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What are your thoughts on the Jesus-Paul debate?

Do you think that Paul's writings were a natural development of the teachings of Jesus OR do you think he took things in a different direction than Jesus intended? What do you think would have become of Christianity without Paul's influence?

What do you think of quotes like these?

"Paul was the first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus'.~Thomas Jefferson

"My long-time view about Christianity is that it represents an amalgam of two seemingly immiscible parts--the religion of Jesus and the religion of Paul. Thomas Jefferson attempted to excise the Pauline parts of the New Testament. There wasn't much left when he was done, but it was an inspiring document."~Carl Sagan

Everyone has a right to interpret the Bible as they wish, and I respect that. I'm just curious about other perspectives on this, but I'm asking because I personally have questioned Paul's authority and lack of emphasis on good deeds which seems to contradict many of the teachings of Jesus and his emphasis on faith in Jesus alone while Jesus seems to imply faith alone is not enough, it's through love and compassion that people are 'saved'.

Answer Question

Asked by pam19 at 1:20 PM on Dec. 28, 2010 in Religious Debate

Level 30 (42,186 Credits)
Answers (80)
  • Considering that Jesus gave Paul the authority to write what He did, I believe they were a natural development.

    Answer by -Eilish- at 1:24 PM on Dec. 28, 2010

  • I think , like any other person, Paul put his own spin and opinions into what he wrote. Sure, he may have based it on what Jesus told him, but if you just read it, without trying to read something into it, you can plainly see it was Paul's feelings and biases coming out more than what Jesus taught.

    Just my opinion.

    Answer by SpiritedWitch at 1:26 PM on Dec. 28, 2010

  • I personally don't care too much for Paul's writings. After all, he is the one who basically said all women should sit at the back of the church and shut up as well as the only reason to get married is if you can't control your sexual desires (no, this is not an exact quote, and yes I do know the history behind these, but it still does not make them the word of God, but only the word of Paul). It sounds to me like a lot of Paul's writings were allowed in because he had the same frame of thought as the Catholic church-government of the time (when the Bible was put together and became known as the Bible). I don't really see a lot of it lining up with the teachings of Jesus himself.

    Answer by scout_mom at 1:28 PM on Dec. 28, 2010

  • took things in a different direction than Jesus intended

    Answer by MamaK88 at 1:46 PM on Dec. 28, 2010

  • Paul wrote about Grace.. The is exactly what Jesus did on the Cross... It was grace what He did for us.
    What you are failing to see is Jesus was still in the OLD testament and everything he did was setting up for grace.
    I find a lot of what Paul said did line up with the heart of Jesus. There is no argument for me. Paul's writtings are fantastic, eye opening and freeing... Just the way Jesus wanted it.
    Scout Mom.... if you read the passages about the women correctly and have an understanding of what was going on during that time you would not come to the conclusion you came to. Too many people scratch the surface on the scriptures and do not dig in deep enough and come up with wrong perceptions of what is being said. This is the man reason why people have problems with Paul and the things he shared via Holy Spirit.

    Answer by Shaneagle777 at 1:47 PM on Dec. 28, 2010

  • Actually, Shaneagle, I do have an understanding of the time in which this was written as well as the time in which the Bible was put together. This is why I have come to the conclusions I have.

    Answer by scout_mom at 1:52 PM on Dec. 28, 2010

  • i agree w/ TJ & Sagan...i personally like the NT better without 90% of Paul's writings. i dont doubt Paul's intentions were good but there are places where Paul even says these are his words, not God's...yet ppl seem to forget that. i also dislike how Paul's words are often given credence over Jesus' which is just sad (not Pauls fault, either). i think Christianity would be more genuine to Jesus if Paul either hadnt written anything or if his letters to specific church's werent included in the NT. i truly believe Paul's letters to churches are NOT inspired or meant to be doctrine, but rather his opinion on their specific church problems.

    Answer by okmanders at 1:57 PM on Dec. 28, 2010

  • Seeing as how I was not picked to be on the Cannonization Board, I will accept it as it is without the picking and choosing.
    Mankind should not be trying to interpret the Bible IMO, but rather simply letting God speak to you-individually-through it.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 2:01 PM on Dec. 28, 2010

  • I could not agree with you more, okmanders!

    Answer by scout_mom at 2:24 PM on Dec. 28, 2010

  • There are many people question whether Paul really had authority, but I know there are a lot of people who believe he did too.

    Like I said, I respect that other people might read the Bible and come to different conclusions than I did, and I wouldn't assume that someone who has read the Bible would always have the same interpretation of it. I also wouldn't assume that someone hasn't read the Bible thoroughly just because their interpretation is different than mine either. There are a lot of perspectives within Christianity (hence the number of denominations out there), and there is just as much debate between religious scholars and Biblical Archaeologists as well.

    If you're curious, this is the discussion that made me think of this question:

    Where in the Bible does Jesus say..


    Comment by pam19 (original poster) at 2:28 PM on Dec. 28, 2010

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