What would Christianity look like without Paul's writings?

by AK - Jeff 107 Replies latest jw friends

  • AllTimeJeff


    All-Time Jeff,
    Conclusions without evidence are assertions. Your post is full of them. If you have some evidence please supply it.

    Can you give me a quote where I made an assertion? This is an internet forum, not a grad level college class. If you want, start with "Misquoting Jesus" by Brad Ehrman. Great book, very eye opening.

    This is true. However, I am not looking at ATJ's musings as lifechanging. I am simply asking how he came to those conclusions. Now you assert that Paul's writings were inserted into the Bible. What evidence do you have that leads you to that conclusion?

    My conclusions are based on the evidence that Pauls extant writings were long out of existence, that copies were made, that these copies contained errors the further down in time you examine them, and that at the time that the books for the bible cannon were considered, various sects were competing for their own letters to be included. Some made it, others didn't.

    I might add though, that books like Misquoting Jesus and others are out there for anyone to examine the evidence, history and scholarship of the bible cannon, including Pauls letters. However, the evidence has had little effect on people of faith who are determined to believe no matter what evidence comes to light. For this, I have no desire to argue or change their minds. More power to them.

    You haven't asserted anything. (I think) Would you assert that Pauls writings are really from Paul, and as such, inspired of god?

    (edited due to sloppy original post... sorry)

  • Piercingtheveil81

    Ak-Jeff have you ever read "Jesus words only; or was Paul the apostle Jesus condemns in Rev. 2:22" by douglas de Tondo?

    Its an excellent book that goes into how paul was really nothing more than a self proclaimed apostle who was constantly defending his position in his letters because many early christians considered his ideas to be heresy.

    Del Tondo's book uses the bible as well as early church sources as well as the writings of Josephus to prove this and to show that there was in fact great disagreement between the apostles in Jerusalem and paul and his disciples.

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff

    I have not read it Ptv81. But it sounds worth the read. Thank you.

    I do very little 'biblical research' these days to be honest. That's not to say none. But biblical matters are loosing ground in my interest faster than I can recoup them these days. I shall take the book under consideration though for a winter's read perhaps. I have always thought, yes even as a Jw, that something was definately wrong with Paul's insertion of himself so heavily into the Christian arena.

    I honestly believe that Jesus' teachings have commendable value. But Paul's, in general, turn Christianity a rather ugly shade of insensitive.

    Thanx again


  • allelsefails

    donut hole wrote: - "@allelsefails ..... I see that quite a bit where it is suggested that Paul didn't think his writings were inspired. He may not come right out and say, "my writings are inspired", but is there any doubt that he felt that he speaking the Word of God? He really believed the message he preached wasn't received from any man but from God. In fact, in his letters he is careful to note when his expressions are his own and not from Heaven." ...... You are right he wrote "the word of God" exactly the same way the WTS/FDS do today. They don't claim inspiration, but expect to be treated as inspired. I have no doubt this is how Paul viewed himself. He often boasted of how he did NOT learn Christianity from the Apostles in Jerusalem. He had a personal experience taking him into the "third heaven". So Jesus spent 3 1/2 years traveling with these 12 men, he taught them how to preach, all the things God wanted them to know, and a few years later decided they weren't good enough so he picked this Saul of Tarsus to be the primary conduit of his will and purpose for the body of Christ? Silly silly silly - JWs don't have market on nonsense based on NO historical evidence. ..... Somewhere someone will mention how Acts and Galations have 2 COMPLETELY different stories of Paul/Saul. Either Luke is a liar or Paul is. ....... Also Paul specifically says it is OK to eat food acrificed to Idols. The only reason to avoid it is so you don't offend someone else. Not because of the Jerusalem Council with definitively stated things sacrificed to Idols were off limits. He was brought back to Jerusalem and forced to take part in A JEWISH ceremony so that people would see he wasn't against the Law. ........... James was known for going to the temple for prayer every day! (as a Christian) Many Jews believed their destruction in 70 was punishment for killing James. (Josephus) Paul is the only one who says anything negative about the Law. James says that "a man is to be declared righteous by works not faith alone" Where as Paul makes the opposite point. It is obvious that they are both in the final canon of the church as a political compromise not on objevtive evidence of inspiration or genuineness. Without Paul Christianity would be a Jewish/Christianity mix. Jesus clearly suggested that he expected his Christian followers to observe the Sabbath (Matt. 24:20). He and his followers respected EVERYTHING about Judaism execpt the corrupted legalistic leadership. Great post and discussion.

  • Pistoff

    Reniaa said:

    " I think this thread is interesting as it clearly shows were not wanting leadership of men leads to. That some men have to make decisions doctrinely, administratively, practically by setting up churches and appointing elders is the whole point of Pauls teachings! He is literally putting Jesus's words into a practical form to achieve Jesus's directive of making disciples to preaching the message and a large group with various positions for all, sound familiar?

    Well someone that rejects this in witnesses cannot possibility accept this in pauls writings without a lot of cognitive dissonance ignoring the clear references to setting up congregations, rulling over doctrines and members actions. so ultimately you will get people rejecting Pauls teachings as part of the bible (as we see from this thread alone) because they cannot accept it anyway. Or some that say 'lets focus on the love' those playing blinds man buff with scriptures ignoring the ones that make their head itch when it discusses leadership among men."

    You are making a point for me that I referred to on the other thread you started, about Paul vs Saul.

    I DO NOT WANT leadership of men, I don't accept it in Paul's writings; I don't want men making decisions for me doctrinely. They don't know anything more than I do, they have NO PIPELINE to God. Reniaa, show me where Jesus himself set up rules for congregations. Jesus wandered and preached in the manner of a Cynic sage, and basically told his disciples that they knew enough if they would love God wholeheartedly and their neighbor as themselves. No counsel about choosing elders or ministerial servants there.

    Listen to yourself; ruling about doctrines, and over members actions, and decide administratively! Is that what Jesus talked about? He said who are you to judge another, turn the other cheek, love your enemies, sell your belongings and give to the poor.

    So make congregations, rule over doctrines and members actions; just stop imagining that Jesus authorized any of it. It is all Paul and those who wrote in his name, like it or not, good or bad (and I am not saying it is all bad). What Paul wrote is above and beyond anything that Jesus talked about or likely envisioned.

    Tell me why, other than that his writings are in the canon that was finalized hundreds of years after Jesus lived, you think that Paul knew that building congregations was what Jesus wanted.

  • Pistoff

    There was a time when I accepted at face value that others, including the FDS and the writers of the WT, had the inside track to what God thought, or as they say, were who Jehovah was using. Others would say that meant we heard God thru the WT.

    That was before I realized that the SUM of their spirituality, the WT/GB/FDS led them to decide that child rape required 2 witnesses, and if there was no confession, the victim could not talk or warn other parents without facing df'ing. That is the extent of their spirituality.

    THAT is the "ruling over doctrine" that led me to reject out of hand that one person can decide for another what God's mind or intentions are.

    I am very interested however in how Christianity went from Jesus to the powerful, for good and for bad, enterprise that it is today. And the writings of Paul are part of the story; that is why textual analysis is of interest to me.

  • allelsefails

    True "Christianity" is described by Jesus "Love your God" "Love your neighbor". How are Jesus' disciples recognized today? Jesus answers again "Those that have love amongst themselves" - no doctrinal qualifications, no preaching qualifications, no organizational requirement. I have always loved the point that Jehovah has never had an organization that represented him. Israel was a nation whose Law was from God, but whose kings were a bunch of bastards. God told them "You don't want a king, I'm your KING" the Israelite kingship was allowed by God, but never "represented him". Never had any say over spiritual things. ... Also Job as no "member of God's organization" , but a faithful man in God's memory. The Jews NEVER believed that you had to become an Israelite or follow the Law to please God. (unless you're an Israelite of course). ......... Paul was the beginning of this seizing of power that allowed men like Clement of Rome down to the Popes of modern times to make their claims. Jesus said NONE of you are teacher, Father, leader. NONE are above any others.

  • awildflower

    This is such a great thread, thanks for all the info and thoughts and book recommendations!........wf

  • Satanus

    Other things that might qualify a person for having jesus' affinity: visiting people in jail, feeding the hungry, helping the poor, taking care of stray/hurt animals, etc. Words to this affect are ascribed to jesus. Again, no doctrines are listed.


  • JimmyPage

    Yeah I've really enjoyed this thread too. You just don't hear these kinds of arguments at the Kingdumb Hall LOL.

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