Who was Saint Paul?
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24-10-2012, 08:26 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(24-10-2012 06:21 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(24-10-2012 05:50 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  I think that is a definite possibility. I also think the "abnormality" could have been that he was just a very short man. I suppose if he really was a "midget" there would be more talk about it, but look at this :
http://newlongtonmethodist.wordpress.com...-a-midget/
The name "Paul", is a Romanization of "small".
If, as you say, he had a "Napoleon" complex, it sort of all fits. No ?

I'd never heard the midget Paul theory. Paul was rather obsessed with boosting his credibility. I can't help but think if his infliction was so obvious to everyone he would have directly referred to it. It seems to me more likely his problem was not so obvious...for example homosexuality, epilepsy, heamorrhoids....we just don't know.

Unless .... the "thorn" was his height. And he was very self-conscious about it. Then he did talk about it a lot. We "assume" it was moral failing. Is there any reason to assume that ? He said "with respect to the law of the Torah I was blameless". Maybe that's a reason to think it was something else ?

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24-10-2012, 11:51 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(24-10-2012 08:26 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(24-10-2012 06:21 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I'd never heard the midget Paul theory. Paul was rather obsessed with boosting his credibility. I can't help but think if his infliction was so obvious to everyone he would have directly referred to it. It seems to me more likely his problem was not so obvious...for example homosexuality, epilepsy, heamorrhoids....we just don't know.

Unless .... the "thorn" was his height. And he was very self-conscious about it. Then he did talk about it a lot. We "assume" it was moral failing. Is there any reason to assume that ? He said "with respect to the law of the Torah I was blameless". Maybe that's a reason to think it was something else ?

I've not assumed he thought he had a moral failing. Yet....he might have. We just don't know. I hear you re the Torah...which I think badmouths homosexuality...if he was a homosexual he may not have considered himself "blameless" under the Torah. Of course he could have been lying....he was pretty good at that.
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24-10-2012, 11:57 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(24-10-2012 08:26 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(24-10-2012 06:21 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I'd never heard the midget Paul theory. Paul was rather obsessed with boosting his credibility. I can't help but think if his infliction was so obvious to everyone he would have directly referred to it. It seems to me more likely his problem was not so obvious...for example homosexuality, epilepsy, heamorrhoids....we just don't know.

Unless .... the "thorn" was his height. And he was very self-conscious about it. Then he did talk about it a lot. We "assume" it was moral failing. Is there any reason to assume that ? He said "with respect to the law of the Torah I was blameless". Maybe that's a reason to think it was something else ?

I still think the most likely thing is that he was homosexual. Here is why
-his celibacy
-he would have been ashamed of the fact, and he was suppressed, anxious, irritable, passive aggressive, and disliked himself. These personality traits might be expected from someone ill at ease with their own sexuality.
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25-10-2012, 12:07 AM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
Bucky, I will respond to your excellent long post later tonight.

In the meantime, here's more on Paul.

Paul the Totalitarian

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

Paul was a Roman citizen and probably a government agent, so claimed that to obey the government was to obey God. This gross generalization is obviously false, and also ironic, because Yeshua did his best to destroy the Roman government. Consider what Yeshua would have thought of this as Roman soldiers nailed him to a cross!

The way Paul worded these verses legitimized any governing authority, so throughout the centuries his letter has been used to justify the behavior of governments, monarchs, popes, and other dictators.

Paul and Slavery

Paul supported slavery, and even told slaves to be subservient:
“Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Col. 3:22–23 NIV).
Whoever penned the letter to Timothy in Paul’s name wrote
“All slaves ‘under the yoke’ must have unqualified respect for their masters, so that the name of God and our teaching are not brought into disrepute. Slaves whose masters are believers are not to think any the less of them because they are brothers; on the contrary, they should serve them all the better, since those who have the benefit of their services are believers and dear to God.” (1 Tim. 6:1–3, NJB). He wanted to keep the people subservient. In common with most first century commentators, it didn’t occur to him that slavery was morally repugnant.
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25-10-2012, 04:41 AM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
Just out of curiousity...

What if Paul had scriptwriters (Romans)? In that case he could be a completely invented personality played by an actor. He had a weaknesses written into the script to make him more believable and sympathetic to his audiences. He could even have been created long after he was supposed to have lived by those assembling the bible who recognised the need to recognise Roman authority.

Maybe there were a whole bunch of scripts that didn't make the final "Best of Paul" compilation DVD.

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25-10-2012, 06:31 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(25-10-2012 04:41 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Just out of curiousity...

What if Paul had scriptwriters (Romans)? In that case he could be a completely invented personality played by an actor. He had a weaknesses written into the script to make him more believable and sympathetic to his audiences. He could even have been created long after he was supposed to have lived by those assembling the bible who recognised the need to recognise Roman authority.

Maybe there were a whole bunch of scripts that didn't make the final "Best of Paul" compilation DVD.

Good thinking DLG! Allow me to talk around this. You are not the first thinker to have suggested this. Paul's writings were only introduced to the wider world, in Rome , by Marcion, (who was from Turkey) circa 140 AD. So the "evidence" that he lived and wrote c 50-c62 CE is circumstantial. Some have even postulated that Marcion was Paul.

I think Paul did exist, in 50-62, and he did write 6 of the letters attributed to him. The other 6 were written by we don't know who, but....they were written by people who promoted a hierarchial church structure.

Yet, the really important point that I really want to share with everyone is that he was a Roman government agent. I believe he was employed to use propaganda to subdue Jews. This means Christianity was invented as propaganda by the Roman government. Here is my spiel on this, which is only some of the evidence I have...

Was Christianity a Roman Plot?

There is another fascinating angle to consider which I have already hinted at. I think it is probable that an arm of the Roman government instigated Paul’s philosophy, which propounded anti Jewish propaganda. The fact that belief in the divinity of Jesus arose in many diverse areas of the empire a number of decades after his death suggests to me that it originated from a central source such as the government. It was easier to use propaganda to control popular opinion in those times than it is today, because the public was less informed.

There was good reason to mar the power of Judaism, and particularly messianic Nazarenism. Jewish extremists promoted the subversive idea that a king of their race would soon govern the world on behalf of God and in place of Caesar. The odd gentile was converting to Judaism. The Roman authorities must have been worried. If they couldn’t pacify the Jews, it would set a dangerous precedent for other races to revolt. They needed to keep control over the valuable trade routes to Asia and Egypt. They were frustrated at having to repeatedly use force to suppress Jewish extremists, as it was disruptive, expensive, and taxing on the army. Roman vitriol towards Jews bubbled over when soldiers razed the Temple in 70 CE when there was no real military need to do so. Judaism’s nerve center had to be destroyed.
I think the Roman government promoted its own propaganda that included Paul’s writings and the Gospels. They knew ideas could be as effective as weapons. They tried to weaken Judaism from within by infiltrating and diluting it with gentiles. A tale that the Jewish messiah had already been and gone and was not a political activist, but rather a spiritual intermediary between God and man, suited their agenda nicely. If the idea caught on, there would be no more messiahs or revolts. “Blessed are the peacemakers,” “turn the other cheek,” and “love your enemies” meant getting on with your Roman masters. To promote such a story would have been a lot less expensive and less hassle than having to repeatedly resort to using force.

There could have been many “Pauls” throughout the empire who were working as agents of the government, spreading propaganda. In my opinion it is obvious that Paul attempted to infiltrate the Nazarenes, undermine them and their messianic message, and I suspect he would have passed information about them on to Roman authorities. His conversion and his rather novel beliefs were his cover and his modus operandi.

This fits with Paul being a Roman citizen who had very dubious Pharisaic credentials.
It would explain how he managed to support himself financially.

It fits with a man who may have been at first in league with the Sadducees, but later preached that the Torah was obsolete, and that Christ was not a crucified political dissident but a pro-Roman God risen from the dead.

It clarifies why Paul repetitively ran into trouble, roughed up by Jews nearly everywhere he went, yet was never attacked by gentiles.

It explains why the Roman authorities treated him so well, despite the fact he so regularly disturbed the peace.

It makes clear why Paul wrote the following to the Nazarene community in Rome:
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.” (Romans 13:1-7 KJV). These words are from a government agent, not from a Pharisee who has seen the light!

It fits with the fact the book of Acts states:
“Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul” (Acts 13:1, KJV). So the earliest Christian community at Antioch boasted a member of the family of Herod Antipas, the pro-Roman Tetrarch who had murdered John the Baptist, and Paul (Saul) was associated with him.

Paul finished off his letter to the Philippians with a salutation: “All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household” (Phil. 4:22, KJV). This confirms that Paul had contact with the Emperor Nero’s family.

Paul’s “arrest” by the Romans is not inconsistent with the fact he was in league with them. He was a little out of control and ended up being a source of civil unrest. He had become a diehard dogmatist causing trouble wherever he went. Instead of undermining Judaism, he incited Jews to the point of violence, something Rome didn’t want. The “arrest” was, in fact, for his own protection. Reading between the lines, he was never treated like a prisoner. Rather, there were remarkable Roman resources used to protect him.

If this propaganda theory is true, Paul was a spy and a massive charlatan, and a cog in the wheel of a very cunning Roman government plan. It means Rome turned the Yeshua story around 180 degrees to create Jesus, the Christ, a benign pacifist messiah. Even today, most non-Jews misunderstand what the actual Messianic movement was. This misunderstanding was Rome’s doing.

The government twisted the knife to further wound Judaism by blaming the crucifixion of Jesus on the Jews and making Romans look like the innocent good guys. A flagrant manipulation of facts is a recurrent theme in world history when powerful governments try to reverse popular opinion.

Yet they didn’t stop at this. They then taught that Jesus was a celibate who produced no posterity, just in case his real family caused them future grief. They wanted no more messiahs claiming the right to rule and inciting Jewish peasants to insurrection. The Roman emperors Vespasian, Titus and Domitian sought out members of the “royal house of David” in the late decades of the first century to help make sure this didn’t happen.

The government hoped the story of the new idol would convince people that true spirituality and the promise of eternal life were synonymous with getting along with them. It was the winners that wrote the history. Christianity solidified the allegiance of superstitious people throughout the Empire to Rome.

This would explain why the true identities of all four Gospel authors are unknown. It is ironic that the gospels, said to be so truthful, became the most successful literary enterprises ever undertaken in the history of the world, yet were so manufactured.

In modern times, this is called propaganda, disinformation or psychological warfare. It is fascinating to imagine these subversive tactics as part of the first-century Roman Empire and jaw-dropping to realize the dogma has survived without being exposed for what it is, and is still coloring the way people, and in particular Christians, look at the world.

The reader may well be wondering why, if this is true, it is often claimed the government persecuted Christians. The fact is persecution of Christians was not often a policy of the state. Rome was usually tolerant of all religions, including Christianity. Persecution happened sporadically many years later, and only if Christians refused to worship the god or gods of the state. By this time the militaristic ambitions of peasant Jews had been finally and definitively crushed in the second Jewish war of 132-5 CE, and there were different agendas on the government’s mind. (see http://www.religionfacts.com/christianit...tion.htm). What is more, many stories of supposed persecutions of Christians by the Roman government are, in fact, now recognized as ninth century exaggerations and fabrications.

It took a lot of reading and thinking before the idea that Christianity could have originated in the government dawned on me, and I was encouraged by discovering that many other commentators had deduced something similar too. Thijs Voskuilen and Rose Mary Sheldon co-wrote “Operation Messiah” in which they postulate that Paul was “supporting the imperial structure, benefiting from it, cooperating with it, often saved by it. The end product for Rome was exactly what it wanted - a loyal, other –worldly, spiritual movement that was completely divorced from Palestinian revolutionary movements, from Jewish nationalism and from any challenge to Roman imperial authority. Its followers were supposed to pay taxes and be loyal citizens of the emperor.” Peter Cresswell, Joseph Atwill (whose theory about the origin of the gospels I will discuss in chapter 15) and no doubt many other authors have reached similar conclusions.

I hope the reader understands the significance of this. Are the hairs on the back of your neck standing up? They have been on mine. If this is true, Christianity has been the most monumental fraud ever inflicted on humankind."
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25-10-2012, 06:45 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(25-10-2012 06:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  If this is true, Christianity has been the most monumental fraud ever inflicted on humankind."

I agree with much of that, as you know, but for many other reasons also, which have to do with fallacies and misunderstandings of actual historical context of the culture.

BTW, the "All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household” (Phil. 4:22, KJV). This confirms that Paul had contact with the Emperor Nero’s family." is not necessarily true. Generally it's thought the text refers to the slaves who worked in the household, not necessarily Nero's family. It *could* have included them, but likely was the household staff.

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Yeah, for verily I say unto thee, and this we know : Jebus no likey that which doth tickle thee unto thy nether regions.

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25-10-2012, 06:46 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(25-10-2012 06:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Yet, the really important point that I really want to share with everyone is that he was a Roman government agent.

Yup, I'd picked up on that...

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...th?page=39
(post #390)

To reach a wider audience, I think you need to get Fox News to run a piece that condemns these ideas as raving loony conspiracy theory.
That should get everyone's attention.

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25-10-2012, 09:39 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(25-10-2012 06:45 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(25-10-2012 06:31 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  If this is true, Christianity has been the most monumental fraud ever inflicted on humankind."

I agree with much of that, as you know, but for many other reasons also, which have to do with fallacies and misunderstandings of actual historical context of the culture.

BTW, the "All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household” (Phil. 4:22, KJV). This confirms that Paul had contact with the Emperor Nero’s family." is not necessarily true. Generally it's thought the text refers to the slaves who worked in the household, not necessarily Nero's family. It *could* have included them, but likely was the household staff.

I agree it is not necessarily true. Thanks for pointing that out.
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25-10-2012, 11:09 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
Mark Fulton Wrote:  If this is true, Christianity has been the most monumental fraud ever inflicted on humankind."

Nope. You are 100 % WRONG sir. Sorry to contradict you, Mark. You cannot be further from the truth. How could you say such a thing ?

It's not a matter of "if". It IS the largest monumental pile of crap ever inflicted on mankind. Whether the details of your version are exactly true or not, and it's off by a detail or a few details, is irrelevant. The fact is we KNOW it was 100 % concocted by humans who attempted to change the details of the culture in which it arose to benefit themselves. The fraud continued for literally thousands of years, and continues to this day. Everything about it is wrong. From the "sin and disobedience" dualism that did NOT exist in the ancient Near East, to the countless "goofs" in this thread. Everything about it looks wrong, upon inspection. Every rock that's overturned exposes more fraud, and ignorance. EVERY "doctrine" is 1000% bullshit. 10,000 years from now, humans will laugh that anyone EVER took even 1 sentence of the bullshit seriously. It refutes itself. in every way.

Tongue

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