Gospel Christianity – Christianity As Preached And Practiced By Our Lord Jesus Christ, And Recorded In Matthew, Mark, Luke, And John.
Church Christianity – Christianity As Taught By Catholic, Protestant, And Evangelical Churches, And Recorded In Their Separate Catechisms.
Paul could not have been a Persecutor of Christians.
That was the burden of the previous post.
The point was made that the whole Conversion episode of Paul — the Damascus road experience — was a concoction of The Church.
Now, we come up against Galatians 1:11-17.
Scholars consider Galatians to be a genuine Pauline letter. Paul wrote it. One of seven such. In contradistinction to another five which were not written by Paul, but which had his name stuck on them.
In this genuine letter, Paul writes of his Persecution of The Church.
“…..how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:…..”. [Galatians 1:13 KJV — King James Version]
“…..being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.” [Galatians 1:14 KJV]
Then, the Conversion.
“…..it pleased God,…..” [Galatians 1:15 KJV] “To reveal his Son in me,…..”. [Galatians 1:16 KJV]
“…..that I might preach him among the heathen;…..”. [Ibid]
A task that he bent to “immediately…..”. [Ibid]
So “immediately” — that he hared off into Arabia. [Galatians 1:17 KJV] Without bothering to inform or consult The Apostles, The Church in Jerusalem.
Despite Scholars endorsing Galatians as a genuine Pauline epistle, Galatians leaves an important question unresolved — what happened to Hillel’s and Gamaliel’s influence on Paul? [Their philosophy has been addressed in previous posts.]
Hillel’s and Gamaliel’s Judaism was as a gentle reign. [Remember, Israel was a theocratic state.] How did that Compassion curdle in Paul?
Paul does not explain that in Galatians. Nor, is it addressed in Luke-Acts 7,8,9.
So, we have Paul’s Conversion story told twice. Neither of them satisfactory in the critical detail — what turned a magnanimous Paul — the student of Gamaliiel/Hillel — into the monster Paul.
Luke-Acts in this respect, as noted in the previous post, is a concoction of later Editors.
Now we have consider if this part of Galatians is, too.
Egbert F “Burt” Bhatty has worked 30 years as an Analyst at the American Embassy, New Delhi, and at British [Dunlop] and American [Chase Manhattan] multinationals. He is a Certified Catechist. Holds a 3-year [part time] Certificate in Foundations For Christian Ministry.
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