HISTORICAL STATEMENTS REGARDING THE APOSTLE PAUL...HOW CAN THEY SAY THIS ABOUT PAUL?
We have been addressing a serious question in our research into the Jesus-Paul relationship and problems surrounding it: "So was Paul a faithful follower of Jesus or the founder of a new religion and subverter of the true faith and teachings of Jesus?"
Answer for yourself: Right now, at the depth of your own scholarship and considering how much you have personally studied out the subject for yourself over many years, or taking into account your failure to do so, then how would assess your ability to understand let alone comprehend the overwhelming magnitude of the scope of the "Jesus-Paul problem" when compared with the various scholars, professors, church historians, Jewish writers, etc., who have devoted their lives to such study and written many books and scholarly treatises on the matter?
Well if you are honest and a typical Christian your honest assessment will reveal that you are only somewhat familiar with "one book" on the subject (the New Testament) and your knowledge and understanding of this "one book" is most likely not as good as those who write upon the subject or study it academically. Honestly few typical Christians and Pastors can really compete with those more knowledgeable on the same subject who have devoted their lives to study such subjects academically. But that is "ok" because you honestly cannot be expected to compare your knowledge on the subject with that of the scholars that have come before you let alone exist today.
I wanted to ask this question of the reader to let him know that I used to be exactly the same way. But that was many years ago. My studies on this and other subjects are going on twenty years at present and I have been amazed at what I have found that existed on this "Jesus-Pauline Problem." I can remember the time that I did not even know that such a "Jesus-Paul problem" even existed. My reading of the New Testament was so shallow at one time in my life that I literally glossed over much of it and only understood the superficial stories at best. But like I said, that was maybe thirty years ago. It was when I was attending Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, in Ft. Worth, Texas, when I first heard of this "Pauline Problem" and it was mentioned no more than 15 seconds in a lecture one day. Yes, you heard me right, I heard one sentence about it and it lasted about 15 seconds. I am glad I did not cut class that day. I jotted some notes down to remind me to study this "problem" later. I wrote a lot of things down to study out later. I did finally find the time for this research following seminary and the results of these "studies" can be found on our ministry's websites.
What you, the contemporary Christian needs to know, is not more about the Christian perspective on Paul that comes form this "one book - The New Testament" and the host of books written about this "one book" and which are little but reiteration of this same "one book," but what others have to say on the matter that are not only unbiased Christians, but the testimony of history concerning this problem by people of all faiths and persuasions throughout history who have tackled this problem.
It might surprise you that what you as a typical Christian believe and holds dear about the Apostle Paul is not held by an innumerable multitude down through history who have access to historical and archeological evidences that exist outside of that "one book" called the New Testament. Let me say it another way. There exists today outside the New Testament a multitude of evidence and facts that not only discredits the slanted Christian presentation of the New Testament Paul but reveals this "fictitious Paul" of the New Testament for who he really was....a serious threat to the Jerusalem Church and not friend of Jesus or his ministry or the ministry of his followers, both before or after some "supposed conversion." Paul was an enemy of the faith of Jesus and his purposes. But, like I said, you don't know that for sure yet because you have only read "one book" your whole life and that "one book" (the New Testament) presents Paul in a very favorable light? Because of one's indoctrination with "one book" most likely if you have ever chosen to read a second or third book most likely you read only those books that agreed with this "one book" so in reality you only reinforced what you already had read. Little new information concerning this Paul has come your way; at least not until now.
I don't want to make you "believe like me," but before we get into the "nuts and bolts" of the "Jesus and Paul problem" I want to present you with many quotes from scholars, historians, philosophers, archeologists, etc., who have throughout their lives and research into many religious areas have encountered evidence and existing facts concerning this "Jesus - Paul Problem" and present their conclusion on this issue as a type of introduction into this difficult subject. You might say this is the beginning of looking at the other side of the coin; maybe for the first time in your life. These statements and quotes will at least awaken you to the existence that all is not well in Christendom when one looks at the characterization of this "Christian Paul" as presented on the pages of this "one book" that so many cherish and who see no need to read a "second book" to verify if this New Testament is a truthful depiction of the events recorded on its pages. The following list of quotes concerning Paul hopefully will accomplish in your life at least the realization that the "Jesus-Paul Problem" is real. Although this "Jesus-Paul problem" might be news to you you will see behind these quotes that there exists enough information and evidence today to not only bring this "problem" to the light of day, but such evidence that exists outside the New Testament will show who the real culprit in this problem really . When one sees these quotes and the evidence behind them for himself one cannot help come way from such an overwhelming documentation of this problem that exists outside the New Testament without the stark realization that the Paul of the New Testament is a fictitious presentation of a renegade from Biblical Judaism and a subverter of the real faith of Jesus. Someone has lied to us in this "one book" and we bought the lie hook, line, and sinker because we never knew this information existed or that the New Testament was unreliable in many parts. The "Jesus-Paul problem" is only one of several such problems with the New Testament.
The list of quotes is long, but be glad that I stopped somewhere in the middle of my possible quotes. The list is long on purpose in order to expose to the first-time reader the extent of the depth of the problem as well as the many, many people in the history of the faith as well as outside of the Christian faith, that have knowledge of this problem. This is not a "cult" movement but rather expression of honesty and sincerity of people who know that the truth about Paul has not been told in the New Testament. They know this beyond a doubt as their quotes will reveal. It is time for you to know it as well. Shalom.
WHAT EVIDENCE EXISTS THAT WOULD MAKE THESE PEOPLE SAY THESE THINGS ABOUT THE APOSTLE PAUL..AND HAVE YOU SEEN SUCH EVIDENCE YET?
This website will provide the evidence, but before we get to the overwhelming evidence, let us see what these people had to say after they saw what you are shortly to see for yourself.
"Paul derived this narrative of the last supper, not from companions of Jesus, but as one of the private revelations [sic] to which he was liable. It rests, therefore, on no basis of fact, but, like much of Paul's conception of Jesus, is partly, or wholly, an a priori construction of his own mind (Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare, The Origins of Christianity, University Books, 1958 (1910 rev.) (1909), 251).
"Luke did for Paul what Artapanus had done for Moses. He is thereby revealed as a writer of historical fiction." (Richard I. Pervo, Profit With Delight The Literary Genre of the Acts of the Apostles, Fortress, 1987, 135).
"Kaufmann Kohler...the distinguished Talmudic scholar and editor of the Jewish Encyclopaedia, wrote in 1902 that 'nothing in Paul's writings showed that he had any acquaintance with rabbinical learning'--a judgement with which I entirely concur" (Hyam Maccoby, The Mythmaker Paul and the Invention of Christianity, Harper & Row, "1987" Pb. (c1986), 204.).
"So Paul's claim to expert Pharisee learning is relevant to a very important and central issue--whether Christianity, in the form given to it by Paul, is really continuous with Judaism or whether it is a new doctrine, having no roots in Judaism, but deriving, in so far as it has an historical background, from pagan myths of dying and resurrected gods and Gnostic myths of heaven-descended redeemers. Did Paul truly stand in the Jewish tradition, or was he a person of basically Hellenistic religious type, but seeking to give a coloring of Judaism to a salvation cult that was really opposed to everything that Judaism stood for?" (Hyam Maccoby, The Mythmaker Paul and the Invention of Christianity, Harper & Row, "1987" Pb. (c1986), 204. ).
"The best witness of the historical existence of Jesus is, paradoxically, Paul, the alleged mainstay of the mythological view " (Charles Guignebert [1867-1939], Professor of the History of Christianity in the Sorbonne, Jesus, University Books, 1959 (1935 English) (1933 French), 73).
"Marcion [c.100 - c.160 C.E.], unlike some Gnostics, relied more on biblical materials than on Greek philosophy. In particular, he emphasized Paul's teachings [Marcion's version], asserting that the original twelve apostles had misunderstood Christ's message by thinking him to be the messiah prophesied by the Old Testament rather than understanding him to be sent by the true God. Because of this misunderstanding, it was therefore necessary for Paul to receive a special revelation to correct it " (Chas S. Clifton, Encyclopedia of Heresies and Heretics, 1992, 91).
"To compose 'letters' under another name, especially under the name of persons whose living [examples?] presentment, or real [examples?] or supposed spiritual equipment, it was proposed to set before the reader, was then just as usual as was the other practice of [B.] introducing the same persons into narratives and reporting their 'words,' in the manner of which we have examples, in the case of Jesus, in the gospels, and in the case of Peter, Paul, and other apostles, in Acts." [2 forgery (propaganda) styles] (Encyclopedia Biblica A Critical Dictionary of the Literary Political and Religious History The Archaeology Geography and Natural History of the Bible, T. K. Cheyne, J. Sutherland Black, eds., "OLD-CHRISTIAN LITERATURE", Willem Christiaan van Manen [1842-1905], "Professor of Old-Christian Literature and New Testament Exegesis, Leyden" (xv), 4 Vols., Adam and Charles Black, 1902, Vol. III, 3473. [A Classic!].
"As the first few characters [Jesus. Paul. Et. al.] are regarded, more or less, as myths, therefore there is not any very marked conduct to be mentioned in connection with them. " [D.M. Bennett 1818 - 1882] (D. M. Bennett [1818-1882], Editor of "The Truth Seeker," author of "The World's Sages, Thinkers, and Reformers," "Thirty Discussions, Bible Stories, Essays, and Lectures," "Interrogatories to Jehovah," "What I Don't Believe; What I do Believe: Why and Wherefore," and joint author of "Christianity and Infidelity--the Humphrey-Bennett Discussion," "The Bennett-Teed Discussion," etc., etc., etc., The Champions of the Church: Their Crimes and Persecutions, Liberal and Scientific Publishing House, Science Hall, 141 Eighth Street, New York, 1880, 19-20. [This copy: Library of Congress, via Interlibrary loan].
"It is curious and perhaps significant that the two pagans whom the Church took most warmly to its bosom were Vergil and Seneca. Seneca is commended highly by the Latin Fathers and came to be regarded as virtually one of them. This distinction is in part due to the apocryphal [Forged] correspondence with St. Paul" (Moses Hadas, Jay Professor of Greek Columbia University, Hellenistic Culture Fusion and Diffusion, Columbia U., 1959, 57).
"Paul, who did not know the historical Jesus " (The Five Gospels The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus, Robert Funk, Roy Hoover, The Jesus Seminar, Macmillan, 1993, 5. 345).
"We can find no proof of his [Paul] historic reality. The 'Acts of Paul and Thecla,' which contain a sketch of his personal appearance, are declared by Tertullian to be the work of an Asian presbyter and a fiction. Tertullian himself, while expressing the most audacious doubts as to Paul, turns the writings ascribed to him to the account of Catholicism, and endeavour[s] to force the Paul of the 'Acts of the Apostles' [Fiction!] upon his contemporaries " (Edwin Johnson, 1842-1901, published anonymously, Antiqua Mater: A Study of Christian Origins, London: Trubner & Co., Ludgate Hill, 1887, 240-241).
"Marcion [c. 100 - c. 165 C.E. ] is the first in whom, as we learn from Tertullian, traces are to be found of an authoritative group of epistles of Paul " (Encyclopaedia Biblica, T. K. Cheyne, J. Sutherland Black, eds., "PAUL" [A Classic!], E. Hatch and W. van Manen [1842-1905], Adam and Charles Black, 1902, Vol. III, 3634).
"With respect to the canonical Pauline epistles...none of them [were] by Paul; neither fourteen, nor thirteen, nor nine or ten, nor seven or eight, nor yet even the four [of F. C. Baur 1792 - 1860, et. al.] so long 'universally' regarded as unassailable. They are all, without distinction, pseudepigrapha (this of course, not implying the least depreciation of their contents). The history of criticism, the breaking up of the group which began as early as 1520, already pointed in this direction " (Ibid., 3625).
"One of the strongest pieces of evidence to our mind, negatively, that the Paul who has so long captivated our admiration and love is not historical, positively, that he is the product, like all similar figures, of religious passion and imagination is that Lucian [c. 117 - c. 180 C.E.], whose glance embraced the great seats of supposed Pauline activity, betrays no knowledge of any such vigorous personality as having left his mark upon the Christian communities from a century before his time (Edwin Johnson, 1842-1901, published anonymously, Antiqua Mater: A Study of Christian Origins, London: Trubner & Co., Ludgate Hill, 1887, 253-254).
"His [Justin Martyr, St. c. 100 - c. 165 C.E.] silence about Paul, when he had every reason to cite him in his anti-Judaistic reasonings, is a silence that speaks--a void that no iteration of unattested statements, no nebulous declamation, can ever fill (Ibid.).
"Similarly in Paul there is a complete silence about the empty tomb; and it is likely that Paul did not know of this tradition. In any case, he is more interested in the present reality and future significance of the resurrection than in the purely historical aspect of the event " (Origins of Christianity, R. Joseph Hoffmann, ed., "The Story of the First Easter", J. K. Elliott, Prometheus, 1985, 318).
"it is characteristic of the post-Pauline writings that they are literary creations in their own right, and do not presuppose supplementation by an oral or another written message" (Ibid.).
"the body of eighty-two clearly established readings from the text available to Marcion [c. 100 - c. 165 C.E.] is an invaluable window into the state of the early second-century text of Paul's letters. Through it one can see for oneself the fluid state of the text of that time" (The Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monograph Series, "A Lost Edition of the Letters of Paul A Reassessment of the Text of the Pauline Corpus Attested by Marcion", John J. Clabeaux, 1989, 5-6).
"it is in connection with Marcion that we hear for the first time of Paul" (Edwin Johnson, 1842-1901, published anonymously, Antiqua Mater: A Study of Christian Origins, London: Trubner & Co., Ludgate Hill, 1887, 251).
"In considering the background of Paul, I have returned to one of the earliest accounts of Paul in existence, that given by the Ebionites ["the poor"], as reported by Epiphanius. This account has been neglected by scholars for quite inadequate and tendentious reasons " (Hyam Maccoby, The Mythmaker Paul and The Invention of Christianity, Harper & Row, "1987" Pb. (c1986), xii).
Boulanger, in his "Life of Paul" ["written in French"] has collected from the ecclesiastical histories, and from the writings of the fathers, as they are called, several matters which show the opinions that prevailed among the different sects of Christians at the time the Testament, as we now see it, was voted to be the Word of God. The following extracts are from the second chapter of that work. The Marcionists (a Christian sect) assumed that the evangelists were filled with falsities. The Manicheans, who formed a very numerous sect at the commencement of Christianity, rejected as false all the New Testament, and showed other writings quite different that they gave for authentic. The Cerinthians, like the Marcionists, admitted not the Acts of the Apostles. The Encratites, and the Sévénians, adopted neither the Acts nor the Epistles of Paul. Chrysostom, in a homily which he made upon the Acts of the Apostles, says that in his time, about the year 400, many people knew nothing either of the author or of the book. St. Irene, who lived before that time, reports that the Valentinians, like several other sects of Christians, accused the Scriptures of being filled with imperfections, errors and contradictions. The Ebionites, or Nazarines, who were the first Christians, rejected all the Epistles of Paul and regarded him as an impostor. They report, among other things, that he was originally a pagan, that he came to Jerusalem, where he lived some time; and that having a mind to marry the daughter of the high priest, he caused himself to be circumcised; but that not being able to obtain her, he quarreled with the Jews and wrote against circumcision, and against the observance of the Sabbath, and against all the legal ordinances. --Author.' [footnote of Thomas Paine c. 1795] (Thomas Paine [1737-1809], The Age of Reason, Citadel, 1974 (1948) (1794 Paris), 173).
"And it is still a question whether 'Paul,' that figure which suddenly starts up in Gnostic company at the middle of the second century more 'hebraises,' or more 'hellenises,' or whether so-called 'Paulinism' be not a heterogeneous mixture of conservatism and innovation; whether the current portraits of this latest 'apostle' do not present variations irreconcilable with the hypothesis of a historic individual" (Edwin Johnson 1842-1901, published anonymously, Antiqua Mater: A Study of Christian Origins, London: Trubner & Co., Ludgate Hill, 1887, 233-234).
"The inconceivable complexity of such antitheses of doctrine led Julian [331-363 C.E. (Emperor)] to describe Paul as the prince of charlatans...[Greek phrase], but not to deny his authorship of the writings attributed to him. This purely general defence, however, loses its force when an attempt is made to apply it to the particulars. The arbitrary and inconsequent use of the particle...[Greek word], for example, does not seem adequately explained by the favorite resource of modern Protestant philosophical Paulinists--namely, the Apostle's supposed training under the unfortunate Rabbis. Van Manen's hypothesis of the use of sources really explains this peculiarity in the work of a "Greek-speaking and Greek-thinking writer," such as the author or redactor of the Epistle to the Romans undoubtedly was. And, as he [van Manen] observes elsewhere, no one has arrived at a psychology--any more than a logic--of Paul which has satisfied other students" (Ibid.).
'"Either this man [Paul] was never a Rabbinic Jew at all, or he has quite forgotten what Rabbinic Judaism was and is"'. [Footnote (C.G. Montefiore, Jewish Quarterly Review, January, 1901)]. (Thomas Whittaker [1856-1935], The Origins of Christianity with An Outline of Van Manen's Analysis of the Pauline Literature, "3rd. " edition, Watts, 1914, 125).
'The only hypothesis that satisfactorily explains the peculiar agreement in the style of the whole collection, and at the same time the differences not merely between one Epistle and another, but between different parts of the same Epistle, is that which has been set forth -- namely, that none [Pauline Epistles] were written by the Apostle Paul, but that all proceeded from one circle or "school"' (Thomas Whittaker [1856-1935], The Origins of Christianity with An Outline of Van Manen's Analysis of the Pauline Literature, "3rd. " edition, Watts, 1914, 136).
"The Pauline Epistles generally are assigned to the period between 120 and 140 A.D." (Ibid.).
"Paul was the greatest fantasist of all. He created the Christian myth by deifying Jesus" (Hyam Maccoby, The Mythmaker Paul and the Invention of Christianity, Harper & Row, "1987" Pb. (c1986), 204. ).
"The myth [Jesus] adumbrated by Paul was then brought into full imaginative life in the Gospels, which were written under the influence of Paul's ideas and for the use of the Pauline Christian Church" (Ibid., p. 205).
"Paul quotes nothing that is found in our Gospels (Lk. 22, part of 19 and 20 being set aside as an interpolation) except the saying about (I Tim. 5 18) the 'labourer worthy of his hire'....But this is also found in the Didaché" (Encyclopaedia Biblica, T. K. Cheyne, J. Sutherland Black, eds., "GOSPELS" [A classic!], Paul Schmiedel [1851-1935], Adam and Charles Black, 1901, Vol. II, 1825).
"Books of the New Testament, dates of the: The determination of the dates of the various books of the N.T. is beset with difficulties and uncertainties. In the first place, none of these works is explicitly and definitely dated by its author. Nor does any writing contain unmistakable references by which it might be accurately dated. Further, it is highly probable that most of the authors are unknown to us, save for Paul, for apart from his letters the books in the New Testament are almost without exception either anonymous, or, what is worse, pseudonymous. Finally, the external attestation to their authorship and date is meager and as a rule unreliable" (An Encyclopedia of Religion, Vergilius Ferm, ed., Philosophical Library, 1945, 83) .
"The group [Pauline Epistles]...bears obvious marks of a certain unity--of having originated in one circle, at one time, in one environment; but not of unity of authorship". [van Manen 1842 - 1905] [The Ecclesiastical Corporation--at work!] (Encyclopaedia Biblica, T. K. Cheyne, J. Sutherland Black, eds., "PAUL" [A classic!], E. Hatch and W. van Manen [1842-1905], Adam and Charles Black, 1902, Vol. III, 3626).
"The man [Paul] and his message are not identical with the letters" (Leander Keck, Paul and His Letters, Fortress, 1979 (First Edition) (1988), vii).
"What we have are those forms of Paul's letters which were prepared for church use long after Paul himself wrote them" (Leander Keck, Paul and His Letters, Fortress, 1979 (First Edition) (1988), vii, 14).
"Did Paul dominate Christianity in his own time as much as he now dominates the NT? Or does Paul's place in the canon make him loom larger than he actually was?" (Leander Keck, Paul and His Letters, Fortress, 1979 (First Edition) (1988), vii, 3).
"The problem concerning the Pauline literature consists in determining the exact manner in which it was altered, rewritten, and expanded before it was accepted by the Catholic Church" (Martin A. Larson, The Story of Christian Origins or The Sources and Establishment of Western Religion, Village Press, 1977, 437).
"The only reasonable conclusion is that, since Paul was the great Gnostic spokesman more than fifty years before his writings became orthodox, these were revised and expanded by a process of Catholic forgery" (Ibid., 438).
"Paul Easily Corrupted. It was particularly easy for the Catholics to revise and expand the Pauline literature since it was used very little outside the heretical communions until after 170" (Ibid.).
"Marcion [c. 100 - c. 165 C.E.] accepted only ten Pauline epistles and that his version did not contain many of the passages found in our canonical. There can be no reasonable doubt that this was the actual corpus of Pauline literature as it existed late in the first century" (Ibid., 529).
"The manufacturer of quibbles, St. Paul, if he wrote the books that bear his name" (Thomas Paine [1737-1809], The Age of Reason, Citadel, 1974 (1948) (1794 Paris), 65).
"for Marcion the only Canonical Scriptures were ten of the Epp. of St. Paul [Marcion's versions (alterations by Marcion himself, are argued) (he either rejected or did not know the *Pastorals) and an edited recension of the Gospel of St. *Luke. " (The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingstone, eds., Oxford, 1974 (1957), 870).
"Whether the fourteen epistles ascribed to Paul were written by him or not is a matter of indifference; they are either argumentative or dogmatical; and as the argument is defective and the dogmatical part is merely presumptive, it signifies not who wrote them." [Thomas Paine 1737 - 1809] ([Sir] A. J. Ayer, Thomas Paine, U. Chicago, 1988, 150).
"A map of the Mediterranean region showing the routes of the hero and heroine of a novel inevitably brings to mind the school-bible's map of the travels of St. Paul. Here Xenophon's Ephesian Tale is mapped" (Tomas Hägg, The Novel in Antiquity, U. California, 1983 (1980 Sweden), map [end papers].
"(When Paul is not talking about himself he is usually issuing orders about how everybody should behave.)" (Robert Carroll, Wolf in the Sheepfold The Bible as a Problem for Christianity, SPCK, 1991, 123).
"Paul's letters provide the starting point....He cannot resist manipulating his audience. He resorts to devious strategies of control. Yet the same man speaks of love and freedom" (Graham Shaw, Chaplain of Exeter College, Oxford, The Cost of Authority Manipulation and Freedom in the New Testament, SCM, 1983, back cover).
"In the name of that Lord Paul demands unity and obedience. He is to be seen subduing critics, subjecting the faithful to his unsolicited censure, and giving firm rulings to their most intimate queries. It is a style that the officials of the Vatican can rightly claim as their own. " [which it (was) is!] (Graham Shaw, Chaplain of Exeter College, Oxford, The Cost of Authority Manipulation and Freedom in the New Testament, SCM, 1983, 62).
"The responsibility of Paul for Christian anti-Semitism has been overlooked because of the settled prejudice that Paul came from a highly Jewish background. It seemed impossible that a 'Hebrew of the Hebrews', a descendant of the tribe of Benjamin, and a Pharisee of standing could be the originator of anti-Semitic attitudes" (Hyam Maccoby, The Mythmaker Paul and The Invention of Christianity, Harper & Row, "1987" Pb. (c1986), 203).
"All the grand christological claims of [Paul] release and reconciliation end in practice by reconciling slaves to their lot and conniving at their exploitation" (Graham Shaw, Chaplain of Exeter College, Oxford, The Cost of Authority Manipulation and Freedom in the New Testament, SCM, 1983, 135).
"Paul uses the rhetoric of deliverance and reconciliation; at the same time he often acts in ways which domineer and divide" (Graham Shaw, Chaplain of Exeter College, Oxford, The Cost of Authority Manipulation and Freedom in the New Testament, SCM, 1983, 183).
"When Rome was at the apogee of its power, it became infected by the lethal virus of the Jewish heresy--which had been imported by St. Paul, and others of his ilk who might be compared to plague vectors. What Xenopsylia cheopis (the flea), most commonly incriminated as a plague vector, did to humanity pales into relative insignificance compared to what St. Paul did to the Roman empire and to civilization in general" (Soledad De Montalvo, Women, Food and Sex In History, 4 Vols., American Atheist, 1988, Vol. II, 448).
"St. Paul of Tarsus--of whom it is doubted was no [has been (ha sido)] more than a legend" (Eduardo del Rio Garcia, aka RIUS, Manual of a Perfect Atheist, American Atheist Press, 1984 (1981 Spanish), 84).
"The figure in this creed ["Apostles' Creed"] is a mythical or heavenly figure, whose connection with the sage from Nazareth is limited to his suffering and death under Pontius Pilate. Nothing between his birth and death appears to be essential to his mission or to the faith of the church. Accordingly, the gospels may be understood as corrections of this creedal imbalance, which was undoubtedly derived from the view espoused by the apostle Paul, who did not know the historical Jesus. For Paul, the Christ was to be understood as a dying/rising lord, symbolized in baptism (buried with him, raised with him), of the type he knew from the Hellenistic mystery religions. In Paul's theological scheme, Jesus the man played no essential role" (The Five Gospels The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus, Robert Funk, Roy Hoover, The Jesus Seminar, Macmillan, 1993, 7).
"Why? What possible reason could there have been for Paul and James and the other writers to ignore practically the whole earthly career of Jesus? Does it not raise a presumption that there was no such earthly career? What other possible reason could there have been?" (George Luther Clark, A Lawyer Looks at the Bible, Vantage, 1956, 184).
"Our opponents ask: If Jesus was not an historical personage, how is it that no one ever doubted his existence? We reply with the further question: Granting that he was an historical personage, how is it that not only does the Talmud never mention him, but, apart from the gospels, not a single work belonging to the early Christian period gives us any intimate detail about the life of this personage? Examine Paul's Epistles! As we shall show in the next chapter, they do not tell a single special fact about the life of Jesus. Read the other Epistles of the New Testament--Peter, John, James, Jude, and the Epistle to the Hebrews--and the letter of Clement to the Corinthians, the letter of Barnabas, the Pastor of Hermas, the Acts of the Apostles, etc. Nowhere in any single one of these early Christian documents do we find even the slenderest reference to the mere man Jesus, or to the historical personality of Jesus as such, from which we might infer that the author had a close acquaintance with it. His life, as it is described in the gospels, in all its human detail, seems to have been entirely unknown to these authors " (Arthur Drews [1865-1935], The Witnesses To The Historicity Of Jesus, Tr. Joseph McCabe, Arno, 1972 (1912 Watts), 58-59).
"My long-time view about Christianity is that it represents an amalgam of two seemingly immiscible parts--the religion of Jesus and the religion of Paul. Thomas Jefferson attempted to excise the Pauline parts of the New Testament. There wasn't much left when he was done, but it was an inspiring document." (Letter to Ken Schei [author of Christianity Betrayed]) Carl Sagan (Scientist: Author)
"My long-time view about Christianity is that it represents an amalgam of two seemingly immiscible parts--the religion of Jesus and the religion of Paul. Thomas Jefferson attempted to excise the Pauline parts of the New Testament. There wasn't much left when he was done, but it was an inspiring document." (Letter to Ken Schei [author of Christianity Betrayed]) Thomas Jefferson
"Where possible Paul avoids quoting the teaching of Jesus, in fact even mentioning it. If we had to rely on Paul, we should not know that Jesus taught in parables, had delivered the sermon on the mount, and had taught His disciples the 'Our Father.' Even where they are specially relevant, Paul passes over the words of the Lord." Albert Schweitzer
"Paul created a theology of which none but the vaguest warrants can be found in the words of Christ." Wil Durant (Philosopher)
"Paul substituted faith in Christ for the Christlike life." Walter Kaufman (Professor of Philosophy, Princeton)
"No sooner had Jesus knocked over the dragon of superstition than Paul boldly set it on its legs again in the name of Jesus" George Bernard Shaw
"The new testament was less a Christiad than a Pauliad." Thomas Hardy
"As we have seen, the purposes of the book of Acts is to minimize the conflict between Paul and the leaders of the Jerusalem Church, James and Peter. Peter and Paul, in later Christian tradition, became twin saints, brothers in faith, and the idea that they were historically bitter opponents standing for irreconcilable religious standpoints would have been repudiated with horror. The work of the author of Acts was well done; he rescued Christianity from the imputation of being the individual creation of Paul, and instead gave it a respectable pedigree, as a doctrine with the authority of the so-called Jerusalem Church, conceived as continuous in spirit with the Pauline Gentile Church of Rome. Yet, for all his efforts, the truth of the matter is not hard to recover, if we examine the New Testament evidence with an eye to tell-tale inconsistencies and confusions, rather than with the determination to gloss over and harmonize all difficulties in the interests of an orthodox interpretation." (H. Maccoby, The Mythmaker, p. 139, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1986)"If Christianity needed an Anti-Christ, they needed look no farther than Paul." (Paraphrased. Looking for a copy of "Not Paul, but Jesus" in order to retrieve the exact quote.) Jeremy Bentham (English Philosopher)
"Paul hardly ever allows the real Jesus of Nazareth to get a word in." (U.S. News and World Report, April 22, 1991, p. 55) Carl Jung (Psychologist)
"Paul's words are not the Words of God. They are the words of Paul- a vast difference." (Song, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, p. 104, Harper San Francisco, 1991) Bishop John S. Spong (Episcopal Bishop of Newark)
After reading these many quotes and contemplating upon what these "authorities" have said, as well as the possible reasons for them saying such, it would seem only natural to understand that there is another side to Paul that Christianity has not taught or desires their adherents to see.
Be not mistaken many Christian scholar are not aware that this information exits.
I had gone to Seminary no less and had a Master's degree and could have authored many books myself if given the opportunity and I had not come across such information at that point in my life. Because a man writes a book or holds a prestigious position in some denominational or academic structure does not guarantee that he has seen, knows, and has studied what you have. It is possible that you might know more or could learn more about what those you esteem today still lack understanding about. It is my desire to bring this information to the readership of Bet Emet and the world in hopes that the real truth concerning the historical Jesus be recovered and that his true message finally go into all the world instead of the false "gospel" preached today which can be shown to be a synthesis of Egyptian solar-worship mixed with a little Judaism...."and out jumps this golden calf [paraphrased] (Ex. 32:24).
"So was Paul a faithful follower of Jesus or the founder of a new religion and subverter of the true faith and teachings of Jesus?"
IT IS NOW TO THE EVIDENCES AND PROOFS THAT EXIST TO WHICH WE MUST TURN IN ORDER TO ANSWER THE ABOVE QUESTION BEYOND ANY DOUBT