Class Warfare Blog

November 5, 2013

If This Happened to You. . . ?

Out of the blue you are struck by a spiritual lightning bolt and you realize that a god has been walking this planet in the flesh and you have just been delivered his message. Apparently there are dozens of people who worked with this god and spoke with this god and learned from this god and they are in the same city you are in now. So, the question is, would you look any of them up to compare notes, to share in the glory of being touched by a god directly? Would you?

Apparently, Saint Paul did not.

The Jesus of the bible died in about 30 CE. Paul’s earliest writings date to about 49 CE and continued through the early 60’s CE. Nowhere in his writings does he quote any of his god’s associates or even any of his family members, even though he had contact with at least two of the most prominent: James the Just, apparently Jesus’ brother, and Peter, the chief apostle of the god while he was on Earth.

Paul admits in his writings to be in conflict with these “Pillars” of his “church.” Could it be that this conflict was so great that they really had nothing in common in their teachings?

Interestingly Christianity would not exist without Paul as he gave himself the mission to teach to gentiles (non-Jews). The Jerusalem sect, including Jesus’ siblings, the disciples, and lead by James the Just apparently did not want to teach gentiles anything (as was indicated in the gospels as a sentiment Jesus shared). And, unfortunately, that sect was effectively obliterated by the Romans in 70 CE.

Without Paul there is no Christianity outside of Jewish circles. Paul was at odds with the people who met Jesus, talked to Jesus, were taught by Jesus, who witnessed all of the events, etc. Yet Paul’s writings (begun two decades after the events, events he did not witness) survive and anything written by the others contains essentially nothing miraculous or godlike.

Paul never met the man.

And upon that rock you build a church?

You may ask why I write about such things in a “class warfare” blog. If I may paraphrase Ronald Reagan, in this country religion is not the solution to our problems, religion is our problem. If you are unsure of this, go talk to any evangelical you can find about what you have read above, then ask yourself whether anyone who believes such stuff, will insist upon the truth when we try to work out our political problems and, if they were shown the truth, would they believe it?

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16 Comments »

  1. Your argument is in basic agreement with that of Reza Aslan in “Zealot”, and seems to be correct.

    Like

    Comment by gfbrandenburg — November 5, 2013 @ 12:28 pm | Reply

  2. The closer you look at Paul the more apparent it becomes that he might never have in fact cast aside his Roman employment, rather took to the pulpit with Roman objectives in mind.

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    Comment by john zande — November 5, 2013 @ 12:31 pm | Reply

  3. And that “thorn in his side”. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 What was that? Some have speculated that Paul was fighting strong homosexual tendencies or even guilt for executing earlier christians. Anybody concealing something has skeletons in the closet that people today would ban you for. Was this in play between him and the original apostles?

    Like

    Comment by lbwoodgate — November 5, 2013 @ 1:06 pm | Reply

    • I don’t know how carefully one can read what is there. I find what isn’t there more compelling (the Argument from Silence). Why no first hand reports? You’d think that if the events ocurred as described and there was a written tradition (there was) that they would have gotten scribes to take the testimony of all who had witnessed the resurrection at least. James was a well educated man (at least religiously), he would have done that … if it had happened.

      PS We’ve moved (again)! Just change the Apt # from 28C to 17A (110 feet down and about 30 feet east). Effective Date: October 1, 2013

      *Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.* ************** Steve Ruis

      Like

      Comment by stephenpruis — November 5, 2013 @ 1:50 pm | Reply

  4. Reblogged this on oogenhand and commented:
    Religious problems require religious solutions.

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    Comment by oogenhand — November 5, 2013 @ 2:43 pm | Reply

    • But when religions make problems for secular institutions those are secular problems, not religious ones.

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      Comment by stephenpruis — November 5, 2013 @ 2:52 pm | Reply

      • That is also true. But how is secularism to deal with fundamentalism of oil countries?

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        Comment by oogenhand — November 6, 2013 @ 1:20 am | Reply

  5. I have been arguing this with someone over on Pathos.
    In Acts the followers were “persecuted” & driven from jerusalem and/or arrested yet the supposed leaders which , presumably included Peter and James, founders of the so called ”Jerusalem Church,” were left unmolested?
    There is absolutely no sense in this whatsoever.
    In any sort of coup or persecution the leaders either flee into exile or are taken.
    In fact, the more one asks ordinary, commonsense questions like this the more fictitious much of it sounds.

    Excellent post, Stephen.

    Like

    Comment by Arkenaten — November 6, 2013 @ 3:36 am | Reply

    • I think they will make it into another miracle.

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      Comment by oogenhand — November 6, 2013 @ 7:14 am | Reply

      • It is the art of bulldust as always…

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        Comment by Arkenaten — November 6, 2013 @ 7:35 am | Reply

        • It is fascinating that a culture that made up a mythical past to educate their own people religiously are not suspected of doing the same a second time around.

          PS We’ve moved (again)! Just change the Apt # from 28C to 17A (110 feet down and about 30 feet east). Effective Date: October 1, 2013

          *Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.* ************** Steve Ruis

          Like

          Comment by stephenpruis — November 6, 2013 @ 7:44 am | Reply

  6. I

    It is fascinating that a culture that made up a mythical past to educate their own people religiously are not suspected of doing the same a second time around.

    Perhaps because the authors of the sequel used pen-names and we haven’t figured it out yet?
    But I have a suspicion that many people may be on to them.

    Like

    Comment by Arkenaten — November 6, 2013 @ 8:14 am | Reply

    • The fascinating thing is the earliest fragments of the gospels date to about 70AD and many of these were unattributed/signed but ended up “signed” later. All of this stuff has been known for many decades but the seminaries aren’t in the business of airing their dirty laundry. That we get to do! ;o)

      PS We’ve moved (again)! Just change the Apt # from 28C to 17A (110 feet down and about 30 feet east). Effective Date: October 1, 2013

      *Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.* ************** Steve Ruis

      Like

      Comment by stephenpruis — November 6, 2013 @ 9:29 am | Reply

      • PS We’ve moved (again)! Just change the Apt # from 28C to 17A (110 feet down and about 30 feet east). Effective Date: October 1, 2013

        *Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.* ************** Steve Ruis

        Sorry, Steve, I am using my spare brain this afternoon, and this just went over my head?

        Like

        Comment by Arkenaten — November 6, 2013 @ 9:54 am | Reply

        • This is just a note to those who have our postal address to change it to our new one. Dun’t mean nothin’. Sorry about that.

          PS We’ve moved (again)! Just change the Apt # from 28C to 17A (110 feet down and about 30 feet east). Effective Date: October 1, 2013

          *Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.* ************** Steve Ruis

          Like

          Comment by stephenpruis — November 6, 2013 @ 10:50 am | Reply


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