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Old 10-20-2013, 08:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LargeKingCat View Post
But WHY do people accept Paul's writings? There is nothing enlightened or special about them, they do not compare to enlightened thinkers or philosophers...... so WHY?
He was personally commissioned by Jesus as the apostle to the Gentiles. That's good enough for me.

Having said that, have you ever read through and studied his letter to the Romans? It is an amazing work. He had an amazing grasp on the Jewish OT, and it shows how he explained them in relation to Christ.
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:29 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vizio View Post
He was personally commissioned by Jesus as the apostle to the Gentiles. That's good enough for me.

Having said that, have you ever read through and studied his letter to the Romans? It is an amazing work. He had an amazing grasp on the Jewish OT, and it shows how he explained them in relation to Christ.
Actually, Vizio, there is historical evidence that James and Peter had a great animosity toward Paul. In the Epistle of Peter (not part of the Bible, but still an historical document) Peter (or someone using his name) writes that "some from among the gentiles have rejected my lawful preaching, attaching themselves to certain lawless and trifling preaching of the man who is my enemy" (Epistle of Peter 2:3). Elsewhere Peter identifies this "false prophet" who teaches "the dissolution of the law" as Paul, cautioning his followers to "believe no teacher, unless he brings from Jerusalem the testimonial of James the Lord's brother, or whosoever may come after him" (Recognitions 4:34-35)

Despite Luke's attempt to gloss over the tension between Paul and the Jerusalem Jewish Christians, the requirement of James that Paul undergo a cleansing (Nazirite vow) in Acts 21 for his false teaching to JEWISH Christians (not to gentiles), would have been viewed as a humiliating experience by all involved. Paul submitted in the Bible as he could hardly argue against one of the most respected Jews in all of Jerusalem (James THE JUST), but there is also apocryphal evidence that there was a shouting match between them that ended with Paul pushing James down the Temple stairs.

Even if he underwent the humiliation of the Nazirite vow, he wasn't able to complete it. The scriptures say Turkish Jews (most likely Turkish CHRISTIAN Jews who had moved to the mother assembly of Christians) turned him in as a troublemaker to the authorities before he could complete the ceremony. He was promptly exiled to Rome from where he would never return.

Early Jewish Christians did not view Paul with favor. Reading only the scriptures and not other literature leaves one trapped by the Pauline apologists (such as Luke) who wanted him viewed in the best of light.

Because of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., most of the core of Jewish Christians, the ones who had seen Jesus in the flesh, had walked and talked with Him, had heard His preaching, were killed. It gave Pauline Christians the upper hand. Hence we have a different faith from the Jewish Christian faith which held on to the law of Moses. James had agreed gentiles would not be forced to become Jews before they became Christians, but JEWISH Christians were expected to remain faithful to the OT teachings.

And Paul CLAIMED he was appointed by Jesus. But if you read Luke's account in Acts, the requirement to be an apostle by Peter was "to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning form John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us," (Acts 1:21-22). That requirement would hardly fit Paul, and maybe was one of the reasons Paul was not anxious to spend much time with men who had done what he had not.

The letter to the Galatians is one of the most interesting of the Pauline letters because of the animated style it exhibits. Not only does Paul make a claim to be an apostle, he spends the first five verses of the letter with a defense of his claim and of the gospel he preaches and the next five verses condemning anyone who preaches another gospel! Right from the start we are aware that Paul's authority has been questioned, and the messages which he delivered to the Galatians is in question, and that Paul is certainly not willing to negotiate these issues. It is very clear that Paul sees his gospel as a revelation of Christ, and himself as one who was fore-ordained to deliver this message to the nations (1:11-12, 15f).

Who was it that Paul was defending himself against? It seems to be that James and the other Jerusalem Christians were sending messages BEHIND him telling the Galatians not to believe what he was teaching. His animated defense as to his position is an example of the tension between him and the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem.

But after the destruction of Jerusalem, Paul's constant travels and missions and his letters, as the earliest form of Christian communication, won out with surviving Christians over the more conservative, traditionally based faith of the Jerusalem Christians.

The predominance of Pauline based churches is in strict conflict with what the earliest Christians who actually knew Jesus personally taught, believed, and practiced.

Last edited by Wardendresden; 10-21-2013 at 12:04 AM..
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Wardendresden View Post
Actually, Vizio, there is historical evidence that James and Peter had a great animosity toward Paul. In the Epistle of Peter (not part of the Bible, but still an historical document) Peter (or someone using his name) writes that "some from among the gentiles have rejected my lawful preaching, attaching themselves to certain lawless and trifling preaching of the man who is my enemy" (Epistle of Peter 2:3). Elsewhere Peter identifies this "false prophet" who teaches "the dissolution of the law" as Paul, cautioning his followers to "believe no teacher, unless he brings from Jerusalem the testimonial of James the Lord's brother, or whosoever may come after him" (Recognitions 4:34-35)

Despite Luke's attempt to gloss over the tension between Paul and the Jerusalem Jewish Christians, the requirement of James that Paul undergo a cleansing (Nazirite vow) in Acts 21 for his false teaching to JEWISH Christians (not to gentiles), would have been viewed as a humiliating experience by all involved. Paul submitted in the Bible as he could hardly argue against one of the most respected Jews in all of Jerusalem (James THE JUST), but there is also apocryphal evidence that there was a shouting match between them that ended with Paul pushing James down the Temple stairs.

Even if he underwent the humiliation of the Nazirite vow, he wasn't able to complete it. The scriptures say Turkish Jews (most likely Turkish CHRISTIAN Jews who had moved to the mother assembly of Christians) turned him in as a troublemaker to the authorities before he could complete the ceremony. He was promptly exiled to Rome from where he would never return.

Early Jewish Christians did not view Paul with favor. Reading only the scriptures and not other literature leaves one trapped by the Pauline apologists (such as Luke) who wanted him viewed in the best of light.

Because of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., most of the core of Jewish Christians, the ones who had seen Jesus in the flesh, had walked and talked with Him, had heard His preaching, were killed. It gave Pauline Christians the upper hand. Hence we have a different faith from the Jewish Christian faith which held on to the law of Moses. James had agreed gentiles would not be forced to become Jews before they became Christians, but JEWISH Christians were expected to remain faithful to the OT teachings.

And Paul CLAIMED he was appointed by Jesus. But if you read Luke's account in Acts, the requirement to be an apostle by Peter was "to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning form John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us," (Acts 1:21-22). That requirement would hardly fit Paul, and maybe was one of the reasons Paul was not anxious to spend much time with men who had done what he had not.

The letter to the Galatians is one of the most interesting of the Pauline letters because of the animated style it exhibits. Not only does Paul make a claim to be an apostle, he spends the first five verses of the letter with a defense of his claim and of the gospel he preaches and the next five verses condemning anyone who preaches another gospel! Right from the start we are aware that Paul's authority has been questioned, and the messages which he delivered to the Galatians is in question, and that Paul is certainly not willing to negotiate these issues. It is very clear that Paul sees his gospel as a revelation of Christ, and himself as one who was fore-ordained to deliver this message to the nations (1:11-12, 15f).

Who was it that Paul was defending himself against? It seems to be that James and the other Jerusalem Christians were sending messages BEHIND him telling the Galatians not to believe what he was teaching. His animated defense as to his position is an example of the tension between him and the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem.

But after the destruction of Jerusalem, Paul's constant travels and missions and his letters, as the earliest form of Christian communication, won out with surviving Christians over the more conservative, traditionally based faith of the Jerusalem Christians.

The predominance of Pauline based churches is in strict conflict with what the earliest Christians who actually knew Jesus personally taught, believed, and practiced.

I'm sorry....I am not going to go down that bunny trail of you attempting to discredit Paul. Peter did refer to Paul's writings as scripture.
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Old 10-21-2013, 05:46 AM
 
Location: Frisco, TX
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And you can't argue with Paul's reasoning regarding the law and the remedy of grace. Like he said, the law never made anyone holy.

Paul was only reflecting on the events under law, and their counterparts under the new covenant - he didn't make them up. 3000 dying at Sinai, and 3000 saved at Pentecost - coincidence? God remembering man's sin even to the 3rd and 4th generation under the law, but remembering our sin no more under grace...direct opposition.

How about the events at the Mt. of Transfiguration? There was a lot of evidence of change even without Paul's writings.
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Old 10-21-2013, 06:10 AM
 
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Saul (Paul) persecuted Christians and his iniquity (sin) is still remembered nearly 2000 years later.

There are consequences to sin, sin is passed down from one generation to the next. Even if you believe or think that your sin is forgiven, it is not forgotten.
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:29 AM
Status: "The nicest curve on a woman's body is her smile" (set 13 days ago)
 
Location: Florida/Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShepherdMaster View Post
Saul (Paul) persecuted Christians and his iniquity (sin) is still remembered nearly 2000 years later.

There are consequences to sin, sin is passed down from one generation to the next. Even if you believe or think that your sin is forgiven, it is not forgotten.
Beyond original sin ... can you give an account for generational sins from your ancestors?
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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Default If it's not in the Bible it just ain't so

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vizio View Post
I'm sorry....I am not going to go down that bunny trail of you attempting to discredit Paul. Peter did refer to Paul's writings as scripture.
The dogmatic AND BUNNY TRAIL view is if it's not in the Bible it just ain't so. There are non-Biblical sources that provide some of the tension between Paul and the real apostles.

Paul's teaching upset the Jerusalem Christians, those who had actually walked with Jesus. They called him to Jerusalem to make account of himself---their accusation--he had been teaching Jews not just the Gentiles, to ignore Mose's teachings regarding circumcision and the customs of the Jews--which the Jerusalem Christians HAD NOT ABANDONED. What was their ruling? That Paul undergo a Nazarene "cleansing" (called a Nazarite vow, Numbers 6:2) with four other men. It was literally a public shaming of Paul. But James standing was so great Paul dared not challenge it (according to the Bible). It is while Paul is there, that his public arrest and extradition to Rome occurs. And there is an argument to be made that it was JEWISH CHRISTIANS that pointed the finger at Paul while he was undergoing seven days of purification rights. Jews from Turkey would have been unlikely to recognize Paul--unless they were converted Christians who had moved to be with the mother assembly (Acts 21:26-29). There is no other way to read Paul's participation in the Nazarite vow except as a renunciation of his ministry and a public declaration of James' authority over him---all the more reason to doubt Luke's account of Paul simply going along with the ritual without comment or complaint.

And if Paul was a "faith" only person, why would he agree to be part of a ceremony that ended in animal sacrifice? The answer is--he wouldn't!!!! He would have resisted. And there is evidence to indicate that he did. The first ten verses of Galatians indicate that Paul is ABSOLUTELY NOT going to negotiate on what he has been teaching. But then in Acts we have him meekly accepting James' corrective punishment. It simply doesn't fit.

In a set of traditions called the Recognitions there is a story of a violent confrontation between James and someone called "the enemy." In the text, James and the enemy are engaged in a shouting match inside the Temple when all of a sudden the enemy attacks James in a fit of rage and throws him down the Temple stairs. James is badly hurt by the fall, but his supporters come to his rescue. Remarkably, the enemy who attacked James is later identified as none other than Saul of Tarsus (Recognitions 1:70-71). There are flaws in the text in identifying Paul as Saul, but the recognition of Paul as "the enemy" is also found in the texts of the Pseudo-Clementines). In the epistle of Peter, for example, the chief apostle complains that "some from among the gentiles have rejected my lawful preaching, attaching themselves to certain lawless and trifling preaching of the man who is my enemy" (Epistle of Peter 2:3). Elsewhere, Peter flatly identifies this "false prophet" who teaches "the dissolution of the law" as Paul, cautioning his followers to "believe no teacher, unless he brings from Jerusalem the testimonial of James, the Lord's brother, or whomsoever may come after him" (Recognitions 4:34-35).

Although James certainly was extending fellowship to gentiles by excusing them from circumcision and other "burdens of the law," and he did not require them to become Jews before becoming Christians, he still insisted that they not completely divorce themselves from Judaism, that they maintain a measure of fidelity to the beliefs and practices of the very man they claimed to be following (Acts 15:12-21). Otherwise, the movement risked becoming a wholly new religion (which it did), and that is something neither James nor Jesus would ever have imagined.

Proof of James devotion to the law in Judaism is in the historical writings that show that even non-Christian Jews had great respect for James the Just.

Some material taken from Zealot, The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, copyright 2013, Aslan Media Inc., by Reza Aslan, Chapter 15, The Just One, pages 197-212.

Last edited by Wardendresden; 10-21-2013 at 09:17 AM..
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:27 PM
 
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Default Did Peter Despise Paul?

I have studied this piece of Scripture to no end. I can come to no clear consensus, nor can many scholars, on the EXACT reason why Paul submitted to the proposed Nazarite cleansing ritual. I've read so many different takes on it my head swims trying to sort them out. Sometimes I think brother Vizio's approach is best. It's a whole lot less time consuming.

Did Peter have a longstanding animosity toward Paul? 19th century German scholar F.C. Baur reasoned there was based primarily on The NT of The Clementines, Homilies and Recognitions, which includes the Epistle of Peter to James, you quoted. The 'law' v 'grace', 'Jew v Gentile', 'Peter v Paul' rose out of Baur's teachings based in large part on these writings. Baur had some far out ideas like Peter and Paul founded the RCC together and were martyred together. The Epistle of Peter to James does indicate Peter had little use for Paul. However, as you stated, who wrote the darn thing? Were they the narrative of Pope Clement or pseudo? Then, we have the dating controversy. There are so many theories I could fill this forum page explaining all the different theories. Many have a vested interest in securing an early date and just as many a later date. The RCC today does not attest that Clement was a contemporary of the Apostles, which casts incredibility to The Epistle of Clement to James which states,

2 -- Ordination of Clement. "But about that time, when he [Peter] was about to die, the brethren being assembled together, he suddenly seized my hand, and rose up, and said in presence of the church:  "Hear me, brethren and fellow-servants. Since, as I have been taught by the Lord and Teacher Jesus Christ, whose apostle I am, the day of my death is approaching, I lay hands upon this Clement as your bishop;"

.the accession of Clement would appear to be thirty-six years after the death of the Apostles. As this would make it almost impossible for Clement to have been their contemporary, it may have cause Hippolytus to shift him to an earlier position. (Catholic Encyclopedia)

It appears that by the time the Jerusalem Council rolled around whatever the tension was between them was either gone, or as you suggested, glossed over by Luke in Acts. Was Luke glossing it over, or were the problems settled and the two had moved on?

I submit this for your consideration, though it is NT Apochryphal from The Acts of Peter and Paul,or Passion of Peter and Paul (4th Century). I'm in way pledging to its reliability.

And while they were thus doing, some of those that had repented out of the nations, and that had been baptized at the preaching of Peter, sent elders to Paul with a letter to the following effect: Paul, dear servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, and brother of Peter, the first of the apostles, we have heard from the rabbis of the Jews that are in this Rome, the greatest of the cities, that they have asked Csar to send into all his governments, in order that, wherever you may be found, you may be put to death. But we have believed, and do believe, that as God does not separate the two great lights which He has made, so He is not to part you from each other, that is, neither Pete from Paul, nor Paul from Peter; but we positively believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, into whom we have been baptized, that we have become worthy also of your teaching. And some of Peter's disciples having been found there, and having received Paul, exhorted him to stay with them.

Paul saying these and such like things, the Jews went and said to Peter: Paul of the Hebrews has come, and entreats you to come to him, since those who have brought him say that he cannot meet whomsoever he may wish until he appear before Csar.

And Peter having heard, rejoiced with great joy; and rising up, immediately went to him. And seeing each other, they wept for joy; and long embracing each other, they bedewed each other with tears.

And when Paul had related to Peter the substance of all his doings, and how, through the disasters of the ship, he had come, Peter also told him what he had suffered from Simon the Magian, and all his plots. And having told these things, he went away towards evening.

And in the morning of the following day, at dawn, behold, Peter coming, finds a multitude of the Jews before Paul's door. And there was a great uproar between the Christian Jews and the Gentiles. For, on the one hand, the Jews said: We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, the friends of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, with whom God spoke, to whom He showed His own mysteries and His great wonders. But you of the Gentiles are no great thing in your lineage; if otherwise, you have become polluted and abominable by idols and graven images.

From here Simon Magai, Peter, and Paul go before Nero to plead their case. It is a long discourse, so Im omitting it. Nero questions the three men about the charges Simon Magai has leveled against them, mainly that Peter and Paul are turning the Jews against his teachings.

I pick it up here; Peter said: We preach one God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that has made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that therein is, who is the true King; and of His kingdom there shall be no end. Luke 1:33 Nero said: What king is lord? Paul said: The Saviour of all the nations. Simon said: I am he whom you speak of. Peter and Paul said: May it never be well with you, Simon, magician, and full of bitterness.

And Paul, having turned to Peter, said: It is my part to bend the knee, and to pray to God; and yours to produce the effect, if you should see him attempting anything, because you were first taken in hand by the Lord. And Paul, bending his knees, prayed. And Peter, looking steadfastly upon Simon, said: Accomplish what you have begun; for both your exposure and our call is at hand: for I see my Christ calling both me and Paul. 

Quote:

Yet still, there is even more textual evidence to show
that there was agreement between these two apostles. For those who say, "I dont
believe what Paul wrote", note this fact: Paul and Peter used the same preaching
companions to proclaim the message. If we were only suppose to believe the words
of Peter, why would he preach in cooperation with Silvanus? Peter said, "By
Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly,
exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand"
(1st Peter 5:12). Silvanus Aramaic name was Silas! He worked just as closely
with Peter as he did with Paul! (Acts 16:19,25,29; 2 Corinthians 1:19). Even 1st
Thessalonians 1:1 says, "Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy to the church of the
Thessalonians...". It is clear that these scriptures aught to help one who may
have been misinformed. Some people who think that Peter and Paul were
doctrinally at odds with one another, need to consider the gravity of these
previous passages. Either Paul and Peter were both inaccurate, or else they both
had God stamp of approval for what they taught. Please consider this carefully,
for God is not the author of confusion but of peace. The lives of Peter and Paul
are important, but more important than even their lives, is the fact that they
both believed Jesus arose and awaits us to all serve him. & By: J.R.
Rosado







 
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Old 10-21-2013, 07:13 PM
 
Location: On the Edge of the Fringe
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Originally Posted by Dave_n_Tenn View Post
Well... if you think of Christianity as a philosophy as well, you might see the goodness beyond the author, after all Paul's writings are inspired. What philosopher do you completely and totally agree with? I'd venture to say... none. Who understands "it" all?

Try reading "The Measure of a Man" by Gene A. Getz... puts it in context.
Why would you venture to say "none"? There are in fact a number of great philosophers whom I have studied and admired. Paul is simply not one of them. While I do not completely and totally agree with ALL of them (After all, life is not an all - or - nothing affair) I do not agree with any of Paul's really.

I have met a number of philosophers and preachers whom all claim to have heard the "voice of god" and are on a mission in life to evangelize as such. For many, adjusting their medication was adequate, but for those who continue to hallucinate and live in an unhealthy state of reality, we fortunately have places for them.

Paul is, sadly, as we have proven before, mentally and neurologically ill. Not someone worth following, rather someone worth helping. If he were alive today, we could addresses his mental illnesses as well as his seizure disorder, and through modern science, give him a better life. For all else, for those who reject the truth of science and what it offers, there is mythology, delusion, and ignorance, of which Paul's philosophy epitomizes to a sad state.
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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Originally Posted by LargeKingCat View Post
Why would you venture to say "none"? There are in fact a number of great philosophers whom I have studied and admired. Paul is simply not one of them. While I do not completely and totally agree with ALL of them (After all, life is not an all - or - nothing affair) I do not agree with any of Paul's really.

I have met a number of philosophers and preachers whom all claim to have heard the "voice of god" and are on a mission in life to evangelize as such. For many, adjusting their medication was adequate, but for those who continue to hallucinate and live in an unhealthy state of reality, we fortunately have places for them.

Paul is, sadly, as we have proven before, mentally and neurologically ill. Not someone worth following, rather someone worth helping. If he were alive today, we could addresses his mental illnesses as well as his seizure disorder, and through modern science, give him a better life. For all else, for those who reject the truth of science and what it offers, there is mythology, delusion, and ignorance, of which Paul's philosophy epitomizes to a sad state.
Geez, LargeKingCat, I'm not much of an admirer of Paul either considering he hijacked the early church. But I cut him more slack than that--and still read his letters (but with a more skeptical eye).
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