Friday, December 11, 2015

Holidailies Day 11: Good Guy Paul

Paper crunch time so a short post. But I was just reading Galatians this morning, and it reminded me of my second favorite Paul moment.

One of my favorite authors of the Bible is Paul. He doesn't beat around the bush, he's incredibly intelligent, and his rhetoric is both clear and convincing. Also, he's not afraid to tell it like it is when people are doing something that's messed up.

Which is why in Galatians, when he's telling the church there that circumcision is a function of the old law that has been abolished, we find this wonderful line in Galatians 5:12 (my paraphrase): "As for all those that are so freaking enamored with circumcision, I wish they would just go the extra step and emasculate themselves."

The first time that I read that (and was old enough to understand it), I nearly died laughing. Paul is snarky. This comes as a surprise to many people. But his writings make just a little bit more sense if you read them with a sense of humor and some understanding of sarcasm.

Also, if you want to know how to do righteous anger, Paul is a pretty good place to look. That's a large portion of the epistles. The classes I took explaining the cultural background and historical context surrounding those letters was incredibly helpful to getting what he's actually saying. My teacher heart really just wants to make that a required class for Christianity 101, because it would clear up so much of the random crap that's been attributed to Paul. But I realize that's taking a little too far. It's interesting to study though.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming (Paper of DOOM!).

P.S. My first favorite Paul moment is the time in Acts when he's teaching in a third-story room, and there's this guy sitting in the window who falls asleep. The guy falls out of the window and dies, and Good Guy Paul doesn't care that he apparently put this guy to sleep, he just goes out there, resurrects the dude, and then goes back upstairs and KEEPS TALKING for the rest of the night.

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