The Pauline Paradox

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by Ben Masada, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada Well-Known Member

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    The Pauline Paradox

    When Paul started preaching about Jesus as the Messiah and son of God, he never realized that he had created a huge paradox.

    You see, for Jesus to be the Messiah, he had to be a biological son of Joseph's, who was the one from the Tribe of Judah, whose Tribe the Messiah was supposed to come from. Mary was from the Tribe of Levi. She was of the family of Elizabeth, a descendant of Aaron the Levite. (Luke 1:5,36)

    Since Jesus is also claimed to be the son of God, he could not be the Messiah, because God is not subject to human genealogies.

    On the other hand, if Christians decided to grab the chance of at least to make of Jesus the Messiah by agreeing to drop the tale of the virgin birth, and to admit that he was indeed Joseph's biological son, he could not be son of God; and here the situation would get worse because even the doctrine of the Trinity would colapse.

    That's indeed a huge paradox that can be accepted only by faith, which requires no explanation. But then again, where faith begins, knowledge ends. And for lack of knowledge, People perish. (Hosea 4:6)

    Now, if there is anyone out there with enough wisdom to unriddle this paradox, I'll be more than happy to take my hat off to him or her. If not, the Sphynx will keep waiting patiently beside the Egyptian piramids for the passers-by.

    Good luck!

    Ben
     
  2. Princely

    Princely Interfaith Forums

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    There is no paradox only misunderstanding.

    The Messiah is not exactly what people think He is. It means anointed. More than one can be anointed. Isn't it written; The Lord is the strength of His people, the saving refuge of His anointed. That is more than one.

    Isn't it written Israel is my son, my first born, let my son go so he can serve me. Well Israel isn't just one person. That is something to make you think. People misunderstand because they are wicked.

    "The wicked will not stand in judgment nor sinners in the company of the righteous".
     
  3. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada Well-Known Member

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    Wow! I can't agree with you more. That's why I always believed that the Messiah is collective in the People of Israel. According to Habakkuk 3:13, "the Lord comes out to save His anointed one, to save His People. The prophet was speaking about Israel. Look at this:"

    The Collective Messiah - Isaiah 53

    We all know that the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 is the Messiah. So, no argument about it. But then whom did Isaiah have in mind when he wrote chapter 53? In fact, who was in his mind when he wrote the whole book? That's in Isaiah 1:1: "A vision about Judah and Jerusalem." That's the theme of the book of Isaiah: Judah. Or the House of Jacob called by the name Israel from the stock of Judah. (Isa. 48:1)

    Now, how about the Suffering Servant? Isaiah mentions him by name, which is Israel according to Isaiah 41:8,9; 44:1,2,21. Now, we have extablished a syllogism. If the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 is the Messiah, and the Suffering Servant is Israel, the resultant premise will obviously be that Israel (the Jewish People) is the Messiah. Rashi thought so too, and a few other thinkers of weight.

    Now, if the Messiah must also bring the epitet of son of God, there is no problem. We can have it from Exodus 4:22,23. Here's what it says in there: "Israel is My son; so, let My son go, that he may serve Me," says the Lord. That's why Hosea said that "When Israel was a child, God said, out of Egypt I called My son." (Hosea 11:1)

    Last but not least, Jesus no doubt was part of the Messiah but not on an individual basis. The Messiah is collective. What we need from time to time, especially in exile, is of a Messianic leader to lead or inspire the Messiah to return home. Moses was one for bringing the Messiah back to Canaan. Cyrus was another for proclaiming the return of the Messiah to rebuild the Temple; which he contributed heavily finacially; and in our modern times, we had Herzl who was also one for inspiring the Messiah with love for Zion.

    How about Jesus, what do we have to classify him as at least a Messianic leader? Well, when he was born Israel was at home, although suffering under the foreign power of the Romans. As he grew up that suffering only got worse. When he left, the collective Messiah was expelled into another exile of about 2000 years. Not even as a Messianic leader he could not classify. Let alone as the Messiah himself.

    Now, I would appreciate to share your comments about the above.

    Ben
     
  4. Princely

    Princely Interfaith Forums

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    Agreed.But as scripture says Let my son go so He can serve me it shows that serving the Lord is the key to being the son or Israel.Jesus was stating that He is Israel, to follow His lead by spreading the word of the Lord. That is why anyone who keeps the ways of the Lord by doing what is right and just is the child of God and Israel, Gods only begotten son. One in the Lord and His righteousness.

    The righteous will be upright and the peacemakers will be merciful.
     
  5. NiceCupOfTea

    NiceCupOfTea Pathetic earthlings

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    Lol.

    Ben when did your obsession with Paul begin ?
     
  6. niimmm

    niimmm Member

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    There is a huge emphasis on the direction of the gospel message towards Rome. And Paul's part he played in it. The writtings of Paul and the Acts form a huge part of the NT. I expect this is where the obsession with Paul begins

    Simon
     
  7. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada Well-Known Member

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    I do not deny that Jesus was Israel but, for being part of Israel for the 33 years that he lived. He was a Jewish man. Jesus had no particular lead to be followed. He was a follower of his own Faith which was Judaism.
    Ben
     
  8. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada Well-Known Member

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    When I came to learn that the main theme of his gospel was Replacement Theology. The attempt to replace Judaism with Christianity, the religion he founded in the city of Antioch, about 35 years after Jesus had been gone. (Acts 11:26)
    Ben
     
  9. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada Well-Known Member

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    You are in the right direction. Besides, Paul was a Roman citizen.
    Ben
     
  10. NiceCupOfTea

    NiceCupOfTea Pathetic earthlings

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    and whats wrong with that ?
     
  11. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada Well-Known Member

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    The wrong with that is the fact that, Replacement Theology is considered by some schollars as a religious form of Christian Antisemitism. IMHO, it is nothing but vandalism of Judaism by Christianity.

    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, Christians.

    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
     
  12. NiceCupOfTea

    NiceCupOfTea Pathetic earthlings

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    even if your claims were true, which they are not. I still dont see what the problem is.

    replace the word REPLACEMENT with FULFILMENT, that is the theology of Christianity.

    so what.

    i'm not aware of a change, but the Christian view is its a fullfillment not a change.

    good book Galatians

    << Galatians 3:28 >>
    There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
     
  13. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada Well-Known Member

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  14. NiceCupOfTea

    NiceCupOfTea Pathetic earthlings

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  15. Dream

    Dream Well-Known Member

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    Please include the reference and point out when you are paraphrasing. Not everybody has actually read it. The comparison Paul makes is between the physical and the spiritual. True some people take it to be about Jews versus Christians, but it's probably not. Jews believed in the depth of meaning versus the physical appearance of religion long before Paul. He wasn't saying anything new (to Jews), but to other people it might have been. Remember that at the time Jews may have been seeking converts, and his letter may have been in answer to questions concerning that.
    Paul's point of view is that a Jew has no 'Advantage' over a Christian, not that Jews have been replaced. (Galations 5:2). On the other hand he admits that Jews have been entrusted with God's word, which he says is an advantage for them. In fact he admits that they (present tense) benefit from it and from their other gifts. (Romans 3:2) I think what he is stressing to Christians is that they don't need to become Jews.

    There are replacement theologies based on Paul, and that I can see. I can also see that Paul's words also fit into another framework, so that it is not so easily concluded. Firstly, Paul is nothing without Jesus, so you have to put him into that context.
     
  16. Azure24

    Azure24 Well-Known Member

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    Actually it is believed that Mary's genealogy is in Luke. 3:23 onwards...

    "And Jesus himself was beginning to be about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, son of Joseph the [son] of Eli..."

    whereas Rotherham reads : "...the son of Joseph of Heli."

    and the Concordant reads: "...being a son (as to the law) of Joseph, of Eli, of Matthat, of Levi."

    Now then, to me "son of" is clearly not in the Greek, and so it is not necessarily fitting that it should be supplied by the translators in this case.

    Joseph in Matthew's genealogy of Jesus is not the "son of Heli" but rather Jacob (Matt. 1:16).

    "and Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was begotten Jesus, who is named Christ."

    And so this could be a case such as we find in Deut. 25:5-6--"If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her HUSBAND'S BROTHER shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her. And it shall be, that the firstborn which she bears shall succeed IN THE NAME OF HIS BROTHER which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel."

    And so Heli may have been a "son IN LAW" rather than "a son." And this could be Mary's genealogy back to Solomon where they apparently merge again with Joseph's line.
     
  17. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada Well-Known Member

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  18. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada Well-Known Member

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    The references are pretty clear in the thread. All in Galatians 4:21-31. But if you want me to be more clear, be my guest if that will help you understand the case:

    Gal. 4:22 - Abraham had two sons; one by the slave girl (Hagar) and the other by the freeborn wife, which was Sara.

    Gal. 4:24 - The two women stand for two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, which is Hagar, producing children to slavery. (Here, Paul started properly his Replacement Theology by comparing Israel to Hagar.)

    Gal. 4:26 - But the Jerusalem on high is freeborn (This is a reference to the freeborn wife, Sara) which is our mother, said Paul. (Here, he compares Christianity to Sara; obviously, the Jews to Hagar)

    Gal. 4:28 - You, my brothers (a reference to his followers) are from Isaac. (Here, he has replaced the Jews with Christians to be descendants of Isaac. Obviously, the Jews are from Ishmael.)

    Gal. 4:30 - Now, cast out the slave girl and her son together. (It means, get rid of Judaism and the Jews altogether. Hagar and Ishmael.) Why? Because they can never inherit in equal terms with the son of the born free, being the Christians.

    Gal. 4:31 - Therefore, my brothers, we (Christians) are not children of the slave girl (Hagar) but of the mother (Sara) who is free.

    Now, O Dream, do you understand why I must fight against Replacement Theology? If you ask me, this is the main reason why Jewish persecutions by Christianity, through pogrom, blood libels, Crusades, Inquisition and the Holocaust have happened. All because of Replacement Theology.
    Ben
     
  19. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada Well-Known Member

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    As far as I understood your post, you have said nothing to exonerate Jesus from having been a biological son of Joseph. But since your intention is to convey that he was adopted by Joseph, he was not from the Tribe of Judah. Tribal inheritance could not have been achieved through adoption. In that case, Jesus was a Jew without Tribal affiliation. The only thing his mother Mary could grant Jesus with, was his Jewishness. And this because he was born after the stablishment of the New Covenant by Ezra/Nehemiah, when Jewish identity had passed from the father to the mother. If he had been born before, he would have been a Gentile.
    Ben
     
  20. Dream

    Dream Well-Known Member

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    You aren't the first person to think so. There were persecutions, and they were bad. I believe that its possible Paul was the cause, but it is very convenient to put it all on him and let the rest of us walk. Its possible that the reasons for those awful persecutions were much worse than can be explained by what somebody named Paul said one time. He was only one person, and he himself wasn't even alive during those persecutions. Let me point out from my own US history that white people here once used the pentateuch to justify slavery of the worst kind. I don't think that it would be fair to say that slavery was the Bible's fault. Similarly, it might not be Paul's fault that Jews were killed by Christians. Politics were involved for example.

    I'm bringing up Hyram Maccoby because his point of view seems similar to yours (For new people: The Mythmaker was copyrighted in 1987 by Hyam Maccoby) Maccoby's writing has been very influential, and Maccoby places Paul in a frame in which he definitely appears to be anti Jewish. Unlike you however he doesn't ever say that Paul caused all of the persecutions.. Maccoby's book never made any definite claims about Paul (like you are doing). Instead he would say things like "We have reason to believe that Paul was not in fact a Pharisee," or "We have built up...a picture of Paul that is very different from the conventional one." That is a slight difference from him in your approach which becomes a huge difference somewhere along the way. He states right from the beginning that he's ignoring alternative methods of interpretation and taking a particular standpoint, and with this he's free to see Paul in his way. He asks some good questions, but his model doesn't account for everything Paul says or that the gospels say. That being said he very nearly places all of the problems onto the lap of an individual who is conveniently dead and so cannot be reached for comment, the same thing that you might be doing.
     

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