Did Paul/Saul actually persecute early Christians?

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rikuoamero
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Did Paul/Saul actually persecute early Christians?

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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?
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Post by Ragingmoogle »

[Replying to post 10 by Kyrani99]

That doesn't really explain to me why they think they are forgeries. There were plenty of forgeries that the early church had to sift through. But somehow over half of the new testament escaped their notice?

That doesn't add up. These people were not careless or hastey it seems. So now 2000 years later our scholars are discovering what the eyewitnesses could not.

The new testament is unequaled in its transmission when it comes to documents from the antiquities. And the early church rabid to keep forgeries and distortions out.

And lastly when I said that you saw at the branch you sit upon. Who gets to determine what's true in the new testament and what is false. You make claims about Paul using his very words and in the same sentence claim his words to be a lie or forgery. Is Paul a tent maker? How do you know if he is a liar?

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Post #12

Post by JehovahsWitness »

Kyrani99 wrote: But as Peter was illiterate he could have had some secretary write for him.
How do we know Peter was illiterate?
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Re: Did Paul/Saul actually persecute early Christians?

Post #13

Post by JehovahsWitness »

Ancient of Years wrote:
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?
. IMO Acts is simply fiction, written by Luke for specific purposes.
So you believe Luke existed?
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Post #14

Post by Kyrani99 »

Ragingmoogle wrote: [Replying to post 10 by Kyrani99]

That doesn't really explain to me why they think they are forgeries. There were plenty of forgeries that the early church had to sift through. But somehow over half of the new testament escaped their notice?

That doesn't add up. These people were not careless or hastey it seems. So now 2000 years later our scholars are discovering what the eyewitnesses could not.

The new testament is unequaled in its transmission when it comes to documents from the antiquities. And the early church rabid to keep forgeries and distortions out.

And lastly when I said that you saw at the branch you sit upon. Who gets to determine what's true in the new testament and what is false. You make claims about Paul using his very words and in the same sentence claim his words to be a lie or forgery. Is Paul a tent maker? How do you know if he is a liar?
We do not have any original documents. Everything in the New Testament is a copy and there are copies of copies. There are many copies of the same text with changes in it, many changes. So what are we going to trust?

All of the gospels are not written by some named author. It is always the "gospel according to". What this implies is that there had to have been an oral tradition for at least one or maybe two generations before things were written down. How reasonable is it to believe that the oral traditions were the authentic words of Jesus or his disciples? If you hear some teaching from some wise person and you pass that on orally to another and they pass it on to another before it is committed to writing, how much of what is written is going to be faithful to the original teacher?

The early church didn't exist. There were many different churches and many different opinions. The reason is because all of the early churches were Greek (including some in Egypt and Syria) and Coptic. Greeks were/ are philosophers, which means they didn't take things that they heard without giving them thought and try to arrive at some understanding. Hence you get differences.

These differences exist today. The Orthodox church is made up of Greek, Russian.. etc churches and all differ in their interpretation of scripture. The Pope dishes out what people have to believe where as the Patriarch in Istanbul has only his own opinions as anyone else who is Orthodox. He does not lay down the law. It was these very differences that the Roman Emperor Constantine tried to stamp out. There were times when Constantine brought in the army into the church to break up the fervent debates over the very nature of the body of Christ!

Who do you see as the early church? The Romans made stuff up all the time. Constantine presided over bishops and insisted on his version, the version that gave him an advantage. It was all about politics. He wanted power over his subjects and at the same time he wanted to be worshiped. He was no longer in Rome where people worshiped emperors. He was in Greece where people invented democracy. So he sought to try and influence religion for his own political purposes. He was responsible for a lot of the rubbish that ended up being called "the word of God". Jesus never talked about himself as God. He never denied the Jewish scripture, so he never denied that God is ONE.

Then you can see how the Romans used religion for political power. The inquisitions were set forth by Romans and lasted 700 years causing not only death and destruction but are also responsible for the plagues because people living in fear and who don't appreciate the problems they face, are people whose immune systems are declined and hence extremely vulnerable to any germs there are around. You think these people were going to preserve scripture? They were using it for political purposes and interpreting it as they desired.

I said that Paul claimed Jesus was God and that if you believe in Jesus as God then you are forgiven of all your sins. And he talked about forgiving enemies and doing good to enemies etc. These were Paul's words more or less. And then I said that Paul's words were all in the favor of Rome and the Roman emperors and political. There is no contradiction. I am not upholding Paul or his words. I reject everything Paul says.

The main reasons I see Paul as a liar and an agent of the Romans is that first his account of his conversion is plain rubbish. He claimed that he saw a light so bright it burnt his eyes and that later Ananias or whoever restored his sight and some scabs fell out of his eyeballs. This is utter nonsense.

Then there is the story about another Ananias and his wife, who withheld a small amount of money after selling their property and donating the bulk to the community. How did Paul know that? He had to have had spies to get that information.

When questioned by Paul (and I now believe Peter had nothing to do with it. I would say Peter was mentioned to try and give Paul credibility), both Ananias and hours later, his wife, both dropped dead for lying and it was supposedly an act of God. This is not God but foul game play to put the fear of God into the rest of the community and why? To give Paul an absolute hold over everyone. This is hardly a man of God.

Everything Paul says and does favors the Romans. Is that some coincidence?
Paul was protected by the Romans and when jailed he had his own apartment and entertained whoever he wished. Does that sound like a prisoner or someone protected?

He claims in one of his letters that he is a tentmaker and lived by his trade and not by any handouts or community funds. How does a tentmaker, who spends almost all of his time preaching, afford to travel thousands of kilometers to reach all the people in all areas of Greece, Asia Minor, Judea and then Rome? That takes a lot of money.

I don't see Paul as a credible preacher. He is an agent of the Romans. And only after his mission was finished did the Romans attack Judea and destroy the temple. I don't see this as any coincidence.

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Re: Did Paul/Saul actually persecute early Christians?

Post #15

Post by Talishi »

JehovahsWitness wrote:
Ancient of Years wrote:
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?
. IMO Acts is simply fiction, written by Luke for specific purposes.
So you believe Luke existed?
Sure, about thirty years after Paul died (going by his dependence on Josephus), but he neglected to mention that basic fact in Acts, because it was written, as indicated by rikuoamero, for specific purposes.
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Post #16

Post by Kyrani99 »

JehovahsWitness wrote:
Kyrani99 wrote: But as Peter was illiterate he could have had some secretary write for him.
How do we know Peter was illiterate?
We don't actually know as in having absolute evidence or proof. However we can use reason to arrive at some conclusion. Peter was a fisherman. So it is reasonable to say that he had little formal education. The only people in those days that had a formal education, apart from the aristocracy, were the scribes and the priests.

I would say that Peter and Jesus and the rest of the disciples probably spoke Greek as well as Aramaic. One reason I say that is because Jesus named his chief disciple "Peter", which is Greek for a rock or in other words someone who is solid and sturdy. Why would a non-Greek speaking person use this naming? It is unlikely. So I would say they definitely spoke some Greek. And Greek was a spoken language in Galilee and even other areas around Judea. After all the Torah was translated into Greek to accommodate the Greek speaking Jews or what were named Hellenized Jews.

Greek is not like English. As soon as you open your mouth to speak Greek another person can tell exactly how much education you have. For example the Greek verb has around 200 declensions. Thus we have what is called "woolly Greek", which is Greek spoken with a very minimum of grammar. After that people have various levels of Greek depending on how much and how well they have command of the full Greek language. So in speaking Greek you immediately tell others if you are educated and how well educated.

Peter's first letter was in exquisite Greek. Peter's second letter was in not very good Greek. So the same author could not have written both letters. Thus we may conclude that Peter used secretaries to write his letters, if he had wanted to write letters. If Peter was able to read and write Greek, even not very good Greek, why not write them himself? So we may conclude that he was illiterate, at least with respect to Greek, IF indeed the letters were Peter's.

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Post #17

Post by JehovahsWitness »

Kyrani99 wrote:
Kyrani99 wrote: But as Peter was illiterate he could have had some secretary write for him.
How do we know Peter was illiterate?
So basically you neglected to modify your statement correctly by injecting "I believe" Peter was illiterate, it is presumed by some that Peter was illiterate. The way it read, it sounded as if you were stating a fact, which as you admit is not the case. Fact and presumption are synonyms.
Kyrani99 wrote: We don't actually know as in having absolute evidence or proof.
Kyrani99 wrote: Peter was a fisherman
Peter was more than just a fisherman, along with his family he owned a fishing business. This would necessitate being numerate and performing various business transactions. This of itself lends to the conclusion Peter could read and write.
Kyrani99 wrote: it is reasonable to say that he had little formal education.
Having little "formal" education is does not necessarily mean one is illiterate. Learning to read and write was something that was undertaken by family heads and others in the local community.

Each first century community had a synagogue, which also served as local centers of learning (schools). On the Sabbath any male member of the community could engage in the public reading from the scrolls kept there, indeed the gospels record Jesus (also someone depicted as having no formal education) as doing just that.
Kyrani99 wrote: The only people in those days that had a formal education, apart from the aristocracy, were the scribes and the priests.
See above.
Kyrani99 wrote: Peter's first letter was in exquisite Greek. Peter's second letter was in not very good Greek. So the same author could not have written both letters. Thus we may conclude that Peter used secretaries to write his letters, if he had wanted to write letters. If Peter was able to read and write Greek, even not very good Greek, why not write them himself?
I'm not qualified to comment on the standard of Greek in the letters attributed to Peter but the use of a secretary does not mean necessarily that the author is illiterate. I doubt if President Obama writes his own correspondence. Does his using a secretary mean he can't read or write?

Paul, arguably one of the most highly educated of the bible writers admits to using a secretary to pen some of his letters, does this mean he (Paul was illiterate)?

Kyrani99 wrote: So we may conclude that he was illiterate, at least with respect to Greek, IF indeed the letters were Peter's.
CONCLUSION: Making a statement as if it was proven fact is misleading. Your assumption that because Peter was indeed illiterate because we know he was ..

a) a fisherman
b) probably had no formal education
c) may have used a secretary

are not strong arguments that Peter was illiterate.


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Post #18

Post by Talishi »

JehovahsWitness wrote: Paul, arguably one of the most highly educated of the bible writers admits to using a secretary to pen some of his letters, does this mean he (Paul was illiterate)?
Paul had issues with his vision. When he did actually put pen to parchment he would apologize thus:

Gal 6:11 (NIV): See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!
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Post #19

Post by JehovahsWitness »

Talishi wrote:
JehovahsWitness wrote: Paul, arguably one of the most highly educated of the bible writers admits to using a secretary to pen some of his letters, does this mean he (Paul was illiterate)?
Paul had issues with his vision. When he did actually put pen to parchment he would apologize thus:

Gal 6:11 (NIV): See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!
Yes, did you not pick up Talishi that my question was rhetorical?
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Post #20

Post by Talishi »

JehovahsWitness wrote:
Talishi wrote:
JehovahsWitness wrote: Paul, arguably one of the most highly educated of the bible writers admits to using a secretary to pen some of his letters, does this mean he (Paul was illiterate)?
Paul had issues with his vision. When he did actually put pen to parchment he would apologize thus:

Gal 6:11 (NIV): See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!
Yes, did you not pick up Talishi that my question was rhetorical?
I did not, because of the sharply adversarial character of our interactions on this forum. Also, I was offering an alternative explanation for the use of secretaries, such as physical limitations rather than a lack of education.
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