Paul was probably the most famous and successful letter-writer in history. He even started a new genre of literature, called epistles, which he used to spread his religious ideas. Paul's epistles, often written in haste for particular occasions affecting a small segment of society and not meant for all, were shaped by local circumstances and would later become the foundation of a new religion which would divorce itself from it's mothers faith and the faith of Yeshua in many ways (Biblical Judaism). Paul developed his doctrine while on the move, traveling from Judea to Rome, through Syria, Asia Minor, and Greece. His most famous and inclusive letter, Romans, was probably composed in Corinth about the year 53. As problems developed, Paul formulated his letters to meet the unique demands at various places and situations. The most serious challenges to which he responded were the threat of Gentile converts observing Jewish practices.
Answer for yourself: Was Paul concerned in Gentile coverts being taught to obey Biblical commandments requiring them to observe Jewish practices? That is a matter of diverse opinion.
Answer for yourself: Was he concerned because some others were also teaching Gentile converts that they HAD to observe them, not out of love and obedience to God, but because they were NECESSARY FOR THEIR SALVATION? Yes he was and this needs explanation. There were Jews who imposed upon the Gentiles forced "circumcision" for acceptance and they did so in hopes that such a radical procedure upon adult males would keep them from social and religious involvement with the Jews. This was bigotry in the highest degree. Paul was right in his earlier attempts to stop such forced "circumcision" as "necessary" for acceptance of Gentile by Jews. This is termed "salvation" by some yet "salvation" was not the issue; rather, the term was used for Jewish acceptance of Gentiles without circumcision which was, up to that time, required for conversion and acceptance of the non-Jews by Jews. So Paul was right in the beginning: "the Gentiles are not under "the" Law of circumcision" according to their Covenant of Noah. Sadly over the years Paul would move well beyond the Law of circumcision and end up in his latter years rejecting all Law. This is where Paul makes his fatal mistake.
Dear child of God, it is this very issue which has escaped the majority of Christians for 1800 years and has robbed them of their rightful heritage, and has thus, through erroneous teaching, caused the majority of Gentile Christians to misunderstand the message of Paul and his rejection of the "Law."
Let me say again; Paul was not against the attraction of Judaism toward potential Gentile proselytes, but Paul was, in the beginning at least, against the perversion of the truth as taught by some that made obedience to the Law of circumcision, which was given to the Jews and not Gentiles, as necessary for Gentile salvation (circumcision was never commanded of Gentiles in the Covenant of Noah). Some of Paul's letters were directed against his opponents who, because of racial bigotry toward Gentiles, were making the assimilation of Gentiles into the Kingdom of God so difficult (by requiring circumcision of adult males before acceptance into the Israel of God), that many would, under such requirements, choose to not accept Monotheism, and thereby eventually die without God. In-depth study of the New Testament will show that Paul repeatedly taught Gentiles, once having come to faith in God through Yeshua's Movement within Judaism, to observe the Sabbaths and Festivals of God. Other letters were sent to his emissaries, encouraging them in their missionary work. Paul addressed some of his epistles to the Gentile communities he wished to stay in touch with and could not or did not yet visit.
Please understand that I am not out to attack Paul. Possibly his writing were altered after his writing of them by the Gentile Church. Possibly Paul changed his beliefs at the end of his life whereby he not only rejected the Law of Circumcision for non-Jews but the rest of the Law. We do know one thing for certain however; namely, that the Jerusalem Church and James had a real problem with him. We will never know for certain. Please understand however that in this article, since it is viewed by the majority of Christianity, that Paul is the author of most of the epistles in the New Testament, I will and must assume he is the rightful author are responsible for what is written under his name. In so doing at times I will have to deal harshly with misrepresentations of the Jewish texts as this occurs under "Paul's name." Regardless try to remain objective in what follows when Paul's epistles are put under the microscope so to speak.
Having said such kind things of Paul, I must now take offense at other things he wrote, or were altered after his writing of them, that are direct contradictions of what God had spoken through Moses, the Prophets, and even Yeshua himself.
No way you probably respond, but before you discount what I have to say, you best listen attentively to what I will show you, for your rewards in the world to come will be determined by not only what you believe, but how you respond to what you believe. Needless to say, if we have believed Paul, and his writings can be shown to contradict Yeshua, Moses, etc., then someone is wrong! Let me say at the outset that without a life dedicated to in-depth study of the Bible through comparative study, then the casual reader of the English Bible is not equipped to cast dispersions upon what I present. I challenge you to read thoroughly what I present and evaluate it for yourself once you have been presented all the facts.
I will show you that many of the writings attributed to Paul expressed new doctrines which Paul brought to Nazarene Judaism and which eventually had great influence on all of Gentile Christianity.
The irony of this is that many of these "new" doctrines oppose and contradict the teachings of Moses, the Prophets, and Yeshua which are the very foundation of Christianity as a Messianic branch of Judaism. In other words the daughter kills the mother!
Most authorities on Christian Scriptures agree with the statement of Joseph Fitzmeyer and Raymond Brown, "Romans has affected later Christian theology more than any other New Testament book. It influenced the development of other books In the Christian canon, the Patristic (Church Fathers') literature, and the theological writings of the Reformation as well.
Answer for yourself: If I can demonstrate to you that some of the key doctrines in Romans (and especially Galatians) espoused by coming from Paul are directly in violation of what Moses, the Prophets, and Yeshua taught, then can you grasp the seriousness of the situation if we casually and not critically read and understand the epistles of Paul?
Answer for yourself: Would you not rather find out now that some of what you have believed from Pauls writings, and modeled your life after, is incorrect and God would not desire you believe in and follow such teachings?
Paul even gave the name to this new religion as well as much of its philosophy. It was he who put great emphasis on the designation "Christ" and, according to Acts, used the name Christians for disciples of Yeshua. After you finish these articles you will clearly see that the writings attributed to Paul brought into the religion of Yeshua many changes that distinguished it from it mothers faith .Biblical Judaism.
In the articles that follow I will present you with a systematic disclosure of how 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. Such is an abomination when compared with the revelation of the God who changes not and His message in the Hebrew Scriptures. Paul did much to transform Yeshua from a human Jewish messiah to a divine Greek Christ. 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. Paul's writing, penned up as much as 50 years before any Gospels, lay the foundation and influence which would later guide the Gentile writers of the Gospels in Asia Minor. That's right, the other Gentile writers, for modern scholarship today disprove the thought that the original Jewish followers of Yeshua had anything to do with the four Gospels in the New Testament. The early Gentile-Greek (catholic-universal) Church accepted and adopted Pauls theological views and Pauls attitude toward the Torah and Jews as over against the views of a Jewish Rabbi named Yeshua. That's the problem we live with today as we have inherited the legacy of the Catholic Church whether we wanted to or not. This distortion of a Jewish faith by the early Gentile Roman Church 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 a world-wide 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.
This is what you have inherited as Christians today because we carry in our Bibles a document called the New Testament which is full of contradictions with prior God-given doctrines accepted by Yeshua and the whole Messianic community. Besides that you will find upon close examination that Paul's writing are characterized by a flood of Biblical quotations which are usually garbled and often joined randomly to one another in such a manner that destroys the original intent of the original author. More often that not Paul misquotes the Old Testament on purpose to further his theology, or lifts the verses out of their original context and twists the meaning to his own pleasure to further a point at the expense of the original meaning of the original author. You probably have never seen this for yourself but I will show this to you in numerous articles that follow, and once you see for yourself, then you can make an intelligent decision of the matter for yourself. As if that is not enough, Paul's citations from the Hebrew Bible are not based on the traditionally accepted Masoretic Text and often, not even on the less reliable Septuagint. More often that not Paul's use of Scripture are his own creations, formulated to meet his theological need. Again more often than not Paul's versions of Biblical quotations are usually remote from the original passages, thus giving them a different meaning and intent which was in the mind of the original author. Sadly, and what you have yet to see for yourself, is that these distortions of a once prior held faith became dogma in Gentile Christianity. Cherished and accepted truths given by God since before Sinai were contradicted by Paul and many are not aware, since being New Testament Christians and not being Old Testament Christians whereby you would have familiarity with the Jewish texts and could spot mistranslations and misquotations with ease.
In closing, when attention and focus is turned to the mainline churches, where a well-educated ministry has always been required, it becomes obvious that they have, by and large, simply ignored the Bible. The average pew sitter in the average mainline church, both Catholic and Protestant, is, to say it bluntly, biblically illiterate. I used to be that way myself over 15 years ago. But I have devoted myself over these last 15 years or so to serious study of the Bible along with its culture, language, history, etc. The biblical scholarship of the past two hundred years has simply not been made available to the man or the woman in the pew. It is for these reasons that I have found it imperative to put another voice into the public arena.
Depending on how much of the New Testament and the Pauline corpus of literature has been made into an idol by my readers, my articles will be regarded as either enlightening or disturbing. My hope is that it will help members of the Christian churches to allow their soon-to-be-twenty-first-century minds to become aware of the distortion done to the original Gospel of Yeshua and the Jerusalem Church by Paul and his followers. I write as a New Testament God-Fearer who loves the church. I am not a hostile critic who stands outside religion desiring to make fun of it. I am not a Marxist who believes that religion is the opiate of the people. I am not a Madalyn Murry O'Hair who believes that God should be expunged from public life. I am an ordained Pastor who was raised as a biblical fundamentalist and who, when studied to a sufficient level, found glaring errors in the New Testament, and specifically with Paul and his "gospel", which a cursory reading overlooked. Added to that was finally the shame I felt when I fully realized to what degree of deception I had fallen and the number of years where I lived before my God as an idolator and never knew it! What had I not studied before? Why had I not loved God enough to look into my faith seriously? Was it because I went to seminary that I did so? Does not the everyday Christian have the same responsibility to verify if what he has been taught is correct?
There will be some who, upon reading these articles, will be disturbed and even angry. I regret that. I have no desire to make uncomfortable anyone's fragile life. Yet, I must be true to God and the truth which once was the foundation of the true church of Yeshua before such truth was corrupted by Paul and others. By God's grace and my hard efforts at investigative research over the last 15 years, coupled with the calling of a Pastor, my heart is broken for the condition of the church today and the false gospel it has received in place of the one originally taught by the apostles of Yeshua.
I give you the fruit of my efforts. It is the greatest expression of my love for God and those created in His image. I will continue to argue and provide these insights, drawn largely from Biblical scholarship over the past hundreds years to which God has made available to me. I make it available to you. My goal of my Pastoral life is to combine scholarship with faith, to bring honesty to interpretation of the Biblical text, and to expose deception and error within the New Testament to the unsuspecting in order that their lives may be benefited by such knowledge. It is my hope that through information and knowledge presented by Bet Emet that your repentance to false beliefs will ensure your greater reward in the world to come as well as a more correct Biblical life-style whereby you love God correctly through obedient actions which are the result of such knowledge. Our goal is to return to the faith of Yeshua, because Pauline influenced Christianity today is a poor example of it. You will soon see, that in order to do so, you must understand Paul and his apostasy from the faith of Yeshua.