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Offline Reformer

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Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« on: Sun Dec 08, 2019 - 12:50:00 »
REFORMATION RUMBLINGS
BUFF SCOTT, JR.
_______________________________
 
Did The Apostle Paul Err On
Occasion?
[Paul’s Humanity in Question]

     The following letter from one of my readers motivated me to write this feature on the possible blunders of Paul. After reading the passages regarding Paul’s conduct, our reader concluded he [Paul] made a mistake on at least two occasions. 
 
    “Buff, will you expound upon Paul’s conduct in Acts 21:20-26 and 24:10-12, when he participated in Jewish rites and, on another occasion, ‘went up to Jerusalem to worship,’ as per the Law of Moses? Just what is incorporated in his behavior, especially since the Old Law of Moses ended at the cross? Why did he participate in Judaistic rituals?” —Karan.   
 
    After assessing this matter carefully, I am led to believe Paul was either trying to appease his enemies and his Jewish believers or he made a mistake in both cases. I’ll go with the latter position, although appeasement is implied. I believe Paul goofed in both cases. 
 
    It was not unusual for Paul to try appeasement to satisfy his critics, as the above scriptures strongly indicate. But in taking this route, I’m convinced he erred in judgment. As noted in Acts 21, he participated in Jewish rites to soothe the sentiments of Jewish Christians who still believed in the Old Law and practiced many of the Jewish rituals.     
 
    It is of interest that the mistakes of many of God’s chosen servants are recorded in scripture. It is chronicled that David, a man after God’s own heart, committed adultery and murder. Although the apostle Peter was led by God’s Spirit to write to fellow believers, his behavior was less than perfect, for Paul verbally disciplined him when he [Peter] played the part of a hypocrite by discriminating against Gentile believers. Paul said, “I opposed him to the face, because he was clearly in the wrong” [Gal. 2:11-13]
 
    We ought to make a distinction between divine inspiration [revelation] and human behavior. Paul, for example, did not receive his divine theme from man. “Rather,” he said, “I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ” [Gal. 1:11-12]. Many of God’s servants were divinely inspired to write and speak, but their behavior was not divinely infused. Even old Abraham, although adored with humility and obedience, made mistakes. His nephew Lot made a mistake when he “pitched his tent toward Sodom” and later moved his family into that sexually-perverted city. Some of the old prophets blundered as well. 
 
    Why, then, should we think it strange that Paul made mistakes in his behavior? If Peter blundered, why not Paul? Paul was just as behaviorally infallible as Peter. So, yes, it seems that the great apostle Paul was human after all. This was the man who told others that the Old Law, with its commandments and regulations, had been abolished [Eph. 2:14]. Yet he participated in the very rituals and regulations that ended at the cross! Divinely inspired? Yes. Humanly fallible? Of course. 
 
    The notion has been advanced that Paul did what he did because he was desirous of “becoming all things to all men” that by any means he might win some. After all, to the Greeks he lived like a Greek and spoke Greek, and to the Jews he lived like a Jew and spoke Hebrew. 
 
    Assuming Paul’s fallible humanity was exhibited on the two occasions alluded to above, he was no less an apostle of Messiah Jesus, and no less a believer. All of us are sinners. It is that some of us are redeemed sinners, others are unregenerate sinners. All of us make mistakes. God’s grace compensates for the mistakes and blunders of redeemed sinners. If not, the road to heaven will be difficult to negotiate. 
 
    Paul was both accommodating and mistaken. For if Judaism’s rituals and regulations ended in Jesus, and they did, and if Paul knew this, and he did, how then could he consistently participate in those very acts while teaching others they were no longer valid and authoritative? I still believe Paul wanted to pacify his brethren, as well as some of his enemies, in the two cases addressed. 
 
     You see, Paul knew about the Old Law of Moses as surely as I know about Catholicism’s teachings and methods. He knew the OId Law was invalid and ineffective. He proclaimed this truth and told the Galatian believers they had deserted Jesus by turning back to the Old Law, or, as he phrased it, “...turning to a different gospel, which is really no gospel at all” [Gal. 1:6-9]

     In reality, the Old Law vs. the New Order. The entire Galatian letter addresses the Old Law and its demise. Why, then, did Paul take part in a system of religion that, to him, “is really no gospel at all”? My answer: His humanity was showing! I’m convinced he blundered in his accommodating gestures. Peter blundered, why not Paul? Did Paul make a mistake when he and Barnabas parted company because he [Paul] refused to take John Mark with them on a journey? They had a sharp disagreement [Acts 15:36-39]. Their humanity was openly conspicuous. They mistakenly acted like children. 
 
    As to Paul circumcising Timothy, it was done to facilitate Timothy’s ministry, not done as a religious ritual. On the other hand, Paul explicitly participated in religious rites which, he said in a number of his epistles, were dead letters, non-authoritative, and ineffective. He took part in dead acts and dormant ordinances. There’s no parallel between the two incidents. 
 
    There is one other interesting note in all of this, however. With the exception of animal sacrifices, many of the early Jewish believers, during the formative years of the new order, continued many of the Jewish traditions and rituals. That was understandable. But Paul was an Apostle, a special Ambassador of our Lord. He knew better! 
 
    Okay. Let me close by saying Paul was one of the greatest. But he was human, as was David and Lot and Abraham. They all made mistakes. They all erred in judgment and in behavior. They all miscalculated. So do we. But God's grace balances everything out. Without God’s grace “kicking in,” none of us will reach God’s eternal glory.
« Last Edit: Sun Dec 08, 2019 - 13:09:49 by Reformer »

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Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« on: Sun Dec 08, 2019 - 12:50:00 »

Offline Reformer

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #1 on: Sun Dec 08, 2019 - 12:58:54 »

Readers:

How do I get rid of the ADS that pop up inside my column?

Buff

Offline Reformer

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #2 on: Sun Dec 08, 2019 - 14:02:26 »
    READERS: Never mind, the ADS now seem to be absent. Are ADS popping up inside anyone else's posts and columns? If yes, let me know.

Buff

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #2 on: Sun Dec 08, 2019 - 14:02:26 »

Offline Norton

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #3 on: Sun Dec 08, 2019 - 15:56:05 »
Paul participating in Jewish rituals of worship would be a sin according to the creeds of certain denominations, namely, The Regulative Principal of Worship of some Presbyterians and Puritans, and The Authority Principle of some Churches of Christ. I don't see anything Paul did that ran counter to the Word of God or the Gospel. However; if a gentile Christian started participating in Jewish rituals of worship today, we might be justified in thinking he had gone off the deep end.

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #3 on: Sun Dec 08, 2019 - 15:56:05 »

Online Jaime

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #4 on: Sun Dec 08, 2019 - 16:53:28 »
I see nothing in scripture that says Paul ceased honoring Jewish traditions. In fact, The Way was considered a Jewish sect in the beginning.

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #4 on: Sun Dec 08, 2019 - 16:53:28 »



Offline Reformer

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #5 on: Sun Dec 08, 2019 - 20:38:10 »

Norton:

   In relation to your remarks, I noted in my column:

    So, yes, it seems that the great apostle Paul was human after all. This was the man who told others that the Old Law, with its commandments and regulations, had been abolished [Eph. 2:14]. Yet he participated in the very rituals and regulations that ended at the cross! Divinely inspired? Yes. Humanly fallible? Of course. 

Buff

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #5 on: Sun Dec 08, 2019 - 20:38:10 »

Offline soterion

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #6 on: Sun Dec 08, 2019 - 22:14:56 »
I believe what we are seeing in Acts 21:24-26 & 24:11-16 is Paul practicing 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. I do not believe any observances of the customs of the Law of Moses by him were for the purpose of worshiping God for justification nor were they a mistake on his part. I believe they were ultimately for the purpose of influencing the Jews to hear the gospel.

Offline NorrinRadd

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #7 on: Mon Dec 09, 2019 - 02:51:48 »
I see in Scripture that the Law of Moses ended with the Obsolete Covenant for those who are part of the New Covenant.

I do not see in Scripture that that means we are *forbidden* to practice elements of the Law.  I believe liberty works both ways.

Offline GB

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #8 on: Mon Dec 09, 2019 - 09:47:43 »
I see nothing in scripture that says Paul ceased honoring Jewish traditions. In fact, The Way was considered a Jewish sect in the beginning.

If I may, According to the Bible, the Holy Days were not Jewish unless we believe the creator is Jewish. God's Holy Sabbath for instance, was created and sanctified before there was Jews.

Leviticus 23:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.

Since it is written that Jesus was this Creator, this would make the Holy Days of the Bible, the Christ's Feasts, not Jewish Feasts. This would also explain why Jesus said " For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day." And it would also explain why the disciples need to count correctly to gather on the right day for Pentecost to receive the Holy Spirit Peter said God gives to those who Obey Him.

This would also explain why Paul continued to obey God, including observing the Christ's Feasts. And would also explain why He said not let any man judge us in our obedience to these things.

Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

And why Paul taught to partake in the Christ's Feasts.

1 Cor. 5:6  Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7. Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

 But not the rudiments of the world, and traditions of men.

Col. 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,

21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;

22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

God gave The Jews His Commandments, but they didn't keep them.

Rom. 3:1 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision (Jewish religion)? 2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. 3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? 4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

This is why Jesus said "Salvation is of the Jews" because they had His Salvation plan which begins with Passover, it doesn't end there.

As Paul teaches.

Rom. 11:16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

17 And if some of the branches be broken off,(disobedient Jews) and thou, being a wild olive tree, (Repentant Gentile) wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

I don't think Paul was deceived, or following useless Jewish Traditions, or had made a mistake at all. Jesus created and followed these Holy Days, of course Paul would partake of them as well..

He simply did as every example of true faith in the God of the Bible did. He obeyed Him.




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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #8 on: Mon Dec 09, 2019 - 09:47:43 »

Online Jaime

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #9 on: Mon Dec 09, 2019 - 10:15:00 »
I agree that the feast days were God’s appointed times including the Sabbath, when HE shows up. I don’t find it unusual that Paul continued celebrating these days. They are certainly about the Christ, the Jews just didn’t know it.

Offline GB

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #10 on: Mon Dec 09, 2019 - 11:32:35 »
I agree that the feast days were God’s appointed times including the Sabbath, when HE shows up. I don’t find it unusual that Paul continued celebrating these days. They are certainly about the Christ, the Jews just didn’t know it.

Agreed.

 Zechariahs knew it, Simeon knew it, Anna knew it, but the Pharisees and Scribes did not.

Offline Reformer

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #11 on: Mon Dec 09, 2019 - 21:02:33 »

Your Replies:

    Thanks to all of you for your input. There are bushels of opinions of this topic. Some of mine are possibly incorrect. Some of yours could possibly be incorrect.

    I have researched the matters I addressed in my column carefully and numerous times. I suspect all of you have researched your conclusions as well.

    I appreciate your concepts, but let’s agree to retain our views on the matter at hand, “until we learn better,” while giving others the same freedom.

Cheers in Jesus,

Buff

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #12 on: Mon Dec 09, 2019 - 21:25:25 »
 Buff I think the adds are an attempt by admin to keep the site financially viable

Offline RB

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #13 on: Tue Dec 10, 2019 - 05:06:01 »
Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
Did Paul have sin dwelling in his members? Yes, we ALL do! Did Paul sin in Acts 20:20-26 when he took a Jewish vow upon him according to the law? No, he did not!
Quote from: Luke
Acts 20:20-26~"And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs. What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come. Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law. As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication. Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.
Paul only did what ALL of the brethren asked him TO DO! Soterion is correct when he said:
Quote from: soterion on: Sun Dec 08, 2019 - 22:14:56
I believe what we are seeing in Acts 21:24-26 & 24:11-16 is Paul practicing 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. I do not believe any observances of the customs of the Law of Moses by him were for the purpose of worshiping God for justification nor were they a mistake on his part. I believe they were ultimately for the purpose of influencing the Jews to hear the gospel.
This was a ONE TIME EFFORT (that is recorded for us to consider) to become all things to all men that they might save some~saved in a practical manner with TRUE KNOWLEDGE of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the purpose of their law duties that the Jews were commanded to walk orderly in. Which ceased to be binding on them at the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but during the time of reformation many that "did believe" had a hard time of rightly dividing the scriptures concerning these truths.






« Last Edit: Wed Dec 11, 2019 - 03:36:22 by RB »

Offline Reformer

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #14 on: Tue Dec 10, 2019 - 14:01:48 »

Johnb:

"Buff, I think the adds are an attempt by admin to keep the site financially viable."

Thank you, my brother. That helps to resolve and understand the problem.

Buff

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #15 on: Tue Dec 10, 2019 - 14:56:09 »
When Peter erred, scripture pointed it out.

Did Paul err?  He's human, so of course.  Even after conversion.

Are the acts of Paul in this set of scriptures in the OP errors?  No.

Offline Mere Nick

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #16 on: Tue Dec 10, 2019 - 16:53:10 »
If Paul didn't look at what he did as necessary for salvation, what's the problem?  As for this "As to Paul circumcising Timothy, it was done to facilitate Timothy’s ministry, not done as a religious ritual.", it's hard to wrap my head around the idea of having to know stuff about some guy's private parts before I decide if I'm going to listen to what he had to say.  That's why I try to always say "it appears that . . . " before trying to explain what someone else from some 6,300 miles and 2,000 years away was doing or saying. 
     

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #17 on: Tue Dec 10, 2019 - 20:53:01 »
Buff it confused me at first I even moved a thread to Mods board because I thought the author was selling stuff on the site lol.  I moved it back later

Offline Reformer

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #18 on: Tue Dec 10, 2019 - 21:21:29 »

Texas Conservative:

What are "OP errors"? I'm temporarily lost! Must be my age.

Buff

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #19 on: Wed Dec 11, 2019 - 02:32:20 »
Texas Conservative:

What are "OP errors"? I'm temporarily lost! Must be my age.

Buff

He is disputing the claim that the Scriptures you cite in the OP -- Original Post -- show Paul making "errors."

Offline Wycliffes_Shillelagh

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #20 on: Wed Dec 11, 2019 - 16:56:45 »
Paul records his own errors pretty well. 

I don't think the things cited in the original post are necessarily errors, though.  Paul didn't throw the Old Testament out the window to nearly the degree people seem to think.

Offline dan p

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #21 on: Wed Dec 11, 2019 - 17:42:00 »
 Hi and you have the right  answer in 1  Cor 9:20   and I see that after  Ephesians things did change , like when Paul   REBUKED  Peter in Gal 2:14  for eating with Gentiles and then trying to get GENTILES  to adopt  Jewish  CUSTOMS and  RITES !!

 dan p

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #22 on: Wed Dec 11, 2019 - 18:14:23 »
Wycliffes_Shillelagh:

    You may be correct. One scholar, Adam Clarke, indicates Paul went through the motions as a matter of appeasement, not as a matter of conviction and/or advocacy. Allow me to re-post one of the paragraphs in my column.
______

    "There is one other interesting note in all of this, however. With the exception of animal sacrifices, many of the early Jewish believers, during the formative years of the new order, continued many of the Jewish traditions and rituals. That was understandable. But Paul was an Apostle, a special Ambassador of our Lord. He knew better!"
______

    I would add that since he apparently knew better, he participated in the controversial rituals merely as accommodations to promote unity.

    I'm not sure I, personally, could do that. However, I'm not an apostle! 

Buff
« Last Edit: Wed Dec 11, 2019 - 18:23:36 by Reformer »

Offline Wycliffes_Shillelagh

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #23 on: Thu Dec 12, 2019 - 18:12:09 »
Paul took a vow in which he devoted his time at the temple, and grew his hair out for the duration of the vow.  At the end, he was meant to shave and burn the hair as an offering.  (Obviously, the sacrifice was his time, his hair was merely a symbol.)

While this particular vow is described in the OT, it is entirely voluntary, and has nothing to do with salvation.  It is not part or parcel of the Levitical priesthood, which Jesus canceled.  It is merely a voluntary offering.

Why would such a thing be wrong?

Of note: extra-Biblical sources show that the apostle James practiced the same vow, up until his death.

Offline GB

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #24 on: Fri Dec 13, 2019 - 08:19:41 »
Paul took a vow in which he devoted his time at the temple, and grew his hair out for the duration of the vow.  At the end, he was meant to shave and burn the hair as an offering.  (Obviously, the sacrifice was his time, his hair was merely a symbol.)

While this particular vow is described in the OT, it is entirely voluntary, and has nothing to do with salvation.  It is not part or parcel of the Levitical priesthood, which Jesus canceled.  It is merely a voluntary offering.

Why would such a thing be wrong?

Of note: extra-Biblical sources show that the apostle James practiced the same vow, up until his death.

I think many folks are omitting some basic truths about what Paul said about Himself.

Acts 24:14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they (Pharisees) call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, (Abraham) believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:

By Paul's own admission he was motivated, not by traditions and doctrines of man, but by the Holy Scriptures, the Law and Prophets, that He said He Believes, but the Jewish leaders of that time didn't. This confirms the Word's of Christ which define the religion the Pharisees and Scribes practiced and promoted. Most do not believe Paul's words here, or the Word's of the Christ. Choosing instead to imply in their teaching that the Pharisees were motivated by the Law and Prophets, while Paul was not.

As for vows, because Paul knew and believed the Law and Prophets, he understood God's instruction regarding them. They were not required by Law, but if a person made one, he was required to follow through with it.

Duet. 23:21 When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.

22 But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee.

Jesus mentioned this as well in Matt. 5 when He was correcting the Pharisees, them of old times, teaching.

33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; (It is no sin not to vow) neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:

35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

But the Feast's and Sabbath's of the Christ is a different story. They were commands, not free will offerings. To reject this part of God's Commandment is sin according to the Scriptures that Paul claims belief in.

This is why I don't believe Paul "erred" when he stopped partaking in the Pharisees religion, and started following the teaching of the Law and Prophets that Jesus promoted, which included observing His Feast's like Pentecost, Feast of Unleavened bread, etc., along with the Christ's Sabbaths.

« Last Edit: Mon Dec 16, 2019 - 09:00:01 by Wycliffes_Shillelagh »

Offline RB

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #25 on: Sun Dec 15, 2019 - 13:39:04 »
I'm waiting on a moderator to move the last five or so post to a new thread so Reformer's thread is not hijacked by GB.

GB, I may make a post to you on HOW TO DEBATE using intellectually~honest tactics. All you use are one dishonest tactic after another, anyone reading your post can easily see this wicked dishonest tactic that you employ in every post that you make.
Quote from: GB on: Today at 11:31:31
You have your religion and you call anyone who doesn't bow down to it, dogs and other names. I understand you have no real choice, You are doing the will of the one who has snared you.
You are saying that because I quoted Paul when he said:
Quote
Philippians 3:2~"Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision."
So, what do you have to say about Paul? and Jesus when he said:
Quote from: Jesus Christ
Matthew 23:33~Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
Quote from: Jesus Christ
Matthew 7:6~"Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."
Are they too doing the will of the one who has snared them?
« Last Edit: Sun Dec 15, 2019 - 13:49:36 by RB »

Offline Terral

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #26 on: Mon Dec 16, 2019 - 14:23:32 »
Hi Reformer:

Thank you for starting this topic on whether Paul errs on occasion. You wrote:

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The following letter from one of my readers motivated me to write this feature on the possible blunders of Paul. After reading the passages regarding Paul’s conduct, our reader concluded he [Paul] made a mistake on at least two occasions.

    “Buff, will you expound upon Paul’s conduct in Acts 21:20-26 and 24:10-12, when he participated in Jewish rites and, on another occasion, ‘went up to Jerusalem to worship,’ as per the Law of Moses? Just what is incorporated in his behavior, especially since the Old Law of Moses ended at the cross? Why did he participate in Judaistic rituals?” —Karan.   
 
    After assessing this matter carefully, I am led to believe Paul was either trying to appease his enemies and his Jewish believers or he made a mistake in both cases. I’ll go with the latter position, although appeasement is implied. I believe Paul goofed in both cases.


We disagree. Let's consider some of the statements from Acts 21 for obtaining some context regarding Paul's actions [with bold for emphasis]:

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"And when they heard it they began glorifying God; and they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the Law; 21 and they have been told about you, that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. 22 What, then, is to be done?" Acts 21:20-22.


First, a good idea might be to weigh in on my OP topic "The Two Churches of the New Testament" (link) that currently has no replies. These thousands of Jews "who have believed" have been called to God using the "Gospel of the Kingdom" (Gospel #1 from this topic) to become Kingdom Disciples of the Prophetic Kingdom "Bride" (Church #1). Go down the list from my Two Churches OP to find:

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6. Continues under Mosaic Law, until heaven and earth pass away. Matt. 5:17-19, James 2:10.

 
The little-known New Testament fact taught in God's Word is that Paul has dual citizenship in the Prophetic Kingdom Bride (Church #1) "and" the Mystery Body of Christ (Church #2), as the "Gospel of the Kingdom" was the ONLY good news message in town at the time of Paul's conversion in Acts 9. God then gave Paul our "Gospel of the Grace of God" (Acts 20:24-27) through "a revelation of Jesus Christ" (Gal. 1:11-12) to be saved by God's grace through faith apart from works. Paul is doing precisely the right things throughout all of his journeys, which he explains to the Corinthians, saying,

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For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under [c]the Law, so that I might win those who are under [d]the Law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel [#2, Gospel of the Grace of God], so that I may become a fellow partaker of it." 1Corinthians 9:19-23.


The Kingdom Bride Jews where were very much under the Law, and even zealous for the Law, did not realize that Paul's newly-converted Gentiles were part of a completely different "Dispensation of God's Grace" (Eph. 3:2). They were acting in ignorance without an understanding of the "wisdom given him" (2Peter 3:14-16) that people distort even today to "their own destruction." Let's revisit Karan's concerns from the top of your OP:

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Karan: “Buff, will you expound upon Paul’s conduct in Acts 21:20-26 and 24:10-12, when he participated in Jewish rites and, on another occasion, ‘went up to Jerusalem to worship,’ as per the Law of Moses? Just what is incorporated in his behavior, especially since the Old Law of Moses ended at the cross? Why did he participate in Judaistic rituals?” —Karan. 


The notion that the Old Law of Moses ended at the cross for the entire world is false! Where did we obtain such an idea? Israel and even the Prophetic Kingdom Bride obeying the "Gospel of the Kingdom" remain very much under Mosaic Law, until heaven and earth pass away! Both Jesus Christ and James agree 100 percent:

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Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:17-19.

"For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all." James 2:10.


The lesson here concerns the differences between Eternal Truth (for everyone) and Dispensational Truth for a particular dispensation or household.



This diagram from my book The Mystery Explained illustrates how God's Word (Fig. 1) is laid out using the same spirit-blood-water pattern as the Tabernacle of Moses and the Temple (Fig. 2). The Old Testament contains the Prophets and the Law given to Israel through Moses as the Steward of Mosaic Law that will not pass away until heaven and earth pass away in the transition from Revelation 20:15 to 21:1+. God's personal mail to the Body of Christ today (that's us) is dispensed within the Pauline Epistles that includes our mystery gospel, our mystery church and mystery translation to immortality, so on and so forth. The Apostle Paul is our "steward" for this "dispensation of God's grace" (Eph. 3:2) like Moses is the steward over Israel of the flesh. Then, Kingdom Doctrine is dispensed in the New Testament Kingdom books that includes James' statement from James 2:10 that agrees with Jesus Christ's teaching in Matthew 5. Therefore, Paul is making no mistakes anywhere in his ministry whether going to the Jew first (preaching the kingdom), or going to the Gentiles and Jews among them (gospel of the grace of God). We must "rightly divide/accurately handle" (cut straight) the Word of truth (2Tim. 2:15) to know the difference, which is what my Two Gospels and Two Churches OP topics are all about.

Blessings,

Terral
« Last Edit: Mon Dec 16, 2019 - 14:37:43 by Terral »

Offline Link

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #27 on: Sat Dec 21, 2019 - 20:44:34 »
REFORMATION RUMBLINGS
BUFF SCOTT, JR.
_______________________________
 
Did The Apostle Paul Err On
Occasion?
[Paul’s Humanity in Question]

     The following letter from one of my readers motivated me to write this feature on the possible blunders of Paul. After reading the passages regarding Paul’s conduct, our reader concluded he [Paul] made a mistake on at least two occasions. 
 
    “Buff, will you expound upon Paul’s conduct in Acts 21:20-26 and 24:10-12, when he participated in Jewish rites and, on another occasion, ‘went up to Jerusalem to worship,’ as per the Law of Moses? Just what is incorporated in his behavior, especially since the Old Law of Moses ended at the cross? Why did he participate in Judaistic rituals?” —Karan.   

One thing to keep in mind is that keeping the law of Moses is not a sin.  Paul tells us that the law is not sin in Romans 7. 

Paul was opposed to requiring Gentiles to be circumcised and compelling them to obey the Law of Moses.  Some of his comments in Galatians and elsewhere need to be interpreted in light of this.  Pretty close to His crucifixion, Jesus said that the scribes and Pharisees sat in Moses' seat, so to do what they commanded, but not to do after their works.  He also sent the apostles to the nations, and the apostles apparently realized that the nations could be righteous apart from the covenant through Moses-- which they were (making attempts at) keeping.  They never said Jews, including Jewish believers in Jesus, should stop keeping the law of Moses.

In Acts 15, the apostles and elders essentially agree with Paul and Barnabas that the Gentiles that they would not weight down the Gentiles with circumcision and obeying the law of Moses.  James interpreted the Old Testament to mean that there would be people from the nations on Whom God's name would be called.  It did not make sense to bring them in as Israelites through circumcision.  Salvation was through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, as Peter pointed out.

When Paul went to Jerusalem, for probably the second time after his conversion, James and the elders wanted him to go into the temple with some men who had a vow on them to pay their expenses.  This was partly to show that Paul was not telling Jews to stop keeping the law and not teaching them to stop circumcising their children.

Did Paul ever tell Jews to stop keeping the law?  He taught that we are not justified by the works of the law.  He did not say stop keeping it, at least in the Bible.  He also did not circumcise the Gentile Titus when he took him with him to Jerusalem, but he did circumcise Timothy, the son of a Jewish mother.  He clearly opposed circumcising Gentiles. 

Why would Paul go into the temple with men who had a vow on them?  It could be that the vow was a Nazarite vow.  I'm guessing here, but the purification and sacrifices might have been a 'hedge about the Torah', where the priests were requiring offerings for breaking the vow just in case it was inadvertently broken.  That's guesswork on my part, because otherwise they'd have offered the offerings if they'd broken the vow, unless there is another law I am unaware of. 

Did Paul err?  I think he might have.  Jesus quoted 'thou shalt not foreswear thyself' and 'thou shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths.'  The latter quote may be a quote from the Psalms about fulfilling vows.
 And then he said, 'but I say unto you, swear not at all...' 

James also taught 'swear not at all' in his epistle.  (Assuming this was the brother of Jesus James not the son of Zebedee.)  If one does not fulfill a vow, he can come under what James describes as 'condemnation.'  So James had a motivation for these men to fulfill their vow.

In Acts we read that Paul had shaved his head in Cenchrea, for he had made a vow.  Why would he shave his head?  Why in Cenchrea and not in the temple where one would turn in ones vowed hair?  It could be that he shaved of his unvowed hair so his head would not be encumbered by it as he grew his vowed hair out. 

I also wonder if Paul were clean shaven all over when the centurion mistook him for an Egyptian. I am not sure if Egyptians still shaved their heads and bodies in the first century.

I think Paul may have erred by vowing the Nazarite vow.  This vow was not actually required.  Some teachings of Christ restricted things that Israelites would have done previously.

Paul also seemed to acknowledge that he was in error for calling the high priest a white washed wall, though he did not know that he was the high priest. 


Offline Link

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #28 on: Sun Dec 22, 2019 - 23:06:16 »

     You see, Paul knew about the Old Law of Moses as surely as I know about Catholicism’s teachings and methods. He knew the OId Law was invalid and ineffective.

Where does Paul say that Old Testament rituals, given by God, were 'invalid.'

Paul argued that by the works of the law no flesh would be justified in His sight.  But did that change between the year 0 and the year Paul wrote Romans?  Paul wrote that by the law comes the knowledge of sin.  Did that change? 

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He proclaimed this truth and told the Galatian believers they had deserted Jesus by turning back to the Old Law, or, as he phrased it, “...turning to a different gospel, which is really no gospel at all” [Gal. 1:6-9]

     In reality, the Old Law vs. the New Order. The entire Galatian letter addresses the Old Law and its demise. Why, then, did Paul take part in a system of religion that, to him, “is really no gospel at all”?

Hold on a minute now.  Paul is talking about a competing message regarding Jesus.  Why would you consider the legitimate Old Testament scriptures God actually be revealed to be the competing gospel which is no other gospel at all?

There were Judaizers out there, trying to convince Gentiles that faith in Christ was not enough, and that they also had to be circumcised and to obey the law of Moses.  Where did the Old Testament teach such a thing?

Paul's position was that by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified in His sight, and that a righteousness had been revealed apart from the law, being witnessed by the law and the prophets, as he wrote in Romans.  Is that consistent with the idea that the Law actually teaches the Law would justify?  The just shall live by faith, as it says in Habbukuk. 

If Paul did not teach that righteousness came by the law, why would his participate in the rituals described in the law mean he was participating somehow in the preaching of another gospel?  Keeping the law was not forbidden for Christians.

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    As to Paul circumcising Timothy, it was done to facilitate Timothy’s ministry, not done as a religious ritual.

Why would it have facilitated his ministry if it were not done as a religious ritual?  Paul circumcised a Jewish woman's son and paid the expenses for men who had vows when James and the elders requested he did so to demonstrate that he wasn't teaching Jews to stop circumcising their babies and to stop keeping the law.  Where does Paul say, "Hey Jewish Christians...stop keeping the law"?

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    There is one other interesting note in all of this, however. With the exception of animal sacrifices, many of the early Jewish believers, during the formative years of the new order, continued many of the Jewish traditions and rituals. That was understandable. But Paul was an Apostle, a special Ambassador of our Lord. He knew better! 

Why would it have been wrong for the apostles or any Jewish Christian to present an animal sacrifice to be offered in the temple?  The priests offered sacrifices, and Acts says that many priests became obedient to the faith.  Why would it have been wrong for a Christian Jewish priest to offer animal sacrifices in the temple?  Show me in the Bible where that would have been sinful.

Didn't these offerings reveal things about Christ to the people?

What kind of offering was offered in relation to a vow?
Acts 21
23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;
24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.
25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.
26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.

There is an offering in Numbers 6.
13 And this is the law of the Nazarite, when the days of his separation are fulfilled: he shall be brought unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:
14 And he shall offer his offering unto the Lord, one he lamb of the first year without blemish for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish for a sin offering, and one ram without blemish for peace offerings,
15 And a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, and wafers of unleavened bread anointed with oil, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings.

And why would Paul have gone into the temple with men who had made a vow?

Acts 18:18
So Paul still remained a good while. Then he took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria, and Priscilla and Aquila were with him. He had his hair cut off at Cenchrea, for he had taken a vow.

Could this have been the reason Paul felt 'bound in spirit' to go to Jerusalem, since he had bound himself with a vow?


Offline 4WD

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #29 on: Mon Dec 23, 2019 - 04:50:53 »
     You see, Paul knew about the Old Law of Moses as surely as I know about Catholicism’s teachings and methods. He knew the OId Law was invalid and ineffective. He proclaimed this truth and told the Galatian believers they had deserted Jesus by turning back to the Old Law, or, as he phrased it, “...turning to a different gospel, which is really no gospel at all” [Gal. 1:6-9]   
The Old Law was neither invalid nor ineffective.  The Old Covenant was faulty insofar as salvation was concerned (Heb 8:6ff).  But the law is the law.  It did not go away.  That we are not under the law for salvation does not mean that we are not obligated to obey the law.  John says that sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4). Thus if there is no law, then there is no sin; and we know that is not what the Bible says. Paul says that where there is no law sin is not imputed (Rom 4:15; 5:13). Thus if there is no law, then there is no sin and if there is no sin then there is no need for salvation.  Jesus' death on the cross did not do away with sin; rather His death on the cross provided a way for the punishment for our sin be paid for us.

The law is there, our sin in disobeying the law is there and through faith in Jesus Christ there is a way for us  not to have to pay the penalty for our sins.  To be under the law means that the one who breaks the law must pay the penalty for breaking the law. To be under grace means that the one who breaks the law has the penalty paid for him by Jesus.

Offline GB

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Re: Did The Apostle Paul Err On Occasion?
« Reply #30 on: Mon Dec 23, 2019 - 10:53:59 »
Quote
     You see, Paul knew about the Old Law of Moses as surely as I know about Catholicism’s teachings and methods. He knew the OId Law was invalid and ineffective. He proclaimed this truth and told the Galatian believers they had deserted Jesus by turning back to the Old Law, or, as he phrased it, “...turning to a different gospel, which is really no gospel at all” [Gal. 1:6-9]. 

I must respectfully disagree with your assertion that the Jews were "turning back" to obedience to God. It seems Jesus said in EVERY Word He used to describe them, that they had rejected "The Old Law of Moses". They claimed to follow it, much the same way Catholic Preachers claim to be following the God of the Bible. But they were not, at least according to the Prophesies about them, and the very Word's of the Christ about them.

Even Paul understood the Jews religious doctrines and traditions of men.

 Gal. 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:

14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.

Persecuting the Church of God was not taught by the "Old Law of Moses", but by men who "taught for doctrines the Commandments of Men" as Jesus and HIS Prophets in the Law and Prophets clearly taught..

6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

The teaching that these men were "turning to obedience" to the Old Law of Moses is simply not true.

Zechariahs and Simeon followed the "Old Law of Moses" and they knew the Christ when HE came, while the Pharisees "taught for doctrines the commandments of men" and they didn't know the Christ.

It seems that this is a Biblical Truth that should be weighed when discussing Paul and the difference between the religious lifestyle he used to live, VS. the religious Lifestyle He was converted to.



 

     
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