Talk:Paul of Tarsus

From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

I would like to write the page for Paul, but as I started writing about his knowledge of Jesus, his road side conversion, it seemed I read this here already. I'll see if I can find any page about him, or a general page about his Epistles. If anyone knows of one, could you direct me to it or redirect this name to it (and delete the page)? Thanks if you find anything before I do. --WaitingforGodot 17:27, 21 July 2008 (EDT)

I don't think so - can't find anything, anyway. Sometimes these things are in Fun: namespace, but nothing there, either. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 18:00, 21 July 2008 (EDT)
"Place holder. I sware I have seen a page on Paul here." You surely did. I wrote something fairly blasphemous at some point. I wonder where? ħumanUser talk:Human 05:10, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

"Many years later, a confirmed bachelor from Tarsus, known as Saul,..." I wrote at Fun:Jesus when it was in the mainspace before Proxima Centauri went on a "de-Christing" rampage and fucked up our wiki. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:13, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

14 letters[edit]

Only 13 are listed. I counted three times. ħumanUser talk:Human 07:39, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

I think the 14 is a reference to Hebrews which was long said to be written by Paul.--BruceGrubb (talk) 11:04, 15 June 2018 (UTC)


This is a pretty nice article and well-written. But it sort of end abruptly - perhaps a good section concluding it could be done by someone who knows more about the topic than I? (Like, the persons who wrote most or all of this) ħumanUser talk:Human 07:46, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Godot is right, 1 Corinthians 15:4 mentions the resurrection. My source refers to the empty tomb,

Of course, there is no evidence of an empty tomb outside the gospels (even Paul doesn’t reference one, and his writings are older). Analysis and Commentary of Mark 16:1-8 The Empty Tomb

Proxima Centauri (talk) 08:32, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Like the Romans[edit]

... To Rome you have appealed; to Rome you shall go.

Those writing up/organising what is called the New Testament considered this significant enough to record. Can it be deduced that none of the other Judeans mentioned had Roman citizenship (apart from possibly Herod)? (talk) 16:14, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

"Before 212, for the most part only inhabitants of Italia held full Roman citizenship" according to WP:Roman citizenship, so probably not, and I can't imagine a bunch of people denying the Roman Pantheon getting much favourable treatment. SophieWilderModerator 16:56, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

... so most of the subjects of the NT are second class (insert dog-Latin Roman soldier snarl words here) non-citizens. (talk) 20:49, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Only from a Roman point of view. SophieWilderModerator 21:11, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
The point I was making. (The soldiers probably had negative nicknames for most groups encountered - including civilians and their superior officers (and 'the bald adulterer' was probably very mild).) (talk) 14:40, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
Of the three quotes, one is Biblical and one refers to Julius Caesar. (talk) 15:14, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
... and the third is the title of a biography. (talk) 15:49, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Paul's Name[edit]

Is it me, or is it Paul of Taurus? It's what I see a lot. Zexcoiler Kingbolt (talk) 00:26, 9 September 2015 (UTC)Zexcoiler Kingbolt

Afraid you're mistaken. His name if Saul/Paul(us) of Tarsus. (talk) 00:32, 9 September 42015 AQD (UTC)
Yup, Tarsus.Wikipedia That is just south of the Taurus mountains,Wikipedia which may explain some confusion. SmartFeller (talk) 01:23, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Paul and Paulus are simply the Hellenic and Latinate forms, respectively, of the Hebrew name שָׁאוּל/Saul/Shaul. As corroborated by modern archeology and the testimony of early Christian authors from the Ante Nicene Period such as Irenaus, Melito, and Ignatius (who was from Antioch himself), the Tarsus Paul is connected to was actually a small, neighboring village whose chief source of imports was Syrian Antioch. See F.F. Bruce's New Testament History, and E.P. Sander's Paul and Palestinian Judaism. Propianotuner (talk) 13:26, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Talk about what Jesus thought versus what Paul thought[edit]

It's common among critics of Paul to say things like "Paul expounded on many issues that Jesus didn't bring up" or Paul changed Christianity from what Jesus meant. But we should be a bit careful in doing this, because we don't actually know what Jesus said. Talk about Jesus vs Paul generally means that what Paul says is different to what Jesus says in the synoptic gospels, most of which were written well after Paul. If you believe in the Jesus myth theory, then there was no Jesus wandering around the middle east saying stuff; and the mainstream Christian view is that the chief record of what Jesus said is the non-surviving Q gospel source for Matthew and Luke (plus some stuff in Mark), which makes it problematic to ascribe any belief directly to Jesus. Plus the gospels often contradict each other. Annquin (talk) 11:27, 28 January 2016 (UTC)

Paul and the authorship of Hebrews[edit]

Why was Hebrews quoted in the "Conversion/relationship to Christ" section, especially considering that the epistle isn't even listed in the "four "Pauls" of the New Testament" section?

The author of Hebrews had a much more expansive vocabulary, and better command of grammar, not to mention that he wrote in a dialect of Koine Greek ubiquitous to Alexandria. Moreover, the author of Hebrews displays a greater command of the Septuagint, even emulating it's grammar as opposed to "lower" forms of Koine, purposefully omitting the participles μέν and δέ in line with other contemporary authors that were more accustomed to the literary form of Greek (which was more influenced by Attic literature).

Paul, or whoever the "authentic or early Paul" is, used vocabulary and grammatical constructions that reflected the common vernacular, a form of Koine that displays more Ionian than Attic influences and doesn't stress loaded philosophical connotations attached to words like logos, pneuma, episteme, scientia, etc., as was the case with Attic dominated Koine. Moreover, he probably dictated some of his epistles to an educated Greek, e.g. the general improvement in style and sentence construction from 1st to 2nd Corinthians while maintaining the same limited vocabulary.

In those times, authors were considerably more idiosyncratic linguistically than they are today. A common authorship is discernible between the epistles attributed to the early Paul, because he actually coined several terms himself. The author of Hebrews, on the other hand, coins his own terms by making compound words out of words in the Septuagint, and as aforementioned possesses a greater general command of the language, rightfully garnering him his reputation as the most educated and eloquent author in the New Testament.

Propianotuner (talk) 12:56, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Per Utley, R. J.: The Superiority of the New Covenant: Hebrews. Bible Lessons International; Marshall, Texas: 1999, Volume 10, p. 3. as early as the 1st to 2nd century the authorship of Hebrews was all over the place. It was only by decree in the 4th that the Epistle was credited to Paul. Come the Reformation and this claim was dropped and "At present, neither modern scholarship nor church teaching ascribes Hebrews to Paul."--BruceGrubb (talk) 22:32, 26 May 2016 (UTC)

Hellenistic cult[edit]

  • Randall, John H. (1970). Hellenistic Ways of Deliverance and the Making of the Christian Synthesis. Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231033275.

Christianity, at the hands of Paul, became a mystical system of redemption, much like the cult of Isis, and the other sacramental or mystery religions of the day. —(p. 154)

  • Mack, Burton L. (1988). “The Congregations of the Christ”. A Myth of Innocence: Mark and Christian Origins. Fortress Press. ISBN 978-0-8006-2549-8.

Paul was converted to a Hellenized form of some Jesus movement that had already developed into a Christ cult. […] Thus his letters serve as documentation for the Christ cult as well. —(p. 98)

  • Funk, Robert W.; Jesus Seminar Fellows (1993). "Introduction", The Five Gospels: The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus. Polebridge Press Westar Inst. ISBN 978-0-944344-57-6.

In Paul’s theological scheme, Jesus the man played no essential role.

  • Seaford, Richard (2006). "The New Testament". Dionysos. Routledge. p. 122ff. ISBN 1-134-34450-3.

Paul was a hellenised Jew from Tarsus, which according to Strabo(14.5.13), an older contemporary of Paul, was a flourishing centre of Greek education.
The Pauline letters sometimes contain clusters of terms or ideas that suggest the influence, direct or indirect, of mystery-cult. . . . A huge amount of scholarship has been devoted to this controversial issue over many years, and I do not intend to enter the controversy here. Suffice it to say that although we know of no mystery-cult that reproduces exactly the same configuration as the Pauline doctrine, we do find in mystery-cult the ideas of the death and rebirth of the initiand (e.g. Apuleius Metamorphoses 11.21), of the sufferings of the deity (e.g. Athenagoras Supplication 32.1), of the identification of initiand with deity, and of the initiands’ (transition to) salvation depending on their finding — or the return to life of — a deity (e.g. Lactantius Divine Institutions 18.7; Firmicus Maternus On the Error of Profane Religions 2.9; 22.1–3).

As for Dionysos, the gold leaves (Chapter 5) preserve the mystic formulae ‘Hail you who have suffered what you had never suffered before. You became a god instead of a human,’ and ‘now you died and now you came into being, thrice blessed one, on this day. Tell Persephone that Bakchios himself freed you.’ And the mystic myth of the dismemberment of Dionysos and his restoration to life was probably associated with a similar transition for the initiand in the mystic ritual (Chapters 5 and 8).

Dbz (talk) 20:48, 3 April 2019 (UTC)

If Paul believed in a cosmic Jesus[edit]

Carrier (28 February 2019). "The New Gathercole Article on Jesus Certainly Existing". Richard Carrier Blogs.

Any item of evidence you wish to examine, you must ask of it: “If Paul believed in the cosmic Jesus theory and not the earthly Jesus theory, is this what he likely would have written or not?” One must also ask the reverse, “If Paul instead believed in the earthly Jesus theory and not the cosmic one, is this what he likely would have written or not?”
To have evidence for [Jesus′] historicity in Paul, we need things he said (and didn’t say) that are likely on the earthly theory and unlikely on the cosmic theory. Not things that are equally expected on both theories. (And certainly not things that are unlikely on the earthly theory but likely on the cosmic one.) It is only by having evidence that’s likely on the one theory and unlikely on the other that that evidence will produce a likelihood ratio increasing the probability Jesus existed, and thus make it “evidence Jesus existed.” And these likelihoods must be evaluated in the context of other things we know, like early Christian dependence on scripture and the rigging of the record in favor of a later prevailing sect.

Dbz (talk) 11:05, 12 April 2019 (UTC)

John Frum argument[edit]

What the hell is this?

The argument makes no sense, and relies on the assumption that Prophet Fred's existence is taken as fact, then arguing "if you believe in him, you're obliged to believe in Paul".

Why the hell is that allowed on this page? (talk) 13:05, 9 December 2019 (UTC)

Seriously, can someone please remove this masturbatory horseshit? It reads as somebody's personal wanking off, not actual evidence-based argument. (talk) 18:03, 6 September 2022 (UTC)