Paul introduced the centrality of grace and faith, as distinguished from "works," along with the belief that faith and grace replaced the Torah and its injunctions for good deeds. This is a fact which is undeniable. Paul did much to transform Yeshua from a human Jewish messiah to a divine Greek Christ patterned after Attis and Mithra, the gods of pagan religions of his day.
His influence on at least one of the evangelists, Luke, and on most of the early Gentile Greek Fathers and their interpretation of the Gentile manifestations of the faith of Yeshua is well documented for those who seek such information. The early Gentile-Greek (catholic-universal) Church accepted and adopted Pauls theological views and Pauls attitude toward the Torah and Jews. This was not very difficult for them as most were already anti-Semitic themselves. The early Gentile Churchs Hellenistic background combined with the competition from Judaism as an established religion with its adamant followers, turned Paul's adherents into anti-Semites. They manifested the identical hostility for Jews and Judaism which characterized the ideological descendants five, ten, and twenty centuries later. The same basic factor was operative in evoking resentment in ancient Asia Minor as in medieval Europe and in modem day nations of the east and west. Fear and threat of competition from one's presumed competition (the Jews), whether in economic, political, or religious sphere, are powerful spurs to hatred.
Not easily noticed by the casual reader of the New Testament, Paul's epistles are characterized by a flood of Biblical quotations which are frequently garbled and often joined randomly to one another when compared to the originals.
Let me give you again the mechanics involved in textual manipulation whereby we end up with something different in meaning that the original author intended.
Besides the quest for truth and an obedient life before God, there are numerous verses contained within the New Testament, which in and of themselves are not anti-Semite but are used to substantiate certain beliefs held by the early Gentile Church which have anti-Jewish implications. Carried out to the end-result these verses influence ones beliefs and conduct. Let me remind you that these verses are directly attributable to the murder of 6 million Jews during our century alone.
Upon the completion of this series of articles, you will see clearly how Paul misrepresents the Torah to his Gentile readers. Nothing has changed. Most who read my articles are "New Testament" Christians. It would have been far better to have been "Old Testament" Christians. Most Christians whom I have met over the last 15 years are deficient to say the least in knowledge about the Old Testament Jewish Scriptures. The reason is understandable. Coupled with their lack of study of the Jewish Scriptures, is the predominant practice of Christian Churches preaching mostly out of the Pauline corpus of literature Sunday after Sunday. No wonder we are unfamiliar with the Old Testament. One easily can see that with such a lack of Old Testament knowledge, we fall victim to Paul and others when reading the New Testament to their misquotations of the Jewish Scriptures as well as their use of texts taken out of context being used in ways never intended by the original authors. The true meaning of the Old Testament writer is lost in the process. More times than not these literary devices distort or totally corrupt the truth intended we know which was presented by the Old Testament writer. Such goes on without notice to the unknowledgeable New Testament Christian. We easily are led to accept the writing of Paul as authoritative, for after all it is included in the New Testament, isn't it? The problem is that we don't know if Paul has faithfully represented on the pages of the New Testament the truths originally given by Moses or the Prophets since we lack such foundational Old Testament knowledge. Since so many have so few Old Testament passages memorized as taken from the true Jewish Scriptures, when reading the New Testament and Pauline epistles we don't easily or quickly recognize the misquotations and distortions. They sure sound spiritual to the unsuspecting reader. Little thought crosses our minds that these cherished New Testament Scriptures, given to us by the Roman Church, could be in error and full of deception. For after all, we are talking about the Bible.
It is time to wise up and blow the Trumpet in Zion. All is not well with Paul and his writings. In the articles that follow I will make a substantial case demonstrating that the anti-Semitism of Paul prompted him to replace the Torah with faith only. The only problem is that today's scholarship records that at no time did Paul have over 50 converts during his years of ministry. The Messianic community continued to follow this trouble maker and were on his heels continuously eagerly "undoing" his teachings as soon as he was spreading them. When we read that "all in Asia have forsaken me" you should understand that a whole continent rejected him. When you read that he was "beaten by the Jews" be not mistaken, it was fellow-followers of Yeshua who took offense at his witness to lies, and in the name of Yeshua no less. This is the Paul of history, however, the New Testament portrays him differently. Let us not forget that history is written by winners and we should expect Paul to become the hero of the Christian Church especially since his three missionary journeys.
So it is time to investigate Paul and his doctrines line upon line, precept upon precept. May God guide us to truth and a more pleasing Biblical experience. Shalom.