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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Monotheism II: Father of Monotheism

Guess most of you already know the answer ... That's right, the father of monotheism is none other than Paul.

This man was a true believer with an unshakable faith that Jesus was the Son of God, (perhaps because he never laid eyes on him and did not know him personally to be aware of his weaknesses).

He became determined to preach the message of Christ that was rejected in his own homeland, amongst the rest of humanity. But this was a tough sell. Other nations had their own gods and would not listen to the preaching of a foreign cult. Many had customs that were different from those of the Jews and those that Jesus practiced.

What Paul did is what any good salesman would do. He changed his product to make it more attractive to his western clients. Paul was clever enough to realize that if he had to convert the Gentiles into Christianity, he had to re-invent a new Christianity palatable to their taste and liking.

He soon dropped the requisite of circumcision, belittled the importance of Sabbath, undermined Jesus’ preference of the Jews and even claimed that he is preaching the messages of a pagan "unknown god". This is reported in the following verses.

"Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.

For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you." Act 17:22,23

The temple dedicated to the unknown god was built because of the Athenian's concern not to leave behind any god, very much the same concept when we dedicate a monument to the memory of the Unknown Soldier. The unknown god was certainly the least of the gods and not as Paul wanted to believe the Creator of the universe.

It looks like by then many had come to see the similarity and the oneness of humankind. And therefore it was unreasonable to believe that each nation had a separate creator. It is interesting to observe that, as we saw in the above episode, apparently Jesus was less aware of this oneness than his disciple Paul. The reason is obviously circumstantial. Jesus was born and raised in a closed and dogmatic society. He, like his contemporary compatriots believed that the Jews are the chosen children of God. He was not concerned for the Gentiles and even rejected to assist them when they came to him. On the other hand, Paul was a more sophisticated and learned person. He had traveled extensively, was familiar with many cultures and had been in touch with great civilizations. His views were more cosmopolitan than those of Jesus. In his opinion, if Christ was the Son of God, his message should not be reserved only to the Jews but must spread to all the nations of the world. He, unlike his master, did not believe that God would play favoritism. But like Peter believed that “God is not respecter of persons” Act 10:34

Thus, monotheism owes its popularity to the clever and more universalistic views of the disciples of Jesus and not to his own teachings. The spread of Christianity in the West, forced the early believers to adapt the teachings of Jesus and make it more appealing to the new converts. In this way, a local and obscure cult of few Jews became the religion of choice for Romans who eventually made it the religion of the entire continent.

Do you dispute Paul is the Father of Monotheism?

Unchained Slave quoted 1 Timothy 2:5 "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus"

Question: How do we know '1 Timothy 2:5' is not part of the works of Paul, either directly or under his influence?

If Paul were to be reincarnated into our era, I am sure he will emarge as one of the hottest commodities in the Wall Street ... I imagine most of the Fortune 500 big boys would like to recruit the genius salesman into their Who-Is-Who directory.

It sounds like religion is a dirty business after all ... no?

Next ... I am going to put up something on traditional Jewish pratice abandoned by Paul (in the name of marketing): -

  1. No need to circumcise
  2. No need to keep Kosher
  3. Okay to idolate

Among all, I consider 'No need to keep Kosher' as the most significant of all. Maybe Christians should really thank him for this one, you'd otherwise not allowed to eat Cheesbuger, Lobster and the list is virtually endless (yes, not even cooking up one yourself). Now you know why the Jews regard Christianity as a cult?

Also, someone just sent me some materials disputing the saying "We are all children of Abraham"

10 Comments:

Blogger Adrian said...

Jesus chose the disciples. Their works were and still are only possible through him.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Madonna said...

Did Jesus choose Paul as one of his disciples? If so, why did they say Jesus never meet Paul before?

You menationed the traditional Jewish pratice abandoned by Paul ie. No need to circumcise, No need to keep Kosher and Okay to idolate is really something new to me.

If keeping Kosher is commanded by God as the Jews put it, then how is it okay for Christians to disobey the command? Does that mean we are not children of God?

One last question, are you sure Jews are not allowed to consume lobster? This doesn't sound right to me. Anyway, what's wrong with lobster?

10:30 AM  
Blogger Pretty Woman said...

say what you like, jesus is lord, always and forever.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Adrian said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Adrian said...

MADONNA:

I am not the host of this site, nor an expert on religious matters, but I think I may be able help on one or two of your questions.

Paul was as far as I know, an apostle, not a disciple. He was originally a persecutor of Christians and only became a believer (a bit of time after Jesus had risen) after he was blinded by the light of God. For this reason Paul had never physically met Jesus, he only knew him spiritually.

I am not an expert on Christianity, let alone Jewish custom, so I cannot even attempt to answer that one on circumcision.

As for the lobster query, I think it may have to do with the role it plays in the ocean/sea. The lobster is basically a scavenger that cleans the ocean floor of any rotting fish and things. For this reason it may have been looked upon as unfavourably and dirty as pork products.

I stand open to correction though.

Hope it helps! : )

2:53 PM  
Blogger Emma Beverage said...

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4:21 PM  
Blogger Unchained Slave said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:52 PM  
Blogger La Bona said...

Unclained Slave,
You rebuttal may well be the saviour for Christianity ... Let me digest a little.
I'd most probably add some points to your input and publish it as a new blog so that it can be googled for the good of all.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Blogosaurus Rex said...

Paul,

"appointed by God to serve God and Proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ"

had a vision. If we are to take Paul seriously, then by that logic, we should take every other self-proclaimed prophet just as seriously, including people like David Koresh. Who says Paul was appointed? Paul? A couple of witnesses, who were with him when he was still on the Roman payroll? And if they were with him, how can they be trusted?

I still say Paul has no credibility. The issue of the rift between James the Just and Paul was not addressed here either. Why would there be a rift if Paul was so righteous?

As for Peter, who's to say he wasn't swayed by Paul's excellent "salesmanship"? Possibly after James' death?

I'm still not sold on anything Paul wrote. Let's not forget that he openly condoned slavery, oppression of women, and openly hated homosexuals. (And I don't buy the bit about "Sodom" referring to homosexuals either. The evidence is VERY WEAK for that. I wrote about it here)

La Bona, excellent post on polytheism. As I've mentioned earlier, there DO seem to be discrepancies between the God described in books like Genesis, and the later God described in the New Testament. I don't think that it is out of the realm of possibility that there may have been different Gods. Or perhaps there were lesser Gods, but ones that all answered to the "Most High".

There is a phrase in the Book of Enoch that clearly states that there was a difference in the physical appearance of a "son of man" vs. a "son of God".

Even Genesis 6:2 contains the line:

"the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose."

Explain that one.

Or this one (Genesis 6:4):

" The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown."

Here is the verse from Enoch:

"And he said unto him: 'I have begotten a strange son, diverse from and unlike man, and resembling the sons of the God of heaven; and his nature is different and he is not like us, and his eyes are as the rays of the sun, and his countenance is glorious...'"

Here he is saying that his son more closely resembles the "sons of the God of heaven"

There are all kinds of different races alluded to here, not to mention that making babies with earth women doesn't seem to be a very "angelic" venture.

God also seems to acknowledge some kind of problem just after this, and brings on the flood.

My point is, that maybe there is really only one "God", but maybe there were lesser beings that were also regarded as "Gods" as well. This would explain multiple Gods in other cultures, and also explain why God wanted us to have "no other Gods" before him.

My 2 cents

12:38 AM  
Blogger Chad said...

I think you've oversimplified the case for Christianity. There are a plethora of people, events, and prophecies outside of the apostle Paul which would need to be refuted to reject the story of Christ. I've linked to this post and offered a detailed response here.

12:17 AM  

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WARNING: Blind obsession with prophecy can be perilous or even fatal, reader discretion is advised! Submitted to God as His worldly Activist on a non-exclusive basis since June 15, 2005 1:00 am ET. “La Bona” is a professional name inspired by God; it means "The Righteous", “The Virtuous” or simply “The Good” in Esperanto (a neutral international language). DivineTalk® is an Open Commentary Forum dedicated to God for His Children to engage in dialogue, discourse and debate on laws, standards and values on morality, lifestyle, ethics, business and just about anything else related to their life. God enlightened to have His Words improvised and updated with the prevailing circumstances so that the divine guidance, dogma and policy will evolve with time and stay relevant to His Children in the very era they live in as the way forward. La Bona is a Truth Seeker, Myth Buster, Freedom Fighter, Cyber Activist, Liberal Animal, Good Samaritan, Messiah Wannabe and in order to serve His Children of diverse backgrounds, La Bona is motivated and aim to eventually multitask as Divine Representative, Contemporary Prophet, Celestial Executive, Deity Clairvoyant, Holy Spiritualist ...

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