St. Paul & Jesus

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St. Paul & Jesus

Post  DavidR on Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:18 pm

I'm a newbie to Truth Saves and the various formus and, as a skeptic, I'm most glad to have found it. I'm anxious to peruse the many topics I found on the Home page.

I have heard that Paul seems to know nothing of Jesus' life other than Jesus' death and resurrection. Does Paul mention any of Jesus' miracles or seem to have knowledge that Jesus (supposedly) did miracles. Is there any evidence that Paul knows of the teachings of Jesus such as the sermon on the mount, various parables, etc.

Thanks in advance for your help.

David R

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Re: St. Paul & Jesus

Post  SyntheticSylence on Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:25 am

I'm not much of a textual/historical guy, I'm more a theology guy. But I can tell you what I've heard.

He does not mention the miracles of Jesus outside of the resurrection (which is the most important miracle). But he does quote Jesus from time to time. For instance, when talking about the Lord's Supper he says the "this is my body, this is my blood" bit. What's important to keep in mind is that Paul was not writing to tell people about this Jesus guy like the Gospels were. He was not writing because he thought his letters would be compiled into Scripture. He wrote to troubleshoot specific problems in various communities.

So we should not expect a fully formed theology from a single document, in fact they all show an evolution of thought. And he's not going to bring up things that don't need to be brought up. For example, he is concerned with the Church in Corinth because of their sexual impropriety. What miracle of Jesus is he going to bring up? What saying of Jesus have they not already heard? He uses other tactics.

Hope that helps!
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Re: St. Paul & Jesus

Post  Clint on Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:33 am

Hi David,

We've got a informative write up on Paul and the invention of Jesus, under the 'Birth of Christianity' section on Truth-Saves.com - Check it out here :-)

Keep in mind that Paul makes it quite clear that his story and knowledge of Jesus is not based on a historical figure or a vision while on the road as Acts claims and that he did not hear it from another person nor from Jesus but rather strictly from a heavenly guided interpretation of Hebrew scriptures.
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Re: St. Paul & Jesus

Post  SyntheticSylence on Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:15 am

Would you mind giving me some sources? By the way? When I read that I was very confused because I've never heard Pauline Theology described that way. From what I've heard Paul was claiming special revelation in order to bolster his claims to being an Apostle. After all, most of the other leaders of the Church could say they met Jesus. Paul could only say he persecuted the Church (which he does admit in... Colossians I think).

Not that this is an area of my expertise, so I can't say whether or not what you're saying is crazy. But it seems you're interpreting him in such a way that you're excluding much more reasonable possibilities.

For example, when he keeps saying according to the scriptures he is not saying that this is the only evidence. After all, later on in the same letter he says that Jesus rose from the dead and was seen from eyewitnesses, some of which are still alive (1 Corinthians 15:5-8 ). So unless he blew them off I'm sure that he learned from them. You have to remember that Paul was a Pharisee, he has great knowledge of the Hebrew Bible. What he's doing is defending the messiahhood of Christ. These things happened in accordance with the scriptures, if they didn't there'd be no reason to accept him as Christ.

Also, Gnosticism was not around during the time of Paul. At least we have no evidence to support that claim that I'm aware of (but some theorize gnosticism existed before Christianity, and was parasitic on the Christian story). Though Paul does combat a sort of Proto-Gnosticism in 1 Corinthians. This is why he spends so much of the time defending the Resurrection of the Body. When Paul says things are a mystery, or held as a secret or something, that's not gnostic in the slightest. He's not claiming that it's a mystery to us peons, but only the truly enlightened will figure out. He says we all see through a glass darkly and will soon see him face to face, and this is referring to the Parousia. He's stating the obvious fact that it makes no sense.

So... yeah. Like I said, this isn't my specialty. If you have some credible sources that say otherwise I'd love to look at them.
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St. Paul & Jesus

Post  DavidR on Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:17 am

I just want to thank all those fine folk who took the time to write a thoughtful and thought provoking reply to my original question RE: whether or not Paul knew anything about the life of Jesus other than the Last Supper, trial, crucifixion, death, and resurrection. It is interesting to learn that, perhaps, Paul invented Jesus and in essence, created the beginnings of Christianity. I really appreciate the help of all who responded. Thanks again.

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The Witnesses to the Historicity of Jesus

Post  eccles on Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:17 am

The Witnesses to the Historicity of Jesus.

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Witnesses_to_the_Historicity_of_Jesus

I can highly recommend that Web Site. I printed it all out and am now reading it. I am nearly finished the chapters about Paul. All you questions will be answered there.

It proves that the Bible is the worst book of fiction ever written. It should be classified Horror/Fiction, not suitable for under 18.

RELIGION POISONS EVERYTHING.

Robert Tobin,
Minister, First Church of Atheism (Philidelphia)
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