Saul, The Little Wicked Man The Ancients Called Shortie!
On Paul’s stature
His name was Saul, and he stated that he was born to a Pharisee in Tarsus. However, some noted ancient say he was from Gischala, north Galilee, whose parents were Pagan. He was called the nickname Paulus by his Roman associates and enemies owing to his slight stature. Yet, conservative Christians will say that the name Paul was his given Roman citizenship name, it was pure and simply his sobriquet. However, whichever way you look at it, the meaning of Paulus or Paul remains little or small. Even Christian apocryphal gospels and ancient writing attest that Paul was short in stature.
Matthew Henry’s commentary on Acts 9, under the heading verses 1-9. Says this of Paul: His name in Hebrew was Saul—desired, though as remarkably little in stature as his namesake King Saul was tall and stately. One of the ancients calls him, Homo tricubitalis—but four feet and a half in height; his Roman name which he went by among the citizens of Rome was Paul—little.
Those that follow my post will have noticed that I write a lot on Paul, and not good things either, in fact, my writings are Polemics especially when it comes puny Paul. I don’t use derogatory epithet for him; they are what the ancients called him. These are some of those names the ancients called him—short or statura brevis (short stature), μικρό σε ύψος (small in height), pusillus (puny, weenie). One of my favourite quotes on Paul’s short frame comes from Apocrypha Gospel, Paul and Thecla. Which states: And a certain man named Onesiphorus, hearing that Paul was coming to Iconium, went out speedily together with his wife Lectra and his sons Simmia and Zeno, to meet him and invite him to their house.
For Titus had given them a description of Paul’s personage, for as yet they did not know him in person but were only acquainted with his character. They went in the king’s highway to Lystra and stood there waiting for him, comparing all who passed by with that description which Titus had given them.
At length they saw a man coming (namely Paul), of a small stature with meeting eyebrows, bald head, bow-legged, strongly built, hollow-eyed, with a large crooked nose; he was full of grace, for sometimes he appeared as a man, sometimes he had the countenance of an angel. [Chapter 1 or follow the link.
On Paul’s Damascus Vision
Everything we know of Paul is from Paul. Even his visions are attested only by Paul. However, even the ancients Greeks thought that the “holy disease afflicted Paul.” Which we know today as being epilepsy, with medical historians going further a precisely diagnosing it as temporal lobe epilepsy. [Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 1987;50:659-664, by Dr D Landsborough] Also see Acts 22:17; Galatians 4:13; 2 Corinthians 12:1-9
Additionally, on his Epilepsy: There is throughout Paul’s writings, an irrational or pathological element which could not but repel the disciples of the Rabbis. Possibly his pessimistic mood was the result of his physical condition; for he suffered from an illness which affected both body and mind. He speaks of it as “a thorn in the flesh,” and as a heavy stroke by “a messenger of Satan” (II Cor. xii. 7), which often caused him to realize his utter helplessness, and made him an object of pity and horror (Gal. iv. 13). It was, as Krenkel (“Beiträge zur Aufhellung der Geschichte und Briefe des Apostels Paulus,” 1890, pp. 47-125) has convincingly shown, epilepsy, called by the Greeks “the holy disease,” which frequently put him into a state of ecstasy, a frame of mind that may have greatly impressed some of his Gentile hearers, but could not but frighten away and estranged from him the Jew, whose God is above all the God of reason (comp. II Cor. v. 13; x. 10; xi. 1, 16; xii. 6). The conception of a new faith, half pagan and half Jewish, such as Paul preached, and susceptibility to its influences, were altogether foreign to the nature of Jewish life and thought. For Judaism, religion is the hallowing of this life by the fulfilment of its manifold duties (see Judaism): Paul shrank from life as the domain of Satan and all his hosts of evil; he longed for redemption by the deadening of all desires for life, and strove for another world which he sawin [sic] his ecstatic visions…” It was by such preaching that “he ensnared the souls of young men and maidens, enjoining them to remain single” (Conybeare, l.c. pp. 62, 63, 67; comp. ib. pp. 24-25; Gal. iii. 38; I Cor. vii. 34-36; Matt. xix. 12; Clement of Rome, Epistle ii. § 12).
Parentage and Home Contradictions
Paul’s parents and ancestors are not named in any contemporary source. By his own account, Paul was born a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin in the city of Tarsus, the capital of the Roman province of Cilicia, and grew up in Jerusalem (Acts 22:3; Philippians 3:5-6). Paul identified himself as an orthodox Jewish Pharisee and the son of a Pharisee, who was born a citizen of Rome (Acts 23:6, 26:5; Galatians 1:15).
According to St. Jerome (347-420), there was a tradition among Christians in the Holy Land that Paul’s parents were immigrants to Tarsus from the Judean city of Gischala: “They say that the parents of the apostle Paul were from Gischala, a region of Judea and that when the whole province was devastated by the hand of Rome and the Jews scattered throughout the world, they were moved to Tarsus a town of Cilicia; the boy Paul inherited the lot of his parents.” (St. Jerome, Commentary on Philemon, vs 23-24).
Jerome also repeats essentially the same thing in his work, Famous Men, which contradicts Paul own statement: “Paul, an apostle, previously called Saul, was not one of the Twelve Apostles. He was of the tribe of Benjamin and of the town of Gischala in Judea. When the town was captured by the Romans, he migrated with his parents to Tarsus in Cilicia.”
I am not alone in saying that Paul was a charlatan (and every synonym that goes with it) of the first order if one can put him in a class. A self-made false apostle [cf. Acts 1:21) of a religion that he invented. Paul, by his very own words, was a man complicit to murders Acts 7: 58-60; Acts 8:1-3, and religious persecutor and pursuer of the followers of Jesus Acts 26:10. A liar, and founder and inventor of what biblical historians call Pauline Christianity, the religion that the Christians worship today.
If we are to believe this, then Paul without a doubt was a magician, however, even without being a Sanhedrin, Paul was a magos. The Excellent German “Tübingen school of theology” (the name for the University of Tübingen) has Paul as the enemy of the Jerusalem Church, and his alias was that of Simon Magus.
Even some Christian writers state that Paul was a Pharisee and indicates that he was also a member of the Sanhedrin Council when he says:
“I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age?” (Galatians 1:13-14 ESV)
The Germany scholar Schoeps writing on the Ebionites wrote: Their old enemy, the homo quidam inimicus (Rec. 1.70), here appears under the pseudonym “Simon. This “Simon who is also Paul” (Simon qui et Paulus) is for them “a certain deceiver” (planos tis, II Cor. 6:8), “the enemy” (ho echthros, Gal. 4:16), and a “false apostle” (pseudapostolos) who taught “apostasy from Moses” (apostasis apo Mouseos) and proclaimed a false gospel….[Hans-Joachim Schoeps (1969), Jewish Christianity: Factional Disputes in the Early Church, p 51, Translated by Douglas R.A. Hare, Fortress Press—Philadelphia]
There is this passage in Josephus’ Antiquities that scholars see as Saul/Paul.
There was a man who was a Jew, but had been driven away from his own country by an accusation laid against him for transgressing their laws, and by the fear he was under of punishment for the same; but in all respects a wicked man. He, then living at Rome, professed to instruct men in the wisdom of the laws of Moses. He procured also three other men, entirely of the same character with himself, to be his partners. These men persuaded Fulvia, a woman of great dignity, and one that had embraced the Jewish religion, to send purple and gold to the temple at Jerusalem; and when they had gotten them, they employed them for their own uses, and spent the money themselves, on which account it was that they at first required it of her. Whereupon Tiberius, who had been informed of the thing by Saturninus, the husband of Fulvia, who desired inquiry might be made about it, ordered all the Jews to be banished out of Rome; at which time the consuls listed four thousand men out of them, and sent them to the island Sardinia; but punished a greater number of them, who were unwilling to become soldiers, on account of keeping the laws of their forefathers. Thus were these Jews banished out of the city by the wickedness of four men.[extract from Josephus Antiquities Book 18. Ch. 3, 5., The Works of Flavius Josephus. Translated by. William Whiston, A.M. Auburn and Buffalo. John E. Beardsley. 1895.] Online:
Paul of Tarsus grew into a “Biblical Giant”, surpassing Jesus, give his name as aforesaid to a religion of his own making, a monotheist religion steeped in paganism.
What do you say?
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