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  1. #1
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Default St. Paul's type?

    Has anyone ever wondered what St. Paul's type was?

    I wondered if he must have been an E because he did so much traveling to preach the gospel.
    Many of his letters are extremely long, like Romans, Corinthians, but many Is write long explanations, I think.

    He was a tentmaker.
    He was a strict Pharisee before he became a Christian.
    He was so zealous for Jewish law that he was rounding up Christians to have them executed.

    I don't know if he was F or T. He seemed very passionate about people.

    Hmmm. I don't know.

  2. #2
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I lean towards INTJ.

    The tent-making thing doesn't really count towards his personality. That was his family's trade and it was expected of him to learn it.

    His orneriness gives me a little bit of pause. Seriously, standing before the Sanhedrin and announcing that it was his belief in the resurrection of the dead that was getting him in trouble. He knew exactly what kind of sh-t storm that was going to cause. Do INTJs do that kind of thing?
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  3. #3
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    I think ESTJ, but sorta shaken out of all stereotypeishness for his type because of allowing himself to be transformed/re-formed for God's purposes.

    I agree with cafe on the tent making.

    I also don't think the travelling says anything - I know a lot of people of different types who travel widely on mission work simply because they believe it's God's will for them and they wish to obey; it has nothing to do with their own preferences.

    I don't think his passion for people is to do with type but what he believed again, he was putting God's priorities as his own.

    I do think though, that the Te is really strong as an undercurrent through all his theology and leadership methods. And his earlier life as a persecutor - I can't see IxTJ doing that, they're usually more content to just sneer at rulebreakers/deviants/naughty people and leave the eradication of them to others.

    The reason I say S rather than N is because I don't see much evidence of him juggling many alternatives either internally or externally. He tends to pursue very linear arguments and doesn't seem to stop along the way to check for coherence, which is why he ends up correcting himself several times in later letters. He also often doesn't follow his own thoughts through to conclusion, or their inevitable social effect. And he seems to have a low tolerance for wish-washyness. He's big on repeating facts, evidence, etc, and doesn't tend to consider many factors beyond his own experiences.

    All in all, yeah... ESTJ.
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    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    Has anyone ever wondered what St. Paul's type was?

    I wondered if he must have been an E because he did so much traveling to preach the gospel.
    Many of his letters are extremely long, like Romans, Corinthians, but many Is write long explanations, I think.

    He was a tentmaker.
    He was a strict Pharisee before he became a Christian.
    He was so zealous for Jewish law that he was rounding up Christians to have them executed.

    I don't know if he was F or T. He seemed very passionate about people.

    Hmmm. I don't know.
    I think he was ENTP. A lot of his letters are dictated, so that explains how an E can make them so long. (Of course modern ENTP's can certainly be wordy even when writing.)

    I tend to think he is an ENTP, because he had to be very adaptable in order to connect with people in such a wide variety of cultures. Also he tended to only start churches and then let the members take over, which is how ENTP's prefer to handle projects. His letters tend to have the theology in the beginning and the second half explains what people should do because of the theology. That is an ENTP way of thinking, bringing theory into reality.

    His orneriness gives me a little bit of pause. Seriously, standing before the Sanhedrin and announcing that it was his belief in the resurrection of the dead that was getting him in trouble. He knew exactly what kind of sh-t storm that was going to cause. Do INTJs do that kind of thing?
    ENTP's do that kind of thing.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I think he was ENTP.
    I totally disagree. I can't see myself doing almost any of the things he did, or taking my thoughts in many of the directions he did, given the facts and experiences he had. He's a natural fundamentalist type, which I don't think ENTP's generally tend towards. When I read his reasoning, I find myself thinking after each sentence, "But why? Why must that mean that? What about this? Did you take that into account? Obviously not..."

    No, I really don't see much evidence of Ne going on with him... No Ne, but lots of Te.
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  6. #6
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    I totally disagree. I can't see myself doing almost any of the things he did, or taking my thoughts in many of the directions he did, given the facts and experiences he had. He's a natural fundamentalist type, which I don't think ENTP's generally tend towards. When I read his reasoning, I find myself thinking after each sentence, "But why? Why must that mean that? What about this? Did you take that into account? Obviously not..."

    No, I really don't see much evidence of Ne going on with him... No Ne, but lots of Te.
    I think you are looking at him from a modern perspective and not what he would be like in his own culture. By the standards of his time he is a radical and not a fundamentalist. He said that Gentiles did not have to follow the Jewish laws. In their time period that is as radical as it gets, because to them the Law was everything.

    By today's standards you might not see him as radical, because his ideas are 2000 years old, and have helped shape the views of much of the Western world. But to determine his type I believe you should interpret him within his own cultural context and not our own.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I think you are looking at him from a modern perspective and not what he would be like in his own culture. By the standards of his time he is a radical and not a fundamentalist. He said that Gentiles did not have to follow the Jewish laws. In their time period that is as radical as it gets, because to them the Law was everything.

    By today's standards you might not see him as radical, because his ideas are 2000 years old, and have helped shape the views of much of the Western world. But to determine his type I believe you should interpret him within his own cultural context and not our own.
    No dude that's what I am doing, that's what I mean. I know that some parts of his theology were radical but I don't think they were really uniquely his, they were more balls that others put down that he picked up and ran with. But the way he ran with them, the direction in which he took them and how he 'enforced' things - Te all the way, baby.

    Anyway it's hard to say because all we have of him are a few letters, some of which we don't even know for sure are authentic in some parts, and he would obviously, given the secret nature of the work he was doing, the riskiness of it, have been worded with that in mind, so there may be all sorts of bits we're missing out on, lost meanings etc... And these letters were for achieving a certain end, every one of them set out with a purpose from the start (again, not very ENTP-ish - we're more likely to ramble and take the reader on a sorta whirlwind tour whilst his style is very Te), so we can't say for sure how much of it's his personality and how much is just "what was required", whether he liked it or not. Or how much of it was stuff that didn't really come naturally to him, but which he'd been made to realise by others of his company.

    It's a tricky subject to debate because some people will inevitably come up with the line that all of what he wrote was inspired by God, and tells us what God wanted, not merely Paul's own personal reflections and opinions. And then we're into very sticky territory...

    I still stand by what I said. ExTJ, more likely S than N.

    I've known a couple of ESTJ's who, though unlikely to come up with much radical themselves, if 'given' a radical idea by someone else and they come to understand it and valule it, will be fearless and rigid in implementing it and propagating it. Whether Paul's inclusion of gentiles was his idea or someone else's, we can't know for sure, and the same goes for the idea of gentiles not having to follow Jewish law - we can't say for sure whether it was his idea originally, or whether it was an idea that someone else persuaded him the logic of, so that he absorbed it into his own views and objectives.

    All I can say is that, giving it all the benefit of the doubt as his own words, I'm bowled over by the Te-ness of it all, which means basically I'd go with INTJMom's INTJ hypothesis before any kind of P.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    I think ESTJ, but sorta shaken out of all stereotypeishness for his type because of allowing himself to be transformed/re-formed for God's purposes.

    I agree with cafe on the tent making.

    I also don't think the travelling says anything - I know a lot of people of different types who travel widely on mission work simply because they believe it's God's will for them and they wish to obey; it has nothing to do with their own preferences.

    I don't think his passion for people is to do with type but what he believed again, he was putting God's priorities as his own.

    I do think though, that the Te is really strong as an undercurrent through all his theology and leadership methods. And his earlier life as a persecutor - I can't see IxTJ doing that, they're usually more content to just sneer at rulebreakers/deviants/naughty people and leave the eradication of them to others.

    The reason I say S rather than N is because I don't see much evidence of him juggling many alternatives either internally or externally. He tends to pursue very linear arguments and doesn't seem to stop along the way to check for coherence, which is why he ends up correcting himself several times in later letters. He also often doesn't follow his own thoughts through to conclusion, or their inevitable social effect. And he seems to have a low tolerance for wish-washyness. He's big on repeating facts, evidence, etc, and doesn't tend to consider many factors beyond his own experiences.

    All in all, yeah... ESTJ.
    Hmm. Very convincing.
    Thank you.

  9. #9
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    The salvation by faith alone thing strikes me as not being an SJ kind of thing. My impression is that SJs are more into concrete acts of duty.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  10. #10
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    No dude that's what I am doing, that's what I mean. I know that some parts of his theology were radical but I don't think they were really uniquely his, they were more balls that others put down that he picked up and ran with. But the way he ran with them, the direction in which he took them and how he 'enforced' things - Te all the way, baby.

    Anyway it's hard to say because all we have of him are a few letters, some of which we don't even know for sure are authentic in some parts, and he would obviously, given the secret nature of the work he was doing, the riskiness of it, have been worded with that in mind, so there may be all sorts of bits we're missing out on, lost meanings etc... And these letters were for achieving a certain end, every one of them set out with a purpose from the start (again, not very ENTP-ish - we're more likely to ramble and take the reader on a sorta whirlwind tour whilst his style is very Te), so we can't say for sure how much of it's his personality and how much is just "what was required", whether he liked it or not. Or how much of it was stuff that didn't really come naturally to him, but which he'd been made to realise by others of his company.

    It's a tricky subject to debate because some people will inevitably come up with the line that all of what he wrote was inspired by God, and tells us what God wanted, not merely Paul's own personal reflections and opinions. And then we're into very sticky territory...

    I still stand by what I said. ExTJ, more likely S than N.

    I've known a couple of ESTJ's who, though unlikely to come up with much radical themselves, if 'given' a radical idea by someone else and they come to understand it and valule it, will be fearless and rigid in implementing it and propagating it. Whether Paul's inclusion of gentiles was his idea or someone else's, we can't know for sure, and the same goes for the idea of gentiles not having to follow Jewish law - we can't say for sure whether it was his idea originally, or whether it was an idea that someone else persuaded him the logic of, so that he absorbed it into his own views and objectives.

    All I can say is that, giving it all the benefit of the doubt as his own words, I'm bowled over by the Te-ness of it all, which means basically I'd go with INTJMom's INTJ hypothesis before any kind of P.
    I'm curious...
    have you thought about this before or were you just able to command this knowledge to the forefront on the spur of the moment?

    Seems like an awfully convincing argument for ESTJ. I will have to read his letters with that in mind. I know an ESTJ man - a pastor - very commanding in the pulpit.

    How does that mesh with Paul being spoken of as not a good public speaker, and being more forceful in his letters than he is in public?

    "For they say, "His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account."" 2 Corinthians 10:10 ESV

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