Who was Saint Paul?
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18-11-2012, 06:51 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
Yup. As Mark says, since the thread appears in an internet search, it's accessed by FAR more "guests" than members. The discussion is for the benefit of those who happen by, and get a load of what really went on back then, and that they never heard about. It's good for them to see different points of view, and that the bullshit they learned in Bible Study is just that, and the origins are by no means as cut-and-dry as believers would have them think.

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18-11-2012, 07:16 PM (This post was last modified: 18-11-2012 07:22 PM by Free.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
Quote:I myself am agnostic about the possible existence of a historical Jesus. In the end, it doesn't matter to me all that much, because it ultimately comes down to this: Even if a Jewish preacher named Jesus existed in the first century, the miracles and divine status ascribed to him remain unsupported and above all implausible. For this reason, I find it quite funny that three atheists debate about this topic so passionately, as if the result of it actually mattered for their position. Oh well, I suppose it makes for good training.

Well, I can only blame the "historian" in me for trying to uncover the truth.

As an atheist, I find religion to be the worst thing to have ever happened to the human race. We all know how religion has caused more wars, deaths, poverty, and intellectual suppression than all other philosophies combined. From the wars between the Jews and the Romans, to the Crusades and the spread of Islam, these vicious and hateful religions have suppressed the advancement of science and the human race in general to such a degree that is is exceptionally shameful and harmful.

The true decency of our humanity has been victimized and dictated to by religious ideologies insomuch that the human animal is but a decrepit and insidious self-predatory monster.

Therefore, the "historian" in me wants to put a human face upon a supposed god in an effort to demonstrate the mere humanity of Jesus, as opposed to the religious beliefs held by Christianity and Islam about this fellow. By proving his mere humanity, the house of cards will fall.

So you see, there is indeed a method to my madness.

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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18-11-2012, 09:25 PM (This post was last modified: 18-11-2012 10:02 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(18-11-2012 11:31 AM)Free Wrote:  
Quote:Re "It's evidence of their existence before AD 95 When Ignatius and Clement quoted them."

Um... did you get my point that the four gospel "authors" didn't appear till Irenaeus mentioned them circa 180 CE?

That point is moot, as we are not speaking about who authored them, but only of their existence before AD 95. It is not relevant as to who authored them.

Quote:Ignatius and Clement don't quote any gospel author, they quote "Jesus".

How do they quote Jesus since he wrote nothing? If you are speaking about reciting what they "heard" it is entirely possible, but considering the large number of quotes from the Torah, Paul, and what compares to the Gospels, its extremely unlikely they were merely quoting from memory. Again, it is not relevant who authored the gospels, but only that they existed prior to AD 95. The synoptics are virtually universally accepted to have existed at least by AD 75.

Also, 1 Clement, while speaking in the context of what was "written," quotes Jesus closely as to what we see in the gospels:

Quote:13:1 Let us therefore, brethren, be humble, laying aside all boasting and pride, and folly and wrath, and let us do that which is written; for the Holy Spirit saith, Let not the wise boast in his wisdom, nor the strong in his strength, nor the rich in his riches; but let him that boasteth make his boast in the Lord, even by seeking him and doing judgment and justice. Let us especially remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ which he spake when teaching gentleness and long-suffering, for he spake thus:

13:2 Show mercy, that ye may obtain mercy; forgive, that it may be forgiven unto you; as ye do, so shall it be done unto you; as ye give, so shall it be given unto you; as ye judge, so shall ye be judged; as ye are kindly affectioned, so shall kindness be showed unto you; with whatsover measure ye measure, with the same shall it be measured unto you.

It should be interesting to note that 1 Clement mentions that Paul wrote his own gospel:

Quote:47:1 Take into your hands the epistle of the blessed Apostle Paul.

47:2 What did he first write unto you in the beginning of his gospel?

If we examine Paul's letters, we find the following in Romans:

Quote:Rom_2:16 in a day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Rom_16:25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery, having been unvoiced during eternal times;
Another thing about Paul is what he says below:

Quote:Gal_3:1 O foolish Galatians, who bewitched you not to obey the truth, to whom before your eyes Jesus Christ was written among you crucified?

The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was "written" prior to Paul's letter to the Galatians in AD 55.

So with this evidence we can make a reasonable judgment that according to both Paul and Clement, there was indeed a written gospel (of some sort) in existence long before AD 95.

Quote:There were scores of "Jesus's" in the early second century.

Perhaps there was, but considering the chain of evidence, we would be very hard pressed to find another Jesus was considered to be the Messiah, and was crucified, and from whom the fables emerged about a resurrection.

We already both know that there is no evidence whatsoever that none of the above criteria fits any other person named "Jesus."


Quote:"Ignatius" is a messy collection of forgeries.

To some extent they are, but the short versions are generally considered authentic. For example, we do know he wrote a letter to Polycarp, since Polycarp mentions this fact in his letter to the Philippians:


Quote:Polycarp 13:1
Ye wrote to me, both ye yourselves and Ignatius,


Also ...


Quote:The letters of Ignatius which were sent to us by him,


So we know with reasonable assurance that the letters of Ignatius existed before Polycarp wrote his letter in AD 110. This should be considered evidence that they existed, and entered into the chain of evidence.


Quote:"Clement" is not much better. His 2nd letter (and he only has two) is universally regarded as aforgery. "He" didn't sign the first letter.

2 obvious problems with this statement:

1. We are not quoting from the 2nd letter, so that is Red Herring.
2. Historian's Fallacy comes into play when you say he didn't sign his first letter. It really doesn't matter if he wrote it or not, for the reality is that it was written.

Quote:BTW, Bucky's post about how unreliable these early church commentators are is not just Bucky firing bullets...it is very well established. Google George Bethune or Joseph Wheless who have written classic books on this topic.

That's all been dealt with here.

Quote:I agree there was a James, and he was a very important figure and probably the brother of Yeshua. Read his letter in the babble. He was clearly a fundamentalist Jew, not a Christian, just like his (probable) brother Yeshua.

I agree. Also, in my opinion, he actually takes a big shot at Paul when you examine his letter carefully.

Quote:Re "What is also interesting is that it demonstrates that Paul believed in a living human being named Jesus"

I concede you have a point here, yet this smells of Christian forgery.

Evidence of forgery is where? What reasoning would anyone want to forge this?

Quote:Please consider carefully the following very important points.

Were the gospels written during the early part of his supposed transformation to Christianity around AD 33 -35? I think we can both agree that the gospels are full of embellishments that defy reason and logic, and were not available in written form to Paul. However, there is something you need to consider:

Quote:1Co 15:1 And, brothers, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received, and in which you stand;
1Co 15:2 by which you also are being kept safe, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
1Co 15:3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures,
1Co 15:4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures;
1Co 15:5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the Twelve.
1Co 15:6 Afterward He was seen by over five hundred brothers at once, of whom the greater part remain until this present day, but also some fell asleep.
1Co 15:7 Afterward He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.
1Co 15:8 And last of all He was seen by me also, as one born out of time.

Does what Paul say above not compare to what we see written in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 24, Mark Chapter 16, and Matthew Chapter 28?


Quote:Paul’s Christ figure was someone else who has since been retrofitted into the gospel stories, probably sometime in the second century. This “cut and paste job” is very obvious once one has been made aware of it. Nearly all Christians aren’t, but that isn’t their fault. They’ve been lied to.

I trust that what you assert above should be recognised as a "theory" and not a fact? Aside from that, I find no good evidence to support that theory. What you claim to be "obvious" simply is not.

Hi Free, thanks for your reply.

Before I launch off, I want to touch base. I do believe there was probably an historical Yeshua, so we agree about that. I think we also agree he has little relation to Jesus in the gospels. I'm pretty sure this is Bucky's opinion too, and he can tell us if it isn't.

I think Ignatius and Clement were quoting Jesus from something, but we don't know what, and there is no good evidence it was from the gospels as we know them now.

My personal opinion is that the 4 gospels we have now may have originally been jotted down post 70 CE, but in fact are mainly second century creations. Way too many words have been wasted trying to prove who wrote them and when. It's much more realistic to accept that they evolved over a 200 year period.

I can't agree about the existence of the synoptics by 75 CE, and I know that most historians don't either. The standard line is something like this....Mark 70-75 CE, Matthew 80-90, Luke 90's, John c100. Everyone is guessing, and, given the above paragraph, it's rather irrelevant when they were fisrt jotted down anyway.

Yes...my staement re Paul is a theory, not a fact. I will reword my writing.

As to Paul thinking Jesus was a human...my theory is that the quotes you mention are interpolations. The catholic church pinched Paul's original opus from Marcion, and then wrote 3 more epistles in Paul's name, and these fakes implied a much more human Jesus. They wouldn't have thought twice about embellishing Paul's words. Bear in mind Marcion's Christ was a spirit... "Isu Chrestos," and his "gospels" consisted only of Paul's writings and a shorter version of Luke.

I'm repeating myself here....but you're ignoring the fact that Paul made almost no mention of Jesus' exploits. That's impossible if Paul thought Jesus, who had passed on only 15+ years earlier, was the son of god. Think about it.

Re the quote from Paul about him and 500 others seeing Christ. Nobody "saw" Christ. Paul, or whoever wrote in his name, is lying. Paul "received" ie imagined, his Christ. If he had "seen" Jesus, why didn't he describe him? If James had seen a risen Jesus, one doesn't he say so in his letter? If 500 people had seen a resurrected corpse, why doesn't one single one of them bother to document it?

We can compare what Paul wrote to what is in the gospels, yet in my opinion that only proves that the gospels were written to back up Paul's idea of a resurrected Christ. Think about it. We know the resurrection story in Mark (the most original of the 4 gospels and the one the others copied) was only added in the late second century! The original Mark contained no resurrection story. Paul's resurrected Christ had to be written into it.


Paul saw his "Christ" in his imagination (he admits this), and it wasn't Jesus. Paul, or whoever wrote this, was trying to create the false impression that James and the disciples and about 500 others, believed in his Christ. They didn't. They thought of Yeshua as a prophet, only a human. It was blasphemy for them, true jews, not Christians, to imagine god had a son who had come to earth.
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18-11-2012, 09:35 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(18-11-2012 09:25 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(18-11-2012 11:31 AM)Free Wrote:  That point is moot, as we are not speaking about who authored them, but only of their existence before AD 95. It is not relevant as to who authored them.



How do they quote Jesus since he wrote nothing? If you are speaking about reciting what they "heard" it is entirely possible, but considering the large number of quotes from the Torah, Paul, and what compares to the Gospels, its extremely unlikely they were merely quoting from memory. Again, it is not relevant who authored the gospels, but only that they existed prior to AD 95. The synoptics are virtually universally accepted to have existed at least by AD 75.

Also, 1 Clement, while speaking in the context of what was "written," quotes Jesus closely as to what we see in the gospels:



It should be interesting to note that 1 Clement mentions that Paul wrote his own gospel:



If we examine Paul's letters, we find the following in Romans:

Another thing about Paul is what he says below:



The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was "written" prior to Paul's letter to the Galatians in AD 55.

So with this evidence we can make a reasonable judgment that according to both Paul and Clement, there was indeed a written gospel (of some sort) in existence long before AD 95.



Perhaps there was, but considering the chain of evidence, we would be very hard pressed to find another Jesus was considered to be the Messiah, and was crucified, and from whom the fables emerged about a resurrection.

We already both know that there is no evidence whatsoever that none of the above criteria fits any other person named "Jesus."




To some extent they are, but the short versions are generally considered authentic. For example, we do know he wrote a letter to Polycarp, since Polycarp mentions this fact in his letter to the Philippians:





Also ...





So we know with reasonable assurance that the letters of Ignatius existed before Polycarp wrote his letter in AD 110. This should be considered evidence that they existed, and entered into the chain of evidence.




2 obvious problems with this statement:

1. We are not quoting from the 2nd letter, so that is Red Herring.
2. Historian's Fallacy comes into play when you say he didn't sign his first letter. It really doesn't matter if he wrote it or not, for the reality is that it was written.



That's all been dealt with here.



I agree. Also, in my opinion, he actually takes a big shot at Paul when you examine his letter carefully.



Evidence of forgery is where? What reasoning would anyone want to forge this?



Were the gospels written during the early part of his supposed transformation to Christianity around AD 33 -35? I think we can both agree that the gospels are full of embellishments that defy reason and logic, and were not available in written form to Paul. However, there is something you need to consider:



Does what Paul say above not compare to what we see written in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 24, Mark Chapter 16, and Matthew Chapter 28?




I trust that what you assert above should be recognised as a "theory" and not a fact? Aside from that, I find no good evidence to support that theory. What you claim to be "obvious" simply is not.


Hi Free, thanks for your reply.

Before I launch off, I want to touch base. I do believe there was probably an historical Yeshua, so we agree about that. I think we also agree he has little relation to Jesus in the gospels. I'm pretty sure this is Bucky's opinion too, and he can tell us if it isn't.

I think Ignatius and Clement were quoting Jesus from something, but we don't know what, and there is no good evidence it was from the gospels as we know them now.

My personal opinion is that the 4 gospels we have now may have originally been jotted down post 70 CE, but in fact are mainly second century creations. Way too many words have been wasted trying to prove who wrote them and when. It's much more realistic to accept that they evolved over a 200 year period.

I can't agree about the existence of the synoptics by 75 CE, and I know that most historians don't either. The standard line is something like this....Mark 70-75 CE, Matthew 80-90, Luke 90's, John c100. Everyone is guessing, and, given the above paragraph, it's rather irrelevant when they were fisrt jotted down anyway.

Yes...my staement re Paul is a theory, not a fact. I will reword my writing.

As to Paul thinking Jesus was a human...my theory is that the quotes you mention are interpolations. The catholic church pinched Paul's original opus from Marcion, and then wrote 3 more epistles in Paul's name, and these fakes implied a much more human Jesus. They wouldn't have thought twice about embellishing Paul's words. Bear in mind Marcion's Christ was a spirit... "Isu Chresos," and his "gospels" consisted only of Paul's writings and a shorter version of Luke.

I'm repeating myself here....but you're ignoring the fact that Paul made almost no mention of Jesus' exploits. That's impossible if Paul thought Jesus, who had passed on only 15+ years earlier, was the son of god. Think about it.

Re the quote from Paul about him and 500 others seeing Christ. Nobody "saw" Christ. Paul, or whoever wrote in his name, is lying. Paul "received" ie imagined, his Christ. If he had "seen" Jesus, why didn't he describe him? If James had seen a risen Jesus, one doesn't he say so in his letters? If 500 people had seen a resurrected corpse, why doesn't one single one of them bother to document it?

We can compare what Paul wrote to what is in the gospels, yet in my opinion that only proves that the gospels were written to back up Paul's idea of a resurrected Christ. Think about it. We know the resurrection story in Mark (the most original of the 4 gospels and the one the others copied) was only added in the late second century! The original Mark contained no resurrection story. Paul's resurrected Christ had to be written into it.


Paul saw his "Christ" in his imagination (he admits this), and it wasn't Jesus. Paul, or whoever wrote this, was trying to create the false impression that James and the disciples and about 500 others, believed in his Christ. They didn't. They thought of Yeshua as a prophet, only a human. It was blasphemy for them, true jews, not Christians, to imagine god had come to earth.
Repeatedly the gospels say that what they saw, they were frightened of, and didn't recognize. It's a recurring theme in the gospels.
At the end of Matthew, (28:17), it says "they worshiped, but they doubted". Whatever they thought they saw, it was not a "reassuring " resurrected Jebus.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...surrection

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18-11-2012, 09:42 PM (This post was last modified: 18-11-2012 10:01 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(18-11-2012 04:32 PM)Free Wrote:  
Quote:An "epistle" is a letter. It's not "a" gospel. The word "gospel", is on old English translation of the Greek word "euangelion", which simply means "good news".


"The term evangelical has its etymological roots in the Greek word for "gospel" or "good news": ευαγγελιον (evangelion), from eu- "good" and angelion "message" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evangelicalism )


It's not a written document, necessarily. In Romans 1:3, Paul says he "preached the gospel", (the good news, or *his* "good news"), it does not mean he had a written document. It, and every other reference he makes to his "gospel" is assumed by scholars to simply mean the "content" of his preaching, (his "good news"). No one has ever suggested that Saul of Tarsus wrote a "gospel". He never refers to a written document as such in the letters. Polycarp, Ignatius, and Clement are all reputed to be, and in some instances self-admitted liars. (See above).

I agree with most of this.

My point is that something had to be in written form to account for all the quotes of Jesus. The Apostolic Fathers use so many quotations that it is inconceivable that they could restrict all this information to mere memory. In addition to this, we do indeed have Paul clearly saying the following to the Galatians:

Gal_3:1 O foolish Galatians, who bewitched you not to obey the truth, to whom before your eyes Jesus Christ was written among you crucified?


Since the average dating of this letter is AD 55, we can use this as evidence that something was in written form before AD 55 in regards to this Jesus called "Christ" being crucified.

Also, to reinforce the position that Paul did indeed regard Jesus to be an actual flesh-and-blood human being who was crucified, we have the following from his letters:

Quote:Philippians 2:5:

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

It seems quite clear that Paul is speaking about a man named Jesus, whom he considered to be the Christ, and whom died on the cross.


Well...yes....maybe....but....I'll say it again....this "likenss of man" did nothing, and said virtually nothing, according to Paul. He just pretended to be flesh, and died for everyone's sins.

Step back and let this run through your head. Paul knew the mother, the brother and disciples of Yeshua. Surely....if he had thought Yeshua was a god, he would have been interested in the exploits and words of the recently departed deity. He wasn't. Paul's Christ wasn't Yeshua. When "Paul" mentions "Jesus" it's not Paul, but must be some second century dude tampering with Paul's epistles.


That doesn't mean Yeshua didn't exist, but does mean Paul doesn't equate him with his "Christ" the son of god. Make sense? Please acknowledge that you've understood my argument (even if you don't agree), because it is an important point.
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18-11-2012, 09:50 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(18-11-2012 09:42 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(18-11-2012 04:32 PM)Free Wrote:  I agree with most of this.

My point is that something had to be in written form to account for all the quotes of Jesus. The Apostolic Fathers use so many quotations that it is inconceivable that they could restrict all this information to mere memory. In addition to this, we do indeed have Paul clearly saying the following to the Galatians:

Gal_3:1 O foolish Galatians, who bewitched you not to obey the truth, to whom before your eyes Jesus Christ was written among you crucified?


Since the average dating of this letter is AD 55, we can use this as evidence that something was in written form before AD 55 in regards to this Jesus called "Christ" being crucified.

Also, to reinforce the position that Paul did indeed regard Jesus to be an actual flesh-and-blood human being who was crucified, we have the following from his letters:



It seems quite clear that Paul is speaking about a man named Jesus, whom he considered to be the Christ, and whom died on the cross.



Well...yes....maybe....but....I'll say it again....this "likenss of man" did nothing, and said virtually nothing, according to Paul. He just pretended to be flesh, and died for everyone's sins.

Step back and let this run through your head. Paul knew the mother, the brother and disciples of Yeshua. Surely....if he had thought Yeshua was a god, he would have been interested in the exploits and words of the recently departed deity. Paul's Christ wasn't Yeshua. When Paul mentions "Jesus" it's not Paul, but must be some second century dude tampering with Paul's epistles.


That doesn't mean Yeshua didn't exist, but does mean Paul doesn't equate him with his "Christ" the son of god. Make sense?
There is no question that Paul did not equate Yeshua with a deity. The "divinity" developed later, and is different in each of the gospels. The "messiah" was never a divinity in Hebrew culture. The "divinity" as as idea can be traced, but Paul"s "raised up" Christ, was only a "son" of God, in the sense that all the others were. It was a general honorific title that meant they were "righteous" men. The councils debated the divinity for centuries.

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18-11-2012, 10:04 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(18-11-2012 07:16 PM)Free Wrote:  
Quote:I myself am agnostic about the possible existence of a historical Jesus. In the end, it doesn't matter to me all that much, because it ultimately comes down to this: Even if a Jewish preacher named Jesus existed in the first century, the miracles and divine status ascribed to him remain unsupported and above all implausible. For this reason, I find it quite funny that three atheists debate about this topic so passionately, as if the result of it actually mattered for their position. Oh well, I suppose it makes for good training.


Well, I can only blame the "historian" in me for trying to uncover the truth.

As an atheist, I find religion to be the worst thing to have ever happened to the human race. We all know how religion has caused more wars, deaths, poverty, and intellectual suppression than all other philosophies combined. From the wars between the Jews and the Romans, to the Crusades and the spread of Islam, these vicious and hateful religions have suppressed the advancement of science and the human race in general to such a degree that is is exceptionally shameful and harmful.

The true decency of our humanity has been victimized and dictated to by religious ideologies insomuch that the human animal is but a decrepit and insidious self-predatory monster.

Therefore, the "historian" in me wants to put a human face upon a supposed god in an effort to demonstrate the mere humanity of Jesus, as opposed to the religious beliefs held by Christianity and Islam about this fellow. By proving his mere humanity, the house of cards will fall.

So you see, there is indeed a method to my madness.


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19-11-2012, 06:16 PM (This post was last modified: 19-11-2012 08:35 PM by Free.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
Quote:I think Ignatius and Clement were quoting Jesus from something, but we don't know what, and there is no good evidence it was from the gospels as we know them now.

Mostly agree. However, each and every quote they did make can be found in the current canon. There is not one single quote that cannot be found in the current canon.

Quote:My personal opinion is that the 4 gospels we have now may have originally been jotted down post 70 CE, but in fact are mainly second century creations. Way too many words have been wasted trying to prove who wrote them and when. It's much more realistic to accept that they evolved over a 200 year period.

We can make that assumption, but it is still an assumption nonetheless. Yet, when we examine other ancient documents, such as Justin Martyr's "Dialogue with Trypho" from around AD 135, we find the nativity scene being mentioned, Jesus being crucified by Pilate, his followers are named Christians, the resurrection, that the Gospel was "written," and all his quotes of Jesus are found in the current canon.

So what do we make of that? All of what Trypho mentioned is in the current canon.

Since Justin wrote this Trypho dialoge around AD 135, it is clearly obvious that since he says a gospel was "written," that it was indeed written sometime before AD 135.

Quote:I can't agree about the existence of the synoptics by 75 CE, and I know that most historians don't either. The standard line is something like this....Mark 70-75 CE, Matthew 80-90, Luke 90's, John c100. Everyone is guessing, and, given the above paragraph, it's rather irrelevant when they were first jotted down anyway.

Yet, in the letters of Paul we find this sequence in the works:

Quote:2Co_11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

Gal_1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Gal_1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

1Ti 1:2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
1Ti 1:3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,
1Ti 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

Tit_3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.


In the context of the letters, what we see above is Paul telling us that there was indeed another gospel going around, and this this gospel was not the one he preached about, and that it depicted genealogies, fables, arguments about the Law, etc. This is a perfect description of what we see in the current canon.

Not only that, it gives us further insight as to why Paul mentions no miracles of Jesus, aside from the resurrection, as he may have indeed considered those miracles to be "fables."

So what can we infer from this? To me, it tells us that there were indeed other gospels in existence during the time of Paul, and considering that they had "endless genealogies," it is without doubt that they were written down. Obviously Paul is telling Timothy to tell the people in Ephesus to stop teaching other doctrines.

But guess what else I see? I see at least a 3rd Christian faction competing with Paul's Gentiles Church and James' Church of Jerusalem.

Quote:As to Paul thinking Jesus was a human...my theory is that the quotes you mention are interpolations. The catholic church pinched Paul's original opus from Marcion, and then wrote 3 more epistles in Paul's name, and these fakes implied a much more human Jesus. They wouldn't have thought twice about embellishing Paul's words. Bear in mind Marcion's Christ was a spirit... "Isu Chrestos," and his "gospels" consisted only of Paul's writings and a shorter version of Luke.

I find this assertion about what the Catholics supposedly did with Marcion's works to have no support with evidence. Since the Catholic church despised Marcion, and burned everything he wrote, why would they accept any doctrines from him as being the truth?

In addition to this, we constantly find Ignatius, Polycarp, and Clement quoting the teachings of Paul decades before Marcion. Therefore, we know that Paul's letters were already in the hands of the Apostolic Fathers before Marcion, so there were be no need to pinch anything from Marcion. These apostloc fathers acknowledge a human Jesus who was crucified, so we cannot blame a church that didn't exist at that time for interpolating Paul's letters.

The time-line simply doesn't work here for your theory to be plausible. In fact, it's mathematically impossible.

Also, we have Justin Martyr claiming in AD 135 that a written gospel depicted a human Jesus who was crucified by Pontius Pilate. This gospel clearly existed before AD 135, otherwise Justin could not quote from it.

Quote:I'm repeating myself here....but you're ignoring the fact that Paul made almost no mention of Jesus' exploits. That's impossible if Paul thought Jesus, who had passed on only 15+ years earlier, was the son of god. Think about it.

I've thought about it, and see nothing as being impossible. Paul had his own church going, rivaling other early Christian doctrines. Also, as demonstrated in this post a few lines above, we can see why Paul did not mention the supposed exploits of Jesus. He viewed them as fables.

Quote:Re the quote from Paul about him and 500 others seeing Christ. Nobody "saw" Christ. Paul, or whoever wrote in his name, is lying. Paul "received" ie imagined, his Christ. If he had "seen" Jesus, why didn't he describe him? If James had seen a risen Jesus, one doesn't he say so in his letter? If 500 people had seen a resurrected corpse, why doesn't one single one of them bother to document it?

Maybe he is lying, but regardless if he's lying does not mean that the person named Jesus didn't exist. Just because people can lie about 1 thing does not mean they lie about all things. If this were true, then nothing you or I, or anyone else says, could ever be true.

Obviously there are documents about people seeing this supposedly risen Jesus, as all 4 gospels and Acts talk about it. We both know it is bullshit though.


Quote:We can compare what Paul wrote to what is in the gospels, yet in my opinion that only proves that the gospels were written to back up Paul's idea of a resurrected Christ. Think about it. We know the resurrection story in Mark (the most original of the 4 gospels and the one the others copied) was only added in the late second century! The original Mark contained no resurrection story. Paul's resurrected Christ had to be written into it.

Considering that Paul doesn't mention hardly anything written in the Gospels, I doubt this to be true. We cannot claim with any certainty whatsoever or not that the original Mark had no ressurection, because we do not have the original. If you are meaning the oldest extant copy, then that copy does not have anything past the empty tomb.

However, there is still something more that should be considered ...

Papias of Hierapolis, as quoted by Eusebius of Caesarea, and who wrote in the 1st third of the 2nd century around AD 115, talks about Mark's gospel:

Quote:Mark, being the recorder of Peter, wrote accurately but not in order whatever he [Peter] remembered of the things either said or done by the Lord; for he [Mark] had neither heard the Lord nor followed him, but later, as I said, Peter, who used to make teachings according to the cheias, [a special kind of anecdote] but not making as it were a systematic composition of the Lord's sayings; so that Mark did not err at all when he wrote certain things just as he had recalled [them]. For he had but one intention, not to leave out anything he had heard, nor to falsify anything in them". This is what was related by Papias about Mark. But about Matthew`s this was said: "For Matthew composed the logia [sayings] in Hebrew style; but each recorded them as he was able"

According to Papias, both Mark and Matthew wrote and recorded the life of Jesus, and the sayings attributed to him. This is solid evidence that a written Gospel (or 2) was in the hands of Papias in the first third of the 2nd century, which indicates that those gospels pre-existed him.

So again, this is yet more evidence to support the existence of a written gospel being in the hands of early Christians who were born contemporary to the 1st century.


Quote:Paul saw his "Christ" in his imagination (he admits this), and it wasn't Jesus. Paul, or whoever wrote this, was trying to create the false impression that James and the disciples and about 500 others, believed in his Christ. They didn't. They thought of Yeshua as a prophet, only a human. It was blasphemy for them, true jews, not Christians, to imagine god had a son who had come to earth.

Mostly agreed, but he still based his idea of Christ from an actual historical person named Jesus, who was crucified by Pontius Pilate.

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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22-11-2012, 07:36 PM (This post was last modified: 23-11-2012 10:59 AM by Free.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
Quote:
Quote:I agree with most of this.

My point is that something had to be in written form to account for all the quotes of Jesus. The Apostolic Fathers use so many quotations that it is inconceivable that they could restrict all this information to mere memory. In addition to this, we do indeed have Paul clearly saying the following to the Galatians:

Gal_3:1 O foolish Galatians, who bewitched you not to obey the truth, to whom before your eyes Jesus Christ was written among you crucified?


Since the average dating of this letter is AD 55, we can use this as evidence that something was in written form before AD 55 in regards to this Jesus called "Christ" being crucified.

Also, to reinforce the position that Paul did indeed regard Jesus to be an actual flesh-and-blood human being who was crucified, we have the following from his letters:


It seems quite clear that Paul is speaking about a man named Jesus, whom he considered to be the Christ, and whom died on the cross.




Well...yes....maybe....but....I'll say it again....this "likenss of man" did nothing, and said virtually nothing, according to Paul. He just pretended to be flesh, and died for everyone's sins.

This does not make sense to me. Of course Paul never met Jesus in person as far as we know. However, we do know that Paul was influenced by the other Apostles of Jesus, such as Peter and James, who were from the Nazarene sect.

They would have given Paul the information he had about Jesus, such as his crucifixion. Other info about his resurrection likely came from the gentile Christians from stories spread among the Greeks. The info about any other supposed miracles would also likely come from the Greeks, yet would be rejected by Paul due to his Jewish roots in much the same way as the Nazarene sect rejected such fables.


Quote:Step back and let this run through your head. Paul knew the mother, the brother and disciples of Yeshua.

Step back and think about what you just wrote. If Paul knew the mother, brothers, and disciples of Yeshua, obviously Paul's Yeshua existed, correct?


Quote:Surely....if he had thought Yeshua was a god, he would have been interested in the exploits and words of the recently departed deity. He wasn't. Paul's Christ wasn't Yeshua. When "Paul" mentions "Jesus" it's not Paul, but must be some second century dude tampering with Paul's epistles.

I think I answered this in an earlier post. Paul had a totally different concept of Jesus. In my opinion, he got rejected by the Nazarene and became ostracized. He then convinced a few followers among the Greeks that he had some kind of "divine intervention" with Jesus and was receiving revelations. This is how his church began.

Paul's Christ definitely was the historical Yeshua. In his mind, they were one and the same. We cannot use an "argument from silence" to conclude that because he didn't quote Yeshua much, then it must mean it wasn't the same Yeshua.

We must use the actual evidence and work from there. The actual textual evidence indicates the following which we find consistent with other accounts including all 4 gospels:



1. The Last Supper. (1Cor 11:34 - 36)
2. Jesus was betrayed. (1Cor 11:33)
3. Jesus was in the presence of Pontius Pilate. (1Tim 6:13)
4. Jesus was crucified. (Numerous places)
5. Jesus was resurrected. (Numerous places)
6. Baptism by water. (Various places)
7. Miracles being performed as per Gospel instructions from Jesus. (1 Cor 12:10, 12:28, 12:29, Gal 3:5)
8. Gospel being preached as per Jesus' commandment. (Numerous places)
9. He names several of the original apostles. (Various places)

And there are many many more things that Paul mentions that compare to what is written in the gospels. Paul also often para-phrases the teaching of Jesus as found in the gospels. Here are just a few examples:

Quote:1st Timothy 1:15–This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

Luke 19:10–“The Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost.”

Quote:1st Timothy 2:5-6–For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all.

Matthew 20:28–“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Quote:2nd Timothy 2:12-13–This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

Luke 17:33–“Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.”
Mark 13:12-13–“Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
Matthew 10:32-33–“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”


Quote:That doesn't mean Yeshua didn't exist, but does mean Paul doesn't equate him with his "Christ" the son of god. Make sense? Please acknowledge that you've understood my argument (even if you don't agree), because it is an important point.

Paul's concept of Yeshua is a combination of what facts he learned about him, and the crap Paul made up in his head. I understand your argument, but your argument is utterly destroyed by the textual evidence.

Paul most definitely equates the historical Yeshua with his concept of Christ, son of God.

Mark, you just need to know how to see things from outside the box. There's more to "evidence" than what you think, and more to see than what you are seeing.

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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24-11-2012, 07:42 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(18-11-2012 07:16 PM)Free Wrote:  
Quote:I myself am agnostic about the possible existence of a historical Jesus. In the end, it doesn't matter to me all that much, because it ultimately comes down to this: Even if a Jewish preacher named Jesus existed in the first century, the miracles and divine status ascribed to him remain unsupported and above all implausible. For this reason, I find it quite funny that three atheists debate about this topic so passionately, as if the result of it actually mattered for their position. Oh well, I suppose it makes for good training.

Well, I can only blame the "historian" in me for trying to uncover the truth.

As an atheist, I find religion to be the worst thing to have ever happened to the human race. We all know how religion has caused more wars, deaths, poverty, and intellectual suppression than all other philosophies combined. From the wars between the Jews and the Romans, to the Crusades and the spread of Islam, these vicious and hateful religions have suppressed the advancement of science and the human race in general to such a degree that is is exceptionally shameful and harmful.

The true decency of our humanity has been victimized and dictated to by religious ideologies insomuch that the human animal is but a decrepit and insidious self-predatory monster.

Therefore, the "historian" in me wants to put a human face upon a supposed god in an effort to demonstrate the mere humanity of Jesus, as opposed to the religious beliefs held by Christianity and Islam about this fellow. By proving his mere humanity, the house of cards will fall.

So you see, there is indeed a method to my madness.

Well said! I couldn't agree more!
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