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St Paul

Discussion in 'Christianity in General DIR' started by w00t, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. w00t

    w00t Active Member

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    As far as we know Jesus didn't write anything down, so all we have are the reports of the words of Jesus written long after his death. St Paul on the other hand was a prolific very opinionated letter writer, whose writings make up most of the NT. A lot of Christian doctrine is based on Paul's very human opinions. We have no idea if Jesus would have got on with Paul, or agreed with him. It seems strange to me that Jesus is the figurehead for Christianity yet it is Paul's opinions that are often quoted and used as an excuse for intolerance towards homosexuals and for the inequality of women. I am sure the slave masters would have pointed to Paul's injuction for slaves to honour their masters as an endorcement for keeping slaves! Whether Paul intended it or not his words have been used as an excuse for some to treat others badly.
     
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  2. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    That is all true... However if it had not been for Paul Christianity would probably only have survived as a Jewish sect. James the head of the Church in Jerusalem and the person all the Apostles reported to. was nowhere near as effective as Paul. and most of his work was lost when Jerusalem was sacked by Rome.
    Paul however brought a lot of baggage with him from his strict Jewish background, and unlike Jesus was unable to create new interpretations that could better match Jesus message of Love.

    Paul nevertheless Gave us most of the form we have come to expect to see in the church. and the majority of his teachings in noway contradict those of Jesus.

    He was hampered perhaps by never having the opportunity to learn at Jesus feet.
     
  3. w00t

    w00t Active Member

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    If Christianity only survived because Paul took it up as a personal crusade and put his spin on it maybe we should be Paulians not Christians?
     
  4. ayani

    ayani member

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    Woot ~

    i do agree. even though i consider Paul's writings as part of the Bible to be the inspired Word of God, there is a lot of emphasis on Paul's letters at least in Protestant churches. the reason for this is because many Christians feel that Paul explains and details so well the technicalities of Christian faith, doctrine, practical matters, and discipleship.

    Paul was very firm on salvation by faith and grace precisely because of who he was before his conversion. he was a devout Jew who followed the Law as perfectly as he was able, and was confident that his works and religious observance made him right with God. but an encounter with Christ opened his eyes (and blinded him at the same time) and brought into stark contrast the religious life he had been living based on works and piety, and the new clarity he had in Christ through a momentary encounter and the irresistable call to faith in Him.

    nothing Paul says actually contradicts what Jesus says in the Gospels, or what the other epistles (of John, Peter, James...) say. Jesus healed people based on their faith in Him, not on how carefully they had observed the Law. and He was also clear on what we must do as His disicples and ambassadors in the world. Paul also writes that we must bear the fruits of discipleship and put away the old person, and live out our salvation, even as we are saved by faith and grace alone.

    Paul compliments and elaborates on the truths of the Gospel and the practical sides of discipleship, doctrine, life in Christ, living in the world, getting along with people, and faith in light of scriptures.
     
  5. godnotgod

    godnotgod Thou art That

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    One of the most crucial of all Christian doctrines is the belief in the resurrection of the physical body, which Paul advocated. Did Jesus (actually, Yeshua) believe in the physical resurrection of the body, or was that something Paul interjected?
     
  6. Chason

    Chason New Member

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    Paul was led by the Holy Spirit (Whos is itself Jesus Christ) to write everything he wrote that we now read. He did not just write things down that he thought made sense.

    Paul does not say we should not tolerate homosexuals. He says that we should love them, but hate their sin.

    Paul does not say that women are inferior to men. He says that they should be submissive to their husbands because that is their roll in the marriage relationship.

    Are you a woman, and don't want to be submissive to your husband? Don't get married; you don't understand what it means.
     
  7. RomCat

    RomCat Active Member

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    Paul's admonition to slaves to obey their masters
    was for the common good of society. You just could
    not stop slavery overnight. Society would collapse
    and all would suffer - freemen, slaves and children.
     
  8. Just_me_Mike

    Just_me_Mike Well-Known Member

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    I would be curious about the account of Saul being changed to Paul, and what your opinion is on that. Because the voice that responded to Saul, was said to be of Jesus. So why so many people assume Paul didn't directly work with Jesus is beyond me.

    I suppose the critics take the divine nature completely out of the story and just say it isn't possible. If that is the cae, might as well use the bible as a paper weight. OK maybe not a paper weight, but it looses much of it's value IMHO.
     
  9. Shamuwn

    Shamuwn Member

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    The Self Aclaim Apostle Paul Was A Deceiver , He Never Met The Prophet / Messiah Yashu'a . Isa , Jesus Christ .
     
  10. Mikael

    Mikael ...

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    Paul made it all conveinient to the "western" way of being; rational and boring, authorative and patriarcic. Jesus was never about "the common good of society", he was all about loving your neighbor. That simple thing, of course, would have overthrown the current society that was -rational and boring, authorative and patriarcic. The roman world. We┬┤re still there...
     
  11. SkinnyCheruscian

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    I take the point that a lot of dogmatism in Christianity takes St Paul for a justification.
    To a lot of liberal minded Christians, or people who grew up in the Christian tradition but became distant to it, St Paul seems to be some type of arch-villain.

    But I am wondering, aren't both interpretations actually misreading St Paul?

    It is clear from St Paul's epistles that they were written as polemics, sermons etc. and not with the intent of becoming a sacred text. They comment on a lot of things that are highly specific to their historic context.

    St Paul takes a liberal and for his time very progressive position on the question of the law.

    I think that St Paul can be reclaimed from a liberal position. Actually, as far as I understand it, Slavoj Zizek tries this in his book "THe fragile absolute" - unfortunately written in his private post-modernist post-structural post-lacanian post-what-not jargon, so largely incomprehensible to me.

    I do not care about the "forbidding" things in St Paul- I find it is clear that St Paul is generally very liberal, and what he says needs not be taken by the letter. What I personally find difficult is his insistence on the importance to believe in the divinity of Christ. Thus the progressive idea of universality becoming oppressive when interpreted as meaning exclusivity and intolerance.

    But that's the problem with many religions - respect for "the other" is not traditionally a part of it. Which does not mean it cannot be learned.
     
  12. RomCat

    RomCat Active Member

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    The common good of society is above
    an individual's good. If it wasn't there
    would be chaos.
     
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