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 Post subject: Re: Did St. Paul exist?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:48 pm 
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Ken Humphreys and you should read "James the Brother of Jesus" by Robert Eisenman. Saul was "consenting in the death" of "Stephen" because "Stephen" was JAMES, and not Stephen. It occurred in 62 BCE, long after Jesus was gone.


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 Post subject: Re: Did St. Paul exist?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:33 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Did St. Paul exist?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:31 pm 
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i just watched a video debate between ken humphreys and habermas in which habermas gives the "accepted" dates of paul as follows:

two years post crucifixion--his conversion
5 years post crucifixion--the first epistles


this sounds all well and good, but a moment's reflection brings up something interesting. paul is a former self-professed persecutor of the christians. well given that his conversion is so close to jesus' death, just how big was christianity that believers in jesus had their own detractors? my readings on the era explain that during that time the christians were indistinguishable from jews....and jews were treated fairly.

but let's assume that paul, or saul at this point, had heard of christians and was hell bent on persecuting them. this puts his persecutions almost assuredly being contemporaneous with the life of jesus. the only way for this to happen is for him to have encountered enough people who had heard jesus speak and persecute them. that puts him only a couple of degrees of separation from the man himself. furthermore, if he were such an avid persecutor during the life of jesus, it follows that he would have surely attended his crucifixion and witnessed the wonders of it (the massive eclipse that lasted three hours and the zombie apocalypse). yet none of this firsthand information makes it into the epistles. paul writes his provenance to christianity as "i was really into persecuting them until i had a vision on the road one day." why would he have left out the real meat to his witness? that would be like me trying to sell you elvis's underwear by telling you that i found them on the street with his name on the waistband.....when in reality i had seen elvis take said underwear off and give them to me!!

but let's assume, for charity's sake, that saul was late to the party. maybe he didn't start feeding christians to kitties until after jesus died. what do we think transpired during these persecutions? did the christians try to explain their faith at all to saul? is it reasonable to think that saul had not heard the story of jesus of nazareth umpteen times during his persecutions? it is simply impossible that he was unfamiliar with the man. so the epistles portray a man trying to convince believers in other cities that his version of christ is true, yet he fails to use any of his own personal experiences to bolster his message other than claims of "direct revelation" by god.

there are only two responsible conclusions to make from this.

1. early christians did not believe in a historical jesus, so saul would have never heard of him during his persecutions. he only would know of christ as spiritual son of god. this is the most favorable reading for the historicity of paul, yet it is damning for the case for jesus.

2. there never was a paul, hence the inconsistencies with the story.

from this it appears christians are on the horns of a pretty nasty dilemma. they must choose who didn't exist, paul or jesus.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:04 pm 
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The following post someone circulated on my Christ Con Yahoo group sounds like good reasoning.

I would submit that the story of the trip to the East - as possibly based on midrash - was included in the "life" of the fictional composite "Paul" because it was a tale told about Apollonius of Tyana and/or Pythagoras, etc.

As we can see, the biblical tales are based demonstrably on pre-Christian mythology, legends and midrash.

It's good to see other people thinking in this manner.

http://www.truthbeknown.com/apollonius.html

Quote:
In any case, another one of the key anchors to date Paul is yet shown unreliable.

Quote:
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Jake <jacobjonesiv@yahoo.com>
To: JesusMysteries@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Saturday, January 5, 2013 10:06 AM
Subject: [JesusMysteries] Paul in Damascus?


In Galatians, we read of Paul's alleged trip to Damascus.

We should not imagaine that a historical Paul ever did such a thing. Paul's alleged trip to Damscus is midrash on Elijah's attempts to purge the enemies of the "true" faith, the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18). The "Arabia" and "Damascus" details explain what has puzzled scholars who look for history in Galatians.

Paul and Elijah both set out to purge the enemies of the "true" faith, the prophets of Baal for Elijah (1 Kings 18) and the church for Paul (Gal 1:13,23).

Elijah is turned aside (1 Kings 19:3) as is Paul when he encounters the risen Christ (Acts 9). Now here is the key part; Elijah immediately goes to Horeb, the mountain of God (1 Kings 19:8). Likewise, Paul turns aside into Arabia (Gal 1:17), where Mount Sinai is supposed to be located (Gal 4:25). It is on the Mount that Paul would naturally receive his alleged divine revelation, Gal. 1:12.

After that, both Elijah (1 Kings 19:15) and Paul (Gal. 1:17) go to Damascus. That is the source of Paul's alleged association with Damascus, "midrash" (loosely defined). It is very much of the same thing that was used to create the fictional life of Jesus.

It is evident that Galatians 1 was written after Acts 9 because Gal 1:17 states Paul returned to Damascus. Returned? Galatians doesn't mention Damascus before this. It was mentioned in Acts 9:3. These texts evolved "in conversation" with each other. This is supported by the fact that the so-called biographical details of Acts 9 and Galatians 1 in conjunction were derived from Elijah in 1 Kings 18 and 19. See message 42280.

2 Cor. 11:32 contains the story of Paul escaping from Damascus. The "lowering in a basket" has all the elements of a folk tale based on the motif of the hero being lowered to escape his enemies.

In the archives, a strong case was presented by Sid Green and Dennis that 2 Cor. 11:32 is an interpolation. I have trouble with the idea that Damascus was under control of Aretas in 38/39 CE. And that is explicitly what 2 Corinthians 11:32 states.

Nabataean control of Damascus by Aretas IV has never been established from any external sources. Instead, defenders of the biblical text twist all historical facts to try to save the accuracy of this, one of the very few historical anchors in the Pauline Corpus.

The only King Aretas who was documented to have had such authority in Damascus was Aretas III. In 84 BCE he conquered Damascus (BJ 1.4.8) and in 65 BCE besieged Jerusalem. But he broke off when the Romans appeared (BJ 1.6.3). The redactor of 2 Corinthinas has conflated Aretas III and Aretas IV from Josephus. It wouldn't be the first time a New Testament writer misread Josephus. In any case, another one of the key anchors to date Paul is yet shown unreliable.

Jake Jones IV

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:50 am 
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Jesus

Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 11:49 pm
Posts: 11
Acharya wrote:
The following post someone circulated on my Christ Con Yahoo group sounds like good reasoning.

I would submit that the story of the trip to the East - as possibly based on midrash - was included in the "life" of the fictional composite "Paul" because it was a tale told about Apollonius of Tyana and/or Pythagoras, etc.

As we can see, the biblical tales are based demonstrably on pre-Christian mythology, legends and midrash.

It's good to see other people thinking in this manner.

http://www.truthbeknown.com/apollonius.html

Quote:
In any case, another one of the key anchors to date Paul is yet shown unreliable.

Quote:
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Jake <jacobjonesiv@yahoo.com>
To: JesusMysteries@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Saturday, January 5, 2013 10:06 AM
Subject: [JesusMysteries] Paul in Damascus?


In Galatians, we read of Paul's alleged trip to Damascus.

We should not imagaine that a historical Paul ever did such a thing. Paul's alleged trip to Damscus is midrash on Elijah's attempts to purge the enemies of the "true" faith, the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18). The "Arabia" and "Damascus" details explain what has puzzled scholars who look for history in Galatians.

Paul and Elijah both set out to purge the enemies of the "true" faith, the prophets of Baal for Elijah (1 Kings 18) and the church for Paul (Gal 1:13,23).

Elijah is turned aside (1 Kings 19:3) as is Paul when he encounters the risen Christ (Acts 9). Now here is the key part; Elijah immediately goes to Horeb, the mountain of God (1 Kings 19:8). Likewise, Paul turns aside into Arabia (Gal 1:17), where Mount Sinai is supposed to be located (Gal 4:25). It is on the Mount that Paul would naturally receive his alleged divine revelation, Gal. 1:12.

After that, both Elijah (1 Kings 19:15) and Paul (Gal. 1:17) go to Damascus. That is the source of Paul's alleged association with Damascus, "midrash" (loosely defined). It is very much of the same thing that was used to create the fictional life of Jesus.

It is evident that Galatians 1 was written after Acts 9 because Gal 1:17 states Paul returned to Damascus. Returned? Galatians doesn't mention Damascus before this. It was mentioned in Acts 9:3. These texts evolved "in conversation" with each other. This is supported by the fact that the so-called biographical details of Acts 9 and Galatians 1 in conjunction were derived from Elijah in 1 Kings 18 and 19. See message 42280.

2 Cor. 11:32 contains the story of Paul escaping from Damascus. The "lowering in a basket" has all the elements of a folk tale based on the motif of the hero being lowered to escape his enemies.

In the archives, a strong case was presented by Sid Green and Dennis that 2 Cor. 11:32 is an interpolation. I have trouble with the idea that Damascus was under control of Aretas in 38/39 CE. And that is explicitly what 2 Corinthians 11:32 states.

Nabataean control of Damascus by Aretas IV has never been established from any external sources. Instead, defenders of the biblical text twist all historical facts to try to save the accuracy of this, one of the very few historical anchors in the Pauline Corpus.

The only King Aretas who was documented to have had such authority in Damascus was Aretas III. In 84 BCE he conquered Damascus (BJ 1.4.8) and in 65 BCE besieged Jerusalem. But he broke off when the Romans appeared (BJ 1.6.3). The redactor of 2 Corinthinas has conflated Aretas III and Aretas IV from Josephus. It wouldn't be the first time a New Testament writer misread Josephus. In any case, another one of the key anchors to date Paul is yet shown unreliable.

Jake Jones IV



Acharya,

fascinating stuff, for sure. I want to hear more on Paul, as I also suspect he is fictional. I just finished rewriting my book, The Bible says 'Saviors' - Obadiah 1:21. I want to send it to you to read at your leisure. It is in the vein of Robert Eisenman (a friend of mine now), who wrote "James the Brother of Jesus". In my book, chapter Six, the newly added chapter, I show TEN characters who cover for James, to write him out of history. I just today found another one in Eisenman's new book, James and the Dead Sea Scrolls Vol 1: Centurion Cornelius. He takes on attributes of James found in Josephus, according to Eisenman. This is going to be important information for further study. I, for one, am going to!

This is the original book:

http://www.amazon.com/Saviors-Beyond-Qu ... 738&sr=1-1

Email me at sahansdal/yahoo and I'll pdf file it to you.


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 Post subject: Re: Did St. Paul exist?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:06 am 
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Posts: 22
In my reading of Acts, Paul was in it for the money. He was a bounty hunter.

Also the Paul of Acts is not the Paul of the epistles. In one of the letters Peter (Cephias) is reluctant to eat with Gentiles for unclean foods and Paul makes an argument to do so. The Paul of Acts learned of the miracle that there were no longer any unclean foods. The Paule of Acts would have reminded Peter of the miracle.

My view of the author of the five long epistles thought to be Paul is that he existed simply from the body of the text. He was not the Paul of Acts.

Now if you read the letters he is clearly saying the end is not only nigh it is some time next week. To any rational Christian he got the central message all wrong. If he got that wrong no rational person would take him seriously on anything else. Christians are not rational.

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 Post subject: Re: Did St. Paul exist?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:12 pm 
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Thor

Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:40 pm
Posts: 24
I know this suggestion will be opposed on this forum, but is Saul-Paul not Josephus Flavius?

You will note that there are many similarities between Saul and Josephus, including both having a flash of inspiration and changing sides in a dispute. And both were on a ship carrying 'prisoners' from Judaea to Rome, and both were shipwrecked and taken to Naples, and both went on to see Emperor Nero. How many renegade Jews went to see Nero?

There is also a good correspondence in the writings of Saul and Josephus, with many historians/theologians commenting that the author of Acts (aka: Saul) has relied upon and duplicated large sections of Josephus' works. You will also note that both Saul and Josephus appeared to have used the same 'publisher', Epaphroditus.

Since I first made this claim back in '97, many people have opined that the birth date for Josephus is far too late for him to have been Saul. But if Saul were born in AD 37, then he would have been a man in AD 50 at his bar mitzvah (hence the priesthood being amazed at his teachings aged 12-14, exactly the same as for Jesus in Luke 2:46).** This means that the conflated character called Saul-Josephus could have started his evangelical missions around the Med in AD 50, under the guidance of Barnabus. And the gospels do say that Barnabus was the elder. Just like modern Jehovah's Witness evangelists, it is always the youngsters who are sent out on evangelical missions abroad, because the older folk are often married with kids and cannot make such voyages.

But if Saul were Josephus, it would explain nearly everything about the biblical texts. In other words, Saul-Josephus not only wrote a secular history of 1st century Judaea for the Romans, he also wrote a 'spiritual' history of 1st century Judaea for the Romans - a real history derived from his Jewish War but covered in a thick layer of fairy-dust. This was a Jewish War that preached peace instead of war, which is exactly what Rome wanted.

** No miracle here, this was a standard bar mitzvah test for boys. Most Jews have the same test today, where they must demonstrate their knowledge of the Torah before a rabbi to pass their bar mitzvah.


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