The apostle Paul

by vitty 9 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • vitty

    Im not a bible scholar, even though I was in the troof for 20 years, but I really feel the apostle Paul has got a lot to answer for.

    I mean its because of his letters we have all this turmoil about the blood issue, shunning and judging each other, Homosexuality

    He is not slow in saying how righteous he is , how humble he is and telling the christians off for critisizing him (um reminds me of some people)

    Now the gospels on the other hand are so simple, Jesus was humble, told us never to judge a person, he NEVER shunned anyone not even the Pharises and ate with sinners (of his religion) and told us we only had TWO rules

    If it wasnt for Paul would we have the problems with christian religion we have today, I think he cocked a lot of what jesus said up. He didnt even meet Jesus and there he was taking over the show, none of the other apostles had a look in!!!!

    Have I got it completely wrong ?? Please reply kindly ive had a bad day!

  • kes152

    Dear vitt, Much peace to you. I can definitely understand why you feel this way, you are not alone. If I may, I would like to share with you what I have come to understand concerning this issue. The truth is, this is very much "our" fault. None of the apostles of the Christ (the twelve) neither our Lord or his Father told us to "follow Paul." Paul told those to become imitators of himself AS he imitates the Christ. What this means is that everything Paul said and did that was "in union with the Christ".. we are to do and observe. However, every other thing that he spoke and did that was not of the Christ.. it was our job.. our "responsibility" to know better and not imitate. Paul, although an apostle was also a disciple. A disciple is a 'disciplined [one].' Paul was LEARNING because he.. being a disciple was disciplined on many matters. Therefore we would not follow Paul because he was a disciple just as the rest of us were. We all have but 'one Teacher' and all of us are brothers. Therefore it would be to our own detriment to follow Paul, Peter, John, Thomas, or any of the other apostles. All were learning just as we are learning and the One who guides us into ALL truth is not the Bible... but the spirit of the TRUTH. He is the one we all are to listen to and follow. As Paul and others by means of the Spirit spoke beforehand, "There will be certain ones who will rise up from among the congregation speaking distorted things and draw away the disciples after themselves." As you know from history, vitt, men LOVE to be led by other men. You see how much "glory" and "honor" the world bestows upon the apostles and Paul? You remember how in the days of Samuel the sons of Israel no longer wanted God to be their king and judge but they wanted to appoint a man to rule them and judge them? Men loved to be ruled by men. They WANT a man to tell them what to do and so when the opportunity presents itself.. men "run" to be enslaved by another. In the days of the apostles certain ones rose up from among them and enticed them to go following them. Today you have countless religions rising up and making idols out of the apostles and disciples and they "run" following them. Truthfully, this is our fault. We are the ones who "made Paul" bigger than he is and we are the ones who glorified him in our hearts and followed in everything he said. It was truly our fault because although the Spirit said, "Do not put your trust in earthling men to whom no salvation belongs," we ran to put faith in Paul.. a man.. and those men who told us to put faith in Paul. All the while ignoring our Lord but being deceived by men into thinking we are serving the Lord doing exactly what he said.

  • Narkissos

    Interesting, Vittvin!

    These are very common feelings about Paul. I don't know if it's completely fair though.

    On the one hand, the Pauline "mission" and letters are instrumental in the making of "Christianity" as a new (i.e. non-Jewish) religion. We can hardly imagine what the Western history would have been like without his specific synthesis of "pagan" and Jewish traditions.

    And yes, he imports into his Christianity a lot of Jewish (and Roman middle-class) commonplace moral (or more accurately sexual) prejudice, against women and homosexuality for instance.

    But the blood prohibition (which is only dietary in the Bible, of course) is not from him, rather against him (there was a thread on the so-called "apostolic decree" a few days ago). Paul consistently enough maintains that (at least Gentile) Christians are not subject to any law. He also calls for not judging, and says the commandments of love sum up the whole law (Romans 13--14). This was a rather common idea btw.

    The practice of shunning was also common to a lot of sects, including Jewish and Christian. For instance the Johannine community (2 John 9-11) which also proclaimed that "God is love".

    The problem with Jesus is that we do not know what he really stood for. The Gospel stories we have about him are much later than Paul and take in a lot of Pauline theology (especially through Mark). But I agree that Jesus' portrait as can be gathered from the Gospels is much nicer than Paul's.

  • Preston

    I guess you'd have to ask Paul...

    Paul of Tarsus

    "They are backbiters, haters of God--violent, proud, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, and deserving of death."

    There you have it straight from the horse's mouth...

  • vitty

    I agree men do like to follow other men. I did, I handed over my responsibility of my spirituality to other ,cos I thought they knew better than me, i trusted them, when they said they understood the scriptures and I couldnt possible understand without them.

    When I started reading the bible without the watchtower, it blew me away. Scriptures id read hundreds of times began to take on a different meaning, the veil was off.

    I blame myself for not researching the witness in the beginning. But for whatever reason I didnt.

    Also I think paul did talk about judging people in the congegations in 1 Cor 5 v12-13

  • MungoBaobab

    I dunno, you gotta admire a man who tells it like it is:

    Galatians 5:12 I wish those that set you adrift would castrate themselves.

    Gee, when was the last time you saw that scripture quoted in the magazines?

  • vitty

    I couldnt remember reading it at all and had to look it up!!!!!!!!!!

    It also says this from the living bible quote "I only wish these teachers who want you to cut yourselves by being circumcised would cut themselves off from you and leave you alone! "

  • A Paduan
    A Paduan

    but I really feel the apostle Paul has got a lot to answer for. I mean its because of his letters we have all this turmoil about the blood issue, shunning and judging each other, Homosexuality

    I don't agree - I think that it's due to a combination of fear influencing how people hear / interpret what Paul wrote.

    Jesus was humble, told us never to judge a person, he NEVER shunned anyone not even the Pharises

    To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables; so that they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand

    I think he cocked a lot of what jesus said up.

    I think that's because you have read it literally.

  • Leolaia

    The Living Bible is a paraphrase and has clearly "softened" the language there.

  • MungoBaobab

    NWT uses the term "emasculate." More of a $10 word than castrate, my guess is they were hoping people wouldn't know what it means.

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