Post Reply
Page 3 of 11  •  Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 11 Next
Switch to Forum Live View How did Paul know it was Jesus?
2 years ago  ::  May 08, 2012 - 5:43PM #21
davelaw40
Posts: 19,669

May 8, 2012 -- 2:08PM, Kwinters wrote:


May 8, 2012 -- 2:05PM, nieciedo wrote:


May 8, 2012 -- 1:34PM, Kwinters wrote:

Paul never knew the earthly Jesus, so how would he know it was Jesus who appeared to him?

He might have thought it was Jesus, he might have believed it was Jesus.  But why should anyone have confidence that the thing that Paul experienced was, in fact, Jesus and not something or someone else pretending to be him? 



According to the story in Acts, Paul is struck blind during the roadside visitation. Meanwhile, a guy named Ananias in Damascus receives a vision from Jesus telling him to go find Paul and heal him in Jesus's name, which he does.


So, can we assume that "know" means "have a justified true belief?"


If "things we believe regardless of whether or not they are really true" is one circle and "things  that are true regardless of whether anyone believes them" is another, then "things we know" is the part of the Venn diagram where those two circles overlap.


Paul believed that it was Jesus, and for those who accept such evidence Ananias's vision and healing in Jesus's name would back that up and provide justification and evidence for that belief, making is a "justified true belief" and allowing Paul to know that it was Jesus.


Why should anyone else have confidence that  this was the case? As with most things, it boils down to trust and faith. You don't have to believe it if you don't want to. Judging the tree by the fruit it bears, the church has generally considered that Paul's ministry was valid.





I tend to prefer Paul's own words to the stories told about him much later.  Paul does not describe this road to Damascus incident anywhere in his letters.  


And citing other people's acceptance of his story does not validate it.  In fact we have evidence from Paul's own letters that his gospel produced conflict, counter missionaries and hostility in the early church.




How is Paul's account hostile to the Acts account?


zealous for God


persecuted the Church


called by Jesus

Non Quis, Sed Quid
Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  May 08, 2012 - 5:49PM #22
Kwinters
Posts: 18,238

May 8, 2012 -- 3:30PM, Eliascomes wrote:


May 8, 2012 -- 1:34PM, Kwinters wrote:

Paul never knew the earthly Jesus, so how would he know it was Jesus who appeared to him?

He might have thought it was Jesus, he might have believed it was Jesus.  But why should anyone have confidence that the thing that Paul experienced was, in fact, Jesus and not something or someone else pretending to be him? 



 I guess Jesus had told him whom He is.



Acts 9:5
“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied





That is not what Paul writes. He wrote that God revealed his son in him.  Acts is a pretty story, but Paul never told it.

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  May 08, 2012 - 5:50PM #23
dio
Posts: 4,317

I'm really starting to think Christianity is bases on free flowing gnosis.

Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  May 08, 2012 - 5:50PM #24
Kwinters
Posts: 18,238

May 8, 2012 -- 4:55PM, Eliascomes wrote:


May 8, 2012 -- 4:30PM, MMarcoe wrote:


May 8, 2012 -- 3:30PM, Eliascomes wrote:


May 8, 2012 -- 1:34PM, Kwinters wrote:

Paul never knew the earthly Jesus, so how would he know it was Jesus who appeared to him?

He might have thought it was Jesus, he might have believed it was Jesus.  But why should anyone have confidence that the thing that Paul experienced was, in fact, Jesus and not something or someone else pretending to be him? 



 I guess Jesus had told him whom He is.



Acts 9:5
“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied





That's the same experience that delusional psychotics have when they talk with Jesus. So how do we know Paul's experience was true?


 




 The same as how we know if our leaders of today speak the truth of their life experiences. It's all about faith.




Faith is not knowledge.


Faith is taking a position in the absence of knowledge.

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  May 08, 2012 - 5:53PM #25
mainecaptain
Posts: 21,657


May 8, 2012 -- 4:55PM, Eliascomes wrote:



 The same as how we know if our leaders of today speak the truth of their life experiences. It's all about faith.





Using only faith, means he could have been completely wrong. Or completely lying. Everyone who believes Paul could very well be following a charlatan.


As KWinters sais, faith is not knowledge

A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. Aristotle
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. Plato..
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives" Jackie Robinson
Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  May 08, 2012 - 6:00PM #26
davelaw40
Posts: 19,669

As was stated earlier, Acts has Paul healed in the name of Jesus -miracle as confirmation


Paul is then persecuted for the cause of Jesus-persecution as confirmation


Paul is never publicly denounced by James or Peter and is accepted by Barnabus


(evidently Paul knew the secret passwords and handshakes)

Non Quis, Sed Quid
Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  May 08, 2012 - 6:17PM #27
dio
Posts: 4,317

what kind of spiritual lesson are we to draw from this?

Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  May 08, 2012 - 7:12PM #28
nieciedo
Posts: 5,617

May 8, 2012 -- 5:50PM, Kwinters wrote:


Faith is not knowledge.


Faith is taking a position in the absence of knowledge.




So we are going to play games with epistemology. 


First, "faith" is putting trust in something or someone and relying on them. The word you're looking for is "belief." 


Second, Paul does not contradict the Acts story of the appearance that triggered his conversion. If in his letters he did not spell out what happened, it is probably because it was not relevant to whatever purpose he was writing about. Paul didn't leave us with an autobiography.


Third, Paul's belief was clearly justified to him in some way and he believed it to be true. "Justified true belief" = "knowledge." The Acts story is as good a way as any for this to occur.


Philosophers have debated for centuries whether true "knowledge" of any a posteriori statement is possible, and that question is not going to be resolved here. As far as we can tell, as far as Paul was concerned he KNEW it was Jesus, and Christian have FAITH that he was correct.


If you don't like that, don't be a Christian. 

Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  May 08, 2012 - 7:14PM #29
Blü
Posts: 23,991

Surely the key passage from Paul is from Galatians 1 -


11  For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not man's gospel.  12  For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.


That's Paul telling us that everything he says about Jesus comes out of his own head.



Consistently with that, Paul's subject is the skygod Jesus who will shortly bring in the Kingdom - the sort of thing he doesn't need facts for.  His biographical information about Jesus is matchingly minimalist indeed.  He tells us that (Galatians 1:13) he persecuted the 'church of God' and that (Galatians 1:19) he spoke with 'James the Lord's brother' but if that's so, he gives no indication that he came away on either occasion with any biographical information at all.

Quick Reply
Cancel
2 years ago  ::  May 08, 2012 - 7:14PM #30
nieciedo
Posts: 5,617

May 8, 2012 -- 5:53PM, mainecaptain wrote:


Using only faith, means he could have been completely wrong. Or completely lying. Everyone who believes Paul could very well be following a charlatan.


As KWinters sais, faith is not knowledge




Yeah, that's a risk. 


So what? You're not a Christian and no one is forcing you to become one. 


You didn't answer before what would be the incentive for lying, or why you cynically assume that he would have been a charlatan. 


Quick Reply
Cancel
Page 3 of 11  •  Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 11 Next
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook