Yeshua's Teachings and the Church

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2000 Years of Pauline Christianity

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Statements about Paul by Prominent Theologians and Bible Scholars


The fact that Paul spread his own version of Christianity independent of Yeshua' teachings has been well known for centuries. Only the Church doesn't agree to that. Paulianity displays very little of the teachings of the humble Jewish Rabbi, Yeshua, and adds much that Yeshua would have found appalling.

Below are quotations from the writings of renowned theologians and other scholars. Most were taken from Rev. Abba Nazaria's very informative article, "YAHOWSHUA OR PAUL?" (


In Christ or Paul?, by Rev. V.A. Holmes-Gore:

"Let the reader contrast the true Christian standard with that of Paul and he will see the terrible betrayal of all that the Master taught. . . . For the surest way to betray a great Teacher is to misrepresent his message. . . . That is what Paul and his followers did, and because the Church has followed Paul in his error it has failed lamentably to redeem the world. . . . The teachings given by the blessed Master Christ, which the disciples John and Peter and James, the brother of the Master, tried in vain to defend and preserve intact were as utterly opposed to the Pauline Gospel as the light is opposed to the darkness."


The great theologian Soren Kierkegaard, in The Journals:

"In the teachings of Christ, religion is completely present tense: Jesus is the prototype and our task is to imitate him, become a disciple. But then through Paul came a basic alteration. Paul draws attention away from imitating Christ and fixes attention on the death of Christ The Atoner. What Martin Luther, in his reformation, failed to realize is that even before Catholicism, Christianity had become degenerate at the hands of Paul. Paul made Christianity the religion of Paul, not of Christ. Paul threw the Christianity of Christ away, completely turning it upside down, making it just the opposite of the original proclamation of Christ"


The brilliant theologian Ernest Renan, in his book Saint Paul:

"True Christianity, which will last forever, comes from the gospel words of Christ not from the epistles of Paul. The writings of Paul have been a danger and a hidden rock, the causes of the principal defects of Christian theology."


Will Durant, in his Caesar and Christ:

"Paul created a theology of which none but the vaguest warrants can be found in the words of Christ. . . . Through these interpretations Paul could neglect the actual life and sayings of Jesus, which he had not directly known. . . . Paul replaced conduct with creed as the test of virtue. It was a tragic change."


Robert Frost, winner of the Pulitzer prize for poetry in 1924,1931,1937 and 1943, in his "A Masque of Mercy":

"Paul he's in the Bible too. He is the fellow who theologized Christ almost out of Christianity. Look out for him."


James Baldwin, the most noted black American author of this century, in his book The Fire Next Time:

"The real architect of the Christian church was not the disreputable, sunbaked Hebrew (Jesus Christ) who gave it its name but rather the mercilessly fanatical and self-righteous Paul."


Martin Buber, the most respected Jewish philosopher of this century, in Two Types of Faith:

"The Jesus of the Sermon on the Mount is completely opposed to Paul."


The famous mystic, poet and author, Kahlil Gibran, in Jesus the Son of Man:

"This Paul is indeed a strange man. His soul is not the soul of a free man. He speaks not of Jesus nor does he repeat His Words. He would strike with his own hammer upon the anvil in the Name of One whom he does not know."


The famous theologian, Helmut Koester, in his The Theological Aspects of Primitive Christian Heresy:

"Paul himself stands in the twilight zone of heresy. In reading Paul, one immediately encounters a major difficulty. Whatever Jesus had preached did not become the content of the missionary proclamation of Paul. . . . Sayings of Jesus do not play a role in Paul 's understanding of the event of salvation. . . . Paul did not care at all what Jesus had said. . . . Had Paul been completely successful very little of the sayings of Jesus would have survived."


Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence in his "Letter to William Short":

"Paul was the first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus."


Renowned English philosopher Jeremy Bentham, in his Not Paul But Jesus:

"It rests with every professor of the religion of Jesus to settle within himself to which of the two religions, that of Jesus or that of Paul, he will adhere."


The eminent theologian Ferdinand Christian Baur, in his Church History of the First Three Centuries:

"What kind of authority can there be for an 'apostle' who, unlike the other apostles, had never been prepared for the apostolic office in Jesus' own school but had only later dared to claim the apostolic office on the basis on his own authority? The only question comes to be how the apostle Paul appears in his Epistles to be so indifferent to the historical facts of the life of Jesus. . . . He bears himself but little like a disciple who has received the doctrines and the principles which he preaches from the Master whose name he bears."


The great Mahatma Gandhi, the prophet of nonviolence who won freedom from England for India in an essay titled "Discussion on Fellowship":

"I draw a great distinction between the Sermon on the Mount of Jesus and the Letters of Paul. Paul's Letters are a graft on Christ's teachings, Paul's own gloss apart from Christ's own experience."


Carl Jung, the famous Swiss psychiatrist, in his essay "A Psychological Approach to Dogma":

"Saul's [Paul's name before his conversion] fanatical resistance to Christianity. . . . was never entirely overcome. It is frankly disappointing to see how Paul hardly ever allows the real Jesus of Nazareth to get a word in."


George Bernard Shaw, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925; in his Androcles and the Lion:

"There is not one word of Pauline Christianity in the characteristic utterances of Jesus. . . . There has really never been a more monstrous imposition perpetrated than the imposition of Paul's soul upon the soul of Jesus. . . . It is now easy to understand how the Christianity of Jesus. . . . was suppressed by the police and the Church, while Paulinism overran the whole western civilized world, which was at that time the Roman Empire, and was adopted by it as its official faith."


Albert Schweitzer, winner of the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize, called "one of the greatest Christians of his time," philosopher, physician, musician, clergyman, missionary, and theologian in his The Quest for the Historical Jesus and his Mysticism of Paul:

"Paul. . . . did not desire to know Christ. . . . Paul shows us with what complete indifference the earthly life of Jesus was regarded. . . . What is the significance for our faith and for our religious life, the fact that the Gospel of Paul is different from the Gospel of Jesus?. . . . The attitude which Paul himself takes up towards the Gospel of Jesus is that he does not repeat it in the words of Jesus, and does not appeal to its authority. . . . The fateful thing is that the Greek, the Catholic, and the Protestant theologies all contain the Gospel of Paul in a form which does not continue the Gospel of Jesus, but displaces it."


William Wrede, in his excellent book, Paul:

"The oblivious contradictions in the three accounts given by Paul in regard to his conversion are enough to arouse distrust. . . . The moral majesty of Jesus, his purity and piety, his ministry among his people, his manner as a prophet, the whole concrete ethical-religious content of his earthly life, signifies for Paul's Christology nothing whatever. . . . The name 'disciple of Jesus' has little applicability to Paul. . . . Jesus or Paul: this alternative characterizes, at least in part, the religious and theological warfare of the present day"


Rudolf Bultman, one of the most respected theologians of this century, in his Significance of the Historical Jesus for the Theology of Paul:

"It is most obvious that Paul does not appeal to the words of the Lord in support of his. . . . views. when the essentially Pauline conceptions are considered, it is clear that Paul is not dependent on Jesus. Jesus' teaching is -- to all intents and purposes -- irrelevant for Paul."


Walter Bauer, another eminent theologian, in his Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity:

"If one may be allowed to speak rather pointedly the Apostle Paul was the only Arch-Heretic known to the apostolic age."


H.L. Mencken, called one of the most influential American writers of the first half of the 20th century, in his Notes on Democracy:

"Is it argued by any rational man that the debased Christianity cherished by the mob in all the Christian countries of today, has any colourable likeness to the body of ideas preached by Christ?

"The plain fact is that this bogus Christianity has no more relation to the system of Christ than it has to Aristotle. It is the invention of Paul and his attendant rabble-rousers--a body of men exactly comparable to the corps of evangelical pastors of today, which is to say, a body devoid of sense and lamentably indifferent to common honesty. The mob, having heard Christ, turned against Him. His theological ideas were too logical and plausible for it, and His ethical ideas were enormously too austere. What it yearned for was the old comfortable balderdash under a new and gaudy name, and that is prescisely what Paul offered it. He borrowed from all the wandering dervishes and body-snatchers of Asia Minor, and flavoured the stew with remnants of Greek demonology. The result was a code of doctrines so discordant and so nonsensical that no two men since, examining it at length, have ever agreed upon its prescise meaning. Paul remains the arch theologian of the mob. His turgid and witless metaphysics make Christianity bearable to men who would otherwise be repelled by Christ's simple and magnificent reduction of the duties of man to the duties of a gentle-man."



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