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Paul the apostle?

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions DIR' started by Jeremiah Ames, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. Jeremiah Ames

    Jeremiah Ames Well-Known Member

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    Paul called himself an apostle.

    No one else did.

    Furthermore, he could not have been a true apostle, since there were only 12, and he would make 13.

    Revelation 21:14 states there are twelve apostles of the Lamb.


    So, he effectively made it up.

    For what reason? Obviously not a good one, imo.


    Paul says he was visited by Jesus and was given divine revelation.

    Well, we have only his word for that. How is that any different than Joseph Smith’s claims? Also, he narrates the story of his conversion three times. (Acts 9:1-18, Acts 22:1-15, and Acts 26:10-19). Oddly, the third account is not at all the same as the others. This is why police ask a suspect the same question repeatedly.


    Also, if Paul was to receive divine revelation, why wouldn’t the real apostles get this alleged revelation?


    He then wrote many letters and started many churches.

    From his letters you can conclude that he had a difficult time keeping the people in agreement in his various churches.

    You also can see that there was some dissension between him and the true apostles.

    He bragged quite often, he held himself up for accolades quite often, and he put others down, including the real apostles. These characteristics are not Jesus like.


    He created doctrines, not of God, but of Paul. Doctrines not mentioned by Jesus. Such as the spiritual gift of tongues. The position of women in the churches. The comments regarding homosexuals. After his visit to Jerusalem to get a decision from the church leaders regarding circumcision, James gave a specific decision, in a letter which was to be delivered to the churches. Paul didn’t deliver it to the Galatians, instead he gave them a different story. Galatians 2:10.


    The books placed in the Bible written by him amount to a significant portion of the NT. The Catholic Church claims to have assembled the Bible, and I would not disagree.

    However, it brings me no peace either. Since the church adopted much of Paul’s man made doctrine as their own.


    The real nail in the coffin for me was reading 1 Corinthians 4:15-16.

    Paul states emphatically that regardless of who comes to teach you (the people of Corinth), you only have one spiritual father, and that is Paul. And the second part encourages them to imitate him, NOT Jesus!! Scary. Matthew 23:9 makes it clear who should be addressed as father, and it isn’t Paul. Nor some guy in the Catholic Church.


    So, how does one reconcile the issues I have brought up from a Christian religious view?
     
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  2. socharlie

    socharlie Active Member

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    We need to understand that Paul was a Proto-Valentinian Gnostic. Apostles were psychics and Paul was pneumatic.
    Jesus pointed that out in Gospel of St. John (e;g; Jn 14:9) .
    14But a natural (psychic) man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15But he who is spiritual ( pneumatic) appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 1 Cor 2
     
  3. Spice

    Spice StewardshipPeaceIntergityCommunityEquality

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    IMO, We must be sure to follow our conscious, where God abides, over man's words.

    There are many wonderful, perhaps even "inspired", passages written by Paul. On balance, it may even be possible to defend Paul, by quoting those passages. But the fact remains that his writings contain many passages that have provided and continue to provide biblical justification for some of the worst bigotries.
    ____________________________________________________

    Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinks that he has whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; (Philippians 3:4-5)
    ***********
    "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.'


    But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'



    I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted."
    (Luke 18:9-14)

    ********

    "Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers – none of these will inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

    “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; (Luke 6:37)

    **********

    "Honor widows who are really widows. If a widow has children or grandchildren, they (these children) should first learn their religious duty to their own family and make some repayment to their parents; for this is pleasing in God's sight. The real widow, left alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day; but the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. Give these commands as well, so that they may be above reproach. And whoever does not provide for relatives, and especially for family members, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. Let a widow be put on the list if she is not less than sixty years old and has been married only once; she must be well attested for her good works, as one who has brought up children, shown hospitality, washed the saints' feet, helped the afflicted, and devoted herself to doing good in every way. But refuse to put younger widows on the list; for when their sensual desires alienate them from Christ, they want to marry, and so they incur condemnation for having violated their first pledge." (1 Timothy 5:3-12)


    Give to everyone who asks you, and don't ask him who takes away your goods to give them back again.
    (Luke 6:30)

    But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, (Matthew 6:3)

    *******

    I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, (1 Timothy 2:9)


    “Don't judge according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment."
    (John 7:24)

    *******
     
  4. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    Not hard

    What is very apparent, is that there is no record of any of the Apostles having any problem with Paul being an Apostles to the Gentiles. (A sent one)

    Well... you really haven't made a case to bring a conclussion.

    Which one? John got a Revelation that no one else got. Peter got a revelation that no one else got Which one are you talking about?

    What we do know is what Peter said: in 2 Peter 3: And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

    Yep!

    We still have that problem... it's a people problem, especially when you are first starting.

    nope

    not really when taken in context
    nope

    So what is your real issue?
     
  5. Jeremiah Ames

    Jeremiah Ames Well-Known Member

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    I agree that Paul says many good things. Even the vast vast majority of his words make sense. But it doesn’t seem to me he is the person (saint) the churches make him out to be. Thanks for your input.
     
  6. Jeremiah Ames

    Jeremiah Ames Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your very detailed religious response.:rolleyes:
     
  7. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Actually, Paul was given the assignment as an "apostle to the nations".

    The apostle Peter said...."But there are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.
    14 Therefore, beloved ones, since you are awaiting these things, do your utmost to be found finally by him spotless and unblemished and in peace. 15 Furthermore, consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote you according to the wisdom given him, 16 speaking about these things as he does in all his letters. However, some things in them are hard to understand, and these things the ignorant* and unstable are twisting, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction."
    (2 Peter 3:13-16)

    Since this was after the death and resurrection of Jesus, the holy spirit had been poured out on all of Christ's disciples at Pentecost. Since the holy spirit is the source of all truth as it disseminates that truth to all believers, if Paul was a fake apostle, why did the other apostles not expose him?

    The 12 were not the only apostles. The 12 were the foundations upon which the kingdom of God was founded. After Christ returned to heaven, these were the ones who carried on the work that Jesus specifically commanded. Even though the 12 were all equal in their assignment, not all contributed to scripture. Only Matthew, John and Peter wrote Bible books. Acts 14:14 calls both Barnabas and Paul "apostles" which basically means "one sent forth". There were others besides the 12 who were legitimately called apostles.

    Paul as a later "chosen vessel" was used by Jesus in an entirely different role.(1 Timothy 1:12)
    He was the only 'educated' apostle and he had Roman citizenship, which was used in his favor on occasion.

    Why would he do that? Saul of Tarsus was not a pleasant character, and no one could accuse him of being soft on Jesus followers. He stood by whilst Stephen was stoned to death, approving of the whole thing. (Acts 22:17-21) He was a Pharisee and proud of it, persecuting the Christians relentlessly. Why would he swap his authority and power in Judaism for the hard life of a hated Christian?

    Paul's assignment was to give a thorough witness to the nations as well as to Jews. (Acts 9:15)
    His education put him in good stead to speak publicly to the Greek philosophers at the Ar·e·opʹa·gus. (Acts 17:22-32) They would have scorned an uneducated man.

    After his testimony before Agrippa, the King said to Paul...“In a short time you would persuade me to become a Christian.” (Acts 26:28)

    He was chosen by Jesus for a special assignment and the other apostles accepted him as a brother.

    In Revelation 2:2, Jesus said to the Ephesians...."I know your deeds, and your labor and endurance, and that you cannot tolerate bad men, and that you put to the test those who say they are apostles, but they are not, and you found them to be liars."

    Paul was never found to be among such liars.

    At times even the apostles needed correction. If you remember Jesus was constantly reminding them of the need for humility when they argued among themselves who was the greatest...he even washed their feet to demonstrate that the son of God was humble enough for such a lowly task, then they should be humble too.
    Peter certainly needed correction on one occasion and Paul did not hesitate to call him out on it. Peter must have acknowledged his guilt on that occasion because there was no animosity between Peter and Paul after that.

    Scripture can be misinterpreted and misunderstood if you only pick the verses that appear to back up your doubts. But "all scripture is inspired of God" so the rest of the scriptures, rather than contradict one an other, must harmonize.

    Paul said at 1 Corinthians 8:5-6...."For even though there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are many “gods” and many “lords,” 6 there is actually to us one God, the Father, from whom all things are and we for him; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things are and we through him."

    Paul is more misunderstood than he is guilty of any religious fraud. If he was not a genuine apostle, then God would have exposed him and not included any of his letters in the NT. It is "God's Word" after all...not the words of men.

    I believe he is just the person the scriptures make him out to be. He was one of many faithful men whose lives are recounted in the Bible for us.
     
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  8. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    I think the apostle Paul was an inspired human, but ultimately he gives us his understanding of Jesus message.

    I think any differences can be put down to limitations in understanding by Paul although I do think he had a great understanding by the standards of his time.
     
  9. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    A pleasure to repond to something that had no supportive documentation. :D It's easy to parrot old mantras.
     
  10. socharlie

    socharlie Active Member

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    Paul described human - God relations as a process of Gnostic initiation. One starts with faith that is when God initiate one's intuition. It like looking through the dark glass. Some stop right here and look through the dark glass their entire life. Some keep following intuition and it results into partial KNOWLEDGE. And later with doing right things one FULLY KNOWS, and only at that time one is also FULLY KNOWN. Ref. 1 Cor 13. This Christian initiation - faith to hope - to agape.
     
  11. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    Specifically, there are twelve apostles of the Lamb... but that doesn't translate into "there aren't any more apostles"

    Acts 14:14King James Version (KJV)
    14 Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,

    Barnabas was another apostle just not one of the orginal Apostles of the Lamb.

    Original Word: ἀπόστολος, ου, ὁ
    Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine
    Transliteration: apostolos
    Phonetic Spelling: (ap-os'-tol-os)
    Short Definition: an apostle, a messenger, an envoy, a delegate
    Definition: a messenger, envoy, delegate, one commissioned by another to represent him in some way, especially a man sent out by Jesus Christ Himself to preach the Gospel; an apostle.

    Apostles have not ceased even an Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers have not ceased.

    But this is commonly known and understood which is why it begs the question of whether the rest of the post has any value or even presented with a real desire to discuss.
     
  12. Jeremiah Ames

    Jeremiah Ames Well-Known Member

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    Very thoughtful and thorough, Deeje. Thank you.
     
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  13. Jeremiah Ames

    Jeremiah Ames Well-Known Member

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    Thanks much, that was helpful Ken.
    Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the words of Paul and have learned much from his writings and will continue to do so. And your comment here has been very illuminating.
    One thing though, I don’t need him to be an apostle to appreciate and learn from his words.
    I fully believe he was a disciple of Jesus and was inspired just as much as the other authors.
    I just find it odd that he made certain claims in his writings that are not found elsewhere. But then, that really doesn’t diminish them in my mind either. Just that I have been programmed to question everything. o_O
     
    #13 Jeremiah Ames, Jan 13, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2018
  14. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    Then forgive me for my first answer. I misunderstood the tone of your OP.

    And I CERTAINLY think that questions are good when one is on a journey of understanding as I had and have mine.
     
  15. wizanda

    wizanda One Accepts All Religious Texts
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    Revelation 2:1-2 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; (2) I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

    2 Timothy 1:15 This you know, that all who are in Asia turned away from me; of whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.

    Here is a list of contradictions between Paul and Yeshua.

    In my opinion. :innocent:
     
  16. Jeremiah Ames

    Jeremiah Ames Well-Known Member

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    I was only seeking understanding, and I appreciate your efforts toward that end.
     
  17. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    So, let me start all over.. HI THERE :) :raisedhands: -- So glad you are part of RF. There are some hard things written by Paul. Paul, As one who studied the OT profusely, perhaps he understood the significance of what was written more that the original Apostles.

    We must remember that even Peter and the Apostles were highly upset when Peter went to the house of Cornelius, a gentile. The revelation of what Jesus wanted was still being unfolded as the early church was begun. They had no idea that the Gospel was for the world.

    But, none the less, it is also possible that Paul was also "discovering" things IMO

    So this issue, what was God and what isn't, is a great topic of discussion.

    Sometimes I think it is we who are taking what Paul is trying to say out of context.

    Do you want to pick one?
     
  18. Jeremiah Ames

    Jeremiah Ames Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again for interesting insight.
    I agree so completely with the fact that people take what Paul (and the rest of the Bible) say out of context. And they take too much of it too literally. The more I read the Bible, the more I find less literal meaning. Or perhaps more spiritual meaning.:)

    I actually have no personal problem with Paul and his writings. I wrote the op to see what kinds of responses I would get. Pretty much everything I wrote makes logical sense if you look at the verses out of context, not taking the rest of the Bible into account, and/or being too literal.
    But if and when I find something in the Bible that is bothersome (with Paul or any author), I immediately assume that I just haven’t been given the knowledge of what is being said. I do not assume the writing is wrong. On the contrary, I assume it is perfectly fine, but it’s not time for me to understand it.
    And I may never understand much of what is there, but if that’s the case, it’s God’s will, and I will not fret over it.
    It took me a long time to get to this stage. Initially, I wanted to know exactly what everything meant right from the get go. But I now know it doesn’t work that way.
     
  19. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    That's good, there are people who try to make things literal when they are spiritua,. but I think the opposite is just as true where people try to spiritualize what should be take literally.
     
  20. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    You might wish to reword this. :D

    BTW, I know that I just responded back to back with two of your posts, but I don't want you to be worried that I'm stalking you here. You know that my wife is from Sicily and has Mafia connections, but I would never think of asking her to have a "hit" put on you or have you find a horse's head in your bed tomorrow morning. But wouldn't that be so appropriate because in that bed there would be the horse's head and also you, thus a complete horse!
     
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