Who was Saint Paul?
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22-10-2012, 08:09 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(22-10-2012 07:03 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Matthew 28:5 Do not be afraid. I know that you are seeking Jesus, the crucified one. He is not here. For he has been raised, just as he said.
....28:7 ....He goes before you to Galilee.

Matthew 28:17 When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
They did NOT really believe that they were seeing a "risen" human corpse.

Not "some doubted". Not "Thomas doubted". They ALL doubted, at that point, anyway. THAT late, JUST before the "great commission". In Galilee. That's what Matthew says. It's in the text.

Ok. I',m going to need Kingsy's help here,to confirm and correct my Greek. I will post this, and edit it and update it as I have time. Eventually it will stand on it's own as "Resurrection, a second look",.

This is going to take some time, and is a large undertaking. I'll incorporate help from thread posters, as they come in. I'm an amateur here. My specialty is NOT these texts. I've never really had much interest in the Christian writings. They all presume a content in Genesis, which is absent in Genesis.

When Gary Habermas stands in front of his small audiences and *pretends*, with a degree in History, (from Michigan State), that somehow he is competent to examine the context, meanings, and truthfulness of the resurrection stories, and that that degree enables him to comment on religious texts from the ancient Near East, it is completely, utterly preposterous. He would be thrown out on his ear from gatherings of the field he pretends to speak for. He has the contempt of the academic community. The gymnastics he pulls on the stage is so laughable, it's beyond laughable. It's why he's relegated to Liberty University, as they all are. The academic backwaters. The same goes for William Craig, and Edward Feser. Third rate schools is the best they can do. Presuppositionsalists all.

They are like the Ugly American. They are the Ugly Christians. They do not really serve their own cause. They are not really academics. They are "plastic" *what passes for* fake versions of real academia, and what it is like, and what is done with a subject, such as the resurrection of Yeshua ben Josepf.

So that said, let's look at the resurrection.
Where to start. The Letter of Paul. They were the earliest Christian documents.

Much of what we see in Paul's texts, we see through the lens of a 21st Century reader. It's hard to jettison out automatic pre-judgements about what words mean, and what the value is of dropping our prejudices, at all. For a "person of faith", is an honest "search for truth" even possible ? For the Presuppositionalists, (Craig, Habermas. Feser, Licona and Co. ), apparently it is not. If you read the mission statement of Biola University, http://offices1.biola.edu/hr/ehandbook/1.3/ , for example, the search is not about the search for Truth. The "truth" is presumed to be "their truth", (and only their truth). Thus for them, if the truth were to lead away from their presupposed truth, they would reject it, because they did not ALREADY believe it.

While this model is EXACTLY the way communities in the ancient Near East accepted or rejected a gospel text, ie did it "fit" with their presupposed common idea of what the truth was about the Jesus Event, and thus used as a gospel text, it's no good in helping us with the texts of Saul of Tarsus, since they were not used as "proclaimed faith" documents in liturgical services, in their original intent. They were just letters. This difference is maintained to this day. They are not gospels.

First there exists the problem of translation. All translation involves at least some interpretation. Presumed attitudes, and unseen premises abound, at every turn, unless one is very careful. For this I will not get into this much except to point out the common errors. I will explain sources for translations, if anyone is interested.

So ok. in 2012, no one can say or read the word *resurrection* and not have their brain cells associate that word, at least subconsciously with the resurrection of Jeebus. I will continue to use that word, as it is a reminder that any discussion of the resurrection implies that the conversants are taking about an historical person. I do not presume that. Jeebus may have be a person, a conflation of two Jesuses, or a total myth. Thus Jeebus, is not a disrespectful word. It's a "place holder" for the above.

Also I will presume, for the moment "good faith". in Saul. There are good reasons NOT to do that, That's a discussion for another day. That's also why I will continue to say "Saul". He well may have had an ulterior motive.

Resurrection. The word has two meanings.
1. An event in time, in which a previously live biological entity, after (clinical) death, resumes it's actual previous live biological processes . A secular meaning. This have never been observed. For this to happen, would involve so many problems with the science, I can't even begin to discuss the implications.
2. The event in Christianity, which, without further definition, or further examination, just means the (supposed) event, in time that happened on Easter Sunday, early in the morning.
3. As a shutout to my friends up in Hollywood, I guess I can give you a Zombie definition also. Tongue Don't say I didn't do ya no favors.

Ok. So, imagine yourself as Saul of Tarsus. It's 50 CE. No gospels, No Mark, no John, no telephones, no TV, Only letters, but 95 % of the population are illiterate. Not only are they pre-scientific, with all that means, it also means they they have many preachers who do miracles, and some come back to life, You're on your own baby. How are you going to impart your message, and try to keep the adherents to your religion in line. You write them letters.

In "The Problem with The Ressurection", Dr. B. B. Scott does a brilliant comparison to Humpty Dumpty.
Tell yourself that rhyme. Then ask yourself, what actually happened in that rhyme. If you tell me, "oh an egg fell off the wall, and smashed" ... I say Nuh uh.
Nowhere does it say an egg fell. How do you KNOW an egg fell ? You presumed an egg fell. It's the same with the resurrection.
Because of all the pictures, and picture books you've seen, you presume it was an egg.

...to be continued.

Bucky...you got me on the edge of my seat. I think you are about to share with us how much of Christianity was invented. That's pretty damn cool and real...and for me, anyway, exciting.

I'll throw in my 2c worth, and hope I don't derail you in the process. I'm imagining I'm Paul. I'm a hyped up, over imaginative guy. Messianic Jews are stirring up trouble throughout the empire. It's about 50CE, and I'm not to know that these Jews are going to start a war against Rome in 66-70 CE. I do know they're dreaming about a messiah, someone from their scriptures who's going to lead them in a war against the Romans. This is not a good thing for the "pax Romana." I may be a government employee, whose job it is to undermine their beliefs. Mmmmmmm....what am I going to tell them? How am I going to reinvent Jewish beliefs so they stop causing trouble for the government? Over to you Bucky....
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23-10-2012, 12:31 AM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(18-10-2012 06:23 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Paul (aka Saul) of Tarsus was probably the founding figure of what became Christianity.

Let me just stop you right there. How do you figure Paul was the founding figure of what became Christianity when he persecuted Christians, killing some, before he became one himself?

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23-10-2012, 01:55 AM (This post was last modified: 24-10-2012 05:32 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(23-10-2012 12:31 AM)The Theist Wrote:  
(18-10-2012 06:23 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Paul (aka Saul) of Tarsus was probably the founding figure of what became Christianity.

Let me just stop you right there. How do you figure Paul was the founding figure of what became Christianity when he persecuted Christians, killing some, before he became one himself?

Hi Theist, glad you asked!

The answer is at the very heart of a true understanding of Christianity.

Jesus (Yeshua), his family and his disciples never were and never became Christians. They were Jews. They belonged to a sect of Jews known as the Nazarenes. They never believed Yeshua was divine, or had risen from the dead. So Paul never persecuted "Christians," despite what the book of Acts claims.

As best we know, Paul was the first Christian. He only appeared on the scene circa 50 CE, at least 15 years after Yeshua had been knocked off by the Romans.

The story in Acts in which James, Peter and John and the early "Jesus" community were Christians is a fiction. It was written mid second century in an attempt to prove a link between Yeshua and Paul's Christ. Consider the road to Damascus conversion story...Paul never mentions it....because it never happened!

The truth is Paul fought with the Nazarenes, even after his change of mind. They despised him, as did Jews everywhere.

Paul tried to infiltrate their ranks outside Jerusalem by masquerading as one of them. He tried to undermine them by preaching his own gospel, his own story, one which destroyed centuries of Jewish beliefs and traditions. (this was the "new covenant," entirely made up by Paul, which allegedly replaced the "old covenant") They weren't happy about that, and (probably) tried to kill him.

Paul's divine, resurrected Christ was only written into the gospels circa mid second century. The Romans actually crucified Jesus twice; once in real life, and then again by lying about his legacy (when the gospels were written).

Ok.....you're probably asking WTF!!!!!????? Stay cool....think about it......and start to put the pieces together for yourself. I'll answer any questions you may have.
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23-10-2012, 02:12 AM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
There was more than one Paul. Clearly the Paul in Acts is not the Paul the Letter Writer. Their philosophies are different on some important matters.
There may be more than two even. Paul of Acts, Saul of Tarsus, (who clearly said his gospel was "revealed" and another Paul who said, he had "received" it, in terms that are used else where, synonymous with having been preached to).

There was a good deal of fighting about Paul's authority. In 1 Corinthians 9:1 he says, "Am I not free ? Am I not an apostle ? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord ?"
.....Umm, no dude, you haven't, unless you forgot to tell us about it. You mean to say that seeing Jeebus would be omitted somehow ? The story in Acts does not say he saw him, only heard something, and was blinded. We are never told he saw Jeebus in Acts. There is no complete consensus that EACH of the letters of Paul were even written by one person, much less ALL of them, by the same person. There are internal stylistic differences in some which lead us to think they could NOT have been written, each, by the same person.

There is a curious statement in 1 Corinthians 15:8. He says he was "born abnormally". What the hell does that mean ? Is it a reference to his sexuality ? Or was he a cripple of same sort ? Was THAT his "thorn".

Then he says Jeebus appeared to him. That's NOT what the Damascus Road story says in Acts. If the story in Acts is what a resurrection citing was, then all the other stories are not similar, and it devalues them all.

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23-10-2012, 02:41 AM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(23-10-2012 02:12 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  There was more than one Paul. Clearly the Paul in Acts is not the Paul the Letter Writer. Their philosophies are different on some important matters.
There may be more than two even. Paul of Acts, Saul of Tarsus, (who clearly said his gospel was "revealed" and another Paul who said, he had "received" it, in terms that are used else where, synonymous with having been preached to).

There was a good deal of fighting about Paul's authority. In 1 Corinthians 9:1 he says, "Am I not free ? Am I not an apostle ? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord ?"
.....Umm, no dude, you haven't, unless you forgot to tell us about it. You mean to say that seeing Jeebus would be omitted somehow ? The story in Acts does not say he saw him, only heard something, and was blinded. We are never told he saw Jeebus in Acts. There is no complete consensus that EACH of the letters of Paul were even written by one person, much less ALL of them, by the same person. There are internal stylistic differences in some which lead us to think they could NOT have been written, each, by the same person.

There is a curious statement in 1 Corinthians 15:8. He says he was "born abnormally". What the hell does that mean ? Is it a reference to his sexuality ? Or was he a cripple of same sort ? Was THAT his "thorn".

Then he says Jeebus appeared to him. That's NOT what the Damascus Road story says in Acts. If the story in Acts is what a resurrection citing was, then all the other stories are not similar, and it devalues them all.

Got that. Agreed. We must also always remember that many hands have interpolated the writings. Let me give an example.

I don't think Paul, if he knew of a Jeebus, considered him divine. I strongly suspect Paul(s) only wrote about "Christ," the son of god who died for everyone's sins. I suspect that on the odd occasion Paul mentions the name "Jesus" it has been interpolated into the text. If Paul knew of a Jeebus, he would have written about what Jeebus said and did, but he doesn't (or barely does). That's a hard one for Christians to get their heads around, yet it is very obviously a fact on reading Paul.

Paul didn't know about Jeebus because Paul was only around before the gospels were written.
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23-10-2012, 02:48 AM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(23-10-2012 02:41 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(23-10-2012 02:12 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  There was more than one Paul. Clearly the Paul in Acts is not the Paul the Letter Writer. Their philosophies are different on some important matters.
There may be more than two even. Paul of Acts, Saul of Tarsus, (who clearly said his gospel was "revealed" and another Paul who said, he had "received" it, in terms that are used else where, synonymous with having been preached to).

There was a good deal of fighting about Paul's authority. In 1 Corinthians 9:1 he says, "Am I not free ? Am I not an apostle ? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord ?"
.....Umm, no dude, you haven't, unless you forgot to tell us about it. You mean to say that seeing Jeebus would be omitted somehow ? The story in Acts does not say he saw him, only heard something, and was blinded. We are never told he saw Jeebus in Acts. There is no complete consensus that EACH of the letters of Paul were even written by one person, much less ALL of them, by the same person. There are internal stylistic differences in some which lead us to think they could NOT have been written, each, by the same person.

There is a curious statement in 1 Corinthians 15:8. He says he was "born abnormally". What the hell does that mean ? Is it a reference to his sexuality ? Or was he a cripple of same sort ? Was THAT his "thorn".

Then he says Jeebus appeared to him. That's NOT what the Damascus Road story says in Acts. If the story in Acts is what a resurrection citing was, then all the other stories are not similar, and it devalues them all.

Got that. Agreed. We must also always remember that many hands have interpolated the writings. Let me give an example.

I don't think Paul, if he knew of a Jeebus, considered him divine. I strongly suspect Paul(s) only wrote about "Christ," the son of god who died for everyone's sins. I suspect that on the odd occasion Paul mentions the name "Jesus" it has been interpolated into the text. If Paul knew of a Jeebus, he would have written about what Jeebus said and did, but he doesn't (or barely does). That's a hard one for Christians to get their heads around, yet it is very obviously a fact on reading Paul.

Paul didn't know about Jeebus because Paul was only around before the gospels were written.

I'll get to the "divinity" thing. One of the Pauls thought the divinity was conferred, but not in a strictly dualistic sense, of divine/not divine. It's in my outline, I just put on the other page.

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24-10-2012, 01:32 AM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
Forget Christmas!

I'm going to give you Mark's version of how Christianity was born...

Paul was a salesman with an ambitious agenda. He hoped to expand his interpretation of Judaism into the gentile world. He had a cunning plan to undermine all those dangerous Nazarene beliefs that incited rebellion against Roman rule.

He wrote to various groups scattered throughout the Empire, and desperately insisted they all believe only his theology. In Romans 15:16, he wrote that he thought of Gentiles as an offering he would bring to God. He was so obsessed with snaring converts that little else in his life mattered. Most of the people he wrote to were Gentiles (pagans) who were associated with Jewish synagogues, (“God-fearing Gentiles”), although he did write to Jews too. From Paul’s perspective, his patrons were in desperate need of direction and an authoritative, charismatic leader to look up to. He considered himself just the man. He knew how to win the hearts, minds, and souls of people because he imagined himself as one of the few god fearers who understood Gentile cultures.

Paul’s theology probably had a long and carefully thought out gestation. He was a salesman who knew his customers. He knew he needed a good product, something very different to traditional Judaism, which he knew required obedience to cumbersome dictates. The Jews believed one had to be circumcised, a painful and embarrassing procedure, not easy to sell to an adult man. They believed in a xenophobic Yahweh, a rather thunderous and violent pro-Jewish anti-gentile God. They could only eat kosher food, marry someone Jewish, and had to stop all work on the Sabbath. Jewish heritage and history were regarded as superior to all others, and people were expected to take part in the fasts and feasts celebrating the ancient epic of Israel. They Jews believed they were destined to one day be the masters of the world. Paul knew that gentiles found all this inconvenient, irksome and out of touch with reality, so he labeled these Jewish rules and beliefs as a type of slavery. He knew he had to jettison them, so he did.

All of a sudden, according to Paul, there was no need for circumcision or to stop work on the Sabbath or to obey the dietary kosher rules. He downplayed the importance of the Jewish Temple. He replaced the idea of a political messiah of Israel with Christ, the savior of all humankind. The “kingdom of God” became a place in heaven, not in Israel. He claimed Yahweh was such a decent deity he had sent his own precious son, the Christ, to earth. He affirmed gentiles could be considered descendants of Abraham too, and that the centuries-old Jewish Law was a “curse.” All that was now required was faith in his story about Christ. Voilà! The Christ myth and Christian theology were born.

Paul was one of history’s first examples of an ambitious cult leader who, when the rules of the established religion were no longer convenient, simply invented new ones to suit himself. The so-called “old covenant” of the Jews was replaced by Paul’s entirely fabricated “new covenant.” He was trying to reinvent Judaism and dampen down Jewish messianic dreams. He was doing his best to dilute Judaism with Gentiles and Gentile ideas.

To help realize this remodeling of belief, he undermined Yeshua’s family and disciples behind their backs. He was surprised and angry to find himself competing with them for people’s allegiance. They were treading on his turf. How dare they preach old-fashioned Jewish theology and disrupt his mission to set up communities of believers! Those annoying war mongering Jewish pillars were full of subversive fantasies about a character called Yeshua, but the real Christ, the up-to-date modern Christ, had been revealed to him by God! He, not them, taught the “good news.” He knew what the newly flexible, expansionist, less violent, less Judaic God expected in these modern, pro-Roman times. He was an educated, savvy, Greek-speaking sophisticate who knew a stack more about selling a suitable religion to the subjects of the Empire than the anti-Roman bumpkins from the backwater of Galilee!
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24-10-2012, 05:42 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(23-10-2012 02:12 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  There was more than one Paul. Clearly the Paul in Acts is not the Paul the Letter Writer. Their philosophies are different on some important matters.
There may be more than two even. Paul of Acts, Saul of Tarsus, (who clearly said his gospel was "revealed" and another Paul who said, he had "received" it, in terms that are used else where, synonymous with having been preached to).

There was a good deal of fighting about Paul's authority. In 1 Corinthians 9:1 he says, "Am I not free ? Am I not an apostle ? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord ?"
.....Umm, no dude, you haven't, unless you forgot to tell us about it. You mean to say that seeing Jeebus would be omitted somehow ? The story in Acts does not say he saw him, only heard something, and was blinded. We are never told he saw Jeebus in Acts. There is no complete consensus that EACH of the letters of Paul were even written by one person, much less ALL of them, by the same person. There are internal stylistic differences in some which lead us to think they could NOT have been written, each, by the same person.

There is a curious statement in 1 Corinthians 15:8. He says he was "born abnormally". What the hell does that mean ? Is it a reference to his sexuality ? Or was he a cripple of same sort ? Was THAT his "thorn".

Then he says Jeebus appeared to him. That's NOT what the Damascus Road story says in Acts. If the story in Acts is what a resurrection citing was, then all the other stories are not similar, and it devalues them all.

Yes. If Jeebus had "appeared" to Paul, Paul would surely have written a description, and he never does. It's not every day you meet the son of God.

I think it is highly likely he was homosexual, and miserable because he was ashamed of the fact. It was very unusual for a pharisee, or,in fact, any Jew (apart from the Essenes) to remain celibate.

Whether or not he was homosexual, I think he was too mentally unstable to hold down a relationship with anyone.
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24-10-2012, 05:50 PM
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(24-10-2012 05:42 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(23-10-2012 02:12 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  There was more than one Paul. Clearly the Paul in Acts is not the Paul the Letter Writer. Their philosophies are different on some important matters.
There may be more than two even. Paul of Acts, Saul of Tarsus, (who clearly said his gospel was "revealed" and another Paul who said, he had "received" it, in terms that are used else where, synonymous with having been preached to).

There was a good deal of fighting about Paul's authority. In 1 Corinthians 9:1 he says, "Am I not free ? Am I not an apostle ? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord ?"
.....Umm, no dude, you haven't, unless you forgot to tell us about it. You mean to say that seeing Jeebus would be omitted somehow ? The story in Acts does not say he saw him, only heard something, and was blinded. We are never told he saw Jeebus in Acts. There is no complete consensus that EACH of the letters of Paul were even written by one person, much less ALL of them, by the same person. There are internal stylistic differences in some which lead us to think they could NOT have been written, each, by the same person.

There is a curious statement in 1 Corinthians 15:8. He says he was "born abnormally". What the hell does that mean ? Is it a reference to his sexuality ? Or was he a cripple of same sort ? Was THAT his "thorn".

Then he says Jeebus appeared to him. That's NOT what the Damascus Road story says in Acts. If the story in Acts is what a resurrection citing was, then all the other stories are not similar, and it devalues them all.

Yes. If Jeebus had "appeared" to Paul, Paul would surely have written a description, and he never does. It's not every day you meet the son of God.

I think it is highly likely he was homosexual, and miserable because he was ashamed of the fact. It was very unusual for a pharisee, or,in fact, any Jew (apart from the Essenes) to remain celibate.

Whether or not he was homosexual, I think he was too mentally unstable to hold down a relationship with anyone.

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 ?

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24-10-2012, 06:21 PM (This post was last modified: 24-10-2012 11:42 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Who was Saint Paul?
(24-10-2012 05:50 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(24-10-2012 05:42 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Yes. If Jeebus had "appeared" to Paul, Paul would surely have written a description, and he never does. It's not every day you meet the son of God.

I think it is highly likely he was homosexual, and miserable because he was ashamed of the fact. It was very unusual for a pharisee, or,in fact, any Jew (apart from the Essenes) to remain celibate.

Whether or not he was homosexual, I think he was too mentally unstable to hold down a relationship with anyone.

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, haemorrhoids....we just don't know.
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