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Old 05-21-2013, 03:49 PM   #1
Tommy
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Default Credibility of St Paul

St Paul reports in Galatians that he met Peter and James. As we know, in those pauline writings generally considered authentic St Paul insists that all his knowledge came through revelation, never quotes Christ nor mentions His career before the final week and describes Christ as a "spirit". This lack of details about Christ is seen as reason to suppose that biographies were not then in circulation thus pushing completion of the gospels until later and implying that old testament parallels within them were sources for their construction. What though does it say about St Paul?

In his own writings St Paul reports becoming a Christian following a revelation three years before he met possible witnesses to Christ's earthly life and FOURTEEEN years before they accepted him as one of their own (presumably his letter-writing followed this acceptance). What was St Paul preaching in the three years between his first revelation and his meeting Peter and James? What did St Paul do in the subsequent fourteen years prior to writing the epistle to the Galatians?

None of the canonical gospels metion Paul - odd given that he his career had already happened and was more influential in spreading Christainity than the Great Commission. All four evangelists mention John the Baptist; one would think they could have extended their narratives slightly to include the third greatest figure in Christianity. Acts mentions St Paul but differs so greatly on the details of his career that either the author of Acts or Paul were being creative and it seems theologically easier to credit the creativity to the author of Acts. Either the evangelists didn't know about St Paul or didn't see him worth mentioning.

Was St Paul quite a peripheral figure in first century Christianity?
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:48 PM   #2
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Default Credibility of St Paul

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Originally Posted by Tommy View Post
St Paul reports in Galatians that he met Peter and James. As we know, in those pauline writings generally considered authentic St Paul insists that all his knowledge came through revelation, never quotes Christ nor mentions His career before the final week and describes Christ as a "spirit". This lack of details about Christ is seen as reason to suppose that biographies were not then in circulation thus pushing completion of the gospels until later and implying that old testament parallels within them were sources for their construction. What though does it say about St Paul?

In his own writings St Paul reports becoming a Christian following a revelation three years before he met possible witnesses to Christ's earthly life and FOURTEEEN years before they accepted him as one of their own (presumably his letter-writing followed this acceptance). What was St Paul preaching in the three years between his first revelation and his meeting Peter and James? What did St Paul do in the subsequent fourteen years prior to writing the epistle to the Galatians?

None of the canonical gospels metion Paul - odd given that he his career had already happened and was more influential in spreading Christainity than the Great Commission. All four evangelists mention John the Baptist; one would think they could have extended their narratives slightly to include the third greatest figure in Christianity. Acts mentions St Paul but differs so greatly on the details of his career that either the author of Acts or Paul were being creative and it seems theologically easier to credit the creativity to the author of Acts. Either the evangelists didn't know about St Paul or didn't see him worth mentioning.

Was St Paul quite a peripheral figure in first century Christianity?
Is Paul credible?

In a grave moment of crisis for the Roman Church the Roman Pontiff summons God, Peter and Paul to his defence. Paul then is one member of another sacred trinity defending the honour of Rome and he is credited with having educated the Roman Church.

The exquisite irony of this sad affair is that the enemies of the Pontiff were claiming to have been inspired by the writings of the same Paul.

Do Jewish commentators consider the role of Paul in Christianity to have been an important one?


Quote:
Exsurge Domine
Bull of Pope Leo X issued June 15, 1520
Arise, O Lord, and judge your own cause...
Rise, Peter, and fulfil this pastoral office...
We beseech you also, Paul, to arise. It was you that enlightened and illuminated the Church by your doctrine...

http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo10/l10exdom.htm
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:58 PM   #3
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Was St Paul quite a peripheral figure in first century Christianity?
He wasnt some famous figure or viewed highly early on. He was viewed simple as a martyr for the movement by early followers.


The movement early on was wide and varied and Paul states quite clearly he wasnt the only teacher running around spreading the good news.

Many aspects of the movement developed independantly of Paul and his teachings who "when" viewed was seen as sort of a extremist. Its exactly why later authors tried to tame him down in the later Epistles we cannot attribute to the real Paul.

Quote:
As we know, in those pauline writings generally considered authentic St Paul insists that all his knowledge came through revelation,

What can Paul really say here? While I was hunting down and murdering Christians I learned quite a bit about the movement before it took within me????????


Also, ones own conscious thoughts were viewed as divine inspiration and revelation, as well as dreams ect ect
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tommy View Post
St Paul reports in Galatians that he met Peter and James. As we know, in those pauline writings generally considered authentic St Paul insists that all his knowledge came through revelation, never quotes Christ nor mentions His career before the final week and describes Christ as a "spirit". This lack of details about Christ is seen as reason to suppose that biographies were not then in circulation thus pushing completion of the gospels until later and implying that old testament parallels within them were sources for their construction. What though does it say about St Paul?

In his own writings St Paul reports becoming a Christian following a revelation three years before he met possible witnesses to Christ's earthly life and FOURTEEEN years before they accepted him as one of their own (presumably his letter-writing followed this acceptance). What was St Paul preaching in the three years between his first revelation and his meeting Peter and James? What did St Paul do in the subsequent fourteen years prior to writing the epistle to the Galatians?

None of the canonical gospels metion Paul - odd given that he his career had already happened and was more influential in spreading Christainity than the Great Commission. All four evangelists mention John the Baptist; one would think they could have extended their narratives slightly to include the third greatest figure in Christianity. Acts mentions St Paul but differs so greatly on the details of his career that either the author of Acts or Paul were being creative and it seems theologically easier to credit the creativity to the author of Acts. Either the evangelists didn't know about St Paul or didn't see him worth mentioning.

Was St Paul quite a peripheral figure in first century Christianity?
To me, it appears so. None of the early Christian theologians mention anything about free will and predestination, which is a major them in Romans and Acts. So it seems to me that Paul's theology was not well known or important until the era of Augustine, by which time Paul is well known and considered authoritative. Acts is one of the few works that says much about Paul.

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Old 05-21-2013, 09:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tommy View Post
None of the canonical gospels metion Paul - odd given that he his career had already happened and was more influential in spreading Christainity than the Great Commission. All four evangelists mention John the Baptist; one would think they could have extended their narratives slightly to include the third greatest figure in Christianity.
Luke quite literally did just that. He wrote a whole sequel to his Gospel that was all about Paul.

The answer to your larger question is that Pauline Christianity only appears to have become significant after the destruction of Jerusalem and the effective destruction of the original Palestinian Jewish Jesus sect (in whatever form that may have taken) after 70 CE. Paul's Gentile satellite churches were what was left over after 70, and Paul's mission to the Gentiles seems to have been a fringe operation with regards to the original movement and only inherited its quasi orthodox status after 70. Paul is like Frasier to the original Cheers.
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:49 AM   #6
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None of the canonical gospels mention Paul - odd given that he his career had already happened and was more influential in spreading Christainity than the Great Commission. .... Either the evangelists didn't know about St Paul or didn't see him worth mentioning.
As I see it, the problem is that Paul looms so large in GMark that he is easily missed. The Jesus story was based on Paul. This is so, at a minimum, in the sense that Paul Nadim Tarazi explains it in his “The New Testament : An Introduction,” volume 1, “Paul and Mark,” (or via: amazon.co.uk) St. Vladimir’s Press:

“Mark decided to create a ‘story of Jesus’ and intended it to serve as scripture, but what will have been the source for the overall outline of that story? Could he have created it from scratch, devising his own plan for fitting numerous vignettes about Jesus into a cohesive whole? I am convinced that he in fact utilized a story outline that had already been known among the Gentile churches… [I]in the minds of Paul’s disciples and communities, the ‘gospel story’ was already outlined: it followed the major contours of Paul’s life and activity as an apostle” (pp. 126-127)

“… the image of Paul shows through in Mark’s portrayal of Jesus” (p. 129)

“The literary structure of Mark can best be discerned precisely by paying attention to the way Paul and the issues facing his Gentile churches show through in the story of Jesus.” (p. 129)


But I myself would go beyond this explanation in two ways. First, I think that Paul and Simon of Samaria were one and the same person. And second, it was not just the outline of the story of Jesus that was based on Paul/Simon’s ministry. It was the whole of the public ministry in GMark that was based on him. Thus, for example, the visit of Jesus to Tyre where he frees the daughter of the Syro-Phoenician woman from the spirit holding her captive is an allegorical portrayal of Simon’s visit to Tyre where he freed his First Thought, Helen, from the spirits holding her captive. It is not for nothing that GMark tells his reader that the woman was “Hellene.” And that the girl is called a dog (Simon said Helen had undergone repeated incarnations, including some in the bodies of animals).

Simon claimed to be a new manifestation of the Son who suffered in Judaea. So the author of GMark composed an allegory about Simon/Paul’s ministry and joined it to an account of the Son’s crucifixion. The seam between those two parts is the release of the Son of the Father (Barabbas). Simon exits his public ministry at his release as Barabbas. He re-enters the scene as Simon the Cyrenian and switches places surreptitiously with a man being led out for execution. And the subsequent crucifixion scene was Simonized, especially by bringing into it Magdalene (the tower), Salome (feminine form of wise Solomon), and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses (whose name means “exalted”). These represent three of the titles Simon gave to his First Thought: she was the (1) Helen, who looked for his coming from the tower at Troy (2) Sophia, the Wisdom of God, and (3) the Mother of All, great and small.

As I see it, GMark was written to be riddle, one that would be understood and appreciated by those on the inside (Simonians) and misunderstood by those on the outside. The question posed by the riddle is: who is this mysterious Jesus figure? I think the correct answer is: Paul/Simon of Samaria.
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:20 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Tommy View Post
St Paul reports in Galatians that he met Peter and James. As we know, in those pauline writings generally considered authentic St Paul insists that all his knowledge came through revelation, never quotes Christ nor mentions His career before the final week and describes Christ as a "spirit". This lack of details about Christ is seen as reason to suppose that biographies were not then in circulation thus pushing completion of the gospels until later and implying that old testament parallels within them were sources for their construction. What though does it say about St Paul?

In his own writings St Paul reports becoming a Christian following a revelation three years before he met possible witnesses to Christ's earthly life and FOURTEEEN years before they accepted him as one of their own (presumably his letter-writing followed this acceptance). What was St Paul preaching in the three years between his first revelation and his meeting Peter and James? What did St Paul do in the subsequent fourteen years prior to writing the epistle to the Galatians?

None of the canonical gospels metion Paul - odd given that he his career had already happened and was more influential in spreading Christainity than the Great Commission. All four evangelists mention John the Baptist; one would think they could have extended their narratives slightly to include the third greatest figure in Christianity. Acts mentions St Paul but differs so greatly on the details of his career that either the author of Acts or Paul were being creative and it seems theologically easier to credit the creativity to the author of Acts. Either the evangelists didn't know about St Paul or didn't see him worth mentioning.

Was St Paul quite a peripheral figure in first century Christianity?
Other than Paul's questionable assertion that he was writing in the 40's or50's, there is no other evidence in support of it.

I suggest you read How Jesus Became Christian (or via: amazon.co.uk) by Barrie Wilson, in which the idea is presented that Acts was written in an effort to harmonize the Paulines with the gospels.
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:54 AM   #8
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None of the canonical gospels mention Paul - odd given that he his career had already happened and was more influential in spreading Christainity than the Great Commission. .... Either the evangelists didn't know about St Paul or didn't see him worth mentioning.
As I see it, the problem is that Paul looms so large in GMark that he is easily missed. The Jesus story was based on Paul....
Your statement is extremely contradictory. It is not logical that Paul looms large in gMark when the author of gMark used virtually Nothing from the Pauline writings to fabricate his Jesus.

The Jesus story was fundamentally based on so-called Prophecies in Hebrew Scripture.

The Jesus story was based on the supposed Words of the Lord.

The Markan Jesus contradicted the Pauline's revealed Gospel of the Resurrected Son of God.

gMark's Jesus did not want any outsiders to be converted which is contrary to the Pauline Jesus.

The Markan Jesus did not want any one to know he was Christ and ordered his disciples not to tell. A Pauline writer claimed he was call by God to preach Christ.

The Markan Jesus preached salvation by the Law but Paul claimed that No man is justified by the Law.

The Markan Jesus deliberately spoke in Parables so that the outsiders would remain unconverted but Paul's Jesus was a Savior.

Galatians 2:16
Quote:
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Now the words of the Markan Jesus.

Mark 10
Quote:
17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

19[b] Thou knowest the commandments[/b ], Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me
The story of Jesus in gMark was not derived from the Pauline letters.

In fact, the Pauline letters were composed well after the story of Jesus was already known.

1.The Pauline writer claimed he persecuted the Church of Christ.

2. The Pauline writer claimed there were people in Christ before him.

3.The Pauline writer claimed he was Last to see the resurrected Jesus.

4. The Pauline writer claimed there were Scriptures with the story that Jesus died for the sins of mankind and was resurrected on the third day.

All the elements to show that the Pauline writings are not credible are in place.
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:10 PM   #9
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Thank you all for your thoughts. RParvus: an intersting interpretation but I would tend to side with Mr 5874 that the differences between the markan and pauline Christs are insumountable.

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As we know, in those pauline writings generally considered authentic St Paul insists that all his knowledge came through revelation,

What can Paul really say here? While I was hunting down and murdering Christians I learned quite a bit about the movement before it took within me????????
Well, he would surely have learnt something. Also, he goes out of his way to state that his got his gospel from revalation (straight from God) rather than second-hand through Peter and James' memories.

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None of the canonical gospels metion Paul - odd given that he his career had already happened and was more influential in spreading Christainity than the Great Commission. All four evangelists mention John the Baptist; one would think they could have extended their narratives slightly to include the third greatest figure in Christianity.
Luke quite literally did just that. He wrote a whole sequel to his Gospel that was all about Paul.
Isn't Acts really about how Peter and Paul agree in spite of conflicts with that presented in St Paul's epistles? If "Luke" uniquely saw fit to include the ascencion within his gospel why leave Christ's appearance to Paul some months later for the sequal? - the latter had more impact than the former.
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:15 PM   #10
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The answer to your larger question is that Pauline Christianity only appears to have become significant after the destruction of Jerusalem and the effective destruction of the original Palestinian Jewish Jesus sect (in whatever form that may have taken) after 70 CE. Paul's Gentile satellite churches were what was left over after 70, and Paul's mission to the Gentiles seems to have been a fringe operation with regards to the original movement and only inherited its quasi orthodox status after 70. Paul is like Frasier to the original Cheers.
It seems that 70 AD is the point before which history can only hypothesize about Christianity and its founder(s) - both the beginnings of the markan tradition and the point at which pauline theology began to prevail. Prior to that we can only speculate about oral traditions, lost sources and Galileans.
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