Who was Saint Paul?
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22-08-2015, 12:54 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(22-08-2015 08:04 AM)Free Wrote:  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.
opinions, opinions. there are so many false opinions.
But what does Spirit teach?

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22-08-2015, 01:56 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(22-08-2015 12:54 PM)Alla Wrote:  But what does Spirit teach?

It's rather hard for non-existent entities to teach anything.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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22-08-2015, 03:31 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(22-08-2015 12:54 PM)Alla Wrote:  
(22-08-2015 08:04 AM)Free Wrote:  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.
opinions, opinions. there are so many false opinions.
But what does Spirit teach?

This may be the most ironic thing ever said by a member of one of the thousands of denominations of Christianity.

Beautiful, beautiful irony.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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22-08-2015, 05:05 PM (This post was last modified: 22-08-2015 05:12 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(22-08-2015 07:38 AM)epronovost Wrote:  
(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

Thanks for the input and the encouragement. Perhaps the following short section explains more my understanding of the historical context in which Paul wrote...

The antagonism between Jews and Romans was probably the key factor responsible for the birth of Christianity. The following explains why.

Robert Eisenman, (http://www.roberteisenman.com/) in his exhaustively researched book James, Brother of Jesus, presents a sensible assessment of Jesus’ time and the decades afterwards.

Eisenman divides Palestine into two power blocs: the rulers and the populists. The rulers were the Romans and those to whom they gave power. They included the Herodian puppet dynasty, the Sadducees, the Sanhedrin, and Gentiles, including small groups of Paul’s “Christians.” The populists were the native population, most of who were opposed to Roman domination. They included the Nazarenes, the Qumran community, and various other groups united under James, Yeshua’s brother. Eisenman portrays James as a xenophobic fundamentalist Jewish leader.

There was more to Jewish antagonism toward Rome than just political and economic suppression. The Jews were a passionately proud people who imagined themselves as God’s special subjects. Despite their countless sectarian affiliations, most of them were committed to conserving their common Jewish culture to the exclusion of all alternatives. Some Jews tried to tell the world about the power and majesty of their God, and they dreamed about bringing all nations under “his” rule. These Jews, obviously brainwashed since childhood by priests and other fanatics with delusions about God and their own importance in the universe, were disillusioned with being ruled by Rome and the impoverishment they suffered as a consequence. The Jews wanted to be what the Romans actually were: the people at the top. In this they grossly overestimated their own importance and abilities, as the Jews had no legacy of any long-lasting government, rarely had an army organized enough to be effective, and were notorious for fighting among themselves. It could be said that many Jews had their heads in the clouds, hoping for a hero messiah who would create the kingdom of God, whereas the Romans had a very real and effective government, army and financial resources.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, hidden until 1947, are like a time capsule that takes us back nearly 2000 years into this Jewish world as seen from their perspective, so the Scrolls offer a unique and invaluable glimpse into the past, because Romans destroyed nearly all other Jewish messianic literature.
( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYTlkrUFSW4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wneSV0FOsMA )

Eisenman and other scholars, including Douglas Lockhart
(http://douglaslockhart.com/ )
and Peter Cresswell, (http://jesustheterrorist.com/about-the-author.htm) ) claim that the scrolls include copies of James’ sermons thundering against “the Enemy” and “the Liar,” referring to someone daring to teach dogma at odds with the traditions of observant Jews. There is only one likely candidate James could have been referring to, and that is Paul, who James may have considered to be a traitor and a Roman agent. ( http://www.sullivan-county.com/id2/james.htm )

It is ironic that Jesus’ brother might have referred to the creator of Christian theology (Paul) as a liar.

The Scrolls give us a far more realistic assessment of Jewish first- century Palestine than the Gospels.

No wonder the Vatican had a strong interest in their interpretation in the decades after their discovery. ( http://www.dreamscape.com/morgana/carme.htm ).

If someone were to make a good movie based on the real John the Baptist, Jesus, Paul, and James, and it was done well enough to convince the public, it would be a blockbuster that would rock all Christian establishments.
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22-08-2015, 05:29 PM (This post was last modified: 22-08-2015 06:43 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(22-08-2015 08:04 AM)Free Wrote:  
(22-08-2015 12:33 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  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.

Yes.
There is no doubt he was motivated by selfish reasons. He loved being the local guru.
Yet I think there was more to him than just this.
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22-08-2015, 05:45 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(22-08-2015 12:54 PM)Alla Wrote:  
(22-08-2015 08:04 AM)Free Wrote:  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.
opinions, opinions. there are so many false opinions.
But what does Spirit teach?

Alla, you are out of your depth.
Sometimes it is better to stay quiet and let people think you are a fool, than to open your mouth and confirm it.
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22-08-2015, 07:20 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(22-08-2015 05:29 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(22-08-2015 08:04 AM)Free Wrote:  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.

Yes.
There is no doubt he was motivated by selfish reasons. He loved being the local guru.
Yet I think there was more to him than just this.

I'm just not seeing any good evidence to consider any other reasons. In my view, he was obviously shunned by the other apostles. He was an arrogant self-important bastard who seemed over-flowing with conceit. Someone like that would be a narcissist to the highest degree.

His revenge against the Church of Jerusalem would be to start his own church, with his own Gospel, and avoid using anything Jesus was reported as actually saying, because that is the gospel the Church of Jerusalem spread.

So he uses Yeshua as a model, and then creates his own theology based upon the historical Yeshua. He lies about his "revelations" to a Greco-Roman population that was already predisposed to believe in numerous gods and fantastic tales. It was an easy sell for Paul.

But he could not sell such a story to the Jews as they rejected him and considered him an apostate due to his new found religious theology. He was no longer a Jew, despite his claims. Paul was the first Christian of record.

Mark, you could easily create an incredibly unflattering history about Paul; one that has solid evidence and credibility. You don't need any Roman agent theory to discredit him, because there is more than enough in his letters to discredit him far more than any proposed Roman conspiracy ever could.

I see a gold mine in this method.

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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22-08-2015, 07:25 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(22-08-2015 05:45 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(22-08-2015 12:54 PM)Alla Wrote:  opinions, opinions. there are so many false opinions.
But what does Spirit teach?

Alla, you are out of your depth.
Sometimes it is better to stay quiet and let people think you are a fool, than to open your mouth and confirm it.

And I know you say that with the utmost sincerity and the most noble of intentions.

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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22-08-2015, 10:47 PM (This post was last modified: 22-08-2015 11:08 PM by Aliza.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
Mark,

I must commend you for an extremely well researched piece. I am very impressed with your work and your insight.

Without the full text to review, there may be one avenue that you didn’t bring up (though you did allude to it). I would have to do the research on it to really pin it down, but if this is common knowledge or if you discuss it in depth elsewhere in your writing, then I won’t bother looking up my resources on this.

As you stated, somewhere in the NT, Paul said to be a student of Gamliel. You also suggested that this was unlikely to have been true. Gamliel was one of the leading Torah authorities of his day, and so his high profile students are known to us because we have a record of them within Jewish sources. Not surprisingly, Paul isn’t mentioned.

But I suppose that wouldn’t be especially interesting if the Jews are attempting to conceal their connection to Paul out of fear of giving credibility to his teaching.

No, the clincher here is in Paul’s apparent inability to speak or read Hebrew. As a student of Gamliel, Paul would have been required to speak, read and write Hebrew and Aramaic. In fact, in a particular point in the NT, Paul quotes from the Hebrew Scriptures, but he quotes from the Greek translation which has a very well-known translation error. I can say with confidence that no self-respecting Jew in any era would choose to read the scriptures from a translation if he or she was able to do so in Hebrew. The nuances in the Hebrew language give a depth and breadth to the words that are lost in other languages. His use of a Greek translation serves as a tell-tale sign that he lacked any formal, proper Jewish education at all.

(Edited for posting error)
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23-08-2015, 09:32 AM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(22-08-2015 05:45 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Alla, you are out of your depth.
Sometimes it is better to stay quiet and let people think you are a fool, than to open your mouth and confirm it.
What people might think about me is none of my business.

English is my second language.
I AM DEPLORABLE AND IRREDEEMABLE
SHE PERSISTED WE RESISTED
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