Tuesday, June 30, 2009

St Paul's bones?

There's a fascinating article in today's Daily Mail by A.N. Wilson about the excavations in the church of St Paul without the walls in Rome, which was built over the spot where it has always been alleged that St Paul's body was buried.
Whether the bones discovered there are Paul's or not, Wilson does a very good job of putting Paul's significance into a nutshell, and talking about his relationship with St Peter too.


  1. Why should anyone care about this fake discovery when a much more important holy relic has already been discovered in Stephan Huller's book, the Real Messiah:


    Huller went to Venice and proved that the Throne of St. Mark in the Basilica San Marco dates to the beginning of Christianity. It proves that Christianity started in Egypt rather than Rome (the title 'Pope' or Papa is universally acknowledged to have been appropriated from Alexandria).

    Huller's throne is a real historical object, i.e. it is not a fake. You can see it with your own two eyes the next time you go to Italy. It is also being made into a TV documentary for a US Cable network.

    Again, why waste your time with this nonsense about 'bones of St. Paul' (the authoritative canon does not specify a location for Paul's death); it is completely fake.

    You don't have to buy Huller's book. Here are some photos of the throne - www.therealmessiahbook.blogspot.com or go to his blog instead wwww.stephanhuller.blogspot.com.


  2. I'm not at all bothered about whether the bones found in Rome are those of St Paul or not (or, for that matter, whether the throne in Venice is from Alexandria), and have no particular opinion about their authenticity. What matters is what God is doing in the here and now, in me and you, whether our faith is leading us to feed the hungry and bring hope and justice in the world. That was St Paul's concern too - I suspect he would be rather astonished that anyone was making a fuss about his bones.
    The reason why I commented on the article by A.N. Wilson, however, was that I think he gives a very clear and succinct account of the importance of St Paul in the Christian story, which does have a bearing on what we do here and now as he was such a crucial figure in shaping Christian faith and understanding.
    The early church had five main centres - Jerusalem, Rome, Alexandria, Antioch and Byzantium. No serious historian would say that Christianity began in Rome (or in Alexandria for that matter). It grew from small groups, meeting wherever they happened to be - concentrated, inevitably in the major settlements of the ancient world - the position that Rome eventually developed in the history of the church was due to a mixture of the fact that it was the centre of the Roman Empire, and that through the vagaries of history the other centres gradually lost importance and power for Christians in the West.
    The destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70, the rise of Islam in the East and in North Africa, the great Schism of 1054 between the church in the East and the West - all meant that Rome ended up being the focus for Western Christianity.
    Thank you for pointing out the story of the throne in Vienna, Jacob. I am sure that it is a fascinating artefact, with its own story to tell, whether it is from Alexandria or not. I think it is important, though, that we keep all these things in perspective - what matters is the living faith that we have and how we use it for good.