Reynold Ruslan Feldman, Ph.D. - Author, Editor, Nonprofit Consultant, Wisdom Coach

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Honoring Christianity's Founder

Yesterday, January 25, honored the founder of Christianity. Wait a minute! Didn’t that happen a month ago? Well, yes and no. December 25 is the traditional birthday of Jesus. Yet, so far as scholars know, he was born several months later under the sign of Pisces, most likely not in Bethlehem. December 25 comes instead from the Roman Saturnalia, which celebrated the god Saturn and the winter solstice. It was a convenient date as the Hebrew church was turning Roman. Now to answer the question: January 25 in the Catholic calendar celebrates the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, the later St. Paul. On assignment from the chief priest in Jerusalem, he was on his way to arrest Christian leaders in Damascus. En route the voice of the dead Jesus confronted him, Saul was struck blind for several days, and the rest is, well, history. The point is, Jesus was born and died a Jew. The traditional founder of Christianity was never a Christian. Not only that, but his Galilean followers, led by Peter, insisted that to become one you had first to practice Judaism. Cured of his blindness, Paul hit the road again. Unlike Peter, James, and company back in Jerusalem, he was both literate and a Roman citizen. From Tarsus in modern-day Turkey, he had never experienced Jesus in the body. As he wandered Asia Minor and taught Jesus’ way in synagogues, he found few takers. Meanwhile, more and more Gentiles became interested. A pragmatist, Paul did away with the Jewish requirement. Without this innovation, Christianity may well have remained a small Jewish sect and eventually died out like the Essenes rather than becoming the world’s largest religion. So here’s to St. Paul, one of history’s greatest and most important pragmatists, the de facto founder of Christianity.

7 Comments to Honoring Christianity's Founder:

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Kim on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 10:20 PM
Hi Reynold, I have heard before that Jesus was born under the sign of Pieces, but I never knew why scholars believe this to be true. Can you elaborate on that a little? Great post! Kim
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Cedar on Thursday, January 27, 2011 1:03 PM
Interesting. Do you think January 25 was the correct conversion date? Or did it co-incide with something else? But, the main idea is that evolution moves in the direction of more inclusion.
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Elisabeth Smith on Saturday, January 29, 2011 4:58 PM
I read somewhere that it took 14 years for Saul of Taurus to actually got out and preach. In other words, he had the experience, but did not actually become the pragmatist until 14 years later
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Reynold Ruslan on Saturday, January 29, 2011 5:53 PM
Thanks, each of you, for your comments. It's nice to know, Elisabeth, that it tool Paul a 14-year apprenticeship to get out and teach. I like a balance between spontaneity and work. Cedar, I love the idea that evolution moves in the direction of ever greater inclusiveness. Kim, as I wrote you, I'll need to research why some scholars think Jesus was born in the sign of Pisces. I'll get back to you. Cheers, RR
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prada bags on Monday, November 21, 2016 8:29 PM
The point is, Jesus was born and died a Jew. The traditional founder of Christianity was never a Christian.
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rushmyessays org on Monday, June 11, 2018 4:31 AM
He was one of the great person that had done a lot for the humanity that we are never able to forget ever in our lives. We should be admiring such people in somehow ideas that could be beneficial.
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college paper service on Thursday, December 20, 2018 5:25 PM
It was cool to read this story. Hope that next Christmas will be blessed for you.
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