Did Paul Distort the Message of Christ?
Channel: Mohammed Hijab
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Paul of Tarsus has done more than any other person in history to influence and shape conceptions about the person and message of Jesus. In this video we are going to consider the question is Paul a reliable source of information about Jesus.
The early followers of Jesus were hunted and persecuted by Paul who started out as a zealous enemy of Christianity. Then one day while on a sandy desert road to Damascus, Paul said that you had a mystical encounter with a disembodied voice claiming to be Jesus. From there, Paul went on to become a super evangelist, dedicating his life to spreading what he claimed was the message of Jesus. Paul's biggest claim to legitimacy as an apostle is the divine revelation, which he said he received directly from Jesus. For example, Paul wrote, I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. Rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, there is no way of independently verifying Paul's claims of mystical desert encounters with Jesus, we just have to take him at his word. What we can do to test Paul's apostleship is to scrutinize his writings, he made repeated claims of divine inspiration. And since God is all knowing, and all wise, it stands to reason that Paul's writings should be free of error.
In the following prophesy, Paul provided a timeline for the welds and
we will not fall asleep, but we will all be changed in a flash in a twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. sleep here is being used as a metaphor for death. So Paul seems to be saying that not all of the believers in his day would die before the return of Jesus. Obviously, this is a false prophecy, as it has been nearly 2000 years since Paul wrote these words and the return of Jesus still has not taken place. In fact, many New Testament scholars and thinkers conclude that Paul and his followers expected the imminent end of the world. For example, the distinguished New Testament scholar
Professor ck Barrett wrote in his commentary on this prophecy, Paul expects that at the Perugia Second Coming of Jesus, he himself will not be among the dead, of whom he speaks in the third person, but among the living, of whom he speaks in the first person, he expected the peruzzo within his own lifetime. A virtually identical end of world prophecy can be found in the Gospel of Mark, the renowned Christian apologist CS Lewis wrote that it is the most embarrassing verse in the Bible. Now, some Christians tried to defend Paul by claiming that when he made the statement, we will not all sleep he was not including the believers of his day are among those who will not taste death,
but rather he was referring to believers at some unspecified time in the future. So what did Paul in 10 by a statement, should we interpret it literally or figuratively, we can look to Paul's related prophecies to help us arrive at the correct understanding. In the following prophecy, Paul, advise believers with regards to how they should conduct themselves going forward.
But those who marry will face many troubles in this life. And I want to spare you this. What I mean brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on, those who have wives should live as if they do not those who mourn as if they did not. Those who are happy, as if they were not those who buy something as if it were not theirs to keep those who use the things of the world as if not engrossed in them. For this world, in its present form is passing aware. northpole statements about marriage, emotions and materialism. Believers are told that all such activities are futile as time is short and the world is passing away. Believers are advised to avoid such things from now on, ie
with immediate effect going forward. This is clear proof that Paul genuinely believed that the world's end was imminent. Otherwise, his advice about living as bachelors not feeling human emotions, and being completely detached from material things is nonsensical, as Christians would have been unnecessarily going about life as celibate emotionless ascetics for nearly 2000 years and counting. This is highly problematic when we consider the standard that the Old Testament lays out the true divine inspiration. If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true. That is a message the Lord has not spoken. We can see that according to the Bible
itself. Anyone who makes a claim about the future which then fails to come true cannot be inspired by God.
One of Paul's core teachings is the idea that salvation is achieved through faith in Jesus alone.
Not any kind of works, as Paul informed us, but what does it say? The word is near you, it is in your mouth and in your heart. That is the message concerning faith that we proclaim. If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Here Paul is quoting from the Old Testament in order to lend support to his theology that we are saved by faith alone and not works. Let's take a look at the original passage in the book of Deuteronomy. The word is very near you, it is in your mouth and in your heart, so you may obey it. Notice the problem, Paul is taking the quarter of its original context, he left out the part that
states so you may obey it. In other words, Paul has omitted God's command to obey the Mosaic Law, we can see that the original passage in the Old Testament actually establishes the opposite of what Paul intended works are indeed important.
Another of Paul's core teachings is the idea that all of God's covenantal promises to Abraham were fulfilled by the coming of Jesus. As Paul informed us. The promises were spoken to Abraham and his seed. Scripture does not say anta seeds, meaning many people, but unto your seed, meaning one person who is Christ. Here Paul is making the argument that God's promise to Abraham did not speak of seeds in the plural, but rather seed in the singular and concludes at the single seed is a reference to one man, ie Jesus. Let's take a look at the original passage in the book of Genesis, and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with a seed after him. The original
Hebrew word used for seed is Zehra, which is a collective noun that can be used to refer to both a single descendant or many descendants, it depends on the context in which it appears. This is just like the English language. For example, the word sheep can mean one sheep, or many, depending on the context. So how should we interpret the mention of seed in the Old Testament, we find an answer in the sand Book of Genesis, and I will make the seed as the dust of the earth, so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Here God promised Abraham that he will be blessed with a multitude of descendants, likening his seed to the dust of the earth.
Therefore, we can see that the correct context for seed is not a single seed, as Paul incorrectly interpreted it, but rather many.
Paul taught that the nation of Israel will be saved from its sins through Jesus, as Paul informed us. And in this way, all Israel will be saved, as it is written, that deliver will come from Zion, he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. Here Paul has quoted from the Old Testament book of Isaiah, their Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob will repent of their sins, declares the Lord, not the clear mismatch. Paul's quote mentions that the Savior will remove sin from Israel, whereas the book of Isaiah states that their savior will come to Israel after it is repented from sin. Just what is going on here. Paul may have been quoting from the Septuagint, a Greek version of
the Old Testament, and the deliverer shall come for say on sick and shall turn away on godliness from Jacob, we can see that Paul's quote closely matches the Greek Septuagint. It turns out that there are two variant readings of the Old Testament, the one in Hebrew and the Greek Septuagint, that Paul seems to have quoted from there is, in fact strong evidence that the Greek Septuagint contains a later reading. This is because the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest surviving manuscripts for the Old Testament support the reading that is found in the Hebrew Scriptures. This means that when Paul chose to quote from the Greek Septuagint, he unknowingly use the letter incorrect reading, God
obviously would not have inspired him to make such a mistake.
Paul argued that nobody can achieve righteousness through the works of the Mosaic Law. As Paul informed us, as it is written, there is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands there is no one who seeks God. their throats are open graves, their tongues practice deceit, the poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood, there is no fear of God before their eyes. Therefore, no one will be declared righteous in God's sight by the works of the law. What Paul quotes here is a compilation of six separate passages from the Old Testament book of Psalms and Isaiah. He has strung
them together to appear as one quote, let's examine one of the passages that Paul referenced from Psalm 14. The fool says in his heart, there is no God. They are corrupt, their deeds are vile, there is no one who does good to all
These evildoers know nothing. They devour my people as though eating bread. They never call on the Lord, but there they are overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous, we can see that the original passage is talking about those who say there is no God. It is these people who are said to do no good. Such evildoers are then contrasted with their second group of people referred to as my people who are said to be the company of the righteous. It turns out that Paul has distorted this passage, it does not say, as Paul quotes it, that no human being is righteous. Rather, it says that those who deny God are not righteous.
Paul offered the following reason as to why God revealed the law to Moses and the Israelites. Now, we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that for this purpose, every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. According to Paul, the law was revealed to make us realize that it is impossible to keep, and that we are therefore all guilty before God. Let's compare this to what God has to say about the law in the Old Testament. Now, what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you all beyond your reach, know the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so you may obey it, we can see that
God says very clearly that the law is not too difficult to obey or beyond our reach, which is the complete opposite of what Paul claimed. Paul even had some very negative things to say about the law. Here he called it a curse. For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse. Paul also had bad things to say about his past efforts of keeping the law here he referred to it as garbage. As for righteousness based on the law, faultless bits, whatever were gains to me, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ, I consider them garbage. Again, such negativity is at odds with what the Old Testament teachers, for I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in
obedience to Him, and to keep his commands decrees and laws, then you will live and increase and the Lord your God will bless you. Here God stated that obeying the law will bring one blessing and prosperity, we can see that Paul's teachings about the law completely contradict the Old Testament on many points. So Paul cannot have gotten his message from the same God that inspired the Old Testament.
The Bible informs us that towards the end of his ministerial career, Paul visited Jerusalem which was home to 1000s of Christians who zealously obeyed the law of Moses, we are told that senior Christians directly confronted Paul about rumors that he was preaching against the law of Moses. The next day, Paul and the rest of us went to see James and all the elders were present. Then they said to Paul, you see, brother, how many 1000s of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children, or live according to our customs. If Paul
was a genuine apostle, then we should expect him to be forthcoming about his true beliefs and teachings. Let's now see how Paul actually reacted. What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come. So do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow, take these men join in their purification rites and pay their expenses so that they can have their heads shaved, then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you. The next day, Paul took them in and purified himself along with them. We can see that the senior Christians in Jerusalem commanded Paul to undergo a public head shaving ritual that was derived from the law of
Moses, Paul submissively complied with their command, thus denying the rumors that he preached against the law of Moses. Now in the previous section, we saw examples of Paul's negative attitude towards the Mosaic Law, labeling it a curse and describing efforts to obey it as garbage. By conducting himself in this manner, Paul was being too faced, for he behaved in one way to the faces of senior Christians, and another way in his writings. In the following examples, Paul wrote that Jews are the same as non Jews, and no longer bound to keep any of the Mosaic Law. There is neither Jew nor Greek. We have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the spirit and
not in the old way of the written code. We can see that Paul taught the very things he was accused of and deceptively denied.
In this video, we've examined a number of Paul's writings and found many issues which seriously undermine his claims of apostleship and divine inspiration. A big problem which arises from this is the fact that Paul dominates the pages of the New Testament, with over half of its books being attributed to him.
So when one reads New Testament and takes it at face value, you are viewing Jesus through the lens of Paul, who has been proven to be an unreliable source. Sincere truth seeking Christians face the difficult task of peeling away layers of myth in order to try and arrive at the true historical Jesus. God out of his mercy for mankind did not leave us in a state of confusion. The Quran was revealed and unravels centuries of mythmaking around Jesus. Muslims are the true followers of Jesus. As thanks to the Quran, we have access to an implement his original undistorted message.
To learn more about the true message of Jesus, please download your free copy of the book Jesus man messenger Messiah from the link below