Paul remains a revolutionary thinker, human to be sure, but he installed mercy and kindness at the center of the Christian Gospel in a new context, the same as Jesus did in his. Jesus teaches that God is not a God of the dead. For in Los Angeles, neither a green lawn nor a brown lawn has any value. He refers to James as a witness to the risen Jesus (1Cor 15:7) and notes that, when he went up to Jerusalem after his “conversion,” the only apostles he saw were Peter and James (Gal 1:18-19). And remember, this parable was in response to the question of what one needs to be saved. They do not live by the words of Christ and have also tossed by the wayside 1500 years of miracles and intercessions of heaven. Jesus true words in the Bible are inspired– yes I realize that there are some disagreements in the gospel accounts of J’s words. My experience has been that there are portions of James that are much more quoted by more liberal christians than by the more conservative christians….but that the faith vs works passage is not one of those passages. To compare him to Martin Luther King, Jr., falls short of reality. If it wasn’t such a large group, I wouldn’t even wonder. Where are your Greek and Hebrew studies to establish the connection between the Old and New Testament? While perhaps it is not possible for us to “earn” the “free gift” that Jesus did give — a teaching of the universal compassionate love by which the evil within us can be transformed into a more holy kindness of love — Jesus clearly includes a behavioral component to his requirements for “salvation.” While he does not say that this satisfies any “debt,” he still requires it; perhaps he is demanding merely a small partial “payment” as a gesture of “good faith.” (In fact, James suggests this by his comments in James 2:26, that we demonstrate our faith — if it is genuine — by our deeds.). I believe that Paul was a Jew and understood the importance of the law. Whereas the Pastor teaches that the people who believe they are Christians and by that belief alone, i.e. 16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. Yor pastor is essentially reducing Paul to the level of a crass politician so, in that regard, seems to be agreeing with the article. You foolish Angelenos! For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10). DW — you are operating under the assumption that the gospels are written under the influence of the holy spirit as the explanation for why John is so different from the synoptic gospels. https://danizier.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/bloody-human-sacrifice-atonement-mythology/. The claim is that Jesus granted salvation solely on his profession of support for the dying Jesus. It reminds me of Dr. Martin Luther King who is today revered as Civil Rights leader but his passionate love for Jesus and peaceful protest has been lost. [Luke 16:16-17] In the fifth heaven, he met Prophet Aaron, the brother of Moses. Far more people read the comments here than just me (I read them at least once, to approve and/or respond). The Nicene Creed absolutely presents a bizarre concept of a triune deity though, like the Bible itself, it can be interpreted in all manner of ways by selectively quoting (or editing) or going through bizarre, tortured mental gymnastics to explain why passages really don’t mean what they so very clearly say. As noted in the article, Paul held the rare dual status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen, highly educated and of means, and had both the papers and the resources to travel the Roman Empire widely, converting many gentiles. I appreciate your candor and will be reading your writings to their full extent. Instead, they are actually talking about two different things. Paul Paul called James (known as James the Just), the brother of Jesus, an "apostle." And my response to Tom’s original statement was to note that he did not merely get it backwards, as you state but do not support, but that he was wrong. You are right that Paul contradicted Jesus on many key points. I am not misrepresenting your views. (eating with the uncircumcised–obviously a really big deal) 11:17 then takes the matter out of men’s hands; “Forasmuch then God gave them the like GIFT, as he did unto us, who BELIEVED on the Lord Jesus Christ, what was I, that I COULD WITHSTAND GOD?”. ( see Mal ch 1 vs 3-4) and never been in bondage…and v 44 that they are the sons of Satan and are liars all. K.James Blayney revision of 1769).. JUDAEA ( Jerusalem and lands of once K.of Judah) was named such by Babylon in 586BC when Nebuchadnezzar ended the Kingdom of Judah…by exiling the Israelite inhabitants .. God created Israel beginning with Abraham. For many many years I have identified my faith as a conglomeration of religions. Sam, I would certainly agree that if Jesus were to come back today, he would find Pauline “Christianity” completely alien to everything he taught, because it is. He said: “Paul is talking about how you “get” salvation, and James is talking about how you “prove” you have it.” In simple terms, yes, I would argue that the opposite is the case, as evidenced by the writings attributed to both men. rodd. Just deny them. However, I find no consideration within your writing to the fact that Yeshua was/is/will always be the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world. There is no reference anywhere in the Old Testament to Satan, Lucifer or a devil prior to the Babylonian captivity — nothing. James had the wisdom of practical living (street smarts) and a personal, intimate knowledge of his brother’s message. I must however point out that Paul perhaps felt his mission to Gentiles was threatened by Mosaic law (specifically circumcision), and what might be viewed as a contradiction of Jesus ministry, was rather an attempt by Paul to include those non Jews he always encountered. The distinctive perspective of James is really two-fold: (a) undeterred adherence to Torah law; and (b) consequent insistence that Paul’s gospel of faith is dead (unless accompanied by works). Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) (Since god is love, the description of what love is defines God), He is the true God and eternal life.” (1 John 5:20)  – The Church is precisely that against which Jesus preached – and against which he taught his disciples to fight –. I think Paul would be glad we are debating aspects of his theology, and moving on toward even more paths of love and kindness than he himself walked. The Faun protects the Children, but is not of the alignment with Aslan, the Lion, the symbol of Jesus as a messianic christus. The Jewish Bible tells you so. Paul’s theology is still hard to surpass even today. Martin Luther, the celebrated catalyst of the Protestant Reformation, famously took issue with the book of James.He didn’t think it expressed the “nature of the Gospel,” it appeared to contradict Paul’s statements about justification by faith, and it didn’t directly mention Christ. I would encourage you to keep studying. “He brings people to your door, but you turn them away as you smile and say Gos bless you be at peace and all heaven just weeps, cause Jesus came to your door….you left him out on the street.”. Tsk, tsk. In your example of Abraham, James (writing to Christian Jews) looked at Abrahams offering of isaac differently. Matthew Perri — The tag line on my avatar image accurately reflects the values I aspire to, however imperfectly I live up to them. Sorry…but much more to write another time ! Paul’s interpretation of not being under the Law of Moses might have gotten it right in this instance while he constantly he tried to prove himself to know anything of Jesus. I do not subscribe to such a view because I do not find a rational basis for it, but while such a view is not based in reason, it could be formulated in such a way that it would not contravene reason. You are welcome to respond to personal observations on the “about” page, points about Bible inerrancy on the Bible page, or other subjects on the relevant pages. It is subjective. Just as it was Paul’s words that were held up in the mid-1800’s to justify slavery, so Paul’s words today are still used to persecute others. or naked, and clothed thee? Matthew Perri — I have addressed your point and, yes, you are completely misrepresenting mine, whether inadvertently or by intent. https://danizier.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/the-blasphemy-of-bibleolatry/. The Jesus of the synoptic gospels is completely different from the more developed gospel of John that was heavily influenced by the enlarging Christian population of the late first century. P.S. I would also like to add that author seems to ignore the fact that Jesus died on the Cross for all mankind, not just the individual. I’ve always thought it interesting that Jesus’s God is loving and logical while Paul’s God is much less compassionate and seems to have a tick list. What a welcome I would get! I have the excellent compilation by Elaine Pagels, as well as others, and while I can’t say I’ve read them all, I have read quite a bit, and agree they provide great additional insights. https://danizier.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/the-blasphemy-of-bibleolatry/, The perspective I have presented on Paul is hardly “new.” Numerous scholars have pointed out the extent to which Paul contradicts and undermines the teachings attributed to Jesus. The idea that Jesus was a closet Muslim 600 years before Mohammed “married” a nine-year-old child is absurd. One can accept that Paul had some sort of divine inspiration if one wishes, but I for one see no reason to accept his version of anything, any more than I’d believe a Jerry Falwell or someone on The 700 Club. 2:19, "thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble" (KJV.) Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles, Where does God (or Jesus — and I have no reason to accept any deity in Jesus) draw the line? As for your comment denigrating the work of translators, which is made without specific example or authoritative citation, it falls flat. …and hopefully to get a thoughtful reasoned response. How people cant seem to understand what Paul is saying is beyond me. That talking snake in the magic garden? It makes no sense. 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