IS it possible that Paul was just a failed Pharisee that

by confusedandalone 56 Replies latest jw friends

  • KateWild

    second-place finisher in the religion known as Judaism. So when he saw these hopeless people who had lost yet another Messiah he pounced like the opportunist that he was.-confused

    Reminds me of Russell and Rutherford. Russell took many out a CULT, and Rutherford formed a new improved CULT, wirh an instant following. History repeats itself time and again.

    Kate xx

  • TD
    In contrast Paul wrote in 1Cor 14.35,36, about women beoing silent at meetings, and it's a disgrce if a woman speaks at a gathering, she should shut it, and just talk about it at home to her husband. He dissmissed any notion of single women entirely.

    Paul's attitude towards women is not very easy to decipher either. Some of the things he said are certainly negative. On the other hand, Paul attaches the title of diakonos (Deacon) to Phoebe and speaks of Junia as though she were an apostle. No other male character in the NT did anything like that.

    I think Paul's attitude was progressive, given the culture of the time.

  • KateWild

    I think Paul's attitude was progressive, given the culture of the time-TD

    Fair comment, but adds weight to the nature of his views, they were somewhat convoluted-Kate xx

  • adamah

    Any believer who thinks they know what Jesus said, based on reading the Gospel accounts of his words is going to need tons of "faith", since the words of Jesus (and Paul, for that matter) have been heavily redacted (changed) over time to attempt to harmonize the various accounts (where the book of Mark (in addition to as an unknown work which NT scholars refer to as the 'q' document) was the source for the others. Jesus has thus been transformed into a meek, loving compassionate character over time, when the Markian account actually suggests he was a hot-head who at times got angry and contemptuous with those he healed; this been tempered down over time via curious translation choices, since it didn't fit with the desired image of Christ.

    NT scholar Bart Ehrman makes a compelling case for many such changes having occurred, based on textual and linguistic analysis, and he goes over the details in his book, "Misquoting Jesus".

    Same goes for Paul: many scholars suspect his misogynistic attitude stems from later redactors in the 2nd-4th Century CE who inserted such thoughts into "his" writings for him, in order to combat the heretical beliefs of gnosticism (a group of early Christian believers who allowed women to serve in leadership and teaching roles in the church, where there wasn't a fixed authoritarian structure within the group, but the roles each played at their meetings were determined on a weekly basis by drawing lots, in essence allowing the Holy Spirit to decide who got to do what).


  • Stealth

    Thanks for the examples TD & Kate. Another;

    1 Cor 4, Paul says: For though you have countless leaders in christ....

    Matt 23, Jesus says: Neither be called leaders for you have one leader, the christ.

    It's easy to see why the WT organization loves and rely heavily on Paul's doctrines for their excessive rules & regulations.

  • KateWild

    Nice comment Stealth

  • Giordano

    I agree with Adam, the NT is totally unreliable. After all of the oral histories, languages and years before anything was written we have little to no idea if Jesus existed let alone what he said. Which is perfect if you want to start or formalize a religion.

    After the historic Jesus dies, assuming he was real, they had 300 years to developed Christian Dogma by cherry picking the available material.

    I also feel strongly that Paul either developed his theology over his life time or others in the future did it for him.

    People of faith have little in the way of accurate information....but then again that's what faith is for.

  • suavojr

    Paul added a lot of things that JC never even spoke about, but you have to remember that his authority comes from the so called miraculous powers he had to resurrect the dead and not die from snake poison, etc... therefore this gives the reader the impression he has full support from the Christ.

  • suavojr

    On the other hand, show me what powers any religious leader has today? NOT ONE

  • steve2

    Adam, your observations are on the money again. I could not express those thoughts better.

    On a slightly shifted note, what Jesus and Paul had in common were teachings, if not beliefs, about wrongdoers burning in flames for eternity. Now, we know that religious groups such as the JWs and 7th-Day Adventists reassure timid readers that those fiery words were never intended literally - and frankly, the notion of taking them literally is stupid (well it is to me). Yet, it is also clear that both men believed in such torment for the wicked, just as Jesus believed that epilepsy was caused by demon-possession - but then he did not have access to Miriam-Websters pocket medical dictionary.

    I love the way even fundamentalists pick and choose whether to"interpret" even plainly stated scriptures literally or figuratively and contort scriptures out of complete shape in doing so. The Watchtower Society's game of fools over the definition of Christ's "generation" is a recent example. The pick-and-choose mentality is one of the biggest jokes ever plopped upon "Scripture"-based religions.

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