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Featured Did Paul champion the Cause of Christ or corrupt it?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Dawnofhope, Oct 3, 2018.

?
  1. Yes, he championed it

    37.1%
  2. No, he corrupted it

    28.6%
  3. He changed Christ's message somewhat

    14.3%
  4. He made minor changes

    2.9%
  5. This poll does not reflect my thinking

    11.4%
  6. I don't know

    5.7%
  1. TheBannerofHomuraAkemi

    TheBannerofHomuraAkemi Active Member

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    I think Paul was a man who saw the growing church and the chaotic nature of it if was to be left alone. So he got the bright idea to write a bunch of letters to churches telling them what to do to bring the system to order and make it more in control to ether gain power from it or protect it from outside sources.
     
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  2. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    Imagine any devoted and genuine type of religious person who lives an entire lifetime of visiting religious centres for services, feeling guilty about various bodily needs and forces, obeying all kinds of guidance rules & laws, and generally having been told how to think behave and ..... generally how to live; and at the end of their life they (somehow) discover that 'The Path of Zog' or whatever was not even a rough-track let-alone a pathway to a happy heaven or pleasure dome (whatever)....... and they are telling you all this (somehow) ..... you certainly couldn't feel empathy for them 'cos you didn't experience all that waste of life yourself, but you sure could have sympathy. Would you? Would you sympathise?
     
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  3. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    IMO that's a perfect precis of the whole issue.

    Exactly, imo.
    From what I have read, Bahauallah certainly did not believe in Paul's Christianity, but he definitely did think that Jesus (Yeshuia) was an important religious messenger, which I have little doubt that both he and the Baptist were.

    Many Creeds believe in the above, but many other Christian Creeds believe in Heaven through right-living, right-thinking.

    [
    Trailblazer, I have never quite understood this particular belief held by some Christians...

    The New Testament shows 1050 guidances, rules and laws for Christians to live by, including having to live under the laws of the lands which they reside within, which of course does suggest 'living under a law'.

    Maybe Paul felt that 'entry to heaven' din't require a perfect life, just faith... ?


    He certainly did........ Yeshua BarYosef and the Baptist had a completely different mission. I've often wondered whether Paul's contract to put down Yeshua's followers switched into a complete 'hearts and minds' re-routing into a system of control that Rome had thought out? A system that eventually would go wrong for Rome and need culling out? This sounds incredible until we think of the ridiculous initiatives that some of our secret services have dreamed up and failed at over recent decades! :p

    Pauline Christianity in its most extreme groups has produced churches that want to see public (painful) executions of Gays, Adulterers, Prostitutes, Murderers, Abortionists etc etc....... a kind of religious psychosis.

    I'll bet that Bahauallah warned folks to keep clear of anything that was harmful to them.

    OK....... so there are some paragraphs in Bahai which make a lot of sense to me. You've shown that here.
     
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  4. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    "Abdu'l-Baha has mentioned Paul and his role abrogating Mosaic law." Unquote.

    So, it was Paul who abrogated the Law of Moses, Jesus did not abrogate it.
    Regards
     
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  5. Milton Platt

    Milton Platt Well-Known Member

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    He is the only one scholars believe might have actually written the things attributed to him. The other writers are all anonymous.
     
  6. Marcion

    Marcion gopa of humanity's controversial Taraka Brahma

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    I'm curious to find out what we know about this man called Paul in the New Testament from external sources, that would make him a real historical character.
     
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  7. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Veteran Member

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    If Jesus hasn't risen from the dead, then Christians should be the most pitied of all people. So should we be pitying them? I said that meaning that if the Baha'is are correct that Jesus didn't rise physically from the dead, then by what Paul is teaching is wrong. He doesn't believe Jesus is dead. He believes that Jesus came back to life... at least that is what my Christian friends tell me. So they shouldn't be pitied at all.

    But, if Jesus is dead, and only his spirit is alive, then what? And, if that's the truth, then they should be pitied, 'cause for 2000 years most Christians have been wrong. But who ya goin to believe? Christians show the Scriptures, including Paul's. Baha'is, mostly Adrian, show me an alternative interpretation of those Scriptures to make them symbolic. I think I'm to be pitied. What do you believe? Maybe I'll try that instead.
     
  8. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Veteran Member

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    That's what I was taught to believe. Since we can't be perfect, and will fail at trying to keep the laws of God perfectly, we can't get into the Christian heaven by our good deeds. Paul quotes, probably out of context, that our righteousness is like "filthy" rags to God. So faith in Jesus gets us in, and Paul says that way it's not by our good works, so nobody can boast. But there is always a glitch. If a person isn't perfect, and can't do the things Jesus commands perfectly, how about that person's faith? Isn't that imperfect too?

    When I was trying to be a Christian, I had doubts galore. Others that had doubts would say that the devil was messing with their heads. Maybe. But maybe... it was reason. Maybe the subconscious saying that some of those Christian literal beliefs don't make any sense. But the Baha'i Faith is supposed to be a reasonable faith... Something that you don't have to turn your brain off to. But I had doubts, and still do, about some of the things they believe.
     
  9. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    I was thinking its really helpful to have the thoughts of a reputable albeit controversial biblical scholar on this thread.

    Messiah in Judaism - Wikipedia

    This scholar is not without his critics but that is fine.

    James Tabor - Wikipedia

    Lets' consider the points he makes.

    It is fair to say that Paul had an enormous role in presenting the Teachings of Christ to the non-Jewish audience. 13 out of the 27 books in the New Testament are considered to have been written by Paul although there is controversy over 6 of those books.

    Do keep in mind that it is not Paul's fault that so many of his works made it into New Testament Canon. Nor was it his doing that he was accepted as a an apostle along with the others. That is just who he was and the way it played out. The New Testament canon was chosen in the 4th century BC and most all the early Christian writers and scholars appear to have regarded Paul highly. For example one of the earliest references to New Testament canon is Clement of Rome.

    Clement... makes occasional reference to certain words of Jesus; though they are authoritative for him, he does not appear to enquire how their authenticity is ensured. In two of the three instances that he speaks of remembering 'the words' of Christ or of the Lord Jesus, it seems that he has a written record in mind, but he does not call it a 'gospel'. He knows several of Paul's epistles, and values them highly for their content; the same can be said of the Epistle to the Hebrews, with which he is well acquainted. Although these writings obviously possess for Clement considerable significance, he never refers to them as authoritative 'Scripture'.

    Development of the New Testament canon - Wikipedia

    We still have the four gospels that make up the first four books of the New testament. The question is did Paul contradict what Jesus said. it is true that Paul had a lot to say about the Teachings of Christ but what is there that's opposed?

    The first problem we have is the relative paucity of New Testament that includes the actual words of Jesus. The four gospels have unclear authorship though I understand from a Baha'i perspective John the apostle is most likely the author of the gospel of John. However that gospel was the last of the gospels to have been written late in the first century. So we have an understandable degree of uncertainty as to what Jesus taught.

    We need to be clear that the Teachings of Christ needed clarification and elaboration. Imagine how confused and divided Christianity would have become if it had not been for the Apostles. Consider how necessary the interpretations and explanations of Abdu'l-Baha and the Guardian were for the Baha'i Faith. To have no Apostles to have made interpretations would have prevented Christianity from being communicated to the Gentiles.
     
    #149 Dawnofhope, Oct 8, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
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  10. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    But why should they be pitied? I mean why should we feel sorry for them, because they were duped by the Church? Maybe, but there is no reason to pity them anymore because Baha'u'llah came and straightened all that out. The information is available if they really want it but if they want to continue to cling to their beliefs that is their choice because they have free will. I see no reason why anyone should feel sorry for them, not anymore. They are getting something out of that belief, or at least they think they are. From the belief in the bodily resurrection of Jesus they are getting all kinds of other beliefs, like the belief that Jesus is coming back and the belief that their bodies will rise from the grave and be glorified. From what I have seen, they do not want to relinquish these beliefs. It's their choice.
     
    #150 Trailblazer, Oct 8, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
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  11. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    I don't believe that Jesus was a Christ. I don't believe that Bahauallah was a manifestation of God. I think that Omar Khayyam was closer to truth than Bahai or Christianity. But that's just me......

    I'd love to sell you some Deism but the trouble is, it's buck-shee, only requiring your own thoughts to lead you to it if they can agree that all (everything and nothing, every force and no force) is a part of God, but a God so vast that you and I are as obscure to it as the kit-kat wrapper on my desk. :D

    *Old-B checks to see if any mods are watching* ... you wanna buy in?
    :p
     
  12. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    Perhaps Tabors main point is the Pauline Epistles that were to become canonical new testament books were available well before the gospels. These epistles in all likelihood influenced the gospels. A good example is the resurrection first mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15. There is a good reason to believe the gospel writers simply incorporated the resurrection narrative that was being preached by Paul. Of course Baha'u'llah emphasises the importance of the resurrection in the Kitab-i-Iqan and Abdu'l-Baha explains the body of Christ imagery that Paul uses represents the church.

    Bahá'í Reference Library - Some Answered Questions, Pages 103-105

    The belief that God is 'born in the flesh' or 'physically God incarnate' is reinforced by John 1:1-3 and reference to the logos.

    It is important to be aware of the abundance of biblical scripture that does not support this position and I'm sure you are very aware of this. For example:

    1 John 4:12
    "No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us."

    Mark 13:32
    But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

    1 KIng 8:27
    But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

    Malachi 3:6
    For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

    Such scripture seems to imply that Jesus can not possibly be God incarnate.

    The narrative of sacrificial death atoning for the sins of mankind is certainly from Paul. Jesus was hardly likely to made an issue of His crucifixion! However to what extent did the Churches misunderstand and misinterpret what Paul said?

    Abdu'l-Baha makes mention of the sacrifice of Christ.

    Bahá'í Reference Library - The Promulgation of Universal Peace, Pages 449-452

    as well as sin and atonement...

    Some Answered Questions | Bahá’í Reference Library

    Abdu'l-Baha is never critical of Paul of course. He simply reframes the understanding of the bible.
     
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  13. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    God certainly does move in mysterious ways when it comes to Paul. This is all true.

    I believe Paul was a mystic who had a close relationship with Jesus in the spirit. It sounds odd but the fact remains the truth of his teachings are affirmed by Peter. We do have works from other apostles that makeup the new testament canon.

    Once again Peter has affirmed the truth of what Paul has said. Paul's relative independence is not atypical of many outstanding characters in history. It wasn't as if he had no contact with any of the apostles ever.

    To imagine the teachings of Christ without the apostles would be like imagining the teachings of Baha'u'llah without Abdu'l-Baha. In some ways the are analogies between Paul and Abdu'l-Baha. Both had outstanding character. Both interpreted and taught the Teachings to another culture, Paul to the Gentiles, Abdu'l-Baha to the Christian West. Both had some authority in regards what they taught, Abdu'l-Baha directly from Baha'u'llah through His Will and Testament, Paul affirmed through Peter who was appointed by Christ. Both were tireless promulgators of their religion who sacrificed their lives for their cause. Paul was eventually Martyred.

    All true.

    Agreed.

    Interesting points.

    Once again thanks for introducing the works of a biblical scholar. It really elevates the discussion to another level.
     
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  14. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    Both Jesus and Paul abrogated the law of Moses.
     
  15. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    There is almost unanimous agreement from scholars that seven of the New Testament books were written by Paul. Just because a book doesn't mention who wrote doesn't mean to say it wasn't know who wrote it. Having said that I freely acknowledge the uncertainty when it comes to most of the other books in the New Testament.

    Yours avatar looks sad btw. :)
     
  16. Marcion

    Marcion gopa of humanity's controversial Taraka Brahma

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    There is a whole school of scholars who believe that those letters were never sent by anyone and were ever written by a Paul from the first century. I agree fully with their ideas. But I am sure that Simon Magus was a great tantric so it doesn't bother me.
    However it is nice to know what the real history is behind things, well sort of.
     
  17. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    I am not a biblical scholar and although Wikipedia has problems and is far from authoritative, the people who run it do make concerted efforts to ensure its material is well referenced, fair, and balanced as per the standard of any reputable encyclopaedia.

    There is nearly universal consensus in modern New Testament scholarship on a core group of authentic Pauline epistles whose authorship is rarely contested: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon.

    Authorship of the Pauline epistles - Wikipedia

    The standard for scholarship usually involves peer reviewed works rather than members of a political/religious organisation that all believe the same thing.

    Marcion of Sinope had a valuable role to play in the development of Biblical cannon but was considered a heretic.

    Development of the New Testament canon - Wikipedia
     
    #157 Dawnofhope, Oct 8, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
  18. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Yes, there are many similarities, but there are also differences. Paul did not have authority conferred upon him directly from a Manifestation of God as did Abdu'l-Baha. Paul changed the course of Christianity but Abdu'l-Baha did not change the course of the Baha'i Faith. Rather, he carried it forward.

    I could not sum up the difference between Jesus and Paul better than wizanda did in #39

    "The simplest way to explain the difference is: Yeshua came teaching a 'Living Gospel' where by doing good works, helping the poor, healing the sick, we could make it Heaven here...

    Paul & Simon (Christianity) taught a 'Dead Gospel' where believing jesus is your lord and savior who came to die, you get free eternal life simply for believing."​
     
  19. Dawnofhope

    Dawnofhope Veteran Member
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    Shoghi Effendi was not appointed as Guardian and authorised interpreter by a Manifestation of God. He was appointed by Abdu'l-Baha who had been appointed by Baha'u'llah. The truth of Pauls letters were affirmed by Peter who was appointed by a Manifestation of God.

    I have had many conversations with Wizanda over the last 2 years. Wizanda accepts just the synoptic gospels and rejects all the other books in the bible. He has an unusual theology based around his near death experience. I agree with some things he says but disagree with the rejection of any new testament canonical book.

    Calling Paul's teaching a 'Dead Gospel' would be considered a heretical view by many Christians not to mention rude and insulting. The Baha'i writings provide extensive commentary on the New Testament and Christianity. There is not one verse that would support such a view.

    As a Baha'i who grew up Christian and keep close associations with many Christians, I work hard to associate with peoples of all faiths in a spirit of love and fellowship. Most of the Christians I know are really nice people. I am the Baha'i representative on the interfaith council in my city.

    I remind Christians I believe in the same God, Jesus, and Bible they do and that is accepted.

    I may refer to Abdu'l-Baha's comment:

    THIS book is the Holy Book of God, of celestial Inspiration. It is the Bible of Salvation, the Noble Gospel. It is the mystery of the Kingdom and its light. It is the Divine Bounty, the sign of the guidance of God.

    Bahá'í Reference Library - ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, Pages 17-18

    I believe based on my study that Abdu'l-Baha would want me to continue to develop my knowledge of the Bible.

    The Bible and the Gospels are most honored in the estimation of all Baha'is. One of the spiritual utterances of His Holiness Christ in his Sermon on the Mount is preferable to me to all the writings of the philosophers. It is the religious duty of every Baha'i to read and comprehend the meanings of the Old and New Testament."
    (Abdu'l-Baha, Star of the West, Vol. 14, p. 55)

    I am starting to study the gospel of Matthew with some Christians on RF:

    Study of Matthew

    My understanding from the Baha'i writings is we should never force or impose on our views on others including Christians and our fellow Baha'is. We should give each person the space to understand God's revelation in their own way. We have a different perspective when it comes to Paul and I completely accept that.

    Its been useful to have a discussion with you about Paul. :)


     
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  20. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Veteran Member

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    Paul is the one that said if Jesus hasn't risen that Christians should be the most pitied. So his point is that they shouldn't be pitied, because they are right... Jesus has risen from the dead. So the pitiful thing is... the NT gospels say he did and Paul and the others say he did. Baha'is say he didn't.

    But, Baha'is say Jesus is a manifestation and how great he was. And then cut down all the myths and legends about him that made him great. Did he literally do any of the miracles? Who knows? Could the writers have added them in? Easily. If they did... does that make Jesus great and the NT the word of God? No. Unfortunately, Adrian keeps pointing out how Baha'is should believe in the gospels and what Paul said, when you and I know, that would be a total contradiction.

    The stories imply Jesus is God, because it says he forgave some guys sins. The story says he rose from the dead and conquered Satan's power. The story says a couple of people were brought back to life by Jesus and several people came out of their graves when Jesus was killed. Plus, the walking on water and turning water into wine and healing lepers and the blind people. Makes a fantastic story, but without those things, Jesus didn't do anything. Those things are the story about Jesus. Those things give him the authority to be speaking for God. Take them away and what did he do? He, supposedly, said a few things? What if those are myth and legend also?

    But, if a person's going to believe all that stuff is the truth, they got to believe Jesus is somebody special. Somebody that can forgive them of their sins and allow them into heavenly paradise. And, that he is coming back. That is Jesus. Not Muhammad or the Bab, or Baha'u'llah. The story says it's Jesus that's coming back... at least to Christians it does. But you know how it goes, Baha'i writings can explain all those references to the return to show it is not Jesus.

    But that means, if they are going to believe Paul is special, they got to explain his writings too. The main one being that Paul did say that Jesus, indeed, rose from the dead. And why oh why, like Baha'is claim, would he mean it symbolically? Either Jesus did or he didn't rise physically. To rise "spiritually" in a symbolic way is meaningless and makes all of Christianity meaningless. Not now. Not since Muhammad came, but from the beginning. It was a myth-based religion that gave people a false hope in something better in some perfect spirit world in the sky... pitiful isn't it?
     
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