The man Paul knew...

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by standingfirminChrist, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. standingfirminChrist

    standingfirminChrist
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    In 2 Corinthians 12, who was the man Paul knew that was caught up into the third heaven? Was it Paul himself? or was it just an unnamed person?

    I always thought Paul was speaking of another because of his speaking in the third person. I thought when he said 'whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell,' that Paul was saying that he did not know whether the person he was speaking about was presently alive or if he had died.

    Tonight, I was told Paul was referring to himself.

    What say ye?
     
  2. Jarthur001

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    I have always felt it was Paul.
     
  3. Jarthur001

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    2:1 I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. 3 And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— 4 and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. 5 On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. 6 Though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. 7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, [1] a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
     
  4. Watchman

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    Yes, I too felt that Paul was speaking of himself. This would not be the only time that an apostle spoke of himself in the third person. It is generally believed that John spoke of himself when he used the term "the disciple whom Jesus loved."
     
  5. righteousdude2

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    We Will All Know the Truth in Heaven...

    Because I don't have THE answer to many things, I just table it until I get to heaven and attend the courses that explain all these Bible mystery's.

    Maybe we can go to that class together and hear what Paul has to say about his teachings.

    Shalom,

    Pastor Paul :type:
     
  6. standingfirminChrist

    standingfirminChrist
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    Yet in verse five Paul states he will not boast in himself but in the man he knew. If the man he was speaking of was himself, then he has lied and is boasting of himself even though he says he is not.

    That is the part I am struggling with in accepting it as being Paul himself.
     
  7. tinytim

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    I was always taught that it was Paul...
    And him writing in third person was his way of not boasting of himself...

    Instead of saying "I" did this... he refers to himself modestly in the third person...

    Of course if I believed in reincarnation, Paul could have came back as Bob Dole!!!
     
  8. TCGreek

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    I just preached from these verses a couple of fews ago.

    1. I do not believe Paul is lying by referring to himself, for v. 5 puts things into perspective: on the one hand Paul is going to boast, but on the other hand he is not going to boast, and he qualifies his boasting: "But on my own behalf I will boast, except in regard to my weaknesses.

    2. Then he goes from 7-10 to really put things into perspective.
     
  9. skypair

    skypair
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    SF -- here's the fantastic story!

    1) It was Paul but he didn't know if he was seeing raptured Paul (in body) or resurrected Paul (in spirit) when he went to heaven. Either one would be the "new" Paul. We know from Rev 3:12 that we receive a new name, etc. there, right?

    2) Paul gives account of his rapture/resurrection in Heb 12:22-23! In 2Corinthians 12, he said he heard words that is was unlawful to utter, but here in Hebrews he describes things he saw. I take him to be the 2nd witness, like John (Rev 4:1), of what the rapture will be like.

    skypair
     
  10. canadyjd

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    I believe Paul is speaking of himself, as a modest way to challenging those in the Corinthian church who were trying to discredit him and his teachings by claiming they had visions from God. He certainly isn't lying about anything.

    Paul has had to repeatedly assert his apostolic authority to these folks. Part of the problem Paul has is he gets persecuted everywhere he goes (his weakness and "thorn in the flesh"), and some believe this is a sign that God is not with him.

    Paul says he will not boast in the visions he has had, even of being caught up in the 3rd heaven with God (he was stoned at Lystra, Acts 14:19: did he actually die? They dragged him out to the burn pile, believing him to be dead. HUMMMMMM, did anyone ever survive a stoning? HUMMMMMM).

    But rather, Paul says he will boast in the very things the Corinthians find fault with, his persecutions (his weaknesses). It is in his persecutions that his faith in Christ is perfected. It is in his persecutions that he shares in the sufferings of his Lord. It is in his persecutions that God's enabling grace is said to be sufficient.

    Paul is speaking of himself in the 3rd person. He is trying to maintain modesty while revealing insight into his relationship with God.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  11. Tentmaker

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    2) Paul gives account of his rapture/resurrection in Heb 12:22-23! In 2Corinthians 12, he said he heard words that is was unlawful to utter, but here in Hebrews he describes things he saw. I take him to be the 2nd witness, like John (Rev 4:1), of what the rapture will be like.

    skypair[/quote]

    Assuming that Paul wrote Hebrews, which I do not, he is not speaking about a revelation he received. He is simply contrasting the heavenly Jerusalem with the earthly.
     
  12. skypair

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    Two points for you, tent --

    1) It needn't have been Paul who related what Paul said.

    2) Seems curious that Paul has been there and then reports to us exactly what is there, doesn't it?

    I'm curious. What part of my view do you have a problem with?

    skypair
     

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