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PAUL'S CONVERSION AS DEPICTED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT....IS IT TRUSTWORTHY OR SHOULD WE BE SUSPICIOUS?

Imagine yourself as a juror at a criminal trial. The defense has called three witnesses to back up the defendant's story. In their testimony, all three witnesses claim the same thing; namely, that they HEARD the defendant talking with another person but that they DID NOT SEE the other person. Then suppose that a couple of days later these same three witnesses are cross-examined. In their testimony, they claim just the opposite: that they SAW the defendant talking with another person but that they DID NOT HEAR the conversation. At one point, they claim to have heard but not seen the other person, while later they claim to have seen but not heard the other person. Most jurors would find that this contradictory testimony throws a great deal of suspicion on the veracity of these witnesses and what other they might have to say. This would most likely cause the jurors to disregard the witnesses' support of the defendant.

Answer for yourself: But what are we to do when we find such contradiction in the New Testament surrounding the Apostle Paul and should we be very careful in accepting other things he has to say? You better be!

NEW TESTAMENTS ACCOUNTS OF THE CONVERSION OF PAUL AND THE DISCREPANCIES

With this in mind, let us examine an account recorded for us in the New Testament and take a look at the biblical account of the conversion of Saul.

As Saul was coming near the city of Damascus, suddenly a light from the sky flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:3-6)

And later in Paul's own words.

As I was traveling and coming near Damascus, about midday a bright light from the sky flashed suddenly around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, "Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute me?" (Acts 22:6-7)

These two descriptions, one in the third person and one in the first person, are virtually identical. No problem yet. At this point, however witnesses are brought in to verify the story. Remembering the description of the witnesses in the imagined criminal trial, take a look at the testimony of witnesses to the alleged conversion of Saul.

First in Acts 9:

The men who were traveling with Saul had stopped, not saying a word; they HEARD the voice but COULD NOT SEE ANYONE. (Acts 9:7)

Now I challenge you to compare this with the account in Acts 22 and see if it is the same:

The men with me SAW the light, but did not hear the voice of the one speaking to me. (Acts 22:9)

Answer for yourself: Do these accounts contradict each other? Sure do.

If you apply the same evidentiary standards to this biblical report as most people would in a trial situation, you would find that the testimony is, at the very least, called into question by the disparity of these two accounts.

Thus, the testimony of the witnesses is called into question to say the least!

NOW LETS QUOTE PAUL AND SEE IF HE CONTRADICTS HIMSELF:

Answer for yourself: But what about the testimony of Paul himself?

In Acts 22 and Acts 26, the author (Luke) indicates that he is actually quoting Paul rather than merely describing the conversion as he did in Acts 9.

In Acts 26, Paul says that Yeshua told him of his plans for him at the time of the vision on the road to Damascus:

“It was on the road at midday, Your Majesty, that I saw a light much brighter than the sun, coming from the sky and shining around me and the men traveling with me. All of us fell to the ground, and I heard a voice say to me in Hebrew, "Saul, Saul! Why are you persecuting me? You are hurting yourself by hitting back, like an ox kicking against its owner's stick." "Who are you, Lord?" I asked. And the Lord answered, "I am Yeshua, whom you persecute. But get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant. You are to tell others what you have seen of me today and what I will show you in the future. I will rescue you from the people of Israel and from the Gentiles to whom I will send you. You are to open their eyes and turn them from the darkness to the light and from the power of Satan to God, so that through their faith in me they will have their sins forgiven and receive their place among God's chosen people." (Acts 26:13-18)

It is plain that in this account, Paul claims and tells us in his own words what he was told what to do by Jesus and also tells us that he was at that time informed of his role in taking Christianity to the Gentiles at the very time of his vision on the road to Damascus.

Compare both of these items with the account that he is reported to have given in Acts 22. First, concerning his basic instructions:

As I was traveling and coming near Damascus, about midday a bright light from the sky flashed suddenly around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, "Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute me?" "Who are you, Lord?" I asked. "I am Yeshua of Nazareth, whom you persecute," he said to me. The men with me saw the light, but did not hear the voice of the one who was speaking to me. I asked, "What shall I do, Lord?" and the Lord said to me,"Getup and go into Damascus, and there you will be told everything that God has determined for you to do. I was blind because of the bright light, and so my companions took me by the hand and led me into Damascus.

In that city was a man named Ananias, a religious man who obeyed our Law and was highly respected by all the Jews living there. He came to me, stood by me and said, "Brother Saul, see again!" At that very moment I saw again and looked at him. He said, "The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will, to see his righteous Servant, and to hear him speaking with his own voice. For you will be a witness for him to tell everyone what you have seen and heard." (Acts 22:6-15)

Answer for yourself: What is missing…did you notice?

Answer for yourself: Did you notice that the commission and instructions from Yeshua to go to the Gentiles is lacking in Acts 22?

Answer for yourself: Who told Paul of the details of his commission; Ananias or Yeshua?

Here in Acts 22, Paul claims that his instructions were given to him by Ananias sometime after entering the city of Damascus, not directly by Yeshua on the road to Damascus as he claimed in Acts 26.

The information about Paul going to the Gentiles comes even later in this version:

I went back to Jerusalem, and while I was praying in the Temple, I had a vision, In which I saw the Lord, as he said to me, "Hurry and leave Jerusalem quickly, because the people here will not accept your witness about me.'' "Lord,' I answered, "they know very well that I went to the synagogues and arrested and beat those who believe in you. And when your witness Stephen was put to death, I myself was there, approving of his murder and taking care of the cloaks of his murderers." "Go," the Lord said to me,"FOR I WILL SEND YOU FAR AWAY TO THE GENTILES. - (Acts 22:17-21)

JUST SO WE UNDERSTAND

At one point (Acts 26), Paul claims that he is told of his mission to the Gentiles at the time of his vision. Yet, at another time (Acts 22), he states that after the vision he went to Damascus and then returned to Jerusalem, and only then did he receive these instructions.

Answer for yourself: What am I to believe Paul? Can we not get the story correct?

Answer for yourself: Where is the Holy Spirit at work in this contradiction?

Answer for yourself: Are there other places in the New Testament where such contradiction and the absence of the direction of the Holy Spirit can be found? Sadly yes, in fact they abound!

Many will take issue with me of being too "picky" but let me remind you that millions of Christian believers treat the New Testament document as if it is inspired, infallible, and inerrant. It is not. Only by showing you the many problems contained within the New Testament which goes unrecognized by careless reading will you be able to see the deception at work by the Gentile redactors which literally changed a Jewish faith into a Gentile replacement faith as it exists today and distorted and completely changed a Jewish faith which once went into all the world in to a pagan compromise as it exists today. It is time to repent and return to the faith once given to the saints. It is time to repent and return to the only Bible Yeshua every used: the Hebrew Old Testament.

Dear reader, there is no way to justify what I have just shown you. This is a direct contradiction of the previous information.

Answer for yourself: Are we to believe the Holy Spirit can't get his story straight?

LOOKING EVEN DEEPER

To add to the disparity of these conflicting statements, Paul's letter to the Galatians shows that It served Paul's purposes at that time to claim that after his vision, he did not return directly to Jerusalem from Damascus (as he claimed in Acts 22), but that instead he waited for three full years.

Again this is a direct contradiction from the mouth of Paul himself to what has been said before by Paul.

It is things like this that made be begin to study the New Testament line upon line and precept upon precept because if the document is from God then such errors would not be prevalent. I wish I could say that this simple example is the extent of the mistakes within the New Testament, but much more serious errors abundantly abound in the New Testament concerning precious doctrines which have been corrupted when viewed in their original context within the Jewish Old Testament. Let us continue.

But God in his grace chose me even before I was born, and called me to serve him. And when he decided to reveal his Son to me, so that I might preach the Good News about him to the Gentiles, I DID NOT GO TO JERUSALEM to see those who were apostles before me. Instead, I went at once to Arabia, and then I returned to Damascus. IT WAS THREE YEARS LATER THAT I WENT TO JERUSALEM to obtain Information from Peter, and I stayed with him for two weeks. (Galatians 1:1-18).

Here, Paul attempts to stress that his instructions came from God and not from any of the other apostles (Ananias). For this purpose, it is convenient for him to contradict the claims that he previously made in Acts 22 and to separate himself from Jerusalem. Paul is developing his independent authority apart from the Jerusalem church. You will understand this ploy by Paul as you read more about his split with the Jerusalem church.

Answer for yourself: Which of these conflicting accounts are we to believe, and where is infallibility and inspiration of the Holy Spirit in these accounts?

Answer for yourself: If we cannot trust Paul about his conversion account, how can we trust what he teaches that stems from such a jumbled account, especially in light of the fact that much of what he teaches contradicts Moses, the Prophets, and Yeshua himself?

Answer for yourself: Never seen such contradictions before?

Neither had I until I studied with those who knew more than myself and purchased books which showed such things to me. God did not drop this knowledge into my mind while I slept or went to church. It came only by intense study. The good news is that such knowledge is free.

Obviously, only one of these claims can be true (which, of course, means that one of them is false). It is interesting that at this point in his letter to the Galatians, Paul swears in the name of the Lord that what he has just said is true:

What I write Is true. God knows that I am not lying! (Galatians 1:20)

Answer for yourself: Why would Paul have to defend himself to others that what he is saying is not a lie?

Now you know. Paul talks out of the side of his mouth just like a politician. If you want I can show you have Paul contradicts himself in Romans repeatedly (he also contradicts Yeshua and Moses often). Casual Bible reading and attending Sunday sermons won't give you the understanding you need to see such things. Study is the highest form of worship. Let us worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth. Such study reveals the weaknesses within the New Testament and reveals that a true Christian will keep and observe Biblical Judaism and not the paganized manifestation of it as we have today called "Contemporary Christianity".

Now please don't get mad at me for showing you this, but let there be not doubt that I just showed you Paul was lying! His hearers knew it for themselves as well…that is why Paul had to defend himself and promise them he was not lying...he has to defend his "apostleship" all through the NT..have you not noticed this?

Answer for yourself: Don't you find it rather strange that Paul had to guarantee he is not lying since the motive for such an action on his part is most likely the skepticism of his audience to the veracity of what he is saying?

Thus, in both the accounts of the witnesses and those of Paul himself, there are some very basic contradictions in the descriptions of Paul's supposed conversion. While this does not prove that Paul's claim is false, it does provide one more link in the chain of reasoning presented through the articles of this ministry as we try to show you that the religion of Yeshua has been replaced by the new religion of Paul's imagination. Law has been replaced with grace, Passover with Easter, Passover with Communion, Sabbath with Sunday, etc. It is only by showing the reader the inaccuracies in the writings of Paul can we persuade today's brain-washed church that his writings are anything but infallible and inerrant, and were never intended to replace the Torah as our Bible, the Bible Yeshua used. At the very least, it provides enough information to allow for the possibility that Paul's claimed conversion may not have been genuine and this should make you wary of what he teaches and what is taught in his name, especially when it goes against the accepted and established religious belief system of Yeshua and Biblical Judaism. Any contradiction of Moses, the Prophets, and Yeshua/Yeshua is not of God. Sorry Paul! Shalom.