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Christianity vs Paulianity


RankStranger

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Greetings heathens and fellow Christians¬†ūüôā

 

I remember years ago that there was some discussion about Christianity vs. Paulianity.  For those of you who have strong opinions and/or education regarding theology:  Is there any daylight between Paul and Jesus?  How much can a Christian separate their belief in the teachings of Jesus Himself... from the historically accepted practices and of Paul & Company?

 

How historically accurate is the notion that Paul was the founder of the Christian Church?  I really have no idea.  And please keep in mind that I don't accept the notion that provable historicity is the same thing as Truth.  Ya'll are free to believe as you like, but I'd just like to get that out of the way.  This is not a debate.  I will not be rational here.

 

Also I hope that this Thanksgiving finds all of you well.

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Why have you drawn a distinction between the teachings of Jesus and the historically accepted practices of Paul, RS?

 

For a Christian isn't Jesus just as historical as Paul?

 

Aren't there historically accepted practices of Jesus in Christianity?

 

And what about Paul's teachings?

 

Biblically and historically both people would seem to be on the same footing - unless a Christian opts to cherry pick.

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One major difference I see is that people respected Paul's authority enough that they tried to pretend to be him and forge his writings and teachings. 

 

Few have ever attempted to imitate christ.

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When I was a Christian, I sometimes thought that Jesus had come with a simple message of love, and that Paul and other epistle writers ruined it by adding all the Terms and Conditions.  

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This is a good topic Rank and I'm going to Defer to Bart Ehrman as the professional scholar. There was a podcast I had been looking at but haven't listened to yet. It was promoting one of his courses he did earlier this year. He brings up some very good points that I had never thought of as a Christian. 

 

As Christians we all assume that the gospels, the epistles, the acts, and revelation are all inspired by God and from that point of view. Absolutely Paul taught what Jesus taught. But when you separate it all up..... that's not quite the case. I listened to the podcast just before posting this. But here is the YouTube link. 

 

 

DB

 

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9 hours ago, walterpthefirst said:

Biblically and historically both people would seem to be on the same footing

I can't agree here. Everything historical paints a very different picture than everything biblical. It was the whole reason for my deconversion. Unless I'm missing your meaning here.

 

DB

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43 minutes ago, DarkBishop said:

I can't agree here. Everything historical paints a very different picture than everything biblical. It was the whole reason for my deconversion. Unless I'm missing your meaning here.

 

DB

I think he's saying that historically Paul and jesus are on equal footing, where evidence of existence, aithenticity, etc. are concerned; and also biblically Paul and jesus are on equal footing as well, for the same reasons.  

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3 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

I think he's saying that historically Paul and jesus are on equal footing, where evidence of existence, aithenticity, etc. are concerned; and also biblically Paul and jesus are on equal footing as well, for the same reasons.  

 

This is so, Prof.  And please note what I also said, DB.

 

"Biblically and historically both people would seem to be on the same footing - unless a Christian opts to cherry pick."

 

Many Authentic Christians accept the entire bible as one, fully god-inspired and fully integrated text, taking 2 Timothy 3 : 16 & 17 as their reason for doing so.

 

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 

17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

 

However, a Christian who opts to cherry pick cannot be honouring what is written above.  And this calls the authenticity of their Christian beliefs into question.  If they don't accept that ALL scripture comes from god, then they might as well take a pair of scissors to the bible and start cutting out the passages they don't accept.

 

I'd also draw your (not just you Dark Bishop, but also the Prof and TABA) attention to the position RS is taking here. 

 

Please see his opening post.  He's not going to get into a debate and he will not be rational in this thread.  So, whatever his justification for separating Jesus and Paul like this - its not rational.  Nor will he debate about it.  And going back a little while he also made it clear that he only answers questions if they are sufficiently interesting to him.

 

Adding together his refusal to debate, his declared irrationality and the selectiveness with which he will treat our questions with, I wonder where this thread will go next?

 

 

:shrug:

 

 

Thank you,

 

Walter.

 

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17 minutes ago, walterpthefirst said:

Adding together his refusal to debate, his declared irrationality and the selectiveness with which he will treat our questions with, I wonder where this thread will go next?

Maybe he's just looking for answers.  

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22 minutes ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Maybe he's just looking for answers.  

"Oh Brother, Where Art Thou"?¬†ūüėĀ

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44 minutes ago, walterpthefirst said:

Adding together his refusal to debate, his declared irrationality and the selectiveness with which he will treat our questions with, I wonder where this thread will go next?

 

God only knows....heh heh...ūüėá

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1 hour ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Maybe he's just looking for answers.  

 

Well then he's setting clear terms and conditions under which he wants to look for his answers.

 

What if the answers he's looking for aren't to be found under his conditions?

 

 

 

:shrug:

 

 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, walterpthefirst said:

 

Well then he's setting clear terms and conditions under which he wants to look for his answers.

 

What if the answers he's looking for aren't to be found under his conditions?

 

 

 

:shrug:

 

 

 

 

Then he will demonstrate that he is a True christian (other criteria notwithstanding).

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1 hour ago, moxieflux66 said:

"Oh Brother, Where Art Thou"?¬†ūüėĀ

Like Mrs. Hogwaller, who up and R-U-N-N-O-F-T. 

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I always suspected she R-U-N-N-O-F-T with the acompni... acompn... the fella that played the guitar.

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11 hours ago, TABA said:

When I was a Christian, I sometimes thought that Jesus had come with a simple message of love, and that Paul and other epistle writers ruined it by adding all the Terms and Conditions.  

My thoughts also.

 

Walter, does everything have to be a debate that someone can win??  I think he is just asking for discussion!   And I can see what he is talking about.  To me, the essence of Jesus message got lost in the rest of the New Testament.  Not just with Paul.  I don't think Paul founded Christianity, but he seems to have had a lot of influence on it.  Basically the Catholic church compiled the New Testament, from what I understand.

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6 hours ago, Weezer said:

  Basically the Catholic church compiled the New Testament, from what I understand.

And whoever compiled it seemed to like the writings attributed to Paul.  Assuming he actually existed. 

 

And as a side note while I am wound up, if they had limited the NT to the teachings attributed to Jesus, There may have not been the number of divisions that later occured.  

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7 hours ago, Weezer said:

My thoughts also.

 

Walter, does everything have to be a debate that someone can win??  I think he is just asking for discussion!   And I can see what he is talking about.  To me, the essence of Jesus message got lost in the rest of the New Testament.  Not just with Paul.  I don't think Paul founded Christianity, but he seems to have had a lot of influence on it.  Basically the Catholic church compiled the New Testament, from what I understand.

 

Well, there's two things to say about this, Weezer.

 

First, this isn't a specified debate area of the forum.  So RS might well be just asking for a discussion.

 

Second, and to answer your question, I'm of the opinion that the aim of this forum (helping people to exit Christianity) is best served by the directness of debate, where direct questions can be put to Christians and where the flaws and misunderstandings in their beliefs are most easily exposed.  A discussion might throw up the odd moment where a Christian's beliefs comes under scrutiny but for the most part discussions don't advance the aim of this forum very much.  

 

So no, everything doesn't have to be a debate that someone can win, Weezer.

 

But, for the sake of the people who come here for safety, comfort and healing I believe our time would be better spent debating with Christians rather than with just discussing something with them.

 

 

Thank you,

 

Walter.

 

 

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11 hours ago, moxieflux66 said:

Like Mrs. Hogwaller, who up and R-U-N-N-O-F-T. 

 

10 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

I always suspected she R-U-N-N-O-F-T with the acompni... acompn... the fella that played the guitar.

Yep.  Then she loved him up and turned him into a... horny toad.

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4 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

 

Yep.  Then she loved him up and turned him into a... horny toad.

This is so unfair! Every time I come here and see something like this I have someone in the house sleeping and I have to suppress the hilarity! Sometimes I have to run outside to laugh. Don't do that!! 

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But let's continue......

 

At least that's better than being beat over the head by a bible salesman. Yep, rather be a horny toad....

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On 11/18/2023 at 7:27 AM, TheRedneckProfessor said:

One major difference I see is that people respected Paul's authority enough that they tried to pretend to be him and forge his writings and teachings. 

 

Few have ever attempted to imitate christ.

 

 

Nothing to add, but I like this post.

 

 

 

On 11/18/2023 at 8:28 AM, TABA said:

When I was a Christian, I sometimes thought that Jesus had come with a simple message of love, and that Paul and other epistle writers ruined it by adding all the Terms and Conditions.  

 

That's kinda how I feel.  And so do a lot of Christians from what I can tell- the more liberal ones anyway.  Conservative Christians can't get enough Paul.

 

In the paleo-conservative evangelical circles I grew up in, there was always a strong emphasis on the 'whole' bible.  Bigly concerned about cherry-picking... a mentality that led them to routinely emphasize the nastier parts of the Bible.  IMO as a way of proving the whole-ness of their belief.

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, walterpthefirst said:

Second, and to answer your question, I'm of the opinion that the aim of this forum (helping people to exit Christianity) is best served by the directness of debate, where direct questions can be put to Christians and where the flaws and misunderstandings in their beliefs are most easily exposed.  A discussion might throw up the odd moment where a Christian's beliefs comes under scrutiny but for the most part discussions don't advance the aim of this forum very much.  

 

Unfortunately, this doesn't work when talking to Christians like Rank or Ed who do only take parts of the Bible to have faith in. But the topic at hand is about Chistianity vs Paulanity. And when separating the teachings of Paul from the teachings of Christ I can see a definite difference. Also to go further. If we take the (IMO) least accurate Gospel out. Which is the Book of John (AKA the book of love). Jesus preaches a completely different message than Paul. John was also the latest Gospel to hit the scene and probably the most influence by Paul's teachings. 

 

If Jesus had lived and been the one to really kick start the Christian movement and set up doctrines like Paul did. I think he would have been more along the lines of Peter.  Wanting new converts to keep Kosher, observe the Jewish traditions, and probably even be circumcised. 

 

Jesus taught that he was the fulfillment of the law but never said not to abide by the law. He even summed up the law in Mathew 22.

 

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

 

Jesus also says in Mathew 5:

17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

 

Jesus taught that the law would stand until the end. When his fathers kingdom came to earth.

 

Jesus believed that this was going to happen very soon. He believed that there would be people of his generation still alive when all these things happened. 

 

He doesn't say to stop keeping God's law. It is Paul that says it. In his letter to the Galatians 3:

 

 

2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.

5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.

16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

 

All this is directly contrary to what Jesus taught. 

 

Jesus does make exceptions to the law when it comes to doing Gods work. Like the times they come against him for healing on the sabbath. But that is God's work. 

 

Anyway, I think there is a pretty good argument that Paul changed and reinterpreted what the teachings of Jesus were and made Christianity explode by including the Gentiles. And making the religion more universal by taking away the stringent regulations of the mosaic law.

 

So I'm open for discussing these issues, even with a Christian. In the end what does it show? That the teaching we have lived by for 2 millenia were not those of Jesus himself. How much more damaging can that be? That should show any passers by that the Bible is not to be trusted. 

 

DB

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21 hours ago, DarkBishop said:

This is a good topic Rank and I'm going to Defer to Bart Ehrman as the professional scholar. There was a podcast I had been looking at but haven't listened to yet. It was promoting one of his courses he did earlier this year. He brings up some very good points that I had never thought of as a Christian. 

 

As Christians we all assume that the gospels, the epistles, the acts, and revelation are all inspired by God and from that point of view. Absolutely Paul taught what Jesus taught. But when you separate it all up..... that's not quite the case. I listened to the podcast just before posting this. But here is the YouTube link. 

 

 

DB

 

 

Thanks DB.  I'll listen to that later today.

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10 minutes ago, RankStranger said:

In the paleo-conservative evangelical circles I grew up in, there was always a strong emphasis on the 'whole' bible.  Bigly concerned about cherry-picking... a mentality that led them to routinely emphasize the nastier parts of the Bible.  IMO as a way of proving the whole-ness of their belief.

I've never heard the term paleo conservative evangelical. But this is a lot like the churches I grew up in. In my area even the Baptist churches were pretty adamant that the Bible was the inerrant word of God. 

 

 No cherry picking, king James only, what it says is what it says. And then the holiness church was even worse. 

 

DB

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