Didymos Thomas;100361 wrote:
Are we just having fun berating Paul, or do we want to sight reasons for these negative opinions of the man, like excerpts from his work and our interpretations thereof.
I'm noticing a great many historical inaccuracies, for example. Paul was not trying to make the Christian sect more palatable to Romans. He was bringing the message to Gentiles. This is happening after the Romans have destroyed the Jewish Temple, which was an important site for Christians up until it's destruction.
There is also a great deal of talk about how people today read Paul - but so what? How on Earth can modern misinterpretations be the fault of Paul? Modern misinterpretations are not uncommon for the rest of the New Testament, so if that is our criticism we might as well bemoan Matthew's efforts, Luke's efforts, ect. But this does not seem reasonable.
First of all, he was a Roman for none but a Roman could appeal to Caesar... And he was a Greek decendent of Greeks as his rhetoric on love as the greatest virtue, and his reference to fights and races indicate.
Clearly, the party of the circumcision was the Christian Jews, and they were holding to a formal relationship with God, as Paul was not... Without the support of Rome and Romans the religion would not have gone anywhere... And it is tough to say this is universally true, since some of the sects of Jesus' day survived into quite modern times in Iraq in spite of Islam...To survive, Christianity had be cut off from the Jews, but it had to be made formal as well, which wrecked the relationship with God that Jesus encouraged...Martin luther, in the end made the Protestant Christians like the Jews, accepting a formal relationship, and believing in tangible justification... God blesses those he justifies with a good life, wealth, and success... Is this really what Jesus was saying???
---------- Post added 10-29-2009 at 08:23 AM ----------
He made the pope the divine presence on earth so his dogmatic attitude can not be questioned. His authority has caused no end of suffering ,something i don't believe the man Jesus would have allowed to be executed in his name.
Not only that; but he did not challenge earthly authority at all, even while saying that all were equal in the sight of God... He did not attack the institution of slavery even when we all know that the mind goes with the body, and that only out of freedom can one choose one God over another...Slavery was central to the world economy of Rome, and if Paul had challenged that economy he would have died the death Jesus did, as a revolutionary on the Cross; and who can say he did not, in the conflict or as a result of the conflict between Jews and Christians in Rome...