What did Jesus really say?
A book by Dr. Mishaal Abdullah Al-Kadhi
1.2.7 Christianity's True Founder, Paul, admits fabrication
Muslims do not claim that Jesus' true disciples tampered with the Bible, but that others claiming to act in their names did so later on. This is attested to by the fact that the Trinitarian church felt it necessary to totally obliterate all Gospel manuscripts written before 325 AD when they officially introduced the "Trinity" to the world. This is why we find such serious contradictions in even the most basic of it's teachings. For example, we are told that Saul of Tarsus (St. Paul) is the author of the majority of the books of the New Testament. He is claimed to be the author of Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Phillippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews. We would expect such a pivotal character in the Bible and the author of the majority of the New Testament books to be able to keep his stories straight at least in such fundamental matters as how he became a Christian and was "saved." However, we can find in the Bible a sworn affidavit by Paul that he is guilty of fabrication. Sound incredible? Let us have a look:
If we read Acts 9:19-29 and Acts 26:19-21, we will find that Paul was busy persecuting the followers of Jesus in Jerusalem and dragging them from their homes to be tortured, killed or converted, when suddenly one day he decided to branch out and persecute them in Damascus. For this reason, he goes to the High Priest asking for letters sanctioning such actions in Damascus. Why he would do this since the High Priest of Jerusalem had no authority over Damascus remains a mystery to many, however, let us continue.
Shortly after setting out to
continue his evil work in Damascus, Paul is supposed to have "seen the Lord
in the way" and accepted Christianity after being a staunch enemy of
Christians and having become famous for his severe persecution of them. Barnabas
(one of the apostles of Jesus) then supposedly vouched for him with the other
apostles and convinced them to accept him. Paul then went with all of the
apostles on a preaching campaign in and out of Jerusalem and all of Judaea
preaching boldly to it's people. Paul then appointed himself the twelfth
apostle of Jesus (in place of Judas who had the devil in him) as seen in his own
books Romans 1:1, 1 Corinthians 1:1 ..etc..
The verses mentioned are:
"And when he (Paul) had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul (Paul) certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ. And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him: But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him. Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket. And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem. And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him."
"Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me."
"But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother. Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed."
With regard to the first two passages, Reverend Dr. Davies in "The First Christian," says: "These assertions are not inconsistent with each other, but are damaging for another reason,: they are contradicted by Paul himself in his letter to the Galatians (Chapters 1 and 2)." Rev. Davies draws attention to Paul's oath: "Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God I do not lie," which makes his account a sworn affidavit. He goes on to say:
"To the story in Acts, this contradiction is disastrous. There never was a teaching campaign at Jerusalem and through all of the county of Judea (Acts 26:20). If Paul was unknown to the Judean communities as he says, then he had undertaken no mission among them. In fact he had never joined the Judean movement or even attempted to join it. He only saw Cephas, and Jesus' brother James. Even of the other apostles, not to mention more ordinary believers, 'I saw none' he admits. Instead of his having gone 'in and out of Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord' the Jerusalem community had not even known that he was there. 'They only heard' he tells us 'that he who once persecuted us now makes the faith of which he made havoc'; but they never heard him preach it in Judea."
Rev. Davies concludes that
"..if there is any portion of the New Testament that is authentic, it is Paul's letter to the Galatians. If we cannot rely upon this letter, we can rely upon nothing and may as well close our inquiry. But the fact is that we can rely upon it. The letter to the Galatians is from Paul himself and by every test is genuine."
"The First Christian," A Powell Davies, Farrar Straus & Cudahy, pp. 30-31
According to the narration in Acts, Paul saw his alleged vision. "Straightway" he began preaching in the synagogues of Damascus. He built up a reputation through his bold preaching that amazed the masses. He confounded the Jews of Damascus. Many days later, the Jews tried to kill him so he escaped to Jerusalem. He met Barnabas who introduced him to the apostles for the first time. They were all terrified of Paul, but Barnabas convinced them to accept him. Now Paul and all of the apostles went on a preaching campaign in and out of Jerusalem speaking boldly in the name of Jesus.
However, according to the narration in Galatians, Paul saw his alleged vision. "Immediately" he did NOT confer with "flesh and blood" nor did he go to Jerusalem to see the apostles, but rather he traveled to Arabia then back to Damascus. He mentions no preaching in any of these places. After at least three years he goes to Jerusalem for the first time and meets only Peter and James and no other apostles. He stays with them for fifteen days but, once again, he mentions no preaching campaign either with all of the apostles, with some of them, or alone. He also has never been here in the past nor performed a preaching campaign here in the past since he is unknown by face to them and they have "heard only" of his claimed conversion.
Some of the contradictions are:
1) Galatians claims that after his alleged vision, Paul "Immediately" spoke to "no flesh and blood" but rather traveled to Arabia and then to Damascus. So he did not "straightway," if at all, preach boldly in Damascus as claimed by Acts (How long would it take to travel from Damascus to Arabia to Damascus? Could he go and come back "straightway"?).
2) According to Galatians, Paul did not go to Jerusalem where the apostles were. Rather, he went to Arabia then to Damascus. Now, after at least THREE YEARS (not many days), he goes to Jerusalem. It explicitly states that "Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles." So this is claimed to be his FIRST visit to Jerusalem after his claimed vision. This FIRST visit is claimed to have occurred at least THREE YEARS after Paul's alleged vision. However, Acts claims that MANY DAYS after his vision he traveled to Jerusalem and performed a bold preaching campaign with all the apostles. Acts also mentions no intermediate journey to Arabia.
3) According to Galatians, upon Paul's arrival in Jerusalem he met Peter and James and no other apostles. He can not have met any apostles in Jerusalem before this because he claims that immediately after his vision "Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles" Rather, it claims that he FIRST went to Jerusalem at least "three years" after his claimed vision. On the other hand, Acts claims that the first time he met the apostles was many days after his claimed vision at which time he met ALL of the apostles. This too is obviously his first meeting with them since they all feared him. Notice the words "they were ALL afraid of him." This would not be the case if Peter and James had already met him since even if they had never mentioned him to the other apostles, still, at the very least they themselves (Peter and James) would not fear him. Also notice that it was only Barnabas who stood up for him and not Barnabas, Peter, and James.
4) Galatians claims that after Paul's first visit to Jerusalem all the apostles feared him but then Barnabas convinced them to accept him and they ALL went hand in hand "in and out of Jerusalem" preaching "boldly" to the Jews. However, Acts claims that his first visit to Jerusalem was after THREE YEARS and upon this FIRST visit he met ONLY Peter and James. He is not claimed to have gone with Peter and James on a preaching campaign in and out of Jerusalem, nor could he have done so in the past with ALL of the apostles since if he had done so he would not have been "unknown by face to the churches of Judea," they would also not have "heard only" of his conversion but would have eye-witnessed his bold campaign with all of the apostles with their own eyes.
If the author of the majority of the books of the New Testament can not even keep the narration of his own "salvation" straight then how are we expected to believe him in such critical matters as the "true" meanings of Jesus' words, or other matters?
The fact that Paul never actually met Jesus during his lifetime, never traveled with him, ate with him, or learned directly from him would obviously make the apostles of Jesus the first source of guidance for those followers of Jesus who wished to know what Jesus taught. Jesus' apostles also did not have a previous history of persecuting his followers. The only reason why anyone might want to bypass the apostles to speak to Paul is if Paul began to receive a series of holy visions from Jesus. The apostles did not claim to be receiving visions from Jesus, so obviously, Paul's claims that he was receiving divine visions from Jesus would go a long way towards drawing the followers of Jesus away from them and to his interpretation of the message of Jesus. Paul himself proudly proclaims that he has no need of learning from any human being, not even the apostles, he is completely independent of their knowledge and all he needs is his visions:
"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."
As we shall soon see, a direct result of this unwillingness to receive anything from the apostles or to learn from them resulted in Paul following the sad trend of never being able to verify his claims through words of Jesus. It is next to impossible to find Paul quoting Jesus when attempting to spread his doctrine, rather, he always refers to his own personal philosophy based upon "visions" he claims to be receiving and inspirations from the Holy Ghost. When he would differ with an apostle on a given matter, he could not claim to have first hand knowledge of the teachings of Jesus since he had never met him. Therefore, he found it necessary to always resort to extensive philosophization and then claim that Jesus and the Holy Ghost were "inspiring" this philosophy. As we shall see below, he claimed to have been singled out from among all of mankind to receive visions denied all of the apostles, and to have been allowed through this inspiration to gain new converts "by all means." He also would claim that "All things are lawful unto me."
The careful reader will notice many other holes in the story of Paul's alleged "conversion." For instance, in Acts 22:9 Paul claims that when he spoke to Jesus (pbuh), those traveling with him "saw the light," but "they heard not the voice." While in Acts 9:7 those who were with Paul are claimed to have "stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man." Don't take my word for it, by all means "prove all things." The teachings of Christianity as they are known today are built upon the claims of Paul, the author of the majority of the books of the New Testament. He is trusted blindly because he claims to have seen Jesus (pbuh) in a heavenly vision, to have been vouched for by the apostle Barnabas, to have met and been accepted by all of the apostles, to have preached with all the apostles boldly in the name of Jesus throughout the land of Judaea, and as a result of this to have endured severe hardship and persecution. However, anyone who would simply read their Bible will find that Paul himself swears in the name of God Almighty that this is a fabrication because Judaea had never even seen his face and had "heard only" of his alleged conversion. Further, he never met any of the apostles save Peter and James. Even with all of this the church insists that we interpret the words of Jesus within the context of Paul's teachings.
There are so many more similar examples of how Paul openly and blatantly made major changes to the religion of Jesus that flagrantly contradicted both the teachings of Jesus and his apostles. Another example can be seen in the following analysis: God Almighty commands in the OT:
"This is my Covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant."
So, according to the OT, God himself is telling us that His covenant can only be had through circumcision. The significance of circumcision was also noted by Biblical scholars as being not merely an external act:
"This was His own sign and seal that Israel was a chosen people. Through it a man's life was linked with great fellowship whose dignity was it's high consciousness that it must fulfill the purpose of God"
Interpreter's Bible, p. 613
Circumcision was considered of such critical importance to Jewish faith that they would even violate the Sabbath to circumcise their children if the eighth day fell on the Sabbath.
"and ye on the Sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the Sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the Sabbath day?"
Jesus himself was circumcised on the eighth day just like all faithful Jews:
"And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS."
John the Baptist was also circumcised (Luke 1:59). After the departure of Jesus, circumcision became an issue of personal conflict between the apostle Peter who insisted upon it (preach to Jews only) and Paul who wanted to do away with it (preach to non-Jews also).
"I had been entrusted with the gospel for the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel for the circumcised."
Paul then goes into great details about how the apostles were wrong and he was right and how even Barnabas followed in their "hypocrisy" and it was necessary for him to show the apostles the truth (in the King James Version, the actual word used by Paul in Galatians 2:13 is diplomatically translated as "dissimulation.." However, in the Revised Standard Version of the Bible which was compiled from more ancient manuscripts than the KJV, the word Paul used is honestly translated as "hypocrisy").
Paul now mentions James (James the Son of Thunder, James the Just), Peter (the Rock), and Barnabas (Paul's teacher and protector) in the following manner:
"I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel."
So now it becomes apparent from Paul's words that, in addition to all the above, the apostles were also misguided. It would have been interesting to have heard for instance Barnabas' version of these matters had he been chosen as the "majority author" of the Bible rather than Paul. According to many similar passages, it seems that the apostles were constantly in need of Paul's guidance to recognize the truth. To get Barnabas' version of these matters, his opinion of Paul, as well as what really happened at the cross look for "The Gospel of Barnabas," ISBN 0089295-133-1, at your local library, or obtain your copy from one of the addresses listed at the back of this book.
It is interesting to note that Paul himself was not even sure about his own "visions." We read:
"It is expedient for me to boast; nothing is to be gained by it, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth; such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth; How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.."
2 Corinthians 12:1-5
So Paul did not know if the man in his "visions" was "in the body" or "out of the body." Paul's vision also contained "unspeakable words" which were "not lawful for a man to utter."
If I told you that I had seen someone in a "vision," had heard "unspeakable words that are not lawful to utter" in this vision, and had been commanded by this person to nullify the commandments which Jesus (pbuh) had upheld his whole life and had commanded mankind to uphold till the end of time, who would you say this described? Who had I seen?
God Almighty says in the Qur'an:
"And if it be said unto them: Follow that which Allah has revealed, they say: Nay, but we follow that wherein we found our fathers. What! Even though the devil was inviting them to the torture of the fire?"
The noble Qur'an, Lukman(31):21.
What is wrong with this picture? Even if we were to disregard Paul's sworn admission of fabrication and were to accept the established beliefs of Paul's inspiration and infallibility (a very big "if"), then we are still left with the following picture:
Paul, a man who according to his own admission "beyond measure" severely persecuted countless Christians "slaughtered" them, and also "wasted" the church (Galatians 1:13-15, Acts 8:1-3, Acts 9:1-2, Acts 9:41, Acts 6:5.. etc.), a man who never met Jesus face to face, underwent a miraculous conversion from a persecutor and killer of Christians into a more perfect teacher of Christianity than the apostles themselves. He was singled out by Jesus' ghost to receive "visions" which were denied the apostles who had accompanied Jesus (pbuh) during his lifetime (Galatians 1:10-12). Paul had acquired such a terrible reputation as a persecutor of Christians that no one was willing to accept his claims of conversion. It was only the intervention of the apostle Barnabas, who's words obviously carried a great deal of weight with the rest of the apostles, which allowed the apostles to grudgingly accept him. Barnabas then traveled extensively with Paul building up his reputation among the Jews as a true convert. Once Paul acquired a reputation of his own, he had a falling out with Barnabas (Acts 15:39, Galatians 2:13). They parted company. Paul now claimed that Jesus (pbuh) wanted him to "relax" the law in order to make it a little more palatable for new converts, and this is when Paul began to make drastic changes to the law of Jesus (pbuh).
Paul decided that his visions were sufficient authority to contradict the teachings of the apostles and consider them hypocrites. Even Barnabas, the apostle who traveled with Paul teaching him and preaching to the Jews, who was willing to accept this persecutor of Christians claims of conversion at face value, and the man who single handedly convinced all of the apostles to accept this same persecutor of Christians is now considered by Paul a hypocrite and less able to understand the religion of Jesus (pbuh) than himself. Paul also believed that
"...I labored more abundantly than they (the apostles) all"
1 Corinthians 15:10.
So, the apostles of Jesus were such lazy layabouts that Paul was doing more work than all eleven of them put together. All of this even though the apostles spent countless years with Jesus (pbuh) learning directly from him while Paul, who has never met Jesus in person, practically overnight transforms from a persecutor and killer of Christians and the apostles to a more perfect teacher of Christianity than the apostles themselves. It is quite lucky for us that Paul received these "visions," otherwise we might have been lead astray by the lazy, misguided, hypocritical apostles. For Barnabas' version of these matters, read "The Gospel of Barnabas."
Let us time out for a quick analyses of the above verses:
Summary: If the apostles who lived, preached, ate, and drank with Jesus for so many years are all, according to Paul, lazy, misguided, hypocrites, who were not able to see the "truth" of Jesus' message as clearly as himself, and if Paul, who never met Jesus in the flesh but is the author of the majority of our New Testament, is more truly guided than all of the apostles combined because of his claimed "visions" even though he never quotes Jesus nor needs to learn from the apostles, but is, according to his own gospel, more truly guided than all of them despite all of this, then why did Jesus need to preach the law of Moses to mankind at all? Why did he himself observe it so strictly? According to Paul, Jesus' only use is as a body to be hung on the cross. Jesus (pbuh) felt it necessary to command his followers to strictly and uncompromisingly observe the law of Moses. He even felt it necessary to live his life in strict observance of this law as a supreme example for us. He never once explicitly mentioned an original sin, an atonement, a crucifixion, a redemption, or a nullification of the law of Moses. However, no sooner does Jesus depart this earth than Paul uses his claimed visions to completely nullify everything Jesus ever taught and practiced. He does not need to learn from the apostles, all he needs is his visions. That is indeed why he almost never quotes Jesus himself. He always resorts to his own philosophization rather than quoting Jesus. Why then did Jesus not simply come to earth right after Adam sinned, not say a single word, quickly anger some enemies of God, let them crucify him, and have it over with quickly? Even if Jesus decided to wait hundreds of thousands of years and only come 2000 years ago, then why preach a law that is going to be thrown out the window in only a couple of years? Why observe this law so devoutly himself? Why command everyone to strictly observe this law "till heaven and earth pass"? Why threaten them that anyone who would forsake a single commandment would be called "the least in the kingdom of heaven"? Is he not going to die for everyone's sins and then come back in exclusive visions to Paul and command him to nullify the law of Moses? Is he not going to come back in visions to Paul and command him to tell everyone that "a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."? Why not preach such a doctrine himself while he is still among his apostles instead of waiting to first mention it to Paul in a vision after his death?
These apostles that Paul looked down upon as lazy misguided hypocrites are the selfsame apostles who had accompanied Jesus (pbuh) during his lifetime, who taught all of mankind (including Paul himself) the teachings of Jesus (pbuh), and who endured the persecution of many (including Paul himself) to convey this message without compromise, as Jesus had directly taught it to them. The Pauline Church (the Roman Catholic church which later gave birth to other churches such as the Protestant church) was to later go on and officially adopt the doctrine of the Trinity a couple of centuries after the departure of Jesus, to severely condemn, persecute, and kill any Christians who did not convert to their own personal brand of Christianity, to have presided over the death of millions of Christians who did not adopt this belief. To have presided over the destruction of many hundreds of "unacceptable" gospels (some sources claim thousands) some of which were written by the apostles themselves, and to have issued death warrants for all those found concealing them... and on and on.
Even with all of this, the Gospel of Barnabas (see chapter seven) has managed to escape this campaign of destruction of the Gospels and is available today. It confirms all that we have said and what the Qur'an has been saying for centuries. It also presents Barnabas' response to Paul's claims and his account of what truly happened at the cross and how Jesus (pbuh) was not forsaken by God to the Jews, but was raised by God, and Judas the traitor was made to look like Jesus (pbuh) and was taken in his place. Barnabas, of course, accompanied Jesus (pbuh) and was an eye-witness to his mission. Paul was not.
Getting back to our story... Paul had a falling out with the apostles and decided that "Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God" 1 Corinthians 7:19. Even though circumcision was held in an even higher regard than the Sabbath itself in the law of Moses and the "commandments of God," still, Paul taught that it is possible to keep the commandments even if, contrary to the teachings of Jesus and the apostles, this foremost commandment of circumcision was abandoned.
In the end, Paul decided that all the commandments of God through Moses (pbuh) which Jesus (pbuh) had kept faithfully till the crucifixion and which the apostles had also kept were all worthless decaying and ready to vanish away and faith was all that was required, thereby completely nullifying everything his "Lord" Jesus had taught and practiced during his lifetime.
"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."
He decided that the laws of Moses (pbuh) (e.g. "thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not kill, ...etc.") which Jesus (pbuh) had taught the faithful during his lifetime were a "curse" upon them and no longer necessary,
"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law."
He then went about explaining the "true" meanings of the teachings of Jesus and Paul's preachings are what are now known as "Christianity."
Paul himself readily admits that he was both willing and able to recruit new converts by any means at his disposal:
"And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law(Gentiles), as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law"
1 Corinthians 9:20
and "...I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some"
1 Corinthians 9:22
and "...all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any."
1 Corinthians 6:12
We have already seen how Paul also openly admits that his teachings were not obtained from the apostles of Jesus, but from a vision of Jesus denied the apostles: Galatians 1:12 "For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." So, not only are the apostles of Jesus, according to Paul, lazy, misguided, hypocrites, but everything they ever learned from Jesus is in Paul's estimation unnecessary. What they have learned from Jesus from direct contact with him is only useful in as far as it conforms to his "visions." In other words, they have need to learn from him and not vice-versa.
The great apostle of Jesus (pbuh), Barnabas (the defender and benefactor of Paul), in the opening statements of his Gospel has the following to say about Paul among others:
"True Gospel of Jesus, called Messiah, a new prophet sent by God to the world according to the description of Barnabas his apostle. Barnabas, apostle of Jesus the Nazarene, called Messiah, to all them that dwell upon the earth desire peace and consolation. Truly beloved, the great and wonderful God has in these past days visited us by His apostle Jesus (the) Messiah in great mercy of teaching and miracles, by reason whereof many, being deceived by Satan, under pretense of piety, are preaching most impious doctrine, calling Jesus the Son of God, repudiating the circumcision ordained by God forever, and permitting every unclean meat: among whom also Paul has been deceived, whereof I speak not without grief: for which cause I am writing the truth which I have seen and heard, in the fellowship that I have had with Jesus, in order that you may be saved, and not be deceived by Satan and perish in judgment of God. Therefore, beware of everyone that preaches to you a new doctrine contrary to that which I write, that you may be saved eternally. The great God be with you and guard you from Satan and from every evil. Amen."
Paul himself admits that there were those who were preaching a different Gospel than his own and were gaining converts. He does not name his adversaries, but we can read about his most noble adversaries in two places wherein Paul uses what Prof. Brandon calls "very remarkable terms" to describe them. The first is
"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."
The second is "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles. But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been thoroughly made manifest among you in all things."
2 Corinthians 11:3-6
These opponents of Paul were clearly preaching "another Gospel" and "another Jesus," they were also obviously operating among Paul's own target group and converting his converts. All of this even though their teachings did not exhibit the "simplicity" that Paul preached but required their followers to work for their salvation. However, Paul displays amazing restraint when referring to them by not lambasting them with the vehemence of speech which he is so capable nor questioning their authority. Rather, he gives a clue to their identity with the words: "...For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles" and "we, or an angel from heaven," and "unto another gospel: Which is not another."
As we have seen in previous chapters, Christian scholars today agree that the very first Christians, including the apostles of Jesus (pbuh) were all Unitarians who followed the religion of Moses, and that the Trinity was not introduced until around the beginning of the second century. These Unitarians enjoyed a large following and spread throughout much of North Africa among other places. During this period, any Roman or Greek gentile who wanted to enter into Christianity pretty much was allowed to choose which "Christianity" he wanted. The one preached by Barnabas and the apostles which involved a strict and disciplined law of Moses (pbuh), or the much more simplistic "New covenant" of Paul which only required "faith in Jesus" and which was later made more appealing to them by the Pauline Church by incorporating a "Trinity" and other changes into it so that it would more closely resemble the Roman and Greek established beliefs of multiple Gods and father-Gods and son-Gods and Demi-Gods and Goddesses ...etc. Toland says in his book The Nazarenes: "...amongst the Gentiles, so inveterate was the hatred of the Jews that their observing of anything, however reasonable or necessary, was sufficient motive for a Gentile convert to reject it." (From: Jesus, Prophet of Islam) If Paul wanted to convert these people, he would need to compromise, he would need to make Christianity a little more appealing to them, which he, and his church, did.
One of these first Unitarian Christians was a man by the name of Irenaeus (130-200 AD). Mr. Muhammad Ata' Ur Rahim tells us in his book "Jesus, Prophet of Islam" that he was one of the first Christians to be killed because of their adherence to the unity of God. He is quoted as saying the following regarding the unending attempts to tamper with the Bible: "In order to amaze the simple and such as are ignorant of the Scriptures of Truth, they obtrude upon them an inexpressible multitude of apocryphal and spurious scriptures of their own devising" (the Gospels in our possession today).
When the Pauline Church gained power and influence in Rome these Unitarian Christians were officially condemned, persecuted and killed. An attempt was made to totally obliterate them and their books by forcing them to accept the Trinity or else to be killed as heretics and by burning their Gospels. Over a million of these Unitarian Christians were then put to death because of their refusal to compromise their belief. In spite of this, their beliefs have survived even to this day. When Islam came with the call to one God and the belief in Jesus (pbuh) and his miracles, these Unitarian Christians were among the first people to recognize the word of God and accept Islam.
So thorough has Paul and his church been in totally eradicating all of the teachings of Jesus (pbuh) and his first apostles that very little has survived. Not even Jesus' (pbuh) preferred method of greeting his followers. From ancient times, the prophets of God including Moses, Joseph, David, Jesus, the angels of God and many others including God himself have made it their custom to greet the believers with the words "Peace be with you." This can be seen in such verses as Genesis 43:23, Judges 6:23, 1 Samuel 25:6, Numbers 6:26, 1 Samuel 1:17, Luke 24:36, John 20:19, John 20:26, and especially Luke 10:5:
"And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house"
to name a few.
Can anyone guess what Muhammad (pbuh) taught his followers to say when greeting each other or departing from each other? You guessed it! "Assalam alaikum" or "Peace be unto you." Have you ever met a Christian who greets other Christians with the words of Jesus (pbuh): "Peace be unto you"?
So, what do the scholars have to say about Paul?:
Heinz Zahrnt calls Paul "the corrupter of the Gospel of Jesus." From "The Jesus Report," Johannes Lehman, p. 126.
Werde describes him as "The second founder of Christianity." He further says that due to Paul: "...the discontinuity between the historical Jesus and the Christ of the Church became so great that any unity between them is scarcely recognizable"
"The Jesus Report," Johannes Lehman, p. 127.
Schonfield wrote: "The Pauline heresy became the foundation of the Christian orthodoxy and the legitimate Church was disowned as heretical."
"The Jesus Report," Johannes Lehman, p. 128.
Mr. Michael H. Hart, in his book "The 100, a Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History," places Muhammad (pbuh) in first place, next comes Paul, and Jesus (pbuh) after Paul. Like most other western scholars besides himself, he recognizes Paul as being more deserving of credit for "Christianity" than "Christ" himself.
Grolier's encyclopedia has the following to say under the heading "Christianity": "After Jesus was crucified, his followers, strengthened by the conviction that he had risen from the dead and that they were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, formed the first Christian community in Jerusalem. By the middle of the 1st century, missionaries were spreading the new religion among the peoples of Egypt, Syria, Anatolia, Greece, and Italy. Chief among these was Saint Paul, who laid the foundations of Christian theology and played a key role in the transformation of Christianity from a Jewish sect to a world religion. The original Christians, being Jews, observed the dietary and ritualistic laws of the Torah and required non-Jewish converts to do the same. Paul and others favored eliminating obligation, thus making Christianity more attractive to Gentiles."
Dr. Arnold Meyer says: "If by Christianity we understand faith in Christ as the heavenly Son of God, who did not belong to earthly humanity, but who lived in the divine likeness and glory, who came down from heaven to earth, who entered humanity and took upon himself a human form through a virgin, that he might make propitiation for men's sins by his own blood upon the cross, who was then awakened from death and raised to the right hand of God, as the Lord of his own people, who believe in him, who hears their prayers, guards and leads them, who will come again with the clouds of heaven to judge the world, who will cast down all the foes of God, and will bring his own people with him unto the home of heavenly light so that they may become like His glorified body - if this is Christianity, then such Christianity was founded by St. Paul and not by our Lord"
Dr. Arnold Meyer, Professor of Theology, Zurich University, Jesus or Paul, p. 122
As we can see, this information is not new. It has been well recognized and documented for centuries now. Even centuries ago, it was well known that most of what was claimed by the church could not be verified through the Bible. Thus, a shift was made from obtaining ones inspiration from the Bible to obtaining it from the "Bride of Jesus," the Church. Fra Fulgentio, for instance, was once reprimanded by the Pope in a letter saying "Preaching of the Scriptures is a suspicious thing. He who keeps close to the Scriptures will ruin the Catholic faith." In his next letter he was more explicit: "...which is a book if anyone keeps close to will quite destroy the Catholic faith." Tetradymus, John Toland (From: Jesus a Prophet of Islam)
As we have just seen, all of this started with one lone man, with Paul. It stands to reason that one would wish to study the life, beliefs, and teachings of this man in order to verify if the claims he made were indeed true. Paul claims that he was a prophet of God and/or Jesus. We find this for example in Galatians:
"For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught [it], but by the revelation of Jesus Christ … But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called [me] by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen"
Thus, if Paul tells us in the books of the Bible that he is a prophet, then he can be only one of two kinds of prophet; either a true prophet or a false prophet. Thus, we must take Paul to trial and have the court decide for us what sort of prophet he is.
Due to the magnitude of that which is at stake in this trial, it would be highly unjust to allow personal prejudices to cloud the outcome of the proceedings. For this reason, justice demands that the judge be one who's integrity and truthfulness can be readily and unhesitantly accepted by all. For this reason, our judge and jury in this matter shall consist of only two individuals: God Almighty and Jesus Christ. Further, only one single exhibit shall be brought into evidence, namely, the Bible. Let us then clear our minds and hearts of all prejudices and let only God and Jesus tell us what to accept and what to reject. Are we agreed? Then let us begin.
Let us start the proceedings with the words of God. He says:
"When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that [is] the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, [but] the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him."
Now let us move on and obtain the witness of Jesus (pbuh):
"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
Jesus (pbuh) continues …
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
Now that the base criteria have been laid out by God and then His elect messenger Jesus Christ (pbuh), let us now bring into evidence the words of Paul in the Bible and allow them to speak for themselves. In order to do this we shall break up the criteria set forth by God and Jesus above into seven points. They are:
Regarding the first criteria, we bring into evidence the words of Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 regarding his prophesy of the second coming of Jesus. Paul says:
"For the Lord (Jesus) himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
1 Thessalonians 4:15-16
Paul in this prophesy was in effect telling his followers that Jesus would be descending from heaven any second now. Paul and his followers would then be taken up into the air and meet Jesus in the clouds. He was telling them that this shall happen while they are still alive and breathing. Did this come to pass? No! It was a false prophesy. Two thousand years have passed since and not only has he and those he was speaking to turned to dust, but countless generations of their followers too have passed away and we still await his prophesy to come true.
Let us now study the second criteria. Now, we have to realize that it is Paul himself and his church after him who are telling us of his claimed miracles, however, we shall accept them at face value and take their word for it. In Acts 27, Paul is claimed to have been saved by an angel from a drowning ship. In Acts 28, Paul is claimed to have cured many of dysentery. Further acts of healing are claimed in Acts 19. Because of these claimed miracles, many people were claimed to have believed in him. As we have seen in the previous pages, it only took roughly three centuries for Paul's teachings to take firm hold of the very elect and divert them from the original message of Jesus, from his original teachings, from the observance of the Mosaic law, and from the continuation of the observance of this law in the synagogues and Temple of the Jews just as the very first apostles had done (Acts 2:46).
The third criteria draws our attention to Paul's words:
"To declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where [is] boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."
So Paul succeeded in overthrowing the Mosaic law. He completely nullified the law which God, Moses, and Jesus all upheld and commanded their followers to observe till the end of time (see Duet. 6:17-18, Duet. 11:1, Matt. 15:1-15, Matt. 5:17-20, Matt. 19:16-21, etc.)
Indeed, Isaiah 42:21 presents a prophesy that requires the coming prophet to magnify the law of Moses, not destroy it.
In other words, God says:
"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish [ought] from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you."
And Jesus says:
"For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be Fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
But now Paul comes along and says:
"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law"
and "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."
Let us move on to the fourth criteria. Paul says:
"For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord (Jesus) shall be saved."
The fifth criteria requires that he prophesy in Jesus' name. And once again, Paul says:
"For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught [it], but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."
So according to Paul, everything he taught was by direct revelation from Jesus.
The sixth criteria requires that Paul cast out devils and do wonderful works. This he claims to have done in Acts 19:11-12.
The seventh criteria draws our attention to Paul's words
"I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee"
A fact which Paul very proudly repeats on more than one occasion. To which Jesus (pbuh) responds:
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves."
So Jesus (pbuh) labeled the Pharisees "children of Hell."
Further, as we already know, Jesus did indeed "never know" Paul. In fact, Paul new so little of Jesus that he only quoted Jesus directly once throughout his whole ministry (1 Corinthians 11:26). Only a few of Jesus' actual teachings are ever mentioned in Paul's Epistles, and even then they are not attributed to Jesus. They were most likely popular homilies which had been circulated in the community and thus indirectly found their way into his Epistles.
Indeed, Daniel 7:25 describes the very greatest of all false Christs as follows:
"And he shall speak [great] words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time."
Now, although Paul is not this final False Messiah, and although no Muslim shall ever attempt to make such a claim, still, it is interesting to note the great degree of similarity he exhibits with that most evil of all false prophets. For example, THE False Messiah shall change times and laws, and so too did Paul nullify the Law. THE False Messiah shall speak great words against God, and so too does Paul. For example, the Bible says:
"The law of the LORD [is] Perfect, converting the soul: …The statutes of the LORD [are] right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD [is] pure, enlightening the eyes."
And "Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, always."
And "For verily I (Jesus) say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
However, Paul says in Romans 7:6 that the law is dead He further says in Galatians 3:13 that the law is a curse. In Galatians 3:10 he claims that those who labor under the law of God are under a curse. And he claims in Hebrews 8:13 that Gods covenant is old, decaying, and ready to vanish away.
As we can see from the above, both God and Jesus condemn Paul and his teachings in no uncertain terms. They themselves bear witness against him and his innovations which they totally reject and which shall be brought to witness against him on the Day of Judgment. Who better and more unbiased a judge shall we bring to witness against Paul and his innovations that Jesus Christ and God Himself?
Many Christian evangelists who follow the theology of Paul would dearly love to provide salvation for their neighbors. So much so that they can not understand how their neighbors can not see the clear and obvious love God holds for them such that He would actually sacrifice His only begotten son for them. In order to make this clear for their neighbors, they draw many analogies. For example, a Christian gentleman from Canada once sent our local Islamic center a six-page pamphlet titled "God our Heavenly Father," with the goal of demonstrating the love of God to us. His efforts were sincerely appreciated and his message was accepted in the spirit it was sent. However, far from proving his point, this pamphlet only served to thoroughly confuse the issue.
The pamphlet contained a short fictitious story about an Arab man named "Akbar" who was very moral and upright. One day, his son committed a serious crime that deserved capital punishment. The authorities found evidence linking this crime to this man's house. When the authorities came, the father falsely admitted to the crime in order to spare his son. The pamphlet concluded that just as the father's love for his son made him sacrifice himself, in a similar manner, God Almighty's love for mankind drove him to sacrifice Jesus(pbuh).
Now, maybe it is just us, however, at the end of the story we were expecting the parallel to be that God Almighty "the Father" would now sacrifice Himself in order that Jesus "the Son" would not have to die, just as the "Arab" father had sacrificed himself to save his son. Although we appreciated the consideration, still, we could not see the similarity between the two stories.
When a person is good and upright, that person may be willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good or for a loved one. For example, if a mother sees her son in danger of being run over by a car, she may very likely run in front of the car in order to save her baby. If she raised the neighbor's child with her own and grew very attached to that child, then she might also be willing to sacrifice herself for the neighbor's child too. She might throw herself in front of the car for the neighbor's child as well. However, have you ever heard of a mother who, when she saw a car about to hit the neighbor's child, threw HER SON in front of the car so that the impact of her son's infant body smashing into the car's windshield would cause it to swerve away from the neighbor's child?
As the Bible says "prove all things, hold fast that which is good." 1 Thessalonians 5:21. "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God ... with all thy mind ... : this is the first commandment." Mark 12:30
I would like nothing more than to present much more supporting evidence of these matters, however, by God's will this sampling shall be sufficient. For a much more detailed historical account of the above issues, collected from the writings of the church itself, I recommend the books:
If you can not find these books at your local library then you may obtain a copy at one of the addresses listed at the back of this book.
For a book that is claimed to have remained 100% the inspired word of God, the sheer number of contradicting narrations boggles the mind (see chapter two). These matters have been well known and documented by conservative Christian scholars for a long time now. It is the masses who don't know this. The information is out there for anyone who will simply look for it. The historical inconsistencies and scriptural contradictions are well recognized in this century and countless books have been written about them. However, their studies have always stopped short of the final step. People have generally believed that there is no way to retrieve the original teachings of Jesus (pbuh) after such extensive and continuous revision of the text of the Bible by the Church over so many centuries as well as the Pauline Church's massive campaign of destruction of all gospels not conforming to their personal beliefs. But where human intellect has failed, God has intervened. The Qur'an has been sent down by the same One who sent the original Gospel down upon Jesus (pbuh). It contains the original, unchanged teachings of God. I invite all readers to study the Qur'an just as we have studied the Bible, and to make up their minds if our claims bear merit.
To read the rest of this book, please visit: Page 8
To go back to the Table of Contents of this book, please visit: What did Jesus really say?