Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
The Apostle Paul is largely considered to have had a tremendous impact upon Chistianity. His writintings were prolific and profound with much of the New Testament being influenced by him.
However, there is no indication that Paul ever met Jesus before the latter's crucifixion. Paul asserted that his conversion was as a result of experiencing a vi ct and that, ultimately, Paul wielded the sword of religion as a powerful politcal weapon.
However, there is no indication that Paul ever met Jesus before the latter's crucifixion.
It makes no difference. in canse you didn't know it is the resurrection of Christ from the dead which qualifies Paul to have encountered Jesus.
Without the resurrection the Christian faith, Paul wrote, is totally futile and vain. So it is the post resurrection encounter with Christ which is the crucial event in Paul's life qualifying him to be a witness.
Paul asserted that his conversion was as a result of experiencing a vision of the resurrected Jesus.
It was not ONLY Paul's word we have to take. He had a reputation as having been a former persecutor who was turrned disciple. He was not alone on the road to Damascus and others knew SOMETHING had happened to him if not exactly what.
The early church suspected he was still an opposer acting as an undercover imposter.
Last of all by examining his most biographical writing (arguably Second Corinthians) the pristine and high moral character of the man can be examined. I have no reason to doubt his own word about his experience with the risen Christ.
The burden is on you to point out what personal gain Paul obtained by lying. He was hounded and persecuted from town to town, beat. whipped, imprisoned, and performed a largly thankless task which gave him endless anxieties and headaches. He was eventually beheaded.
So you can explain to us what personal profit Paul secured for himself for being a fraud. Either he was self deceived or telling the truth. I see no personal gain from pretending.
Paul stated that he received the Gospel not from man, but by "the revelation of Jesus Christ".
That is not too much unlike everyone who encounters Jesus. some things only the Holy Spirit of God can teach you directly.
And probably he knew Scripture so well that what he did hear from previous teachers he verified with fastings, prayers, and intense study of the Scriptures.
Even now I would advize people to check everything they hear about Jesus with the Bible. I don't want anyone just to take my word for something without prayer and study.
I would assert that Paul's 'conversion' was politically motivated.
I'd say you must be addicted to conspiracy theories.
It can be easily demonstrated that his writings had significant politcal impact and that, ultimately, Paul wielded the sword of religion as a powerful politcal weapon.
Paul urged believers to pray for those who were in political power as governers and kings. Besides that what political agenda did he have. And his reason was so that Christians might live in a peaceful environment to share the good news.
His concern was for establishing communities called churches. Churches - not as buildings, but as communities of Christians living the highest standard of morality on the planet by the grace and power of the resurrected Christ.
He came as an apostle to establish new testament churches. Nero was burning Christians at the stake when Paul had his ministry. We see no political activism opposing Nero as say we might expect from the Zeolots. One of Christ disciples (Simon the Zeolot) probably had a backround in militant political activism.
Paul labored for the kingdom of God and the coming age in which all the world will be under the kingship of Christ. He secured spiritual values for a spiritual kingdom. His labor was to preach the gospel for men's salvation, plant churches, prepare men and women to do what he did, and ready them for the coming age of the kingdom of God.
Present your example of Paul's alledged politics for examination.