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Is Paul the unimpeachable word of God?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Bennettresearch, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. Bennettresearch

    Bennettresearch Politically Incorrect

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    Challenge Paul, and people get upset. While it’s true that no one is totally wrong all of the time in what they say, on the same hand, can we say that someone is totally right all of the time? The only time that Jesus is quoted by Paul is to say the he was appointed as an Apostle. Even this was third party through the book of Acts. Paul was a trained Pharisee and he only seems to quote scriptures and not Jesus. Why is this?
     
  2. Troublemane

    Troublemane Well-Known Member

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    Paul of Tarsus was on the road to Damascus when he had a "vision" of the risen Christ, deliver the gospel to him. In his own words:
    This is probably why he never quotes Jesus---he never met the man in life, and was convinced he had received a special revelation from Christ personally, so his mission gave him superior understanding of Jesus, superceding even the original disciples. This leads him to make outrageous statements like how a man should not grow a beard since it offends his face, or a woman speak in church, etc.

    I personally have never liked Paul, and have thought Christianity would have been much better without him. :angel2:
     
  3. DallasApple

    DallasApple Depends Upon My Mood..

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    Paul is suspiscious to me...

    Love

    Dallas
     
  4. imbobbbb

    imbobbbb Member

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    Well i don't believe 'any' mortal man to be the unimpeachable word of God.Add that to the fact that paul didn't write in english and we dont have many ,if any ,of his original writings in his own hand to know exactly what he did write to be able to know his exact 'take' on everything.
     
  5. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    My guess would be that this is because Paul (or whoever wrote the Epistles attributed to him) was not familiar with the sayings of Jesus or the Gospels as we know them.
     
  6. Charity

    Charity Let's go racing boys !

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    I don't think Paul was really trying to win a popularity contest anyway.....just speak what he believed to be the message of Jesus Christ as Savior. ;)
     
  7. blackout

    blackout Violet.

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    Can I get an AMEN up in here! :clap

    I don't like him either.
     
  8. Dunemeister

    Dunemeister Well-Known Member

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    Paul is much despised because he's much misunderstood. He's accused of everything from antisemitism to misogyny, but neither charge sticks if you understand his theology on its own terms rather than importing your own.
     
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  9. spiritually inclined

    spiritually inclined Active Member

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    It is true that it is easy to misunderstand Paul and other scriptures because they were written in a radically different time and culture; words also become distorted with time through translation and changes in language. Also, some concepts are difficult to understand without a historical/cultural background, much of which gets lost. Add to that interpolations, writings attributed to Paul that weren't really his, etc.

    That being said, there are still things Paul says that I cannot agree with, such as his belief that it is the natural order of things for a woman to submit to her husband or that anyone with a differing message from his own is cursed.

    Even if Paul was an infallible authority -- a concept I find ridiculous -- as I said, there have been so many changes in the credibility of the scriptures through changes in language, translation, loss of history and culture, interpolations and other corruptions in the texts, and pseudo-Pauline writings, that we cannot possibly rely on his writings as infallible.

    James
     
  10. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Scriptures never ever claim to be the Word of God: only Jesus is the Word. They also never claim to be perfect, as they are written by men who were inspired by God. Both Peter and Paul add "laws" on us, and so obviously they missed the point of Freedom in Christ from time to time. HOWEVER, both were painfully aware of their inadequacies. God works through the humble, for when we are weak we can be STRONG!
     
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  11. spiritually inclined

    spiritually inclined Active Member

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    How do you believe a person can gain access to the word/Christ? And if people access it -- say, through the Holy Spirit -- why are there so many interpretations of Christianity, the gospel, Christ's message?

    James
     
  12. Troublemane

    Troublemane Well-Known Member

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    Probably the most annoying thing about Paul (for me) was the way I was introduced to him. A group of Born-Again Xians gave me a bible to read in college, and i started from the beginning, reading straight through. WoW! that peed them off something fierce!

    "NO! you're supposed to read these sections we have highlighted for you! Read Isaiah here and here, read these Psalms, and read all of Paul!"

    I said,..."eh, you dont want me to read the gospels first? Arent those the words of Christ?"

    They said,"Yes but Paul makes them make sense. So read them first."

    Well, thanks to Paul, and those fundies, I went back and read the gospels first, and have found the words of Jesus himself to be much more interesting, much more user-friendly and spiritually inspired. :D
     
  13. blackout

    blackout Violet.

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    Is it "Paulianity"?
    or "CHRISTianity"?

    If you read Y'shua's kingdom teachings and such
    WITHOUT the "Paul" filter....
    a whole "new" wealth of meaning opens up there.

    It's almost as if Paul stepped in to subvert the deeper meaning.
    (or he was purposely "inserted" in, there at the end,
    to keep people from reaching inside/within
    to understand the Christ teachings FOR THEMSELVES.)
     
    #13 blackout, Aug 17, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2008
  14. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Because everyone needs something a bit different from the Spirit and the scriptures. It would be one thing if we all had the same problems, but we don't.

    But don't take my word for it. READ the scriptures. They keep pointing us to the Holy Spirit and NOT to themselves. Do yourself a favor and go to BibleGateway.com: A searchable online Bible in over 100 versions and 50 languages. and do a search on "Spirit". See where that takes you. Yes, there will be a metric butt ton of scriptures to wade through, but I promise it will be worth it.
     
  15. Dunemeister

    Dunemeister Well-Known Member

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    These are two cases in point. That women are to submit to their husbands is only half the story. Husbands are commanded to submit to their wives as well. The submission is to be mutual.

    The "differing messages" has to do with people preaching false gospels. His immediate target in that polemic were those who would deny Gentiles membership in the church because they weren't circumcised and didn't keep kosher. Paul was big on inclusion, and he insisted that all and sundry -- without exception -- were welcome in the church. And so long as people continued in holiness (defined without resort to specifically kosher elements of the Law), they were to be permitted to stay.

    Besides, it's a natural corollary for the early Christian claim that Jesus is Lord that all other putative lords are not. If Jesus is Lord, Buddha is not. If Jesus is Lord, Zeus is not. And so on. So if you have a problem on a large scale with this, you have a problem with Christianity, not with Paul.

    Seems to me Paul should be celebrated for his call to mutual submission and inclusivity, not criticized.

    I don't claim that Paul or anyone else in scripture is infallible. I claim that they are decisively authoritative for all Christians.
     
  16. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    I think you are missing the big difference between Paul and Peter. Peter was never a Rabbi. All of his schooling was at the feet of Jesus and from his childhood, and yet he was the Apostle for the Jews.

    Paul, on the other hand, was Pharisaical scholar and yet he was chosen to be the Apostle for the Gentiles.

    Two completely different groups of people so we have two apostles treating each culture completely differently. Is this wrong? No. Christianity was never about social conformity, but rather blending INTO society. Every other social issue PALES by comparison to seeking and saving the lost. Here is Paul's take on this phenomenon:

    I Corinthians 9:19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. NIV

    Galatians 2:8 For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles.
    NIV

    Unfortunately, modern day disciples seem to be searching for a rigidity in our collective beliefs. They want to make us CONFORM to their opinions and beliefs and they even try to couch them in Biblical terms. Take the issue of alcohol. How many churches repudiate anyone who inbibes, and yet Jesus was often called a drunkard. They have gone the way of the Pharisee in desiring to set themselves apart by OUTWARD appearances. Rather than being inclusive like Jesus, they draw all sorts of lines in the sand that only serve to STOP belief in those who aren't exactly like them.

    It's insidious and can be seen in something as simple as praying before each and every meal. That hearkens back to the Pharisees who prayed where??? IN PUBLIC. Why? So they can be seen as being pious by men. I would suggest that you are doing more HARM than good by creating these false appearances. What is important? Nothing but faith being expressed through love (Galatians 5:6). How is the world SUPPOSED to know we are Christians? It's not supposed to be by our intolerance or hate, and yet this is the very thing we are all known for! No, we are to be known by our LOVE (John 13:35).
     
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  17. Troublemane

    Troublemane Well-Known Member

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    ...so Paul's writings only apply to the people they were written for? If he was all things to all people, doesn't it follow that his words cannot be taken to apply to anyone he wasn't directly speaking to?

    Essentially he was the first catholic. :D
     
  18. Heneni

    Heneni Miss Independent

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    That is so true SB. There are some self-help books on the shelf, that does not help at all.

    He had a very clear understanding of the other 'I' thats in all of us. (ego)And he constantly talked about putting to death certain things. Which I believe is the ego and things associated with it.

    As far as I'm concerned the man was truly one of us...going through what we would have to in order to obtain spiritual enlightenment. His books is like a blog. Even the stuff that seems rediculous, is not less rediculous than what we will tend to think or do at times.

    I'm glad the bible does not depict him as perfect. He himself did not attempt to hide himself and his insecurities. But if we look closely, his teachings are pretty powerful to become perfectly in harmony with god. What impresses me most about paul, is that for a man that persecuted 'Jesus' one day, to a man that loved him deeply, he showed and demonstrated how a grand turn around in personality is possible.

    Whatever happened to paul, was life changing, and for that reason, his books certainly deserves a few highlights!

    Heneni
     
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  19. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Actually, I believe that ALL scripture is USEFUL. II Timothy 3:16 and that there are many APPLICATIONS that we can derive from any portion of scripture. However, just as Jesus told the Rich Young Man to go and sell everything he had and give it to the poor, does NOT mean that he told all of us to do that. That's literalism taken to the absurd. If you are going to follow that as a command, then what about what he told Judas to do?

    Love is the key here. It always was and it always will be. If there is any ONE scripture that applies here, it would be this one:

    I Corinthians 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.NIV

    If we are to follow Paul as he follows Christ, then it only follows that we don't have to follow his example as he departs from the example of Christ. Paul not only did not claim to be perfect, he was careful to assert the opposite of that. How will we know? The Spirit that is within us, if it is indeed within us. He will guide us into all of the truth.
     
    #19 Scuba Pete, Aug 17, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2008
  20. blackout

    blackout Violet.

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    If we are to follow Paul as he follows Christ?!?

    While playing "follow the leader",
    it is very important to actually know who is leading.
    (or you will wind up with a game rather more like "telephone".)

    Paul (it is assumed) follows the Christ (Jesus, it is assumed)...
    Jesus (or "the Christ") clearly goes direct to "the father" (assumed, God).

    therefore...
    in order to follow paul or jesus or the spirit of wholeness or the christ within...
    it is God ALONE that one must "follow".

    Now everyone please close your bibles...
    and go live.
     
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