Think You Know Paul the “Apostle”? Think Again.

Arch directed me to this article about Paul. The writer totally mirrors my thoughts and opinions.

Those of you who know me through my book are aware of my feelings about Paul. He is such a fraud that I try to undermine his “authority” every chance I get!

Following is the beginning of the article to give you a sampling:

Paul was a Pharisee.  One day he had a ‘revelation’.  He changed his name from Saul to Paul, and straightway preached his revelations about the ‘Christ’ in the synagogues.  Paul continued to have new ‘revelations’ that spoke ‘of’ and ‘for’ a Christ, but he was glaringly silent about the actual life of Yahushua (Jesus) and his teachings.  In Paul’s epistles we find him using the words ‘Christ, Son of God, grace, redemption, resurrection, etc.’, but we learn little or nothing about Yahushua and his actual teachings.  They’re virtually absent from Paul’s epistles.  What we learn about are Paul’s revelations.  Roughly 50% of the New Testament (13 epistles) is from Saul, a man who neither knew Yahushua in the flesh, nor was instructed by the apostles.  Rather, he taught by unsubstantiated revelation, Ezekiel 13:2-9.

Paul considered himself the ‘apostle’ to the Gentiles, primarily because his doctrine (called ‘that way’, Acts 19:9, 23) was rejected by Jewish Christians and the Asian churches alike; and he was forced to seek converts who knew nothing of Yahudim (Jewish) customs and the Law.  Paul’s doctrine was adverse to the teachings of Yahushua; and he was often in conflict with James, Peter, and John; the real apostles.  And by the way, Paul was not an apostle.

Paul spent an inordinate amount of time defending himself and his teachings from accusations of guile, lies, and covetousness.  None of the real apostles were so accused.  Paul’s core philosophy of justification by faith and abolition of Torah Law stands in opposition to Yahushua’s statements in the gospels.  Paul thought nothing of lying or practicing pagan customs if it meant gaining a new convert to his own brand of salvation, Romans 3:7, I Corinthians 10:14-21, 9:19-22.

Paul’s words speak for themselves.  His use of personal pronouns in his epistles (I, me, my, mine) is three times that of any other writer.  Paul urged his followers to follow him.  He preached by revelation.  Paul preached his doctrine in the ‘name’ of Christ, but his teachings were not in alignment with Yahushua’s teachings, John 5:43.

Think this is just one person’s opinion? I urge you to do some research. Outside of the bible, Paul is shown for what he really is by dozens of scholars. Further, whether Christians want to admit it or not, they are following the teachings of Paul … not Jesus.

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89 thoughts on “Think You Know Paul the “Apostle”? Think Again.

  1. I think he is a narrative construct. A plot device to wrest this new form of Judaism away from the Jews and into the hands of the Gentiles.
    Saul was supposedly the Number One Christian Hunter yet he had to leave Jerusalem to hunt down christians while the ring leaders were right there i his midst in the city?
    For such an important figure why is there no Jewish records of a Saul of Tarsus?
    He supposedly spent 2 years at Ephesus and not once bothered to look up Mary who lived just down the road?
    JK Rowling wrote more believable stories.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hey Ark? I’m not sure agree with you on this for one reason, who could have built him? He would have had to be in place by the time Constantine converted and that would have been the first time “The Church” would have had the pull to do it. Unless I’m missing something.

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      • The evidence is stacked against there being a real historical character as conveyed in the Bible
        He is claimed to have been a sort of christian bounty hunter which suggests he had authority to do what he did – terrorize this new Jewish Sect – and yet there is no record of him anywhere.
        And if one suspends one’s indoctrination for a few seconds and thinks logically and use a little common sense you can see he was a sham.

        He supposedly lived for several years in Ephesus, yet never bothered to visit Jesus mother, Mary?
        And why leader Jerusalem to hunt down ”christians” when the ring leader were right there in front of him?
        How credulous are you Hayden?

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m not being insipid, You had me at “NO EVIDENCE” to support him. I was curious who you think invented him.

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        • Difficult to say, and I am not a bible scholar, but someone like Eusebius would definitely be worth looking at.
          I have a feeling quite a lot can be laid at the feet of this lying sack of shit. And with a ”boss” like Constantine how could he fail?

          Liked by 1 person

        • Speaking of Eusebius, Josephus is also often quoted, re his “History of the Jews,” but Jose was actually a traitor to the Jews, and not anyone I would ever choose to quote. He initially fought against the Romans during the First Jewish–Roman War as head of Jewish forces in Galilee, until surrendering in 67AD to Roman forces led by Vespasian after the six-week siege of Jotapata.

          They were surrounded, much like those at Masada, but like those of Masada, had made a pact that straws would be drawn, and the two getting the short straw would slit the throats of all of the others, then kill themselves, leaving the Romans a hollow victory. Whether through chance or manipulation, Josephus managed to become one of the two. After he and his partner had finished their bloody task, they had a brilliant idea – surrender!

          Josephus quoted to Vespasian the ancient Jewish scriptures about a coming Messiah, and convinced him that they were referring to him, Vespasian, and predicted that he would become the next Roman Emperor – he knew which side his tortilla was buttered on! When that came to pass, Vespasian made Jose his pet Jew, freed him, made him a Roman citizen, and even gave him his own family name, Flavius, and sent him with his own son, Titus, now a general, to view and record the Roman destruction and sack of Jerusalem – Josephus watched his own people slaughtered, while safely ensconced in the enemy camp.

          I’m not sure I’d look to him for much of anything reliable.

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        • I am sure I read somewhere that the whole Masada suicide thing might have been a ‘Once upon a time ….” moment in history?

          And my bestist bit about Jo is that he was head honcho of …. Sepphoris. Which of course is a hop skip and a jump down the road from Nazareth.
          3 km ( supposedly) Yet …. of the couple of hundred villages ad towns mentioned ( not all by name) the village just down the road from whence the god man cometh – not a peep.

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        • No one seems to mention little god Jr. until pseudo-Mark, some 30+ years later – why the gap?

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        • Nazareth was a small village, thus like so many communitities there would as likely have beeen friends and relatives present when ”Mary” returned from her sojourn in Bethlehem,Egypt and the rest of her and Joe’s Sunshine Donkey tour.
          If you have ever lived in a small community of ”nosy neighbours” you’ll know how gossip spreads like brushfire.

          Furthermore, Herod and the Slaughter of the Innocents could not have gone unnoticed by Josephus, or any Jew of the day. Any mention?
          Fark All.
          It is ALL a con.

          Liked by 1 person

        • You know what? I actually don’t know anything about either of them. So i think I will change that and see what I can come up with.

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        • You know what? I actually don’t know anything about either of them. So i think I will change that and see what I can come up with.

          Why am I not surprised.
          *Sigh*
          Stick around ,Hayden, we’ll make an atheist of you yet.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Arch, Josephus clearly was someone who knew where ‘his bread was buttered’ so to speak. I gather the Jews saw him as someone who sold out to the Romans, ‘a bit of a brown nose’ they might have said.

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        • The word, “traitor” leaps to mind, but then I was always one to call a spade a damned shovel.

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        • The difficulty that ‘objective’ historians have is almost 50% of our knowledge of the church in its first 300 years comes form a single source, the Church History written by Eusebius. He was not someone who modern scholars see as ‘reliable’ – tended to gild the lily a bit from what we can gather.

          It seems that there were many different versions of early Christianity. The NT letters say as much, given the references to rival camps in Galatians, Corinthians, 1 John and Jude. What historians now summise is that once the Church gained political support in the 4th century they did their best to eradicate all references to the other versions of Christianity. The winners wrote the history!

          But it is a mistake to think that splitting and division in Christianity is a relatively recent feature of the church since the reformation. Splitting and division seems to be in the DNA of Christianity. This seems at odds with a religion driven and inspired by the Spirit of God. Christians have only been successful at enforcing uniformity when they have had partnerships with political leaders who gave the dominant strain the power to stamp out rivals.

          Islam has been more successful in keeping a degree of unity because from its start it has been a political religion, spread by the sword with alliances made with warrior war lords who gave the religious anchorites power to persecute those who disagree.

          Liked by 2 people

        • @Ark, Make an Athiest of me? Unlikely. I have too clear of memory of what I was like before he sunk his talons into me.
          I won’t have a chance to check out those two scribes we talked about until this weekend but I will post here what I think, once I do. Although I’m inclined to think paul was invented before them.Not sure yet.

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        • Hayden, you wrote: “… what I was like before he sunk his talons into me.”

          WHO sunk their talons into you? Are you talking about “God”???? You do realize that talons are “sharp hooked claws.” Is this what you think happened? Hmmmm.

          Liked by 1 person

        • WHO sunk their talons into you?” – Don’t look at me, I was out of town that weekend!

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  2. It is not that I disagree with the overall thrust of that article, but there are more than a few discrepancies. For one, using Acts to refute Pail’s claims is a bit of a stretch as Acts is mostly fiction, written after Paul died, with all of paul’s letters (and more?) in hand when it was written. It was also written primarily from a pro-Paul, anti-Jew view point.

    Also, non of the Gospels had been written during Paul’s lifetime. So, they were written with Paul’s letters in hand (probably) too.

    People writing after the fact have the opportunity to rebut things they think were wrong and embellish things they thought right. And the real players were all dead before much of these things were written, so they were not around to “call BS” as it were.

    Clearly Paul created Christianity as we know it. Clearly Paul crafted it from Old testament passages and his “revelations.” One could excuse him his delusion and not call him a complete fake if, on a regular basis, he is asked questions that stumped him, but when he slept on them, the answers miraculously came to him. To a delude person that could be a revelation.

    The religion based upon Jesus teachings did survive … for hundreds of years but only in the backwaters of the area. None of current Christianity can be said to be based upon Jesus teachings, which is hardly surprising because in the entire NT, Jesus is not quoted as saying anything that had not been said or taught before. (Nothing new here, move along.)

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    • Steve, I agree in essence with your comments about Acts. But what I did in my book, and I would wager others who write on the bible do as well, is use actual scripture to back up their conclusions. Since few believers actually know the history of their “good book,” the only thing that would convince them (or at least raise questions in their minds) is to reference chapter and verse when trying to prove a point.

      As for Paul, in my estimation, there is nothing that can be said in his defense.

      Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve read that before. Paul all but calls himself a prick in Romans while Acts claims he was a super sweet guy who never tried to bother anyone.

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  3. Roughly 50% of the New Testament (13 epistles) is from Saul” – Not according to Bart Ehrman (“Forged“), who maintains that six of those epistles were forgeries:
    Timothy I
    Timothy II
    Titus
    Thessalonians II
    Ephesians
    Colossians

    Liked by 1 person

    • Though the degree of assurance does vary.
      The rough order is:
      – Thessalonians II, Scholars are fifty/fifty;
      – Colossians;
      – Ephesians;
      – Timothy II;
      – Titus;
      – Timothy 1 (90% of scholars think it is forged).
      As one gets further down the list the evidence for forgery increases.

      I always struggled to accept Timothy II as forged as it seemed such a personal account. I still am moved by the passion when Paul feels abandoned and near death, saying that all had abandoned him, ‘only Luke is with me’.

      Some scholars make a case for II Timothy being genuine, but the majority suspect it is not.

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    • So when they are calling it a forgery what are they actually claiming? The church came up with them at a much later date or is it just the work of authors other than Paul?

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      • Other authors than Paul, Hayden – either a disciple writing after Paul’s death who believed he was continuing Paul’s mission, or even an opponent that didn’t feel Paul had gotten his instructions right and felt the need to correct him. That whole business, for example of telling the ladies to keep their big yaps shut, was not part of Paul’s original doctrine.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ah. I heard a Theology prof once say that plagiarism in the first century was not looked upon the same as it is today. Back then it was considered flattery. Not a good thing when you’re trying to figure out who wrote what.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a Fundamentalist Christian daughter (I know – the irony!), and when I learned that her church group met every Sunday afternoon in her home, for a potluck lunch and Bible study, I – always on the alert for a free meal – and as an afterthought, thinking that they were really going to study the Bible, and knowing a bit about who wrote it and when, thought I might be able to contribute and possibly even bring a little enlightenment into an otherwise closed circle. Upon actually attending, I learned it was not the Bible they were studying, but rather cherry-picked quotations of Paul, from a purchased, canned CD. Took all of the fun out of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Any idea how strange it feels to sit in a room full of Christians, and know that you know more about the Bible than anyone else in the room, possibly more than all of them combined? I’m not trying to sound like a know-it-all, but those people seem to know only what it says, and nothing about who wrote it or how it came to be.

      Of the 39 books of the OT, the prophet, Micah, appears to have written his own, 3-page pamphlet, while the prophet, Zechariah, has been confirmed as having written the first eight chapters of his book, the last six were quilled by an unknown author. Other than that, the entire OT was written entirely anonymously, and yet the NT was based upon it.

      As for the NT, only the following 7 books of Paul were not written anonymously – otherwise the NT authors were anonymous as well:
      Corinthians I
      Corinthians II
      Romans
      Galatians
      Philippians
      Thessalonians I
      Philemon

      Liked by 4 people

      • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … what the majority of christians know about their faith comes from the pulpit, not the bible. Few read, much less understand, their holy book. As you commented, it’s all about cherry-picking.

        BTW, what did your daughter think/say about her atheist father wanting to attend a bible study?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Arch, I can relate. I’m the oldest of seven daughters and all my sisters are Christians. Our parents are Christians as well. It’s a very lonely world for me. Right now my abusive father is having health issues. They can’t seem to understand why I’m not jumping through hoops for him. One in particular is absolutely angry with me about it all. She and her husband are clearly my parents’ favorites because they’re the most moral and dedicated Christians of our family. I’ve been apart of Churches and a legalistic Bible school that treated me the same way. All the women got pissed with me for my questioning and “lack of care” regarding their husbands, fathers and other male spiritual leaders. It’s intimidating and it’s bullying, but I know all those women believe they’re doing the Lord’s work. Trust me, there’s a little bit of Duggar in MOST Christian women.

        Years before my deconversion I remember telling my husband that Churches rarely taught from the Gospels. It got to the point where I only heard about them at Christmas and Easter. I was honestly bothered by all the talk about Paul’s Epistles. I was confused because I thought we were Chrstians, not followers of Paul. We had one preacher that took at least a year of weekends “teaching” about Ephesians! And most of that time he just “talked story”. This Church was where hubby and I met, married and more less kicked out because I addressed this concern, as well as some other points, to the pastor. (This was Christmas 2004. We still remained dedicated Christians until 2012.) This was a “seeker friendly” gathering to boot. Contrary to those “well, my God’s not like that” Christians, modernized Churches are just as dogmatic as traditional ones.

        Then I love how Malachi is stuck in the Bible right before the New Testament. It’s location is important because tithing is NOT a New Testament concept. Jesus never spoke of it. The only time Paul mentions “first fruits” he’s reffering to new converts. This became quite obvious to me the last two years of my faith.

        I agree with what Nan mentioned, the evidence/existence argument will not work with Christians. They need to be referred to the numerous inconsistencies in their beloved book. She’s absolutely right when she mentions most of what they know is what they hear from the pulpit.

        Liked by 3 people

        • I seriously tried not be for a long time, but once you know what we know there’s no going back.

          I like what Jerry Dewitt says. He calls it “graduating from faith”. I’ve learned all I could and the Bible itself told me everything that’s wrong with God.

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        • I’ve learned all I could and the Bible itself told me everything that’s wrong with God.

          Yet you still hold to capitalizing “God” – not picking on you, it’s just funny how discarding religion is a bit like trying to throw away fly-paper, it’s hard to let go of. I’ve known atheists – deconverts from Judaism – who still write “G-d.”

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        • You know what they say, Arch. Old habits are hard to break. I’ve been away from the faith for over 15 (closer to 20) years and I still find myself hitting the capital key.

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        • I capitalize Santa, Thor and Zeus as well. What’s your point? Fictional or not, such words are to be capitalized.

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        • What’s my point? Santa, Thor, Zeus, and for that matter, Yahweh, are names, and I agree, should be capitalized – “god” is not a name, merely another noun.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Arch there is a fascinating story in Genesis about Jacob using strange magic to get mottled sheep and goats. One of the bizarre stories in the OT that Christians tend to skip over.

          Liked by 1 person

        • The last book in the Jewish Scriptures was Chronicles. So clearly the Christian church changed the order. Having Malachi last no doubt suited the narrative.

          What has really hit home to me of late is the different theology between the different gospels and books of the New Testament. I had been brought up on the idea of the unity of the Bible. It is only as I have dared to engage with the critical scholars that I start to see how even the Gospel writers could not agree on what the Gospel actually was. Luke even went so far as to remove all references to Jesus’ death being an atonement for sin.

          Liked by 3 people

    • A devout Christian Lady I knew told me about her attendance at a Jehovah’s Witness Bible Study. They had helped her out a low point in her life so she felt she should attend one of their sessions. Turns out the study was similar to the one you mentioned. She kept asking questions and challenging the teaching of the leader of the group, who followed a prepared script. At the end of the session the leader took her aside and said, ‘it might be better if you did not come again’.

      Liked by 1 person

    • True enough. As you probably know, there is absolutely NO MENTION of Paul in secular history. The primary information about him is only found in the bible and is provided by the (unknown) writer of Acts. The only place “Paul” talks about himself is in Philippians where he brags about being a Pharisee (but even that title is suspect).

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    • John, the issue is that Christians assume that the Bible has one consistent message. Most cannot accept that there are contradictory teachings. It is just not in their range of possible outcomes, so either they try to harmonise the differences, or where this is just too hard, resort to the Holy Mystery card.

      Liked by 2 people

        • I had the same feeling, and it drives people like David crazy when you call them on it. They use Paul to say they’re free from the OT laws, but by doing so they are denying Jesus’ specific command that the laws shall remain unmoved until the earth passes from existence. Honestly, the amount of mental gymnastics these people have to perform to maintain their belief system is astonishing.

          Liked by 2 people

        • I hate to sound like a broken record, but it all goes back to the fact most believers know nothing beyond what comes from the pulpit. And “the teachers” know nothing more than what was taught to them by others of the same ilk. Clergy may say they read the bible, but I would daresay it’s primarily to prepare for a sermon. It’s obvious that few do actual research.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. “We are such stuff / as dreams are made on / and our little life / Is rounded with a sleep.” Prospero in Shakespeare’s, “The Tempest”
    The vast beauty of our universe makes me feel small and insignificant in a way so wondrously special only Shakespeare’s words can describe it. Lovely video.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Peter: Your story of the Jehovah’s Witness Bible Student (sic!) reminds me of one of the controversial sayings of Jesus:
    # He who is not with Me is against Me#.
    Peace…

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  7. So I read through this post, mostly to piss you all off with my snarkyness. I’m not perfect and it’s the end of my shift! Jesus. Anyway, the problem as I see it is that the OT was never meant to be used as a weapon BUT that is exactly as the Bible Worshipers have been using it. And since Christianity’s conception we have been taught to believe what we are TOLD. The Catholic church in it’s early days didn’t even want the book to be written in a language the common man could understand. And that kind of attitude has continued to the point that clergymen and women are still taught by FAITH in the “teacher” and not faith in God. God tells you, To have a blessed life, you must be a blessing to those around you. A teacher will tell you… whatever supports his fears.
    Now, don’t hold back. Let ‘Nan’ know how you really feel. Smoochies.:)

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  8. AND I’M DONE! Well with Marcion anyway. I’m inclined to agree with you Ark, it would have suited his needs to claim the God of Jesus was different from the God of the OT. AND he was the first one to start pushing “Paul” as the utmost bestest profit of God. I checked a site fro Duke University: http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/scriptorium/papyrus/texts/manuscripts.html
    They seem to be the only people I culd find with definitive unbiased dates for the NT books and the Oldest version of any we have, “John”, was written aroun 125 CE, several years after Marcion’s death.

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    • Zach, you are correct, he certainly did a hatchet job on Paul. But in doing so it seemed a bit of an own goal. Using some of the Bible to ‘prove’ other parts of the Bible is false really only leads to one outcome – to assume it all is false.

      So the irony seems to me if this author is correct in the analysis thy are ultimately wrong in the bigger picture.

      Ah, no! I know what it is they have had special revelation [I am being ironic] to discern the error from the truth in the Bible.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha yes that is true! It reminds me of when I wrote my original articles on Hell. I assumed that I was one of the few who had found the truth; that the doctrine of Hell was incorrect, but the core of the gospel was true. I tend to think that some of the most passionate criticisms come out of that, since I felt like I was on a divine mission to eradicate a false doctrine which was tainting the image of my Father. Lol

        These small theologica all cults you could call them are often fascinating. It’s funny how humans can be very right in one area and very wrong in another.

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        • Speaking of which, William Lane Craig has a long tirade on the biblical passages in Joshua about the Jews killing Canaanite babies, in which he maintained that that was a good thing, as it sent them to heaven before they had a chance to sin. Yet he radically opposes abortion, and doesn’t see the conflict.

          Have? Eat? When it comes to cake, you can’t do both, but I guess when it comes to killing babies, different rules apply.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Yes you are correct, by his logic Christians should favour abortion. The question then becomes how old does one have to be before ‘sin’ occurs? Just thinking about the implications of this makes it all a nonsense.

          Worse still it promotes crazy actions. Some years ago in my sleepy town a father killed his three children because he could not bear to see them growing up in the evil of this world.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Silly William. The Bible doesn’t say babies go to Heaven.

          Just yesterday I was thinking about how God aborted Bathsheba’s baby for David’s sin.

          No problems here at all…

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        • @Think AIways – I don’t know who said this, but it strikes me as having some serious validity:

          “All parts of the Bible are true until it becomes obvious that they aren’t and then a miracle happens and they immediately become things that were never meant to be taken literally to begin with.”

          Liked by 3 people

        • John MacArthur uses the Bathsheba baby story to justify babies going straight to heaven. His argument is that David took the death well saying ‘I will go to him, but he will not return to me’ (2 Samuel 12:24).

          Whereas when his Son Absalom died he mourned.

          It is a very slender basis on which to build a doctrine.

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  9. Paul is a set of golden plates away from Joseph Smith. They both hijacked a religion already existing, perverted the message, and made it their own. Paul is exactly the type of person Jesus decries in his parables. How sad it is that humans from Paul on have followed the tenets of the true and literal Anti-Christ rather than the goodish words of that humble Jewish carpenter.

    Even with a Resurrection story thrown in, the poor guy’s message didn’t last thirty years after his death.

    In my lighter days, I like to imagine theology is true and picture God up on a cloud somewhere red faced, pulling his beard into knots and screaming: “WHY does this KEEP HAPPENING???”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Taris3!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a word or two.

      Loved your first two sentences. I’d never thought of it quite that way. 😉 In any case, I agree that Paul has definitely led a lot of people away from the teachings of the one they say they’re following.

      Like

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