Paul's writings show a marked divergence from Pharisaic Judaism. Most Christians are not aware of this. Paul's writings also, not surprisingly, are different from the views of the Nazarenes or Jewish Christians who were the original followers of Yeshua. The people most closely associated with Yeshua in his life formed the nucleus of the Nazarene movement. The members of this group attended synagogue and considered themselves Jews. They were Nazarene Jews, just as others were Pharisaic Jews or Essene Jews. These first followers of Yeshua were opposed to Paul's arguments against the Torah and Jewish ceremonies and practices. Leading members of the Nazarenes were Peter and James, Yeshua's apostle and brother, respectively. The latter headed the Jerusalem Church or Council. In the Epistle of James the conflict between the Jewish Nazarene movement and Paul's Gentile Christianity came to the fore. James ridiculed the Pauline concept that faith can substitute for good deeds and actions.


The New Testament was written with a multiple agenda. The New Testament, in many places, down-plays the schism and split the constantly existed between Paul and the Jerusalem Church. But to those who know what they are looking far when reading the New Testament, internal evidences give away the break between Paul and the apostles who knew Yeshua best. The Book of Acts and the Epistle to the Galatians have several references to the growing conflict between Paul and James. Apparently Paul was summoned to Jerusalem to explain to the Jerusalem Council his reasons for abolishing the requirements of circumcision and dietary restrictions for Gentile converts. Galatians 3 also bears witness to the differences Paul had with Peter about dietary observance. Following this confrontation, there is no evidence that the two men ever again resumed contact or friendly relations.

There are other documents which were not included in the Catholic Bible in 380 C.E. which testify to Paul’s alienation from the Nazarene sect. The Ebionites left literature which is contained in what is called, the Pseudo-Clementine Writings. They were preserved because they were falsely attributed to Pope Clement. Actually, the core of these writings is Jewish Christian or Ebionite stemming from second century Syria.

Inasmuch as the Ebionites were a direct link to the Jerusalem Church, and, therefore, to Yeshua, their records would seem to be of great historical value. The earliest writings of this sect were about two centuries prior to those of most of the Church Fathers and therefore, closer in time to Paul and Yeshua. The Church Father, Irenaeus, in his book Against Heresies attacked the Nazarenes as heretics under the name of Ebionites. The word Ebionites in Hebrew is evyonim which means poor people. It is another name by which the Nazarenes or Jewish Christians were called.

The Ebionite manuscripts cast light on Paul's life and provide much insight into his motivations, actions, and doctrines. The Ebionites rejected Paul as an apostate from the Law who had perverted Yeshua's teachings by claiming that Yeshua had abrogated the Torah. Furthermore, they asserted, Paul had violated Nazarene beliefs by transforming Yeshua into a deity. In the Ebionite documents Peter accused Paul of spreading lies about him by saying he opposed the Torah. Peter also claimed that Paul knew nothing about Yeshua's teachings. This is not surprising I found since the Christian faith is not built off the Apostles and Prophets as was planned, but off the Council of Nicea in the fourth century. Biblical and historical ignorance has robbed most today of the critical and necessary tools necessary to correctly interpret the book called the Bible. The Pastors carry the most blame, but those who never study to show themselves approved come right behind. The contention between Paul and James and Peter, alluded to in the canonical books of the New Testament (Acts, Epistles to the Galatians and of James and Jude), is affirmed in the Ebionite documents.

In an Arabic document, discovered by Shlomo Pines, an Israeli scholar, the Ebionite allegiance to the Torah is reiterated as is their belief in Yeshua as a human prophet (and not a deity fashioned after the image of Osiris). It also expressed "strong opposition to Paul as the falsifier of Yeshua's teachings". This Arabic document is from the tenth century Pines was able to demonstrate that a section in it had been incorporated from a Jewish Christian source stemming from about the fifth century!

This accords well with views of contemporary scholars. The Book of Acts tried to patch over the differences between Peter and Paul and to show Peter as moving towards Paul's anti-Torah views. There really is no convincing proof that Peter, who was the apostle to the Jews, ever departed from the Nazarene position which held that Yeshua was a human Messiah and remained loyal to his Jewish faith.

The fourth century Church Father, Epiphanius, preserved the Ebionites' attack on Paul. Epiphanius quoted them as saying Paul was of Greek parentage, that he came to Jerusalem and fell in love with the daughter of the High Priest (a Sadducee…thus now you see why he was a Sadducees originally and why he persecuted the Pharisees and Nazarenes). For this reason he converted to Judaism. When he was rejected, he turned against circumcision, the Sabbath, and the Law. If there is any truth to this story repeated by Epiphanius two centuries after it was written by the Nazarenes (or Ebionites), it could explain many characteristics of Paul:

In his religious precepts Paul was no closer to the Nazarenes than he was to the Pharisees even though he recognized that his mission originally emanated from the former and he claimed in his letters that his roots were imbedded in the latter.

If you want more on this major problem connected with Paul I have done my homework and will see that you get the information you need in order to make necessary correction and repentance in your religious belief system. Such I can assure you is very pleasing to God who never desired Christians worship as they do. Shalom.