Was the Apostle Paul a liar?

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Clive's picture
Was the Apostle Paul a liar?

This video shows that he was. It shows that:

1. Paul admitted he was a liar in Romans 3:7

2. Paul misquoted the Old Testament several times in order to convert people away from Judaism to his new religion.

Quite a good video but I would say that because it's mine!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC2pSmC8KBk&feature=youtu.be

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CyberLN's picture
Clive, you asked, “Was the

Clive, you asked, “Was the Apostle Paul a liar?”

Perhaps a better question would be, was he real?

Clive's picture
But that's a question that

But that's a question that cannot be answered for sure. I prefer to give answers to questions that I think I can answer

CyberLN's picture
You cannot say for sure if

You cannot say for sure if this Paul person existed but you want to determine if he lied? Do you hear how odd that sounds?

Grinseed's picture
In his book "Not Paul but

In his book "Not Paul but Jesus" published in 1823 Jeremy Bentham uses Acts and the epistles of Paul to reveal an angry, egotistic, manipulative, argumentative, hypocritical, embezzling cheat and liar, who contradicted the then accepted teachings of Yeshua, claiming a direct personal contact with him in the afterlife. As revealed in his letters Paul also declared the teachings he spread to be his own and publicly boasted about having denounced Peter, the chosen 'rock of the church', and openly dissed the twelve established apostles for not having done more than he in spreading the love.

I think the guy was real but a complete neurotic fraud.

A free download of "Not Paul but Jesus" is available here http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/42984.

David Killens's picture
It seems Paul was the

It seems Paul was the prototype TV evangalist.

cranky47's picture
For a slightly different take

For a slightly different take, see "Paul, The Mind of The Apostle" .by A N Wilson (an atheist ,and a favourite historian )

Free to borrow for 14 days from the Internet Archive https://archive.org/details/paul00anwi

My view? Paul may have existed and have may written written some of the letters attributed to him. BUT as with the rest of the New Testament , has little or nothing to with an historical Jesus .

As the Torah is the mythology of Judaism, the New Testament is the mythology of Christianity . There is no contemporary evidence for the existence of Jesus,.

He does come across as a bit of a loon.-- Yet his effect on the religion which came to be called christianity are 'significant' (some writers like to claim the religion should by rights be called 'Paulism')

Paul's epistles are pretty much accepted as the earliest books of the New Testament , having ben written ca 75 c e .More than a generation after the deaths of all the disciples.

We only have Paul's putative word about his epiphany on the road to Damascus. It was a vision (?) From his account, sounds as much like a psychotic episode as the voice of god.

No easy answers that I can see. Possibly part of attraction for this atheist.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Op

@ Op

Cyber LN has the right of it. It is immaterial whether "Paul" lied or not.
Whoever the author was, of those 6 epistles we can ascribe to the same hand, he certainly either lied or his favourite Greek "Luke" lied in Acts as in places they flatly contradict each other.

The rest of the Epistles we know are much later forgeries, even though they appear in canon as authored by this "Paul" (who is only referred to in one instance as an "Apostle" in Acts 14:4, Acts 14:14.

The whole edifice of Pauline christianity depends on this character who communicates with an hallucinatory jesus figure, is subject to attacks of rage and contradicts himself aplenty.

Lies are just not important to this character, as they are unimportant to most theists we meet today.

Clive's picture
"It is immaterial whether

"It is immaterial whether "Paul" lied or not."

It may be immaterial to a non-Christian but I don't think it's immaterial to the average Christian.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Clive

@ Clive

The 'average" christian knows nothing about Paul except selected verses spoon fed to them on a Sunday.
Only the JWs seem to treat almost as their cult leader.

The 'average" christian knows nothing about the origins of their faith. Whether 'Paul; lied or even existed would make little difference if any, to their daily routine.

Grinseed's picture
Granted Old Man and Cyber LN,

Granted Old Man and Cyber LN, but I prefer not to argue whether any of them existed which shuts down discussion with theists and prefer to point out the obvious flaws in the basis of their beliefs they wilfully neglect. Its a better way to sow seeds of doubt.

CyberLN's picture
Interesting thoughts,

Interesting thoughts, Grinseed. I don’t think it always shuts down discussions. In my experience, it actually starts some. It can indeed sow seeds...seeds that teach it is useless to build arguments on faulty assumptions. Perhaps separate situations need to be handled in whatever way seems most effective.

Grinseed's picture
Fair comments Cyber LN. Not

Fair comments Cyber LN. Not all theists are alike in their beliefs and each reacts differently to opposition, but I prefer, rather than to knock them over with bare claims, to undermine things with which they are familiar and may not have properly examined. There is a lot of such material to work with.

Cognostic's picture
@Everyone lies: You would

@Everyone lies: You would have to indicate "What" Paul was lying about and how you know it.

Clive's picture
It's in the video I posted.

It's in the video I posted.

cranky47's picture
@Clive

@Clive

"It's in the video I posted."

Proof? Hardly. The video provides some opinions. None of which this atheist cares about

Is Paul's veracity important to believers? For many, believing in the truth of all of the New Testament is the bedrock of their faith.

My position: The New Testament is the mythology of Christianity. Little if any of it is literally true.

The reality of an historical Jesus or the truth of the New Testament are irrelevant to religion of Christianity. All that is necessary is the BELIEF that it is true. Once that commitment is made ,rationalisations and cognitive dissonance kick in and that faith becomes all but impossible to destroy .

Faith is founded on belief, not reason, and not facts. One's religious faith and world view are absorbed uncritically before the person reaches the the age of reason.

It is my perception that few human beings ever seriously question their world view or religious faith. If they did so, there would be vastly fewer religious believers in the world. In politics, the 'working class tory' would not exist in significant numbers.

'If you could reason with religious people there wouldn't be any" (Greg House )

JoC's picture
I think Clive is simply using

I think Clive is simply using Christian text to support his assertions. Which I think is a good place to start. When debating someone, common ground must be set or else, there's no discussion really. Reading Romans 3:7 in context with Romans 3:8 tells you a different story. It doesn't have an admission by Paul that he's lying about what he's preaching (that wouldn't make sense if he's trying to convert people). Rather, he's trying to show a contradiction which leads to an absurd conclusion.

He's trying to defend himself from people who say he's lying. Did Paul ever lie? I'm going to say that of course he did. Regular people even righteous ones will lie every now and then but the point of the entire Bible story is that even flawed individuals can repent, be forgiven and change for the better.

Open the Bible and it's simply wrought with people doing vile or evil things. But the ones the Bible calls "righteous" are the ones who turn from those evil ways and change for the better.

David did something akin to murder. Paul, at one point, was persecuting Christians. Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery out of jealousy. Etc. Etc.

David Killens's picture
@ JoC

@ JoC

"Open the Bible and it's simply wrought with people doing vile or evil things. But the ones the Bible calls "righteous" are the ones who turn from those evil ways and change for the better."

I believe what you are attempting to describe. But if someone does wrong, just converting their faith should not result in a complete pardon, followed by praise.

JoC's picture
Agreed! It's not a simple

Agreed! It's not a simple conversion of faith that results in complete pardon. These people who are praised in the Bible usually suffer from the effects of their sins before they convert and repent. Of course, they are just people and are prone to sin yet again. There's even a record where Peter (while being head of the church) distanced himself from the gentile converts and was rebuked by Paul for being a hypocrite.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Heh, it's almost like Paul

Heh, it's almost like Paul was the first apologist.

Mhester's picture
Paul never existed and the

Paul never existed and the evidence in support of his mythology can be found in the religious essays of Justin Martyr. JM was a devoted Christian who wrote voluminously about the founding fathers and early Christians. He never once mentions Paul´s name or revelations. Paul was a Roman citizen? There must be a record of his trial and written execution order. None exist. There is plenty more evidence,but it would take a whole page to comment on.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Mhester

@ Mhester

Paul never existed and the evidence in support of his mythology can be found in the religious essays of Justin Martyr

I admit I am no scholar of Justin's works but I was under the impression that he referred to Paul's Epistles:
Viz: "Reflecting his opposition to Marcion, Justin's attitude toward the Pauline epistles generally corresponds to that of the later Church. In Justin's works, distinct references are found to Romans, 1 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, and 2 Thessalonians, and possible ones to Philippians, Titus, and 1 Timothy. It seems likely that he also knew Hebrews and 1 John" Wiki ( no citations I'm afraid)

That quote responds to my early reading of what survives of Justin's works which I read whilst researching Marcion some years ago.

I shall re read what survives of this rabid anti jew, he seemed to be a collector of philosophical baubles sucking carelessly from Philo, Socrates and others.

If you are still around in a couple of weeks we can continue the discussion unless you have any other information you can share with me.

(Edited for clarity)

Mhester's picture
Name me the book and page.

Name me the book and page.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Mhester

@ Mhester

As I said, from memory I cannot. At your prompting I am re reading Justin, as you know his style was a little shall we say...dense? His references would have been (again from memory) not direct attributions, but like his mentions of 'Logos' and the gospels quotations of the verses or ideas.

That was his style.

For you to categorically claim that because he didn't directly mention "Paul" is missing the point, but hey, as I said, let's discuss this some more when I have re read Justin.

Fair?

JoC's picture
This is a strange argument

This is a strange argument from silence which doesn't hold. For it to hold, it must be shown that there is absolutely no reason for Justin Martyr to ever mention Paul. We aren't even sure if he never mentioned Paul as most of his works were lost to history (this is a problem we face when dealing with ancient works, so many of them are lost to history).

I don't even get this idea that the existence of Paul is being disputed. Even scholars like Carrier who doubt the existence of Christ recognize that Paul existed. He must have existed to come up with the letters to the Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon.

Cognostic's picture
Paul Lied, Jesus Lied, God

Paul Lied, Jesus Lied, God Consistently lies, Eve Lies, Adam lied, about the only personality in the entire bible that does not lie is Satan.

Cognostic's picture
I believe the Justin Martyr

I believe the Justin Martyr argument goes something like, "If Paul was such a Great Influence in Christendom, why didn't Justin Martyr mention him? Justin does not copy Paul and seems to know nothing about him. Paul died died 62–64 ce. Justin Martyr - died c. 165, Rome [Italy]; and was one of the most important of the Greek philosopher-Apologists in the early Christian church. Why does he not mention Paul?

The first person to mention Paul is Marcon - died 160 AD, Rome, Italy.

Why is history blank when it comes to Paul?

cranky47's picture
@cognostic

@cognostic

Fair enough question, which provides some doubt.

However ,an argument from silence (that thing is false because it has not been proved to be true) is not proof of absence. It implies absence and is a good place to start ,but not to finish.

As far as I can tell, the historicity of Paul tends to be accepted by scholars as at least probable, based on the available secondary evidence.

The mythicist position for the historicity or Paul and/or Jesus seems to be a minority, although that in itself does not invalidate that argument. So far the historicity of Paul and Jesus, both remain unfalsifiable .

My own position is that AT BEST , I think it may be reasonably claimed that either MAY have existed.

I don't claim to be a biblical scholar, so need to be guided by scholars I think are credible. Recently have been reading Bart Erhman on the history of Christianity. On Paul, am currently wading through "Paul ;The Mind of The Apostle' by A N Wilson . Yes, I know he's a 'popular' writer. However, I find his work scholarly and compelling. (I think his book "The Victorians" is brilliant )

I'm not claiming your position is wrong.Only that I am unconvinced my own position is wrong. I guess I will need to agree to differ, while expanding my knowledge base.

Cognostic's picture
@cranky47: I tend to agree

@cranky47: I tend to agree with your summation. At the same time I believe we have accepted a whole lot of mythology as fact based on traditions handed down by the Church to an extremely ignorant population. Drawing definitive conclusions may not be possible but it certainly is interesting to explore. I would not claim to have a position on the matter. I was merely attempting to offer an explanation for the hypothesis of Paul's non-existence. This was my understanding of how the argument for Paul's non-existence went. Even with that said, we still have 6 Epistles directly attributed to Paul, one in question, and another seven written using his name. Someone thought he was real. Yet, like many Biblical personalities, it becomes increasingly difficult to separate the myth from the reality.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Cog

@ Cog

I have no idea, like most students of this period, why certain events and people should crack a mention and others not.

That a writer did exist that we call "paul" in the mid 1st century is pretty much universally accepted. The writings exist and though there are many reasons to believe that they are NOT by the "Paul"/Saul" described in Acts, we have at least the first three epistles, which, though interpolated and redacted seem to be by the same hand.

That Justin did not mention him directly but only in indirect quotes and paraphrases (from memory) is because of his hatred of Marcion and his heresy which had Paul at its centre.

Justin was also fiercely anti Jew and the anti semitic pogroms of the intervening centuries can be fairly well laid at his polemical door. He seemed to want a jew free christianity more reliant on the Logos and Greeks, I mean he did describe Socrates as a christian so I cannot say I find him a reliable source of anything good.

FreeAtLast's picture
I was a Baptist believer for

I was a Baptist believer for over 40 years, lived in a fundamentalist family who claimed to have studied the bible their whole lives. To this day, they think Paul was one of Jesus's disciples, the original 12 and he wrote his stuff while traipsing around with Big J.
WOW.... When I tell them he was an outsider who never knew J and had a migraine which left him tetched in the head years after Jesus supposedly flew the coop, they just look at me with a Homer Simpson stare.
Needless to say that this and a few other bombs have left us as "shunned" from most of family now. Yes, shunning is real!

LOL... Life can be a trip!

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