Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
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20-10-2015, 04:48 PM (This post was last modified: 20-10-2015 06:10 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(20-10-2015 12:26 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Mark,

Quote:Thank you for clarifying. You wrote:

The topic "was Paul a charlatan?" is complicated.

I will try to not be too wordy, as I would like all readers to develop, or have confirmed, their own impression of why Paul, the main creator of Christian theology, was a fraud and a con artist.

One way to start is with Paul's own writing. Paul wrote...

“And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:20-23, KJV)

In other words, Paul admitted he tailored his innovative theology to suit his audience ie he told different things to different people. This is fraud, and the behaviour of a charlatan.

Paul admitted he lied...and tried to justify the fact by saying he was spreading the "truth of God"...

Romans 3:7 "If the truth of God has been spread by my lie, then why am I judged a sinner."

I will explain why Paul lied, and was a fraud, in posts to come.

Let's look closer at Paul's statement, "I'm a Jew to Jews, a Gentile to Gentiles."

1. This statement and so on is commonly taken as a very high expression of empathy. Jews were ordinarily forbidden in the extreme to fraternize with Gentiles. Here Paul is saying he is what is commonly called today, "walking in another's shoes" as empathy.

2. Charlatans are working to deceive others for their own benefit. This statement of Paul's isn't found in a private correspondence to a fellow apostle or some huckster, but in an open letter to a church--he is further implying that others should follow his lead and be all things to all people! Charlatans typically don't tell people in open source documents that they are charlatans! Personally, when I witness to a Jewish person, if they identify as skilled in the Tanakh and wisdom literature, I will use OT exegesis to demonstrate Messiah and Jesus in their scriptures. But when speaking, say, to a visitor from India who has never read the OT, we can simply look at NT statements together. In other words, the approach toward a Jew or Gentile regarding Christianity may be modified to honor that person's to-date understanding.

3. Charlatans, again, are seeking gain, and by the definition you accepted for this debate, are pretenders, deceivers. In the statement you quoted, Paul wrote, "I am MADE all things to all men, that I might by all means save some..." Paul claims that his situation, his life circumstance, the refining of his life by Jesus Christ, made him empathetic and humble enough to empathize with the lost. You are claiming Paul put on airs for a nefarious reason, but you chose a quotation that says Paul was MADE a certain way rather than CHOSE to be a certain way.

4. Paul's motivation? It wasn't money, power or sex. Rather, "...that I might by all means save some." He was seeking the benefit of others to inherit eternal life, even those who persecuted him, Jew and Gentile, and those who were in the parties who crucified his master, Jesus.

Mark, elsewhere you stated, "Although Paul presents himself as an expert in Judaism, he is not accepted as such by Jewish scholars today - and they, of all people, are most qualified to make such an assessment."

I should think since you are a noted author of a book who writes on all manner of Jewish and Christian practice, Mark, you would already be aware that Jewish scholars today are opposed to the New Testament, Christianity and the gospel. They seek peace with adherents of other faiths, yes, but any Jewish scholar suggesting that Paul is an authority would be escorted out of the synagogue. However, we might look at any number of Jewish scholars who find Paul and Jesus highly suggestive, and highly self-actualized, like Abraham Maslow, the father of self-actualization.

PS. You posted a link to a Billy Idol video... what are you referencing there? If it is an attempt at humor, I find you in poor taste in the middle of the beginning of our serious debate!

"4. Paul's motivation? It wasn't money, power or sex. Rather, "...that I might by all means save some." "

Q, ponder over how weak this argument is. Paul is saying...

"Believe what I tell you and do what I order and you will be rewarded with heaven"

Paul never has to deliver the promised reward, yet he controls the victim.

It is a tactic still used by churches, kings, governments and caliphates.

"blow yourself up, and you'll get 72 virgins"

The argument relies on one essential ingredient, the credulity of the believer.
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20-10-2015, 09:36 PM (This post was last modified: 20-10-2015 09:45 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(20-10-2015 12:26 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Mark,

Quote:Thank you for clarifying. You wrote:

The topic "was Paul a charlatan?" is complicated.

I will try to not be too wordy, as I would like all readers to develop, or have confirmed, their own impression of why Paul, the main creator of Christian theology, was a fraud and a con artist.

One way to start is with Paul's own writing. Paul wrote...

“And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:20-23, KJV)

In other words, Paul admitted he tailored his innovative theology to suit his audience ie he told different things to different people. This is fraud, and the behaviour of a charlatan.

Paul admitted he lied...and tried to justify the fact by saying he was spreading the "truth of God"...

Romans 3:7 "If the truth of God has been spread by my lie, then why am I judged a sinner."

I will explain why Paul lied, and was a fraud, in posts to come.

Let's look closer at Paul's statement, "I'm a Jew to Jews, a Gentile to Gentiles."

1. This statement and so on is commonly taken as a very high expression of empathy. Jews were ordinarily forbidden in the extreme to fraternize with Gentiles. Here Paul is saying he is what is commonly called today, "walking in another's shoes" as empathy.

2. Charlatans are working to deceive others for their own benefit. This statement of Paul's isn't found in a private correspondence to a fellow apostle or some huckster, but in an open letter to a church--he is further implying that others should follow his lead and be all things to all people! Charlatans typically don't tell people in open source documents that they are charlatans! Personally, when I witness to a Jewish person, if they identify as skilled in the Tanakh and wisdom literature, I will use OT exegesis to demonstrate Messiah and Jesus in their scriptures. But when speaking, say, to a visitor from India who has never read the OT, we can simply look at NT statements together. In other words, the approach toward a Jew or Gentile regarding Christianity may be modified to honor that person's to-date understanding.

3. Charlatans, again, are seeking gain, and by the definition you accepted for this debate, are pretenders, deceivers. In the statement you quoted, Paul wrote, "I am MADE all things to all men, that I might by all means save some..." Paul claims that his situation, his life circumstance, the refining of his life by Jesus Christ, made him empathetic and humble enough to empathize with the lost. You are claiming Paul put on airs for a nefarious reason, but you chose a quotation that says Paul was MADE a certain way rather than CHOSE to be a certain way.

4. Paul's motivation? It wasn't money, power or sex. Rather, "...that I might by all means save some." He was seeking the benefit of others to inherit eternal life, even those who persecuted him, Jew and Gentile, and those who were in the parties who crucified his master, Jesus.

Mark, elsewhere you stated, "Although Paul presents himself as an expert in Judaism, he is not accepted as such by Jewish scholars today - and they, of all people, are most qualified to make such an assessment."

I should think since you are a noted author of a book who writes on all manner of Jewish and Christian practice, Mark, you would already be aware that Jewish scholars today are opposed to the New Testament, Christianity and the gospel. They seek peace with adherents of other faiths, yes, but any Jewish scholar suggesting that Paul is an authority would be escorted out of the synagogue. However, we might look at any number of Jewish scholars who find Paul and Jesus highly suggestive, and highly self-actualized, like Abraham Maslow, the father of self-actualization.

PS. You posted a link to a Billy Idol video... what are you referencing there? If it is an attempt at humor, I find you in poor taste in the middle of the beginning of our serious debate!

"However, we might look at any number of Jewish scholars who find Paul ... highly suggestive"

Mmmmmmm.


"suggestive."


ADJECTIVE

- tending to suggest an idea:
"there were various suggestive pieces of evidence"

- bringing thoughts, memories, or feelings into the mind

- showing or seeming to show something

- causing or tending to cause sexual feelings or excitement


Was Paul "highly suggestive?"

I guess it depends what you mean.

Has Paul caused you to have sexual feelings or excitement?Drinking Beverage

Perhaps you better explain yourself Shy
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20-10-2015, 09:53 PM (This post was last modified: 21-10-2015 02:24 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(20-10-2015 12:26 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Mark,

Quote:Thank you for clarifying. You wrote:

The topic "was Paul a charlatan?" is complicated.

I will try to not be too wordy, as I would like all readers to develop, or have confirmed, their own impression of why Paul, the main creator of Christian theology, was a fraud and a con artist.

One way to start is with Paul's own writing. Paul wrote...

“And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:20-23, KJV)

In other words, Paul admitted he tailored his innovative theology to suit his audience ie he told different things to different people. This is fraud, and the behaviour of a charlatan.

Paul admitted he lied...and tried to justify the fact by saying he was spreading the "truth of God"...

Romans 3:7 "If the truth of God has been spread by my lie, then why am I judged a sinner."

I will explain why Paul lied, and was a fraud, in posts to come.

Let's look closer at Paul's statement, "I'm a Jew to Jews, a Gentile to Gentiles."

1. This statement and so on is commonly taken as a very high expression of empathy. Jews were ordinarily forbidden in the extreme to fraternize with Gentiles. Here Paul is saying he is what is commonly called today, "walking in another's shoes" as empathy.

2. Charlatans are working to deceive others for their own benefit. This statement of Paul's isn't found in a private correspondence to a fellow apostle or some huckster, but in an open letter to a church--he is further implying that others should follow his lead and be all things to all people! Charlatans typically don't tell people in open source documents that they are charlatans! Personally, when I witness to a Jewish person, if they identify as skilled in the Tanakh and wisdom literature, I will use OT exegesis to demonstrate Messiah and Jesus in their scriptures. But when speaking, say, to a visitor from India who has never read the OT, we can simply look at NT statements together. In other words, the approach toward a Jew or Gentile regarding Christianity may be modified to honor that person's to-date understanding.

3. Charlatans, again, are seeking gain, and by the definition you accepted for this debate, are pretenders, deceivers. In the statement you quoted, Paul wrote, "I am MADE all things to all men, that I might by all means save some..." Paul claims that his situation, his life circumstance, the refining of his life by Jesus Christ, made him empathetic and humble enough to empathize with the lost. You are claiming Paul put on airs for a nefarious reason, but you chose a quotation that says Paul was MADE a certain way rather than CHOSE to be a certain way.

4. Paul's motivation? It wasn't money, power or sex. Rather, "...that I might by all means save some." He was seeking the benefit of others to inherit eternal life, even those who persecuted him, Jew and Gentile, and those who were in the parties who crucified his master, Jesus.

Mark, elsewhere you stated, "Although Paul presents himself as an expert in Judaism, he is not accepted as such by Jewish scholars today - and they, of all people, are most qualified to make such an assessment."

I should think since you are a noted author of a book who writes on all manner of Jewish and Christian practice, Mark, you would already be aware that Jewish scholars today are opposed to the New Testament, Christianity and the gospel. They seek peace with adherents of other faiths, yes, but any Jewish scholar suggesting that Paul is an authority would be escorted out of the synagogue. However, we might look at any number of Jewish scholars who find Paul and Jesus highly suggestive, and highly self-actualized, like Abraham Maslow, the father of self-actualization.

PS. You posted a link to a Billy Idol video... what are you referencing there? If it is an attempt at humor, I find you in poor taste in the middle of the beginning of our serious debate!

"However, we might look at any number of Jewish scholars who find... Jesus highly suggestive,"

? [attachment=3029]
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21-10-2015, 12:18 PM
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
First, Mark, you seem eager to take religious sides in this debate, framing Paul’s story as Paul and Christians against Jews and Judaism. Rather, most of Paul’s preaching was done in synagogues. Even when Paul was upset after being persecuted and said he was done sharing with his Jewish brethren, in the very next verses he is staying at a home adjacent to a synagogue. This is where traditionally the local rabbi lives with his family! Of course, Paul and the Christian WERE Jews.

As a matter of fact, Mark, you seem intent on defending Judaism against the excesses of Paul, so very much so that if I didn’t know you I would take you as a Jewish apologist seeking to overturn Christianity. Put another way, I wish you would stop using hundreds, even thousands of words to protest that Paul is invalidated because Jewish people don’t follow his teachings. 1) I get your point. 2) Many Jewish people, known as Messianic Jews or Hebrew Christians, adore Paul’s teachings. “Many,” even “most,” is not “all.”

Quote:Devout Jews (such as the Nazarenes) despised Paul and rejected his ramblings...

Paul was accused of being a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes in Acts! That is the first mention of the Nazarenes in written documents that I know of! The Nazarenes trusted Jesus as Messiah and adhered to Paul’s writings, even as holy scripture.

Quote: 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.

Off the top of my head, one of a number of such quotations you are forgetting about is this one from Jeremiah’s 31st chapter:

31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Please bear in mind that Christianity is not invalidated because most Gentiles aren’t Christians, nor is Paul’s Jewishness or the Jewish nature of early Christianity invalidated because many Jews did not trust in Messiah Y’shua.

Please also note that where you wrote...

Quote:There’s no mention in their scriptures about an end to the covenant God made with their ancestors on Mount Sinai.

…how the quotation I have offered specifically mentions a NEW covenant unlike the covenant made during the times of the EXODUS, the Mosaic covenant. The NT writers echo how Jeremiah is describing Jesus as the mediator of a NEW covenant. That's why everyone calls it the NEW testament. "Testament" can also mean "covenant".

Quote: Jews regarded the Law almost like a gift from their God, not a curse, or an imposition on freedom. They didn’t recognise a “new covenant.” Why would they give up centuries of tradition to believe a renegade like Paul?

Exactly, Mark, exactly. To turn aside on 1,500 years of tradition must have been because Paul’s exegesis was challenging and his miracles authentic. Correct observation there.

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

Actually, Jesus spoke of this change to the woman at the well in Samaria. That is a very well known declaration, even among non-theists…

“Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father… the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25

Quote:Yeshua had died over a decade before Paul appeared on the scene, and had he been alive, there is little doubt that he 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!

Now it’s “Yeshua” Mark, and not Jesus? Are you sure you’re not a Jewish apologist rather than an atheist?

You are skipping any number of passages where Jesus says things like, “I have another sheepfold that isn’t Israel” and “Many will come and sit with Abraham and Issac [at the table feast of Judaism]” and so on, as well as OT quotations like “It’s too small a thing for the Messiah to be for Israel only so He will be for the Gentiles…”

Other thoughts come to mind from the OT, like:

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, let all the peoples praise Him.”

“I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.”

“Rejoice, oh Gentiles, WITH His people.”

“The root of Jesse, who arises over the Gentiles. In Him, the Gentiles will hope.”

Jews today recognize that the OT and their beliefs offer the light of monotheism and Messiah to the world. Your point is not accurate here.

Quote:Jesus’ own people were attacking Paul because he was promoting Christian ideas, a fact that should raise eyebrows in today’s churches.

Unbelievers currently persecute millions of people for practicing Christianity, a fact that should raise eyebrows among today’s atheists.

Quote: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…

While quoting scripture, you forgot this statement of Paul in Philippians 1. I’m surprised you didn’t already quote it to justify your defense of Paul as a charlatan. At first blush, it seems to say Paul is promoting false motives in preaching:

15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice."

When actually, Paul is saying “Even the troublemakers who preach falsely to get me in trouble in prison I don’t object to, I’m thrilled people are talking about Christ!”

Quote:Paul probably tried to ingratiate himself with the Nazarenes when in their company, but they became implacably opposed to him, as verified by the verbal confrontation described in Galatians chapter two, and the adamantly anti-Pauline assertions in James’ letter.

Did you read Galatians 2? The confrontation wasn’t over religious doctrine. It was over the fact that Paul was willing to live amongst and spend quality time with Gentiles, while some of his fellow Nazarenes weren’t. It makes the case that Paul was a sincere man.

I don’t remember where James mentions Paul, rather, Paul mentioned meeting James “the Lord’s brother”. Do you have a James quotation where James accuses Paul of being a charlatan?

Quote:Yet Paul failed to mention Jesus’ ghost or his own miracles in his own writings; impossible omissions if they were true. Paul revealed many personality traits in his letters, but genuine personal modesty wasn’t one of them.

Mark, you go on so much in anger against the scriptures it can be hard to follow you. Here it seems above you legitimize Paul by saying the author of Acts was the one making false claims. However, Paul made statements like this in Romans 15:

17 Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God.

So he both declares he has worked in miracles and humbly says God, not Him, has done great things, Paul’s focus being on the good news of another, of Jesus Christ. Mark, you are wrong.

Quote:”Charlatans typically don't tell people in open source documents that they are charlatans! "

Paul did! He admitted he was a liar.

Romans 3:7 "If the truth of God has been spread by my lie, then why am I judged a sinner."

Sorry, but Romans 3 is saying the lie of our sin—the truth of God’s JUDGMENT (see immediate prior and following verses) is underscored by our lie—to claim to be good enough for Heaven unaided. Also, you will note the lie is singular. If you still think it’s a lie, which one, singular lie are you saying Paul admitted? Because you seem to think he made many lies. Again, why a CHARLATAN would talk about his LIES in a document written to the church of an entire city is beyond me. Further, you know all the verses about Paul's lies while forgetting statements of Paul's like that which opens Romans 9:

"I AM TELLING THE TRUTH IN CHRIST, I AM NOT LYING, MY CONSCIENCE TESTIFIES WITH ME IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, that I have unceasing grief and great sorrow in my heart. For I could wish myself accursed, cut off from Christ, for the sake of my brethren, who are Israelites, my kinsmen according to the flesh...

Paul was, as you wrote, attacked, even physically, by Jews. Yet here he says truthfully he could almost wish he would go to Hell forever if his brethren, the Jewish people, were saved... Mark, you have no right to quote NT stories and verses that denigrate Paul without bothering to seek 1) a balanced view by simply reading statements like that above in Romans ninth chapter 2) not telling our debate readers that almost 100% of your reasoning, history and so on in this debate is coming from the NT as your source text! That is incredibly unfair.

Quote:Paul was all about POWER.

Like all cult leaders, he did his best to bolster his personal power and prestige. I think his ego was partly responsible for his self-styled theology. Despite his wordy protestations that he was only working for everyone else’s welfare, his letters lay bare his burning need to browbeat the reader into believing that he was the ultimate authority. He often called his teachings

“my gospel,” (Rom 2;16 and 16;25-27)

a very apt description.

Dr. Fulton, the word “gospel” means good news. There were other gospels being promoted by various messianic pretenders in that era. Paul also made distinctions between his gospel of belief and a more mainline Jewish gospel of works. When I come to TTA, I do my evangelism and tell you my ideas and I am participating in my debate with you. You are participating in your debate with me and sharing your opinion. Taking “my” good news as a declaration of absolutist power is making a mountain of a molehill.

Quote: Paul wrote

“Take me for your model, as I take Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1, NJB.)

He was effectively claiming he was the next best thing to God; that he was the personal deputy of his deity.

I thought this was a debate and you are attempting rather to lead a Bible study, but any first-year Greek student can tell you, Mark, this is rendered as “take me for your model, and like me, imitate CHRIST [not me].”

As far as your comments about Paul being money grubbing, you have “conveniently” ignored two facts:

1. Paul’s frequent declarations that he asked nothing of his hosts and labored with his own hands where he lodged, for the godly privilege of distributing the gospel free of cost.

2. Paul’s statements where he did ask for money that he was working--not alone, but with teams of believers and apostles, often mentioned by name—to raise funds for poor believers in Jerusalem. There was a notorious famine and also several rounds of grievous persecution in Jerusalem. Paul was raising money to aid needy Nazarenes, the people you think (in error) persecuted Paul.

3. By the way, your endless declarations about Paul being invalidated because some Jewish people rejected him—are they true? Did you not notice the millions of Gentiles who follow Paul’s teachings, and Jesus as Savior?

And your comments about Paul being a conspirator where he tells people to pay taxes rather than be seditious are clearly wrong. I could say several things here but noticed you missed the key point of the quotation you made from Romans 13:

“For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.”

True or false, Mark? In general, not always and at all times, people who disobey rulers and don’t obey taxes and dishonor their rulers pay a price. Yes?

Anyway and in sum, I've heard many if not all of your interesting arguments from zealous Jews while preaching... Paul isn't Jewish this... Jesus isn't Jewish that... you really and truly sound like you have left atheism to convert (or return?) to Judaism!

I've asked before and I'll ask again. Do you have ANY documents contemporaneous to Paul and the NT that prove (or even accuse) Paul of being a charlatan that aren't NT scriptures?

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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21-10-2015, 06:39 PM (This post was last modified: 22-10-2015 12:07 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(21-10-2015 12:18 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  First, Mark, you seem eager to take religious sides in this debate, framing Paul’s story as Paul and Christians against Jews and Judaism. Rather, most of Paul’s preaching was done in synagogues. Even when Paul was upset after being persecuted and said he was done sharing with his Jewish brethren, in the very next verses he is staying at a home adjacent to a synagogue. This is where traditionally the local rabbi lives with his family! Of course, Paul and the Christian WERE Jews.

As a matter of fact, Mark, you seem intent on defending Judaism against the excesses of Paul, so very much so that if I didn’t know you I would take you as a Jewish apologist seeking to overturn Christianity. Put another way, I wish you would stop using hundreds, even thousands of words to protest that Paul is invalidated because Jewish people don’t follow his teachings. 1) I get your point. 2) Many Jewish people, known as Messianic Jews or Hebrew Christians, adore Paul’s teachings. “Many,” even “most,” is not “all.”

Quote:Devout Jews (such as the Nazarenes) despised Paul and rejected his ramblings...

Paul was accused of being a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes in Acts! That is the first mention of the Nazarenes in written documents that I know of! The Nazarenes trusted Jesus as Messiah and adhered to Paul’s writings, even as holy scripture.

Quote: 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.

Off the top of my head, one of a number of such quotations you are forgetting about is this one from Jeremiah’s 31st chapter:

31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Please bear in mind that Christianity is not invalidated because most Gentiles aren’t Christians, nor is Paul’s Jewishness or the Jewish nature of early Christianity invalidated because many Jews did not trust in Messiah Y’shua.

Please also note that where you wrote...

Quote:There’s no mention in their scriptures about an end to the covenant God made with their ancestors on Mount Sinai.

…how the quotation I have offered specifically mentions a NEW covenant unlike the covenant made during the times of the EXODUS, the Mosaic covenant. The NT writers echo how Jeremiah is describing Jesus as the mediator of a NEW covenant. That's why everyone calls it the NEW testament. "Testament" can also mean "covenant".

Quote: Jews regarded the Law almost like a gift from their God, not a curse, or an imposition on freedom. They didn’t recognise a “new covenant.” Why would they give up centuries of tradition to believe a renegade like Paul?

Exactly, Mark, exactly. To turn aside on 1,500 years of tradition must have been because Paul’s exegesis was challenging and his miracles authentic. Correct observation there.

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

Actually, Jesus spoke of this change to the woman at the well in Samaria. That is a very well known declaration, even among non-theists…

“Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father… the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25

Quote:Yeshua had died over a decade before Paul appeared on the scene, and had he been alive, there is little doubt that he 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!

Now it’s “Yeshua” Mark, and not Jesus? Are you sure you’re not a Jewish apologist rather than an atheist?

You are skipping any number of passages where Jesus says things like, “I have another sheepfold that isn’t Israel” and “Many will come and sit with Abraham and Issac [at the table feast of Judaism]” and so on, as well as OT quotations like “It’s too small a thing for the Messiah to be for Israel only so He will be for the Gentiles…”

Other thoughts come to mind from the OT, like:

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, let all the peoples praise Him.”

“I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.”

“Rejoice, oh Gentiles, WITH His people.”

“The root of Jesse, who arises over the Gentiles. In Him, the Gentiles will hope.”

Jews today recognize that the OT and their beliefs offer the light of monotheism and Messiah to the world. Your point is not accurate here.

Quote:Jesus’ own people were attacking Paul because he was promoting Christian ideas, a fact that should raise eyebrows in today’s churches.

Unbelievers currently persecute millions of people for practicing Christianity, a fact that should raise eyebrows among today’s atheists.

Quote: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…

While quoting scripture, you forgot this statement of Paul in Philippians 1. I’m surprised you didn’t already quote it to justify your defense of Paul as a charlatan. At first blush, it seems to say Paul is promoting false motives in preaching:

15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice."

When actually, Paul is saying “Even the troublemakers who preach falsely to get me in trouble in prison I don’t object to, I’m thrilled people are talking about Christ!”

Quote:Paul probably tried to ingratiate himself with the Nazarenes when in their company, but they became implacably opposed to him, as verified by the verbal confrontation described in Galatians chapter two, and the adamantly anti-Pauline assertions in James’ letter.

Did you read Galatians 2? The confrontation wasn’t over religious doctrine. It was over the fact that Paul was willing to live amongst and spend quality time with Gentiles, while some of his fellow Nazarenes weren’t. It makes the case that Paul was a sincere man.

I don’t remember where James mentions Paul, rather, Paul mentioned meeting James “the Lord’s brother”. Do you have a James quotation where James accuses Paul of being a charlatan?

Quote:Yet Paul failed to mention Jesus’ ghost or his own miracles in his own writings; impossible omissions if they were true. Paul revealed many personality traits in his letters, but genuine personal modesty wasn’t one of them.

Mark, you go on so much in anger against the scriptures it can be hard to follow you. Here it seems above you legitimize Paul by saying the author of Acts was the one making false claims. However, Paul made statements like this in Romans 15:

17 Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God.

So he both declares he has worked in miracles and humbly says God, not Him, has done great things, Paul’s focus being on the good news of another, of Jesus Christ. Mark, you are wrong.

Quote:”Charlatans typically don't tell people in open source documents that they are charlatans! "

Paul did! He admitted he was a liar.

Romans 3:7 "If the truth of God has been spread by my lie, then why am I judged a sinner."

Sorry, but Romans 3 is saying the lie of our sin—the truth of God’s JUDGMENT (see immediate prior and following verses) is underscored by our lie—to claim to be good enough for Heaven unaided. Also, you will note the lie is singular. If you still think it’s a lie, which one, singular lie are you saying Paul admitted? Because you seem to think he made many lies. Again, why a CHARLATAN would talk about his LIES in a document written to the church of an entire city is beyond me. Further, you know all the verses about Paul's lies while forgetting statements of Paul's like that which opens Romans 9:

"I AM TELLING THE TRUTH IN CHRIST, I AM NOT LYING, MY CONSCIENCE TESTIFIES WITH ME IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, that I have unceasing grief and great sorrow in my heart. For I could wish myself accursed, cut off from Christ, for the sake of my brethren, who are Israelites, my kinsmen according to the flesh...

Paul was, as you wrote, attacked, even physically, by Jews. Yet here he says truthfully he could almost wish he would go to Hell forever if his brethren, the Jewish people, were saved... Mark, you have no right to quote NT stories and verses that denigrate Paul without bothering to seek 1) a balanced view by simply reading statements like that above in Romans ninth chapter 2) not telling our debate readers that almost 100% of your reasoning, history and so on in this debate is coming from the NT as your source text! That is incredibly unfair.

Quote:Paul was all about POWER.

Like all cult leaders, he did his best to bolster his personal power and prestige. I think his ego was partly responsible for his self-styled theology. Despite his wordy protestations that he was only working for everyone else’s welfare, his letters lay bare his burning need to browbeat the reader into believing that he was the ultimate authority. He often called his teachings

“my gospel,” (Rom 2;16 and 16;25-27)

a very apt description.

Dr. Fulton, the word “gospel” means good news. There were other gospels being promoted by various messianic pretenders in that era. Paul also made distinctions between his gospel of belief and a more mainline Jewish gospel of works. When I come to TTA, I do my evangelism and tell you my ideas and I am participating in my debate with you. You are participating in your debate with me and sharing your opinion. Taking “my” good news as a declaration of absolutist power is making a mountain of a molehill.

Quote: Paul wrote

“Take me for your model, as I take Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1, NJB.)

He was effectively claiming he was the next best thing to God; that he was the personal deputy of his deity.

I thought this was a debate and you are attempting rather to lead a Bible study, but any first-year Greek student can tell you, Mark, this is rendered as “take me for your model, and like me, imitate CHRIST [not me].”

As far as your comments about Paul being money grubbing, you have “conveniently” ignored two facts:

1. Paul’s frequent declarations that he asked nothing of his hosts and labored with his own hands where he lodged, for the godly privilege of distributing the gospel free of cost.

2. Paul’s statements where he did ask for money that he was working--not alone, but with teams of believers and apostles, often mentioned by name—to raise funds for poor believers in Jerusalem. There was a notorious famine and also several rounds of grievous persecution in Jerusalem. Paul was raising money to aid needy Nazarenes, the people you think (in error) persecuted Paul.

3. By the way, your endless declarations about Paul being invalidated because some Jewish people rejected him—are they true? Did you not notice the millions of Gentiles who follow Paul’s teachings, and Jesus as Savior?

And your comments about Paul being a conspirator where he tells people to pay taxes rather than be seditious are clearly wrong. I could say several things here but noticed you missed the key point of the quotation you made from Romans 13:

“For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.”

True or false, Mark? In general, not always and at all times, people who disobey rulers and don’t obey taxes and dishonor their rulers pay a price. Yes?

Anyway and in sum, I've heard many if not all of your interesting arguments from zealous Jews while preaching... Paul isn't Jewish this... Jesus isn't Jewish that... you really and truly sound like you have left atheism to convert (or return?) to Judaism!

I've asked before and I'll ask again. Do you have ANY documents contemporaneous to Paul and the NT that prove (or even accuse) Paul of being a charlatan that aren't NT scriptures?

Good morning.

I must admit, I am pleasantly surprised by your reply. You appear to have actually read and understood some of what I have written. You have also expressed yourself well, with no grammatical errors. What is more, you have not said anything outlandishly stupid this time. This bodes well for a good discussion.

Yet you are not yet understanding some key concepts.

"First, Mark, you seem eager to take religious sides in this debate, framing Paul’s story as Paul and Christians against Jews and Judaism. Rather, most of Paul’s preaching was done in synagogues. Even when Paul was upset after being persecuted and said he was done sharing with his Jewish brethren, in the very next verses he is staying at a home adjacent to a synagogue. This is where traditionally the local rabbi lives with his family! Of course, Paul and the Christian WERE Jews."

You need to reprogramme your thoughts.

There were no "Christians" (as we know them) in Paul's time. The gospels hadn't been written yet. Paul was preaching a watered down version of Judaism (not today's Christianity) ...to Jews and gentiles. It was only in the second century that Paul's ideas got mixed up with the gospels to form the spiel that we know today.

Read the above again and digest the possibility that I'm right.

As a matter of fact, Mark, you seem intent on defending Judaism against the excesses of Paul, so very much so that if I didn’t know you I would take you as a Jewish apologist seeking to overturn Christianity. Put another way, I wish you would stop using hundreds, even thousands of words to protest that Paul is invalidated because Jewish people don’t follow his teachings. 1) I get your point. 2) Many Jewish people, known as Messianic Jews or Hebrew Christians, adore Paul’s teachings. “Many,” even “most,” is not “all.”

I am not a Jew, and am not a Jewish apologist. I am an atheist, and an amateur historian. I don't bat for any team. I am interested in the historical truth only.

You don't understand the historical significance of the point I'm making. I'm telling you that Paul was fundamentally opposed to Nazarenism... and Nazarenism was the Jewish religion of Jesus, Jesus's family and his followers. What became Christianity turned the Jewish beliefs of Jesus and his followers around 180°, mixed a false story about them with Paul's prattle, and thereby created something that was the very opposite of what Jesus's disciples and his followers believed. That is a fundamentally important concept which you just don't seem to understand. I rabbit on about it ad nauseum because I seriously want people like you to understand how inherently flawed the whole Christian story is.

Forget what is written in the gospels about Jesus embracing Gentiles. The gospels were written by propagandists to undermine Judaism. The real Jesus, and I do believe he probably did exist, was executed by the Romans because he was an insurgent and a trouble causer. The Romans, many years later, created propaganda about him ( the gospels) to undermine his legacy. You need to digest these facts as possibly true before you dismiss them.
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21-10-2015, 09:29 PM (This post was last modified: 22-10-2015 12:03 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(21-10-2015 12:18 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  First, Mark, you seem eager to take religious sides in this debate, framing Paul’s story as Paul and Christians against Jews and Judaism. Rather, most of Paul’s preaching was done in synagogues. Even when Paul was upset after being persecuted and said he was done sharing with his Jewish brethren, in the very next verses he is staying at a home adjacent to a synagogue. This is where traditionally the local rabbi lives with his family! Of course, Paul and the Christian WERE Jews.

As a matter of fact, Mark, you seem intent on defending Judaism against the excesses of Paul, so very much so that if I didn’t know you I would take you as a Jewish apologist seeking to overturn Christianity. Put another way, I wish you would stop using hundreds, even thousands of words to protest that Paul is invalidated because Jewish people don’t follow his teachings. 1) I get your point. 2) Many Jewish people, known as Messianic Jews or Hebrew Christians, adore Paul’s teachings. “Many,” even “most,” is not “all.”

Quote:Devout Jews (such as the Nazarenes) despised Paul and rejected his ramblings...

Paul was accused of being a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes in Acts! That is the first mention of the Nazarenes in written documents that I know of! The Nazarenes trusted Jesus as Messiah and adhered to Paul’s writings, even as holy scripture.

Quote: 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.

Off the top of my head, one of a number of such quotations you are forgetting about is this one from Jeremiah’s 31st chapter:

31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Please bear in mind that Christianity is not invalidated because most Gentiles aren’t Christians, nor is Paul’s Jewishness or the Jewish nature of early Christianity invalidated because many Jews did not trust in Messiah Y’shua.

Please also note that where you wrote...

Quote:There’s no mention in their scriptures about an end to the covenant God made with their ancestors on Mount Sinai.

…how the quotation I have offered specifically mentions a NEW covenant unlike the covenant made during the times of the EXODUS, the Mosaic covenant. The NT writers echo how Jeremiah is describing Jesus as the mediator of a NEW covenant. That's why everyone calls it the NEW testament. "Testament" can also mean "covenant".

Quote: Jews regarded the Law almost like a gift from their God, not a curse, or an imposition on freedom. They didn’t recognise a “new covenant.” Why would they give up centuries of tradition to believe a renegade like Paul?

Exactly, Mark, exactly. To turn aside on 1,500 years of tradition must have been because Paul’s exegesis was challenging and his miracles authentic. Correct observation there.

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

Actually, Jesus spoke of this change to the woman at the well in Samaria. That is a very well known declaration, even among non-theists…

“Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father… the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25

Quote:Yeshua had died over a decade before Paul appeared on the scene, and had he been alive, there is little doubt that he 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!

Now it’s “Yeshua” Mark, and not Jesus? Are you sure you’re not a Jewish apologist rather than an atheist?

You are skipping any number of passages where Jesus says things like, “I have another sheepfold that isn’t Israel” and “Many will come and sit with Abraham and Issac [at the table feast of Judaism]” and so on, as well as OT quotations like “It’s too small a thing for the Messiah to be for Israel only so He will be for the Gentiles…”

Other thoughts come to mind from the OT, like:

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, let all the peoples praise Him.”

“I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.”

“Rejoice, oh Gentiles, WITH His people.”

“The root of Jesse, who arises over the Gentiles. In Him, the Gentiles will hope.”

Jews today recognize that the OT and their beliefs offer the light of monotheism and Messiah to the world. Your point is not accurate here.

Quote:Jesus’ own people were attacking Paul because he was promoting Christian ideas, a fact that should raise eyebrows in today’s churches.

Unbelievers currently persecute millions of people for practicing Christianity, a fact that should raise eyebrows among today’s atheists.

Quote: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…

While quoting scripture, you forgot this statement of Paul in Philippians 1. I’m surprised you didn’t already quote it to justify your defense of Paul as a charlatan. At first blush, it seems to say Paul is promoting false motives in preaching:

15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice."

When actually, Paul is saying “Even the troublemakers who preach falsely to get me in trouble in prison I don’t object to, I’m thrilled people are talking about Christ!”

Quote:Paul probably tried to ingratiate himself with the Nazarenes when in their company, but they became implacably opposed to him, as verified by the verbal confrontation described in Galatians chapter two, and the adamantly anti-Pauline assertions in James’ letter.

Did you read Galatians 2? The confrontation wasn’t over religious doctrine. It was over the fact that Paul was willing to live amongst and spend quality time with Gentiles, while some of his fellow Nazarenes weren’t. It makes the case that Paul was a sincere man.

I don’t remember where James mentions Paul, rather, Paul mentioned meeting James “the Lord’s brother”. Do you have a James quotation where James accuses Paul of being a charlatan?

Quote:Yet Paul failed to mention Jesus’ ghost or his own miracles in his own writings; impossible omissions if they were true. Paul revealed many personality traits in his letters, but genuine personal modesty wasn’t one of them.

Mark, you go on so much in anger against the scriptures it can be hard to follow you. Here it seems above you legitimize Paul by saying the author of Acts was the one making false claims. However, Paul made statements like this in Romans 15:

17 Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God.

So he both declares he has worked in miracles and humbly says God, not Him, has done great things, Paul’s focus being on the good news of another, of Jesus Christ. Mark, you are wrong.

Quote:”Charlatans typically don't tell people in open source documents that they are charlatans! "

Paul did! He admitted he was a liar.

Romans 3:7 "If the truth of God has been spread by my lie, then why am I judged a sinner."

Sorry, but Romans 3 is saying the lie of our sin—the truth of God’s JUDGMENT (see immediate prior and following verses) is underscored by our lie—to claim to be good enough for Heaven unaided. Also, you will note the lie is singular. If you still think it’s a lie, which one, singular lie are you saying Paul admitted? Because you seem to think he made many lies. Again, why a CHARLATAN would talk about his LIES in a document written to the church of an entire city is beyond me. Further, you know all the verses about Paul's lies while forgetting statements of Paul's like that which opens Romans 9:

"I AM TELLING THE TRUTH IN CHRIST, I AM NOT LYING, MY CONSCIENCE TESTIFIES WITH ME IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, that I have unceasing grief and great sorrow in my heart. For I could wish myself accursed, cut off from Christ, for the sake of my brethren, who are Israelites, my kinsmen according to the flesh...

Paul was, as you wrote, attacked, even physically, by Jews. Yet here he says truthfully he could almost wish he would go to Hell forever if his brethren, the Jewish people, were saved... Mark, you have no right to quote NT stories and verses that denigrate Paul without bothering to seek 1) a balanced view by simply reading statements like that above in Romans ninth chapter 2) not telling our debate readers that almost 100% of your reasoning, history and so on in this debate is coming from the NT as your source text! That is incredibly unfair.

Quote:Paul was all about POWER.

Like all cult leaders, he did his best to bolster his personal power and prestige. I think his ego was partly responsible for his self-styled theology. Despite his wordy protestations that he was only working for everyone else’s welfare, his letters lay bare his burning need to browbeat the reader into believing that he was the ultimate authority. He often called his teachings

“my gospel,” (Rom 2;16 and 16;25-27)

a very apt description.

Dr. Fulton, the word “gospel” means good news. There were other gospels being promoted by various messianic pretenders in that era. Paul also made distinctions between his gospel of belief and a more mainline Jewish gospel of works. When I come to TTA, I do my evangelism and tell you my ideas and I am participating in my debate with you. You are participating in your debate with me and sharing your opinion. Taking “my” good news as a declaration of absolutist power is making a mountain of a molehill.

Quote: Paul wrote

“Take me for your model, as I take Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1, NJB.)

He was effectively claiming he was the next best thing to God; that he was the personal deputy of his deity.

I thought this was a debate and you are attempting rather to lead a Bible study, but any first-year Greek student can tell you, Mark, this is rendered as “take me for your model, and like me, imitate CHRIST [not me].”

As far as your comments about Paul being money grubbing, you have “conveniently” ignored two facts:

1. Paul’s frequent declarations that he asked nothing of his hosts and labored with his own hands where he lodged, for the godly privilege of distributing the gospel free of cost.

2. Paul’s statements where he did ask for money that he was working--not alone, but with teams of believers and apostles, often mentioned by name—to raise funds for poor believers in Jerusalem. There was a notorious famine and also several rounds of grievous persecution in Jerusalem. Paul was raising money to aid needy Nazarenes, the people you think (in error) persecuted Paul.

3. By the way, your endless declarations about Paul being invalidated because some Jewish people rejected him—are they true? Did you not notice the millions of Gentiles who follow Paul’s teachings, and Jesus as Savior?

And your comments about Paul being a conspirator where he tells people to pay taxes rather than be seditious are clearly wrong. I could say several things here but noticed you missed the key point of the quotation you made from Romans 13:

“For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.”

True or false, Mark? In general, not always and at all times, people who disobey rulers and don’t obey taxes and dishonor their rulers pay a price. Yes?

Anyway and in sum, I've heard many if not all of your interesting arguments from zealous Jews while preaching... Paul isn't Jewish this... Jesus isn't Jewish that... you really and truly sound like you have left atheism to convert (or return?) to Judaism!

I've asked before and I'll ask again. Do you have ANY documents contemporaneous to Paul and the NT that prove (or even accuse) Paul of being a charlatan that aren't NT scriptures?

1) I get your point.

No you don't. I'll keep trying until I see some evidence you've had your "lighbulb" moment

Many Jewish people, known as Messianic Jews or Hebrew Christians, adore Paul’s teachings. “Many,” even “most,” is not “all.”

Some "cultural" "Jews" may be Christians....but they are not true Jews in the religious sense if they are. End of story.

Paul was accused of being a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes in Acts!

Yes, of course he was. Acts was written in the second century. It is propaganda. One of the primary purposes for its composition was to create the untrue impression that the Nazarenes and Paul were best mates. This had to be done to promote a fabricated link between the historical Jesus and Paul's Christ. In reality, Paul never was a Nazarene.

Read the above again, slowly.

That is the first mention of the Nazarenes in written documents that I know of!

Yes. It is very obvious to me, and I assume anyone else who is reading this, that you know next to nothing about the Nazarenes. You haven't read the Church fathers' writings about them, you haven't read James Tabor, or Hugh Schonfield, or any other literature about the Essenes. You have only read your babble. Hence you do not understand the socio political climate that Paul and Jesus and the others lived in. I have tried to educate you elsewhere, yet you haven't accepted the invitation.

The Nazarenes... adhered to Paul’s writings, even as holy scripture.

This is just plain wrong and demonstrates your almost complete ignorance of the topic, and in fact your ignorance about Paul and early Christian history. There was no such thing as new Testament Scripture until at least the 140s CE, and even then numerous different groups had different ideas about what was scripture and what wasn't.
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21-10-2015, 09:43 PM (This post was last modified: 22-10-2015 12:09 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(21-10-2015 12:18 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  First, Mark, you seem eager to take religious sides in this debate, framing Paul’s story as Paul and Christians against Jews and Judaism. Rather, most of Paul’s preaching was done in synagogues. Even when Paul was upset after being persecuted and said he was done sharing with his Jewish brethren, in the very next verses he is staying at a home adjacent to a synagogue. This is where traditionally the local rabbi lives with his family! Of course, Paul and the Christian WERE Jews.

As a matter of fact, Mark, you seem intent on defending Judaism against the excesses of Paul, so very much so that if I didn’t know you I would take you as a Jewish apologist seeking to overturn Christianity. Put another way, I wish you would stop using hundreds, even thousands of words to protest that Paul is invalidated because Jewish people don’t follow his teachings. 1) I get your point. 2) Many Jewish people, known as Messianic Jews or Hebrew Christians, adore Paul’s teachings. “Many,” even “most,” is not “all.”

Quote:Devout Jews (such as the Nazarenes) despised Paul and rejected his ramblings...

Paul was accused of being a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes in Acts! That is the first mention of the Nazarenes in written documents that I know of! The Nazarenes trusted Jesus as Messiah and adhered to Paul’s writings, even as holy scripture.

Quote: 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.

Off the top of my head, one of a number of such quotations you are forgetting about is this one from Jeremiah’s 31st chapter:

31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Please bear in mind that Christianity is not invalidated because most Gentiles aren’t Christians, nor is Paul’s Jewishness or the Jewish nature of early Christianity invalidated because many Jews did not trust in Messiah Y’shua.

Please also note that where you wrote...

Quote:There’s no mention in their scriptures about an end to the covenant God made with their ancestors on Mount Sinai.

…how the quotation I have offered specifically mentions a NEW covenant unlike the covenant made during the times of the EXODUS, the Mosaic covenant. The NT writers echo how Jeremiah is describing Jesus as the mediator of a NEW covenant. That's why everyone calls it the NEW testament. "Testament" can also mean "covenant".

Quote: Jews regarded the Law almost like a gift from their God, not a curse, or an imposition on freedom. They didn’t recognise a “new covenant.” Why would they give up centuries of tradition to believe a renegade like Paul?

Exactly, Mark, exactly. To turn aside on 1,500 years of tradition must have been because Paul’s exegesis was challenging and his miracles authentic. Correct observation there.

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

Actually, Jesus spoke of this change to the woman at the well in Samaria. That is a very well known declaration, even among non-theists…

“Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father… the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25

Quote:Yeshua had died over a decade before Paul appeared on the scene, and had he been alive, there is little doubt that he 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!

Now it’s “Yeshua” Mark, and not Jesus? Are you sure you’re not a Jewish apologist rather than an atheist?

You are skipping any number of passages where Jesus says things like, “I have another sheepfold that isn’t Israel” and “Many will come and sit with Abraham and Issac [at the table feast of Judaism]” and so on, as well as OT quotations like “It’s too small a thing for the Messiah to be for Israel only so He will be for the Gentiles…”

Other thoughts come to mind from the OT, like:

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, let all the peoples praise Him.”

“I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.”

“Rejoice, oh Gentiles, WITH His people.”

“The root of Jesse, who arises over the Gentiles. In Him, the Gentiles will hope.”

Jews today recognize that the OT and their beliefs offer the light of monotheism and Messiah to the world. Your point is not accurate here.

Quote:Jesus’ own people were attacking Paul because he was promoting Christian ideas, a fact that should raise eyebrows in today’s churches.

Unbelievers currently persecute millions of people for practicing Christianity, a fact that should raise eyebrows among today’s atheists.

Quote: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…

While quoting scripture, you forgot this statement of Paul in Philippians 1. I’m surprised you didn’t already quote it to justify your defense of Paul as a charlatan. At first blush, it seems to say Paul is promoting false motives in preaching:

15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice."

When actually, Paul is saying “Even the troublemakers who preach falsely to get me in trouble in prison I don’t object to, I’m thrilled people are talking about Christ!”

Quote:Paul probably tried to ingratiate himself with the Nazarenes when in their company, but they became implacably opposed to him, as verified by the verbal confrontation described in Galatians chapter two, and the adamantly anti-Pauline assertions in James’ letter.

Did you read Galatians 2? The confrontation wasn’t over religious doctrine. It was over the fact that Paul was willing to live amongst and spend quality time with Gentiles, while some of his fellow Nazarenes weren’t. It makes the case that Paul was a sincere man.

I don’t remember where James mentions Paul, rather, Paul mentioned meeting James “the Lord’s brother”. Do you have a James quotation where James accuses Paul of being a charlatan?

Quote:Yet Paul failed to mention Jesus’ ghost or his own miracles in his own writings; impossible omissions if they were true. Paul revealed many personality traits in his letters, but genuine personal modesty wasn’t one of them.

Mark, you go on so much in anger against the scriptures it can be hard to follow you. Here it seems above you legitimize Paul by saying the author of Acts was the one making false claims. However, Paul made statements like this in Romans 15:

17 Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God.

So he both declares he has worked in miracles and humbly says God, not Him, has done great things, Paul’s focus being on the good news of another, of Jesus Christ. Mark, you are wrong.

Quote:”Charlatans typically don't tell people in open source documents that they are charlatans! "

Paul did! He admitted he was a liar.

Romans 3:7 "If the truth of God has been spread by my lie, then why am I judged a sinner."

Sorry, but Romans 3 is saying the lie of our sin—the truth of God’s JUDGMENT (see immediate prior and following verses) is underscored by our lie—to claim to be good enough for Heaven unaided. Also, you will note the lie is singular. If you still think it’s a lie, which one, singular lie are you saying Paul admitted? Because you seem to think he made many lies. Again, why a CHARLATAN would talk about his LIES in a document written to the church of an entire city is beyond me. Further, you know all the verses about Paul's lies while forgetting statements of Paul's like that which opens Romans 9:

"I AM TELLING THE TRUTH IN CHRIST, I AM NOT LYING, MY CONSCIENCE TESTIFIES WITH ME IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, that I have unceasing grief and great sorrow in my heart. For I could wish myself accursed, cut off from Christ, for the sake of my brethren, who are Israelites, my kinsmen according to the flesh...

Paul was, as you wrote, attacked, even physically, by Jews. Yet here he says truthfully he could almost wish he would go to Hell forever if his brethren, the Jewish people, were saved... Mark, you have no right to quote NT stories and verses that denigrate Paul without bothering to seek 1) a balanced view by simply reading statements like that above in Romans ninth chapter 2) not telling our debate readers that almost 100% of your reasoning, history and so on in this debate is coming from the NT as your source text! That is incredibly unfair.

Quote:Paul was all about POWER.

Like all cult leaders, he did his best to bolster his personal power and prestige. I think his ego was partly responsible for his self-styled theology. Despite his wordy protestations that he was only working for everyone else’s welfare, his letters lay bare his burning need to browbeat the reader into believing that he was the ultimate authority. He often called his teachings

“my gospel,” (Rom 2;16 and 16;25-27)

a very apt description.

Dr. Fulton, the word “gospel” means good news. There were other gospels being promoted by various messianic pretenders in that era. Paul also made distinctions between his gospel of belief and a more mainline Jewish gospel of works. When I come to TTA, I do my evangelism and tell you my ideas and I am participating in my debate with you. You are participating in your debate with me and sharing your opinion. Taking “my” good news as a declaration of absolutist power is making a mountain of a molehill.

Quote: Paul wrote

“Take me for your model, as I take Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1, NJB.)

He was effectively claiming he was the next best thing to God; that he was the personal deputy of his deity.

I thought this was a debate and you are attempting rather to lead a Bible study, but any first-year Greek student can tell you, Mark, this is rendered as “take me for your model, and like me, imitate CHRIST [not me].”

As far as your comments about Paul being money grubbing, you have “conveniently” ignored two facts:

1. Paul’s frequent declarations that he asked nothing of his hosts and labored with his own hands where he lodged, for the godly privilege of distributing the gospel free of cost.

2. Paul’s statements where he did ask for money that he was working--not alone, but with teams of believers and apostles, often mentioned by name—to raise funds for poor believers in Jerusalem. There was a notorious famine and also several rounds of grievous persecution in Jerusalem. Paul was raising money to aid needy Nazarenes, the people you think (in error) persecuted Paul.

3. By the way, your endless declarations about Paul being invalidated because some Jewish people rejected him—are they true? Did you not notice the millions of Gentiles who follow Paul’s teachings, and Jesus as Savior?

And your comments about Paul being a conspirator where he tells people to pay taxes rather than be seditious are clearly wrong. I could say several things here but noticed you missed the key point of the quotation you made from Romans 13:

“For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.”

True or false, Mark? In general, not always and at all times, people who disobey rulers and don’t obey taxes and dishonor their rulers pay a price. Yes?

Anyway and in sum, I've heard many if not all of your interesting arguments from zealous Jews while preaching... Paul isn't Jewish this... Jesus isn't Jewish that... you really and truly sound like you have left atheism to convert (or return?) to Judaism!

I've asked before and I'll ask again. Do you have ANY documents contemporaneous to Paul and the NT that prove (or even accuse) Paul of being a charlatan that aren't NT scriptures?

Actually, Jesus spoke of this change to the woman at the well in Samaria. That is a very well known declaration, even among non-theists…

“Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father… the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25


Of course "Jesus" said this, and things like it. The "Jesus" of the gospels is part of the whole show. "Jesus" in the gospels is a product of the Roman propaganda machine...which was aiming to dilute down the messianic dreams of rebellious Jews. Hence we get "the temple ain't important," "love your enemies," "blessed are the peacemakers," "behave like children," "don't worry about tomorrow" and "pay your taxes."

Has the penny started to drop for you yet?
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21-10-2015, 09:54 PM
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(21-10-2015 12:18 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  First, Mark, you seem eager to take religious sides in this debate, framing Paul’s story as Paul and Christians against Jews and Judaism. Rather, most of Paul’s preaching was done in synagogues. Even when Paul was upset after being persecuted and said he was done sharing with his Jewish brethren, in the very next verses he is staying at a home adjacent to a synagogue. This is where traditionally the local rabbi lives with his family! Of course, Paul and the Christian WERE Jews.

As a matter of fact, Mark, you seem intent on defending Judaism against the excesses of Paul, so very much so that if I didn’t know you I would take you as a Jewish apologist seeking to overturn Christianity. Put another way, I wish you would stop using hundreds, even thousands of words to protest that Paul is invalidated because Jewish people don’t follow his teachings. 1) I get your point. 2) Many Jewish people, known as Messianic Jews or Hebrew Christians, adore Paul’s teachings. “Many,” even “most,” is not “all.”

Quote:Devout Jews (such as the Nazarenes) despised Paul and rejected his ramblings...

Paul was accused of being a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes in Acts! That is the first mention of the Nazarenes in written documents that I know of! The Nazarenes trusted Jesus as Messiah and adhered to Paul’s writings, even as holy scripture.

Quote: 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.

Off the top of my head, one of a number of such quotations you are forgetting about is this one from Jeremiah’s 31st chapter:

31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Please bear in mind that Christianity is not invalidated because most Gentiles aren’t Christians, nor is Paul’s Jewishness or the Jewish nature of early Christianity invalidated because many Jews did not trust in Messiah Y’shua.

Please also note that where you wrote...

Quote:There’s no mention in their scriptures about an end to the covenant God made with their ancestors on Mount Sinai.

…how the quotation I have offered specifically mentions a NEW covenant unlike the covenant made during the times of the EXODUS, the Mosaic covenant. The NT writers echo how Jeremiah is describing Jesus as the mediator of a NEW covenant. That's why everyone calls it the NEW testament. "Testament" can also mean "covenant".

Quote: Jews regarded the Law almost like a gift from their God, not a curse, or an imposition on freedom. They didn’t recognise a “new covenant.” Why would they give up centuries of tradition to believe a renegade like Paul?

Exactly, Mark, exactly. To turn aside on 1,500 years of tradition must have been because Paul’s exegesis was challenging and his miracles authentic. Correct observation there.

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

Actually, Jesus spoke of this change to the woman at the well in Samaria. That is a very well known declaration, even among non-theists…

“Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father… the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25

Quote:Yeshua had died over a decade before Paul appeared on the scene, and had he been alive, there is little doubt that he 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!

Now it’s “Yeshua” Mark, and not Jesus? Are you sure you’re not a Jewish apologist rather than an atheist?

You are skipping any number of passages where Jesus says things like, “I have another sheepfold that isn’t Israel” and “Many will come and sit with Abraham and Issac [at the table feast of Judaism]” and so on, as well as OT quotations like “It’s too small a thing for the Messiah to be for Israel only so He will be for the Gentiles…”

Other thoughts come to mind from the OT, like:

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, let all the peoples praise Him.”

“I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.”

“Rejoice, oh Gentiles, WITH His people.”

“The root of Jesse, who arises over the Gentiles. In Him, the Gentiles will hope.”

Jews today recognize that the OT and their beliefs offer the light of monotheism and Messiah to the world. Your point is not accurate here.

Quote:Jesus’ own people were attacking Paul because he was promoting Christian ideas, a fact that should raise eyebrows in today’s churches.

Unbelievers currently persecute millions of people for practicing Christianity, a fact that should raise eyebrows among today’s atheists.

Quote: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…

While quoting scripture, you forgot this statement of Paul in Philippians 1. I’m surprised you didn’t already quote it to justify your defense of Paul as a charlatan. At first blush, it seems to say Paul is promoting false motives in preaching:

15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice."

When actually, Paul is saying “Even the troublemakers who preach falsely to get me in trouble in prison I don’t object to, I’m thrilled people are talking about Christ!”

Quote:Paul probably tried to ingratiate himself with the Nazarenes when in their company, but they became implacably opposed to him, as verified by the verbal confrontation described in Galatians chapter two, and the adamantly anti-Pauline assertions in James’ letter.

Did you read Galatians 2? The confrontation wasn’t over religious doctrine. It was over the fact that Paul was willing to live amongst and spend quality time with Gentiles, while some of his fellow Nazarenes weren’t. It makes the case that Paul was a sincere man.

I don’t remember where James mentions Paul, rather, Paul mentioned meeting James “the Lord’s brother”. Do you have a James quotation where James accuses Paul of being a charlatan?

Quote:Yet Paul failed to mention Jesus’ ghost or his own miracles in his own writings; impossible omissions if they were true. Paul revealed many personality traits in his letters, but genuine personal modesty wasn’t one of them.

Mark, you go on so much in anger against the scriptures it can be hard to follow you. Here it seems above you legitimize Paul by saying the author of Acts was the one making false claims. However, Paul made statements like this in Romans 15:

17 Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God.

So he both declares he has worked in miracles and humbly says God, not Him, has done great things, Paul’s focus being on the good news of another, of Jesus Christ. Mark, you are wrong.

Quote:”Charlatans typically don't tell people in open source documents that they are charlatans! "

Paul did! He admitted he was a liar.

Romans 3:7 "If the truth of God has been spread by my lie, then why am I judged a sinner."

Sorry, but Romans 3 is saying the lie of our sin—the truth of God’s JUDGMENT (see immediate prior and following verses) is underscored by our lie—to claim to be good enough for Heaven unaided. Also, you will note the lie is singular. If you still think it’s a lie, which one, singular lie are you saying Paul admitted? Because you seem to think he made many lies. Again, why a CHARLATAN would talk about his LIES in a document written to the church of an entire city is beyond me. Further, you know all the verses about Paul's lies while forgetting statements of Paul's like that which opens Romans 9:

"I AM TELLING THE TRUTH IN CHRIST, I AM NOT LYING, MY CONSCIENCE TESTIFIES WITH ME IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, that I have unceasing grief and great sorrow in my heart. For I could wish myself accursed, cut off from Christ, for the sake of my brethren, who are Israelites, my kinsmen according to the flesh...

Paul was, as you wrote, attacked, even physically, by Jews. Yet here he says truthfully he could almost wish he would go to Hell forever if his brethren, the Jewish people, were saved... Mark, you have no right to quote NT stories and verses that denigrate Paul without bothering to seek 1) a balanced view by simply reading statements like that above in Romans ninth chapter 2) not telling our debate readers that almost 100% of your reasoning, history and so on in this debate is coming from the NT as your source text! That is incredibly unfair.

Quote:Paul was all about POWER.

Like all cult leaders, he did his best to bolster his personal power and prestige. I think his ego was partly responsible for his self-styled theology. Despite his wordy protestations that he was only working for everyone else’s welfare, his letters lay bare his burning need to browbeat the reader into believing that he was the ultimate authority. He often called his teachings

“my gospel,” (Rom 2;16 and 16;25-27)

a very apt description.

Dr. Fulton, the word “gospel” means good news. There were other gospels being promoted by various messianic pretenders in that era. Paul also made distinctions between his gospel of belief and a more mainline Jewish gospel of works. When I come to TTA, I do my evangelism and tell you my ideas and I am participating in my debate with you. You are participating in your debate with me and sharing your opinion. Taking “my” good news as a declaration of absolutist power is making a mountain of a molehill.

Quote: Paul wrote

“Take me for your model, as I take Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1, NJB.)

He was effectively claiming he was the next best thing to God; that he was the personal deputy of his deity.

I thought this was a debate and you are attempting rather to lead a Bible study, but any first-year Greek student can tell you, Mark, this is rendered as “take me for your model, and like me, imitate CHRIST [not me].”

As far as your comments about Paul being money grubbing, you have “conveniently” ignored two facts:

1. Paul’s frequent declarations that he asked nothing of his hosts and labored with his own hands where he lodged, for the godly privilege of distributing the gospel free of cost.

2. Paul’s statements where he did ask for money that he was working--not alone, but with teams of believers and apostles, often mentioned by name—to raise funds for poor believers in Jerusalem. There was a notorious famine and also several rounds of grievous persecution in Jerusalem. Paul was raising money to aid needy Nazarenes, the people you think (in error) persecuted Paul.

3. By the way, your endless declarations about Paul being invalidated because some Jewish people rejected him—are they true? Did you not notice the millions of Gentiles who follow Paul’s teachings, and Jesus as Savior?

And your comments about Paul being a conspirator where he tells people to pay taxes rather than be seditious are clearly wrong. I could say several things here but noticed you missed the key point of the quotation you made from Romans 13:

“For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.”

True or false, Mark? In general, not always and at all times, people who disobey rulers and don’t obey taxes and dishonor their rulers pay a price. Yes?

Anyway and in sum, I've heard many if not all of your interesting arguments from zealous Jews while preaching... Paul isn't Jewish this... Jesus isn't Jewish that... you really and truly sound like you have left atheism to convert (or return?) to Judaism!

I've asked before and I'll ask again. Do you have ANY documents contemporaneous to Paul and the NT that prove (or even accuse) Paul of being a charlatan that aren't NT scriptures?


Did you read Galatians 2?

Oh yes, I've read it...

At the so-called “Jerusalem council,” of about 49 CE, James convened a meeting to discuss tactics for promoting the Nazarene’s beliefs. 2 Galatians, written by Paul, describes this meeting. It is a truly enlightening passage from the Bible:

“It was not until fourteen years had passed that I went up to Jerusalem again. I went with Barnabas and took Titus with me. I went there as a result of a revelation, and privately I laid before the leading men the Good News as I proclaim it among the pagans; I did so for fear the course I was adopting or had already adopted would not be allowed. And what happened? Even though Titus who had come with me is a Greek, he was not obliged to be circumcised. The question came up only because some who do not really belong to the brotherhood have furtively crept in to spy on the liberty we enjoy in Jesus Christ, and want to reduce us all to slavery. I was so determined to safe- guard for you the true meaning of the Good News, that I refused even out of deference to yield to such people for one moment. As a result, these people who are acknowledged leaders—not that their importance matters much to me, since God has no favorites—these leaders, as I say, had nothing to add to the Good News as I preach it. On the contrary, they recognized I had been commissioned to preach the Good News to the uncircumcised just as Peter had been com- missioned to preach it to the circumcised. The same person whose action had made Peter the apostle of the circumcised had given me a similar mission to the pagans. So James, Cephas and John, these leaders, these pillars, shook hands with Barnabas and me as a sign of partnership: we were to go to the pagans and they to the circum- cised. The only thing they insisted on was that we should remember to help the poor, as indeed I was anxious to do. When Cephas came to Antioch, however, I opposed him to his face, since he was mani- festly in the wrong. His custom had been to eat with the pagans, but after certain friends of James arrived he stopped doing this and kept away from them altogether for fear of the group that insisted on circumcision. The other Jews joined him in this pretence, and even Barnabas felt himself obliged to copy their behavior. When I saw they were not respecting the true meaning of the Good News, I said to Cephas in front of everyone, ‘In spite of being a Jew, you live like the pagans and not like the Jews, so you have no right to make the pagans copy Jewish ways.’” (Gal. 2:1–15 JB.)

Each sentence, written by Paul, reveals a facet of a very strained relationship. Paul was clearly intimidated by James,’ John’s and Peter’s authority. He referred to them as “Pillars,” and “leading men,” and he writes that he was well aware that they might not accept his proclamation of “Good News:”

“I laid before the leading men the Good News as I proclaim it among the pagans; I did so for fear the course I was adopting or had already adopted would not be allowed.”

Moreover, Paul barely concealed the fact that he begrudged them their authority. He wrote:

“...not that their importance matters much to me.”

Can anyone imagine Paul writing that about someone (James) he thought was the half brother of the Son of God? This is more compelling evidence that Paul’s Christ was not Yeshua, James’ brother.

Paul quite clearly regarded the three Pillars, including Jesus’ brother James, as competition:

“I was so determined to safeguard for you the true meaning of the Good News, that I refused even out of deference to yield to such people for one moment.”

Paul mistrusted “such people,” the Nazarenes, the family and disciples of Jesus. They did not “belong to the brotherhood.” Paul accused them of spying on “...the liberty we enjoy in Christ Jesus.” Paul said they had “...nothing to add to the Good News I preach.” Paul believed they “...want to reduce us all to slavery.” Paul thought that he was freeing people from the “...slavery...” of the Judaic Law. Paul thought that the “Good News” he, and only he, preached, entitled people to “...belong to the brotherhood...”

Then, Paul and Peter, allegedly stalwarts of the fledgling Christian movement, (who the Vatican claim founded a Christian church in Rome together) bickered with each other. Paul claimed (probably quite correctly) that Peter did not respect his “Good News.” Paul claimed he publically challenged Peter directly by accusing him of hypocrisy.

What an intriguing snippet of the Bible! A churlish, hostile Paul, who was probably the first founder of Christianity, was personally and philosophically at odds with Jesus’ brother and disciples! Paul was angry and frustrated that the Nazarenes had been undermining him, and he did not hold back his vindictive retort. Paul and the pillars obviously were not preaching the same message! (As claimed in Acts)
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22-10-2015, 05:15 AM (This post was last modified: 22-10-2015 05:18 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(21-10-2015 12:18 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  First, Mark, you seem eager to take religious sides in this debate, framing Paul’s story as Paul and Christians against Jews and Judaism. Rather, most of Paul’s preaching was done in synagogues. Even when Paul was upset after being persecuted and said he was done sharing with his Jewish brethren, in the very next verses he is staying at a home adjacent to a synagogue. This is where traditionally the local rabbi lives with his family! Of course, Paul and the Christian WERE Jews.

As a matter of fact, Mark, you seem intent on defending Judaism against the excesses of Paul, so very much so that if I didn’t know you I would take you as a Jewish apologist seeking to overturn Christianity. Put another way, I wish you would stop using hundreds, even thousands of words to protest that Paul is invalidated because Jewish people don’t follow his teachings. 1) I get your point. 2) Many Jewish people, known as Messianic Jews or Hebrew Christians, adore Paul’s teachings. “Many,” even “most,” is not “all.”

Quote:Devout Jews (such as the Nazarenes) despised Paul and rejected his ramblings...

Paul was accused of being a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes in Acts! That is the first mention of the Nazarenes in written documents that I know of! The Nazarenes trusted Jesus as Messiah and adhered to Paul’s writings, even as holy scripture.

Quote: 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.

Off the top of my head, one of a number of such quotations you are forgetting about is this one from Jeremiah’s 31st chapter:

31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Please bear in mind that Christianity is not invalidated because most Gentiles aren’t Christians, nor is Paul’s Jewishness or the Jewish nature of early Christianity invalidated because many Jews did not trust in Messiah Y’shua.

Please also note that where you wrote...

Quote:There’s no mention in their scriptures about an end to the covenant God made with their ancestors on Mount Sinai.

…how the quotation I have offered specifically mentions a NEW covenant unlike the covenant made during the times of the EXODUS, the Mosaic covenant. The NT writers echo how Jeremiah is describing Jesus as the mediator of a NEW covenant. That's why everyone calls it the NEW testament. "Testament" can also mean "covenant".

Quote: Jews regarded the Law almost like a gift from their God, not a curse, or an imposition on freedom. They didn’t recognise a “new covenant.” Why would they give up centuries of tradition to believe a renegade like Paul?

Exactly, Mark, exactly. To turn aside on 1,500 years of tradition must have been because Paul’s exegesis was challenging and his miracles authentic. Correct observation there.

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

Actually, Jesus spoke of this change to the woman at the well in Samaria. That is a very well known declaration, even among non-theists…

“Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father… the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25

Quote:Yeshua had died over a decade before Paul appeared on the scene, and had he been alive, there is little doubt that he 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!

Now it’s “Yeshua” Mark, and not Jesus? Are you sure you’re not a Jewish apologist rather than an atheist?

You are skipping any number of passages where Jesus says things like, “I have another sheepfold that isn’t Israel” and “Many will come and sit with Abraham and Issac [at the table feast of Judaism]” and so on, as well as OT quotations like “It’s too small a thing for the Messiah to be for Israel only so He will be for the Gentiles…”

Other thoughts come to mind from the OT, like:

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, let all the peoples praise Him.”

“I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.”

“Rejoice, oh Gentiles, WITH His people.”

“The root of Jesse, who arises over the Gentiles. In Him, the Gentiles will hope.”

Jews today recognize that the OT and their beliefs offer the light of monotheism and Messiah to the world. Your point is not accurate here.

Quote:Jesus’ own people were attacking Paul because he was promoting Christian ideas, a fact that should raise eyebrows in today’s churches.

Unbelievers currently persecute millions of people for practicing Christianity, a fact that should raise eyebrows among today’s atheists.

Quote: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…

While quoting scripture, you forgot this statement of Paul in Philippians 1. I’m surprised you didn’t already quote it to justify your defense of Paul as a charlatan. At first blush, it seems to say Paul is promoting false motives in preaching:

15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice."

When actually, Paul is saying “Even the troublemakers who preach falsely to get me in trouble in prison I don’t object to, I’m thrilled people are talking about Christ!”

Quote:Paul probably tried to ingratiate himself with the Nazarenes when in their company, but they became implacably opposed to him, as verified by the verbal confrontation described in Galatians chapter two, and the adamantly anti-Pauline assertions in James’ letter.

Did you read Galatians 2? The confrontation wasn’t over religious doctrine. It was over the fact that Paul was willing to live amongst and spend quality time with Gentiles, while some of his fellow Nazarenes weren’t. It makes the case that Paul was a sincere man.

I don’t remember where James mentions Paul, rather, Paul mentioned meeting James “the Lord’s brother”. Do you have a James quotation where James accuses Paul of being a charlatan?

Quote:Yet Paul failed to mention Jesus’ ghost or his own miracles in his own writings; impossible omissions if they were true. Paul revealed many personality traits in his letters, but genuine personal modesty wasn’t one of them.

Mark, you go on so much in anger against the scriptures it can be hard to follow you. Here it seems above you legitimize Paul by saying the author of Acts was the one making false claims. However, Paul made statements like this in Romans 15:

17 Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God.

So he both declares he has worked in miracles and humbly says God, not Him, has done great things, Paul’s focus being on the good news of another, of Jesus Christ. Mark, you are wrong.

Quote:”Charlatans typically don't tell people in open source documents that they are charlatans! "

Paul did! He admitted he was a liar.

Romans 3:7 "If the truth of God has been spread by my lie, then why am I judged a sinner."

Sorry, but Romans 3 is saying the lie of our sin—the truth of God’s JUDGMENT (see immediate prior and following verses) is underscored by our lie—to claim to be good enough for Heaven unaided. Also, you will note the lie is singular. If you still think it’s a lie, which one, singular lie are you saying Paul admitted? Because you seem to think he made many lies. Again, why a CHARLATAN would talk about his LIES in a document written to the church of an entire city is beyond me. Further, you know all the verses about Paul's lies while forgetting statements of Paul's like that which opens Romans 9:

"I AM TELLING THE TRUTH IN CHRIST, I AM NOT LYING, MY CONSCIENCE TESTIFIES WITH ME IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, that I have unceasing grief and great sorrow in my heart. For I could wish myself accursed, cut off from Christ, for the sake of my brethren, who are Israelites, my kinsmen according to the flesh...

Paul was, as you wrote, attacked, even physically, by Jews. Yet here he says truthfully he could almost wish he would go to Hell forever if his brethren, the Jewish people, were saved... Mark, you have no right to quote NT stories and verses that denigrate Paul without bothering to seek 1) a balanced view by simply reading statements like that above in Romans ninth chapter 2) not telling our debate readers that almost 100% of your reasoning, history and so on in this debate is coming from the NT as your source text! That is incredibly unfair.

Quote:Paul was all about POWER.

Like all cult leaders, he did his best to bolster his personal power and prestige. I think his ego was partly responsible for his self-styled theology. Despite his wordy protestations that he was only working for everyone else’s welfare, his letters lay bare his burning need to browbeat the reader into believing that he was the ultimate authority. He often called his teachings

“my gospel,” (Rom 2;16 and 16;25-27)

a very apt description.

Dr. Fulton, the word “gospel” means good news. There were other gospels being promoted by various messianic pretenders in that era. Paul also made distinctions between his gospel of belief and a more mainline Jewish gospel of works. When I come to TTA, I do my evangelism and tell you my ideas and I am participating in my debate with you. You are participating in your debate with me and sharing your opinion. Taking “my” good news as a declaration of absolutist power is making a mountain of a molehill.

Quote: Paul wrote

“Take me for your model, as I take Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1, NJB.)

He was effectively claiming he was the next best thing to God; that he was the personal deputy of his deity.

I thought this was a debate and you are attempting rather to lead a Bible study, but any first-year Greek student can tell you, Mark, this is rendered as “take me for your model, and like me, imitate CHRIST [not me].”

As far as your comments about Paul being money grubbing, you have “conveniently” ignored two facts:

1. Paul’s frequent declarations that he asked nothing of his hosts and labored with his own hands where he lodged, for the godly privilege of distributing the gospel free of cost.

2. Paul’s statements where he did ask for money that he was working--not alone, but with teams of believers and apostles, often mentioned by name—to raise funds for poor believers in Jerusalem. There was a notorious famine and also several rounds of grievous persecution in Jerusalem. Paul was raising money to aid needy Nazarenes, the people you think (in error) persecuted Paul.

3. By the way, your endless declarations about Paul being invalidated because some Jewish people rejected him—are they true? Did you not notice the millions of Gentiles who follow Paul’s teachings, and Jesus as Savior?

And your comments about Paul being a conspirator where he tells people to pay taxes rather than be seditious are clearly wrong. I could say several things here but noticed you missed the key point of the quotation you made from Romans 13:

“For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.”

True or false, Mark? In general, not always and at all times, people who disobey rulers and don’t obey taxes and dishonor their rulers pay a price. Yes?

Anyway and in sum, I've heard many if not all of your interesting arguments from zealous Jews while preaching... Paul isn't Jewish this... Jesus isn't Jewish that... you really and truly sound like you have left atheism to convert (or return?) to Judaism!

I've asked before and I'll ask again. Do you have ANY documents contemporaneous to Paul and the NT that prove (or even accuse) Paul of being a charlatan that aren't NT scriptures?

Do you have a James quotation where James accuses Paul of being a charlatan?

No. Something like that would have never escaped "pious Christians" in the first 500 years of Christianity. Yet consider what did make it through...from James...

Many Christians are not aware that Yeshua’s brother may have his very own letter in the Bible. Yet it is there, tucked inconspicuously under the thirteen letters attributed to Paul.

The Catholic encyclopedia claims there is no doubt who the author was:

“Internal evidence (contents of the Epistle, its style, address, date, and place of composition) points unmistakably to James, the Lord’s brother, the Bishop of Jerusalem, as the author; he exactly, and he alone, fulfils the conditions required in the writer of the Epistle.”

Yet it is surprising that the authors acknowledge James was Jesus’ brother here, when that fact is denied elsewhere in the same publication by calling James Jesus’ cousin. The authors call James a bishop, thereby implying James was a Christian, which he most definitely was not. There has never been a Jewish bishop. Christian bishops did not exist anywhere until (at earliest) the 90’s CE, thirty years after James died.

No one can be sure Yeshua’s brother wrote or dictated James’ letter, but even if he did not, the letter is from an early Jewish source, so one possibly close to Yeshua.

Many scholars date the letter to about 60 CE, although the Catholic encyclopedia states “about A.D. 47.”

The letter is addressed to the twelve Jewish tribes of the dispersion, so was to be distributed outside Jerusalem. It has a mildly authoritarian tone, as one would expect from a leader. The author does not mention the word “Church.” The communities he wrote to (outside Jerusalem) worshipped in synagogues, not Churches:

“Now suppose a man comes into your synagogue...” (James 2:2, NJB.)

James says nothing about his (now) famous brother’s exploits. James does not mention Yeshua’s divinity, miracles, sacrificial death or resurrection. If James thought his brother, or his close associate, was a miracle working Son of God, and he knew Yeshua had risen from the dead, there would not be much else worth talking about! All your letters would be laced with excited expletives about supernatural events. James’ letter is not, because James did not believe baloney about Yeshua.

James was a pious Jew. A central theme of his letter is that it is important to obey “the Law.”

“You see, if a man keeps the whole of the Law, except for one small point at which he fails, he is still guilty of breaking it all” (James 2:10 JB.)

“But the man who looks steadily at the perfect law of freedom and makes that his habit - not listening and then forgetting, but actively putting it into practice - will be happy in all that he does” (James 1:25 JB.)

James was referring to the Jewish Law, which the Jerusalem Bible admits in a footnote. This is the opposite of Paul’s proposition that salvation is better secured by releasing oneself from obedience to the Law, an admission also admitted in another footnote in the Jerusalem Bible.

James wrote that faith was pointless without good works:

“Take the case, my brothers, of someone who has never done a single good act but claims that he has faith. Will that faith save him? If one of the brothers or one of the sisters is in need of clothes and has not enough food to live on, and one of you says to them, ‘I wish you well; keep yourself warm and eat plenty’, without giving them these bare necessities of life, then what good is that? Faith is like that: if good works do not go with it, it is quite dead” (James 2:14–17, NJB.)

James emphasized the importance of action:

“If there are any wise or learned men among you, let them show it by their good lives, with humility and wisdom in their actions” (James 3:13, NJB.)

It can be argued that James had heard Paul’s opinionated preaching about faith, and rejected it outright as nonsense.

Consider the following:

“Remember this, my dear brothers, be quick to listen but slow to speak and slow to rouse your temper, God’s righteousness is never served by man’s anger.” (James 1:19–20, NJB.)

James was cut from a different cloth to the self righteous, often angry Paul, a man who appears to have rarely listened to others.

James wrote

“Above all, my brothers, do not swear by heaven or by earth, or use any oaths at all. If you mean ‘yes,’ you must say ‘yes;’ if you mean ‘no,’ say ‘no’. Otherwise you make yourselves liable to judgment” (James 5:12, NJB.)

This is refreshingly real, although a Christian might hope to hear something a little more profound from the brother of the Son of God!

James believed in the truth of Jewish Scripture. He did not tolerate hypocrisy. He had some socialist ideals, which one would expect from a pious Essene. Yeshua, being from the same family and the same religion, probably had similar beliefs.

There is nothing in James’ letter to suggest an anti-Roman stance, but the letter may have been edited. It is also possible James knew that if any anti-Roman literature found its way into the government’s hands he would suffer the same fate as John and Yeshua, and never write another letter again.

James’ letter only just made it into the canon. In the fourth century, its status was disputed. Augustine and Jerome accepted it very reluctantly, so probably others could not ignore the connection with Yeshua.

Martin Luther thought the letter had little doctrinal value because it so blatantly contradicted Paul’s teachings. Paul was Luther’s hero. Luther called James’ letter “an Epistle of straw.” Luther clearly had a very limited understanding of the real history. Modern readers have the benefit of another 500 years of scholarship.
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22-10-2015, 11:32 AM (This post was last modified: 22-10-2015 11:35 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(21-10-2015 12:18 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  First, Mark, you seem eager to take religious sides in this debate, framing Paul’s story as Paul and Christians against Jews and Judaism. Rather, most of Paul’s preaching was done in synagogues. Even when Paul was upset after being persecuted and said he was done sharing with his Jewish brethren, in the very next verses he is staying at a home adjacent to a synagogue. This is where traditionally the local rabbi lives with his family! Of course, Paul and the Christian WERE Jews.

As a matter of fact, Mark, you seem intent on defending Judaism against the excesses of Paul, so very much so that if I didn’t know you I would take you as a Jewish apologist seeking to overturn Christianity. Put another way, I wish you would stop using hundreds, even thousands of words to protest that Paul is invalidated because Jewish people don’t follow his teachings. 1) I get your point. 2) Many Jewish people, known as Messianic Jews or Hebrew Christians, adore Paul’s teachings. “Many,” even “most,” is not “all.”

Quote:Devout Jews (such as the Nazarenes) despised Paul and rejected his ramblings...

Paul was accused of being a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes in Acts! That is the first mention of the Nazarenes in written documents that I know of! The Nazarenes trusted Jesus as Messiah and adhered to Paul’s writings, even as holy scripture.

Quote: 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.

Off the top of my head, one of a number of such quotations you are forgetting about is this one from Jeremiah’s 31st chapter:

31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Please bear in mind that Christianity is not invalidated because most Gentiles aren’t Christians, nor is Paul’s Jewishness or the Jewish nature of early Christianity invalidated because many Jews did not trust in Messiah Y’shua.

Please also note that where you wrote...

Quote:There’s no mention in their scriptures about an end to the covenant God made with their ancestors on Mount Sinai.

…how the quotation I have offered specifically mentions a NEW covenant unlike the covenant made during the times of the EXODUS, the Mosaic covenant. The NT writers echo how Jeremiah is describing Jesus as the mediator of a NEW covenant. That's why everyone calls it the NEW testament. "Testament" can also mean "covenant".

Quote: Jews regarded the Law almost like a gift from their God, not a curse, or an imposition on freedom. They didn’t recognise a “new covenant.” Why would they give up centuries of tradition to believe a renegade like Paul?

Exactly, Mark, exactly. To turn aside on 1,500 years of tradition must have been because Paul’s exegesis was challenging and his miracles authentic. Correct observation there.

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

Actually, Jesus spoke of this change to the woman at the well in Samaria. That is a very well known declaration, even among non-theists…

“Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father… the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25

Quote:Yeshua had died over a decade before Paul appeared on the scene, and had he been alive, there is little doubt that he 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!

Now it’s “Yeshua” Mark, and not Jesus? Are you sure you’re not a Jewish apologist rather than an atheist?

You are skipping any number of passages where Jesus says things like, “I have another sheepfold that isn’t Israel” and “Many will come and sit with Abraham and Issac [at the table feast of Judaism]” and so on, as well as OT quotations like “It’s too small a thing for the Messiah to be for Israel only so He will be for the Gentiles…”

Other thoughts come to mind from the OT, like:

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, let all the peoples praise Him.”

“I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.”

“Rejoice, oh Gentiles, WITH His people.”

“The root of Jesse, who arises over the Gentiles. In Him, the Gentiles will hope.”

Jews today recognize that the OT and their beliefs offer the light of monotheism and Messiah to the world. Your point is not accurate here.

Quote:Jesus’ own people were attacking Paul because he was promoting Christian ideas, a fact that should raise eyebrows in today’s churches.

Unbelievers currently persecute millions of people for practicing Christianity, a fact that should raise eyebrows among today’s atheists.

Quote: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…

While quoting scripture, you forgot this statement of Paul in Philippians 1. I’m surprised you didn’t already quote it to justify your defense of Paul as a charlatan. At first blush, it seems to say Paul is promoting false motives in preaching:

15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice."

When actually, Paul is saying “Even the troublemakers who preach falsely to get me in trouble in prison I don’t object to, I’m thrilled people are talking about Christ!”

Quote:Paul probably tried to ingratiate himself with the Nazarenes when in their company, but they became implacably opposed to him, as verified by the verbal confrontation described in Galatians chapter two, and the adamantly anti-Pauline assertions in James’ letter.

Did you read Galatians 2? The confrontation wasn’t over religious doctrine. It was over the fact that Paul was willing to live amongst and spend quality time with Gentiles, while some of his fellow Nazarenes weren’t. It makes the case that Paul was a sincere man.

I don’t remember where James mentions Paul, rather, Paul mentioned meeting James “the Lord’s brother”. Do you have a James quotation where James accuses Paul of being a charlatan?

Quote:Yet Paul failed to mention Jesus’ ghost or his own miracles in his own writings; impossible omissions if they were true. Paul revealed many personality traits in his letters, but genuine personal modesty wasn’t one of them.

Mark, you go on so much in anger against the scriptures it can be hard to follow you. Here it seems above you legitimize Paul by saying the author of Acts was the one making false claims. However, Paul made statements like this in Romans 15:

17 Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God.

So he both declares he has worked in miracles and humbly says God, not Him, has done great things, Paul’s focus being on the good news of another, of Jesus Christ. Mark, you are wrong.

Quote:”Charlatans typically don't tell people in open source documents that they are charlatans! "

Paul did! He admitted he was a liar.

Romans 3:7 "If the truth of God has been spread by my lie, then why am I judged a sinner."

Sorry, but Romans 3 is saying the lie of our sin—the truth of God’s JUDGMENT (see immediate prior and following verses) is underscored by our lie—to claim to be good enough for Heaven unaided. Also, you will note the lie is singular. If you still think it’s a lie, which one, singular lie are you saying Paul admitted? Because you seem to think he made many lies. Again, why a CHARLATAN would talk about his LIES in a document written to the church of an entire city is beyond me. Further, you know all the verses about Paul's lies while forgetting statements of Paul's like that which opens Romans 9:

"I AM TELLING THE TRUTH IN CHRIST, I AM NOT LYING, MY CONSCIENCE TESTIFIES WITH ME IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, that I have unceasing grief and great sorrow in my heart. For I could wish myself accursed, cut off from Christ, for the sake of my brethren, who are Israelites, my kinsmen according to the flesh...

Paul was, as you wrote, attacked, even physically, by Jews. Yet here he says truthfully he could almost wish he would go to Hell forever if his brethren, the Jewish people, were saved... Mark, you have no right to quote NT stories and verses that denigrate Paul without bothering to seek 1) a balanced view by simply reading statements like that above in Romans ninth chapter 2) not telling our debate readers that almost 100% of your reasoning, history and so on in this debate is coming from the NT as your source text! That is incredibly unfair.

Quote:Paul was all about POWER.

Like all cult leaders, he did his best to bolster his personal power and prestige. I think his ego was partly responsible for his self-styled theology. Despite his wordy protestations that he was only working for everyone else’s welfare, his letters lay bare his burning need to browbeat the reader into believing that he was the ultimate authority. He often called his teachings

“my gospel,” (Rom 2;16 and 16;25-27)

a very apt description.

Dr. Fulton, the word “gospel” means good news. There were other gospels being promoted by various messianic pretenders in that era. Paul also made distinctions between his gospel of belief and a more mainline Jewish gospel of works. When I come to TTA, I do my evangelism and tell you my ideas and I am participating in my debate with you. You are participating in your debate with me and sharing your opinion. Taking “my” good news as a declaration of absolutist power is making a mountain of a molehill.

Quote: Paul wrote

“Take me for your model, as I take Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1, NJB.)

He was effectively claiming he was the next best thing to God; that he was the personal deputy of his deity.

I thought this was a debate and you are attempting rather to lead a Bible study, but any first-year Greek student can tell you, Mark, this is rendered as “take me for your model, and like me, imitate CHRIST [not me].”

As far as your comments about Paul being money grubbing, you have “conveniently” ignored two facts:

1. Paul’s frequent declarations that he asked nothing of his hosts and labored with his own hands where he lodged, for the godly privilege of distributing the gospel free of cost.

2. Paul’s statements where he did ask for money that he was working--not alone, but with teams of believers and apostles, often mentioned by name—to raise funds for poor believers in Jerusalem. There was a notorious famine and also several rounds of grievous persecution in Jerusalem. Paul was raising money to aid needy Nazarenes, the people you think (in error) persecuted Paul.

3. By the way, your endless declarations about Paul being invalidated because some Jewish people rejected him—are they true? Did you not notice the millions of Gentiles who follow Paul’s teachings, and Jesus as Savior?

And your comments about Paul being a conspirator where he tells people to pay taxes rather than be seditious are clearly wrong. I could say several things here but noticed you missed the key point of the quotation you made from Romans 13:

“For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.”

True or false, Mark? In general, not always and at all times, people who disobey rulers and don’t obey taxes and dishonor their rulers pay a price. Yes?

Anyway and in sum, I've heard many if not all of your interesting arguments from zealous Jews while preaching... Paul isn't Jewish this... Jesus isn't Jewish that... you really and truly sound like you have left atheism to convert (or return?) to Judaism!

I've asked before and I'll ask again. Do you have ANY documents contemporaneous to Paul and the NT that prove (or even accuse) Paul of being a charlatan that aren't NT scriptures?

As a matter of fact, Mark, you seem intent on defending Judaism against the excesses of Paul, so very much so that if I didn’t know you I would take you as a Jewish apologist seeking to overturn Christianity.

Q, please digest the following facts.

The world in which Jesus, James, Peter and Paul lived in was experiencing a "cold war" between Jews and gentiles. Things came to a head in the massive first Jewish war of 66-70, in which Rome devastated Palestine. It wasn't just a war between two nations, it was a battle of ideologies between Judaism and Gentiles.

Rome was smart. The Government knew a war was brewing. To send 50,000 troups to Palestine ( which is what they ended up doing) was expensive. It was much easier, and less expensive, to try to control popular opinion. Paul was a government agent... he was one of the first propagandists... I think he was under the employee of the government. He was trying to undermine the messianic aspirations of militant Jews. Hence he tried to create a more benign, less overtly Jewish, and a more accomodating form of Judaism... one that Rome could live with. The fabricated nonsense about Christ that we read in the letters of Paul are just Rome's attempt to create a version of Judaism that wasn't so patriotic, anti gentile and aggressive.

The Jesus legend hadn't been created at the time Paul wrote (only the Christ nonsense) The gospels, which were Jesus' story, were Rome's second attempt ( a post war attempt) to create a more benign form of Judaism. Rome (probably) took the identity of the brave Jewish insurgent (Jesus) that they had knocked off a few decades earlier, and who many militant Jews (such as the Nazarenes) still thought highly of, and turned him into a benign pacifist preacher. They made out that Jews had been responsible for their own hero's death ( ie that they, not the Romans, had effectively killed Jesus.) In those days you could get away with writing anything you wanted if you were in charge of a large propaganda machine.

Later, in the second century, when churchmen tried to make a religion out of the whole thing, they merged Paul's Christ with the Gospels' Jesus.

Understand this and you understand the birth of Christianity.

This is how I word parts of this whole scenario in my book...

Jews, Romans and the Birth of Christianity

The antagonism between Jews and Romans was probably the key factor responsible for the birth of Christianity.

Robert Eisenman, in his exhaustively researched book "James, Brother of Jesus" presents a sensible assessment of Jesus’ time and the decades afterwards.

Eisenman divides Palestine into two power blocs: the rulers and the populists. The rulers were the Romans and those to whom they gave power. They included the Herodian puppet dynasty, the Sadducees, the Sanhedrin, and Gentiles, including small groups of Paul’s “Christians.” The populists were the native population, most of who were opposed to Roman domination. They included the Nazarenes, the Qumran community, and various other groups united under James, Yeshua’s brother. Eisenman portrays James as a xenophobic fundamentalist Jewish leader.

There was more to Jewish antagonism toward Rome than just political and economic suppression. The Jews were a passionately proud people who imagined themselves as God’s special subjects. Despite their countless sectarian affiliations, most of them were committed to conserving their common Jewish culture to the exclusion of all alternatives. Some Jews tried to tell the world about the power and majesty of their God, and they dreamed about bringing all nations under “his” rule. These Jews, obviously brainwashed since childhood by priests and other fanatics with delusions about God and their own importance in the universe, were disillusioned with being ruled by Rome and the impoverishment they suffered as a consequence. The Jews wanted to be what the Romans actually were: the people at the top. In this they grossly overestimated their own importance and abilities, as the Jews had no legacy of any long-lasting government, rarely had an army organized enough to be effective, and were notorious for fighting among themselves. It could be said that many Jews had their heads in the clouds, hoping for a hero messiah who would create the kingdom of God, whereas the Romans had a very real and effective government, army and financial resources.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, hidden until 1947, are like a time capsule that takes us back nearly 2000 years into this Jewish world as seen from their perspective, so the Scrolls offer a unique and invaluable glimpse into the past, because Romans destroyed nearly all other Jewish messianic literature.

Eisenman and other scholars, including Douglas Lockhart and Peter Cresswell, claim that the scrolls include copies of James’ sermons thundering against “the Enemy” and “the Liar,” referring to someone daring to teach dogma at odds with the traditions of observant Jews. There is only one likely candidate James could have been referring to, and that is Paul, who James may have considered to be a traitor and a Roman agent. It is ironic that Jesus’ brother might have referred to the creator of Christian theology (Paul) as a liar.

The Scrolls give us a far more realistic assessment of Jewish first- century Palestine than the Gospels.

No wonder the Vatican had a strong interest in their interpretation in the decades after their discovery.

If someone were to make a good movie based on the real John the Baptist, Jesus, Paul, and James, and it was done well enough to convince the public, it would be a blockbuster that would rock all Christian establishments.

( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYTlkrUFSW4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wneSV0FOsMA
http://douglaslockhart.com/
http://jesustheterrorist.com/about-the-author.htm
http://www.sullivan-county.com/id2/james.htm http://www.dreamscape.com/morgana/carme.htm )

“Jesus” has been made “pro-Gentile.”

Yeshua, if he ever existed, was almost certainly an Essene.

He was not the pacifist pro-Gentile preacher of ethics as portrayed in the Bible, but a fundamentalist Jew who wanted to establish a Jewish kingdom of God in Palestine. The stories of Jesus eating with tax collectors, who were working for the Roman government, were written by anonymous authors many years after Yeshua’s death, and were very likely a fabrication designed to make Jesus appear pro- Gentile. Jesus sometimes denigrated aspects of Jewish law, which no true Jew would do, so this was likely fictional too. The benign preacher who professed that he was not a zealot and was crucified at the calling of a Jewish crowd has to be a crass concoction. The Gospels’ depictions of Roman bosses and soldiers as the good guys who actually admired Jesus are also almost certainly an invention, as are the authors’ attempts to portray subservience, passivity and poverty as admirable precepts.

Christianity, a creed concocted to appeal to Gentiles, would have been totally foreign to Yeshua. This is big news. It means the whole Christian show is based on little more than spurious stories about Yeshua, and the ramblings and prejudices of Paul. If a religion is built on a foundation of falsehood and prejudice, can it have any genuine value?
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