Paul never anywhere says that he knew the earthly Jesus of Nazareth. But he states “Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? have I not seen Jesus our Lord?” – 1 Cor. 9:1. Paul always spoke of a living Christ stating “are ye not my work in the Lord?” – 1 Cor. 9:1.
In reading Paul, we must completely dissociate from the later gospels. This is most difficult task to do as the gospels have always been our central paradigm.
We know that the Gospels emerged after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. We know that the Gospels are highly critical of the Pharisees and Sadducees. We know that the population was largely illiterate and had no conception of the Ancient scribes’ midrash method mastered in from oral sacred times (ceremonial times – pre-Babylonian). We know Christian expositors frown on any examination of midrash.
So, we need to document many of Paul’s quotes to simply show that Paul epiphany was a realisation that his world as a Pharisee restricted him from seeing the light. Paul was not into midrash as a Pharisee. He could never interconnect all of ancient Jewish history to his own age in the way the scribes mastered. The book of Revelation, is one hundred percent midrash, compiled by many scribes over at least four decades. It is a book that brings the Old (local, state, nation) into the New (universal, end of the literal age). Revelation reveals “Jesus Christ” as a “living” figure. We then have to cover the Gospels in detail and disclose their true import – largely as backup to Revelation. Christianity’s interpretation of the Gospels has been grossly distorted by the want for institutionalised religion espousing an exclusive “truth” that the texts never intended.
We are going to quote Paul and basically let the reader decide why Paul never mentioned any details of a contemporary figurative persecuted personification, hung on a tree, crucified and why Paul was greatly at odds with Peter and James’ continuation of the role of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Paul was free as he stated to learn the “profession” that John in Revelation would bequeath to humanity as the most important inheritance one could be handed – one that eludes both believers and non-believers.
Paul’s living profession:
– “who at sundry times and in diverse manners spake in times past” – 1:1 – Paul came to a comprehension that the OT reveals much insight of import for consideration. Paul began to see the OT recall as very diverse construction. It was to become part of Paul’s “profession”, what he came to teach, in his catastrophic time.
– “spoke to us by his Son” … “by whom he made the worlds” – 1:2. His Son had been known from the very earliest of times – not just 2,000 years ago. The earthly terrestrial sphere was a promulgation of the celestial heavenly – there was an earthly living Son, as indescribable as any celestial being.
– “Thou art my Son … “when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world” – 1:6. Paul perceived that there was always an earthly “begotten” born Son, after the order of Melchisedec (“my” king is righteous), and Paul referenced such evolutionary ascent inherent in the highest of all things – righteous, not righteousness.
– “Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? – 1:13. The right hand indicated action, movement, non-static perception, continuity.
– “give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip” – 2:1. Paul heard the stories of death, mourning and resurrection of pre-exilic times and a second witness in post-exilic Babylonian times. Paul’s epiphany was the third witness. The book was opened as it was in Daniel’s time. Paul saw through the wall to the corruption in Jerusalem, he saw through the “eye of the needle” that the rich (Pharisees and Sadducees) could never.
– “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? Paul spoke primarily about humanity’s plight. His concern was for his people, his nation – his horizon was broad, not age specific.
– “he (Jesus) took on him the seed of Abraham” – 2:16. The personified figure, his profession of that figure, was encased by the seed of the father of the multitude. No figure stood alone.
– “the Apostle and High Priest of our profession” – 3:1. Paul deploys the word “profession (a saying the same thing)”. There was never a divide between what had been and what was. There was no vanity, no vexation towards his own age, making the current better, superior than the past.
– “he who buildeth the house hath more honour that the house.” Paul knew the scribes had build, had “made” according to the commanding atonement. The Ancient scribes had built their house in words of renown metaphors, ten steps for content making application. The emphasis was never on sinful restriction.
– “but he who built all things is God” – 3:4. Paul appreciated the unknown, indescribable the “maker”, builder, carpenter. Paul was to become a living maker in his allotted time. He determined to make the most of it unlike those who slept.
– “they have not known my ways” – 3:10. Paul had come to a conclusion that his society had degenerated, governance had gone astray ever since the time of Judas Maccabees. Paul saw the contributions had been made, but that had been forgotten by his generation. He was speaking of his living community, symbolised by the joy of old men and children singing in the street following the great victory over captivity of consciousness – Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, or Grecian.
– “not all that came out of Egypt by Moses” – 3:15. Some can never be lead out of captivity. Paul reverted to very old ensamples. He was not just speaking contemporaneously.
– “let us hold fast our profession” – 3:14. Paul, found a “profession”.
That profession was soon to be well and truly documented by John (many) in Revelation – a communal documentation of their living, forever, Christ in revelation.