Paul Had Tattoos

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Joseph D. L.
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Re: Paul Had Tattoos

Post by Joseph D. L. » Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:45 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:42 am
Redeemed slaves were branded with a Latin F if I am not mistaken = Christian redemption.
Phlegon was a freedman of Hadrian's and is mentioned in Romans 16.

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Jax
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Re: Paul Had Tattoos

Post by Jax » Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:43 am

If Paul was a slave of Christ wouldn't a delta be more appropriate?

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Jax
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Re: Paul Had Tattoos

Post by Jax » Mon Sep 21, 2020 6:43 am

Chi Delta perhaps?

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Secret Alias
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Re: Paul Had Tattoos

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:11 am

But let's suppose that the marks on the slaves were as a result of them being captured. The marks are 'the marks of Jesus.' In other words, Jesus being a captured slave. They would have branded him (theoretically) with an 'F' or a stigma because he was a fugitive slave or the stigma because of the verb σταυρόω.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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Jax
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Re: Paul Had Tattoos

Post by Jax » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:18 am

But we have no hint of Jesus ever being a slave in any form in any of the texts that we have.

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Jax
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Re: Paul Had Tattoos

Post by Jax » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:22 am

Does Paul say that Jesus was hanged on a tree?

Could that be the mark that he referred to?

robert j
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Re: Paul Had Tattoos

Post by robert j » Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:47 am

With a short window of available time and an itch to scratch, I’ll weigh in here ---
Jax wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:31 am

Any thoughts on what exactly Paul's tattoos of Jesus might have been?
Perhaps in similar fashion to Roger Stone, Paul had a tattoo of Jesus’ face on his back ---



Of course that suggestion is ridiculous.

I think the most likely solution to Paul’s claim in Galatians 6:17 is readily apparent in Paul’s letters and in his source material.

From now on let no one give me troubles, for I bear on my body the marks (στίγματα) of Jesus. (Galatians 6:17)

στίγματα: The single NT occurrence here, the term in Paul’s day was typically used for a mark of ownership, devotion, or punishment as in the mark of an owner on a slave, a symbol of devotion to a god, a mark of belonging to a military unit, etc. The mark could variously be applied by incision or pricking with a sharp instrument, or perhaps also by branding.

Paul apparently applied the term to his scars; first a Jewish punishment ---
Five times I received from Jews forty [lashes] minus one. (2 Corinthians 11:24)

And also a typical punishment from Roman authorities –--
Three times I was beaten with rods … (2 Corinthians 11:25)

Remember here in the verse in question, Paul is bragging about his marks to the Galatians. Some of whom probably saw his scars with their own eyes when they cared for him when he was sick and his toga was down (Galatians 4:13-14).

Why did Paul refer to his scars as the “marks of Jesus”?

… he was wounded because of our sins, and he was made infirm on account of our lawless deeds … by his stripe (μώλωπι) we were healed. (Isaiah 53:5, LXX)

I have no illusions that Paul was punished by his own people the Jews, or by Roman authorities, as a result of his work teaching about Jesus Christ. I suspect most or all of those punishments preceded his missionary work. Paul was apparently prone to all kinds of trouble.

I think it would be entirely reasonable to expect that a Jewish enclave in a metropolis such as Damascus, for example, would have facilities for advanced education and training in Jewish civil and legal affairs. Paul clearly experienced some form of higher education. I suspect Paul was trained as a lawyer, as a scribe. Paul employed some legalisms in his letters, terms and practices typically used in legal documents. Paul presented some of his positions in the form of legal arguments and certified some statements with oaths and authorizations. David Trobisch, who studied hundreds of ancient letters, observed that the letter Galatians has the literary characteristics of a legal document. And certainly a lawyer needs a “set of books”, legal codes by which legal documents are constructed. As Josephus recounts, Jewish civil affairs were conducted according to the precepts of the Pharisees. “... as to the law, a Pharisee …” (Philippians 3:5).

Leaving behind more reasonable analysis and venturing much farther into the realm of speculation ---

I suspect Paul was a two-bit lawyer employed in drafting legal documents for his Jewish clients --- divorce papers, land deals, sale of slaves, etc. Ancient dumps in very dry climates are often rife with such surviving documents. With Paul’s predilections in mind, I suspect some of his work may have pushed the bounds of legality and landed him in the trouble with the authorities that resulted in his punishments --- his stripes.

What is a lawyer that has been repeatedly and publicly disgraced going to do to support himself? Well, a scribe with an exceptional knowledge and grasp of the Jewish scriptures could certainly have used those skills to develop a scripture-based spiritual system that provided an easy short-cut for interested Gentiles to become full participants with the great and ancient God of Israel. And then the disgraced Paul left his lost profession behind to support himself as an entrepreneurial, itinerant Jewish missionary venturing deep into Gentile territory.

robert j
Last edited by robert j on Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Jax
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Re: Paul Had Tattoos

Post by Jax » Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:59 am

Jax wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:18 am
But we have no hint of Jesus ever being a slave in any form in any of the texts that we have.
To back peddle this statement a bit. David Bentley Hart in his New Testament has Philippians 2:6-8 as "Who, subsisting in God's form, did not deem being on equal terms with God a thing to be grasped, but instead emptied himself, taking a slave's form, coming to be in a likeness of human beings; and, being found as a human being in shape, he reduced himself, becoming obedient all the way to death, and a death by a cross."

Does this sound right? And if so would Paul be calling himself a slave of a slave?

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Jax
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Re: Paul Had Tattoos

Post by Jax » Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:08 am

robert j wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:47 am
With a short window of available time and an itch to scratch, I’ll weigh in here ---
Jax wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:31 am

Any thoughts on what exactly Paul's tattoos of Jesus might have been?
Perhaps in similar fashion to Roger Stone, Paul had a tattoo of Jesus’ face on his back ---



Of course that suggestion is ridiculous. Even many commentaries are more or less on the right track with this one.

I think the most likely solution to Paul’s claim in Galatians 6:17 is readily apparent in Paul’s letters and in his source material.

From now on let no one give me troubles, for I bear on my body the marks (στίγματα) of Jesus. (Galatians 6:17)

στίγματα: The single NT occurrence here, the term in Paul’s day was typically used for a mark of ownership, devotion, or punishment as in the mark of an owner on a slave, a symbol of devotion to a god, a mark of belonging to a military unit, etc. The mark could variously be applied by incision or pricking with a sharp instrument, or perhaps also by branding.

Paul apparently applied the term to his scars; first a Jewish punishment ---
Five times I received from Jews forty [lashes] minus one. (2 Corinthians 11:24)

And also a typical punishment from Roman authorities –--
Three times I was beaten with rods … (2 Corinthians 11:25)

Remember here in the verse in question, Paul is bragging about his marks to the Galatians. Some of whom probably saw his scars with their own eyes when they cared for him when he was sick and his toga was down (Galatians 4:13-14).

Why did Paul refer to his scars as the “marks of Jesus”?

… he was wounded because of our sins, and he was made infirm on account of our lawless deeds … by his stripe (μώλωπι) we were healed. (Isaiah 53:5, LXX)

I have no illusions that Paul was punished by his own people the Jews, or by Roman authorities, as a result of any of his work teaching about Jesus Christ. I suspect most or all of those punishments preceded his missionary work. Paul was apparently prone to all kinds of trouble.

I think it would be entirely reasonable to expect that a Jewish enclave in a metropolis such as Damascus, for example, would have facilities for advanced education and training in Jewish civil and legal affairs. Paul clearly experienced some form of higher education. I suspect Paul was trained as a lawyer, a scribe. Paul employed some legalisms in his letters, terms typically used in legal documents. And Paul presented some of his positions in the form of legal arguments and certified some statements with oaths and authorizations. David Trobisch, who studied hundreds of ancient letters, observed that the letter Galatians has the literary characteristics of a legal document. And certainly a lawyer needs a “set of books”, legal codes by which legal documents are constructed. As Josephus recounts, Jewish civil affairs were conducted according to the precepts of the Pharisees --- “as to the law, a Pharisee …” (Philippians 3:5).

Leaving behind more reasonable analysis and venturing much farther into the realm of speculation ---

I suspect Paul was a two-bit lawyer employed in drafting legal documents for his Jewish clients --- divorce papers, land deals, sale of slaves, etc. Ancient dumps in very dry climates are often rife with such surviving documents. With Paul’s predilections in mind, I suspect some of his work may have pushed the bounds of legality and landed him in trouble with the authorities that resulted in his punishments --- his stripes.

What is a lawyer that has been repeatedly and publicly disgraced going to do to support himself? Well a scribe with an exceptional knowledge and grasp of the Jewish scriptures could certainly have used those skills to develop a scriptural-based spiritual system that provided an easy short-cut for interested Gentiles to become full participants with the great and ancient God of Israel. And then the disgraced Paul left his lost profession behind to support himself as an entrepreneurial, itinerant Jewish missionary venturing deep into Gentile territory.

robert j
If you have the time, I would be very interested in what the legal terms you mentioned are.

Paul also uses a lot of military and sports terminology as well. Some are Roman military terms like a term for paymaster of a Roman military.

Thanks

Lane

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Secret Alias
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Re: Paul Had Tattoos

Post by Secret Alias » Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:13 am

And if so would Paul be calling himself a slave of a slave?
I think Paul often speaks as Christ that Christ is speaking through him, that Christ is in him. So just a slave.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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