Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
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25-10-2015, 12:37 AM (This post was last modified: 25-10-2015 03:18 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

"The Essenes and Qumran’ers were notorious for being withdrawn from Rome and Israel both. They were cave dwellers, monastic!"

You appear to be getting them mixed up with another group...

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25-10-2015, 02:30 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

"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!"

I clearly stated that Paul's authentic letters were written in the 50's and 50's. His "disputed" letters are written at a later time ...I suggested probably early second century.

Um....are you aware that there was a second war against the Jews, in 132-5 CE, and it was even larger than the first?
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25-10-2015, 02:52 PM (This post was last modified: 25-10-2015 06:43 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

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!

I think you are trying to claim that "countless Jews" became Christians. Please provide some evidence for this. I think you will find that the divisions between some Jews and gentiles were a little blurred, sometimes, in some places, in the late first and early second century, yet there were never any large scale conversions of Jews to Christianity.

I'll repost my spiel on what happened to the Nazarenes for the benefit of anyone who might find it interesting....

What Happened to the Nazarenes?

The Nazarenes were Yeshua’s bona fide disciples. Much of their history is missing, probably because early Christians destroyed it. Yet their tale can be pieced together.

Hugh Schonfield points out the Nazarenes were not Christians.

“It is to the Nazarene records that we ought chiefly to look for our knowledge of Jesus, and we must regard Nazarenism as the true Christianity. As the Nazarenes throughout the period of personal recollection and down to the third generation, that is to say at least seventy five years after the death of Jesus, denied his deity and his virgin birth, we must recognize that these are alien doctrines subsequently introduced by a partly paganized Church, as Justin Martyr in the middle of the second century more or less admits. The Church, which received them, had no other course open than to belittle the Nazarenes and denounce them as heretics. The historian here has no difficulty in detecting the real heretics.”

It is probable that Paul, the founder of Christian theology, masquer- aded as a Nazarene in the 50’s and early 60’s; at least he did so when he was associating with traditional Jews. Once Paul was accepted into Jewish communities, he tried to replace messianic Nazarene doctrine with his own pro government perspective.

To all true Nazarenes, Paul was a heretic and a traitor to Judaism. The cordial relationship between Paul and the Nazarenes described by the author of Acts was merely an attempt to connect Paul with an historical Jesus and was a fiction.

Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, (d. 236 CE) Tertullian, Origen, Epiphanius, (c. 310 – 403 CE, bishop of Salamis) and Jerome all confirmed that the Ebionites (as the Nazarenes were later called, see below) opposed Paul as a false Apostle.

The Roman Emperor Nero may have blamed and persecuted the Nazarenes in Rome for the great fire of 64 CE. Christians today often incorrectly call Nero’s casualties Christians. There is a Christian “tradition” that this was when Peter was crucified, but there is no contemporary evidence to confirm the claim.

Hegesippus, (c. 110 - 180 CE) a Christian chronicler of the early Church, who may have been a Jewish convert, writes that after the death of James in 62 CE, the Nazarenes selected Symeon, (aka Simeon) son of Cleophas, to be their new leader. He was one of Yeshua’s relatives, possibly a cousin.

During the first Jewish war of 66 - 70 CE, some of the Nazarenes are said to have fled across the Jordan River to Pella. Yet many of them probably tried to defend Jerusalem and therefore perished. The survivors must have been bitterly disappointed by the defeat. The remaining rebels moved back to Jerusalem in 72 CE. They never regained their pre war status and influence.

Prior to 80 – 90 CE, the Nazarenes were still worshipping in synagogues alongside Pharisees. Yet many of their fellow Jews now viewed them as trouble causers, probably because of their nationalistic ambitions. The Pharisaic Jews referred to them as “minim” (Hebrew for heretic.) A heretic is someone who still remains within the faith, but believes in elements not acceptable to the orthodoxy, so mainstream Jews never considered the Nazarenes as Christians. A deep schism between the Nazarenes and other Jews formed, and by 90 CE, Nazarenes were excluded from some synagogues. It is likely that some Jews opted out of Nazarenism, and others were intimidated by it, because opposing Rome was dangerous.

In his “Ecclesiastical History,” Eusebius of Caesaria, the father of early Christian history, wrote of the grandchildren of Jesus’ brother Jude, who were living in Galilee during the reign of the Roman Emperor Domitian, (81–96 CE, Vespasian’s son and Titus’ younger brother.) (232 book 3, chapter 20. Eusebius says Jesus’ relatives became dynastic leaders of various “Christian” (a misnomer) churches, and continued to be so up until the time of the Emperor Trajan (98–117 CE.)

Kamal Salibi, at the time an Emeritus Professor at the American University of Beirut, Department of History and Archaeology, wrote that after Symeon’s death, twelve others followed in turn whose names are preserved down to 135 CE (the time of the Second Jewish Revolt.)

So there were fifteen leaders of the Nazarene sect after Jesus, all of who were circumcised Jews and relations of Jesus. The word “Desposyni” was reserved uniquely for Jesus’ blood relatives and literally meant “belonging to the Lord.” They governed the Nazarenes. Each carried one of the names traditional in Jesus’ family: Zachary, Joseph, John, James, Joses, Symeon, Matthias, and others, although no later Desposynos was ever called Yeshua.

Sextus Julius Africanus’ reference to the “Desposyni” is also preserved by Eusebius:

“For the relatives of our Lord according to the flesh, whether with the desire of boasting or simply wishing to state the fact, in either case truly, have handed down the following account...Herod, inasmuch as the lineage of the Israelites contributed nothing to his advantage, and since he was goaded with the consciousness of his own ignoble extraction, burned all the genealogical records, thinking that he might appear of noble origin if no one else were able, from the pub- lic registers, to trace back his lineage to the patriarchs or proselytes and to those mingled with them, who were called Georae. A few of the careful, however, having obtained private records of their own, either by remembering the names or by getting them in some other way from the registers, pride themselves on preserving the memory of their noble extraction. Among these are those already mentioned, called Desposyni, on account of their connection with the family of the Saviour. Coming from Nazara and Cochaba, villages of Judea, into other parts of the world, they drew the aforesaid genealogy from memory and from the book of daily records as faithfully as possible.

Whether then the case stand thus or not no one could find a clearer explanation, according to my own opinion and that of every candid person. And let this suffice us, for, although we can urge no testimony in its support, we have nothing better or truer to offer. In any case the Gospel states the truth.”
(Eusebius, Historica Ecclesiae, 1:7:11.)

Eusebius also preserved an extract from a work by Hegesippus, (c.110–c.180) who wrote five books of Commentaries on the Acts of the Church. The extract refers to the period from the reign of Domitian (81–96 CE) to that of Trajan, (98–117 CE) and includes the statement that two Desposyni brought before Domitian later became leaders of the churches:

“There still survived of the kindred of the Lord the grandsons of Judas, who according to the flesh was called his brother. These were informed against, as belonging to the family of David, and Evocatus brought them before Domitian Caesar: for that emperor dreaded the advent of Christ, as Herod had done.

So he asked them whether they were of the family of David; and they confessed they were. Next he asked them what property they had, or how much money they possessed. They both replied that they had only 9000 denaria between them, each of them owning half that sum; but even this they said they did not possess in cash, but as the estimated value of some land, consisting of thirty-nine plethra only, out of which they had to pay the dues, and that they supported themselves by their own labor. And then they began to hold out their hands, exhibiting, as proof of their manual labor, the roughness of their skin, and the corns raised on their hands by constant work.

Being then asked concerning Christ and His kingdom, what was its nature, and when and where it was to appear, they returned answer that it was not of this world, nor of the earth, but belonging to the sphere of heaven and angels, and would make its appearance at the end of time, when He shall come in glory, and judge living and dead, and render to every one according to the course of his life.

Thereupon Domitian passed no condemnation upon them, but treated them with contempt, as too mean for notice, and let them go free. At the same time he issued a command, and put a stop to the persecution against the Church.

When they were released they became leaders of the churches, as was natural in the case of those who were at once martyrs and of the kindred of the Lord. And, after the establishment of peace to the Church, their lives were prolonged to the reign of Trojan.”
(Eusebius, Historica Ecclesiae, 3:20.)

Eusebius also wrote that the Nazarenes did not fight in the second war (132-6 CE) against the Romans, as they considered Simon bar Kochba, the Jewish commander, to be a false messiah.

After this war, the fifteenth Nazarene leader was exiled with the remaining Jewish population when the Emperor Hadrian banned all Jews from Jerusalem.

Over the next few centuries, the Nazarenes headed by Yeshua’s relatives continued as a movement that some Jews joined. They were well respected in their own locales. They moved northeastward, eventually making their way to the Tigris-Euphrates basin, spreading throughout Palestine, Syria, and Mesopotamia.

The early Christians considered the Nazarenes a heretical sect, so ignored and later suppressed them. Justin Martyr denigrated their beliefs. The developing orthodox Catholic Church deliberately called them the “Ebionites,” “the poor ones” (although Jews did not consider this term derogatory; in fact they used the term to refer to the righteous.) Christians prior to Irenaeus did not use this term. Irenaeus wrote

“Those who are called Ebionites agree that the world was made by God; but their opinions with respect to the Lord are similar to those of Cerinthus and Carpocrates.”

These men were Gnostics who believed Jesus was a very human teacher. Irenaeus continues:

“They use the Gospel according to Matthew only, and repudiate the Apostle Paul, maintaining that he was an apostate from the law. As to the prophetical writings, they endeavor to expound them in a somewhat singular manner: they practice circumcision, persevere in the observance of those customs which are enjoined by the law, and are so Judaic in their style of life, that they even adore Jerusalem as if it were the house of God” (Against Heresies 1:26.)

The Gospel according to Matthew that Irenaeus refers to was probably the same Gospel that Jerome (342–420 CE) and Epiphanius called the “Gospel of the Nazarenes/Hebrews,” which was written in Aramaic. Jerome mentions that he made translations of it into Greek and Latin. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, no significant part of this Gospel survives today. Some scholars believe that it was loosely linked to canonical Matthew, which fits with Matthew being the most pro-Jewish Gospel of the four. It is possible that this was how some facts about Yeshua the Nazarene insurrectionist made it into the Gospels.

(http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13393b.htm 307)

Eusebius considered the Nazarenes heretics because

“... they regarded [Jesus] as plain and ordinary, a man esteemed as righteous through growth of character and nothing more, the child of a normal union between a man and Mary; and they held that they must observe every detail of the Law—that by faith in Christ alone they would never win Salvation” (Ecclesiastical History 3.7.)
Hugh Schonfield would say that it was Eusebius who was the real heretic.

Irenaeus and Eusebius, both fervent Christians, depicted the Nazarenes correctly as a Jewish sect.

Gentile Christians came to refer to the Nazarenes indiscriminately as “Jewish Christians” because of their link with Jesus, yet this was another misnomer, because they never were Christians.

By the beginning of the fourth century, the Roman Catholic Church was becoming dominant and there were confrontations with Jews, including the Nazarenes. With the Synod of Elvira, held in 306 CE, prohibitions against eating, marriage, and sex with Jews were enacted in the Roman Empire. Nazarenes were included in this ban, which in effect excluded them from all social and religious association with those in the growing Gentile Christian church.

The Emperor Constantine appointed Sylvester as the head bishop of the Catholic Church in 313 CE. According to the Irish Jesuit historian Malachi Martin, a meeting took place in 318 CE in Rome between Pope Sylvester I and the Desposyni. Sylvester provided sea travel for the Nazarene leaders as far as the Roman port of Ostia, thirty kilometers west of Rome. The fact that Sylvester thought it necessary to meet with them suggests that he was curious, yet it is obvious he initiated the meeting with the intention of exerting his pontifical authority over them.

The Nazarene leaders who appeared before Pope Sylvester quite rightly thought they represented Yeshua’s true legacy. They were, after all, his blood relations, part of at least three well-known lines of legitimate blood descent from Yeshua’s family. They were eight in number, and Joses, the oldest of them, spoke on their behalf. They bluntly refused to recognize the Roman church as having any authority, and made the following demands:
(1) That the confirmation of the Christian bishops of Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus and Alexandria be revoked;
(2) That these bishoprics be conferred on members of the Desposyni;
(3) That the Law be reintroduced, which included the Sabbath and the Holy Day system of Feasts, and
(4) That Christian Churches resume sending money to the Desposyni Church in Jerusalem, which was to be regarded as the “Mother Church.”

Such bold claims must have come as a surprise to Sylvester, who refused their demands. They were told that the leadership of Jesus’ church had moved to Rome, and that the Nazarenes had no jurisdiction.

Sylvester must have known his church was the impostor, but that did not concern him. The politics of power were more important than the truth. This was the last known formal dialogue between Christian and Nazarene leaders.

A few years later Nazarenes began to surface in southern Upper Egypt. In this remote locale, far from the centre of Gentile Christianity, they continued to practice their beliefs.

In 364 CE, the Catholic Council of Laodicea decreed anathema on any “Jewish Christians” who continued to observe the seventh-day Sabbath. Historical references to Nazarenes became scarce thereafter. The few remaining believers petered out.

What is appealing about the real story of Yeshua and the Nazarenes is that modern people can relate to it. We all have major concerns about organizations, and the way the Catholic Church, as an organization, treated the Nazarenes some 1700 years ago is an ancient example of what many people dislike about institutions. Whether an organization is a university, a government department, or a Church, their members often put the survivorship, growth and social standing of the organization in front of any controversial facts, or interesting truths, that may emerge. The Catholic Church today, for example, always protects its power, finances, people, and profile above all else. Embarrassing truths are dealt with professionally so as to leave as little damage to the organization as possible. In the first few centuries of Christianity, the Nazarenes’ claims, and their legacy, were not seen as a real threat to the Church’s autonomy. The Catholic Church barely flinched to deal with the Nazarene’s concerns. Respecting an honorable group of people was not an ethic that drove the early Church when dealing with powerless minorities. That legacy and modus operandi is very apparent in understanding the way the Church has operated throughout history and still operates today, for example in the Vatican’s attitude to homosexuality, the way they continue to not totally respect women (half their congregation) and their attitude towards the victims of child sexual abuse perpetrated by their own members.

To summarize, the Nazarenes were a Jewish sect that, at least in the first century, had strong anti Gentile political ambitions. Christianity, something quite separate, rather ironically became a religion for Gentiles. Christianity stole Yeshua the Nazarene’s identity to create Jesus, and reinvented him, not only as its founder, but also as God incarnate and the savior of the world. Christians then suppressed the Nazarenes, who struggled on for about four centuries before they disappeared.

If Yeshua, his family, and his original admirers could speak today, they would be dumbfounded at the distortion of their legacy.

References:
Eisenman, Robert H. “James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to
Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls” Klinghoffer, D. 1965 “Why The Jews Rejected Jesus”. Doubleday.
United States Of America.
Lockhart, D. 1997 “Jesus The Heretic”. Element Books. Dorset. Lockhart, D. 1999 “The Dark Side Of God”. Element Books. Dorset
Schonfield, H. 1969 “Those Incredible Christians”. Bantam. New York.
Thijs Voskuilen and Rose Mary Sheldon co-wrote “Operation Messiah” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4kTNS18ses
http://ia600401.us.archive.org/34/items/...shFollower sOfJesusPart1-Ebionites/Podcast3.7JudeanFollowersOfJesusPart1- Ebionites.mp3
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebionites
http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Ebionites
http://douglaslockhart.com/pdf/THE NAZORAEAN SECT.pdf
http://www.yashanet.com/library/nazarene_judaism.html
http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/ebionites.html
http://www.yashanet.com/library/temple/nazarenes.htm for the above information.
http://books.google.com.au/books?id=b7bnvXrC47AC&pg= PA152&lpg=PA152&dq=Julius+Africanus,+desposyni,&sou rce=bl&ots=SKzFZ8tcXu&sig=cN-lLGGfHPzmMfpnjuvw- W2fqY4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=VkzWUMmCEO6ViQePwIHQBg&v ed=0CF4Q6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=Julius%20Africanus%2C%20 desposyni%2C&f=false
http://books.google.com.au/books?id=jVyz...AC&pg=PA29 6&dq=hegesippus,+symeon&hl=en&sa=X&ei=jU7WUICTJa-UiQ fp7oGICg&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=hegesippus %2C%20symeon&f=false
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_the_Hebrews http://www.conorpdowling.com/library/council-of-elvira http://www.askwhy.co.uk/christianity/0370Ebionites.php http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/te...ippus.html
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25-10-2015, 06:50 PM
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
I know how this guy feels...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRW0R3KukxE
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26-10-2015, 10:21 AM
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
Quote: 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.

No. Paul a) stated he was unpaid b) Paul stated it was a blessing to give the gospel free of charge c) Paul worked with his hands to help people he ministered among. All three of these are scriptural statements which you are ducking and which I’ve mentioned several times now.

Quote: 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.

Many scholars think Paul was a widower since he wrote knowledgeably about the intimacy between a man and a woman. Paul condemned homosexuality, male effeminacy, transvestite behavior, indeed all unmarried sexuality so he wasn’t a homosexual.

Quote: “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.

Do you have scholarly citations for this lunacy, for this rudeness, Mark? In fact, in the very passage you quoted, he is urging both marriage partners to ENJOY sexuality and to PARTICIPATE FULLY.

Quote: 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.

Then try reading my posts before responding. I’m taking issue with your spurious “This is Paul 1st century, this is deuteron-Paul written nearly a century later in the “early second century”. Provide literary or historical proof of pseudo Paul or stop, please.

Quote: 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!

That is exactly what to believe when reading Jesus’s discussion with Pilate, which you skipped… “if you are a king, where are your armies?” There was no group of persons zealously supporting Jesus in public in front of the Roman authorities, and the Jewish authorities, as you wrote. Mark, read the Bible before commenting on it so vigorously, please.

Quote: 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.

No, rather as I predicted prior to this debate, each and every time I offer a Bible quotation refuting what you say, you claim it is an untrue verse or a conspiratorial verse or a later insertion written after the original documents, and every time YOU quote the Bible, you know you have the right verses and the right context and are quoting statements of fact that are also literal. Again, the stupidity of your claim that Paul told people in letters “To be read aloud in all the churches” that he was a charlatan and how he was ripping people off is almost beyond belief!

Either provide proof of how you know which Bible verses are fiction and which are fact or stop playing games. You claim to be an honest historian but you are following no established scholarly beliefs regarding the scriptures, whether of Christian or atheist historians and commentators, and are merely making up stuff as you go along. This makes you a typical TTA manipulator of truth but not a typical atheist historian!

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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."

Well that's odd, coming from you. I could have sworn you have labelled Paul's followers as "Christians."

In fact you have written
"and why in Paul’s day there were Christians." I can only assume that you think "Paul's followers" are Christians.

I know all true Jews would have regarded Paul's followers as heretics. The evidence is even in your own Bible. Paul upset Jews nearly everywhere he went, and ultimately was arrested in Jerusalem for doing just that.

I remain correct. Those who follow CHRIST are “Christians”. Paul claimed no followers, and further reproved the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians for claiming allegiance to him or any apostle rather than CHRIST, from where we get the English word, “Christian”. You are wrong again, Mark.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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.

This assertion is littered with assumptions, which only serves to demonstrate that you know very little about Christian history in the second century.

Please define "the church," in the year 130. Where was "it?" Who was in charge? Are you referring to Roman catholics? Marcionites? The gnostics? The Manicheans?

Also, please explain who decided what was "scripture" and when.

Also, please explain what happened to the scores of other gospels that were around in the 130's but were later discarded as part of the new testament in the 4th century. Did they "used to be scripture" but now no longer are?

I believe I have earlier on another thread(s) sent you links to extensive defenses of canon and 1st and 2nd century canon, church leadership, etc. You are shifting the goal posts, however, since this is a debate as to Paul’s sincerity. My point remains—you are continuing to play semantics rather than confine yourself to the issue being debated.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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.” "

This was false modesty.

Again, you are clearly able to access special knowledge at will. Please provide factual evidence or scholarly citations or contemporaneous sources proving how you know THIS statement is “false modesty” rather than modesty. This debate is like me saying, “I’m here at TTA debating you because I care about you as a person,” and then you say, “No you don’t. You come here to make hundreds of posts for the sake of your ego,” and this despite the fact that I personally already speak in churches, witness publicly and to hundreds of people annually far more accepting that the TTA atheists. Mark, the only thing worse than your attempts to defame me and your tireless ad hom attacks are your further assaults on the character of a dead saint not here to defend himself. There is no legal repercussion for slandering a man dead for two millennia, but there is a moral repercussion. You should be ashamed of yourself. Stop it.

Quote: Q, you wrote the following in response to my statement that the Catholic Enyclopedia could not make up it's mind whether James was Jesus's brother or not.

"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."

Here are the two quotations from the Catholic Encyclopedia, and they clearly contradict each other.

1.

"James is without doubt the Bishop of Jerusalem (Acts 12:17, 15:13, 21:18; Galatians 1:19; 2:9-12) and the author of the first Catholic Epistle. .....The decisive proof, however, is that the father and mother of at least two of these "brethren" are known to us. James and Joseph, or Joses, are, as we have seen, the sons of Alpheus, or Clopas, and of Mary, the sister of Mary the Mother of Jesus, and all agree that if these are not brothers of the Saviour, the others are not. This last argument disposes also of the theory that the "brethren" of the Lord were the sons of St. Joseph by a former marriage. They are then neither the brothers nor the step-brothers of the Lord. James, Joseph, and Jude are undoubtedly His cousins."
( http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02767a.htm )

2.

"Internal evidence (contents of the Epistle, its style, address, date, and place of composition) points unmistakably to James, the Lord's brother, the Bishop of Jerusalem, as the author; "
( http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08275b.htm )

It is I, in fact, who have done the research and have bothered to post the evidence. You have lazily assumed I am getting my James's mixed up...and I clearly am not. Astonishing.

You need to be reminded what an atheist is.

atheist |ˈeɪθɪɪst|
noun
a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.

Being an atheist has no bearing on intellectual capacity or willingness to do research.

Mark, for someone interested in research, you have clearly NOT researched the Catholic doctrine, unique among all churches, and nowhere supported in scripture or historical documents of record, that Mary was a perpetual virgin. Of course the RCC would say James isn’t the brother of Jesus from a former, conveniently disputed marriage. He was the brother of Jesus from Joseph’s marriage to Mary! This is at a level of comfort for Protestants and evangelicals but not Catholics. Again, if you have PROOF that’s great, but quoting a Catholic source that says something is not fact when that source provides no facts or citations for their assertions is less than adequate research.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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…"

Just beautiful!

You're saying that because James didn't mention the fact his brother was God, and that he (James) was therefore the half brother of God, that means that Jesus was God and James was the half-brother of God!

I wonder what you would've said about James if he had written that Jesus was God and that he was God's half brother?

It’s bad enough you take scriptures from their proper context, now you take what I say out of context, too. I NEVER said or implied James is God’s half-brother BECAUSE he didn’t mention this relationship in his letter, I rather said that James being the leader of the Jerusalem church and a person of piety and modesty had no need to tell the Jerusalem church what they already knew. Also, I said—and you failed to respond again--that YOU made an argument from silence—how James couldn’t possibly be related to Jesus Christ because he failed to boast in his familial association in a two-page letter of just over 1,000 words. He ALSO didn’t have to ascribe his power or authority—unlike Paul (!) as I wrote, so let’s get back to that (THE) debate, please.

PS. We ARE still debating Paul and not James, right? Can you confine your anger to one apostle at a time so we can finish this (dull) debate, please? Thanks.

Quote: Paul never specifically gave any details about any miracles he supposedly performed because he didn't do any. He had ample opportunity to do so in the numerous letters he wrote, and you claim the reason for his silence about this is that he wanted people to know how awesome Christ was. Pathetic.

What would you have said about Paul if he had documented his miracles?

What is more, if Paul wanted people to know how awesome Christ was, why didn't Paul mention a single miracle that Jesus performed? I'll tell you why. The miracle performing Jesus of the gospels hadn't been invented yet at the time that Paul wrote.

Q, you really really need to get a grip on reality, and stop believing bullshit.

What you really need to do is make some debate arguments that aren’t arguments from silence or arguments where when I quote a scripture you magically KNOW it’s a later insertion, e.g. you said Paul and Jesus differed in doctrine, I quoted Jesus, and lo and behold you KNEW it was not really an original Jesus statement or gospel verse based on your magic 8-ball!

**

There were 4,000,000 Jews in the Roman Empire in the first century, and your case that the Essenes, 4,000 people living “in groups scattered throughout Judea” or as I wrote more correctly, “monastically in the desert” are of primacy just behind the Pharisees and Sadducees is ridiculous. You’d think the Zealots, who brought on the war and diaspora you keep mentioning, might be important also? How about the Herodians who incensed the Zealots? 

Quote: There is evidence that Yeshua was an Essene. The Essenes had many beliefs in common with those credited to Jesus.

If by evidence you mean genealogical, historical, textual, etc. there is none. But a ten-year-old could see that both Jesus and the Essenes commentated on Messianic expectations and the end of the age. 

Quote: "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."

Have you? I didn't notice.

Please feel free to keep going at it. I like it when people critique my ideas. It makes me think.

Clearly unless it’s me or another who loves Jesus Christ from the heart, I think. Prove me wrong by 1) reading my debate posts before responding 2) responding to what I write and not what you wish I’d written.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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!"

I clearly stated that Paul's authentic letters were written in the 50's and 50's. His "disputed" letters are written at a later time ...I suggested probably early second century.

Um....are you aware that there was a second war against the Jews, in 132-5 CE, and it was even larger than the first?

Again, you have no proof of which of Paul’s letters are authentic, so when you made post-100 AD claims and “late 1st century” claims you were fair game. Here in the English language, “late first century” means after 135 AD, right?

No, there was no deuteron-Paul(s) writing letters after the first Paul but before the 132 event because the Nazarenes/Christians/whatever you want to call them were PACIFIST as ALL mainline scholars agree, already PACIFIST as they neither participated in warfare in 132 or 70 or etc. because of Jesus’s admonitions in the eschaton passages in the gospel, not to live by the sword, to flee the Jerusalem destruction, etc. Your theory that a second Paul was quelling a CHRISTIAN rebellion in the Empire is wholly unfounded.

PS. How did you arrive at the conclusion that the Ebionites and the Nazarenes were the same group by quoting Nazarene authors--who called the Ebionites heretics?! That is really very slipshod in logic. Stop it.

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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26-10-2015, 02:40 PM
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(26-10-2015 10:21 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
Quote: 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.

No. Paul a) stated he was unpaid b) Paul stated it was a blessing to give the gospel free of charge c) Paul worked with his hands to help people he ministered among. All three of these are scriptural statements which you are ducking and which I’ve mentioned several times now.

Quote: 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.

Many scholars think Paul was a widower since he wrote knowledgeably about the intimacy between a man and a woman. Paul condemned homosexuality, male effeminacy, transvestite behavior, indeed all unmarried sexuality so he wasn’t a homosexual.

Quote: “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.

Do you have scholarly citations for this lunacy, for this rudeness, Mark? In fact, in the very passage you quoted, he is urging both marriage partners to ENJOY sexuality and to PARTICIPATE FULLY.

Quote: 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.

Then try reading my posts before responding. I’m taking issue with your spurious “This is Paul 1st century, this is deuteron-Paul written nearly a century later in the “early second century”. Provide literary or historical proof of pseudo Paul or stop, please.

Quote: 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!

That is exactly what to believe when reading Jesus’s discussion with Pilate, which you skipped… “if you are a king, where are your armies?” There was no group of persons zealously supporting Jesus in public in front of the Roman authorities, and the Jewish authorities, as you wrote. Mark, read the Bible before commenting on it so vigorously, please.

Quote: 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.

No, rather as I predicted prior to this debate, each and every time I offer a Bible quotation refuting what you say, you claim it is an untrue verse or a conspiratorial verse or a later insertion written after the original documents, and every time YOU quote the Bible, you know you have the right verses and the right context and are quoting statements of fact that are also literal. Again, the stupidity of your claim that Paul told people in letters “To be read aloud in all the churches” that he was a charlatan and how he was ripping people off is almost beyond belief!

Either provide proof of how you know which Bible verses are fiction and which are fact or stop playing games. You claim to be an honest historian but you are following no established scholarly beliefs regarding the scriptures, whether of Christian or atheist historians and commentators, and are merely making up stuff as you go along. This makes you a typical TTA manipulator of truth but not a typical atheist historian!

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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."

Well that's odd, coming from you. I could have sworn you have labelled Paul's followers as "Christians."

In fact you have written
"and why in Paul’s day there were Christians." I can only assume that you think "Paul's followers" are Christians.

I know all true Jews would have regarded Paul's followers as heretics. The evidence is even in your own Bible. Paul upset Jews nearly everywhere he went, and ultimately was arrested in Jerusalem for doing just that.

I remain correct. Those who follow CHRIST are “Christians”. Paul claimed no followers, and further reproved the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians for claiming allegiance to him or any apostle rather than CHRIST, from where we get the English word, “Christian”. You are wrong again, Mark.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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.

This assertion is littered with assumptions, which only serves to demonstrate that you know very little about Christian history in the second century.

Please define "the church," in the year 130. Where was "it?" Who was in charge? Are you referring to Roman catholics? Marcionites? The gnostics? The Manicheans?

Also, please explain who decided what was "scripture" and when.

Also, please explain what happened to the scores of other gospels that were around in the 130's but were later discarded as part of the new testament in the 4th century. Did they "used to be scripture" but now no longer are?

I believe I have earlier on another thread(s) sent you links to extensive defenses of canon and 1st and 2nd century canon, church leadership, etc. You are shifting the goal posts, however, since this is a debate as to Paul’s sincerity. My point remains—you are continuing to play semantics rather than confine yourself to the issue being debated.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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.” "

This was false modesty.

Again, you are clearly able to access special knowledge at will. Please provide factual evidence or scholarly citations or contemporaneous sources proving how you know THIS statement is “false modesty” rather than modesty. This debate is like me saying, “I’m here at TTA debating you because I care about you as a person,” and then you say, “No you don’t. You come here to make hundreds of posts for the sake of your ego,” and this despite the fact that I personally already speak in churches, witness publicly and to hundreds of people annually far more accepting that the TTA atheists. Mark, the only thing worse than your attempts to defame me and your tireless ad hom attacks are your further assaults on the character of a dead saint not here to defend himself. There is no legal repercussion for slandering a man dead for two millennia, but there is a moral repercussion. You should be ashamed of yourself. Stop it.

Quote: Q, you wrote the following in response to my statement that the Catholic Enyclopedia could not make up it's mind whether James was Jesus's brother or not.

"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."

Here are the two quotations from the Catholic Encyclopedia, and they clearly contradict each other.

1.

"James is without doubt the Bishop of Jerusalem (Acts 12:17, 15:13, 21:18; Galatians 1:19; 2:9-12) and the author of the first Catholic Epistle. .....The decisive proof, however, is that the father and mother of at least two of these "brethren" are known to us. James and Joseph, or Joses, are, as we have seen, the sons of Alpheus, or Clopas, and of Mary, the sister of Mary the Mother of Jesus, and all agree that if these are not brothers of the Saviour, the others are not. This last argument disposes also of the theory that the "brethren" of the Lord were the sons of St. Joseph by a former marriage. They are then neither the brothers nor the step-brothers of the Lord. James, Joseph, and Jude are undoubtedly His cousins."
( http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02767a.htm )

2.

"Internal evidence (contents of the Epistle, its style, address, date, and place of composition) points unmistakably to James, the Lord's brother, the Bishop of Jerusalem, as the author; "
( http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08275b.htm )

It is I, in fact, who have done the research and have bothered to post the evidence. You have lazily assumed I am getting my James's mixed up...and I clearly am not. Astonishing.

You need to be reminded what an atheist is.

atheist |ˈeɪθɪɪst|
noun
a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.

Being an atheist has no bearing on intellectual capacity or willingness to do research.

Mark, for someone interested in research, you have clearly NOT researched the Catholic doctrine, unique among all churches, and nowhere supported in scripture or historical documents of record, that Mary was a perpetual virgin. Of course the RCC would say James isn’t the brother of Jesus from a former, conveniently disputed marriage. He was the brother of Jesus from Joseph’s marriage to Mary! This is at a level of comfort for Protestants and evangelicals but not Catholics. Again, if you have PROOF that’s great, but quoting a Catholic source that says something is not fact when that source provides no facts or citations for their assertions is less than adequate research.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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…"

Just beautiful!

You're saying that because James didn't mention the fact his brother was God, and that he (James) was therefore the half brother of God, that means that Jesus was God and James was the half-brother of God!

I wonder what you would've said about James if he had written that Jesus was God and that he was God's half brother?

It’s bad enough you take scriptures from their proper context, now you take what I say out of context, too. I NEVER said or implied James is God’s half-brother BECAUSE he didn’t mention this relationship in his letter, I rather said that James being the leader of the Jerusalem church and a person of piety and modesty had no need to tell the Jerusalem church what they already knew. Also, I said—and you failed to respond again--that YOU made an argument from silence—how James couldn’t possibly be related to Jesus Christ because he failed to boast in his familial association in a two-page letter of just over 1,000 words. He ALSO didn’t have to ascribe his power or authority—unlike Paul (!) as I wrote, so let’s get back to that (THE) debate, please.

PS. We ARE still debating Paul and not James, right? Can you confine your anger to one apostle at a time so we can finish this (dull) debate, please? Thanks.

Quote: Paul never specifically gave any details about any miracles he supposedly performed because he didn't do any. He had ample opportunity to do so in the numerous letters he wrote, and you claim the reason for his silence about this is that he wanted people to know how awesome Christ was. Pathetic.

What would you have said about Paul if he had documented his miracles?

What is more, if Paul wanted people to know how awesome Christ was, why didn't Paul mention a single miracle that Jesus performed? I'll tell you why. The miracle performing Jesus of the gospels hadn't been invented yet at the time that Paul wrote.

Q, you really really need to get a grip on reality, and stop believing bullshit.

What you really need to do is make some debate arguments that aren’t arguments from silence or arguments where when I quote a scripture you magically KNOW it’s a later insertion, e.g. you said Paul and Jesus differed in doctrine, I quoted Jesus, and lo and behold you KNEW it was not really an original Jesus statement or gospel verse based on your magic 8-ball!

**

There were 4,000,000 Jews in the Roman Empire in the first century, and your case that the Essenes, 4,000 people living “in groups scattered throughout Judea” or as I wrote more correctly, “monastically in the desert” are of primacy just behind the Pharisees and Sadducees is ridiculous. You’d think the Zealots, who brought on the war and diaspora you keep mentioning, might be important also? How about the Herodians who incensed the Zealots? 

Quote: There is evidence that Yeshua was an Essene. The Essenes had many beliefs in common with those credited to Jesus.

If by evidence you mean genealogical, historical, textual, etc. there is none. But a ten-year-old could see that both Jesus and the Essenes commentated on Messianic expectations and the end of the age. 

Quote: "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."

Have you? I didn't notice.

Please feel free to keep going at it. I like it when people critique my ideas. It makes me think.

Clearly unless it’s me or another who loves Jesus Christ from the heart, I think. Prove me wrong by 1) reading my debate posts before responding 2) responding to what I write and not what you wish I’d written.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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!"

I clearly stated that Paul's authentic letters were written in the 50's and 50's. His "disputed" letters are written at a later time ...I suggested probably early second century.

Um....are you aware that there was a second war against the Jews, in 132-5 CE, and it was even larger than the first?

Again, you have no proof of which of Paul’s letters are authentic, so when you made post-100 AD claims and “late 1st century” claims you were fair game. Here in the English language, “late first century” means after 135 AD, right?

No, there was no deuteron-Paul(s) writing letters after the first Paul but before the 132 event because the Nazarenes/Christians/whatever you want to call them were PACIFIST as ALL mainline scholars agree, already PACIFIST as they neither participated in warfare in 132 or 70 or etc. because of Jesus’s admonitions in the eschaton passages in the gospel, not to live by the sword, to flee the Jerusalem destruction, etc. Your theory that a second Paul was quelling a CHRISTIAN rebellion in the Empire is wholly unfounded.

PS. How did you arrive at the conclusion that the Ebionites and the Nazarenes were the same group by quoting Nazarene authors--who called the Ebionites heretics?! That is really very slipshod in logic. Stop it.

Q, you wrote
Here in the English language, “late first century” means after 135 AD, right?

Oops!
No wonder you have trouble understanding commentary about history.
"late first century" means, um, late first century.
"after 135 AD" means, um, after the year 135, ie well into the SECOND century. You are so unread you have make a basic mistake.
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26-10-2015, 03:34 PM
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(26-10-2015 10:21 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
Quote: 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.

No. Paul a) stated he was unpaid b) Paul stated it was a blessing to give the gospel free of charge c) Paul worked with his hands to help people he ministered among. All three of these are scriptural statements which you are ducking and which I’ve mentioned several times now.

Quote: 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.

Many scholars think Paul was a widower since he wrote knowledgeably about the intimacy between a man and a woman. Paul condemned homosexuality, male effeminacy, transvestite behavior, indeed all unmarried sexuality so he wasn’t a homosexual.

Quote: “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.

Do you have scholarly citations for this lunacy, for this rudeness, Mark? In fact, in the very passage you quoted, he is urging both marriage partners to ENJOY sexuality and to PARTICIPATE FULLY.

Quote: 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.

Then try reading my posts before responding. I’m taking issue with your spurious “This is Paul 1st century, this is deuteron-Paul written nearly a century later in the “early second century”. Provide literary or historical proof of pseudo Paul or stop, please.

Quote: 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!

That is exactly what to believe when reading Jesus’s discussion with Pilate, which you skipped… “if you are a king, where are your armies?” There was no group of persons zealously supporting Jesus in public in front of the Roman authorities, and the Jewish authorities, as you wrote. Mark, read the Bible before commenting on it so vigorously, please.

Quote: 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.

No, rather as I predicted prior to this debate, each and every time I offer a Bible quotation refuting what you say, you claim it is an untrue verse or a conspiratorial verse or a later insertion written after the original documents, and every time YOU quote the Bible, you know you have the right verses and the right context and are quoting statements of fact that are also literal. Again, the stupidity of your claim that Paul told people in letters “To be read aloud in all the churches” that he was a charlatan and how he was ripping people off is almost beyond belief!

Either provide proof of how you know which Bible verses are fiction and which are fact or stop playing games. You claim to be an honest historian but you are following no established scholarly beliefs regarding the scriptures, whether of Christian or atheist historians and commentators, and are merely making up stuff as you go along. This makes you a typical TTA manipulator of truth but not a typical atheist historian!

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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."

Well that's odd, coming from you. I could have sworn you have labelled Paul's followers as "Christians."

In fact you have written
"and why in Paul’s day there were Christians." I can only assume that you think "Paul's followers" are Christians.

I know all true Jews would have regarded Paul's followers as heretics. The evidence is even in your own Bible. Paul upset Jews nearly everywhere he went, and ultimately was arrested in Jerusalem for doing just that.

I remain correct. Those who follow CHRIST are “Christians”. Paul claimed no followers, and further reproved the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians for claiming allegiance to him or any apostle rather than CHRIST, from where we get the English word, “Christian”. You are wrong again, Mark.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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.

This assertion is littered with assumptions, which only serves to demonstrate that you know very little about Christian history in the second century.

Please define "the church," in the year 130. Where was "it?" Who was in charge? Are you referring to Roman catholics? Marcionites? The gnostics? The Manicheans?

Also, please explain who decided what was "scripture" and when.

Also, please explain what happened to the scores of other gospels that were around in the 130's but were later discarded as part of the new testament in the 4th century. Did they "used to be scripture" but now no longer are?

I believe I have earlier on another thread(s) sent you links to extensive defenses of canon and 1st and 2nd century canon, church leadership, etc. You are shifting the goal posts, however, since this is a debate as to Paul’s sincerity. My point remains—you are continuing to play semantics rather than confine yourself to the issue being debated.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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.” "

This was false modesty.

Again, you are clearly able to access special knowledge at will. Please provide factual evidence or scholarly citations or contemporaneous sources proving how you know THIS statement is “false modesty” rather than modesty. This debate is like me saying, “I’m here at TTA debating you because I care about you as a person,” and then you say, “No you don’t. You come here to make hundreds of posts for the sake of your ego,” and this despite the fact that I personally already speak in churches, witness publicly and to hundreds of people annually far more accepting that the TTA atheists. Mark, the only thing worse than your attempts to defame me and your tireless ad hom attacks are your further assaults on the character of a dead saint not here to defend himself. There is no legal repercussion for slandering a man dead for two millennia, but there is a moral repercussion. You should be ashamed of yourself. Stop it.

Quote: Q, you wrote the following in response to my statement that the Catholic Enyclopedia could not make up it's mind whether James was Jesus's brother or not.

"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."

Here are the two quotations from the Catholic Encyclopedia, and they clearly contradict each other.

1.

"James is without doubt the Bishop of Jerusalem (Acts 12:17, 15:13, 21:18; Galatians 1:19; 2:9-12) and the author of the first Catholic Epistle. .....The decisive proof, however, is that the father and mother of at least two of these "brethren" are known to us. James and Joseph, or Joses, are, as we have seen, the sons of Alpheus, or Clopas, and of Mary, the sister of Mary the Mother of Jesus, and all agree that if these are not brothers of the Saviour, the others are not. This last argument disposes also of the theory that the "brethren" of the Lord were the sons of St. Joseph by a former marriage. They are then neither the brothers nor the step-brothers of the Lord. James, Joseph, and Jude are undoubtedly His cousins."
( http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02767a.htm )

2.

"Internal evidence (contents of the Epistle, its style, address, date, and place of composition) points unmistakably to James, the Lord's brother, the Bishop of Jerusalem, as the author; "
( http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08275b.htm )

It is I, in fact, who have done the research and have bothered to post the evidence. You have lazily assumed I am getting my James's mixed up...and I clearly am not. Astonishing.

You need to be reminded what an atheist is.

atheist |ˈeɪθɪɪst|
noun
a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.

Being an atheist has no bearing on intellectual capacity or willingness to do research.

Mark, for someone interested in research, you have clearly NOT researched the Catholic doctrine, unique among all churches, and nowhere supported in scripture or historical documents of record, that Mary was a perpetual virgin. Of course the RCC would say James isn’t the brother of Jesus from a former, conveniently disputed marriage. He was the brother of Jesus from Joseph’s marriage to Mary! This is at a level of comfort for Protestants and evangelicals but not Catholics. Again, if you have PROOF that’s great, but quoting a Catholic source that says something is not fact when that source provides no facts or citations for their assertions is less than adequate research.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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…"

Just beautiful!

You're saying that because James didn't mention the fact his brother was God, and that he (James) was therefore the half brother of God, that means that Jesus was God and James was the half-brother of God!

I wonder what you would've said about James if he had written that Jesus was God and that he was God's half brother?

It’s bad enough you take scriptures from their proper context, now you take what I say out of context, too. I NEVER said or implied James is God’s half-brother BECAUSE he didn’t mention this relationship in his letter, I rather said that James being the leader of the Jerusalem church and a person of piety and modesty had no need to tell the Jerusalem church what they already knew. Also, I said—and you failed to respond again--that YOU made an argument from silence—how James couldn’t possibly be related to Jesus Christ because he failed to boast in his familial association in a two-page letter of just over 1,000 words. He ALSO didn’t have to ascribe his power or authority—unlike Paul (!) as I wrote, so let’s get back to that (THE) debate, please.

PS. We ARE still debating Paul and not James, right? Can you confine your anger to one apostle at a time so we can finish this (dull) debate, please? Thanks.

Quote: Paul never specifically gave any details about any miracles he supposedly performed because he didn't do any. He had ample opportunity to do so in the numerous letters he wrote, and you claim the reason for his silence about this is that he wanted people to know how awesome Christ was. Pathetic.

What would you have said about Paul if he had documented his miracles?

What is more, if Paul wanted people to know how awesome Christ was, why didn't Paul mention a single miracle that Jesus performed? I'll tell you why. The miracle performing Jesus of the gospels hadn't been invented yet at the time that Paul wrote.

Q, you really really need to get a grip on reality, and stop believing bullshit.

What you really need to do is make some debate arguments that aren’t arguments from silence or arguments where when I quote a scripture you magically KNOW it’s a later insertion, e.g. you said Paul and Jesus differed in doctrine, I quoted Jesus, and lo and behold you KNEW it was not really an original Jesus statement or gospel verse based on your magic 8-ball!

**

There were 4,000,000 Jews in the Roman Empire in the first century, and your case that the Essenes, 4,000 people living “in groups scattered throughout Judea” or as I wrote more correctly, “monastically in the desert” are of primacy just behind the Pharisees and Sadducees is ridiculous. You’d think the Zealots, who brought on the war and diaspora you keep mentioning, might be important also? How about the Herodians who incensed the Zealots? 

Quote: There is evidence that Yeshua was an Essene. The Essenes had many beliefs in common with those credited to Jesus.

If by evidence you mean genealogical, historical, textual, etc. there is none. But a ten-year-old could see that both Jesus and the Essenes commentated on Messianic expectations and the end of the age. 

Quote: "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."

Have you? I didn't notice.

Please feel free to keep going at it. I like it when people critique my ideas. It makes me think.

Clearly unless it’s me or another who loves Jesus Christ from the heart, I think. Prove me wrong by 1) reading my debate posts before responding 2) responding to what I write and not what you wish I’d written.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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!"

I clearly stated that Paul's authentic letters were written in the 50's and 50's. His "disputed" letters are written at a later time ...I suggested probably early second century.

Um....are you aware that there was a second war against the Jews, in 132-5 CE, and it was even larger than the first?

Again, you have no proof of which of Paul’s letters are authentic, so when you made post-100 AD claims and “late 1st century” claims you were fair game. Here in the English language, “late first century” means after 135 AD, right?

No, there was no deuteron-Paul(s) writing letters after the first Paul but before the 132 event because the Nazarenes/Christians/whatever you want to call them were PACIFIST as ALL mainline scholars agree, already PACIFIST as they neither participated in warfare in 132 or 70 or etc. because of Jesus’s admonitions in the eschaton passages in the gospel, not to live by the sword, to flee the Jerusalem destruction, etc. Your theory that a second Paul was quelling a CHRISTIAN rebellion in the Empire is wholly unfounded.

PS. How did you arrive at the conclusion that the Ebionites and the Nazarenes were the same group by quoting Nazarene authors--who called the Ebionites heretics?! That is really very slipshod in logic. Stop it.

Q, you wrote

"Then try reading my posts before responding. I’m taking issue with your spurious “This is Paul 1st century, this is deuteron-Paul written nearly a century later in the “early second century”. Provide literary or historical proof of pseudo Paul or stop, please."

Q I've just spent an hour researching this. I suggest you do the same. The vast majority of commentators accept the idea of "pseudo Paul" i.e. that Paul wrote only about half (about 6) of the letters attributed to him, and that anonymous others wrote the others. The anonymous letters are sometimes referred to as "duetero Pauline."

As to the dating of the duetero-Pauline letters, there is no consensus. Most commentators avoid the topic. Many commentators place them in the early second century, which would be my best guess, other commentators in the late first century. The bottom line is nobody knows for sure when they were written. When this happens it is often best to adopt a later date, because if people were sure about an earlier date they would provide evidence.

I have done some of the work for you by providing some links....


https://www.smp.org/dynamicmedia/files/c...etters.pdf

http://www.catholicbasictraining.com/bib...xts/18.pdf

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/index.html

No, I am not going to "stop." Your feigned bemusement at my discussion of the historical facts is pathetic. Try another tactic (?perhaps providing some evidence) if you disagree with me please.
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26-10-2015, 07:21 PM
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(26-10-2015 10:21 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
Quote: 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.

No. Paul a) stated he was unpaid b) Paul stated it was a blessing to give the gospel free of charge c) Paul worked with his hands to help people he ministered among. All three of these are scriptural statements which you are ducking and which I’ve mentioned several times now.

Quote: 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.

Many scholars think Paul was a widower since he wrote knowledgeably about the intimacy between a man and a woman. Paul condemned homosexuality, male effeminacy, transvestite behavior, indeed all unmarried sexuality so he wasn’t a homosexual.

Quote: “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.

Do you have scholarly citations for this lunacy, for this rudeness, Mark? In fact, in the very passage you quoted, he is urging both marriage partners to ENJOY sexuality and to PARTICIPATE FULLY.

Quote: 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.

Then try reading my posts before responding. I’m taking issue with your spurious “This is Paul 1st century, this is deuteron-Paul written nearly a century later in the “early second century”. Provide literary or historical proof of pseudo Paul or stop, please.

Quote: 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!

That is exactly what to believe when reading Jesus’s discussion with Pilate, which you skipped… “if you are a king, where are your armies?” There was no group of persons zealously supporting Jesus in public in front of the Roman authorities, and the Jewish authorities, as you wrote. Mark, read the Bible before commenting on it so vigorously, please.

Quote: 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.

No, rather as I predicted prior to this debate, each and every time I offer a Bible quotation refuting what you say, you claim it is an untrue verse or a conspiratorial verse or a later insertion written after the original documents, and every time YOU quote the Bible, you know you have the right verses and the right context and are quoting statements of fact that are also literal. Again, the stupidity of your claim that Paul told people in letters “To be read aloud in all the churches” that he was a charlatan and how he was ripping people off is almost beyond belief!

Either provide proof of how you know which Bible verses are fiction and which are fact or stop playing games. You claim to be an honest historian but you are following no established scholarly beliefs regarding the scriptures, whether of Christian or atheist historians and commentators, and are merely making up stuff as you go along. This makes you a typical TTA manipulator of truth but not a typical atheist historian!

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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."

Well that's odd, coming from you. I could have sworn you have labelled Paul's followers as "Christians."

In fact you have written
"and why in Paul’s day there were Christians." I can only assume that you think "Paul's followers" are Christians.

I know all true Jews would have regarded Paul's followers as heretics. The evidence is even in your own Bible. Paul upset Jews nearly everywhere he went, and ultimately was arrested in Jerusalem for doing just that.

I remain correct. Those who follow CHRIST are “Christians”. Paul claimed no followers, and further reproved the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians for claiming allegiance to him or any apostle rather than CHRIST, from where we get the English word, “Christian”. You are wrong again, Mark.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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.

This assertion is littered with assumptions, which only serves to demonstrate that you know very little about Christian history in the second century.

Please define "the church," in the year 130. Where was "it?" Who was in charge? Are you referring to Roman catholics? Marcionites? The gnostics? The Manicheans?

Also, please explain who decided what was "scripture" and when.

Also, please explain what happened to the scores of other gospels that were around in the 130's but were later discarded as part of the new testament in the 4th century. Did they "used to be scripture" but now no longer are?

I believe I have earlier on another thread(s) sent you links to extensive defenses of canon and 1st and 2nd century canon, church leadership, etc. You are shifting the goal posts, however, since this is a debate as to Paul’s sincerity. My point remains—you are continuing to play semantics rather than confine yourself to the issue being debated.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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.” "

This was false modesty.

Again, you are clearly able to access special knowledge at will. Please provide factual evidence or scholarly citations or contemporaneous sources proving how you know THIS statement is “false modesty” rather than modesty. This debate is like me saying, “I’m here at TTA debating you because I care about you as a person,” and then you say, “No you don’t. You come here to make hundreds of posts for the sake of your ego,” and this despite the fact that I personally already speak in churches, witness publicly and to hundreds of people annually far more accepting that the TTA atheists. Mark, the only thing worse than your attempts to defame me and your tireless ad hom attacks are your further assaults on the character of a dead saint not here to defend himself. There is no legal repercussion for slandering a man dead for two millennia, but there is a moral repercussion. You should be ashamed of yourself. Stop it.

Quote: Q, you wrote the following in response to my statement that the Catholic Enyclopedia could not make up it's mind whether James was Jesus's brother or not.

"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."

Here are the two quotations from the Catholic Encyclopedia, and they clearly contradict each other.

1.

"James is without doubt the Bishop of Jerusalem (Acts 12:17, 15:13, 21:18; Galatians 1:19; 2:9-12) and the author of the first Catholic Epistle. .....The decisive proof, however, is that the father and mother of at least two of these "brethren" are known to us. James and Joseph, or Joses, are, as we have seen, the sons of Alpheus, or Clopas, and of Mary, the sister of Mary the Mother of Jesus, and all agree that if these are not brothers of the Saviour, the others are not. This last argument disposes also of the theory that the "brethren" of the Lord were the sons of St. Joseph by a former marriage. They are then neither the brothers nor the step-brothers of the Lord. James, Joseph, and Jude are undoubtedly His cousins."
( http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02767a.htm )

2.

"Internal evidence (contents of the Epistle, its style, address, date, and place of composition) points unmistakably to James, the Lord's brother, the Bishop of Jerusalem, as the author; "
( http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08275b.htm )

It is I, in fact, who have done the research and have bothered to post the evidence. You have lazily assumed I am getting my James's mixed up...and I clearly am not. Astonishing.

You need to be reminded what an atheist is.

atheist |ˈeɪθɪɪst|
noun
a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.

Being an atheist has no bearing on intellectual capacity or willingness to do research.

Mark, for someone interested in research, you have clearly NOT researched the Catholic doctrine, unique among all churches, and nowhere supported in scripture or historical documents of record, that Mary was a perpetual virgin. Of course the RCC would say James isn’t the brother of Jesus from a former, conveniently disputed marriage. He was the brother of Jesus from Joseph’s marriage to Mary! This is at a level of comfort for Protestants and evangelicals but not Catholics. Again, if you have PROOF that’s great, but quoting a Catholic source that says something is not fact when that source provides no facts or citations for their assertions is less than adequate research.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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…"

Just beautiful!

You're saying that because James didn't mention the fact his brother was God, and that he (James) was therefore the half brother of God, that means that Jesus was God and James was the half-brother of God!

I wonder what you would've said about James if he had written that Jesus was God and that he was God's half brother?

It’s bad enough you take scriptures from their proper context, now you take what I say out of context, too. I NEVER said or implied James is God’s half-brother BECAUSE he didn’t mention this relationship in his letter, I rather said that James being the leader of the Jerusalem church and a person of piety and modesty had no need to tell the Jerusalem church what they already knew. Also, I said—and you failed to respond again--that YOU made an argument from silence—how James couldn’t possibly be related to Jesus Christ because he failed to boast in his familial association in a two-page letter of just over 1,000 words. He ALSO didn’t have to ascribe his power or authority—unlike Paul (!) as I wrote, so let’s get back to that (THE) debate, please.

PS. We ARE still debating Paul and not James, right? Can you confine your anger to one apostle at a time so we can finish this (dull) debate, please? Thanks.

Quote: Paul never specifically gave any details about any miracles he supposedly performed because he didn't do any. He had ample opportunity to do so in the numerous letters he wrote, and you claim the reason for his silence about this is that he wanted people to know how awesome Christ was. Pathetic.

What would you have said about Paul if he had documented his miracles?

What is more, if Paul wanted people to know how awesome Christ was, why didn't Paul mention a single miracle that Jesus performed? I'll tell you why. The miracle performing Jesus of the gospels hadn't been invented yet at the time that Paul wrote.

Q, you really really need to get a grip on reality, and stop believing bullshit.

What you really need to do is make some debate arguments that aren’t arguments from silence or arguments where when I quote a scripture you magically KNOW it’s a later insertion, e.g. you said Paul and Jesus differed in doctrine, I quoted Jesus, and lo and behold you KNEW it was not really an original Jesus statement or gospel verse based on your magic 8-ball!

**

There were 4,000,000 Jews in the Roman Empire in the first century, and your case that the Essenes, 4,000 people living “in groups scattered throughout Judea” or as I wrote more correctly, “monastically in the desert” are of primacy just behind the Pharisees and Sadducees is ridiculous. You’d think the Zealots, who brought on the war and diaspora you keep mentioning, might be important also? How about the Herodians who incensed the Zealots? 

Quote: There is evidence that Yeshua was an Essene. The Essenes had many beliefs in common with those credited to Jesus.

If by evidence you mean genealogical, historical, textual, etc. there is none. But a ten-year-old could see that both Jesus and the Essenes commentated on Messianic expectations and the end of the age. 

Quote: "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."

Have you? I didn't notice.

Please feel free to keep going at it. I like it when people critique my ideas. It makes me think.

Clearly unless it’s me or another who loves Jesus Christ from the heart, I think. Prove me wrong by 1) reading my debate posts before responding 2) responding to what I write and not what you wish I’d written.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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!"

I clearly stated that Paul's authentic letters were written in the 50's and 50's. His "disputed" letters are written at a later time ...I suggested probably early second century.

Um....are you aware that there was a second war against the Jews, in 132-5 CE, and it was even larger than the first?

Again, you have no proof of which of Paul’s letters are authentic, so when you made post-100 AD claims and “late 1st century” claims you were fair game. Here in the English language, “late first century” means after 135 AD, right?

No, there was no deuteron-Paul(s) writing letters after the first Paul but before the 132 event because the Nazarenes/Christians/whatever you want to call them were PACIFIST as ALL mainline scholars agree, already PACIFIST as they neither participated in warfare in 132 or 70 or etc. because of Jesus’s admonitions in the eschaton passages in the gospel, not to live by the sword, to flee the Jerusalem destruction, etc. Your theory that a second Paul was quelling a CHRISTIAN rebellion in the Empire is wholly unfounded.

PS. How did you arrive at the conclusion that the Ebionites and the Nazarenes were the same group by quoting Nazarene authors--who called the Ebionites heretics?! That is really very slipshod in logic. Stop it.

"Many scholars think Paul was a widower since he wrote knowledgeably about the intimacy between a man and a woman. Paul condemned homosexuality, male effeminacy, transvestite behavior, indeed all unmarried sexuality so he wasn’t a homosexual."

You are very naive. Do you really think anyone would buy the argument that because Paul bad mouthed homosexuality, he couldn't have been one himself?

History's pages are laden with homophobic priests and preachers who were themselves gay. Estimates of the Catholic laity put priests at 25 to 50% homosexual.

Watch this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkWcT9CVOrs

By the way I don't have a problem with the fact Paul may have been gay. Good luck to him if he was. Yet his homophobia can't be forgiven.
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26-10-2015, 08:23 PM
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(26-10-2015 10:21 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
Quote: 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.

No. Paul a) stated he was unpaid b) Paul stated it was a blessing to give the gospel free of charge c) Paul worked with his hands to help people he ministered among. All three of these are scriptural statements which you are ducking and which I’ve mentioned several times now.

Quote: 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.

Many scholars think Paul was a widower since he wrote knowledgeably about the intimacy between a man and a woman. Paul condemned homosexuality, male effeminacy, transvestite behavior, indeed all unmarried sexuality so he wasn’t a homosexual.

Quote: “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.

Do you have scholarly citations for this lunacy, for this rudeness, Mark? In fact, in the very passage you quoted, he is urging both marriage partners to ENJOY sexuality and to PARTICIPATE FULLY.

Quote: 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.

Then try reading my posts before responding. I’m taking issue with your spurious “This is Paul 1st century, this is deuteron-Paul written nearly a century later in the “early second century”. Provide literary or historical proof of pseudo Paul or stop, please.

Quote: 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!

That is exactly what to believe when reading Jesus’s discussion with Pilate, which you skipped… “if you are a king, where are your armies?” There was no group of persons zealously supporting Jesus in public in front of the Roman authorities, and the Jewish authorities, as you wrote. Mark, read the Bible before commenting on it so vigorously, please.

Quote: 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.

No, rather as I predicted prior to this debate, each and every time I offer a Bible quotation refuting what you say, you claim it is an untrue verse or a conspiratorial verse or a later insertion written after the original documents, and every time YOU quote the Bible, you know you have the right verses and the right context and are quoting statements of fact that are also literal. Again, the stupidity of your claim that Paul told people in letters “To be read aloud in all the churches” that he was a charlatan and how he was ripping people off is almost beyond belief!

Either provide proof of how you know which Bible verses are fiction and which are fact or stop playing games. You claim to be an honest historian but you are following no established scholarly beliefs regarding the scriptures, whether of Christian or atheist historians and commentators, and are merely making up stuff as you go along. This makes you a typical TTA manipulator of truth but not a typical atheist historian!

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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."

Well that's odd, coming from you. I could have sworn you have labelled Paul's followers as "Christians."

In fact you have written
"and why in Paul’s day there were Christians." I can only assume that you think "Paul's followers" are Christians.

I know all true Jews would have regarded Paul's followers as heretics. The evidence is even in your own Bible. Paul upset Jews nearly everywhere he went, and ultimately was arrested in Jerusalem for doing just that.

I remain correct. Those who follow CHRIST are “Christians”. Paul claimed no followers, and further reproved the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians for claiming allegiance to him or any apostle rather than CHRIST, from where we get the English word, “Christian”. You are wrong again, Mark.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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.

This assertion is littered with assumptions, which only serves to demonstrate that you know very little about Christian history in the second century.

Please define "the church," in the year 130. Where was "it?" Who was in charge? Are you referring to Roman catholics? Marcionites? The gnostics? The Manicheans?

Also, please explain who decided what was "scripture" and when.

Also, please explain what happened to the scores of other gospels that were around in the 130's but were later discarded as part of the new testament in the 4th century. Did they "used to be scripture" but now no longer are?

I believe I have earlier on another thread(s) sent you links to extensive defenses of canon and 1st and 2nd century canon, church leadership, etc. You are shifting the goal posts, however, since this is a debate as to Paul’s sincerity. My point remains—you are continuing to play semantics rather than confine yourself to the issue being debated.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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.” "

This was false modesty.

Again, you are clearly able to access special knowledge at will. Please provide factual evidence or scholarly citations or contemporaneous sources proving how you know THIS statement is “false modesty” rather than modesty. This debate is like me saying, “I’m here at TTA debating you because I care about you as a person,” and then you say, “No you don’t. You come here to make hundreds of posts for the sake of your ego,” and this despite the fact that I personally already speak in churches, witness publicly and to hundreds of people annually far more accepting that the TTA atheists. Mark, the only thing worse than your attempts to defame me and your tireless ad hom attacks are your further assaults on the character of a dead saint not here to defend himself. There is no legal repercussion for slandering a man dead for two millennia, but there is a moral repercussion. You should be ashamed of yourself. Stop it.

Quote: Q, you wrote the following in response to my statement that the Catholic Enyclopedia could not make up it's mind whether James was Jesus's brother or not.

"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."

Here are the two quotations from the Catholic Encyclopedia, and they clearly contradict each other.

1.

"James is without doubt the Bishop of Jerusalem (Acts 12:17, 15:13, 21:18; Galatians 1:19; 2:9-12) and the author of the first Catholic Epistle. .....The decisive proof, however, is that the father and mother of at least two of these "brethren" are known to us. James and Joseph, or Joses, are, as we have seen, the sons of Alpheus, or Clopas, and of Mary, the sister of Mary the Mother of Jesus, and all agree that if these are not brothers of the Saviour, the others are not. This last argument disposes also of the theory that the "brethren" of the Lord were the sons of St. Joseph by a former marriage. They are then neither the brothers nor the step-brothers of the Lord. James, Joseph, and Jude are undoubtedly His cousins."
( http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02767a.htm )

2.

"Internal evidence (contents of the Epistle, its style, address, date, and place of composition) points unmistakably to James, the Lord's brother, the Bishop of Jerusalem, as the author; "
( http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08275b.htm )

It is I, in fact, who have done the research and have bothered to post the evidence. You have lazily assumed I am getting my James's mixed up...and I clearly am not. Astonishing.

You need to be reminded what an atheist is.

atheist |ˈeɪθɪɪst|
noun
a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.

Being an atheist has no bearing on intellectual capacity or willingness to do research.

Mark, for someone interested in research, you have clearly NOT researched the Catholic doctrine, unique among all churches, and nowhere supported in scripture or historical documents of record, that Mary was a perpetual virgin. Of course the RCC would say James isn’t the brother of Jesus from a former, conveniently disputed marriage. He was the brother of Jesus from Joseph’s marriage to Mary! This is at a level of comfort for Protestants and evangelicals but not Catholics. Again, if you have PROOF that’s great, but quoting a Catholic source that says something is not fact when that source provides no facts or citations for their assertions is less than adequate research.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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…"

Just beautiful!

You're saying that because James didn't mention the fact his brother was God, and that he (James) was therefore the half brother of God, that means that Jesus was God and James was the half-brother of God!

I wonder what you would've said about James if he had written that Jesus was God and that he was God's half brother?

It’s bad enough you take scriptures from their proper context, now you take what I say out of context, too. I NEVER said or implied James is God’s half-brother BECAUSE he didn’t mention this relationship in his letter, I rather said that James being the leader of the Jerusalem church and a person of piety and modesty had no need to tell the Jerusalem church what they already knew. Also, I said—and you failed to respond again--that YOU made an argument from silence—how James couldn’t possibly be related to Jesus Christ because he failed to boast in his familial association in a two-page letter of just over 1,000 words. He ALSO didn’t have to ascribe his power or authority—unlike Paul (!) as I wrote, so let’s get back to that (THE) debate, please.

PS. We ARE still debating Paul and not James, right? Can you confine your anger to one apostle at a time so we can finish this (dull) debate, please? Thanks.

Quote: Paul never specifically gave any details about any miracles he supposedly performed because he didn't do any. He had ample opportunity to do so in the numerous letters he wrote, and you claim the reason for his silence about this is that he wanted people to know how awesome Christ was. Pathetic.

What would you have said about Paul if he had documented his miracles?

What is more, if Paul wanted people to know how awesome Christ was, why didn't Paul mention a single miracle that Jesus performed? I'll tell you why. The miracle performing Jesus of the gospels hadn't been invented yet at the time that Paul wrote.

Q, you really really need to get a grip on reality, and stop believing bullshit.

What you really need to do is make some debate arguments that aren’t arguments from silence or arguments where when I quote a scripture you magically KNOW it’s a later insertion, e.g. you said Paul and Jesus differed in doctrine, I quoted Jesus, and lo and behold you KNEW it was not really an original Jesus statement or gospel verse based on your magic 8-ball!

**

There were 4,000,000 Jews in the Roman Empire in the first century, and your case that the Essenes, 4,000 people living “in groups scattered throughout Judea” or as I wrote more correctly, “monastically in the desert” are of primacy just behind the Pharisees and Sadducees is ridiculous. You’d think the Zealots, who brought on the war and diaspora you keep mentioning, might be important also? How about the Herodians who incensed the Zealots? 

Quote: There is evidence that Yeshua was an Essene. The Essenes had many beliefs in common with those credited to Jesus.

If by evidence you mean genealogical, historical, textual, etc. there is none. But a ten-year-old could see that both Jesus and the Essenes commentated on Messianic expectations and the end of the age. 

Quote: "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."

Have you? I didn't notice.

Please feel free to keep going at it. I like it when people critique my ideas. It makes me think.

Clearly unless it’s me or another who loves Jesus Christ from the heart, I think. Prove me wrong by 1) reading my debate posts before responding 2) responding to what I write and not what you wish I’d written.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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!"

I clearly stated that Paul's authentic letters were written in the 50's and 50's. His "disputed" letters are written at a later time ...I suggested probably early second century.

Um....are you aware that there was a second war against the Jews, in 132-5 CE, and it was even larger than the first?

Again, you have no proof of which of Paul’s letters are authentic, so when you made post-100 AD claims and “late 1st century” claims you were fair game. Here in the English language, “late first century” means after 135 AD, right?

No, there was no deuteron-Paul(s) writing letters after the first Paul but before the 132 event because the Nazarenes/Christians/whatever you want to call them were PACIFIST as ALL mainline scholars agree, already PACIFIST as they neither participated in warfare in 132 or 70 or etc. because of Jesus’s admonitions in the eschaton passages in the gospel, not to live by the sword, to flee the Jerusalem destruction, etc. Your theory that a second Paul was quelling a CHRISTIAN rebellion in the Empire is wholly unfounded.

PS. How did you arrive at the conclusion that the Ebionites and the Nazarenes were the same group by quoting Nazarene authors--who called the Ebionites heretics?! That is really very slipshod in logic. Stop it.

"Do you have scholarly citations for this lunacy, for this rudeness, Mark? In fact, in the very passage you quoted, he is urging both marriage partners to ENJOY sexuality and to PARTICIPATE FULLY."

Cut out the histrionics and man up to the facts.

Paul was a toxic, suppressed, horrid little man. His writings about sex have poisoned what is good and natural about human sexuality. I don't need "scholarly citations" to understand what is there in black and white, and neither do you. (I'm sure they exist...I just don't need them.)

Any excuses about these passages being "poorly translated" or "only reflecting contemporary mores" or whatever (bla bla bla) are missing the point. These verses are read out to people , and children, in church. That is immoral. Read them again. The meaning is clear.
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26-10-2015, 09:38 PM
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(26-10-2015 10:21 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
Quote: 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.

No. Paul a) stated he was unpaid b) Paul stated it was a blessing to give the gospel free of charge c) Paul worked with his hands to help people he ministered among. All three of these are scriptural statements which you are ducking and which I’ve mentioned several times now.

Quote: 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.

Many scholars think Paul was a widower since he wrote knowledgeably about the intimacy between a man and a woman. Paul condemned homosexuality, male effeminacy, transvestite behavior, indeed all unmarried sexuality so he wasn’t a homosexual.

Quote: “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.

Do you have scholarly citations for this lunacy, for this rudeness, Mark? In fact, in the very passage you quoted, he is urging both marriage partners to ENJOY sexuality and to PARTICIPATE FULLY.

Quote: 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.

Then try reading my posts before responding. I’m taking issue with your spurious “This is Paul 1st century, this is deuteron-Paul written nearly a century later in the “early second century”. Provide literary or historical proof of pseudo Paul or stop, please.

Quote: 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!

That is exactly what to believe when reading Jesus’s discussion with Pilate, which you skipped… “if you are a king, where are your armies?” There was no group of persons zealously supporting Jesus in public in front of the Roman authorities, and the Jewish authorities, as you wrote. Mark, read the Bible before commenting on it so vigorously, please.

Quote: 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.

No, rather as I predicted prior to this debate, each and every time I offer a Bible quotation refuting what you say, you claim it is an untrue verse or a conspiratorial verse or a later insertion written after the original documents, and every time YOU quote the Bible, you know you have the right verses and the right context and are quoting statements of fact that are also literal. Again, the stupidity of your claim that Paul told people in letters “To be read aloud in all the churches” that he was a charlatan and how he was ripping people off is almost beyond belief!

Either provide proof of how you know which Bible verses are fiction and which are fact or stop playing games. You claim to be an honest historian but you are following no established scholarly beliefs regarding the scriptures, whether of Christian or atheist historians and commentators, and are merely making up stuff as you go along. This makes you a typical TTA manipulator of truth but not a typical atheist historian!

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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."

Well that's odd, coming from you. I could have sworn you have labelled Paul's followers as "Christians."

In fact you have written
"and why in Paul’s day there were Christians." I can only assume that you think "Paul's followers" are Christians.

I know all true Jews would have regarded Paul's followers as heretics. The evidence is even in your own Bible. Paul upset Jews nearly everywhere he went, and ultimately was arrested in Jerusalem for doing just that.

I remain correct. Those who follow CHRIST are “Christians”. Paul claimed no followers, and further reproved the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians for claiming allegiance to him or any apostle rather than CHRIST, from where we get the English word, “Christian”. You are wrong again, Mark.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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.

This assertion is littered with assumptions, which only serves to demonstrate that you know very little about Christian history in the second century.

Please define "the church," in the year 130. Where was "it?" Who was in charge? Are you referring to Roman catholics? Marcionites? The gnostics? The Manicheans?

Also, please explain who decided what was "scripture" and when.

Also, please explain what happened to the scores of other gospels that were around in the 130's but were later discarded as part of the new testament in the 4th century. Did they "used to be scripture" but now no longer are?

I believe I have earlier on another thread(s) sent you links to extensive defenses of canon and 1st and 2nd century canon, church leadership, etc. You are shifting the goal posts, however, since this is a debate as to Paul’s sincerity. My point remains—you are continuing to play semantics rather than confine yourself to the issue being debated.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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.” "

This was false modesty.

Again, you are clearly able to access special knowledge at will. Please provide factual evidence or scholarly citations or contemporaneous sources proving how you know THIS statement is “false modesty” rather than modesty. This debate is like me saying, “I’m here at TTA debating you because I care about you as a person,” and then you say, “No you don’t. You come here to make hundreds of posts for the sake of your ego,” and this despite the fact that I personally already speak in churches, witness publicly and to hundreds of people annually far more accepting that the TTA atheists. Mark, the only thing worse than your attempts to defame me and your tireless ad hom attacks are your further assaults on the character of a dead saint not here to defend himself. There is no legal repercussion for slandering a man dead for two millennia, but there is a moral repercussion. You should be ashamed of yourself. Stop it.

Quote: Q, you wrote the following in response to my statement that the Catholic Enyclopedia could not make up it's mind whether James was Jesus's brother or not.

"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."

Here are the two quotations from the Catholic Encyclopedia, and they clearly contradict each other.

1.

"James is without doubt the Bishop of Jerusalem (Acts 12:17, 15:13, 21:18; Galatians 1:19; 2:9-12) and the author of the first Catholic Epistle. .....The decisive proof, however, is that the father and mother of at least two of these "brethren" are known to us. James and Joseph, or Joses, are, as we have seen, the sons of Alpheus, or Clopas, and of Mary, the sister of Mary the Mother of Jesus, and all agree that if these are not brothers of the Saviour, the others are not. This last argument disposes also of the theory that the "brethren" of the Lord were the sons of St. Joseph by a former marriage. They are then neither the brothers nor the step-brothers of the Lord. James, Joseph, and Jude are undoubtedly His cousins."
( http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02767a.htm )

2.

"Internal evidence (contents of the Epistle, its style, address, date, and place of composition) points unmistakably to James, the Lord's brother, the Bishop of Jerusalem, as the author; "
( http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08275b.htm )

It is I, in fact, who have done the research and have bothered to post the evidence. You have lazily assumed I am getting my James's mixed up...and I clearly am not. Astonishing.

You need to be reminded what an atheist is.

atheist |ˈeɪθɪɪst|
noun
a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.

Being an atheist has no bearing on intellectual capacity or willingness to do research.

Mark, for someone interested in research, you have clearly NOT researched the Catholic doctrine, unique among all churches, and nowhere supported in scripture or historical documents of record, that Mary was a perpetual virgin. Of course the RCC would say James isn’t the brother of Jesus from a former, conveniently disputed marriage. He was the brother of Jesus from Joseph’s marriage to Mary! This is at a level of comfort for Protestants and evangelicals but not Catholics. Again, if you have PROOF that’s great, but quoting a Catholic source that says something is not fact when that source provides no facts or citations for their assertions is less than adequate research.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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…"

Just beautiful!

You're saying that because James didn't mention the fact his brother was God, and that he (James) was therefore the half brother of God, that means that Jesus was God and James was the half-brother of God!

I wonder what you would've said about James if he had written that Jesus was God and that he was God's half brother?

It’s bad enough you take scriptures from their proper context, now you take what I say out of context, too. I NEVER said or implied James is God’s half-brother BECAUSE he didn’t mention this relationship in his letter, I rather said that James being the leader of the Jerusalem church and a person of piety and modesty had no need to tell the Jerusalem church what they already knew. Also, I said—and you failed to respond again--that YOU made an argument from silence—how James couldn’t possibly be related to Jesus Christ because he failed to boast in his familial association in a two-page letter of just over 1,000 words. He ALSO didn’t have to ascribe his power or authority—unlike Paul (!) as I wrote, so let’s get back to that (THE) debate, please.

PS. We ARE still debating Paul and not James, right? Can you confine your anger to one apostle at a time so we can finish this (dull) debate, please? Thanks.

Quote: Paul never specifically gave any details about any miracles he supposedly performed because he didn't do any. He had ample opportunity to do so in the numerous letters he wrote, and you claim the reason for his silence about this is that he wanted people to know how awesome Christ was. Pathetic.

What would you have said about Paul if he had documented his miracles?

What is more, if Paul wanted people to know how awesome Christ was, why didn't Paul mention a single miracle that Jesus performed? I'll tell you why. The miracle performing Jesus of the gospels hadn't been invented yet at the time that Paul wrote.

Q, you really really need to get a grip on reality, and stop believing bullshit.

What you really need to do is make some debate arguments that aren’t arguments from silence or arguments where when I quote a scripture you magically KNOW it’s a later insertion, e.g. you said Paul and Jesus differed in doctrine, I quoted Jesus, and lo and behold you KNEW it was not really an original Jesus statement or gospel verse based on your magic 8-ball!

**

There were 4,000,000 Jews in the Roman Empire in the first century, and your case that the Essenes, 4,000 people living “in groups scattered throughout Judea” or as I wrote more correctly, “monastically in the desert” are of primacy just behind the Pharisees and Sadducees is ridiculous. You’d think the Zealots, who brought on the war and diaspora you keep mentioning, might be important also? How about the Herodians who incensed the Zealots? 

Quote: There is evidence that Yeshua was an Essene. The Essenes had many beliefs in common with those credited to Jesus.

If by evidence you mean genealogical, historical, textual, etc. there is none. But a ten-year-old could see that both Jesus and the Essenes commentated on Messianic expectations and the end of the age. 

Quote: "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."

Have you? I didn't notice.

Please feel free to keep going at it. I like it when people critique my ideas. It makes me think.

Clearly unless it’s me or another who loves Jesus Christ from the heart, I think. Prove me wrong by 1) reading my debate posts before responding 2) responding to what I write and not what you wish I’d written.

Quote: Q, you wrote

"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!"

I clearly stated that Paul's authentic letters were written in the 50's and 50's. His "disputed" letters are written at a later time ...I suggested probably early second century.

Um....are you aware that there was a second war against the Jews, in 132-5 CE, and it was even larger than the first?

Again, you have no proof of which of Paul’s letters are authentic, so when you made post-100 AD claims and “late 1st century” claims you were fair game. Here in the English language, “late first century” means after 135 AD, right?

No, there was no deuteron-Paul(s) writing letters after the first Paul but before the 132 event because the Nazarenes/Christians/whatever you want to call them were PACIFIST as ALL mainline scholars agree, already PACIFIST as they neither participated in warfare in 132 or 70 or etc. because of Jesus’s admonitions in the eschaton passages in the gospel, not to live by the sword, to flee the Jerusalem destruction, etc. Your theory that a second Paul was quelling a CHRISTIAN rebellion in the Empire is wholly unfounded.

PS. How did you arrive at the conclusion that the Ebionites and the Nazarenes were the same group by quoting Nazarene authors--who called the Ebionites heretics?! That is really very slipshod in logic. Stop it.

Q, you wrote

That is exactly what to believe (that Jesus was a pacifist preacher without any political ambitions!) reading Jesus’s discussion with Pilate, which you skipped… “if you are a king, where are your armies?”

You are not a "big picture" person, are you? Here we have Jesus, a patriotic Jew, arrested by 600 Roman soldiers, executed by the Roman authorities between two zealots, accused of being King of the Jews, and you just don't get the obvious truth that your Jeebus was threatening the pax Romana..

Q, you wrote
There was no group of persons zealously supporting Jesus in public in front of the Roman authorities, and the Jewish authorities, as you wrote.

No, none. Oh wait, there was the massive crowd on Palm Sunday that welcomed Jesus in his triumphal entry into Jerusalem as described in Matthew 21-22, Mark 11-12, Luke 19-20, and John 12. Drinking Beverage
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