Who was Saint Paul?
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12-08-2016, 09:00 AM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(12-08-2016 04:05 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Gert - Well said. My blood pressure went up a few points when someone, previously, used the analogy of denying evolution despite it being the consensus of scientists, and comparing people who question the consensus of historians/theologians to Creationists. The problem is that this isn't how science works at all. No one may cite to the consensus, but only to the evidence, and if someone can present a better-supported explanation of the evidence, they are lauded as heroes (often over the grumbling of those who'd prefer to hold on to the old paradigm, unfortunately) rather than derided as fringe lunatics. Many of the consensus ideas in modern science are from people who were the first voice to speak out against the old paradigm.

It is always a bad idea to refer to experts as the basis of your assertions. Look at the evidence and see if the new explanation of that evidence is better than what came before. Even if not always practiced to perfection because of human weaknesses, this principle is the root of all science... the opposite, apparently, of what is true among history types.

Hmmm... That someone might have been me, in a different thread, and I might have even mentioned you. Sorry if I gave offense, but none was intended. However, I basically stand by my analogy, while admitting that it's not perfect (what analogy is?).

Yes, science and history are different, and in either discipline -- and especially in science -- it's better to demonstrate the truth or provide evidence for it than to just appeal to authority. But it's not always possible. In the example I used, a lot of the evidence for evolution is fairly technical, and not easily understood by the average layman. That's what the creationists count on. All they have to do is sprinkle a few "sciencey" words in with their bullshit, and the public swallows it, because they don't know any better.

Anyway, even if you know the science very well, a technical explanation may be lost on your audience. And in my case, I don't know the science all that well. If I'm arguing with a creationist, I will be forced at some point to fall back on the fact that almost all real scientists support evolution, and the few who don't are invariably religious fundamentalists. If they ask me to name these "real scientists", my reaction is likely to be "You've got to be kidding!" And to be honest, once you get past a few obvious names like Dawkins and Coyne, I can't name very many. Evolutionary biology is not my field. I know enough to know that creationism is bullshit, but I can't establish that with technical details. And an argument from authority can be a pretty strong argument. If all (or most) experts in a technical field agree on something, they're probably right. And who am I (not an expert in that field) to say otherwise?
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12-08-2016, 11:59 AM (This post was last modified: 12-08-2016 08:11 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(12-08-2016 08:52 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  
(12-08-2016 04:05 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Gert - Well said. My blood pressure went up a few points when someone, previously, used the analogy of denying evolution despite it being the consensus of scientists, and comparing people who question the consensus of historians/theologians to Creationists. The problem is that this isn't how science works at all. No one may cite to the consensus, but only to the evidence, and if someone can present a better-supported explanation of the evidence, they are lauded as heroes (often over the grumbling of those who'd prefer to hold on to the old paradigm, unfortunately) rather than derided as fringe lunatics. Many of the consensus ideas in modern science are from people who were the first voice to speak out against the old paradigm.

It is always a bad idea to refer to experts as the basis of your assertions. Look at the evidence and see if the new explanation of that evidence is better than what came before. Even if not always practiced to perfection because of human weaknesses, this principle is the root of all science... the opposite, apparently, of what is true among history types.

You act as if one cannot do both; look at the evidence, and then look to see who agrees with your findings. If no one agrees, then perhaps the evidence needs to be reexamined.

Acknowledging and utilizing the expertise of professionals is exactly how history is approximated. Previous discoveries are built upon, and then new approximations are presented.

Approximating history is the best that can be done. It is not as exact as 1 + 1 =2, because it cannot be. One can not go back to the past and conclusively prove any given position.

But in this situation in regards to the existence or non existence of Jesus, Nazareth, etc, the best explanation according to all available evidence conclusively demonstrates historicity as opposed to mythology. This evidence is evaluated using the Historical Method and the Criteria of Authenticity used by all noteworthy professional historians.

Even so, this by no means should indicate that the position of historians conclusively proves anything, but rather it is all about what the evidence indicates, and not what it proves.

You don't seem to utilize the "approximation" you preach. Your opinion seems to be your dogma. Who gets to decide who is "noteworthy" ?. If they agree with you ? LMAO.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historiography

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12-08-2016, 12:09 PM (This post was last modified: 12-08-2016 01:01 PM by GoingUp.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(12-08-2016 11:59 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(12-08-2016 08:52 AM)GoingUp Wrote:  You act as if one cannot do both; look at the evidence, and then look to see who agrees with your findings. If no one agrees, then perhaps the evidence needs to be reexamined.

Acknowledging and utilizing the expertise of professionals is exactly how history is approximated. Previous discoveries are built upon, and then new approximations are presented.

Approximating history is the best that can be done. It is not as exact as 1 + 1 =2, because it cannot be. One can not go back to the past and conclusively prove any given position.

But in this situation in regards to the existence or non existence of Jesus, Nazareth, etc, the best explanation according to all available evidence conclusively demonstrates historicity as opposed to mythology. This evidence is evaluated using the Historical Method and the Criteria of Authenticity used by all noteworthy professional historians.

Even so, this by no means should indicate that the position of historians conclusively proves anything, but rather it is all about what the evidence indicates, and not what it proves.

You don't seem to utilize the "approximation" you preach.

Of course I do. My position has always been that historicity better explains the evidence than myth does.


Quote:Your opinion seems to be your dogma. Who gets to decide who is "noteworth" ? If they agree with you ?

Noteworthy refers to those whose credentials entitle a professional opinion.
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12-08-2016, 03:46 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(12-08-2016 09:00 AM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(12-08-2016 04:05 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Gert - Well said. My blood pressure went up a few points when someone, previously, used the analogy of denying evolution despite it being the consensus of scientists, and comparing people who question the consensus of historians/theologians to Creationists. The problem is that this isn't how science works at all. No one may cite to the consensus, but only to the evidence, and if someone can present a better-supported explanation of the evidence, they are lauded as heroes (often over the grumbling of those who'd prefer to hold on to the old paradigm, unfortunately) rather than derided as fringe lunatics. Many of the consensus ideas in modern science are from people who were the first voice to speak out against the old paradigm.

It is always a bad idea to refer to experts as the basis of your assertions. Look at the evidence and see if the new explanation of that evidence is better than what came before. Even if not always practiced to perfection because of human weaknesses, this principle is the root of all science... the opposite, apparently, of what is true among history types.

Hmmm... That someone might have been me, in a different thread, and I might have even mentioned you. Sorry if I gave offense, but none was intended. However, I basically stand by my analogy, while admitting that it's not perfect (what analogy is?).

Yes, science and history are different, and in either discipline -- and especially in science -- it's better to demonstrate the truth or provide evidence for it than to just appeal to authority. But it's not always possible. In the example I used, a lot of the evidence for evolution is fairly technical, and not easily understood by the average layman. That's what the creationists count on. All they have to do is sprinkle a few "sciencey" words in with their bullshit, and the public swallows it, because they don't know any better.

Anyway, even if you know the science very well, a technical explanation may be lost on your audience. And in my case, I don't know the science all that well. If I'm arguing with a creationist, I will be forced at some point to fall back on the fact that almost all real scientists support evolution, and the few who don't are invariably religious fundamentalists. If they ask me to name these "real scientists", my reaction is likely to be "You've got to be kidding!" And to be honest, once you get past a few obvious names like Dawkins and Coyne, I can't name very many. Evolutionary biology is not my field. I know enough to know that creationism is bullshit, but I can't establish that with technical details. And an argument from authority can be a pretty strong argument. If all (or most) experts in a technical field agree on something, they're probably right. And who am I (not an expert in that field) to say otherwise?

I see your point, but you nevertheless are capable of looking at the evidence for yourself and seeing if the people making the case are actually making their case or if they are simply passing along a dogma that has gone unchallenged. Many amateurs have made breakthroughs in this field simply by questioning prior assumptions of the scientific community, as in the recent case of the guy who demonstrated that lichens are actually a three-part symbiote.

In any case, a scientist would not dismiss the argument of a layperson simply because it did not agree with the consensus, but would look at the argument itself to see if it had merit. Arguments from authority are not employed by people in the academic community, at least in science, whereas we have an "historian" here who repeatedly relies on that argument.

So my comment was not directed at you, and I apologize for phrasing it in a way that made it seem like it was.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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12-08-2016, 04:22 PM (This post was last modified: 12-08-2016 04:58 PM by GoingUp.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(12-08-2016 03:46 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Arguments from authority are not employed by people in the academic community, at least in science, whereas we have an "historian" here who repeatedly relies on that argument.

As mentioned previously, an argument from authority is not the same a collective consensus of intelligence, nor can they even be fairly compared.

1. Fallacious arguments from authority can be the result of citing a non-authority as an authority. These arguments assume that a person without status or authority is inherently reliable.

2. More recently, logic textbooks have shifted to a less blanket approach to these arguments, now often referring to the fallacy as the "Argument from Unqualified Authority" or the "Argument from Unreliable Authority."

3. A logically valid argument from authority grounds a claim in the beliefs of one or more authoritative source(s), whose opinions are likely to be true on the relevant issue. Notably, this is a Bayesian statement -- it is likely to be true, rather than necessarily true. As such, an argument from authority can only strongly suggest what is true -- not prove it.

4. A logically fallacious argument from authority grounds a claim in the beliefs of a source that is not authoritative. Sources could be non-authoritative because of their personal bias, their disagreement with consensus on the issue, their non-expertise in the relevant issue, or a number of other issues. (Often, this is called an appeal to authority, rather than argument from authority.)

5. Collective intelligence is shared or group intelligence that emerges from the collaboration, collective efforts, and competition of many individuals and appears in consensus decision making.


When I use a collective of intelligence, the collective I am using applies to # 3 listed above. It is a logically valid argument to refer to such a collective for the purpose of scholarship. Each of us here also depend on such a collective as a learning source for the subject matter we are interested in.

There is no shame in using the collective of intelligence to illustrate consensus. In fact, without the collective of intelligence not one student could ever get a quality education in the modern world.

Now, it doesn't mean that a consensus is guaranteed to be 100% correct or that the consensus can conclusively prove anything, particularly in the field of history. The collective of consentient professional opinions can only strongly suggest what is true, and this consentient level of expertise deserves to be respected.

However, when arguments such as I have seen here are using "lone wolf" authorities with no consensus, or non authorities, or the argument is a stand-alone derived from the debater's opinion only, and in which no good evidence for it can be supplied insomuch as that the argument is rendered to be assertion only, I will always endeavor to steer that debater towards the consensus in an effort to illustrate why the consensus arrives at a different unified conclusion.

If you are going to present a position on history, it's only that you provide decent evidence and sound reasoning to support it. If you are going to contest a given position, the same applies.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collective_intelligence

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority
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12-08-2016, 06:06 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(12-08-2016 12:09 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  Noteworthy refers to those whose credentials entitle a professional opinion.

... and who happen to agree with you.

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12-08-2016, 08:09 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(11-08-2016 07:52 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(18-10-2012 06:23 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Paul (aka Saul) of Tarsus was probably the founding figure of what became Christianity. He was an enthusiastic evangelist and, by the standards of the time, a prolific author. His theology is more important than that purportedly taught by Jesus. Without his influence it is probable that Christianity, as we know it, would not exist today. Copies of many of Paul’s letters to various communities have survived and now form roughly one quarter of the New Testament.

Today’s reader can open any one of thousands of books in a Christian bookstore coaching people how to live happy, meaningful, or successful Christian lives. These books are loaded with quotes from Paul used to back up a multitude of agendas and opinions. All these authors assume Paul had an unquestionable authority, yet nearly none of them objectively assess who he was, his relationship with the followers of Yeshua (Jesus), what he was trying to achieve, or the evidence for the truth of his teachings.

I don't like Paul or his messages. It took me many months of reading to understand who he was and why he wrote what he did. I'd like to share my conclusions with anyone interested, and I am very keen to hear other opinions. My conclusions question the very essence of Christianity, so I think they are relevant to today's world.

I think Paul was
-a Roman government agent employed to promote propaganda and subdue Jewish messianic aspirations
-a liar
-a two faced hypocrite
-a misogynist
-a homophobe
-an over-imaginative scheemer
-someone who never met Yeshua, and who undermined the beliefs of his original followers
-someone who was mildly mentally unwell

Any comments or questions to get the ball rolling will be appreciated.

What's always interesting to me is people perceptions of the "other", particularly when those perceptions seems quite distorted. They seem to have a very crude understanding of others, a bit out of touch, and likely had a history plagued with failed relationships, to account for this.

I think a guy who took on a vow of poverty, advocated for life of the poor, considering the destitute as chosen God's chosen, endorsed non-violence, and proclaimed Love as the highest of all human virtues, and fought with the early followers of Jesus to welcome gentiles at the communion table, can't be that bad.

I think a guy who took on a vow of poverty, advocated for life of the poor, considering the destitute as chosen God's chosen, endorsed non-violence, and proclaimed Love as the highest of all human virtues, and fought with the early followers of Jesus to welcome gentiles at the communion table, can't be that bad.

Well that's interesting! You think Paul was a nice guy. Gasp

Sorry folks, there are newbies reading this. I just gotta repost my spiel...

Paul’s Ethics

Paul’s writings have had a huge influence on the ethics of the western world.
He had an austere sense of propriety and, therefore, a narrow-minded perspective of how people should behave. Before his “conversion,” he claimed he was merciless in persecuting the church of God. After his “conversion,” he was merciless in lecturing them. He tried to control most aspects of people’s lives. Christians today are told to consider his instructions as God’s words, yet his ideas cause much more harm than good. I’ll demonstrate why.

Paul the Misogynist

Paul was blatantly sexist. He, or someone writing in his name, wrote:

“For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” (1 Corinthians 11:8–9 KJV.)
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.” (Colossians 3:18 KJV.)

“Wives should regard their husbands as they regard the Lord, since as Christ is head of the Church and saves the whole body, so is a husband the head of his wife; and as the Church submits to Christ, so should wives to their husbands, in everything” (Eph. 5:22–25, NJB.)

It gets worse.

“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:34-5, KJV.)

“Similarly, I direct that women are to wear suitable clothes and to be dressed quietly and modestly, without braided hair or gold and jewelry or expensive clothes; their adornment is to do the sort of good works that are proper for women who profess to be religious. During instruction, a woman should be quiet and respectful. I am not giving permission for a woman to teach or to tell a man what to do. A woman ought not to speak, because Adam was formed first and Eve afterwards, and it was not Adam who was led astray but the woman who was led astray and fell into sin. Nevertheless, she will be saved by childbearing, provided she lives a modest life and is constant in faith and love and holiness” (1 Tim. 2:9–15, NJB.)

The creator of Christian theology (and those who wrote in his name) thought women were made as playthings, that they were to submit to men, to remain silent unless spoken to, and that their opinions weren’t important. They weren’t to make themselves look attractive. He thought women were evil because they’d led men into sin. The best way they could save their wicked selves from going to hell was to shut up, accept their second-class status and bear their husband’s children!

Some commentators go to great lengths to make excuses for Paul, yet it’s irrelevant what he wrote elsewhere, or that he lived in a sexist society, or that he had some female friends. He clearly disliked assertive women and feminine sensuality, thought women were intellectually inferior, and that they were their husband’s property. His writings are read out in churches today. Young boys and girls hear them, and that’s unacceptable.

Today’s Christians have all been influenced by this misogynistic claptrap. One of the reasons churches have been so successful over the centuries is that they degrade and hold back women; half their congregation! Churches have traditionally refused women leadership, encouraged pregnancy and discouraged them from entering the workforce or getting more than a basic education. There’s more to this than Paul’s prattle.

When women become educated, or bread winners, the whole family is empowered. Statistically speaking, the more learned and affluent people become, the less likely they are to go to church (at least outside the United States.) The empowerment of women throughout much of Europe over the last fifty years has meant a marked rise in standards of living and a sharp fall in church attendance. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oYkMrVrE8Q). That’s not good for their businesses, which is why I think feminism is usually frowned upon in church.

Paul the Homophobe

Paul had a bigoted attitude about homosexuality:

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders… will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9–10, NIV.)

“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error” (Rom. 1:26–27, NIV.)

Over the centuries many western societies have been poisoned by an intolerance of homosexuality, and Paul’s patter is partly to blame. Churches today presume they have the right to dictate to people about issues such as same sex marriage. They should mind their own business. (http://www.askwhy.co.uk/questioningbelie...ality.php, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQf5jL3a4...sjdLQIj8).

Paul on Sex and Marriage

Paul loathed his own sexuality.

“The fact is, I know of nothing good living in me—living, that is, in my unspiritual self—for though the will to do what is good is in me, the performance is not, with the result that instead of doing good the things I want to do, I carry out the sinful things I do not want. When I act against my will, then, it is not my true self doing it, but sin which lives in me…I can see my body follows a different law that battles against the law which my reason dictates…What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body doomed to death” (Rom. 7:18–24, NJB.)

Poor, pathetic Paul! Deluded with puritanical piffle, he was repulsed by his own libido and miserable. He was a suppressed, toxic little man, ill at ease with himself.

It’s no surprise he was celibate:

“I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn” (1 Cor. 7:8–9, KJV.) To be single was quite unusual for a Pharisee, as they were expected to marry. I suspect Paul would have had difficulty finding a woman willing to live with him, or he may have been homosexual, yet ashamed to be, so he lived “in the closet.”

Whatever the case, he quite clearly had a neurosis about sex:

“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Rom. 8:6–13, KJV.)

“He wants you to keep away from fornication and each one of you to know how to use the body that belongs to him in a way that is holy and honorable, not giving away to selfish lust like the pagans who do not know God, He wants nobody at all to ever sin by taking advantage of a brother in these matters; the Lord always punishes sins of that sort, as we told you before and assured you. We have been called by God to be holy, not to be immoral” (1 Thess. 4:3–7, NJB.)

“Yes, it is a good thing for a man not to touch a woman. But since sex is always a danger, let each man have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband must give his wife what she has the right to expect, and so too the wife to the husband. The wife has no rights over her own body; it is the husband who has them. In the same way, the husband has no rights over his body; the wife has them. Do not refuse each other except by mutual consent, and then only for an agreed time, to leave yourselves free for prayer; then come together again in case Satan should take advantage of your weakness to tempt you” (1 Cor. 7:1–6, NJB.)

My commentary is almost superfluous. He thought sex was distasteful, an annoying but necessary nuisance, like going to the toilet. He ordered people to get it over with quickly, so they could get on with praying. He thought people got married so sex was on tap; that a spouse served a similar function to a convenient toilet.

Where did he get this sour, jaundiced perspective? He may have been sexually abused as a child, or had erectile difficulties, or been disgusted by his own attraction towards men, or been brainwashed with Platonic ideas about base bodily functions. He may have genuinely thought the end of the world was imminent, so it was better to not reproduce. None of these reasons excuse his unhealthy attitude.

I think he was perturbed that the public found sex way more interesting than his spiritual profundities, so he tried to put limits on people doing, and even thinking, about it.

Consider the psychological damage caused by negativity about sex inflicted on millions of innocent people through their Christian upbringings. All youngsters explore their sexuality; yet the child or adolescent is told that such behaviors—even thoughts—are sins! The consequence is unnecessary guilt and shame. The psychology here was worked out centuries ago. The church’s agenda is to get people to dislike themselves. When an ego is wounded, a person is easier to control. Jesus, pure, sinless and sexless, comes to the rescue, sins are forgiven, and the church has conned another customer. The punter is “saved” from a problem he or she never had in the first place.
Sex should be a special, natural, wholesome, and beautiful part of life. Guilt about our most natural instincts is a filthy stain that’s hard to wash out of people’s minds once it has taken root. Shame on churches for promoting this as the word of God!

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, who was a Roman citizen and probably a government agent, claimed that to obey the powers that be was to obey God. The way he worded this passage legitimized any governing authority, which turned it into a false, gross generalization. Throughout the centuries this mindless manifesto has been used to justify the behavior of governments, monarchs, popes, and other dictators.

This passage is so ironic, because Yeshua tried to derail the government. Pause for a minute to imagine what Jesus would have thought of this as the authorities inflicted “punishment on the wrongdoer” by nailing him to a cross!

Paul Supported Slavery

Paul wrote:

“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 “Paul’s” letter to Timothy 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 obviously wanted to keep the common people subservient.

In common with most first century commentators, it didn’t occur to him that slavery was morally repugnant. Paul gave his game away here. He was working for a totalitarian regime, and his injunctions about God were nothing more than the state’s way of imposing control over people.

Paul the Anti-Semite

Paul criticized “the Jews”

“For you, my brothers, have been like the churches of God in Christ Jesus which are in Judaea, in suffering the same treatment from your own countrymen as they have suffered from the Jews, the people who put the Lord Jesus to death, and the prophets too. And now they have been persecuting us, and acting in a way that cannot please God and makes them the enemies of the whole human race, because they are hindering us from preaching to the pagans and trying to save them” (1 Thess. 2:14–16 JB.) Once again, he sounds like a Roman government employee. He was astonishingly critical of “the Jews,” accusing them of murdering Jesus. He damned an entire nation and an ancient religion. It’s interesting to realize that he was probably referring to the Nazarenes, the very people who were Yeshua’s true disciples.

Christianity has always been at loggerheads with Judaism. Churches say Jesus was the messiah as promised to the Jewish nation in scripture. Jews, Jesus’ own people, say he definitely wasn’t. (http://www.youtube.com/user/JewsforJudai...-g_TtGhI). There’s no common ground in the argument. Paul’s condemnation of the Jews added fuel to the fire.
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12-08-2016, 08:12 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(12-08-2016 06:06 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(12-08-2016 12:09 PM)GoingUp Wrote:  Noteworthy refers to those whose credentials entitle a professional opinion.

... and who happen to agree with you.

Well thank you for thinking that I am such a gifted scholar insomuch as they would agree with me.

Facepalm
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12-08-2016, 09:54 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
Whatever, dude. You keep referring to the same two guys and their offhand comments about the consensus, and those who quote them. And I showed you where most of them outright state that the alleged "consensus" is being challenged by newer researchers. You have in no way demonstrated that it is a consensus opinion in the first place, let alone that it is free from the influence of theology on the theology-related historians, or that the alternatives are not potentially valid.

When there's a real consensus, it's because the evidence can be examined by anyone and the same conclusions reached independently. Science not only teaches that any student can disprove any theory, it insists upon it, requiring them to demonstrate for themselves that the things the teacher is teaching them actually comport to the facts-- this is something I had to do myself in biology, chemistry, and physics courses.

In history, where there are no mathematical formulas to provide hard proofs, all one can do is examine what's available and try to formulate an hypothesis that seems to best-suit the evidence. More than one explanation may be valid, pending more evidence. To scoff at another idea which may also explain evidence, simply because most experts tend to agree with Explanation A (and especially when Explanation B goes against centuries of religious tradition, and was an idea that was basically unmentionable until recently), is something that should be beneath any serious student of the field.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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13-08-2016, 04:27 AM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
Exactly. Kids in school are advised to fact-check. Would that adults could remember this advice.

It's vital of course when considering religion-centred debates to remember that various consensus views have been discarded. The Gospels and Acts are today regarded even by many conservative [i.e. practising Christian] scholars as works of self-serving fantasy fiction from which it's impossible to reconstruct anything like a reliable history of Christianity's early decades. For centuries, scarcely a single living person could have been found to challenge now abandoned consensus views, reminding us that contemporary consensus views once had absolutely no supporters.

I had in mind, when I posted, these words written by Bart Ehrman when constructing what he thought was an irrefutable demolition of someone else's point of view.

"Mythicists of this ilk should not be surprised that their views are not taken seriously by real scholars, mentioned by experts in the field, or even read by them."

There you have it. Real scholars all agree on one thing, and there's more of them than there are of you, so it's just a numbers game and "you" can shut up. The appalling implication is that anyone who's come to an opinion about anything whatsoever should take into account what the consensus of 'real scholars' [like those nineteenth century professors, vicars and schooolmasters who thought the world was formed by God six thousand years ago] thinks. Consensus certainly matters, as Ehrman implies, but only to people who can't be bothered to think for themselves.
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