Christianity minus Paul

juantoo3

....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb
Messages
9,508
Reaction score
1,794
Points
108
Location
up to my arse in alligators
I am curious, since I have seen the topic brought up from time to time, just what Christianity would look like minus the teachings of Paul. Frankly, Paul has many detractors, but I have yet to see any of them post what Christianity should be, in their view. What is left when we remove the teachings of Paul?
 
The first thing that comes to my mind, is that Christianity would not be carried to, nor have any relevence for, the goyim, the gentiles, the nations. What would be left of the New Testament would be directed soley and only to Messianic Jews.
 
juantoo3 said:
The first thing that comes to my mind, is that Christianity would not be carried to, nor have any relevence for, the goyim, the gentiles, the nations. What would be left of the New Testament would be directed soley and only to Messianic Jews.
yep:)
i think he also gives an example of the church not to judge because he was a murderer of the saints, but God turned him around & he stopped & i do believe he will be in heaven & i want to see him...
 
I always thought that Paul was very proud and snuck his own opinions into his teachings. But, that is also my opinion, so who knows?
 
Kindest Regards, celtic christian, and welcome to CR!

I can appreciate your opinion, however, I am still left wondering what you feel Christianity should be like minus the teachings of Paul?
 
Hello, and Peace to All Here--

Christianity without Paul? Christ did not need Paul, but He called Him. I know that Paul grates on lots of people's nerves. More so than James? I don't know.

There is a big, fancy word that someone has coined to address the "concept" of Christianity in opposition to the teachings of Paul. It is called, to the best of my memory,
" hyperdispensationalism":) Is that longer than "supercalifragilisticexpeali--never mind, no it isn't--I thought I could "speel" that!

I believe that the writings of Paul were and are sincere and true. They are to be taken within the context of the times in which he lived, and they extend into the times in which we live. The Pauline Epistles are so-called because they are historically documented letters he wrote during the time in which he lived.

InPeace,
InLove
 
juantoo3 said:
The first thing that comes to my mind, is that Christianity would not be carried to, nor have any relevence for, the goyim, the gentiles, the nations. What would be left of the New Testament would be directed soley and only to Messianic Jews.
i would agree.

i also imagine that christianity without paul would be much easier. perhaps some of the things i struggle with as sin i would not struggle with so much if not for my steadfast belief in the importance of his epistles. it would leave more room for my individual interpretations of the bible and of Jesus' teaching. and given that i do struggle with so much sin daily, left to me the interpretation might not be divinely inspired, but more a collection of practices to better suit and accomodate my lifestyle.

percecution of christians or not, God saw something in paul and was wise (obviously) to knock him off his horse that day in damascus. i for one am very thankful that he was chosen, as his writings are often a source of inspiration for me via a swift self-imposed kick in the butt.:eek:
 
Kindest Regards, InLove and JonMarc!

I find myself in agreement with you both. This thread was started as a response to a number of posts arguing against Paul, that his teachings were not part and parcel of the Good News. After hearing a number of people rail against him, I became curious what Christianity would look like without his teachings. As you can see, I got no serious takers, which tells me that those who rail against Paul really haven't much of an idea what Christianity should be like. In other words, they are not particularly "for" anything, they just like to have someone to be "against." Which is sad, in my opinion.

Thanks for your input(s). :)
 
I'm neither for or against Paul. I suppose I'm with Celtic Christian. My intuitive response has always been that Paul struggled with pride and other personal issues (who of us doesn't?) and snuck in a lot of his own interpretations into those letters (naturally, just as we do here). I don't believe the epistles are infallible, but I do think they are very valuable and contain a lot of truth, as well has helping us understand part of the early church.

I'm sure many would think it blasphemous, but Paul was just a person, just like me. He had faith and visions and interpretations of Christ's teachings (which, by the way, hadn't been written down yet when Paul was writing- so he was operating pretty much off of hearsay and his own spiritual experience)... just like me. He had his issues to deal with... just like me. I guess I mostly see Paul as a valuable Christian author, but no more so than St. Francis or Eckhart. Because I don't do the "Bible is infallible" thing, I read Paul differently than some. Paul is a commentary on Jesus' teachings and part of the early church.

Personally, I wouldn't want to get rid of Paul- some of his teachings are my most cherished scriptures and are incredibly beautiful. 1 Cor 13 is one of the most truthful and lovely passages I've ever read. I just read Paul with attention to the history of the early Christian church, Paul's own agenda, and my heart open to the Spirit. I carefully meditate on passages that do not resonate with my own experience of God.
 
My love for Paul comes from the fact that He sinned against Christ by persecuting Christians... that someone can do something like that have Christ call him and be redeemed...speaks volumes of Christs love and mercy. He loved Jesus and was as bold for Christ as I believe we all need to be. He suffered all throughout his ministry of Christ and remained steadfast in his faith. I know that Christianity could stand without Pauls ministry.. because Christianity is about Christ.. but I believe, as did the apostles in the book of Acts, that Jesus called Paul and I believe that everything Paul said in the bible is from the God.
 
my experience with God falls right in line with everything that Paul teaches & that experience was way before I even knew who paul really was.

I believe his teaching is indeed infallable & his writings support Jesus & the rest of the apostles & prophets writings 100% & I dont think he even realized his writings would become part of the Word of God when he was writing.
The Bible is one book & one Word & it will stand forever to all generations because i believe it is Gods written Word & God is infallable & does not lie.
 
Faithfulservant said:
My love for Paul comes from the fact that He sinned against Christ by persecuting Christians... that someone can do something like that have Christ call him and be redeemed...speaks volumes of Christs love and mercy.
Beautiful point, FS.
 
Juan,

In considering how the seven original churches were going every which way but loose, and reflecting upon Paul's personality, and actions, I think it logical that God utilized Paul as a mediator, referee, and organiser. Paul took the "ethereal" concept and presented practical application for Christianity in eveyday living.

Paul is an arbiter.

v/r

Q
 
Quahom1 said:
In considering how the seven original churches were going every which way but loose, and reflecting upon Paul's personality, and actions, I think it logical that God utilized Paul as a mediator, referee, and organiser. Paul took the "ethereal" concept and presented practical application for Christianity in eveyday living.

Paul is an arbiter.

v/r

Q
i think so too. every which way but loose & the same thing is what we see today and as you say, every day living.
so i think Christianity without Paul seems to lead into Christianity without Revelations, Genesies, the book of Acts, the Exodous & half of the things Jesus said... well about 2/3 of the rest of the bible & substitue it for the gods of Jupiter & Neptune & whatever pops off the top of your head, & a little Sophie, dont forget.

The Apostle Paul was full of the Holy Ghost like the rest of them & he was not going to let Jesus down:)
 
Bandit said:
so i think Christianity without Paul seems to lead into Christianity without Revelations, Genesies, the book of Acts, the Exodous & half of the things Jesus said... well about 2/3 of the rest of the bible
Why? I don't really get why these are related? Paul wrote epistles, which are really different types of writing than prophecy (Revelations) or mythology/history (and I mean that to be "sacred narrative," not "false"- Genesis, Acts, Exodus, the Gospels).
Maybe I'm just being dense...? :confused:
 
hello all
i admit i know nowhere near enough about this.....general overview without any specifics..... but i would tend to agree more with path. anyway....just to throw a wild card into the discussion, someone asked what christianity would be without paul......what about the islam? where would the islam stand without paul???
 
dayaa said:
hello all
i admit i know nowhere near enough about this.....general overview without any specifics..... but i would tend to agree more with path. anyway....just to throw a wild card into the discussion, someone asked what christianity would be without paul......what about the islam? where would the islam stand without paul???
Islam came 500 years after Paul...and I'm not certain how the Christian Paul would affect Islam. Perhaps with no Paul, there would not be Christianity as it established itself finally in the 400s, and as a result, Islam as it is defined today would not exist...

pebble in the pond theory.

hmmm.

v/r

Q
 
path_of_one said:
Why? I don't really get why these are related? Paul wrote epistles, which are really different types of writing than prophecy (Revelations) or mythology/history (and I mean that to be "sacred narrative," not "false"- Genesis, Acts, Exodus, the Gospels).
Maybe I'm just being dense...? :confused:
no you are not dense Path. It is because you do not really believe in the bible.:)
We tie things together from what has been written. You search for answers outside of what has been written to explain things.

His writings were letters to the established churches concerning many issues of how they were leaving what was first delivered to us by Jesus & what happened after the book of Acts. The man really did love the Lord Jesus.
Paul also wrote & was given the final mysteries behind who Jesus is & the symbolic woman God was waiting for through Jesus.

There is more to Pauls writings than you realize, such as the upmost importance of faith & prayer, the gifts & fruits of the spirit etc. etc. etc... He backs Jesus & the prophets & the apostles more than 100%, if one takes the time to follow it all the way through.

I do not know why things turned out the way they did, with early Rome & all of that & the 66 books we still have, but what I can say is the Truth has always been kept hidden & safe, until God is ready to reveal it to us and/or we are ready to recieve it.

Now I can direct you to what we are looking at here without Paul via a PM, & they take it all as a joke. Ridding of Paul is just one angle some use to rip the bible to shreds & when they cannot achieve that with a believer, they start in with the other books trying to prove them wrong. It is actually rather odd that some even feel they need to do that, I think. Kind of like jealosy or something.

You do not do this to us Path, & I appreciate that.:)
 
Hey, Bandit--Peace:),

I agree--all the stuff that some people do as an attempt to tear apart the Word? No, path_of_one does not do that.

I believe in examining God's Word. And I know you know that The Word is boundless and unlimited. Certainly, it cannot be confined to print, even with all our best efforts to preserve it. The Word Himself tells us so.:)

Christ Is/Was/Will Always Be with or without Paul. But He chose Paul for a specific mission, and we know that whatever the Lord orders Is/Was/Will Always Be.

InPeace,
InLove
 
Bandit said:
no you are not dense Path. It is because you do not really believe in the bible.:)We tie things together from what has been written. You search for answers outside of what has been written to explain things.
I do believe in the Bible, just not in the way that you do. I understand the tying together stuff- I do this all the time. I just also study history, cultural context, linguistics, etc. because I think this helps illumine what the original authors were saying and doing; it narrows the scope of my misunderstanding down- getting rid of my own inevitable cultural baggage and bias. Of course, I also read with the Spirit, with an inner intuition. And there are certain things about Paul that just don't sit right with that intuition. Maybe in time they will... I'm always open for revisions! ;)

His writings were letters to the established churches concerning many issues of how they were leaving what was first delivered to us by Jesus & what happened after the book of Acts. The man really did love the Lord Jesus.
Paul also wrote & was given the final mysteries behind who Jesus is & the symbolic woman God was waiting for through Jesus.
This is partially why I treat Paul's epistles as I do. I agree that he loved Jesus. So do I. But I don't think either one of us is infallible in our actions or words. Even a saint is human. I also think because the letters were written to certain churches to address certain issues, we have to try to understand how relevant they are for us today- how much of them was speaking to specific problems of the early Christian church and how much to universal issues. For example, Paul says for women to cover their heads in modesty (sounds a bit like Islam, n'est pas?), but I don't know of any mainstream church that follows this "infallible, inerrant" command today. To the best of my knowledge, only the Amish, Mennonites, and Hutterites do this. So, like it or not, we're all interpreting Paul and pulling apart what he meant for the folks of his time versus what he meant for us. As for the final mysteries- well, I guess that's handy for the people who really need the details. It doesn't much matter to me, because my faith in Jesus was always based on the teachings and Spirit, on his life and death, and not the accounts of signs and miracles. So I find all those stories interesting, and certainly relevant in their symbolism in tying Jewish roots to Christ (many of the stories have their roots in the OT, some say by prophecy and others say by the interpretation of the writers of the gospel), but not particularly critical in whether or not they are literal. For me, it matters not whether Jesus literally was born of a virgin, or tempted by an actual physical Satan, or whatever- it is the message behind the symbols (whether literal or not) that matters.

There is more to Pauls writings than you realize, such as the upmost importance of faith & prayer, the gifts & fruits of the spirit etc. etc. etc...
These are the parts I cherish and believe were truly inspired. These are the parts that resonate with my experience of God.

I can say is the Truth has always been kept hidden & safe, until God is ready to reveal it to us and/or we are ready to recieve it.
I completely agree. Probably not in the way that you mean- only from the Bible- but in a broader sense I agree. The Truth is incorruptible and eternal, and it, like God, are revealed when we sincerely seek for them. And as we grow spiritually, God reveals ever more Truth to us.

Ridding of Paul is just one angle some use to rip the bible to shreds & when they cannot achieve that with a believer, they start in with the other books trying to prove them wrong. It is actually rather odd that some even feel they need to do that, I think. Kind of like jealosy or something.

You do not do this to us Path, & I appreciate that.:)
I should hope I don't do that! Like I've said, there's some great stuff in Paul's epistles; some of my favorite passages come from Paul. I don't think he was a bad guy or uninspired or anything, I just don't think inspiration yields perfection and infallibility. I do think, to his (and God's) credit, Paul tried to separate out what he was getting from God and what his own opinions were- all those passages- "from the Lord" and "I, not the Lord"... And we know God was certainly working in Paul to effect the kind of transformation he underwent.

It's an interesting question, if Christianity would have made it to the gentiles without Paul. I'm going to go against the grain and say yes, eventually. In studying comparative religion, you find what I think of as echoes of the Christ and our God in other religions. Some indigenous people had concepts of a great Something beyond all they knew, and many religions have a concept of a sacrificial god whose ultimate gift to humanity of his/her own life allows for the continuity of creation and various gifts to be given to people. I think these were inspired visions that shamans and such the world over had that foreshadowed the Christ. There are legends that Druids prophesied the coming of Jesus (which, according to legend, they were happy about- they already had myths of a Divine Child of Light), and then also prophesied the coming of the Romans with Christianity (which, according to legend, they were not so thrilled with- the Romans did a lot of damage). I think Paul made the right choice by following God, of course, but even if he had used his free will to rebel, Christ would have reached the gentiles. Indeed, in a way, he already was.

I don't think anything should ever be taken out of the Bible. I've found truth and wisdom and beauty- the very Spirit of God- in every book I've read. It is a sacred text and I think the only question I have is one of interpretation.
 
Back
Top