Apostle Paul Versus the Old Testament
by Lewis Loflin
A visitor sent this e-mail recently in regards to my article Pelagius and Why He was Right
I was reading your article on Pelagius and why he was right and I had a question on what you wrote about the apostle Paul. In the third paragraph of the sub-heading that says "Even before the coming of Christ there were some men sinless" when you talk about Paul's many abuses and misquotes of the old testament. What do you exactly mean by that statement? Thanks
Jordan brings up some valid points and I'm here to answer them. The answer is very simple in that Paul and not Jesus is the basis of Christian dogma in particular to his claims of salvation for the sin of Adam. This runs contrary to a literal Old Testament so Paul had to discredit the Old Testament.
In the end he failed to do this with Jews that could actually read it. His "gospel" based on his claim of exclusive revelation from a risen Jesus he saw only in dreams and visions was an affront to Judaism because God has no form, then to claim a man as God was outright idolatry.
This rejection by fellow Jews (I question if he was one or at best a marginal one) left him a bitter and angry man. To sell his "gospel" he resorted to destroying both the Old Testament, Judaism, and the Jews themselves. He simply misquoted whole passages knowing his Gentile audience wouldn't know the difference.
Paul had to split Judaism when he became trapped over the issue of circumcision. This was a very dangerous operation at a time of primitive medicine. See Galatians for more this incident.
Note that Luke (who also wrote Acts), Mark, and the unknown writer of Matthew were Paul's followers. John was proto-Gnostic in origin with the Church speculating it was written in Alexandria or Ephesus around 100 AD. But even they contradicted each other and sometimes Paul. So let's examine the words of Paul and his followers and see if we can make some sense of this.
The biggest problem for Paul was James, who was the head of the Jerusalem Church after Jesus' death for sedition at the hands of Paul's fellow Romans. That is the first clue we should consider. One didn't become a Roman citizen unless born to Roman parents, served Rome in official or military capacity, or was super wealthy and bought citizenship. Luke in Acts doesn't indicate how Paul became a Roman citizen.
Paul was a hit man and enforcer for the Roman-appointed Temple authorities. In this service to Rome perhaps they awarded him citizenship.
Paul's follower Luke claims in Acts 16:31: "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." But Jesus in Matthew 19:17 contradicts this and says, (parable of the rich man), and said, "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." So where is the part about worshipping Jesus or by faith/knowledge/gnosis?
In Acts 17:24 "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;" Note that God, not Jesus (as depicted in John) made the earth, etc. God rules the earth according to Luke in Acts and this was before John was written in the early 2nd Century.
Who created the world?
Genesis 1:1: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth... (God alone)
Isaiah 44:24: Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself. (God alone again.)
But John contradicts this in John 1:6-10: There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. (Gnostic view the Creator was not the Hebrew God but a third party.)
1 Corinthians 8:6: Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom all things are and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things are and through whom we exist. (Again Gnostic view rejecting the Hebrew God.) Oddly this means ONE God and Jesus is not it, but separate.
Still in regards to who rules the world this directly contradicts Matthew 4:8-9 "The devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee." This only makes sense when one considers the Gnostics considered the Hebrew God or creator of the material world the devil.
Paul says in Acts 17:29 "Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device." This suggests gnostic pantheism that believed all people (at least the divine spark or soul) originated from or were the offspring of God. (This is not the Hebrew God!)
Paul is accused by many Jews of following this version of New Age religion of that time (Gnosticism) and not Judaism and this is proof of that. This is closely related as well to Gnostic elements in John when the writer claims that through Christ we all can be "sons of God" and return to the father.
John 1:12-13: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (1:12) "To them gave he the power to become the sons of God." Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (Divine park or spirit of the Gnostics.)
The Old Testament says no such thing, that we are merely the "image" of God.
Paul says in Acts 22:9 "And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me." (KJV) This contradicts Acts 9:7 "And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man." This is problem in translation according to Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, by Gleason L. Archer, p. 382. So how many more "translation" problems do we have?
Paul claims, in Acts 26:22-23: "Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that He should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles." Moses said no such thing and that statement is false. Jesus was not the first to rise from the dead.
Jesus was not the first to rise from the dead as Paul claims. His Epistles predate all the Gospels and it seems he know nothing at all of the Old Testament That he was a product of Greco-Roman culture (he only wrote in Greek and there's no evidence he knew Hebrew) just as many secular Jews today have little knowledge of Judaism and are often hostile to the faith. But going by the Bible:
1 Samuel 28:11, 14: "Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel .... And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel."
1 Kings 17:22: "And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived."
2 Kings 4:32-35: "And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed. He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the LORD. And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm. Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times."
2 Kings 13:21: "And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet."
Matthew 9:18-25: "And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose." (Was she dead or literally asleep?)
Luke 7:12-15: "Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother."
John 11:43: "'And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth."
Sorry Paul, if he had read the Old Testament and knew Jesus in the flesh he would know some of these things. It seems his own followers contradicted him. This makes sense only in the context of Gnosticism where Jesus rose in SPIRIT and not in the flesh as the others had. The Church declared that as heresy and proceeded to wipe out those Gnostics that believed that.
Romans 3:10-12: "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."
Wrong. Paul alone writes that, the Bible proves him wrong. See Gen.6:9, 7:1; Job 1:1, 2:3, and Lk.1:5-6, Noah, Job, Zechariah, and Elizabeth were all good and righteous people.
Genesis 7:1: For thee [Noah] have I seen righteous before me.
2 Samuel 22:25: Therefore the LORD hath recompensed me [David] according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight.
Job 2:3: Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
Psalms 1:5-6: Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Ecclesiastes 9:1: The righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God. (Not 'by faith' Paul, but by works!)
Ezekiel 14:14, 20: Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD. (without Jesus the man-god Paul!)
Matthew 13:17: For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
Luke 1:6: They [Elisabeth and Zechariah] were both righteous before God, walking in the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. (Thus they don't need Christ or Paul.)
Hebrews 11:4: Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous....
James 5:16: The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
2 Peter 2:5: [Noah] a preacher of righteousness
2 Peter 2:7-8: That righteous man [Lot]
Paul says in Romans 5:14 "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come." Paul claimed earlier all men have sinned. Which is it Paul?
But Paul in Romans 3:28 "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." Who exactly is 'we?'
Wrong: "I the Lord ... give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings." -- Jeremiah 17:10
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Wrong. See above. (Noah, Job, etc.) Paul's claims only make sense under Gnosticism where it was believed no earthly thing or act was of any value, but through faith (or knowledge) in/from a mediator could the spirit return to God. (The god of Plato, not the Hebrew God.)
Looking at Timothy 2:5: "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus," This is also troubling because as written God and Jesus are clearly not the same. Under Judaism we don't need a mediator to begin with.
Paul says in Romans 4:2 "For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God." But James 2:21 says, "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?' Sorry Paul.
Paul says in Romans 4:5: "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." But this is contradicted by James (2:14, 17, 24-26) which Martin Luther railed about and wanted James removed from the New Testament.
Paul claims in Romans 4:13 "For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith." The old Testament says no such thing. Total nonsense. To quote Genesis:
22:15-18: "And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice." (Nothing about just faith in a man-god deity, but obeying God.)
Paul says in Romans 7:6: "But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter." In other words we believe in Paul's Gospel and disregard the Old Testament.
Matthew 5:19 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. (That is a big problem for Paul.)
Ok is it Jesus or Paul? Choose one only!
Paul claims in Romans 9:33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Outright misquote. Isaiah 28:16: "Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste." Seems Paul continues to have problems with the Old Testament.
Paul says in Romans 10:4 "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."
Wrong. Matthew 5:18 "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...etc."
Matthew and Paul claimed Jesus fulfilled the Law, but was based on nothing in the Old Testament.
Paul says in Romans 10:8 "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;"
Direct misquote again.
God says Deuteronomy 30:10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
30:11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
30:12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
30:13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
30:14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it...
Sorry Paul, try reading the Old Testament. This is exactly why the Jews ran this fraud out of the synagogue.
Paul says in Romans 10:13 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
But Jesus says in Matthew 7:21 "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." Where is the part about just faith alone? Seems Jesus missed that one and Paul missed this one.
Romans 11:2 "God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying, 11:3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
This is part of a long blood libel and a lie that Paul and his followers invented that has led to endless suffering and death for the Jews. Paul was referring only to himself, whom the Jews rejected for good reason.
Elijah (Elias) never said any of this. Starting in 1 Kings 16:29 and concerns Ahab and his Queen the Phoenician Jezebel. Ahab had converted to the Baal cult and had killed the prophets for Baal! It was Elijah himself that slew the 450 Prophets of Baal! Also see 1 Kings 19:10 etc. Judah by the way at that time was a separate kingdom where none of this happened and had no part in even that. This is totally out of context as a bad king with a foreign wife that converted to another religion certainly didn't speak for the Jews.
Because the New Testament writers were followers of Paul, they repeated the lie. In Matthew Jesus said, (23:31) "Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets...." Fine, name them,
Matthew 23:35 "That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar."
Little problem is the writer of Matthew is again wrong. 2 Chronicles 24:20-21 says: "And the spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada .... And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the lord..."
So how can millions of people be held liable for what one bad king did? Which Zechariah was it? Zacharias son of Barachias was not a prophet. Sorry Matthew whoever you are this is the wrong person.
Paul says in Romans 11:6-7: " And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded."
11:8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
11:9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:
11:10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.
11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
This was hijacked and misquoted from Psalms 69:22. Put in correct context:
69:22 Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.
69:23 Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake.
69:24 Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them.
69:25 Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents.
69:26 For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.
69:27 Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.
69:28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.
69:29 But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.
69:30 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
David wasn't remotely referring to anything Paul was claiming. The whole idea that God blinded the Jews so they would not accept Paul's Christ just so "salvation is come unto the Gentiles" is simply idiotic.
Paul says in Romans 11:25-26: "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:"
Seems we have a little problem. Jesus in Matthew 8:12: "But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
The Jews by the way were expecting a different person from Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass...
This person never died on any cross for sin. Go read the passage and spare the allegory.
Oh, another problem from Zechariah 9:8 "And I will encamp about mine house because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth: and no oppressor shall pass through them any more: for now have I seen with mine eyes." By the 1st century Israel was occupied by Rome. Guess that prophecy didn't work either.
What was the Messiah supposed to do?
9:10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.
9:11 As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.
9:12 Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee;
9:13 When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man.
What does that have to do with being crucified for sin? Enough of this.
In conclusion Paul's lack of knowledge of the Old Testament or simply rejection of it which he makes clear, is problematic. He is clearly under the sway of Gnosticism, which is at total odds with Judaism and the Hebrew God. The comparison of Christianity and Judaism below says it all.
- Permission to believe (in God) Dr Gerald Schroeder
- Where the Bible meets the Big Bang
- 25 Questions and answers for Creationism
- Introduction to the scientific method.
- The scientific method.
- How Alarmists undermine Science and Theology
- A Look at C.S. Lewis on Evolution
- Quotes from C.S. Lewis
- Evolution and the early church, and Islam
- Christian Orthodoxy On Creationism and Evolution
- A Handbook on the History of Modern Science
- The Devil
- Original Sin
- End Times
- Apostle Paul
- Apostle John
- John Calvin
- St. Augustine
- Martin Luther
- New Age