Did Paul/Saul actually persecute early Christians?

Getting to know more about a specific belief

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
rikuoamero
Under Probation
Posts: 6707
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:06 pm
Been thanked: 1 time

Did Paul/Saul actually persecute early Christians?

Post #1

Post by rikuoamero »

I'm just wondering here. Apart from Acts, and whatever mention Paul makes of it in his own works, what evidence is there that he actually persecuted/arrested early Christians? Any other writings by any other people?
Image

Your life is your own. Rise up and live it - Richard Rahl, Sword of Truth Book 6 "Faith of the Fallen"

I condemn all gods who dare demand my fealty, who won't look me in the face so's I know who it is I gotta fealty to. -- JoeyKnotHead

Some force seems to restrict me from buying into the apparent nonsense that others find so easy to buy into. Having no religious or supernatural beliefs of my own, I just call that force reason. -- Tired of the Nonsense

User avatar
Ancient of Years
Guru
Posts: 1070
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:30 am
Location: In the forests of the night

Re: Did Paul/Saul actually persecute early Christians?

Post #2

Post by Ancient of Years »

rikuoamero wrote: I'm just wondering here. Apart from Acts, and whatever mention Paul makes of it in his own works, what evidence is there that he actually persecuted/arrested early Christians? Any other writings by any other people?
Apart from Acts and the Pauline epistles there is no evidence of anything at all about Paul. IMO Acts is simply fiction, written by Luke for specific purposes, addressing problems that arose over time. But Paul writes about himself, which is another matter.

Three times Paul mentions having persecuted the church. In Philippians 3 it could be viewed as part of him establishing his credentials of having been a thoroughly devout Jew and therefore qualified to speak about the failings of the Law. However, in 1 Corinthians 15 he mentions it in passing in a way that could be construed to disqualify him as an authority on the message of Jesus, an odd admission. In Galatians 1 Paul says that the people he is writing to were already aware of his persecutions. That certainly would seem to suggest that it is something that really happened.

My opinion is that it is a believable claim with little reason to disbelieve it.
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

William Blake

User avatar
Kyrani99
Apprentice
Posts: 191
Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 8:09 am
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: Did Paul/Saul actually persecute early Christians?

Post #3

Post by Kyrani99 »

[Replying to rikuoamero]

I think if you read between the lines you find that his motives were hardly honorable. He basically invented Christianity and IMO he distorted the message of Jesus. To that extent he is still persecuting Christians to this day.

User avatar
Ragingmoogle
Student
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:59 am

Re: Did Paul/Saul actually persecute early Christians?

Post #4

Post by Ragingmoogle »

[Replying to Kyrani99]


I think if you read between the lines you find that his motives were hardly honorable. He basically invented Christianity and IMO he distorted the message of Jesus. To that extent he is still persecuting Christians to this day.



It would be very impressive to me if Paul were the inventor of christianity.

First he would have to convince Jesus' closest friends and family to distort their beloved rabbi's teachings. Peter and James both apparently knew Paul and offered him "the right hand of fellowship". And approved of his teaching. He would also have to fool the masses of people that Jesus personally taught.

Second, what exactly did Paul gain by this new teaching? History tells us that the early Christians were in some cases brutally treated. Paul claims just that. He was stoned and beaten. He said he went hungry and was imprisoned and at one point shipwrecked. Does that really make sense to dedicate so much to some fib about a dead Galilean carpenter?

To the topic of the post. I agree with Ancient of years. The people knew Paul. The Jewish teachers opposed to Paul would have certainly raised protest if Paul had made a false claim about himself like that. And I've never seen any mention of it.

User avatar
bluethread
Savant
Posts: 9133
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:10 pm

Re: Did Paul/Saul actually persecute early Christians?

Post #5

Post by bluethread »

Ragingmoogle wrote:

First he would have to convince Jesus' closest friends and family to distort their beloved rabbi's teachings. Peter and James both apparently knew Paul and offered him "the right hand of fellowship". And approved of his teaching. He would also have to fool the masses of people that Jesus personally taught.
Also, a principle of historical analysis is that competing accounts and views tend to strengthen the historical credibility. Though Peter and James did eventually acknowledged Paul as one of them, one could say that, early on, they were more like frienemies. Peter and James were concerned about hellenization in daily living, while Paul was concerned about works based salvation. Taken together one gets a balanced view of how one becomes one of Adonai's people and how one should then live.

User avatar
Kyrani99
Apprentice
Posts: 191
Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 8:09 am
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: Did Paul/Saul actually persecute early Christians?

Post #6

Post by Kyrani99 »

Ragingmoogle wrote: [Replying to Kyrani99]


I think if you read between the lines you find that his motives were hardly honorable. He basically invented Christianity and IMO he distorted the message of Jesus. To that extent he is still persecuting Christians to this day.



It would be very impressive to me if Paul were the inventor of christianity.

First he would have to convince Jesus' closest friends and family to distort their beloved rabbi's teachings. Peter and James both apparently knew Paul and offered him "the right hand of fellowship". And approved of his teaching. He would also have to fool the masses of people that Jesus personally taught.

Second, what exactly did Paul gain by this new teaching? History tells us that the early Christians were in some cases brutally treated. Paul claims just that. He was stoned and beaten. He said he went hungry and was imprisoned and at one point shipwrecked. Does that really make sense to dedicate so much to some fib about a dead Galilean carpenter?

To the topic of the post. I agree with Ancient of years. The people knew Paul. The Jewish teachers opposed to Paul would have certainly raised protest if Paul had made a false claim about himself like that. And I've never seen any mention of it.
In recent examination of the subject of Peter, I am beginning to wonder if Peter was ever really involved with Paul. I am now suspecting that the presence of Peter was written in to help sell Paul's teaching as credible.

I don't think Paul invented Christianity in all of its detail. He invested Jesus as God. The first followers of Jesus were Jews and the Jews never believed that Jesus was God. They saw him as the messiah, as the son of God in the same way that they were sons of God and as a prophet. This is consistent with Jewish scriptures.

When Paul first met with the disciples they rejected him but couldn't quite know why. I doubt now that they ever had anything to do with him after that.

Paul was imprisoned several times by the Romans but you will find that he was given his own apartment with all the comforts of life, he was allowed to have any visitor he wished and he was allowed to continue his work, write letters etc., Doesn't sound much like the normal prison life under Roman rule. There is no doubt he had Roman backing. And at least one of the times that he was imprisoned, it was for his own safety. Think about it Romans protecting a Jew that was supposedly a problem.

As for being stoned and attacked, he was by Jewish people and priests who saw him as an abomination.

User avatar
Ragingmoogle
Student
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:59 am

Re: Did Paul/Saul actually persecute early Christians?

Post #7

Post by Ragingmoogle »

[Replying to post 6 by Kyrani99]
In recent examination of the subject of Peter, I am beginning to wonder if Peter was ever really involved with Paul. I am now suspecting that the presence of Peter was written in to help sell Paul's teaching as credible.
Are you saying that Peter's letters are some type of forgery written by Paul or his supporters?

Plus the writers of the gospels affirm Jesus as God. Especially the gospel according to john. John, Matthew, and Mark were all supposedly Jewish and they had no problems as expressing Jesus as God.

As far as the early Jewish Christians not having anything to do with paul. Well. You really have no reason to think that. But historical documents say just the oppisite Peter calls Paul a dear brother.

And as for the attacks. I think you miss my meaning. What I meant to express is that Paul had no rational reason to continue preaching as he did and every reason to quit. If he fabricated Christianity he sure stuck to his guns. And to what gain. He was eventually executed for his preaching. And before the execution was brutally treated by the jews. Who in their right mind would be stoned or executed for something he didn't truly believe. The Romans did the executing

User avatar
Kyrani99
Apprentice
Posts: 191
Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 8:09 am
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: Did Paul/Saul actually persecute early Christians?

Post #8

Post by Kyrani99 »

Ragingmoogle wrote: [Replying to post 6 by Kyrani99]
In recent examination of the subject of Peter, I am beginning to wonder if Peter was ever really involved with Paul. I am now suspecting that the presence of Peter was written in to help sell Paul's teaching as credible.
Are you saying that Peter's letters are some type of forgery written by Paul or his supporters?

Plus the writers of the gospels affirm Jesus as God. Especially the gospel according to john. John, Matthew, and Mark were all supposedly Jewish and they had no problems as expressing Jesus as God.

As far as the early Jewish Christians not having anything to do with paul. Well. You really have no reason to think that. But historical documents say just the oppisite Peter calls Paul a dear brother.

And as for the attacks. I think you miss my meaning. What I meant to express is that Paul had no rational reason to continue preaching as he did and every reason to quit. If he fabricated Christianity he sure stuck to his guns. And to what gain. He was eventually executed for his preaching. And before the execution was brutally treated by the jews. Who in their right mind would be stoned or executed for something he didn't truly believe. The Romans did the executing
I am of the opinion now that the letters attributed to Peter are forgeries.
In the beginning there were most probably oral traditions. These were then recorded. But after the Romans destroyed the temple and killed all the Jews that were fighting for their freedom, they took all the Jewish scriptures and possibly too what they could find in any written scriptures of the followers of Jesus but there were still oral traditions.

With Constantine however the ones that opposed what the Romans wanted were destroyed and even the bishops that opposed Constantine were killed or driven away. So the documents we have left are what Roman historians and theologians had written.

Paul may have been executed but I doubt it. He may have been given a handsome some of money and told to go live somewhere in the Western Roman Empire. However he might have been executed. I wouldn't doubt that the Romans were capable of using him and then executing him for appearances sake and to make themselves look clean.

The fact that the Jews hated him is evidence that he had fabricated stuff. Jesus was a Jewish prophet and he had repeatedly upheld the Torah and the one true God. He never presented himself as God. In fact he said to someone, I think it was in John, "why do you call me good? Only God is good."

Paul was paid and had the protection of the Romans all the way. He was a tent maker. How could a tent maker get around and do all the traveling that he did on his meager income? He was a Roman citizen, fluent in Greek, a student of the Jewish scriptures and IMO a rogue from his account of his conversion. It doesn't sound like a genuine spiritual experience to me. He fitted the bill. The Romans had in him all that they could ever wish for to spread their propaganda.

User avatar
Ragingmoogle
Student
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:59 am

Re: Did Paul/Saul actually persecute early Christians?

Post #9

Post by Ragingmoogle »

[Replying to post 8 by Kyrani99]

As far as the letters of Peter being forgeries I think most credible scholars would disagree with you. I am not a scholar though. And if his letters were tradition that's not how they were expressed. It was written as a specific letter to a specific place. Not a compilation of sayings.

Historically the early Roman government didn't have a very good opinion of christians. Rome was very tolerant of religon but not tolerant of civil unrest which is what the spread of Christianity caused.

And to think that the only texts we have are from Roman clergy isn't right. We have numerous writings that pre date constantine.

And one last thing. It's interesting to me that you refuse to believe the credibility of the ancient accounts on one hand but in the other use them to make a point. You saw at the very branch upon which you sit. I mean no insult but your method of arguing implodes upon itself doesn't it?

Not that I'm here to argue. I just like to share the why of what I believe, but what I believe and why must make sense to me.

User avatar
Kyrani99
Apprentice
Posts: 191
Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 8:09 am
Location: Australia
Contact:

Post #10

Post by Kyrani99 »

Ragingmoogle wrote: [Replying to post 8 by Kyrani99]

As far as the letters of Peter being forgeries I think most credible scholars would disagree with you. I am not a scholar though. And if his letters were tradition that's not how they were expressed. It was written as a specific letter to a specific place. Not a compilation of sayings.

Historically the early Roman government didn't have a very good opinion of christians. Rome was very tolerant of religon but not tolerant of civil unrest which is what the spread of Christianity caused.

And to think that the only texts we have are from Roman clergy isn't right. We have numerous writings that pre date constantine.

And one last thing. It's interesting to me that you refuse to believe the credibility of the ancient accounts on one hand but in the other use them to make a point. You saw at the very branch upon which you sit. I mean no insult but your method of arguing implodes upon itself doesn't it?

Not that I'm here to argue. I just like to share the why of what I believe, but what I believe and why must make sense to me.
In recent years Peters letters are being questioned by scholars.
These are just three sites with scholars claiming Peter's letters are forgeries.
https://www.britannica.com/topic/letters-of-Peter
http://www.catholic.com/blog/jimmy-akin ... te-1-peter
http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/bibli ... zar_75.htm

I disagree with their reasons. Most are looking at literary styles But as Peter was illiterate he could have had some secretary write for him. The first one with much better Greek than the second. However I would question them more on the content. It is not consistent with Judaism and Jesus was not about going against scripture and starting a new religion. So Peter would have been also followed along the same lines.

The Romans were tolerant of religion so long as there were graven images that they could compete with. The Christian believed in a God that had no image, no graven images could be made. And they resisted worshiping the Roman emperors as did the Jews so they were hated by the Romans.

Christianity spread more because it appealed to the poor.
Most texts are Geek because it was the Greeks that were Christians long before the Romans. However those texts are copies of copies and they have thousands of inconsistencies in them. Each time they were copied no doubt changes were made.
Also Constantine tried to create a uniform religion so he tried to band cults and variations and looked to force everyone to follow the same way, same faith etc. And he destroyed a lot of texts that he didn't like.

We have the dead sea scrolls but they tell a different story to the NT.

In the last part you are saying I am contradicting myself. I don't see that I am. Can you explain a bit better what you mean.
"The Kingdom of God is within you" ~Jesus.

"To love is to know Me, thy innermost nature,
the truth that I AM!" ~Gita

I was drawn to the Beloved like a moth to a flame;
When I came to my senses I was burned up in the flame.
~ Asheq-e Esfahani

Ethics are spiritual but natural laws
http://liberatingethics.wordpress.com/

My criticism of the book “The God Delusion� by Richard Dawkins
http://kyrani99godnscience.wordpress.com/

Post Reply