Paul's struggle with the old and the new?

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
I'm confused about what you're saying. Are you saying that Paul would never have taken a Nazarite vow, a vow of separation to God as detailed in Numbers 6? This Nazarite vow - which obviously the men James referred to had taken - were to shave their heads and offer A SACRIFICE (which Paul was paying for) I know some think that sacrifices are ALL totally fulfilled in Christ, but there were other sacrifices unrelated to Jesus' death, like this one. 30 years after Jesus' ascension Paul is paying for this vow animal sacrifice. Food for thought...
What I am saying is that Paul was determined to teach that the law was no longer required. Yet, we see where the disciples were upset that he did so, and wanted him to take a vow to show there was no truth in this. Acts said he did so. Can't believe he would have done that. Whether it was a Nazerite vow or other is beside the point.
 

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
He even got so frustrated with this that he said he wished they would go all the way and emasculate themselves.
1Now, brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12As for those who are agitating you, I wish they would proceed to emasculate themselves!
So we have a contradiction. Did Paul take a vow to show he did or did not teach circumcision. I take Paul's own words over Luke's second + hand
 

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
Acts;
20 When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. 21 They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses,telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs. 22 What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, 23 so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. 24 Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law.
 
We know Paul didn't believe that circumcision was NECESSARY for salvation...he made that clear in Acts 15....but we know he believed in circumcision as a sign of a circumcised heart because in the VERY NEXT chapter, Acts 16, Paul circumcises Timothy. Paul would not have circumcised Timothy unless he believed it was still a covenant sign...
 
What I am saying is that Paul was determined to teach that the law was no longer required. Yet, we see where the disciples were upset that he did so, and wanted him to take a vow to show there was no truth in this. Acts said he did so. Can't believe he would have done that. Whether it was a Nazerite vow or other is beside the point.
Also, I think you are misreading Acts 21. James wanted Paul to show the Jews that he was still "walking orderly" by cleansing himself with those men and paying for the animal sacrifice. James didn't ask Paul to take a vow....only to pay for those who had. The vow that was to be taken required long periods of time...time enough for your hair to grow out. The hair would be shaved at the end of the vow. Anyway, saying that there's no way Paul would have done any of this is an argument from silence. The context of Acts 21 shows that whatever James suggested that he do to show the Jews he still walked in the Law, he did. verse 26 says that right after James suggested it, that Paul took those men.
 

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
Whether Paul did anything like shave his head, pay, etc.... is beside the point. Did he agree to take part in custom to show that customs are required? Did Paul want to be one of the gang so much that he let peer pressure push him into participating in a manipulated illusion that contradicted his beliefs and teaching?
 

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
The bulk of Paul's teaching and writings show his constant fight with the law trying to creep into grace. There is no grace if there is any law. It can't be 50/50, or 10/90. It's 100% grace
 
Whether Paul did anything like shave his head, pay, etc.... is beside the point. Did he agree to take part in custom to show that customs are required? Did Paul want to be one of the gang so much that he let peer pressure push him into participating in a manipulated illusion that contradicted his beliefs and teaching?
Then why did he take the men, when James suggested he take them? Can anyone read Acts 21 and see anything but that Paul was showing the Jews that he, too, obeyed the Law? Why, in your opinion, did Paul circumcise Timothy?
 

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
Then why did he take the men, when James suggested he take them? Can anyone read Acts 21 and see anything but that Paul was showing the Jews that he, too, obeyed the Law? Why, in your opinion, did Paul circumcise Timothy?
Then why did he take the men, when James suggested he take them? Can anyone read Acts 21 and see anything but that Paul was showing the Jews that he, too, obeyed the Law? Why, in your opinion, did Paul circumcise Timothy?
Again, your assuming Acts as factual, I am not. That's my whole point. Pauls words or Lukes words about Paul
 

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
The writer of Luke was not whom we think he was. And he never claimed to be. He only said that he had investigated these things. He was not an eyewitness. So therefore as one might expect, embellishments occur. Only bad thing is that much of Lukes writing is not from investigation but rather plagiarizing from Mark and an unknown source named Q. It's easily seen in his writing called "editorial fatigue". He should have just gave over his copy of Mark instead of passing it off as his work. And Matthew did the same.
 

Israel

Senior Member
Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

Were you or I to write this in any adversarial setting, how much might come under a scrutiny to the end of accusation?

As in "Hey buddy...YOU...don't have the right to decide or make any attempt to present yourself in any certain way in differing situations, or among differing folks...that's called hypocrisy!"

Or "Hey buddy...YOU...can't and don't 'save anyone' "

Or...look at that last line..."Hey buddy, I suspected you were very much self engaged in what all this provides for you, so all this talk about being unselfish and living for another is just so much baloney...you obviously are interested in what you get out of it".

I don't doubt I have caused much eye strain, been rightly held liable for the crime of boredom and being more tedious than aunt Bertha explaining why the Hummels aren't toys and you can't play with them when you visit. Or seeking to be clever in prose. And ending up rather...prosaic.

And any hint anyone has ever had to a self interest, I won't now attempt to gaslight...you been right all along. (if you don't know what gaslighting is as a rather frequently applied term in the age of LOL and virtue signaling...the internet stands ready to serve.)

I'm more slippery than an eel when it comes to self justification.

I think I'm just a man seeking to make heads and tails out of stuff that's just so plainly beyond my own comprehension. And honestly the scriptures seem to raise an equal number of questions in that particular moment I believe I have found an answer to any particular one.

Someone, it appears, not only wanted me to be, but is also (and no less) keeping me in being. There are lots of presumptions/assumptions I have made to this plainly obvious (to me) thing. There is no comfort to be found in any presumption about being kept in being. The moment I assume it speaks anything...as in..."I got through that, and am still here...therefore I must occupy some place of approval..." Boy! I can find another thing...being kept...no less...

The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve (read keep) the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

And no less, if in any moment I try to "tip" the scales to myself to escape that fearful knowing, again, as in "but I am the righteous I believe in Jesus Christ" or worse "then look at how many temptations I have resisted!" I am pressed to see the how many times I have acted unfaithfully to the One in whom I say I believe...and all the many temptations...I have fallen to. Even after claiming to "know Him".

No, if I look to the writings for justification...it's just a wash...for I'll so easily insert myself into whatever is most convenient to myself...and find there...the inescapable knowing...what is written can just as easily be turned to my condemnation. To me it then becomes obvious...if there be any hope at all, it cannot even be in things most seemingly noble and right...(and exalted as such by so many appearing compatriots), as the writings.

I well understand how easily such an exposition as above can be turned to "this man is preaching no usefulness is found in the scripture" And, that would be a lie. Rather, they are of no use to me as source of salvation. O! But they testify to such a thing, but no less testify to a fearful condemnation. And to believe in either is not possible unless believing...in both. Trying to "tip the scales" so to speak, from either desire or dread terror, for me, has become, as said, a wash. A complete (if one can receive this description) zero sum game.

But when terror is known...this notion of "game", and any disposition toward having appeared so, is crushed under the awful and terrible weight of a revelation (may I say it is so...a revelation?) of an inexpressible "highness of stake" that is at hand. Any "gaming" I have been disposed to seeing and deported myself in accord to, is made so clearly source of condemnation...that only one plea, perhaps the only one true thing I am able to ever have, or ever have been formed to utter, comes.
It is not "reasoned to", it is not considered as in "this would be a good thing to say" nor has anything of "my reason" I could assign to it...it's simply the only thing that there can be said..."Lord, save me!" It's all and only what I am able to speak, find, or know.

Now, I get (is that a presumption?) that at this moment of sucking down a coffee, on a device I can neither explain nor create, in a home made warm by some remarkable manner of things I am able to call voltage and amperage (that, by my naming of them once implied an understanding of them...but is now revealed as truly complete mystery...despite their naming) leaves me no less having to admit that simply knowing of a name, or assigning of one...or using one, can somehow be revealed as truly not knowing what is in it...at all. And that names, and naming of things, are more often employed to a self serving comfort of illusion of holding within that assignation of naming, explanation. But electron...no more explains electron, no matter how many other names of processes, observations, words used to the most (seeming) intelligent description can capture.

Something inescapable is happening, no matter how it is sought to be captured by words to describe. It is as ineffable as it is inexplicable.
But, I cannot deny I "think" I may be learning my name.

It is "thing that needs to be saved". And that is all, and also, enough for me now. To not say otherwise, I am persuaded, is born of such self serving as alone is revealed to be safe... a thing needs its soul saved.

The tinman said: "Now I know I have a heart because I can feel it breaking"

Perhaps in the same way the soul is revealed...beyond concept, or idea.
And also beyond explanation.
 
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Again, your assuming Acts as factual, I am not. That's my whole point. Pauls words or Lukes words about Paul
Ah! Now I understand where you're coming from. You're saying that nothing in Acts should be used as evidence. Sorry.....I misunderstood your arguments.
 

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
Ah! Now I understand where you're coming from. You're saying that nothing in Acts should be used as evidence. Sorry.....I misunderstood your arguments.
Just saying that I put Paul's words over Lukes in regards to Paul's life. However, I do consider Luke's writings as second or third hand, maybe more, so I expect his story to not be 100% accurate. But likely, close
 
I know there are numerous references (many extra-biblical) that says Luke was, indeed, Paul's companion. Do you not believe that they were traveling buddies? No offense intended, but many of your comments here I'd expect to find in the AAA forum. lol I've never heard a Christian express doubts about the Gospel of Luke and/or Acts like you have done.

Almost sounds like you're calling Luke an outright liar...
 

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
I know there are numerous references (many extra-biblical) that says Luke was, indeed, Paul's companion. Do you not believe that they were traveling buddies? No offense intended, but many of your comments here I'd expect to find in the AAA forum. lol I've never heard a Christian express doubts about the Gospel of Luke and/or Acts like you have done.

Almost sounds like you're calling Luke an outright liar...
I used to think that.... but later changed my mind. He never claimed anything other than having investigated these things. It's modern day Christianity that tries to force him into being an eyewitness. He never claimed this. I don't believe he was Paul's companion. If he had of been, then he would have had such deep pockets to draw from, of stories, regarding Paul, and the context of Christianity. He would have never said, "i have investigated these things". People want to make Luke an eyewitness. But it's just not so. Rather than have amazing stories, he resorted to copying from Mark. The bible is what it is. It does not need Luke to be an eyewitness.The good news still prevails without it. Traditional assumptions are hard to break.
 

1gr8bldr

Senior Member
Luke having copied from Mark is fact, not a theory
 
Luke admits, at the beginning of his gospel, that others had written their accounts of the life of Christ and that he, too, 'having perfect understanding" wrote his own account. No doubt he used all the writings of the Apostles - especially Paul - and Mark, to pen his gospel. Speaking of Luke, one renowned historian (i forget who) called Luke, "an historian of the first rank!" and trusted the historical evidence Luke provides as fact (eg Luke 3:1) since archaeology has over and over confirmed what he wrote . Mark didn't have these dates so, "Thank you, Luke!"

Paul mentions in two of his letters (Collosians and II Timothy) that Luke was with him. Guess we need to throw out the Pauline epistles too! :rofl:
 
Luke admits, at the beginning of his gospel, that others had written their accounts of the life of Christ and that he, too, 'having perfect understanding" wrote his own account. No doubt he used all the writings of the Apostles - especially Paul - and Mark, to pen his gospel. Speaking of Luke, one renowned historian (i forget who) called Luke, "an historian of the first rank!" and trusted the historical evidence Luke provides as fact (eg Luke 3:1) since archaeology has over and over confirmed what he wrote . Mark didn't have these dates so, "Thank you, Luke!"

Paul mentions in two of his letters (Collosians and II Timothy) that Luke was with him. Guess we need to throw out the Pauline epistles too! :rofl:
Luke 1, Many have undertaken to compose an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2just as they were handed down to us by the initial eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3Therefore, having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. ,

Just because Paul mentions Luke..... Does not make the writer of the book of Luke as Luke. I don't need it to be Luke. It could have been anybody for all I would care. I'm not sure why the need is there to try to apply a known person as the writer??? Your bible version... there is zero... zero, in the greek to justify "having perfect understanding". The word is more of "following", not in the sense that a box car follows the engine on a train, but rather that someone follow as we understand facebook or instagram. Again, why would your bible translator manipulate a clearly wrong wording in order to push this idea of Luke..... Just simply look at the wording... above.. Many have undertaken to write..Many, hmmmm, this alone dates this writing. Just as they were handed down.... hmmmm, implys second hand or more..... initial eyewitnesses..... Hmmmm, Paul was not an eyewitness of the days of Jesus. He was later. Is not Paul supposed to be Lukes source, and is not Luke writing about the birth and life of Jesus? Luke never claims to be Luke, only that he had investigated these things.... This implys that "he need investigate". Meaning, he did not know first hand any of what he was saying. However.... Luke crosses the line.... When he made up Mary's song. He wrote of things, specifics of Mary staying with Martha, her song, as if she had wrote it down for him.... that goes beyond investigation. He either lied.... or was being carried by the Spirit as to what to write. Hmmmm, why then would he have editorial fatigue in his writings. The Spirit would not have said, give me a break for a minute, just copy from here while I drink coffee. If he was carried by the Spirit, he would have never said that he "investigated". Same for Matthew.... surely you don't think the appostle Matthew wrote the book of Matthew. Just so you know though, I believe that John wrote John, the middle section anyway.... LOL, I'm sure you did not realize that there are 2 beginnings and 2 endings, to John. Being a real bible student requires that you know whats in the book
 
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I should clarify that "it could have been Luke who wrote Luke... We just don't know. If we go with probability... it was probably him, unlike Matthew who was much later than a 1st hand disciple. We can predict the timing of the writing, based on the ending. It was written, or completed about the time Paul was in house arrest. Because it goes no further to include his prison sentence spoken of in the end of 2 Timothy. If it was Luke, I wish he had written an Acts 2, because considering he was then focused on Paul, we have no ending to Paul's story. It's possible that he did write more about Paul's prison and death.... and it possibly was lost. Clearly the writer focused on Paul after midway, investigation of Luke, and half of Acts, 1st hand of the ending of Acts. Still does not prove it was Luke. Just as 1 comment of Luke as the "beloved physician" does not make Luke into a Doctor.
 
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