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Was Paul the apostle blinded by a meteor ?

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The evangelist's divine experience may have coincided with an ancient Chelyabinsk-like meteor explosion.

According to the fifth book of the biblical New Testament, Paul had been traveling on the road to Damascus when a bright light suddenly appeared in the sky, blinding him. As he struggled to regain his sight he heard the voice of Jesus, an experience that would go on to change his life and shape the future of Christianity.

Read More: http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/news/281081/was-paul-the-apostle-blinded-by-a-meteor

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highdesert50

A "smoking gun" remnant of an exploding meteorite would added credibility. But herein lies an interesting aspect of the divine; if God orchestrated the creation of the universe, would God violate the physical laws that dictated that creation? If one assumes no, then an event that would appear to be miraculous would have to adhere to those laws and it would simply be a matter of time and place to constitute what is perceived to be miraculous. And, New Scientist, typically a good read, certainly provides the fodder for such speculation.

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Sundew

A "smoking gun" remnant of an exploding meteorite would added credibility. But herein lies an interesting aspect of the divine; if God orchestrated the creation of the universe, would God violate the physical laws that dictated that creation? If one assumes no, then an event that would appear to be miraculous would have to adhere to those laws and it would simply be a matter of time and place to constitute what is perceived to be miraculous. And, New Scientist, typically a good read, certainly provides the fodder for such speculation.

That would be some meteor, to call Paul by name, identify itself by the name Jesus, blind only him but not his companions, then only to have him fully recover in three days. That's one special meteor! Could God use natural events and processes to accomplish His will? Certainly, and likely He does every day. But if one assumes the existence of an omnipotent God, who created everything from nothing, then it is not too difficult to imagine He could suspend the natural laws of His own creation to accomplish a particular purpose. When you consider the several thousand year time period the Bible covers, miracles are very rare events, always done for a particular purpose. In this case the purpose was ultimately to bring the Gospel to the Gentile nations through Saul of Tarsus, the enemy of Christians, who after this experience went on to pen the greater part of the New Testament as the Apostle Paul.

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Ell

That used to be my own hypothesis as well, many years ago. I do not know if I ever published it. Anyway, Last year I abandoned that hypothesis,

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Grandpa Greenman

Zeus to Jehovah, " Darn, I missed, your game."

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XenoFish

So Paul was abducted by aliens, heard a voice, and went blind. Sounds reasonable.

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StarMountainKid

Of course, Paul had to say he had some dramatic conversion experience to give himself credibility. Nothing less than a brilliant light and Jesus speaking to him would do.

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Magnanimus

The evangelist's divine experience may have coincided with an ancient Chelyabinsk-like meteor explosion.

Read More: http://www.unexplain...ded-by-a-meteor

... if God orchestrated the creation of the universe, would God violate the physical laws that dictated that creation? If one assumes no, then an event that would appear to be miraculous would have to adhere to those laws and it would simply be a matter of time and place to constitute what is perceived to be miraculous. ...

First on Highdesert's comment: It's a common misconception that religious miracles are all rabbit-out-of-the-hat phenomena where there is no explanation in nature. Really, it's the exact opposite. A God that has to reinvent the wheel and break the world any time He want's to make Himself known isn't a very competent God. Granted, something like resurrection is a major turning point in the story; one of the few exceptions to the rule that indicate movement in a new direction.

God's not a genie that "poofs" literal deus ex machina's into being at will. If anything, He's Batman. He has a tool or device tailored for every scenario, and despite a comically large amount of storage on his utility belt, he can, through careful planning and application, have a pre-ordained solution to every problem. The miracle of miracles isn't that they happen, but that they tend to be exceedingly rare in nature and happen at an exact time.

Going back to a golden-oldie, the First Plague on Egypt, turning the waters of Egypt blood-red, was something that had happened before in Egypt's history and Pharaoh's court mages replicate on a small scale. That's why Pharaoh didn't have an immediate "come to Jesus moment" then and there and cut out a couple chapters of the Exodus. The miracle of the Plagues was how close they happened to each other and how they seemed to spare the Israelites, otherwise they were things that Egypt had had happen before.

Now, as to the meteor theory of an ancient Chelyabinsk event, I think that's highly unlikely. Think for a second why that event in Russia was so stunning. Albeit rare, meteor strikes happen; we do live on a planet after all and the moon can only take so many bullets for us. What got everyone's attention about this event was that everyone in Russia has a dash-cam mounted in their car and we have film of the event from a couple hundred different angles.

While Saul/Paul didn't have a donkey-mounted dash-cam (as far as the archaeology and Church tradition tells us, anyway), he had a number of traveling companions who got him to safety afterwards. While the book of Acts specifically states that everyone heard the voice of God that Saul heard, it doesn't say the same for the light from Heaven that enveloped Saul. Also, if it had been an air burst meteor explosion, with force on the order of an atom bomb, Saul wouldn't be the only one injured--the whole party would get a piece of the action, as well as the surrounding countryside. Yet no one else reports such. Besides, Saul was the greatest single persecutor and inquisitor against Christians at the time. Imagine the kind of "miracle" it would have been if God had annihilated Saul and his entire party in an eruption of heavenly fire and a "blast of consuming wind from the nostrils of God Himself." Imagine Sodom and Gomorrah directed entirely on on man.

The major theory is that Paul had a neurological event. Possibly a stroke, but an epileptic seizure is what usually gets settled on. It explains the bright light, conversing with disembodied voices, and temporary blindness. Another explanation could be a lightning strike with thunder accounting for the "voice of God" heard by the other men. This might be less likely though, since thunder could permanently deafen them all at that close of range and the story doesn't mention a flash-fried donkey, or Saul developing lightning-based superpowers.

The guy who originally proposed the theory didn't say, "here's a meteorite we found," or, "we have Roman reports of an exploding sun in the sky." His whole point is, "hey, that out-of-context clipping sounds (to me) like a meteor exploding." Hardly a smoking gun. All the same, unless we get a chance to run an EEG on Paul, my personal favorite theory about epilepsy is, technically, no more scientifically valid. But all of that is missing the point. Temporary blindness and recovery isn't a miracle. The miracle was that a Temple-appointed inquisitor was on his way to Damascus with a satchel full of letters of mark to arrest and imprison every suspected member of this "heretical cult," yet he instead chose to not only join them, but to become arguably their greatest theologian and apologist.

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Foil Hat Ninja

In all of his letters telling everyone else how they should act (control freak), I don't think Paul even once described this event himself. That seems a little odd - almost as if someone made it up later. No hypothetical meteor necessary.

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XenoFish

A lot of the stuff in the bible is either made up or exaggerated.

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Magnanimus

In all of his letters telling everyone else how they should act (control freak), I don't think Paul even once described this event himself. That seems a little odd - almost as if someone made it up later. No hypothetical meteor necessary.

Do you explain the reason you never buy shrimp from Costco anymore in your email signature?

Paul does discuss his conversion, but only so much as it concerns his call from Christ Himself, not the surrounding circumstances. Conversion experiences tend to be rather personal and potentially embarrassing. A lot of people find God at a place that, in retrospect, is definitely one of the lowest moments in their life. Paul was on his way to to Damascus to gestapo a bunch of the folks just like the ones he's writing to in his letters.

He no doubt shared his experience at times, hence why it was recorded in Acts, but in the context of his Epistles, his personal conversion story has no place. Epistles are also a specific kind of letter; Paul's not micromanaging and nagging the mid-level leaders of the local church. Epistles were meant to be very public and read as sermons or announcements to a community. Paul's language isn't in the imperative, but the cohortative, and his writings and sermons were thought to be so persuasive and in line with early Christian theology, that the various churches in each city decided to use Pauline material to crystalize and state their beliefs and worldview.

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Foil Hat Ninja

“Wipe thine (redacted) with what is Written and grin like a ninny at what is Spoken. Take thine refuge with thine wine in the Nothing behind Everything, as you hurry along the Path.”

- Malaclypse the Younger, Omnibenevolent Polyfather of Virginity in Gold, Episkopos of the Paratheo-Anametamystikhood of Eris Esoteric, and frequent purchaser of shrimp from Costco

Edited by Foil Hat Ninja

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davros of skaro

The "Book of Acts" is fiction.

Paul through his nonpseudographical Letters states that he got his revelation of the Archangel Christ through OT scripture.

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robinrenee

A lot of the stuff in the bible is either made up or exaggerated.

When the Council of Nicea met in 325 A.D., the Emperor Constantine told them to put together a Bible. He told them to use lots of Paul's letters because... after all (drum roll) :tu: he was a Roman citizen.

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Foil Hat Ninja

You have no idea how much restraint it's taking for me to refrain from making a robinrenee to pay Paul joke here.

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back to earth

and here I was thinking that his metal helmet acted as a lightning conductor (and he should never have tried to get under those trees ! )

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Magnanimus

When the Council of Nicea met in 325 A.D., the Emperor Constantine told them to put together a Bible. He told them to use lots of Paul's letters because... after all (drum roll) :tu: he was a Roman citizen.

Sorry, Dan Brown, Nicaea had nothin to do with the canon, the canon texts were already largely selected and in use by the time of the council. Otherwise, you're suggesting that Christianity went for three centuries with no text. The Council of Nicaea was important because of its setting in stone of the nature of Christ and nigh unanimous agreement that the Gnostics were full of ****. Also for the penning of the Nicaean Creed and some super fun stuff regarding canon law, not the list of canon texts.

And Constantine had even less to do with the canon. The man wasn't even baptized until over a decade after the council. The closest thing he did was place a book order for bibles to be used in Constantinople's churches, and that was six years after the Council of Nicaea had adjourned.

And Paul was legally a Roman citizen. Otherwise he was a Hebrew by blood and birth. Why would Constantine care if Paul was a Roman anyway? He specifically moved the capital of the empire to Constantinople from Rome. If he was biased towards Romans, you'd think he would have kept the capital where they were minted, not try to find the "most Roman" Jew he could.

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ambelamba

I think what happened was way worse than Dan Brown depicted. A lot of blackmailing, lynching, assassinations, intimidation, bribing and all the nasty political stuff. I am in the school of people who see Christianity as we know it as primarily a political (of theocracy) product and construct.

Well, if you throw away all the supernatural and metaphysical rubbish this makes more sense.

Edited by ambelamba

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Magnanimus

I think what happened was way worse than Dan Brown depicted. A lot of blackmailing, lynching, assassinations, intimidation, bribing and all the nasty political stuff. I am in the school of people who see Christianity as we know it as primarily a political (of theocracy) product and construct.

Well, if you throw away all the supernatural and metaphysical rubbish this makes more sense.

Based upon?

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White Crane Feather

Mehhh. I have experienced altered states of conciousness before. Most revelations come in such form. No need for a meteor.

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promKing

No it was not a meteorite! Because that doesn't explain Paul's magic abilities to overpower Samaritan magician Simon who was believed to have many magical powers, among hem invisibility, being able to pass through fire, the ability to cure the sick and to raise the dead, and the ability to fly. Saint Peter followed him around, outmiracling him at every opportunity and finally encountering him in Rome. In desperation, Simon Magus announced that he would fly to heaven from a specially erected tower in the Campus Martius. Despite his claims to flight, he fell from the tower when Saint Peter prayed to have him fail in his attempt. Simon broke both legs and subsequently died of his injuries.

So how can this be explained by meteor?

Edited by promKing
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White Crane Feather

No it was not a meteorite! Because that doesn't explain Paul's magic abilities to overpower Samaritan magician Simon who was believed to have many magical powers, among hem invisibility, being able to pass through fire, the ability to cure the sick and to raise the dead, and the ability to fly. Saint Peter followed him around, outmiracling him at every opportunity and finally encountering him in Rome. In desperation, Simon Magus announced that he would fly to heaven from a specially erected tower in the Campus Martius. Despite his claims to flight, he fell from the tower when Saint Peter prayed to have him fail in his attempt. Simon broke both legs and subsequently died of his injuries.

So how can this be explained by meteor?

Same principal at work...... Gravity.

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Magnanimus

No it was not a meteorite! Because that doesn't explain Paul's magic abilities to overpower Samaritan magician Simon who was believed to have many magical powers, among hem invisibility, being able to pass through fire, the ability to cure the sick and to raise the dead, and the ability to fly. Saint Peter followed him around, outmiracling him at every opportunity and finally encountering him in Rome. In desperation, Simon Magus announced that he would fly to heaven from a specially erected tower in the Campus Martius. Despite his claims to flight, he fell from the tower when Saint Peter prayed to have him fail in his attempt. Simon broke both legs and subsequently died of his injuries.

So how can this be explained by meteor?

How the hell is Paul's conversion contingent in any way on Simon Magus' bit?

Paul was still going by Saul and persecuting Christians at that point. All of that aside, how would Peter having a wizards' duel in Rome in anyway speak of what happened years earlier outside of Damascus, apocryphal though the story may be?

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