[thechat] RE: Christian Mythology

Norman Bunn norman.bunn at craftedsolutions.com
Fri May 25 13:54:04 CDT 2001

> On 24 May 2001, at 18:31, Norman Bunn posted a message which said:
> > Ah!  Right, the Jews were quite upset with Paul's teaching especially as
> > regards to the Gentiles (non-Jews).  However, the Jerusalem church was
> > supportive of Paul's efforts once he explained and to my knowledge there
> > no reference to him receiving any punishment from them.  In fact, Peter
> > quite supportive of his work (Acts 15).
> "No reference"? Paul's own words, saying he had received the
> punishment for heresy five times, doesn't count?
The verse you quote does not reference the church.  It says, "from the
Jews".  As a formerly devout Pharisee, Paul was much out of favor with the
Jerusalem Jews.

> Paul was an exceedingly wealthy man. The temple at Jerusalem was
> the largest slaughterhouse in the world at that time, and Paul turned
> all those hides into tents, which he sold to the Roman army.

> In AD 43, a year after Saul became Paul, he spent 15 days with Peter
> and James. It was at this time that Peter was supportive of Paul. They
> needed his wealth in order to fund the community at Qumran, where
> they had a forge and where they were organizing foment against the
> Roman oppressors.

> It was 2 years later that Paul set out on his missionary trips. These
> were pretty questionable in the first place.  "These twelve Jesus sent
> forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the
> Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:But go
> rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." - Matthew 10:5-6
Not questionable in light of Peter's own mission work to the Gentiles (Acts
10-11) or Jesus' commission (Matthew 28:18-20) to spread the Gospel
throughout the world, including areas excluded previously in the Matthew 10
verses you noted.

> But Paul didn't just go among the gentiles, but he told them that
> they should not become Jews in the first place, something quite
> contrary to the teachings of Jesus.  (WWJD? Keep kosher!) And
> each of his five trips ended by returning to Jerusalem where he
> was beaten within one stroke of death, for spreading this heresy.
Acts records just three missionary journey's of Paul and no reference to the
church beating him.

> Paul wasn't very popular with the christian community of
> Jerusalem in the first place. Even if you ignore his persecution of
> the jewish rebel movement (Hosannah translates as "Oh free us"),
> Paul was *not* exactly a very good jew. It is extremely difficult for
> a tanner, even with today's cleaners, to get the smell of death off
> him. Dealing with the hides made Paul ritually unclean and good
> jews wanted nothing to do with that. Despite his extreme wealth,
> he was unable to make a marriage contract with the love of his
> life (Revelations 2:5) because he valued the wealth derived from
> tanning over compliance with the same laws Jesus followed
> religiously (pun intentional).

Paul was a Pharisee, one of the most devout Jewish sects in the 1st century
A.D (Acts 23:6).  Paul was a tent maker, not a tanner (Acts 18:3).
Revelation was written by the apostle John and makes no reference to Paul
(Revelation 1:1).  Hosannah actually translates "Save Us, God", with the
"ah" part being the same as Alleluiah which translates "Praise to God".  As
to Paul's wealth, the early church held everything in common, so it is
unlikely he held back for his own benefit (Acts 4:32).  If he was so
concerned about his wealth, why leave the security of his powerful position
to join a ragtag team of former fishermen, tax collectors, prostitutes and
the like?  I am not at all familiar with where you are deriving your facts
on Paul as they are not supported by the Bible references that I have
studied over the past few decades.


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