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#1953987 10/14/07 01:04 AM
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Hi TR,

Quote
That would be fine, and so you know, what I mean by early Christians..is the example of those spoken of in the Bible..

Yes, that's what I took it to mean, as in New Testament Christians. I mentioned Bereans because that's the model our church uses for that term, from Acts 17:11. But then I googled "Bereans" and it seems there are several actual denominations or affiliations going by that name, including one affiliated with the Catholic Church.

I am interested in your opinion of Paul. I have been thinking/struggling with this for quite some time, and I am just not convinced that Paul's teachings are the same as Jesus's teachings. And as far as I'm concerned, Jesus trumps Paul. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

So going back to the *very* early church... the original apostles and Jesus's family and friends... did the original apostles really accept Paul as one of them, or did the later organization of the Roman Catholic Church rewrite history? What about the Eastern Orthodox?

What's your opinion?


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So going back to the *very* early church... the original apostles and Jesus's family and friends... did the original apostles really accept Paul as one of them, or did the later organization of the Roman Catholic Church rewrite history? What about the Eastern Orthodox?

What does Acts Chapter 9 teach concerning this?

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Hi TR,

I wasn't ignoring you, I just haven't had time to write a very thoughtful response.

I am familiar with the story in Acts of the conversion of Saul/Paul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus. But I've read opinions saying that most of the apostles including Peter did not agree with Paul's teachings. They argue that Paul's writings were included in the canon basically because the Gentile early Christians became more numerous and popular than the Jewish Christians, especially following the destruction of the temple by the Romans.

I guess I am not advocating "Sola Scriptura" if there is evidence of bias in the choice of the canon. I am considering whether parts of the Bible (i.e. the descriptions of Jesus' teachings) should be trusted more than other parts, such as Paul's letters, if they don't agree with Jesus' teachings.

Examples of disputes and disharmony between Paul and at least some other apostles: Acts 15; 1 Cor. 9:1-6; Philippians 3; I don't have time to look up more right now.

While reading up on these things to write my post, I've found some information that is new to me, but I am still interested in your thoughts.

from http://paulproblem.faithweb.com/
Quote
Far from meekly following Jesus, it has been and is suggested by many scholars of high repute, that Paul, or this "Romanized Paul" was an innovator who brought into Christianity all sorts of ideas and emphases that complicated and spoiled the original, simple religion of this assumed "historical Jesus".

This sort of view was and has been put forth forcefully to many over the centuries by many who, throughout history, have had access to information that the vast majority of Christendom today does not even know exits. I, as well as many others, have located personally and collect vast amounts of information amassed over the centuries that reveals a completely different perspective to this "Apostle to the nations" and this "first Christian." If you begin a comprehensive study into this area of Christian history, and have the ability to go beyond the "spin doctoring" by Gentile religious authorities over the ages, you can find "earth shattering evidence" that brings the traditional understanding of Paul crashing to the ground. These many "true followers of Jesus" as well as scholars throughout history who have such information come together in a unanimous conclusion that informs the interested reader that many of the "unhealthy" and "unpleasant" aspects of Christianity "find their origin in Paul." Among the things for which Paul may be held partly responsible are negative attitudes toward women, sexuality and the human body, and Jews. He also had authoritarian tendencies, and supported (implicitly) the social status quo in regard to slavery. Karen Armstrong comments:

"When I turn back to study the life and teachings of Jesus it seems that Paul has not only been an important influence on Christianity, but that in a very real sense he was its founder. He could be called the first Christian" (Armstrong, The First Christian, 12, 13).

I want to follow Jesus, not Paul. I think it is wrong to set up a mere human as infallible. I would equate that with idol worship. So, I want to examine and test all teaching by holding it up to what Jesus taught.


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Quote
I am familiar with the story in Acts of the conversion of Saul/Paul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus. But I've read opinions saying that most of the apostles including Peter did not agree with Paul's teachings. They argue that Paul's writings were included in the canon basically because the Gentile early Christians became more numerous and popular than the Jewish Christians, especially following the destruction of the temple by the Romans.

What scriptures did Paul teach from? The Letters from HIM were being written..so what Scripture did He read and teach from?

To which I would disagree, it was included, because God wanted it included..they were Paul's letters to the various Jewish synagogues based on Paul's knowledge of the OT and what the Holy Spirit inspired Him to write to them in answer to their questions..

But, something to consider..

let's look a little further at Paul..He was a Hebrew, not just a Hebrew but from the tribe of Benjamin, and a Pharisee..

So what does that mean? Because it has a certain meaning in which the Jewish believers understood, especially when he began speaking to them in their native tongue Hebrew..

They were the scribes..the Pharisees were considered the most expert and accurate expositors of Jewish law. So in other words He KNEW the Old Testment, and he knew the Jewish Laws..So for him to grasp, the spiritual aspects of the law (inward meaning), and not just the outward meaning of the laws..which they had been accustomed too, they believed him and being Jew's they searched the OT scripures to see if what He wrote to them in his responses and what He taught them when He was with them..to see if they lined up..and they found it did..

But we must also ask, what Scriptures did Jesus teach from?
What Scriptures did He refer them to? It would have been the exact same Scriptures Paul refered them too..the Old Testament..

So even though his teachings were not the exact same as Christ's they refered to the same Old Testament Scriptures
and what they taught, just as Christ's did..



Quote
I guess I am not advocating "Sola Scriptura" if there is evidence of bias in the choice of the canon. I am considering whether parts of the Bible (i.e. the descriptions of Jesus' teachings) should be trusted more than other parts, such as Paul's letters, if they don't agree with Jesus' teachings.

but something for you to consider...for yourself..

Do you believe ALL scripture inspired by God? If not, what parts are not, and which parts are? And if not all Scripture is inspired and inerrant, and infalliable, how can you even trust what is written concerning the words of Jesus?

How can you know that was not also altered in some way? To fit what some group of men wanted it to say?? Because if you can't trust one little part..you can't trust any of it..

I believe that God is fully capable of keeping ALL scripture including the NT that we now have together and for HIS purposes..that men may read it and know the way of Salvation.

What does this mean?

Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book.

Quote
Examples of disputes and disharmony between Paul and at least some other apostles: Acts 15; 1 Cor. 9:1-6; Philippians 3; I don't have time to look up more right now.

yes, I am aware of the personality disputes and struggles of
the early Christian church members..but what were they arguing over?

While reading up on these things to write my post, I've found some information that is new to me, but I am still interested in your thoughts.

Please read what they write..notice their words..I'll bold some of them that stand out to me, that should cause us, as believers in Christ to question their teachings..

from http://paulproblem.faithweb.com/
Quote
Far from meekly following Jesus, it has been and is suggested by many scholars of high repute, that Paul, or this "Romanized Paul" was an innovator who brought into Christianity all sorts of ideas and emphases that complicated and spoiled the original, simple religion of this assumed "historical Jesus".

This sort of view was and has been put forth forcefully to many over the centuries by many who, throughout history, have had access to information that the vast majority of Christendom today does not even know exits. I, as well as many others, have located personally and collect vast amounts of information amassed over the centuries that reveals a completely different perspective to this "Apostle to the nations" and this "first Christian." If you begin a comprehensive study into this area of Christian history, and have the ability to go beyond the "spin doctoring" by Gentile religious authorities over the ages, you can find "earth shattering evidence" that brings the traditional understanding of Paul crashing to the ground. These many "true followers of Jesus" as well as scholars throughout history who have such information come together in a unanimous conclusion that informs the interested reader that many of the "unhealthy" and "unpleasant" aspects of Christianity "find their origin in Paul." Among the things for which Paul may be held partly responsible are negative attitudes toward women, sexuality and the human body, and Jews. He also had authoritarian tendencies, and supported (implicitly) the social status quo in regard to slavery.

If you look at Paul's teachings..even regarding women, He did not have a negative attitude towards women, sexuality, the Human body or the Jews..(he was a JEW!!!)

He was certainly protective over women, and them being used
by men for sex. We can see in 1 Cor. 7, he was all for sex within marriage..just not outside of marriage..hmmm...just as God is..

Where is his negative attitude seen towards the Jew's?

Where is his negative attitude towards the human body?
Other than it being we sin in the flesh, which is true..
we are flesh and blood..and we sin..when we are dead and
with Christ..we will no longer sin..we are trapped in this human body until we die..that doesn't mean he had a negative
attitude towards it..

it sounds like the problem those who wrote this article have is that God has given Salvation to the Gentiles..and not to the Jews Only. What does Scripture say concerning those who call themselves Jews who are not Jews???

Rom 3:29 [Is he] the God of the Jews only? [is he] not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:

Rom 3:30 Seeing [it is] one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.

Rev 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and [I know] the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but [are] the synagogue of Satan.

Rev 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

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Quote
Do you believe ALL scripture inspired by God? If not, what parts are not, and which parts are? And if not all Scripture is inspired and inerrant, and infalliable, how can you even trust what is written concerning the words of Jesus?

How can you know that was not also altered in some way? To fit what some group of men wanted it to say?? Because if you can't trust one little part..you can't trust any of it..

These are very good points. I guess what I'm thinking is, based on comparing early documents from one region with another (or for example roman vs eastern orthodox) I have confidence that what we have today reasonably represents the original documents.

Based on the culture of oral history in that day and age, I can believe that the stories of Jesus were told and retold and remembered until they were recorded. So, I have faith that what was written about Jesus is what the comtemporary witnesses saw and told. I believe that Paul's letters are as written. So I'm not worried about whether individual documents were altered as much as whether the original letters were truly inspired.

I know that may sound heretical, but like the Bereans I just think everything should be held up to the scrutiny of how it compares with Jesus' teachings.

Quote
I believe that God is fully capable of keeping ALL scripture including the NT that we now have together and for HIS purposes..that men may read it and know the way of Salvation.

Yes, God is fully capable of ensuring His will is done, but would He? He has an annoying habit of allowing people to make mistakes and mess things up! That whole free will and everything. (I say that tongue-in-cheek, of course I'm not really calling Him "annoying"!)

Case in point: the Spanish Inquisition and countless other atrocities committed by men in the name of God but to serve power, greed, pride, etc. Humans just keep on screwing up God's message, it seems to me.

Who did Jesus rebuke? Not the woman at the well. Not the woman being stoned. He rebuked the stoners and religious leaders!

Quote
If you look at Paul's teachings..even regarding women, He did not have a negative attitude towards women, sexuality, the Human body or the Jews..(he was a JEW!!!)

There is a really interesting book, "What Paul Really Said About Women" by Bristow. I think you'd like it. I can see that viewpoint. I remember after reading it (it was about 4 years ago, because the twins were just over 1 y.o.) I felt a lot better about believing Paul's teachings. But since then I've heard his teachings used to justify so much *hatred*, and that bothers me and has me questioning again.

I realize that God doesn't have to be the way I think would be the right way to be. And yes I know even the thought of that is absurd! But people often seem to mold God according to what the think He should be like, to agree with them.

I believe that you can't just pull one verse or passage and take it literally at face value. Ecclesiastes is obviously only meaningful if you read all the way through to the end. Similarly for Job. There are verses in each of those books that taken in isolation would make for a pretty hopeless theology.

I may be rambling now. I'm getting sleepy so forgive me if I've stopped making sense! (Assuming I ever do! <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> )

Thanks for the discussion.


me - 47 tired
H - 39 cool
married 2001
DS 8a think
DS 8b :crosseyedcrazy:
(Why is DS7b now a blockhead???)
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I believe that Paul's letters are as written. So I'm not worried about whether individual documents were altered as much as whether the original letters were truly inspired.

So do you believe God through the Holy Spirit would not have inspired His writings after He was converted?

Quote
I know that may sound heretical, but like the Bereans I just think everything should be held up to the scrutiny of how it compares with Jesus' teachings.

What books did Jesus teach from? Did He just pull something out of the air and teach it, or did He read and refer back to the Old Testament Scriptures? (this isn't a trick question...He did both)

Didn't He teach from the Old testament? So isn't that what the Berean's would have been searching and looking in to read, and not the actual teachings of Jesus Himself?

We need to remember, His words weren't in book or letter form at the time..so what would they have read to see if Paul's claims about the Messiah were true??

Quote
Yes, God is fully capable of ensuring His will is done, but would He? He has an annoying habit of allowing people to make mistakes and mess things up! That whole free will and everything. (I say that tongue-in-cheek, of course I'm not really calling Him "annoying"!)

Is He not faithful to HIS promises? Whether man is or not??

Quote
Case in point: the Spanish Inquisition and countless other atrocities committed by men in the name of God but to serve power, greed, pride, etc. Humans just keep on screwing up God's message, it seems to me.

Yes, they do, but that doesn't alter God's meaning in anyway shape or form..does it?

Quote
Who did Jesus rebuke? Not the woman at the well. Not the woman being stoned. He rebuked the stoners and religious leaders!

So what was different about them, that He didn't give them a Verbal rebuke? Do you think maybe it had to do with the conviction they felt in their hearts? The same as He did those who went to stone the adultress women? when he spoke those words, their hearts were convicted of their own sins..

the woman at the well, the same thing..all he did was ask her some questions..and her heart was convicted..and she started confessing..so he didn't have to rebuke her so to speak..



Quote
But since then I've heard his teachings used to justify so much *hatred*, and that bothers me and has me questioning again.

God is not the author of confusion, read what was written without looking at what anyone else says or thinks..and pray that God through the Holy spirit will teach you..so that you have peace in your heart about the matter...

Quote
I realize that God doesn't have to be the way I think would be the right way to be. And yes I know even the thought of that is absurd! But people often seem to mold God according to what the think He should be like, to agree with them.

How should God be?

I agree, men try to mold God into the image of man..instead of the other way around..Man being made in the image of God..

We tend to look at God from creation upward, instead of creation down ward..

if you were to look at a picture of yourself..is the picture you or just an image of you?

Your children were created in your likeness but are they you? are they your husband? or are they the reflection of the two of you combined?

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Interesting.

I'm way too sleepy to reply right now. I just wanted to let you know I've read it and will get back to you. You keep posting your answer when I'm not looking! So then I don't see it for a few days. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


me - 47 tired
H - 39 cool
married 2001
DS 8a think
DS 8b :crosseyedcrazy:
(Why is DS7b now a blockhead???)
(Ack! Now he's not even a blockhead, just a word! That's no fun!)
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thought you might like this book...

http://www.lgmarshall.org/Pink/pink_sovereignty.html

Last edited by ThornedRose; 11/13/07 12:21 AM.

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