THE APOSTLE PAUL – A CONTROVERSIAL FIGURE THROUGHOUT HISTORY, EVEN TODAY

Thomas Jefferson on the Apostle Paul :  “first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus”.  “for Jefferson, who twice took upon himself the task of “abstracting what is really his from the rubbish in which it is buried” in the New Testament, found the assignment of separating the “diamonds” from the “dung” and of identifying the authentic religion of Jesus to be “obvious and easy,”

  • I guess we won’t be seeing Thomas Jefferson any time soon in the 3rd heaven…

“the stupidity of some, and roguery of others of his  (Christ’s) disciples,” adding that “of this band of dupes and impostors, Paul was the great Coryphaeus.”

Augustine : “In 386—thus exactly sixteen centuries ago this year—when, according to his Confessions, Augustine heard a voice calling, “Tolle, lege! Take it! Read it!” it was the reading of Paul’s epistle to the Romans that converted him to Catholic Christianity.”

  • Neither Constantine….. proof that one can misunderstand Pauline doctrine and hear voices to boot.

Martin Luther & John Wesley : “when Martin Luther in his “tower experience” came to what he believed to be “the discovery of the gospel” of justification by faith, it was once again the epistle to the Romans that he was pondering. Luther’s interpretation of Romans, as summarized in his preface to that epistle, was in turn the message by which John Wesley’s heart was “strangely warmed” in his own conversion to evangelical Christianity at Aldersgate on May 24, 1738. And “the bombshell that fell into the playground of the theologians”

  • Luther might have discovered the doctrine of justification by faith, but what did he actually BELIEVE in order to obtain same?

“And so, Maccoby writes, “it was Paul’s frustrated love affair with Judaism that created Pauline Christianity.” This he achieved by a fusion, into “a new and powerful myth,” of elements borrowed from gnosticism (above all, the myth of the descent of the savior from heaven), from the mystery religions (the idea of a dying and resurrected god), and from Judaism (the authority of the Hebrew Bible, but seen now as the “Old Testament,” to be interpreted messianically). In sum, Paul was a “mythologist” rather than a “theologian.”

  • The man had obviously not read Acts  Chapter 9.  Okay, let’s just say he didn’t believe the Bible – that would sum it up better.

“…….he was “an adventurer of undistinguished background” and “the greatest fantasist of all,” who resorted to “sheer bluff” in putting over his “concoction” of various disparate elements. This was “the real Paul—the tormented adventurer, threading his way by guile through a series of stormy episodes, and setting up a form of religion that was his own individual creation.” Not only did Paul “invent” what eventually became the orthodox Christian doctrines of Jesus as a divine being and of his death on the cross as an atoning sacrifice; Maccoby even regards it as “abundantly clear that Paul himself was the inventor and creator of the Eucharist, both as an idea and as a Church institution,” despite its explicit presence in all three of the synoptic Gospels and at least by allusion in the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John, not only in 1 Corinthians. Beyond all that, Paul was an “anti-feminist” and “the originator of Christian anti-Semitism” as well.”

  • Makes one wonder why he was so vehemently anti-Paul?  But we know the answer, don’t we?   How many Mid-Acts Dispensationalists are labeled “anti-feminist” – no women preachers, and “anti-semitic” – I’ve been called that as well – it goes with the territory of being Pauline in one’s doctrine.

 

*Taken from the Mythmaker, by Hyam McCoby.

 

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