quote: I will agree with the idea that pauls Epistles helped form the bedrock of Christianity, particularly later Protestant Dogma. They are well written and in some parts seem inspired by more than a simple authors imagination, but of course we have no objective proof.
There did seem to be a collection, of some of Paul's letters, quoted (as scripture? probably) in what early non-Biblical Christian writings we have today.
Just because the earliest 100 A.D. writings are European writings loaded with quotations of Paul's Letters, alongside the Old Testament "Scripture", might not mean it is representative of early Christianity.
The Gospels might generally follow "Pauline Christianity", or perhaps a European mutant version of Paul's Christianity. The Christianity of Irenaeus (180-200) was a multi-fold mutation of the mutation.
European Mutant Christianity Chronology:
(Semitic individual, but Greek Letters) First (sort of)mutant: Paul
(intermediate stage mutants): Greek Matthew, Gospel of Mark.
Second level mutants: Colossians, II Thessalonians, Gospel of John,
Super mutant: Irenaeus (and the earlier strain of Pastoral Epistles plus Ignatius, Barnabas, Didache)
Current descendants of Super Mutant stage: Roman Catholics, Coptic Church, Eastern Orthodox, "Protestant", etc.
Paul is difficult to classify. He was actually a Jew, and he did write 7 of the letters attributed to him (in Greek). The fact that he wrote in Greek made him an easy person for European Mutants to access (and claim ownership of). Scholars have this "Pauline School" thingy going. (something written "...in the tradition of his school"). European "Christian" fraudsters.
Re: Semitic gender of the "Holy Spirit". (question)
Spirit (pneuma) is neuter in gender. This is why in Romans 8:16,26 that the Spirit (pneuma) is called "lt."
16. "The Spirit itself bears witness with our Spirit that we are the children of God."
Just as our Spirit is not another person, neither is the Spirit of God another person.
W/o the human Spirit we would be no different than animals. We would not be capable of abstract thought, nor would we be capable of having a r/s with God.
"Word" in John 1 is from Logos. Jesus is the Spokesman for the God family. He is the Being who spoke and said "Let there be light." And, "Let us (more than one) make man in our (more than one) image after our likeness.
The Logos spoke with all the prophets and apostles. He is the only member of the God family who has met and spoke with humans.
I think I have always believed this way. Sometimes, other readings throw me off.
It never made sense to me why there had to be a Trinity, but everyone I listened to believed in the doctrine without taking time to understand it. The Jehovah Witnesses were a bit misleading, but they did call the Spirit an "active force" which makes more sense than having an entirely Third person. I basically see Jesus as Gods character in human form. I don't see Jesus as identical to God, Creator of all seen and unseen, for the Bible says that Jesus Himself says His Father is greater....but its all nothing to get my mind twisted in a knot about. Heck, around here, its enough to even have a discussion without having to jump through the evidential hoops laid out by the secular science minds here at EvC.
They seek to frame the proper world view as being limited by and defined through evidence alone...thus to even attempt to talk about God is unproductive here. One of our older members once coached me the basic truism that IF God exists, God exists regardless of human belief, regardless of evidence for or absence of evidence, and irrespective of any attempt to define Him. I believe that I know about God and I believe that I have at one time had a touch, but apart from that, the whole personal relationship thing has become so complicated to fathom or attempt to define.
So tell me, candle2, what is your religious affiliation and spiritual growth history?
Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ~RC Sproul "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain " ~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo
Subjectivism may very well undermine Christianity. In the same way that "allowing people to choose what they want to be when they grow up" undermines communism.~Stile