Paul of Tarsus
early Christian apostle and missionary (c. AD 5 - c. AD 64/67)
- Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.
- Acts 17:30,31
- “Why is it considered unbelievable among you that God raises up the dead?"
- However, because I have experienced the help that is from God, I continue to this day bearing witness to both small and great, saying nothing except what the Prophets as well as Moses stated was going to take place that the Christ was to suffer and that as the first to be resurrected from the dead,+ he was going to proclaim light both to this people and to the nations.
- What if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yes, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man) God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.
- Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
- Romans 3:19-31
- Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the Glory of God. Not only so, but we rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who he has given us
- Romans 5:1-5
- For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am fleshly, sold under sin. For I do not understand what I am doing. For I do not practice what I wish, but I do what I hate. However, if I do what I do not wish, I agree that the Law is fine. But now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is the sin that resides in me. For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, there dwells nothing good; for I have the desire to do what is fine but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good that I wish, but the bad that I do not wish is what I practice. If, then, I do what I do not wish, I am no longer the one carrying it out, but it is the sin dwelling in me.
- For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
- O the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments [are] and past tracing out his ways [are]! For “who has come to know Jehovah’s mind, or who has become his counselor?”
- Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
- Romans 12:2
- Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
- Letter to the Romans 13:8
- Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
- A physical man does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot get to know [them], because they are examined spiritually. However, the spiritual man examines indeed all things, but he himself is not examined by any man.
- If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.
- 1 Corinthians 3:18 (KJV)
- Every sin which a man does is without the body, but he that commits fornication sins against his own body.
- 1 Corinthians 6:18
- Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own.
- 1 Corinthians 6:19
- Let the husband render to his wife the affection owed her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.
- 1 Corinthians 7:3 (World English Bible)
- The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband. And in like manner the husband also hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
- 1 Corinthians 7:4 (Catholic Bible Douay-Rehims)
- Though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
- I Corinthians 9:22 (KJV)
- Man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. And man was not created for the cause of the woman, but the woman for the cause of man; and therefore ought the woman to have a power upon her head.
- I Corinthians 11:8-10
- Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man, to profit withal.
For to one is given, by the Spirit, the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge, by the same Spirit;
To another, faith by the same Spirit; to another, the gifts of healing, by the same Spirit;
To another, the working of miracles; to another, prophecy; to another, discerning of spirits; to another, divers kinds of tongues; to another, the interpretation of tongues.
But all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally, as he will.
- Yea, much more those that seem to be the more feeble members of the body, are more necessary. And such as we think to be the less honourable members of the body, about these we put more abundant honour; and those that are our uncomely parts, have more abundant comeliness. But our comely parts have no need [...]
- 1 Corinthians 12:22-24 (as quoted in Catholic Bible Douay-Rehims)
- Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
- I Corinthians Ch. 13 (KJV) The word "Charity" is here used as a translation of the Latin Caritas, and the original Greek Agape, which were words for "Love", and used to denote the highest and most self-transcending forms of Love.
- Variants: Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
- I Corinthians Ch. 13 (NKJV)
- If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophesy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes in all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tounges, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. At present, we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
- 1 Corinthians Ch. 13 (NASB)
- Now, there remain faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
- The three most important things to have are faith, hope and love. But the greatest of them is love.
- 1 Corinthians 13:13, New International Reader's Version
- Even things without life that give sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction of sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped ? For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle ? So likewise you, except you utter by the tongue plain speech, how shall it be known what is said? For you shall be speaking into the air.
- 1 Corinthians 14:7-9 (as quoted in Catholic Bible Douay-Rehims)
- There are, for example, so many kinds of tongues in this world; and none is without voice. If then I know not the power of the voice, I shall be to him to whom I speak a barbarian; and he that speaketh, a barbarian to me.
- 1 Corinthians 14:10-11 (as quoted in Catholic Bible Douay-Rehims)
- Brethren, do not become children in sense: but in malice be children, and in sense be perfect.
- 1 Corinthians 14:20 (as quoted in Catholic Bible Douay-Rehims)
- Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?
Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.
Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.
- Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
- 2 Corinthians 3: 17-18
- Variant translations:
- Jehovah is the Spirit, and where the spirit of Jehovah is, there is freedom.
- 2 Corinthians 3: 17 NWT
- At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality.
- 2 Corinthians 8:14 NIV
- I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
- The law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
- 3:24-25 ESV
- And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
- 2:1-10 (KJV)
- For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
- 2:14-17 (KJV)
- Variant translations:
- For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace
- So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
- Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
- 6:10 - 20 (KJV)
- Variant translation:
- Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
- Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
- Colossians 3:1
- Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
- Philippians 4: 6-7 (KJV)
- Variant translations:
- Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.
- Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor— not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:4-5 (as quoted in New Living Translation)
- Who desires all people to be saved and come to full knowledge of the truth.
- 1 Timothy 2:4 (as quoted in World English Bible)
- And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do.
- 1 Timothy 2:9-10 (as quoted in New Living Translation)
- For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erred from the faith, and have entangled themselves in many sorrows.
- 1 Timothy 6:10 (as quoted in Catholic Bible Douay-Rehims)
- Preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching.
- 2 Timothy 4:2, as quoted in www.ewtn.com
- For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
- Hebrews 4:12-13, as quoted in www.ewtn.com
- Of whom the world was not worthy [...]
- Hebrews 11:38 (as quoted in Catholic Bible Douay-Rehims)
- For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
- Hebrews 12:11, as quoted in www.ewtn.com
Quotes about Paul
- All of Paul's preaching, all of his theology, is characterised by the process of the collapse of a certain sacred structure, and by the slow discovery of the perspective given by a new focus on Yahweh, the Pauline equivalent of Elijah's still, small voice.
- James Alison, Faith Beyond Resentment (2001), p. 33
- The words that Balaam announced were heard by all the inhabitants of the earth, such power did God lend to his voice, for He knew that at some future time there would be a man born of woman who would pass himself for a god and would mislead all the world. Hence God permitted all the world to hear Balaam's words, that said: God is not a man, and the man that passeth himself for God lieth. But he that will mislead the world by declaring that he will disappear for a time and then reappear will promise what he can never fulfil. Woe then to that nation that will lend ear to the man who will pass himself for God.
- Balaam, as quoted in Legend of the Jews: Curses turned to Blessings, (1909)
- After Jesus had departed, the disciples scattered through the different parts of Israel and of the world, and the truth, hated of Satan, was persecuted, as it always is, by falsehood. For certain evil men, pretending to be disciples, preached that Jesus died and rose not again. Others preached that he really died, but rose again. Others preached, and yet preach, that Jesus is the Son of God, among whom is Paul deceived. But we - as much as I have written - we preach to those that fear God, that they may be saved in the last day of God's Judgment. Amen.
- For St. Paul, the diversity of creation is less important than the unity of the creator. For me, it is the other way round. I do not know or particularly care whether the same God is working all in all. I care deeply for the diversity of his working.
- Now as Paul was saying these things in his defense, Festus said in a loud voice: “You are going out of your mind, Paul! Great learning is driving you out of your mind!
- Festus, Acts 26:24
- The ninth chapter [of Acts] shows us the new step of sovereign grace in the conversion of Saul to be the witness of an ascended Christ, Who owns the saints as part of Himself, and calls the persecutor to be His chosen vessel to bear His name before Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel, the deepest in truth, the largest in heart, the most abundant in labour of all the apostles. No wonder the gospel of Christ's glory marked him, who first saw and heard the Lord thus; yet a simple disciple baptised him who forthwith, in the synagogues, preached Jesus as the Son of God.
- William Kelly, God's Inspiration of the Scriptures (1903), §32 : The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 363-364
- Not disobedient to the heavenly vision, he was standing to this day to the call of God everywhere, which drew on him the hatred of the Jews, yet was it in full accord with what Moses and the prophets said should be. ... Arrived at the great city [Rome] Paul was suffered to abide by himself with the soldier that guarded him, and after three days called together the chief of the Jews, and explained the strange fact that for the hope of Israel he was a prisoner through Jewish accusation.
- William Kelly, God's Inspiration of the Scriptures (1903), §32 : The Acts of the Apostles (chap. xxvi & last), p. 374-375
- A split, the first and probably the most important of many schisms in Christianity, occurred between Jesus' disciples Peter and Paul. Paul, whose original name was Saul, and Peter, who was originally named Simon, were both Jewish. But Paul, unlike Peter, was not one of Jesus' entourage and never knew him. While Peter was a fisherman in Galilee, Paul was a religious scholar from Asia Minor. And yet it was Peter, the fisherman, who wanted the followers of Jesus to remain Jewish and apply Jesus' teaching to the perfection of Judaism. Paul, the Hebraic scholar, wanted to open up Christianity to the world, pursuing converts wherever they were found, a most un-Jewish approach. Under Paul's influence the Christians moved further away from the body of Judaism, further away from everyone. They became an odd and distinct cult on the outer margins of society, uncompromisingly dedicated to pacifism. Even the pious and spartan Jewish sect known as the Essenes did not entirely denounce weapons.
- Commenting on Saint Paul's words, “the Spirit [also] helpeth our infirmity...” [Rom 8:26], the great Carmelitan theologian Thomas of Jesus writes: “These words clearly refer to the particular motion or aid of the Holy Spirit, and point to the need we have of it. ... It is the gifts of the Holy Spirit which make the soul promptly docile, entirely free, capable of overcoming difficulties, and wholly occupied with God in prayer and contemplation. This effect can not be produced even by the infused virtue of religion, nor by the theological virtues by themselves." This is as much to say that the life of perfection is an inspired life, and therefore a life which—perhaps in secret—infused contemplation nourishes and sustains.
- Jacques and Raïssa Maritain, Liturgy and Contemplation (1960), Ch. VI, p. 21
- Therefore, beloved, since you await these things, be eager to be found without spot or blemish before [the Lord], at peace. And consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, as our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, also wrote to you, speaking of these things as he does in all his letters. In them there are some things hard to understand that the ignorant and unstable distort to their own destruction, just as they do the other scriptures. Therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, be on your guard not to be led into the error of the unprincipled and to fall from your own stability. But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
- Sex and marriage occupied far more prominent places in St. Paul's writings than they did in the gospels, and Paul became far and away the most influential authority in shaping early Christian treatments of these issues. Paul treated sexual behavior as one of the major sources of sin. Indeed, he thought that illicit sex was as serious a moral offense as murder. In his writings about sex, Paul developed an implicit theory of sexual sin that distinguished four types of offenders: prostitutes, adulterers, what he called "the softies" (1 Corinthians 6:10), that is people who used sex primarily as a source of pleasure, and men (but perhaps not women, since he did not mention them) who had sex with one another.
Marriage in Paul's view, was good, but considerably less good than virginity, for a Christian. He taught that marital sex joined husband and wife together both physically and spiritually. It made them two in one flesh, just as a Christian's spiritual union with Jesus joined two persons in a single spirit. Precisely because martial sex was tinged with the sacred, any type of extramarital sex in Paul's view was worthy of damnation.
- Women and Gender in Medieval Europe: An Encyclopedia, edited by Margaret Schaus, Routledge, (2006), “Biblical Teaching”, p. 751
- No sooner had Jesus knocked over the dragon of superstition than Paul boldly set it on its legs again in the name of Jesus.
- George Bernard Shaw, Androcles and the Lion (1913)
- Paul was undeniably sincere. He believed that in reinterpreting the Christian faith so as to make it acceptable to the Romans he was doing that faith a service. His make-up was imperial rather than democratic. Both by birth and training he was unfitted to enter into the working-class consciousness of Galileans. He was in culture a Hellenist, in religion a Pharisee, in citizenship a Roman. From the first strain, Hellenism, he received a bias in the direction of philosophy rather than economics; from the second, his Pharisaism, he received a bias toward aloofness, otherworldliness; and from the third, his Romanism, he received a bias toward political acquiescence and the preservation of the status quo.
- Bouck White, The Call of the Carpenter (1914), p. 227
- It was the test of loyal citizenship among the Romans to seek out in every part of the world that which was most rare and valued, and bring it back to Rome as a gift. Thus her sons went forth and returned laden with richest trophies to lay at her feet. They brought to her pearls from India, gold chariots from Babylon, elephants from interior Africa, high-breasted virgins from the Greek isles, Phidian marbles from Athens. Paul also would be a bringer of gifts to the Rome that had honored him and his fathers with the high honor of citizenship. And the gift he would bring and lay at her feet would be the richest of them all—a religion.
- Bouck White, The Call of the Carpenter (1914), p. 229
- To the Carpenter, with his splendid worldliness, the premier qualification for character was self-respect, and the alertness and mastery of environment which go with self-respect. But to Paul the primate virtue is submissiveness—"the powers that be!" He sought to cure the seditiousness of the working class by drawing off their gaze to a crown of righteousness reserved in heaven for them—a gaseous felicity beyond the stars.
- Bouck White, The Call of the Carpenter (1914), p. 237
- A good degree of the anger of the high-status Corinthians with Paul seems to have come from his refusal of patronage. ... To accept patronage would place an obstacle in the way of the gospel of free grace, for it would mean he was not offering it free of charge. ... Paul wanted to be free to identify with people up and down the social ladder, and working with his hands was one way to identify with those considered by the upper echelon of society to be "less honorable" or "weak."
- Ben Witherington III, The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (1997), p. 548