Having read the previous articles in this series, you have now seen for yourself that Paul, in spite of his claims to the contrary, had indeed remained bitterly opposed to the many of the teaching in Christ's message, the main one being the substitution of faith alone for acceptance with God instead of faith in God and obedience to His Word.. Saul (Paul before the alleged conversion) attacked Christianity in an effort to preserve, unchanged, the beliefs that Saul himself held so dearly that often were in conflict with normative Messianic Judaism.
Answer for yourself: If Gamliel, the head of the Pharisees, instructed that Peter and John were not to be beaten for their beliefs, then how are we supposed to believe that Paul, likewise a self-proclaimed Pharisee, wanted to not only hurt but kill them? By now you should have seen for yourself that such an attitude was totally foreign to a Pharisee but not for a Sadducee (which Paul was in the beginning).
Paul, who has become the leader of the Christian faith in the perspective of the early Gentile church, totally disregarded many of the doctrines inherent in Christ's teaching. Albert Schweitzer puts it quite succinct!' when he states:
Where possible he (Paul) avoids quoting the teaching of Yeshua, In fact even mentioning it. If we had to rely on Paul, we should not know that Yeshua 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. (The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle, p. 171)
Thus, Paul succeeds where Saul failed. The Old Testament is preserved; and by merely claiming to "have faith in Yeshua," the MESSAGE of Yeshua is successfully silenced.
Because the message of Paul has been misinterpreted so badly, today we as Christians practice a faith that is foreign to what both God and Yeshua desires. Examine the following:
2 Cor 5:17
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (KJV)
17 Therefore <5620> if any man <1536> [be] in <1722> Christ <5547>, [he is] a new <2537> creature <2937>: old things <744> are passed away <3928> (5627); behold <2400> (5628), all things <3956> are become <1096> (5754) new <2537>.
Let us examine the Greek word for new as seen in the Strongs Lexicon:
Let us now see it from Thayers Greek Lexicon:
Let us now see the Greek word for creature as seen in the Strongs Lexicon:
2937 ktisis (ktis'-is); From 2936; original formation (properly, the act; by implication, the thing, literally or figuratively):
KJV-- building, creation, creature, ordinance.
2936 ktizo (ktid'-zo); probably akin to 2932 (through the idea of proprietor-ship of the manufacturer); to fabricate, i.e. found (form originally):
KJV-- create, Creator, make.
Let us now see the Greek word for creature as needed in Thayers Greek Lexicon:
2937 ktisis- the act of founding, establishing, building, etc.
Answer for yourself: Since Pauls own writing indicate the goal in becoming a new creature is to covert from idolatry to Judaism, then by your own experience, is your expression of Christianity similar to Messianic Judaism in that you and your church keep the Saturday Sabbath and the Seven Festivals of the Lord in Lev. 23? Probably not!
Answer for yourself: Are you a part of a faith or attend a church which has replaced the 24-hour, seventh-day Sabbath with an hour or two of Sunday morning worship?
Answer for yourself: Are you a part of a faith or attend a church which has replaced the Biblical holy days with holidays of pagan origin?
Answer for yourself: Are you a part of a faith or attend a church which has replaced God's dietary guidelines with our own ideas about what we should eat?
Answer for yourself: Are you a part of a faith or attend a church which has replaced giving the tithe to places ONLY where God has placed his name to the general fund of churches who use the LORD's moneys in any way they desire? For your information the tithe in the Bible is to go to ONLY three categories or receptacles: 1) the widows, orphans, sick, lame blind, etc., 2) you are to keep part of your tithe to celebrate the LORD's Festivals and help the poor to observe them with you, and 3) to the Levite or the "teacher" who teaches the truth of God's Word and not the by-laws of your particular denomination.
Answer for yourself: Do you not realize that if your church does not distribute the LORD's tithe accurately then you are a party to "robbing God" and you have place yourself and your family "under a curse?"
The influence of Marcion continues to do this in the Church today. Mainstream Christianity has criticized believers for keeping the seventh-day Sabbath, for celebrating the Biblical holy days, for practicing the dietary laws, for placing their tithe in other places than their local church, and for refusing to shave their beards...all things that God has commanded. And, like Marcion, Mainstream Christianity often commands what God forbids: "Forget the Sabbath. Ignore the holy days and dietary laws, bring you tithe to the storehouse for the church is "the storehouse" (which it is not!). And shave that beard, so you'll look like a Christian!" (Many Bible colleges and seminaries command their students to shave the beard, in spite of God's command in Lev.19:27.)
Answer for yourself: If the above seems foreign to you, then have you really become a new creature in Christ, or have you just changed one form of neo-paganism for another?
The law of Moses" included three separate groups of laws, composed by different hands at different dates and enlarged since. Exodus 20-23 went back, in part, to customary law under the pre-exilic kings; Deuteronomy to the authors of the book of the law c. 720-620, which had also been expanded since; Leviticus 11ff. to the priestly authors during the sixth century BC. There were serious gaps, obscurities and contradictions in this law, which was never one person's code so much as the amalgamation of disparate earlier writings." - Robin Lane Fox, The Unauthorized Version.
Moses legislated concerning the sacrificing of animals.
"How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge you conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" - Hebrews 9:13-14
"The doctrine of vicarious atonement is...foreign to it [Mosaic Law]: a symbolic scapegoat might carry the sins of the people away into the wilderness, but no individual could or should cleanse another person of guilt by allowing himself to be punished instead. On this point the Mosaic tradition emphatically differs from the Christian. But it should be remembered that the Mosaic code includes the command to 'love thy neighbor as thyself' and to assist the widow, the fatherless and the stranger. Moses would not have put it this way, but the Mosaic view was that love should co-exist with justice but not corrupt it." - David Daiches, Moses - Man in the Wilderness
"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all..." - James 2:10
"It is abundantly clear from this that James and his followers in the Jerusalem movement saw no contradiction between being a member of their movement and being a fully observant Jew; on the contrary, they expected their members to be especially observant and to set an example in this respect. The corollary of this is that they did not regard themselves as belonging to a new religion, but as being Jews in every respect; their belief that the Messiah had come did not in any way lessen their respect for Judaism or lessen their fellowship with other Jews, even those who did not share their Messianic belief." - Hyam Maccoby." The Mythmaker"
"The Pentateuch states that all are equal, that no person may oppress or exploit another, that all have the right to be free and be independent masters of their own fate. Jewish Christians believed in the laws of the Pentateuch and struggled for the application of these laws in daily life, struggling against an oppressive establishment which argued against and did not keep the social laws.
"Paul preached against material independence, against social security, against freedom from oppression and exploitation. What he preached was the political ideology of an oppressive establishment." - Manfred Davidmann, "Origin of Christianity and Judaism"
Contrast the above thought with the following from Paul.
"All authority comes from God, so that rulers (those who are in a position of authority) have been appointed by God. Hence let every person submit to those who rule. It follows that whoever resists the rulers resists whom God has appointed and those who resist rulers will be punished, for rulers do not terrorize those whose conduct is 'good', but those whose conduct is 'evil'. Pay all those in authority what they demand, taxes, revenues, respect, honor." - Romans 1-3, 7
Paul's letters are the oldest recorded writings in the New Testament, Probably about 50 A.D. The Gospels, which were influenced by Pauline thought later followed, Matthew being regarded by most as the first. While Matthew can be seen as a manuscript meant to show Jewish people and New Christians the path back to the true meaning of the Pentateuch. Paul did much to separate Christian theology from Judaism, but without going into detail about the epistles, for the purpose of this presentation, let it suffice to say that Paul wrote many things that seem to have come from his own mind instead of from Moses, the Prophets, and Yeshua. And when read with that thought in mind many things that Paul says in his letters are completely out of focus with the things taught in the gospel of Matthew.
The Torah and it's accompanying laws were set forth to assure equality of all men, social security, and protection from oppression. Early Christianity can be seen as an attempt to return to the basic core of social laws and system of the Pentateuch after these had been ravaged by the Jewish community. Then as Christianity was taking hold, those virtues were sidestepped by the establishment, in order to oppress the people and take power. Today we can see the Christian population looking more towards those original values as set forth in the Old Testament as the way to improve basic social laws and improve fairness and justice.
"This brought him [Paul] into conflict with Jewish Christians and with the mostly Jewish Christian communities and he was unsuccessful in changing their beliefs and practices. He then concentrated on gaining converts from gentiles (people who are not Jewish) who presumably knew nothing or little about the laws of the Pentateuch and who would thus be more likely to follow his teachings without arguing about its content." - Manfred Davidmann, "Origin of Christianity and Judaism"
"So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith." - Galatians 3:24
"For no human being will be justified in his sight by works of the law, since through the law comes knowledge of sin." - Romans 3:20
"I would never have known the sin in my heart - the evil desires that are hidden there -if the law had not said, 'You must not have evil desires in your hear'. But sin used this law against evil desires by reminding me that such desires are wrong and arousing all kinds of forbidden desires within me! Only if there were no laws to break would there be no sinning." - Romans 7:7-8 (Living Bible)
"He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious" (2 Corinthians 3:6-8)?
"[Rosemary] Ruether (1974) argues that Paul, under gnostic influence, conceived of the Torah as a means of demonic rulership over the fleshly man of the dying age, whereas freedom from the Torah signifies freedom from the evil powers for the spiritual man of the coming age. Thus Judaism, or the Israel of flesh, is superseded by Christianity, the Israel of spirit. Although Paul speaks warmly of the Jews, whose covenant remains intact, and of the Torah as 'holy, just and good' (Rom. 7:12), he nevertheless focuses, in chapters 9-11, on the fact of Jewish disbelief." - Paul Harvey.
"While we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we are slaves not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit." - Paul in Romans 7:5-6
"And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth." - Isaiah 49:6
Salvation and 'the kingdom' was being presented only to the Jewish nation initially. Christ even warned his disciples to go only to 'the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
"These twelve Yeshua sent out, charging them, 'Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And preach as you go, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand".'" - Matthew 10:5-7
"Some scholars argue that Yeshua confined his work to Judeans, with the consequence that the mission to the gentiles is to be understood as a Christian overlay...A restricted mission [however] was not characteristic of Yeshua (he apparently had considerable contact with gentiles and went into foreign territory on occasion) but reflects the point of view of a Judaizing branch of the movement." - Robert W. Funk, Roy W. Hoover, and the Yeshua Seminar, The Five Gospels.
According to Acts, Peter was the first apostle to allow gentiles to be baptized:
"And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost for they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days." - Acts 10:45-48
"...Prior to Paul's appearance on the Christian Jewish scene, we see the name of Theudas who had claimed to be a messiah. History tells us that this Theudas was killed approximately the year 46 C.E. If we assume that Christianity began in the year 33 C.E., then we can conclude that prior to the entrance of Paul, post-crucifixion Christianity was in existence for some 13 years. Paul fills in the rest, in the book of Galatians. Galatians 1:18 indicates that the time between Paul's calling and his first visit to Peter (Cephas) was 3 years. He did not see any of the other apostles at that time except James, the brother of Yeshua." - Miryam Nathan, "Acts, the Jews and the Torah"
"But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia; and again I returned to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord's brother." - Galatians 1: 15-19
After increasing hostility from Jewish authorities in Asia Minor, Paul and Barnabas concentrated on converting Gentiles.
"Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth." - Act 13:46-47
The Law, Paul wrote, was a stumbling block for Jews to have faith in the Holy Spirit.
"What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, righteousness through faith; but that Israel who pursued the righteousness which is based on law did not succeed in fulfilling that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it through faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written, "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone that will make men stumble, a rock that will make them fall; and he who believes in him will not be put to shame." - Romans 9:30-33
Paul was deliberately provocative towards the Jews - in order to "save some of them".
"Again I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says, 'I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation; with a foolish nation I will make you angry.' Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, "I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.' But of Israel he says, 'All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people'.
Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them." - Romans 10:19-21, 11:13-14
Within the writings of the followers of Peter and James is a totally different picture. These writings support the view that the major message that Christ presented was the picture of God as a loving and caring "Heavenly Father." They state that Christ's teaching corrected errors in the Oral Law of the religious teachings of the major Pharisee sect of his day, while affirming the teachings of the House of Hillel (the sect of Pharisees to which Yeshua belonged and championed).
Now consider what might be the strongest bit of corroborating evidence yet discovered. The eminent Professor Schoeps talks about the Clementine Recognitions:
Since Paul was viewed at least by the descendants of the early Judaists as the adversary, as the echthros ("enemy"), Indeed, EVEN AS THE ANTICHRIST, It is probable that he was so regarded by the early Judaists themselves. (Jewish Christianity, p. 55)
Knowing that at least some early Christians viewed St. Paul as the Antichrist (the Beast). According to some scholars, it becomes even more probable that the reference to the number 666 did indeed stand for St. Paul!
There is no direct evidence in the Bible that some early Christians opposed the teachings of Paul. However, Paul's defense of himself in his letters is indirect proof of the existence of these detractors. With the discovery of the apocryphal works described earlier, the direct evidence has made itself quite clear.
Evidence that other researchers have come to the same conclusion can be found in the writers of S.G. F. Brandon, M.A., D.D., Professor of Comparative Religion at the University of Manchester:
Paul himself provides ample evidence that his teaching and authority were being seriously challenged by powerful opponents. These opponents, as Paul warns his converts, were teaching a "different gospel" from that which he taught, and they were presenting "another Yeshua." Such statements can only mean that Paul's interpretation of the nature of Yeshua and the significance of his death was opposed by some other interpretation. The question of the identity of the exponents of this other "gospel" Is, accordingly, a matter of fundamental concern. Paul, curiously, despite his exceeding agitation over their activity, never names them.
Whomever they were, they were obviously Christians of great authority; for they were able to go among Paul's own converts and successfully present a rival Interpretation of the faith. Moreover, although he is so profoundly disturbed by their action, Paul never questions their authority as they did his. These facts, taken together with Paula very evident embarrassment about his relations with the leading Apostles of Jerusalem, point irresistibly to one conclusion only:
that the "other gospel" which opposed Paul's own, was the interpretation of the nature and mission of Yeshua propounded by the Jerusalem Church, which comprised the original Apostles of Yeshua and eyewitnesses of his life. (Yeshua and the Zealots, pp. 152-153)
As one more example, I would like to quote a portion of the letter from St. Peter to St. James. St. Peter is describing how some people have misrepresented his teachings:
And this I know, not as being a prophet, but as already seeing the beginning of this very evil. For some tram among the Gentiles have rejected my legal preaching, attaching themselves to certain lawless and trifling preaching of the man who Is my enemy (Paul).
[Once again, the identification of Paul as the enemy in this passage seen to be almost universally accepted by biblical scholars]
And these things some have attempted while I am still alive, to transform my words by certain various Interpretations, in order to the dissolution of the law; as though I also myself were of such a mind, but did not freely proclaim it, which God forbid! For such a thing were to act in opposition to the law of God which was spoken by Moses, and was borne witness to by our Lord in respect of Its eternal continuance; for thus He spoke: "The heavens and the earth shall pass away, but one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law." And this He has said, that all things might come to pass. But these men, professing, I know not how, to know my mind, undertake to explain my words, which they have heard of me, more Intelligently than I who spoke them, telling their catechumens (students) that this Is my meaning, which indeed I never thought of. BUT IF, WHILE I AM STILL ALIVE, THEY DARE THUS TO MISREPRESENT ME, HOW MUCH MORE WILL THOSE WHO SHALL COME AFTER ME DARE TO DO SO! (Clementines and Apostolic Constitutions, p. 2)
I have attempted to acquaint you with certain early Christian writings that were denied entry into the Bible. These works have supplied additional evidence to bolster what I discovered on my own through in-depth Bible study over the last 15 years; namely that Paul started a new religion based upon his own theology which often contradicts what Yeshua both taught and modeled for all mankind. More importantly, my articles have presented an alternative view of what Christianity should be. It is quite possible that they more closely represent the wishes and teachings of Christ than do the writings included in the New Testament. As Professor Schoeps explains:
The New Testament canon must surely be regarded as a tendentious, contrived product of the second century, by means of which the group which emerged victorious from the early battles over the direction to be followed by the Christians reinforced its view of things. Of the literary documents which were then extant, only those which were regarded as acceptable [by the Gentile anti-Semitic Church] were canonized; everything else was set aside and, for the most part, disappeared. This process proves a poor basis for answering the question What really happened? (Jewish Christianity, p.3)
The choice of which version to believe is left to you, the reader. I only hope that these articles and our many websites encourages you to take another look at the doctrines of the Christian faith and to at least consider the possibility that the true gospel and correct view of the followers of St. Peter and St. James may be the correct one and the doctrines of Paul the incorrect ones. If you have never see this information before it is no wonder as unbelieveable and elaborate attempts have been made throughout history to keep this information from you.
Inclosing, I feel that it is appropriate to use a quote from St. James who is talking to his followers about the letter that he had received from St. Peter. This is the letter that describes the misuse of St. Peters teachings by some people (including Paul).
Hear me, brethren and fellow-servants. If we pass on the books to all without discrimination and if they are falsified by audacious men and are spoiled by interpretations-as indeed you have heard that some have already done-THEN IT WILL COME TO PASS THAT EVEN THOSE WHO EARNESTLY SEEK THE TRUTH WILL ALWAYS BE LED INTO ERROR.