Christs death or not really?

Based on his own writings Paul worked for himself (he didn’t get rich) and suffered a lot of persecution for his evangelism. This seems very unlikely from the available literature.

Jesus didn’t send them out? They were just dumb mutes? I doubt the latter is remotely true and even then Rome doesn’t care. If the movement started by Jesus was a problem to Rome they would have stifled it the Roman way. That’s the point of crucifixion. Of course, I believe Rome killed Jesus, not just Pilate acting as a proxy for his potential high priest friend.

Vinnie

Money? Power? In your dreams. The church was tiny and Paul was attacked, both from within and without. Paul faced every hardship and was eventually martyred.

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So? He might have believed that eventually he will suceed but he didnt. Later in centuries though the church will gain power beyond imagination so…

He didn’t seem to think so.

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Paul thought that the end was nigh and Jesus was coming back very soon. Your speculations run contrary to what the data actually says.

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Thats what the letters tell us or his biography? Because last time i chekced we have no biography of him.
Also arent the letters written by others but baring the name of Paull?
So what data are you talking about? There is none

The 7 genuine letters of Paul. Autobiographical material can be gleaned from them. Aka it’s first-hand testimony. A few others may be authentic as well but their uncertainty makes it difficult to argue from them.

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I guess one is free to believe whatever one likes. However, if a person wants to base their understanding on facts and evidence then they can only make conclusions based on what is available to them.

In the case of Paul, all the evidence (biblical and extra-biblical) we have suggests that he had a genuine spiritual experience that transformed his life at a foundational level. That he suffered greatly, taught genuinely, cared self-sacrifically, and died in painfully.

Are there other theories about Paul? Yes. Are they supported by the evidence? Not all. Do they make best sense of the evidence/information we have? In my opinion, no I don’t think they do.

I think we can apply this same principle to the resurrection too… Are their other theories? Yes. Are they all supported by the evidence/information we have? Not all. Do they make the best sense? In my opinion, no. What makes the best sense of the resurrection accounts to me is the the most simple and most inconvenient theory. Namely, that Jesus really did rise bodily from the dead.

Others will believe otherwise, and that’s fine too.

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Even if the letters are genuine it doesnt mean that he couldnt have though the way i stated. Just because he wrote some things in his letters doesnt make my argument invalid

50 % at least of biblical scholars are atheists amd actually support some of these theories which for you “doesnt make sense”. So since you are not a scholar i wouldnt actually say"dont make sense". Critical thinking and capability is ones gifts in this life. If you just pick tand choose the most simple and sometimes ridicilous theory well thas on you. But thats you not making sense. Not the others

Four quick points in response, Nick.

  1. The amount of scholars who hold to a particular worldview doesn’t have any bearing on whether that group is correct or not. This is true whether they are Christian, atheist, Hindi, etc.

  2. It is because of my critical thinking capabilities that I have rejected the other views I have come into contact with so far. No picking and choosing involved… not consciously anyway.

  3. Simple does not always equal ridiculous. Complex does not always equal correct. That sounds like a false dichotomy to me. Am I missing understanding you?

  4. I am not an academic scholar. However I have a degree in Theology and have spent the last 10 years in a Bible teaching position. As a result I am familiar with many arguments about the resurrection and origins of Christianity, etc. Additionally, I often worked with scholarly and/or text critical Bible commentaries and books. Again, that does not make me an expert (or even right) but I do have some familiarity with the topic at hand.

(Edited for clarity.)

Of course not. Calling it “doesnt make sense” though its a bit you know

Even your typical fundementalist YEC professor has a theology degree. That doesnt mean nothing. No need to boast about it.

It is a fairly common figure of speech, Nick.

I wasn’t boasting, merely trying to help you understand that I do have some familiarity with the topic we are discussing. I thought I had done a good job of caveating my point. However, i apologise if my response came across in an arrogant manner. That was not my intention.

Shall we return to the topic at hand?

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Sure. Have you read my topic at all? If so what doesnt sit well with these two theories i presented that they dont make sense to you?

Yes, I did read the thread. I understand the arguments being put forward. What I think said was that I don’t think they make sense of the evidence.

Ultimately, I think there are more convincing arguments out there, namely, that Jesus actually rose from the dead. Strauss is your typical 19/20th century liberalism - nothing new there.

The cognitive dissonance theory (as you have explained it) also fails to explain the rapid expansion of a Jewish sect (Christianity) through an intellectually hostile Greco-Roman world.

You may believe that the above theories make better sense of the evidence, the facts, the information we have. Personally, I don’t find them convincing. That’s all I was trying to say.

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Understandable not wanting to get into a debate so ill accept that. I just think that these theories have a more ground based logic behind them opposed to the ressurection which has none . Now if i was christian still i would have argued the same as you. Although i wouldnt had any convicing arguments for it.

Paul never made money or sought power. He was defending Judaism from what he thought was blasphemy until Jesus bopped him on the head on the road to Damascus. Paul only thought of Christ, worked for himself and endured persecution after persecution for the church. What’s the point of your idle speculation? All evidence is contrary to what you are saying.

Paul could have thought he was a gay, Egyptian emperor from the moon. It’s not logically impossible that Paul thought this…

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Clearly you do not understand my claim. If i was Paul and found it worhwhile to create a movement that it woukd grow so massive that i woukd get some kind of power either in the empire or in the church i wouldve done it. Now Paul thought that he was gonna accomplish such thing in his kifetime (hense his martydom and convertion). Simple stufd. [content removed]

Paul didn’t create the movement, but he certainly helped shape part of its trajectory, especially later on since it spread more with Gentiles than Jews. Paul was very much Jewish and was not establishing any new religion. You should brush up on the new perspective on Paul as it’s called.

[content removed]

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Has absolutely nothing to do with what i said.

[removed due to moderation of Vinnie’s previous post]

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