Where there Christians before Paul?

Ig
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Where there Christians before Paul?

I'm not in the mood to read through all of Rooks writings and hope someone can shed some light on this simple question.

Where there Christians before Paul? If so, wouldnt this imply that there was an actual person that they followed?


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Dude, you may want to change

Dude, you may want to change the title of the thread. The grammar is, well, um...bad.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Ig
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Thanks for the suggestion. I

Thanks for the suggestion. I realized it as soon as I posted it(you can see I used "where there" in the actual post) but not going to bother with it. Eye-wink


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Bump.

Bump.


darth_josh
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I'm going on what little

I'm going on what little that I have learned so far and say, "Yes. There were christians before Paul." However they were not labeled as christians.

There were jewish sects that believed that jesus had come, left his message with disciples and then left to return at a later date.

One such sect, the essenes, followed the 'law' according to scriptures that they accepted. The original cafeteria christians of the ancient world, the essenes, believed that they could attain immortality of the soul by living a 'clean' life. Later, their ideals were adopted or they simply became the 'gnostics' or 'knowers'. Many of these same 'laws' are found in the epistles of Paul. As well as the general ideology concerning psycke(body mind) and pneuma(spirit soul) splitting and revealing one's true inner self through rules discovered in dreams and ceremonies as well as older prophecies. The psycke could corrupt the pneuma which had to remain pure to attain heaven.

The man jesus never needed to exist because his was allegedly a pure spirit on another realm. He was nothing but a revelation to them about how to live. It was merely continuing the story much as a sequel in a movie for them. The concept of jesus was needed to restore/reaffirm their beliefs so they created their revealer of truth.

These jewish outcasts settled in the dead sea area. That's right. The alleged Dead Sea Scroll writers were coptic gnostics/essenic jews and it can be evidenced in their writing style.

What role did Paul play in this? He went to Caesarea for three years. Why? It is expected that is where Paul learned his truth about the idea of jesus. Given a snippit by someone, Paul decided to learn about it and then use it to change what he apparently saw as a bad world using this religion. Paul's trips and subsequent letters were calculated political outings against his former employers.

Galatia, Ephesus, Thessalonica, Phillipi, were centers of unrest in the years where the 'revealer' was supposed to have existed. Paul would have known much of this strife growing up in Tarsus just south of Galatia.

Conversion of masses was necessary in order to maintain the growth of a religious ideal that preached celibacy/chastity. In the 'Acts of Paul', a heretical manuscript allegedly denigrated by Tertulian that you might never have read, showed Paul preaching alongside a chaste woman known as Thecla, raising dead in competition, and allowing Thecla to be persecuted at the hands of the Roman patriarchs in some of the cities he visited. Whether or not, these 'Acts' are true matters not because it is merely a story attached to the ideal.

Thecla appears nowhere in the canonical scriptures because later it is Paul himself that disavows the idea of female preachers. 1 Cor. 14:34-35

 

Sooooo, to wrap up, the best way for you to understand what and how formed the early church, is to do the reading.

For a starting point, I recommend reading the 'apocrypha'.

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Ig
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Thanks darth. Due to my

Thanks darth. Due to my ignorance on the subject, I'm going to play it safe and just presume someone existed. I'm getting lazy in my old age and not in the mood for a lot of research. The Internet is a constant
bombardment of information and there's only so much one can take.

It doesn't matter to me personally but I think it's an important subject that anyone interested should pursue. If you've done your research and concluded that he was just a myth, push it.

 P.S. See Christians. We are even skeptical of atheist positions. Eye-wink


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Would it be fair to compare

Would it be fair to compare Paul and Jesus to Stalin and Marx? One perverts (debatable) the ideology of the other for political/religious gain (i.e. power over people for whatever ends). And by Jesus I would actually mean the Essenes and Gnostics, those who initiated the ideals. I'm trying to see if Paul 'hijacked' a nascent movement and turned it into something militant. Was it already militant? Was Paul especially a nasty guy? I'm looking to see if this comparison is appropriate or not. (Caveat: I know little about Stalin, Marx, or Paul, only what I hear third hand in forums like this one.)

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Ig, Absolutely. jesus

Ig,

Absolutely. jesus mythicism is the exact same position as atheism methodologically.

theist asserts that god exists. atheist says, "Prove it to me."

christian asserts jesus existed and exists. jesus mythicist says, "Prove it to me."

It may sound like historians are just being obnoxious, but if you allow one presupposition of existence then the slippery slope of cognitive dissonance is 'lubed up and ready.' All they need is one piece to base their entire religious ideology upon in order to maintain their 'faith'.

If you let them accept on faith that jesus existed then everything he said was real and gradually everything he allegedly did was real, and everything that he supposedly declared that he will do is real.

Why?

Because you allowed the initial presupposition that this supernatural do-gooder was real without requiring proof. If jesus had never declared himself to be the 'son of god' or allegedly performed all of the miracles then he would probably have been nothing more than a Judean philosopher. Unfortunately, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

 

natural,

No. We have writings in their own words. Contemporary enemy attestation. Photographs. Kruschev, Stalin's successor, moved his body. Tons of contemporary evidence for both men in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The amount of evidence for writing letters(the epistles) would be the letters themselves. Paul's letters talk about nearly the same ideology of coptic gnosticism. We have them assembled by two or more people from their original texts. Historians closer to Paul's time gathered the letters together. Paul didn't really 'do' anything besides preach and write so it doesn't take a bunch of evidence to prove his existence unlike some guy that died and resurrected 36 hours later only to disappear.

I suppose that I've never thought of comparing Paul with Stalin or Marx. The main difference that I can see is that Marx was JUST a writer, Stalin was JUST a doer, and Paul was both.

I'd also say that Stalin and Paul would be a good comparison because both of them learned their respective ideologies from others and then bastardized them. that's just my opinion.

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Ig
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Yeah I was thinking along

Yeah I was thinking along those lines lately.

 I guess my position is there is no evidence to make Jesus a historical figure.

One thing I am wondering about is are there other historical figures  that are widely accepted that have no contemporary evidence?


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darth_josh

darth_josh wrote:

natural,

No. We have writings in their own words. Contemporary enemy attestation. Photographs. Kruschev, Stalin's successor, moved his body. Tons of contemporary evidence for both men in the 19th and 20th centuries.

That's not what I was talking about. It's not about existence, it's about the process that occurred in history. You know the saying history repeats itself, right? I'm wondering if Paul's usurping of Christianity from the 'Jesus' mystics is similar, i.e. is an example of history repeating itself, to Stalin's usurping of Marxist philosophy.

I don't believe Jesus existed, but I do believe that people existed who invented Jesus for some philosophical/spiritual reason. I'm concerned with the whole Paul vs. Stalin comparison. 

Quote:
The main difference that I can see is that Marx was JUST a writer, Stalin was JUST a doer, and Paul was both.

Then who came up with Stalinism? Someone other than Stalin? Forgive me, I'm not very well educated about that period in history. 

Quote:
I'd also say that Stalin and Paul would be a good comparison because both of them learned their respective ideologies from others and then bastardized them. that's just my opinion.

That's my main question. I wonder if, as there often is, any deeper connections, like similar/parallel life experiences or whatnot. Did they do other similar things. Stalin started an aggressive political movement (I guess), did Paul as well (aside from the religious text itself)? There are similarities between various people in history, and sometimes they run deep. I'm wondering if there is a deep similarity, or if it's just shallow.

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natural wrote: That's my

natural wrote:

That's my main question. I wonder if, as there often is, any deeper connections, like similar/parallel life experiences or whatnot. Did they do other similar things. Stalin started an aggressive political movement (I guess), did Paul as well (aside from the religious text itself)? There are similarities between various people in history, and sometimes they run deep. I'm wondering if there is a deep similarity, or if it's just shallow.

Actually, I believe that a valid case for a political movement on Paul's part can be made. However, not for the same reasons as Stalin's.

Judea was nothing more than breeding grounds for slaves to the Romans. A religion that allows you to sell your virgin daughters rather than pay for them to be married was perfect for them. Try to find a real virgin in Rome circa 50CE.

Corinth and Phillipi were major stopover points for the slave trade. Here you have daughters soon to become mothers to Roman soldiers. How to stop it? Tell them sex is bad because christ said so. The original abstinence education except with an alleged divine threat of losing your spirit.

This had been going on for over 100 years. Pompeii(Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus) took Judea in 63BCE. In 48BCE Pompeii lost control over Judea and Julius Caesar took control setting up what was going to be his constant supply of poverty stricken slaves. For the next 100 years, life was awful never knowing if you had to sell the child to keep the others because in order to be a free Judean citizen you had to buy yourself or your parents had to buy you.

Meanwhile, your own religious leaders were waiting for the messiah that would lead them out of this existence of servitude yet again according to their folklore. However, they had to play good in order to maintain any power over their situation. Rome also had to play nice because it would be bad for business to endanger the supply in their economic chain.

This sets up the need for a 'christ' figure.

 

Stalin was a power hungry man that used the precepts of Lenin's socialism to further his own ends and the rest of Russia be damned. In WW2, Stalin ordered the 'scorched earth' policy which meant that Soviet soldiers were to pillage their own villages and take whatever they could in order to prevent the Nazis from capitalizing on their gains. The eight years after WW2 under 'Stalinism' if you want to call it that, were some of the most wasted pieces of life for those in the places between Moscow and Berlin and Kiev and Berlin. Stalin's paranoia over the west's intentions led him to establish his military technology centers far to the east. Irkutsk is now the Russian space program's headquarters. [Side note: some people believe that Russia is trying to duplicate the CERN LHC somewhere near there. Conspiracy hypothesis]

To wrap up,

Paul used christianity = YES Why? = He believed in it and wanted political change for the better. It didn't work because he didn't account for people's natural tendency towards non-conformity. As evidenced by today's 33,830+ denominations.

Stalin used socialism = YES Why? = Power alone. He didn't believe in any of its doctrine nor did he care. He used the people to win a war and gain more power. It didn't work because he had sapped all of mother Russia's resources wastefully and failed to see needed infrastructure beyond the 'five year plans'. It was so far gone that Malenkov, Kruschev, Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko, Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and Putin have not been able to put it back together in its pre WW2 state. Some say, the dream of Soviet Socialist Russia is dead.

 As far as deeper connections... I don't see any, but I'll keep Paul in mind as I continue studying Russian and Kievan Rus history.

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Ig wrote: Yeah I was

Ig wrote:

Yeah I was thinking along those lines lately.

I guess my position is there is no evidence to make Jesus a historical figure.

One thing I am wondering about is are there other historical figures that are widely accepted that have no contemporary evidence?

As far as I know, there is only one source for information regarding Boadicea, the Iceni queen that led the revolt against the Romans in 60CE, and that is Tacitus in 109CE. Hardly contemporary. However, there are statues in honor of Boadicea's revolt and the folklore remains. She's one of my favorite examples of the need for a 'saviour' from the Romans. Brittania was just another slave state.

Unlike jesus, Boadicea was just a warrior queen and she died in a hopeless battle with no miracles performed or promises to come back later.

20 years after Boadicea's revolt was put down, Calgacius led yet another revolt. He also has no contemporary proof and we have quotes from him.

 

[edited because I had to take out my 'lol's as punctuation marks for Ophios if he reads this. lol]

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Great reply, DJ, that's

Great reply, DJ, that's exactly what I was looking for. So far it looks like a bit of a shallow connection.

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