The fact that the Gnostics didn't like Paul, counts but it is not the big problem that I see in distrusting Paul.ttruscott wrote:That Gnostics hate Paul does not make them right nor him wrong...dogmatism is the father of sarcasm.Kyrani99 wrote:This is Pauline Christianity and it is made up.
Firstly Paul was involved in killing Christians. The Christians in question were Jews, who chose to follow a particular Jewish teacher. Certainly there were differences to accepted Jewish practice but it was not as if they were challenging the Jewish rabbis or trying to effect change to the Jewish faith. They were simply their own group amongst many other breakaway groups. To go after others and systematically kill them, time after time, takes a particular character. IMO one that has no compassion.
Secondly, Paul's account of his conversion on the road to Damascus, to kill Christians also smells foul. He claims that he saw the risen Jesus on the road and was literally blinded by the light. And that he became very fearful and sick afterwards. This is not a genuine spiritual experience, from my own experiences and that of many others that I have known in various religious groups, ranging from Christian to Buddhist and yoga to Sufi.
Thirdly, in a spiritual experience and its aftermath there is no physiological effects that are negative. NEVER that I know of. The person's attention is strongly drawn inward, so much so that they not aware of their surroundings. It is not that they lose consciousness because they are still able to stand or walk etc. It is that the focus of attention is captured. Paul says nothing like this.
Fourthly, after a spiritual experience (and an enlightenment experience, which are not the same), the person experiences a superior state of health. They have a highly ordered thinking, they are able to do things that they cannot do ordinarily in their thinking. For instance after one significant spiritual experience I was driving to the university where I was attending lectures, and I had not finished my maths assignment. While driving, I was able to solve the problems set, far more easily than I had ever done before AND I was able to recall the solutions with clarity so as to write them up after I had parked my car and before I went to my tutorial. I got full marks for my homework. A first! I also enjoyed good health for months afterwards. And others also noticed and commented that I had a high positive attitude. I found this consistent with others, with whom I had shared my experience and who had spiritual experiences.
Fifthly, Paul claims that when Ananias laid his hands on him and healed him so he got his sight back some old scabs fell out of his eyes. This does not sound true to me. It would have to be intense laser light to do that much damage.
Sixth, after that experience he went to Arabia for several years and wandered around. This also sounds sus.
What I see is that the Romans must have had a serious problem if they had tried to crush the Jews because the Eastern Roman Empire had a culture in common, Hellenism. And there were many, not only Greeks, who would have:
a. sympathized with the Jews and helped them counter the Romans, and
b. would have seen their opportunity to fight for their freedom. I had thought perhaps the Greeks could have done this because there were many Greek city states under Roman occupation as well as Greece itself. However I have since realized that as they shared a culture then many more than the Greeks would have joined in. So the Romans needed to disable the Greeks in particular as well as the others. This is where Paul comes into the picture.
If you look at his actions you find that he first went and converted the tribal people in what is northern Turkey today. Why? Was it because these tribes were used by the Greeks as mercenary soldiers to fight their battles?
Then he tackled the Greek mainland and especially places like Corinth, which were key military targets. The Romans had destroyed Corinth because they were trying to overcome the oppressive rule. Corinth was rebuilt but with a large Roman presence but it was still not secure.
Every time that Paul is arrested by the Romans, to supposedly be jailed, he ends up living in luxury at the Roman's expense, able to see whomever he wishes and carry on as normal. I don't know of anyone else that was jailed by the Romans, who was treated so well or even reasonably.
The Emperor Nero has him as a house guest for a few years and then lets him go.
And we are told that after a short time preaching, they had become charismatic leaders. This smacks of foul play, the same cheat probably that psychopathic people use in the "love at first sight cheat". Briefly a concealed threat is used so that the person only knows that they have highly emotional charge. Ideas such as "isn't she divine" or "isn't he gorgeous" are concurrently presented by some strongly related party. The person believes the ideas they think that they are having because of the high emotional charge that they feel. It is a trap. If Peter and Paul had the Roman soldiers at their beck and call, then something like this to become charismatic on mass is easily done.
Then there are the "miracles". According to Acts, even handkerchiefs and aprons that Paul had touched, and which were subsequently taken to the sick, had incredible healing qualities. And that goes for Peter as well. He managed to outdo every miracle that Paul did. A sick person only needed to walk into Peter's shadow to be healed. Really! Not even Jesus had such powers.
And Paul and Peter preached love thy enemies, forgive thy enemies and do good to those that harm you. These are ideals that degrade and dis-empower. In whose interest is all that? The Romans of course.
AFTER Paul has finished rounding up all the strays and bringing them into the fold, churches he and Peter set up, the Romans attacked and crushed the Jews, destroying their temple. Coincidence?
And this is only the short list as to why I distrust Paul and Peter.