of us has studied Ancient Greek? Which of us has a Bachelor's of Religion with a Paul and the New Testament emphasis? I specifically took courses in Paul and the Acts from a secular college. Which of us has read the NT 30 times? I have thousands of words of Paul memorized, besides. I only rarely need to consult an online source to find a refutation of your silly "Pauline" doctrines.

You, sir, are no expert. Just, as you wrote, a liberal commentator.

Which of us has a Bachelor's of Religion with a Paul and the New Testament emphasis? I specifically took courses in Paul and the Acts from a secular college.

Well come on then, present your facts. Reply with something specific to make me think. I'm just a guy with a few medical degrees. You should be whipping my ass.

All we have had from you so far is this...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mT26AEXwBJ8
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