Was Paul a False Apostle?

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Rob
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Was Paul a False Apostle?

#1

Post by Rob » Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:07 pm

Sorry if this is the wrong place for this thread. Feel free to move it to wherever.

In this thread I propose we discuss the reliabilty of the accounts of Paul and Luke. It has been suggested by some that Paul was a fraud and that his experiences were totally unbelievable.

Here is a response by William Lane Craig to a letter from a young man by who wants to follow Jesus, but is repelled by Paul.
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/repelled-by-paul

Here is another site which talks all about Paul, including a short biography:
http://www.biblestudyinfo.com/paul/biography.shtml

Here is a long documentary about the historical case for Paul by Keith Thompson, which is mostly a response to Muslim arguments:
http://youtu.be/Qz-2eDaQlzI

So, why do you trust or not trust the accounts of Paul and Luke?

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Re: Was Paul a False Apostle?

#2

Post by Katabole » Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:54 pm

Hi Rob.

My answer would be what was said by Christ to the disciple Ananias:

Acts 9:15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.

The "he" that is spoken of is Paul. The Lord is telling Ananias that Paul is his chosen instrument and that Paul has a threefold ministry: to proclaim Christ's name before the Gentiles(non-Israelites), the kings and the children of Israel. And that is exactly what Paul did from the time after Ananias spoke to him.

Acts 9:17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

So I do believe Paul carried the exact message Christ wanted him to which would explain the rise of Christianity throughout Asia Minor and Europe in the first century and that Luke successfully penned the exact accounts we read of in the New Testament.

Hope that helps.
Well it may be the devil or it may be the Lord but you know you gotta serve somebody. Bob Dylan

Every one that is of the truth hears my voice. Jesus from John 18:37

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Re: Was Paul a False Apostle?

#3

Post by abelcainsbrother » Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:35 pm

Saul went from a persecutor of Christians to being totally changed,so much that he was not afraid to go anywhere the Holy Spirit led him to go to preach the gospel of grace,he was killed for it eventually too.This is a picture of how salvation changed us to serve God.Anybody who is willing to be persecuted for preaching the gospel to gentiles gets my vote,for we have too many Christians today that don't take a stand like Paul did.We have lost the ability to realize that we must have the power of the Holy Spirit to do what God wants us to do.Paul had it and was eventually killed for preaching the gospel of grace.

As for Luke who wrote the book of Luke and the book of Acts because he was a doctor he wrote it down so that future investigations would bear out much of what he wrote.Biblical archeologists rely on Dr Luke mostly because of the detail he gives.

Also Luke was with Paul alot and you'll notice he mentions Luke being with him in the greetings in his letters,so Luke knew what was going on.Like Colossians 4:14,2nd Timothy 4:11.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: Was Paul a False Apostle?

#4

Post by Audie » Sat Feb 14, 2015 7:37 pm

I'd love to see it as a court case, with "Paul " being called on to reenact that snake story.

Scatter some sticks about, and a snake. Watch how he gathers them one by one, not noticing
that one of them is a snake, who for it's part does not notice he has been gathered and offers no objection,
At least not till there is an audience, for lo, he is no ordinary snake, but a snake charged with a mission*, to show
that "Paul" is under special protection by God..

*logically inferred , as it was the only viper on the island, and had such peculiar behaviour.
It ignored being gathered till the dramatic moment, then bit and clung to his hand in a most unviperlike
way, so that it could be thrashed about enough to call everyone's attention.

The locals who probably had never traveled to where there were vipers and then gone to see one nonetheless
could identify immediately what it was, Vipera laurenti. They were like totally awed by the whole show.
Last edited by Audie on Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Was Paul a False Apostle?

#5

Post by abelcainsbrother » Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:48 pm

Audie wrote:I'd love to see it as a court case "Paul " being called on to reenact that snake story.
I like Acts 5:25-42. There was not anybody going to tell them Jesus did not rise from the dead or stop them from preaching and teaching about Jesus,they had a boldness they did not have when Jesus was being crucified.Peter would not deny Jesus 3 times this time.I feel like I would've been the same way after watching Jesus be tortured and crucified and then seeing him rise from the dead like he said he would.I think even you would be this bold had you witnessed Jesus rise from the dead.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: Was Paul a False Apostle?

#6

Post by Rob » Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:37 am

Audie wrote:I'd love to see it as a court case, with "Paul " being called on to reenact that snake story.

Scatter some sticks about, and a snake. Watch how he gathers them one by one, not noticing
that one of them is a snake, who for it's part does not notice he has been gathered and offers no objection,
At least not till there is an audience, for lo, he is no ordinary snake, but a snake charged with a mission*, to show
that "Paul" is under special protection by God..

*logically inferred , as it was the only viper on the island, and had such peculiar behaviour.
It ignored being gathered till the dramatic moment, then bit and clung to his hand in a most unviperlike
way, so that it could be thrashed about enough to call everyone's attention.

The locals who probably had never traveled to where there were vipers and then gone to see one nonetheless
could identify immediately what it was, Vipera laurenti. They were like totally awed by the whole show.
That reenactment reads like a History channel special about what really happened on Malta based on the opinion of a couple crackpot scholars who don't like Paul.

Seems very conspiratorial minded, Audie. I'm surprised at you.
Of all the things Paul did at Malta, the snake bite was the least of these. There are snakes that latch on, btw.
A good example would be the cottonhead, which is a small poisonous "viper-like" snake that does latch on to its prey.
https://www.recsports.uga.edu/user_file ... snakes.pdf
I'm not saying it was really a cottonhead, obviously, but there are non-constricting snakes that latch on, so the behavior isn't foreign.
Perhaps it wasn't a viper, maybe it was a small python? Luke thought it was a viper, so he wrote it down that way. Who knows? As far as I know, neither Luke nor Paul were biologists. Perhaps they saw the snake and just assumed it was a viper because that was a kind they were familiar with?
It says that Paul gathered a pile of brush. Perhaps he didn't need to pick them up one by one, but there was already a pile on the ground which a snake may very well hide in for shelter? Or maybe it was lying dormant wrapped around a branch he gathered and didn't get woken up until it sensed the heat (which is what the text says).
Again, there are stranger things that have happened to much lesser men than Paul.

If I could demonstrate how someone could fake something, that doesn't mean that they did. Especially when it's something so mundane as this. You know that, of course.
I guess the bigger question is- Why do you believe Paul was a con man? From what sources do you get your information?

If we judge him by his letters, we see a humble man that was ridden by guilt and desperately trying to follow the Lord to make amends. What evidence do you have that shows different? You seem to be privy to something the rest of us are not, so I would really like to see where you're getting this very low opinion of Paul from.

Here is the text from Acts 28 (NIV):

28 Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. 2 The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. 3 Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. 4 When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.” 5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. 6 The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.

7 There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days. 8 His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. 9 When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured. 10 They honored us in many ways; and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed.

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Re: Was Paul a False Apostle?

#7

Post by Audie » Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:41 pm

Rob wrote:
Audie wrote:I'd love to see it as a court case, with "Paul " being called on to reenact that snake story.

Scatter some sticks about, and a snake. Watch how he gathers them one by one, not noticing
that one of them is a snake, who for it's part does not notice he has been gathered and offers no objection,
At least not till there is an audience, for lo, he is no ordinary snake, but a snake charged with a mission*, to show
that "Paul" is under special protection by God..

*logically inferred , as it was the only viper on the island, and had such peculiar behaviour.
It ignored being gathered till the dramatic moment, then bit and clung to his hand in a most unviperlike
way, so that it could be thrashed about enough to call everyone's attention.

The locals who probably had never traveled to where there were vipers and then gone to see one nonetheless
could identify immediately what it was, Vipera laurenti. They were like totally awed by the whole show.
That reenactment reads like a History channel special about what really happened on Malta based on the opinion of a couple crackpot scholars who don't like Paul.

Seems very conspiratorial minded, Audie. I'm surprised at you.
Of all the things Paul did at Malta, the snake bite was the least of these. There are snakes that latch on, btw.
A good example would be the cottonhead, which is a small poisonous "viper-like" snake that does latch on to its prey.
https://www.recsports.uga.edu/user_file ... snakes.pdf
I'm not saying it was really a cottonhead, obviously, but there are non-constricting snakes that latch on, so the behavior isn't foreign.
Perhaps it wasn't a viper, maybe it was a small python? Luke thought it was a viper, so he wrote it down that way. Who knows? As far as I know, neither Luke nor Paul were biologists. Perhaps they saw the snake and just assumed it was a viper because that was a kind they were familiar with?
It says that Paul gathered a pile of brush. Perhaps he didn't need to pick them up one by one, but there was already a pile on the ground which a snake may very well hide in for shelter? Or maybe it was lying dormant wrapped around a branch he gathered and didn't get woken up until it sensed the heat (which is what the text says).
Again, there are stranger things that have happened to much lesser men than Paul.

If I could demonstrate how someone could fake something, that doesn't mean that they did. Especially when it's something so mundane as this. You know that, of course.
I guess the bigger question is- Why do you believe Paul was a con man? From what sources do you get your information?

If we judge him by his letters, we see a humble man that was ridden by guilt and desperately trying to follow the Lord to make amends. What evidence do you have that shows different? You seem to be privy to something the rest of us are not, so I would really like to see where you're getting this very low opinion of Paul from.

Here is the text from Acts 28 (NIV):

28 Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. 2 The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. 3 Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. 4 When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.” 5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. 6 The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.

7 There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days. 8 His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. 9 When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured. 10 They honored us in many ways; and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed.
That is a lot like calling me a crackpot, however indirectly.

Regardless, what I said is based on some simple analysis of accurate information about snakes. The bit about "conspiracy" is suggestive of a cheap shot. Dont be like that.

As to your proffered explanations:
There are no vipers or any other dangerous snakes on Malta.
No pythons big, or small.

The superstitious nature of the islanders is evident, and much is the same today. Observe the hysterics and
misidentification if any snake shows up. Let alone bites. Many figure any snake is poisonous.

IF he managed to get bitten, it was by a harmless snake.

Here is a superstitious and gullible audience for the (non) event, and here are the people who exploited it to their advantage.

I'm not favorably impressed.

There is no "cottonhead" snake. The bite of a poisonous snake is too fast for the eye to follow.

A cobra or other poisonous snakes will hold onto cold blooded prey, sometimes.
A defensive bite, no. That goes as well for pythons. Its often a phony bite, just a threatening
lunge. If they do bite, its fast, like a viper bite.

HARMLESS snakes, if picked up may bite and hang on. As I found out, owie!

Oh, and it says "Paul" gathered sticks, not that he picked up a nicely arranged bundle.

How much of a story needs to be incorrect before one gives up on it and declares it bogus?

The two main ideas are: poisonous snake bites, but he is unharmed tnx to gods protection.

Sure, strange things happen but the quality they have in common is they are possible.

All the details are highly implausible, not excluding that one viper might behave so oddly.
But a weird viper in a place with no vipers?

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Re: Was Paul a False Apostle?

#8

Post by abelcainsbrother » Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:04 pm

Audie wrote:
Rob wrote:
Audie wrote:I'd love to see it as a court case, with "Paul " being called on to reenact that snake story.

Scatter some sticks about, and a snake. Watch how he gathers them one by one, not noticing
that one of them is a snake, who for it's part does not notice he has been gathered and offers no objection,
At least not till there is an audience, for lo, he is no ordinary snake, but a snake charged with a mission*, to show
that "Paul" is under special protection by God..

*logically inferred , as it was the only viper on the island, and had such peculiar behaviour.
It ignored being gathered till the dramatic moment, then bit and clung to his hand in a most unviperlike
way, so that it could be thrashed about enough to call everyone's attention.

The locals who probably had never traveled to where there were vipers and then gone to see one nonetheless
could identify immediately what it was, Vipera laurenti. They were like totally awed by the whole show.
That reenactment reads like a History channel special about what really happened on Malta based on the opinion of a couple crackpot scholars who don't like Paul.

Seems very conspiratorial minded, Audie. I'm surprised at you.
Of all the things Paul did at Malta, the snake bite was the least of these. There are snakes that latch on, btw.
A good example would be the cottonhead, which is a small poisonous "viper-like" snake that does latch on to its prey.
https://www.recsports.uga.edu/user_file ... snakes.pdf
I'm not saying it was really a cottonhead, obviously, but there are non-constricting snakes that latch on, so the behavior isn't foreign.
Perhaps it wasn't a viper, maybe it was a small python? Luke thought it was a viper, so he wrote it down that way. Who knows? As far as I know, neither Luke nor Paul were biologists. Perhaps they saw the snake and just assumed it was a viper because that was a kind they were familiar with?
It says that Paul gathered a pile of brush. Perhaps he didn't need to pick them up one by one, but there was already a pile on the ground which a snake may very well hide in for shelter? Or maybe it was lying dormant wrapped around a branch he gathered and didn't get woken up until it sensed the heat (which is what the text says).
Again, there are stranger things that have happened to much lesser men than Paul.

If I could demonstrate how someone could fake something, that doesn't mean that they did. Especially when it's something so mundane as this. You know that, of course.
I guess the bigger question is- Why do you believe Paul was a con man? From what sources do you get your information?

If we judge him by his letters, we see a humble man that was ridden by guilt and desperately trying to follow the Lord to make amends. What evidence do you have that shows different? You seem to be privy to something the rest of us are not, so I would really like to see where you're getting this very low opinion of Paul from.

Here is the text from Acts 28 (NIV):

28 Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. 2 The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. 3 Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. 4 When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.” 5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. 6 The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.

7 There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days. 8 His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. 9 When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured. 10 They honored us in many ways; and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed.
That is a lot like calling me a crackpot, however indirectly.

Regardless, what I said is based on some simple analysis of accurate information about snakes. The bit about "conspiracy" is suggestive of a cheap shot. Dont be like that.

As to your proffered explanations:
There are no vipers or any other dangerous snakes on Malta.
No pythons big, or small.

The superstitious nature of the islanders is evident, and much is the same today. Observe the hysterics and
misidentification if any snake shows up. Let alone bites. Many figure any snake is poisonous.

IF he managed to get bitten, it was by a harmless snake.

Here is a superstitious and gullible audience for the (non) event, and here are the people who exploited it to their advantage.

I'm not favorably impressed.

There is no "cottonhead" snake. The bite of a poisonous snake is too fast for the eye to follow.

A cobra or other poisonous snakes will hold onto cold blooded prey, sometimes.
A defensive bite, no. That goes as well for pythons. Its often a phony bite, just a threatening
lunge. If they do bite, its fast, like a viper bite.

HARMLESS snakes, if picked up may bite and hang on. As I found out, owie!

Oh, and it says "Paul" gathered sticks, not that he picked up a nicely arranged bundle.

How much of a story needs to be incorrect before one gives up on it and declares it bogus?

The two main ideas are: poisonous snake bites, but he is unharmed tnx to gods protection.

Sure, strange things happen but the quality they have in common is they are possible.

All the details are highly implausible, not excluding that one viper might behave so oddly.
But a weird viper in a place with no vipers?
Did you notice their reaction when he was bitten? This confers religious belief and so they probably had brought vipers with them.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: Was Paul a False Apostle?

#9

Post by Audie » Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:29 pm

There you go then, thats got to be it!

THEY BROUGHT THEIR OWN VIPERS!!!
:D :D ::D

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Re: Was Paul a False Apostle?

#10

Post by abelcainsbrother » Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:17 pm

Audie wrote:There you go then, thats got to be it!

THEY BROUGHT THEIR OWN VIPERS!!!
:D :D ::D
Because of their religious beliefs?
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: Was Paul a False Apostle?

#11

Post by Storyteller » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:08 am

Gathering sticks, to me, doesn't necessarily mean bundles of them nor one stick at a time. Perhaps it was a harmless snake but how do you explain Paul healing?
With any 'story' you can read into it what you will.
It is very fifficukt to read anything with a truly open mind as I think we all lok for 'facts' to back up what we believe.
Sometimes it's worth looking at something from the other point of view.
Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof - Kahlil Gibran

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Re: Was Paul a False Apostle?

#12

Post by Rob » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:41 am

Audie wrote: That is a lot like calling me a crackpot, however indirectly.

Regardless, what I said is based on some simple analysis of accurate information about snakes. The bit about "conspiracy" is suggestive of a cheap shot. Dont be like that.

As to your proffered explanations:
There are no vipers or any other dangerous snakes on Malta.
No pythons big, or small.

The superstitious nature of the islanders is evident, and much is the same today. Observe the hysterics and
misidentification if any snake shows up. Let alone bites. Many figure any snake is poisonous.

IF he managed to get bitten, it was by a harmless snake.

Here is a superstitious and gullible audience for the (non) event, and here are the people who exploited it to their advantage.

I'm not favorably impressed.

There is no "cottonhead" snake. The bite of a poisonous snake is too fast for the eye to follow.

A cobra or other poisonous snakes will hold onto cold blooded prey, sometimes.
A defensive bite, no. That goes as well for pythons. Its often a phony bite, just a threatening
lunge. If they do bite, its fast, like a viper bite.

HARMLESS snakes, if picked up may bite and hang on. As I found out, owie!

Oh, and it says "Paul" gathered sticks, not that he picked up a nicely arranged bundle.

How much of a story needs to be incorrect before one gives up on it and declares it bogus?

The two main ideas are: poisonous snake bites, but he is unharmed tnx to gods protection.

Sure, strange things happen but the quality they have in common is they are possible.

All the details are highly implausible, not excluding that one viper might behave so oddly.
But a weird viper in a place with no vipers?
I don't think you're a crackpot at all, Audie, that's just how the scenario you presented read to me. Like a history channel special about the "real" Paul that is cleverly aired around Easter. (This is me poking fun at the History channel- not you)
Wasn't meant to be a slight against you personally and I'm sorry you took it that way.
I mentioned the "conspiracy" thing because you seem to dislike conspiratorial thinking in other threads, which I think is healthy for the most part. I mentioned it because your scenario of snake-faking ("snake-fake" may become a new idiom!) read like a conspiracy to me.
Again, sorry- just consider it a good natured poke in the ribs at the worst.

In any case, it should be noted that Paul never seemed to make anything out of the bite to begin with. There is nothing to be read in the text that shows how Paul even intended anyone to notice he'd been bitten. It reads to me like he just sort of shrugged it off into the fire, understanding that he was in the hands of the Lord and accepting whatever fate.
At the very least I am very appreciative that you brought this up because it has caused me to do a bit of research on a topic that I had no idea a controversy existed. Apparently there is some doubt as to whether the island they wrecked on is modern day Malta at all. Some have said that it is actually Meleda in the Adriatic Sea to the Northeast of Malta. If it was that island, it would make sense since there are vipers there that would cause the exact symptoms the natives were expecting. However, that is quite a long way from Malta and I don't know if you could get there in 14 days from where the storm occurred. I'm no ancient mariner, so I will continue researching it.
I'm not sure about it though as Luke seems pretty careful about documenting where they are. Some have suggested that although there are currently no venomous vipers on modern day Malta, that doesn't necessarily mean that there never were. Even if not native, the viper could also have arrived on African grain ships as well. There's really not much of a reason to doubt this aspect of the story in my opinion. I just don't see why they'd fool the natives in an effort to trick them into...allowing Paul to pray and be used by God to heal everybody there? Or was it that they received supplies for the rest of their journey which makes you think that? What about the rest of the "Malta" visit? The healing stuff and all that.

Here's an interesting thing I found about the Malta vs Meleda controversy. It's dry, but fun: http://mhs.eu.pn/hw/hw199310.html

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Re: Was Paul a False Apostle?

#13

Post by Audie » Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:04 am

No prob on the crackpot or conspiracy things. History channel, I never watch.

Regarding how people react to snakes, most people cant identify them. No idea what kind of snakes live in their area, nor what their names are, nor what they can do.

The superstitions about snakes are so many and ridiculous that we wont go into it.

There was a huge panic at the school I attended in Sai Kung, because there was a snake on the schcol grounds. I was nearby, and saw it was a little Asian rat snake, harmless unless you are a rat.

Malta has plenty of dry hills, good snake habitat. Other Med. islands still have vipers.
Kind of a long shot that there were ones then but not now, a way longer shot that the only one on the island was the one that bit our hero.

Longer still shot: That it would behave in a suitably theatrical way, altogether different from their normal behaviour.

IF a snake chewed on him, it was a harmless one. To the extent that anyone took that as a sign of supernatural protection, its bogus.

As for "healing stuff" the claims of supernatural healings that come in from all around the world for every faith and cult you can think of kinda doesnt make such accounts from Malta stand out.

I wont believe any of them till one is properly documented. AMA journal, or Lancet would do.

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Re: Was Paul a False Apostle?

#14

Post by Jac3510 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:43 am

For the record, the text does not say that the snake in question was a "viper" or that it was even poisonous. The Greek word here is echidna, which just refers to a snake. It can certainly refer to a venomous snake, but there is no evidence I am aware of to indicate that it necessarily refers to a venomous serpant. Anyway, the common view is that Paul was a Zamenis situla (a leopard snake), and that, by the way, would explain both why it was in the wood Paul picked up (since that is where they stay during the day, often curled up around branches) and why it latched on after it struck him (since non-venomous snakes often latch and constrict to kill). There is no reason to think that the snake was poisonous. Just because the locals thought so doesn't mean that either Luke or Paul thought so. They simply reported the story as it happened. And, by the way, the whole account makes more sense when we remember that it was very late in the season, almost winter, and that the leopard snake, not suprisingly, hibernates during that time of the year. That would be another reason that it wouldn't strike at Paul until after it was driven out by the heat. It could have been fast asleep and come running out--afraid, no doubt--when the fire started. Paul gets bit, doesn't think anything of it, and shakes it back off into the fire. It's hardly an unbelievable story. Luke nowhere uses the story to talk about how great Paul is. He doesn't present it as a miracle. He simply tells the story along with the miracle a few verses later as to why Paul (a prisoner!) would be treated so well. To say any more of the account, either in order to get more out of it or to tear it down, is to read into the text what isn't there.

edit:

Yup, I was right. The word can mean "a constrictor snake." See here: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/mor ... a0#lexicon (click LSJ)

edit2: fixed broken link
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Was Paul a False Apostle?

#15

Post by PaulSacramento » Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:01 am

The only people that have issues with Paul seem to be those that are trying to discredit Christianity and since most have come to the correct conclusion that Christ IS a historical figure and "untouchable" in that regard, they try to put the emphasis on Paul and say that HE created Christianity, that His message was different than Christ's and that he wasn't even a jew.
of course ALL those arguments fail miserably if a you simply read the NT and what Luke and Peter say about Paul.

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