What does Catholisim think of St. Paul?


#1

I really don’t know, that is why I am asking.

Paul was never Pope, indeed it appears he did not always see eye-to-eye with the main church lead by the Jewish Christians.

Yet so much of Christianity today comes from his missionary work and letters to the “satellite” Gentile churches.


#2

When the Catholic Church put the Bible together, they decided the majority of the writings outside on the Gospel were to come from St. Paul. They therefore must have thought very highly of him indeed.

He was cool. :cool:


#3

All of the apostles–and Paul was an apostle selected by Christ–did missionary work and evangelization. But not all of them wrote a great deal. The fact that Paul wrote so much and that the Church accepted his writings as divinely inspired resulted in him being more well known to subsequent generations.


#4

Paul is absolutely important, but no more or less so than the other Apostles. They all spoke the Divine Word, he just happened to actually be able to write as well. He was a brilliant man, obviously, and a Saint, but he’s no more special than any other Apostle, IMO. Many of his “innovations”, such as his acceptance of Gentiles, were not unique to him, but had begun already, before he was even Christian. He was just very good at making a clear case for it.

What I find interesting is how downright obsessed many Jewish scholars of Christianity are with Paul, as if he created Christianity whole. There are countless books by Jewish authors about Paul and his role in Christianity, all seeming to overlook the fact that Paul had to work his butt off just to get accepted as a Christian at first. When you read his epistles, it’s obvious that he constantly labored under some suspiscion by other Christians, even when they accepted his teachings. They were only human, after all, and Paul wasn’t exactly the kind of guy they were expecting to join up with the Church. Everything he did and said seemed to stir up controversy and misunderstanding, and even Peter commented on that, saying that Paul’s writings were “difficult to understand”. I think it’s very telling that Peter had to include his “blessing” of Paul in his writings.

Of course none of this is intended to tear Paul down, as we’d have less than half of the New Testament without his efforts, and we are all enriched by being able to read the writings of an Apostle today, but we have to understand the context of his labors. His life as a Christian seems to have been a struggle, at least for a time, and that must be recognized and respected.


#5

[quote=Maranatha]When the Catholic Church put the Bible together, they decided the majority of the writings outside on the Gospel were to come from St. Paul. They therefore must have thought very highly of him indeed.

He was cool. :cool:
[/quote]

Well, that was the fourth century. I was wondering what Catholicism thinks today.

I have a reason for asking. This is from [thread=40979]another thread[/thread]:

[quote=me]No, she [Mary] didn’t live a sinless life, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. - Romans 3:23
[/quote]

[quote=Church Militant]I question your answer on # 2, because it is factually inaccurate. Is a newborn a sinner under that Pauline “all”?
[/quote]

Chuch Militant seems to be differentiating the theology of Romans as “Pauline” theology. I know Paul wasn’t Pope, so I was wondering if the modern Church treats Paul’s teachings differently, perhaps with some amount of suspicion even.

At least that is the impression I got from the post, but I don’t want to jump to conclusions.


#6

Oh, in that case I think CM was just using Pauline as an adjective for “all”, as in “Said by Paul.” Nothing more, nothing less. There’s nothing about the interpretation in question that is “Pauline”.

CM is only guilty of being too colorful in his words :smiley:


#7

[quote=Angainor]I really don’t know, that is why I am asking.

Paul was never Pope, indeed it appears he did not always see eye-to-eye with the main church lead by the Jewish Christians.

Yet so much of Christianity today comes from his missionary work and letters to the “satellite” Gentile churches.
[/quote]

I think he deserves better than to have a city in Minnesota named after him. I don’t think St. Paul would be a Vikings fan today. :smiley:


All joking aside, St. Paul’s epistles are usually the second reading at Sunday Mass. His epistles are also read at daily Mass in both cycles (there are 2 cycles of readings for daily Mass and 3 cycles of readings for Sunday Mass which rotate on a yearly basis, beginning with the first Sunday of Advent).


St. Paul was correcting those Jews who wanted to hold on to the Mosaic Law and force it on Gentile converts. I don’t think he had a problem with the other Apostles, including St. Peter. He corrected St. Peter when he was showing partiality to the Jews.


#8

[quote=Angainor]Well, that was the fourth century. I was wondering what Catholicism thinks today.

I have a reason for asking. This is from [thread=40979]another thread[/thread]:Chuch Militant seems to be differentiating the theology of Romans as “Pauline” theology. I know Paul wasn’t Pope, so I was wondering if the modern Church treats Paul’s teachings differently, perhaps with some amount of suspicion even.

At least that is the impression I got from the post, but I don’t want to jump to conclusions.
[/quote]

No, he was just questioning the meaning of the word “all” in the passage as Rom understands it. He was making no distinction.


#9

Paul was never Pope, indeed it appears he did not always see eye-to-eye with the main church lead by the Jewish Christians.


So what? St. Thomas Aquinas ( a Doctor of the Church from the 1200s) was never a Pope. His writtings have moulded Seminaries, Orders and even Popes. He has been said to have been the greatest Philosopher/Theologian who ever lived. Personally, I only read Paul as another Apostle. I notice that many Lutheran Churches are named St. Paul. I suppose since Paul wrote a lot that was separated from the other Apostles and the Church, the Lutherans like Paul because he is less Catholic. Some Protestants Churches use the Old Testament more than the New Testament so they don’t have to face the truth of the New Testament and Catholocism.


#10

[quote=Angainor]Well, that was the fourth century. I was wondering what Catholicism thinks today.

[/quote]

Once a truth, always the truth, the truths of the Church do not diminish with time.


#11

[quote=Ghosty]Of course none of this is intended to tear Paul down, as we’d have less than half of the New Testament without his efforts, and we are all enriched by being able to read the writings of an Apostle today, but we have to understand the context of his labors. His life as a Christian seems to have been a struggle, at least for a time, and that must be recognized and respected.
[/quote]

This is very interesting info. Could you help me to understand what Paul’s role would have been in the early church, perhaps by relating to modern offices?

If Paul had to struggle in the beginning to be accepted, then that would indicate that Paul did not have a Priestly role, as someone officially commissioned by Church Authorities to go administer to the flock. Would Paul’s role have been one that more represented a lay apologist/evangelist, or what?


#12

Well he didn’t start off as an Apostle, for one thing. He had to convince the Apostles that he did indeed receive a visit from Christ. After he was accepted and ordained by the Apostles, however, the problems apparently didn’t stop. Many people knew his history, and were wary of this “interloper”. He was an Apostle, but he had to convince the laypeople of that.

He also apparently had a communication problem, as half of his letters seem to be about clearing up misunderstandings from other letters. Peter speaks on this, and reassures the people that Paul is speaking truth, even when it’s hard to understand what he’s really saying.

So he wasn’t a member of the laity, but he was a very unique Apostle in that he had to fight for legitimacy amongst the disciples of the Church. The other Apostles regarded him as an equal, it seems, but others had a difficult time with him. His particular mission as an Apostle, however, seems to have been to evangelize the Gentiles. Why he was singled out for this special role I’m not sure, but I suspect it had a lot to do with his familiarity with their cultures and languages (he was a Roman citizen and well traveled compared to the other “backwater” Apostles). He’s 100% Apostle, it just took some time for the people of his day to accept that.


#13

IMO the Vatican II have had a place for a new Paul, Peter is the Pope, but Paul will be the public relationships, and will go to TV´s, radios etc.


#14

posted by Angainor
This is very interesting info. Could you help me to understand what Paul’s role would have been in the early church, perhaps by relating to modern offices?

If Paul had to struggle in the beginning to be accepted, then that would indicate that Paul did not have a Priestly role, as someone officially commissioned by Church Authorities to go administer to the flock. Would Paul’s role have been one that more represented a lay apologist/evangelist, or what?

I found an article at New advent that tries to chronicle Paul and his movements.

New advent newadvent.org/cathen/11567b.htm
After his conversion, his baptism, and his miraculous cure Paul set about preaching to the Jews (Acts, ix, 19-20). He afterwards withdrew to Arabia – probably to the region south of Damascus (Gal., i 17), doubtless** less to preach than to meditate on the Scriptures.** On his return to Damascus the intrigues of the Jews forced him to flee by night (II Cor., xi, 32-33; Acts, ix, 23-25). He went to Jerusalem to see Peter (Gal., i, 18), but remained only fifteen days, for the snares of the Greeks threatened his life.

I just did a cursory look at the article, but it appears that the 3 years before he went to see Peter, he would not have been a Priest. Yet it appears from the article he did more studying than preaching.

I only did a cursory reading so could be completely wrong. Feel free to delve in deeper and correct me:p

God Bless,
Maria


#15

[quote=Angainor]Well, that was the fourth century. I was wondering what Catholicism thinks today.
[/quote]

This post isn’t about St. Paul, who is looked upon as a true Apostle, chosen by Christ and who founded many churches in Asia minor, traveled extensively and was martyred in rome.

This is more about your stetement that Mary must have sinned because of St. Paul’s statement in Romans that "…all have sinned…"
Sorry, but it’s a pet peave of mine when non-Catholics use that quote to refute the perpetual sinlessness of Mary. St. Paul is quoting Psalm 14 with those words. Read it. It has nothing to do with Mary.


#16

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