Article of Faith: The Problem With Paul (1), By Femi Aribisala

Femi Aribisala, Ph.D
Femi Aribisala

“Of this band of dupes and imposters, Paul was the great Coryphaeus, and the first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus.” (Thomas Jefferson)

Jesus says his sheep know his voice and follow him: “They will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” (John 10:5).  Paul’s voice is the voice of a stranger.  When you point this out to Pauline Christians, they lose all rationality and become abusive.  Jesus says: “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” (Matthew 18:16).  Listen to these eminent bible scholars.  Surely, they are not all as ignorant and unspiritual as I am.

False disciple

William Wrede, famous German Lutheran theologist, observes in his book “Paul:” “The moral majesty of Jesus, his purity and piety, his ministry among his people, his manner as a prophet, the whole concrete ethical-religious content of his earthly life, signifies for Paul’s Christology nothing whatever.  The name ‘disciple of Jesus’ has little applicability to Paul.  Jesus or Paul: this alternative characterizes, at least in part, the religious and theological warfare of the present day.”

In the book “Christ or Paul?” the Reverend V.A. Holmes-Gore writes: “Let the reader contrast the true Christian standard with that of Paul and he will see the terrible betrayal of all that the Master taught.  For the surest way to betray a great Teacher is to misrepresent his message.  That is what Paul and his followers did, and because the Church has followed Paul in his error it has failed lamentably to redeem the world.  If we apply to Paul the test ‘by their fruits ye shall know them’ it is abundantly clear that he was a false prophet.”

Soren Kierkegaard, Danish Christian philosopher and theologian, observes in “The Journals:” “What Martin Luther, in his reformation, failed to realize is that even before Catholicism, Christianity had become degenerate at the hands of Paul. Paul made Christianity the religion of Paul, not of Christ. Paul threw the Christianity of Christ away, completely turning it upside down; making it just the opposite of the original proclamation of Christ.”  Miguel de Unamuno, Spanish essayist, novelist and playwright, writes in “The Agony of Christianity:” “During Christ’s lifetime, Paul would never have followed (Jesus).”

Dubious gospel

Frederick Engels, German philosopher and father of Marxist theory, writes in “On the History of Early Christianity:” “Attempts have been made to conceive all the messages of John’s Revelation/Apocalypse as directed against Paul, the false Apostle. The so-called Epistles of Paul are not only extremely doubtful but also totally contradictory.”

Mahatma Gandhi, the renowned Indian prophet of nonviolence, in an essay titled “Discussion on Fellowship”, writes: “I draw a great distinction between the Sermon on the Mount of Jesus and the Letters of Paul.  Paul’s Letters are a graft on Christ’s teachings, Paul’s own gloss apart from Christ’s own experience.”

Bishop John S. Spong, Episcopal Bishop of Newark, New Jersey, USA, writes in his book, “Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism:” “Paul’s words are not the Words of God. They are the words of Paul- a vast difference.”  Rudolf Bultman, a theologian, writes in his “Significance of the Historical Jesus for the Theology of Paul:” “It is most obvious that Paul does not appeal to the words of the Lord in support of his views.  When the essentially Pauline conceptions are considered, it is clear that Paul is not dependent on Jesus.  Jesus’ teaching is- to all intents and purposes- irrelevant for Paul.”

Impostor

Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence; writes in his “Letter to William Short:” “Of this band of dupes and imposters, Paul was the great Coryphaeus, and the first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus.”

H.G. Wells, famous English science-fiction writer, observes in “The Outline of History:” “It is equally a fact in history that St. Paul and his successors added to or completed or imposed upon or substituted another doctrine for- as you may prefer to think-  the plain and profoundly revolutionary teachings of Jesus by expounding a subtle and complex theory of salvation, a salvation which could be attained very largely by belief and formalities, without any serious disturbance of the believer’s ordinary habits and occupations.”

Gene Savoy, American theologian and clergyman, declares in his “The Essaei Document:” “Paul’s Christianity is another matter. He taught a different kind of theology than that shared by the original disciples who were schooled under Jesus.  Paul was the father of Pagan Christianity; a movement based on a concept completely foreign to Jesus.  The teachings of Jesus the Messiah were overshadowed by the teachings of Paul.”

Thomas Cosette, a Christian scholar, writes in “Hebrew Prophecies of the Coming of Paul:” “This man Paul hijacked what is called the church. But he can only keep those who do not love the truth. Those who still have conscience and will compare his teaching and his testimony to Y’shva’s and the prophets without granting Paul’s testimony (is) the Word of God but (is) just another man’s testimony in light of Jesus’ teachings. Then they will discover that Paul usurps the truth.”

Patrick Henry writes in “New Directions in New Testament Study:” “There remains in the popular mind a strong suspicion that Paul corrupted Christianity (or even founded a different religion). Paul imported into the Christian community a form of religion characteristic of the ‘mysteries’ religious movements of initiation into secret rites and esoteric knowledge.”

Heretic

Walter Bauer, an eminent German theologian and scholar of the development of the early Christian churches, writes in his “Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity:” “If one may be allowed to speak rather pointedly the Apostle Paul was the only Arch-Heretic known to the apostolic age.”

Michael Baigent, author and speculative theorist declares in “The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception:” “Paul is in effect the first Christian heretic. Paul had never had such personal acquaintance with the figure he’d begun to regard as his ‘Savior.’ He had only his quasi-mystical experience in the desert and the sound of a disembodied voice. For him to arrogate authority to himself on this basis is, to say the least, presumptuous. It also leads him to distort Jesus’ teachings beyond recognition, to formulate, in fact, his own highly individual and idiosyncratic theology, and then to legitimize it by spuriously ascribing it to Jesus.”

Paul Johnson, English journalist, historian and author, writes in “A History of Christianity:” “Writings by Christian Jews of the decade of the 50’s AD present Paul as the Antichrist and the prime heretic. The Christology of Paul, which later became the substance of the universal Christian faith, was predicated by an external personage whom many members of the Jerusalem Church absolutely did not recognize as an Apostle.”

The last word belongs to Thomas Paine, one of the founding fathers of the United States.  He writes in “The Age of Reason:” “Paul’s writing is no better than the jargon of a conjurer who picks up phrases he does not understand to confound the credulous people who come to have their fortune told.”

Don’t just take Paul’s authenticity for granted because he happens to be in the bible.  Don’t just accept something because it is preached by your pastor in your church.  Find out the truth for yourself.  Your salvation depends on it.

To be Continued…

Femi Aribisala is the fellowship coordinator of Healing Wings. Healing Wings is a pentecostal Christian fellowship which meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He blogs at Femi Aribisala . E-mail: faribisala@yahoo.com


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  • Victor

    THE PROBLEM WITH FEMI ARIBISALA (1)

    The idea that Christians are meant to rally round and start ‘proving’ the credibility of Christianity, her Scriptures and Apostles, must be one of the most amusing jokes yet from our resident town jester: Femi Aribisala. Christianity, which has existed for over 2000 years, is long past its formative stages where such validation was needed. As such, this writer is sadly engaged in a futile exercise that can only be of interest to unbelievers like himself. If indeed ‘validation’ of biblical apostles was based on numbers like this pseudo-writer implies here, it can only mean that the billions of Christians who have tested and proven the Word of God spoken through Apostle Paul in their lives, far overwhelm his motley band of naysayers. However, Christians are not engaged in such idle prattling. Indeed, to quote the great Apostle: “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal.”

    The problem with Femi Aribisala is that he is not a Christian. His mind is too mundane to appreciate the spiritual mysteries of the Word of God. “What is born of Spirit is Spirit” and definitely, “the carnal mind cannot understand the things of the Spirit.” The tragedy here, is that an unbeliever presumes to think he can teach the spiritual tenets of Christianity with his carnal mind. His remains a sad tale of someone who had once been a Christian, and subsequently became disillusioned. Now he spends considerable time trying to discredit Christianity, the very organization that has rejected him and his heretical opinions. It can only be as a result of extreme idleness and bitterness.

    There are numerous problems with Femi Aribisala, but we must restrict ourselves to his often expressed demonic opinions about Christianity, the Bible and the Apostles. When we remember that this is the very same fellow who maintains that Jesus is a mere man, not born of a virgin (but of fornication), did not die for our sins but was cruelly killed against his will, and that the Bible is full of lies, it is easy to ignore his idle babblings as the deluded ranting of an unbeliever. His satanic ministry is encapsulated in this: deny the saving Grace in Jesus’ blood and abuse apostle Paul. God will surely reward him according to his evil works.

  • Thomson

    “Let the reader contrast the true Christian standard with that of Paul and he will see the terrible betrayal of all that the Master taught. For the surest way to betray a great Teacher is to misrepresent his message. That is what Paul and his followers did, and because the Church has followed Paul in his error it has failed lamentably to redeem the world. If we apply to Paul the test ‘by their fruits ye shall know them’ it is abundantly clear that he was a false prophet.”

    • Gfada

      Your worthless opinion remains just that: your opinion.

      • Tunji Bankole

        Gfada I don’t think ur Aisha reply was for me bcos I didn’t insinuate in any way that I’m Muslim yet. And in any case ,you just displayed ur crass ignorance of Islam there. What u quoted 1stly is not in the Qur’an, 2ndly those who corrupted the Bible using Paul are still not resting on their oars. They have tried everything possible with the Qur’an and have failed. They now resort to fictional constructs as sayings /actions of the Prophet. And as an innocent bystander and I must tell U Islam is way different as its claimed sayings of GOD and man, the Prophet, are in two distinctly seperate Books unlike the New Testament where Paul, a self-appointed disciple owns 75% of the Book. Again,the fact that Idol worship for example, has been around since time immemorial doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be questioned so ur argument of 2k years of Pauline xtianity is moot. Taking you back to Aisha again, the Prophet MARRIED her, even tho it was early, it was to show mankind its floor and ceiling in terms of marriage standards. You are right it might not be appealing to you, and me too! it was meant to give leverage to other members of mankind who fall within that chemical composition . Ask questions! ASK ASK ASK and THINK THINK!!! The Creator knows Best His creation! A Medical doctor I know became a Muslim on this ALONE. The Prophet is the STANDARD 4 ALL Mankind no matter what derogative name “they” and U call him. Open ur eyes, ur mind and heart and wake up to the reality that Christianity, Wholesale, is Paul’s! Femi Aribisala is confirming my research for me and performing surgery on the eyes of many blind people like U. No pre-suppositions, go do ur research! And hear from Scholars of the Religion not haters who have designed several websites and employed several means to shut people out from the Truth. Check the “Comforter” in the Bible again. Check the Qur’an 56:77-82. My Reversion to Islam is soon, pls join me! PLEASE!

        • Gfada

          I don’t think this your rambling reply was for me. I am not interested in your opinion on any matter. You however seem confused about whether you are a Muslim or not. This brief history of your “prophet” will help you make up your mind:

          Do you know that:

          1. In the year 610, Muhammad was in a cave on a religious retreat, and supposedly had a vision of an “angel”. That when he awoke, he was terrified by what happened to him and believed that he had encountered a demon, and became suicidal?

          2. His wife Khadija and her cousin Waraqah, however, “convinced” him that he was a prophet of God, and that he had met the angel Gabriel in the cave?

          3. From his base in Medina, Muhammad began a series of raids and banditry against the Meccan caravans, looting and pillaging like a savage?

          4. In 629, Muslims attacked a Jewish settlement in the oasis of Khaybar in Northwestern Arabia. Shortly after the conquest of Mecca, Muhammad received Surah 9:29, which ordered Muslims to fight non-Muslims (including Christians and Jews) until they submit to Islam: “Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection?”

          5. Muhammad deliberately used the spoils of war to lure people to Islam. When he was criticized for the way he distributed his newfound wealth, he replied, “Are you disturbed in mind because of the good things of this life by which I win over a people that they may become Muslims while I entrust you to your Islam?”iv

          6. According to our earliest biographical source, a man named Abu Afak—who was more than a hundred years old—wrote a poem criticizing people for converting to Islam. Muhammad demanded he be killed, and Abu Afak was murdered in his sleep. When a woman named Asma heard that Muslims had killed such an elderly man, she wrote a poem calling for people to take a stand against Islam.Ibn Ishaq relates what happened next: When the apostle heard what she had said he said, “Who will rid me of Marwan’s daughter?” Umayr bin Adiy al-Khatmi who was with him heard him, and that very night he went to her house and killed her. In the morning he came to the apostle and told him what he had done and he said, “You have helped God and His apostle, O Umayr!” When he asked if he would have to bear any evil consequences the apostle said, “Two goats won’t butt their heads about her,” so Umayr went back to his people.v

          7. Muhammad’s violence was directed towards groups as well. Muhammad once said to his followers, “I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslims.”viThe Jews of Qurayza resisted Muhammad and attempted to form an alliance against him. When the alliance faltered, Muhammad acted quickly. His armies surrounded them and “besieged them for twenty-five nights until they were sore pressed and God cast terror into their hearts.” Then they surrendered, and the apostle confined them in Medina. . . . Then the apostle went out to the market of Medina (which is still its market today) and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for them and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches. . . . There were 600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900.vii Every male who had reached puberty was killed. Muhammad divided the women, children, and property among his men (taking a fifth of the spoils for himself).

          8. But things get worse.As the Muslim armies raided town after town, they captured many women, who would often be sold or traded. Yet, since the Muslim men were a long way from their wives, they needed wisdom from Allah to guide them in their treatment of their female captives. It wasn’t long before Muhammad received a revelation allowing the soldiers to sleep with the women: Allah’s Messenger sent an army to Autas and encountered the enemy and fought with them. Having overcome them and taken them captives, the Companions of Allah’s Messenger seemed to refrain from having intercourse with captive women because of their husbands being polytheists. Then Allah, Most High, sent down regarding that: “And women already married, except those whom your right hands possess (iv. 24)” (i.e. they were lawful for them when their ‘Idda period came to an end).viii This verse of the Qur’an (4:24), along with others (23:1-6; 33:50; 70:22-30), granted Muslims the right to have sex with their female captives and slave girls, even those who were still married or who were going to be sold or traded. Perhaps most disturbing of all is the fact that Muslims could have sex with girls who hadn’t even reached puberty. The opening verses of Chapter 65 of the Qur’an present Islamic rules for divorce. According to 65:4, if a Muslim divorces a girl who hasn’t yet reached puberty, he must wait three months to make sure she isn’t pregnant. Muhammad himself had sex with a prepubescent girl. His courtship of Aisha began when she was only six years old.ix Muhammad had a dream about her, which led him to believe that God wanted him to marry the young girl.x Fortunately, Muhammad waited three years before having sex with her; nevertheless, Muslim sources report that Aisha still hadn’t reached puberty.xi Since Muhammad is the moral exemplar in Islam, his actions are still affecting young girls today.

          Sources:

          iv Ibn Ishaq, p. 596.
          v Ibid., p. 676.
          vi Sahih Muslim 4366.
          vii Ibn Ishaq, p. 464.
          viii Sahih Muslim 3432.
          ix Sahih Al-Bukhari 3894.
          x Ibid., Number 3895.
          xi See Sahih al-Bukhari 5236 and 6130.

          • Impulse400

            Spiritual Cretin, so you also come here to harass poor FEMI under the guise of Jihad for Jesus… (hahahahahahaaa). Zombie the Gfada.

            I have told you, you will be a scapegoat for this man and an Article of Shame for conscious readers.

            “Zombie way, na one way… Joro ja jo!”

          • Tunji Bankole

            I can see you really are wounded and drowning! And a drowning man wil cltch even at a straw. Hahahahahaha. I know the website you copied and pasted that rubbish abt Muhammad (peace be upon him) from. The West will continue to pull the wool over your eyes!

          • Gfada

            I see you have finally realized you’re a Muslim. Good for you. I am glad I could be of help. I will gladly oblige you with a lot more information about your faith whenever you feel that urge to leave your mosque and dabble into biblical conversations. Cheers.

  • Lanre

    Dr. Aribisala. Very interesting bibliography. I am currently re-reading Paul Johnson. Difficult. So what do we do with the seven books authored by Paul? I agree though that we need to find out the truth ourselves. And that includes researching The Apostle, Paul. Thanks for the Sunday Tonic.

  • Excellent Writers

    Having read many of Femi Aribisala’s articles my conclusion is that he is an Antichrist. He is on a mission of corrupting peoples mind with false doctrines. I have read my Bible from cover to cover, I just can’t imagine you opening your mouth to call apostle Paul a false prophet. Apostle Paul is a man mightily used of God to show the way of salvation to the gentiles. From all indication you are a philosopher and not a Christian. Many of your quotes are the statements made by philosophers of this world. What has Mahatma Gandhi a Hindu that you referred to as the renowned Indian prophet of nonviolence got to do with the issue of the Bible? Before you make many people the son of perdition like yourself heaven will silence you.

  • Akanni Okin

    For some time now, I have held a certain reservation for all Apostle Paul’s Epistles. I am a questioning believer and I have been asking questions on the authenticity of the New Testament in its entirety. It is apparent that the devil has inputted some of his corrupt doctrines and agendas into the new testament with intentions of hoodwinking mankind to believe they are God’s words. Only the true believers shall hear the shepards call because they will remember his voice and his message.
    Matthew 24:23 KJV
    Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
    Matthew 24:24 KJV
    For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

  • asewewere

    My brother i am yet to read the article where he said Jesus was born out of fornication but as for this piece it is a good one with loads of relevant proofs to back his arguement. I have often wondered about the contradictions in pauls teachings and his aggressive stands on issues. If you note correctly the other disciples were not very close to paul and they did not work as a team with him, so my brother look at this article objectively and judge based on objectivity

    • Gfada

      Here we have an advocate of the accuser of the saints, the old serpent, calling his witnesses against a chosen servant of the Most High, commissioned by Jesus and the Holy Ghost, even the apostle Paul. In his witness box are occultist free masons (Jefferson), Hindu mystic (Ghandi), Engel (atheist) and a host of others …on this blog its no different – apostates, grail messengers, atheist, African idol worshipers. His roll call of accusers share one thing in common, a single master -SATAN THE FATHER OF ALL LIARS THE ACCUSER OF THE BRETHREN..

      But we have a witness that can not be controverted and lead by the greatest advocate and defender of the saints, even the Lord Jesus. Below are few defence by His witnesses in defence of Paul.
      Witness of Jesus:
      Acts 19
      10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. 11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” 13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
      Witness of the Holy Ghost:
      Acts 13:2
      While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

      Witness of apostle Barnabas as recorded by apostle Luke
      Act 19
      But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28 So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. Act 11:
      25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. furthermore check the witness of apostle Luke in Acts 15 and Peter in 2Peter 3:15-16

      Witness of the Holy Ghost, prophets and teachers anointed of God:
      Act 11:
      During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) 29 The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. 30 This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

      The devil, the master of the false witnesses, even recognised Paul as an associate of Christ : “Jesus I know and Paul I know” …who is Aribisala. Over two thousand years the Lord by His Spirit has established the testimony of Paul through the evident Power of redemptive works achieved in the lives of countless million through the inspired word in his epistles.

      Let the reader choose whose report and witness to believe …your eternal destiny is at stake, don’t gamble it away with the filthy belch of men’s wisdom.
      From Roy at Vanguard.

  • Eugene Makai

    Firstly, I would like to agree with the writer that some people get HIGHLY emotional and abusive (cursing etc.) quite unbecoming a GOOD Christian.
    I suggest that if people are going to read Aribisala’s articles, they should do so with an open mind – to learn and teach at the same time.

    He admittedly has said he is not an Authority on his own and has advanced the perspectives and opinions of “renowned” scholars. The material he has used as a basis for his article and arguments are just a google away. It is on that basis that we should meet him.

    The problem is that we are scared of facing the TRUTH despite it biblically being said it’ll set you free (John 8:32). Scholarship of the New Testament and its origins and relevance should be of great importance particularly to the faithful or it becomes as good as superstition and Dogma.

    The following are truths we should sincerely acknowledge:
    1. That, the teachings of Jesus as recorded by the Gospels of Matthew Mark and Luke are very different in style and tone from the teachings of Paul. Also noting that John is in an own category.
    2. That, Paul was a convert to Jesus’ Nazarene sect after the death of the Master.
    3. That, writings were not left behind by Jesus nor a scripture of the sect properly preserved if any to indicate authoritatively if it differed from Pauline Doctrine.

    In dealing with this question our spotlight should be on the first four Gospels excluding John. These are as it may appear to me “undisputed” in this article.

    The “Gospel of Mark” appears to be written earlier than that of “Matthew” and ATTRIBUTED to Jesus’ disciples of like name. The Gospel of Luke is by self admission an account of the life and times of Jesus by someone who arrived on the scene after the fact. These are the FUNDAMENTAL sources of our knowledge about the existence, ministry and death of Jesus of Nazareth. It is clear for anyone (faithful or scholar) who examines these gospels to quickly realise the following:
    1. They have different agendas ranging from establishing the lineage of Jesus as descended from David to Justifying the fulfilment of prophecies by Old Testament Seers by Jesus as proof of his messianic office.
    2. They differ or contradict one another on many accounts about the exact utterances or background to an incident involving Jesus. Some omit or an exclusive source of incidents not recorded by others.

    The following facts issue from a calm headed examination of these gospels as they currently stand:
    1. They fail to establish by Jewish tradition how Jesus is descended from David if Joseph who is not a biological father is a descendant of David. Matthew and Luke disagree on whom Joseph’s father was the former saying it was Jacob whilst the latter insists it was Heli (Mat 1:15 -16) (Luke 3:23–38). By Jewish tradition, descent and therefore inheritance is from the father’s side.
    2. Matthew omits four important generations in David’s line up to Zerubbabel (1 chronicles 3:4-19). Mary’s kinship with Elizabeth is dealt with by Luke but is cursory allowing a lot of guess work and speculation as to where she truly fits in. This is unlike the effort invested in the Genealogy of Joseph. Luke had a luxury because he was writing for gentiles and the Jewish tradition of omitting women was not a concern.
    3. Historical facts are ignored, glossed over or omitted (The Census of Quirinius circa 6/7 A.D) Luke places the birth of Jesus around this time while Matthew places it at around 4 B.C. around the end of the life of Herod the Great. The decree that presumably comes from Augustus Caesar by Luke’s account doesn’t match Caesar’s own account of when he held censuses (Res Gestae Divi Augusti). Luke turns around in the Acts of the Apostles placing the birth at the time of Thadeus’s revolt which took place in 46 AD!

    My aim is to simply demonstrate that the accounts in the gospels if they are to be taken as an accurate account of the life, times and authoritative source of the teachings of Jesus should be held up to scrutiny too.

    Aribisala quotes Reverend V.A. Holmes-Gore in his “Christ or Paul?” and asks how Paul lives up to the standard set by Jesus. WHAT IS THAT STANDARD?

    THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS CAN BE TAKEN ON ACCOUNT OF THE GOSPELS TO BE:
    • The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13, Luke 11:2-4)
    • Sermon on the Mount – (Matthew 5,6 and 7)
    Summary:
    Forgiveness – (Matthew 5:38–5:42, Luke 6:27–31), Meekness, Endurance, etc.
    • Parables – (The Growing Seed The Two Debtors, The Lamp under a Bushel, Parable of the Good Samaritan, The Friend at Night, The Rich Fool, The Wise and the Foolish Builders, New Wine into Old Wineskins, Parable of the strong man, Parable of the Sower, The Tares, The Barren Fig Tree, Parable of the Mustard Seed, The Leaven, Parable of the Pearl, Drawing in the Net, The Hidden Treasure, Counting the Cost, The Lost Sheep The Unforgiving Servant, The Lost Coin, Parable of the Prodigal Son, The Unjust Steward, Rich man and Lazarus, The Master and Servant, The Unjust Judge, Pharisees and the Publican, The Workers in the Vineyard, The Two Sons, The Wicked Husbandmen, The Great Banquet, The Budding Fig Tree, The Faithful Servant, The Ten Virgins, The Talents or Minas, The Sheep and the Goats, Parable of the Wedding Feast)
    • Commandments:
    (i) Love thy Lord your God ……..and Love thy neighbour as you love yourself (Matthew 22:35–40, Mark 12:28–34)
    (ii) Great Commission (Matthew 28:16–20)

    This is a fair description of the teachings of Jesus without being exhaustive. This is what we have to compare Pauline teaching to.

    We have to acknowledge that these teachings were in many instances RADICALLY opposed to rabbinical teaching (derashah) of the time and Mosaic law and on no occasion was Jesus said to have uttered anything considered out rightly blasphemous in the synagogue itself in the Gospels except an incident reported only by John (6:58-61) but outside amongst the outcast.

    We have to take into consideration the fact that Paul was charged or if we are to believe his detractors claimed to have been sent to the rest of the world.

    Jesus ministry was local and mostly to the illiterate, poor and outcast – save the occasional Pharisee that would challenge him. On the contrary, Paul’s audience was more sophisticated, educated, learned in the Law (Diaspora Jews) or their own religion (Roman, Greek etc.). Paul’s teaching was not accompanied by miracles to bait the unlearned – a formula pursued by Simon Peter much to whose chagrin he discovered competition in the guise of the Samaritan Simon Magus (Acts 8:9–24).

    After his conversion Paul taught in conformity with the gospel that:
    (i) Jesus was the Son of God and the Messiah (Acts 9:20-21, Acts 18:5, 1 Corinthians 8:6 cf. Matthew 16:15-17, Luke 22:70-71, John 13:13)
    (ii) Virgin Birth (Galatians 4:4, Romans 8:3 cf. Luke 1:30-32, John 8:42)
    (iii) Jesus is the way, truth and light (Ephesians 2:18, 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 cf. John 8:12, John 14:6)
    (iv) Jesus is a descendant of David (2 Timothy 2:8 cf. Luke 1:30-32)
    (v) Jesus was poor (2 Corinthians 8:9 cf. Matthew 8:20)
    (vi) Jesus is King (Ephesians 5:5 cf. John 18:36-37)
    (vii) Jesus is Saviour (1 Timothy 1:15 cf. John 3:17)
    (viii) Communion – Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-25 cf. Mark 14:22-24)
    (ix) Jesus died, was buried , resurrected and ascended to heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:14, Romans 6:4, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Ephesians 4:10 cf. Mark 15:37, Mark 15:46, John 2:19, 22, Luke 24:51)
    (x) Jesus appeared to the apostles (1 Corinthians 15:4-5 cf. Luke 24:33-36)
    (xi) Second coming (1 Thessalonians 4:16 cf. Matthew 24:30)
    (xii) Like a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2, 4 cf. Matthew 24:42-44)

    This list could go on but the point has been made. Paul on the whole was not on an adventure to rewrite the scriptures, but to interpret them in the light of the esoteric teachings of Jesus and to a more demanding audience in intellect and philosophical sophistication. He echoed the fundamental message of the gospels but was more mindful of the audience and queries from his pastors he had to address through his epistles. NO SERIOUS scholar can accuse Paul of overshadowing Jesus when in fact Jesus was the platform he stood on and professed all his ministering life.

    The “Christian orthodoxy” implied by Aribisala’s Experts and Scholars is essentially as follows:
    (i) Exclusion of Gentiles – Galatians 2:1-10, Acts 15:1-19
    (ii) Faith based purely on belief in miracles – John 6:26
    (iii) Circumcision as a covenant instrument – Galatians 2:1-10, Acts 15:1-19

    Unbeknownst to Aribisala and his scholars is that Paul was not satisfied with gentiles being admitted on a two-tier system as “proselytes of the gate” or ger-toshav גר תושב meaning they accept Noachian laws only שבע מצוות בני נח‎ Sheva mitzvot B’nei Noach which would perpetuate a spirit of discrimination but be FULLY accepted as co-inheritors in Jesus Christ. This was Jesus’ call in the Great Commission :

    Mat 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
    Mat 28:17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
    Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
    Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
    Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. – KJV