Date: Mon, 8 Mar 1999 00:25:06 -0500 (EST) From: email@example.com To: Crosstalk-L Subject: Historical Paul? Steve, Here's more about the historical Paul. The items below were posted previously to Crosstalk a while back. I guess the biggest single common misconception about Paul is that he was connected with Jerusalem early in his career. I don't accept this, and fortunately many mainstream scholars also don't accept this, but some still do. This one odd Lukan story should be abandoned, I think, if any further progress in understanding the HP is to be made. Now, it is my opinion that the Historical Paul could not have been _the_ Apostle to the Gentiles in his lifetime. He could not have preached the Gospel that "he received directly from G*d or from Jesus on the Road to Damascus". All this is extremely doubtful a priori, but is commonly accepted without question in mainstream scholarship. Most new converts joining a fringe movement, such as Christianity was in its early years, join an organization that is already well established. So, as a rule, they take their place at the organizational bottom. They are instructed, tested and then promoted if they deserve it. There's absolutely no reason to suppose that the situation was any different with Paul. The burden of proof should be on those who would hold otherwise. Of course they would cite certain passages from the epistles in their support, but I don't think _any passage_ in the epistles should be assumed to be genuine without question. This is my guiding methodology. So my suggestion is that we should begin to see Paul in entirely human terms, as an early adherent to the post-Easter Jesus movement in Syria that was already substantially Gentile-oriented even before him, and who had to assume a subordinate position for many years before finally getting to head his own exegetical school. In my view it is extremely improbable that he was some Mythical and Unique Apostle to the Gentiles Appointed So by God from Day One. This is how he was made to look -- over a number of generations -- by his dedicated followers who were adding up plenty to his original writings while they were polemicizing againt various other rival Christian factions of their times -- especially the Jewish-Christians, who actually had _real disciples of Yeshu_ to base their claims on. So the Pauline school made themselves an Apostle who wasn't really a "real Apostle", but was instead "more than an Apostle", and who received his revelations directly from the Spiritual Jesus through a miracle. Regards, Yuri. The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is equivalent to becoming God -=O=- JulianClick here to go one level up in the directory.