Question about Saul's "conversion" to Paul...

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Question about Saul's "conversion" to Paul...

Post by DeavonReye on Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:24 am

The bible states that Paul was once called Saul, and that he persecuted Christians. However, for some odd reason, Jesus decided to do something that had never been done before, nor since. If the story is true that Saul persecuted Christians, how is it that Jesus would confront him and convert him? Who else in history was persecuting "God's people"? Pharoah was, and God "hardened his heart so that he would not let the Israelites go". In fact, what has been the typical response for those who don't believe? Death. Even in the New Testament, those who reject are killed. Those who persecute are worthy of being killed.

How is it that Saul somehow managed to escape the normal course of action and get a way out like he did? Surely it wasn't because he was a "good writer". The job could have been filled by many others. It makes me wonder just how true this story can actually be. It seems completely uncharacteristic of God to do what happened to Saul, converting him through the experience, and changing his name to Paul.

A bit more dark, . . . could it be that Saul made up the story and fabricated the religion the way he wanted it to go (most of the New Testament is from Paul) as a way to change the direction of a "bunch of fanatics", so fabricated the Damascus road story and conversion?

I am just thinking out loud and am, by no means, married to these thoughts. I just found the idea of the Saul to Paul conversion a little odd.
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Re: Question about Saul's "conversion" to Paul...

Post by Davelaw on Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:20 pm

the Scripture says that he was chosen to suffer for Jesus' name

remember Saul wasn't a persecutor because he was evil; he was a true believer before conversion as well as after

and its not that different from OT stories of Abram becoming Abraham, Jacob becoming Israel; or Zerubbabel becoming Gideon is it?
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Re: Question about Saul's "conversion" to Paul...

Post by DeavonReye on Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:30 am

I'm not sure what you mean by "he was a true believer before conversion". . . . The "voice from heaven" was wanting to know why Saul was "persecuting my people".

Again, I'm not married to the thought of the OP, I just find it odd that someone would be persecuting Christians, yet be rewarded of God by "conversion and eventual sainthood". ANYONE could have written what he did (assuming divine inspiration, which I don't agree with anymore), for argument sake. It just seems a bit too fantastic to me.

Anyway, thanks for your input, Dave.
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Re: Question about Saul's "conversion" to Paul...

Post by Davelaw on Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:08 pm

where do you get that sainthood part? thats not in the Bible

what is your understanding of divine inspiration?
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Re: Question about Saul's "conversion" to Paul...

Post by DeavonReye on Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:24 pm

Sainthood, as the Catholics have made this person.

I no longer believe in "divine inspiration". Too much of it seems completely man originating.
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Re: Question about Saul's "conversion" to Paul...

Post by Davelaw on Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:37 pm

which has little to do with the Biblical Paul

sounds like you are doing a bit of reading in and conflate the characters


you still have not defined "divine inspiration"; thats ok, I'll start since I believe in it

Divine inspiration literally "God breathed" in the Greek is God's concepts filtered through human personalities
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Re: Question about Saul's "conversion" to Paul...

Post by DeavonReye on Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:16 pm

Yes, that is the definition as I have been taught it. . . . that which I no longer believe. Why do you ask, by the way? Just curious.
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Re: Question about Saul's "conversion" to Paul...

Post by Davelaw on Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:23 pm

because some people think that it means God dictated the words or some such
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Re: Question about Saul's "conversion" to Paul...

Post by DeavonReye on Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:07 pm

Yes, that definition also. The problem is that "inspiriation" can be faulty. At the most, I can agree that those early writers were "inspired because of their faith in their God", . . . yet wrote things down that were wrong.
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Re: Question about Saul's "conversion" to Paul...

Post by Davelaw on Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:34 pm

I don't agree with the second definition. I think God gave them thoughts and concepts from a higher plane and they interpreted them the best they could according to their life experiences.
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Re: Question about Saul's "conversion" to Paul...

Post by DeavonReye on Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:30 am

I think that most of it came from the mind of men. Even the "demands to conquer people groups", and even many of the laws found therein.
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