Talk:Paul the Apostle/Archive 9

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False Citation

Here is the passage with a false citation:

but was just as quick to claim agreement with it on the nature and content of the "gospel of Christ."

The problem is it quoted Galatians 1:23-24, which says:

But only, they kept hearing, "He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy." And they were glorifying God because of me.

While I agree with the passage in question, this citation just doesn't work. I'm sure you can find a better example, this one isn't quite right. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Glorthac (talkcontribs) 01:41, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

I think that is a mistake, it seems clear from the context and the passage itself that Paul is communicating his agreement with the faith of the judean believers. Paul clearly is attempting to make a strong case that what he preached was the same message that was preached before he arrived. You can change the words "gospel of Christ" to just "gospel" or "Faith in Christ" and do no harm to the text. But to suggest that this is a false citation is strange. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:54, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Why was article renamed without consensus?

While I'm not unhappy with the article name "Saint Paul", why was it renamed without consensus? Peter Ballard (talk) 04:33, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Good question. The decision to rename the article to this, when this wasn't even one of the two names we voted on, is controversial, to say the least. --SgtSchumann (talk) 04:52, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, while I am happy with the outcome, the route here was very poor. Carl.bunderson (talk) 05:19, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
I gave a short close justification at the top of the discussion. These discussions aren't votes. The conclusion from reading the discussion was that both names had problems and neither name would generate much happiness, so the best thing to do was to find a name that would generate less unhappiness, and this one [for saints and people at least] meets WP:PRIMARYTOPIC and avoids both, was suggested in the poll and was suggested by Paul's perennial side-kick Saint Peter. One can do this kind of thing or one can go poll after poll closing each poll that doesn't get consensus and leave a bunch of people unhappy their arguments aren't addressed. Regards, Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 05:31, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
My concern is that it seems to be SOP to retain the article where it is if there is not consensus for a particular move. Why move an article to X when there is not consensus to move it there? For comparison, see Pope Clement I and Julian the Apostate; these have been suggested for moves several times, and there is a fair degree of discontent with where they are, but since there is no consensus to move, they've remained where they are. I'm not sure it is really my place to tell you how to do your job, not being an admin myself, but I think that persons who dislike this outcome could with ease use this as a pretext to raise cain [sic] about the outcome. Having said that, "very poor" was a tad strong, and I do honestly agree with the end result. Thank you for being bold. Carl.bunderson (talk) 06:08, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
Deacon-- you say "both names had problems". But I don't really see this in the discussion. The way I read it, the only real problem with "Paul of Tarsus" was that it wasn't "Paul the Apostle", i.e. it wasn't especially controversial, it just wasn't some people's first choice of title. But, by and large, I doesn't seem that "Saint Paul" was anyone's first choice either (other than, of course, yours). --Alecmconroy (talk) 06:13, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
There are at least two problems with your rationale. First, when people fail to reach consensus, what usually happens is that the status quo is maintained -- that is, nothing changes -- so this is what people's expectations were. When you do something strongly contrary to people's expectation, you shouldn't be surprised if people don't receive it well. Second, regardless of whether "these discussions aren't votes", that is how (some) people were treating it for the purpose of making their arguments. I for one did not see the point of debating whether St. Paul should be the title, when the discussion was about choosing between two other alternatives. If I could have known that someone was silently trying to determine whether to implement a third choice, I would have argued against St. Paul more strongly than I did Paul of Tarsus. The name of this article should be reverted to Paul the Apostle. --SgtSchumann (talk) 14:56, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

I too am not overwhelmingly unhappy with the outcome that Deacon has imposed. I think the assertion that Christianity bestows the title of "Saint" on Paul of Tarsus is certainly far less controversial and far more verifiable than the assertion that Paul of Tarsus was one of the Apostles.

but-- procedurally, this seems quite odd. "Saint Paul", although it got a few mentions in discussion, received less endorsements than either "Paul of Tarsus" or "Paul the Apostle". Unilaterally moving it to "Saint Paul" isn't a bad solution for a King Solomon trying to "split the difference"... but it wasn't consensus. Bad form, old boy. --Alecmconroy (talk) 06:04, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

So are users happy with the outcome, are do you want it moved back to Paul of Tarsus?-Andrew c [talk] 16:37, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm happy. Carl.bunderson (talk) 17:15, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm unhappy -- both because of the way the change was made (without consensus) and because of the result. --SgtSchumann (talk) 19:17, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Being upset that he is called Saint is illogical. That is how the Christians call him and the rest of the world calls him by that name. Using that name does not imply you accept the christians' worldview or religion. Similarly you could call an indian yogi Baba-Whatever and it wouldn't mean that you accept the hindu religion. You use the phonetic value of the name not it's meaning.--Xenovatis (talk) 20:56, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

There should be a consistency in using terms like Saint. I notice that the article about Jesus is not called "Jesus Christ". In the Bible, the only primary source, he is merely called Paul. Whether or not he is a saint is not verifiable. Muslims consider him a heretic and never call him a saint. Scholars normally call him Paul of Tarsus. The Four Deuces (talk) 20:02, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

I don't mind "Saint Christopher" because there is no historical Christopher (sometimes described as a 10-foot tall dog-headed soldier). But I don't like "Saint Paul." But there really was a Paul of Tarsus, whom some take to be a saint. I say use the historical term for historical people: Paul of Tarsus. Leadwind (talk) 22:00, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
I notice too that in general the term "Saint" is used as part of the name for Catholic saints canonized before the Reformation. Most Coptic saints for example do not have "Saint" in their articles' names, and neither does "Joan of Arc". It seems that whether or not they are called saints depends on a Protestant POV. The Four Deuces (talk) 23:22, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

I find it objectionable too that this move took place without any consensus. Sure, there is nothing wrong with Saint Paul, but neither is there a problem with Paul of Tarsus. Both are perfectly arguable titles. So the default move would have been no move. This isn't ultimately a big deal, but precisely because of that there was no reason for stepping on people's toes over it. --dab (𒁳) 14:14, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Although it was a topic I was fairly ambivalent about, I think the decision to change the name of the article to something besides Saint Paul was correct. I am sure that I am just repeating arguments by others but:

1. Sainthood is not a universally accepted idea even within Christianity. Use of Saint slants the article towards Christian denominations that incorporate sainthood as part of their beliefs. 2. The title of saint certainly wouldn't have been contemporary with Paul and as such it is misleading to call him Saint Paul. 3. The name Saint Paul, would not necessarily be familiar to most people who might be well aware of who Paul was. Davefoc (talk) 02:25, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Paul of Tarsus redirect issue

I know this topic has been discussed and "resolved" but it not. There is now a double redirect that goes from Paul of Tarsus to Paul the Apostle then to Sait Paul. Since the Paul of Tarsus page is uneditable there needs to be some administraive involvement. This is a unacceptable redirect and needs to be resolved asap.--Tainter (talk) 04:09, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Apparent conflict with this article's claims about authorship

From the opening section:

Thirteen epistles in the New Testament are traditionally attributed to Paul, three of them are disputed as such.

From the Authorship section

Thirteen epistles in the New Testament are traditionally attributed to Paul, of which seven are considered absolutely genuine, three are decidedly not from Paul, and the other three are in dispute.[9]

The WP article, Authorship of the Pauline epistles suggests even more controversy about the authorship.

I think something like this for the sentence in the opening section might be more appropriate:

Thirteen epistles in the New Testament are traditionally attributed to Paul, however the authorship of many of them is disputed. See the Authorship section of this article and the separate article, Authorship of the Pauline epistles, for a more detailed discussion.

As a general note this is one of the better written and documented of the various new testament WP articles. Thank you.
Davefoc (talk) 18:50, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

What the lead says now is sourced. It might be good to add that 7 are decidedly not genuine, but that is all that is really needed. The self-referential "See the Authorship section of this article and the separate article, Authorship of the Pauline epistles, for a more detailed discussion." is really bad style; its already wikilinked right there. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 18:01, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the response Carl.bunderson. I accept your criticism of the bad-styleness of my suggestion although it is a style that I like. I still quibble with the sentence as it now stands.

Thirteen epistles in the New Testament are traditionally attributed to Paul, of which seven are considered absolutely genuine, three are decidedly not from Paul, and the other three are in dispute.

"seven are considered absolutely genuine" by who? Some people consider thirteen absolutely genuine. Some people consider only four absolutely genuine. Some people consider none absolutely genuine. Personally, I don't think evidence of almost all early new testament history is strong enough to measure up to absolute. If you mean seven are considered genuine by most new testament scholars that is what the sentence should say. I absolutely believe the word absolute is inappropriate.--Davefoc (talk) 19:06, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

I would like to point out that as of right now this article is not consistent with itself on the subject of authorship. The lead section currently cites the "7 unquestionably authentic, 3 unquestionably inauthentic, 3 in question" format, but the Authorship section reads in a way that implies 7 unquestioned, 6 questioned, with no attempt to separate the 3 that may be considered "definitely not by Paul" and the 3 that are merely questionable. Staypuft9 (talk) 20:46, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Of the six disputed letters, you could say that the Pastorals are the most disputed, Ephesians next, Colossians next, and 2 Thessalonians least of all. But we already have Authorship of the Pauline epistles to go into grotty detail. For everyone who says the pastorals are "unquestionably inauthentic" there is another person who says they are genuine, demonstrating that authenticity has, in fact, been questioned. I'll fix the text to be better in this regard. Tb (talk) 23:09, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

lead restored

Someone cut the lead way down. A good lead is capable of standing alone as a concise summary of the topic. Please see WP:Lead. Leadwind (talk) 07:14, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

Paul the Gnostic

"Elaine Pagels, professor of religion at Princeton and an authority on Gnosticism, argues that Paul was a Gnostic [91] and that the anti-Gnostic Pastoral Epistles were "pseudo-Pauline" forgeries written to rebut this. " Huh? In what sense does she say he was a Gnostic? Like John and Thomas are "Gnostic"? Certainly not like Valentius would be Gnostic. Is she onto something or is she a nut? What's her evidence? Without context, this is just a random factoid. Leadwind (talk) 07:17, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

This is Elaine Pagels, after all. I find a lot of what she says about Paul and the gospels erroneous.Holmes245 (talk) 06:05, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Duplicated Sections

PatGallacher made a few cleanup type edits and duplicated part of the text of the article in a new section Influence on Christianity. This section is almost an exact duplicate of text in an earlier section of the article. I suspect this was an unintentional error on his part and that he may have meant to delete the earlier text.--Davefoc (talk) 20:00, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

Pat apparently moved this material out of the lead and put it into a new section. I restored the lead. A fine solution here would be to expand the Influence section so that the duplicate material in the lead winds up being a summary. Leadwind (talk) 00:28, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
And to make room for expanded, cited, scholarly information, we should edit the article down rather severely, eliminating all the unsourced interpretation about what Paul meant, the Holy Spirit, justification, etc.

Acts is widely challenged

This article leans heavily on Acts for Paul's biography, but the account of Acts is widely challenged. It was written from a perspective of reconciliation between Pauline Christians and their opponents, so portrays Paul as a law-abiding Jew and omits his dispute with Peter. Acts schematizes Paul's travels and takes liberties with his speeches. The primary source for historical information about Paul's life is the material found in his seven letters generally thought to be authentic. These letters contain very little information about Paul's past, and even Acts leaves important parts of Paul's life undocumented. This information comes form Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, which leans slightly pro-Christian and pro-tradition.

Given that Acts is not regarded as a reliable source, all the material in here based on it should go. It's not only primary source material, it's actually misleading. Leadwind (talk) 22:58, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. Acts in and of itself is not a "Reliable Source" (in terms of WP:RS) for the life of Paul. The content of Acts may be relevant at times, but it shouldn't be presented as straightforward facts about Paul. --Alecmconroy (talk) 01:52, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree but go further. Saying "According to Acts..." doesn't help. It's not enough just to let the reader know that these aren't plain facts. Unless a reliable source references Acts, this article shouldn't. Leadwind (talk) 02:07, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Let's not get carried away. The Book of Acts is part of the Christian Bible. Obviously there are lots of reliable sources that reference Acts. To exclude Acts from this article is POV pushing. Sure there are sources that contradict the version found in Acts, so cite them, in addition to keeping the ones that reference Acts. (talk) 20:07, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

I think that it's impossible to sensibly sort out this conversation without looking at specific examples from the article and addressing them. Tb (talk) 21:00, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

The table from White cited at: Saint Paul#Paul.27s visits to Jerusalem in Acts and the epistles gives an excellent comparison of Acts versus the Pauline Epistles. Note that both sources (Acts and the Pauline Epistles) are listed, not just one or the other. That's called NPOV. (talk) 16:35, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

The table works because it's cited to a reliable source (White) rather than to Acts. Acts itself isn't a reliable source and shouldn't be cited by itself as evidence for information about Paul. Leadwind (talk) 13:46, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
I think that it's impossible to sensibly sort out this conversation without looking at specific examples from the article and addressing them. Tb (talk) 17:44, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
So I see Leadwind is to blame for that polemic section about "sources of information"... Look, if the Gospels can be cited about the life of Jesus (as they can, and are in fact cited as such all over Wikipedia) then the book of Acts can quite easily be cited for the life of Paul of Tarsus! Some passages are questioned, and some events are omitted from the narrative, but overall and in most passages the Acts of the Apostles is a strong historical source and it has always been treated as such. It's only been "widely challenged" in the very recent scholastic past, and only in all the predictable circles. Awayforawhile (talk) 16:50, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

The world to come

Twice now an editor has deleted the following text:

  • "The delay in the coming of the end has been interpreted in different ways: on one view, Paul of Tarsus and the early Christians were simply mistaken; on another, that of Austin Farrer, his presentation of a single ending can be interpreted to accommodate the fact that endings occur all the time and that, subjectively, we all stand an instant from judgment. The delay is also accounted for by God's patience ((2 Thessalonians 2:6)."; and
  • "As for the form of the end, the Catholic Encyclopedia presents two distinct ideas. First, universal judgment, with neither the good nor the wicked omitted (Romans 14:10–12), nor even the angels (1 Corinthians 6:3). Second, and more controversially, judgment will be according to faith and works, mentioned concerning sinners (2 Corinthians 11:15), the just (2 Timothy 4:14), and men in general (Romans 2:6–9)."

Each deletion has been accompanied only by edit logs that assert the insufficiency of the sources. The former is asserting that there have been different interpretations for the delay of the parousia (is this controversial?). And, it identifies two interpretations which have often been made. One such interpretation is that Paul and others were simply mistaken. It is certainly the case that there have been important people who have asserted exactly this; do we need examples? If so, a {{fact}} tag would be appropriate, tho I think the point is noncontroversial. Is anyone unfamiliar with the existence of people who have said exactly that? The second explanation for the delay of the parousia which is described is the one exemplified by Austin Farrer; the description is a fair version of his views. So, there are three claims made

  • that different explanations have been given for the delay of the parousia;
  • that one explanation which has sometimes been given is that Paul and others were in error;
  • that another explanation which has sometimes been given, eg, by Farrer, is that a proper understanding of the parousia shows that there is no delay.

And, for the second deleted paragraph, the article simply cites the Catholic Encyclopedia's descriptions for various interpretations--all of them from letters ascribed to Paul--of eschatology. Of course, the article here must not take any particular point of view about which eschatological theories are correct, or even genuinely Pauline, but it is perfectly fair to identify the Catholic Encyclopedia's interpretation as such, and its importance in the history of the twentieth century is rather large.

So, what is the assertion which the deleter thinks the article is making here which is not adequately backed up by sources? Tb (talk) 23:35, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

I deleted this material because no contemporary sources have been offered to suggest that this material is relevant. The Farrer reference needs a citation. Shouldn't be hard to find one. The CE one is just wrong, citing a book that's not by Paul as if it were. Catholic scholarship has come a long way in 100 years, and the CE on Pauline epistles can't be taken as an RS. Leadwind (talk) 00:16, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
While it may be your POV that 2 Timothy is not by Paul, the view is simply one among many. Indeed, it is perhaps the most common view among scholars, but it is not universal even there, as a quick look at Brown's Introduction to the New Testament will show--and Brown completely agrees with you about that authorship question. But he is careful to allow that his view is not the only respectable one, even if it is the majority one. Regardless, the history of the interpretation of Paul is a perfectly relevant topic, and the CE is summarizing quite well a very long held view--and one which is only marginally connected with the reference to 2 Timothy. (But if it is really your only objection here that the reference includes mention of 2 Timothy, we can surely simply delete that part, right?) How Christians interpreted Paul for centuries is certainly relevant! Though--of course--it is not appropriate for the article to simply present those interpretations as fact, but it is certainly appropriate to describe them as what they are: the interpretations held for a long time and which have been of considerable importance in the history of ideas. The CE is a perfectly reliable source for what the dominant strands of Catholic scholarship have been from the late counter-reformation to the early twentieth century, which is a period of no small importance for the topic. Tb (talk) 00:27, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
The view that 2 Tim isn't by Paul is not simply one view among many. It's the standard, contemporary, scholarly view. It's the textbook viewpoint. If you think the CE is useful for explaining what people used to think, then refer to it in historical context. "A hundred years ago, Paul's letter were thought to refer to the world to come thus..." Leadwind (talk) 00:32, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Certainly, that would be a useful improvement to the encyclopedia. Since we have both now hit the WP:3RR limit, I'll do no more today (and I hope you'll respect the limit too). We can surely find a consensus text that would satisfy us both. This is much more likely to happen with discussion than with simple deletion of text and the avoidance of discussion. So, help me understand. Your recent addition says, "Paul believed that Jesus would return within his lifetime." If we add to that the observation that apparently Jesus did not return in Paul's lifetime, I assume we do not need a citation for the observation that some think that Paul and the early Christians were simply mistaken. I'm baffled now about why you thought that needed citation, since you've yourself just advanced that view in the article's own voice. As for 2 Timothy, I don't care about the reference; but mentioning 2 Timothy is not some kind of license to delete an entire paragraph! How about the following then to express the point that last paragraph is trying to get at: Paul's understanding of the form the end would take is difficult to identify from his letters. He spoke of a universal judgment including both the good and the wicked (Romans); of judgment which would include the angels (1 Cor.), of judgment according to faith and works (2 Cor, Rom). In addition, the author of 2 Timothy, writing in Paul's name, spoke of judgment of the just according to their works (2 Tim). Something like that seems fair. Perhaps there should be a footnote to the CE, then, just so that the origin of the citations is properly cited to avoid plagiarism. Tb (talk) 00:38, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

You have repeatedly insisted that the Catholic Encyclopedia is not a satisfactory source because of its age. This is not at all a criterion; it is unquestionably a satisfactory source by the WP:RS guidelines. That said, it is also an old source, and often the state of scholarship has changed, in which case we should certainly prefer more recent sources. But that does not make the CE a bad source, or an unacceptable source, it simply means that if a more recent source is available which contradicts it, then serious consideration ought to be given to preferring the more recent source's view. But to argue that a more recent source contradicts it, the more recent source must be identified--it is not enough to simply say "outdated" and then insist that the CE cannot be cited for anything because it is "historical" and not "contemporary". That said, of course we should not assert that 2 Tim. is by Paul--but the relevant paragraph isn't about that at all. So please, if you wish to object to something particular, do so--and we can improve the article. (I totally agree that the article is in many ways in dismal shape, but I don't think simply deleting stuff will make it better. Replacing it with better stuff sure can.) So if you have a better more recent source about the various things Paul says about the "last judgment", by all means, we could sure improve on the brief and cursory bit from the CE; but simply dropping it entirely makes the article worse, not better. The CE may not be the best, source, but it is certainly a good enough source for material in the article; and if you have a better source to undergird a more "contemporary" feel to the section, by all means, that would be an excellent improvement. Right now, the section attempts to convey at the very least that the interpretation of Paul's opinions about the parousia is a controversial topic with many opinions about, and that is an important thing we should continue to convey. Tb (talk) 05:06, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Arbitrary break

I just removed the disputed text myself-- I agree it's problematic. Without getting into the reliable source can of worms, consider this-- why would we include contemporary eschatological beliefs on the biography of someone who died 1900+ years ago?

Basically, the dispute text tried to address the issue of -- given that the world did not end in the first century, what do modern christians now believe about the end of the world. This is a topic for the "Christian eschatology" article.

And looking over that article, you can see, it's VERY complex. The responses to the fact that the world did not end in the first century are very very numerous. There is _no_ way we can do this topic justice in the middle of this article. Instead, let's just send people over to Christian eschatology --Alecmconroy (talk) 15:42, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

I'm happy to agree that it could be much improved. But I think improvement would involve more discussion of Paul's eschatology, not less. The CE is giving voice to some serious problems in understanding Paul's eschatology; the issue identified is precisely what Paul does say. What about my proposed text above ? Tb (talk) 17:13, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, Alec. I've just looked up all the verses that the CE is saying refer to judgment, and they are off-hand remarks, some made in passing, from when Paul is talking about other things, not about judgment day. I'd like to see a contemporary source back up the claim that these verses say much about Paul and the world to come. Leadwind (talk) 23:34, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
TB-- I think the difficulties you're having with Paul's eschatology stem from the fact that it is a very giant can of worms that you're trying to open in the space of a few sentences. With religious subject matter, it's very difficult to achieve both NPOV _and_ brevity.
So, taking your proposed paragraph for example-- two giant complications jump out at me on a first reading. One issue is that the situation with 2 Tim is very complex. We certainly cannot say it was composed by Paul, and I'm skeptical that NPOV would permit us to say that it wasn't either! So any texts that rely on 2 Tim are going to be complicated to discuss.
Additionally, the second red flag jumps out is the reference to "faith and works", which contradicts the Sola fide point of view. So, again, we have to tread lightly on THAT issue too, because I think many people will, rightly or wrongly, dispute that Paul insists works is part of judgment.
I think you'll have more luck if you find somewhere (perhaps at one of the aforementioned articles) where there's space to really unfold the whole topic properly, with all the balances and diversity-of-viewpoint that NPOV would require.
And then, off the top of my head, you could try to find some very very neutral tertiary source (e.g. Britannica?) and see if they have a summary of the things that can said about Paul's Eschatology that are nearly undisputed. If I were making the list, I would say that Paul did have a future eschatology, that he expected the kingdom of heaven to be a discrete event that was very likely to occur in his lifetime, and that he did believe in the resurrection of the dead. BUT-- that's my list I just came up with off the top of my head, and I'm not a reliable source, so we can't use me. But you get the idea-- find a barebones list from a MEGA neutral source (CE won't work, since it's Catholic POV), add that list to the main article, and then have a knock-out, drag out discussion in some subpartcle.
Hope this helps! This is a great subject for an article and there's a lot of room for expansion on these early christian history topics. --Alecmconroy (talk) 08:54, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Paul of Tarsus and Judaism

Why is this a separate article? Doesn't all the contents belong in here? Slrubenstein | Talk 20:59, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, Paul & Judaism/JewishChristians/"Judaizers" is a wide enough topic that an entire sub-article could be made on just that subject. However there's not a good meshing between the two articles at present, and seem largely to be written without much thought or inter-reference given to each other. --Alecmconroy (talk) 09:08, 26 May 2009 (UTC)


Supposedly the Catholic church has his remains. They were carbon dated and found to be from the correct period.

Does anyone know if the skull is intact? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cousert (talkcontribs) 04:29, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

they have only small bone fragments. not a single intact bone, let alone a skull. I have compiled a "burial" section surrounding this, but it is probably too detailed and misplaced in the "life" section. It needs to be reconciled with the section on "church traditions". --dab (𒁳) 13:59, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

ok, I have created the tomb of Saint Paul section redirect and moved most of the material to the basilica article. --dab (𒁳) 14:09, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Painting and many other news leads talk about a recently revealed painting of Paul. It should go into the article, but I can't find the right place to put it. Kdammers (talk) 23:51, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Saint Paul was not a Roman Catholic

The term has no meaning as there were no schisms at the time, it was even before the Great Schism or even before all the minor Schisms. SP was simply a Christian. It is extremely offensive to label him with one particular denomination as he would need to be labelled with ALL by the exact same reasoning.--Xenovatis (talk) 16:46, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Saint categories are based on recognition today rather than how the saint would have described themselves. The main Early Christian saints categories are non-denominational - Paul is in Category:1st-century Christian martyr saints and others- but the Palestinean and Anatolian ones need to distinguish between saints recognised by Catholic & Orthodox (although these nationalities do not have equivalent Orthodox national categories). The WP categorization of saints is complex & far from perfect, but edits like this, disrupting the existing structure, are unhelpful. Please do not revert again. Johnbod (talk) 16:59, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
You still have not addressed my main point. If he is termed a Catholic saint then why not Maronite, Armenian, ANglican, Protestant etc as well. I find the categorization as catholic unhelpful and would urge you not to re-instate it again, certainly not prior to a concensus being achieved in talk.--Xenovatis (talk) 18:24, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
John is right. He is recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church, and thus he does belong in the categories you are removing. Being in a RCC category does not prejudice the article's inclusion in any other appropriate category. If there are saint categories for ecclesial communions and other rites, then by all means add them. But by no means may you remove these categories. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 18:37, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Fair enought, I may add more tags in time. Thanks.--Xenovatis (talk) 18:51, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
No problem, have a good day. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 19:01, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
You appear to have a problem with the category, and category scheme, as a whole, not the inclusion of this article particularly. This should be taken up with the wikiprojects, or at CfD. Johnbod (talk) 20:04, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Speculations included as facts

I think it is inappropriate to include the speculations of some scholars on Paul's inclusion of women when other scholars disagree -- both on the concept itself and on the evidence used to support that conclusion. I believe that section shows bias in selecting sources and in not presenting both views.--Blue Tie (talk) 04:42, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Requested move 2009

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 move. Jafeluv (talk) 23:43, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Saint PaulPaul of Tarsus — This is dictated by the Wikipedia naming convention on use of the honorific "Saint". Carlaude:Talk 03:55, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

  • Support per guideline. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:11, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Support per above. Majoreditor (talk) 00:49, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Support per naming conventions (and to a lesser extent, per NPOV for those who consider Paul to be heretical rather than sainted). --Alecmconroy (talk) 09:11, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Support for reasons already discussed to death on this Talk page. --SgtSchumann (talk) 08:22, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Support both the move and the guideline. --Dampinograaf (talk) 14:16, 6 September 2009 (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.

Why Paul of Tarsus instead of Apostle Paul?

We are establishing a precedence here that can be very awkward when we must deal with St Luke, St John, St Mark, and others. In some cases they aren't know by where they are from. What do we do, then? Seems to me they all are best know because they were Apostles. I propose one more move for Paul of Tarsus to Apostle Paul.Afaprof01 (talk) 06:27, 11 September 2009 (UTC) :: Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the commandment of God our Saviour, and of Christ Jesus our hope: Afaprof01 (talk) 06:36, 11 September 2009 (UTC) Author-deleted. Poorly written (sorry). My unmade point was that although he was not one of the Twelve, he claims divine appointment to the office of apostle, and few dispute or criticize his decision. But I surely did not write that.Afaprof01 (talk) 18:02, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Reasons have been given for avoiding "holy" honorifics. Luke and Mark were Evangelists, not Apostles. Although Paul is sometimes called "the apostle Paul", he is not generally called "Apostle Paul"; Christians tend to call him either "Saint Paul" or just "Paul". Later Christian writers are often known by their place of origin (Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine of Hippo). Myopic Bookworm (talk) 11:15, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Afaprof01, please let me assure you that the choice of titles is absolutely NOT based on any particular religious view held by wikipedia editors. Speaking for myself and hopefully for all who supported the change, the change in titles is absolutely not meant to be interpreted as disparaging Paul, his life, or the faith of the many people who revere him.
Wikipedia's guidelines and policies for titles say that honorifics are to be avoided in the actual article titles themselves (although of course, the article text itself will still mention the existence of honorific titles). Hence the honorific "Saint Paul the Apostle" is located at Paul of Tarsus, the honorific "The Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him" is located simply at Muhammad, and the honorific "His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso the Fourteenth Dali Lama" is located simply at 14th Dalai Lama. We have a similar guideline for other honorifics (e.g. royalty).
Take home point: this isn't about Paul at all, it's just routine following of Wikipedia title policy. Wikipedia is absolutely not trying to make any claim that Paul isn't an apostle or that Paul isn't a saint-- after all, both of those titles are still right there, bolded, in the very first line of article text. And if you go to the articles entitled Paul the apostle and Saint Paul, you'll see they all work and bring you back to the article on Paul.
Hope this assuages all, most, or at least some, of your concerns. --Alecmconroy (talk) 13:38, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Alecmconroy: I tremendously appreciate your very detailed, considerate response to my inquiry. I totally agree with everything you wrote. I/we are presently struggling with what to rename the Saint Peter article. We first renamed it to "Apostle Peter" or Peter the Apostle. A good suggestion has come in for "Simon Peter." And...I never thought anyone was disparaging Paul or Christian faith. I apologize sincerely for leaving the wrong impression. (That's what I get for doing things after midnight my time.)
I am in synch with all renaming objectives you've pointed out. I suspect that a lot of people doing a Wiki search for Paul may not think about or maybe know about Tarsus. Similarly, I suspect (in the Peter article I'm working on) that perhaps many Wiki searchers will not think or know about "Simon" as part of his name. YET, I 100% agree with avoiding honorifics. In my myopia I failed to consider "apostle" as an honorific.
What advice have you about a renaming algorithm for those saint articles still in need of a move/rename? Needing attention are '''Saint''' Andrew, John the '''Apostle''', Philip the '''Apostle''', Bartholomew the '''Apostle''', Matthew/Mark/Luke/John the '''Apostle''', Thomas the '''Apostle''', Jude the '''Apostle''' for Thaddeus, Simon the '''Zealot''', and '''Saint''' Matthias. You've obviously given all of this a great deal of study and really sound thought. Do you conclude that the above "apostle," "evangelist," and "zealot" must be changed in those titles? And if so, I'll appreciate any suggestions you may have.
The word "Saint" is still listed in bold in the Lede for several articles whose title has been changed. According to WP:BoldTitle, "Saint" needs to be also changed there to repeat the new title. THANKS! Afaprof01 (talk) 18:02, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
The discussions about what to call this article have been interesting to me. I think Saint Paul was one of the worst possibilities and I'm glad it wasn't left as that. I don't think much of "Paul of Tarsus" since I think that name would not be familiar to most. Apostle Paul is problematic. I'm less concerned about the honorific aspect of that and more concerned that it gets into the ambiguities of what apostle means. Has just plain "Paul" been considered? In my world (secular but Christian culture, USA), Paul is what he is known as. Davefoc (talk) 23:20, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Encounaged Marriage as a means of happiness

In the article page on paragraph named: "The World to come", you will find: "...he therefore encouraged marriage as a means of happiness. (Citation Needed)".

I am surprised that no one has taken up this.

Surely the opposite is true. He advised people not to marry as the time, as we know it, was running out!

MacOfJesus (talk) 20:07, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Everyone seems to be worried about his saintliness and titles, I'm sure Saint Paul is'nt worried, in fact he said so! Paul of Tarsus, Saul, Paul, Saint Paul. He was looking forward to leaving the world so urgently. I'm sure I can say: "References not needed"! ( will not see my face again).

MacOfJesus (talk) 21:07, 12 September 2009 (UTC)


In Corinthians, Paul breaks with the Pharisaic belief that justice is the highest virtue, and elevates instead charity. Around the same year Paul wrote this epistle, the stoic philosopher Seneca wrote De Clementia, also replacing the stoic virtue of justice with that of mercy. Has anyone ever suggested that Paul was influenced by Seneca? Or perhaps that there was just tome new discourse privileging charity or mercy, emerging in the Roman world? Slrubenstein | Talk 23:55, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

The Divine Mercy, St. Faustina, "Mercy is God's Greatest Attribute",(A quotation from her diaries), Article pages on Wikipedia, highly recommend. Also, Divine Mercy Sunday. See also Saint Dismas.

At the beginning the Church was sceptial, until she (Saint Faustina) was cannonised, and promoted (The Divine Mercy) by Pope John Paul II.

MacOfJesus (talk) 16:22, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

I was looking for encyclopedic and reliable sources, eg. a book published by a univesity press, or peer-reviewed journal article, by a historian or scholar of religious studies. Slrubenstein | Talk 18:06, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Father Michael, professor of Patrology, Saint Faustina's Spiritual Director wrote such. Quite a no. of books and sourced Diaries written on this, some of this standing. (I must have misunderstood your original {new} request ?)

MacOfJesus (talk) 18:16, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

The Saint Dismas article page has such sourced references.

MacOfJesus (talk) 19:11, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

The Jerome Biblical Commentry and The New Jerome Biblical Commentry are purely scholarly writings on Scripture and would certainly be the answer to the question.

MacOfJesus (talk) 19:22, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

I do not have the Jerome Bible commentary. Do you? Does it mention Seneca? I thought the Anchor Bible commentary was the authoritative commentary. Slrubenstein | Talk 05:16, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I do. It would be considered a must have for a modern Scripture Student. It is readily available. However, don't forget the other books and subjects mentioned. Patrology is a Science, too. Since the revelation of Jesus to Saint Faustina of Mercy the subject is seen in a new light, with new importance.

MacOfJesus (talk) 10:14, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Going through the Commentry I cannot find any reference. Paul before conversion was very different to Saint Paul after conversion. In the Commentry the articles concerning Saint Paul would be: 45,46,47,48,49,-60 & 79. The very message of Christ (Kerygma) would have to contain such a message. Article 79: Pauline Theology, section 15 remarks how little he knew of the life of Jesus in the flesh, however he shows he knew the "sayings" of "the lord", (Kyrios).

MacOfJesus (talk) 20:44, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

In my study of Saint Augustine you will find strong references to the Maxims of Seneca.  Sorry, I just became aware of this.

MacOfJesus (talk) 22:34, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Do remember though, that The Church in former days was very sceptical of knowledge and learning coming from an independent source to that other than via The Christ, The Church and Jesus. This was very evident in the stand of Gallileo, proving his findings. Hence, you will find references to Seneca in the life of Saint Augustine before Conversion but very little after. So you are going to have a very up-hill-battle to prove your proposition!

MacOfJesus (talk) 23:40, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

I have discovered this quote from Saint Augustine Article page at the paragraph "Philosophy":

The good Christian should beware of astrologers (Latine: mathematici) or anyone who ungodly practices divination - you should avoid them especially when they tell you true things, so that the fellowship of demons deceiving your mind may not confine you in the bonds of their company.[25]

This shows the point I have made regarding scheptasim of knowledge from secular sources, showing that there would be no references to Seneca in Christian sources, then.

MacOfJesus (talk) 18:00, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Request for Comment

I think there should be an additional artice page on Missionary Journies of St. Paul, these are outlined clearly in The Acts of the Apostles, but with appropriate maps on an article page showing the different journies of Saint Paul, this media would be very helpful to all.

All these maps in publication would have a copyright on them, however, it would be relatively easy to prepare fresh ones, from scratch?

MacOfJesus (talk) 16:16, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

When I made the map currently in use on this article, I decided to just show "Geography relevant to Paul", rather than try to trace out the actual map. I think this is a good choice for this article, since there isn't a consensus on the order of Paul's journeys, but there is a wide consensus about the places that are relevant to his life.
For Acts of the Apostles, though, we could create an image that shows his journeys as told in that book. There would still be a fair amount of original research involved, since we only have his basic itinerary, but precisely how he got from A to B is sometimes unspecified. But more free images are always welcome, it should be pretty straightforward to add lines to an already free map. --Alecmconroy (talk) 18:36, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

I propose that in constructing the maps the area that is uncertain from The Acts be left in either broken lines or no lines at all, for in the publications already in circulation these lines are in, presuming the route taken. Hence, this method would avoid copyright infringement. (An important consideration).

For example: In the 1st. journey to Cyprus the usual route given is to the lower part of the island and leaving from the North of the Island, which needn't necessary have happened, in the way often outlined, at least. (From Salamis to Paphos). (Perhaps not the best of examples, as it is clearly stated that they crossed the whole of the Island).

We know he was shiprecked on that (from Paphos to main-land Turkey {today}) journey. The sea in the Medetranian can be very choppy. For a small boat or one of medium size it could be very dangerous.

MacOfJesus (talk) 10:25, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Why refer to Paul as a Christian?

Paul, in his own writings, describes himself repeatedly as a Jew. However, this wikipedia article labels him a Christian missionary. Would it be more correct to at least include this nuance in the article? Likewise, the concept of 'conversion to Christianity' is somewhat doubtful, given that the Christian religion as an institute didn't come into being until after Paul's death. I believe that there are experts (which I am not) who believe that Paul never considered himself a Christian, but rather kept seeing himself as a Jew who wanted to improve the religion from within. Can anyone shed light on this? ThanksRiemerb (talk) 12:39, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

To answer your article-related question, it makes sense to refer to Paul as both a Christian and a Jew-- he was born into the Jewish tradition, etc. At the same time, he was a leading figure in the 1st century Jesus movement, which is modernly lumped into the umbrella term Christianity.
To try to answer the broader question, already within Paul's life, there a rift beginning to form between Pauline Christianity and Jewish Christianity (and a further rift with plain old non-christian Judaism). Paul's teachings were definitely at odds with other jewish and christian teachers of his day, and so it makes sense to refer to him as christian even though Paul would have probably preferred the term "follower of Christ". Indeed, Paul is sometimes called "The First Christian"-- a hyperbole that highlights the view that Pauline Christianity was something more than mere Judaism with Jesus cast as the new Elijah, Moses, or David.
"Lost Christianities" and "From Jesus to Christ" are both good books if you're interested in this. --Alecmconroy (talk) 14:19, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the clarification and the book references. Looking forward to reading more about this topicRiemerb (talk) 03:01, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
If you question whether Paul was a Christian, you're in good company. Pamela Eisenbaum has a new book on the shelves entitled Paul Was Not a Christian. (I haven't read the book yet, but I respect Eisenbaum for her previous work.) She and others who write about the New Perspective on Paul frequently address questions of this sort. A good place to start reading about the New Perspective is Paul Page (which has links to articles both for and against New Perspective viewpoints). --SgtSchumann (talk) 05:57, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

The Early Church did not see themselves as seperate. The Acts show they met in the Temple every day at the 3rd hour.

It was'nt until they were put out of the synagogue, and persecuted that there was a definitive difference. (Acts).

At Antioch they were first called Christian (Acts).

The Acts of the Apostles have a very clear account of this.

It would appear that others called them "Christian". Hence, it would not have the same significance as we give it. It was more of a benign nick-name.

Saint Paul was definitly linked to Antioch. (Acts).

MacOfJesus (talk) 11:45, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

However, they always, right from the beginning, met on the First Day of the week.

MacOfJesus (talk) 10:46, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

I have never read this. Do you have a source for this? Stellarkid (talk) 03:16, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

(The Jerome Biblical Commentary: Article 63: 178, for example). MacOfJesus (talk) 23:43, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Are you aware there are other article pages called: Paul of Tarsus and Judaism, conversion of Paul.

MacOfJesus (talk) 11:55, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

If you view that the distinguishing mark of the Christian is that they meet on the first day of the week, Sunday, as distinct or in addition to the Sabbath, Saturday, they always saw themselves as "Christian", including St. Paul.

If you view the Christian as one who accepts Christ as his Lord and Saviour, then they always saw themselves as Christian. Being a member of a distinct Church, seperate and unique, came only with time. St. Paul meeting the brothers at Antioch, would indicate that they at that time saw themselves as a Church, and therefore, Christian.

MacOfJesus (talk) 00:11, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

I have just come off of reading Eisenman's tome entitled James the Brother of Jesus, during which he talks at great length about Paul, and the two schools of what he calls Messianic Judaism. The people from Qumran under James the Just, were Messianic Jews and believers as well. Paul seemed to have broken off on his own and started his own branch of Messianic Judaism, in which he broke with the majority of Jewish traditions, specifically on the issues of circumcision and the food taboos. Philosophically, his branch, Pauls, which became the Catholic Church, focused on faith, as opposed to works as a means of finding favor with God. According to Eisenman, Paul and James (and the Qumran folk) were bitter enemies, and that accounts for Paul's denigration of the other branch of Messianic Jews in the Bible. I think it reasonable to consider Paul the first real "Christian" as opposed to Messianic Jew, though I would like to see the transformation from Jew to Christian further explored a bit more and shown as a continuum. But one would have to have the references for that. We would need a Biblical scholar, or two. Stellarkid (talk) 03:42, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

(Paul being viewed like this would have to begin with Acts and the councils that he attended, Jerusalem, Antioch. Acts deal with these as agreeable councils. The only fall-out is with Barnabas over Mark Luke, and with Mark Luke. Hence, the commentry would have to be viewed in context with Acts and his letters. The Jerome Biblical Commentry Article 46, and 45, particularly section 21 of 46). MacOfJesus (talk) 23:43, 16 November 2009 (UTC) (Paul before conversion is very different to Saint Paul after coversion, any commentry on this would have to be viewed in context to Saint Paul's words on this, and any good commentry will justify their stand.)MacOfJesus (talk) 00:09, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

If you view the Christian as one who reinacts The Last Supper, The Meal that is unique to The Christian then Saint Paul is Christian, for he gives definitive instruction on The Meal in; 1 Corinthians 11: 17-34, and a reference to his instruction from "the Lord" (v.23).

Surely this above all indicates his Christianity. The evidence is overwhealmingly in favour.

After all why did he die? For what? And suffer so much?

MacOfJesus (talk) 19:03, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

It would appear that "the thorn in the side" that Saint Paul spoke about was a result of being flogged so many times for preaching "in the name". It would appear that his side was ruptured for he mentioned in his thanks to those who helped him, on his way, a reference to this and how troublesome it must have been for them. (Those who suffer from a ruptured bowel will be aware of this).

His speaking "in the name" is evidence enough, for he was flogged for it more than once! To question his Christianity is rather like questioning if "The Pope is Catholic?"!

MacOfJesus (talk) 23:16, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

However, if writing for the WP we cannot use our own interpretations but provide those of Biblical scholars instead. I don't believe anyone is question that Paul was a "Christian," but he was originally a Jew, preaching to Gentiles. Don't forget that the whole prophecy thing came from the Old Testament and that Jesus himself was referred to as a Rabbi. Paul was one of those Jews who thought that the Messiah had come with Jesus. He was a believer in Jesus, and as such was what we have come to know as a "Christian." Stellarkid (talk) 03:52, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

(The Jerome Biblical Commentry: Article 46, Section 21. This is of deep significance). MacOfJesus (talk) 00:12, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

I am reading from the Acts of the Apostles, St. Luke's second volume.

The despute with Peter and Paul over food was aired at the coucil of Jerusalem (Acts 15) before the brothers and an agreement was made and a document prepared regarding food. This is clearly outlined in the Acts. They settled in favour of Saint Paul's stand. Saint Peter agrees (Acts 15: 6-11). Saint Perter's address to Cornelius: (Acts 10: 34-48).

These are not my own interpitations but a simple following of Acts and the letters of St. Paul. Interpitation and scholarship would come into play when needed, from this, but never as a substitute.

My reading of the original heading is that someone has asked if St. Paul were Christian. This is what I'm replying to.

MacOfJesus (talk) 23:02, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

If you look at the original question we were asked to shed light on, this very issue from; (Riemerb). That is what I'm replying to.

MacOfJesus (talk) 23:52, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Saint Paul's second arrival in Jerusalem sees him purifying some men and enjoining the Temple rites (Acts 21: 17-26).

However, the overall reading of Acts shows Saint Paul sent to the Gentile world wheras Saint Peter to the Jewish world, specifically to preach the Word ( The Name of Jesus ).

MacOfJesus (talk) 03:53, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

[[I just want to add one important note here;]]

This is not general discussion on Saint Paul. This is valuable to the Article page, as if someone can point out that Saint Paul should not be termed as a Christian, then the Article page has to be rewritten from top to bottom. Hence, his writings, the writings about him, need exploring to prove one way or the other!

MacOfJesus (talk) 22:26, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Multiple edits from anonymous user

Are the edits from user correct and encyclopedic? Antique RoseDrop me a line 23:41, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

Some definite hagiography in the edits. I think most of the changes will have to be rejected, but don't have time to go through them. But oversight is definitely necessary. --Alecmconroy (talk) 00:06, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

They are correct and I dont think they were hagiographic at all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:43, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

What is your reading of the word: hagiographic ? MacOfJesus (talk) 23:58, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Citation Needed

This I'v copied and pasted from the article page:

The Book of Acts schematizes Paul's travels and takes liberties with his speeches.[citation needed]

I'v looked in commentries and all I find is the opposite regarding taking liberties with his speeches. The Jerome Biblical Commentry, Section 45 (The Acts) :49 states now we turn to the hero of the latter part of the book, referring to Saint Paul.

Hence I cannot see the validity of this citation.

MacOfJesus (talk) 22:12, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

I think all speeches described in old texts are more or less imaginary since there were no recording devices. --Drieakko (talk) 08:55, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Thank you. The recording system was, we believe, in quelle, sources. That is written elements that were sourced by Saint Luke and sponsered to do so by Theophilus,(Acts 1:1-5). The other is the very letters written by Saint Paul himself, or dictated by him, but sourced to him, directly. The two converge accurately. When Saint Paul got "cross" in his letters, with the people he is writing to, he did not mince his words,(Galatians 1: 6-10 and 3: 1-9). The scribe in those days had the job of writing and recording, evidenced clearly. The historians of the day, independantly, of Gospel source, were Pliny and Pliny the Younger and Jonathan, (who witness to Jesus). Before that, in the medical profession, see the "Code of Hannahrabbi", for example. The laws of The Medes and Persians were written in a very accurate form.

MacOfJesus (talk) 19:41, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Okay, so there's a couple different things at work here.
  • Transcription was rare . Word for word transcription was very rare, and extemporaneous speeches almost never entered oral tradition intact.
  • Transcript wasn't expected - Luke's audience wouldn't have expected the speeches to be word-for-word transcriptions. Historical literature of the period encouraged 'novelization'-style recreations of historical speeches. Indeed, if a word-for-word historical transcript had been recorded, it would be very odd to omit any mention of such an exceptional fact.
  • Intrinsic Evidence- As the saying goes, Luke's Peter sounds like Paul, and Luke's Paul sounds like Peter. Acts presents the relationships between Pauline and Peterine Christianity as being far more harmonious than suggested by the Pauline Epistles.
  • The speeches of Acts aren't thought to be in Q-- they're in a very different style than the Q material. The speeches would either be in source L (Sources unique to Luke) or a Lukan authorial creation.
So I think the original quote, that Luke 'takes liberties' with speeches, is a little pejorative-- Luke isn't accused of trying to deceive anyone. But it is true that the speeches are thought to be Lukan creations. For a great read and good source, read "The First Christian Historian". --Alecmconroy (talk) 23:33, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Thank you. I agree that those elements, to a greater or lesser extent, exist. I think that Saint John at the end of His Gospel, seems to speak to us directly with these dilemas now: Jn 21: 24+ "There were many other things that Jesus did...."

Do remember though that Saint Paul and Mark Luke, (Saint Luke), fell-out, but were reconsiled, and with Saint Barnabas, over Mark Luke returning after being shiprecked. ((Acts), already referred to further up this page). And Mark Luke was "a disciple" of Saint Peter. (This is authority for writing the Gospel, that he knew both Saint Peter and Saint Paul). Saint Luke, therefore, did show similarities to both Saint Paul and Saint Peter, and indeed meant to do this, as a good disciple is meant to. (He did not know Jesus in the flesh, or hear his words first hand, hence, his authority is directly the words of both Saint Peter and Saint Paul and the collection of these quelle, which would not be arbitary but meant for "The Meal", "The Eucharist").

To the modern mind: "taking liberties" does mean more than is meant here, hence, it is a phrase that should be changed.

MacOfJesus (talk) 12:32, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Getting citations to what is not there is an up-hill-battle, no? MacOfJesus (talk) 00:14, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Recent philosophical interest on Paul

Many "continental" philosophers (Alain Badiou, Slavoj Zizek, Giorgio Agamben, Jacques Ranciere) have recently written about Paul. I was searching information about these discussions here, but came up with nothing. I am not well enough versed in their ideas to write about them.
Mnivis (talk) 11:57, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I've often thought that Paul's writings would/should be of interest to philosophers. I hope we can find some sources on this. -- Marie Paradox (talk) 21:38, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

You may be on your own here. I have found myself like that before, over Saint Augustine. I've discovered there is no substitute for a good library. Be prepared for a lot of sneezing!

The first step: Know Saint Paul from all angles beginning with his words and his life, and then seeking the words of others about him.

Good luck.

MacOfJesus (talk) 18:39, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Vague Sentence in Role of Women Section

The last sentence in the first paragraph in the role of women section states, "The apparent message of this verse is certainly strange and seemingly anachronistic to 21st century mentality with its emphasis on egalitarianism and non-discrimination." It seems vague and somewhat opinionated to state the inclinations of the "21st Century mentality". Is there even such a thing as "the 21st Century mentality"? I'm sure some denizens of the 21st Century would readily agree with Paul's view on women, especially in the geographic region from which Paul originated. Thoughts? Lily20 (talk) 22:57, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Lily20→I'm not sure you would need to travel that far. That women today are relegated to a second-class inferior role in many churches is very well established, with respect to denial of ministry in positions requiring ordination, submission to the husband, proclaimed leadership of the husband─and sadly all of this in the name of Christ, whose recorded example and teachings honored and dignified women. And his upbringing was what today we would probably call Orthodox Judaism. Not until after his earthly ministry concluded with the Ascension did the church he founded begin returning to more misogynist teachings and practices. Seems strange that the Founder was so egalitarian but that his followers off and on for centuries (and still today) teach something Jesus never taught─a religiously-justified denigration of women.
Last point: There is considerable debate today about what Paul actually meant with his "keep silent in church" and other teachings that today are taken to mean "keep women in their place." Prominent NT theologian N.T. Wright suggests that Paul was trying to raise the status of women who were denied formal religious education in the first century, but whose husbands received it. He believes the women in Paul's day were so hungry to learn the Gospel that they may have, with unbridled enthusiasm, perhaps interrupted the service by asking questions aloud that males would think were simplistic. It's at least a very interesting theory. Thanks for your concerns.─AFA Prof01 (talk) 18:37, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

infobox contradicts article on birthdate

The article says Paul was born in 5 BCE, while the infobox says 10 AD. — goethean 21:57, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Fixing of Said Problem

I will change the infobox birthdate to the one in the text itself. :-) Creme Puffs (talk) 16:45, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Influence on Christianity: Lord's Supper

The line about some postulating that the Last Supper was actually a Passover Seder needs to be deleted on grounds of irrelevance. The Gospels explicitly state that the Last supper was a passover meal and the topic is never even questioned in New Testament/Christian Scripture scholarship. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tanktimus (talkcontribs) 20:19, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Yes, it's been questioned. The Gospel of John says that it wasn't a Passover meal but instead took place on the previous night (associating Jesus with the sacrificial lambs slaughtered before Passover). Some scholars think that John's chronology makes more sense. Leadwind (talk) 01:41, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Did Paul meet Jesus?

I reverted an entry that suggested that Paul gained the approval of Jesus. It is clear Christian doctrine that Paul never met Jesus. There is no biblical or historical record to support that he did. It is theoretically possible that Paul/Saul saw Christ at some point during his persecution of Christians. That is speculation though, and not supportable. Paul met disciples of Christ only a few times, and years after Jesus was crucified. Paul does say that he was blinded on the road to Damascus, and heard Jesus voice, and while in a trance, saw a vision of Jesus teaching. He also said that he learned the Gospel not from men, but through revelation. As far as I know the fact that Paul never knew or met Christ is something taught by nearly all sects of Christianity, and not controversial. I don't intend anything by saying this, only that we can't put in the article that Paul gained the approval of Christ to act as his Apostle, as someone has tried to state in the article. To say this, we will need a bible citation supporting that. Atom (talk) 18:08, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

This is a good question. But actually your revert was incorrect, and it's an easy explanation. This sentence you reverted did not say simply that, "Paul met Jesus." It is somewhat more nuanced than that. Rather it said that Paul claimed approval from Jesus, and that he did so specifically through the persecution that he received. And he certainly did claim this. This is a claim that he made more than once in his letters, see for example 2 Cor. 11-12. There are more places in Paul's letters where he makes this claims as well. And even more, if we drop the persecution context, and just talk about Paul claimed Jesus' authority.
But even if this sentence did say something like, "Paul claimed to have met Jesus," it would still be correct, because Paul certainly does claim this, see for example 1 Cor. 9:1
Hope this helps. Cheers, SAE (talk) 18:34, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your explanation. As I said, I think the predominant view of Theologians (of which I am not) is that Paul never met Jesus. Regarding your perspective, it makes sense and I can see why you feel that way. However in your quote from 1 Corinthians he says (based on that particular interpretation) that "Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?" He is speaking of his vision of Christ on the road to Damascus when he is blind and in a trance. Regarding the 2 Corinthinans quote, He again boasts of his suffering, "I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord." He is speaking again, of his vision, and not of having every actually met Jesus. I will admit that I am aware that some Christians, through their faith, consider that his vision and revelations where no different than meeting Jesus in person. For a historian or a Theologian, there is a difference. The prevailing opinion is that Paul never met Jesus during his lifetime, and that the vision and revelations he describes were, in fact, after Jesus had been Crucified, Risen, and ascended to Heaven. (or for some, after Jesus had been killed.) The important point, putting POV's aside. The quotes you gave from Corinthians, and nowhere in Corinthians, does it say anything like Paul claimed approval from Jesus, and that he did so specifically through the persecution that he received." Hence, saying that would not be accurate or verifiable. Atom (talk) 23:37, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Dates: AD/CE

Sorry if this has already been discussed, but should the dates be marked with AD or CE, at least in the first instance? It may just be me, but years so near Jesus' birth look odd without a prefix (the religious AD) or suffix (the secular CE) due their low numbers. Unless they were removed to avoid the whole AD/CE controversy? Kingal86 (talk) 19:23, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

It has been discussed. I recently removed those tags in this article. Apparently the Wikipedia Manual of Style says that "Do not use CE or AD unless the date would be ambiguous without it (The Norman Conquest took place in 1066; not 1066 CE or AD 1066)." Also, it is incorrect that AD is religious and CE is secular. BC/AD are traditional (older style) while BCE/CE are newer and now found in scientific, historical and religious research and writings. BCE/CE will eventually be the way that all dates are expressed, and BC/AD will be seen as archaic and old-fashioned (thee/thou). I admit that the low numbers ("This event has been dated either to the year 64, when Rome was devastated by a fire, or a few years later, to 67.") does throw me a bit too. Atom (talk) 19:43, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a crystal ball; we are not here to predict the future; especially since it is equally likely that CE/BCE will remain the jargon of certain academic fields. While it should be obvious that most of the dates here must be AD (although Paul's birthdate, according to the indicated source, is probably BC, making him much the same age as Jesus), we should use them (sparingly), partly to make clear that these are dates, and partly as a reminder for the clueless. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:00, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Disagree with above...The term AD (Anno Domini)is Medieval Latin, translated as In the year of (the/Our) Lord. It is sometimes specified more fully as Anno Domini Nostri Iesu (Jesu) Christi ("In the Year of Our Lord Jesus Christ"), while BC translates to "Before Christ." The Terms BCE/CE are definitely secular terms that were invented to leave out references to Christ. Rando991 (talk) 17:25, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

fact tags

The lede includes a lot of information based on primary sources (scripture, in this case). Primary sources are not reliable sources, and we need RSs to back up this information. Leadwind (talk) 01:38, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

I support that approach/request for better WP:V compliance however, I'm curious why you removed the attribution of an opinion (According to the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church) to its source. That seems at odds with Wikipedia:Npov#A_simple_formulation. Also, did you check the article contents for non-primary RS for the statements ? Citations aren't mandatory for the lead per WP:LEAD as long as the article itself is policy compliant. Many editors work on basis that the lead doesn't need citations although it's not an approach I support personally. Sean.hoyland - talk 03:18, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Here's why I removed "according to..." Because in WP a "fact" is "a piece of information about which there is no serious dispute." First, everyone seems to agree that Paul is the most influential NT author. Second, the sentence already qualifies its statement by saying "arguably." If there's an RS that states that Paul isn't even "arguably" the most influential, then the "according to" can go back. As for citations, I only questioned assertions that are questionable and could really use a citation. Sometimes I leave citations out of ledes, but "there is not... an exception to citation requirements specific to leads." Leadwind (talk) 03:51, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

There are already sources:

The conversion cite#13, 14, and 15 Roman citizen cite#38 Flash 13:10, 11 May 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by ReaverFlash (talkcontribs)

The statement that "Paul is the most influential author" is a Protestant bias, historically the claim was first made by Marcion. Paul is the most influential author to Luther and Protestantism. The Gospel of John is most influential in the Eastern church, the Acts of the Apostles in Pentecostalism, etc. (talk) 18:41, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

User:Uncle Dick (no home page, see User talk:Uncle Dick) has reverted the Template:fact tags for reasons only he understands. No Wikipedia:Reliable sources have been given for the claim that "Paul of Tarsus converted to Christianity" or that he was a Roman citizen. Some bible verses are given, but the Bible is a primary source, not a Wikipedia:Reliable source. Wikipedia would be such a better place if all editors would familiarize themselves with Wikipedia policy before editing or reverting. (talk) 23:00, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Considering that there's a whole Wikipedia page devoted to it, I would suggest that the Conversion of Paul is fairly well sourced. I have added an additional reference to Paul's Roman citizenship from the Encyclopaedia Britannica (which was already included in the article references). Uncle Dick (talk) 23:16, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
If there's an RS that says the author of John was more influential than Paul, just cite it. The conclusion that Paul was the most influential NT author recurs commonly in academic sources. Leadwind (talk) 23:25, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
As for Paul's conversion, as long as we're talking about his conversion to faith in Christ, we're OK, but if we talk about a conversion to "Christianity," that's anachronistic. Ehrman is explicit on this topic. Leadwind (talk) 23:40, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Requested Move to Saint Paul

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: No consensus to move. Jafeluv (talk) 11:16, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Paul of TarsusSaint Paul — The common name for this person is Saint Paul, as shown by the use of this name for various cities, churches, school and colleges in many countries, see Saint Paul (disambiguation) and WP:COMMONNAME. The name change would be consistent with Saint Peter, see the discussion on the Saint Peter talk page. Cjc13 (talk) 15:49, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

This has been discussed before and in fact I believe the name of this article has been St. Paul in the past. My personal opinion is that the name St. Paul is inappropriate. I also think the current name of the St. Peter article is inappropriate. In my personal experience, the most common way to refer to the man is as Paul. I think he is referred to as Paul in most secular writing about him and he is referred to as Paul by many non-Catholic religious denominations.

There are other issues with the use of the word Saint in the title. Many Christian denominations don't recognize saints so the use of the word saint in the title tends to give the article a Catholic slant right from the start. And of course, the Catholic church didn't have a bureaucracy for naming people saints when Paul was out and about so the title is obviously something that came along well after he died. There also seem to be a lot of St. Paul's so using St. Paul for this article doesn't uniquely identify the subject of the article.

From my point of view the current name of the article is problematic because Paul is not commonly referred to as Paul of Tarsus and it is unlikely that somebody is going to find this article in one step with a name like that. But that seems to have been dealt with fairly well by the use of a redirect for St. Paul to the article and the use of a disambiguation page for Paul. So I'd leave it alone, if it were up to me. --Davefoc (talk) 16:43, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

It seems odd to have articles such as Saint Paul, Minnesota, St Paul's Cathedral, St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne and even São Paulo, all places and buildings named after Saint Paul, but his article is called Paul of Tarsus. Cjc13 (talk) 18:40, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Not using the "St." for the place names would be not using any name the place is known as. Wikipedia avoids using titles for people - whether they are religious or not - if they can safely be avoided. It's Martin Luther King Jr.; Dr. Martin Luther King is a redirect. On top of that, religious titles lead to POV disputes. It appears the only Doctor is Doctor Who.--JimWae (talk) 18:57, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
My point is that they indicate recognition of the name Saint Paul in general usage. There are other saints where saint is included in the title of the article, such as Saint Andrew, Saint Stephen, Saint Timothy and Saint Matthias. Cjc13 (talk) 19:53, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose Note that I supported Saint Peter and Saint Matthias. The difference with Paul of Tarsus (and with most saints) is that there are other convenient, straightforward, and recognizable ways to refer to them, which do not involve a point of view.Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:24, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose I prefer Apostle Paul or Paul the Apostle instead. And "Paul the Apostle" is less likely to be confused with other St. Paul-s (lots of things are named "St. Paul") (talk) 05:57, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Nearly all, if not all, the St. Paul's places and buildings are referring back to this Saint Paul, so this does not seem to be a problem. Cjc13 (talk) 09:52, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose Keep. or better yet, move to Paul the Apostle. "Saint Paul" implies a point of view on sainthood only held by some Christians. The New Testament, instead, veiws all Christians as saints. Paul the Apostle is the most common name for him and only some non-Christians views him as not necessarily an Apostle.şṗøʀĸɕäɾłäů∂ɛ:τᴀʟĸ 06:26, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
  • The widespread use of "St Paul" in the name of places and buildings with reference to this person indicates widespread acceptance of the term "Saint Paul" for him rather than just a POV. I have yet to find a place called "Paul of Tarsus" or even a building that uses "Paul of Tarsus". Paul the Apostle is sometimes used but Saint Paul is the more common term. Cjc13 (talk) 09:55, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
No, it still affects WP:COMMON, which is a test that the current title fails. Johnbod (talk) 18:41, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
This only shows the name is common in those same limited number groups; other groups purposely escew the term "St. Paul". The term "Apostle Paul" does not show up as much in Google searches only because those that escew the term "St. Paul" also do not name any buildings after him (even if these other groups may disscuss Paul more).
No, that's where you're wrong. Non-religious, or non-Christian, writers are most likely to use "St Paul" because that is the most common name. It is normally writers from certain Christian groups who need to find other formulations to avoid "saint", although in fact the number who don't recognise such a concept at all theologically, or think Paul wasn't one, is relatively small. The trouble with "Paul of Tarsus" is that it probably means nothing to most non-Christians these days, and not a few Christians. Johnbod (talk) 19:12, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose-- keep at Paul of Tarsus. Paul of Tarsus is value-neutral, neither officially confirming nor officially disconfirming any single point-of-view. --Alecmconroy (talk) 12:33, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose -- The present name is perfectly satisfactory. I would suggest that St Paul should be used for the dab page, sicne there will be other canonised people called Paul. The differnece form the other saints cited is that we have a "surname", in fact a place of origin. Peterkingiron (talk) 22:17, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
  • It is not a "surname", it is an invented name. The only reason it can be considered neutral is because it is so obscure. It goes against the policy of WP:COMMONNAME to use the current name. (If you want to go down the path you and others suggest, it should be Saul of Tarsus, since he changed his name to Paul only after his conversion and after he had left Tarsus.) None of the other St Pauls are anyway as near as well-known. Cjc13 (talk) 11:47, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
    • No more invented than any of the other forms identifying an ancient author by his city or place of origin, from Apollonius of Rhodes to Augustine of Hippo. Please do not defend a reasonable request (even if I cannot agree with it) by nonsense. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 14:56, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
      • In neither of the two cases you quote were they born in those cities. Cjc13 (talk) 15:51, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
        • No, Augustine was a citizen of Hippo, as Paul was of Tarsus; he also held Roman citizenship, but that would not have been distinctive. Few people are called of Rome or of Athens, because that does not disambiguate. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:58, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
          • I have no wish to labour the point but the fact that Augustine was Bishop of Hippo seems more relevant. As you say, Paul was recorded as a Roman citizen. Cjc13 (talk) 20:23, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
            • Good. By some odd coincidence, most of the Christian writers we know of from antiquity were, or were presumed to be, bishops; but if this debating point matters to you, substitute Clement of Alexandria. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:45, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
              • Clement is given as born in Athens. These people seem to be associated with where they worked rather than born. I do accept that some people are associated with a place, but I do not think that is the case with Paul. You are free to disagree if you wish. Cjc13 (talk) 22:50, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
The desperation to support an untenable position to which one is nonetheless committed has caused centuries of extreme mental gymnastics, to quote a student of theology. One can only watch these pointless gymnastics for just so long; X of Y remains the standard convention for referring to ancient writers. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:25, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Except for example Saint Peter. This is meant to be a discussion, so other opinions should be allowed to be expressed.Cjc13 (talk) 09:16, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
And presented and presented and presented, until the Crack of Doom? You have expressed yourself interminably, and convinced nobody. The desperate urge to answer everyone on the opposite side - especially when they are far more numerous - is the sign of a bad case; assertions that are simply not the case are the seal. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:17, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
The capital of Minnesota, along with the other places named St Paul or St Paul's or Sao Paulo, are all named after this Paul. Cjc13 (talk) 10:17, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I think we all know that, but naming cities "Saint Paul" after Paul tells us nothing about the most common name for him today because all these cities were named long ago. In fact, the fact, when things come up in a Google search that are named "Saint Paul" but are not about Paul, this is a reason, not to use such an article name. şṗøʀĸɕäɾłäů∂ɛ:τᴀʟĸ 23:43, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
I am not aware of any recent change to suggest his name today is different from what it has historically been. Cjc13 (talk) 10:09, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
His "name" is Paul.
"Saint" is a title based on theological opinion. Churches are named by church authorities. It is fairly clear that naming Wikipedia articles should not be based on theological opinions of church authorities. şṗøʀĸɕäɾłäů∂ɛ:τᴀʟĸ 06:18, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:COMMON, which is the most important policy here. This is clearly the primary St Paul, unless you are in Minnesota of course. Johnbod (talk) 17:27, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
    You mean WP:COMMONNAME, which suggests that you have not checked your authority. You would have found Articles are normally titled using the most common English-language name of the subject of the article, a statement of fact, not a mandate. The reasons why this article is other than normal may be found in the opposes. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:50, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
Whatever - I think that short cut has, most irritatingly, been changed. I have read the opposes thank you. As you will be aware, "Saint Paul" is the normal way of referring to him in scholarship and the popular media. To see "Paul of Tarsus" normally indicates a writer from a particular section of the Protestant spectrum. So who is being POV here? Johnbod (talk) 17:58, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
No, the normal way to refer to Paul is as Paul, simpliciter, which we cannot use; he is not primary - not even strictly speaking the original - Paul. That leaves us two disambiguations; one is a value judgment - and is still ambiguous, the other is neither; and both are common enough to be recognixable (did you have any question who is meant?). Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:15, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
He cannot be introduced just as "Paul", except in very restricted contexts. Paul of Tarsus is as much a value judgement as St Paul, and far less common. In fact, when you look at Paul, I think he can be considered primary - that is another solution. Johnbod (talk) 01:18, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
It's a statement of fact, attested by Acts 21:39 and 22:3. I deplore the habit of claiming that the absence of one's favorite value judgment is a contrary value judgment. Such arguments claim that WP:NPOV is impossible; or perhaps "my point of view is neutrality", which is a falsehood wherever claimed; voices contrary to core policy should be discounted severely. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 01:37, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Come, come, "Saint" is a fact too, attested by bla bla. But both have associations with particular forms of Christianity; the question is, which is more common? Johnbod (talk) 02:12, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
No, his sainthood isn't a fact; it is a statement of theological opinion, and unfalsifiable; not known by observation or testimony, not a datum of experience. That is "my point of view is neutrality", and should be cause for, at least, extrusion from the discussion. (If Johnbod means something different by fact than "Something that has really occurred or is actually the case; something certainly known to be of this character; hence, a particular truth known by actual observation or authentic testimony, as opposed to what is merely inferred, or to a conjecture or fiction; a datum of experience, as distinguished from the conclusions that may be based upon it.', he should consider the inadvisiability of entering discussions bearing a private understanding, not shared with the reader - or the English language.) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:05, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
It is a fact he is called a saint; that is all that is relevant here. Johnbod (talk) 14:48, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
It is also a fact that Aaron Burr is called a traitor, and Pope Alexander VI a poisoner; we do not title our articles accordingly. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:47, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
John, you are surpizingly false here. "Paul of Tarsus" is the normal way of referring to him in scholarship circles, and orgininated in scholarship circles. Paul the Apostle, or Paul is the normal way of referring to him in Protestantism. Paul, St. Paul, or St. Paul the Apostle are the most common way of referring to him in Catholicism. All of these are widely used in the popular media. şṗøʀĸɕäɾłäů∂ɛ:τᴀʟĸ 23:36, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
Frankly Carlaude, you should try reading other material than religious writing from your own neck of the woods. This simply isn't true, though google searches obviously don't work well for "Saint Paul", there are only about 10 Gnews hits for "Paul of Tarsus" that are not related to a church of this name. Most come from the Bible Belt/Evangelical Right etc. Anglicans certainly mostly use St Paul, & a high proportion of Methodists etc as well, especially when writing for a general audience. Johnbod (talk) 01:18, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Well, when I search for Paul of Tarsus at Google I get
  1. From scholarship
  2. From scholarship
  3. From scholarship- World Civilizations I: World Civilizations to 1500 at Washington State University
  4. From scholarship- Biography Base
  5. From media- Racial Nationalist Library, Savitri Devi's words on Paul, a Hindu
  6. From protestant/scholarship- Maps related to the life of Paul, at the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church
  7. From catholic/scholarship- book on Paul by a RC priest.
  8. From catholic/scholarship- Catholic Encyclopedia
şṗøʀĸɕäɾłäů∂ɛ:τᴀʟĸ 06:37, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
That's not actually a very impressive haul when you think about it - look at the bibliography of this article (with a rather strong Protestant leaning) also. Johnbod (talk) 10:22, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
I've looked at it. There is one author cited twice: is Jerome Murphy-O'Connor a Protestant? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:34, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Are all the others Catholic? Johnbod (talk) 18:46, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Is that your standard for neutrality? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:49, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Oh dear, it's like talking to a 5 year-old. There are 20 modern authors listed, so pointing to one who is a Catholic is hardly much of a counter to my comment on a "strong Protestant leaning". Or perhaps that seems an appropriate, balanced, ratio to you? In fact M O'C has 3, not 2, works listed, but is only cited in 1/68 of the notes. Johnbod (talk) 19:10, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Ah, the usual personal attack. The next conventional step constitutes hysterical declamations that the majority here are Protestants conspiring to impose the word of Ian Paisley (for none of which is there any evidence). Can we skip all that and return to the question whether this article makes any staements which are not - however they may be sourced - supported by consensus? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:47, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Ah the usual attempt to sidetrack the issue. That is not "the question" here at all; we are discussing the most suitable title. Johnbod (talk) 17:01, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Odd. Somebody was charging bias after a glance at the bibliography; but if nobody now is, I am happy to return to whatever arguments there may be for enshrining a statement of faith in the article title. I suppose the insult has also become an unfact now that it is no longer convenient. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:17, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
This isn't a list of how items cited in any given article use "Paul of Tarsus"-- which is bound to have leaning one way or the other, but it thus does not measure wider use well.
And this isn't a list of eight hand picked websites-- these are the top eight Google results for "Paul of Tarsus" and only one of those eight is (partly) protestant. I also note that you give no reason for your view. şṗøʀĸɕäɾłäů∂ɛ:τᴀʟĸ 09:39, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
It you want to test what is commonest, don't pick just 8 sites. How many of these are RS? About 2 at best. Johnbod (talk) 14:51, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
I have given my reasons above, more than once. That new signature doesn't read on my browser btw. Johnbod (talk) 14:48, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
The Catholic Encyclopedia (item 8.) uses Saint Paul as the title of the article and the item 6. just uses the title Paul. Cjc13 (talk) 10:09, 9 June 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.


One of the most important facts that should be presented (but is not in this article) is WHEN he ceased to be a mere human "Saul/Paul of Tarsus" and became canonized by the Catholic Church as a so-called "Saint" being magical and performed "miracles" etc. Could somebody please fill in this part of the Christian mythology? I'll look it up myself, but will not contribute; somebody else, please take the task of further describing Saul/Paul in this article (a real man, I am sure) and his elevation to "sainthood" (a Christian superstition). (talk) 00:40, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

It seems to be a gradual process after his death. At the time there was no formal process but all those who were martyred seem to have been considered saints by the early Church. See for instance "When did the Church start honoring saints?" at There is already an article for the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.Cjc13 (talk) 13:49, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Skipping past the sarcasm of|'s post, I don't agree that how Paul came to be designated as a saint is one of the most important facts about Paul, but I do think it is important enough to deserve a mention in the article. There has been a lot of discussion about whether the title of the article should be St. Paul and the fact that this may be the most common way to refer to him. Just based on that, a brief description of how he came to be called St. Paul seems appropriate to me. Maybe he was named after a city in Minnesota?--Davefoc (talk) 18:30, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
But it would be very difficult. The origins of the usage of "saint" for a special category of believer - as opposed to "all the saints who from their labors rest" - are both obscure and disputed. It is not meaningful to ask when he was canonized; a centrally directed canon of saints dates from the eleventh or twelfth century. When first particular days began to be devoted to particular Christians, a millenium before, each city did it differently, and he was one of the ones who was on some places' lists. But there is very little evidence of how this happened; we would have to mention all this to answer the question. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:10, 10 June 2010 (UTC)