We left off in our introductory article by posing some very important spiritual as well as theological questions:
If you continue your study of this website and the materials presented you, like I, will be astounded when you finish at what you see and will be totally bewildered how those who came before through the halls of Christian history did not see these things, let alone acknowledge or follow such truths. The reasons are many running the gamut; namely, from ignorance of their existence to a purposefully orchestrated program build upon the hatred of Anti-Semitism toward the Jewish people by the Gentiles. Now we must turn our attention to the texts and all sources of necessary evidence and information whereby we can adequately seek out the answer to the above questions.
One of the most embarrassing facts for those who see Paul as a follower of Jesus is his failure to refer much to Jesus' life or teaching. In his letters Paul refers very frequently to the death and resurrection of Jesus, but as for Jesus' birth, baptism, miracles, parables, transfiguration, etc., there is a deafening silence. As for the sayings of Jesus, Paul hardly quotes them at all, at least explicitly.
There are two exceptions to this silence. The first is 1 Cor 7:10, where Paul refers to Jesus' teaching on divorce:
To the married I give this command - not I but the Lord - that the wife should not separate from her husband. . . , and that the husband should not divorce his wife.
This is taken as an allusion to Jesus' teaching on divorce, which comes in various parts of the Gospels: Matt 5:27,28; 19:3-9; Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18.
The other is 1 Cor 9:14, where Paul writes:
In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.
This is usually taken to be an echo of Matt 10:10/Luke 10:7, where Jesus says: "the laborer is worthy of his food/hire."
Thus in 7:10 he mentions Jesus' prohibition of divorce, but then proceeds to give his own regulations on divorce in the church. In 9:14 he refers to Jesus' teaching on paying missionaries, but does so in the context of an explanation of why he, Paul, does not accept payment for his ministry.
It is not just the small number of quotations from Jesus that is striking, but specifically Paul's failure to quote from the sayings of Jesus where he might appropriately have done so. For example, in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 Paul is urging the Corinthians to be generous in contributing to the collection he is making for the Christians in Jerusalem. He uses a battery of different arguments to press his readers to respond, but no use at all is made of the extensive and colorful teaching of Jesus about wealth, poverty, and "laying up treasures in heaven" (Goulder, Midrash and Lection in Matthew, 148-49).
Answer for yourself: What is to be made of Paul's almost total silence in regard to Jesus' teaching and life before his passion?
The obvious conclusion, as it has seemed to many, is that Paul was not interested in the pre-passion ministry of Jesus and may in fact have been quite poorly informed about it. This may seem a surprising conclusion. But the argument is logical enough: Had Paul known much about Jesus' ministry and teaching and had they been important to him, he (like modern Christian preachers) would surely have referred to them continually. In fact he does not.
Answer for yourself: How could Paul have been uninterested in Jesus' life and teaching and yet have called himself a "slave of Jesus Christ"?
Paul's faith, it is argued, focused on the death and resurrection of Jesus and then on the risen Lord and his work in the church by his Spirit. It was this Jesus that Paul worshiped and served; what the earthly Jesus said and did was of very little importance to him. So the influential Rudolf Bultmann can say:
"Jesus' teaching is - to all intents and purposes - irrelevant for Paul" (Bultmann, "Significance of the Historical Jesus," p.223) .
Commenting on his view S. G. Wilson claims: "One aspect of Bultmann's analysis has won the day: few would now deny that Paul's interest in the person and teaching of Jesus is minimal" (Wilson, "From Jesus to Paul," p. 6-7).
Fredriksen, in her From Jesus to Christ, p. 174, states:
"About Jesus of Nazareth Paul evinces little interest."
Answer for yourself: So did Paul have little interest in Jesus since he said so little about him? Or should we assume that Paul did not need to teach the Gentiles about what Jesus taught since they already knew? Hardly the latter! Of course you see right out that the non-Jews had not heard of Jesus and we cannot assume they had any prior knowledge at all. Thus we are left with the convincing position of these scholars, as well as a host of more, that tell us that from the writings of Paul a case cannot be made that Paul was concerned for what Jesus believed or taught since his preaching of this Jesus only has 2 measly references to what Jesus believed, and again, both times they are just one sentence each (THINK)!
For Paul Jesus' death and resurrection were theologically so much more important to him.
Answer for yourself: How could it be that the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus held more importance for Paul that the years of teaching of Jesus, especially in light of the knowledge that nowhere outside of the Essene community was any expected "messiah" or deliver expected to die and that the one expected by the Essenes was to die in a battle?
Answer for yourself: What does any of this Essene belief in a battlefield death of an "anointed one" have to do with an itinerant preacher of repentance from Galilee?
Answer for yourself: Where would one like Paul get such an over-emphasis concerning the death and resurrection of such an "anointed one" if the Jewish Bible and Masoretic text, Moses, and the Jewish Prophets, never wrote of an "anointed one" who was to die and be resurrected?
Well I don't want to let the cat out of the bag but to say these thought are troublesome is an understatement. Oh, I can hear some readers say: "Hasn't Pastor Craig never read Isaiah 53?" Yes, both the corrupted one you have that came from the Essenes continual "doctoring" of the texts in order to make it align their their solar and astral worship from Egypt that gave them in the first the concept of dying and rising sun-godmen and the Isaiah 53 that was meticulously keep unchanged by other Jews from well before 200 B.E.C. (at the time of its corruption by the Essenes). The oldest copies know to be in existence were from 900 to 1000 A.D. and since these were not as old as the Greek translations which read completely different as taken from the Greek translation, it was normal for Christians to assume that since these were older and contained different readings in "messianic portions," that they assumed the Jews had written out Jesus from their Bibles and altered their texts to write out this "godman" of the Gospel of John who dies for the world in Isaiah 53. Well, that was the belief until 1950 when the Dead Sea Scrolls showed us that older than these Greek translations that were thought to be more correct than the then-existing Jewish copies which read different, we found older Hebrew Masoretic texts that agreed 99.9% completely with what had existed since 900 A.D. which were thought by the Christian community to have been changed in reaction to Judaism. It seems now, without any doubt, it is the Christian texts which have been altered away from the oldest Jewish Manuscripts existing and not the other way around.
Answer for yourself: Is it remotely possible that Paul, since not getting his ideas of a dead and resurrected Messiah from conservative Judaism but got his ideas from the Essene branch of Judaism whom themselves got such ideas from other sun-worshipping Gentile religions both before and present in their day?
Sadly, that is the case and we will see that fact beyond any doubt before we finish this website. That is why the teachings of Jesus are not important for Paul because he changes the message of Jesus and the message of salvation that Jesus taught. Notice how many times Paul promotes himself over James and the Jerusalem apostles who knew Jesus best (Galatians 2). Notice how many times Paul refers to "my Gospel" instead of Jesus' gospel! Paul and Jesus preached two different religions and faiths. Paul and Jesus had two different salvation messages. Paul reiterates in Jewish overtone the same message since Osiris of Egypt who died and later rose from the dead and his wife had a virgin born son after his death. There is nothing new under the SUN...pardon the pun. Every Gentile nation of the world was affected by Egypt and we continue in this same vein today and we just don't know or recognize it. Likewise we don't recognize it when we read the Bible because we have been "conditioned" to accept every thing we read there as if it came from God. No, sorry it did not and it can be proven if your heart is strong enough to take it. The sad facts of such a deception foisted upon every good Christian of this world are plain to see, but I warn you it is tough stuff.
I pray and ask you have the objectivity to read and study and the courage to continue for what will be shown to you throughout the above website as well as this one dealing exclusively with Paul will not be pretty in light of what you have been taught most of your life as a Pauline Christian and not as a Jewish Christian (Jewish Messianic believer). My prayers are with you for your strength to handle what you will find and the grace to repent of religious lies and errors when pointed out to you with ample evidence. Shalom.