Would you buy a used car from Paul?

What follows was derived in part from New Testament Fallacies by Shmuel Golding of the Jerusalem Institute of Biblical Polemics, Jerusalem, Israel. All Bible citations are from the King James version of the Bible and are underlined for the convenience of the reader.
First let us consider the three accounts of Paul's conversion as recorded in Acts chapters 9, 22, and 26. There is an obvious contradiction between the first two accounts. In chapter 9 we are told that the men accompanying him heard the voice whereas in chapter 22 it states that they did not hear the voice. Another contradiction is the inconsistency in the manner in which Paul claims to have received his instructions. According to the first two accounts he is told to go into the city where instructions will be given to him. When testifying before King Agrippa, however, Paul embellishes the story. Here he says that Jesus himself instructed him in great detail right there on the spot (Acts 26:15-18). This passage bears all the earmarks of a forgery.

Something that has always puzzled me about the story of Paul's conversion is that after the shock of seeing the bright light and hearing the disembodied voice ask, "Why persecutest thou me?," his first comment was, "Who are you?" Now considering that the sole purpose of his mission was to persecute Jesus' followers, shouldn't it have been obvious?

Acts 23:3 ~ In a fit pique Paul openly curses the high priest. When reminded that it is unlawful to curse the rulers (Exodus 22:28), Paul replies, "I was not aware that I was talking to the high priest." This is hard to believe indeed when one considers that he had recently been an agent of the high priest and had in fact directly petitioned him for letters authorizing the arrest and persecution of Christian Jews living in Damascus.

Romans 1:3 ~ "Jesus was made of the seed of David according to the flesh," says Paul. Although this statement agrees fully with the one made by Jesus in Revelation 22:16, it flies in the face of everything we are told in the gospels. In Matthew 1:20 and Luke 1:35 we learn that Mary was made pregnant with Jesus not by Joseph, who was of the Davidic line, but by the Holy Ghost. This creates a really big problem for Bible believers. First, although Joseph was of David's line, he was not Jesus' father. Second, the Holy Ghost is a spirit and spirits have neither flesh nor blood. Third, "according to the flesh" could not have been referring to Mary's flesh because she was not from David's line. She was a Levite. So, if the birth narratives are to be believed, Jesus did not come from the seed of David, and Paul told another big lie. If, on the other hand, Revelation 22:16 is true and Paul is right, the writers of Matthew and Luke lied.

Romans 1:16 ~ Paul announces that, "The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth." Salvation from sin through the blood of a man who died on a Roman cross is alien to everything in the Old Testament and to everything that is Jewish. When a fundamentalist Christians say that God made a new covenant with the Jews and sealed it with the blood of his son who is supposed to have died a sacrificial death one need simply tell them to read Jeremiah 31:29-30 , "In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge." Note that this passage makes no provision for anyone to die for the sins of others. Everyone shall die for his or her own sins, it says. Therefore, Jesus' death is in no way a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. The Jewish way to salvation is given in Ezekiel 18:27 where it says. "When a wicked man turns away from his wickedness and practices justice and righteousness he will save his life." Notice that there is no mention of Jesus or a messiah.

Romans 2:11 ~ Paul claims that, "There is no respect of persons with God." This statement contradicts Deut. 7:6 where it states that God selected a chosen people from among all the people of the world. Also, God had respect of persons between Cain and Able (Gen. 4:4-5). In Malachi 1:2-3 God openly expresses his love for Esau and his hatred for Jacob, Esau's brother?

Romans 2:13 ~ According to Paul, "The doers of the law shall be justified." Later in 3-20 he contradicts this statement by saying, "Therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified."

Romans 12:14 ~ Paul says, "Bless them that persecute you, bless and curse not." Although he preached this doctrine to others, Paul did not practice it. The truth is that he had a violent temper and held grudges. In I Corinthians 16:22 he openly cursed those who disagreed with him. He did it again in Galatians 1:9. These incidents show Paul to be a pious hypocrite. Another very revealing thing about Romans 12:14 is its close similarity to Matthew 5:10-12. Yet Paul never invokes Jesus nor the Sermon on the Mount from which it apparently came.

Romans 14:1-8 ~ Here Paul says, "Let every man be persuaded in his own mind." In this chapter Paul outlines the code of law for Christian living according in which every one is free to do just as he or she pleases. Thus the law of the Old Testament is abandoned. This directly contradicts Jesus' unqualified endorsement of Old Testament law as recorded in Matthew 5:17-19.

Romans 15:29 ~ "When I come unto you I will come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ." But when Paul did eventually go to Rome, he went as a prisoner under guard (Acts 28:16).

I Corinthians 5:1 ~ Paul scolds the Corinthians, "It is reported that there is fornication among you." Here he is rebuking his followers because they took Romans 14:1-8 seriously. Paul is here put in the embarassing position of having to turn to the very law which he had earlier abrogated. In verse 5 he even orders the execution of a man who took his dead father's wife. It might be of interest here to note that according to I John 3:9, "He who is born of God cannot sin." Therefore Paul's converts could not have been born again believers.

I Corinthians 6:5 ~ Paul asks, "Is it so that there is not one wise man among you?" Has he already forgotten his own exaltation back in 3:18? There he said, "If any man among you seem to be wise in this world, let him become a fool that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is but foolishness with God."

I Corinthians 6:7 ~ True to the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:1 (Do not judge) or Matthew 5:39 (Do not be opposed to evil), or Luke 6:30, (If robbed, do not ask for your goods back), Paul recommends that his followers not go to the law to settle their disputes. "It is preferable," he says, "to suffer yourself to be defrauded." Had these recommendations been observed it would have robbed the world of its civilization and created a society dominated by lawless thugs. What this passage actually shows is that the early Christians were indeed capable of defrauding one another. All of these rebukes from Paul only go to show that his doctrine of free from the law (Romans 8:2) and saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8) did nothing more than give men the license to sin.

I Corinthians 7:1 ~ Here Paul says, "It is good for a man not to touch a woman." This edict violates Jewish law. In Genesis 1:28 God's command is, "Be fruitful and multiply." If, however, all of Paul's followers had obeyed him in this matter, Christianity surely would have died out early in the second century for a lack of followers.

I Corinthians 7:39 ~ "The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth." This shows how little Paul knew of Jewish law for nowhere in the five books of Moses (the Pentateuch) can such a statement be found. According to Deut. 24:1-2 a man has the right to divorce his wife after which she is free to remarry.

I Corinthians 9:20-22 ~ In this passage Paul is saying that it is okay to intentionally deceive people in order to convert them to Christ.

I Corinthians 13:2 ~ "If I have not charity (love) then I am nothing." Paul showed very little charity toward those who disagreed with him. In Galatians 1:9 he says, "If anyone preach any other gospel, let him be accursed." So according to his own teachings he is nothing.

I Corinthians 13:11 ~ Paul says, "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Obviously he was unaware of Luke 18:17 where Jesus claraly says, "Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein."

1 Corinthians 15:3 ~ Paul says, "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scripture." Such a scripture has never been located.

I Corinthians 15:5-6 ~ Here we have Paul's brief rendition of the resurrection of Jesus which contradicts that of the gospels. Paul says, "First he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve (no mention of Mary Magdalene). After that he appeared to more than five hundred at once." This claim has been questioned by many, however, the earliest of which there is any record is that of Thomas Paine. In his great work, The Age of Reason Paine points out that, "It is only Paul who says that (the resurrected) Jesus was seen by five hundred at once. It is not the five hundred who say it for themselves. Who were they? Could their testimony be relied upon? It is, therefore, the testimony of only one man, Paul." Paine reminds us that Paul did not believe one word of the matter at the time it allegedly happened. "Paul's evidence," Paine points out, "is like that of a men who comes into a court of law today to swear that everything he swore to yesterday was a lie."

II Corinthians 4:2 ~ Paul says, "We have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God." But in 12:16 he says of himself, "Being crafty, I caught you with guile." What a hypocrite!

Galatians 1:18-19 ~ Paul recalls that, "After three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Peter and stayed with him for fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I not except James, the brother of the Lord." This contradicts the account given in Acts 9:27 where it says that Paul was brought to the apostles by Barnabas and was with them (the apostles) coming in and going out of Jerusalem.

Galatians 3:15-16 ~ Paul's pronouncements come from Genesis 17:19. But consider what Paul does. God promises Abraham that his wife, Sarah, will bear him a son to be named Isaac. God then says he will establish an everlasting covenant with Isaac and with Isaac's seed after him. Paul claims that seed refers to Jesus. This amounts to nothing more than deceitful trickery. As used in Genesis, the word "seed" is a collective noun which implies the plural. It is referring not to an individual such as Jesus but to the Jewish people who will be the descendants, or seed, of Isaac. The process of secretly manipulating certain Old Testament passages so that they appear to be referring to Jesus is a technique widely used in Christian apologetics. It is easily recognized and refuted.

Philippians 1:18 ~ Paul says, "Whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached I therein do rejoice." So Paul is here saying that it is okay to be deceitful so long as the message gets out. Here again II Cor. 4:2 and 12:16 are contradicted (See above.)

Philippians 3:2 ~ Paul says, "Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of concision." Concision means any mutilation of the flesh. This, as it turns out, is a timely warning in view of Leviticus 22:20, where the Lord tells Moses that regarding sacrifices, "Whatsoever hath a blemish is not acceptable." But Jesus was circumcised (Luke 2:21), and this amounts to a mutilation of the flesh, a concision. Therefore Jesus was unacceptable according to Jewish law.

Philippians 3:10 ~ Paul declares with great emotion, "All I care for is to know Christ, to express the power of his resurrection, to share in his suffering." Yet when he returns to Jerusalem it is merely to visit Peter. He never expresses the slightest desire to see Bethlehem, Jesus' birthplace, Nazareth, his home town, the sites of his preaching, the upper room where he is supposed to have held the fabled Last Supper, nor Calvary where the ultimate sacrifice was allegedly made. Most astonishing of all, however, is that there is not one hint of a pilgrimage to the tomb in which the resurrection, the center piece of Paul's theology, allegedly occurred.

II Thessalonians 2:9 ~ It says, "Even him whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders." But in Matthew 28:18 we learn that, "All power in heaven and in earth was given unto Jesus." Again in Luke 21:27 we read that, "Jesus is coming with power and great glory." Now if all power belongs to Satan yet Jesus is the one with all of the power, doesn't that imply (wrongly) that Jesus and Satan are one and the same?

I Timothy 2:15 ~ "Despite their many shortcomings, women can be saved through childbearing if they continue in faith, charity, and holiness with sobriety." Although degrading, this seems to offer women access to salvation. But they shouldn't get their hopes up because in I Corinthians 7:8 Paul announces that it is better to remain unmarried. So if a woman doesn't have children, she is denied salvation. But she can't have children legally unless she is married. If she elects to have children out of wedlock, she will be declared a fornicator and thus denied salvation again (I Corinthians 6:9). For women this amounts to a catch 22.

I Timothy 5:8 ~ Paul warns us that "If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel." This directly contradicts Matthew 19:29 where Jesus tells Peter and the other disciples, "And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life."

So after reading all of this would you buy a used car from the likes of Saint Paul? The writer of James 1:8 must have had Paul in mind when he wrote, "A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways."

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