Paul And The Invention Of Christianity
Muhammed Asadi

On the road to Damascus, while persecuting the early Christians, after the death of Jesus, a man claimed that he saw a vision, a vision of Jesus. The man was Saul of Tarsus (Latinized as Paul). From there on, the teachings of Christ were transformed and Romanized and modern Christianity was born.

The vision in which Paul claims that Jesus gave him an authority to teach in his name is recorded a number of times in the New Testament. If we were to analyze these variant descriptions, made by the same man, as in a court of law, they would be thrown out as fabricated "evidence" because of inconsistencies. For example:

1. Acts (9:3-7)

[3] Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him.

[4] And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"

[5] And he said, "Who are you, Lord?" And he said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting; [6] but rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do."

[7] The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.

In this description, it is stated that only Paul fell to the ground. And, the other men who traveled with him did not see anything but heard a voice. Compare this to the next description:

2. Acts (22:6-9)

[6] "As I made my journey and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone about me.

[7] And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, `Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?'

[8] And I answered, `Who are you, Lord?' And he said to me, `I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are persecuting.'

[9] Now those who were with me saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one who was speaking to me.

In this description, in complete contradiction to the one above, Paul states that those who traveled with him did not hear the voice but saw the light. The previous description said that they did not see anything but heard a voice!

3. Acts (26:14)

[14] And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, `Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It hurts you to kick against the goads.'

In this description, Paul says that they "all" fell to the ground whereas in the previous description, only Paul had fallen to the ground.

In any court of law, anywhere in the world where justice is upheld, this testimony of Paul would have been thrown out as fabrication and he would have been prosecuted for perjury.

Paul's Christianity is not what Jesus taught:

The German philosopher, Fredrick Neitzsche recognized Paul's role in constructing the "new" Christianity, and was convinced of deception:

In Nietzsche's view, the very worst of them was Paul, the actual founder of the Christian church and doctrine. Nietzsche was convinced that Paul was not sincere in his beliefs, that "his requirement was power." Nietzsche cannot bring himself to believe that Paul, "whose home was the principal center of Stoic enlightenment," is sincere when he offers up a hallucination as proof that The Redeemer still lives. Paul invented the doctrines of 'eternal life' and 'the Judgement' as a means to his ends. In Die Morgenrote (translated by R. J. Hollingdale as Daybreak, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1982), Nietzsche had earlier discussed Paul's frustrations at being unable to master, and to comply with, Jewish law, and hence Paul "sought about for a means of destroying" that law. Christianity offered Paul just the weapon he had been seeking.

[A 40-42; Die Morgenrote 68, http://www.debunker.com/texts/anti_chr.html, retrieved 12/08/'01].

Paul destroyed the Law:

Romans 3:28

[28] For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law.

Romans 7:4

[4] Likewise, my brethren, you have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God.

1 Corinthians 10:25

[25] Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience.

Contrary to what Paul taught, Jesus stated that he came to fulfil the Law and not abolish it. He further states that whoever takes the least bit out of the Law will be "the least" in the Kingdom of Heaven. Since Paul took the "whole" law out, according to Jesus' criteria, Paul is the "least" of the "least"! Consider these words of Jesus:

Matthew 5:17-20:

[17] "Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them.

[18] For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.

[19] Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

[20] For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. "

The Law laid down strict dietary laws, for example, the Book of Deuteronomy, a part of the Torah, states:

And the swine, because it parts the hoof but does not chew the cud, is unclean for you. Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch. (Deuteronomy 14:8)

Furthermore, the concept of salvation that Paul brought into Christianity from Greek myth was also alien to what Jesus taught. According to Paul, believing in the "lord" Jesus and confessing that he was raised from the dead, saves a person. He says:

Romans 10:9

[9] "Because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. "

1 Corinthians 15:14:

[14] If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain

This is unequivocally against what Jesus himself taught. Christians need to ask themselves here, "Whom do we believe, Paul or Jesus?" Jesus says explicitly:

Matthew 7:21-23

[21] "Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. [22] On that day many will say to me, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' [23] And then will I declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.'

Matthew 19:17

[17] And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? One (God) there is who is good. If you would enter life,keep the commandments."

James, who knew Jesus much closer than Paul says:

James 2:26

[26] For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.

The Original Sin:

Christianity and Islam differ regarding the concept of the Original Sin. According to Christianity, Adam and Eve, the first humans sinned when they ate the forbidden fruit. They were expelled from heaven and sin entered the world. Every child of Adam, you and I, according to Christianity has inherited this sin (as genetic inheritance). Therefore, every male and female is born stained with sin and is therefore destined to hell, from birth. This belief in Christianity gave rise to the doctrine of Atonement. According to this doctrine, God sacrificed his "only begotten" son, Jesus to wash away the sins of the world. The only thing people have to do to wash away their hereditary stain is to believe in Jesus as God's son and that he died for them.

Islam does not agree with all this. According to the Koran, every one is responsible for their own doings and nobody can carry the burden of another. God is forgiving and if a person sincerely repents, amends and does what is good and righteous, God forgives. Adam did not ask us before eating the fruit, so how can we be blamed?

In any society, where justice is one of the highest valued morals, killing an innocent man (Jesus) to wash away the sins of the guilty would be condemned as immoral, yet billions of people rejoice over this "gift" of injustice! Once again, the source of conflict is Paul and not Jesus. Jesus never talked about atonement or a "free-ride" through the blood of an innocent man.

On the contrary he said, "If you would enter life, keep the commandments" (Matthew 19:17). It was Paul who brought the concept of the Original Sin into Christianity. He says:

Romans 5:12

[12] "Therefore, as sin came into the world through ONE man.."

1 Corinthians 15:21-22

[21] "For as by a man came death (sin), by a man also has come the resurrection of the dead.

[22] For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive."

As we saw above, Jesus contradicts Paul. Not only that, the Old Testament contradicts Paul as well:

Ezekiel 18:20-22

[20] The soul that sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

[21] "But if a wicked man turns away from all his sins which he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.

[22] None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness which he has done he shall live.

2 Chronicles 25:4

[4] But he did not put their children to death, according to what is written in the law, in the book of Moses, where the LORD commanded, "The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, or the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall die for his own sin."

Major Yeats Brown, in his book, Life of a Bengal Lancer, summarized the concept of atonement in Christianity. He states:

"No heathen tribe has conceived so grotesque an idea, involving as it does the assumption, that man was born with a hereditary stain upon him: and that this stain (for which he was not personally responsible) was to be atoned for; and the creator of all things had to sacrifice his only begotten son, to neutralize this mysterious curse."

Paul actually transformed the strict monotheism that Jesus proclaimed into a religion that is closer to Greek mythology, than it is towards either Judaism or Islam. Things like the "only begotten son", atonement for the sins of humanity etc. were all alien to the strict monotheism of Abraham, Jesus, Muhammad and all the prophets of Israel.

John H. Randall, emeritus professor of philosophy at Columbia University, wrote:

"Christianity, at the hands of Paul, became a mystical system of redemption, much like the cult of Isis, and the other sacramental or mystery religions of the day"

(Hellenistic Ways of Deliverance and the Making of the Christian Synthesis, 1970, p. 154, http://www.leaderu.com/everystudent/easter/articles/yama.html, retrieved 12/0-8/'01).

Greek cults were prevalent in the Mediterranean long before Jesus was born. They were brought into Christianity by Paul to make doctrine "inclusive" thereby destroying the strict monotheism that Jesus proclaimed. Some of the ones, with their parallels in Christianity, are:

1. Attis of Phrygia (later called Galatia in Asia Minor):

He was regarded as the "only begotten" son and savior. He was bled to death on March 24th on the foot of a pine tree. He also rose from the dead and his death and resurrection was celebrated by his followers.

"A Christian writer of the fourth century AD, recounted ongoing disputes between Pagans and Christians over the remarkable similarities of the death and resurrection of their two Gods. The Pagans argued that their God was older and therefore original. The Christians admitted Christ came later, but claimed Attis was a work of the devil whose similarity to Christ, and the fact he predated Christ, were intended to confuse and mislead men. This was apparently the stock answer -- the Christian apologist Tertullian makes the same argument."

(http://home.earthlink.net/~pgwhacker/ChristianOrigins/PaganChrists_Attis.html, retrieved 12/08/'01)

2. Adonis of Syria:

He was born of a virgin mother. He also suffered death for the redemption of mankind, arising from the dead in spring.

3. Bacchus of Greece or Dionesius

He was termed the "only begotten" son of Jupiter. He was born of a virgin named Detemer on December 25th. To his followers, he was "redeemer". He called himself "Alpha and Omega" i.e. similar to the words used for Jesus by the author of the Book of Revelation.

4. Orisis of the Egyptians

He was born of a virgin mother on December 29th. He was betrayed by one Typhen (remember Judas) and was slain. He was buried (just like Jesus), remained in hell for two to three days (just like Jesus), and then rose from the dead (just like Jesus).

5. Mithra, the Persian Sun-God

He was also born of a virgin on the 25th of December. Christmas and Easter were the most important festivals of the Mithras. They also had other surprising similarities with Paul's Christianity like the Eucharist supper etc.

Dr. Arnold Meyer, professor of Theology at the Zurich University, after describing the basic Christian beliefs of today, i.e. the divinity of Christ, atonement etc. states:

If this is Christianity, then such Christianity was founded by St. Paul and not by our lord (Jesus or Paul, page 122)

© 2001

Essays on related topics...

Christianity
 Title Author
Interpreting the Bible today: A modern liberal Christian interpretation of the Bible Kenneth Cauthen
Homosexuality and Religion Kenneth Cauthen
Christianity and Ecology Kenneth Cauthen
Christian Ethics and Civilization Kenneth Cauthen
Science And Theology Kenneth Cauthen
Modern Doctrines of God Kenneth Cauthen
Bio-Ethics In Christianity Kenneth Cauthen
Is The Bible Conservative? Steve Kangas [off site]
The Bible Doesn't Forbid Abortion Steve Kangas [off site]
The Reliability of the Gospels Timothy Minich

 

Criticisms of Christianity

 Title Author
A God of Suspect Praise Kevin Archer
Is The Bible God's Word? Muhammed Asadi
The Koran And The Bible: Is Jesus God? Muhammed Asadi
Islam and Christianity Muhammed Asadi
Paul And The Invention Of Christianity Muhammed Asadi
A Few Bible Contradictions Thomas Ash
What The Bible Really Says: Some Shocking Statements Thomas Ash
Bonhoeffer and the German Churches' Response to Nazism Thomas Ash
What's So Bad About The Ten Commandments Thomas Ash
Why Jesus? Dan Barker [off site]
Did Jesus Really Rise From The Dead? Dan Barker vs Michael Horner [off site]
Biblical Atrocities Steve Kangas [off site]
The Case Against Creation Science Steve Kangas [off site]
The Origins Of Biblical Morality Steve Kangas [off site]
Liberal Reasons Not To Celebrate Christmas Steve Kangas [off site]
Is Christianity Absurd? Michael Martin [off site]
Problems With Heaven Michael Martin [off site]
Atheism, Christian Theism and Rape Michael Martin [off site]
The Uniqueness Of The Bible Farrell Till [off site]


Islam
Title Author
The Truth About Jihad Muhammed Asadi
The Koran And The Bible: Is Jesus God? Muhammed Asadi
The Koran and Science Muhammed Asadi
The Koran And The Hadith Muhammed Asadi
Islam And Women Muhammed Asadi

 

Criticisms of Islam

Title Author
The Terrors of Islam Anthony Flew [off site]
Skeptic's Guide to the Koran Syed Mirza [off site]
The Origins of the Koran Ibn Warraq [off site]


Number of unique visits to Big Issue Ground so far...