by Terry 43 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Terry

    Jesus didn't exactly explicate Hebrew scripture the way Paul did. Jesus was like an undercover agent, a mole, using a small network to accomplish a spy mission. Paul was overt and not covert. He smashed entrenched systems and replaced them willy-nilly by tearing down the structure of Judaism and using the old blocks to build a new structure. When he was criticised or questioned about it he would pretend innocence (all things to all people). Jesus was a continuation of Judaism. Paul was the destruction of it. Who was right/wrong? Paul or Jesus?

  • Mary

    Jesus was right, IMO. He wanted to make changes within Judaism itself. He wanted the leaders, the Pharisees to be less tyrannical, and more compassionate in their dealings with the R&F Jew. As we all know, they didn't see it that way. I woudn't view Jesus as a mole, or spy: he simply had a much different view of justice, love and compassion than what the Pharisees did.

    Paul, on the other hand was the first century equivanlant of Rutherford: he grabbed the reigns of power that were never meant to be his and totally destroyed anyone who disagreed with him. If Paul was indeed a (former) Pharisee, he (unfortunately) let his style, and his own personal beliefs become doctrine for the new Christian religion that was forming, rather than the teachings of Jesus. Paul never even met Jesus, so he was nowhere near as familiar with Jesus' teachings as what His disciples would have been.

    Yet when push came to shove, Paul lied to the R&F, he tried justifying his rather odd behaviour and totally dismissed those that questioned him. For example in 2 Timothy 2:17-18, Paul says ".....Hy·me·nae´us and Phi·le´tus are of that number. These very [men] have deviated from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already occurred; and they are subverting the faith of some....."

    Given the fact that Matthew 27:51-52 speaks of a resurrection that happened at the moment of Jesus' death, I don't think Hymenaeus and Philetus were off the mark, but Paul didn't want to hear it. The bottom line was: these men disagreed with Paul; therefore, they were treated as 'apostates'.

    It's a shame that Jesus' followers had not kept to His original sayings instead of following Paul.

  • Narkissos

    To me the comparison is flawed from the very start because most if not all of what is ascribed to Jesus in the Gospel (whether it suggests agreement with, or opposition, to Paul) presupposes the core of Pauline theology.


  • Quentin

    Don't know that there is a right or wrong...

    Jesus founded no religion. When you read what appears to be his own words he does not stray far from Judaic thought. If anything he was a traditionalist.

    Paul on the other hand was as radical as they come. He has a vision and goes off to Arabia for ten years or so and returns with a religious ideology and conviction to ram his Jesus down everyones throat.

    Jesus advised his followers to be as cautious as serpents and gentle as doves. Paul was a rabble rouser who gloried in the cuts and bruises he received for his daffy belief system.

    I suppose it depends on who you like best. A gentle Jesus, or a bloody shirt waver like Paul. Somewhat like the difference between Russell and Rutherford and deciding which one appeals to you the most. That is if you were going to make a choice.

  • Terry
    To me the comparison is flawed from the very start because most if not all of what is ascribed to Jesus in the Gospel (whether it suggests agreement with, or opposition, to Paul) presupposes the core of Pauline theology.


    How about this, then?

    What is "called' Christianity today; is it merely the brainchild of Paul, or, is it the modified continuation (more or less) of what Jesus intended?

    I don't think any of us have an historical Jesus in our head because the records are vanishingly miniscule. The fact that Jesus (apparently) never wrote anything (except a word in the dust) impairs even a modest investigation into what he may (or may not) have said.

    We do, however, have what purports to be eyewitness accounts and hearsay. Experts disagree about whether these are enlarged fish stories, legends, myth or mere wishful-thinking.

    We do know that what Paul wrote proliferated and caught the public's fancy.

    It seems natural that if you have to choose between a guy who talks in parables and a guy who dissects and reveals; you are going with the explainer.

    If it could be known what Jesus said we might find it so banal and fortune-cookie sounding we'd be apalled at all the hubub.


  • Mary
    What is "called' Christianity today; is it merely the brainchild of Paul, or, is it the modified continuation (more or less) of what Jesus intended?

    I say it's the brainchild of Paul. Jesus never told his followers to start a new religion, as He was a Jew himself. I think by today's standards, Jesus would be considered a Reformed Jew, not a Christian. Jesus wanted to make changes within Judaism itself----not to start a whole new religion.

  • unclebruce

    I'm with Mary,

    Pauls original mission was to destroy the Nazareans. Why? Because they were a real and serious danger to the ruling parties and their Roman overlords (lets not forget how many former Messiahs had turfed the Romans out of Palestine). Paul had his famous epithany. Successfully infiltrated the Nazareans. Stemmed the flow of cash from the diaspora to the Jewish underground. The threat became less potent. Mission Accomplished.

    Well done Apostate Paul (who just happened top be in the pay of Rome from the beggining).

  • skyman

    New thought for me. Thanks guy's

  • Narkissos
    What is "called' Christianity today; is it merely the brainchild of Paul, or, is it the modified continuation (more or less) of what Jesus intended?

    Christianity imo has many "fathers," and even "Paul" cannot be counted as its single origin. Prior to Pauline literature there were likely the "Baptist" and "Nazorean" movements in Judea ("Jesus" definitely didn't belong to the former, and he might not have been central to the latter either), Cynic-like wandering preachers in Galilee, Hellenistic Christian communities in the diaspora (what the NT ascribes to Stephen, Apollos or Hebrews owes little if anything to Paul). The Johannine school is independent too (although it may have influenced a part of post-Paulinism, cf. Ephesians). The Pastorals which will be prominent in the 2nd century rely on Paul's authority but modify his theology dramatically.

    Fictional and heteroclitous as they may be, the Gospels are definitely more popular than the rest of the NT. Most people can identify with, and love the Jesus character and story which those books constructed better than any real thinker/preacher of the earlier generation. In that sense the "Jesus" which is central to Christian identity is later than Paul (not the least of paradoxes) but overshadows him.

  • proplog2

    Jesus fullfilled the law. He believed that the law had served its purpose. "If you love me you will observe "My Commandments".

    Paul was clearly following in Jesus' footsteps by fighting against the Judaisers.

    There is an interesting book "Why The Jews Rejected Jesus" by David Klinghoffer. (Doubleday 20050

    In this book he makes the very strong claim that the document at Acts 15 concerning circumcision was the founding of western civilization.

    If the Christian Congregation had stood firm on circumcision that would have been the end of Christianity. Christianity would have been just one of many Jewish Sects and it would have died. The ruling that ended circumcision made it possible for Christianity to take hold in the the Gentile World. It made it possible for Christianity to have such an impact that people for a thousand years identified themselves as Christians not as Italians, Germans, Greeks etc.

    It's amazing how JW's read that document at Acts 15 as primarily a statement on eating blood. Paul was happy to get out of Jerusalem with a settlement of the circumcision issue. He never seemed to like the suggestion that Gentiles compromise by keeping a Kosher table.

    The first 2 Chapters of Galatians are interesting in this regard. Paul does not speak highly of his trip with Barnabas to Jerusalem. Apparently he made it back to Antioch before the Letter from James reached them. Paul was upset that Peter quit eating with the Gentiles as soon as the reps from Jerusalem arrived.

    I think Klinghoffer makes a valid point. Western Civilization which is Christian got underway with the council at Jerusalem. Was this providential?

    I believe it was. It seems as if there are forces that are effective in the evolution of Earths culture that are from outside of the Earth. Little tweaks that push humans in the right direction without interfering too much in the natural course of events. Kind of like the butterfly in the Amazon that starts a hurricane.

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