Who was Saint Paul?
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14-11-2012, 08:50 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(14-11-2012 08:41 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(14-11-2012 08:25 PM)Free Wrote:  Actually, i used the same "source" you used to demonstrate "evidence" for Jesus, and the "lack of evidence" for your other messianic pretenders.

The ability to effectively communicate reality seems to elude you.
Sorry. You lost that little debate. YOU never provided proof for YOUR assertion of "self"proclaimed", and if you ever actually read Josephus you would know that while not using the "word" messiah, he spent pages attempting to discredit them. The problem is you apparently can not understand reality. You also capriciously switched your position 180 degrees, as Mark pointed out. In the other thread you demanded consensus. As Mark pointed out, you are the only person we have ever heard of who does not think there were other messiahs. Thus you are totally outside consensus on this one. Actually, Free, do you plan on contributing something positive here, on this thread about St. Paul ? Or are you just here to be an annoying little negative pest ?


You do not realize that you've committed yet another glaringly obvious logical fallacy with that post above? Do you understand that I did not make the "positive claim" of any other self proclaimed messianic pretenders? I also made no assertions that any others existed.

You did.

And you failed to prove anything.

You can sit there and cry about what you posted from Josephus, but the fact remains you failed to produce one single historical record of even 1 self-proclaimed messianic pretender/

You also failed to produce one single historical document where anyone in 1st century antiquity used the words "Messiah/Christ" in regards to anyone else other than Jesus.

I lost no debate. In fact, I didn't even have to try. You lost the debate all by yourself, with no help from me or anyone else.

How? Because you failed to read and understand the simple words "self proclaimed."

Pay attention, son. And learn something.

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14-11-2012, 09:04 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(14-11-2012 08:50 PM)Free Wrote:  
(14-11-2012 08:41 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Sorry. You lost that little debate. YOU never provided proof for YOUR assertion of "self"proclaimed", and if you ever actually read Josephus you would know that while not using the "word" messiah, he spent pages attempting to discredit them. The problem is you apparently can not understand reality. You also capriciously switched your position 180 degrees, as Mark pointed out. In the other thread you demanded consensus. As Mark pointed out, you are the only person we have ever heard of who does not think there were other messiahs. Thus you are totally outside consensus on this one. Actually, Free, do you plan on contributing something positive here, on this thread about St. Paul ? Or are you just here to be an annoying little negative pest ?
You do not realize that you've committed yet another glaringly obvious logical fallacy with that post above? Do you understand that I did not make the "positive claim" of any other self proclaimed messianic pretenders? I also made no assertions that any others existed.

You did.

And you failed to prove anything.

You can sit there and cry about what you posted from Josephus, but the fact remains you failed to produce one single historical record of even 1 self-proclaimed messianic pretender/

You also failed to produce one single historical document where anyone in 1st century antiquity used the words "Messiah/Christ" in regards to anyone else other than Jesus.

I lost no debate. In fact, I didn't even have to try. You lost the debate all by yourself, with no help from me or anyone else.

How? Because you failed to read and understand the simple words "self proclaimed."

Pay attention, son. And learn something.
Sorry old man. "Self proclaimed" was your standard, not ours. "Understood as", or "called", or "named" is the standard everyone else, (except you), uses. Nice try. Fail again.
It is hilarious you, of all people, (who failed to understand what a "conditional" request is, in the other thread), keeps preaching about Logic. As I said, are you planning on presenting positive, about Paul of Tarsus ?
Actually Paul himself warns the Christians about the other "christs", and other gospels, but you just have no background in the subject at hand. (And thank the stars. I am not related to you, so stop calling me "son" you patronizing ass.)

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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14-11-2012, 09:43 PM (This post was last modified: 15-11-2012 04:12 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(14-11-2012 06:03 PM)Free Wrote:  
(13-11-2012 09:40 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hey Free, if I hypothetically conceed that there were no first century wannabe self proclaimed messiahs....so what? I'm interested to know where you want to take the conversation from here.
Hello Mark,

It's fine that don't agree about the messianic claimants. My whole point was to demonstrate that there really isn't much of any kind of evidence from the 1st century regarding self professed messianic pretenders aside from what we have about Jesus.

You see, Bucky has been trying so hard to discount the evidence for the existence Jesus, but then when he puts up a big battle for the existence of other messianic pretenders with the flimsy (if we can call it) evidence, well ... I found it exceptionally entertaining. If you can see things from my point of view, you may find it quite amusing also. Smile

Anyways, back on the topic. Have you have time to answer my post on page 11?

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid198475



Hi Free. Gee...this is going to be long....and I hope interesting for all readers. You write "aside from what we have about Jesus" in relation to evidence. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I agree that Jesus, if he existed, was a messianic pretender. I base that assessment on mainly circumstantial evidence, such as the existence of John the Baptist, the existence of his brother James, and the manner of Jesus' death. As for hard "evidence" that he was "anything", we have , I say, nothing! All we have is....

-the gospels, which are not history. There are probably some kernels of truth in them, but no one knows. They were not written as history for educated, intelligent people....they were professions of faith for the crowds, the hoi polloi, slaves and "scum" (to use a term from Josephus). They only finished being edited, interpolated and rewritten in the early fourth century. There is NO quality evidence of any genuine link between their stories and a once living flesh and blood Yeshua.


-Paul's writings, and I don't think he knew of a "Jesus." His "Christ" was someone and something else....a spirit/man, a ghost. Remember that Marcion introduced Paul's writings into Rome circa 140 AD, and Marcion's "Christ" was a ghost...."Isu Chrestos." I strongly suspect any mention of "Jesus" in Paul's writing is an interpolation. Paul actually proves that the "Jesus" we think we know so well, is a fiction. Paul never read the gospels as they hadn't been written in his day. Think about it.

-Brief one or two lines in Tacitus, Pliny, written circa 80 years after Jesus died! Sorry....they don't cut the mustard as "evidence," particularly as we know how dishonest early Christians were with their lies and forgeries.

There are good points to discuss on page 11....will get to them soon.

PS I just went back to refresh my memory about Tacitus and "Christians" I suggest anyone interested read this article...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_Christ

It was (maybe) written circa 116 AD, 80 years after jeebus died! It says 'Chrestus' was crucified under Pontius Pilate. The author badmouths Christians who he thinks were in Rome in the 60's.

Now.....this is important.....I don't think there were "Christians" anywhere of note in the 60's. The original followers of Yeshua were Jews. Paul tried to INTRODUCE himself and his novel theology to a community in Rome in his famous letter to the Romans. The most conservative commentators only imagine the first gospel, Mark's, was first jotted post 70 CE for Chrissake. So it was impossible for "Christians " to have started the fire in Rome in 64 CE.

It's just possible naughty Nazarenes were playing with matches. They were quite pissed off with Rome.

Tacitus, and any other disinterested party, would not have been able to distinguish Jewish fans of Yeshua and "Christians" so he may have incorrectly called the Nazarenes "Christians"
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15-11-2012, 03:54 AM (This post was last modified: 15-11-2012 04:05 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(05-11-2012 07:42 PM)Free Wrote:  
(05-11-2012 05:48 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi Free, I agree that James would have taught the same message as Jesus. I think they (the Nazarenes) didn't die out until much later though. Please see my reply to Logica. Cheers.
Excellent article.

A couple questions/concerns however. The quote below:



Quote:Christians today often incorrectly call Nero’s casualties Christians, whereas they were, if this really happened, Nazarenes.

I find this to not be likely. I believe that Nero persecuted the Pauline Christians while in Rome, while the Nazarenes would have remained in and around Jerusalem at this time. I have a couple reasons to accept this:

1. I don't see the Nazarenes in Rome in AD64 since we still have James in Jerusalem within 2 years. Also, the Nazarenes seem to have stuck to Jewish roots and Jewish people (as per their relation to Yeshua), and not be spreading their religion to anyone who was didn't have Jewish roots.

2. We do know that the Pauline Christians were in Rome as per Paul's letters. We also know from that letters that the Pauline Christians were being persecuted by the Romans.

3. Tacitus says that the Christians that Nero persecuted were the very same ones responsible for a "a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome" after Jesus was crucified, which seems to point to the resurrection story propagated by the Pauline Christians.

I'm afraid I must side with it being the Pauline Christians as being the ones Nero persecuted.

Also, do you think the Nazarene had Essene influences? Josephus provides an excellent look at the Essene, and when we compare their description to the Gospel record concerning Jesus we can see some excellent comparisons.

Also, not sure what you think, but I have all but concluded that the NT is a mixture of Nazarene, Pauline, and Gnostic beliefs. Paul himself seemed to demonstrate some Gnostic influence, and Revelation is an obvious slam dunk.
Hi Free.

Re ..."1. I don't see the Nazarenesin Rome in AD64 since we still have James in Jerusalem within 2 years. Also, the Nazarenes seem to have stuck to Jewish roots and Jewish people(as per their relation to Yeshua), and not be spreading their religion to anyone who was didn't have Jewish roots."

James was the leader of a large, pro militant, anti Roman group of fundamentalist Jews who were zealots ie anti Roman. I have read a number of authors (Hugh Schonfield, Douglas Lockhart) who state they had active missionaries to fellow Jews in the diaspora. Lockhart puts their number at 8000. James was considered a true high priest...in competition to the Saducees who were Roman puppets. So it is reasonable to assume they had a community in Rome. I agree they were anti gentile, and didn't associate with gentiles.

Re..."2. We do know that the Pauline Christians were in Rome as per Paul's letters. We also know from that letters that the Pauline Christians were being persecuted by the Romans."

Paul tried to introduce himself and his highly original, fabricated theology to the (probably Nazarene) community in Rome. There were no authentic Christians in Rome in the 60's...Paul never successfully proselytized there (to our knowledge) and the gospels hadn't been written. So there was nothing to promote/sell to the plebs at this early stage.

This is what I think happened. Paul was a government employee, paid to undermine messianic Judaism. He associated with some of the upper echelons in Rome who were well aware of what he was up to. There were probably many "Pauls," all government employees paid to promote propaganda aimed at subverting a war between "Judaism" and the government. They failed....there was a massive war in 66-70 and the Jews were routed.

After this war, which destroyed the zealots but not the religion that inspired them, the government wrote the gospels to try out some fresh propaganda against the Jews. Just sit and think about that. The pieces in the puzzle will fit. Anyone reading and understanding this are the one in a million who have considered it.

Re..."Also, do you think the Nazarene had Essene influences? Josephus provides an excellent look at the Essene, and when we compare their description to the Gospel record concerning Jesus we can see some excellent comparisons."

Oh yes! Agreed!....permit me a "cut and paste"....


The Essenes


The third important group was the Essenes. We know a fair bit about them, not only from Flavius Josephus, who may himself have been an Essene, but also from Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, and from the Essenian Qumran community who hid the Dead Sea Scrolls.


They were a heterogeneous group, but some generalizations can be made. They were well respected amongst most Jews. Josephus numbered them at about four thousand, and writes they had a strong affection for each other, and lived in groups scattered throughout Judea. They preferred to wear white clothing and were particular about certain bathing rituals, including baptism. Most were celibate, which was quite unusual, as most Jews considered it as living an incomplete life. They rejected the pursuit of pleasure, preached poverty, humility, chastity, loving one's neighbor, and penitence. They believed in a war between the forces of good and evil, and the need for God's grace. They strove to speak gently and quietly, to never swear, and were strong believers in justice and that all Jews were equal. They rejected the accumulation of wealth, and shared all their possessions. They claimed to love the truth and to never steal.

Unlike the other Jewish sects, they spurned animal sacrifice. They thought of themselves as healers, to be able to cast out demons and restore the dead to life. They were said to foretell the future and to have little fear of death. They were
convinced that after death their souls were destined for paradise, provided they had been righteous, but if someone had been sinful, their soul was sent to hell.

They deeply resented the Sadducees, so set up their own priesthood separate to the temple. They mistrusted most of the Pharisees, whom they regarded as corrupt and hypocritical.


Josephus leaves out one important fact about them; that they were intensely anti-Roman. He was writing for a Roman audience, and was trying to present his countrymen in the best possible light, so this omission is understandable.


Yeshua Was Probably an Essene


I think Yeshua was an Essenian activist. They had many beliefs in common with those credited to Jesus. Some of the sayings attributed to Jesus are also found in the Dead Sea Scrolls (yet his existence is never mentioned in them.) Jesus and his disciples pooled their funds, which were administered by a treasurer, which was a feature of Essenian communities.


Many scholars believe John the Baptist, who could have been Yeshua’s cousin, was an Essene. John baptized Yeshua, so Yeshua clearly had the same beliefs as him.


The Gospel’s writers and editors didn’t mention their existence even once. If it was suspected that Yeshua and the disciples were Essenes, it would have meant they were too fundamentally Jewish and too anti Roman. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/...senes.html).


There was a particular group of Essenes known as Nazarenes. I believe John, Yeshua, his family, and his disciples were all Nazarenes. Obviously, then, they were an incredibly important group.
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15-11-2012, 01:54 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
Quote:I agree that Jesus, if he existed, was a messianic pretender. I base that assessment on mainly circumstantial evidence, such as the existence of John the Baptist, the existence of his brother James, and the manner of Jesus' death. As for hard "evidence" that he was "anything", we have , I say, nothing! All we have is the gospels, which are not history. There are probably some kernels of truth in them, but no one knows. They were not written as history for educated, intelligent people....they were professions of faith for the crowds, the hoi polloi, slaves and "scum" (to use a term from Josephus).

I agree that the gospels are certianly not worthy as a "historical account" of the actual life of this Jesus fellow, but they do indeed have historical value in regards to many aspects such as belief systems, lexicon, idiom, prose, as well as how the 1st century people would/could possibly embellsih the life of a mere human being for the purpose of prpagating their beliefs.


Quote: They only finished being edited, interpolated and rewritten in the early fourth century. There is NO quality evidence of any genuine link between their stories and a once living flesh and blood Yeshua.

When we look at things individually, we can easily say "not good enough." But collectively, the most reasonable and logical conclusion is that the gospels stories are based upon an actuall living person who's life was embellished to propagate the faith. We see this sort of embellishment in many ancient peoples. Muhammad, for example, was recorded as riding a horse to the heavens, splitting the moon in two, etc. Should we then conclude he didn't exist because of the embellishments?

Again, looking at ALL the evidence collectively, instead of tearing each piece apart individually, allows a reasonable and logical conclusion supporting existence as being the better alternative to it being a myth.

Nothing is conclusive, but existence is indeed the better argument.


Quote:Paul's writings, and I don't think he knew of a "Jesus." His "Christ" was someone and something else....a spirit/man, a ghost.

According to Paul himself, a man named Jesus was crucified. You do not crucify a spirit or a ghost. He regarded Jesus as the Christ. As far as him not knowing a Jesus, he mentions meeting him in his letters.

1Co_9:1 Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord?

What he means by that is not 100% certain condiering the story in Acts, but taken at face value it clearly indicates that he seen Jesus Christ.


Quote:Remember that Marcion introduced Paul's writings into Rome circa 140 AD, and Marcion's "Christ" was a ghost...."Isu Chrestos." I strongly suspect any mention of "Jesus" in Paul's writing is an interpolation. Paul actually proves that the "Jesus" we think we know so well, is a fiction. Paul never read the gospels as they hadn't been written in his day. Think about it.

Clement of Rome from the 1st century and writing around AD95, quotes from the Gospel:

Quote:1Clem 46:8
Remember the words of Jesus our Lord: for He said, "Woe unto that man; it were good for him if he had not been born, rather than that at he should offend one of Mine elect. It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about him, and be cast into the sea, than that he should pervert one of Mine elect.

Compare to Matt 18.6, Mark 9.42, and Luke 17.2.

Also:

Quote:Have mercy, that ye may receive mercy: forgive, that it may be forgiven to you. As ye do, so shall it be done to you. As ye give, so shall it be given unto you. As ye judge, so shall ye be judged. As ye show kindness, so shall kindness be showed unto you. With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured withal to you.

Compare to Luke 6:36 -38, and there are many many more.

As far as Pauls' Epistles are concerned, Clement was speaking to the Corintians and told them to pick up the Epistle that Paul sent to them, which is the Epistle to the Corinthians. Clement quotes directly from that apostle.

Ignatius, writing AD 95-105 also mentions Paul and the gospel, and often quotes gospel verses. He mentions the crucifixion of Jesus.

These people are contemporary to the 1st century, and are indeed evidence of 1st century non biblical references to both the works of Paul and the crucifixion of Jesus. Both quote from the gospel records and Paul, and they are to be considered as part of the collective of intelligence in determining historicity, because they are links to the past. It doesn't matter what they believed as far as a religious philosophy is concerned, for it is what they said about Jesus that matters, and they both say he was crucified.

They make no mention of a "ghost" being crucified. In fact, no one does from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or any century.

I'll be back. Busy at work.

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15-11-2012, 02:30 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(15-11-2012 01:54 PM)Free Wrote:  1. I agree that the gospels are certianly not worthy as a "historical account" of the actual life of this Jesus fellow, but they do indeed have historical value in regards to many aspects such as belief systems, lexicon, idiom, prose, as well as how the 1st century people would/could possibly embellsih the life of a mere human being for the purpose of prpagating their beliefs.

2. When we look at things individually, we can easily say "not good enough." But collectively, the most reasonable and logical conclusion is that the gospels stories are based upon an actuall living person who's life was embellished to propagate the faith. We see this sort of embellishment in many ancient peoples. Muhammad, for example, was recorded as riding a horse to the heavens, splitting the moon in two, etc. Should we then conclude he didn't exist because of the embellishments?
Again, looking at ALL the evidence collectively, instead of tearing each piece apart individually, allows a reasonable and logical conclusion supporting existence as being the better alternative to it being a myth.
Nothing is conclusive, but existence is indeed the better argument.

3. According to Paul himself, a man named Jesus was crucified. You do not crucify a spirit or a ghost. He regarded Jesus as the Christ. As far as him not knowing a Jesus, he mentions meeting him in his letters.
1Co_9:1 Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord?
What he means by that is not 100% certain condiering the story in Acts, but taken at face value it clearly indicates that he seen Jesus Christ.

Comparing gospel quotes, to support each other, or anything else, as though they were independent, to support each other, when in fact they had a common source, is evidence of nothing. We know they had a common source. It is evidence only that the common source may or or may not have been wrong. The "lexicon, idiom, prose, as well as how the 1st century people would/could possibly embellsih the life of a mere human being for the purpose of prpagating their beliefs." is proof of nothing, except that it was written in those days. Not one example of anything was offered.

The details of the philosophies, both of the Paul in Acts, and the letter writer, but also the developmental, or internal differences in the letters themselves, are extremely important, as they are so different. In acts it say he received his instruction directly from the apostles, in Galatians it says he got it from no one, and it was a direct revelation. It's a clear contradiction. It is a clue that there was more than one Paul, and if that is true, is another indication that the whole business reeks as it was presented.

When Paul says he met the Lord, as quoted above, the real entire quote is "And after that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. (1 Corinthians 15 : 5-8). It's a metaphor for his "vision". Paul never met Jesus. He said he "encountered" the risen lord.

All the above was assertion with no substantiating reason for WHY it is more reasonable. We are just expected to take his word for it.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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15-11-2012, 09:14 PM (This post was last modified: 16-11-2012 05:53 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(15-11-2012 01:54 PM)Free Wrote:  
Quote:I agree that Jesus, if he existed, was a messianic pretender. I base that assessment on mainly circumstantial evidence, such as the existence of John the Baptist, the existence of his brother James, and the manner of Jesus' death. As for hard "evidence" that he was "anything", we have , I say, nothing! All we have is the gospels, which are not history. There are probably some kernels of truth in them, but no one knows. They were not written as history for educated, intelligent people....they were professions of faith for the crowds, the hoi polloi, slaves and "scum" (to use a term from Josephus).

I agree that the gospels are certianly not worthy as a "historical account" of the actual life of this Jesus fellow, but they do indeed have historical value in regards to many aspects such as belief systems, lexicon, idiom, prose, as well as how the 1st century people would/could possibly embellsih the life of a mere human being for the purpose of prpagating their beliefs.


Quote:They only finished being edited, interpolated and rewritten in the early fourth century. There is NO quality evidence of any genuine link between their stories and a once living flesh and blood Yeshua.

When we look at things individually, we can easily say "not good enough." But collectively, the most reasonable and logical conclusion is that the gospels stories are based upon an actuall living person who's life was embellished to propagate the faith. We see this sort of embellishment in many ancient peoples. Muhammad, for example, was recorded as riding a horse to the heavens, splitting the moon in two, etc. Should we then conclude he didn't exist because of the embellishments?

Again, looking at ALL the evidence collectively, instead of tearing each piece apart individually, allows a reasonable and logical conclusion supporting existence as being the better alternative to it being a myth.

Nothing is conclusive, but existence is indeed the better argument.


Quote:Paul's writings, and I don't think he knew of a "Jesus." His "Christ" was someone and something else....a spirit/man, a ghost.

According to Paul himself, a man named Jesus was crucified. You do not crucify a spirit or a ghost. He regarded Jesus as the Christ. As far as him not knowing a Jesus, he mentions meeting him in his letters.

1Co_9:1 Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord?

What he means by that is not 100% certain condiering the story in Acts, but taken at face value it clearly indicates that he seen Jesus Christ.


Quote:Remember that Marcion introduced Paul's writings into Rome circa 140 AD, and Marcion's "Christ" was a ghost...."Isu Chrestos." I strongly suspect any mention of "Jesus" in Paul's writing is an interpolation. Paul actually proves that the "Jesus" we think we know so well, is a fiction. Paul never read the gospels as they hadn't been written in his day. Think about it.

Clement of Rome from the 1st century and writing around AD95, quotes from the Gospel:

Quote:1Clem 46:8
Remember the words of Jesus our Lord: for He said, "Woe unto that man; it were good for him if he had not been born, rather than that at he should offend one of Mine elect. It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about him, and be cast into the sea, than that he should pervert one of Mine elect.

Compare to Matt 18.6, Mark 9.42, and Luke 17.2.

Also:

Quote:Have mercy, that ye may receive mercy: forgive, that it may be forgiven to you. As ye do, so shall it be done to you. As ye give, so shall it be given unto you. As ye judge, so shall ye be judged. As ye show kindness, so shall kindness be showed unto you. With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured withal to you.

Compare to Luke 6:36 -38, and there are many many more.

As far as Pauls' Epistles are concerned, Clement was speaking to the Corintians and told them to pick up the Epistle that Paul sent to them, which is the Epistle to the Corinthians. Clement quotes directly from that apostle.

Ignatius, writing AD 95-105 also mentions Paul and the gospel, and often quotes gospel verses. He mentions the crucifixion of Jesus.

These people are contemporary to the 1st century, and are indeed evidence of 1st century non biblical references to both the works of Paul and the crucifixion of Jesus. Both quote from the gospel records and Paul, and they are to be considered as part of the collective of intelligence in determining historicity, because they are links to the past. It doesn't matter what they believed as far as a religious philosophy is concerned, for it is what they said about Jesus that matters, and they both say he was crucified.

They make no mention of a "ghost" being crucified. In fact, no one does from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or any century.

I'll be back. Busy at work.





Hi Free , thanks for your reply. I'm glad we agree that the gospels are not good history. I also agree with you that there are elements in the gospels that are probably very loosely based on a once living flesh and blood Yeshua.

Re Clement....thanks for pointing this out.....but...he never mentions the names Matthew, Mark, Luke or John....these names are late 2nd century inventions. There were scores of "gospels" in the early second century. Some of them contained some of the teachings and phrases found in the canonical gospels, which is what we have here. Clement's letter is therefore not evidence of the existence of the gospels as we know them today.

ps I just refreshed my memory about Clement's first letter. Could have been written any time up to 140CE. A few authors agree with you that he mentions Paul's letters....but they don't say where. Buggered if I'm going to read the whole letter (it's long and boring) to try to find it. If he does mention Paul's writing, it could be an interpolation.It hardly represents a glowing and powerful endorsement of the Paul weazel.

Re "Ignatius..." Really! I didn't know "he" mentioned Paul. Please, if you have it handy, can you tell me where. Bear in mind, "Ignatius" is one massive forgery, so I can't take "him" seriously...other than that "he" is interesting as "he" gives us an idea of what late 2nd century Christians were thinking.

Re Paul and Jeebus....permit me another "cut and paste"....


Paul Knew Nothing of the Jesus in the Gospels.

Most Christians assume Paul was restating the wisdom of Jesus, but he never claimed he received inspiration from Jesus or from Jesus’ disciples. Paul held his message came from God and was about his Christ. It was not from Jesus. Paul's Christ was someone completely different from the Jesus we think we know, the miracle working preacher in the Gospels. Amazingly, in the twenty-first century, we know more about “Jesus” than Paul did!

Paul, like all first century “Christians,” was not even sure of the true nature of his Christ figure:“Must I go on boasting, though there is nothing to be gained by it? But I will move onto the visions and revelations I have had from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who, fourteen years ago, was caught up—whether still in the body or out of the body, I do not know; God knows—right into the third heaven. I do know however; that this same person—whether in the body or out of the body. I do not know; God knows—was caught up into paradise and heard things which must not and cannot be put into the human language” (2 Cor. 12:1–4, NJB). Paul was claiming he had received visions and revelations from the Lord (Yahweh.) He was unsure whether his Christ was still a man or a spirit. Some rabbis (and Mithraic priests) distinguished seven levels in heaven, and Paul thought Christ had ascended to level three.

He didn't give a fig tree about the life or teaching of a once living human Jesus. The only thing that mattered to him was that a Christ was crucified and resurrected. He rambled on and on about the supposed significance of Christ's death, not his life.The authors and editors of the Gospels may have superimposed Paul’s “Christ” into the biographies of Jesus in the gospels, and edited “Jesus” into them where Paul had written only “Christ.”

Who then, was Paul’s Christ? Douglas Lockhart (http://douglaslockhart.com/) and a number of other scholars think it could have been the “Teacher of Righteousness” written about in the Dead Sea Scrolls. There are many theories as to who this character was, one of which is that he was the ghost of an Essenian leader who lived perhaps a hundred years before Yeshua who was executed by persons unknown. The community this teacher inspired may have been a sect that believed the teacher of righteousness would soon return from the dead. Lockhart also believes this sect may well have been the same sect Paul set out to persecute, yet ended up trying to join, and he may have spent some time in Arabia learning their teachings. This would explain Paul’s complete ignorance of the Jesus we think we know. I did warn the reader this chapter was complicated.Paul wrote, “Even if we did once know Christ in the flesh, that is not how we know him now” (2 Cor. 5:16, NJB). He was only interested in the idea of a resurrected spirit, his Christ figurehead. He thought Christ was a mystery, one that he had a particularly good understanding of: “Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Eph. 3:4, KJV), and “Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds”(Col. 4:3, KJV).

Paul’s mysterious Christ is a difficult idea for modern readers to understand, and in my opinion it’s not worth the effort. It helps to remember that the sources of Paul’s ideas are obscure; that his writings have been tampered with; that original meaning is often lost in translations; that the Jesus stories we know so well only finished being cobbled together in the fourth century, and Paul had never read them; and that Paul was just odd.

In the gentile world of the time there was competition from many dying and rising gods. Mithras was an example well known to Paul. Those gods often did not have a mortal life that was remembered, just like his Christ. It was only the myth of them dying and rising again that gave them significance, just like his Christ. Paul’s Christ may well have been his own Judaic myth invented to compete with these other cults. The idea that Christ would one day be equated with Yeshua may not ever have been on his radar.

Most Christians I have talked to about this are perplexed, and with good reason, because Paul’s lack of commentary on Jesus undermines the account about Jesus being an inspiring, insightful individual that had so impressed his disciples. Jesus is considered today to have been someone with amazing charisma who preached wise anecdotes; an image created by churchmen using the gospels. Paul knew none of this. Outside of scripture he only ever acknowledged one teacher of wisdom—himself. An authoritative Yeshua, even though recently deceased, would have focused the limelight on someone more significant than himself, and he wouldn’t have coped with that.
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15-11-2012, 09:26 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(15-11-2012 02:30 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(15-11-2012 01:54 PM)Free Wrote:  1. I agree that the gospels are certianly not worthy as a "historical account" of the actual life of this Jesus fellow, but they do indeed have historical value in regards to many aspects such as belief systems, lexicon, idiom, prose, as well as how the 1st century people would/could possibly embellsih the life of a mere human being for the purpose of prpagating their beliefs.

2. When we look at things individually, we can easily say "not good enough." But collectively, the most reasonable and logical conclusion is that the gospels stories are based upon an actuall living person who's life was embellished to propagate the faith. We see this sort of embellishment in many ancient peoples. Muhammad, for example, was recorded as riding a horse to the heavens, splitting the moon in two, etc. Should we then conclude he didn't exist because of the embellishments?
Again, looking at ALL the evidence collectively, instead of tearing each piece apart individually, allows a reasonable and logical conclusion supporting existence as being the better alternative to it being a myth.
Nothing is conclusive, but existence is indeed the better argument.

3. According to Paul himself, a man named Jesus was crucified. You do not crucify a spirit or a ghost. He regarded Jesus as the Christ. As far as him not knowing a Jesus, he mentions meeting him in his letters.
1Co_9:1 Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord?
What he means by that is not 100% certain condiering the story in Acts, but taken at face value it clearly indicates that he seen Jesus Christ.


Comparing gospel quotes, to support each other, or anything else, as though they were independent, to support each other, when in fact they had a common source, is evidence of nothing. We know they had a common source. It is evidence only that the common source may or or may not have been wrong. The "lexicon, idiom, prose, as well as how the 1st century people would/could possibly embellsih the life of a mere human being for the purpose of prpagating their beliefs." is proof of nothing, except that it was written in those days. Not one example of anything was offered.

The details of the philosophies, both of the Paul in Acts, and the letter writer, but also the developmental, or internal differences in the letters themselves, are extremely important, as they are so different. In acts it say he received his instruction directly from the apostles, in Galatians it says he got it from no one, and it was a direct revelation. It's a clear contradiction. It is a clue that there was more than one Paul, and if that is true, is another indication that the whole business reeks as it was presented.

When Paul says he met the Lord, as quoted above, the real entire quote is "And after that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. (1 Corinthians 15 : 5-8). It's a metaphor for his "vision". Paul never met Jesus. He said he "encountered" the risen lord.

All the above was assertion with no substantiating reason for WHY it is more reasonable. We are just expected to take his word for it.



yes, yes and yes
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15-11-2012, 09:58 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
Quote:Comparing gospel quotes, to support each other, or anything else, as though they were independent, to support each other, when in fact they had a common source, is evidence of nothing. [quote]We know they had a common source. It is evidence only that the common source may or or may not have been wrong. The "lexicon, idiom, prose, as well as how the 1st century people would/could possibly embellsih the life of a mere human being for the purpose of prpagating their beliefs." is proof of nothing, except that it was written in those days. Not one example of anything was offered.

It's evidence of their existence before AD 95 When Ignatius and Clement quoted them. From the many numerous quotes of those gospels by Ignatius and Clement, it is evidence that what we have today is markedly similar to what they had in the first century. Neither Ignatus nor Clement quoted anything that was not in the gospels that we currently have, which is evidence that nothing has changed.

Ignatius and Clement also quoted much of what Paul wrote, and also detailed his journey as he spread his message. This is evidence that Paul's works, and his view of Jesus as a human being, are virtually the same as what we have today.

Therefore, it is evidence of what we call a "chain of evidence," which is evidence that links what we have today all the way back to what they had in the 1st century.

Also, what do you think of the following verse from Paul?

Gal_1:19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.

So here we have Paul providing yet another piece of evidence that Jesus had a brother named James. What is also interesting is that it demonstrates that Paul believed in a living human being named Jesus, since Jesus had a living human brother named James.

We now have both Paul and Josephus from the 1st century saying the exact same thing; Jesus has a brother named James. So, with two different testaments to the exact same thing- which have no known common source whatsoever- how can you say with a straight face that it "is evidence of nothing?" And if per chance that some things witten about this Jesus fellow in the gospels were true, then we have yet another testament to Jesus having a brother names James, as it is listed in Matt 13:55 and Mark 6:3.

That's three distinct references to Jesus having a brother named James, from 3 different sources (counting the Synoptics as a single source).


Anyways, been a long long day. Talk tomorrow, and stay civil so I don't get bored with this crap.

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15-11-2012, 11:45 PM (This post was last modified: 16-11-2012 08:51 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
I would submit for consideration :

In an era where "pious fraud" was totally acceptable, nothing is reliable, from self-admitted liars.
http://www.ftarchives.net/foote/crimes/c5.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_epistles

See "Misquoting Jesus" and "Jesus Interrupted" by Bart Ehrman.

"I will only mention the Apostle Paul. ... He, then, if anyone, ought to be calumniated; we should speak thus to him: ‘The proofs which you have used against the Jews and against other heretics bear a different meaning in their own contexts to that which they bear in your Epistles.
- St. Jerome, Epistle to Pammachus.

"We see passages taken captive by your pen and pressed into service to win you a victory, which in volumes from which they are taken have no controversial bearing at all ... the line so often adopted by strong men in controversy – of justifying the means by the result."
– St. Jerome, Epistle to Pammachus (xlviii, 13; N&PNF. vi, 72-73)

Was Saint Paul an unabashed liar? From this verse in Romans it would appear so:
"For if the truth of God hath more abounded by my lie unto his glory, why yet am I also adjudged a sinner?" – St. Paul, Romans 3.7.
In context Paul is actually censuring other Christians who say "Let us do evil, that good may come" (that is, from God's judgement).
But just like Paul anyone can "take the passage captive" to make a point.

Jerome is not alone in his confession. Eusebius, the propagandist for Constantine, entitles the 32nd Chapter of his 12th Book of Evangelical Preparation :"How it may be Lawful and Fitting to use Falsehood as a Medicine, and for the Benefit of those who Want to be Deceived." Eusebius is notoriously the author of a great many falsehoods – but then he does warn us in his infamous history: "We shall introduce into this history in general only those events which may be useful first to ourselves and afterwards to posterity." – Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 8, chapter 2.

Clement of Alexandria was one of the earliest of the Church Fathers to draw a distinction between "mere human truth" and the higher truth of
faith:
"Not all true things are the truth, nor should that truth which merely seems true according to human opinions be preferred to the true
truth, that according to the faith." – Clement (quoted by M. Smith, Clement of Alexandria, p446)

John Chrysostom, 5th century theologian and bishop of Constantinople, is another: "Do you see the advantage of deceit? ... "For great is the value of deceit, provided it be not introduced with a mischievous intention. In fact action of this kind ought not to be called deceit, but rather a kind of good management, cleverness and skill, capable of finding out ways where resources fail, and making up for the defects of the mind ... And often it is necessary to deceive, and to do the greatest benefits by means of this device, whereas he who has gone by a straight course has done great mischief to the person whom he has not deceived."
– Chrysostom, Treatise On The Priesthood, Book 1.


"Golden Mouth' John Chrysostom is notable for his extensive commentaries on the Bible which emphasized a literal understanding of the stories; the style popular at Alexandria until then was to acknowledge an allegorical meaning of texts.

"Thus eminent ‘believers’ added falsehood to the beliefs of later generations. ‘For the best of reasons’ they ‘clarified’ obscure points, conjured up characters to speak dialogue that could have been said, invented scenarios that could have happened, borrowed extensively from a wider culture. And this all before they became the custodians of power and had real reasons for lies, inventions and counterfeits. As we shall see, god’s immutable laws became as flexible as putty."

The 5th and 6th centuries were the 'golden age' of Christian forgery. In a moment of shocking candor, the Manichean bishop (and opponent of Augustine) Faustus said: "Many things have been inserted by our ancestors in the speeches of our Lord which, though put forth under his name, agree not with his faith; especially since – as already it has been often proved – these things were written not by Christ, nor [by] his apostles, but a long while after their assumption, by I know not what sort of half Jews, not even agreeing with themselves, who made up their tale out of reports and opinions merely, and yet, fathering the whole upon the names of the apostles of the Lord or on those who were supposed to follow the apostles, they maliciously pretended that they had written their lies and conceits according to them."

In the ferocious battle for adherents, the propagandists sought to outdo each other at every turn. One example: by the 5th century, four very different endings existed to Mark's gospel. Codex Bobiensis ends Mark at verse 16:8, without any post-crucifixion appearances; it lacks both the 'short conclusion' (of Jesus sending followers to 'east and west') or the 'long conclusion' – the fabulous post-death apparitions, where Jesus promises his disciples that they will be immune to snake bites and poison.

'The Church forgery machine did not limit itself to writings but for centuries cranked out thousands of phony "relics" of its "Lord," "Apostles" and "Saints" … There were at least 26 'authentic' burial shrouds scattered throughout the abbeys of Europe, of which the Shroud of Turin is only one … At one point, a number of churches claimed the one foreskin of Jesus, and there were enough splinters of the "True Cross" that Calvin said the amount of wood would make "a full load for a
good ship." – Acharya S, The Christ Conspiracy.

The Donation of Constantine – 'Without doubt a forgery...' Catholic Encyclopedia
A two-part document purporting to be from the first Christian emperor to Pope Sylvester I (314-35). In the 'Confessio' Constantine thanks Sylvester for his Christian instruction and baptism (and consequent cure of leprosy!) In his 'Donatio' Constantine confers on the pope and his successors primacy over all other bishops, including the eastern patriarchs, senatorial privileges for the clergy, imperial palaces and regalia, Rome itself and the western empire!!

In truth, this monstrous 8th century forgery (peppered with anachronisms) was almost certainly written by the future Pope Paul I (757-67) while his equally ambitious brother Stephen II (752-57) sat on the papal throne.

The False Decretals (aka Pseudo-Isidorian Forgeries) – A work of more than a hundred fake letters and decrees attributed to pontiffs from 1st century Clement (88-97) to 7th century Gregory I (590-604). Now attributed either to 'Isodore Mercator', a supposed 9th century master forger and papal aide, or to a group of Gallic forgers trading on the name and reputation of Isodore of Seville. Like the Donation, the Decretals conferred rights and privileges on the papacy.

A similar collection, the 'Dionysiana', was named for a 6th century monk 'Dennis the Little' (Dionysius Exiguus), inventor of the BC -AD dating system. Dionysius provided the papacy with Latin translation of the canons the Eastern Church. This ripe collection included fifty canons from the very Apostles themselves.

'Thundering Legion' Decree of Marcus Aurelius – In this fabricated letter from the emperor to the Senate, Marcus is said to have forbidden persecution of Christians because, in a battle with the Quadi in 174, prayers from Christian soldiers brought on a thunderstorm which rescued the Romans from thirst and dispersed the barbarian opponents. The emperor is said to have accorded the Twelfth Legion the suffix "fulminata" or "fulminea", that is, 'thundering.' Tertullian (c.160 – c.230), north African theologian, made up this nonsense; the twelfth legion had had the suffix legio fulminata from the time of Augustus. The stoic Marcus Aurelius had nothing but contempt for the Christians.

'Letters' of Emperor Antoninus Pius to the Greeks – More falsehood, this time from the pen of 4th century Bishop Eusebius (Ecclesiastic History, IV, 13). He has the pious 2nd century pagan forbid 'tumults against the Christians.'

The Clementines – These fancies, twenty books of 'curious religious romance' (Catholic Encyclopedia), masquerade as the work of 1st century pontiff Clement I. Written in the 4th century, their purpose was to bolster Rome's claim to be the primary see: here we have the 'Epistle of Clement to James' which originated the notion that St. Peter was the first Bishop of Rome.

Nothing they said can be trusted.
They were, in general not "professional" historians.
They had no concept of "historical accuracy" as we think of it today.
Unless otherwise known, or demonstrated, "allegory", and metaphor" has to be at least considered, as that was frequently used in the literature of the time.

Then there is the problem of the Greek word used for "brother" in the New Testament. It clearly means something other than "blood brother" most of other times it was used. There is no way to know for sure if if was meant in terms of a kinship bond in reference to James, as it clearly does not in other places, where the same Greek word is used. "The brothers" was what the other members of the sect were called. A few of these other passages that use "adelphos/adelphoi" in the sense which clearly does not refer to "blood brothers" in the natural sense are : Matthew 23:8; Acts 1:15-16; 2:37; 21:17, 20; 22:1.

What we think of as "honesty" and "good faith" cannot be assumed. It could just as easily by a "chain of lies" as a "chain of evidence".

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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