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Old 02-20-2012, 11:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Paul, the Cuckoo Bird

Paul, the Cuckoo Bird

Have you ever heard about the cuckoo bird? It is a gray European bird that, instinctively, lays its eggs in other bird's nests, as if it is unable to build a nest of its own from scratch. Its fledglings are usually more developed and strong enough to push out of the nest any possible domestic competitor for the food the adopted parents would bring home.

The cuckoo bird constitutes a perfect simile to the kind of man Paul was as a missionizer. Paul was never able to raise a church from scratch out of the Gentile population. His mission, since its very first station in Damascus and until its last in Rome, was to invade the Jewish synagogues and overturn them into Christian churches. (Acts 9:30) In Rome, since he could not freely walk around, he would invite the Jewish leaders to visit him in his house arresting condition to listen
to his gospel. (Acts 28:16,17)

The first nest Paul invaded and succeeded was in Antioch. After a whole year that he had laid his eggs, the disciples of the Jews started being called Christians. (Acts 11:26) The synagogue had been overturned into a Christian church. From then on, the chain was unbreakable. He went to the synagogues of Corinth. (Acts 18:1,4) From there, he proceeded throughout the country of Galatian and Phrygian. (Acts 18:23)

It happened that, to Galatia, a delegation from Judea had been sent to try to salvage the Galatian synagogue, and Paul became extremely upset to see that indeed many of the members were returning to the "other gospel," as he would, pejoratively, refer to the gospel of the Apostles. In his rage he would exclaim that any other gospel different from his, even if an angel had brought it down from Heaven, he would curse it or the preachers of such a gospel. (Gal. 1:6-9)

One day, as if he seemed to have had enough of the Jewish hostile reaction to his work in the Jewish synagogues, he declared in haste that, finnaly, he was turning to the Gentiles. (Acts 13:46) He was then in a Jewish synagogue of Antioch. (Acts 13:14) As he left the place he went to the Jewish synagogue of Iconium. (Acts 14:1) As any one can see, the Cuckoo bird could not change its nature. And Paul never changed even until death in Rome, where he tried to lay his eggs in the minds of the Roman Jews, although bound in chains. (Acts 28:16,17) The Cuckoo Paul could change his feathers and be whatever he fanced to be according to any circumstance, but he could never change the collors of his feathers.

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Old 02-22-2012, 11:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Paul, the Cuckoo Bird

"Ben, Ben," Servie asks, "why kickest thou against the cactus," or, in the words of the King James Version, the "pricks?"



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Old 02-23-2012, 10:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Paul, the Cuckoo Bird

As for cuckoo ... an alternative reading might be 'conversion' or, as the text has it, metanoia.

I think Paul thought his mission was to the Jews, and that the Jews would lead the world to the Promised Land ... for if God is God, then God is God of everything and everyone.

And please do remember the continued efforts of some members of the Jewish population to kill him.

God bless,

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Old 02-23-2012, 09:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Re: Paul, the Cuckoo Bird

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Originally Posted by Servetus View Post
"Ben, Ben," Servie asks, "why kickest thou against the cactus," or, in the words of the King James Version, the "pricks?"



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Is it what the unveiling of the truth looks like? I said nothing that is not written. I honestly would like to understand if there is any other way to look at Paul's character. I wish he had laid his eggs in another nest. Too many of our fledgelings have been ejected out of their nest.
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Re: Paul, the Cuckoo Bird

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Originally Posted by Thomas View Post
As for cuckoo ... an alternative reading might be 'conversion' or, as the text has it, metanoia.

I think Paul thought his mission was to the Jews, and that the Jews would lead the world to the Promised Land ... for if God is God, then God is God of everything and everyone.

And please do remember the continued efforts of some members of the Jewish population to kill him.

God bless,

Thomas

According to whom, the Hellenistic writers of the gospels? Think! The enemy was not Jesus but the Romans. Jesus had come to confirm the most important thing in the life of a Jew: God's Law. (Mat. 5:17-19) How could his fellow Jews grab him and force the enemy occupiers of our land crucify him? If this makes any sense to you, we are back to square one. I wish the Catholic church had not destroyed the books that did not make into the Canon of the NT. The truth could have ben quite different.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Paul, the Cuckoo Bird

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According to whom, the Hellenistic writers of the gospels? Think!
Well, if you would think for a moment, according to the same writers as you.

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Originally Posted by Ben Masada View Post
Jesus had come to confirm the most important thing in the life of a Jew: God's Law. (Mat. 5:17-19)
Exactly ... So you agree He is the Law's fulfilment — He is the embodied Spirit of the Letter?

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How could his fellow Jews grab him and force the enemy occupiers of our land crucify him?
Easy. Because the Jews were the most problematic of the occupied peoples (the only ones allowed to keep their own religious institutions, for a start). The last thing Pilate needed was another Maccabean martyr.

Because they threatened Pilate's position ... because they were so much trouble that eventually, in 70AD, the Romans said 'enough's enough!'

Why would the Romans want Him dead? He posed no threat to them.

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If this makes any sense to you, we are back to square one. I wish the Catholic church had not destroyed the books that did not make into the Canon of the NT. The truth could have ben quite different.
That's like saying you wish Moses didn't throw out the stuff he didn't believe in, or the authors of Deuteronomy paid more attention to non-Jewish sources, or the Jahwist or Elohist sources paid more attention to polytheism.

One has to get over the idea that Scripture somehow pops into existence, and a people form up around it, it's the other way round. The Tradition was there before the Scripture.

The New Testament, like the Old, is the testimony of a religious experience.

God bless,

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Old 02-24-2012, 05:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Paul, the Cuckoo Bird

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Exactly ... So you agree He is the Law's fulfilment — He is the embodied Spirit of the Letter?
But ....... the Law has not been fulfilled yet.

The fulfillment of the Law requires at least two things:

1) people accept it
2) people obey it

It is not good enough that the Jewish people simply accept and obey the Law, however, when there are surrounded by people who don't respect that Law (Gentiles). Therefore, the Law is fulfilled when the Jewish people are not the only people who accept and obey the Law, but Gentiles as well. When the Jewish people are surrounded by people who accept, respect and also obey Jewish halakha, they are safe to live the Jewish life. The Law is fulfilled when the Jewish people live in eternal peace and are safe to live according to their commandments. This will be guaranteed by worldwide compliance by Gentiles to Jewish halakha.

What Paul said about the Law was only just one perspective. His colleagues in the Jerusalem Church were unlikely to agree with the idea that "the Law" didn't still apply to them. Paul seems to be echoing the views of today's Reform Judaism -- RJ saying that Jewish halakha no longer applies to all Jews. At the very least, Paul said that Gentiles shouldn't be subject to the entire 613 commandments (the whole Law).

Now Thomas, I assume you value "orthodoxy" very highly. Do you not then, agree that Jews should have their "orthodoxy" too? You are disappointed at today's rampant individualism, liberalism and secularism and how it has affected Christian orthodoxy.

If anyone suggested that they may disregard Jewish halakha (a part of Jewish orthodoxy) and throw it in the bin, then they might also suggest throwing the Christian Gospel in the bin (a part of Christian orthodoxy). A threat to one person's orthodoxy is a threat to everyone's orthodoxy. Surely you're not in favour of that are you?
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Paul, the Cuckoo Bird

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Originally Posted by Ben Masada View Post
Is it what the unveiling of the truth looks like? I said nothing that is not written. I honestly would like to understand if there is any other way to look at Paul's character. I wish he had laid his eggs in another nest. Too many of our fledgelings have been ejected out of their nest.
Well, in keeping with the scriptural reference, I could have said, "Ben, Ben, why persecutest thou me" (and signed it St. Paul), but that might have been a bit presumptuous of me.

Anyway, I don’t understand why you find the idea of “Replacement Theology” so irksome. As I read it, the idea of replacement, of the rights of the first-born being transferred, often through subterfuge and deceit, to the second-born is practically a leitmotif of your scriptures. It starts with Ishmael and Isaac (and perhaps before, with Cain and Abel, for that matter), continues, mutatis mutandis, through Jacob and Esau, and ends only Rashi and R. Johanan know where. St. Paul, by “rightly () dividing the word of truth,” was simply applying, or, arguably, misapplying, the concept: he wasn’t inventing it.

If I may ask, which troubles you more: the idea of replacement, or the idea that you have been replaced?
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Paul, the Cuckoo Bird

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Originally Posted by Servetus View Post
Anyway, I don’t understand why you find the idea of “Replacement Theology” so irksome.
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Originally Posted by Servetus View Post
If I may ask, which troubles you more: the idea of replacement, or the idea that you have been replaced?
What's irksome about "replacement theology" is that I do not believe Paul was the one who proposed it. I don't think Paul would have gone that far. Paul proposed a "liberal ideology" comparable to Reform Judaism -- that Jewish halakha shouldn't be binding, at the very least to Gentiles but perhaps to Jews as well.

It was the Later Christians, taking Paul's ideas further and declaring that they had "replaced" the "Jews," by redefining concepts in Paul's Olive Tree Theology and defining themselves as "spiritual Jews." This is something Paul never proposed because in Romans 11:17-20 he says, "do not be arrogant" because "you do not support the root, but the root supports you." He is quite obviously saying this to Gentiles. Did "Jewish Christians" somehow advocate the idea that "Jewishness" could be transferred to the Gentile Christians like electricity along an electrical conductor?

There was only one church who had the authority to decide to do this: the Jerusalem Church. The Jerusalem Church was to Christianity what the Sanhedrin was to Judaism. Just like the Sanhedrin had the authority to pass rulings binding on all Jews, the Jerusalem Church had the authority to define Christianity. The question of whether "replacement theology" is really fundamental to Christianity is a question of whether the Jerusalem Church would have agreed to transfer "Jewishness" to Gentiles.

I consider that unlikely considering the wall of separation between Jews and Gentiles that still existed at the time. Even Paul in Romans 11:17-20 still thinks there are differences between Jews and Gentiles, despite his liberal, Reform-Judaism-like ideology. He obviously believed that Gentiles were missing something because they weren't Jews. Paul therefore did not transfer "Jewishness" to Gentiles. One of the most liberal Jews in the churches in the 1st century did not give his "Jewishness" over to the Gentiles.

The Jerusalem Church was destroyed before it could ever happen, but the evidence suggests it would never have happened anyway even if they were still around today. Therefore the Later Christians committed a great heresy. Have you ever wondered what the "Synagogue of Satan" is in Revelation? It is those who advocated Replacement Theology.

I know your afflictions and your poverty--yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Revelation 2:9

I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars--I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. Revelation 3:9

Replacement Theology is heresy, even according to Christian Tradition.

For Paul to advocate Replacement Theology, it is like Reform Judaism saying you aren't truly Jewish unless you're a Reform Jew. You can't be truly Jewish if you're Orthodox or Conservative. You have to be Reform!!! That would be Replacement Theology. Of course, Reform Jews never claim that. It's usually the other way round. Paul didn't regard Jewish halakha to be that important anymore but he still believed it had value. Is this not the position of Reform Judaism -- that the teachings are still valuable but some of the requirements are no longer valid?

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As I read it, the idea of replacement, of the rights of the first-born being transferred, often through subterfuge and deceit, to the second-born is practically a leitmotif of your scriptures. It starts with Ishmael and Isaac (and perhaps before, with Cain and Abel, for that matter), continues, mutatis mutandis, through Jacob and Esau, and ends only Rashi and R. Johanan know where. St. Paul, by “rightly () dividing the word of truth,” was simply applying, or, arguably, misapplying, the concept: he wasn’t inventing it.
I don't think these examples actually fit the problem with "replacement theology." Cain, Abel, Jacob and Esau were individuals, not entire nations. By the time Jesus (and therefore the theology of Christ) came along, the Jewish people numbered in the thousands and perhaps millions. Cain/Abel, Ishmael and Esau were "replaced" at the root. Problem solved.

To replace an entire nation is a much larger problem. You get the Jewish people to follow an entire tradition, developing and evolving over centuries. Do you realise why that is offensive to Jews? I would think that would be far more offensive than replacing an ancestor. By this time, the branches have already grown. Now you're going to cut down the entire tree!!!! What do you think the tree will say to you? How dare you cut me down!!!! I spent ten, twenty, fifty years growing and providing fruit for you and this is how you repay me? Why didn't you just throw the seeds away you ungrateful fruit-picker? You vandal, murderer, don't you see I'm alive?

Replacing Ishmael and Esau was like abortion. Replacement Theology is like murder. The difference is that one is a foetus. The other is a fully grown adult.
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Paul, the Cuckoo Bird

Hi Saltmeister,

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What's irksome about "replacement theology" is that I do not believe Paul was the one who proposed it. I don't think Paul would have gone that far ...
Allow me to clarify your position. Are you suggesting that Paul did not write the Epistle to the Galatians? As Ben pointed out elsewhere (and on this point I concur), the idea is clearly -if analogically- expressed there.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Re: Paul, the Cuckoo Bird

[QUOTE=Thomas;263153]
Quote:
Well, if you would think for a moment, according to the same writers as you.
Not really! I would never write that the Greek myth of the demigod could be possible in Judaism. Demigod is the son of a god with an earthly woman.

Quote:
Exactly ... So you agree He is the Law's fulfilment — He is the embodied Spirit of the Letter?
I wonder why Christians suppose that Matthew 5 ends with verse 17. What Jesus came to do with the Law is explained in verse 19; that not only himself but all else should fulfill God's Law down to the letter and teach them as such. So, the word "fulfill" is given more in terms of "confirm."

Quote:
Easy. Because the Jews were the most problematic of the occupied peoples (the only ones allowed to keep their own religious institutions, for a start). The last thing Pilate needed was another Maccabean martyr.
According to Josephus, nothing about the Jews would cause fear in Pilate.

Quote:
Because they threatened Pilate's position ... because they were so much trouble that eventually, in 70AD, the Romans said 'enough's enough!'
And was it enough? In 134 ACE Bar Corhba destroyed more Roman legions than in any other occupied territory.

Quote:
Why would the Romans want Him dead? He posed no threat to them.
Easy answer. Pilate wrote on that plaque that he nailed on the top of Jesus' cross. Because he had been proclaimed king of the Jews in a Roman province.

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Old 02-24-2012, 08:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Re: Paul, the Cuckoo Bird

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Well, in keeping with the scriptural reference, I could have said, "Ben, Ben, why persecutest thou me" (and signed it St. Paul), but that might have been a bit presumptuous of me.

Anyway, I don’t understand why you find the idea of “Replacement Theology” so irksome. As I read it, the idea of replacement, of the rights of the first-born being transferred, often through subterfuge and deceit, to the second-born is practically a leitmotif of your scriptures. It starts with Ishmael and Isaac (and perhaps before, with Cain and Abel, for that matter), continues, mutatis mutandis, through Jacob and Esau, and ends only Rashi and R. Johanan know where. St. Paul, by “rightly () dividing the word of truth,” was simply applying, or, arguably, misapplying, the concept: he wasn’t inventing it.

If I may ask, which troubles you more: the idea of replacement, or the idea that you have been replaced?

It seems to me, you do not understand Replacement Theology. Take a look at this:

Replacement Theology

Replacement Theology is as old as Christianity itself, considering that the etimology of the expression acquired its real meaning with the rise of Christianity.

Some people object to the focusing on Christianity for the reason why Replacement Theology originated, because the Jewish People was not the only ancient people with the original claim to be God's chosen People.

It's true that a few other ancient peoples upheld the same claim, but there was never one to rise with the claim that a people had been replaced by another as God's chosen People.

Christianity became the first religious organization to rise with the claim that a change had occurred in the designs of God, which would define the rejection of the Jewish People, and resplacement with Christianity.

The classical NT document, which would give rise to this Christian policy is found in Galatians 4:21-31.

Paul would compare God's Covenant with the Jewish People as Hagar, who was Sara's slave girl, and the Jews as her son, who was rejected even to share with Isaac, the inheritance of Canaan. On the other hand, he compares Christianity to Sara and Christians to her son Isaac.

To conclude, Paul appeals to cast out the slave girl together with her son for the obvious reason that Israel, the Jewish People, would never be an heir with the son of the one born free.

That's the picture of Replacement Theology and not simply a people claiming Divine election. A group of Interfaith Scholars have classified Replacement Theology as a kind of Antisemitism.

Ben
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Paul, the Cuckoo Bird

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Allow me to clarify your position. Are you suggesting that Paul did not write the Epistle to the Galatians? As Ben pointed out elsewhere (and on this point I concur), the idea is clearly -if analogically- expressed there.
As far as I'm concerned, Paul's position in Galatians is more like that of Reform Judaism -- something had changed, the Jewish people no longer have to live in "bondage," the old traditions are still valuable, but the requirements are no longer valid. That is not Replacement Theology, but liberalism.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Paul, the Cuckoo Bird

Perhaps I should add that I addressed this recently in another thread.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:28 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Paul, the Cuckoo Bird

Paul rocks and he is going to kick your ass Ben.
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