Paul and the case for mythicism
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04-11-2014, 05:50 AM
RE: Paul and the case for mythicism
(04-11-2014 05:17 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(04-11-2014 04:55 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Apart from the last bit, he sounds like the perfect Republican presidential candidate.

Consider

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04-11-2014, 07:07 AM
RE: Paul and the case for mythicism
(04-11-2014 04:55 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(04-11-2014 02:05 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  ...
He was anxious, obsessive, delusional, jealous, homophobic, irritable, and had an odd combination of narcissism and poor self-esteem. Only a genius could create such a character!

Apart from the last bit, he sounds like the perfect Republican presidential candidate.

Consider

To be fair, it describes a lot of candidates on both sides.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
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04-11-2014, 07:11 AM
RE: Paul and the case for mythicism
Thanks for the detailed replies! I've been looking mostly at the first century and earlier and haven't read much about the later development of Christianity. That's next and I really appreciate the feedback as it gives me a place to start. So much to learn, so little time.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
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04-11-2014, 07:15 AM
RE: Paul and the case for mythicism
(04-11-2014 07:07 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(04-11-2014 04:55 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Apart from the last bit, he sounds like the perfect Republican presidential candidate.

Consider

To be fair, it describes a lot of candidates on both sides.

Was Saint Paul's first name really... Ron?

Ohmy

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04-11-2014, 07:32 AM
RE: Paul and the case for mythicism
(04-11-2014 02:05 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(03-11-2014 10:27 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  Or....... Marcion created Paul to be his 'spokesman' for the new non-jewish variant of xtianity that he was pushing in the aftermath of the bar Kohkba revolt when jews were decidedly persona non grata in the Roman Empire.

Afterwards, some church father decided to keep "paul" even as they jettisoned Marcion. Who knows how they homogenized whatever Marcion originally attributed to 'paul?'

Yeah that's a possibility that Marcion created Paul.

I reckon it's unlikely though. Marcion would have had to be a writer of Shakespearean talent to create the character of Paul. Reading Paul is like having a lesson from a psychiatry manual. He was anxious, obsessive, delusional, jealous, homophobic, irritable, and had an odd combination of narcissism and poor self-esteem. Only a genius could create such a character!

Yeah, I guess Paul was simply a person with a lot of issues and the religion he created has all of his issues. I find it amusing to think that his road to Damascus experience was actually the event where he fell off his horse, smacked his head, and started having one hallucination after another - all of which he wrote down and used to create his own religion.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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04-11-2014, 07:41 AM
RE: Paul and the case for mythicism
(04-11-2014 07:32 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  I find it amusing to think that his road to Damascus experience was actually the event where he fell off his horse, smacked his head, and started having one hallucination after another - all of which he wrote down and used to create his own religion.

I've heard claims that the hints in the surrounding story could indicate that Paul suffered from epilepsy, dehydration, or even malaria. Any of those have a far higher prior probability than an actual revelation from a divine being.

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04-11-2014, 07:45 AM
RE: Paul and the case for mythicism
(04-11-2014 07:15 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(04-11-2014 07:07 AM)unfogged Wrote:  To be fair, it describes a lot of candidates on both sides.

Was Saint Paul's first name really... Ron?

Ohmy

No, it was Ru.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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04-11-2014, 08:41 AM
RE: Paul and the case for mythicism
(04-11-2014 07:45 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(04-11-2014 07:15 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Was Saint Paul's first name really... Ron?

Ohmy

No, it was Ru.

If only!

Christianity would have been oh so different.

And way more fabulous. Clap

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04-11-2014, 02:27 PM
RE: Paul and the case for mythicism
(03-11-2014 03:25 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(03-11-2014 02:57 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Well, yeah. Waiting for Bucky to weigh in...

But for myself, sola fides does not mean "exempt from good works" but rather "good works are inevitable." Thumbsup

I thought sola fide meant "by faith alone" that one was redeemed or saved.Consider

Yes it does. What I find interesting is that you'll be chastised by a typical fundie/evangelical if you say faith + works; however, people assume that you do not have real faith if you do not perform good works. Case in point is the OSAS (once saved, always saved) Christians who state that if you pray the "sinner's prayer", you will be saved forever if you prayed it sincerely and meant it from the heart. I believe their theology is that you demonstrate your faith by praying the sinners prayer sincerely. Then...you are assured salvation no matter what you do. However...I've read that it's quite possible to have not really prayed the sinner's prayer with "real sincerity" if you proceed to live a life that shows no real demonstrations of charity or wholesome living - what I would call good works. So in the end, you can fake yourself out and think you are saved; however, you may not be really saved if you don't do the things that a saved person should be doing.
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04-11-2014, 02:36 PM
RE: Paul and the case for mythicism
(03-11-2014 02:04 PM)unfogged Wrote:  I've been reading about the mythicist view of Jesus recently and would appreciate any feedback on my understanding of where Paul fits into the picture. The chronology I have is:

- Paul (as Saul) was critical of Christians in the 30's; the extent of his 'persecution' of Christians is not well defined but he knew of them and, at the very least, spoke out against their beliefs
- sometime around the year 40 he had his Damascus road experience and converted
- for the next 14 years he developed and preached his version of Christianity based on his revelation and his reading of older scriptures but in all that time he didn't go to Jerusalem to meet with any of the apostles there, or with anybody who had known the historical Jesus
- when he did meet with Cephas and James they basically agreed to disagree on whether or not Christians had to follow the Jewish laws
- his known writings start around the year 50, before he met with the 'Pillars' in Jerusalem and continuing afterwards

I had always considered Paul's writings about the existence of Christian sects in the late 30's to be an indication that there was probably a historical figure at the core of the myth. Now that I really think about it however, Paul's actions don't make a lot of sense to me. I would expect him to want to talk immediately with people still living in Jerusalem who actually knew Jesus in the flesh. The idea that he put that off for more than a decade makes more sense if he didn't know about a historical figure and was taking his personal revelation to be just as valid as any understanding he'd get from somebody else. I'd also expect the opinion of the 'Pillars' to carry more weight than it apparently did if they could reliably claim to have known the actual man.

If I have the general facts straight then I'd say Paul's writings and actions lend weight to the mythicist view and are hard to align with a historical Jesus. Opinions?

I just received and started reading a book that does a full peer reviewed and substantiated analysis of this, I highly recommend it, it is a great read, and deeply cited book thus far...

Carrier, Richard. On the historicity of jesus: why we might have reason to doubt, Sheffield England, Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2014. Print.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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