They Twist My Words
St.Paul is by far the most oft quoted biblical author in the Christian Religion. You would think it was not Jesus but Paul who was the center and interpreter of our common faith. That's why his letter to Corinth's 3rd chapter is so important to us today. Out of his thoughts OVER HIS LIFE, whole churches and belief structures have risen up in our day, and not much to our peril.
The fact is if we remove Paul's words from our Bibles, what do we actually have? One would hope still the gospel. But would it surprise you to hear that for instance the idea of original sin was completely foreign to the church for the first hundred years. There is also a strange predilection on the part of exegesis and interpretation; I think because the New testament is considered more of a constitutional document, to equate all of Paul's word as they were given at one time in a kind of end of life oratory, one thinks of Socrates defense in The Republic. Although Paul gives an account of his spiritual journey before becoming the Celebrity he became, no account is given of his own spiritual maturation process in writing, which neglects the more authentic incarnational principle of our Lord. As an exercise I encourage everyone not just to read the texts but also consider when they might have been written in his faith journey. My sincere belief is that these souls who undertake the role of "teacher" in his body take on much of the role of the ancient priest, and as such it is more of their flaws that we can take note of that teach than their high sounding rhetoric. (Brian McClaren first introduced me to this idea in his wonderful little book New Christianity)
refining points baptists. ready defense for your faith and hope.
It should also be recognized that in Paul's letter to Timothy, the Christian testament was not yet compiled and so technically it isn't really Scripture as such. This is not so much so that we couldn't have an authoritative encouragement to our faith, but more that we should not be merely another religion of the book as we have become.
It counts little that within a couple centuries there became authoritative texts for teaching by the organized religious leaders, but even they were different by region. Shepherd of Hermes and the Didache which were part of the canon in certain areas for instance , and did not assume Original Sin at all. And even the compilation of the New Testament is extremely dubious at best given Constantine and Athanasius strong man tactics. I'd Rather believe that it came together in a way that could be a sign-post to faith despite the horrendous atrocities that the religious leaders were at the least complicit in to accomplish. If you track Augustine himself (354-430 Ad ) who coined the term original sin, his history is extremely dubious, much like those who promote this purist view of the faith today and yet live private lives of debauchery)
One we get past biblical idolatry and egotism we can then see the priceless addition to describing and encouraging