Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
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26-10-2015, 09:48 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.

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.

It is becoming obvious you haven't a clue about the history. You can't answer my questions. You didn't even know there was no such thing as a single Christianity in the first and second centuries.
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27-10-2015, 02:13 AM (This post was last modified: 27-10-2015 06:43 PM by Mark Fulton.)
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

"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.

Ok. Here is the passage you are referring to...

1 Corinthians 15:9, King James Version (KJV)

"9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God."

I agree that, in isolation, this sounds like something a modest man might have written.

Yet consider what Paul wrote about himself elsewhere....

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

“Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord?" (1 Corinthians 9; 1, KJV.)

“The fact is, brothers, and I want you to realize this, the Good News I preached is not a human message that I was given by men, it is something I learned only through a revelation of Jesus Christ. You must have heard of my career as a practicing Jew, how merciless I was in persecuting the Church of God, how much damage I did to it, how I stood out among other Jews of my generation, and how enthusiastic I was for the traditions of my ancestors. Then God, who had specifically chosen me while I was still in my mother’s womb, called me through his grace and chose to reveal his son in me, so that I may preach the Good News about him to the pagans” (Gal. 1:11–24, NJB.)

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

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

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

“ . . . my gospel,” (Rom 2; 16 and 16; 25-27)

“Brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, the gospel that you received and in which you are firmly established; because the gospel will save you only if you keep believing exactly what I preached to you - believing anything else will not lead to anything” (1 Cor. 15:1–3, NJB.)

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

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20, KJV.)

There are scores of other similar quotes from Paul that I could've posted.

Paul's arrogance and narcissism jumps out at the reader from the page. This is not the writing of a humble or modest man, but the delusions of a small man who somehow imagined he was important. Why anyone with a critical eye could consider these ramblings as anything more then the delusions of an unwell little weasel of a man is beyond me. Paul was a charlatan.
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27-10-2015, 02:29 AM (This post was last modified: 27-10-2015 02:46 AM by Mark Fulton.)
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.

"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."

Ah...ah. Ok. Please clarify yourself so I understand you. Are you saying there were no Christians in the first and second centuries?

If there were such people, were they "following?" Paul?
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27-10-2015, 02:44 AM (This post was last modified: 27-10-2015 06:44 PM by Mark Fulton.)
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

"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."

I don't think you have read these passages slowly. Let me help you. Paul writes

“For to be carnally minded is death..."

"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God..."

"So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."

"For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die:"

“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..."

Paul was pissed off that people were having sex. They must have been far more interested in eachother than in buying into his delusions about god. People then were pretty much the same when it came to sex as people are today. We love it! Poor old Paul was fighting a losing battle against humanity. Big Grin Paul was a charlatan.
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27-10-2015, 03:15 AM (This post was last modified: 27-10-2015 03:28 AM by Mark Fulton.)
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

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.

Okay, if you would like to change the topic of the conversation at hand to what the Catholic church teaches about the actual virginity of Mary, perhaps we have some ideas in common. This is what I've written about that particular topic...

The Virgin Mary?

Stories of gods born to virgins could be found in many countries thousands of years before Jesus. In Greek mythology, Danae was the virgin mother of the demigod Perseus. The Egyptians had Isis as the virgin mother of Horus, and she was worshipped throughout the Roman Empire in Jesus’ time. Mithras, whose cult outshone Christianity for popularity in the first three centuries, was conceived when God entered a virgin. Attis, Adonis, Buddha, Krishna, Osiris and Tammuz were all born to virgins. It appears that in ancient times to be a God of any significance your mother needed to be a virgin! The new God of the Christians was merely made to “follow suit” in order to create a God with godly characteristics.

Matthew portrayed Mary as a virgin, (see below) and Luke followed suit:

“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said,

“Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her,

“Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,”

Mary asked the angel,

“since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered,

“The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:26–35, KJV.)

The only witness to this encounter was Mary herself. It is impossible to imagine an elderly Mary, battle weary after bringing up a brood of seven, describing such a doubtful anecdote to the author of Luke.

Matthew, who, like Luke, had never met Mary, manufactured a virgin pregnancy prediction from Isaiah in the Old Testament:

“Now all this took place to fulfill the words spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and they shall call him Emmanuel...’” (Matt. 1:22, NJB.) However, the original Hebrew text from Isaiah reads,

“The maiden is with child and will soon give birth to a son whom she will call Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14, NJB.)

Isaiah was not referring to a pregnancy sometime in the future, but one that had already occurred. The maiden was not a virgin, as she was pregnant. Furthermore, Jesus’ name was not Immanuel. Matthew was improvising, and Luke followed suit. Many modern Bibles dishonestly translate Isaiah by using the word “virgin.”

Mark, who wrote first, and John both failed to mention Mary’s virginity. If, for some reason, an elderly Mary had advertised the fact she was a virgin before giving birth to Jesus, and Mark and John were credulous enough to believe it, they would surely have documented this amazing fact.

Paul, Christianity’s mastermind, clearly stated that Christ

“...was born of the seed of David,” (Rom. 1:3, NJB)

although this verse may have been an interpolation. The author thought Jesus had a human father, so he did not think Christ’s mother was a virgin either.

In 1987, Pope John Paul II wrote (in "Redemptoris Mater") that the Holy Spirit entered Mary’s virginal womb. Pope John Paul II proposed that a ghost’s sperm slipped into an adolescent girl’s vagina, penetrated her cervix, fertilized her ovum, and she never noticed. One wonders whether an intelligent man could genuinely believe such nonsense.

Many church people today are embarrassed by the silliness of Mary’s virginity story, yet the story is there, in their Bibles, a remnant from a superstitious, credulous time, and, for them, it must be difficult to ignore.

Mary’s Perpetual Virginity

The Catholic Church promotes the notion that Mary was a perpetual virgin; that she abstained from sex throughout her whole life! Jerome and Augustine proposed this inane idea in the fourth century, when virginity was associated with purity. Augustine wrote that Mary

“...remained a virgin in conceiving her Son, a virgin in giving birth to him, a virgin in carrying him, a virgin in nursing him at her breast, always a virgin” (St. Augustine, Serm. 186, 1: PL 38, 999.)

Thomas Aquinas (1225 - 1274) claimed that Mary gave birth painlessly without opening her womb and without injury to her hymen, (Summa Theologiae III.28.2, ) but there was no IVF, anaesthetics or caesarian sections in Mary’s, or Thomas’ day.

The King James Bible states:

“Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.” (Matt. 1:24-25, KJV.)

Numerous other Biblical translations also make it clear Joseph had sex with Mary after the birth.

A Catholic Bible, however, perhaps conveniently mistranslates the passage.

“He had not had intercourse with her when she gave birth to a son; and he named him Jesus,” (Matt. 1; 25, NJB)

thereby deliberately avoiding mentioning the postnatal sex.

In 1996, Pope John Paul II reiterated, without a blink of his eye, that Mary remained a virgin throughout her life. If he was not purposefully hiding the obvious truth, then he must not have understood the mechanics of reproduction. Either way, the pope had not read the Gospels carefully.

John Paul II was probably just restating tradition; which meant he was content to have his followers viewing Jesus and the holy family in a way that was very divorced from the reality of humanity.

Consider the newly married couple’s sexuality and culture. At that time, the primary duty of any Jewish bride was to fall pregnant so the man’s progeny was produced. A scenario in which a young Jewish bride tells her new husband sex was not on the menu because a yet-to-be-invented religion will one day venerate her as a virgin, is absurd.

According to the Bible, Mary’s womb was, in fact, quite prolific. The books of Mark, Matthew, Luke, John, Paul, and Acts each cite Jesus had siblings, despite there being no evangelical need to do so (the siblings add nothing to the tenets of Christianity.)

After Mary spent her best years bearing at least seven babies, she must have been quite worn out, and her uterus was obviously functioning as nature intended it to. There was no dearth of traffic through Mary’s birth canal from either direction.

Mary’s perpetual virginity is a product of the puritanical, prudish Catholic Church. If the Vatican (and other Christians who choose to believe in Mary’s perpetual maidenhood) hopes to be taken seriously in weightier matters, it might serve them best to stop pretending they believe such nonsense.

( http://www.ccel.org/a/aquinas/summa/TP.html http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%20
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/ ).
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27-10-2015, 03:38 AM
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

"There is no legal repercussion for slandering a man dead for two millennia, but there is a moral repercussion."

Only in your fucked up, antiquated world.

We ( the modern, rational world) are not intimidated by your ancient ramblings.

We have grown up.

Take your Pauline bullshit and shove it you know where. It is old news. Paul was a charlatan.
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27-10-2015, 01:52 PM
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
Quote: 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.

I apologize. I made a typing error. You said “well into the second century” or some such. Regardless, if this is the worst you can catch me in… 

Quote: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."

The vast majority of “unbiased” scholars? The many “unbiased” scholars who are thus saying that 1/3 of the NT is a lie? I can provide citations of scholars verifying that the entire NT was completed before the 1st century ended and you will call them biased. So, we’ll save that for later.

Of course, since there is ZERO textual or contemporaneous evidence to prove that a pseudo-Paul(s) wrote in the second century, you are making an argument from… silence.

Quote: 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?

I anticipated this nonsense of yours prior to posting. Mark, if everyone who is opposed to homosexuality is gay… regardless, since Paul speaks about marital intercourse as a foreshadowing of the pleasures of Heaven (thanks, God!) I am making a case from the text and you are making an argument from… silence.

Quote: 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.

My point was actually that you don’t seem to read in the English language at all. Without going to the Greek or to the historical context, Paul is urging married couples to spend time together having sex to keep from adultery and temptation. Ergo, you are just making stuff up, again.

Quote: 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.

We will have a great debate as soon as you debate what I WRITE, not what you (disingenuously? evilly?) accuse me of writing to “win” the debate! I wrote that Jesus had no ARMY. Yes, His peaceful following threatened the Pax Romana. But you are twisting the NT which says Christ died to save--to Christ died for a political uprising. Moreover, because you are an atheist, you can’t be bothered to remember passages like “he who lives by the sword dies by it” and other PACIFIST statements of the Lord. You are 100% wrong.

Quote: 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.

It is becoming obvious you haven't a clue about the history. You can't answer my questions. You didn't even know there was no such thing as a single Christianity in the first and second centuries.

Of course I knew there were dissensions and factions. There were apocrypha and other splitting issues. There were councils in the NT to discuss dissensions long BEFORE the Catholic councils. But the real issue, Mark, is that you are not addressing several dozen points I’ve put before you in previous posts on this debate!

Quote: There are scores of other similar quotes from Paul that I could've posted.

Paul's arrogance and narcissism jumps out at the reader from the page. This is not the writing of a humble or modest man, but the delusions of a small man who somehow imagined he was important. Why anyone with a critical eye could consider these ramblings as anything more then the delusions of an unwell little weasel of a man is beyond me.

Mark, you say the same things about ALL born again, witnessing Christians. As you preclude the possibility that we love you and are trying to save your immortal soul you push the atheist nonsense that we, including Jesus and Paul and ALL the apostles, are egomaniacs. Paul was beheaded in Rome by Romans for your soul, too, brother—not because he was an egomaniac Roman conspirator.

Quote: "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."

Ah...ah. Ok. Please clarify yourself so I understand you. Are you saying there were no Christians in the first and second centuries?

If there were such people, were they "following?" Paul?

If they were Christians they were called so for following CHRIST. If they were following Paul, we’d call them “Pauline”. NAZARENE means “following the One from NAZARETH.”

Quote: Q you wrote

"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."

I don't think you have read these passages slowly. Let me help you. Paul writes

“For to be carnally minded is death..."

"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God..."

"So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."

"For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die:"

“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..."

Paul was pissed off that people were having sex. They must have been far more interested in eachother than in buying into his delusions about god. People then were pretty much the same when it came to sex as people are today. We love it! Poor old Paul was fighting a losing battle against humanity.

And humanity is fighting an often-losing battle against unplanned pregnancy, poverty and STDs! YES, to be after strange flesh is self-destructive. This does not include marital sex. And what psycho translation rendered it as “sex is always a danger” or did you write that yourself. “Unwed sex is always a danger.” Sure.

**

I don’t know why you rambled on about the virgin Mary but it certainly looks like an attempt to obfuscate my point about your quotation from the RCC being inconclusive.

**

I also don’t know why the invective. I thought when I was invited to the Ring it was to have a gentlemanly debate. You are no gentleman. Is this how you talk to your patients? Shove it up where?! Stop it or I’ll leave the debate. Give me the excuse, please, God, please—for just as predicted, you have only the following arguments repeated ad nauseam (emphasis on my nausea):

1. Whenever Mark quotes the Bible, he’s right. Whenever Q quotes it, it’s a passage of later insertion or in doubt.

2. Arguments from silence.

3. Backwards transpositions—Paul limited his income, remained unmarried after being widowed, was beaten times without number, shipwrecked and martyred not for religious passion, but because he wanted to accrue power—as a Roman conspirator—when not rotting in Roman prisons across the empire. Yes, Mark, sounds logical—if you’ve lost your mind. I think you haven’t lost your mind, but your soul is tarnished and you’ve let the devil in.

Fulton, please!

I'm growing weary of responding to every point you make while you skip about 3/4 of my arguments. I will judge your next posting carefully and if you are unable to share facts instead of philosophical ramblings/wacky, fringe Bible commentary, I'll leave. Thanks.

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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27-10-2015, 04:54 PM
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(27-10-2015 01:52 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
Quote: 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.

I apologize. I made a typing error. You said “well into the second century” or some such. Regardless, if this is the worst you can catch me in… 

Quote: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."

The vast majority of “unbiased” scholars? The many “unbiased” scholars who are thus saying that 1/3 of the NT is a lie? I can provide citations of scholars verifying that the entire NT was completed before the 1st century ended and you will call them biased. So, we’ll save that for later.

Of course, since there is ZERO textual or contemporaneous evidence to prove that a pseudo-Paul(s) wrote in the second century, you are making an argument from… silence.

Quote: 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?

I anticipated this nonsense of yours prior to posting. Mark, if everyone who is opposed to homosexuality is gay… regardless, since Paul speaks about marital intercourse as a foreshadowing of the pleasures of Heaven (thanks, God!) I am making a case from the text and you are making an argument from… silence.

Quote: 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.

My point was actually that you don’t seem to read in the English language at all. Without going to the Greek or to the historical context, Paul is urging married couples to spend time together having sex to keep from adultery and temptation. Ergo, you are just making stuff up, again.

Quote: 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.

We will have a great debate as soon as you debate what I WRITE, not what you (disingenuously? evilly?) accuse me of writing to “win” the debate! I wrote that Jesus had no ARMY. Yes, His peaceful following threatened the Pax Romana. But you are twisting the NT which says Christ died to save--to Christ died for a political uprising. Moreover, because you are an atheist, you can’t be bothered to remember passages like “he who lives by the sword dies by it” and other PACIFIST statements of the Lord. You are 100% wrong.

Quote: 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.

It is becoming obvious you haven't a clue about the history. You can't answer my questions. You didn't even know there was no such thing as a single Christianity in the first and second centuries.

Of course I knew there were dissensions and factions. There were apocrypha and other splitting issues. There were councils in the NT to discuss dissensions long BEFORE the Catholic councils. But the real issue, Mark, is that you are not addressing several dozen points I’ve put before you in previous posts on this debate!

Quote: There are scores of other similar quotes from Paul that I could've posted.

Paul's arrogance and narcissism jumps out at the reader from the page. This is not the writing of a humble or modest man, but the delusions of a small man who somehow imagined he was important. Why anyone with a critical eye could consider these ramblings as anything more then the delusions of an unwell little weasel of a man is beyond me.

Mark, you say the same things about ALL born again, witnessing Christians. As you preclude the possibility that we love you and are trying to save your immortal soul you push the atheist nonsense that we, including Jesus and Paul and ALL the apostles, are egomaniacs. Paul was beheaded in Rome by Romans for your soul, too, brother—not because he was an egomaniac Roman conspirator.

Quote: "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."

Ah...ah. Ok. Please clarify yourself so I understand you. Are you saying there were no Christians in the first and second centuries?

If there were such people, were they "following?" Paul?

If they were Christians they were called so for following CHRIST. If they were following Paul, we’d call them “Pauline”. NAZARENE means “following the One from NAZARETH.”

Quote: Q you wrote

"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."

I don't think you have read these passages slowly. Let me help you. Paul writes

“For to be carnally minded is death..."

"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God..."

"So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."

"For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die:"

“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..."

Paul was pissed off that people were having sex. They must have been far more interested in eachother than in buying into his delusions about god. People then were pretty much the same when it came to sex as people are today. We love it! Poor old Paul was fighting a losing battle against humanity.

And humanity is fighting an often-losing battle against unplanned pregnancy, poverty and STDs! YES, to be after strange flesh is self-destructive. This does not include marital sex. And what psycho translation rendered it as “sex is always a danger” or did you write that yourself. “Unwed sex is always a danger.” Sure.

**

I don’t know why you rambled on about the virgin Mary but it certainly looks like an attempt to obfuscate my point about your quotation from the RCC being inconclusive.

**

I also don’t know why the invective. I thought when I was invited to the Ring it was to have a gentlemanly debate. You are no gentleman. Is this how you talk to your patients? Shove it up where?! Stop it or I’ll leave the debate. Give me the excuse, please, God, please—for just as predicted, you have only the following arguments repeated ad nauseam (emphasis on my nausea):

1. Whenever Mark quotes the Bible, he’s right. Whenever Q quotes it, it’s a passage of later insertion or in doubt.

2. Arguments from silence.

3. Backwards transpositions—Paul limited his income, remained unmarried after being widowed, was beaten times without number, shipwrecked and martyred not for religious passion, but because he wanted to accrue power—as a Roman conspirator—when not rotting in Roman prisons across the empire. Yes, Mark, sounds logical—if you’ve lost your mind. I think you haven’t lost your mind, but your soul is tarnished and you’ve let the devil in.

Fulton, please!

I'm growing weary of responding to every point you make while you skip about 3/4 of my arguments. I will judge your next posting carefully and if you are unable to share facts instead of philosophical ramblings/wacky, fringe Bible commentary, I'll leave. Thanks.

Q, you wrote

"I also don’t know why the invective. I thought when I was invited to the Ring it was to have a gentlemanly debate. You are no gentleman. Is this how you talk to your patients? Shove it up where?! Stop it or I’ll leave the debate. Give me the excuse, please, God, please—for just as predicted, you have only the following arguments repeated ad nauseam (emphasis on my nausea):

1. Whenever Mark quotes the Bible, he’s right. Whenever Q quotes it, it’s a passage of later insertion or in doubt.

2. Arguments from silence.


Q, stop being, or feigning that you are offended.

If you knocked on my door, I'd invite you in for a beer.

It is what you represent that is so nauseating, and this is a public forum, so I have every right to shoot you down in flames. There are millions of you all over the world, poisoning people, and particularly children, with your nonsense. For some reason you are convinced you're a good guy, whereas in reality you are like a man handing out cigarettes to children. You need to be made aware of that.

You keep trying to make the point that I am interpreting the Bible. You're damn right I am. That is what this debate is about. I'm exposing the bible for all its weaknesses. You come from a school of thought where you automatically suppose the babble is the infallible Word of God, and you therefore can't adjust your thinking. You need to be called out for that. Bring the debate on. Tell me why I'm wrong, yet stop getting offended when I disagree with you. It does your cause no good.
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27-10-2015, 05:07 PM (This post was last modified: 27-10-2015 06:13 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
Our Christian apologist is getting shell shocked.

Yet I've only just started.

It will be interesting to read his response to this...

The Source of Paul’s Theology

It cannot be assumed that Paul had a legitimate and verifiable source for his hypotheses, since the evidence is quite to the contrary. One can imagine going back in time to ask Paul from where he sourced his ideas. Paul showed signs of anxiety when his credibility was questioned, as when “his” communities were visited by someone preaching an alternate theology. Paul frequently wrote at length about himself, and often wrote how hard he worked, how genuine he was, how he had suffered for his beliefs, and how sure he was that what he was preaching was the truth. Paul’s actual answer about the source of his legitimacy might be a long time coming, yet it is embedded in his own writing. Paul thought God himself inspired his ideas. He wrote:

“The fact is, brothers, and I want you to realize this, the Good News I preached is not a human message that I was given by men, it is something I learned only through a revelation of Jesus Christ. You must have heard of my career as a practicing Jew, how merciless I was in persecuting the Church of God, how much damage I did to it, how I stood out among other Jews of my generation, and how enthusiastic I was for the traditions of my ancestors. Then God, who had specifically chosen me while I was still in my mother’s womb, called me through his grace and chose to reveal his son in me, so that I may preach the Good News about him to the pagans” (Gal. 1:11–24, NJB.)

Paul specifically stated that the message he preached came not from human sources, but from God, “through a revelation of Jesus Christ.”

This was not the only occasion Paul wrote that God inspired him:

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

“But our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor. 3:5 NKJB.)

What Paul probably meant was that he thought he had a God given talent enabling him to interpret Scripture. That was, after all, the job description for a Pharisee. Paul openly communicated that his God, a character with whom he thought he had a special relationship, was the source of his “Good News.”

That may have impressed naïve people two thousand years ago, but a modern person can read any number of accounts from over imaginative people who also claim, without evidence, that they have talked to God. Some of these people who hear God are mentally unwell. Paul had no more credibility than them. Most objective people today would not accept Paul’s assumptions about his own credibility.

Paul took things one step further than his more traditional colleagues (the Pharisees) when interpreting Scripture. He thought he alone had a divine mandate from God. Consider the opening lines of Paul’s letter to the Romans:

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

Paul promoted himself as a uniquely special interpreter of Scripture, and he castigated anyone who happened to disagree with him (see 1 Corinthians 15:1–3 107)

Yet today’s Jewish scholars are adamant that Paul’s “good news” is not to be found in their Scriptures. Moreover, Paul often changed the meaning of Scripture to suit himself. For example, Paul wrote,

“... so that all beings in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld, should bend the knee at the name of Jesus and that every tongue should acclaim Jesus Christ as Lord to the glory of the Father” (Phil. 2:10–11, NJB.)

( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?sea...ns+15%3A1-
3&version=KJV
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articl...-of-tarsus )

The actual Old Testament source that Paul borrowed heavily from was

“Before me every knee shall bend, by me every tongue shall swear, saying ‘From Yahweh alone come victory and strength.’” (Isa. 45:23–24, NJB.)

Paul merely replaced Yahweh with Christ, to fit with his own manufactured theology.
One of Paul’s main themes differentiating his theology from that of the Jews was that Gentiles could be God’s special people too. Paul wrote,

“Well, we are those people; whether we were Jews or pagans we are the ones he has called. That is exactly what God says in Hosea: ‘I shall say to a people that was not mine, ‘you are my people,’ and to a nation I never loved ‘I love you’” (Rom. 9:24, NJB.)

However a reading of chapters one and two of Hosea reveals that “God” was not referring to Gentiles, but Jews whom he was accepting back under his wing after a misdemeanor. Paul changed the meaning of Scripture to sell his own story to Gentiles living in Rome.

Mithras, the pagan god of an ancient Persian cult, had remarkable similarities with Paul’s Christ, and Paul’s hometown (Tarsus) was a major center of Mithraic belief. As Paul would have known of Mithras, it is probable that Paul manufactured his Christ partly based on the Mithraic model.

It is not unreasonable to consider whether Paul’s Christ was also, in part, an invention to counter the dreams of the Nazarenes, who were hoping for a Messiah.

Paul’s theology was the product of a complex mishmash of concepts from other cults, innovative interpretations of Jewish scripture, his personal ambitions, his desire to undermine Messianic Judaism, and of his own imagination. One could rightly label Paul a master confabulator, a man who invented fictions and interpretations to support his own views.

Paul must have known he was fabricating, but he did not let that niggle at his conscience. Paul was on a mission to snare converts, and the end justified the means. The more Paul thought and talked about the divinity of Christ, Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection, the more real and useful these ideas probably became to him.

It either did not bother Paul, or he was not aware, that his ideas were fundamentally odd. Paul did not waste time questioning his own themes. He was too busy for that, too obsessed with winning people over.

Paul could not have imagined that his letters would one day be critically examined and compared with each other, and it appears that he just made up parts of his theology to suit his arguments to different groups of people.

Paul was preaching and writing to people in ancient times who, judged by today’s standards, while not unintelligent, were naïve, unsophisticated and isolated. Most of them would have had Paul’s epistles read to them. A well-written letter must have been impressive. When Paul appeared in person he was probably a confident teacher.

( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?sea...ersion=KJV http://jdstone.org/cr/files/paulandthepa...raism.html )

So Paul must have assumed his readers would be impressed by his claims that God inspired him, yet there is clearly no legitimate reason why modern readers should be.
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27-10-2015, 06:32 PM (This post was last modified: 27-10-2015 06:38 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Mark Fulton vs Q..."Was Paul a Charlatan"
(27-10-2015 01:52 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  
Quote: 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.

I apologize. I made a typing error. You said “well into the second century” or some such. Regardless, if this is the worst you can catch me in… 

Quote: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."

The vast majority of “unbiased” scholars? The many “unbiased” scholars who are thus saying that 1/3 of the NT is a lie? I can provide citations of scholars verifying that the entire NT was completed before the 1st century ended and you will call them biased. So, we’ll save that for later.

Of course, since there is ZERO textual or contemporaneous evidence to prove that a pseudo-Paul(s) wrote in the second century, you are making an argument from… silence.

Quote: 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?

I anticipated this nonsense of yours prior to posting. Mark, if everyone who is opposed to homosexuality is gay… regardless, since Paul speaks about marital intercourse as a foreshadowing of the pleasures of Heaven (thanks, God!) I am making a case from the text and you are making an argument from… silence.

Quote: 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.

My point was actually that you don’t seem to read in the English language at all. Without going to the Greek or to the historical context, Paul is urging married couples to spend time together having sex to keep from adultery and temptation. Ergo, you are just making stuff up, again.

Quote: 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.

We will have a great debate as soon as you debate what I WRITE, not what you (disingenuously? evilly?) accuse me of writing to “win” the debate! I wrote that Jesus had no ARMY. Yes, His peaceful following threatened the Pax Romana. But you are twisting the NT which says Christ died to save--to Christ died for a political uprising. Moreover, because you are an atheist, you can’t be bothered to remember passages like “he who lives by the sword dies by it” and other PACIFIST statements of the Lord. You are 100% wrong.

Quote: 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.

It is becoming obvious you haven't a clue about the history. You can't answer my questions. You didn't even know there was no such thing as a single Christianity in the first and second centuries.

Of course I knew there were dissensions and factions. There were apocrypha and other splitting issues. There were councils in the NT to discuss dissensions long BEFORE the Catholic councils. But the real issue, Mark, is that you are not addressing several dozen points I’ve put before you in previous posts on this debate!

Quote: There are scores of other similar quotes from Paul that I could've posted.

Paul's arrogance and narcissism jumps out at the reader from the page. This is not the writing of a humble or modest man, but the delusions of a small man who somehow imagined he was important. Why anyone with a critical eye could consider these ramblings as anything more then the delusions of an unwell little weasel of a man is beyond me.

Mark, you say the same things about ALL born again, witnessing Christians. As you preclude the possibility that we love you and are trying to save your immortal soul you push the atheist nonsense that we, including Jesus and Paul and ALL the apostles, are egomaniacs. Paul was beheaded in Rome by Romans for your soul, too, brother—not because he was an egomaniac Roman conspirator.

Quote: "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."

Ah...ah. Ok. Please clarify yourself so I understand you. Are you saying there were no Christians in the first and second centuries?

If there were such people, were they "following?" Paul?

If they were Christians they were called so for following CHRIST. If they were following Paul, we’d call them “Pauline”. NAZARENE means “following the One from NAZARETH.”

Quote: Q you wrote

"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."

I don't think you have read these passages slowly. Let me help you. Paul writes

“For to be carnally minded is death..."

"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God..."

"So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."

"For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die:"

“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..."

Paul was pissed off that people were having sex. They must have been far more interested in eachother than in buying into his delusions about god. People then were pretty much the same when it came to sex as people are today. We love it! Poor old Paul was fighting a losing battle against humanity.

And humanity is fighting an often-losing battle against unplanned pregnancy, poverty and STDs! YES, to be after strange flesh is self-destructive. This does not include marital sex. And what psycho translation rendered it as “sex is always a danger” or did you write that yourself. “Unwed sex is always a danger.” Sure.

**

I don’t know why you rambled on about the virgin Mary but it certainly looks like an attempt to obfuscate my point about your quotation from the RCC being inconclusive.

**

I also don’t know why the invective. I thought when I was invited to the Ring it was to have a gentlemanly debate. You are no gentleman. Is this how you talk to your patients? Shove it up where?! Stop it or I’ll leave the debate. Give me the excuse, please, God, please—for just as predicted, you have only the following arguments repeated ad nauseam (emphasis on my nausea):

1. Whenever Mark quotes the Bible, he’s right. Whenever Q quotes it, it’s a passage of later insertion or in doubt.

2. Arguments from silence.

3. Backwards transpositions—Paul limited his income, remained unmarried after being widowed, was beaten times without number, shipwrecked and martyred not for religious passion, but because he wanted to accrue power—as a Roman conspirator—when not rotting in Roman prisons across the empire. Yes, Mark, sounds logical—if you’ve lost your mind. I think you haven’t lost your mind, but your soul is tarnished and you’ve let the devil in.

Fulton, please!

I'm growing weary of responding to every point you make while you skip about 3/4 of my arguments. I will judge your next posting carefully and if you are unable to share facts instead of philosophical ramblings/wacky, fringe Bible commentary, I'll leave. Thanks.

Q, you wrote
"The vast majority of “unbiased” scholars? The many “unbiased” scholars who are thus saying that 1/3 of the NT is a lie?"

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

Q, you wrote.

"And humanity is fighting an often-losing battle against unplanned pregnancy, poverty and STDs! YES, to be after strange flesh is self-destructive."

You need to understand how toxic Christianity is to people's physical and psychological health. Digest this....

The Cost of Christianity to Society

There have been literally hundreds of wars started or inflamed by Christian intolerance. Millions of people were murdered in the crusades, the Inquisition and the witch-hunts. For centuries women, homosexuals, Jews, and Muslims were attacked or suppressed. Churches have opposed secular education, fought against each other and resisted scientific advances. They have been the cause of, not the cure for, many of the world’s ills.

Bertrand Russell had good reason to state

“My own view on religion is that...I regard it as...a source of untold misery to the human race.”

Church people commonly claim that if all communities were Christian the result would be moral health, peace, and happiness. I do not believe that, and have some statistics to back up my opinion, as there is a good, very large study that addresses this issue.
The American Gregory Paul is an independent researcher on subjects dealing with paleontology, evolution, religion, and society. In 2005 he undertook a study titled

“Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies: A First Look.”

It was published in the Journal of Religion and Society.

Gregory Paul was attempting to test whether high rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with social health. He wrote that his paper was a

“...first, brief look at an important subject that has been almost entirely neglected by social scientists...not an attempt to present a definitive study that establishes cause versus effect between religiosity, secularism and societal health.”

The paper compared statistics from first-world developed countries (Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.) It focused on these prosperous democracies, because

“levels of religious and nonreligious belief and practice, and indicators of societal health and dysfunction, have been most extensively and reliably surveyed” in them." Also,

“The cultural and economic similarity of the developed democracies minimizes the variability of factors outside those being examined.”

“Dysfunctionality” was defined by indicators of poor societal health, such as homicide rates, youth suicide, low life expectancy, STD infection, abortion, early pregnancy, and high childhood (under five years old) mortality. “Religiosity” was measured by belief in bibli- cal literalism, frequency of prayer, service attendance, and absolute belief in a creator, in order to quantify religiosity in terms of ardency, conservatism, and activities. The study had a massive sample size of eight hundred million people.
The data was collected in the middle and latter half of the 1990s and early 2000s from the International Social Survey Program, the UN Development Program, the World Health Organization, Gallup, and other reputable sources. What did the results show?
Japan, Scandinavia, and France were the most secular nations. The United States is the only nation in the study considered to have high rates of religiosity, a feature other studies have demonstrated is only found in the so called second and third worlds.
In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide. The US has by far the highest homicide rates. So the more “Christian” the society you live in, the more likely you are to be murdered.

( http://moses.creighton.edu/jrs/2005/2005-11.pdf )

There is a remarkable and consistent positive correlation between pro-theistic factors (especially regarding absolute belief in God, and frequency of prayer) and juvenile mortality. So the more “Christian” the society you live in, the more likely you are to die before your fifth birthday.

Life spans tend to decrease as rates of religiosity rise, especially as a function of absolute belief. Denmark was the only exception. So the more “Christian” the society you live in, the less your life expectancy, unless you live in Denmark.

Higher rates of belief and worship of God correlated with higher juvenile and adult sexually transmitted diseases. Rates of adolescent gonorrhea infection were six to three hundred times higher in the USA than in all the less theistic democracies, and were markedly more prevalent in the USA’s adult population too. The USA also suf- fers from uniquely high adolescent and adult syphilis infection rates. These STD’s have been nearly eliminated in all the strongly secular countries. These statistics are not the result of a lack of medical care or antibiotics in the USA. In my opinion, the reason is obvi- ous; Christian parents and schools usually do not educate teenagers about basic sexual hygiene. So, the more “Christian” the society you live in, the more likely you are to contract a nasty sexually transmitted disease.

Belief in and worship of a creator shows a positive correlation with increasing adolescent abortion rates in all countries. Rates of abor- tion are uniquely high in the USA. It also strongly correlates with higher rates of early adolescent pregnancy. Teenage birth rates are two to dozens of times higher in the U.S. than in all the other coun- tries. In my opinion, the high rate of adolescent pregnancy and abortion is because Christians typically refuse to teach adolescents about contraception or provide them with contraceptives. So, if you are a teenager, the more “Christian” the society you live in, the more likely you are to get pregnant, and the more likely you are going to have an abortion.

No democracy had both strong religiosity and comparatively high rates of societal health in any of the parameters measured. The oppo- site is true. Only the more secular democracies had the lowest rates of lethal crime, juvenile-adult mortality, sex-related health issues, and abortion. The three least theistic democracies—Japan, France, and Scandinavia—also have the best figures in these categories.

Interestingly, within the United States, the strongly theistic, anti- evolution south and mid-west have markedly worse homicide, mor- tality, STD, and youth pregnancy rates than in the northeast part of the United States, where parameters of secularization approach European norms. So, if you live in the more “Christian” parts of the USA, you are more likely to be murdered, more likely to die at a younger age, more likely to get pregnant if you are a teenager, and more likely to catch a STD, than if you live in the more secular parts of the USA.

President Ronald Reagan once said,

“Of the many influences that have shaped the United States into a distinctive nation and people, none may be said to be more fundamental and enduring than the Bible.” I suspect there is much truth in that, though in the opposite sense to which he intended!

There is a belief in American folklore that America is God’s country because, metaphorically, America is a shining city upon a hill. The

( http://renew-daily.blogspot.com/2010/10/...-weep.html )

source of this idea is in Matthew’s Gospel, when Jesus says to his disciples,

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid” (Matt. 5:14, KJV.)

Some recent American presidents and presidential contenders, namely John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Walter Mondale, Bill Clinton, Michael Dukakis, and George W. Bush, have all claimed that the US was a “shining city on the hill,” by which they meant an exemplary example of an ideal society. The facts contradict this claim. “God’s country” has the highest rates of murder, juvenile mortality, sexually transmitted disease, abortion, and adolescent pregnancy in the developed world. “God’s country” has recently gone to war in two Islamic countries, partly because of the Christian beliefs of George W. Bush’s government, which was probably only elected due to the Christian vote.

I have no wish to offend Americans for being American, but only to point out that there appears to be a strong positive correlation between Christian religiosity and social problems.

There is hope for a brighter American future; it is slowly becoming less religious.
No one should, however, conclude that this study absolutely proves that Christian religiosity causes a dysfunctional society, or that Christianity flourishes in dysfunctional societies. Correlation implies causation, but does not prove it. Both could be caused by a third factor, or the correlations could just be spurious.

This very large study does prove that there is no evidence that Christianity has had a beneficial effect on societies in first-world countries in the parameters mentioned. First world Christian communities are not better, healthier, or safer than their more secular peers, and in fact the data suggests the very opposite.

I suspect that firmly held Christian beliefs subtlety “dumb down” some people. The typical Christian has a somewhat impaired ability, or a reluctance, to admit when they have a problem. “Belief” can subtly impair communication skills, particularly when it comes to listening and taking advice from authoritative others. Belief can also diminish people’s confidence to address problems rationally. This is a real shame, and I suspect these are the underlying reasons for the above statistics.
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