Answer for yourself: But why does the question of Paul's relationship to Jesus matter? Historically it may be an interesting question, but is it more than that?
Many people perceive it as very important indeed: The conclusion that Paul was effectively the founder of a new religion may not unreasonably be seen as devastating for Christian faith, since it turns out that the Christian church has based its doctrine and life not on Jesus, as it has mistakenly claimed, but on Paul and his misinterpretation of Jesus.
If it can be proven beyond any doubt that Paul was not trying to be faithful to Jesus - hence his apparent lack of interest in Jesus and his faith and his teachings - and that Paul's teachings and "gospel" is a different religion from that of Jesus and not a legitimate development of it, then such an accusation has fatal implications to the authority and credibility of much that is taught in the Christian faith as both a way of accepted life before God let alone thy way that will assure one's acceptance after death. If it can be proven that Paul was influenced by Greek ideas and the Greek mystery religions, borrowed ideas from these mystery religions thereby inventing the "myth" of Jesus' divinity and sacrificial death and was also the "creator of the eucharist" in his insidious synthesis of Gentile pagan religions in his presentation of "his gospel" instead of the "gospel of Jesus to the Gentile nations of the world, then the Christian has something rather serious to consider; yet worry about.
The Eternal consequences of such a situation possibly being true should scare the life of you if you are a traditional Christian who knows no more than to go to church on Sunday because it was what you were taught to do as a child. I shudder to even contemplate what awaits a Pauline believer if such an accusation can be proven right; namely, that Paul altered the faith of Moses and changed the faith of Jesus as it went into all the world. Understand that such a "charge" on my part is not original with me but you have heard it before and most likely never let it dawn on you the implications of such a charge.
Answer for yourself: Have you ever read this passage from acts before?
Acts 21:21 21 And they (the Jewish people) are informed of thee, that thou (Paul) teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs. (KJV)
Answer for yourself: Did you notice the nature of the charge brought against Paul? His teachings of his gospel (called by Paul "my gospel) were such that he had to come and defend such charges personally before the "Messianic Sanhedrin" headed by James who was the chief pastor of Jesus' church in Jerusalem.
Paul had been teaching not only the Gentiles but the Jews to forsake Moses. This was Paul's Gospel where the Law and Commandments of Moses had been replaced by Paul's unique revelation on the Damascus Road.
Let us examine the word used for "forsake" as taken from the Greek from both Strong's Concordance and Thayer's Greek Lexicon:
646 apostasia (ap-os-tas-ee'-ah); feminine of the same as 647; defection from truth (properly, the state) ["apostasy"]: KJV-- falling away, forsake.
646 apostasia- a falling away, a defection, an apostasy 575 apo-
1) used of separation
Paul was charged with apostasy from Moses and Biblical Judaism. That means he was charged with not teaching the truth (defection from truth as the word says). Paul was not teaching the truth as James, the Jerusalem Church, and Jesus both "believed and knew" it!
Answer for yourself: Why was teaching the truth so important for James and the Jerusalem church? Again if we go to the word we see within it the concept of "separation" and Israel had been called to be a Royal Priesthood to reach the Gentile nations whereby they would become a part of the Israel of God. Yes, the Jews had their unique Covenant with 613 Commandments and Laws within it that were their Covenant stipulations whereby obedience to such Laws were their guarantee of right standing before God. Likewise, the non-Jews had their own Covenant with God where 66 of these same Laws (Laws of Noah) applied to them and when obeyed they also could find right standing before God. When both the Jew and the Gentile lived in Covenant obedience to the Commandments and Laws and Covenant Stipulations then there would not be a separation among these peoples; rather, the two sticks in Joseph's hands become one. Both the Jews and Gentiles are to have the same testimony before God. In case you don't know this then read the Prophets where in the world to come the nations (Gentiles) are to come up to Zion, not Tulsa or TBN, and the Torah is to come to them from Zion and not Pauline epistles. There is a serious problem with Paul and what he was teaching and James had to stop it as quickly as possible after being presented with the facts regarding Paul and his misrepresentation of Jesus and what he stood for was reported to him. Paul had been warned once before but we only have the perverted Galatians account which is one sided to say the least. Galatians was written after his visit and correction once before. Now after Acts 15 when he and others were given letters of doctrine and instruction to take to Asia Minor to strengthen the churches with Apostolic Doctrine and the Laws of Noah we see Paul again will begin to compromise such doctrine and teach "my gospel" in order to find acceptance among the non-Jews since it can be proven he was a rejected Sadducee before becoming a rejected Pharisee as well. Paul's story is a sad one but up to now you only thought we had the "one account" of him in this "one book" called the New Testament in which he wrote 2/3 of it. It is time to wake up to what exists in this world which brings such an self-glorifying autobiography into grave doubt.
This accusation that Paul was teaching "apostasy" in the eyes of the Jerusalem church, if provable, certainly has serious implications for Christian faith. Dear ones it can be proven!
Answer for yourself: Can we prove it however? Keep reading.