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Did St Paul Exist?


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#1 Neon Genesis

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 09:25 AM

People often debate whether or not there was a historical Jesus, but did St. Paul really exist or was he actually Simon Magus? Quoted from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia....dical_criticism

According to radical critic Hermann Detering, Simon Magus may be a proxy for Paul of Tarsus,[14] with Paul originally been detested by the church, and the name changed when Paul was rehabilitated by virtue of forged Epistles correcting the genuine ones.[15]

Notably, Simon Magus is sometimes described in apocryphal legends in terms that would fit Paul, most significantly in the previously mentioned Clementine Recognitions and Homilies. It is contended that the common source of these documents may be as early as the 1st century, and must have consisted in a polemic against Paul, emanating from the Jewish side of Christianity. Paul being thus identified with Simon, it was argued that Simon's visit to Rome had no other basis than Paul's presence there, and, further, that the tradition of Peter's residence in Rome rests on the assumed necessity of his resisting the arch-enemy of Judaism there as elsewhere. Thus the idea of Peter at Rome really originated with the Ebionites, but it was afterwards taken up by the Catholic Church, and then Paul was associated with Peter in opposition to Simon, who had originally been himself.

The enmity between Peter and Simon is clearly shown. Simon’s magical powers are juxtaposed with Peter’s powers in order to express Peter’s authority over Simon through the power of prayer;[16] and in the 17th Homily, the identification of Paul with Simon Magus is effected. Simon is there made to maintain that he has a better knowledge of the mind of Jesus than the disciples, who had seen and conversed with Him in person. His reason for this strange assertion is that visions are superior to waking reality, as divine is superior to human.[17] Peter has much to say in reply to this, but the passage which mainly concerns us is as follows:

But can any one be educated for teaching by vision? And if you shall say, "It is possible," why did the Teacher remain and converse with waking men for a whole year? And how can we believe you even as to the fact that he appeared to you? And how can he have appeared to you seeing that your sentiments are opposed to his teaching? But if you were seen and taught by him for a single hour, and so became an apostle, then preach his words, expound his meaning, love his apostles, fight not with me who had converse with him. For it is against a solid rock, the foundation-stone of the Church, that you have opposed yourself in opposing me. If you were not an adversary, you would not be slandering me and reviling the preaching that is given through me, in order that, as I heard myself in person from the Lord, when I speak I may not be believed, as though forsooth it were I who was condemned and I who was reprobate. Or, if you call me condemned, you are accusing God who revealed the Christ to me, and are inveighing against Him who called me blessed on the ground of the revelation. But if indeed you truly wish to work along with the truth, learn first from us what we learnt from Him, and when you have become a disciple of truth, become our fellow-workman.

This was also covered in a recent episode of the Reasonable Doubts podcast in an interview with Robert Price:
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#2 Abiyoyo

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 11:56 AM

People often debate whether or not there was a historical Jesus, but did St. Paul really exist or was he actually Simon Magus?


Simon Magus was the one in Acts who wanted the Apostles powers, and tried to bribe them. The wiki from above is an 'out there' view even in my little world. Alot of the Apocrypha mentions Simon flying around, proclaiming to be God, or Christ to his followers. This is from The Acts of Peter and Paul. This excerpt is from the end of the ordeal, a test of who's God is more powerful, or which is the True God when Peter, Paul, and Simon Magus had all been brought to Nero in prior dialogue. This is a great read even though it is Catholic literature, and identifies Simon Magus as a magician.

Here is the link Neon: http://www.newadvent...athers/0815.htm

Then Simon went up upon the tower in the face of all, and, crowned with laurels, he stretched forth his hands, and began to fly. And when Nero saw him flying, he said to Peter: This Simon is true; but you and Paul are deceivers. To whom Peter said: Immediately shall you know that we are true disciples of Christ; but that he is not Christ, but a magician, and a malefactor. Nero said: Do you still persist? Behold, you see him going up into heaven. Then Peter, looking steadfastly upon Paul, said: Paul, look up and see. And Paul, having looked up, full of tears, and seeing Simon flying, said: Peter, why are you idle? Finish what you have begun; for already our Lord Jesus Christ is calling us. And Nero hearing them, smiled a little, and said: These men see themselves worsted already, and are gone mad. Peter said: Now you shall know that we are not mad. Paul said to Peter: Do at once what you do.

And Peter, looking steadfastly against Simon, said: I adjure you, you angels of Satan, who are carrying him into the air, to deceive the hearts of the unbelievers, by the God that created all things, and by Jesus Christ, whom on the third day He raised from the dead, no longer from this hour to keep him up, but to let him go. And immediately, being let go, he fell into a place called Sacra Via, that is,Holy Way, and was divided into four parts, having perished by an evil fate.


Edited by Abiyoyo, 15 October 2009 - 11:58 AM.

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