Is Paul a liar?

[By: Steve]

Below is a slightly edited portion of a rebuttal I gave to the forum administrator of a messianic forum that I had belonged to for over a year and a half (and from which I was given the cold boot of disfellowship recently :eek ). This is only an excerpt and is mainly edited because of that. The admin had accused me of falsely accusing "the apostle Paul" of being a liar. He promptly deleted my response. Guess he ran short of answers so he took the easy way out and made it appear that his response to me was unanswerable by me. Probably the sort of thing Paul would do.

I know each of you can probably come up with your own faves regarding the lies and/or hypocrisy of Paul, but here is one of mine.

---begin excerpt---

We have all lied, and I know that one who is called Paul also lied at sometime in his life. That would make him a liar.

Now the question regarding whether or not Paul lied or acted with hypocrisy (which is a form of lying or bearing false witness in my opinion), I must also confess that I cannot say for sure whether he did or did not. I don't even know one hundred percent positively if Paul actually wrote what he is attributed to having written. So maybe a guy named Paul or Shaul walked in those days and was not the same as has been written about him. Maybe he was slandered by someone else who either wrote in his name (as in the epistles) or who wrote about him (as in the author of Acts, reportedly to be a guy named Luke). There is much evidence that the works attributed to Shakespeare were in fact not written by him at all, but rather by Sir Francis Bacon. It could be a similar situation with Paul.

Having said all of that, we can now examine the supposed words and deeds of a man named Paul or Shaul and just remember all the while that these are the only accounts to go by. We won't consider other writings outside of the NT for the time being regarding someone named Paul, but we do know there are other accounts which may be attributed to him. I'll let that part rest and I only consider them personally for my own benefit, not asking you to either accept or reject the other accounts. For me it is part of the search for truth. But that's just me.


And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the favor that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do. Galatians 2:9,10

There is the side issue of Paul seemingly belittling other so called apostles here, ones who supposedly walked with him, and although I could spend a lot of time and energy discussing how the division between them and him might really have been, I will only focus on some narrower issues to prove that Paul (the person attributed to being Paul) is not the saint he is held out to be by so many hunreds of millions of people.

I underlined the key point in the passage above. "Paul" clearly stated that he was ONLY told that they (he and his co-apostles or fellow-travelers) were to remember the poor. Let's see if this is true that this is the ONLY thing he was instructed to do.


1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.

2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

3 And being brought on their way by the assembly, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.

4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the assembly, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.

5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.

6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
Acts 15:1-6


In the interest of space, I'll skip some of the passage which is not relevant to the issue...


Continuing with pertinent segments of Acts 15...

12 Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles.

13 And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, "Men and brethren, listen to me:

... skipping to James' speach...

19 Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God,

20 but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood .


... now let's note the letter of instruction which was sent with the one referred to as Paul...

22 Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren.

23 They wrote this letter by them: The apostles, the elders, and the brethren, To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings.
24 Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, "You must be circumcised and keep the law" --to whom we gave no such commandment (my comment: but the Torah did give this commandment to native born and the proselyte who wished to join himself to YHWH. The Torah cannot be broken by anyone)
25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul ,

26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth.

28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: ;

29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell .


Yet the letter attributed to one called Paul says he was only to remember the poor. Not only does "Paul" not mention in this letter the issues of blood, things strangled, idols and sexual immorality, the letter from the elders at Jerusalem does not even mention the poor!!!!

Where did the letter go? Did "Paul" give the letter to those who he was instructed to give it to? Or did he throw it in the dumpster? Just curious because I don't recall anything about this letter from any of "Paul's" writings. Maybe it's there and I've missed it, but I don't think so.

Can you please explain these apparent discrepancies for me? I will be most glad to take another look at this in case I am reading something wrong here.

[edit note: below is where I confronted the messianic admin with another dandy that I guess he was just not able to respond to, hence the axe on my post]

Regarding the possibility of someone called "Paul" lying, in 2 Corinthians 12:16 we read where "Paul" writes:

But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile.

What did "Paul" mean by saying he was crafty? What did he mean when he said he caught them with guile?

What is your definition of "guile"? (greek - dolos)

Are these questions I bring up not valid ones?

---end of excerpt---

Of course I never got an answer, rather I got a deletion and a hard boot! lol

What are your favorite lies by Paul? (I don't mean to imply that I condone lying, it's just somewhat funny to see the transparency of this fellow once you know what to look for).

Shalom to all who seek YHWH in righteousness,
Steve

 

http://www.qumran.com/Paul/is_paul_a_liar.htm

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