Saul of Taursus, known to most of the christian world as the Apostle Paul is a major figure in the New Testament Bible. More is known of Paul in the Bible than even Jesus. Most of the books of the New Testament were letters written by Paul. But who is Saul or Paul. We know from the Bible that Saul was a persecutor of Christians, and even put them to death. Saul was an agent of Rome hired to destroy the newly forming Jesus movement by destroying its leaders and followers, Followers of the Way, as Christian were originally called. To modern day Protestant Christians, Saul was a bad guy. Of course to Rome Saul was the equivalent of todays CIA and Federal Marshal combined. He was the “authority”, and had the power to go anywhere in Rome and do his work, which again was killing Christians.
In Acts we learn the story of the conversion of Saul to Paul when Jesus, according to the Bible, appears to him of the road, while traveling and shows him the truth. He is enlightened, and becomes an outspoken proponent of Jesus and his message. On the surface this seams like a great story, because it shows the glory and power of Jesus to change lives, even the life of an adherent enemy. Before I became a Gnostic I was a Christian. My whole Christian life I was taught to believe this story, and every other story in the Bible, and as many Christians I believed that the Bible was the divine inspired Word of God. I believed it without considering that there may be errors, misleading stories, omissions of fact or misinformation. I mean, “it is” the Word of God after all. What Christian in their right mind would ever question the Bible. The Bible; never!
Later in life I learned of Gnosticism, and my life changed. My eyes were opened to other religions and other ways of thinking. And, I began to question the Bible, instead of accepting it based on faith. To most Christians this would sound like heresy, and according to the Catholic Church, it is heresy to this day, as is all Gnosticism. Questioning the Bible will get you thrown out of most Christian churches, and is considered a sin by many Christians. This may sound extreme to non-Christians, but it shows you how seriously Christians take the Bible. Its part of what gives the Bible its mystique, In that so many people would willing die rather than question the Bible.
Despite growing up as a Christian, I began to question the Bible. It started with issues between what Jesus said and what the Apostle Paul was preaching. And, if there is any part of the Bible I still consider important, as a Gnostic, is the words spoken by Jesus. So, when I began to notice conflicts between what Paul was teaching and what Jesus was teaching I began to see red flags popping up all over the place. Needless to say I was not the happy Christian that I was before. My neat little world started coming apart and I could no longer believe the “whole” Bible based on faith.
Once a student of Gnosis begins to look for inconsistencies everything takes on a different light, as our religion is based on the fact that it is a syncretic religion, or in other words a combination of truths gained from other religions around the world, sciences, philosophies and any other source of knowledge available on Earth. Its this combination of knowledge that gives the Gnostic a unique perspective. We, the truly free, are not bound to a religion of preformed dogma. As gnostics we each choose what we believe and thus create our own dogma.
And so, when it comes to the Bible we can look at it with a more subjective view. Like every other religion we glean from we can take apart the Bible and look for its truths. Of course, this also points out any errors or fallacies as well. This is what, in the end, lead me to the place where I began to, as gnostics have done for thousands of years, question the Bible. This questioning of this article though is specific. It is about the, so called, Apostle Paul.
So called? who would say “so called” when speaking of the most famous Apostle and prolific writer of the New Testament to walk the Earth. I would. And, I have good reason to do so, but I’m not alone. Scholars around the world are beginning to question the validity of Paul and his work as an Apostle. Here is why.
When Jesus was preparing to leave this world he appointed his brother James to lead the other disciples and the flock. If this is true why would Jesus then find another person, an enemy to lead his flock and teach the world about Jesus. Wouldn’t Jesus have taken the time to stop by and tell James he was having Saul turned Paul take over. Couldn’t he have supernaturally appeared to James as well And, after his “transformation”, Paul spends about two weeks in Jerusalem around the disciples, before he departs and walks all the way to Damascus in Turkey, where he establishes the first of “his” churches. Far away from the Followers of the Way, and the base of believers Jesus had established in Israel.
According to scholars around the world there is a strong indication by his actions that Paul never stopped working for Rome, and that the whole conversion of Saul to Paul was a counterintelligence move on the part of Rome to subdue and redirect this new upstart religion of the Jews. Paul began by creating doctrine in the form of letters to “his” churches which varied greatly from the work of Jesus and the disciples. Some of these variances include making the teachings more non-Jewish or Roman friendly, as Jesus had only preached his message to Jewish people, and doing away with jewish traditions such as circumcision and the laws of Moses.
The other problem with Paul’s teachings is his prophecies. there are great prophets in the Bible whose prophecies have come true. Paul my have been an evangelist and a charismatic leader, but a prophet as well… hmmm. I don’t know. Biblical prophets are few and far between, and to elevate Paul to the level of Jeremiah, Ezekiel or Isaiah seems a bit much. But, that’s exactly what the Roman Christians who assembled at Nicea did when they put Paul’s prophetic letters in the New Testament. Don’t get me wrong there are some great teachings that come out of Paul’s writings. To sway the world his teachings had to be convincing, and so, his writings are filled with many truths, yet there are as I mentioned before there are those teachings which are not.
Among these teachings one stands out. The verse where Paul says not to do anything wrong even if God tells you to do it. This is in direct opposition to the teachings of the whole rest of the Bible including Jehovah’s request of Abraham to sacrifice his own son. Id have to say that obeying Jehovah/Allah as a Jewish or Moslem person or the Father or Mother of the Universe as a Gnostic or the Father in Heaven for Christian is beyond right or wrong. It is the only choice for a devote follower.
I could continue to give you reasons all day long as to why Paul is not the person he made himself out to be. But, in the end it’s up to you as a follower of Gnosis to make that decision for yourself. Before I end this I recommend watching the History International Channel’s Naked Archeologist. There is an episode that deals with this subject specifically. I think you will find it very enlightening.