by Terry 20 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I listened to Ehrman's audio for the Teaching Company with EArly Christianity to Constantine and discovered some new things. We only have Paul's letters. Unfortunately, we do not have the letters from James and Peter to Paul. I've read a lot in this area on an amateur basis. My feeling was always that enormous friction existed. James, Jesus' brother and Peter, his rock were present through Jesus' life. They are the major participants in the gospels. Clearly, Jesus died a Jew. The early Christians considered themselves good Jews. Nice Jewish boys.

    Paul went on missions. I don't believe they travelled far from Galilee or Jersualem. Sadly, almost everyone accepts Paul's vision because it was able to survive for a host of reasons. Another matter I notice very clearly is that Paul doth protest too much about being an apostle. James and Peter were the gold standard for apostles. If Paul had true legitimacy as an apostle, he would not have to assert it at every moment. Peter had no need to do so.

    I don't see how it was one happy Jewish/Christian community. The implications for Christology are too huge. I wish we would not accept Paul's word as the last word only because his works survived. The Christians gathered in Jerusalem must have been so frightened and angry with Paul. Does anyone here truly believe that Paul announces his vision on the road to Damascus, a vision and auditory experience only Paul had among his party, and instantly, James and Peter see the error of their ways and embrace him. Yes, they were Christian but they were also human and had many Christian humans to protect from Saul.

    If Osama Bin Laden announced to the world that he received a vision and was now a born-again Christian while he spits on a Koran, and enters DC in triumph to lead his tent revival in America, would NYers and Pentagon employees rush out to embrace him? I've seen instant forgiveness in that genre of Christian film during the 1940s and 1950s.

    Paul triumphed. Maybe he was correct. We don't know with the available evidence.

    After 9/11, I flinched violently every time a military plane (the only planes) flew overhead. I flinched before my mind consciously registered there was a plane overhead. Others found the military planes reassuring. Months later I had to drive pass an airport to move. The planes were minding their own business but my mind was certain they were falling out of the sky directly to me. I came very close to an accident. Al-Qaeda thoroughly terrorized me. I might force myself to do things to spite them but they had me terrified out of my wits. Paul was al-Qaeda. Maybe Ghandi could embrace him readily. Perhaps Jesus or Mother Theresa. James and Peter had to protect everyone as leaders. Your mind might say forgive but your body gives you powerful signals not to forgive.

    Why doesn't Acts report of a meeting between Paul and the families of the victims of Saul? It had to happen. Did no relative step forward and say this is not good idea. Think of parole and pardon hearings.

    I loved the Last Temptation of Christ and thought Cecil B. DeMille hokey. This post shows my feelings about Jesus and real life.

  • sizemik

    The new testament letters resemble more and more the same glossed up version of the early Christian Organisation, as the WTS version of it's own history today. Paul was undoubtedly charismatic to most, invoked a following, and instituted organisational structure. He was an influential leader who took over something started by someone else . . . much like Rutherford who can do no wrong in the eyes of JW's. He was the first real apostate of Christ IMO.

  • moshe

    I view Paul as a fictional character and it makes sense to me that way.

  • rebel8

    I have no relevant comment.

    I came here to say this thread's name is so much better than Oompa's 25-word titles.

    That is all.

  • Terry

    I think there is a stark fact which must be faced that nobody ever really examines or gives a moment's thought.

    Not one of alive has any idea what happened 2000+ years ago except for what we have read and have been told.


    The same is just as true for people 30 years removed!

    It is very clear that no eye witnesses were writing anything down. But, a lot of people were talking.

    PAUL WROTE. 1/3 of what is attributed to him is phony attribution.

    Reactively, writings appeared after Paul's writings were circulated.

    He said/she said. They said....everybody said.

    Now who KNOWS anything?

    As if all that isn't disturbing (for purposes of fact finding) enough for you.....NONE OF THOSE WRITINGS exist anymore.

    Not one.

    Oh sure, somebody copies this and somebody copied that. But, those copies don't exist either.

    Oh, sure somebody copied the copies. But, only a few little piece the size of a postage stamp exist.

    What is it we ACTUALLY HAVE? We have copies, of copies, of copies...all selectively done by hand and willy nilly, at that.

    And you and I are sitting here this morning with OPINIONS about even that. Amazing isn't it? The idea that we KNOW anything at all??

  • journey-on
    The idea that we KNOW anything at all??

    It all sounds so logical now, doesn't it.

    I do know one thing though. As a JW, I was certain the Bible was preserved by Jehovah's Holy Spirit and came down to us 100% intact just exactly the way He intended it to. If God is all powerful, then He certainly had the ability to make sure His word was kept pure.....That's how I thought back then, and I'm sure that's how they still think.

  • AGuest
    I'm sure that's how they still think.

    I agree, dear JO (the greatest of love and peace to you, dear one!); however, dear Binadub's statement totally negates with that THINK (which is an error, anyway):

    shows how little JWs actually read their Bible.

    Which why I often get amazed at what is posted on this site as being or not being "in the Bible"... or what it says or does not say... or what a verse states or does not state. When I first became JW I was literally shocked at some of the answers at the WT study; I truly felt that others read their Bibles WAY more than I did, so I wondered: where did they get THAT?? It was hard for me because I just couldn't reconcile what they SAID (and sometimes the WT TAUGHT)... with what I often READ (in the Bible).

    I realized, on H20 and here, that this really was true. I even started a thread about that a couple weeks ago.

    Nothing I can do about those still "in"... but if I had something to ask of folks HERE, it would be: BEFORE you quote a verse or go about saying what did or did not occur... if you are referring to something that's supposed to be... or not be... "in the Bible"... please... PLEASE... consider looking it up, first... and READING it (and perhaps the verses around it, if not the entire chapter... or, if several chapters are involved, all of them)... BEFORE you quote... and BEFORE you jump to conclusions as to what did... or did not... occur, etc. Please. You will greatly benefit if you do. Perhaps no greater insight, etc., but at least you'll know a bit better what may have occurred and whether your presumption is actually accurate.

    I bid you ALL peace!

    A slave of Christ,


  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run


    I think you overemphasize how many people count on it. Unless I am on a subway platform, I have no contact with fundamental Christians any more. Most people at my church are aware of the New Testament scholarship. The tension between Paul and Jersualem has been taught from the pulpit on multiple occasions. It took a while after leaving the Witnesses but I no longer need literal happenings. Deep in my heart I believe truth is available in the New Testament. A larger and different truth than just the attention to every little detail. The more I read of history, culture, and anthropology, the mopre things make sense.

    I analyze things on my own now without running to an academic database all the time. It is a minor miracle that shocks me. Also, I have many Jewish friends from my area. We discuss this stuff from our perspectives, our religions, and gut feelings for hours. The hard fast rule is no converting.

    Most people who go to church do not believe a literal view of the Bible. Jesus is more guru than divine to them. They want ethical lives and they want to blend in with the dominant culture for a host of reasons.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Does anyone have thoughts about Christianity as a potent religious and politcal force as in the Middle Ages and Renaissance and the current watering down of the Christian message? I believe that whatever encourages people to read their Bibles without a third party is good. The ability to discard traditonal Christology may not be so bad. Take what you like and leave the rest.

  • sabastious
    How could this Saul (later called Paul) ever ACTUALLY be accepted as anything other than pretender trying to destroy messianic christianity? Why would Paul's radical theology be acceptable to christians since he Was who he Was?

    Same reason why Barack Obama is the President of the United States: good teeth, nay, GREAT teeth!


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