Talk:Paul the Apostle/Archive 10

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Section on Women[edit]

Please see main article Paul of Tarsus and women. Thanks. ─AFA Prof01 (talk) 21:04, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Is it just me, or does the section on Paul's views regarding women seem to have been written by a Feminist? Obvious uses of words like "deny", "prohibiting", "reject", "prevent", "disenfranchises", a completely one sided opinion. While I recognize that there's a much larger article dealing with the issue of Paul and Women, I think this section ought to be rewritten with a more neutral POV.

I'd offer some ideas myself, but am pretty sure they'd be rejected out of hand. This should come from someone with higher access. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:26, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

I agree that this section needs to be rewritten with a more neutral POV. I added a NPOV tag to this section. Along with the bits already mentioned, there's the "second class citizens" one too.

More importantly, however, many Christian groups who do not sanction women's ordination do not hold women to be inferior in the slightest. Similarly, the women who belong to these groups aren't self-hating or trapped in paralytic fear. The view that men and women are equally loved by God and uniquely blessed with their own strengths and characteristics needs to be represented. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:41, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

The section as it exists now is limited in scope. Comments in scholarship about Paul's view of women include much more than the current dispute over the ordination of women. There should be discussion of Paul's view of marriage and the role of wives, and possible even mention of the speculations of misogyny on Paul's part.Tanktimus (talk) 20:28, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Please see Paul of Tarsus and women. That material at one time was in this article, but it became large enough to become its own article. Thanks for noting the omission here. ─AFA Prof01 (talk) 21:04, 24 March 2010 (UTC)0
Thanks for the update. Should the whole section just be removed and nothing but the link to the Paul of Tarsus and women be left?Tanktimus (talk) 15:14, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree that this section ought to involve a more comprehensive discussion of complementarianism and its relation to marriage. Also, the language used in this section is both redundant and biased toward a feminist viewpoint, with no statement pointing out its adoption by both men AND women. Taishaku (talk) 9:46, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
Taishaku, have you looked at Christian views of marriage? It contains both complementarian and Christian egalitarian discussion of marriage.
Though you didn't specifically bring it up, I'd like to mention the restrictions against women preachers, teachers, deacons, etc. For those who believe in a personal salvation in Jesus Christ, that one is lost by default and gains salvation by hearing about Jesus, repenting of their sins, and accepting him as their personal Savior, the issue of denying over half of churched Christians (the women) the ability and privilege to answer the call of God to preach, teach, lead, etc., is a very serious one. Cf. Great Commission Matthew 28:19-20 which is gender-neutral, saying (You) GO into all the world and teach all nations. Then, Romans 10:14 says "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?" For further debate on the matter, please see 1 Timothy 2:12 ("I suffer not a woman") .
One final observation, since Jesus is Lord over his church, and he never restricted on the basis of gender except that The Twelve were all male (not unlike combat being limited to males until the last decade in the U.S. due to the conditions in combat), we must at least consider the possibility that Paul was not prescribing against females teaching and preaching for all people of all times, but as he often did, he might have been addressing specific problems in the church at Ephesus.
Please forgive me if this is too much "soapboxing" for you. I very much appreciate your interest in the subject. Respectfully, ─AFA Prof01 (talk) 19:11, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Paul's appearance[edit]

Paul is a Black Man

Here is the man in the new testament that was sent to the other israelites that was cast off his name was Paul but there is one thing interesting in ACTS 21:37-38 Lets take a look shall we? Acts 21:37-38, states that Paul, the apostle, was being led into a castle by a chief captain. Paul spoke to the chief in Greek, asking permission to speak with him. The chief captain was surprised that Paul could speak Greek and in verse 38, asks Paul, "Are not you that EGYPTIAN?" Paul responded, (Verse 39) "I am a man of Israel (Hebrew).

37 And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said unto the chief captain, May I speak unto thee? Who said, Canst thou speak Greek?

38 Art not thou that Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?

39 But Paul said, I am a man of Israel (Hebrew) of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people.

In order for this chief captain to mistake Paul (the Hebrew) for a black-skinned Egyptian, Paul had to look like an Egyptian, as scripture tells us the whole nation of Israel did. Paul had to tell the chief captain he was an Israelite. Once again we see from scripture that it is hard to physically identify a Hebrew from an Egyptian. Well it is still hard to identify them in some cases but we know one thing Paul in the new testament was a black man!

For further proof of the color of the ancient Israelites lets look at Acts 13:1:

"Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain PROPHETS AND TEACHERS: as Barnabas, and SIMEON THAT WAS CALLED NIGER, AND LUCIUS OF CYRENE, and Manaen which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Shaul (Paul)".

The word NIGER is a Latin word that means BLACK, this is where the word NIG.GER comes from. The southern cracker did not say NIGER with a high "i" he said NIG.GER In Spanish it is NEGRO it all means black. They was calling the prophets BLACK! --Knighthonor (talk) 09:18, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

But, outside Martin Bernal's imagination, Egyptians were no blacker (as they are not now) than the other inhabitants of North Africa - some are and were as dark as Sadat (although they were more often identified as Nubians then than now), others as light as Nasser or Mubarak; we have a long series of funeral paintings of ordinary Egyptians, from the time of Paul and the centuries thereafter. As for Niger, that no more proves subsaharan descent than Pescennius Niger (or Lodovico il Moro); Cyrene was in Libya, but it was a Greek colony - and its inhabitants were no darker than the inhabitants of the Aegean. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:01, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
Modern Egyptians are largely of Arabic decent as are most North Africans. Egypt was a Greek colony under the Ptolemies before the Romans came along. The are many paintings in Egyptian buildings showing the races, the Ancient Egyptians depicted lots Libyans and Nubians as blacks, the Greeks referred to Egyptians as Copts and black Africans as Ethiopians. Niger is a Latin word meaning black, or dark. see here [1]--Degen Earthfast (talk) 17:31, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
Actually more than likely the Paul in Acts and the Paul from his writing aren't even the same person, so this whole argument really is kind of moot. (talk) 21:10, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
This isn't a forum for original research on either topic. Ckruschke (talk) 13:53, 27 February 2012 (UTC)Ckruschke

Paul's repressed homosexuality[edit]

Since there is a "speculative" section in this entry, perhaps we should consider Bishop Spong's analysis of Paul's possible repressed homosexuality. He writes: "Paul of Tarsus was a gay man, deeply repressed, self-loathing, rigid in denial..., condemning other gay people so that he can keep his own homosexuality inside the rigid discipline of his faith." from p. 140, The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love, (2005) ISBN 0-06-076205-5

In Romans I, Paul states that homosexuality is a punishment by G-d for failure to worship Him properly. In other places, Paul writes of a "thorn in [his] flesh," that "dwells in my members." "Nothing good dwells within me, that is my flesh... Oh wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death?" (Romans 7:24)

I didn't want to simply add this to the rather broad, catch-all speculative section, as it might be quickly reverted on a knee-jerk basis. I thought there could be some discussion as to whether it might make an interesting intellectual addition, since it was postulated by a notable theologian. (talk) 06:50, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Well, it's certainly no less ridiculous than the theory that Paul was black, as articulated above. I suppose we would need more than Spong's fevered speculation to warrant the insertion of such material, but with enough reliable sources, this theory might be notable enough for inclusion in the article. Uncle Dick (talk) 15:40, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Spong is no authority on Paul, per se. Instead, Spong has his own agenda on the topic of homosexuality. So many people have written books on Paul-- maybe we can look at this idea when and if anyone ever publishes a book on Paul and comes to the same conclutions that Spong has. şṗøʀĸşṗøʀĸ: τᴀʟĸ 10:30, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Nobody takes liberal Episcopalians seriously. John Shelby Spong is essentially a communist activist in a dog-collar. - (talk) 09:53, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Paul of Tarsus or simply Paul?[edit]

Please note that in most Wikipedia articles dealing with Paul, his name is not introduced as "Paul of Tarsus," see, e.g., New Perspective on Paul and Pauline epistles. The present article is the one notable exception. Google returns some 78,000 hits for "Paul of Tarsus" (most of which are probably related to Wikipedia), whereas the name "Saint Paul" generates more than 14,000,000 hits. It is easily verified (by means of Google Books, Google Scholar, etc.) that, in scholarly literature (books by James Dunn etc.), the term "Paul of Tarsus" is used only occasionally. The name is virtually unknown to Catholic scholars. Paul is referred to simply as "Paul" or "Saint Paul." The term "Paul of Tarsus" is most likely a modern American invention, constructed on the basis of Acts 22:3. Arguably, the term "Paul of Tarsus," often used in evangelizing context, is partisan. I believe the title of the article is misleading ("Paul of Tarsus" is, above all, the title of a movie: Paul of Tarsus: Messenger of Jesus Christ, 1990) and should be changed to "Paul (apostle)." Baroque Trumpet (talk) 01:27, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

There is a disambiguation page right in the beginning of the article Saint_Paul_(disambiguation). Per that disamb page, there were several Saint Pauls in the last 2000 years although if you type "Saint Paul" it will go to this article, since he was the most famous: it's a good solution. And Paul of Tarsus is not an American invention, he is called that way by many populations and in many languages before America was even discovered. Now the hits that you bring make me reflect though, and perhaps other editors might be involved for a new consensus. Cheers. --Sulmues (talk) 01:36, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for helpful feedback. Please note: I suggested that "Paul (apostle)" might be a better title than "Paul of Tarsus." I do not believe that "Saint Paul" is a viable alternative. ("Saint Paul" to me is London's famous church.) I still feel that "Paul of Tarsus" is an idiosyncratic version of the apostle's name, constructed, maybe, as an analogue to "Apollonius of Tyana." Could anyone please cite a pre-nineteenth-century source in which Paul is mentioned by the name of "Paul of Tarsus"? Are there any pre-Columbian examples in, say, Spanish literature? William Weldon Champney's sermon, The Conversion of Paul of Tarsus (1859) is the earliest English example I am aware of. In German literature, "Paulus von Tarsus" seems to be even more exceptional than in English literature. (Nevertheless, the German WP article on Paul has been harmonized with the English version.) I might, of course, be entirely wrong. Baroque Trumpet (talk) 02:41, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
"Paul of Tarsus" is a misnomer. In the Bible, he is called "Saul, of Tarsus" once, but at least six times as "Paul, an apostle". Saul is his earthly name, Paul is his spiritual name. When he was born again by the word of God in the way to Damascus, he became a new man, a new creature in Christ Jesus the Lord. Correct terminology now, is either "Paul the apostle", or "the apostle Paul". Note that "apostle" is not capitalized in the Bible, as a title, but is descriptive of what he is. In the case of "Christ Jesus" (Hebrews 3:1) the word "Apostle" is properly capitalized:
  • Hebrews 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
Counting the Apostle Jesus first, before the other twelve, Judas Iscariot was the 13th, (and 13 letters in his name.) Matthias was the 14th called to be an apostle, and therefore "the apostles, Barnabas and Paul" (Acts 14:14) were 15th and 16th respectively. Note that Luke first began referring to "Saul" as "Paul" when he exercised the "signs of an apostle" (2Corinthians 12:12) while witnessing to "Sergius Paulus" in Acts 13:4-12.
Telpardec (talk) 12:39, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved to Paul the Apostle. Arbitrarily0 (talk) 13:52, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Paul of TarsusPaul the Apostle — Fails WP:COMMONNAME by a country mile. Another option is Saint Paul. I've set up voting for either name. They're both redirects to this article already, so it's just a matter of choosing the best title. JaGatalk 12:56, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

Move to Paul the Apostle
  • Support as nom. What I've always perceived as the most common name (well, that or the Apostle Paul). Also appears to have been the name before the Tarsus move. --JaGatalk 12:56, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose; "Paul of Tarsus" strikes me as more common in scholarship. Powers T 14:26, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
  • A Google scholar search gives 80,600 results for Paul the Apostle and 23,300 results for Paul of Tarsus. With quotes, it's 9,780 results for "Paul the Apostle", 29,300 results for "the Apostle Paul", and 2,600 results for "Paul of Tarsus". But even if Paul of Tarsus were more scholarly, what's important is the WP:COMMONNAME. Is the average user most likely to type in Paul of Tarsus, or something else? --JaGatalk 20:54, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
  • That's not an entirely fair comment given WP:COMMONNAME is based upon reliable sources, not straight web results or personal opinion. Here is the breakdown of Google books results; Paul of Tarsus: 34,100 hits[2], Apostle Paul: 362,000 hits [3], Paul the Apostle 129,000 hits[4]. Google scholar: Paul of Tarsus 2,600 hits[5] Apostle Paul: 80,800 hits[6], Paul the Apostle 9,780 hits [7].--Labattblueboy (talk) 19:37, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment: It's not that simple, and raises some important issues. The practice has been to prefer a common name used by a larger number of people to a scholarly or esoteric name used by a smaller group, even if the people in the smaller group are arguably more expert in the field. But there's some evidence that this is changing, and currenty Wikipedia policies and guidelines aren't completely clear or even consistent on this particular point. No change of vote. Andrewa (talk) 11:10, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Sorry but common name has always been judged based upon reliable sources. Changes to that prespective are best resolved elsewhere, not at WP:RM. Not that that appears to be an issue here. Both searches produced results that indicate Paul of Tarsus is not the common name. So long as the proposed name proves to be NPOV, not coming into conflict with other religious or denominational prespectives, I see no issue with the proposed move.--Labattblueboy (talk) 15:28, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Agree that common name has always been judged based upon reliable sources, but that's not the issue here. The issue is: When the name more commonly used by reliable sources is different to the one commonly used in general, as supported by reliable cources, which will be preferred? It's a subtle distinction and not relevant to many discussions, but has come up in a number of recent RMs including this one. Disagree that this is not the place to begin discussion of such issues. Agree that it's not relevant to the outome here, as only by restricting the sources to relatively recent ones or a particular theological stance can a case even be made that reliable sources more commonly use Paul of Tarsus. No change of vote. Andrewa (talk) 20:07, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Weak Support; It seems like the people who know more about this favor Paul of Tarsus because it is perhaps more scholarly, but it also not a very commonly used name for Paul. I guess people will still be discussing what the name of this article should be in 50 years assuming there is a Wikipedia then. Personally, I'm fine with just about any of the suggestions except St. Paul. --Davefoc (talk) 20:19, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support I think all apostles should be of this form. (talk) 05:44, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Unambiguous and the most common name. Saint Paul would be my second choice, this Paul is the clear meaning but the name is not as common as the Apostle. The current name is popular within a recent theological movement, and is the third choice, maybe not too bad but we can and should do better. Andrewa (talk) 16:21, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment Would Paul the Apostle bring the name in conflict with how he is named in other religions?--Labattblueboy (talk) 19:37, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support In my opinion, almost any of his other names would be better than Paul of Tarsus. Before I first read this article, I had never, ever heard of the word Tarsus. Paul the Apostle is much more clear in terms of the subject. SilverserenC 19:46, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Clear and unambiguous and readily identifies the topic. I would probably prefer Paul (apostle), however. -- Mattinbgn (talk) 01:50, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
  • The problem is that we need some consistency for the Twelve Apostles. Six of them have "the Apostle" on them, which is fine, but four of them are "Saint", and then there's "Simon the Zealot" and "James, son of Zebedee". All of these definitely need to be renamed so that they are consistent. SilverserenC 02:00, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment: Do we really need this consistency? Is this reflected in policy or guidelines anywhere? And if it were to be, wouldn't that contradict other policies, notably those concerning common names? Common names don't tend to be completely consistent, and we don't tend to allow promotion here of the (common) desire to standardise them. See also my comment below for some of the difficulties in standardising as proposed above. No change of vote. Andrewa (talk) 20:13, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Paul the Apostle. However, he wasn't one of The Twelve and began referring to himself as an Apostle in the NT. Today, it's very common to refer to him as Apostle Paul, so Paul the Apostle is consistent with scripture and contemporary usage. ─AFA Prof01 (talk) 17:55, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment: Yes, exactly. But Paul is still the one most commonly referred to as the Apostle, despite being neither one of the original twelve Apostles nor the one elected to replace Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve but is almost never referred to as the Apostle, both for reasons of ambiguity and because of what he done. Paul in his writings, now part of the New Testament, stresses his own position as an Apostle, which is probably why the name stuck. It's more recently become fashionable in some circles to call him Paul of Tarsus instead, for reasons I won't go into here, but it's still less common than the Apostle. Wikipedia should not follow this fashon until and unless it becomes the common usage. No change of vote. Andrewa (talk) 20:07, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose -- "the Apostle" is somewhat less NPOV than "of Tarsus", since there do exist Christian sects that reject Pauline Christianity (and hence, dispute whether he should be described as an apostle.) --Alecmconroy (talk) 20:43, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
  • There is no perfect name for this article; that's why the title has been debated again and again and again. Above all, we must resort to common sense. If the article is given a title so uncommon that many (if not most) people don't recognize it, then that title is no good, period. That's what WP:COMMONNAME is all about. --JaGatalk 23:28, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment: This argument actually works better the other way around. Yes, there is disagreement about whether or not Paul was an Apostle, and has been since before the New Testament was written, that's why Paul himself makes the claims he does. So, to either accept or reject an article title on those grounds is POV; Either way it amounts to taking a side. Therefore, we should consider the other arguments, the dominant one of course being the question of what is the common name. No change of vote. Andrewa (talk) 00:53, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
  • No; to call him "Paul the Apostle" in the page title implies that he is considered an apostle, but to call him otherwise in the page title does not imply that he is not considered an apostle. Ucucha 03:18, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
  • No. There is no implication from using the common name that we agree with that common name; Our policy is to use the common name whether we agree with it or not, and in following this policy we're not taking a stand either way (and nor for example are we supporting the view that French toast is a form of toast). On the other hand, if we depart from that policy, this could amount to taking a stand. Andrewa (talk) 20:19, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment: Regarding WP:COMMONNAME, once you get into RS that is more mainstream than scholarship (NYT archives, 1981-present: "Paul the Apostle": 247 hits; "Apostle Paul": 111 hits; "Paul of Tarsus": 9 hits – Encyclopedia Brittanica uses Saint Paul, the Apostle, etc. etc.) it becomes obvious how badly this fails COMMONNAME, but I believe everyone now agrees on that point (especially since it wasn't even tops in the scholarly stuff). So I'll belabor the point no longer.
That leaves us with the question of POV. I'm on less stable ground here, because I had never heard of anti-Paul Christians before. (That would make the New Testament a quick read! :D ) An anti-Paul movement is well outside orthodox Christianity, definitely a small subset of Christianity, and I'm guessing is a very small subset of Christianity.
So, it boils down to this: do we accept a title proven to badly fail WP:COMMONNAME to keep from offending the anti-Pauls? Of course, I say no. Per WP:RNPOV, "editors should not avoid using terminology that has been established by the majority of the current reliable and notable sources on a topic out of sympathy for a particular point of view". But really, I'm sticking with common sense; the current title is uncommon and confusing; it's gotta go. --JaGatalk 00:36, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Agree that it's gotta go, and I think there's a rough consensus forming to that effect.
The Paul of Tarsus faction (in theology generally, not necessarily in Wikipedia) aren't necessarily anti-Paul. Back in NT times, there was a significant anti-Paul movement, but not recently. The motives for questioning his claim to being an Apostle then were anti-Paul, but more recently they're more to do with accepting Paul's authority but rejecting the whole idea of an interventionist God. To do this, you've got to find some other explanation for Paul's conversion experience (and also of the Resurrection of Jesus story, of course). So Paul's claim to being an Apostle is a sort of collateral damage. To complicate this further, many scholars who do accept an interventionist God don't want to make a thing of it, valuing unity above these issues, so they also adopt Paul of Tarsus as a peace offering. See why I didn't want to go there?
It's not important to this debate except to provide an explanation for the strong but minority academic usage of the term. Andrewa (talk) 09:13, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Interesting stuff. Thanks for the explanation. --JaGatalk 10:05, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Move to Saint Paul
  • Weak support as nom. Second choice, but still far better than Paul of Tarsus. I've never heard him called that. --JaGatalk 12:56, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. There are far too many Saint Pauls, not to mention the cathedral and the city; I question whether this is even the primary topic for that title. Powers T 14:26, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose.--Davefoc (talk) 20:19, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose many "Saint Paul"s. (talk) 05:44, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose Not a huge fan of honorifics like "saint" in article titles, despite COMMONNAME. Also, Saint Paul, Minnesota and many other topics could be of some concern. -- Mattinbgn (talk) 01:50, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose "Saint Paul". Wiki policy on honorifics should have trumped all the "Saints" in the apostles' titles but the ones that remain were vehemently insisted upon by editors on their talk pages. Changing this back to "Saint Paul" would be retrogressive. ─AFA Prof01 (talk) 17:55, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Lack of Neutrality[edit]

This article in certain sections outright states that he performed miracles with nothing to suggest that this depends on what you believe, nor any sort of qualification of the claim. Needless to say, this implies that it is an accepted and proven historical fact as opposed to being a matter of faith.-- (talk) 23:11, 4 January 2011 (UTC) PS-it also decribes his evangelical style with a lot of biased adjectives. It is one thing to say that he espoused virtues or that certain sources (properly referenced) DESCRIBE him as possessing those virtues. It is another thing to simply say that he possessed them. It's a very detailed article and I applaud the editor's enthusiasm and the volume of his or her contribution, but I think it's a little hero-worshippey, which doesn't belong in Wikipedia. I'm not a very experienced or prolific editor and so am hesitant to take the task upon myself, but if no-one else does, I'll fix it.-- (talk) 23:17, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Personality section[edit]

I am not the previous editor, but I concur. The personality section especially is full of unsourced text that appears to be nothing but one persons opinion of what Paul may have been like, based on there idiosyncratic reading of the Bible and religious background. Please cite all assertions in this section to avoid removal. Ashmoo (talk) 12:47, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

I wrote most of the personality section with the exception of the first paragraph. Most of what is written is easily sourced from bible text and authorities of the history of the era. I will add references over the next few weeks. I dont think what I presented in this section has any connection to one persons religious background, my own or others. It does and should have connection to what Paul's religious views were. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:48, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

I'm sorry to have stepped on your toes. The personality section was untenable. If, as you say, it is neutral and many references can be added to support the views and opinions you gave, please work that out in a text file on your cokputer and then submit them.

You seem well read and erudite, however the section read in the present tense, as if we were living today with Paul. That is very interested for a book of fiction, but of course, not appropriate for the encyclopedia. I have to say that much of the stuff I read seem speculative at best.

I look forward to you resubmitting such a section, but one based on known fact and citations to support those. Atom (talk) 02:21, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

The material I wrote could be modified to strengthen other sections. While I did not initiate or conceive of the Personality section it seemed to be the section in need of help and so was a good place for the material. The citations were in work. Regarding the speculative nature of the material, we are talking about a personality from 2000 years ago. The best we can do is to read his writing and form a plausible reconstruction from the source material and from the social and political institutions with which he interacted. These we know a fair deal about. Is it possible to talk about a "Personality" otherwise? Would all such reconstructions, even regarding the relatively recent persons of the last 500 years be best addressed as fiction? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:20, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

The fact that he died almost 2000 years ago does indeed, make it difficult to write accurately about his personality. But this means that we should limit what we state as fact about his personality, not that we should take liberties with the key wikipedia rule of WP:Verifiability. Information about historical figures comes from both there own writings (if they exist) and also things other people have said about them (as with Socrates). More importantly, all intrepreations of source documents in wikipedia need to be attributed to a notable commentator. We cannot engage in interpretation of source material ourselves. Ashmoo (talk) 13:17, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Regarding the Apostle Paul and the Book of Acts[edit]

Please note, that Paul did not write the book of Acts. This book of the New Testament was in actuality written by Luke the Physician, who was a follower of Jesus Christ. This is evidenced by the introduction. It is actually a letter to a fellow named, Theophilus. This is the same person Luke wrote the Book of Luke (also a letter) to.

The beginning of the Book of Acts is, "The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus both to do and teach".

In The Book of Luke (The Gospel According to St. Luke)he writes:

"Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; it seemed to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed." (verses 1-4)

In the Acts of the Apostles, Luke puts down just that, "the acts of the Apostles". He was with Paul on most of his trips, as indicated in this Book. Also, Paul, himself, makes mention of Luke still being with him while he was a prisoner in Rome.

This would be the reason there would not be and "preaching from Paul", on his acts, and those of other apostles.

Margoguin (talk) 00:56, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Actually, the majority evidence tends to disconfirm that Luke, or any close companion of Paul, wrote Acts. Leadwind (talk) 01:29, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Paul and Homosexuality[edit]

Recently a huge section regarding homosexuality was added. It was marginally related to Paul, but that was all. I think a section that presents notable things that Paul has written would be okay. I don't think that using an article on Paul as an anti-homosexual platform is balanced or neutral POV. Atom (talk) 20:26, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Hi. I thought this might get a reaction of this sort. I'm amused that you felt I was trying to use the article as an "anti-homosexual platform", as my views are the opposite of someone who might do that. My reasons for adding this content are that the writings of Paul on homosexuality, as I understand it, are the principal reasons why many Christians consider homosexuality to be sinful, givem that (a) Jesus didn't comment on the subject and (b) the sections in the Old Testament which address the submit come under the remit of "Mosaic law" which Jesus abolished. The content is taken from the article I wikilinked to using the { { main } } template, and only contains the material from that article which relates to Paul's writings. You're correct to say that an increase in the article size of 10% in just one edit is unusual, and I think that some of the material could be dropped, but I don't feel I ahve the expertise to decide which is the least relevant - I'd hoped that other editors might be able to do this. As the article currently stands, there isn't any mention of this aspect of Paul's influence on Christian thought, which given the impact it's had, is a pretty big omission, in my opinion. Could you give me some advice on which paragraphs in the material I added are best left out, so that we can arrive at a balanced and concise summary of the subject for inclusion? Or if you feel it's not of relevance at all, explain why? Many thanks. SP-KP (talk) 20:37, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Jesus did not abolish Mosaic Law. According to to Mathew 5-18 you must follow ALL Mosaic law. So if you eat shrimp you're going to hell. Sorry, Colincbn (talk) 20:35, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
You obviously know "zero" about what Jesus came to do or else you wouldn't make that statement. No person who has Jesus as his Lord is bound by the mosaic law. He very clearly says that the mosaic law was to show the Jews that w/o a savior they could never be perfect enough and (paraphrasing here as he spoke to his followers) "if the Jews could never follow it, why should I make you?" This is why Peter and the church leaders in Jerusalem were admonished for thinking that new Christians would have to be circumsized and follow all Jewish customs. Off topic, but I couldn't let it go. Ckruschke (talk) 02:34, 6 March 2011 (UTC)Ckruschke
While I will not say that "You Obviously know zero", because I think that is an uninformed personal attack, which WP frowns on, I will, However, point out that you ignored the reference to the exact place in the Bible where Jesus says the Law is not abolished. Now you "paraphrased" what he said but where are your refs to back it up? In what chapter and verse does he say this? I know you can find things like that in Galatians, Romans , and various letters. But those were not written by Jesus. The were written by this guy named... Oh what was it.. That's right! Paul! You know the guy this very article is about. And you can't trump Jesus with Paul. In fact (to bring this back on topic) his influence on Christianity is the most interesting thing about him, yet unfortunately this article's section on that influence is inexcusably short. He wrote things that unequivocally conflict with what Jesus says in the Gospels and yet his words have shaped modern Christianity more than any other biblical writer. I think the article could do with more coverage of "Pauline Christianity vs. All other forms. As such I just added a "Main Article" link to Pauline Christianity under the "Influence" section. Colincbn (talk) 01:21, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Also the bit about shrimp above was a joke, probably in bad taste. Please take it as such. Colincbn (talk) 16:14, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree that Paul's words have had influence on Christians regarding their opinions on Homosexuality. Unfortunately, they take his writings as scripture, rather than his views and opinions to congregations of that time (mostly to the Corinthians.) At any rate, indicating that he discussed the topic in three places seems like it is quite appropriate. (I think it has relevance) The level of detail in the previous edit was too overwhelming (for me) and gave me the immediate feeling that it was diverging from the topic of Paul, and more onto the topic of anti-homosexuality. So, my advice would be to discuss that he, in three places, gave his opinion about the topic. I don;t think we need to go into detail, or tell the reader what one person (or any others) interpretation of those versus was then, or is seen as by many today. Readers can form their own conclusions. Atom (talk) 01:43, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

I appreciate the spirit of compromise this was written in. The trouble, as I see it, with this is that if we write about the alleged three mentions at all, we're going to have to say a lot about them. It won't do to just say that Paul mentions same-sex relationships on three occasions, because (1) it would seem that we are taking the position that Paul was writing about what in modern times would be called gayness and lesbianism (a number of scholars have cast doubt on this) and (2) it would seem that we are taking the position that Paul wrote 1 Timothy, a view that a majority of scholars would disagree with. And if we say a lot on this matter, what would the pay-off be? We would be devoting a lot of space to a matter that Paul neither spent much time writing about (even if we assume he wrote 1 Timothy) nor included in the heart of his writings. I think that if this can of worms should be opened anywhere on Wikipedia, it should be in another article. -- Marie Paradox (talk) 22:10, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

The remaining section is still dubious. There are three citations to Bible verses, but none of them actually deal with homosexuality. The assertions that adultery=homosexuality and effeminate=gay are neither accurate nor NPOV. Unless better citations can be provided, the section should be removed entirely. (talk) 22:02, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

Unsourced interpretation[edit]

The 'Conversion and Mission' section is very poorly sourced and contains large amounts of interpretation. Remember, when writing about religion, it is not permitted to directly source the sacred texts to support a point. Rather you should provide a source to a reliable or notable commentator who has made the interpretation. If the point you are trying to make is widely accepted, it should not be difficult to find such a source. And all value juidgements about what Paul was really like, or his mission, need to be attributed to the Christian (or otherwise) sect that holds that view, as different versions of Christianity differ in how they view things. Ashmoo (talk) 15:19, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Paul the non-Apostle[edit]

I oppose the title "Paul the Apostle". Along with people who believe he was an apostle, there are many scholars and historical figures who doubted Paul's devotion to Jesus's teachings. Using this as his title shows a bias to mainstream Christianity. Paul never met Jesus, and hence this title is actually fallacious. His miraculous meeting with the resurrected Jesus can only be accepted as a leap of faith. His enmity toward Christianity beforehand and his being labelled as a liar makes his claim suspicious. Further, his subsequent dramatic change of the teachings of Jesus to betray the law makes the rational observer further question whether his "revelation" was really a deception to allow him to undermine christianity from within.

If I claim that Jesus came to me and ordered me to preach the gospel, can I be called an apostle too?

I propose that the title be changed to Paul of Tarsus or just Paul, as these are neutral terms that do not require any leap of faith.

Unfortunately, the post is undated so I don't know when the comment was made and perhaps all the previous discussion on this issue has answered this poster's issues. FWIW, I would have preferred "Paul" as the title of the article (although Apostle Paul strikes me as much better than Saint Paul or Paul of Tarsus), but after two long discussions and a few name changes I think the issue is closed at least for the next several years until a new batch of enthusiasts come along to discuss this again. --Davefoc (talk) 16:37, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia is the first place I have heard of Paul referred to as an "apostle". This sounds very weird from the standpoint of mainstream Christianity, which is why I suspect it is a fundamentalist thing.--Herzen (talk) 02:59, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
A quick reading of the Book of Acts would clarify your questions Herzen as well as the anon questionner above. Nothing fundamentalist or weird about it - Paul is fully considered an Apostle by mainstream Christians of many many denominations. Ckruschke (talk) 19:22, 19 February 2012 (UTC)Ckruschke
Catholics accept his claim to be an apostle, as well. First ref I came to: Student7 (talk) 14:01, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Paul did not know Jesus personally[edit]

I thought it was pretty well established that Paul did not know Jesus personally unlike stated in the second paragraph of Prior To Conversion section that says he did. And if you follow the link given as 2Corinthians 5:16b on this passage says nothing of the kinda in many of the other English versions of the I bible checked in the drop down list. In fact it seams to me the meaning of the King James verse sited doesnt having anything to do with knowing the physical being at all. Its about knowing Jesus afterwords.

That seems right to me. I had not heard of a theory that Paul had seen or met Jesus before I saw this paragraph. I read through several other English versions of Corinthians 5 and there was not even an ambiguous implication that Paul had physically known Jesus in them. It seems like somebody was putting forth a personal theory in the paragraph without any scholarly support and it should probably be changed or removed entirely.--Davefoc (talk) 06:15, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
JimWae corrected the section in question. The issue seems to be closed.--Davefoc (talk) 17:01, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Opening Summary - Inconsistency when referring to Paul as He[edit]

Hi, the following sentence does not seem right, I might be wrong.

"His leadership, influence and legacy led to the formation of communities dominated by Gentile groups that worshiped the God of Israel, adhered to the Judaic "moral code", but relaxed or abandoned the "ritual" and dietary obligations of the Mosaic law all on the basis of Paul's teachings of the life and works of Jesus Christ and his teaching of a "new testament"[10] established through Jesus' death and resurrection."

i.e. His leadership led to Gentile groups, the moral code and relaxed Mosaic law on the basis of Paul's teachings of..

Where His = Paul's

David0288 (talk) 13:29, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

I too noticed the multiple connecting he and his subjects in the intro and changed a couple to Paul for clarity.Jweaver28 (talk) 12:25, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

Luke, the writer of the Acts?[edit]

The article contains this phrase with the two biblical references:

Luke, the writer of the Acts,[1]

Neither of the references goes to whether Luke was the writer of Acts. There seems to be a widespread scholarly consensus that Acts was written by the author of Luke, however there is not a similar scholarly consensus that Luke, a companion of Paul in Acts, was the author of the gospel, Luke. From the Wikipedia article on Luke: "According to the majority view, the evidence against Luke being the author is strong enough that the author is unknown". I suggest the sentence in question be changed to eliminate the appositive and just use "The author of Acts" as the subject. --Davefoc (talk) 17:03, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

I changed the sentence in question as suggested above. --Davefoc (talk) 16:41, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Paul as priest and bishop: deleted edit.[edit]

I simply noted in the article lead that Paul was both priest and bishop, which he certainly was. Telpardec deleted my edit and gave reasons at my talk . For convenience, I've copied and pasted his (her?) comments below (which really ought to have been posted at this talk to begin with, so others can weigh in):

  • Greetings. The priest & bishop claim in the article Paul_the_Apostle was removed because it is not appropriate for the head(intro) section which is the place for a concise summary of material that appears in the body of the article. See copy below in case you didn't save a copy and want to develop the idea further and add it into the Critical Views section, or where ever else seems appropriate. The page before the page the 2nd reference pointed to had a footnote disagreeing with the author of the first reference. Both authors torture the text to make their respective assertions. The 3rd reference is extremely weak, (and hard to read with old style long-S typography,) and it is not clear what religious "parties" make the "bishop" claim. Such a claim needs secondary sources, if there are any.

priest[1][2] and bishop[3] of the early Christian Church

  1. ^ The Theology of Paul the Apostle, 2006, James Dunn, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, ISBN 9780802844231, p. 546.
  2. ^ Jesus Our Priest: A Christian Approach to the Priesthood of Christ, 2010, Gerald O'Collins SJ, Michael Keenan Jones, Oxford University Press, USA, ISBN 0199576459 ISBN 9780199576456, p. 34.
  3. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, or, A Dictionary of arts, sciences, and miscellaneous literature, James Millar, ed., Edinburgh: Printed by A. Bell for A. Constable [et al.], 1810, vol. 8, p. 256
  • A computer word search for "priest*" in the KJV revealed that no form of the word priest occurs in Paul's 13 epistles between Acts and Hebrews. Indeed, Dunn said that "a very striking feature of Paul's letters is the absence of any reference to priests in the Pauline churches. There was evidently no distinct or separate function which required a 'priest' to carry it out." The word "hierourgounta" which Dunn translated as "priest" is not the noun priest, it refers to "ministering" as in the KJV, and it is figurative. Paul was not married, so the requirement that a bishop be the husband of one wife precludes him from that office. The basic idea seems a bit on the fringe side, since neither Paul himself nor anyone else in the Bible called him either a priest or a bishop. Thanks for your attention to this matter.
    Telpardec (talk) 04:10, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

I'll respond to Telpardec's comments soon as possible (too busy in real life to get move involved in this dispute just now). Meantime, here's my edit in case anyone cares to look and perhaps comment. Delta x (talk) 18:55, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

I am not sure that the English language defines priest precisely enough to say that Paul wasn't a priest in some way, but it seems that the evidence that Paul was a priest in the normal sense of the word is slim. As it is describing Paul as a priest in the opening section without describing in what sense the term is meant adds no information and it is misleading. I don't know of any facts or evidence that would suggest that Paul was ever a Bishop. As such, I agree both with Telpardec's edit and his reasoning on this issue.--Davefoc (talk) 07:07, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Delta x response to the above[edit]

  • Telpardec: A computer word search for "priest*" in the KJV revealed that no form of the word priest occurs in Paul's 13 epistles between Acts and Hebrews. Indeed, Dunn said that "a very striking feature of Paul's letters is the absence of any reference to priests in the Pauline churches. There was evidently no distinct or separate function which required a 'priest' to carry it out."
  • Delta x: Paul is curiously silent about a number of things. But look at what The New Biblical Theorists: Raymond E. Brown and Beyond (p. 84) says:

Question One: Is it true that no individual is ever specifically identified as a priest in the New Testament? Brown says yes; Shehan says no. Brown says the Greek word for priest hiereus (sacerdos in Latin) is never used by the New Testament. Shehan says the New Testaement is not a book of neat linquistics. He cites the New American Bible, Hind, Noble and Eldredge’s Greek English Dictionary, [8] the English Jerusalem Bible, Goodspeed’s translation of the Chicago Bible, Kleist-Lilly, Joseph Fitzmyer, S.J. and Fr. André Feuillet’s The Priesthood of Christ and His Ministers as all acknowledging priests or priesthood in the New Testament under a variety of terms –presbuteroi, leitourgos, hierougos, leitourgon, leitourgon hierourgounta. The absence of the use of the one term hiereus is evidence merely that this one term was not used, not that priest or priesthood are unacknowledged in the New Testament. [9]

  • Delta x: Also, the fact is, Priest (or a form of it) does occur in the NAS version of Romans 15:16, [10], as wells as in many - if not most- other modern translations. [11]
  • Telpardec: Indeed, Dunn said that "a very striking feature of Paul's letters is the absence of any reference to priests in the Pauline churches. There was evidently no distinct or separate function which required a 'priest' to carry it out."
  • Delta x: Well, I think this is a little beside the point. Again, Paul is silent about a number of things (for example, that Jesus was himself a priest, [12] the virgin birth [13]), but this silence is not the issue. The real issue here is whether Paul portrays HIS OWN MINISTRY as priestly or not. Dunn has shown clearly that Paul does regard HIS OWN MINISTRY as PRIESTLY in nature. Look again at what he writes: “Paul refers to his own ministry in service of the gospel as priestly ministry,” [14] and that Paul “unmistakably”- uses priestly language of himself in Rom 15:16. [15] Another author (who references Dunn btw) tells us that Paul regards his priestly ministry as a participation in Jesus’ sacrificial ministry. [16]
  • Telpardec: The word "hierourgounta" which Dunn translated as "priest" is not the noun priest, it refers to "ministering" as in the KJV, and it is figurative.
  • Delta x: Well, Telpardec, let’s look more closely at the definitions of the Greek words Paul uses: Hierourgounta. [17] Hierourgeo [18] Hierourgounta is the present participle of hierourgeo. [19] “Serving as a priest (hierourgounta) – This verb (hierourgeo) appears only here in biblical literature. It is the verb form of the noun for ‘priest’ (hiereus), and conveys the idea ‘to perform holy service, act as priest with reference to something,’ here with reference to the gospel of God.” [20] Again, virtually all modern translations render hierourgounta as referring to a priestly function.
    Note also that there is a distinction between the “ministerial priesthood” and the ordinary laity (even though they too are priests). This is something which even John Calvin for example recognized. [21] The Church Fathers of course understood this. See for example Augustine and Chrysostom, who give witness of this: [22] [23] [24] You may also like to read Jimmy Akin’s remarks in his debate on the priesthood (unfortunately, only his remarks are given in the following text)[25] (the full debate however can be purchased here [26]) Taylor Marshall (former Anglican priest and convert to Catholicism) gives an interesting talk on the Catholic priesthood of Paul; you might want to hear what he has to say also: [27] A few more references bearing on the question of priesthood here: [28][29][30]
  • Telpardec: Paul was not married, so the requirement that a bishop be the husband of one wife precludes him from that office.
  • Delta x: That argument will only work if you, like Luther, stipulate that you alone shall be the sole interpreter of the bible! ;)
    But kidding around aside, the simple fact is that the bible never 'requires' bishops to be married, rather, it teaches that IF a bishop is married, he may only have ONE wife. See this [31] And what of Timothy and Titus? They were certainly bishops [32] [33] yet like Paul, were celibate (note that, in his epistles to them, Paul never once includes a greeting to the 'wives' and 'children' of either Timothy or Titus - rather out of character given his particularly noteworthy manner of writing! ).
    Also, John Calvin, commenting on 1 Timothy 3:2, says that Paul is most likely opposing polygamy, and is in any event not requiring bishops to be married or "demand it as a thing necessary" (see pp. 77-78 here [34]) I might note that Calvin holds this more "Catholic" view despite his intense hatred of the Catholic Church, a hatred not unlike that of Luther's! [35] [36] [37] But I digress.
    Anyway, if the bible actually did required bishops to be married, how does one explain so many of the Church Fathers who were celibate bishops?? Were they all, en masse, quiet incapable of understanding a simple text of Paul? And what of the Father's unanimous belief that apostles who may have been married, after their call, abstained from further relations with their wives? [38] (btw, you may like to read an important letter of Peter Damian on clerical celibacy, noting particularly what he has to say about how the Fathers are ready to "resist" novel interpretations. You might also note Damian's rather forceful style, though not quite as 'forceful', I don't think, as say that of Luther or Calvin! ;) ) [39]
  • Delta x: Finally, regarding the apostles as bishops, I simply ask you to consider the following:
  • A selection of the Church Fathers: Epiphanius of Salamis (ca. 310–320 – 403) says Paul was bishop of Rome. [40] John Chrysostom (c. 349–407) “explicitly states, on the basis of scripture, that the twelve apostles are the first bishops of the Church" [41] See also Theodoret's (c. 393 – c. 457) comments here. And more from the Fathers here [42] The Catholic position is summarize in Our Sunday Visitor Catholic Almanac (p. 105), which states that the apostles "were the first bishops of the Church." [43]
  • The Coptic Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria, Pope Shenouda III, in his book The Priesthood (pp. 96-97) refers to the apostles as bishops. [44]
  • On the Protestant side we have the following:
  • John Wycliffe, in his work On Simony (p. 162), tells us that Jesus ordained his apostles bishops. [45]
  • Jan Hus, in his very interesting work De ecclesia: The church, calls both Peter and Paul bishops of Rome. [46]
  • Martin Luther, in his commentary on Galatians (in which he says a number of very good things btw) makes Paul to be a “true bishop” – LW 26:106 [47] In an earlier translation, Luther is made to say “faithful pastor” rather than bishop. [48] But a check of the Weimar gives Luther's Latin, where he actually uses the word Episcopus, meaning bishop. See vol 40, p. 191 [49][50]
  • John Calvin equates various ecclesiastical offices of the Church with bishop. [51] ("CO" in the references = Calvin's Opera in the Corpus Reformatorum). One might argued therefore that Calvin too held the apostles to be bishops, since the apostles certainly held the offices of "presbyter", "elder," "pastor," and "minister."
  • The Book of Common Prayer referred to the apostles as bishops. [52]
  • And that's about it - though I could produce even more examples. But I beieve this should be sufficient documentation for both you and Davefoc. Lastly, I'm sorry for the too much delayed response; I was busy and simply didn't have time I normally would to track down sources. Delta x (talk) 11:43, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Late response to above[edit]

Well, I just stumbled upon the above response on this un-monitored talk page. My original message was posted to a user talk page, not this talk page, so I wasn't checking this page. Sorry for the 4 month delayed response to the above 3 month delayed response to an action that took place back in mid-April elsewhere. I have neither the interest nor the time to debate these things. The original clause was removed from the intro because the intro is supposed to summarize things in the body of the article, and I suggested the material could be reworked (and properly sourced) and included somewhere in the body. My approval is not needed to BE BOLD! Thanks for your patience. —Telpardec  TALK  12:58, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
(P.S. Two editors above have been notified on their talk pages of this addition.)

Although, the documentation that Delta X provided for the use of Bishop and Priest to describe Paul is impressive I remain opposed to referring to Paul as a priest or a Bishop in the article. The problem remains that these are not precise terms unless a context is provided or a specific definition is provided for usage without context. The article already describes Paul's life and actions. What new information is provided by calling him a priest or Bishop? There was no formal Catholic church to assign him a title at the time he was alive. It is conceivable that he had some kind of title assigned to him by the religious organizations (probably God-fearer groups) that he communicated with but there is no evidence one way or the other on that. Authors that have called him a priest or bishop had their own ideas about what those terms meant and each particular source would need to be examined in more detail to determine what the author had in mind with the use of the term. I don't see that effort leading to information that would be of value to this article. --Davefoc (talk) 19:14, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps a short section that discussed the use of priest or bishop as a title for Paul would be of value if it is as widespread as the documentation that DeltaX provided suggests.--Davefoc (talk) 19:18, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

AD or CE?[edit]

This article uses both AD and CE, and up until a few weeks ago it only used AD, until someone added "CE" to the introductory dates of birth and death. Can we have discussion here as to which era notation is preferred? WP:ERA states that a mix should not be used, and that we must choose one or the other. If I get no response here, I will elect to edit the article to exclude one of the two notations currently being used. — CIS (talk | stalk) 00:04, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Being a Christianity article, and considering it was entirely AD until the changes to the intro were slipped in, I overwhelmingly support going back to uniform AD. --JaGatalk 05:06, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
There are no BCE years in the article, so there's really no need to have an era notation at all - which is the way it was when years were first introduced--JimWae (talk) 05:10, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
WP:ERA states "Do not use CE or AD unless the date or century would be ambiguous without it". It then goes on to suggest using 1066 instead of 1066 AD or 1066 CE, but to use 3rd century AD or 3rd century CE instead of 3rd century, to disambiguate. Since Paul lived in the 1st century, I think it is necessary to use CE or AD at least once in this article to disambiguate. — CIS (talk | stalk) 08:17, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

It's not necessary. With a date range of c.5 - c.67 for his life, it is impossible for both years to be BCE, since the 2nd number is greater than the first. You also know that no event in his life took place BC/BCE. It's really only somewhat *ambiguous* when the years discussed span both BCE & CE. However, one *might* prefer to make it clear that regarding the year of his birth, the BC/BCE was not accidentally omitted. "3rd century" is not really ambiguous, putting the era marker in just intensifies the meaning, helping readers who do not already know whether Plotinus lived BCE or CE, and those who might wonder if the writer forgot to put the era marker in. Far more ambiguous is 50 BCE - 13 -- but even that presumes that the reader wonders if a second BCE has been omitted. Another example might be 2 - 40 BCE/AD, but again, that is only because the reader might wonder about an error of oversight. I cannot right now come up with any example of TRUE ambiguity. Even 50 - 13 CE/AD can be figured out. With "c.5 - c.67" one might wonder about an editor's error regarding the 5. I do not see the ambiguity point at all; I do see points about intensifying & reassuring the reader. Not necessary, but not unhelpful either.--JimWae (talk) 08:52, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

I think there are two points of ambiguity that could be argued. First, while you are correct that it is impossible for both years to be BC, it could easily be c. 5 BC and c. 67 AD and the date range would still be chronological. In addition, years in the 1st century with only two digits can be very confusing and unidentifiable as years unless they are disambiguated with an era marker. If I wrote "It was not until 55 that he became King", the context would not at all be obvious that I was referring to 55 AD rather than 1955, or even some other random number not even associated with years at all. I think this deems it appropriate to use AD or CE at least once in this article to ensure there is no ambiguity regarding the time period. — CIS (talk | stalk) 09:35, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
As I said, I do not see any ambiguity as long as one accepts nothing has been left out. I do agree it could be helpful to the reader. That 55 is a good example of ambiguity - but about the number (whether it is a year or his age), not about the era--JimWae (talk) 09:43, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Good point, I didn't think about that angle. Without CE or AD one could also interpret it as him having lived until he was 67 (even though the range of 5–67 seems odd), so I think it might be best to include CE/AD at least once, probably in the introductory range of birth/death and perhaps also the infobox. — CIS (talk | stalk) 09:57, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
WP:ERA clearly states that: Use either the BC-AD or the BCE-CE notation, but not both in the same article...
  • BC/AD is by far the earliest dating system of this article (I checked the article's history carefully - see here)
  • It seems to have been stable for over 6 years.
  • AFAIK CE was only added to this article on 29 March 2011 (see here). So I have decided to be bold, choosing the earliest dating system. Flamarande (talk) 13:16, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

FWIW, using AD in the manner suggested seems right to me also.--Davefoc (talk) 15:47, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Using a system because it was the earliest used in an article is odd and arbitrary. The BCE/CE notation is considered more politically correct (if only a little) because it does not translate to something that presumes a Christian setting (i.e., the year of our Lord). Please accept changing the dates to all reflect BCE/CE. (talk) 16:48, 22 December 2011 (UTC)Liversounds 22 December 2011


The persecution section contains this paragraph:
"Many plots were made against Paul in the last years of his life, especially by Jews who would stir the crowd and excite them when Paul was preaching. He was beaten more than once, and put in prison. He was persecuted in every one of his missionary journeys. He was persecuted because of a “lack of understanding, preconceptions, irritations and provocation.”[43] The message of a risen Christ and Savior was aggravating for Jews as well as many pagan believers. During his first missionary journey, Paul was stoned in the city of Lystra for healing a crippled man. Some Jews dragged him out of the city thinking he was dead but when his disciples came around him, he miraculously got up and went into the city. Paul was also put in prison while he was in Philippi and also in Jerusalem."

I think the entire paragraph should be removed. The source for most of this seems to be a book written in 1927. There are probably thousands of books about Paul that say all sorts of stuff. What is the evidence for a plot against Paul? What is the evidence for any of the claims of this paragraph beyond speculation? If any of this paragraph represents events described in Acts or Paul's letters then the paragraph should at a minimum state what section of the New Testament the event was described in.--Davefoc (talk) 03:45, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

The book being published in 1927 isn't a mark against it. These are pretty well accepted facts about the last few years of his life. On what basis do you think this is questionable? --Kraftlos (Talk | Contrib) 01:40, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
I just re-read the last paragraph of Davefoc's statement and realized that I missed part of it. Acts 22&23 describes in detail a plot to murder Paul, which he alleged was a reaction to his missionary activities in Asian Minor, much of which was occurring (at least initially) in synagogues. Nevertheless, you're right that the section needs better sourcing. --Kraftlos (Talk | Contrib) 12:24, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
It's questionable on the basis that is probably early Christian propaganda resting on anti-semitism. I would want to see the sources to which the 1927 book refers before we let it into the article. And even if they are ancient sources they probably reflect nothing more than the tensions between the break-away christian community and the pre-existing jewish community in many cities. Contaldo80 (talk) 10:02, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
"Early christian propaganda" is kind of a loaded phrase and throwing in anti-antisemitism in there doesn't help. What historical records we have, support this assertion; and it is reasonable that there would be such sectarian tensions considering the circumstances. Do you have something that contradicts this idea?
Anyway, I am also usually one who likes to get to the sources' sources, but someone will have to dig out that book (if it's relevant). I'm sure there are newer books than the one in question, and they would probably be better easier to access. I'll look into it when I have time unless someone beats me to it. --Kraftlos (Talk | Contrib) 12:24, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Almost the only sources of information about Paul's life are his epistles and Acts. The paragraph is question is probably speculation based on New Testament sources. Citing a reference for speculation doesn't turn it in to fact. What is known and documentable is that there are acts of violence against Paul described in the NT. If this paragraph should exist it should describe the nature of the violence against Paul and the fact that the information is derived from the NT. --Davefoc (talk) 10:47, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

I agree with Davefoc. If it must stay in then make it clear that these details are only found in the NT and there is n independent third party source to corroborate. I don't, however, see that "early christian propaganda" is a loaded phrase at all? We must not forget that the books of the new testament were written with certain audiences in mind. They says some things and omit other things. It reflects a church in transition. And the early church (and indeed the later churches) were rife with hostility towards the jews. It's an established fact. Contaldo80 (talk) 09:04, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
Early Christian anti-Semitism is NOT an established fact. Many early Christians were converted Jews and the church leaders continued to reach out to them, despite backlash from the establishment which is listed in the Bible text. Just because the church persecuted Jews later throughout the millenia, an actual established fact, doesn't then translate that they did in the beginning too. The word "propoganda" is obviously a loaded phrase - not sure why you would say otherwise - it implies much more than just "marketing to the masses". Also do you have any proof for these "omitted things" or just your opinion similar to the anti-semitism?
I agree with the original intent of this thread that the section needs to either be corroborated or deleted. Ckruschke (talk) 18:32, 24 October 2011 (UTC)Ckruschke
I can't give you my own opinion of early christianity I'm afraid, as I wasn't there. Try reading Dairmaid MacCulloch's early chapters in his 'History of Christinity' for a good overview. A basic reading of the Gospels and the New Testament books shows a careful tailoring of messsages (what's the genealogy of Jesus from David for example if not a piece of early crafted propaganda?) Contaldo80 (talk) 12:04, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm sure your source is a respectable author, but it's still only an opinion (by someone else who wasn't there BTW). And Jesus geneology in the Bible is obviously simply a summary - that's not too hard to understand. I guess if one wants to assume that all the "evil" people and black sheep were left out for some reason, one is obviously free to do so. Ckruschke (talk) 18:57, 25 October 2011 (UTC)Ckruschke
I fear we're not going to agree on this and think it's getting a bit beyond the editing of the article so probably best to leave. My point on the geneology though is that it's not true - it was designed to link Jesus to King David and thus give some legitimacy. But in fact there are two genealogies in different gospels and they actually contradict one another - one shows the line to Mary, and the other to Joseph. It's simply a tool to demonstrate to the early christians and potential converts that Jesus was important and had a pedigree. Contaldo80 (talk) 09:19, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Disobediance of Jesus and Calling him an accursed[edit]

This section was recently added. The section wording is not clear but the point seems to be that there are differences between the religion that Jesus espoused in the Gospels and the religion espoused by Paul. I think the general secular scholarly opinion is that this is true. The Jesus of the gospels seems to be more typical of what one would expect the leader of a Jewish sect to be. The Jesus that Paul describes preaches a message directed universally.

Unfortunately, the section makes this point in a questionable way since it interprets biblical passages without explaining who is doing the interpreting or the basis of that interpretation. The reference for the section is questionable since NPOV is an issue.

I think that consideration should be given to including more discussion of the possible differences between the Jesus of the gospels and the Jesus that Paul describes, however I think this entire section should be removed. It should not reinstated unless the issue is dealt with in a more Wikipedia appropriate way. --Davefoc (talk) 01:55, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Done, it would need academic sources. See WP:NOR also. Dougweller (talk) 06:08, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

"In the flesh"[edit]

having biological lineage from David ("according to the flesh")[24]

Jesus-mythicists, especially Earl Doherty, contest the meaning of "according to the flesh". They hold that it is not a straightforward reference to biology or physicality, but a careful philosophical term within Paul's Neo-Platonic ideas about Jesus descending and ascending thru the heavens, from pure spirit down thru something like flesh but not physical, earthly flesh, and up again. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Emmazunz84 (talkcontribs) 23:03, July 26, 2011‎ (UTC)

Bibliography and References[edit]

Why does this article have a bibliography and a reference section? I went to look up one of the higher numbered references and it dropped me into the bibliograhphy, which isn't numbered. I was unable to determine the reference without hitting edit, which I don't think the average reader will do. Unless there's a good reason for the sections being separate, I think a unifed and detailed reference section would be more appropriate for such a high profile subject, where readers will no doubt want to see references. --Kraftlos (Talk | Contrib) 21:24, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Isn't "Saint Paul" a violation of NPOV?[edit]

The name "Saint Paul" is used continuously throughout the article. From what I understand, the term "saint" is an honorific, and honorifics according to WP guidelines can be used within context (such as a subtitle), but otherwise should be avoided. To a non-Christian, there is nothing "saintly" about Paul. Likewise, if you look at the article on the Prophet Muhammad, he is not named as "Prophet Muhammad." In fact, that article takes a very critical view of the Muslim prophet. Contrast that article with this one. The continuous use of the name "Saint Paul" instead of simply "Paul" is absurd when understood in the context of WP guidelines. It is also offensive, since it further proves the massive anti-Muslim bias of Wikipedia articles on Muslim religious figures. In contrast, the articles on Christian figures are glowing tributes and would fit right into any Sunday school curriculum. Laval (talk) 01:00, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

IMHO you're right as far as the continuous use of 'Saint Paul' as far as the article itself is concerned. WP:BE BOLD. However the name of this article is correct, according to WP:COMMONAME. No comments about your other considerations. Flamarande (talk) 01:39, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
If for nothing else than consistency, Paul should be referred to as Paul in the article and not Paul some places and St. Paul other places. I think the use of Paul rather than St. Paul is preferable for the NPOV reasons suggested by Laval above. As such I removed the remaining few references to Paul as St. Paul that were all in the Authorship section. --Davefoc (talk) 19:01, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable to me. Article title is fine, but we should use Paul in the article. I agree that there are problems with articles on Christian figures, but that seems true for most religious figures. Any articles which are just 'glowing tributes' should be fixed. Dougweller (talk) 20:11, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Paul did not write the book of acts, that was Luke.[edit]

This needs to be fixed in the criticisms of paul. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:24, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

The criticsm section that you allude to doesn't say he wrote Acts. The author cited examined Acts and the Epistles and then made the claim shown in the text. The wording is a little confusing so I'm not surprised you might think it did. Ckruschke (talk) 19:09, 14 December 2011 (UTC)Ckruschke

Many scholars believe that Luke was not the author of either Acts or the Gospel of Luke, and there is some debate whether Paul even knew a Luke. (talk) 18:20, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

File:Paul arrested.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Paul described in the Christian New Testament as one of the most influential early Christian missionaries?[edit]

The opening sentence contains this phrase:
[Paul is] "described in the Christian New Testament as one of the most influential early Christian missionaries"
Paul was certainly one of the most influential early Christian missionaries if not the most influential. But does the NT state that somewhere? If it does, the statement needs to be identified. I don't think the NT contains such a statement and as such I plan to remove the phrase in the next few days unless there is discussion to the contrary. --Davefoc (talk) 11:49, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
I changed the phrase in question to: "is perhaps the most influential early Christian missionary"
--Davefoc (talk) 17:23, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Relationship with Judaism section[edit]

I deleted several sentences that presuppose modern animal rights advocacy from this section. It should be obvious with the story of Jesus filling the fish nets that animal rights advocacy was never a belief of the early church. The sentences in question presume that St Paul was at odds with early believers and somehow alienated from them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Beerknight1 (talkcontribs) 19:56, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

I fully agree. The abandonment of animal sacrifice in early Christianity had nothing to do with 'animal rights'. Both Jesus and his early followers ate meat, just like everyone else in Jewish society. - Lindert (talk) 20:17, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Ditto - good catch. I must have missed this... Ckruschke (talk) 16:46, 16 April 2012 (UTC)Ckruschke

Paul and Roman Citizenship[edit]

I edited the sections in the Wiki articles that mentioned that Paul was a Roman citizen. One of the sources, the Encyclopedia Britannica, which was sited in support of the claim, no longer actually stated such.

Instead, I added a section that discusses the subject of Paul's Roman citizen status. Since it is a debated subject, and many scholars are now disregarding the idea, or questioning it, I did not see it as being appropriate to maintain the claim that Paul was a Roman citizen. I did try to maintain the idea that it was a possibility, but it simply is debated, and seems to be negated. At the very least, it seems to be an unimportant status for Paul.

DustinBoyd (talk) 19:10, 19 April 2012 (UTC)DustinBoyd

Hi Dustin. On a technical matter, would you read WP:CITE and in the future add publisher, etc. More importantly, your edits were copyvio - see the link on your talk page about this. I've put one in quotes but you'll have to rewrite the stuff I removed. Make sure it isn't obviously like the original. We deprecate 'some' and in this case I named the authors. I removed " This has led many scholars to debate the authenticity of such a claim. L. Michael White From Jesus to Christianity, pg 154 " as reading that page on Amazon I can't find either 'many scholar's or anything backing the sentence. Maybe I missed something? Dougweller (talk) 20:37, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

In Acts 22:27-28 Paul states that he is a Roman citizen.

27 The commander went to Paul and asked, "Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?" "Yes, I am," he answered.

28 Then the commander said, "I had to pay a big price for my citizenship." "But I was born a citizen," Paul replied.

Melobuddie (talk) 22:47, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

The problem with Acts here though is that the book of Acts often contradicts what Paul actually says. From what we can gather from Paul, he never mentions being a Roman citizen, he is not treated by a Roman citizen, and he never uses it to his advantage. So it is very possible that Luke was simply making it up in order to further his theology.

DustinBoyd (talk) 21:24, 14 August 2012 (UTC)DustinBoyd

Sorry Dustin, but your entire statement is pure opinion on your part and has no validity here. In fact your opining statement of this thread also reveals an opinion on your part and we need to divorce ourselves from personal bias and opinion and deal in what is actually out there in print (or if possible, in real life). Paul says he is a Roman citizen in Acts. Unless we have other primary or secondary sources that directly refutes this, we should start from this standpoint. Then we can other sources that have "opinions based on their research" that either supports or refutes that postion. Ckruschke (talk) 17:42, 15 August 2012 (UTC)Ckruschke


My source is "Time for Truth" by Nick Bunick. The book is available on Amazon. Paul did know Jeshua. He had one on one talks with Jeshua. The disciples did not like his having one on one talks with Jeshua. Since Paul was not a disciple he naturally is not mentioned in the New Testament until Acts was written. I would say that Saul and Jeshua were good buddies. Paul did not persecute Jeshua's followers. He did criticize them. If you think of the logistics of going to Damascus and trying to take some persons back to Jerusalem with him, that would have been a big undertaking. An event did happen to Saul outside of Damascus, but not as described in the New Testament. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:26, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

In the late 1970’s he had his first experience with a psychic that told him that 2000 years ago he had walked with the Master Jesus. He eventually allowed himself to be age regressed under hypnosis over a six month period in which he found he had the total memory of the life of the Apostle Paul. Nick being the reincarnation of Paul has been confirmed by highly evolved psychics and seers from all over the world.[1]

  1. ^ Bunick, Nick (2012). "About Nick". Nick Bunick. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 

Yeah... this guy isn't going to pass the Template:Absolutelyoutofhisfrickingmind criteria.ReformedArsenal (talk) 23:13, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Agreed. There's a lot of people out there that are sadly astray by one person or another. Sounds like the anon editor needs to pick up his Bible for "the real story"... Ckruschke (talk) 19:26, 1 May 2012 (UTC)Ckruschke

Quote from Nietzsche[edit]

New material says:"Friedrich Nietzsche blamed Paul for what is worst about Christianity." But it doesn't say what the "worst" is but goes on with the AntiChrist, as though that were the "worst."

The material continues,".. particularly in The Antichrist, writing that "A God such as that created by Paul is a negation of God." (ref) | access date: April 27, 2012 (endref)" Yes, the Antichrist is a negation of God, I don't see where this is a new observation.

Then follows material which doesn't segue very well with the above.

It continues,"He argued that Paul replaced the lessons of the life of Jesus with supernatural concepts:" I think I would put this sentence first though it still needs further illumination. Yes, Paul took the life of Christ and drew from it, supernatural revelations. I think Christians agree with that. Early Christians were kind of in a funk when Paul stumbled on them.

The material continues,"

The figure of the Savior, his teaching, his way of life, his death, the meaning of his death, even the consequences of his death. . . Paul simply shifted the center of gravity of that whole life to a place behind this existence--in the lie of the "risen" Jesus. At bottom, he had no use for the life of the Savior--what he needed was the death on the cross. . .(ref) access date: April 27, 2012 (endref)

The quote is a bit pov, balding stating that the "risen Christ" is a lie with no supporting information from Nietzsche as to why he thinks this. "no use for the life of the savior" is okay, I suppose. "What he needed was the death on the cross." Again, we have a phrase that Christians can agree with.

This is supposed to be criticism. I find this a bit weak. Surely Nietzsche's arguments can be better summarized than this. We need something with a bit more power, a bit more challenging to current Christian beliefs. This is almost supporting, under the guise of being critical!

Maybe hammering home one criticism well, would be more effective than trying for two or more. I think this should be rewritten or replaced. Student7 (talk) 13:15, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Feel free to suggest an edit. Ckruschke (talk) 15:02, 3 May 2012 (UTC)Ckruschke
I think the article is, or should be, mostly about Paul. The intended criticism is about Pauline Christianity which this section is supposed to summarize. Instead, we have clear phrase in the latter article, but with no details. Maybe this should be moved there and debated, rather than pretending to "summarize" it here. This appears, instead, to be a first appearance in Wikipedia.
Another partial problem is that the comments seem to blame Paul for the belief in the Resurrection. If this is accurate, fine, but again, should be in Pauline Christianity first. But I think that belief in the Resurrection is a general Christian belief and should be placed (therefore) in some other article (Criticism of Christianity?).
I did discover that Nietzsche wrote a book The Antichrist (book). I think that this could have been made clearer in the above sentence. Yes, it's there when I linked to it, but I don't automatically link to everything when I think I know what the topic is about! Here, I did not. So the sentence needs rewording.
I think I am going to delete it. Student7 (talk) 16:14, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Saul's Hebrew name[edit]

What's the justification for including "שאול התרסי‎ Šaʾul HaTarsi (Saul of Tarsus)"? Granted, if the New Testament says his name was Saul, it was surely שאול Šaʾul whenever he spoke or was spoken to in Hebrew, as mentioned in the previous sentence. However, the phrase "שאול התרסי‎ Šaʾul HaTarsi" is simply a modern translation into Hebrew from the Greek or English. Therefore it is of no more historical value than the translation of that phrase into French or Japanese. Linguistatlunch (talk) 15:10, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

 Done – Trimmed out the extra stuff and unsourced Hebrew phrase. —Telpardec 04:43, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
The first Google hit on "New Testament in Hebrew" had the following for Acts 9:11, Right to Left:
  • אִישׁ טַרְסִי וּשְׁמוֹ שָׁאוּל
  • ish Taresi v'shemu Shaul
  • a man [of] Tarsus and named Saul
That's a modern Hebrew forward translation though, not ancient Hebrew.
FWIW —Telpardec  TALK  04:43, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

Luke has Paul beaten[edit]

An offhand footnote said "when he [Luke] has Paul and Silas "beaten with rods...". But of course, Luke does not have Paul and Silas beaten. He writes it down in Acts they someone else had them beaten, which makes a considerable difference. Not sure why we have to discuss this but an editor reverted my change. Rewording is fine. Just so long as we don't have Luke as the perpetrator. Student7 (talk) 19:43, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Rewording is only fine if you don't present it as a direct quote. I thought the original wording was clear enough, your mileage may vary. Martijn Meijering (talk) 20:28, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Agree with Martijn. We simply cannot change a quotation. The implication of the sentence is not so much that Luke ordered the beating, but it seems to imply that Luke made up the story about the beating. So Luke, through his storytelling, has Paul and Silas beaten. Regardless of whether we agree with this implication, we provide the sentence just as Borg/Crossan wrote it. Remember that this is not part of the article, but it is useful in the footnote to illustrate how Borg and Crossan analyze this issue. - Lindert (talk) 21:20, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Paul and slavery[edit]

The evidence is fairly clear if looked at dispassionately; Paul upheld the slave system and almost undoubtedly owned slaves himself. This topic probably deserves a full section in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:57, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

Please note that Wikipedia does not permit original research to be used in its articles. All claims must be substantiated by reliable published sources. May I ask what your basis is for asserting that Paul owned slaves? - Lindert (talk) 18:06, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
And, of course, he upheld the then-current civil status of people, where slavery was legal. Emphasizing that the church was there to change individuals, not take over the government.
Anyway, slavery was an economic step up from the former method of conquering people - killing off everybody, men, women and children. The old, lower economy, had barely enough resources to sustain the conquering nation. It could not sustain the conquered.
There was no measuring stick that could tell anyone what was intrinsically wrong with slavery, when practiced by a hypothetically benevolent owner. We didn't have that perspective in any great degree until the mid-19th century. Not just the U.S., but worldwide. Student7 (talk) 21:36, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
In other words, this is not a forum. Regards.--Tomcat (7) 21:43, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Durrës Amphitheatre[edit]

It has been said that Paul the Apostle spoke at the Durrës Amphitheatre in Albania. Is this accurate?[1] 0:55

Twillisjr (talk) 14:53, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

No, this is incorrect, if as the article claims, the amphitheater was built by emperpor Trajan, who reigned 98 to 117 AD. Paul had already died by that time, so he couldn't have spoken there. He may however have visited the region. Paul wrote in Romans 15:19 that he preached 'from Jerusalem to Illyricum'. The reference to Illyricum has been interpreted in different ways, but some see it as 'Illyrica Graeca', which you can see on this map, and which includes Durrës. - Lindert (talk) 15:51, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

I agree, the dates didn't quite add up. Perhaps we ought to give them a call, their phone number is posted on the link.

Twillisjr (talk) 02:14, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Where was Paul killed ?[edit]

"Technically, Paul was apparently stoned to death at Lystra and they dragged him out of the city in Acts 14:19–20"

What I learned in Sunday school (with all the caution it implies, though it was with the Oratorians) is that he was beheaded near Rome in a place called "The three fountains". The full name of Sao Paulo ("Sao Paulo tres fontanas") seems to refer to that tradition. (talk) 18:39, 21 December 2012 (UTC)