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Is there anything in Paul's epistles that contradicts the four canonical Gospels ?


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Initial post: Nov 1, 2007 2:05:39 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jan 11, 2011 12:16:06 PM PST
'probabilist says:
U. Kim wrote (on another thread):

> is there anything in Paul's epistles that contradicts the gospels ?

I think this is a very interesting question, and it deserves its own thread.

All the best,

P

P.S. (added later) Since my original post here was unintentionally confusing, let me clarify. The focus of the question is on the canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John that are the first four books in the New Testament, and on the epistles traditionally attributed to Paul that are also included in the New Testament.

:)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2007 4:17:45 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 1, 2007 4:35:34 PM PDT
auramon says:
P

Thanks for opening a new thread. In many ways, Paul is the most remarkable Jew, in the first century at least. If anybody wants to argue about nascent Christianity, the integrity of the gospels and doctrines, and about Jesus, one would have to first give a serious thoughts on him and his epistles.

Arnold

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2007 4:25:53 PM PDT
Paul's epistles are classified as canonical books of the Bible. If you are using an NIV, RSV, or KJV,(and others)...etc....all 66 books are considered canonical

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2007 4:29:56 PM PDT
Dear Probabilist

What I find interesting is that Paul says so little about the life of Jesus. Apart from the last supper he doesn't seem particularly interested in the details.

I think that there are contradictions between Paul's letters and the story of Paul as told in the book of Acts.

Simon

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2007 4:30:01 PM PDT
Marie says:
Probabalist,

Well, Paul does claim "Christ crucifed" and "raised from the dead," as the atonement for all "sinners." He says that we must "accept" this work in order to be counted as "saved."

That's kind of the basis of the Gosepls and Christianity. A lot of people point to the fact that Paul doesn't address specific things mentioned in the Gosepls (I don't think he talks about a virgin birth, for instance) as being a point of contradiction, but I think that perhaps there were some things that he felt didn't need reiteration.

I will look deeper into this, though.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2007 5:53:22 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 1, 2007 5:58:01 PM PDT
auramon says:
Simon wrote:

"What I find interesting is that Paul says so little about the life of Jesus. Apart from the last supper he doesn't seem particularly interested in the details."

Telling about Jesus' life and ministry was certainly not Paul's expertise, given that Jesus' brothers, mother, and direct disciples (11 of them) and many more witnesses were alive. I can imagine Paul always felt pressure in this regard, IMHO.

Arnold

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2007 9:09:11 PM PDT
Clara says:
Dear Jennifer -

I believe the title of the thread used the word "canonical" to distinguish the canonical gospels from other gospels, not to say that the epistles of Paul in the NT are not canonical...

Clara

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2007 9:23:26 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 1, 2007 9:24:50 PM PDT
theosophers says:
Well, when Paul told them that he wanted to be recieved as the christ, that was somewhat anti-christ. Paul has many paralells with the anti-christ of Daniel. "He does not worship the G-d of women" and what not. They all were killed and the rest is history I guess.

Vincent

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2007 11:07:49 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
Clara wrote:

> Dear Jennifer -
>
> I believe the title of the thread used the word "canonical"
> to distinguish the canonical gospels from other gospels,
> not to say that the epistles of Paul in the NT are not canonical...

Yes, that was my intent. I intended to try to focus attention on the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, on the one hand, and on the epistles of Paul on the other hand. I meant no insult to Paul. I meant to distinguish between the four gospels that begin the New Testament from the various gospels that were not included in the New Testament.

I apologize for being ambiguous and confusing.

Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be a mechanism in Amazon's user interface that would allow me to modify the title of the discussion thread. (And that's probably intentional on Amazon's part, come to think of it, to prevent a "bait and switch" abuse of thread titling.)

I hope this helps,

P

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2007 11:11:19 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
Jennifer Bunn wrote:

> Paul's epistles are classified as canonical books of the Bible.
> If you are using an NIV, RSV, or KJV,(and others)...etc....
> all 66 books are considered canonical

I agree. I apologize for inadvertently giving the impression that I sought to challenge the canonicity of the epistles of Paul that are included in the New Testament. I only meant to focus the discussion on the epistles of Paul and the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Thank you for highlighting the consequences of my poor choice of wording for this discussion thread's title.

All the best,

P

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2007 11:16:12 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
(reply to theosophers)

I'm afraid I don't understand anything in your post. Please forgive my ignorance.

P

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2007 10:41:15 AM PDT
theosophers says:
Well, there is a passage that comes late in the book of Daniel about some character who is thought to be the anti-christ by modern interpretation. It says of him that he would come against the covenant of G-d, and Paul did that. Paul complained that he coveted all things after reading the tenth commandmentr of the decalogue. He complained that he was corrupted by the decalogue. The prophesy in Daniel goes on to say that he would in the end support the law of G-d and it seems that Paul did that. The prophesy in Daniel states that he does not worship the G-d of women. G-d in this case might be defined as it is in Jewsih Kabbalah as mercy and loving kindness. Paul again said that he never desired women. Jesus left a wake of healed people as he traveled and Paul left a wake of sick people. They were opposites. Jesus said that anyone who relaxed even the slightest of the commandments and taught men to do so would be the least in heaven. Paul said that of himself. Jesus was very orthodox.

Vincent

PS If you need me to find the chapter and verse in Daniel I'll see if I can find it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2007 11:58:25 AM PDT
'probabilist says:
theosophers wrote:

> PS If you need me to find the chapter and verse in Daniel I'll see if I can find it.

No, that's fine. Thanks,

P

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2007 12:03:29 PM PDT
El Zorro says:
Not mentioning the virgin birth isn't quite the same as a contradiction. It's not like Paul named someone as Jesus' father.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2007 12:31:40 PM PDT
Arnold

I found your comment that Paul may have felt pressure in regard to Jesus life because he was an outsider very thought-provoking. It never occured to me that he might have felt awkward about reporting Jesus life but it's a facinating suggestion. Thank you.

Simon

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2008 8:03:08 PM PST
'probabilist says:
.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2008 8:27:17 PM PST
Iain says:
Dear P.,

From yours: "Thank you for highlighting the consequences of my poor choice of wording for this discussion thread's title.''

Don't be so diffident, P., even if you seem a bit sly in being so; there's nothing wrong with the thread's title. There are, after all, non-canonical gospels, and the rest of the N.T. does not consist of gospels; it consists of canonical works which are not gospels.

However, since Paul's epistles were written before the gospels, you might have asked if there is anything in the gospels that contradicts Paul's epistles. This may seem an unnecessary reversal, but it's quite important.

The answer is: a great deal.

Iain

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2008 4:19:15 AM PST
M. Mulheron says:
Did Judas keep his money and buy the field?
Yes - Acts 1:18
No (He returned the money and the priests bought the field) - Matt. 27:3-7

Did Judas commit suicide by hanging himself?
Yes - Matt. 27:5
No - Acts 1:18

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2008 8:53:05 AM PST
'probabilist says:
Is the book of The Acts of the Apostles considered to be one of Paul's epistles, then?

I could easily be mistaken, but my understanding has always been that authorship of Acts was traditionally assigned to Luke, and that Acts was considered to be a narrative sequel to the Gospel of Luke...

P

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2008 8:56:09 AM PST
'probabilist says:
Iain wrote:

> The answer is: a great deal.

Thanks again for the clarification. Could you elaborate on one or two contradictions of Paul's epistles that can be found in the gospels?

Thanks!

P

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2008 11:49:01 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 7, 2008 12:33:46 PM PST
Lee Freeman says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2008 11:54:53 AM PST
'probabilist says:
Thanks, Lee. I'll also be interested to read what Iain has to say on this topic.

P

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2008 3:34:01 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 7, 2008 3:53:46 PM PST
Iain says:
Dear P.,

I see Mr. Freeman has been here before me. That presents a problem. Given that he, on principle, believes that the Bible contains no errors of any kind, it's no surprise that he begins his post with his comment that there are no contradictions between Paul and the gospels (He adds Jesus in there, but I can't bring myself to use ''between'' when three nouns are used) and adds, oddly, that at least there is nothing that calls into question the central tenets of Christian faith. That's a strange thing to say because it implies that there are, in fact, contradictions, but they're not important. However, perhaps I shouldn't dwell on that.

I said earlier that Mr. Freeman being here presents a problem; here's why. He's given to sweeping generalizations and dogmatic assertions, and worse, and he tends to be dismissive of any errors he makes and contemptuous of opposition. I'll try to conduct any discourse we have in the spirit you alluded to, doing my best to keep it ''gracious and erudite,'' but frankly, I can't guarantee anything.

Now, in discussing Paul, it's vital, in my opinion, to keep in mind that all he wrote was composed before the gospels were written. I bring this up because although it's generally known, it's surprising how often many people still tend to read the epistles assuming that what's in them is somehow contemporaneous with what's in the gospels. Put simply, Paul never read a single word of the gospels, and we need to keep that in mind at all times.

Also, there's Galatians to consider in this context. I'll use the KJV because I like its style. In 1:11-12, Paul says, ''But I certify you brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.'' In other words, the gospel Paul preaches is the gospel he claims he got straight from Jesus, in a revelation. He also goes on to point out that after his conversion, he went into the desert for an unspecified time and that after returning to Damascus, he waited three years before he travelled to Jerusalem and saw Peter, or Cephas as he puts it. This account directly contradicts what the writer of Acts claims, and though Paul did not write Acts, of course, we can't really talk about Paul without talking about Acts. I'll probably come back to the significance of the above later, but let's look at what Mr. Freeman says about divorce when he cites 1 Corinthians 7:10-14. Clearly, Paul is telling the Corinthians that they can't divorce; there are no caveats on this issue. Sure, he talks about separations, but even including what is quoted on the issue later, because there's more, he still makes it clear that once married, always married, is the rule.

What does Jesus have to say? Mr. Freeman has given three gospel locations, so I won't repeat them all, but since he doesn't quote them, I'll quote one, from Matthew 19:9. Jesus says, ''And I say unto you. Whoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another. committeth adultery...'' It seems to me that Jesus allows divorce. At least ''except it be for fornication'' tells me that he does. So Mr. Freeman's very first example seems to suggest that Paul does contradict what's in the gospels.

Mr. Freeman also mentions the Eucharist, but I'm not exactly sure why; its mention in Corinthians doesn't provide any proof of a contradiction between Paul and the gospels. Also, he ends with the comment that Paul doesn't ''rehash'' more of Jesus's teachings in his epistles because the recipients already know them and such ''rehashing'' would be redundant. Again, why does Mr. Freeman bring this up? It appears that he's so intent on defending Paul that he's forgotten what the question was.

However, I'm a bit tired, so I'll leave it for now and get back to the thread later.

Iain

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2008 4:23:08 PM PST
'probabilist says:
Thanks, Iain. I look forward to reading your next installment when you're ready.

All the best,

P

In reply to an earlier post on May 3, 2008 10:44:07 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
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Initial post:  Nov 1, 2007
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