Galatians 1:21-24 : churches of Judea

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
hakeem
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Re: Galatians 1:21-24 : churches of Judea

Post by hakeem » Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:43 am

hakeem wrote:But you just previously stated that you "see the Pentecost event as a complete fiction" so I don't how you can use Acts as your main evidence. There were no Christians, no tongue-talking apostles and no persecutor called Saul or Paul since the Pentecost event is complete fiction.
Bernard Muller wrote:What does Paul has to do with the Pentecost event?
You must have never read Acts of the Apostles or don't understand what it says.

If the disciples did not tarry in Jerusalem to get Power from a Ghost they would not have had the power to preach the Gospel. If the Gospel was not preached there would be no converts. If there were no converts then Saul/Paul would not need to persecute them.

Romans 10:14
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

You very well know that the existing fragments of Papias do not identify an apostle called Saul or Paul and do not claim an apostle Saul/Paul wrote any letter to Corinthians.
Bernard Muller wrote:So who would be "the apostle" who said a passage from 1 Corinthians?
An apostle actually said a passage in 1 Corinthians? What did the resurrected Jesus say to Paul in 1 Corinthians 11.23-25?

Asking me about what an apostle actually said is like asking me about the actual sayings of the resurrected Jesus, the angel Gabriel or Satan.
Bernard Muller wrote:And what do you get from Marcion, who before Celsus, in the Apostolikon, put Paul, and his epistles, front and center?
Christian writers of antiquity contradict Tertullian's "Against Marcion" or do not acknowledge it.

1. The contemporary of Marcion, Justin Martyr, mentioned nothing about an Apostolikon by Marcion.
2. Irenaeus, writing after Justin, did not mention an Apostolikon by Marcion.
2. The supposed contemporary of Tertullian, Hippolytus, mentioned nothing about an Apostolikon but claimed Marcion used the writings of Empedocles.
3. Origen, a contemporary of Tertullian and Hippolytus, also did not mention an Apostolikon by Marcion.
4. Eusebius in Church History, although writing about those who wrote against Marcion, did not mention Tertullian's "Against Marcion" or an Apostolikon.
5. Ephraem the Syrian wrote three books against Marcion and the extant fragments do not mention an Apostolikon by Marcion.
6. Jerome, in De Viris Illustribus, makes mention of Tertullian but again nothing of an Apostolikon by Marcion.

Based on my research, the copy of "Against Marcion" attributed to Tertullian presently in circulation appears to be a forgery and full of mistakes.

Bernard Muller
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Re: Galatians 1:21-24 : churches of Judea

Post by Bernard Muller » Sun Apr 04, 2021 11:46 am

to hakeem,
If the disciples did not tarry in Jerusalem to get Power from a Ghost they would not have had the power to preach the Gospel. If the Gospel was not preached there would be no converts. If there were no converts then Saul/Paul would not need to persecute them.
Who said the disciples made converts before Paul's persecution? Not me. That was done by others, specifically Greek speaking Jew who acclaimed Jesus as a future King. Again, as explained on the web page I indicated earlier.
Romans 10:14
That is related to Jews some 30 years after Jesus' crucifixion. And the Jesus in question is the one of Paul's gospel, very much glorified in his post-resurrection alleged heavenly status.
1. The contemporary of Marcion, Justin Martyr, mentioned nothing about an Apostolikon by Marcion.
2. Irenaeus, writing after Justin, did not mention an Apostolikon by Marcion.
2. The supposed contemporary of Tertullian, Hippolytus, mentioned nothing about an Apostolikon but claimed Marcion used the writings of Empedocles.
3. Origen, a contemporary of Tertullian and Hippolytus, also did not mention an Apostolikon by Marcion.
4. Eusebius in Church History, although writing about those who wrote against Marcion, did not mention Tertullian's "Against Marcion" or an Apostolikon.
5. Ephraem the Syrian wrote three books against Marcion and the extant fragments do not mention an Apostolikon by Marcion.
6. Jerome, in De Viris Illustribus, makes mention of Tertullian but again nothing of an Apostolikon by Marcion.
You are playing on the word "Apostolikon". I don't know when that word started to be used but now Apostolikon is used for Paul's letters, Marcion's version.
Irenaeus, Tertullian, Epiphanius commented on Paul's letters. But does that matter, because all these authors wrote after 165 CE.
But Papias, 1 Clement and Marcion date before 165 CE.
An apostle actually said a passage in 1 Corinthians? What did the resurrected Jesus say to Paul in 1 Corinthians 11.23-25?

Asking me about what an apostle actually said is like asking me about the actual sayings of the resurrected Jesus, the angel Gabriel or Satan.
Cop out. You did not answer my question. And it is not "an apostle" but "the apostle". Papias & Marcion kill your cherished theory about Paul's epistles written not before 165 CE.

Cordially, Bernard

hakeem
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Re: Galatians 1:21-24 : churches of Judea

Post by hakeem » Sun Apr 04, 2021 1:16 pm

[
hakeem wrote:If the disciples did not tarry in Jerusalem to get Power from a Ghost they would not have had the power to preach the Gospel. If the Gospel was not preached there would be no converts. If there were no converts then Saul/Paul would not need to persecute them.
Bernard Muller wrote: Who said the disciples made converts before Paul's persecution? Not me. That was done by others, specifically Greek speaking Jew who acclaimed Jesus as a future King. Again, as explained on the web page I indicated earlier.
Argument from silence.
Bernard Muller wrote: That is related to Jews some 30 years after Jesus' crucifixion. And the Jesus in question is the one of Paul's gospel, very much glorified in his post-resurrection alleged heavenly status.
Argument from silence. The Epistle to the Romans does not state when the supposed Jesus Christ was crucified.
hakeem wrote:1. The contemporary of Marcion, Justin Martyr, mentioned nothing about an Apostolikon by Marcion.
2. Irenaeus, writing after Justin, did not mention an Apostolikon by Marcion.
3. The supposed contemporary of Tertullian, Hippolytus, mentioned nothing about an Apostolikon but claimed Marcion used the writings of Empedocles.
4. Origen, a contemporary of Tertullian and Hippolytus, also did not mention an Apostolikon by Marcion.
5. Eusebius in Church History, although writing about those who wrote against Marcion, did not mention Tertullian's "Against Marcion" or an Apostolikon.
6. Ephraem the Syrian wrote three books against Marcion and the extant fragments do not mention an Apostolikon by Marcion.
7. Jerome, in De Viris Illustribus, makes mention of Tertullian but again nothing of an Apostolikon by Marcion.
Bernard Muller wrote:You are playing on the word "Apostolikon". I don't know when that word started to be used but now Apostolikon is used for Paul's letters, Marcion's version.
You are the one who claimed Marcion, who before Celsus, in the Apostolikon, put Paul, and his epistles, front and center and now you say you don't even know where the word started. You have just show how stories are made up about Marcion without any evidence and splattered all over the internet. Please, help stop the nonsense and blatant propaganda about Marcion.

Since Justin knew nothing about an apostle Paul and the Epistles how would Marcion know of him or the Epistles?

Even the author of Acts, the supposed close companion of Saul/Paul who traveled, preached and prayed with him, knew nothing at all of an apostle called Saul/Paul or was qualified to be called an apostle and wrote a mere phrase in a letter to anyone at anytime anywhere.
hakeem wrote:Asking me about what an apostle actually said is like asking me about the actual sayings of the resurrected Jesus, the angel Gabriel or Satan.
Bernard Muller wrote:Cop out. You did not answer my question. Papias & Marcion kill your cherished theory about Paul's epistles written not before 165 CE.
Arguments from silence. The fragments of Papias do mention an apostle called Paul or an Epistle written by an apostle Paul and Marcion's contemporary Justin did not claim that Marcion wrote an Apostolikon about Pauline Epistles.

Origen admitted that Celsus in his "True Discourse" wrote northing about Paul. And to show that Celsus knew nothing of the Pauline Epistles he claimed that the resurrected Jesus showed himself secretly to only one woman and the disciples.

Against Celsus 2.70
]We have answered, also, in the preceding pages, this objection, that while he was in the body, and no one believed upon him, he preached to all without intermission; but when he might have produced a powerful belief in himself after rising from the dead he showed himself secretly only to one woman, and to his own boon companions..


In the Epistles it is claimed over 500 persons at once saw Jesus after he was raised from the dead.

1 Cor. 15
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

The showing of the resurrected Jesus to over 500 persons at once in the Pauline Epistles was a late fabrication after the writing of Celsus "True Discourse".

Bernard Muller
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Re: Galatians 1:21-24 : churches of Judea

Post by Bernard Muller » Sun Apr 04, 2021 5:49 pm

to Hakeem,
Arguments from silence? NOT arccording to my webpage you want to ignore.

I got two webpages where I determine the year of Jesus' crucifixion: http://historical-jesus.info/appa.html and http://historical-jesus.info/appb.html
You are the one who claimed Marcion, who before Celsus, in the Apostolikon, put Paul, and his epistles, front and center and now you say you don't even know where the word started.
You are going on a tangent again: Apostolikon mean Paul's epistles according to Marcion. Who care about when the word started to be used: the fact is it is now used for Paul's epistles according to Marcion.
Since Justin knew nothing about an apostle Paul and the Epistles how would Marcion know of him or the Epistles?
Justin said nothing about Paul in his surviving writings (his work against Marcion being lost). Once again, saying nothing about someone does not mean ignorance about the existence of this someone.
Even the author of Acts, the supposed close companion of Saul/Paul who traveled, preached and prayed with him, knew nothing at all of an apostle called Saul/Paul or was qualified to be called an apostle and wrote a mere phrase in a letter to anyone at anytime anywhere.
Now you are using Acts to make a point, so I'll use Acts, if necessary, also to make my points.
The author of Acts knew nothing about Paul? You must be kidding.
The fragments of Papias do mention an apostle called Paul or an Epistle written by an apostle Paul
Oh, what a surprise! Now you admit the obvious. Did you consider the ramification of your statement?
The showing of the resurrected Jesus to over 500 persons at once in the Pauline Epistles was a late fabrication after the writing of Celsus "True Discourse".
Celsus went by gJohn for Jesus' reappearances, and not by gMatthew rendition, nor by gLuke rendition. So it should not be surprising Celsus did not go with the reappearances according to 1 Corinthians.

Cordially, Bernard

hakeem
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Re: Galatians 1:21-24 : churches of Judea

Post by hakeem » Sun Apr 04, 2021 7:10 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
I got two webpages where I determine the year of Jesus' crucifixion: http://historical-jesus.info/appa.html and http://historical-jesus.info/appb.html
You needed two webpages to determine the year of the crucifixion of Jesus'? I got a couple of sentences.

In the NT stories, Jesus of Nazareth was crucified when Pilate was Governor and Caiaphas was high priest around the 15th year of Tiberius c 29-30 CE. See gMatthew 26 and gLuke 3.
hakeem wrote:You are the one who claimed Marcion, who before Celsus, in the Apostolikon, put Paul, and his epistles, front and center and now you say you don't even know where the word started.
Bernard Muller wrote:You are going on a tangent again: Apostolikon mean Paul's epistles according to Marcion. Who care about when the word started to be used: the fact is it is now used for Paul's epistles according to Marcion.
I can't find any Christian writer who claimed Paul's Epistles according to Marcion were called Apostolikon. The fact is that people make stuff up and then want others to believe their fiction.
hakeem wrote:]Since Justin knew nothing about an apostle Paul and the Epistles how would Marcion know of him or the Epistles?
Bernard Muller wrote:Justin said nothing about Paul in his surviving writings (his work against Marcion being lost). Once again, saying nothing about someone does not mean ignorance about the existence of this someone.
Justin saying nothing about Paul does not mean he existed. Justin could not have said anything about the apostle Paul or his supposed Epistles if they did not exist which is what I predicted.

I also predicted that Josephus, Philo, Suetonius, Tacitus, Pliny the Elder, Pliny the younger, Plutarch would not have mentioned an apostle Paul because he did not exist.

The apostle Paul did not exist since Justin clearly stated that his Jesus had 12 apostles and they preached the Gospel to every race of men.

Maybe the apostle Paul preached about his Jesus when he [Paul] was in the seventh heaven!!!
hakeem wrote:Even the author of Acts, the supposed close companion of Saul/Paul who traveled, preached and prayed with him, knew nothing at all of an apostle called Saul/Paul or was qualified to be called an apostle and wrote a mere phrase in a letter to anyone at anytime anywhere.
Bernard Muller wrote:Now you are using Acts to make a point, so I'll use Acts, if necessary, also to make my points.
The author of Acts knew nothing about Paul? You must be kidding.
He didn't know the one who wrote Epistles to the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Thessalonians, Colossians, to Timothy, Titus and Philemon.

He thought Saul was Paul but he knew nothing at all.
hakeem wrote:The fragments of Papias do mention an apostle called Paul or an Epistle written by an apostle Paul
Bernard Muller wrote: Oh, what a surprise! Now you admit the obvious. Did you consider the ramification of your statement?
It is most amazing that you would cling to a typo as a great victory.

You very well know that the fragments Papias do not mention an apostle called Paul or an Epistle written by an apostle Paul but seem to be scared of the ramifications.
hakeem wrote:The showing of the resurrected Jesus to over 500 persons at once in the Pauline Epistles was a late fabrication after the writing of Celsus "True Discourse".
Bernard wrote:Celsus went by gJohn for Jesus' reappearances, and not by gMatthew rendition, nor by gLuke rendition. So it should not be surprising Celsus did not go with the reappearances according to 1 Corinthians.
Did you consider the ramifications of your statement? Origen admitted that Celsus wrote nothing about Paul so it should have been obvious to you that he could not have used 1 Corinthians.

Origen "Against Celsus" 1.63
And I do not know how Celsus should have forgotten or not have thought of saying something about Paul, the founder, after Jesus, of the Churches that are in Christ.

I do not know how Justin should have forgotten or not have thought of saying something about Paul.

cora
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Re: Galatians 1:21-24 : churches of Judea

Post by cora » Sun Apr 04, 2021 7:48 pm

Robert j, what is your problem? Stil never heard that the letters were interpolated? That is were Paul's so-called Jewishness comes from. I have given already before arguments which prove that Paul is not jewish. I have 6 of them. I know this already for years. It is also not difficult to find. I am not repeating this all, it has been ignored before. The way he expresses himself about "the men from James" makes him a non-jew. And what do the men from James do when they return home? The movement rejects Paul for being an apostate. There you have it. Still thinking that Paul goes back? That is another forgery. It would be nice if you would recognise that the word Christ is from 160. Before that there were no Christians. Paul is therefore NOT writing about a messiah, christos is a simple forgery from chrestos, by the church. And in Judea there is not at all speaking about a Christ or a chrest. There they are talking about a human being, which cannot be otherwise for jews. There is NO new religion there. And last but not least: since when is the jewish god (Jahweh) called god the father??????? He can only be called the Lord. Nobody would say god the father. And since when has Jahweh a son and a holy spirit????? Think 5 seconds and you know it: HE HAS NOT.
So who are these god the father, the son and the holy spirit???? You have no idea of course, but it is explicitly NOT JEWISH. Just taken in by the church from Paul. You see you just don't know a shit about Judaism. You just have a big mouth.
You seem to be the type of person that does not take new information in, because he knows it already all and he is right of course. You must feel at home because this forum is full of them.

rgprice
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Re: Galatians 1:21-24 : churches of Judea

Post by rgprice » Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:45 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 10:44 am
Jax wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 7:08 am
rgprice wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:24 am
I've read this, and would be interested to hear what you have to say about it Ben: https://www.academia.edu/38769401/Pauls ... p_SBL_2019_
Interesting and thought provoking article but at the end of the day we are left with this statement.
Before exploring how the word ekklēsia can also be considered as a Jewish synagogue term, it is worth noting at this point that, unlike how the word synagōgē is used within Jewish epigraphic and literary records, the word ekklēsia in the New Testament is never used in reference to a physical building or structure.
I hate to sound like a broken 8 track...
Synagogue and assembly are certainly different in this way.

The quote from Philo on page 4 of the article paraphrases Deuteronomy 23.8. This kind of language seems to rely on the Hebrew scriptures for its content.

Paul may simply be engaging in a kind of in-group speech. It does not matter to a lot of modern evangelical Christians that Mormons call themselves Christians; the evangelicals simply deny them that title. The Mormons are "not real Christians," according to them. Likewise, if Paul really believes that Israel as a whole has gone astray, and that the true remnant of Israel is represented both by Gentiles and by a few faithful Jews, then he may simply deny the term "assembly of God" to those he deems apostate. The ones preaching Jesus as the Christ/Messiah are the real assembly of God. Before coming around to that point of view, of course he would not have said he was persecuting the assembly of God; he would have said he was stamping out something deviant. After his turnaround, however, maybe he just now thinks that the only real assemblies of God are those who agree that Jesus is Lord, and he denies his religious opponents that term.
Here are all of the references to "assembly of God" in Paul's letters that I find:

1 Cor 1:2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:

1 Cor 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

1 Cor 11:13 Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, 15 but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. 16 If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.

*** (I take this as an interpolation)
1 Cor 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
***

2 Cor 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God in Corinth, together with all his holy people throughout Achaia:

1 Gal 1:13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it.

1 Cor 2 & 2 Cor 1 present us with a specific "assembly of God" in Corinth.

1 Cor 10 may be referring to the assembly of God in Corinth or some general "assembly of God".

1 Cor 11 tells us that there are many specific "assemblies of God", which would seem to be referring to individual congregations.

1 Cor 15 I take as an interpolation, so I don't give it any real consideration.

What is 1 Gal 13 referring to then? Is it referring to Paul's persecution of the specific assembly of God in Corinth? Did Paul persecute that specific congregation of people before he changed his ways and then adopted them? Is there evidence of this? I don't know of such a case. Reading the Corinthian letters I don't get the impression that he previously persecuted them. But Corinth is the only place that Paul calls a specific assembly of God.

In 1 Gal when Paul says that "you have heard", is he talking about something that he previously told them? In other words, is he effectively saying, "You recall when I told you about..."? Or he is talking about a reputation that they would have heard about from others? I think most people assume the latter.

But when we remove 1 Cor 15 as a reference to persecution, 1 Gal becomes the other such reference. Of course Acts talks about it, but Acts is just building on 1 Gal, so really, we just have Paul saying 1 time that he engaged in persecution. So is this some real activity that he engaged in, or is this some figurative claim based on scriptural references? Why did he never talk about it before?

Also, what is to be made of the following statement:
13 For you have heard of my former way of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; 14 and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions. 15 But when He who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace was pleased 16 to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood

I've read this two ways:
1) That Paul was called to serve God before he was born. This implies an allusion to Isaiah 49:1.
2) That Paul is talking figuratively about the Judaism of his ancestors being his "mothers womb", in which he gestated, before being born into the new faith in which he recognized that Jesus Christ was the Lord.

I prefer reading #2, though I know many use reading #1. To me, reading #1 conflicts with v13 and v16. If he was called before he was born, then why was the later revelation important?

Bernard Muller
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Re: Galatians 1:21-24 : churches of Judea

Post by Bernard Muller » Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:03 am

to hakeem,
In the NT stories, Jesus of Nazareth was crucified when Pilate was Governor and Caiaphas was high priest around the 15th year of Tiberius c 29-30 CE. See gMatthew 26 and gLuke 3.
But when did Tiberius start to be a ruler over the Roman empire? That requires some research. Also, how long Jesus' public life lasted: more research.
And the dating according to "John" put Jesus public life earlier than 29-30 CE.
And there are more evidence & clues in my two webpages.
I can't find any Christian writer who claimed Paul's Epistles according to Marcion were called Apostolikon. The fact is that people make stuff up and then want others to believe their fiction.
There are many modern writings which call Apostolikon the ensemble of Marcion Paul's epistles, including Peter Holmes, D.D., F.R.A.S, Domestic chaplain to the Right Hon. The Countess of Rothes. Published by T&T Clark 1868
I also predicted that Josephus, Philo, Suetonius, Tacitus, Pliny the Elder, Pliny the younger, Plutarch would not have mentioned an apostle Paul because he did not exist.
I don't see why those had to mention Paul.
The apostle Paul did not exist since Justin clearly stated that his Jesus had 12 apostles and they preached the Gospel to every race of men.
This idealistic view was shared also by Aristides and Irenaeus (who certainly knew about Acts and Paul's epistles). Much better than a no eyewitness like Paul preaching in a corner of the Roman empire and making converts here.
He didn't know the one who wrote Epistles to the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Thessalonians, Colossians, to Timothy, Titus and Philemon.
Not saying is not the same as not knowing.
He thought Saul was Paul but he knew nothing at all.

Not true: the author of Acts named Paul as Saul about 128 times.
And we have Act 13:9 But Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him

Papias kills your theory about a very late dating of Paul's epistles (as also Marcion & 1 Clement). You still did not provide a counter argument. Rather you are avoiding the issue.

Cordially, Bernard

robert j
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Re: Galatians 1:21-24 : churches of Judea

Post by robert j » Mon Apr 05, 2021 1:26 pm

rgprice wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:45 am

What is 1 Gal 13 referring to then? ...

In 1 Gal when Paul says that "you have heard", is he talking about something that he previously told them? In other words, is he effectively saying, "You recall when I told you about..."? Or he is talking about a reputation that they would have heard about from others? I think most people assume the latter.

But when we remove 1 Cor 15 as a reference to persecution, 1 Gal becomes the other such reference ... Acts is just building on 1 Gal, so really, we just have Paul saying 1 time that he engaged in persecution. So is this some real activity that he engaged in, or is this some figurative claim based on scriptural references? Why did he never talk about it before?
If we include all the extant references to Paul having described his earlier activity as a persecutor, there are three congregations --- Galatians 1:13-14 and 1:22-23, 1 Corinthians 15:9, and Philippians 3:6 (I think 1 Corinthians 15:9 belongs).

So, in letters to 3 out of 4 of his congregations, Paul briefly reminded the recipients about his former persecuting activity. That seems to make it a ‘boiler-plate’ concept of sorts for Paul --- part of the story he likely told all of his potential converts during his evangelizing visit with them.

But why would Paul make such a claim?

Paul needed a feasible explanation for how a formerly devout Jew such as himself could come to believe that one could be a full participant with God’s chosen people of Israel without the benefit of circumcision. The requirement for circumcision in the Jewish scriptures is exceedingly clear and explicit --- in the words of the deity no less. Circumcision was required for all native-born Jews, and for all converts regardless of age (Genesis 17:9-14, Exodus 12:43-49, Joshua 5:2-8, and Leviticus 12:1-3, LXX).

In keeping with nearly the entire letter to the Galatians, it's about circumcision and Paul's claim, his good news, that Gentiles could belong to the Israel of God without being circumcised. As a reminder of what he had told them before, Paul’s story in Galatians 1:13-17 can be summarized like this --- ‘Of course, I thought it was going against the will of God too, and fought against it, until God Himself revealed to me His will for a new way, and He chose me to spread the good news’.

Absent effective evidence for the purported assemblies in Christ in Judea in the relevant time frame, I suspect Paul contrived the story of his persecuting activity before he embarked on his missionary efforts in Gentile territory.

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