I know that often what I show you in these articles is at the very least extremely controversial. After all, it proposes that St. Paul, who founded the Christian faith as it mainly practiced today, betrayed the message and meaning of Yeshua.
I suppose that most often I hear from various readers of my articles that say: Well, Craig, if you are right, then why isn't there more people who are teaching the correction to the Body of Messiah that you are? They ask "why are not more teaching things like you which are in opposition to Pauls views in the Bible"?
Answer for yourself: How many books on this same subject have your read in the last six months?
Answer for yourself: How many long hours at the library and long hours into the night have you stayed up and diligently looked up the words in your English Bible in the Greek references and Hebrew references and compare their original meanings with what you have been told in your churches when only the English translation is read and not studied?
Answer for yourself: How adept are you from your studies that you can isolate and recognize when reading the New Testament that Jewish texts and phrases from the Old Testament are lifted out of their places in the Hebrew Scriptures and given meanings in the New Testament which, at best, are forced?
Answer for yourself: How adept are you from your studies that you can isolate and recognize when reading the New Testament that the literary formula "What was said through the prophet was thus fulfilled", which precedes many of the prophetic verses in the New Testament, has little validity and connection to the original context and meaning of the Old Testament writer and is only used in the New Testament to lead the reader to suppose that the Tanakh anticipated and predicted the events recorded in the New Testament?
Answer for yourself: How adept are you from your studies that you can isolate and recognize when reading the New Testament that many techniques employed by the New Testament include the using of the Hebrew Old Testament to fulfill an agenda and does so by citing verses out of context, mistranslation of verses, and misquotation of Old Testament texts on purpose?
Answer for yourself: How adept are you from your studies that you can isolate and recognize when reading the New Testament that many techniques employed by the New Testament include the using of a figurative or poetic phrase from the Old Testament which is made into a straightforward statement in the New Testament?
Answer for yourself: How adept are you from your studies that you can isolate and recognize when reading the New Testament that sometimes sayings of different writers, living in different places, and in different centuries are run together and made to bring a totally different meaning than what the original Old Testament author intended?
Answer for yourself: How many of you can truthfully say that your only exposure to the Bible is Sunday mornings in your church, and yet you think you know enough to determine if what I am challenging you with is wrong or right? You must investigate the matter with us to see if you truly be in the faith of Christ.
There is an old saying, "history is written by the victors." In this case, Paul had overcome the opposition and established a church of his making. It is natural that writings that appear to go against the established Gentile church of the fourth century would not be accepted into the Canon of the Bible in 380 A.D.. Evidently there was significant opposition to the inclusion of the letters of James and Peter (which we have seen in prior articles to be more closely in line with the thoughts of Christ than with the thoughts of Paul). Most likely some of the leaders of the church recognized the anti-Paul connotations to which I have alluded to in my other articles and rejected such literature from being in the Bible, thus we are robbed of such material unless we dig to see if information like that exists. It is important to remember that most all of the New Testament is either written by Paul or written after his teaching. Even the four Gospels, in spite of their physical position ahead of Pauls letters, were written after Paul's teaching and highly influenced by it. In fact Paul states that he is with Luke (author of the Third Gospel and Acts) and is sending for Mark (Second Gospel). With this in mind, it is reasonable to assume that those items included in the Bible that differed from the teachings of Paul were included merely because they were so well known by the Christians at that time. It would have been impossible to exclude them without raising too many questions.
Answer for yourself: Yet why do we find instances where Yeshua's words often support the position taken by Paul?
For example, you might suggest that Yeshua seems to be supporting Pauls view on salvation (which is that faith in Christs identity and mission, and not faith that responds in obedience and ethical and moral deeds leads one to heaven). You can easily jump to that conclusion when the author of Luke states in 12:8: "I assure you that whoever declares publicly that he belongs to me, the Son of Man will do the same for him before the angles of God."
Once again, we must remember that one passage does not make a doctrine and it is necessary to remember that the Gospels were written by men who had been influenced by Paul. Luke was actually a travel companion of Paul's. Understanding that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and doing religious doctrinal comparisons from the faith of the Jews all the way back from Genesis to Malachi will lead you to see without a doubt that the Gospels [which related information passed down by word of mouth for nearly fifty years], contain a mixture of accurate remembrances of Yeshua's words and deeds, as well as stories whit mix in the teachings of Paul.
Answer for yourself: Are you well-versed in Bible study that you can find examples of what I just said in the Bible you carry to church? [are you reading my articles, cause if you are you are seeing them for yourself].
Answer for yourself: Do you realize the implications when shown that Paul contradicts Yeshua in some of his teachings?
This perhaps explains the many contradictory statements and actions that are attributed to Yeshua. In addition to the above mentioned discrepancy about the teachings of Yeshua and Paul on salvation, I invite you to take a look at some other contradictions that are difficult to explain which most likely you have read over your whole life and not noticed?
Happy are those who work for Peace; God will call them his children! (Matthew 5:9)
"Put your sword back In Its place," Yeshua said to him. "All who take the sword will die by the sword." (Matthew 26:52)
Compare these quotes with the following:
Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the world. No, I did not come to bring peace but a sword. (Matthew 10:34)
Answer for yourself: Do we dare say that Yeshua did not know what he was talking about, or has someones ideas been attributed to the teachings of Yeshua by mistake?
And Yeshua continued, 'you have a clever way of rejecting Gods law in order to uphold your own teaching. For Moses commanded, 'respect your father and your mother,' and, whosoever curses his father and mother Is to be put to death.' But you teach that if a person has something he could use to help his father or mother, but says, This belongs to God,' he is excused from helping his father or mother. In this way the teaching you pass on to others cancels out the word of God." (Mark 7:9-13)
Compare this pro-family view with the following:
I come to set sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law; a man's worst enemies will be members of his own family. (Matthew 10:35 36)
There are many more instances, and I urge you to return to the Gospels and look for other discrepancies. They are much easier to understand when a person realizes that a mixture of the views of Yeshua (a loving God) and the views of Paul (a vengeful, terrible God of the Old Testament) are perhaps responsible for the dilemma. No wonder that Marcion included only Pauls writing in his first collection of writings in 180 A.D. since they both advocated a harsh-concept of God.
Often those who read my articles want to take issue with the facts I present. They often ask me why they should believe what I showed them and why they should take my word about religious matters? I frankly tell them that they shouldn't! That is why I included so many quotes from the Bible. I have merely presented the idea. I hope that you will take it upon yourself to investigate the evidence and decide for yourself if what I have proposed is correct or not.
In my opinion, most Christians follow Paul instead of the Yeshua and too few Christians are educated enough to subconsciously edit the Bible in their own minds and have chosen to remember only those portions that present Yeshua and his teachings about a loving God and reject teachings of others that contradict Yeshua and his faith.. Paul's influence is most evident in the more fundamentals churches and among many TV evangelists.
Paul presented a version of Christianity that was much easier to follow than the more accurate version presented by St. Peter.
Although Paul speaks very harshly and sets some very strict guidelines concerning "sin,. he also establishes a system where a believer is allowed to sin with a clear conscience, as long as he or she follows some fairly simple rituals (Confession and acceptance of Christ as a Personal Lord and Savior" are two examples of these expiating actions).
Yeshua asked that you live a good life; St. Paul asked that you give lip service to living a good life. Yeshua demanded more than most people were willing to give, so most opted to follow the message of Paul and to feel contented with their Christians are not perfect, just forgiven" attitudes.
The most important thing to do is to re-read the Bible in the light of what has been pointed out in these articles and develop a correct view of Yeshua's message. Study Judaism, the religion of Yeshua and then compare it with the teachings in the New Testament to see where they agree and where they conflict. Then buy a Jewish Bible, a Tanakh, and then read it and compare the Hebrew Bible to the New Testament quotes and see for yourself the hundreds of misquotations, mistranslations, and passages taken out of context in the New Testament. Then you will come to realize that you have followed the wrong religion if you are a Christian. That is "ok", because if you are reading this then there is still room to repent and change. Then, find assemblies like Bet Emet that preach the true word of Yeshua and try to help spread the real "good news." Model and teach the "truth" to your Christian friends and provoke them to study so they can see exactly what you have. Continue until we all come to the unity of "the" Faith of Yeshua. Shalom.