Who was Saint Paul?
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16-08-2015, 08:50 PM (This post was last modified: 16-08-2015 08:57 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(16-08-2015 08:26 PM)Free Wrote:  
(16-08-2015 08:17 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I hear you and am digesting what you say.

Could Paul simply have been acknowledging the existence of the belief in other gods? Yet not believe in their actual existence? I can't read Greek, that is how I would've read the English version of what Paul wrote.

By the way I agree with you that Paul was influenced by the pagan world. I do think
Bucky acknowledges that too. I do however think that Paul was arrogant enough to try to invent a new watered down version of Judaism. To the Jews he became like a Jew, but not a full blooded Jew. To those who weren't under the law (pagans) he became more like them, with a bit of Jew added in.

I suspect his overall intention was to weaken militaristic messianic Judaism. He used whatever means he could. One method was to reinvent the basic tenets of the religion. Another was to dilute the numbers practising Judaism with Gentiles.

You are right there, Mark.

Here:

1Co 9:19 For though I am free from all, yet I have made myself servant to all, so that I might gain the more.
1Co 9:20 And to the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might gain the Jews. To those who are under the Law, I became as under the Law, so that I might gain those who are under the Law.
1Co 9:21 To those who are outside Law, I became as outside Law (not being outside law to God, but under the Law to Christ), so that I might gain those who are outside Law.
1Co 9:22 To the weak I became as the weak, so that I might gain the weak. I am made all things to all men, so that I might by all means save some.

You can see now that, depending on who was facing Paul, he became a Jew, or became a Gentile, or became whatever was required to get his point across.

Today he's a Jew, and tomorrow a Gentile. Next week the stupid bastard will probably be a fucking Mormon.

Big Grin

"Today he's a Jew, and tomorrow a Gentile. Next week the stupid bastard will probably be a fucking Mormon."

Haha. You have the same attitude about Paul as I.

I can't stand his guts, he was just so full of shit. Of course, that is my modern perspective, yet it is legitimate. Look what he's done to someone like Alla. Turned her into a mindless sheep bleating about some book. It makes the humanitarian in me angry. I actually care about people like Alla (provided they are not too loud)
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16-08-2015, 09:05 PM (This post was last modified: 16-08-2015 09:18 PM by Free.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(16-08-2015 08:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(16-08-2015 08:26 PM)Free Wrote:  You are right there, Mark.

Here:

1Co 9:19 For though I am free from all, yet I have made myself servant to all, so that I might gain the more.
1Co 9:20 And to the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might gain the Jews. To those who are under the Law, I became as under the Law, so that I might gain those who are under the Law.
1Co 9:21 To those who are outside Law, I became as outside Law (not being outside law to God, but under the Law to Christ), so that I might gain those who are outside Law.
1Co 9:22 To the weak I became as the weak, so that I might gain the weak. I am made all things to all men, so that I might by all means save some.

You can see now that, depending on who was facing Paul, he became a Jew, or became a Gentile, or became whatever was required to get his point across.

Today he's a Jew, and tomorrow a Gentile. Next week the stupid bastard will probably be a fucking Mormon.

Big Grin

"Today he's a Jew, and tomorrow a Gentile. Next week the stupid bastard will probably be a fucking Mormon."

Haha. You have the same attitude about Paul as I.

I can't stand his guts, he was just so full of shit. Of course, that is my modern perspective, yet it is legitimate. Look what he's done to someone like Alla. Turned her into a mindless sheep bleating about some book. It makes the humanitarian in me angry.

I can understand your view of Alla, and in some respects I share it.

Alla is simply a believer who has made a choice to believe. She will hold to those beliefs because she also believes those beliefs make her a better person.

Sure, we can see all the logical fallacies, and all the problems with her beliefs from a logical and reasonable perspective. But from reading her posts, where she is stating beliefs, she is acting in the true conduct of a devoted Christian, and we should expect no less.

Her position is that she simply believes, and that to her our position regarding fallacies et al, cannot apply to her system of faith. While she has faith to convince her, nothing we can say or do will change it, nor can it change it.

Arguing against faith with reason is like the unstoppable force hitting an immovable object. It really is rather silly.

The only one that can change Alla, is Alla. And the only way that will ever happen is if she learns to not be emotional in her beliefs. Emotions + religion = indoctrination. The more emotive people are, the more indoctrinated they become.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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16-08-2015, 09:22 PM (This post was last modified: 17-08-2015 02:12 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
Here is my second chapter on Paul. I think it's a little easier to read.

Saint Paul’s Letters

Paul’s writings have had a huge influence on the ethics of the western world.

Paul’s narrow-minded perspective of how people should behave was driven, in part, by his austere sense of propriety. If it is accepted that Paul was a government propagandist, he was also trying to promote subservience and peace.

Paul tried to control most aspects of people’s lives. Christians today are told to consider his instructions as God’s words, yet it can be argued his ideas cause much more harm than good. The following explains why.

Paul the Misogynist

Paul was blatantly sexist. He, or someone writing in his name, wrote:

“For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” (1 Corinthians 11:8–9 KJV.)

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.” (Colossians 3:18 KJV.)

“Wives should regard their husbands as they regard the Lord, since as Christ is head of the Church and saves the whole body, so is a husband the head of his wife; and as the Church submits to Christ, so should wives to their husbands, in everything” (Eph. 5:22–25, NJB.)

It gets worse.

“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:34-5, KJV.)

“Similarly, I direct that women are to wear suitable clothes and to be dressed quietly and modestly, without braided hair or gold and jewelry or expensive clothes; their adornment is to do the sort of good works that are proper for women who profess to be religious. During instruction, a woman should be quiet and respectful. I am not giv- ing permission for a woman to teach or to tell a man what to do. A woman ought not to speak, because Adam was formed first and Eve afterwards, and it was not Adam who was led astray but the woman who was led astray and fell into sin. Nevertheless, she will be saved by childbearing, provided she lives a modest life and is constant in faith and love and holiness” (1 Tim. 2:9–15, NJB.)

The creator of Christian theology (and those who wrote in his name) presented women as though they were made as playthings, who were to submit to men, who ought to remain silent unless spoken to, and whose opinions were not important. Women were not to make themselves look attractive. Women were evil because they had sinned first. The best way women could save their wicked selves from going to hell was to shut up, accept their second-class status and bear their husband’s children!

Some commentators make excuses for Paul, such as Paul’s non sexist comments written elsewhere, or that Paul lived in a sexist society, or that Paul had some female friends with whom he got on well, or that the passages need to be read “in context.” However it remains obvious Paul clearly disliked assertive women and feminine sensuality, that he thought women were intellectually inferior, and that they were to be regarded as their husband’s property.

Paul’s writings are read out in Churches today. Young boys and girls hear them in a context in which they are revered, and that is unacceptable in an egalitarian society.

Today’s Christians have all been influenced by this misogynistic rhetoric. One of the reasons Churches have been so successful over the centuries is that they degrade and hold back women - half their congregation! Churches have traditionally refused women a leadership role, encouraged pregnancy and discouraged women from entering the workforce or getting more than a basic education. There is more to this than Paul’s injunctions.

When women become educated, or bread winners, the whole family is empowered. Statistically speaking, the more learned and affluent people become, the less likely they are to go to Church (at least outside the United States.) The empowerment of women throughout much of Europe over the last fifty years has meant a marked rise in standards of living and a sharp fall in Church attendance. That is not good for Church businesses, which may be the main reason why feminism is usually frowned upon in Church.

Churches today clearly have a problem with the writings on women attributed to Paul, yet no amount of tortuous reinterpretation can hide the truth, and that is that Paul’s misogynistic message has no place in a modern society.

Paul the Homophobe

The following are some of Paul’s references to homosexuality:

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders... will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9–10, NIV.)

“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error” (Rom. 1:26–27, NIV.)

( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oYkMrVrE8Q )

Over the centuries many western societies have been poisoned by an intolerance of homosexuality, and Paul’s patter is partly to blame. Paul’s teachings on this topic ought to be seen as outmoded by modern Christians.

Churches today follow Paul’s example by presuming they have the right to dictate to people about personal issues such as sexuality and same sex relationships and marriage. It can be argued that they should mind their own business.

Paul on Sex and Marriage

Paul appears to have loathed his own sexuality:

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

( http://www.askwhy.co.uk/questioningbelief/005Homosexuality.php

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQf5jL3a4...N1sjdLQIj8 )

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

It is no surprise Paul was celibate:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where did Paul get this sour, jaundiced perspective? He may have been sexually abused as a child, or had erectile difficulties, or been disgusted by his own attraction towards men, or been brainwashed with Platonic ideas about base bodily functions. Paul may have genuinely thought the end of the world was imminent, so it was better to not reproduce. None of these reasons excuse his unhealthy attitude.

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

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

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

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

Sex should be a special, natural, wholesome, and beautiful part of life. Guilt about the most natural instincts is a filthy stain that is hard to wash out of people’s minds once it has taken root. Shame on Churches for promoting this as the word of God!

Paul the Totalitarian

It is worth noting that Paul wrote to a Jewish community in Rome and encouraged them to be servile to the Roman government:

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” (Romans 13:1-10 NIV.)

No other passages highlight Paul’s affiliation with the Romans with such transparency. Any suggestion that Paul was writing only as a spiritual leader can be questioned after reading this.

Paul, who was a Roman citizen and probably a government agent, claimed that to obey the powers that be was to obey God. The way he worded this passage legitimized any governing authority, which turned it into a false, gross generalization. Throughout the centuries this manifesto has been used to justify the behavior of governments, monarchs, popes, and other dictators.

This passage is so ironic, since Yeshua tried to derail the government. Imagine what Jesus would have thought of this as the authorities inflicted “punishment on the wrongdoer” by nailing him to a cross! Paul was not acting as Yeshua’s successor.

Paul Supported Slavery

Paul’s theme of passive acceptance of personal station continue in his writings on slavery:

“Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Col. 3:22–23 NIV.)

Whoever penned “Paul’s” letter to Timothy wrote:

“All slaves ‘under the yoke’ must have unqualified respect for their masters, so that the name of God and our teaching are not brought into disrepute. Slaves whose masters are believers are not to think any the less of them because they are brothers; on the contrary, they should serve them all the better, since those who have the benefit of their services are believers and dear to God.” (1 Tim. 6:1–3, NJB.)

Paul obviously wanted to keep the common people subservient.

In common with most first century commentators, it did not occur to Paul that slavery was morally repugnant. Paul gave his game away here. He was working for a totalitarian regime, and his injunctions about God were nothing more than the state’s way of imposing control over people.

Roman rule often bought significant benefits to native populations, although most of the Jews never saw it that way. So if Paul was working for the Romans, and was attempting to get the people to obey Rome, albeit through covert means, he was probably doing the people he was inducting a favor. So perhaps painting Paul as a charlatan because he was working for the Romans is, in one sense, a simplistic view.

Paul the Anti-Semite

Paul criticized “the Jews”

“For you, my brothers, have been like the churches of God in Christ Jesus which are in Judaea, in suffering the same treatment from your own countrymen as they have suffered from the Jews, the people who put the Lord Jesus to death, and the prophets too. And now they have been persecuting us, and acting in a way that cannot please God and makes them the enemies of the whole human race, because they are hindering us from preaching to the pagans and trying to save them” (1 Thess. 2:14–16 JB.)

Once again, Paul sounds like a Roman government employee. He was astonishingly critical of “the Jews,” accusing them of murdering Jesus. Paul was attempting to defame the Jews among the people, a tactic serving the Roman government’s purpose, which was to marginalize militant Jews. It is interesting to realize that he was probably referring to the Nazarenes, the very people who were Yeshua’s true disciples. Paul was complicit in damning an entire nation and an ancient religion. His words have left a legacy of hatred towards the Jews.

Christianity has always been at loggerheads with Judaism. Churches say Jesus was the Messiah as promised to the Jewish nation in Scripture. Jews, Jesus’ own people, say he most definitely was not. There is no common ground in the argument. Paul’s condemnation of the Jews put the first fuel in the fire.

Paul and the Last Supper

Paul had almost nothing to say about Jesus the person. There is, however, one notable exception, (although it may be an interpolation) and that is when, in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, the author claimed that he knew what Jesus said on the night he was betrayed. In this letter, Paul had just finished lecturing women on what they should wear and what to do with their hair, when he turned to instructing the community on when to eat and drink. Paul then introduced a story about Jesus at the Last Supper, in an attempt to get the Corinthians to eat their meals together, and Paul even went so far as to claim to quote Jesus:

“For this is what I received from the Lord, and in turn passed on to you: that on the same night he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread, and thanked God for it and broke it, and he said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this as a memorial of me.’ In the same way he took the cup after supper, and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me.’ Until the Lord comes, therefore, every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are proclaiming his death, and so anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will be behaving unworthily toward the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone is to recollect himself before eating this bread and drinking this cup; because a person who eats and drinks without recognizing the Body is eating and drinking his own condemnation. In fact that is why many of you are weak and ill and some of you have died. If only we recollected ourselves, we should not be punished like that. But when the Lord does punish us like that, it is to correct us and stop us from being condemned with the world. So to sum up, my dear brothers, when you meet for the Meal, wait for one another” (1 Cor. 11:23–34, NJB.)

If Paul actually wrote this, he was attempting to change some of the social habits of the community, perhaps to foster unity between different classes of people who finished work at different times, and he invented a weak story about the Lord to do it. What is surprising is that Paul acknowledged that a flesh-and-blood person (the Lord Jesus) ate and drank with others - nowhere else do any of the genuine Pauline letters discuss what Jesus supposedly said, which is why I suspect this passage was an interpolation.

There are four compelling reasons why this story cannot be historical.

No sane person would predict his own impending death as part of a covenant with his god/father. Yeshua would have had no intention of dying, and most definitely not as a sacrifice to save sinners.

http://www.youtube.com/user/JewsforJudaismCanada?v=49l-g_TtGhI

Yeshua was Jewish, as were his disciples, and they obeyed the Torah. To them, eating human flesh or drinking blood, even in a symbolic sense, would have broken the strict kosher dietary rules. Even today Jews still insist on draining blood from slaughtered animals before consumption, as written in scriptures, (Lev. 7:26–27, 17:10–14) and will only eat the meat from animals that chew cud and have cloven hooves. (Lev. 11:3, Deut. 14:6.) Yeshua and his followers would have been repulsed by the thought of anyone drinking his blood or eating his body.

This Last Supper scene was not something new. It was probably borrowed from Mithraism, a religion that had existed for two thou- sand years before Jesus, and with which Paul was familiar. Mithraic initiates believed that by eating a bull’s flesh and drinking its blood they would be born again. This was also supposed to give physical strength. Yeshua would not have copied these concepts from a competing cult. Paul, or one of his interpolators, probably made this whole scenario up to mimic a popular pagan practice.

Lastly, Paul never met the Lord Jesus, so was not qualified to quote him.

The synoptic Gospels have similar verses, probably inspired by Paul’s letter. The reenactment of this scenario is part of some modern Christian services in which bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ, either literally or metaphorically, yet it has no truthful basis.

Christianity blends guilt, dependence and ceremony. The ritual that Paul discusses here brings people together to do something. Communion commemorates the sacrifice of a man dying because you are a sinner. By participating in the event, people are repeatedly reminded they are flawed and need Christ and the Church to be redeemed. That promotes power; and priests and preachers know it.

A Complex Character

Paul, who was probably a Roman government agent, weaved together and fabricated a new, less objectionable religion than Judaism. It undermined the pugnacious Jews, and filled the void with a tolerable alternative that the Romans could work with. What Paul and his few co-workers achieved turned out to be huge! In this he turned out to be one of the world’s most influential leaders ever.

Given that so many of today’s Christians place Paul and his writings on a pedestal, it is pertinent to address the topic of Paul’s personality and his agenda.

Paul countered the anti-Gentile racism of the Old Testament by embracing compliant Gentiles, although wrote some very racist anti-Semitic comments of his own.

On a personal level, Paul had hardly any redeeming qualities, but contemptible people can at times be charming. In 1 Corinthians 13, he wrote some nice prose about love, and elsewhere paid lip service to the virtues of forgiveness, humility, gentleness, compassion, and kindness. Yet it can be argued all this was nothing more than one side of his passive aggressive personality. His teachings elsewhere, and his own example, promoted the exact opposite.

( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTTwSJK_XMI
http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False Religions/Roman Catholicism/ rcc14-transubstantiation.htm )

Paul’s affectionate side was only shown to people who did exactly as they were told. Others were outside his control and a threat to his authority. He could not fathom that, and rambled on why they were so wrong and he was so right. He was a scheming, manipulative man, and I doubt he ever displayed unqualified gentleness, humility or tolerance.

He used an inordinate amount of ink writing about himself, his opinions, and his relationships with others, yet it is probable his real agenda was not once clearly admitted. Paul never admitted whom he was working for, or where his personal ambitions lay, as that would have revealed the real reasons he was so damn obsessed with preaching to people.

It is probable Paul was mildly mentally unwell. He was anxious, obsessive, insecure, a touch paranoid, quite delusional, introspective and egocentric. Paul was never quite at ease with himself, nor comfortable in a world he could not totally control. Paul was probably pretty miserable, and there was no good treatment to be had in those days. He insisted on telling others how to live their lives, yet it was he who needed the help! Paul would have been a difficult patient. A therapist would try to stop him talking, get him to put his feet up, and suggest he try just listening to the wind and birds. Paul was probably too immersed in his own delusions to follow anyone else’s advice. Paul would corner the counselor and lecture her about Christ or some other rationalization of his current obsession. There would be no peaceful moments in Paul’s presence.

Paul had no idea his writings would be picked to pieces by millions of people. He may have been more careful about the things he wrote if he had known how famous he would become and what a wide audience he was writing to.

The government had good reason to suppress messianic Judaism in the 50’s and 60’s. There may have been many “Pauls,” public servants selling subservience and watered down Judaism, but their letters have not survived. So Paul was probably only one of the early “movers and shakers” of what eventually became Christianity, albeit a highly imaginative and important one. Paul’s writings resurfaced only in the early second century when they emerged from obscurity, so he is a far larger figure today than he was in his own time.

Paul does not have a strong image promoted by today’s Churches. Perhaps it is too hard to concoct an attractive account out of such a complex, neurotic character. Churches only need one idol, and their manufactured depiction of Jesus fits the bill nicely.

Christian folklore ignores Paul’s faults, his probable political affiliations and his illegitimate authority. Paul is considered a Christian, but he would be perplexed by today’s Christianity with its Gospels, its thousands of denominations, ecclesiastical hierarchies, materialism, and almost complete separation from Judaism. Paul would, however, recognize a fair bit of his own theology.

Summary of Paul

“That Saint Paul...He’s the one who makes all the trouble.” (Ernest Hemingway)

It is hard to feel any warmth for Paul, or to like most of his messages.

Paul had an incessant self-righteous manner. His ideas were irritatingly convoluted and many of his ethics depraved. Paul deliberately distorted the Nazarenes’ beliefs with his own. He was a man intent on manipulating people and shoring up his own status, and all this is very unattractive.

To put Paul’s Christology in perspective, it is important to first consider his complete lack of credentials. Paul’s self-proclaimed legitimacy rested solely on his claim that God had revealed everything to him, an extremely weak argument. History’s pages are littered with charismatic cult leaders who have thought, or pretended, that God talked to them; Joseph Smith, David Koresh, and Jimmy Swaggart are examples. Men like these have usually studied scripture in their youth, and then got power hungry. They start their own sect, and try to lord over everyone in it, usually by promising people an exclusive ticket to heaven and bad-mouthing all outsiders, which is precisely what Paul did. It turned out Paul helped create a rather large cult.

Paul’s “good news” defines today’s Christianity. Paul claimed Christ was the Son of God crucified by the Jews as a sacrifice for humanity’s sins, and it was imperative to have faith in this scheme to get into heaven. These odd, unprecedented ideas were unknown to John the Baptist and Yeshua, and must have been repugnant to James, Peter, the other disciples, and to all true Jews. These novel notions were nothing more than a contrived spiel designed to be attractive and easy to sell to non-Jews.

Paul may have met James and Peter, but thought they had

“...nothing to add to the good news I preach.”

That throws immediate doubt on Paul’s legitimacy, as they were Yeshua’s close associates. James and Peter were Messianic Jews who Paul knew opposed Roman rule, so Paul berated their beliefs and promoted his own.

Paul was cunning, opportunistic, and manipulative, and cleverly tailored all his innovative arguments to suit whichever community he was writing to. He invented long-winded waffling tales about his own credibility, God, heaven, Christ, Jews, and Gentiles, and these tales are inconsistent and usually do not make much sense. Paul’s dictates are laden with appalling prejudices. He was overtly misogynistic, homophobic, and had a neurotic loathing of sexuality. Paul thought he was an authority on the status of women, what to wear, when to eat, sex, whom to keep company with, the role of government...and the list goes on. Today’s preachers promote these pathetic prejudices to justify their own.

Paul knew nothing of a Jesus born to a virgin, the preacher who could cater for a crowd with a few loaves and fishes, command graves to open, cast out devils, walk on water, or cure leprosy. Paul never met Yeshua, or described him. Paul teaches us more about Jesus by what he does not say than what he does. Paul’s writings, penned before the Gospels, indirectly prove that the Gospels are mainly mythical.

Paul’s Christ figure was probably something else, a son of God who has since been retrofitted into the Gospel stories, probably sometime in the second century. The few passages that suggest Paul’s Christ was once a living person are probably interpolations. If that is right, that shoots another arrow straight through the heart of Christianity’s legitimacy.

(http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/hns/mo...smith.html http://www.ulc.org/training-education/gu...ty/15-the-
prophets/215-david-koresh/
http://www.people.com/people/archive/art...3,00.html)

Paul was heavily influenced by the Gentile world, and was probably a government agent employed to undermine and report on problematic Jews, a job he took very seriously. He was so preoccupied with plugging propaganda he probably believed his own spiel. Paul’s post gave him power, prestige, and a platform to preach his bigoted ethics, and that was attractive to a man who was probably otherwise a social misfit. He was too obsessive in promoting his prejudices, which must have been obvious to most who met him. If Paul had lived in modern times, he would be given a gold watch for his years in the public service, put on a pension, and the whole office would be glad to see his back.

Paul’s ideas became important when they were promoted by some second century Christians. These Christians had to jettison the archaic Judaic law to make the new religion popular with Gentiles, and Paul’s ideas justified just that. This was why the author of Acts invented stories about Paul to bolster his legitimacy.

There was no such thing as a New Testament in Paul’s time, so he could not possibly have presumed his own scribbling had the same status as Scripture, yet Paul’s awful ethics and bizarre theology are still promoted today as the God given truth to people in pews. Those people should be more critical of the self styled apostle to the Gentiles.

Sadly, the real, material issue surrounding Paul’s manipulation is that it was effective. Its inclusion into the New Testament, its impact on countless generations of individuals who have had their perceptions of nature and acceptance of their own humanity corrupted, is disturbing. What is just as unfortunate is that Churches have successfully used Paul’s messages in exactly the same way the Romans originally intended, and that was to create a docile, humbled, guilt ridden people.


References:
Cupitt, D. 1979 “The Debate About Christ”. SCM Press Limited. London
Murphy-O’Connor, J. 1996 “Paul A Critical Life”. Oxford University Press. Oxford.
Schonfield, H. 1977 “The Passover Plot”. Futura Publications. London
Schonfield, H. 1969 “Those Incredible Christians”. Bantam. New York.
Stourton, E. 1994 “Paul Of Tarsus”. Hodder and Stoughton. London.
Tabor, J. 2006 “The Jesus Dynasty”. Harper Collins. London. Cresswell, Peter 2010 “Jesus the Terrorist” O books, Winchester,
UK.
http://ia700301.us.archive.org/33/items/PhilipA. HarlandPodcast1.4_PaulandthefollowersofJesusatCorinth_part1_0/ Podcast1.4PaulandtheCorinthianspart1Harland_vbr.mp3
http://ia700502.us.archive.org/8/items/P...odcast1.5_ PaulandthefollowersofJesusatCorinth_part2_1/Podcast1.5Paulandt heCorinthianspart2Harland.mp3
http://ia700300.us.archive.org/1/items/P...AndTheFoll owersOfJesusAtCorinthPart3/Podcast1.6paulAndTheCorinthianspa rt3harland.mp3
http://ia600406.us.archive.org/0/items/P...ndTheSitua tionInGalatiaseriesPaulAndHis/Podcast1.7PaulandtheGalatianspart 1Harland.mp3
http://ia600407.us.archive.org/11/items/...sResponseT oTheGalatiansseriesPaulAndHisCommunities/Podcast1.8Paulandt heGalatianspart2Harland.mp3
http://ia600306.us.archive.org/18/items/Podcast1.10Paul sResponseToTheRomansseriesPaulAndHisCommunities/ Podcast1.10PaulsresponsetoJesus-followersatRomeHarland
http://ia700306.us.archive.org/18/items/Podcast1.10Paul sResponseToTheRomansseriesPaulAndHisCommunities/ Podcast1.10PaulsresponsetoJesus-followersatRomeHarland.mp3
http://ia600309.us.archive.org/19/items/ Podcast1.11LegaciesOfPaul-WomensLeadershipPart1/ Podcast1.11LegaciesofPaul-WomenandLeadershippart1.mp3
http://www.philipharland.com/Blog/2009/08/30/ series-1–paul-and-his-communities-podcast-collection/
http://ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Paul_Caesar_Romans.htm
http://msa.evansville.edu/PagesForNonMuslims/Dialogue/ JEROME2.htm
http://www.sullivan-county.com/id2/paul_problem.htm http://www.sullivan-county.com/news/paul/paul.htm http://jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/supp06.htm
http://jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/supp08.htm http://paulproblem.faithweb.com/paul_odd...acts15.htm http://feeds.feedburner.com/feedburner/APRP http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h5L1Js9e...re=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZzka7wwH60 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IcVyvg2Qlo
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16-08-2015, 09:24 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
Like everything else in the Bible, Paul's 'writings' are merely his own subjective experiences. People following Christianity and changing their lives over one misogynist's opinions of life and how it should be lived. lol Glad I left that cult a while ago.

Be true to yourself. Heart
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16-08-2015, 09:28 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(16-08-2015 09:05 PM)Free Wrote:  
(16-08-2015 08:50 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  "Today he's a Jew, and tomorrow a Gentile. Next week the stupid bastard will probably be a fucking Mormon."

Haha. You have the same attitude about Paul as I.

I can't stand his guts, he was just so full of shit. Of course, that is my modern perspective, yet it is legitimate. Look what he's done to someone like Alla. Turned her into a mindless sheep bleating about some book. It makes the humanitarian in me angry.

I can understand your view of Alla, and in some respects I share it.

Alla is simply a believer who has made a choice to believe. She will hold to those beliefs because she also believes those beliefs make her a better person.

Sure, we can see all the logical fallacies, and all the problems with her beliefs from a logical and reasonable perspective. But from reading her posts, where she is stating beliefs, she is acting in the true conduct of a devoted Christian, and we should expect no less.

Her position is that she simply believes, and that to her our position regarding fallacies et al, cannot apply to her system of faith. While she has faith to convince her, nothing we can say or do will change it, nor can it change it.

Arguing against faith with reason is like the unstoppable force hitting an immovable object. It really is rather silly.

The only one that can change Alla, is Alla. And the only way that will ever happen is if she learns to not be emotional in her beliefs. Emotions + religion = indoctrination. The more emotive people are, the more indoctrinated they become.

Agreed.

Bear in mind there are scores of "Allas" reading this, possibly hundreds, in the future. Some of them will have a little seed planted in their minds.
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17-08-2015, 03:48 AM (This post was last modified: 17-08-2015 04:09 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(16-08-2015 07:32 PM)Free Wrote:  And you keep saying that the Christians remained Jews for centuries, but that is not true at all. Although originally they had Jewish roots, the new theology made Christians completely distinct from Jews, and we are not speaking about the Church of Jerusalem where James was, which ended in AD 70.

If the Jewish High Priest, in the 90's CE required the Jewish synagogues to read the Expulsion Curses, they were still Jews in the 90's. There's no "new theology". It's all basically the same.

You just got schooled further.

If in the year 400, John Chrysostom tell his congregations to stop going to the synagogues, they were still Jews, (we have a copy of the sermon where he does that).

You just got schooled further.

You ridiculed Carrier by telling us what sort of house he lived in and what part of town he lived in, *as if* that had anything to do with anything.
Now you ridicule Ehrman. You have no PhD. You are the amateur here, smilin' Jack.
You have never written any published paper on any subject, here, or anywhere.
Using your "computer tools" does not make you an expert on anything, or any culture. You claim you are, yet the basics of the culture of the period, you are unaware of.
You went through the totally ignorant "if you are the son of a lion, you are a lion" bullshit, totally oblivious to what a ''son of god" meant to them, at that time.
What you are is very opinionated. I'll give you that. The subtleties of the cultural environment, you are oblivious to, apparently.
Typing "the fucking shit" (as you boast) does not give you the cultural context or meaning of anything. Clearly you have a very high opinion of your skills.
Claiming that,does, however, does indeed put into "further context" all you have ever said here about all the "historicity" arguments you have ever made.
The basics of the cultural milieu escaped you. I remain stunned by what was revealed here yesterday.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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17-08-2015, 04:22 AM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(16-08-2015 07:02 PM)Alla Wrote:  Lord GOD = Elohim is Yahweh's GOD and Father.

Facepalm

Weeping

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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17-08-2015, 08:59 AM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(17-08-2015 03:48 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(16-08-2015 07:32 PM)Free Wrote:  And you keep saying that the Christians remained Jews for centuries, but that is not true at all. Although originally they had Jewish roots, the new theology made Christians completely distinct from Jews, and we are not speaking about the Church of Jerusalem where James was, which ended in AD 70.

If the Jewish High Priest, in the 90's CE required the Jewish synagogues to read the Expulsion Curses, they were still Jews in the 90's. There's no "new theology". It's all basically the same.

You just got schooled further.

Didn't I already tell you we are not speaking of the Church of Jerusalem, and any of the Jewish/Messianic Christians who existed there? What part of that above did you fail to grasp?

Learn to read, or do I need to school you in how to read as well?

You make the mistake of equating Christianity with Messianic Judaism, while totally forgetting that the Christian Gentiles were completely distinct from the early messianic Jews who followed the original apostles in and around Jerusalem.

You know damn well I am correct, because we have discussed this in other threads. And you also know that when the temple was destroyed, those messianic Jews dispersed to various other territories to avoid Roman persecution.

They were distinct from the Gentile Christian sect, and nowhere were they ever compared.

Quote:If in the year 400, John Chrysostom tell his congregations to stop going to the synagogues, they were still Jews, (we have a copy of the sermon where he does that).

You just got schooled further.

No again. You keep making this mistake of comparing Gentiles to Messianic/Christian Jews, despite the fact that i distinguished them in my post you quoted above.

Again, learn to read.

Quote:You ridiculed Carrier by telling us what sort of house he lived in and what part of town he lived in, *as if* that had anything to do with anything.

Dude, what part of "tar paper shack on the edge of town" could not be considered a joke? I have no idea where he lives or what his house looks like. How the fuck can you miss such and obvious and old joke?

Hint: It's a quote from E.D. Nixon.

Quote:Now you ridicule Ehrman.

Where? People cannot disagree? Oh my ...

Big Grin

Quote:You have no PhD. You are the amateur here, smilin' Jack.

You just keep that in mind. You have no idea who I am, and do not know much about me.

Quote:You have never written any published paper on any subject, here, or anywhere.

Maybe, maybe not. That's something you will never actually know. Are you phishing for info on who I am? It will never work, dude.

Quote:Using your "computer tools" does not make you an expert on anything, or any culture. You claim you are, yet the basics of the culture of the period, you are unaware of.

Ya think? If that were true, how then do I find it so easy to correct you?

Big Grin

Quote:You went through the totally ignorant "if you are the son of a lion, you are a lion" bullshit, totally oblivious to what a ''son of god" meant to them, at that time.
What you are is very opinionated. I'll give you that. The subtleties of the cultural environment, you are oblivious to, apparently.
Typing "the fucking shit" (as you boast) does not give you the cultural context or meaning of anything. Clearly you have a very high opinion of your skills.
Claiming that,does, however, does indeed put into "further context" all you have ever said here about all the "historicity" arguments you have ever made.
The basics of the cultural milieu escaped you. I remain stunned by what was revealed here yesterday.

Blah blah blah. Stop your whining.

The only reason you get stunned is because you toe the line, rather than lead the pack.

If you are going to be a follower, you will never be an innovator.

So you keep following, while I keep leading, okay?

I'll go back to Mark's stuff and and continue to contribute some objective criticism.

Big Grin

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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17-08-2015, 09:59 AM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(17-08-2015 08:59 AM)Free Wrote:  Learn to read, or do I need to school you in how to read as well?

You make the mistake of equating Christianity with Messianic Judaism, while totally forgetting that the Christian Gentiles were completely distinct from the early messianic Jews who followed the original apostles in and around Jerusalem.

You can't "school" anyone in anything. You are the one who says you know what Paul thought, and quote him. He says he went to Jerusalem, and got his gospel from them. So you convenitntly use him when you choose to. Paul was not a "gentile". He was an apocalyptic Jew.

(17-08-2015 08:59 AM)Free Wrote:  You know damn well I am correct, because we have discussed this in other threads. And you also know that when the temple was destroyed, those messianic Jews dispersed to various other territories to avoid Roman persecution.

Irrelevant. They remained messianic Jews.

(17-08-2015 08:59 AM)Free Wrote:  They were distinct from the Gentile Christian sect, and nowhere were they ever compared.

Prove it. You make assersions, yet you never back them up.

(17-08-2015 08:59 AM)Free Wrote:  Again, learn to read.

People who don't know what a "son of god" means, should not be telling people to learn to read.

(17-08-2015 08:59 AM)Free Wrote:  You just keep that in mind. You have no idea who I am, and do not know much about me.

I know enough to get that the subtleties of Hebrew culture escape you completely, and enough to know that you quote the gospels as if there were the truth.

(17-08-2015 08:59 AM)Free Wrote:  Are you phishing for info on who I am? It will never work, dude.

I am not. You have already demonstrated time and again you are nothing but an amateur.

(17-08-2015 08:59 AM)Free Wrote:  So you keep following, while I keep leading, okay?

Right. Leading the fiction writers. You just keep telling yourself that.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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17-08-2015, 10:33 AM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(15-08-2015 10:57 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(15-08-2015 08:43 PM)Free Wrote:  Mark,

Alla is correct here.

Mmmmmm.

I must admit I never thought that Paul could've been referring to Mary.

But....Jewish lineage wasn't thought of as being transferred through the mother, only the father. Mum was only the "nest" where the seed (ie the embryo) was planted.

Many years later a big deal was made of Joseph's lineage in two of the Gospels to prove Jeebus was of the seed of David...not Mary's lineage.

Bucky...what's your opinion on this?

Many Christian apologists will claim that one of the genealogies is Joseph's, and the other one is Mary's, and that's why they don't match. So they're trying to have their cake and eat it too. Actually, both genealogies clearly end with Joseph, and Mary is not mentioned at all. Of course they also both claim that Joseph is not Jesus's real father, so I'm not sure why we should even care whether or not Joseph is descended from King David. I think that both genealogies are fabricated (along with both nativity stories).
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