How could Paul afford his extensive travels?

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arnoldo
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Re: How Paul afforded his extensive travels.

Post by arnoldo » Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:15 pm

Ulan wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:39 am
gmx wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:07 am
Doesn't the didache warn communities about false itinerant preachers exploiting Christian generosity? Doesn't that suggest that genuine preachers like Paul could expect the full support of fledgling Christian communities to support their missionary activities?
I actually considered mentioning the Didache in my last post, so I guess that's a Yes. I don't think they paid for travel expenses though.
Allegedly, Peregrinus exploited Christian genorosity to gain wealth. . .
Indeed, people came even from the cities in Asia, sent by the Christians at their common expense, to succour and defend and encourage the hero. They show incredible speed whenever any such public action is taken; for in no time they lavish their all. So it was then in the case of Peregrinus; much money came to him from them by reason of his imprisonment, and he procured not a little revenue from it. The poor wretches have convinced themselves, first and foremost, that they are going to be immortal and live for all time, in consequence of which they despise death and even willingly give themselves into custody; most of them. Furthermore, their first lawgiver12 persuaded them that they are all brothers of one another after they have transgressed once, for all by denying the Greek gods and by worshipping that crucified sophist himself and living under his laws. Therefore they despise all things indiscriminately and consider them common property, receiving such doctrines traditionally without any definite evidence. So if any charlatan and trickster, able to profit by occasions, comes among them, he quickly acquires sudden wealth by imposing upon simple folk.
http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/lucian/peregrinus.htm

Also of interest is that some christians appeared to have traveled long distances at communal expense.

Ulan
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Re: How could Paul afford his extensive travels?

Post by Ulan » Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:17 pm

Good point. Of course, we don't know how much Lucian exaggerated.

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DCHindley
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Re: How could Paul afford his extensive travels?

Post by DCHindley » Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:04 pm

Ulan wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:17 pm
Good point. Of course, we don't know how much Lucian exaggerated.
We still have some that do the same thing today. When I was in my junior year at college (1976/77), a small liberal arts college operated by the United Brethren Church, there was this buzz going around about a church in Fort Wayne Indiana where the pastor operated a rather large Televangelistic ministry.

Some of us jumped in someone's car and we drove out (about an hour) to see him in action. Very large and spacious and modern looking church building with all sorts of fancy TV cameras and monitors. The guy preached for a couple hours, with faith healings, etc. He must have asked for 4 alter calls where they'd pass the plate for donations, and I later read that he took in between church service and donations phoned-in by a nationwide network of TV viewers over 1 million US dollars per service. He also had a second service during the week. One girl in our group, who was IMO seriously depressed, even pledged money she didn't have. I just felt that he was exploiting the emotions of people like her, although all the others seemed to love him.

This is different, of course, than what Perigrinus was said to have done, which was to make a name for himself as a confessor/martyr, with many Christian congregations coming to help out the martyr in his imprisonment. Roman jailors were not immune to bribes (some accounts of imprisonments and trials admit they slipped the jailer money to get access and bring food and dress, bedding, etc. for their comfort in prison). It sounds like a cult following in his case, if we can trust the account in Lucian's book Passing of Perigrinus.

Fiction writers often revise true things to fit their fictional narrative. Arthur Conan Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes novel, A Study in Scarlet, contained a long flashback to Mormons in Utah doing really weird things (weirder even than the actual practices of the LDS). They (Mormons) did NOT endorse the despicable practices Conan Doyle included in his book plot.

That wasn't to say that some Mormons had not massacred encampments of native Americans and a group of competing settlers here and there, as cases like these are documented. Everyone had heard about their one-time practice of polygamy. It had become well known that they held theological views that were very different than the somewhat stodgy Anglican faith, but since most folks were not in possession of the actual facts, Doyle made a lot of stuff up. Would we reconstruct LDS beliefs and history from Conan Doyle's account? I hope not.

DCH

andrewcriddle
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Re: How could Paul afford his extensive travels?

Post by andrewcriddle » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:47 am

Ulan wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:17 pm
Good point. Of course, we don't know how much Lucian exaggerated.
I have sometimes wondered whether the 'christian phase' of Peregrinus Proteus was an invention by Lucian, so as to show his anti-hero continually drifting from one extreme position to another.

Andrew Criddle

Ulan
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Re: How could Paul afford his extensive travels?

Post by Ulan » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:01 am

@DCHindley: In principle, the letters of Ignatius corroborate the Peregrinus story to some extent. His imprisonment reads more like a medieval ruler's traveling court.

But yes, some of these megachurches work that way. I visited a Pentecostal one at some point because of the big show they put on during the Christmas season. A huge chorus on a moving stage, flying angels (on ropes), camels, an elephant... Of course, some preaching and circulating donation plates in between. Even though the show is technically free, it's hard not to give something. Social pressure works.

@andrewcriddle: That's the principal issue with a story that doesn't even pretend to be an exact image of the subject. You can never be sure how many and which real elements made it into the characters.

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DCHindley
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Re: How could Paul afford his extensive travels?

Post by DCHindley » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:43 am

Ulan wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:01 am
@DCHindley: In principle, the letters of Ignatius corroborate the Peregrinus story to some extent. His imprisonment reads more like a medieval ruler's traveling court.

But yes, some of these megachurches work that way. I visited a Pentecostal one at some point because of the big show they put on during the Christmas season. A huge chorus on a moving stage, flying angels (on ropes), camels, an elephant... Of course, some preaching and circulating donation plates in between. Even though the show is technically free, it's hard not to give something. Social pressure works.
Ulan,

Thanks for the reply.

I have read the online e-book by Roger Parvis, and there was a very pleasant exchange between him and several of us here on this board. He does make an interesting case for the accounts of the two figures (Ignatius in the Greek letters attributed to him and Perigrinus as described by Lucian) being related in some way.

Not knowing where Lucian came by the sources he used (written, oral) or how much he embellished them, and the really odd and kooky characteristics of the Ignatian epistles in two recensions, it is hard to tell if the Ignatian letters inspired Lucian or the other way around (as you hint by the "medieval" comment, which IMHO were always highly romanticized), or they may share common source(s) which were applied to different literary products.

DCH

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