The Problem of Paul and Marcionism

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ebion
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The Problem of Paul and Marcionism

Post by ebion »

the Problem with Paul, simply put, is that Paul's teachings in the Paulines are strongly opposed the those of Jesus in the synoptics, and yet his teachings are pushed forward by most Churches. In this thread we want to pull together the writers over the years that have been critical of having Paul in Christianity (and there were many), and to look at the Early Christian writers on this conflict with Paul. Tertullian called Paul the "Apostle Of The Heretics", meaning that the heretics of his time, like Marcion, Valerian and Basilides all relied on the "Pauline" teachings.

Robert M Price, author of The Amazing Colossal Apostle writes:
But let's just say for sake of argument that Marcion first went public with his "New Testament" in 144, and that's the first time that anyone saw Marcion's version of Paul's letters.

There is no account of anyone knowing of a collection of Paul's letters prior to that.
In "The Amazing Colossal Apostle: The Search for the Historical Paul" (Kindle Locations 937-942), he writes:
Somewhere between 100 and 150 CE, Paulinism as a theological system arose out of a mystical and speculative circle. Van Manen speaks of the Paulinist movement and Gnosticism arising from the same circles... Tertullian called Paul “the apostle of Marcion and the apostle of the heretics,” and both Irenaeus and Tertullian noted how much 'the heretics' cherished Paul’s writings. The first commentators on the epistles were the Gnostics Valentinus1, Heracleon?, and Basilides [c. 100 - c. 139 e.v.].
We can find no account of anyone knowing of a collection of Paul's letters prior to MarcionOrLater (circa 144 AD), so we consider the Paulines as falsely attributed to Paul, and hence we call them the Faulines. The Faulines are downright anti-Christian and are explicitly Marcian: The Faulines are explicitly anti-monotheistic, which I assume comes from Marcion or his mentors.

The problem of Paul is how did his letters rise to such a place of prominence in the churches?

PS: Here are some other threads in the forum on Paul and Marcion: PS: we don't reply to posts in this thread by StephenGoranson, Ulan, SecretAlias, schillingklaus as we do not see them.
Last edited by ebion on Tue Jan 30, 2024 6:56 pm, edited 11 times in total.
schillingklaus
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Re: The Problem of Paul

Post by schillingklaus »

Of course they are falsely attributed to Paul, as the latter only exists in patristic and apologistic fantasy. But the synoptics are not better, as they are fragmented fiction by late and obfuscated authors spreading some faerie tales about fictitious people of early first century Galilee and Jerusalem with misattributed teachings.
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Sinouhe
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Re: The Problem of Paul

Post by Sinouhe »

the Problem with Paul, simply put, is that Paul's teachings in the Paulines are strongly opposed the those of Jesus in the synoptics, and yet his teachings are pushed forward by most Churches.
On the contrary, I find that the letters of Paul and Mark are in perfect harmony. Basically, Mark is like a Pauline gospel.

As for the following (Mt, Lk, Jn), it doesn't matter. They're just Mark's fan fiction.
Last edited by Sinouhe on Wed Dec 27, 2023 2:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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GakuseiDon
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Re: The Problem of Paul

Post by GakuseiDon »

ebion wrote: Tue Dec 26, 2023 11:57 pmWe can find no account of anyone knowing of a collection of Paul's letters prior to MarcionOrLater (circa 144 AD)...
What about Colossians? ECW dates it to 80-100CE. From here: https://www.earlychristianwritings.com/colossians.html

Moreover, it could be argued that the use of Colossians by the author of Ephesians supports the authenticity of Colossians. This is because, if Ephesians is judged to be written c. 100 and is dependent upon Colossians, then Colossians must have been written a while before and must have been considered an authentic letter in order to be used for imitation by the author of Ephesians.

It is a fake in Paul's name that seems to be aware of letters by Paul:

Col 4:16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.

davidmartin
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Re: The Problem of Paul

Post by davidmartin »

>The problem of Paul is how did his letters rise to such a place of prominence in the churches?

maybe cause they thought Paul wrote them and when Marcion caused a storm with them, they ditched Marcion and kept the letters, so they could benefit from their popularity?

PS 144AD maybe some shit went down and some pope 'excommunicated' 'marcion' officially and the action probably happened before it was called 'marcionism'
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GakuseiDon
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Re: The Problem of Paul

Post by GakuseiDon »

ebion wrote: Tue Dec 26, 2023 11:57 pmTertullian called Paul the "Apostle Of The Heretics", meaning that the heretics of his time, like Marcion, Valerian and Basilides all relied on the "Pauline" teachings.
The heretics also had their own Gospels that they relied on, even heretics that rejected the writings of Paul. Irenaeus writes:
https://www.earlychristianwritings.com/ ... book3.html

For the Ebionites, who use Matthew's Gospel only, are confuted out of this very same, making false suppositions with regard to the Lord. But Marcion, mutilating that according to Luke, is proved to be a blasphemer of the only existing God, from those [passages] which he still retains. Those, again, who separate Jesus from Christ, alleging that Christ remained impassible, but that it was Jesus who suffered, preferring the Gospel by Mark, if they read it with a love of truth, may have their errors rectified. Those, moreover, who follow Valentinus, making copious use of that according to John, to illustrate their conjunctions

As far as I know, all the heretics placed Paul very early, even those that rejected Paul (like the Ebionites). So if Paul was a literary creation, they placed him early. If the person himself was a literary creation, I think that person as a letter writer with a collection wouldn't be an unlikely component of that creation.
davidmartin
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Re: The Problem of Paul

Post by davidmartin »

i don't buy the theory the core of Mark is Pauline. it does have a slight Pauline airbrushing but lacks any real pauline doctrines.
as an example of airbrushing, the brief mentions of the atonement that the disciples are portrayed as knowing nothing about

it looks like the gospels received this treatment around the time the epistles got accepted by the orthodox but that the earlier versions were completely unaware of Paul and the epistles. they pre-date the latter by some decades

we also see the other side, the epistles and pastorals being unaware of the gospels... but that fits the pauline idea of no gospel jesus.. such texts wouldn't mention the gospels even if they existed and had Mark truly been 'Pauline' and in-house they would reference the gospels, but no.

i used to think the epistles did date to the 50's/60's till quite recently, this forum made me rethink this, i now recon more like 90-120 con-current with gnosticism emerging. the hardest part of accepting this is still that the epistle writers are purposely excluding historical jesus info at this later date, but i think it's more like they were all about their beliefs and heavenly Christ, they just wrote what they believed mattered and excluded all else. they had no gospel and rejected any jesus info and portrayed an early apostle Paul who did the same, Marcion emerged WITH a gospel later, they had none before. something like that
ebion
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Paul was a Herodian: he got 470 Roman soldiers to guard him

Post by ebion »

GakuseiDon wrote: Wed Dec 27, 2023 1:57 am As far as I know, all the heretics placed Paul very early, even those that rejected Paul (like the Ebionites). So if Paul was a literary creation, they placed him early. If the person himself was a literary creation, I think that person as a letter writer with a collection wouldn't be an unlikely component of that creation.
I'm not so sure of this and I want to know.

The Ebionaens were early (>=63 AD), but may have rejected the Paul in Acts without even a trace of the Fauliines. Even in Acts there were lynch mobs out for him:
And he said, The Jews have agreed to desire thee that thou wouldest bring down Paul to morrow into the council, as though they would enquire somewhat of him more perfectly.
But do not thou yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee. (Acts 23:20-21 [KJV])
And serious ones at that: when the Roman army takes him into protective custody they escort him to Caesarea with 470 men on almost no notice:
And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Cæsarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night; (Acts 23:23 [KJV])
480 Roman soldiers is a magic number: it's a Roman cohort, or 6 Roman centuries (72-80 men); there would also have been ~100 support slaves and workers that accompanied them, plus the food water and logistics for a 100 mile march with 70 horses to Caesaria. That's a lot of protection for one person: it would only happen for someone the Romans felt was both important and threatened. It would only happen if Paul was a close relative of Herod, and the Romans were committed to proping up Herod's throne.

Faul says he's a relative of Herod (Rom. 16:11). And the author of Acts tells us that Manaen "had been brought up with Herod the tetrach* and Saul[Paul]" (Acts. 13:1 [KJV] *=comma removed) So that places him very close to Herod: a nephew or perhaps a son by an ex-wife. And he has Roman citizenship (Acts 22:25), a rare priviledge reserved for the Herodians who ruled (with the support Roman force of arms).

There's an unresolved ambiguity in both Acts and the Paulines as to whether or not Paul was a Hebrew. Paul claims he is a Pharisee (Acts 23:6) and studied with Gamaliel (Acts 22:3) which we presume was reserved for Hebrews, but he may be lying. Faul basicaly admits to lying about being a "Jew" whenever it suits him:
And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; (I Corinthians 9:20 [KJV])
We take seriously the Ebionite charge in the Clementines, and repeated in the Panarion (1.30.16:9) that Paul was never a real Hebrew to begin with. Quoting from Robert M. Price's review of Eiseman's book "James the Brother of Jesus":
Maccoby shows quite extensively in his Paul and Hellenism that the Pauline Epistles give precious little evidence of having been written by a Jew, what with their anti-Semitic outbursts, their Mystery Religion affinities, their Gnosticizing exegesis, and their utterly non-Jewish view of the Torah as a burden. Eisenman enhances his case by adducing the evidence for Paul's Herodian background, something we really do not have to read too far between the lines to see, given his Roman citizenship, his kinship to one Herodion and to the household of Aristobulus. If this is what the Ebionites meant, that Paul was as little a Jew as Herod the Great despite his pretense,
We agree; do we have any idea, even speculation, of who was the mother of Paul?

Dr. Trevor Marshall has written 7 Reasons Paul was Herodian, that adds to the points we made above
(his 2,4,5,7) with:
  • 3. Saul/Paul officially persecuted Christians on behalf of the Temple authorities. This is odd. Think about how hard it was for the Sanhedrin to kill Jesus Christ. Back and forth between the Roman Pontius Pilate and the Roman appointed “King” Herod Antipas the Tetrarch. Killing Christ was complicated and difficult. ...
    Who was the only man on earth who could arrange for Saul to act on behalf of the High Priest in the foreign city of Damascus? Oh that’s right, Herod Antipas the Tetrarch!

    Why was Saul/Paul able to fulfill his desire to persecute Christians on behalf on the High Priest throughout the Roman Empire? Because his family was close to the family of Herod.
  • 6. Josephus refers to a “Saulus” who persecuted people in Jerusalem. From the Antiquities (20.9.4) of Josephus: ...
    Is this the same “Saul”? It’s hard to tell, but a Saul who was “of the royal family” and “kindred to (Herod) Agrippa” and who “used violence with the people” sure sounds like Saul/Paul in his pre-Christian days.
But there's another possible more nuanced answer: the Herodians were Idumeans who regarded theselves as "converted" but were not accepted as such by the Sadducees, Samaratains, Essenes or other Hebrews. With the possible exception of the Pharisees who may have accepted them for political reasons, at least on the surface; the Pharisees and Herodians worked together. (And maybe the Sadducees when the Herodians appointed the HP.) Herod Antipater, also called Herod Antipas, was a descendant of Esau, the father of the Edomites according to Josephus. This is important because the Idumeans were generally hated and/or rejected by the Hebrews: "Herod’s Jewish identity was always a sore point; he was simply not Jewish enough for most of his reluctant subjects." This might explain the lynch mob going after Paul, if he was also seen as an Idumean or an Edomite. Recall that it was Herod with the Pharisees that plotted to kill Jesus (Luke 13:31).

So the Ebionaens had lots to judge the Paul-in-Acts on long before the Faulines by MarcionOrLater appear. It's the Faulines that are the literary creation, not the Paul in Acts.

See also:
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John2
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Re: The Problem of Paul

Post by John2 »

ebion wrote: Tue Dec 26, 2023 11:57 pm the Problem with Paul, simply put, is that Paul's teachings in the Paulines are strongly opposed the those of Jesus in the synoptics, and yet his teachings are pushed forward by most Churches.

I don't see a problem here. Paul taught a Torah-free gospel to Gentiles and Jesus (to my eyes) taught a Torah-observant gospel to Jews and did not teach a Torah-observant gospel to Gentiles. And since most churches are Gentile, they naturally push Paul's teachings forward.
davidmartin
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Re: The Problem of Paul

Post by davidmartin »

acts, pffft, its obvious anyway the epistles are incompatible with a historical jesus existing. a lot think they are the first blush of christianity that existed but on weak grounds.. nah, they're contemporary with the gnostics and the gospels preserve something of the older kick-ass Jesus of whatever he stood for. basically a lot of ppl have fell for the epistles sales pitch and try and trace it all back from there, but get base 1 wrong and all else will be wrong after that. got to hand it to the scholars, they say J was historical for a reason, they know Paul doesn't explain the evidence well enough to say otherwise.
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