Who was Saint Paul?
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21-08-2015, 07:59 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(21-08-2015 07:30 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(21-08-2015 06:41 PM)Free Wrote:  Mark,

You provide an argument regarding Paul being an agent for the Romans, but you must admit it is very speculative. You seem to need to interpret what you deem to be evidence in such a way as to qualify your hypothesis.

Yet, we still don't have any hard factual evidence directly connecting Paul to being a Roman agent. I think you can admit that.

One of the problems I have with your interpretation of the evidence comes from Tacitus:

"Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.

Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind.

Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.

Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car. Hence, even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good, but to glut one man's cruelty, that they were being destroyed."


This report by Tacitus regarding what Nero did to the Christians certainly doesn't support your case that the Romans in any way supported Christianity. If I- or any scholar- was reviewing your book, this would be the first thing to be put forward to contradict your claims.

Also, it is reported by Ignatius around Ad 110, and Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth around AD 165 that Paul was martyred, with tradition stating that he was killed in Rome. It would seem illogical for the Romans to kill one of their own agents.

What do you think?

Hi Free, thanks for your input. Yes, I agree with you about Tacitus. Yet, it was written ?c 114, many years after the event. Was it definitely written by Tacitus? We can't be sure. Did the Romans at this early stage persecute Christians? Probably not.

Christians in the second century loved to make out that they were persecuted and martyred. Whether that actually happened is very debatable. There's no particular reason why it would have. Generally speaking Rome was very tolerant of all religions.
I don't believe Paul was martyred. It just doesn't make sense. Why would he be? He created a bit of a ruckus in the Temple in Jerusalem, but was now safely in Rome. He was a Roman citizen. He sent letters to people from Rome in which he sent greetings from Caesar's household! I think he ended up in Rome because Palestine was a dangerous place to be in the 60s if you were pro gentile.

Anything "Ignatius" wrote... he probably didn't. Dionysus is way down the track.

Although what I am saying is hardly accepted by most scholars, if you think about what was going on politically at the time, it is far more likely that Paul was an ally of the Roman government, rather than opposed to it. The very fact some of his letters survived suggests he was not working against the government, but for it. During the Flavian dynasty the government was quite strict at controlling literature.

He may have been a Jew, but he wasn't that steeped in Judaism. He tried to reinvent it.

His theology was rather pagan.

Consider the antagonistic relationship with the Nazarenes. ( Ignore the fabriicated nonsense about Peter and Paul founding a church in Rome together)

Read again what he wrote about obeying the Government. Consider how he was kept as a guest at the palace at Caesaria for 2 years. He made out he was a prisoner in Rome, but did Roman prisoners have access to pen and paper and mailmen?

Why else would he have put so much time and enthusiasm into promoting Christology that what was, let's face it, nonsense? Yes... there were some personal gains to be had (for him), but it was hard work tramping around from city to city. It was also a bit dangerous because he was not popular amongst the Jews.

You already know what any serious scholar's review would say about that, Mark.

"Un-evidenced assertions." You should expect that.

I think that you are onto something else, far better than a theory regarding Paul being any kind of Roman agent. Here's a clue for a title:

Yeshua: Hacked & Jacked
Did Paul Hijack Yeshua For The Gentiles?


Now that is something you already have a great working knowledge about and is far FAR more credible.

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21-08-2015, 08:07 PM (This post was last modified: 21-08-2015 08:28 PM by epronovost.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
@Mark Fulton

Christianism most likely adapted itself from an already transforming Hebrew faith through syncretism with the most popular religious creed amongst the pleb and the slave of the Roman society: the cult of Isis. That's why Horus and Jesus are basically copy paste of one another with different cultural references and backstory. That's also why Catholics revere Mary with has much fervor if not more than Jesus himself, because Mary is a copy paste of Isis, the ultimate power behind the throne. The Holy Trinity is also derived from the cult of Isis with Ra has God the Father, Horus the son of Isis who absorb Ra and takes his place in heaven and Isis has both the Holy Spirit, an expression of Isis magical powers, and Mary the mother of God.

The cult of Isis was extremely popular in the lower classes of Roman society and those who were members had to congregate in secrets because patricians were scared that the lower masses would use a shared religious belief has a catharsis to rebel against their oppressive rules and thus tried to banned the cult on several occasion. When the Jews migrated in mass after the first conquest of Palestine and later after the destruction of the temple, they became one of the most important cultural and religious minority in the Roman society of the time. They adapted the cult of Isis to their own religious history and thus a proto-form of Christianity was formed. It's only after Constantin victory and the Council of Nicaea that the newly established Roman emperor decided to solidify its fragile position by declaring Christianity «State Religion» and of course editing the whole thing to fit its need. Paul was one of the few sect leaders who happened to become popular and was liked by proto-Christians and so his writings were accepted has canon.
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21-08-2015, 08:27 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
oups double post.
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22-08-2015, 12:33 AM (This post was last modified: 22-08-2015 12:37 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(21-08-2015 07:59 PM)Free Wrote:  
(21-08-2015 07:30 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi Free, thanks for your input. Yes, I agree with you about Tacitus. Yet, it was written ?c 114, many years after the event. Was it definitely written by Tacitus? We can't be sure. Did the Romans at this early stage persecute Christians? Probably not.

Christians in the second century loved to make out that they were persecuted and martyred. Whether that actually happened is very debatable. There's no particular reason why it would have. Generally speaking Rome was very tolerant of all religions.
I don't believe Paul was martyred. It just doesn't make sense. Why would he be? He created a bit of a ruckus in the Temple in Jerusalem, but was now safely in Rome. He was a Roman citizen. He sent letters to people from Rome in which he sent greetings from Caesar's household! I think he ended up in Rome because Palestine was a dangerous place to be in the 60s if you were pro gentile.

Anything "Ignatius" wrote... he probably didn't. Dionysus is way down the track.

Although what I am saying is hardly accepted by most scholars, if you think about what was going on politically at the time, it is far more likely that Paul was an ally of the Roman government, rather than opposed to it. The very fact some of his letters survived suggests he was not working against the government, but for it. During the Flavian dynasty the government was quite strict at controlling literature.

He may have been a Jew, but he wasn't that steeped in Judaism. He tried to reinvent it.

His theology was rather pagan.

Consider the antagonistic relationship with the Nazarenes. ( Ignore the fabriicated nonsense about Peter and Paul founding a church in Rome together)

Read again what he wrote about obeying the Government. Consider how he was kept as a guest at the palace at Caesaria for 2 years. He made out he was a prisoner in Rome, but did Roman prisoners have access to pen and paper and mailmen?

Why else would he have put so much time and enthusiasm into promoting Christology that what was, let's face it, nonsense? Yes... there were some personal gains to be had (for him), but it was hard work tramping around from city to city. It was also a bit dangerous because he was not popular amongst the Jews.

You already know what any serious scholar's review would say about that, Mark.

"Un-evidenced assertions." You should expect that.

I think that you are onto something else, far better than a theory regarding Paul being any kind of Roman agent. Here's a clue for a title:

Yeshua: Hacked & Jacked
Did Paul Hijack Yeshua For The Gentiles?


Now that is something you already have a great working knowledge about and is far FAR more credible.

I wonder whether you, or anyone else, has a plausible alternative hypothesis about what or who motivated Paul?

Consider this. Here's this Paul character wandering around Palestine and the diaspora right at the time a rebellion was brewing in Palestine, preaching something rather novel and bold that was 1/2 based on Judaic concepts, and that undermined a lot of what all true Jews believed. His ideas were unprecedented. He claimed he had a special understanding of Jewish scripture, a claim we know, and all Jews today know, was bullshit. He was adamant he'd discovered something new.

He tried to associate with the Nazarenes, who were militant and anti Roman, and he argued with them. Why did he claim they had "nothing to add to the good news I preach?"

Why did he tell people to obey the government and to pay their taxes? Why did he presume he could talk on behalf of Nero's household? Why did he claim gentiles were Abraham's descendants too? Why did he try to make it easier for gentiles to become "Jewish?" Why do you think he downplayed the importance of the temple? Why did he try to replace the Torah with his own, entirely fabricated "new covenant?" Why was he rescued from angry Jews by Roman soldiers?

To me, the answer is obvious. Paul looks, smells and sounds like a government propagandist.

Something drove him. I think I know what it was. What do you think it was?

As for as Paul himself hijacking the story of Yeshua, I'm not so sure. There is no doubt that in the second century, Paul's Christ was merged with the gospels to create Jesus the god man, but in my opinion Paul himself never thought that his Christ was Yeshua. Yeshua's story was only invented after the war of 66-70.
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22-08-2015, 12:41 AM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(21-08-2015 08:07 PM)epronovost Wrote:  @Mark Fulton

Christianism most likely adapted itself from an already transforming Hebrew faith through syncretism with the most popular religious creed amongst the pleb and the slave of the Roman society: the cult of Isis. That's why Horus and Jesus are basically copy paste of one another with different cultural references and backstory. That's also why Catholics revere Mary with has much fervor if not more than Jesus himself, because Mary is a copy paste of Isis, the ultimate power behind the throne. The Holy Trinity is also derived from the cult of Isis with Ra has God the Father, Horus the son of Isis who absorb Ra and takes his place in heaven and Isis has both the Holy Spirit, an expression of Isis magical powers, and Mary the mother of God.

The cult of Isis was extremely popular in the lower classes of Roman society and those who were members had to congregate in secrets because patricians were scared that the lower masses would use a shared religious belief has a catharsis to rebel against their oppressive rules and thus tried to banned the cult on several occasion. When the Jews migrated in mass after the first conquest of Palestine and later after the destruction of the temple, they became one of the most important cultural and religious minority in the Roman society of the time. They adapted the cult of Isis to their own religious history and thus a proto-form of Christianity was formed. It's only after Constantin victory and the Council of Nicaea that the newly established Roman emperor decided to solidify its fragile position by declaring Christianity «State Religion» and of course editing the whole thing to fit its need. Paul was one of the few sect leaders who happened to become popular and was liked by proto-Christians and so his writings were accepted has canon.

So what do you think was Paul's relationship with the cult of Isis?
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22-08-2015, 05:05 AM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(22-08-2015 12:41 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(21-08-2015 08:07 PM)epronovost Wrote:  @Mark Fulton

Christianism most likely adapted itself from an already transforming Hebrew faith through syncretism with the most popular religious creed amongst the pleb and the slave of the Roman society: the cult of Isis. That's why Horus and Jesus are basically copy paste of one another with different cultural references and backstory. That's also why Catholics revere Mary with has much fervor if not more than Jesus himself, because Mary is a copy paste of Isis, the ultimate power behind the throne. The Holy Trinity is also derived from the cult of Isis with Ra has God the Father, Horus the son of Isis who absorb Ra and takes his place in heaven and Isis has both the Holy Spirit, an expression of Isis magical powers, and Mary the mother of God.

The cult of Isis was extremely popular in the lower classes of Roman society and those who were members had to congregate in secrets because patricians were scared that the lower masses would use a shared religious belief has a catharsis to rebel against their oppressive rules and thus tried to banned the cult on several occasion. When the Jews migrated in mass after the first conquest of Palestine and later after the destruction of the temple, they became one of the most important cultural and religious minority in the Roman society of the time. They adapted the cult of Isis to their own religious history and thus a proto-form of Christianity was formed. It's only after Constantin victory and the Council of Nicaea that the newly established Roman emperor decided to solidify its fragile position by declaring Christianity «State Religion» and of course editing the whole thing to fit its need. Paul was one of the few sect leaders who happened to become popular and was liked by proto-Christians and so his writings were accepted has canon.

So what do you think was Paul's relationship with the cult of Isis?

We have about no personnal information about Paul himself beside his preachings. We don't really know how old he was and when he died exactly or who were his parents, if he was married or took concubine, etc. Paul passed most of his life in Greece so he was probably influenced culturaly by the Cult of Isis like many people in the lower classes of Roman society. This seems to be evident in his belief in salvation by a higher power and promise of eternal life, a religious conception central to the cult of Isis, but completly absent of Hebrew, including proto-christian who didn't perceived Jesus has a god or Greek tradition. He probably never was a member of the cult, but it wasn't necessary for him to be influence by it just like I never was a Christian, but can recite entire Bible verse and understood from an early age the structure and core beliefs of that faith.
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22-08-2015, 07:11 AM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(22-08-2015 05:05 AM)epronovost Wrote:  
(22-08-2015 12:41 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  So what do you think was Paul's relationship with the cult of Isis?

We have about no personnal information about Paul himself beside his preachings. We don't really know how old he was and when he died exactly or who were his parents, if he was married or took concubine, etc. Paul passed most of his life in Greece so he was probably influenced culturaly by the Cult of Isis like many people in the lower classes of Roman society. This seems to be evident in his belief in salvation by a higher power and promise of eternal life, a religious conception central to the cult of Isis, but completly absent of Hebrew, including proto-christian who didn't perceived Jesus has a god or Greek tradition. He probably never was a member of the cult, but it wasn't necessary for him to be influence by it just like I never was a Christian, but can recite entire Bible verse and understood from an early age the structure and core beliefs of that faith.

Thanks for sharing. Interesting. I hadn't read of the Isis thing influencing Paul before.
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22-08-2015, 07:24 AM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
Nice work Doc

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22-08-2015, 07:38 AM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(22-08-2015 07:11 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Thanks for sharing. Interesting. I hadn't read of the Isis thing influencing Paul before.

If you want my opinion of historian on your thesis, it's excellent in term of theology and philosophy but you forgot the crucial part of analysing in detail the historical context behind Paul's writing and of the people to whom he preached. To assess how, why and precisely what an historical figure preached, you need to have a very detailed knowledge of the society in which he lived and his particular circumstances. Contextualising a philosophical stance can take more time and require more research than the analysis of thesis itself. Paul wasn't a Roman citizen. He was a client citizen because he wasn't born from a Roman family. It's a lower form of citizenship given to conquered people and their descendant and give them the protection of the Latin law, but to a lesser extent. Thus, is social network was that of the lower classes of the Roman society. Considering the time he spend in Hellenistic territory, and that the cult of Isis was propagated by Ptolemaic Greeks merchants and intellectuals , he certainly encountered them and was influenced by them even if only by cultural contact due to theological similarities that can't really be explained otherwise. You might want to study the history of lower Turkey and Greece in the first century has well has the other cults animating the religious beliefs of the lower classes to confirm this hypothesis and enrich your own. That would be my opinion. Keep up the good work!Thumbsup
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22-08-2015, 08:04 AM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(22-08-2015 12:33 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(21-08-2015 07:59 PM)Free Wrote:  You already know what any serious scholar's review would say about that, Mark.

"Un-evidenced assertions." You should expect that.

I think that you are onto something else, far better than a theory regarding Paul being any kind of Roman agent. Here's a clue for a title:

Yeshua: Hacked & Jacked
Did Paul Hijack Yeshua For The Gentiles?


Now that is something you already have a great working knowledge about and is far FAR more credible.

I wonder whether you, or anyone else, has a plausible alternative hypothesis about what or who motivated Paul?

You already know the answer, Mark.

Paul was not trusted by the Church of Jerusalem, got all pissy about it, and started his own version of Christianity and self-appointed himself an apostle.

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