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  • can I get a road map?
    • Kate (Login kateothelamp)
      Posted Aug 12, 2010 10:07 AM

      Or perhaps an itinerary? I'm not sure where we are going =)

      I can't figure out your position on Paul. I thought -- previously -- that you believed Paul had it right, Paul created this religion about the cosmic Jesus Messiah, there never really was a human Jesus who actually lived here on earth, but then after Paul preached and wrote his stuff, other guys went back retroactively created these fables of the mythical Jesus of Nazareth.

      But now Paul is the bad guy? He is "The Spy Who Pretended to be Jesus' Apostle Who Infiltrated the Movement and Destroyed It from Within"? Or that's just what Luke (not the doctor who was Paul's friend, but a different guy named Luke) wants us to think, and he planted subtle clues like differences in the narrations of Paul's conversion story, and references to the Trojan horse story and Luke suddenly mentioned the people traveling with Paul?

      Vince, I am really confused.

      The Acts of the Apostles is meant to give a historical account mostly about the ministry of Paul, and his missionary journeys, and miracles and conversions in the early Church. It's usually dated about 60-64 CE because it does not mention the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE, and it does not mention the death of Paul, even though he is the central character. There is speculation that it was a document written in Paul's defense for his trial in Rome, an event that is mentioned in Acts. It does not quote from Paul's letters and does not mention Paul writing letters, and there are discrepancies between Acts and the Pauline epistles, so many scholars believe that the author did not have access to Paul's writings.

      V: The three different versions of Paul's conversion and how they blatantly contradict each other if the reader "notices". Yet, supposedly they're written by the same author and HE DOESN'T NOTICE?? Ha! If one APPLIES the Philo rules of allegory ... they're MEANT to clash and MEANT to catch the reader's attention. Sound plausible?

      There are three slightly different narratives of Paul's conversion given in the text. I think it's a monumental stretch to say that the author intended for the reader to notice this and for it to somehow discredit Paul.

      Acts 9 -- third person narrative, not told as someone who witnessed the event (not first person plural "we stood there speechless", or "I saw Paul fall to the ground").

      Acts 22 -- Paul's speech to the crowd when he was arrested in Jerusalem. He was most likely speaking in Aramaic, and Luke, writing in Greek, gave a summary of his speech. It was intended for the Jewish audience to whom Paul was speaking, stressing the good reputation of Ananias (22:12).

      Acts 26 -- Paul addresses Roman King Agrippa, defending himself against charges of antinomianism. The account is more condensed, and aimed at his specific audience, a Roman king. He stressed that he could not disobey a heavenly vision (26:19), and assured Agrippa that Christians weren't a secret society (26:26). I found it amusing that he pointed out to the King that Jesus the Heavenly Vision spoke to him in Aramaic -- not Latin or Greek because, you know, God is Jewish.

      Given the different situations of these narratives -- one third person and two are retellings of Paul's speeches, not accounts written by Paul himself, and the three different audiences for these accounts...I don't think the differences are all that startling, or all that discrediting. Especially if you don't believe the Bible is a magical, infallible, inerrant, literal, perfect book that can't possibly have any errors or personal opinions of the authors. And you don't believe every word Paul said or wrote was inspiration straight from God and he never had an agenda or tried to slant a story a certain way in his favor or to suit his purposes. =)

      V: That's talking about Troas. "Ironically" the author injected himself into the story in Acts 16: 10 .... the very issue with which I had an issue ... remember? He just suddenly plops himself into the narrative without a WORD of introduction or explanation? Well, that's the FIRST time Paul went to Troas and the author is seemingly with him.

      Yes, I remember you had an issue with this. I don't. Here's why:

      The Acts of Vince (by Kate, Vince's internet friend who is a writer)

      Chapter 1(third person narrative)

      1 Okay, so...Vince left his little town in Canada and travel south to the United States. 2 He was persecuting people who believe in Santa Claus, so he was on the road a lot, to take these losers down a few pegs. 3 So he was driving from Kalamazoo to Detroit in his Winnebago, when suddenly a light appeared out of nowhere and he had to pull over to the side of the road (he had a couple of anti-Santa-Believers in the Winnebago with him, and they saw the light but said, "Vince, dude, why are you pulling over?") 4 Vince got out of the vehicle, and a voice said to him out of the light: "Vince, Vince, do not persecute me, or I will put you on my naughty kids list and you won't get that model train set you've been asking for." 5 Vince's friends saw this light, but did not hear the voice (either that, or they heard it but didn't understand it and they said, "Huh? What?") 6 And Vince fell to the ground and was blinded for a while. 6 His buddies took him to the Christmas ornament store in Frankenmuth, and he stayed there a while until his sight recovered. Then he hit the road again, only this time to tell people..."Hey! Santa is real! I met him!"

      Chapter 2(first person plural -- "we")

      1 So...Vince drove all around and ended up in Northern CA. 2 And he stopped by my house and picked me up. 3 We (Vince, me, and the other Winnebago pals), travelled south, spreading the good word about Santa all the way. 4 We went to Fresno, Bakersfield, Buttonwillow (Vince got arrested there for preaching Santa and we had to bail him out, what a dork). 5 Then we went over the Grapevine, and saw the shining lights of...LOS ANGELES. 6 "Vince, dude," I said, "Drop me off in Anaheim because I really, really want to spend time at Disneyland." 7 So Vince dropped me off there and went on his merry way.

      Chapter 3(third person narrative)

      1 Vince and the other dudes headed off to Vegas, because they really, really needed to hear about Santa there. 2 Vince went on to do many things, in many places, preaching the good news about Santa, and occasionally getting arrested and having to be bailed out (dork). 3 He had several companions with him -- Mondo ben Bullwinkle, Striver, yvonne, and Most Excellent PRev. And sometimes Bob. (Notice, no more "we" now, because I stayed in LA while Vince moved on.)

      Thus endeth the lesson.

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