Making Every Thought Captive To Christ(Washing the Brain Of Good Reasoning)
I'm not trying poison the water's other drink, I am merely trying to understand the past in a much more honest light. I find it interesting that Paul suffered from frontal lobe epilepsy and so that explains his eccentric behavior and total commitment to his cause to the point of recommending it to others, which I think is true.
I'm sorry if what I wrote offends you, but try to look at as another point of view and that people need to think freely not restrained by religious indoctrination to better understand the past.
And yes I do have a certain dislike for the Watchtower brainwashing mind control cult, so I may express a tinge of anger hut it is mainly just reconsidering of views previously held and giving more informed impressions.
I hope in all I say I don't offend that is not my motive, please except my apology.
I think Paul being a person suffering from frontal lobe epilepsy explain his serious problems he was having with people not following his rules as if he was in direct contact with the divine and so ordered the disfellowshipping people not obedient to his commands and rules. He was on a divine mission because he suffered from epilepsy.
So I ask "If that is really how you feel about God and his word - why are you here at all ?" Is it really just to complain about your lot in life ? Is it to try and destroy the faith of others
Because I believe that God exists and I love him. I believe the promises that he recorded in the scriptures.
Most of the members who write on this post have their loved ones still stuck to the cult. This is a great blog to get updated on what’s going on in that Cult, so that we could rescue our family members at some point. This is true in my case also.
BTW, You say you believe in Bible Promises. Can you cure the sick, as the Bible promises ? If you could do that, I can become a Christian again.
I was surprised to learn how much of this one guy's writings made it into the NT.
Keep in mind too that a large portion of NT books ascribed to Paul are actually forgeries made in his name by others. There is widespread consensus on this among scholars who have examined the texts. Forgeries of religious text were widespread back then. Quite a sizable chunk of the NT consists of forgeries. 2 Peter is a notable one as is Jude. There are striking similarities between these two books that point to one plagiarising the other.
Good point IM, There's no guarantee that Paul wrote every letter ascribed to him, personally I feel both books of Corinth were his with perhaps a few redactions. Because they match up so well as written by a person that has temporal lobe epilepsy by the visions he describes.
I have a sneaky suspicion that Paul might have a strong influence on the writer named Luke and perhaps could very well be the same person.
I know this might sound crazy but what if Paul was also the writer Luke(the beloved Healer)?
Luke book of Acts and introduce us to Paul and his on the road to
Acts of the Apostles
Acts of the Apostles discusses Paul's conversion experience at three different points in the text, in far more detail than in the accounts in Paul's letters. The Book of Acts says that Paul was on his way from Jerusalem to Syrian Damascus with a mandate issued by the High Priest to seek out and arrest followers of Jesus, with the intention of returning them to Jerusalem as prisoners for questioning and possible execution. The journey is interrupted when Paul sees a blinding light, and communicates directly with a divine voice.
Acts 9 tells the story as a third-person narrative:
As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked.
"I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."
The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
— Acts 9:3–9, NIV
Ananias Restoring the Sight of St. Paul (c.1631) by Pietro da Cortona.
The account continues with a description of Ananias of Damascus receiving a divine revelation instructing him to visit Saul at the house of Judas on the Street Called Straight and there lay hands on him to restore his sight (the house of Judas is traditionally believed to have been near the west end of the street). Ananias is initially reluctant, having heard about Saul's persecution, but obeys the divine command:
"Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name."
But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."
Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
— Acts 9:13–19, NIV
Acts' second telling of Paul's conversion occurs in a speech Paul gives when he is arrested in Jerusalem.[Acts 22:6-21] Paul addresses the crowd and tells them of his conversion, with a description essentially the same as that in Acts 9, but with slight differences. For example, Acts 9:7 notes that Paul's companions did not see who he was speaking to, while Acts 22:9 indicates that they did share in seeing the light (see also Differences between the accounts, below). This speech was most likely originally in Aramaic (see also Aramaic of Jesus), with the passage here being a Greek translation and summary. The speech is clearly tailored for its Jewish audience, with stress being placed in Acts 22:12 on Ananias's good reputation among Jews in Damascus, rather than on his Christianity.
Acts' third discussion of Paul's conversion occurs when Paul addresses King Agrippa, defending himself against the accusations of antinomianism that have been made against him.[Acts 26:12-18] This account is more brief than the others. The speech here is again tailored for its audience, emphasizing what a Roman ruler would understand: the need to obey a heavenly vision,[Acts 26:19] and reassuring Agrippa that Christians were not a secret society.[Acts 26:26]
Differences between the accounts
An apparent contradiction in the details of the account of Paul's revelatory vision given in Acts has been the subject of much debate. Specifically, the experience of Paul's traveling companions as told in Acts 9:7 and Acts 22:9 has raised questions about the historical reliability of the Acts of the Apostles, and generated debate about the best translations of the relevant passages. The two passages each describe the experience of Paul's traveling companions during the revelation, with Acts 9:7 (the author's description of the event) stating that Paul's traveling companions heard the voice that spoke to him; and Acts 22:9 (the author's quotation of Paul's own words) traditionally stating they did not.
Biblical translations of Acts 9:7 generally state that Paul's companions did, indeed, hear the voice (or sound) that spoke to him:
And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
— Acts 9:7, King James Version (KJV)
The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, for they heard the voice but could see no one.
— Acts 9:7, New American Bible (NAB)
The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.
— Acts 9:7, New International Version (NIV)
By contrast, Catholic translations and older Protestant translations preserve the apparent contradiction in Acts 22:9, while many modern Protestant translations such as the New International Version (NIV) do not:
And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.
— Acts 22:9, King James Version (KJV)
My companions saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one who spoke to me.
— Acts 22:9, New American Bible (NAB)
My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me.
— Acts 22:9, New International Version (NIV)
"Hear" or "Understand"?
Critics of the NIV, New Living Translation, and similar versions contend that the translation used for Acts 22:9 is inaccurate. The verb used here — akouō (ἀκούω) — can be translated both "hear" and "understand" (both the KJV and NIV translate akouō as "understand" in 1 Cor. 14:2, for example). It often takes a noun in the genitive case for a person is being heard, with a noun in the accusative for the thing being heard. More classically, the use of the accusative indicates hearing with understanding. There is indeed a case difference here, with Acts 9:7 using the genitive tēs phōnēs (τῆς φωνῆς), and Acts 22:9 using the accusative tēn phōnēn (τὴν φωνὴν). However, there has been debate about which rule Luke was following here. On the second interpretation, Paul's companions may indeed have heard the voice (as is unambiguously stated in Acts 9:7), yet not understood it, although New Testament scholar Daniel B. Wallace finds this argument based on case inconclusive.
"Voice" or "Sound"?
A similar debate arises with the NIV's use of the word "sound" instead of "voice" in Acts 9:7. The noun used here — phōnē (φωνῆ) — can mean either. By translating 9:7 as "they heard the sound" instead of "they heard the voice," the NIV allows for Paul's companions to have heard an audible sound in Acts 9:7 without contradicting the statement in Acts 22:9 that they did not hear a comprehensible voice.
The New American Standard Bible, New Century Version, and English Standard Version maintain the "hear"/"understand" distinction while using "voice" in both passages. On the other hand, the Holman Christian Standard Bible has "sound"/"voice" with "hear" in both passages, and The Message adopts a similar translation, but with "sound"/"conversation." The French La Bible du Semeur distinguishes between entendaient ("heard") and compris ("understood").
Although it is possible that there is a contradiction in these two passages unnoticed by their author, Richard Longenecker suggests that first-century readers probably understood the two passages to mean that everybody heard the sound of the voice, but "only Paul understood the articulated words." Similar comments have been made by other scholars.
The conversion of Paul, in spite of his attempts to completely eradicate Christianity, is seen as evidence of the power of Divine Grace, with "no fall so deep that grace cannot descend to it" and "no height so lofty that grace cannot lift the sinner to it." It also demonstrates "God's power to use everything, even the hostile persecutor, to achieve the divine purpose."
The transforming effect of Paul's conversion influenced the clear antithesis he saw "between righteousness based on the law," which he had sought in his former life; and "righteousness based on the death of Christ," which he describes, for example, in the Epistle to the Galatians.
The Bible says that Paul's conversion experience was an encounter with the resurrected Christ. Alternative explanations have been proposed, including sun stroke and seizure. In 1987, D. Landsborough published an article in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, in which he stated that Paul's conversion experience, with the bright light, loss of normal bodily posture, a message of strong religious content, and his subsequent blindness, suggested "an attack of [temporal lobe epilepsy], perhaps ending in a convulsion ... The blindness which followed may have been post-ictal."
This conclusion was challenged in the same journal by James R. Brorson and Kathleen Brewer, who stated that this hypothesis failed to explain why Paul's companions heard a voice (Acts 9:7), saw a light,[Acts 22:9] or fell to the ground.[Acts 26:14] Furthermore, no lack of awareness of blindness (a characteristic of cortical blindness) was reported in Acts, nor is there any indication of memory loss. Additionally, Paul's blindness remitted in sudden fashion, rather than the gradual resolution typical of post-ictal states, and no mention is made of epileptic convulsions; indeed such convulsions may, in Paul's time, have been interpreted as a sign of demonic influence, unlikely in someone accepted as a religious leader.
A 2012 paper in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences suggested that Paul’s conversion experience might be understood as involving psychogenic events. This occurring in the overall context of Paul’s other auditory and visual experiences that the authors propose may have been caused by mood disorder associated psychotic spectrum symptoms.
A completely different theory has been put forward in 2015 by astronomer W. K. Hartmann who argues that the three accounts in the book of Acts describe exactly the sequence of events that occur when a fireball, like the Chelyabinsk meteor of 2013, passes through the sky. This includes people being knocked off their feet, the physical effects on Saul's eyesight, etc.
There's not enough known about Paul to diagnose any brain abnormalities, nor does his blindness after his vision fall into any of the supposed categories. There are also the other happenstances:
And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, and hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.
In this case you have the initial vision, then the vision he received while still suffering blindness -- the one leading him to Ananias and the vision of Ananias informing him to seek Paul. Had Paul had an illness-inspired dream, it likely would have fueled his hatred of Christians rather than converted him to Christianity.
Based on Paul's writings, he was a visionary man given to revelations. That he was an apostle is clear from his writings and was a witness of the resurrection of Christ. Some assume this vision and his initial vision on the road to Damascus were the same, but if he is the man he spoke of "that was taken to the third heaven where he saw and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak," he may have seen or encountered Jesus there.
I'm not certain what Paul said in this case (2 Corinthians 10:5) that was so objectionable or which contradicts Jesus' words in the Sermon on the Mount. In the context of his times, how can we judge how delusional he is when compared to the other Christian leaders of his time? We're not only crossing a language barrier, but a cultural barrier as well. Based on what we don't know about Paul (which greatly outweighs what we do know), that may be unfair.
The Mystical Experience is what Paul was having where religious back round is used to interpret meaning, or previous held beliefs. In today's world it can be understood as literally coming from God, or a natural process of our highly developed evolved brains of homo sapiens . It is a purely subjective experience and may carry highly emotional charged themes as in the case of frontal lobe epilepsy were everything takes on a more significance as more real than everyday real.
A religious experience (sometimes known as a spiritual experience, sacred experience, or mystical experience) is a subjective experience which is interpreted within a religious framework. The concept originated in the 19th century, as a defense against the growing rationalism of Western society. William James popularised the concept.
Many religious and mystical traditions see religious experiences (particularly that knowledge which comes with them) as revelations caused by divine agency rather than ordinary natural processes. They are considered real encounters with God or gods, or real contact with higher-order realities of which humans are not ordinarily aware.
Known as anti-missionaries. It's quite alright I have no problem with any of it whatsoever. I even have a friend from my old congo. that became one, so nothing new here I've heard and read some anti Paul material to each his own. Once he found out that he could argue till he's blue and not get anywhere with me mutual respect came back. Very well read, intelligent articulate guy too. What he or others chose to believe is fine by me so long as boundaries are maintained. We are still FB friends and he was instrumental in helping me out of the cult, I owe him. Best wishes to all no matter what your beliefs. Live and let live.