Talk:Paul the Apostle

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Paul's escape from Damascus[edit]

It is noted in Raanan Shaul Boustan, Alex P. Janssen, Calvin J. Roetzel (2010) Violence, Scripture, and Textual Practices in Early Judaism and Christianity BRILL pg 94 regarding 2 Cor. 11:30-33: "Coming after the catalogue of hardships (11:23-29), the passage appears to be a non-sequitur. Some think it is was an afterthought, a marginal "gloss" copied into the text, or even a later insertion" and give one reference for each stated possibility

Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (2000) on page 434 states "However the historical reliability of 2 Vor. 11:32-33 is challenged by its identification at a textual gloss and by the narrative's similarities to Josh 2."--216.223.234.97 (talk) 18:38, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 27 February 2015[edit]

2601:8:900:6CE:893C:8FC9:9DCF:2ACD (talk) 07:48, 27 February 2015 (UTC) Paul wasn't referred to as Saul "early on." Paul was referred to as Saul prior to meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus.

Yes, which was early on in his life. Also, the rest of the paragraph explains this. Joseph2302 (talk) 20:20, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Mass removal of last year's changes[edit]

This edit note (Gratuitous change of spelling system) does not indicate any removal of artwork at all, or why. I really don't understand this edit. I am confused by this edit, to be sincere. I was closely following this article for two years, and references are removed and stuff that we reached consensus on the talk page. I think about this edit... and I don't understand it. Because galleries are not discouraged, and the artworks of Rembrandt, Rubens and Caravaggio and other notable old masters works were removed from article. We routinely use them on all Apostle's and Saint's articles. It is an important part of our cultural heritage and it is a wonderful way for people get to know great artwork. All similar articles are illustrated with the artworks of great masters. Please discuss all removal and motivate why. Hafspajen (talk) 00:39, 15 March 2015 (UTC).
  • I was checking further. It also say now that the lead is too long, and it is tagged since 2013 - but the lead was changed since then, and now it is suddenly is tagged since 2013 ... and it is longer. Hafspajen (talk) 01:11, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I have added back artwork, but all changes since 2013 October were removed. I sincerely think that article should be restored. Hafspajen (talk) 01:50, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
I agree, it should be restored. Editor2020, Talk 02:21, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
And I have done so. Editor2020, Talk 02:28, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
My apologies for the mess. I was only intending to revert this edit of an IP who has been making sweeping spelling changes in a deliberately disruptive way (even changing American proper names to British spelling). There was quite a lot of articles involved and I was not paying as much attention as I should to all of them. I probably clicked "restore version" instead of "undo" by mistake. SpinningSpark 07:59, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Well, that explains it... Thanks for clarifying. Hafspajen (talk) 15:26, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Historical vs. Biblical record[edit]

Most of the Wikipedia articles on the apostles and evangelists (authors of the Gospels and some of the other New Testament chapters) have the same huge problem. They don't clearly distinguish between the Biblical accounts and the non-Biblical historical accounts. I can see some attempts at establishing clarity, but most of these articles barren back and forth between Biblical sources, extra-Biblical Christian traditions, and the historical record. Consequently, almost all of these articles are messy and confusing.

Many of the people who work on these articles have sincere Christian faith and consider the Bible a legitimate historical document. Some also like to cite "extra-Biblical Christian tradition." Other editors, me included, have little or no confidence in the Bible, or extra-Biblical Christian traditions, as legitimate historical records. It seems to me there are only two good solutions to this problem. One is two have two separate articles for the important apostles and evangelists. Paul the Apostle (Biblical) and Paul the Apostle (historical). The other is to divide each article into two major sections -- Biblical and Historical. The sections should be clearly marked and consistent from one article to another.

In many cases, the Historical section would be quite short. "Biblical scholars agree the author of this gospel is unknown. Outside of the Bible and extra-Biblical Christian traditions, dating to the X Century, there is no historical record of X's life." That sort of thing. In my opinion, these sections in each article are essential for clarity and authority.2602:306:CDB2:4860:3435:1C9E:D02F:DE6A (talk) 19:34, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

As you correctly point out, there is no historical record apart from the Bible (>95%) and Christian tradition for this topic (Paul the apostle). However, you seem to suggest that biblical sources have no historical value. The vast majority of scholars today would disagree. It is almost universally accepted among historians that the Bible contains at least seven letters that were written by Paul himself (see Pauline epistles), and these are therefore excellent sources to learn about the life of Paul. The book of Acts, which is the other major biblical source for Paul's life is widely accepted to have been written by a contemporary of Paul, and although considered less reliable than Paul's own letters, it is undisputed that its author was well-informed about Paul's career. Obviously, biblical material is critically evaluated by scholars, just like any other historical documents. If you think that there is too little critical discussion of the biblical accounts, please help improve the article by adding such material or point out specific instances where this is required. However, it makes no sense to separate 'historical' from 'biblical' sources, because the New Testament books are exactly that: ancient documents, mostly from the first century, which contain lots of valuable information that modern historians use to learn about e.g. the life of Paul. - Lindert (talk) 20:58, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

"Other editors, me included, have little or no confidence in the Bible, or extra-Biblical Christian traditions, as legitimate historical records."

Despite the fact that over 5,000 manuscripts of the New Testament exist? Compared to a scant handful for contemporaneous works such as Tacitus, Plutarch, and so forth? If you don't have confidence in the reliability of the Biblical account, especially the New Testament, then I would suggest doing a little research on your own on the topic. The more you dig into Biblical archaeology the more you will find that the New Testament is an exceptionally reliable historical record.

This touches another pet peeve of mine, which is that folks such as this editor have no problem with the authenticity of Tacitus, Cicero, Plutarch, Virgil, and so on, but when it comes to the New Testament, which is incredibly well-documented, a different and probably impossible-to-meet standard is applied. Why two different standards, one for the New Testament and another for all the other works of the same period? Tpkatsa (talk) 21:08, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

Guys, WP:NOTFORUM. WP:CITE WP:Reliable sources (and WP:No original research). And we usually treat Tacitus et al as primary sources, only to be cited to verify quotations rather than for independent claims. Ian.thomson (talk) 21:21, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

My removal of a statement that the conversion of Paul was propaganda was itself removed[edit]

My edit, which was removed by Mmeijeri, removed a "sourced" statement which claimed that the conversion of St. Paul was merely propaganda instead of genuine conversion. I removed this statement, not only because it is offensive to Christians (whom Wikipedia seems to love to offend), but also because any cursory reading of the book of Acts and Paul's own epistles renders the propaganda theory of Paul's conversion utterly ridiculous. Like the other Apostles, St. Paul could not have lived and died for something - in this case the Resurrection of Christ (1 Corinthians 15) -- that he knew to be a lie. On the contrary, from his epistles it is clear that Paul had a genuine conversion and that he believed what he said and wrote was absolutely true. But this Mmeijeri removed my comment because he claimed that it was on the basis of my "personal opinion" that I was dismissing a so-called "sourced statement." First of all, the Conversion of Paul is not my opinion, it is a fact recorded in the Bible and witnessed to by 2,000 years of Christian history. Second, simply because a statement is "sourced" does NOT mean it is correct. Statements that Paul's conversion was propaganda are wrong, stupid, and offensive, and have no place in Wikipedia. If editors don't want to believe in the conversion of Paul, that's their choice; they are entitled to their opinions but not to their own facts. Tpkatsa (talk) 20:57, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

You're talking about this edit from over a year ago? About material that is no longer in the article anyway? Do you realize how ridiculous and petty a grudge that is? And yes, your argument is (at best) what we consider original research which we do not use, and which a professional source can and does trump. The Aslan source was likely removed because someone did presented counter sources, or else provided evidence that the source did not meet our policies and guidelines for applying to this article (such as pointing out that while the book is applicable to the article on Jesus, Aslan is not necessarily qualified to speak on Paul and his views on Paul are WP:UNDUE).
Also, the former inclusion of that content had nothing to do with offending Christianity, but neutrally representing academic views according to their due weight. I am a Christian, and I was not offended by the content. Do I think Aslan is right about Paul? Absolutely not, but I don't need him to hold my beliefs for me because faith does not need affirmation from others. Wikipedia is not censored, so if you're offended by article content, tough shit. Ian.thomson (talk) 21:15, 7 April 2015 (UTC)