Are you following Paul or Jesus?

United States
June 30, 2007 9:10pm CST
What Christian institutions are peddling is not the teachings of Yeshua. They are peddling Pauline doctrine. Paul did not even know Yeshua and was a self-described opportunist and murderer. "What people need to realize is that if one bases faith on what Paul taught, which all Christians do, then that basis is not coming from those who were with Jesus (whom Paul sarcastically calls the "so-called pillars of the church"), but upon voices and visions and revelations that Paul is "hearing" and "seeing." For some that is a strong foundation. For many, including I think most historians, it is really something that one must question in terms of accurate and reliable historical information. Can Paul really know what went on at the Last Supper when he was not there? Can he really know how the events of the end will unfold? "I am working on a book about Paul and this central problem, long ago noted by Paul's opponents, later labeled as "Ebionites," is central to my thesis. I am continually amazed at how much is build upon Paul and how little on Jesus. Paul prefers the words Lord and Christ. The name "Jesus" suggests to him something too close to what he calls negatively "Christ after the flesh." Paul is all for "Christ," but cares little for Jesus as he was on earth as a human being who lived and died. He minimizes those who knew Jesus and those whom Jesus personally chose to represent him. All now comes from "the Lord," but he means by this a heavenly glorified being who in his fantasy sits above all powers and realities of the entire universe but speaks directly to Paul, his special chosen one, with direct voice contact and information. If Paul is right, then so be it. But if he is wrong, then what a left turn was taken away from the historical Jesus. I say reader beware." Dr. James D. Tabor Author of "The Jesus Dynasty" Chair, Dept. of Religious Studies UNC Charlotte
2 people like this
11 responses
• United States
1 Jul 07
You're entitled to your own opinion which is what you're revealing here. If what you are saying was true we'd have to throw out the Bible. Where did Paul get his teaching? "But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ" Galatians 1:11-12. Paul refers to Jesus 231 times in the books he wrote. How can Paul be wrong here? You might as well suggest an offense against the Holy Spirit. Maybe He didn't know what he was doing with Paul.I think you are in serious error here.
2 people like this
• United States
1 Jul 07
HsuYinFung wrote: If what you are saying was true we'd have to throw out the Bible. We might have to then. Theologians agree that Pauline theology is not the same as what was taught by Yeshua. HsuYinFung wrote: Where did Paul get his teaching? "But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ" Excellent question. His teachings do not match the teachings of Yeshua, so he had to have learned it elsewhere. As to his "certification," one cannot cite the source to prove the source. Paul could say anything he wanted. That doesn't mean he spoke the truth. It merely means he claimed to speak the truth. HsuYinFung wrote: Paul refers to Jesus 231 times in the books he wrote. How many times does he refer just to Yeshua by name, not "Christ," "Lord," "Jesus Christ," etc? Yeshua did not apply those titles to himself. Why should Paul? HsuYinFung wrote: How can Paul be wrong here? How can he be right when his teachings are in direct opposition to the teachings of Yeshua? HsuYinFung wrote: You might as well suggest an offense against the Holy Spirit. Maybe He didn't know what he was doing with Paul. Why do you refer to Sophia (who you know as the Holy Spirit) as masculine? Why is stating that Pauline philosophy diametrically opposed to the teachings of Yeshua an offense against Her?
• United States
1 Jul 07
If you don't believe the Bible is the Word of God then there is no point arguing. You can make any claim you want. Which theologians support this? Obviously these don't support the Bible so where do the lies in the Bible begin? Certainly Paul couldn't be the first Biblical liar. What specific difference would you be referring to when you state that they are in fact different. Paul would have to be calling for Jesus to be accursed if it were so. I don't know the exact problem and I'm no theologian. I guess I'm curious as to your claims. Also where is Sophia in the Bible, especially referring to a female Holy Spirit?
@cook4t7 (202)
• United States
2 Jul 07
Things false in the New Testament, How about starting in the very first chapter where Mathew adds generations 14+14+14=42 the last 14 isn't there and they are totally different than Luke why? or Mathew 1:21-23 where his name is prophecied as Immanuel in Isaiah 42:1-4 if you read the story this is Isaiah's son and the prophecy is of Assyria and Ephrim not attacking Judah. There's no Virgin here in Hebrew it's Betheula but here it's Aman which is just maiden. Or how about Mathew 2:23 where the scriptures prophesied him being called a Nazerene look up the reference there's no such verse in the Old Testament. If you check where the scriptures proclaim out of Egypt I'll call my son out if you look it up it's talking about Israel not a prophecy at all Or How about when he reads in Isaiah Luke 4:18 in the temple but if you check out Isaiah 61:1 he adds the part bringing sight to the blind now for sure if he would have added this knowing the Torah speaking against adding to the scriptures he would have been thrown out for sure, and this is just the tip of the iceburg once you start checking references nothing is right, so you tell me who done this wrong Yah don't make mistakes.
1 person likes this
@mauial (29)
• United States
1 Jul 07
I agree that what so called Christian institutions teach are not the teachings of Jesus. You are way off base about Paul though. Paul did not minimize Jesus at all. You cite no scriptures to back up your statements. At 2 Cor. 4:5 Paul states: "For we are preaching, not ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as slaves for Jesus." It is obvious throughout his letters that he is a slave for Jesus. As to pillars in the church, a true Christian looks to no man, whether it be the apostles John, Peter or Paul. Jesus said at Matthew 23:10 "neither be called leaders, for your leader is one, the Christ." So Paul did not minimize those who knew Jesus as you say he did. He did just as Jesus said, "to look to Christ as leader and not to men." Neither should we look to so called scholarly works that are not based on the Bible. 2Timothy 3:16,17 " all scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work." So if you want to set things straight be competent in the Bible and not on men's teachings.
@mauial (29)
• United States
1 Jul 07
And your point? God revealed things to Noah, Abraham and other prophets. He used Jesus to reveal to John the contents of Revelation. (Rev.1:1) So what of it that Jesus chose Paul and revealed to him things that the apostles themselves witnessed? They were not to be revered, they were men. Christ is leader of the Christian Congregation and who are we to question who he chooses to reveal things to, because that is what you are doing. He chose Paul, who was a Pharisee and well versed in the mosaic law. That back ground served him well in preaching to the Jews. Read the book of Hebrews for proof of that.
2 people like this
• United States
1 Jul 07
mauial wrote: And your point? You asked me for scriptural references. I gave them to you. mauial wrote: Christ is leader of the Christian Congregation and who are we to question who he chooses to reveal things to, because that is what you are doing. By citing "Christ," you are citing Paul, not Yeshua. Yeshua did not claim that title. Nothing you wrote changes the crux of this conversation: one cannot follow Pauline teachings and the teachings of Yeshua because they are diametrically opposed. "For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them". Matt 13:15
@mauial (29)
• United States
1 Jul 07
If you had knowlege of the scriptures you would know that Christ is Greek for Messiah which Jesus, Yeshua if you want, was. So why is it wrong for Paul to refer to Jesus as Christ? Jesus was the promised Messiah or Christ. Matthew 15:14 talks about "blind guides leading the blind." Sad to say that is what theologians and their seminaries are doing.
@coferbox (298)
• United States
1 Jul 07
I have said for a long time that modern Christians worship Paul and not Jesus. They seem to prefer the teachings of Paul which were more harsh and judgmental than love and forgive others teachings of Jesus. Even founding father Thomas Jefferson stated that Paul was the first corrupter of the teachings of Jesus. I think most Christians would do well to study just the teachings of Jesus and forget the rest of the bible.
2 people like this
• United States
1 Jul 07
The Jefferson Bible does just that. Have you read it? Seeing only the words attributed to him makes a world of difference in how one perceives their meaning. Of course, none of the books of the Bible were written by Yeshua nor were the gospels written by the disciples whose names they carry. Given the passage of time between the end of his life and the dates that can be determined of first authorship, it would be hard to say those were his exact words. The best they could have been is legend passed down and remembered as well as possible. Even those who were present and heard him could not have been entirely accurate in quoting him because there was no way to record his words in real time, not even if they were accomplished scribes. So those witnesses would have done well to remember as best they could and would have labored under the difficult task of sorting out accurate memory from their perceptions, which necessarily would be filtered through their prior learning, experiences and beliefs.
1 person likes this
@mauial (29)
• United States
1 Jul 07
You obviously do not believe in the power of the holy spirit to inspire the Bible Writers just as 2 Peter 1:21 states "but men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit." So the most powerful force in the universe was at work in the Bible writers to help them to recall the events they witnessed decades later.
• United States
1 Jul 07
mauial wrote: 2 Peter 1:21 states "but men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit." Citing the source as proof of the source is circular thinking. One cannot prove the truth of a statement by citing the statement.
@cook4t7 (202)
• United States
1 Jul 07
It will surprise me if many responses connect here, but I will watch, I've notice discussions with any depth past traditions are hard to raise, your studies would be interesting, as for myself for years I've studied and found a lot of differences in most traditional teaching in the churches today and what is reality. In the last few years I've found so much nontruth and contradictions in the New Testament, which was a very unearthing feeling since I've read and studied the scriptures quite awhile yet never seen it till here lately at such depths, It's scary but with out the truth regardless where it leads we just have no foundation just a fantasy. Will check out your responses Shalom
• United States
1 Jul 07
By teaching that the Bible is literal truth that cannot be questioned, the churches have deprived their congregations of much wisdom and knowledge. They have lost the history of each text and their ability to see the beauty of myth and metaphor. There are contradictions because each author was teaching his own small, regional congregation and never intended his work to match that of anyone else. Yeshua encouraged individual interpretation of his teachings, not dogma and uniformity. He also taught that we have the queendom of heaven within and do not need anything or anyone else in order to reach the Divine
• United States
10 Sep 07
Regardless of what anyone says there are over 100 contradictions in the bible. I am not going to post them all just do a search and you will find them all. This proves that the bible "The so called word of God" Is a mere imperfect interpretation in which in partly is used to control the masses.
• United States
1 Jul 07
I understand what you are meaning. Too many people base their beliefs on what Paul says and not enough of what Jesus says. I do believe that he was a called prophet and that he did see visions from God though. He did not say everything he said was from the lord. In fact I think in Corinthians it says when he is discussing things he says to the rest say I not the Lord.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Jul 07
What concerns me is that Paul and psuedo-Paul (the writings attributed to him but actually written by an anonymous author) both reflect misogyny (more so from psuedo-Paul). Not only was women's role in the church was diminished accordingly, they've suffered centuries of abuse based upon these falsified teachings. Yeshua elevated women in every way he could, both in cultural practice and in his mission. He adored Mary Magdalene, favoring her far above the male disciples. His primary followers and supporters were women. In fact, early Christianity was ridiculed as a religion of "women, children and slaves." Women were not only his followers, they were leaders and teachers too. All of this vanished under Pauline theology.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Jul 07
I understand what you mean. I was pentecostal and they believe that women should not preach. I however disagree with that. My aunt felt that she had a calling to preach but the pastor in the church felt it was wrong. I have never once read where Jesus himself said that it was wrong for a woman to preach but because of Pauls teaching they believe it that way. If it is wrong for a woman to preach or teach then why were women called to be a prophetess? Miriam, Anna, Huldah, and Deborah where all called.
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@cook4t7 (202)
• United States
2 Jul 07
I was raised around Pentecostals and our families all had friends even relatives that preached so I don't think this held every where on this principle but I still know what your saying in their following, lot of them came out and went over to Apostolic as my family also.
@larskie23 (867)
• Philippines
3 Jul 07
oh, what a great discussion, i have seen very little of this. but does religion nor faith be debated? :-)
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Sep 07
The problem is the forgotten understanding of who Yeshua really was. He was the High Teacher of the Essenes. Essenes are real and I suggest everyone research who Yeshua of Nazareth was. Mt Carmel was a camp of the Esenes and a place that taught quite opposite of the pharisee teachings. If you learn the truth it miht hurt, but it is not a sin.
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
1 Jul 07
There was no"Historical Jesus", this had been studied and varified by many Great Historians. Why do you waste your time? No so-called bibical history has ever been documented. Its Egyption Myth. Its time we faced the facts! Lets get back to God!
• United States
1 Jul 07
It's documented in the Word of God. But I suppose any history book that's ever been written would trump the authority of the Word of God. It's right there and the Bible has stood the test of time and held up under the most intense scrutiny. It isn't going anywhere as His Word is forever.
1 person likes this
@mauial (29)
• United States
1 Jul 07
No historical Jesus? Flavius Josephus who was a first century historian and a Pharisee wrote about Jesus and Jesus half brother James. The Pharisees were a Jewish sect that opposed Jesus. Why would a Pharisee who were avowed enemies of Jesus write about Jesus in the book, Antiquities of The Jews, if Jesus was not a real person? Seems to me he would not. But he had no choice because the followers of Jesus were throughout the Roman empire preaching the good news that Jesus had taught. So how can you say there was no historical Jesus? Get your facts straight.
1 person likes this
@herrbaggs (1308)
• United States
11 Sep 07
I sometimes wonder if the whole bible was not written by a whole bevy of anonymous authors. But I do believe that they all had the same motto. If you can't lie to somebody why should you talk to them. I have noticed they all agree on one point, the bigger the collection plate the better. Does the study of astrology fall under the heading of religious studies? Some wiccan priest told me that jesus did not like girls and mohammed had a roving eye for camels. I have tried to read the bible on a number of occasions but I keep falling asleep by page 3. Do you think getting the bible on DVD would help.
1 person likes this
@EvanHunter (4028)
• United States
15 Aug 07
There is good and bad in Pauls teachings just like anything else. It really looks bad when you take it as being literal meanings. Why people try to take everything as being literal I cant say, the bible is full of parables and medifores.
• United States
10 Sep 07
There is a difference between literal and contradicting. The fact remains the Paul contradict himself everal times yet all christians take Pauls side. I could bring in the scripture MAtthew chapter 25 vs 17-21 and you would probably oppose Yesguas teachings with some scripture of Paul. Is that fair that we overshadow Yeshuas teaching with Pauls teaching? No it is not fair and to oppose the teachings of Yeshua with the teaching of Paul is in itself blasphemy. Just because Paul says so does not mean it is true.
@urbandekay (18312)
26 Sep 07
An interesting, if not wholly original point. It is a little too strong to claim all Christians base their faith on the teachings of Paul and not Jesus is a little strong. What is perhaps most amazing is that the 'spirit' of Jesus's words shine through, despite translation and the distance of time in a way that Paul's do not. And some base their faith on these words rather than Church dogma. Of course, the Roman Church is also responsible for a lot of wrong teaching. all the best urban
@AmbiePam (49079)
• United States
11 Sep 07
The Bible was inspired from the Word of God. Paul may have wrote books, but Jesus gave him the words. And one of the best things about Jesus dying on the cross for us, is that he forgives anyone, anything. Paul included. He changed his life and followed God. I don't doubt God's word, and that includes the parts Paul was inspired to write.