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-Was The Apostle Paul a Fake and a Spy?

by Dr. D ~ December 6th, 2008

International Spy Museum

(Picture of Spy Museum via Wikipedia)

LEXINGTON, VA: – The head of the history department at Virginia Military Institute suggests that the Apostle Paul faked his conversion and was really a spy for the Romans.

Col. Rose Mary Sheldon of VMI, presented her thesis last week at the International Spy Museum in Washington DC. It was based upon research that she did as co-author of “Operation Messiah: St. Paul, Roman Intelligence and the Birth of Christianity“.

According to her theory, Paul faked his conversion on the road to Damascus so he could infiltrate Christian congregations and report to Rome on the suspicious new group.

<<Read my response to this ridiculous theory>>             *Top

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6 Responses to -Was The Apostle Paul a Fake and a Spy?

  1. rey

    Paul faked his conversion so he could introduce the bloody eucharist of eating Jesus’ body and blood and effect the goal that the Pharisees hired him to achieve — i.e. the final separation of Christianity from Judaism and the rendering of Christianity impotent as far as converting Jews is concerned. Prior to Paul’s conversion, Christianity was good at converting Jews. After Paul’s conversion, what’s the conversion rate of Jews to Christianity? 10 per century?

  2. Dr. D

    rey,
    The idea that Paul introduced the Eucharist has no historical or scriptural support. The idea that Paul faked his conversion makes no sense. If so, he could have avoided numerous beatings, times in prison, and eventual death. Also, Jewish conversions continued way past Paul’s lifetime and basically ended when the church became the state religion (4th century)and unfortunately started to persecute Jews.

    Up to the 4th century there were a considerable number of people who identified themselves as both Jewish and Christian. John Chrysostom (347–407) Archbishop of Constantinople in particular persecuted Jewish Christians that wanted to maintain their Jewish identity and forced thousands to drop their connection with the Jewish community and choose between Christianity or Judaism. After that, Jewish conversions naturally fell.

  3. SEUN AYOADE

    JESUS NEVER EXISTED, SO THERE WAS NO “SAVIOR” FOR PAUL TO EITHER GENUINELY OR PURORTEDLY CONVERT TO. THE PEOPLE WHO INVENTED JESUS PULLED OFF ONE OF THE GREATEST FRAUDS IN HUMAN HISTORY.

  4. Dr. D

    Seun, There is more historical evidence for the existence of Jesus than any other comparable historical figure. Besides Jesus is still alive and appearing to folks today. I personally know a few who have seen Him. Also there is a reality to Christianity that has continued on in the lives of believers in Jesus for nearly 2000 years since he gives each one His Spirit to inspire and and bring joy and fulfillment in this life. He has not left us alone but is with us to the end of the Age just like he said.

  5. SEUN AYOADE

    PLEASE PROVIDE ME WITH THE ACTUAL HISTORICAL EVIDENCE FOR JESUS’ EXISTENCE. THE ROMANS WERE FINICKY RECORD KEEPERS YET NO ROMAN RECORD OF JESUS EXISTS. THE FIRST RECORD IS IN THE BOOK “THE JEWISH WARS” WRITTEN 30 YEARS AFTER JESUS’ PURPORTED DEATH. AND ONLY ONE PARAGRAPH. SURELY A MAN WHO COULD DO SUCH WONDERS WOULD HAVE HAD SO MANY BOOKS WRITTEN ABOUT HIM.

  6. Dr. D

    SEUN,
    There are only a hand full of writings of any kind extant from the first century so your expectation that there should be many books about Jesus is a misunderstanding of the historical realities and environment of the time. Here’s a quote from an article I have written on this subject in the past- -The Earliest Historical References to Jesus and Christianity:

    One of the major criticisms I hear all the time to the 1st century origins of Christianity is the lack of collaborative historical references from contemporary Roman writers. It is true that the movement was somewhat under the Roman radar in the 1st century and there are only a few passing references for us to consider. However, in the final analysis ‘silence’ is not a very compelling argument as far as I’m concerned.

    However, in this article we are going to take a look at what references there are extant from that period but only the most reliable and least disputed.

    Fact is, we have only a few historical writings extant from the first century period. It is not surprising that some small ‘Jewish’ group would not really rise to the attention of the Roman writers at the time. Besides what they did write about Judaism proper at the time shows that they really didn’t even have a good clue. If what they said about the Jews (who numbered in the millions and were scattered all around the empire in every major city) cannot be trusted than why do we have any expectations that any references to early Christians would be all that accurate or satisfying?

    For example you could write a whole book on ‘what Pliny forgot to mention’ yet it would be meaningless in this discussion. What did Pliny the Elder even say about Judaism? He may have referenced the Essenes community on the Dead Sea in a passing geographical reference in ‘Naturalis Historia’ but nothing about the religion per se.

    Tell me what did any of the Roman writers say about any other Jewish religious group? That is what early Christians were to the Romans, merely another Jewish group that caused trouble.

    Tacitus did write fancifully and with disdain about the Jews and their origins. The accuracy of his history here is laughable. Then he writes about the dealings of the Romans with Judea with far more certainty including the beginnings of the Jewish War and preparation for the assault on the walls of Jerusalem. All in the first 13 pages of Book 5 of his ‘Histories’. Unfortunately we only have 26 pages of Book 5 extant. Read a few pages and you will see what I mean about its accuracy on Judaism.

    Also Tacitus did reference a group associated with the Fire of Rome in 64 AD/CE that Nero placed the blame on:

    “…Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite punishments on a class hated for their disgraceful acts, called Chrestians by the populace. Christ (probably Chrestus in the original), from whom the name had its origin. …”

    Suetonius also references Roman persecution of this group of Chrestiani who followed a leader called Chrestus:

    “As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he [ Claudius ] expelled them [the Jews] from Rome”

    Neither the Tacitus or Suetonius reference says a whole lot about the group in question but the references do square with early Christian recollection.

    Those who want to say that these ‘Chrestians’ were some other group called ‘the Goodies’ (which is what the word means) and a follower of a leader called ‘the Good guy’ are rather disingenuous and unconvincing particularly since the group in question was a Jewish group. Show me any references to another Jewish group with a name that sounds suspiciously like Christians? Unlikely and pretty far-fetched. It is far more likely that the Romans merely misunderstood their real nickname and tagged them with a similar sounding one instead.

    Besides Tacitus, what did any of the other Roman writers say about the revolt of Judea in 66-70 AD/CE and groups and the leaders involved? Yet it was a major military campaign and we have the coins to show for it? What we do have comes mostly from Josephus.

    Josephus and Philo?

    While we are at it Josephus did mention John the Baptist and James the Just (an early Christian leader and brother of Jesus). However his statement about Jesus is disputed and obviously has been heavily tampered with to the point that it is hard to be certain exactly what he did originally say.

    Origen mentions the Josephus references in “Against Celsus” circa 248 AD/CE and makes it plain that Josephus did not believe that Jesus was the Christ or Messiah. But by 325 and the writing of Eusebius, Josephus is quoted in its current form with the statement-“He was the Christ”. Obviously in the interim changes had been made to the text. Even greater and more obvious additions can be observed in the Slavonic editions of Josephus which were derived from the Aramaic manuscripts of his works.

    Nevertheless, most historians believe that Josephus did reference Jesus in some form or another even if we can’t fully recover his exact statement.

    What about Philo? Some ask why he didn’t mention Jesus and early Christianity since he was a contemporary. I would like to know what he had to say about the Herodians. He was close to that ruling family and a nephew even married into it but he seems to be rather silent when it comes to that very interesting group of folks. Ditto for the Ananias High Priestly family in Jerusalem which he might have been directly related to.

    Conclusions

    Point is, silence from ancient sources doesn’t really mean whole lot. Many documents cited by ancient writers are no longer extant and some have obviously been tampered with. A lot of what we do have is obviously inaccurate (ie. Tacitus on Jewish origins and history). Plus there were not that many sources in the first place.

    Nevertheless, it is obvious from the sources we do have that Christianity had its beginning in the first century and was becoming a large enough movement to cause the Romans some concerns by the time Pliny the Younger mentions it in 112 AD/CE.

    From the same article here is what I wrote about Christian documents from the first century:NT Writings:

    The earliest writings that reference Jesus and early Christianity are those of Paul written between 48-60 AD/CE -beginning roughly 15 years after the death of Jesus.

    In I Corinthians he writes about the Last Supper and the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus. In Chapter 15 he names Peter, James the brother of Jesus, and the Apostles, plus himself and 500 others as those who had seen Jesus after his resurrection. In Galatians he claims that he received the Gospel directly from the resurrected Jesus.

    The Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke-Acts were written before 70 AD/CE. Probably between 55-66 (22-32 years afterwards). Internal references and evidence pretty much precludes a later date considering the Jewish War (66-70) and the changes that followed. Most scholars contend that these 3 Gospels contained earlier common and diverse source material that may have circulated orally.

    We also have the Ryland’s fragment of the Gospel of John that has been dated as early as 117 AD/CE and found in Egypt quite a ways down the Nile which indicates that the original was produced much earlier. Most scholars believe that the Gospel of John was written around 90 AD/CE well within the lifetime of John the Apostle who lived to the beginning of the 2nd century.

    In Conclusion
    :
    More important than the historical evidences are the current testimonies of people who have seen Jesus in this generation. People in Muslim lands with little or no contact with the Christian church are being converted by the thousands due to appearances and visions of Jesus today. even in secular modern America I personally know at least a dozen folks who have seen Jesus and some who have talked to him including one of my own sons. He is not dead but alive and continues to visit his people today.

    Christianity is not a dead formal religion but one which is alive and the works of Jesus continue in our midst with millions of people testifying of changed lives for the better and He continues to give every believer His Spirit for guidance and comfort. Also the miracles and healings continue in his church today. People are healed in the local church I minister in nearly every week So Jesus is alive and His church continues to grow faster than any other human organization or religion. Unfortunately Christians in the 21th century are still persecuted for their faith in many lands but the church continues to grow even where it is illegal.

    For example, in modern times the communist Chinese government tried to shut down the church in 1949 when there were only 900,000 Christians in the country. They closed all of the churches and kicked out or jailed all of the leaders. But Today there are over 100 million Christians in China and the church is growing exponentially. What happen? According to the testimony of Chinese Christian believers, Jesus and his angels appeared to many and chose new leaders and continues to do so today.

    Bottom line, Christianity is not a dead historical religion that relies upon the myth of someone or something that happened 2,000 years ago but is alive and growing today and cannot be stopped.