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To Debra

Reader comment on item: A Saudi Prince's Threat to the Obama Administration
in response to reader comment: Pharisees

Submitted by Seamus Dafydd Dives MacNemi (United States), Oct 17, 2009 at 11:53

Shauul, who Christians call Paul, was definately NOT a Pharisee. Exactly what he was is open to some debate. He was most definately a Hellenist in his thinking and perhaps he was a product of a mixed Greek/Jewish parentage being as he was from Tarshish (Tarsus). Certainly, certain elements within the wealthy, more priveleged classes found little difficulty with assimilating themselves to the thinking of the greater gentile mileu sorrounding them. Wealth and priveledge combined with the assumed ease of life and comfort such things bring even today is a powerful attractant to the spiritually weaker elements of the society. Certainly, the rigors of the requirements for a religious life must seem a great burden to the less well informed. We have only to look at the world around us today to see evidence of this.

How Shauul came to be involved in the commuity is no great mystery. I have already told you that he was a captain of the Temple guard. When the Temple was destroyed by the Romans he suddenly found himself without a job and nothing to fall back on so at length he found himself and his lot cast with those survivors and refugees who sought to escape from the carnage in Jerusalem and the general oppression in the country surrounding. In such a crowd he would have been easily recognized for who he was and the record of my own folk says that he was shunned by many of the company that traveled north to Damascus. As to his sudden epiphany, even this is open to question. It is quite possible that he suffered from sun stroke on the way which would not have been entirely out of the question considering the distance and the conditions of travel in those times. Even today, it is no mean trick to walk from Jerusalem to Damascus. It is daunting for even the hardiest of men. He had little choice, if he wanted to survive, but to seek some way of engratiating himself into the remnant of those followers of Yeshua who sought refuge in Damascus for no others would have accepted him. Certainly, regardless of what's written in the New Testament, he was not well recieved by those of my ancestors who he addressed in Damascus and in the Letters to The Gallations as recorded in the New Testament.

Submitting....

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