[thechat] RE: Christian Mythology

deke web at master.gen.in.us
Fri May 25 16:03:36 CDT 2001

On 25 May 2001, at 14:47, Norman Bunn posted a message which said:

> > "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.

A *formerly* devoit pharisee?  In Acts 23, he proclaimed that he still
was one.

But he was accused there of *sedition* against the Roman Empire,
and a mover and shaker among the Nazorines (the Poor), and of 
course, he was. Unless, of course, he was rescued from the throng
by the Roman captain who thought he was a double agent for the

In any case, the penalty for sedition was death.  

Paul didn't say he was convicted five times of sedition. He proclaimed
that he had been beaten within a stroke of his life, not once but five
times. And that penalty was reserved for heresy, not for any other

> > 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.
> Reference?


> > 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.
> Reference?

The dead sea scrolls. The early christian community of Jerusalem, 
calling themselves the Nazorean ("of the truth") or the Poor (remember 
the sermon on the mount?) established this community.

Charles Guignebert (1867-1939) who was university professor of the 
History of Christianity at Manuel d'Histoire Ancienne du Christianisme
asserts that until the middle ages, Nazareth was not thought to be
the home of Jesus. His followers referred to him only as Jesus 
Nazarene the Christ.

> > 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.

"Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you"

And what did he command?  He said you had to follow the law.

> Acts records just three missionary journey's of Paul and no reference to the
> church beating him.

Your point is?

Does it mention the name of the ship on which Barnabus and Silas
sailed to Cyprus?  Does that mean they walked upon the water to
get there?

Does Acts mention Thecla?  Or did she not exist?

Does it mention what Paul ate, and where he slept when he was in
Corinth? Does it mention the name of his jailor when he was 
imprisoned? Does it say what the name was of the ship that wrecked?

Acts doesn't say anything about Thecla, either. Are you saying that
she didn't exist? 

Genesis doesn't mention the name of Adam's first wife. Would you 
argue that she had no name?

> > 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).

And he made tents from aluminum and GoreTex?  

> Revelation was written by the apostle John and makes no reference to Paul
> (Revelation 1:1).  

Not in Revelation 1:1, it doesn't.  Doesn't your bible have a second
chapter of Revelations?

> Hosannah actually translates "Save Us, God", with the
> "ah" part being the same as Alleluiah which translates "Praise to God".  

Translations are imperfect. Hosanna means both "please free us"
and "please free us". In Matthew, the original appears to be "Hosanna 
t"i hui"i Daueid", praying to the son of David - the *political* leader
who would provide sovreignty to the Jews. Since Mary was levitic,
they should have proclaimed a virgin-born Jesus as the son of Levi
if they were looking for religious salvation.  His followers knew that
Blessed are the Poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven would 
soon be wrest from the political oppression of Rome.

> 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?  

There are some who argue that he didn't. He continued to do business
with the Romans at the same time that he was purporting to be of the
Poor.  Was he a double-agent for the Poor or was he a double-agent
for the Romans?  The details of his death are not known, and some
argue that the Romans spirited him to Spain where he was in no 
danger from the revolutionary cabal that was the early christian church.

> 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.

Perhaps if you studied *history* instead of only the bible...


 "The church is near but the road is icy; 
  the bar is far away but I will walk carefully." 
                            -- Russian Proverb

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