|Date: 1/5/2008 9:48:16 PM ( 9y ago )
"paul is misunderstood. i agree with you, though. i can remember going to baptist vacation bible school as a kid and thinking that all they talked about was paul and i thought this was all about jesus. the baptists REALLY dont understand paul or jesus. martin luthers strength was not that he understood the scriptures so much but that he understood what the church was doing wasnt right. why have so many generations had to pass in order to arrive at the truth? has anyone gotten it right since jesus? that is a rhetorical question. i know that muslims think so."
I agree with most of what you have written. I don't think that Paul is so misunderstood as he is followed through misunderstanding. Don't know if that makes sense to you or not.
Jesus taught forgiveness. From what I can tell, he is the first to do so. Paul taught atonement - straight from his background as a Pharisee. The two concepts are in opposition to each other.
Yet I have to give a lot of credit to Paul. Both Jesus and Paul were in the Roman Empire, a domineering and brutal overlord. The temples in Palestine operated under the authority of the Romans. The temple in Jerusalem had a Roman guard contingent on the Temple Mount of between 2 to 3,000 soldiers. Paul was a Roman citizen and understood what was required to take Jesus' message to the gentiles - the common Roman people. He had to make changes and adjustments from the law of the Sabbath to eating pork and many other things. In the process he also intermingled his judgmental Pharisee background into the pot. Yet it was that pot that the Romans eventually bought and I doubt if they would have bought anything else. In fact, the Roman Church did all sorts of cutting and pasting and destruction of books, in order to come up with the New Testament. Besides that, they eventually eliminated Gnostics and many other sects through murder. But Paul's teachings along with fragments of Jesus' teachings survived.
It is my personal opinion that within what survived all of that manipulation of Jesus' message - is the true message of Jesus - if you read Jesus. It's there. It is inspirational.
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