Original Post by kasalt on Jan 21, 2010:
The conspiracy of "Saint Paul"
Paul claimed to be an apostle in his letter to the Ephesians (Ephesians 1:1), but later on, in his second letter to Timothy, Paul declared that "all those in Asia have turned away from me" (2 Timothy 1:15). Ephesus was, at the time, the largest city in Asia, so this means that at some point after he wrote his epistle to them, the Ephesians, for some reason, ceased to regard him as a genuine apostle. Note that he does not say that the believers in Asia abandoned the Christian faith, and he does not say that they abandoned the original Apostles of Jesus. Paul says only that the believers in Asia abandoned him. For some reason, the Ephesians ceased to regard Paul as a genuine Christian leader.
The book of Revelation, allegedly written by the Apostle John, starts off with the resurrected Jesus instructing the author to send messages to seven churches within Asia (Revelation 1:11). The first Asian church to be given a message is the church at Ephesus. If Paul had been a genuine apostle, then surely the resurrected Jesus would have reprimanded the Asians for abandoning his genuine apostle. After all, it was the resurrected Jesus who allegedly appeared to Paul (then known as Saul) which led to his supposed conversion and eventual commission as an apostle. However, turn to Revelation 2:2 and read how the resurrected Jesus commended the Ephesians:"I know...that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false."
So in essence, this is how the conversation went:Paul to the Ephesians: "I am an apostle of Jesus."
The Ephesians to Paul: "No you're not."
Resurrected Jesus to the Ephesians: "Well done!"
I would be tempted to declare the case closed based on this evidence alone, but of course, there are a number of apparent objections that can be raised. I will address these objections as they are presented. For now, I would like to know what mainstream Christians and others on this forum have to say about the information that has been presented thus far.
Subsequent post by original poster kasalt:
With Paul, we are supposed to believe that a man who never knew Jesus and who started out persecuting his followers went on to write almost half of the New Testament while the original Apostles of Jesus faded into nearly complete obscurity! In my opinion, this seems completely counter-intuitive.
It may have been that Paul, while starting out persecuting the Church, eventually decided, "If you can't beat them, join them", so he faked conversion and asserted his leadership in the early Church, after which he inserted his own teachings--at least some of which were contrary to the teachings of Jesus and the original Apostles.
The book of Acts was obviously written in part to smooth over the rocky relationship that Paul had with the original Twelve. The book of Acts does mention that the Twelve were initially wary of Paul, admitting that they were uncertain of the genuineness of his conversion (Acts 9:26). But as the narrative progresses, Acts presents Paul as an apostle in good standing with the original Twelve. No mention is made in Acts of the schism between Paul and Peter that Paul described in chapter 2 of his epistle to the Galatians. In fact, Paul even went so far as to state:"But when Peter came to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed" (Galatians 2:11).
Clearly, Peter was not on good terms with Paul, and yet we are supposed to believe that in his own epistles, Peter declared Paul's writings to be on a par with scripture! Here is the specific passage in question:"[O]ur dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction" (II Peter 3:15-16).
Here we are supposed to believe that Peter referred to Paul as "our dear brother", and that Peter lauded the writings of Paul--even as Paul was bashing Peter in those very same writings! It should therefore come as no surprise to learn that most scholars today are of the opinion that the epistles attributed to Peter are pseudepigraphal works. Even Roman Catholic theologians and scholars who believe that Peter was their first pope accept that the epistles that are attributed to Peter in the New Testament were in fact written by someone else!
Post by original poster in response to another poster who claims Peter and Luke supported Paul as a genuine Apostle:
Originally Posted by jesusistruth
You'd expect that both Luke and Peter would know who's an apostle and who's not.
And you would expect that Jesus would know even better than Luke or Peter who is a false apostle and who is not, wouldn't you?
Allow me to repeat this for you, since you apparently missed it the first time:
Paul says to the Asians: "I am an Apostle." (Ephesians 1:1)
The Asians reply to Paul: "No you're not!" (2 Timothy 1:15)
Jesus says to the Asians: "You got that right!" (Revelation 2:2)
I would add that there are very good reasons for suspecting that Peter did not write the epistles that are attributed to him. This article sums up the evidence quite well:First epistle of Peter
Most critical scholars are skeptical that the apostle Simon Peter, the fisherman on the Sea of Galilee, actually wrote the epistle, because of the urbane cultured style of the Greek and the lack of any personal detail suggesting contact with the historical Jesus of Nazareth. The letter contains about thirty-five references to the Hebrew Bible, all of which, however, come from the Septuagint translation, an unlikely source for historical Peter the apostle, but appropriate for a Hellenized audience; thus the use of the Septuagint helps define the audience. The Septuagint was a Greek translation that had been created at Alexandria for the use of those Jews who could not easily read the Hebrew and Aramaic of the Tanakh and for proselytes.
Second epistle of Peter
The Second Epistle of Peter opens by identifying the author as “Simeon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1) (spelling the name differently from 1 Peter or the rest of the New Testament).
Although 2 Peter internally purports to be a work of the apostle, most biblical scholars have concluded that Peter is not the author, and instead consider the epistle pseudepigraphical. Reasons for this include its linguistic differences from 1 Peter, its apparent use of Jude, possible allusions to second-century gnosticism, encouragement in the wake of a delayed parousia, and weak external support. In addition, specific passages offer further clues in support of pseudepigraphy, namely the author's assumption that his audience is familiar with multiple Pauline epistles (2 Peter 3:15-16), [and] his implication that the Apostolic generation has passed (2 Peter 3:4)...
Post by drakul:
Good topic Ksalt - Thanks for bringing it up.
I think St. PAUL is one of those Agents of Influence who `saw the light' and was sent to take control of the budding Christian religion and distort the Master's teaching. Do you notice Paul almost never quotes any of Jesus words or teachings??? Strange. No it's all about PAUL and Paulisms.
Stopped reading at end of Page 2 of thread.