Paul, the Cuckoo Bird

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Ben Masada, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    Yes, but there is a difference though. With you, the intention was to keep the community Jewish, albeit in a form according to a Reform orientation; while with Paul, it was to replace Judaism with Christianity, by making Gentiles out of the Jews. (Heb. 7:12,22)
    Ben
     
  2. Servetus

    Servetus New Member

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    To be clear, and though I quoted him, the allusions are Nietzsche’s, not mine.

    Nietzsche:
    "In plain English: a stupendous literary fraud becomes necessary, “holy scriptures” are discovered [reference, I think, to the time of Ezra], and they are published abroad with all hieratic pomp, with days of penance and lamentations over the long state of “sin.” ... With severity and pedantry, the priest had formulated once and for all –even to the largest and smallest contributions that were to be paid to him (-not forgetting the daintiest portions of meat; for the priest is a consumer of beef-steaks)- “what he wanted,, “what the Will of God was.”



    Concerning, for example, the beef-steaks, I think, foaming and frothing anti-cleric (ala Voltaire) that he was, Nietzsche was probably referring to such select portions from holy writ as this:

    “This shall be yours [the Aaronid/Levitical priesthood’s] of the most holy things, reserved from the fire: every offering of the people, every cereal offering and sin offering and trespass offering of theirs, which they shall render to Me, shall be most holy for you and for your sons. As the most holy thing and in a sacred place shall you eat of it; every male shall eat of it. It shall be holy to you. And this also is yours: the heave offering of their gift, with all the wave offerings of the Israelites. I have given them to you and to your sons and to your daughters with you as a continual allowance forever; everyone in your house who is clean may eat of it. All the best of the oil, and all the best of the [fresh] wine and of the grain, the firstfruits of what they give to the Lord, to you have I given them …" (Numbers 18:6-15)



    Didn't you think that Nietzsche's reference to Christians as "little ultra-Jews" was knee-slappingly funny?

    Anyway, again (given that I was quoting), it is not my case of “supreme interest," but, according to late-model disciples of Nietzsche, it was exactly the Hellenistic aspects of Christianity which were its strength (if, indeed, Christianity ever had any). The Jewish aspects were what sickened, enfeebled, emasculated and ultimately corrupted it. To them, Paul was the gay epileptic distiller and spreader of Jewish poison. The pagan Roman Imperium, after all, was heroic: the Jewish and other “chandala” classes, including, of course, nascent Christianity, were what subverted and destroyed the Imperium. Nietzsche, to drive the point home, used the metaphor of a vampire, sucking blood. Lovely, isn't it?

    Given, at any rate, that I am not one of his late-model disciples and don’t get all tingly at Wagner’s Parsifal, concerning this, your above statement, no matter how often you repeat your dictum -which is by now elevated to a tautology- I do not accept it as true. I maintain that Jesus was the first to go about preaching the gospel of the Kingdom and that he was followed by a series of successors. Apparently, "Judaism" (or whatever it was called at the time of Jesus) mutates and Christianity and Islam are a couple of its mutant forms.

    Reformed Rabbi, Emil Gustav Hirsch:
    "Paul with one bold sweep of the pen opened the gates for the conquest and conversion of the world. Had the Jews of that time been able to read the inscription on the wall, had they looked at the hand on the dial, they might have reclaimed the world with the ethics, their own ethics, lived and taught by Jesus of Nazareth; they might have gone forth and brought to the thirsty the water, to the hungry the bread of life. But they would not, as today they will not. The times were ripe; Judaism neglected the opportunity. Paul embraced it. He preached in words comprehensible to the pagan world the doctrine which he had discovered in his own God-touched heart ...”



    I am not sure if this is where St. Paul actually started preaching to pagans, but, I would venture a guess, Mr. Hirsch might have had St. Paul’s Sermon on the Areopagus (Acts) in mind when he wrote his above, surprisingly charitable statement.



    Sorry. Were you somehow able to extract that from Emil Gustav Hirsch’s comments? I fail to see how.



    Serv
     
  3. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    Emil Gostav Hirsch's comments is based in the knowledge he acquired by listening to what Christian preachers say about Paul and not on what is written in the NT. From my research of Paul's life as a proselytizer, I attribute two percent of his missionizing work among the Gentiles, while 98 percent was among the Jews. Two percent will nowhere classify him as an apostle to the Gentiles. And what Hirsch speaks above about the conversion of the world, Paul had almost absolutely no part of it. The massive struggle to convert the Gentile world happened in the 4th Century when Christianity was adopted by Emperor Constantine in 310 ACE as the official religion of the Roman Empire.
    Ben
     
  4. Servetus

    Servetus New Member

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    How, exactly, are you able to ascertain (or, more accurately, divine), from this historical distance, how Rabbi Hirsch learned anything?



    At one point, he apparently left the Jews to Peter, the “apostle of the circumcision,” and went to the gentiles (source). At any rate, even if I accepted your research findings, which, at this point, I do not, I might suggest that if St. Paul did concentrate more upon Jews than upon gentiles, it may well have been because the children of Israel, Jews included in this case as a subset, can (reportedly) be a notoriously stiff-necked lot, at times, and may, in some cases, require much attention. I mean, after all, it took them 40 years to travel a little stretch of desert ... :)D)



    Well then you need to both revisit and recalculate your percentages because he was an apostle to the gentiles.



    Nietzsche (p. 69):
    “And Epicurus had triumphed, every respectable thinker in the Roman Empire was an Epicurean: then St. Paul appeared … St. Paul, the Chandala hatred against Rome, against “the world,” the Jew, the eternal Jew par excellence become flesh and genius …” [emphasis in the original]


    Serv
     
  5. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    "At one point," means nothing to me. I asked when did Paul finally decide to go to the Gentiles. BTW, he did decide in Acts 13:46, when he said, "We now turn to the Gentiles." He left the synagogue of Antioch and went to the synagogue of Iconium. (Acts 14:1) Was he crazy or just a natural cuckoo bird? Well, do you wanna try again to tell me when he went to the Gentiles?
    Ben
     
  6. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    What bondage, the one that gives salvation from troubles? Yes, I mean the Law. Try to break the law of any land to see the trouble you will be dealing with. That's the same with God's Law. That's no bondage. The Law is God's way to show how much He loves us. Read Psalm 119.
    Ben
     
  7. Servetus

    Servetus New Member

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    Ok.



    Did you just answer your own fascinating question?



    He apparently synagogue hopped like I used to hop from club to club in my rave days, when we shiny happy people had lots and lots of (usually illegal) fun.



    Neither. I prefer neither choice. On the other hand, if you have a taste for some expert Paul-bashing, you could continue to say a general “amen” to General Ludendorff and call Paul a gay epileptic Jew who infected the otherwise pure pagan Germans with his effeminate Christianity. For some, that works, and it works splendidly.



    Hmmm. Let me see now. After his Jewish schoolmaster, Gamaliel, expelled him from Eton College for plagiarizing and his aging, widowed mother kicked him out of her subsidized studio apartment in Damascus and told him to get a proper job thus causing Saul (turned Paul) to arrive, at long last, at Athens and to have an epoch-making epileptic seizure on the Areopagus? Yeah, that's it. I'll go with that.

    Serv
     
  8. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    Mine is not a "Paul-bashing" attitude; unless you call bashing to say the truth. BTW, when I bring to the attention of Christians all the bashing curses in terms of woes by Jesus to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:13-38, usually, the answer is that Jesus was telling the truth and not bashing. It means, I am telling the truth and not bashing.

    And with regard to General Ludendorff's opinion that Paul was a gay epileptic, he might not be too far from the truth. Have you ever heard about Paul's thorn in the flesh? He would consider it a sinful condition which he just couldn't get rid of. IMHO, this thorn in his flesh is clearly described in Romans 7:13-25. Try to read those verses and tell me about them in your next reply?
    Ben
     
  9. Servetus

    Servetus New Member

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    Your question permitted two choices: either Paul was crazy or he was a cuckoo bird. Again, I choose neither.

    As I read it, the only people who should be upset by that segment of scripture are the hypocritical Pharisees to (and against) whom it is directed. Do you count yourself among them?

    Ludendorff, who considered Paul a parasitical, gay Jew boy (and Jesus the bastard son of the harlot, thanks to the Talmud), was engaging in a bit of both gay and Jew bashing. I pay him no mind. I quoted him as a late-model disciple of the anti-Christian Nietzsche.

    Why would he consider it a sinful condition? If St. Paul were as Hellenistic, that is to say, Greek, as you seem to think, it seems to me he ought to have been preaching the virtues of Zeus's infatuation with the boy Ganymede.

    I don't care what gave Paul a woody and I don't know if he is referring here to unwanted visitations from Eros. It is possible that the thorn in his flesh could have been one of Cupid's arrows, who knows? After all, Cupid, as many of us might confirm, can sometimes be a poor shot.


    Serv
     
  10. Servetus

    Servetus New Member

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    The statement here is ambiguous. I should have more accurately said that I quoted Ludendorff because his opinion is illustrative of that of a late-model disciple of the anti-Christian Nietzsche. As Germany, in the words of Ludendorff's interviewer, Pierre van Paassen, became systematically "dechristianized," the existential threat to German Jewry increased. That is one of the points I am trying to imperfectly emphasize in this thread.


    Serv
     
  11. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    The weird thing about this is that in Romans 7:25, Paul came to the conclusion that he had to become an exception to the rule that we cannot serve two masters. Since he could not get rid of the stigma of his repressed sinful feelings, he would serve God in his mind and sin in his flesh. How could that be possible if not only among hypocrites?
    Ben
     
  12. Servetus

    Servetus New Member

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    I am no spokesman for St. Paul and scriptural exegesis is not my strong point (where is Thomas when he's needed?), but it seems to me that, in this passage, Paul is referring to his struggle with what Muslims call the nafs (more specifically, an-nafs al-ḥaywāniyah) and the Hebrews, relatedly, nephesh. It might be a bit schizoid of St. Paul to posit a conflict between spirit and flesh, I don't know, but I don't find it at all hypocritical on his part.

    However, Nietzsche, whose writings I only sometimes and very selectively prefer to St. Paul's (that's a guilty admission on my part), would probably consider this yet another example of Paul's "rabbinical impudence," froth at the mouth, issue declamations, spit thunder-bolts upon Paul's head and call the matter done.


    Serv
     
  13. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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    Maybe it best that we never become teachers then. Obedience to the Jewish God takes a great deal of resolve on our part. Paul was correct when he said that the spirit is willing but we (flesh) weak. I'm sure the Spirit is always available to us, but I'm also quite sure that we often reject, disregard, and neglect it.

    For sake of NOT being a hypocrite, I'll not place judgement on Paul. Maybe he was a bit of a cuckoo, but at least he knew himself and was honest enough with his readers.
     
  14. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    Oh! So, you find no hypocrisy in someone's confession that he serves God in his mind and sin in his flesh. (Rom. 7:25) I find this extremely bias when I read Matthew 23:13-33 about the curses thrown at the Pharisees, supposetly by Jesus, which I don't believe because, being of the Pharisaic line himself Jesus had no reasons to apply those woes unto them. Anyway, Christians are only too ready to take the Pharisees as hypocrites but not Paul with such a confession.
    Ben
     
  15. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    However, no one strong or weak minded can ever conciliate himself into the double standard to serve two masters and be all right. There is, therefore, no excuse. We have been granted the attributes of intellect and free will. We are supposed to used them in a constructive manner, as to control ourselves and not conventionalize that's possible to have both ways.
     
  16. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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    I'm might argue against "free" will, but we are intelligent enough to learn what is beneficial and what is not. I think Paul struggled like we all do at times. I don't think it is about serving two masters, however. Flesh and Spirit go hand in hand. We are flesh creatures after all. We become spiritual creatures the more we mature in God's will for us. It's a process that takes time. None of us have fully matured, but we are growing into maturity.


    I for one appreciate Paul's contributions. He was strait forward and honest. I appreciate him more so than those who fail to see their own shortcomings. You call Paul a hypocrite, but at least he hid nothing, nor did he attempt to cover his weaknesses. He used his weaknesses to his advantage, which I find admirable.
     
  17. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    As I understand you, you are against free will. You deny that man has it or you prefer that man should not have it? We do have it, Gatekeeper. And I can prove it to you in case you deny that we do have it.

    IMHO, Paul was neither honest nor straightforward. He was anything one could be, according to the circumstances: A Jew among the Jews, a Gentile among the Gentiles, a Roman among the Romans, a Greek among the Greeks, etc, etc. The man of a thousand and one faces. The man with a plurarity of personalities. And do you find this kind of thing admirable?
    Ben
     
  18. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Shades of Reason

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    I think our will is influenced, thus we act in accordance to those influences. Paul was able to identify with all, whether greek, jew, roman, gentile, etc. This doesn't make him dishonest, just a good politician. I find his straightforward and honest approach admirable, Ben. He was a man just like us, however, and I'm certain he never envisioned his letters to be afforded the credence they are afforded. He wrote to specific churches with specific needs, but I doubt he thought they would ever be considered 'scripture'.
     
  19. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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    And do you believe in an honest politician? Just a rhetoric question.

    I understand your position with regards to Paul. Whatever he did to raise his church, he meant no harm to you. Not the same in my case. Were not for what he did, we would not have lost so many of us throughout the history of Christianity.
    Ben
     
  20. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Ah, perhaps Paul was not all that bad. But he did ignite the firey hatred of Marcion and those who followed in his footsteps. One will find little if any anti-Semitism in the three earliest examples of Christianity I know of: Assyrian, Ethiopian, or Armenian.
     

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