What Paul Actually Said

docphin5

Member
Christian orthodoxy claims that Paul actually saw and talked to a reassembled human corpse who had been dead for three solar days. But the evidence says otherwise. I just want to briefly provide the evidence for an alternative explanation to what orthodoxy claims Paul said.

For the record, I believe Paul and the apostles perceived the Christ as summing up all things (Ephesians 1:10) which includes not only material things, e.g., stars/matter/flesh/body, but things inside us as well, e.g. soul and spirit. Paul never mentions a man named Jesus from Nazareth.

It is those who came after Paul who wrote the Gospel stories in the genre of scriptural "histiography" for the purpose of canonizing the teachings of Paul (Dykstra, "Mark, Canonizer of Paul"). What most of Christian orthodoxy does not know or has not learned is that the imperial church of the fourth century (the Roman church) imposed upon the world a literal meaning of the Gospels, under threat of exile, imprisonment, etc., when they were understood by gnostic Christians as holding a secret meaning. If Dykstra is right then the gnostics knew the Gospels canonized Paul's teachings found in his letters which the gnostics held. This is important because the statements of Paul that we are about to read are in fact dealing with gnostic beliefs documented and available for review, thanks to the discovery of gnostic texts, to include the Nag Hammadi library. With that said let us begin to analyze What Paul Actually Said.

1 Corinthians 15:8

(DBT): and last of all, as to an abortion (“ektromati”), he [Christ] appeared to me [Paul] also.

ektróma: untimely birth, miscarriage
Original Word: ἔκτρωμα, ατος, τό
Part of Speech: Noun, Neuter
Transliteration: ektróma
Phonetic Spelling: (ek'-tro-mah)
Definition: untimely birth, miscarriage
Usage: (strictly: a lifeless abortion) an untimely birth.

This teaching that Christ appeared as an abortion comes directly from gnostic beliefs about cosmogenesis. Specifically, that lifeless matter is the result of Sophia's division at the beginning of creation. The fallen Sophia results in matter and the celestial Sophia remains in heaven until such a time she descends to earth. Sophia in Greek means Wisdom who is associated with Christ. Paul taught that Christ and Sophia were the same thing: "Christ the power of God and the Sophia (Greek: Wisdom) of God" (1 Corinthians 1:24). Thus to Paul, lifeless matter in the beginning was perceived as an abortion, just like an abortion is lifeless when it is born. Simply, Christ became lifeless when our cosmos began, like an abortion at its beginning.

Here are two references supporting the gnostic belief that Christ or Sophia were perceived as an abortion associated with lifeless matter. There are more.

HIPPOLYTUS' ACCOUNT OF ONE OF THE VARIANTS OF THE SOPHIA-MYTHUS.
The Abortion.

And thus ignorance arising in the pleroma owing to Wisdom, and formlessness through the creature of Wisdom, tumult arose in the pleroma [from fear] lest the creations of the aeons should in like manner become formless and imperfect, and destruction in no long time seize on the Aeons [themselves]. Accordingly they all betook themselves to praying the Father to put an end to Wisdom's grieving, for she was bewailing and groaning because of the 'abortion' which she had produced by herself--for thus they call it.

And so the Father, taking pity on the tears of Wisdom and giving ear to the prayers of the æons, gives order for an additional emanation. For He did not Himself emanate, says the writer, but Mind-and-Truth emanated Christ-and-Holy-Spirit for the enforming and elimination of the abortion, and the relief and appeasing of the complaints of Wisdom. Thus with Christ-and-Holy-Spirit there are thirty Aeons".



Here is another example from Wikipedia on Valentiniasm
(Valentinus was the most well-known gnostic of the 1-3rd centuries claiming descent from Paul)

In Valentinianism, Sophia always stands absolutely at the center of the system,...
Sophia is the youngest of the Aeons. Observing the multitude of Aeons and the power of begetting them, she hurries back into the depth of the Father, and seeks to emulate him by producing offspring without conjugal intercourse, but only projects an abortion, a formless substance. Upon this she is cast out of Pleroma and into the primal sub-stratum of matter.
 
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docphin5

Member
Galatians 1:1

(DBT): O senseless Galatians, who has bewitched you; to whom, as before your very eyes, Jesus Christ has been portrayed (“proegrapha”), crucified

pro-graphó: to write before
Original Word: προγράφω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: prographó
Phonetic Spelling: (prog-raf'-o)
Definition: to write before
Usage: (a) I write previously (aforetime); I write above (already), (b) I depict or portray openly, (c) I designate beforehand.

The etymology of the word “pro-graph” is as follows:
pro: before
Original Word: πρό
Part of Speech: Preposition
Transliteration: pro
Phonetic Spelling: (pro)
Definition: before
Usage: (a) of place: before, in front of, (b) of time: before, earlier than.

graphó: to write
Original Word: γράφω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: graphó
Phonetic Spelling: (graf'-o)
Definition: to write
Usage: I write; pass: it is written, it stands written (in the scriptures).

To Paul the crucified Christ has already been written down for everyone to see. He uses the same word when he writes,
“For whatever was written (“proegrapha”) in former days was written for our instruction” (Romans 15:4).
Paul is not referring to the Gospels because they had not been written yet. He is referring to the Tanakh. With that in mind Paul then goes on to reference Deuteronomy 21:22-23 when Paul writes Galatians 3:13.

Galatians 3:13Deuteronomy 21:22-23
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us. For it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, …for a hanged man is cursed by God.

So where in the Tanakh is Christ portrayed as shamed and killed (i.e., “crucified”) by a tree? Paul tells us, it is the “first Adam” who is a type for Christ (Romans 5:14). Therefore, the portrayal of Christ crucified “before your very eyes” of Paul’s disciples is the portrayal written down previously in the Tanakh in the very first chapters of Genesis. Simply, Christ died at the beginning of our cosmos.

Are there other references in the New Testament for a Christ dying at the beginning of our cosmos? Indeed there is.
(KJV, Revelation 13:8) And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

For those who do not see the connection between the word "crucify" and the word "hung" there is this:

stauroó: to fence with stakes, to crucify
Original Word: σταυρόω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: stauroó
Phonetic Spelling: (stow-ro'-o)
Definition: to fence with stakes, to crucify

Thayler's Greek Lexicon
STRONGS NT 4717: σταυρόω
properly: <snip> for תָּלָה, to hang

Adam's shame and death by a tree was to be hung on a tree or "crucified".
 
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The Pixie

Active member
What is your position of Paul's life? Do you think he was previously a Pharisee? Do you think the events in Acts on the Road to Damascus happened in any way?
 

docphin5

Member
What is your position of Paul's life? Do you think he was previously a Pharisee? Do you think the events in Acts on the Road to Damascus happened in any way?
I believe what Paul said in his authentic letters. Many scholars agree that seven of his letters are authentic. Based on the Paul's own words I believe that:

1) Paul was a Pharisee before converting to "The Way' identified as the Essenes, the third sect of Judaism. He ended up becoming their leader, although, he may have had a falling out with other leaders in the group, to include, James and Cephas (more to come). The main distinction between the Essenes and Paul is that the Essenes thought the Messiah would physically deliver them from Roman occupation. They also Judaized. Otherwise the Essenes allegorized scripture, they ritually bathed daily (baptized?), they repudiated animal sacrifice, they had a dualistic view about light versus dark (like the gnostics).

2) I believe that Paul on his way to the enclave at Qumran, which the Essenes called "Damascus" to arrest members of their sect, he was thinking about what they taught, and somewhere on that long winding road, it clicked for him. The light went on --in his mind. And in Paul's own words, "he who had set me apart before I was born,...was pleased to reveal his Son IN me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles" (Galatians 1:16). Paul in his own words goes on to spend three years in the desert, which happens to be the prerequisite time for initiates to become official members of the Essenes.

a) It would have been absurd for the religious police in Jerusalem to issue arrest warrants for Jews in a neighboring country as the Acts of the Apostles implies. It makes a lot more sense that "Damascus" was the enclave at Qumran occupied by the Essenes who, in fact, called their community "Damascus". Apparently the orthodoxy did not want us to know that Paul's original affiliation was with the Essenes, so a little editing here and some context added there, and...Voila! Paul is now orthodox.
 
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docphin5

Member
Galatians 1:19

(ESV): But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother (“adelphon”).

adelphos: a brother
Original Word: ἀδελφός, οῦ, ὁ
Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine
Transliteration: adelphos
Phonetic Spelling: (ad-el-fos')
Definition: a brother
Usage: a brother, member of the same religious community, especially a fellow-Christian.

In Galatians 1:19, the purpose of the addition of the phrase "the Lord's brother", is intended to distinguish the "James" Paul is referring to, from others whose name was also James. IOW there is a James #1 who Paul considers a brother in the community of Christ, in the sense that, “for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.” (Galatians 3:26, 4:6); and there is a James #2 who is Paul’s opponent— Paul wants his readers to know that he considers one James (#1) his brother versus the other James (#2).

For example, the James #2 is likely referred to here as the one who expected Greek converts to Judaize, follow Jewish religious laws and, more specifically, to become circumcised, which Paul denounced has having no benefit whatsoever towards salvation.

And when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars…” (Galatians 2:9)

For before certain men came from James, he [Cephas] was eating with the Gentiles, but when they [James, et.al] came he [Cephas] drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party [James’ party].” For this act of hypocrisy, Paul adds that Paul “opposed him [Cephas] to his face because he [Peter] stood condemned.” (Galatians 2:11-14)

You were running well. WHO hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. I have confidence that you will take no other view, and the ONE who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever HE is. But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted…I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!” (Galatians 5:7). For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything…” (v 5:6)
 

docphin5

Member
1 Thessalonians 2:13-16

...for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews,
who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men,


The fact of the matter is that if Paul wrote this then in Paul's mind Jesus is historical. Some scholars make the case that this passage is an interpolation. If it was written by Paul then it is the Jesus-in-the-prophets who Paul has in mind, not the fictional character written in the Gospels. The prophets, were, in fact, killed by their fellow Jews (Hebrews 11:37) when preaching the Gospel of Christ (1 Peter 1:10)

All that has to be shown is that to persecute or kill a messenger of salvation is to kill Jesus himself. For starters we have the words of the fictional Jesus himself whom Dykstra asserts is written in the literary genre of scriptural histiography" to represent Paul in order to canonize Paul's words as authoritative.

Matthew 25:41-46. "Depart from me, you cursed, into eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels...Then they will answer, saying, "Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did NOT minister to YOU?" Then he will answer them, saying, "Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to ME."

Paul says he bears actual scars on his body for Jesus because according to Paul, "I no longer live but Christ lives in me".

Galatians 6:17: "From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus"

I know a lot more could be said on this point but I end here for the sake of brevity. Before ending I would add one other interesting point here that one scholar, Weatherly, has noted. This particular wording of "Lord" and "Jesus" is the only time in the entire New Testament where a word, "having killed", is inserted between them, which he asserts is linguistically non-Pauline. For what it is worth, he would render it as, "they killed the Lord in the person of Jesus". I am not a Greek scholar, but to me, it sounds like Paul may be qualifying the killing of the Lord as the person of Jesus found in the prophets.
 
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