More significant than Paul's hair

by Doug Mason 7 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    Far more important than worrying about whether Paul's head was hairy or if he was an egg-shell blond, is to be concerned about what went on inside that skull between his ears.

    Paul was never a Christian. He was a Jew before he became aware of Jesus the Anointed (Christ) and he remained a Jew after his confrontation. Throughout his life Paul was a Jew living in a Gentile world. His burning intention was to bring Gentiles into the promise that God had covenanted with the Israelites. Paul wanted the Gentiles to be grafted onto the Jewish olive tree.

    While I have not yet read the following newly-released book, written by a Jew living and teaching in Christian environments, I certainly intend doing so very soon:

    "Paul: The Pagan's Apostle", Paula Fredriksen.


  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    Apologies to two scholars, who I mixed up in my mind.

    The Jewish author who lives and teaches in a Christian environment is Pamela Eisenbaum, and her excellent book is: "Paul was not a Christian: The Original Message of a Misunderstood Apostle".

    Read her book as well as "Paul: The Pagan's Apostle" by Paula Fredriksen.

    Both are available as ebooks.


  • waton

    It always seemed strange to me, that the most prolific writer to the congregations, would not be a member of the the "Governing Body", more like a free lance contributor, and now all of them are not even members of the 1919 wt Faithful and Discreet Slave!

    DM: nice critique of that portion of the talking snake collection! seriously.

  • The Fall Guy
    The Fall Guy

    @waton - Isn't it nice to know that Paul as a "publisher" could tell one of the alleged 1st century governing body that he was acting like a hypocrite! :) (I don't remember Paul being disfellowshipped for doing so)

    (Galatians 2:11) "However, when Ceʹphas came to Antioch, I resisted him face-to-face, because he was clearly in the wrong*." [Lit. condemned]

  • scratchme1010
    Paul was never a Christian.

    He was never heterosexual either.

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    “The fact that Paul says he was subject to forty lashes (less one) five times from synagogical authorities (2 Cor 11:24) means that the synagogical authorities as well as Paul himself understood that he remained subject to Jewish authority.” (Eisenbaum, Pamela. “Paul Was Not a Christian: The Original Message of a Misunderstood Apostle” (p. 8). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.)


    The big thing that Paul has going for him is that we know what he thought -- provided we stick to the writings that are genuinely his, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon. We can say what the writer of Revelation thought. However, given that the Gospels were written decades after Jesus lived and that the authors were not eyewitnesses, one has to exercise caution over their records.

    Other writings, such as Colossians and Ephesians (chronologically in that order) and the Pastorals are products of the late first century, about 40 years after Paul's death. Likewise the epistles attributed to Peter are from the second century, while scholars treat the book of Acts as religious fiction.

    I am of the view that Paul was heterosexual and there is a slight chink in my thinking that says Jesus was possibly a married man.


  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    I mentioned the unreliability of Acts because that is the source that most people use to create a picture of Paul, Peter and of the early movement.

    At some stage it will be interesting to lay out some of the reasons Acts is rejected. For me, the major reason lies with the contradictions between Acts and Galatians.

    I deliberately did not use the term "Christianity" because my understanding is that it did not come into regular use until late second and into the third centuries. Because Marcion made such use of Paul, his protagonists (early Church Fathers) were loathe to make much use of Paul. Only when the Pauline sect gained ascendancy through action of the Roman Emperors, particularly Theodosius and to a lesser extent Constantine, did the writings of Paul (genuine and assumed) become so domineering, as they now are in their Scriptures.


  • JWdeepthinker

    Paul was much darker complected than most Jews, who were fair-skinned. Thus Paul was not recognized as a Jew right away but considered to be an "Egyptian."

    Paul was converted to Christianity -- according to the gospels, which can be dismissed but not contradicted.

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