1. Standard memberHand of Hecate
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    22 Sep '08 16:06
    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 vision of the resurrected Jesus. Paul stated that he received the Gospel not from man, but by "the revelation of Jesus Christ".

    I would assert that Paul's 'conversion' was politically motivated. 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.
  2. Illinois
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    22 Sep '08 17:351 edit
    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.
    What of the probability that the scriptural account of Paul's conversion experience being true? Or the probability that Paul's "tremendous impact" was due to the power of the Holy Spirit? After all, these are what has been positively attested to. Why should one disregard scripture in favor of your interpretation?
  3. Standard memberHand of Hecate
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    22 Sep '08 17:48
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    What of the probability that the scriptural account of Paul's conversion experience being true? Or the probability that Paul's "tremendous impact" was due to the power of the Holy Spirit? After all, these are what has been positively attested to. Why should one disregard scripture in favor of your interpretation?
    Did Paul's letters and influence have significant political impact?
  4. Utrecht
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    22 Sep '08 18:39
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    What of the probability that the scriptural account of Paul's conversion experience being true? Or the probability that Paul's "tremendous impact" was due to the power of the Holy Spirit? After all, these are what has been positively attested to. Why should one disregard scripture in favor of your interpretation?
    Why shouldn't one? The scripture is just a scripture. People interperted the scripture later as being the words of God and interperted it as a very holy thing. But it's still an interpretation. No more, no less.
  5. Standard memberNemesio
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    22 Sep '08 18:42
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    I would assert that Paul's 'conversion' was politically motivated. 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.
    Personally, I am disinclined to agree. It's pretty clear that Saul of Tarsis was a pretty important
    figure in his time. If his conversion were politically motivated, then (as 'Paul'😉 he was definitely
    backing a dark horse, so to speak. His conversion only led to popularity amongst basically what
    constituted the dregs of society -- ostracized Messianic Jews and Gentiles, with whom observant
    Jews like St Paul would have otherwise had no contact.

    It's pretty clear that St Paul was convinced by his conversion experience because it entailed throwing
    away what he had in an effort to do what he thought was God's work -- convert everyone to
    belief before what he believed was the imminent parousia.

    Nemesio
  6. Standard memberHand of Hecate
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    22 Sep '08 19:22
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Personally, I am disinclined to agree. It's pretty clear that Saul of Tarsis was a pretty important
    figure in his time. If his conversion were politically motivated, then (as 'Paul'😉 he was definitely
    backing a dark horse, so to speak. His conversion only led to popularity amongst basically what
    constituted the dregs of society -- ostracized Messianic ...[text shortened]... everyone to
    belief before what he believed was the imminent parousia.

    Nemesio
    I agree and it concerns me that he should have had such influence over scripture.
  7. Illinois
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    22 Sep '08 21:45
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    Did Paul's letters and influence have significant political impact?
    Directly or indirectly?
  8. Standard memberWulebgr
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    23 Sep '08 00:55
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    However, there is no indication that Paul ever met Jesus before the latter's crucifixion.
    Moreover, he never made a claim to the contrary. Or, if he did make such a claim, it has not been preserved by the Church fathers.
  9. Standard memberHand of Hecate
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    23 Sep '08 01:11
    Originally posted by epiphinehas
    Directly or indirectly?
    Directly.

    His letters caused significant change in policy throughout the budding Christian world.

    I feel strongly that he was among the first Christians to use the Bible for personal and political gain. Sadly, while reflecting upon the upcoming US presidential elections, I realize that nothing has changed.
  10. Illinois
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    23 Sep '08 01:411 edit
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    Directly.

    His letters caused significant change in policy throughout the budding Christian world.

    I feel strongly that he was among the first Christians to use the Bible for personal and political gain. Sadly, while reflecting upon the upcoming US presidential elections, I realize that nothing has changed.
    His letters caused significant change in policy throughout the budding Christian world.

    Policy? What policy?

    Further, are you limiting Paul's "political impact" only to the budding Christian world?

    I feel strongly that he was among the first Christians to use the Bible for personal and political gain.

    Since the NT didn't exist during Paul's ministry, I'm assuming that you are referring to the OT. How, pray tell, did Paul use the OT for personal and political gain?

    By "personal gain" do you mean that Paul became wealthy? Did he acquire real estate, concubines, livestock, etc., by preaching "Christ crucified"? And by "political gain" do you mean that Paul gained worldly power and position in some established government or another? If so, what position did he attain exactly?
  11. Subscriberduecer
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    23 Sep '08 01:54
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    I agree and it concerns me that he should have had such influence over scripture.
    Paul was a pharisee and the son of a pharisee, there were no other apostles at that time with the theological background able to write the apologetics of Romans. Without Paul there would be 3 synoptic gospels, plus the writings of John (which includes revelations [sketchy at best]), and the books of Peter, which many scholars believe he didn't write. In short, there is virtually no new testament without Paul.
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    23 Sep '08 02:502 edits
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate


    I feel strongly that he was among the first Christians to use the Bible for personal and political gain.
    Well this is pretty evident in retrospect. It was obvious it was all about personal gain.

    Now lets see, we begin with Paul being known as an ardent persecutor of the Christian church as a Pharisee. Then out of the blue he decided to convert from his lucrative profession as a Pharisee and take up a life as a heretic Christian and decides to evangelize the world. To make ends meet in his new profession, however, he becomes a tent maker. He begins preaching his new theology in local synagogues, which unfortunately, got him into trouble as they began to persecute him the way he used to persecute Christians. In fact, in Acts 9:23 we see Paul being let down over a wall in a basket as he flees for his life. He then attempts to join the disciples but with limited success because they were understandably still afraid of him. However, undaunted, Paul then moves on with his evangelistic mission by talking to the "Hellenists", or the Greek speaking Jews and the Gentile "God-fearers". but he again got into trouble there and was forced back to Tarsus. Later in his ministry, he is confronted by a crowd of disgruntled Jews from Antioch and Iconium and is stoned to the point where he is thought to be dead. He then miraculously recovers and flees to Derbe and preaches there. Inexplicably, Paul then takes his life once more into his own hands by returning to the cities he has encountered so much persecution and almost died in order to encourage his disciples, establish church members and appoint elders. In another mission trip, Paul finds himself go to Phrygia and northern Galatia to Troas were he was later arrested and badly beaten. Having escaped the beating, Paul continues to Ephesus where his teachings are perceived as a threat because the local silversmiths income relied on making silver statues of the goddess Artemis, whom they worshiped, so a mob met Paul and again almost killed him once again. Having escaped all that, however, it seems Paul's luck was running out as he was accused in Jerusalem of bringing a Gentile into the temple and promptly arrested. The penalty for such an offense, although he was innocent, was death. The Romans then took Paul into custody to be scourged and questioned and imprisoned him, first in Jerusalem, and then in Caesarea for two years. However, after the two years were up, Paul was sent to Rome by the new governor Porcius Festus under house arrest. He then remained in Rome under house arrest for another two years as he continued to preach the gospel. Then we loose track of Paul in the NT, however, Eusebius of Caesarea states that Paul was later beheaded in the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero after he refused to renounce his faith.

    Yep, no doubt about it, Paul was all about personal and political gain. 🙄
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    23 Sep '08 15:062 edits
    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.
  14. Standard memberNemesio
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    23 Sep '08 16:28
    Originally posted by jaywill
    [b]===============================================
    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 r ...[text shortened]... om of God.


    Present your example of Paul's alledged politics for examination.[/b]
    It's truly amazing that you can write so much and say so little.

    You should take a course in writing: you know, thesis statement, supporting sentences, conclusion.

    Nemesio
  15. Standard memberWulebgr
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    23 Sep '08 17:16
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    It's truly amazing that you can write so much and say so little.

    You should take a course in writing: you know, thesis statement, supporting sentences, conclusion.

    Nemesio
    If the entire post won't fit on my screen I won't read it unless something grabs my attention, something like a provocative thesis or a genuine insight. But, who learns to write so they can spill their seed in internet forums?
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