If Jesus is Real – then how about St Paul?

stpaul_prayercard_largeThere should be no doubt Jesus Christ was a real person, not a fictional figure – although there might be a little more room for ‘doubt’ (lack of Faith/ incomplete evidence) as to whether or not He was what He claimed to be – or what Chritianity has raised Him up to be.

So what of St Paul of Tarsus from whom we received much of the New Testament in the Holy Bible? Few would deny his existence in reality also, while again there is less ‘certainty’ as to his motives in writing what he did – those can never be ‘proven’ beyond ANY doubt since he is no longer living to be questioned concerning them.

What is known about Paul though, through contemporaries of his, and his works, can be investigated and some conclusions drawn. i would recommend all discover the facts of Paul and draw their own conclusions based upon the evidence – and not biased opinion.

Whatever his motivations concerning his conversion to Christianity in the first century AD there can be little doubt he knew very well that what he was doing was putting himself in extreme danger for very little ‘earthly’ reward. (Paul had himself, under direction of Rome, put many Christians to death for their challenging of the Empire’s domination in the Middle East and Europe, before undergoing his own conversion to the then ‘cult’).

Unlike the ‘prophets’ of today who push the theme of Christianity and gain massive followings and huge bank accounts for their (His) Churches Paul was not able to gain such benefits and was facing (and suffered) imprisonment and worse for his crimes against the Roman Empire – not the most ‘forgiving’ of cultures in a less than ‘enlightened’, non-violent period of our history.

In short – he gave his life for what he believed in after spending many years in Roman ‘house arrest’/prison, all the time continuing to uplift and encourage a minor sect of Judaism to stay true to a new message ‘from God’ through his various ‘letters’ to Christian churches in cities in Eurasia.

That message today is held close to the hearts of  2, 000 million Christians while the ‘original’ religion  – Judaism – now has some 15 million adherents.

Much of those numbers are due to a less than ‘Christian’ adoption of the religion over the 300 and more years after His crucifixion by the same Roman Empire, which was largely dismantled by the 5th century, but through and because of whom almost all of Europe, and thus the rest of the world, came to have Christianity imposed upon them through the force of arms, and later the force of missionary zeal.

Today half of the world’s Christians hold the Pope to be their Supreme Authority on earth (Papa = (Our) Father) and his Seat – The Vatican – lies but a short distance from Rome and uses their language – Latin – in their religious practice.

It is largely thanks to the Reality of Paul that today each one of us is ‘free’ to read for ourselves of the life and teachings of Christ and of how life-changing they can be to us still some 2000 years later.

We do not have to do so because we are required to by an Empire that wishes to avoid internal squabbling that may result in a loss of power and position of that Empire as was previously the case.

We are free to decide the truth for ourselves – every single one of us.

As this most ‘Sacred’ of times approaches again this year i encourage all to reconsider what we believe in a NEW way – in order that He live even closer to us tomorrow than He may today.

Peace.

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6 thoughts on “If Jesus is Real – then how about St Paul?

  1. Hmm. I don’t doubt that Jesus was/is real and the son of God. I also don’t doubt that Paul was real. I just don’t think I would like Paul very much if he lived today. 🙂

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  2. From the Wikipedia entry on St. Paul:

    “a Hellenistic Jew who called himself the “Apostle to the Gentiles, and was, together with Staint Peter and James the Just the most notable of early Christian missionaries. His efforts to accept gentile converts and to define the Torah as superseded by Christ were successful and “decisive.”

    Paul asserted that he received the Gopel not from man, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ, Paul claimed almost total independence from the “mother church” in Jerusalem.”

    Could it be said that Paul was the most influential of the early missionaries in preaching the “new way” of Jesus? That he lead the way for the Christ Followers of today?

    Receiving the “Gospel”, God’s guidance, by the “revelation” of Jesus. Could this be interprated to emphsize the one to one relationship between God/Jesus and a believer?

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  3. Ed – As i see it it is absolutely that.

    If we are to believe Paul his Conversion did not take place until after the death on the cross. Yet he claims Jesus Himself appeared to him.

    I also see this as meaning Paul ‘received’ His Personal Presence within himself so as to change his way of thinking and being.

    Paul gives us the most detail concerning how a ‘Christian’ is to live IN Christ by putting on a ‘New’ man and ‘die’ to the ‘old’ one.

    That is most definitely a one to one relationship with God for which Christ is the ONLY human intercessor needed.

    What concerns me most about Religion is the interference caused by other humans to this most personal of relationships.

    i see far too many people following other fallible, and sometimes untrained, individuals to someone else’s idea of Christ.

    They then turn into Catholics, or Anglicans, Or Baptists, or Methodists, or Jehovah’s Witnesses or…. and only they are ‘true’ christians 🙄 Showing a lack of Love to any other human being is not being Christian.

    Yes – we are all different and see things differently, but all should come to Christ in exactly the same way to begin the relationship, then, even though we be different members of the one Body none would be antagonistic toward another and the ludicrous situation of Catholics fighting Protestants as in Northern Island, because of ‘their’ Religion and their human fallibility would never occur.

    That sort of ‘christian’ behaviour contributed to my initial (and to somewhat continuing degree of) inability to consider the message of Christ and of God.

    As i think it does for a number of us today.

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  4. “That sort of ‘christian’ behaviour contributed to my initial (and to somewhat continuing degree of) inability to consider the message of Christ and of God.”

    I agree Love, I wanted nothing to do with the church after I was ‘raised’ in a church and went to christian school because everyone I met were hypocrites sadly. I never experienced love from the church.

    In the end I tried to just ‘stick with God’ and leave the church out of it, but it was difficult. It seems wrong to say that God is not the church today. And what we see at church today is not God. But sometimes that is true.

    Last year I moved to a different city and got involved in church there which for the first time in my life showed me what ‘christian love’ and ‘church’ really is and gave me hope to believe again.

    Sadly I had to move again and even though I attend church now I still haven’t found true love or true church again. I could be the problem I realise (not trying to criticise church).

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  5. Rain & Love I see we all did have the same first experience with “religion”, a negative one.

    One of the most interesting, and unexpected, things I have seen in reading the blogs of my Christian friends is how many have, to at least to some degree, a negative view of the word religion, as it applies to many of the major church organizations.

    As I see it your relationship with God needs be one to one. A Church, and church leaders, can help you improve your connection to God but in the end God must make his presence know to you personally in some manner.

    I think the Bible, which can also help improve your connection ot God, has so much information, and so many different interpretations, it can only effectively be study with the help of someone who has the experience to help guide you. In the end you must still come up with your own interpretation of what the words mean to you..

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