Femi Aribisala: The problem with Apostle Paul
“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….”
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.
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).”
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.”
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.”
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.
Femi Aribisala blogs at FemiAribisala.com
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.