Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
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22-10-2015, 12:23 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?

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?

Well...there is this from Tertullian (who was almost a contemporary)

Tertullian, (160 – 220 CE) an influential theologian and a member of the Catholic Church, was highly critical of Marcion, and wrote five books criticizing him. Considering how things turned out, it is eye-opening that he denigrated Marcion’s guru Paul as not being Jesus’ true apostle. Tertullian wrote this about Paul:

“I require to know of Marcion the origin of his apostles...since a man is affirmed to me to be an apostle whom I do not find mentioned in the Gospel in the catalogue of the apostles. Indeed, when I hear that this man was chosen by the Lord after He had attained His rest in heaven, I feel that a kind of improvidence is imputable to Christ, for not knowing before that this man was necessary to Him; and because He thought that he must be added to the apostolic body in the way of a fortuitous encounter rather than a deliberate selection; by necessity (so to speak), and not voluntary choice, although the members of the apostolate had been duly ordained, and were now dismissed to their several missions. Wherefore, O shipmaster of Pontus, if you have never taken on board your small craft any contraband goods or smuggler’s cargo, if you have never thrown overboard or tampered with a freight, you are still more careful and conscientious, I doubt not, in divine things; and so I should be glad if you would inform us under what bill of lading you admitted the Apostle Paul on board, who ticketed him, what owner forwarded him, who handed him to you, that so you may land him without any misgiving, lest he should turn out to belong to him, who can substantiate his claim to him by producing all his apostolic writ- ings. He professes himself to be ‘an apostle,’ to use his own words, ‘not of men, nor by man, but by Jesus Christ.’ Of course, any one may make a profession concerning himself; but his profession is only rendered valid by the authority of a second person. One man signs, another countersigns; one man appends his seal, another registers in the public records. No one is at once a proposer and a seconder to him- self. Besides, you have read, no doubt, that ‘many shall come, saying, I am Christ.’ Now if anyone can pretend that he is Christ, how much more might a man profess to be an apostle of Christ! But still, for my own part, I appear in the character of a disciple and an inquirer; that so I may even thus both refute your belief, who have nothing to support it, and confound your shamelessness, who make claims without pos- sessing the means of establishing them.” (Against Marcion, Book V, Chapter 1, translated by the Rev. S. Thelwall.)

How interesting! Tertullian, one of the founding fathers of Catholic Christianity, quite rightly questioned Paul’s legitimacy. Tertullian’s comments are just as pertinent today as they were nearly 2000 years ago. Tertullian was stating the obvious; Paul was only a self- appointed apostle and had no valid authority, because he never met Jesus. Paul’s status in Christian Churches has obviously grown since the time Tertullian wrote this.
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23-10-2015, 02:21 AM (This post was last modified: 23-10-2015 02:25 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?

Q, you state
"Please bear in mind that Christianity is not invalidated because most Gentiles aren’t Christians"

This rather illogical thought hadn't crossed my mind.

What does invalidate Christianity is the fact that the alleged central figure of the religion, Jesus, was a fundamentalist Jew who knew nothing of the creator of Christian theology's (Paul's) ideas.
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23-10-2015, 02:36 AM (This post was last modified: 23-10-2015 02:46 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?

Q, you wrote
"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."

I challenge you to provide any good quality evidence that any of Jesus' family or disciples were fans of Paul. Sorry, quotes from the book of Acts will not do. I'm referring to quality evidence.

Paul did not do miracles. Nobody does miracles. Even if he thought he did, he would have undoubtedly told the world about them in his letters, and he doesn't. Get real and be honest about this. Imagine, for a second, YOU fucked with the rules of nature. You'd be shit pleased, and have your goddam camera taking shots. We get none of that in Paul's writings.
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23-10-2015, 07:21 AM
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
Mark,

If Paul sought power, why did he limit his income, remain without a spouse or female companion, and not exercise power? If Paul was a Roman conspirator, why was he usually writing from inside a Roman jail, why was he martyred, in Rome, by Romans? Jews don’t behead their victims…

If Paul was about power in educating people to follow his ways, why wasn’t it okay for him to do so but it’s okay for you and TTA friends to constantly taunt me with “get an education, learn something about Christianity”?

If you attack Paul for pulling people away from Judaism to Christianity, why is it okay for you to try to pull people off Christianity and Judaism to atheism?

What is the proof you are not lying in your book? You take potshots at Paul’s writings and he cannot defend himself, how do we know you don’t play fast and loose with truth? I’m growing weary of having you say ALL my Bible quotations are lies and ALL yours are Paul telling the truth about Paul’s lies! That is not a level playing field.

Quote: 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.

Mark, I’m done digesting. I burped and I felt better. But seriously, I’ve pointed you to other sources, even longer sources than your many posts, indicating why this is not so, why the NT was completed before the close of the first century, and why in Paul’s day there were Christians.

Quote: 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.

I’d like you to know I’ve heard from modern-day Ebionites a similar “Jesus right, Paul wrong,” or “Jesus did one thing until Paul turned it on its head” many, many times. No. Now, a lot of the understanding comes once you understand that Paul wrote as early as 95% of scholars—liberal and conservative scholars, atheist and Christian scholars—say he did. Paul’s epistles were written about 100 years before you say he wrote (extreme minority view—even the Jesus Seminar dates them earlier than you do).

And yes, Jesus was executed as an insurgent, although you must admit as a peaceful one without a standing army or insurgency! But the Jewish people were also complicit and the NT details the conspiracies and machinations involved.

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

Okay, so you’re NOT Jewish. I get it now. Because I’m not here to debate Judaism with you, but you don’t know the first thing about it, apparently. A Jew who becomes a Christian is entitled to fully participate in all religious and ceremonial aspects of Judaism from Bar Mitzvah to Jewish burial, and there are many Messianics, however discreet, in synagogues of all stripes today. Your NTS regarding “true Jews” is offensive to both traditional and Messianic Jews, as well as the rules of logic. Please stop!

Quote: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.

I did. And both the first and second times, I noticed you are playing fast and loose with documentary evidence. When the NT says things you find strengthen your case, it speaks truth in your opinion. When it argues strongly against your case, you cite it as a lie or conspiratorial lie. I stated you would do this prior to entering our debate, but I wish you as the tiger would change your stripes! HOW DO YOU KNOW this particular statement is a LIE but other NT scriptures are TRUE? Please cite your evidence here and now.

Quote: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.

Cut it out, please. You know I didn’t mean “first time I read the term” but rather, the earliest extant mention of them in a written document. Cut it out. Acts is older than your imaginary textual sources that Nazarenes were warring with… who is it? Paulines? There’s no such thing. There’s no name scholars have applied to groups of people who followed Paul in the first through third centuries, so your “Paul vs. the Nazarenes” doesn’t have a scholarly leg to stand upon, sir.

Quote: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.

If a document was recognized as holy scripture after 140, and it was written in 130, guess what the church considers it to have been in 130? I will leave this debate if you continue to play semantics with me. THE NAZARENES ARE ALSO KNOWN TODAY AS BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS. PAUL WAS CALLED ERRONEOUSLY THEIR “RINGLEADER” BECAUSE HE TAUGHT THE SAME DOCTRINES PUBLICLY AS OTHER APOSTLES--AND THE NAZARENES, LIKE ME, ADHERE TO HOLY SCRIPTURE.

Read the above again as slowly or as fast as you like! 

Quote: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."

Mark, YOU said Jesus differed from Paul. I quoted Jesus where He agreed with Paul, and then YOU said “of course, this statement of Jesus’s is a fabricated statement also—so here are some more statements of Jesus that aren’t fabricated, because they prove my point about Paul. I call baloney. Pick from among the following:

ALL the NT is true.

ALL the NT is false.

SOME of the NT is true, SOME is false/conspiracy/lies—but you better have literary citations and PROOF of what isn’t true if you’re going to call EVERY scripture quotation I make a lie and everyone YOU use as true. Level playing field, please!

**

Regarding Galatians 2, I’m afraid I must change my stance. It is a mistaken insertion in the Bible, it is a lie promoted by those trying to denigrate Paul. You cannot use it in our debate… [that is my example of the kind of baloney you are pushing here.]

However, I will bother to address your (wrong) points about Galatians 2. Paul was conciliatory and laudatory to other apostles here and elsewhere. He is on record as publicly stating “I’m the least of all the apostles.” Give it a rest, please.

Quote:“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.”

Clearly you don’t understand much about this (or many other) Bible verses. I’m determined to post to TTA to yield out of deference to atheists about the gospel! Paul was opposed to certain people not in a power grab, but because they were saying the good news was for Jews and not Gentiles and based on works and not faith. I know you’ve heard of the Reformation, for a similar example… (Q rolls his eyes, sighs.)

Quote:…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.

Astonishing. You don’t know there were many people named James (Ya’akov, Jacob) in that time and place? You didn’t know even Jesus had two apostles named James; the brother of John/son of Zebedee and James the “lesser”? And that James the Lord’s brother is a third James in the NT? No, why would you know that or bother to do the research. You’re an atheist.

Quote: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.

You shared this all before, Dr. Fulton. What I’ve shared before is I’m tired of this argument from silence. What I will add today for this debate is that 1) James was likely the leader of the Jerusalem saints prior to his martyrdom. That plus 2) being the natural half-brother of GOD gave him a lot of authority and to his readers, he didn’t need to authenticate his credentials—and if he was you, you would want to write “your own thing” without having to say, “Yeah, I’m God’s brother!” if you know what I mean… anyway, PAUL did have to cite credentials since he was late to the party—and I’m sure you will comment on that fact. 

And yes, I know that Martin Luther thought James wasn’t canon—something every first year Religion major should know. He thought the same about Revelation, about which letter I’ve edited an entire book! I will apologize to Luther in Heaven. We both hope to have you there with us, Mark. 

Quote:Rome was smart. The Government knew a war was brewing… Rome was smart. The Government knew a war was brewing…

Listen, I know I’ve cut down mercilessly on your theory that Paul was a Roman conspirator sent to make the Jews pacifists to Rome, tax payers and etc. I apologize for being harsh in the past. It’s really a clever idea and I can see why you’d make it a staple in your book.

However, have you considered how:

1. If you insist Paul’s stuff to be a second century fabrication, Masada, the destruction of Jerusalem and the war against the Jews had ENDED, the Jews scattered in diaspora? Why go to huge expense to quell a rebellion that ended already, so successfully it took 2,000 years for the Jews to regain Israel? Consider!

2. If you insist Paul’s stuff is a late fabrication, how it was that countless Jews and Gentiles across Asia Minor, across what was left of Palestine and across the Empire became “Pauline” in doctrine? Wouldn’t they have all said, “Pish Posh! This stuff is recently made up. Our fathers knew nothing about this stuff and this perversion of the beloved Nazarene doctrines!” Consider!

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

The Essenes and Qumran’ers were notorious for being withdrawn from Rome and Israel both. They were cave dwellers, monastic! The idea that Jesus came out from THEM to become an itinerant preacher is absurd. Worse is the idea that Jesus was a self-proclaimed Messiah if He was an Essene, who was one who lived in seclusion until the Messiah came down from above rather than being born in a manger to live among mere men! Jesus would have been repudiated by the Essenes for not ushering in Armageddon either in His day (or by the 2nd century when you think the gospels and epistles were redacted). No. No, no, no, no.

Re: Tertullian and Paul:

You indeed cited a text from Tertullian's Against Marcion. Tertullian is pushing Marcion to prove his VERSION of the apostle Paul. The text you are citing is attacking MARCION’s Paul.

If you read a bit further after this section of Book V you will read where Tertullian says:

"I do not calumniate him whom I defend. I deny him to compel you to defend him. I deny him to convince you that he is mine... If you challenge us to your belief, tell us what things constitute its basis."

Tertullian is using somewhat legal argumentation and rhetorical style to push against the position of Marcion. This is why we have to be careful when reading the early fathers--their writing methods are usually very different from what we are used to. That is, what Bucky Ball famously reminds us is presentist in viewpoint.

Tertullian quotes from the apostle Paul in several writings, even in Against Marcion as mentioned above. He does so in positive ways that make it obvious that he:

1. Views Paul as a legitimate apostle...

2. Sees Paul's letters as inspired text...

"Rightly, then, did Peter and James and John give their right hand of fellowship to Paul, and agree on such a division of their work, as that Paul should go to the heathen, and themselves to the circumcision." Against Marcion Volume 3!

The remainder of Book 5 is all about Tertullian proving Marcion wrong and showing how Paul agrees with the other apostles and with the message/gospel of Jesus!

I could cite many examples of Tertullian quoting Paul as inspired, but how about one clear example?

On Baptism (Chapter 15):

There is to us one, and but one, baptism; as well according to the Lord's gospel as according to the apostle's letters, inasmuch as he says, "One God, and one baptism," and one church in the heavens.

The most holy apostle has said, that "all things are lawful, but not all expedient." Chapter 17

Tertullian also cites Paul in On Monogamy and On Modesty.

Quote: What does invalidate Christianity is the fact that the alleged central figure of the religion, Jesus, was a fundamentalist Jew who knew nothing of the creator of Christian theology's (Paul's) ideas.

You have a minority view there—an Ebionite’s view. Obviously, most Christians (who have Bible knowledge) can show you where their ideas dovetail. Even TERTULLIAN wrote about their ideas being harmonious.

Quote:I challenge you to provide any good quality evidence that any of Jesus' family or disciples were fans of Paul. Sorry, quotes from the book of Acts will not do. I'm referring to quality evidence.

Paul did not do miracles. Nobody does miracles. Even if he thought he did, he would have undoubtedly told the world about them in his letters, and he doesn't. Get real and be honest about this. Imagine, for a second, YOU fucked with the rules of nature. You'd be shit pleased, and have your goddam camera taking shots. We get none of that in Paul's writings.

One, Paul didn’t have a camera. Smile

Two, Paul says in Romans 15, “Christ has accomplished through me the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, IN THE POWER OF SIGNS AND WONDERS...”

YOU might run through the streets talking about miracles if YOU saw one. Paul mostly talked about how awesome Jesus Christ is, but he did reference miracle signs, although on a seldom basis. Again, Paul wanted people to trust Christ, not the miracles of Paul, and so he kept his references limited there.

Thank you.

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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23-10-2015, 03:06 PM (This post was last modified: 23-10-2015 03:12 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(23-10-2015 07:21 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Mark,

If Paul sought power, why did he limit his income, remain without a spouse or female companion, and not exercise power? If Paul was a Roman conspirator, why was he usually writing from inside a Roman jail, why was he martyred, in Rome, by Romans? Jews don’t behead their victims…

If Paul was about power in educating people to follow his ways, why wasn’t it okay for him to do so but it’s okay for you and TTA friends to constantly taunt me with “get an education, learn something about Christianity”?

If you attack Paul for pulling people away from Judaism to Christianity, why is it okay for you to try to pull people off Christianity and Judaism to atheism?

What is the proof you are not lying in your book? You take potshots at Paul’s writings and he cannot defend himself, how do we know you don’t play fast and loose with truth? I’m growing weary of having you say ALL my Bible quotations are lies and ALL yours are Paul telling the truth about Paul’s lies! That is not a level playing field.

Quote: 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.

Mark, I’m done digesting. I burped and I felt better. But seriously, I’ve pointed you to other sources, even longer sources than your many posts, indicating why this is not so, why the NT was completed before the close of the first century, and why in Paul’s day there were Christians.

Quote: 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.

I’d like you to know I’ve heard from modern-day Ebionites a similar “Jesus right, Paul wrong,” or “Jesus did one thing until Paul turned it on its head” many, many times. No. Now, a lot of the understanding comes once you understand that Paul wrote as early as 95% of scholars—liberal and conservative scholars, atheist and Christian scholars—say he did. Paul’s epistles were written about 100 years before you say he wrote (extreme minority view—even the Jesus Seminar dates them earlier than you do).

And yes, Jesus was executed as an insurgent, although you must admit as a peaceful one without a standing army or insurgency! But the Jewish people were also complicit and the NT details the conspiracies and machinations involved.

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

Okay, so you’re NOT Jewish. I get it now. Because I’m not here to debate Judaism with you, but you don’t know the first thing about it, apparently. A Jew who becomes a Christian is entitled to fully participate in all religious and ceremonial aspects of Judaism from Bar Mitzvah to Jewish burial, and there are many Messianics, however discreet, in synagogues of all stripes today. Your NTS regarding “true Jews” is offensive to both traditional and Messianic Jews, as well as the rules of logic. Please stop!

Quote: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.

I did. And both the first and second times, I noticed you are playing fast and loose with documentary evidence. When the NT says things you find strengthen your case, it speaks truth in your opinion. When it argues strongly against your case, you cite it as a lie or conspiratorial lie. I stated you would do this prior to entering our debate, but I wish you as the tiger would change your stripes! HOW DO YOU KNOW this particular statement is a LIE but other NT scriptures are TRUE? Please cite your evidence here and now.

Quote: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.

Cut it out, please. You know I didn’t mean “first time I read the term” but rather, the earliest extant mention of them in a written document. Cut it out. Acts is older than your imaginary textual sources that Nazarenes were warring with… who is it? Paulines? There’s no such thing. There’s no name scholars have applied to groups of people who followed Paul in the first through third centuries, so your “Paul vs. the Nazarenes” doesn’t have a scholarly leg to stand upon, sir.

Quote: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.

If a document was recognized as holy scripture after 140, and it was written in 130, guess what the church considers it to have been in 130? I will leave this debate if you continue to play semantics with me. THE NAZARENES ARE ALSO KNOWN TODAY AS BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS. PAUL WAS CALLED ERRONEOUSLY THEIR “RINGLEADER” BECAUSE HE TAUGHT THE SAME DOCTRINES PUBLICLY AS OTHER APOSTLES--AND THE NAZARENES, LIKE ME, ADHERE TO HOLY SCRIPTURE.

Read the above again as slowly or as fast as you like! 

Quote: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."

Mark, YOU said Jesus differed from Paul. I quoted Jesus where He agreed with Paul, and then YOU said “of course, this statement of Jesus’s is a fabricated statement also—so here are some more statements of Jesus that aren’t fabricated, because they prove my point about Paul. I call baloney. Pick from among the following:

ALL the NT is true.

ALL the NT is false.

SOME of the NT is true, SOME is false/conspiracy/lies—but you better have literary citations and PROOF of what isn’t true if you’re going to call EVERY scripture quotation I make a lie and everyone YOU use as true. Level playing field, please!

**

Regarding Galatians 2, I’m afraid I must change my stance. It is a mistaken insertion in the Bible, it is a lie promoted by those trying to denigrate Paul. You cannot use it in our debate… [that is my example of the kind of baloney you are pushing here.]

However, I will bother to address your (wrong) points about Galatians 2. Paul was conciliatory and laudatory to other apostles here and elsewhere. He is on record as publicly stating “I’m the least of all the apostles.” Give it a rest, please.

Quote:“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.”

Clearly you don’t understand much about this (or many other) Bible verses. I’m determined to post to TTA to yield out of deference to atheists about the gospel! Paul was opposed to certain people not in a power grab, but because they were saying the good news was for Jews and not Gentiles and based on works and not faith. I know you’ve heard of the Reformation, for a similar example… (Q rolls his eyes, sighs.)

Quote:…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.

Astonishing. You don’t know there were many people named James (Ya’akov, Jacob) in that time and place? You didn’t know even Jesus had two apostles named James; the brother of John/son of Zebedee and James the “lesser”? And that James the Lord’s brother is a third James in the NT? No, why would you know that or bother to do the research. You’re an atheist.

Quote: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.

You shared this all before, Dr. Fulton. What I’ve shared before is I’m tired of this argument from silence. What I will add today for this debate is that 1) James was likely the leader of the Jerusalem saints prior to his martyrdom. That plus 2) being the natural half-brother of GOD gave him a lot of authority and to his readers, he didn’t need to authenticate his credentials—and if he was you, you would want to write “your own thing” without having to say, “Yeah, I’m God’s brother!” if you know what I mean… anyway, PAUL did have to cite credentials since he was late to the party—and I’m sure you will comment on that fact. 

And yes, I know that Martin Luther thought James wasn’t canon—something every first year Religion major should know. He thought the same about Revelation, about which letter I’ve edited an entire book! I will apologize to Luther in Heaven. We both hope to have you there with us, Mark. 

Quote:Rome was smart. The Government knew a war was brewing… Rome was smart. The Government knew a war was brewing…

Listen, I know I’ve cut down mercilessly on your theory that Paul was a Roman conspirator sent to make the Jews pacifists to Rome, tax payers and etc. I apologize for being harsh in the past. It’s really a clever idea and I can see why you’d make it a staple in your book.

However, have you considered how:

1. If you insist Paul’s stuff to be a second century fabrication, Masada, the destruction of Jerusalem and the war against the Jews had ENDED, the Jews scattered in diaspora? Why go to huge expense to quell a rebellion that ended already, so successfully it took 2,000 years for the Jews to regain Israel? Consider!

2. If you insist Paul’s stuff is a late fabrication, how it was that countless Jews and Gentiles across Asia Minor, across what was left of Palestine and across the Empire became “Pauline” in doctrine? Wouldn’t they have all said, “Pish Posh! This stuff is recently made up. Our fathers knew nothing about this stuff and this perversion of the beloved Nazarene doctrines!” Consider!

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

The Essenes and Qumran’ers were notorious for being withdrawn from Rome and Israel both. They were cave dwellers, monastic! The idea that Jesus came out from THEM to become an itinerant preacher is absurd. Worse is the idea that Jesus was a self-proclaimed Messiah if He was an Essene, who was one who lived in seclusion until the Messiah came down from above rather than being born in a manger to live among mere men! Jesus would have been repudiated by the Essenes for not ushering in Armageddon either in His day (or by the 2nd century when you think the gospels and epistles were redacted). No. No, no, no, no.

Re: Tertullian and Paul:

You indeed cited a text from Tertullian's Against Marcion. Tertullian is pushing Marcion to prove his VERSION of the apostle Paul. The text you are citing is attacking MARCION’s Paul.

If you read a bit further after this section of Book V you will read where Tertullian says:

"I do not calumniate him whom I defend. I deny him to compel you to defend him. I deny him to convince you that he is mine... If you challenge us to your belief, tell us what things constitute its basis."

Tertullian is using somewhat legal argumentation and rhetorical style to push against the position of Marcion. This is why we have to be careful when reading the early fathers--their writing methods are usually very different from what we are used to. That is, what Bucky Ball famously reminds us is presentist in viewpoint.

Tertullian quotes from the apostle Paul in several writings, even in Against Marcion as mentioned above. He does so in positive ways that make it obvious that he:

1. Views Paul as a legitimate apostle...

2. Sees Paul's letters as inspired text...

"Rightly, then, did Peter and James and John give their right hand of fellowship to Paul, and agree on such a division of their work, as that Paul should go to the heathen, and themselves to the circumcision." Against Marcion Volume 3!

The remainder of Book 5 is all about Tertullian proving Marcion wrong and showing how Paul agrees with the other apostles and with the message/gospel of Jesus!

I could cite many examples of Tertullian quoting Paul as inspired, but how about one clear example?

On Baptism (Chapter 15):

There is to us one, and but one, baptism; as well according to the Lord's gospel as according to the apostle's letters, inasmuch as he says, "One God, and one baptism," and one church in the heavens.

The most holy apostle has said, that "all things are lawful, but not all expedient." Chapter 17

Tertullian also cites Paul in On Monogamy and On Modesty.

Quote: What does invalidate Christianity is the fact that the alleged central figure of the religion, Jesus, was a fundamentalist Jew who knew nothing of the creator of Christian theology's (Paul's) ideas.

You have a minority view there—an Ebionite’s view. Obviously, most Christians (who have Bible knowledge) can show you where their ideas dovetail. Even TERTULLIAN wrote about their ideas being harmonious.

Quote:I challenge you to provide any good quality evidence that any of Jesus' family or disciples were fans of Paul. Sorry, quotes from the book of Acts will not do. I'm referring to quality evidence.

Paul did not do miracles. Nobody does miracles. Even if he thought he did, he would have undoubtedly told the world about them in his letters, and he doesn't. Get real and be honest about this. Imagine, for a second, YOU fucked with the rules of nature. You'd be shit pleased, and have your goddam camera taking shots. We get none of that in Paul's writings.

One, Paul didn’t have a camera. Smile

Two, Paul says in Romans 15, “Christ has accomplished through me the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, IN THE POWER OF SIGNS AND WONDERS...”

YOU might run through the streets talking about miracles if YOU saw one. Paul mostly talked about how awesome Jesus Christ is, but he did reference miracle signs, although on a seldom basis. Again, Paul wanted people to trust Christ, not the miracles of Paul, and so he kept his references limited there.

Thank you.

Q, you wrote
"If Paul sought power, why did he limit his income,"

Firstly, we don't know how much he pilfered off people. We do know he was given food and shelter by people as he wandered around. He was a public servant, and as such would have received a wage for doing what he did. His primary purpose was to promote propaganda, not to impoverish people.

Q, you wrote
"If Paul sought power, why did he...remain without a spouse or female companion..."

Paul may have been a homosexual.

He may also have been sexually impotent.

It is also possible he may never have found a woman willing to live with him...as he was obviously a rather "difficult" man. Paul tried to control most aspects of people’s lives. He was blatantly sexist. He clearly disliked assertive women and feminine sensuality, he thought women were intellectually inferior, and that they were to be regarded as their husband’s property.

Paul appears to have loathed his own sexuality:

“The fact is, I know of nothing good living in me—living, that is, in my unspiritual self—for though the will to do what is good is in me, the performance is not, with the result that instead of doing good the things I want to do, I carry out the sinful things I do not want. When I act against my will, then, it is not my true self doing it, but sin which lives in me...I can see my body follows a different law that battles against the law which my reason dictates...What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body doomed to death” (Rom. 7:18–24, NJB.)

( http://www.askwhy.co.uk/questioningbelie...uality.php
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQf5jL3a4...N1sjdLQIj8 )

Poor, pathetic Paul! Deluded with puritanical piffle, Paul was repulsed by his own libido and was probably miserable as a result. Paul was most likely a suppressed, toxic little man, ill at ease with himself.

It is no surprise Paul was celibate:

“I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn” (1 Cor. 7:8–9, KJV.)

To be single was quite unusual for a Pharisee, as they were expected to marry. Paul may have had difficulty finding a woman willing to live with him. Or he may have been homosexual, yet ashamed to be, so he lived “in the closet.” Whatever the case, Paul quite clearly had a neurosis about sex:

“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Rom. 8:6–13, KJV.)

“He wants you to keep away from fornication and each one of you to know how to use the body that belongs to him in a way that is holy and honorable, not giving away to selfish lust like the pagans who do not know God, He wants nobody at all to ever sin by taking advantage of a brother in these matters; the Lord always punishes sins of that sort, as we told you before and assured you. We have been called by God to be holy, not to be immoral” (1 Thess. 4:3–7, NJB.)

“Yes, it is a good thing for a man not to touch a woman. But since sex is always a danger, let each man have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband must give his wife what she has the right to expect, and so too the wife to the husband. The wife has no rights over her own body; it is the husband who has them. In the same way, the husband has no rights over his body; the wife has them. Do not refuse each other except by mutual consent, and then only for an agreed time, to leave yourselves free for prayer; then come together again in case Satan should take advantage of your weakness to tempt you” (1 Cor. 7:1–6, NJB.)

Commentary is almost superfluous. Paul thought sex was distasteful, an annoying but necessary nuisance, like going to the toilet. He ordered people to get it over with quickly, so they could get on with praying. Paul thought people got married to legitimize relieving an embarrassing urge; that a spouse served a similar function to a convenient toilet.

Where did Paul get this sour, jaundiced perspective? He may have been sexually abused as a child, or had erectile difficulties, or been disgusted by his own attraction towards men, or been brainwashed with Platonic ideas about base bodily functions.

Paul may have genuinely thought the end of the world was imminent, so it was better to not reproduce. None of these reasons excuse his unhealthy attitude.

Perhaps Paul was perturbed that the public found sex way more interesting than his spiritual profundities, so he tried to put limits on people doing, and even thinking, about it.

This negativity about sex was, in part, related to the original sin idea, the one that helped Christians feel bad about being born. As it turned out this self-hatred has been a masterstroke for the Church. Paul identified a natural human instinct and turned in into something negative so the controlling hands of the Church could use it for their own benefit.

If Paul was a government agent, he was trying to subdue the Jews by grinding away at people’s zest for life, their self-esteem and their sense of autonomy. What better way than by making people feel sinful, dirty and inherently flawed? Paul was a clever, yet nasty man.

Consider the psychological damage caused by guilt about sex inflicted on millions of innocent people through their Christian upbringings. All youngsters explore their sexuality; yet the child or adolescent is told that such behaviors—even thoughts—are sins! The consequence is unnecessary guilt and shame. The psychology here was probably worked out centuries ago. The Church’s agenda is to get people to dislike themselves. When an ego is wounded, a person is easier to control. Jesus, pure, sinless and sexless, comes to the rescue, sins are forgiven, and the Church has conned another customer. The punter is “saved” from a problem he or she never had in the first place.

Sex should be a special, natural, wholesome, and beautiful part of life. Guilt about the most natural instincts is a filthy stain that is hard to wash out of people’s minds once it has taken root. Shame on Churches for promoting this as the word of God!
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23-10-2015, 03:17 PM
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(23-10-2015 07:21 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Mark,

If Paul sought power, why did he limit his income, remain without a spouse or female companion, and not exercise power? If Paul was a Roman conspirator, why was he usually writing from inside a Roman jail, why was he martyred, in Rome, by Romans? Jews don’t behead their victims…

If Paul was about power in educating people to follow his ways, why wasn’t it okay for him to do so but it’s okay for you and TTA friends to constantly taunt me with “get an education, learn something about Christianity”?

If you attack Paul for pulling people away from Judaism to Christianity, why is it okay for you to try to pull people off Christianity and Judaism to atheism?

What is the proof you are not lying in your book? You take potshots at Paul’s writings and he cannot defend himself, how do we know you don’t play fast and loose with truth? I’m growing weary of having you say ALL my Bible quotations are lies and ALL yours are Paul telling the truth about Paul’s lies! That is not a level playing field.

Quote: 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.

Mark, I’m done digesting. I burped and I felt better. But seriously, I’ve pointed you to other sources, even longer sources than your many posts, indicating why this is not so, why the NT was completed before the close of the first century, and why in Paul’s day there were Christians.

Quote: 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.

I’d like you to know I’ve heard from modern-day Ebionites a similar “Jesus right, Paul wrong,” or “Jesus did one thing until Paul turned it on its head” many, many times. No. Now, a lot of the understanding comes once you understand that Paul wrote as early as 95% of scholars—liberal and conservative scholars, atheist and Christian scholars—say he did. Paul’s epistles were written about 100 years before you say he wrote (extreme minority view—even the Jesus Seminar dates them earlier than you do).

And yes, Jesus was executed as an insurgent, although you must admit as a peaceful one without a standing army or insurgency! But the Jewish people were also complicit and the NT details the conspiracies and machinations involved.

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

Okay, so you’re NOT Jewish. I get it now. Because I’m not here to debate Judaism with you, but you don’t know the first thing about it, apparently. A Jew who becomes a Christian is entitled to fully participate in all religious and ceremonial aspects of Judaism from Bar Mitzvah to Jewish burial, and there are many Messianics, however discreet, in synagogues of all stripes today. Your NTS regarding “true Jews” is offensive to both traditional and Messianic Jews, as well as the rules of logic. Please stop!

Quote: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.

I did. And both the first and second times, I noticed you are playing fast and loose with documentary evidence. When the NT says things you find strengthen your case, it speaks truth in your opinion. When it argues strongly against your case, you cite it as a lie or conspiratorial lie. I stated you would do this prior to entering our debate, but I wish you as the tiger would change your stripes! HOW DO YOU KNOW this particular statement is a LIE but other NT scriptures are TRUE? Please cite your evidence here and now.

Quote: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.

Cut it out, please. You know I didn’t mean “first time I read the term” but rather, the earliest extant mention of them in a written document. Cut it out. Acts is older than your imaginary textual sources that Nazarenes were warring with… who is it? Paulines? There’s no such thing. There’s no name scholars have applied to groups of people who followed Paul in the first through third centuries, so your “Paul vs. the Nazarenes” doesn’t have a scholarly leg to stand upon, sir.

Quote: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.

If a document was recognized as holy scripture after 140, and it was written in 130, guess what the church considers it to have been in 130? I will leave this debate if you continue to play semantics with me. THE NAZARENES ARE ALSO KNOWN TODAY AS BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS. PAUL WAS CALLED ERRONEOUSLY THEIR “RINGLEADER” BECAUSE HE TAUGHT THE SAME DOCTRINES PUBLICLY AS OTHER APOSTLES--AND THE NAZARENES, LIKE ME, ADHERE TO HOLY SCRIPTURE.

Read the above again as slowly or as fast as you like! 

Quote: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."

Mark, YOU said Jesus differed from Paul. I quoted Jesus where He agreed with Paul, and then YOU said “of course, this statement of Jesus’s is a fabricated statement also—so here are some more statements of Jesus that aren’t fabricated, because they prove my point about Paul. I call baloney. Pick from among the following:

ALL the NT is true.

ALL the NT is false.

SOME of the NT is true, SOME is false/conspiracy/lies—but you better have literary citations and PROOF of what isn’t true if you’re going to call EVERY scripture quotation I make a lie and everyone YOU use as true. Level playing field, please!

**

Regarding Galatians 2, I’m afraid I must change my stance. It is a mistaken insertion in the Bible, it is a lie promoted by those trying to denigrate Paul. You cannot use it in our debate… [that is my example of the kind of baloney you are pushing here.]

However, I will bother to address your (wrong) points about Galatians 2. Paul was conciliatory and laudatory to other apostles here and elsewhere. He is on record as publicly stating “I’m the least of all the apostles.” Give it a rest, please.

Quote:“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.”

Clearly you don’t understand much about this (or many other) Bible verses. I’m determined to post to TTA to yield out of deference to atheists about the gospel! Paul was opposed to certain people not in a power grab, but because they were saying the good news was for Jews and not Gentiles and based on works and not faith. I know you’ve heard of the Reformation, for a similar example… (Q rolls his eyes, sighs.)

Quote:…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.

Astonishing. You don’t know there were many people named James (Ya’akov, Jacob) in that time and place? You didn’t know even Jesus had two apostles named James; the brother of John/son of Zebedee and James the “lesser”? And that James the Lord’s brother is a third James in the NT? No, why would you know that or bother to do the research. You’re an atheist.

Quote: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.

You shared this all before, Dr. Fulton. What I’ve shared before is I’m tired of this argument from silence. What I will add today for this debate is that 1) James was likely the leader of the Jerusalem saints prior to his martyrdom. That plus 2) being the natural half-brother of GOD gave him a lot of authority and to his readers, he didn’t need to authenticate his credentials—and if he was you, you would want to write “your own thing” without having to say, “Yeah, I’m God’s brother!” if you know what I mean… anyway, PAUL did have to cite credentials since he was late to the party—and I’m sure you will comment on that fact. 

And yes, I know that Martin Luther thought James wasn’t canon—something every first year Religion major should know. He thought the same about Revelation, about which letter I’ve edited an entire book! I will apologize to Luther in Heaven. We both hope to have you there with us, Mark. 

Quote:Rome was smart. The Government knew a war was brewing… Rome was smart. The Government knew a war was brewing…

Listen, I know I’ve cut down mercilessly on your theory that Paul was a Roman conspirator sent to make the Jews pacifists to Rome, tax payers and etc. I apologize for being harsh in the past. It’s really a clever idea and I can see why you’d make it a staple in your book.

However, have you considered how:

1. If you insist Paul’s stuff to be a second century fabrication, Masada, the destruction of Jerusalem and the war against the Jews had ENDED, the Jews scattered in diaspora? Why go to huge expense to quell a rebellion that ended already, so successfully it took 2,000 years for the Jews to regain Israel? Consider!

2. If you insist Paul’s stuff is a late fabrication, how it was that countless Jews and Gentiles across Asia Minor, across what was left of Palestine and across the Empire became “Pauline” in doctrine? Wouldn’t they have all said, “Pish Posh! This stuff is recently made up. Our fathers knew nothing about this stuff and this perversion of the beloved Nazarene doctrines!” Consider!

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

The Essenes and Qumran’ers were notorious for being withdrawn from Rome and Israel both. They were cave dwellers, monastic! The idea that Jesus came out from THEM to become an itinerant preacher is absurd. Worse is the idea that Jesus was a self-proclaimed Messiah if He was an Essene, who was one who lived in seclusion until the Messiah came down from above rather than being born in a manger to live among mere men! Jesus would have been repudiated by the Essenes for not ushering in Armageddon either in His day (or by the 2nd century when you think the gospels and epistles were redacted). No. No, no, no, no.

Re: Tertullian and Paul:

You indeed cited a text from Tertullian's Against Marcion. Tertullian is pushing Marcion to prove his VERSION of the apostle Paul. The text you are citing is attacking MARCION’s Paul.

If you read a bit further after this section of Book V you will read where Tertullian says:

"I do not calumniate him whom I defend. I deny him to compel you to defend him. I deny him to convince you that he is mine... If you challenge us to your belief, tell us what things constitute its basis."

Tertullian is using somewhat legal argumentation and rhetorical style to push against the position of Marcion. This is why we have to be careful when reading the early fathers--their writing methods are usually very different from what we are used to. That is, what Bucky Ball famously reminds us is presentist in viewpoint.

Tertullian quotes from the apostle Paul in several writings, even in Against Marcion as mentioned above. He does so in positive ways that make it obvious that he:

1. Views Paul as a legitimate apostle...

2. Sees Paul's letters as inspired text...

"Rightly, then, did Peter and James and John give their right hand of fellowship to Paul, and agree on such a division of their work, as that Paul should go to the heathen, and themselves to the circumcision." Against Marcion Volume 3!

The remainder of Book 5 is all about Tertullian proving Marcion wrong and showing how Paul agrees with the other apostles and with the message/gospel of Jesus!

I could cite many examples of Tertullian quoting Paul as inspired, but how about one clear example?

On Baptism (Chapter 15):

There is to us one, and but one, baptism; as well according to the Lord's gospel as according to the apostle's letters, inasmuch as he says, "One God, and one baptism," and one church in the heavens.

The most holy apostle has said, that "all things are lawful, but not all expedient." Chapter 17

Tertullian also cites Paul in On Monogamy and On Modesty.

Quote: What does invalidate Christianity is the fact that the alleged central figure of the religion, Jesus, was a fundamentalist Jew who knew nothing of the creator of Christian theology's (Paul's) ideas.

You have a minority view there—an Ebionite’s view. Obviously, most Christians (who have Bible knowledge) can show you where their ideas dovetail. Even TERTULLIAN wrote about their ideas being harmonious.

Quote:I challenge you to provide any good quality evidence that any of Jesus' family or disciples were fans of Paul. Sorry, quotes from the book of Acts will not do. I'm referring to quality evidence.

Paul did not do miracles. Nobody does miracles. Even if he thought he did, he would have undoubtedly told the world about them in his letters, and he doesn't. Get real and be honest about this. Imagine, for a second, YOU fucked with the rules of nature. You'd be shit pleased, and have your goddam camera taking shots. We get none of that in Paul's writings.

One, Paul didn’t have a camera. Smile

Two, Paul says in Romans 15, “Christ has accomplished through me the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, IN THE POWER OF SIGNS AND WONDERS...”

YOU might run through the streets talking about miracles if YOU saw one. Paul mostly talked about how awesome Jesus Christ is, but he did reference miracle signs, although on a seldom basis. Again, Paul wanted people to trust Christ, not the miracles of Paul, and so he kept his references limited there.

Thank you.

Q, you wrote..

"If Paul was about power in educating people to follow his ways, why wasn’t it okay for him to do so but it’s okay for you and TTA friends to constantly taunt me with “get an education, learn something about Christianity”? If you attack Paul for pulling people away from Judaism to Christianity, why is it okay for you to try to pull people off Christianity and Judaism to atheism?"

Oh dear! This is so weak it is embarrassing. I really need not comment...it speaks for itself.
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23-10-2015, 03:22 PM
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(23-10-2015 07:21 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Mark,

If Paul sought power, why did he limit his income, remain without a spouse or female companion, and not exercise power? If Paul was a Roman conspirator, why was he usually writing from inside a Roman jail, why was he martyred, in Rome, by Romans? Jews don’t behead their victims…

If Paul was about power in educating people to follow his ways, why wasn’t it okay for him to do so but it’s okay for you and TTA friends to constantly taunt me with “get an education, learn something about Christianity”?

If you attack Paul for pulling people away from Judaism to Christianity, why is it okay for you to try to pull people off Christianity and Judaism to atheism?

What is the proof you are not lying in your book? You take potshots at Paul’s writings and he cannot defend himself, how do we know you don’t play fast and loose with truth? I’m growing weary of having you say ALL my Bible quotations are lies and ALL yours are Paul telling the truth about Paul’s lies! That is not a level playing field.

Quote: 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.

Mark, I’m done digesting. I burped and I felt better. But seriously, I’ve pointed you to other sources, even longer sources than your many posts, indicating why this is not so, why the NT was completed before the close of the first century, and why in Paul’s day there were Christians.

Quote: 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.

I’d like you to know I’ve heard from modern-day Ebionites a similar “Jesus right, Paul wrong,” or “Jesus did one thing until Paul turned it on its head” many, many times. No. Now, a lot of the understanding comes once you understand that Paul wrote as early as 95% of scholars—liberal and conservative scholars, atheist and Christian scholars—say he did. Paul’s epistles were written about 100 years before you say he wrote (extreme minority view—even the Jesus Seminar dates them earlier than you do).

And yes, Jesus was executed as an insurgent, although you must admit as a peaceful one without a standing army or insurgency! But the Jewish people were also complicit and the NT details the conspiracies and machinations involved.

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

Okay, so you’re NOT Jewish. I get it now. Because I’m not here to debate Judaism with you, but you don’t know the first thing about it, apparently. A Jew who becomes a Christian is entitled to fully participate in all religious and ceremonial aspects of Judaism from Bar Mitzvah to Jewish burial, and there are many Messianics, however discreet, in synagogues of all stripes today. Your NTS regarding “true Jews” is offensive to both traditional and Messianic Jews, as well as the rules of logic. Please stop!

Quote: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.

I did. And both the first and second times, I noticed you are playing fast and loose with documentary evidence. When the NT says things you find strengthen your case, it speaks truth in your opinion. When it argues strongly against your case, you cite it as a lie or conspiratorial lie. I stated you would do this prior to entering our debate, but I wish you as the tiger would change your stripes! HOW DO YOU KNOW this particular statement is a LIE but other NT scriptures are TRUE? Please cite your evidence here and now.

Quote: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.

Cut it out, please. You know I didn’t mean “first time I read the term” but rather, the earliest extant mention of them in a written document. Cut it out. Acts is older than your imaginary textual sources that Nazarenes were warring with… who is it? Paulines? There’s no such thing. There’s no name scholars have applied to groups of people who followed Paul in the first through third centuries, so your “Paul vs. the Nazarenes” doesn’t have a scholarly leg to stand upon, sir.

Quote: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.

If a document was recognized as holy scripture after 140, and it was written in 130, guess what the church considers it to have been in 130? I will leave this debate if you continue to play semantics with me. THE NAZARENES ARE ALSO KNOWN TODAY AS BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS. PAUL WAS CALLED ERRONEOUSLY THEIR “RINGLEADER” BECAUSE HE TAUGHT THE SAME DOCTRINES PUBLICLY AS OTHER APOSTLES--AND THE NAZARENES, LIKE ME, ADHERE TO HOLY SCRIPTURE.

Read the above again as slowly or as fast as you like! 

Quote: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."

Mark, YOU said Jesus differed from Paul. I quoted Jesus where He agreed with Paul, and then YOU said “of course, this statement of Jesus’s is a fabricated statement also—so here are some more statements of Jesus that aren’t fabricated, because they prove my point about Paul. I call baloney. Pick from among the following:

ALL the NT is true.

ALL the NT is false.

SOME of the NT is true, SOME is false/conspiracy/lies—but you better have literary citations and PROOF of what isn’t true if you’re going to call EVERY scripture quotation I make a lie and everyone YOU use as true. Level playing field, please!

**

Regarding Galatians 2, I’m afraid I must change my stance. It is a mistaken insertion in the Bible, it is a lie promoted by those trying to denigrate Paul. You cannot use it in our debate… [that is my example of the kind of baloney you are pushing here.]

However, I will bother to address your (wrong) points about Galatians 2. Paul was conciliatory and laudatory to other apostles here and elsewhere. He is on record as publicly stating “I’m the least of all the apostles.” Give it a rest, please.

Quote:“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.”

Clearly you don’t understand much about this (or many other) Bible verses. I’m determined to post to TTA to yield out of deference to atheists about the gospel! Paul was opposed to certain people not in a power grab, but because they were saying the good news was for Jews and not Gentiles and based on works and not faith. I know you’ve heard of the Reformation, for a similar example… (Q rolls his eyes, sighs.)

Quote:…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.

Astonishing. You don’t know there were many people named James (Ya’akov, Jacob) in that time and place? You didn’t know even Jesus had two apostles named James; the brother of John/son of Zebedee and James the “lesser”? And that James the Lord’s brother is a third James in the NT? No, why would you know that or bother to do the research. You’re an atheist.

Quote: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.

You shared this all before, Dr. Fulton. What I’ve shared before is I’m tired of this argument from silence. What I will add today for this debate is that 1) James was likely the leader of the Jerusalem saints prior to his martyrdom. That plus 2) being the natural half-brother of GOD gave him a lot of authority and to his readers, he didn’t need to authenticate his credentials—and if he was you, you would want to write “your own thing” without having to say, “Yeah, I’m God’s brother!” if you know what I mean… anyway, PAUL did have to cite credentials since he was late to the party—and I’m sure you will comment on that fact. 

And yes, I know that Martin Luther thought James wasn’t canon—something every first year Religion major should know. He thought the same about Revelation, about which letter I’ve edited an entire book! I will apologize to Luther in Heaven. We both hope to have you there with us, Mark. 

Quote:Rome was smart. The Government knew a war was brewing… Rome was smart. The Government knew a war was brewing…

Listen, I know I’ve cut down mercilessly on your theory that Paul was a Roman conspirator sent to make the Jews pacifists to Rome, tax payers and etc. I apologize for being harsh in the past. It’s really a clever idea and I can see why you’d make it a staple in your book.

However, have you considered how:

1. If you insist Paul’s stuff to be a second century fabrication, Masada, the destruction of Jerusalem and the war against the Jews had ENDED, the Jews scattered in diaspora? Why go to huge expense to quell a rebellion that ended already, so successfully it took 2,000 years for the Jews to regain Israel? Consider!

2. If you insist Paul’s stuff is a late fabrication, how it was that countless Jews and Gentiles across Asia Minor, across what was left of Palestine and across the Empire became “Pauline” in doctrine? Wouldn’t they have all said, “Pish Posh! This stuff is recently made up. Our fathers knew nothing about this stuff and this perversion of the beloved Nazarene doctrines!” Consider!

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

The Essenes and Qumran’ers were notorious for being withdrawn from Rome and Israel both. They were cave dwellers, monastic! The idea that Jesus came out from THEM to become an itinerant preacher is absurd. Worse is the idea that Jesus was a self-proclaimed Messiah if He was an Essene, who was one who lived in seclusion until the Messiah came down from above rather than being born in a manger to live among mere men! Jesus would have been repudiated by the Essenes for not ushering in Armageddon either in His day (or by the 2nd century when you think the gospels and epistles were redacted). No. No, no, no, no.

Re: Tertullian and Paul:

You indeed cited a text from Tertullian's Against Marcion. Tertullian is pushing Marcion to prove his VERSION of the apostle Paul. The text you are citing is attacking MARCION’s Paul.

If you read a bit further after this section of Book V you will read where Tertullian says:

"I do not calumniate him whom I defend. I deny him to compel you to defend him. I deny him to convince you that he is mine... If you challenge us to your belief, tell us what things constitute its basis."

Tertullian is using somewhat legal argumentation and rhetorical style to push against the position of Marcion. This is why we have to be careful when reading the early fathers--their writing methods are usually very different from what we are used to. That is, what Bucky Ball famously reminds us is presentist in viewpoint.

Tertullian quotes from the apostle Paul in several writings, even in Against Marcion as mentioned above. He does so in positive ways that make it obvious that he:

1. Views Paul as a legitimate apostle...

2. Sees Paul's letters as inspired text...

"Rightly, then, did Peter and James and John give their right hand of fellowship to Paul, and agree on such a division of their work, as that Paul should go to the heathen, and themselves to the circumcision." Against Marcion Volume 3!

The remainder of Book 5 is all about Tertullian proving Marcion wrong and showing how Paul agrees with the other apostles and with the message/gospel of Jesus!

I could cite many examples of Tertullian quoting Paul as inspired, but how about one clear example?

On Baptism (Chapter 15):

There is to us one, and but one, baptism; as well according to the Lord's gospel as according to the apostle's letters, inasmuch as he says, "One God, and one baptism," and one church in the heavens.

The most holy apostle has said, that "all things are lawful, but not all expedient." Chapter 17

Tertullian also cites Paul in On Monogamy and On Modesty.

Quote: What does invalidate Christianity is the fact that the alleged central figure of the religion, Jesus, was a fundamentalist Jew who knew nothing of the creator of Christian theology's (Paul's) ideas.

You have a minority view there—an Ebionite’s view. Obviously, most Christians (who have Bible knowledge) can show you where their ideas dovetail. Even TERTULLIAN wrote about their ideas being harmonious.

Quote:I challenge you to provide any good quality evidence that any of Jesus' family or disciples were fans of Paul. Sorry, quotes from the book of Acts will not do. I'm referring to quality evidence.

Paul did not do miracles. Nobody does miracles. Even if he thought he did, he would have undoubtedly told the world about them in his letters, and he doesn't. Get real and be honest about this. Imagine, for a second, YOU fucked with the rules of nature. You'd be shit pleased, and have your goddam camera taking shots. We get none of that in Paul's writings.

One, Paul didn’t have a camera. Smile

Two, Paul says in Romans 15, “Christ has accomplished through me the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, IN THE POWER OF SIGNS AND WONDERS...”

YOU might run through the streets talking about miracles if YOU saw one. Paul mostly talked about how awesome Jesus Christ is, but he did reference miracle signs, although on a seldom basis. Again, Paul wanted people to trust Christ, not the miracles of Paul, and so he kept his references limited there.

Thank you.

Q, you wrote
"What is the proof you are not lying in your book? You take potshots at Paul’s writings and he cannot defend himself, how do we know you don’t play fast and loose with truth?"

This is a (weak) ad hominem.

Not able to argue the facts, you resort to questioning my character.
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[+] 1 user Likes Mark Fulton's post
23-10-2015, 03:32 PM
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(23-10-2015 07:21 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Mark,

If Paul sought power, why did he limit his income, remain without a spouse or female companion, and not exercise power? If Paul was a Roman conspirator, why was he usually writing from inside a Roman jail, why was he martyred, in Rome, by Romans? Jews don’t behead their victims…

If Paul was about power in educating people to follow his ways, why wasn’t it okay for him to do so but it’s okay for you and TTA friends to constantly taunt me with “get an education, learn something about Christianity”?

If you attack Paul for pulling people away from Judaism to Christianity, why is it okay for you to try to pull people off Christianity and Judaism to atheism?

What is the proof you are not lying in your book? You take potshots at Paul’s writings and he cannot defend himself, how do we know you don’t play fast and loose with truth? I’m growing weary of having you say ALL my Bible quotations are lies and ALL yours are Paul telling the truth about Paul’s lies! That is not a level playing field.

Quote: 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.

Mark, I’m done digesting. I burped and I felt better. But seriously, I’ve pointed you to other sources, even longer sources than your many posts, indicating why this is not so, why the NT was completed before the close of the first century, and why in Paul’s day there were Christians.

Quote: 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.

I’d like you to know I’ve heard from modern-day Ebionites a similar “Jesus right, Paul wrong,” or “Jesus did one thing until Paul turned it on its head” many, many times. No. Now, a lot of the understanding comes once you understand that Paul wrote as early as 95% of scholars—liberal and conservative scholars, atheist and Christian scholars—say he did. Paul’s epistles were written about 100 years before you say he wrote (extreme minority view—even the Jesus Seminar dates them earlier than you do).

And yes, Jesus was executed as an insurgent, although you must admit as a peaceful one without a standing army or insurgency! But the Jewish people were also complicit and the NT details the conspiracies and machinations involved.

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

Okay, so you’re NOT Jewish. I get it now. Because I’m not here to debate Judaism with you, but you don’t know the first thing about it, apparently. A Jew who becomes a Christian is entitled to fully participate in all religious and ceremonial aspects of Judaism from Bar Mitzvah to Jewish burial, and there are many Messianics, however discreet, in synagogues of all stripes today. Your NTS regarding “true Jews” is offensive to both traditional and Messianic Jews, as well as the rules of logic. Please stop!

Quote: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.

I did. And both the first and second times, I noticed you are playing fast and loose with documentary evidence. When the NT says things you find strengthen your case, it speaks truth in your opinion. When it argues strongly against your case, you cite it as a lie or conspiratorial lie. I stated you would do this prior to entering our debate, but I wish you as the tiger would change your stripes! HOW DO YOU KNOW this particular statement is a LIE but other NT scriptures are TRUE? Please cite your evidence here and now.

Quote: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.

Cut it out, please. You know I didn’t mean “first time I read the term” but rather, the earliest extant mention of them in a written document. Cut it out. Acts is older than your imaginary textual sources that Nazarenes were warring with… who is it? Paulines? There’s no such thing. There’s no name scholars have applied to groups of people who followed Paul in the first through third centuries, so your “Paul vs. the Nazarenes” doesn’t have a scholarly leg to stand upon, sir.

Quote: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.

If a document was recognized as holy scripture after 140, and it was written in 130, guess what the church considers it to have been in 130? I will leave this debate if you continue to play semantics with me. THE NAZARENES ARE ALSO KNOWN TODAY AS BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS. PAUL WAS CALLED ERRONEOUSLY THEIR “RINGLEADER” BECAUSE HE TAUGHT THE SAME DOCTRINES PUBLICLY AS OTHER APOSTLES--AND THE NAZARENES, LIKE ME, ADHERE TO HOLY SCRIPTURE.

Read the above again as slowly or as fast as you like! 

Quote: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."

Mark, YOU said Jesus differed from Paul. I quoted Jesus where He agreed with Paul, and then YOU said “of course, this statement of Jesus’s is a fabricated statement also—so here are some more statements of Jesus that aren’t fabricated, because they prove my point about Paul. I call baloney. Pick from among the following:

ALL the NT is true.

ALL the NT is false.

SOME of the NT is true, SOME is false/conspiracy/lies—but you better have literary citations and PROOF of what isn’t true if you’re going to call EVERY scripture quotation I make a lie and everyone YOU use as true. Level playing field, please!

**

Regarding Galatians 2, I’m afraid I must change my stance. It is a mistaken insertion in the Bible, it is a lie promoted by those trying to denigrate Paul. You cannot use it in our debate… [that is my example of the kind of baloney you are pushing here.]

However, I will bother to address your (wrong) points about Galatians 2. Paul was conciliatory and laudatory to other apostles here and elsewhere. He is on record as publicly stating “I’m the least of all the apostles.” Give it a rest, please.

Quote:“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.”

Clearly you don’t understand much about this (or many other) Bible verses. I’m determined to post to TTA to yield out of deference to atheists about the gospel! Paul was opposed to certain people not in a power grab, but because they were saying the good news was for Jews and not Gentiles and based on works and not faith. I know you’ve heard of the Reformation, for a similar example… (Q rolls his eyes, sighs.)

Quote:…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.

Astonishing. You don’t know there were many people named James (Ya’akov, Jacob) in that time and place? You didn’t know even Jesus had two apostles named James; the brother of John/son of Zebedee and James the “lesser”? And that James the Lord’s brother is a third James in the NT? No, why would you know that or bother to do the research. You’re an atheist.

Quote: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.

You shared this all before, Dr. Fulton. What I’ve shared before is I’m tired of this argument from silence. What I will add today for this debate is that 1) James was likely the leader of the Jerusalem saints prior to his martyrdom. That plus 2) being the natural half-brother of GOD gave him a lot of authority and to his readers, he didn’t need to authenticate his credentials—and if he was you, you would want to write “your own thing” without having to say, “Yeah, I’m God’s brother!” if you know what I mean… anyway, PAUL did have to cite credentials since he was late to the party—and I’m sure you will comment on that fact. 

And yes, I know that Martin Luther thought James wasn’t canon—something every first year Religion major should know. He thought the same about Revelation, about which letter I’ve edited an entire book! I will apologize to Luther in Heaven. We both hope to have you there with us, Mark. 

Quote:Rome was smart. The Government knew a war was brewing… Rome was smart. The Government knew a war was brewing…

Listen, I know I’ve cut down mercilessly on your theory that Paul was a Roman conspirator sent to make the Jews pacifists to Rome, tax payers and etc. I apologize for being harsh in the past. It’s really a clever idea and I can see why you’d make it a staple in your book.

However, have you considered how:

1. If you insist Paul’s stuff to be a second century fabrication, Masada, the destruction of Jerusalem and the war against the Jews had ENDED, the Jews scattered in diaspora? Why go to huge expense to quell a rebellion that ended already, so successfully it took 2,000 years for the Jews to regain Israel? Consider!

2. If you insist Paul’s stuff is a late fabrication, how it was that countless Jews and Gentiles across Asia Minor, across what was left of Palestine and across the Empire became “Pauline” in doctrine? Wouldn’t they have all said, “Pish Posh! This stuff is recently made up. Our fathers knew nothing about this stuff and this perversion of the beloved Nazarene doctrines!” Consider!

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

The Essenes and Qumran’ers were notorious for being withdrawn from Rome and Israel both. They were cave dwellers, monastic! The idea that Jesus came out from THEM to become an itinerant preacher is absurd. Worse is the idea that Jesus was a self-proclaimed Messiah if He was an Essene, who was one who lived in seclusion until the Messiah came down from above rather than being born in a manger to live among mere men! Jesus would have been repudiated by the Essenes for not ushering in Armageddon either in His day (or by the 2nd century when you think the gospels and epistles were redacted). No. No, no, no, no.

Re: Tertullian and Paul:

You indeed cited a text from Tertullian's Against Marcion. Tertullian is pushing Marcion to prove his VERSION of the apostle Paul. The text you are citing is attacking MARCION’s Paul.

If you read a bit further after this section of Book V you will read where Tertullian says:

"I do not calumniate him whom I defend. I deny him to compel you to defend him. I deny him to convince you that he is mine... If you challenge us to your belief, tell us what things constitute its basis."

Tertullian is using somewhat legal argumentation and rhetorical style to push against the position of Marcion. This is why we have to be careful when reading the early fathers--their writing methods are usually very different from what we are used to. That is, what Bucky Ball famously reminds us is presentist in viewpoint.

Tertullian quotes from the apostle Paul in several writings, even in Against Marcion as mentioned above. He does so in positive ways that make it obvious that he:

1. Views Paul as a legitimate apostle...

2. Sees Paul's letters as inspired text...

"Rightly, then, did Peter and James and John give their right hand of fellowship to Paul, and agree on such a division of their work, as that Paul should go to the heathen, and themselves to the circumcision." Against Marcion Volume 3!

The remainder of Book 5 is all about Tertullian proving Marcion wrong and showing how Paul agrees with the other apostles and with the message/gospel of Jesus!

I could cite many examples of Tertullian quoting Paul as inspired, but how about one clear example?

On Baptism (Chapter 15):

There is to us one, and but one, baptism; as well according to the Lord's gospel as according to the apostle's letters, inasmuch as he says, "One God, and one baptism," and one church in the heavens.

The most holy apostle has said, that "all things are lawful, but not all expedient." Chapter 17

Tertullian also cites Paul in On Monogamy and On Modesty.

Quote: What does invalidate Christianity is the fact that the alleged central figure of the religion, Jesus, was a fundamentalist Jew who knew nothing of the creator of Christian theology's (Paul's) ideas.

You have a minority view there—an Ebionite’s view. Obviously, most Christians (who have Bible knowledge) can show you where their ideas dovetail. Even TERTULLIAN wrote about their ideas being harmonious.

Quote:I challenge you to provide any good quality evidence that any of Jesus' family or disciples were fans of Paul. Sorry, quotes from the book of Acts will not do. I'm referring to quality evidence.

Paul did not do miracles. Nobody does miracles. Even if he thought he did, he would have undoubtedly told the world about them in his letters, and he doesn't. Get real and be honest about this. Imagine, for a second, YOU fucked with the rules of nature. You'd be shit pleased, and have your goddam camera taking shots. We get none of that in Paul's writings.

One, Paul didn’t have a camera. Smile

Two, Paul says in Romans 15, “Christ has accomplished through me the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, IN THE POWER OF SIGNS AND WONDERS...”

YOU might run through the streets talking about miracles if YOU saw one. Paul mostly talked about how awesome Jesus Christ is, but he did reference miracle signs, although on a seldom basis. Again, Paul wanted people to trust Christ, not the miracles of Paul, and so he kept his references limited there.

Thank you.

Q, you wrote
"Paul’s epistles were written about 100 years before you say he wrote"

Really? Well that's an interesting opinion! Here is EXACTLY what I wrote about the timing of Paul's authorship....

"It is thought Paul wrote his first surviving letter, to the Thessalonians, in 50–51 CE and his last enduring dispatch to an individual named Philemon, in 61–63 CE. Anonymous reporters penned the deutero- Pauline posts, probably in the early second century."

So...you think Paul wrote 100 years earlier, in about 50-37 BCE?
Mmmmmmm.
I'd be interested to hear your evidence for a date this early.
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23-10-2015, 04:01 PM (This post was last modified: 23-10-2015 10:59 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(23-10-2015 07:21 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Mark,

If Paul sought power, why did he limit his income, remain without a spouse or female companion, and not exercise power? If Paul was a Roman conspirator, why was he usually writing from inside a Roman jail, why was he martyred, in Rome, by Romans? Jews don’t behead their victims…

If Paul was about power in educating people to follow his ways, why wasn’t it okay for him to do so but it’s okay for you and TTA friends to constantly taunt me with “get an education, learn something about Christianity”?

If you attack Paul for pulling people away from Judaism to Christianity, why is it okay for you to try to pull people off Christianity and Judaism to atheism?

What is the proof you are not lying in your book? You take potshots at Paul’s writings and he cannot defend himself, how do we know you don’t play fast and loose with truth? I’m growing weary of having you say ALL my Bible quotations are lies and ALL yours are Paul telling the truth about Paul’s lies! That is not a level playing field.

Quote: 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.

Mark, I’m done digesting. I burped and I felt better. But seriously, I’ve pointed you to other sources, even longer sources than your many posts, indicating why this is not so, why the NT was completed before the close of the first century, and why in Paul’s day there were Christians.

Quote: 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.

I’d like you to know I’ve heard from modern-day Ebionites a similar “Jesus right, Paul wrong,” or “Jesus did one thing until Paul turned it on its head” many, many times. No. Now, a lot of the understanding comes once you understand that Paul wrote as early as 95% of scholars—liberal and conservative scholars, atheist and Christian scholars—say he did. Paul’s epistles were written about 100 years before you say he wrote (extreme minority view—even the Jesus Seminar dates them earlier than you do).

And yes, Jesus was executed as an insurgent, although you must admit as a peaceful one without a standing army or insurgency! But the Jewish people were also complicit and the NT details the conspiracies and machinations involved.

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

Okay, so you’re NOT Jewish. I get it now. Because I’m not here to debate Judaism with you, but you don’t know the first thing about it, apparently. A Jew who becomes a Christian is entitled to fully participate in all religious and ceremonial aspects of Judaism from Bar Mitzvah to Jewish burial, and there are many Messianics, however discreet, in synagogues of all stripes today. Your NTS regarding “true Jews” is offensive to both traditional and Messianic Jews, as well as the rules of logic. Please stop!

Quote: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.

I did. And both the first and second times, I noticed you are playing fast and loose with documentary evidence. When the NT says things you find strengthen your case, it speaks truth in your opinion. When it argues strongly against your case, you cite it as a lie or conspiratorial lie. I stated you would do this prior to entering our debate, but I wish you as the tiger would change your stripes! HOW DO YOU KNOW this particular statement is a LIE but other NT scriptures are TRUE? Please cite your evidence here and now.

Quote: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.

Cut it out, please. You know I didn’t mean “first time I read the term” but rather, the earliest extant mention of them in a written document. Cut it out. Acts is older than your imaginary textual sources that Nazarenes were warring with… who is it? Paulines? There’s no such thing. There’s no name scholars have applied to groups of people who followed Paul in the first through third centuries, so your “Paul vs. the Nazarenes” doesn’t have a scholarly leg to stand upon, sir.

Quote: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.

If a document was recognized as holy scripture after 140, and it was written in 130, guess what the church considers it to have been in 130? I will leave this debate if you continue to play semantics with me. THE NAZARENES ARE ALSO KNOWN TODAY AS BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS. PAUL WAS CALLED ERRONEOUSLY THEIR “RINGLEADER” BECAUSE HE TAUGHT THE SAME DOCTRINES PUBLICLY AS OTHER APOSTLES--AND THE NAZARENES, LIKE ME, ADHERE TO HOLY SCRIPTURE.

Read the above again as slowly or as fast as you like! 

Quote: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."

Mark, YOU said Jesus differed from Paul. I quoted Jesus where He agreed with Paul, and then YOU said “of course, this statement of Jesus’s is a fabricated statement also—so here are some more statements of Jesus that aren’t fabricated, because they prove my point about Paul. I call baloney. Pick from among the following:

ALL the NT is true.

ALL the NT is false.

SOME of the NT is true, SOME is false/conspiracy/lies—but you better have literary citations and PROOF of what isn’t true if you’re going to call EVERY scripture quotation I make a lie and everyone YOU use as true. Level playing field, please!

**

Regarding Galatians 2, I’m afraid I must change my stance. It is a mistaken insertion in the Bible, it is a lie promoted by those trying to denigrate Paul. You cannot use it in our debate… [that is my example of the kind of baloney you are pushing here.]

However, I will bother to address your (wrong) points about Galatians 2. Paul was conciliatory and laudatory to other apostles here and elsewhere. He is on record as publicly stating “I’m the least of all the apostles.” Give it a rest, please.

Quote:“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.”

Clearly you don’t understand much about this (or many other) Bible verses. I’m determined to post to TTA to yield out of deference to atheists about the gospel! Paul was opposed to certain people not in a power grab, but because they were saying the good news was for Jews and not Gentiles and based on works and not faith. I know you’ve heard of the Reformation, for a similar example… (Q rolls his eyes, sighs.)

Quote:…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.

Astonishing. You don’t know there were many people named James (Ya’akov, Jacob) in that time and place? You didn’t know even Jesus had two apostles named James; the brother of John/son of Zebedee and James the “lesser”? And that James the Lord’s brother is a third James in the NT? No, why would you know that or bother to do the research. You’re an atheist.

Quote: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.

You shared this all before, Dr. Fulton. What I’ve shared before is I’m tired of this argument from silence. What I will add today for this debate is that 1) James was likely the leader of the Jerusalem saints prior to his martyrdom. That plus 2) being the natural half-brother of GOD gave him a lot of authority and to his readers, he didn’t need to authenticate his credentials—and if he was you, you would want to write “your own thing” without having to say, “Yeah, I’m God’s brother!” if you know what I mean… anyway, PAUL did have to cite credentials since he was late to the party—and I’m sure you will comment on that fact. 

And yes, I know that Martin Luther thought James wasn’t canon—something every first year Religion major should know. He thought the same about Revelation, about which letter I’ve edited an entire book! I will apologize to Luther in Heaven. We both hope to have you there with us, Mark. 

Quote:Rome was smart. The Government knew a war was brewing… Rome was smart. The Government knew a war was brewing…

Listen, I know I’ve cut down mercilessly on your theory that Paul was a Roman conspirator sent to make the Jews pacifists to Rome, tax payers and etc. I apologize for being harsh in the past. It’s really a clever idea and I can see why you’d make it a staple in your book.

However, have you considered how:

1. If you insist Paul’s stuff to be a second century fabrication, Masada, the destruction of Jerusalem and the war against the Jews had ENDED, the Jews scattered in diaspora? Why go to huge expense to quell a rebellion that ended already, so successfully it took 2,000 years for the Jews to regain Israel? Consider!

2. If you insist Paul’s stuff is a late fabrication, how it was that countless Jews and Gentiles across Asia Minor, across what was left of Palestine and across the Empire became “Pauline” in doctrine? Wouldn’t they have all said, “Pish Posh! This stuff is recently made up. Our fathers knew nothing about this stuff and this perversion of the beloved Nazarene doctrines!” Consider!

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

The Essenes and Qumran’ers were notorious for being withdrawn from Rome and Israel both. They were cave dwellers, monastic! The idea that Jesus came out from THEM to become an itinerant preacher is absurd. Worse is the idea that Jesus was a self-proclaimed Messiah if He was an Essene, who was one who lived in seclusion until the Messiah came down from above rather than being born in a manger to live among mere men! Jesus would have been repudiated by the Essenes for not ushering in Armageddon either in His day (or by the 2nd century when you think the gospels and epistles were redacted). No. No, no, no, no.

Re: Tertullian and Paul:

You indeed cited a text from Tertullian's Against Marcion. Tertullian is pushing Marcion to prove his VERSION of the apostle Paul. The text you are citing is attacking MARCION’s Paul.

If you read a bit further after this section of Book V you will read where Tertullian says:

"I do not calumniate him whom I defend. I deny him to compel you to defend him. I deny him to convince you that he is mine... If you challenge us to your belief, tell us what things constitute its basis."

Tertullian is using somewhat legal argumentation and rhetorical style to push against the position of Marcion. This is why we have to be careful when reading the early fathers--their writing methods are usually very different from what we are used to. That is, what Bucky Ball famously reminds us is presentist in viewpoint.

Tertullian quotes from the apostle Paul in several writings, even in Against Marcion as mentioned above. He does so in positive ways that make it obvious that he:

1. Views Paul as a legitimate apostle...

2. Sees Paul's letters as inspired text...

"Rightly, then, did Peter and James and John give their right hand of fellowship to Paul, and agree on such a division of their work, as that Paul should go to the heathen, and themselves to the circumcision." Against Marcion Volume 3!

The remainder of Book 5 is all about Tertullian proving Marcion wrong and showing how Paul agrees with the other apostles and with the message/gospel of Jesus!

I could cite many examples of Tertullian quoting Paul as inspired, but how about one clear example?

On Baptism (Chapter 15):

There is to us one, and but one, baptism; as well according to the Lord's gospel as according to the apostle's letters, inasmuch as he says, "One God, and one baptism," and one church in the heavens.

The most holy apostle has said, that "all things are lawful, but not all expedient." Chapter 17

Tertullian also cites Paul in On Monogamy and On Modesty.

Quote: What does invalidate Christianity is the fact that the alleged central figure of the religion, Jesus, was a fundamentalist Jew who knew nothing of the creator of Christian theology's (Paul's) ideas.

You have a minority view there—an Ebionite’s view. Obviously, most Christians (who have Bible knowledge) can show you where their ideas dovetail. Even TERTULLIAN wrote about their ideas being harmonious.

Quote:I challenge you to provide any good quality evidence that any of Jesus' family or disciples were fans of Paul. Sorry, quotes from the book of Acts will not do. I'm referring to quality evidence.

Paul did not do miracles. Nobody does miracles. Even if he thought he did, he would have undoubtedly told the world about them in his letters, and he doesn't. Get real and be honest about this. Imagine, for a second, YOU fucked with the rules of nature. You'd be shit pleased, and have your goddam camera taking shots. We get none of that in Paul's writings.

One, Paul didn’t have a camera. Smile

Two, Paul says in Romans 15, “Christ has accomplished through me the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, IN THE POWER OF SIGNS AND WONDERS...”

YOU might run through the streets talking about miracles if YOU saw one. Paul mostly talked about how awesome Jesus Christ is, but he did reference miracle signs, although on a seldom basis. Again, Paul wanted people to trust Christ, not the miracles of Paul, and so he kept his references limited there.

Thank you.

Q, you wrote

"And yes, Jesus was executed as an insurgent,..."

BINGO! I'M GLAD YOU UNDERSTAND THAT. It's a shame you continue...


"although you must admit as a peaceful one without a standing army or insurgency! But the Jewish people were also complicit and the NT details the conspiracies and machinations involved."

NO NO NO. You haven't read your gospels with a critical enough eye. I will help you. Please read the following. Yes, it is long, but it is integral to your understanding. It should dawn on you that the Romans were responsible for Jesus' murder, and they had a good reason to knock him off. This makes much more sense than the nonsense story that it was really "the Jews," Jesus' own people, who wanted him dead.


"Yeshua went to the temple. This was where fees were to be paid to the priests, and to the moneychangers who exchanged Roman coinage and Jewish currency. It was also where money was collected to pay for the places that offered ritual bathing, for the actual animals, and for the priests to kill the animals. There was rent to be collected from the hoards of visitors who had to stay overnight, and fees for feeding them. The priests had engineered things so that the temple was where all this happened. Yeshua was clearly compromising all this by turning the tables over, causing a ruckus in a city centered on the temple-based economy. He must have had a crowd of Jewish supporters to cheer him on and protect him, so to arrest him on the spot would have been difficult. To start a scene in the temple and test the authority of the Sadducees was making another affirmation that he had arrived. It showed that Yeshua was willing to be aggressive to achieve his aims.

That night Yeshua returned to a safe house at Bethany, yet Luke’s account makes it clear that Jewish authorities had him under surveillance.

The next day Jesus provoked the temple hierarchy again by debating them in public. Matthew had Jesus state that what belonged to Caesar should be returned to Caesar, (Matt. 22:21) in other words that Jews should pay taxes to Rome. It is probable this was written in to derail readers from reaching the conspicuous conclusion that Jesus was a zealot. It makes no sense to imagine that a man who turned over tables in the temple would pay tax to Caesar.

The atmosphere in Jerusalem must have been very heated and tense. Something definitive was bound to happen soon; one of the sides was going to pick up their weapons. Consider the principal players in the evolving events.

On one side was Yeshua, who was convinced that he was a king and the Messiah of Israel. He had been emboldened and protected by a show of support from a pepped up Jewish populace, as witnessed by the tumultuous welcome when he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. He was now under pressure to play his hand. At this critical time, tactics were everything. Yeshua knew there had to be a fight, but how and when to start it? He may have been waiting for divine help from Yahweh, whom he knew had helped previous prophets win wars, because that was what was written in Scripture.

On the other side were the Roman army and the chief priest, the Sanhedrin and their associates. Pontius Pilate, who contemporary historians described as dictatorial and violent, supervised the soldiers who were nervous, organized, trained, and in fine fettle.

Jewish leaders knew that Yeshua was hoping to start a revolt. They were powerful men supported by Rome and the last thing they wanted was a zealot stirring up the people. A Jewish insurrection would threaten their positions and even their lives, because the Roman garrison could not protect them from thousands of hot- headed Jews. They had to act quickly and decisively to prevent Yeshua gaining the upper hand. A conflict was inevitable. The stage was set for a showdown between Rome and what Yeshua believed was the true Israel.

Matthew made it clear that Jesus was trying to rally the people:

“Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and made plans to arrest Jesus by some trick and have him put to death. They said ‘however it must not be during the festivities, there must be no disturbance among the people” (Matt. 26:3–6, NJB.)

Luke wrote something similar:

“Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.” (Luke 22:1-2, KJV.)

This was followed by

“And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet” (Luke 21:45–46, NJB.)

The chief priests knew Yeshua was plotting against them, and that the crowds could turn ugly.

Yeshua was hoping for a large-scale battle, yet knew that his immediate entourage of admirers would be easily outnumbered by Roman troops. Yeshua probably understood that he inspired the rank and file, but could he count on them to confront professional soldiers in combat? To engage a few thousand Roman infantry in hand to hand hostility was an ominous prospect. The people were not soldiers. Many of them had families, a fact that did not deter his drive, as he had earlier pressured people to abandon their families and follow him.

The people were not well armed. Luke had Jesus say to his disciples,

“If you have no sword, sell your cloak and buy one” (Luke 22:36, NJB.)

Yeshua was getting his fellow Jews geared up for the great fight. He was playing the part of the Messiah, and knew nothing about “blessed are the peacemakers” and “turn the other cheek.” When push came to shove, the gallant young man from Galilee was getting ready to fight for God and glory!

One night Yeshua retreated out of Jerusalem to the garden of Gethsemane, on the north east edge of Jerusalem, about 100 yards outside the city wall. The formation of an assembly at night was against Roman law. It is claimed that Jesus directed his disciples to keep watch. Yeshua knew if his enemies got to him without the peoples’ protection all would be lost. Unfortunately for him, that is exactly what happened.

Yeshua’s Arrest

Yeshua and his entourage were outmaneuvered. The Romans swooped on them in the garden of Gethsemane while Jewish residents slept. John claimed a cohort of soldiers was consigned to collar Jesus:

“Judas the traitor knew the place well, since Jesus had often met his disciples there, and he brought the cohort to this place together with a detachment of guards sent by the chief priests and Pharisees, all with lanterns and torches and weapons” (John 18:3 JB.)

Someone had betrayed Yeshua to the Romans. A cohort was six hundred Roman soldiers, one tenth of a legion. Pilate would not have sent this many men to arrest an agreeable, unarmed, peace-loving preacher who thought he was God. Yeshua was a big fish with an entourage of admirers, swimming in a city packed with potential patrons, so he needed to be decisively dealt with before things got out of hand.

Some of Yeshua’s disciples were with him at the time of his arrest. One or more of them was supposed to be on watch. It must have been intimidating to have that many soldiers tramping toward you in the dead of night, torchlight reflecting off their swords and armor, shining up a silhouette of trees in the distance. It was probably no contest. The Gospels make out that Jesus was surprised that force was used to capture him:

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me?” (Mark 14; 48, KJV)

This does not ring true, particularly when we read in John that

“Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.” (John 18; 10, KJV.)

Most of Yeshua’s mates dashed off into the dark, leaving him to his fate. They had been taken by surprise, outplayed by more experienced, more professional opponents. Yeshua was trumped before he had made his master move. He was taken into custody, so was unable to issue instructions. His allies had let him down, and he must have known what was in store for him. Luke claimed Jesus was sweating blood (Luke 22; 44.) Luke was trying to tell how terrified Jesus was about his impending crucifixion.

Much is made in the Gospels about Peter’s remorse for disowning Jesus. There were others in the troop too terrified to put their lives on the line, and they must have felt just as guilty. The fact that Peter had to lie about his identity suggests that Roman soldiers were chasing anyone who was part of the gang of insurrectionists.

Yeshua would have felt abandoned not only by his friends but also by his God. His work and dreams had come to nothing, and he probably played the last card of a wretched man by begging his God for a miracle.

The Trial

Matthew claims Jesus was arrested because he claimed he was divine, but Yeshua did not fantasize that he was God. Jews believed in only one God, Yahweh. Yeshua would not have had any helpers if he had made a blasphemous claim that he was God.

Nor could the Romans have cared less about a peasant’s delusions of grandeur. The Romans never got involved in Jewish religious disputes unless they turned into a security issue. The high priest, the Sanhedrin, the Pharisees, Pilate, and his army all knew Yeshua had hoped to start a rebellion against Rome.

All the Gospel authors made out Jesus was given a trial. Jesus was taken before Pilate and the accusation made:

“We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ, a King.” (Luke 23:2 NKJ.)

Pilate asked Jesus if he was king of the Jews and Jesus answered,

“It is as you say it” (Luke 23:3 NKJ.)

This perfectly described the crux of the issue: Jesus was accused of undermining the government and the taxation system. Jesus effectively signed his own death warrant by admitting he thought of himself as the King of the Jews.

Genuine Jewish kings did not pay Roman tax, so this contradicted Jesus’ earlier injunction to render unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar (see Matthew 22:21.)

Luke was the only Gospel author who claimed that Jesus was taken before Herod. Luke states Jesus refused to talk to Herod. Yeshua would have hated Herod, the man who had his cousin beheaded. Herod supposedly found Jesus not guilty, but this makes no sense, as Luke had earlier claimed that Herod wanted Jesus killed. (Luke 13:31.)

Mark claimed,

“... the chief priests however had incited the crowd” (Mark 15:11, NJB.)

This poorly explained excuse was the only reason given in any of the Gospels for “the crowd” turning against Jesus. This crowd supposedly shouted that they would rather have a common criminal,

( http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/j...trial.html )

Barabbas, freed instead of Jesus. No such custom of releasing the crowd’s favorite was ever recorded in any non-Biblical document. Mark implied this crowd was made up of Jerusalem’s people, whom Mark had earlier described as the “multitudes” who had welcomed Jesus as a king and a hero in a ticker tape parade when he rode into the city. This same Jewish crowd thought Jesus was a prophet and had laid clothes and branches at his feet. The chief priests feared the Jewish people would create an uproar if Jesus were arrested. Can anyone believe Jerusalem’s people had such a complete change of mind about their hero?

Romans were made to look as if they were really sympathetic towards Jesus. Pilate, the Roman governor, allegedly read a letter from his wife about a dream she had that Jesus was innocent. Pilate supposedly said,

“I find no fault in this man” (Luke 23:4 KJV.)

Pilate is depicted as trying to talk the angry Jews out of having Jesus crucified, but gave in to the public clamor, because

“... in fact a riot was imminent” (Matt. 27:24 KJV.)

So the crowd that was going to riot if Jesus was arrested (see Matt. 26:3–6) was now about to riot if Jesus was not crucified. This scenario makes no sense. It is obvious that most of Jesus’ Jewish compatriots, that is the common people, idolized him, and would not have wanted him crucified! Therefore this passage is almost certainly a pro Roman fabrication.

Pilate, Rome’s representative, allegedly washed his hands of any responsibility for the decision to kill Jesus. This did not happen; it was theatrical propaganda, not real history. To pronounce a man innocent, and then command your troops to kill him anyway, is preposterous.

Pilate’s job was to keep the peace and make sure Jews paid tax. Jesus was a dangerous subversive, threatening a rebellion, so Pilate could not have found him innocent. There was probably no public trial. To have a public trial at that time of year would be just asking for trouble, particularly as it is made abundantly clear that Jesus had a firm contingent of support amongst the people.

Pilate was the Roman prefect of Judaea from AD 26–36. He is described by contemporary secular historians as being notorious for his cruelty toward the Jews. For example Philo, an Alexandrian Jew, writing in 41 CE, stated that Pilate’s tenure in power was notable for its

“. . . briberies, insults, robberies, outrages, wanton injustices, constantly repeated executions without trial, and ceaseless and grievous cruelty” (Legatio ad Gaium, 301–302.)

Josephus too reported several instances of Pilate flagrantly inciting an insurrection, only to ruthlessly suppress it with his soldiers.

In 36 CE, Vitellius, the Roman Syrian governor, removed Pilate from his office after a violent attack on the Samaritans (Josephus, Antiquities 18.4.85.) Pilate was ordered to Rome to face complaints of excessive cruelty against the Jews, found culpable, and exiled to Vienne, France. Pilate’s true colors come across in secular history, not in the Gospels. The real Pilate clearly was not a character wracked with ambivalence about whether to crucify Yeshua.

The Crucifixion

One of the authors of Matthew had Jews say,

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

Jews publically cursed themselves for being Christ-killers, which is highly improbable.

The Jewish passersby allegedly mocked Jesus:

“The passersby jeered at him; they shook their heads and said ‘if you are God’s son, come down from the cross!’” (Matt. 27:39–40, NJB.)

Yet the Jewish crowd would not have been that callous to one of their own. They would have been appalled that Jesus was dying such a despicable death.

Moreover, if his fellow Jews had wanted to kill Jesus, he would have been stoned to death, which could only have happened if the Romans gave the Jews permission to do so.

The Gospel authors could not have Romans responsible for killing the Son of God, because the Catholic Church, who promoted the Gospels, became the Church of Rome. The solution was simple; they made the Romans look like unwilling participants in the proceedings, and they accused the anonymous Jewish rabble of wanting Jesus dead.

Crucifixion was an agonizing, demeaning, public death, one reserved for insurgents. It was used by Romans to intimidate anyone who might undermine their authority. The Roman soldiers nailed zealots up naked on a cross; it was part of the humiliation. The degrading death was designed to discourage other charismatic leaders from having their own dangerous dreams.

The sign or “titulus” (Latin for “inscription” or “label”) was the Roman way of exhibiting the explanation for the execution. It was written by Pilate, and read “King of the Jews,” a reflection of Jesus’ real crime.

Luke had a dying Jesus say

“Father, forgive them, they do not know what they are doing,” (Luke 23:34, NJB)

referring to the Roman soldiers who had just scourged, mocked and nailed him naked to a cross. It is hard to imagine that Yeshua said this. He is more likely to have damned these soldiers with his dying breaths!

A Roman centurion supposedly said,

“In truth this was the Son of God” (Matt. 27:54, NJB.)

Yet Christianity, which claimed Jesus was the Son of God, had yet to be invented!
The two men Yeshua was crucified with were labeled as “lestai,” incorrectly translated in some Bibles as “robbers.” In fact “lestai” was a derogatory term for insurrectionists, who, by armed action, opposed Roman rule.

So the Roman soldiers crucified Jesus between two zealots, it is written that Jesus thought he was the King of the Jews, and yet the

( http://www.drabruzzi.com/jesus_movement.htm, http://haqol.wordpress.com/2010/12/30/th...tai-rebel/ )

reader is expected to believe that Jesus was a pacifist preacher without any political ambitions!

Roman law allowed no burial rights to those killed by crucifixion. Yeshua’s body would have been left on display for birds and dogs as a deterrent to others who might disobey Rome, although it is possible that Pilate made an exception and gave permission for the body to be buried."
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23-10-2015, 04:29 PM (This post was last modified: 24-10-2015 04:23 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(23-10-2015 07:21 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Mark,

If Paul sought power, why did he limit his income, remain without a spouse or female companion, and not exercise power? If Paul was a Roman conspirator, why was he usually writing from inside a Roman jail, why was he martyred, in Rome, by Romans? Jews don’t behead their victims…

If Paul was about power in educating people to follow his ways, why wasn’t it okay for him to do so but it’s okay for you and TTA friends to constantly taunt me with “get an education, learn something about Christianity”?

If you attack Paul for pulling people away from Judaism to Christianity, why is it okay for you to try to pull people off Christianity and Judaism to atheism?

What is the proof you are not lying in your book? You take potshots at Paul’s writings and he cannot defend himself, how do we know you don’t play fast and loose with truth? I’m growing weary of having you say ALL my Bible quotations are lies and ALL yours are Paul telling the truth about Paul’s lies! That is not a level playing field.

Quote: 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.

Mark, I’m done digesting. I burped and I felt better. But seriously, I’ve pointed you to other sources, even longer sources than your many posts, indicating why this is not so, why the NT was completed before the close of the first century, and why in Paul’s day there were Christians.

Quote: 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.

I’d like you to know I’ve heard from modern-day Ebionites a similar “Jesus right, Paul wrong,” or “Jesus did one thing until Paul turned it on its head” many, many times. No. Now, a lot of the understanding comes once you understand that Paul wrote as early as 95% of scholars—liberal and conservative scholars, atheist and Christian scholars—say he did. Paul’s epistles were written about 100 years before you say he wrote (extreme minority view—even the Jesus Seminar dates them earlier than you do).

And yes, Jesus was executed as an insurgent, although you must admit as a peaceful one without a standing army or insurgency! But the Jewish people were also complicit and the NT details the conspiracies and machinations involved.

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

Okay, so you’re NOT Jewish. I get it now. Because I’m not here to debate Judaism with you, but you don’t know the first thing about it, apparently. A Jew who becomes a Christian is entitled to fully participate in all religious and ceremonial aspects of Judaism from Bar Mitzvah to Jewish burial, and there are many Messianics, however discreet, in synagogues of all stripes today. Your NTS regarding “true Jews” is offensive to both traditional and Messianic Jews, as well as the rules of logic. Please stop!

Quote: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.

I did. And both the first and second times, I noticed you are playing fast and loose with documentary evidence. When the NT says things you find strengthen your case, it speaks truth in your opinion. When it argues strongly against your case, you cite it as a lie or conspiratorial lie. I stated you would do this prior to entering our debate, but I wish you as the tiger would change your stripes! HOW DO YOU KNOW this particular statement is a LIE but other NT scriptures are TRUE? Please cite your evidence here and now.

Quote: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.

Cut it out, please. You know I didn’t mean “first time I read the term” but rather, the earliest extant mention of them in a written document. Cut it out. Acts is older than your imaginary textual sources that Nazarenes were warring with… who is it? Paulines? There’s no such thing. There’s no name scholars have applied to groups of people who followed Paul in the first through third centuries, so your “Paul vs. the Nazarenes” doesn’t have a scholarly leg to stand upon, sir.

Quote: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.

If a document was recognized as holy scripture after 140, and it was written in 130, guess what the church considers it to have been in 130? I will leave this debate if you continue to play semantics with me. THE NAZARENES ARE ALSO KNOWN TODAY AS BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS. PAUL WAS CALLED ERRONEOUSLY THEIR “RINGLEADER” BECAUSE HE TAUGHT THE SAME DOCTRINES PUBLICLY AS OTHER APOSTLES--AND THE NAZARENES, LIKE ME, ADHERE TO HOLY SCRIPTURE.

Read the above again as slowly or as fast as you like! 

Quote: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."

Mark, YOU said Jesus differed from Paul. I quoted Jesus where He agreed with Paul, and then YOU said “of course, this statement of Jesus’s is a fabricated statement also—so here are some more statements of Jesus that aren’t fabricated, because they prove my point about Paul. I call baloney. Pick from among the following:

ALL the NT is true.

ALL the NT is false.

SOME of the NT is true, SOME is false/conspiracy/lies—but you better have literary citations and PROOF of what isn’t true if you’re going to call EVERY scripture quotation I make a lie and everyone YOU use as true. Level playing field, please!

**

Regarding Galatians 2, I’m afraid I must change my stance. It is a mistaken insertion in the Bible, it is a lie promoted by those trying to denigrate Paul. You cannot use it in our debate… [that is my example of the kind of baloney you are pushing here.]

However, I will bother to address your (wrong) points about Galatians 2. Paul was conciliatory and laudatory to other apostles here and elsewhere. He is on record as publicly stating “I’m the least of all the apostles.” Give it a rest, please.

Quote:“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.”

Clearly you don’t understand much about this (or many other) Bible verses. I’m determined to post to TTA to yield out of deference to atheists about the gospel! Paul was opposed to certain people not in a power grab, but because they were saying the good news was for Jews and not Gentiles and based on works and not faith. I know you’ve heard of the Reformation, for a similar example… (Q rolls his eyes, sighs.)

Quote:…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.

Astonishing. You don’t know there were many people named James (Ya’akov, Jacob) in that time and place? You didn’t know even Jesus had two apostles named James; the brother of John/son of Zebedee and James the “lesser”? And that James the Lord’s brother is a third James in the NT? No, why would you know that or bother to do the research. You’re an atheist.

Quote: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.

You shared this all before, Dr. Fulton. What I’ve shared before is I’m tired of this argument from silence. What I will add today for this debate is that 1) James was likely the leader of the Jerusalem saints prior to his martyrdom. That plus 2) being the natural half-brother of GOD gave him a lot of authority and to his readers, he didn’t need to authenticate his credentials—and if he was you, you would want to write “your own thing” without having to say, “Yeah, I’m God’s brother!” if you know what I mean… anyway, PAUL did have to cite credentials since he was late to the party—and I’m sure you will comment on that fact. 

And yes, I know that Martin Luther thought James wasn’t canon—something every first year Religion major should know. He thought the same about Revelation, about which letter I’ve edited an entire book! I will apologize to Luther in Heaven. We both hope to have you there with us, Mark. 

Quote:Rome was smart. The Government knew a war was brewing… Rome was smart. The Government knew a war was brewing…

Listen, I know I’ve cut down mercilessly on your theory that Paul was a Roman conspirator sent to make the Jews pacifists to Rome, tax payers and etc. I apologize for being harsh in the past. It’s really a clever idea and I can see why you’d make it a staple in your book.

However, have you considered how:

1. If you insist Paul’s stuff to be a second century fabrication, Masada, the destruction of Jerusalem and the war against the Jews had ENDED, the Jews scattered in diaspora? Why go to huge expense to quell a rebellion that ended already, so successfully it took 2,000 years for the Jews to regain Israel? Consider!

2. If you insist Paul’s stuff is a late fabrication, how it was that countless Jews and Gentiles across Asia Minor, across what was left of Palestine and across the Empire became “Pauline” in doctrine? Wouldn’t they have all said, “Pish Posh! This stuff is recently made up. Our fathers knew nothing about this stuff and this perversion of the beloved Nazarene doctrines!” Consider!

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

The Essenes and Qumran’ers were notorious for being withdrawn from Rome and Israel both. They were cave dwellers, monastic! The idea that Jesus came out from THEM to become an itinerant preacher is absurd. Worse is the idea that Jesus was a self-proclaimed Messiah if He was an Essene, who was one who lived in seclusion until the Messiah came down from above rather than being born in a manger to live among mere men! Jesus would have been repudiated by the Essenes for not ushering in Armageddon either in His day (or by the 2nd century when you think the gospels and epistles were redacted). No. No, no, no, no.

Re: Tertullian and Paul:

You indeed cited a text from Tertullian's Against Marcion. Tertullian is pushing Marcion to prove his VERSION of the apostle Paul. The text you are citing is attacking MARCION’s Paul.

If you read a bit further after this section of Book V you will read where Tertullian says:

"I do not calumniate him whom I defend. I deny him to compel you to defend him. I deny him to convince you that he is mine... If you challenge us to your belief, tell us what things constitute its basis."

Tertullian is using somewhat legal argumentation and rhetorical style to push against the position of Marcion. This is why we have to be careful when reading the early fathers--their writing methods are usually very different from what we are used to. That is, what Bucky Ball famously reminds us is presentist in viewpoint.

Tertullian quotes from the apostle Paul in several writings, even in Against Marcion as mentioned above. He does so in positive ways that make it obvious that he:

1. Views Paul as a legitimate apostle...

2. Sees Paul's letters as inspired text...

"Rightly, then, did Peter and James and John give their right hand of fellowship to Paul, and agree on such a division of their work, as that Paul should go to the heathen, and themselves to the circumcision." Against Marcion Volume 3!

The remainder of Book 5 is all about Tertullian proving Marcion wrong and showing how Paul agrees with the other apostles and with the message/gospel of Jesus!

I could cite many examples of Tertullian quoting Paul as inspired, but how about one clear example?

On Baptism (Chapter 15):

There is to us one, and but one, baptism; as well according to the Lord's gospel as according to the apostle's letters, inasmuch as he says, "One God, and one baptism," and one church in the heavens.

The most holy apostle has said, that "all things are lawful, but not all expedient." Chapter 17

Tertullian also cites Paul in On Monogamy and On Modesty.

Quote: What does invalidate Christianity is the fact that the alleged central figure of the religion, Jesus, was a fundamentalist Jew who knew nothing of the creator of Christian theology's (Paul's) ideas.

You have a minority view there—an Ebionite’s view. Obviously, most Christians (who have Bible knowledge) can show you where their ideas dovetail. Even TERTULLIAN wrote about their ideas being harmonious.

Quote:I challenge you to provide any good quality evidence that any of Jesus' family or disciples were fans of Paul. Sorry, quotes from the book of Acts will not do. I'm referring to quality evidence.

Paul did not do miracles. Nobody does miracles. Even if he thought he did, he would have undoubtedly told the world about them in his letters, and he doesn't. Get real and be honest about this. Imagine, for a second, YOU fucked with the rules of nature. You'd be shit pleased, and have your goddam camera taking shots. We get none of that in Paul's writings.

One, Paul didn’t have a camera. Smile

Two, Paul says in Romans 15, “Christ has accomplished through me the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, IN THE POWER OF SIGNS AND WONDERS...”

YOU might run through the streets talking about miracles if YOU saw one. Paul mostly talked about how awesome Jesus Christ is, but he did reference miracle signs, although on a seldom basis. Again, Paul wanted people to trust Christ, not the miracles of Paul, and so he kept his references limited there.

Thank you.

Q, you wrote
"I noticed you are playing fast and loose with documentary evidence. When the NT says things you find strengthen your case, it speaks truth in your opinion. When it argues strongly against your case, you cite it as a lie or conspiratorial lie."

Yes, this is true. New Testament is mainly a work of fiction written by many very different people.

Yet there are some elements of historical truth in it.

I reserve the right to offer my opinions about various elements of the writing. I am not constrained by black and white arguments such as "the writings are the word of God" or "there is no truth in the bible."

It is up to the historian to make the most of the evidence we have. I'm giving you my opinion. I'm explaining why it makes sense. I am not blindly accepting everything that's written in the Bible, which appears to be pretty much what you would like to do, yet I accept that there are elements of truth therein. This is what all honest historians do with evidence.
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