Friday, June 6, 2008

Don't Believe Everything You Hear

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Now playing: Van Halen - Panama (Live)
via FoxyTunes I found a review of a book written by a Jewish man named Hyam Maccaby,http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0062505858/qid=1032707314/explainamation/ who has the opinion that The Apostle Paul was 1. Not Jewish 2. Created Christianity 3. Used elements of older Pagan religions. He states weird things like the eucharist was magically transformed into Christ's Blood and flesh and that Jewish people of the time would have abhored this.

Of course the Jews would have found that idea repugnant. The Last Supper was celebrated at the time of Passover. It was celebrated in memory of their salvation from having their first born children die in Egypt. Jesus wanted his disciples to celebrate this in his memory instead. He did not tell them that the wine became his blood. He told them that it was to symbolize his blood. He did not tell them that the unleavened bread from Passover was his flesh, but that it was to symbolize his flesh.
I do not believe these men who were handpicked by Jesus would have been too simple minded to understand symbolism. They had already been familiar with the idea of symbolism in the celebration of Passover as any Jew of that time would have been.

This sort of shoots Mr. Maccaby's point out of the water about using elements of older religions in the Communion. I have no doubt that the Catholic Church may have perpetrated the magic transformation of the eucharist to their Pagan converts. They have a long history of just putting a new face on Pagan religions instead of trying to stop their practice. Mr. Maccaby's problem is in the assumpton that all Christians are Catholic in ideaology. He blames anti-Semitism on Paul and attributes the idea that the Jews were responsible for the crucifixtion to Paul.

From my earlier post, you will find that I believe people frequently have their minds made up on a particular subject and then try to find validation of their opinions.
He picks and chooses scripture to back up his opinions an leaves the ones which contradict him.

The Bible refers to Paul as Saul of Tarsus. Saul is a Hebrew name. Why would a mother name her son a name from a persecuted people? She would have to hate him pretty bad to mark him as a Jew if he were not one. If he were Roman and wanted to persecute and execute Christians, he wouldn't have to pretend to be Jewish to do it. Here's another good point. He was born to the tribe of Benjamin. If you know your Jewish history, you know that periodically, the Jews had to travel to the city of their birth tribe in order to be counted. A sort of early census. If he falsely claimed to be a Benjamite, there would have been records to refer to. The Jews and the Romans both would have loved to find such a blatant lie.

The anti-Semitism was not taught by Paul, but was perpetrated by the Catholic Church.
The early Christians would not have tried to convert Jews if they despised them. There were many Jews that believed Christianity was only for Jews and was not to be shared with the Greeks and Gentiles. The New Testament chastised people for clling themselves followers of this one and that one, but should all be followers of Christ.

You might consider it a good read, but be sure you check up on the references. With the internet, it isn't all that difficult to even check out the historical aspects.

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