For some reason I'm struggling with the proper response to the following claim and would appreciate the input of others. How would you respond to the claim that the Christian scripture is self-authenticating? For example, in 2 Cor. 12:12 Paul reminds the Corinthians about the "signs and wonders and mighty works" he performed in their presence. Why would Paul say this unless it were true? If it was false, the Corinthians he was writing to would reject him as an imposter and charlatan. As for equating whatever miracles he performed with something like what Benny Hinn does, I'm having trouble comparing Paul with Benny Hinn.

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Manson's followers say he did.  Seriously.  Same thing.  Squeaky Fromm is still sitting in prison almost entirely because she won't say anything different even now.

Paul comes off as a self hating homosexual to me.  I'm not sure that's how he was...but that's my impression. He also doesn't seem to know much of the Jesus story the way it's present now.  No virgin birth, no crucifixion, heck he even says "if he was on Earth" at one point.  I'm not sure Paul ever thought he even was a human.

Finally this was all decades after the fact.  There never was a way to check. Who are you kidding?

It could just be that they took something he did to be some sort of "sign" or "wonder" and he is merely referencing their experience in a way they already described it. It doesn't mean that the "signs" were performed were miraculous in nature.

...

I just finished reading chapters 10-13. Oh man! The Bible is so much more fun when you take the sanctity out of it. Reading between the lines here, Paul seems to have been sent away from the Corinthians for not being an awesome enough disciple in the opinion of the Corinthians. He's writing with a seriously bruised ego. He's also defending himself against being called a freeloader and asks if Titus has "exploited" any of them. Apparently, they were regretting being so generous with their gifts in chapters 8 and 9, which was probably a strong impetus for kicking him out of there.

Like all quotes, they go better in context.

Great point about the signs and wonders. Thanks.

Sagacius, he left, but he didn't get kicked out. Not only that, but he came back and dealt some serious ass-whooping regarding things he didn't like during a recent visit. It also seems that he has authority at the time of the letter writing, but that his authority is being questioned. You can note this, because he tells them that while he is glad they did what he told them about the "sinner" they were a bit too harsh and need to be nice to the guy now. There are cues to let you know he is in charge, but his authority is under fire. It seems now that there is a group of individuals who oppose Paul, and are making some accusations that Paul is addressing.

Thanks for clearing that up. All I could tell from reading it is that there was some politicking going on behind the curtains and he was getting pretty sore over it.

You simply have to inform the Christian that everything should be questioned. He should be asking himself "Did this really happen? How do I know for sure?" 

Taking this for face value is not a smart move in my opinion

The Pentecostal side of my family believes they experience the Holy Spirit speaking through members of their congregation almost every Sunday.  The pastors regularly referenced these 'miracles' as irrefutable evidence that Christianity is authentic.  Anyone who speaks out (me) is cast out of the congregation.

The real question is why no third party would respond.  If the miracles were widely witnessed, why aren't there other historical sources writing about such amazing events?  In the case of my former Pentecostal congregation, the greater population of writers and journalists never wrote of the 'miracles' because they were silly little rituals of a local cult.

At the time Paul was writing, few people outside the cult of Jesus bothered to waste their precious paper writing about Christianity.  Those who did give it mention did so in passing, seemingly unfazed by the wild claims of cult devotees.  Nothing to see here, folks, move on.

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