You are confusing the imaginations of Paul for the ideas of Jesus.

The following is a copulation of four e-mails I received from one person. I want to reply but needed to do the copulation so that those reading my reply can understand the points being made. His comments are in blue, mine are in green and all Scripture is in red.

On your site you are confusing the imaginations of Paul for the ideas of Jesus. It was Paul that said that the law was no longer required. In Jesus' sermon on the mount he very clearly says that he is not here to destroy the law or the prophets but to fulfill them. He goes on to say that the law will not change till the end of days. He adds that he who does not follow the law or who teaches men not to follow the law will be the lowest in heaven and he who follows the law or teaches men to follow the law will be considered the highest in heaven. Clearly Jesus was a jew who supported the law unlike Paul who was a gnostic who believed in the primacy of faith. If you are going to ignore Jesus in favor of Paul please don't libel Jesus.

My response is in Green:

This is not the first time I have heard that Paul was not a true believer or that he preached a different Christ than Jesus. This is sad because it has far reaching implications, but I will get back to that later. Below is the passage that this man is referring to:

(Matthew 5:17-20 NIV) [17] "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. [18] I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. [19] Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. [20] For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven."

Was Jesus teaching people to follow the Law? Of course He was, it was God's Law to the Jews and it was the only way they could be redeemed at that point in time. The Law pointed to Jesus and by keeping the Law the Jews were acknowledging their faith in God to send a perfect lamb to take away their sins for ever. That perfect Lamb was Jesus but at the point where He is preaching this sermon He has not yet died. He has not yet fulfilled the Law. Notice that He says that is what He has come to do, not destroy the Law but fulfill it. That is exactly what He did on Calvary.

To claim Jesus was telling all generations that they must follow the Law is a horrible claim, it down plays what Jesus did in fulfilling the Law. If we could be justified and live by the Law then we would not have needed a perfect Lamb to take our sins away.

What I believe is that Paul often preached many things in contradiction to what Jesus taught. I believe that Paul's contradictions of Jesus are in the bible to verify the prophecy of the false apostle.

In the Book of John, Jesus makes the following prophecy concerning Peter:

"Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you bound yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch forth your hands, and another will bind you and take you where you do not wish." John 21:18

I believe that Jesus was predicting that Peter would eventually follow a false apostle.

It is hard for me to believe that this person believes this, since I think it is so obvious what the passage is referring to. Part of the problem is that he does not quote far enough, so let me do it here:

(John 21:17-19 NIV) [17] The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?"
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. [18] I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." [19] Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"

Look at verse 19, it could not be any clearer what this passage is about and it is not about Peter being mislead by Paul the false apostle!!

In Galatians Paul says:

"But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident…" 3:11

"Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law…" 3:13

How shall we interpret these clear statements of Paul demeaning the law in light of Jesus' Sermon On The Mount wherein he states that he who teaches men not to follow the law is the lowest in heaven?

In Matthew we read that Jesus said:

"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 . . . " 5:19

As I have already stated this refers to before Christ's death and redemption of mankind. Again this gentleman did not quote far enough:

(Matthew 5:19-20 NIV) [19] Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. [20] For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

If you read much of the gospels you will know that Jesus did not think much of the Pharisees, He called them a brood of vipers and other names and claimed they did what they did just for show, and yet here He tells people that they must be more righteous than them. What is going on? He is showing people that religion will not get them to heaven, the Law was impossible for people to keep, that was the very point of the Law, to show mankind that we will never be good enough to earn our way to heaven. As far as outward appearances go the Pharisees would have been the ultimate religious figures and Jesus is telling people that if they want to get to heaven they must be even better than them.

The people would have thought this was impossible and that is the point, without Jesus fulfilling the Law and covering our sins it was impossible.

I believe that the only possibility is that Paul is a false apostle of Jesus.

There are many other quotes of Paul that are similarly dismissive of the law.

I will wait to show the true implications of this statement and the thought that Paul was a false apostle.

The essence of your argument against my position implies the following:

"I find the consequences of considering the possibility that Paul was ever wrong to be so disturbing that I refuse to even make the effort to address the logic of your arguments." Or perhaps, "I assume that Paul is correct therefore your contention of his being incorrect is false." This is known as a tautology which is a fancy way of saying that you are assuming facts without providing any evidence.

I have to consider the possibility that your failure to address my arguments in a logical manner is a demonstration of at least the possibility that they are unassailable. That may mean that a great deal of Christian orthodoxy (the beliefs of fallible men interpreting the word) is wrong. I find that distressing but no where near as distressing as allowing myself to display the lack of courage that would be involved in committing treason against my own mind by claiming to believe Paul where he contradicts Jesus teachings because I am fearful of the consequences of thinking for myself and using G-d's gift to me of the capacity for reason.

What a shame your words imply. I believe that G-d gave you the capacity for reason and that you are in essence insulting your maker by refusing to use that capacity. While I can't be sure from a reading of your letters, I can at least consider the possibility that you haven't addressed the logic of my arguments due to fear and/or laziness. Fear because the potential consequences of considering that Paul may be wrong would be quite disturbing to you psychologically. It could cause you to challenge the fragile foundations of your self esteem which rest on the unjustifiable fantasy that you are infallible in some of your ideas about religion. I guess you could call this the sin of pride. A psychologist might say that you are using your religion as a weapon to protect your insecure self esteem.

Laziness because you wish to avoid the effort that a logical argument would require. Or, perhaps you are too lazy to study the bible thoroughly enough to be a real scholar and instead prefer the appearance of scholarship that you believe your own website implies. Isn't sloth another sin?

I pray that . . . if the above assessment of you is correct that you will overcome your fear and laziness to achieve your true potential in the eyes of G-d.

I find these comments very insulting. For that reason I quit responding to his points and decided to reply on my site instead. I owe him nothing and will not have an argument with him via e-mail. I have already shown how he has left things out to try to make his points, yet he claims I am too lazy to study God's word.

As I will show later, part of the problem from his point of view is, what is God's word? Which books are to be studied and believed and which ones should be torn out of our Bibles and not even read? As I said I will address that later.

What I believe is that Paul often preached many things in contradiction to what Jesus taught. I believe that Paul's contradictions of Jesus are in the bible to verify the prophecy of the false apostle.

I believe that the corrupt Romans included the false apostle Paul in the canon because that would allow them to use religion to rule over men. Paul talks of the supremacy of faith over deeds in leading to the salvation of one's soul. The accusation against someone that they lack the proper faith has been used for centuries to make men guilty and hence argue that the state may rule and punish them. Remember Jesus' statement to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto G-d what is G-d's. This was as far as I know one of the earliest statements in favor of the separation of church and state which the Roman's clearly didn't practice under Emperor Constantine or any subsequent Emperor.

The Romans needed a justification to ignore Jesus and Paul provided them with the false argument that they needed. This enabled them to claim justification for acting in G-d's name to threaten anyone who had a different practice of faith. Jesus never advocated using the state to threaten anyone in the name of G-d on the grounds of his faith or lack of proper faith.

This is sad. For one it makes God's promise to protect His word a mockery. It also shows a lack of understanding on this person's part. When Jesus said to give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's He was not separating church from state, He was agreeing that governments have a place. If you read the passage being referenced to, you will see what I mean:

(Mark 12:13-17 NIV) [13] Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. [14] They came to him and said, "Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? [15] Should we pay or shouldn't we?"
But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. "Why are you trying to trap me?" he asked. "Bring me a denarius and let me look at it." [16] They brought the coin, and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?"
"Caesar's," they replied.
[17] Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's."
And they were amazed at him.

Now is Jesus separating church and state, or is He saying that as citizens we owe some things to our government and as believers some things to God? If anything Jesus is verifying Romans 13 where Paul claims all authority is derived from God. Which by the way is also a common thought in the Old Testament:

(Proverbs 21:1 NIV) The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.

To try to use this as a way of proving Paul a false apostle is silly.

I believe G-d didn't worry about the false apostle Paul because he knew that what Jesus said would disprove the validity of Paul. He also realized that men needed an object lesson and that the great evils, including the many Inquisitions, that were committed by Christians following Paul would serve to show how Paul was wrong. [Do you believe that the Inquisitions were justified?] For instance many Christians find the evil consequences of Islamic Jihad to be a compelling argument against the validity of Mohammed and the Koran.

This hardly warrants an answer, but I will answer it anyway. First of course I don't believe that the Inquisitions were justified and neither would Paul. Let me show you what I mean:

(1 Corinthians 5:12-13 NIV) [12] What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? [13] God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you."

Does that sound like Paul would agree with the Inquisition where people who refused to convert were killed? This is just a ridiculous argument. Looking at this from a purely logical stand point, would God have allowed Paul's writings to be over 75% of the New Testament as a way of showing us what is wrong? Maybe God gives man more credit than I do, but I think that if 75% of something is wrong, it does not prove itself wrong, it would cause people to believe a lie. This argument is hollow as far as I am concerned.

In the Book of John, Jesus makes the following prophecy concerning Peter:

"Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you bound yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch forth your hands, and another will bind you and take you where you do not wish." John 21:18

I believe that Jesus was predicting that Peter would eventually follow a false apostle. [If you believe that my interpretation is wrong please offer me another interpretation along with your reasoning for that position. For example if Paul did not bind Peter and take him where he didn't want to go, who or what did? Or, perhaps you believe Jesus' prophecy was wrong?]

I have addressed this already, but let me hit it again by quoting verse 19:

(John 21:19 NIV) [19] Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"

I don't understand how he can not see this, when he claims I am too lazy or too afraid to study God's word, which obliviously means that he thinks he is a scholar of God's word.

In Galatians Paul says:

"But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident…"3:11 [Do you believe that I am wrong to interpret this as anything other than a dismissal of the law?]

This question is like the old 'have you stopped beating your wife' question, it misses the point. Yes Paul is dismissing the Law as justification in God's eye which just means that we needed Jesus to die for us. If this person thinks that people are justified in God's sight by the Law then he is in affect rejecting Jesus' death as the perfect sacrifice.

There is a very interesting quote from the Talmud, which is the sage sayings and interpretations of the Jewish scholars. Each year when the High Priest would sacrifice one lamb and then place the sins of the people on the head of the scape goat and send it away into the wilderness the High Priest would hang a scarlet rope on the temple door. The Talmud tells how each year with rare exceptions, after the scape goat had been released the scarlet rope would turn white and then the High Priest would announce to the people that their offering had been accepted by God and He had forgiven their sins.

Now the interesting thing about this is that there is a statement in the Talmud that approximately 40 years before the Temple was destroyed the scarlet rope quit turning white and never again turned white but remained scarlet. The sages did not have an answer to this disturbing event. Can you figure out what the answer is? The Temple was destroyed in 70 AD, so 40 years before that would have been about 30 AD. When did Jesus die for our sins? It is believed it was between 30 and 33 AD!!

So to me that Talmud verifies that after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ God no longer honored the sacrifices required by the Law. Why? Because Jesus had fulfilled the Law and man is not justified in God's sight any longer by the Law.

"Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law…" 3:13 [How can we be redeemed from the curse of the law without also no longer being required to follow it?]

This too is sad, it appears that this man believes that we must follow the Law to be justified before God which would imply that Jesus' death was meaningless.

Below is a message this man sent to someone else but felt compelled to carbon copy me on. I can only assume that it was meant to insult me. I am not insulted, only saddened that this is his attitude.

Dear John:

Enjoyed your e-mail. According to Ralph, I should trust the pagan power hungry dictator Constantine to set up a counsel that would include in the Christian canon only those things which were inspired and not thing's which might be purely self serving. The book of Romans which was written by Paul wasn't included by Constantine's counsel because of Paul's argument contained therein that God wants you to obey your king. It wasn't for self serving reasons at all! Yeah right, I believe that . . . Not!

Jesus said by their fruits you shall know them. The fruit of Paul adulterated Christianity was much more than a millennium of pernicious, hateful and murderous evil. Using the words of Jesus, that is a powerful argument against the validity of Paul.

Thomas Jefferson was so offended by the writings of Paul that he called him the first corrupter of Jesus writings. He went on to write the Jefferson bible that didn't include anything that Paul wrote.

I often think, as you do, that it is a waste of time to engage in discussion with these true believers who either refuse or are unable to think. As a wise man once said, "It is a waste of time to engage in a battle of wits with an opponent who isn't armed." But, from time to time I find it hard to imagine how empty their arguments are and feel the need to be reminded. Of course engaging in discussion with them involves entering an, "Alice In Wonderland," world were things just keep getting, "curiouser and curiouser."

Okay now I want to address the implications of Paul and his writings being wrong. If Paul's writings are wrong and therefore should not be in the Bible, what does that mean? It means that the following books should be taken from the New Testament:

Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon.

That, however, is just the beginning. If Peter truly was corrupted and lead away by Paul then we must disregard what he wrote too, so 1 Peter and 2 Peter should be taken from the New Testament. Let me quote just one passage from 2 Peter:

(2 Peter 3:15-16 NIV) [15] Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. [16] He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Notice that Peter puts Paul's writings on the level of other Scripture. So if Peter was so mistaken, we should do away with anything else he said.

Then there is the case against Luke, who wrote both Luke and Acts. He was a traveling companion with Paul as Acts clearly shows in many places and therefore must have also been lead away from the truth as Peter was, so out go Luke and Acts.

What about Hebrews? Many people believe that Paul wrote Hebrews in which case it should be disregarded also, but even if he didn't write it, it sure shows his influence. Let me show you:

(Hebrews 7:18-19 NIV) [18] The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless [19] (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.

This is very kind of statement this gentleman repudiates Paul for, so whomever the author of Hebrews was we know he felt the same way as Paul and therefore should be disregarded.

Here is one more example from Hebrews:

(Hebrews 10:1-4 NIV) [1] The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. [2] If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. [3] But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, [4] because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Case closed, Hebrews is out. The case against the next two books is weaker but I think still valid under this idea. The first book is James. I am going to quote from the book of Acts to prove that James should be thrown out:

(Acts 15:5-14 NIV) [5] Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses."
[6] The apostles and elders met to consider this question. [7] After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. [8] God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. [9] He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. [10] Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? [11] No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."
[12] The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. [13] When they finished, James spoke up: "Brothers, listen to me. [14] Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself."
 
(Acts 15:19-20 NIV) [19] "It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. [20] Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood."

Do you see what a slippery slope this is? I have to go to a book that we have already determined is wrong in order to see what the Apostles thought on this question. Once you start throwing out books what are you left with? But look at this Peter plainly says that they were not able to carry the yoke (the Law) so why should they require the Gentiles to do so. James agrees and decrees that they don't have to. So by this account James should be thrown out of the New Testament too.

That brings us to the book of Jude. Let me quote right from the beginning:

(Jude 1:1 NIV) [1] Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James,
To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ:

Jude makes a point of telling people he is James' brother. If he felt James was wrong, he would not do so, so he must agree with James. So if James must be disregarded so must Jude.

Now let's turn to the gospels, which this gentleman seems to be saying are the only trust worthy books, since they contain the words of Christ.

Most scholars agree that the first gospel written was the book of Mark. They agree that the author was John Mark, whom we read about in Acts. He went on a missionary trip with Paul but got homesick and left them. After that Paul wanted nothing to do with him. So far that would seem to be a point in Mark's favor, but again most scholars agree that Mark followed Peter and that the account of the life in Mark is from Peter. So if Peter was corrupted, then the information he gave Mark cannot be believed and must be disregarded. So the book of Mark cannot be trusted.

Again most scholars agree that the books of Matthew and Luke (we have already decided that Luke should be taken out) were written after the book of Mark and that the book of Mark was used to help write them. The books, Mark, Matthew and Luke are called the synoptic gospels because so much of the information is common to them all and is believed to have come from the first one written which was Mark. So if Mark is out, then you must do away with Matthew too.

What are we left with? We now have five books remaining in our New Testament. The gospel of John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John and Revelation. That is it, but can we trust John's writings?

We know that the Apostles were all together in Jerusalem after Christ was taken to Heaven and we know they remained together at least during the beginning. We also know that Peter and John were often together (we know this from the book of Acts - which brings up the slippery slope again). Now knowing these things and knowing that John out lived all the rest of the Apostles why is it that we don't read a repudiation of Peter and Paul in any of John's writings? Was he also mislead by Peter and Paul? If so then we must disregard his writings and that leaves us with no New Testament at all.

So if Paul was a false Apostle where does that leave us? What is God's word? What can we trust? Praise God we still have the Old Testament. However, the problem is that most of what we understand about the Old Testament comes from what we have read in the New Testament and if that was all corrupted then how can we be sure we truly understand what the Old Testament was saying?

If this gentleman is correct about Paul then we are left with nothing to be sure of, nothing we can make a stand on and say this is God's word. This is the logical, non-lazy end of this discussion. If Paul was a false Apostle then we have no New Testament and have been without God's word for over 2,400 hundred years since the last prophet wrote what God told him to write. This is a sad idea.

Of course from what this man has written me it is obvious that he has not thrown all those books away, but where is my linking between the influence flawed? Okay, so we keep James and Jude and even maybe John's writings, but we still lose a lot of what Christians doctrine is based on. And I believe there is a strong enough connection between James, Jude and John's writings and the rest of the New Testament that if you throw one out you must throw them all out.

As I said this is a sad stance because it brings into question all of God's word. He gave us the Bible to be our guide, but if someone can convince us that parts of it are not true then the whole is in question and we are just as lost as if we had no Bible at all. Praise God we do have His word, from Genisis to Revelation. God's word does not contradict itself either as this gentleman claims.

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E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)

**Note: After posting this I wrote this gentleman and explained that I had addressed his e-mail messages here on my site. He came and read the page and was very upset because I did not include my original e-mail response on the page. He claims I am being dishonest. I did not and do not mean to mislead anyone, so I will post the first four messages I received from him and my replies as they were written below. Then I think anyone can see why I choose to do the compulation above. I do not debate people via e-mail who continually attack me or who only give a portion of their views and then when I reponse with what is an assumption of their position, claim I am twisting their view point. I get too much mail to play games. Judge for yourself:

On your site you are confusing the imaginations of Paul for the ideas of Jesus. It was Paul that said that the law was no longer required. In Jesus' sermon on the mount he very clearly says that he is not here to destroy the law or the prophets but to fulfil them. He goes on to say that the law will not change till the end of days. He adds that he who does not follow the law or who teaches men not to follow the law will be the lowest in heaven and he who follows the law or teaches men to follow the law will be considered the highest in heaven. Clearly Jesus was a jew who supported the law unlike Paul who was a gnostic who believed in the primacy of faith. If you are going to ignore Jesus in favor of Paul please don't libel Jesus.

So you throw all but four of the New Testament books away as not being God's word. If you do then how do you know that the four you keep are really God's word. That is sad. I hope you are able to keep the whole law, since if you live by the law that is how you will be judged.

But thanks for your opinion.

Ralph

Second message to me:

Dear Ralph:

In your response to my letter you have engaged in the logical fallacy known as "the straw man argument" in which you have accused me of supporting a position (the straw man) which I do not. Then you argued against that position (knocking down the straw man). I have not written nor do I believe in the "straw man" that there are only four worthwhile books in the New Testament.

What I believe is that Paul often preached many things in contradiction to what Jesus taught. I believe that Paul's contradictions of Jesus are in the bible to verify the prophecy of the false apostle.

In the Book of John, Jesus makes the following prophecy concerning Peter:

"Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you bound yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch forth your hands, and another will bind you and take you where you do not wish." John 21:18

I believe that Jesus was predicting that Peter would eventually follow a false apostle.

In Galatians Paul says:

"But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident…"3:11

"Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law…" 3:13

How shall we interpret these clear statements of Paul demeaning the law in light of Jesus' Sermon On The Mount wherein he states that he who teaches men not to follow the law is the lowest in heaven?

In Matthew we read that Jesus said:

"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 . . . " 5:19

I believe that the only possibility is that Paul is a false apostle of Jesus.

There are many other quotes of Paul that are similarly dismissive of the law.

Incidentally, Thomas Jefferson, a much wiser man than me and one of the brilliant founding fathers, also considered Paul a corrupter of Jesus teachings. He was so offended by what he viewed to be many falsehoods in the bible that he wrote his own version of the bible. It eliminated the teachings of Paul that he believed contradicted Jesus.

If you can refute anything that I have written, I would be grateful for the opportunity to increase my knowledge.

Accusing me of positions that I do not hold and not addressing my words will only serve to reduce your reputation for worthy scholarship. I am writing to you with the expectation that you are capable of much better than that.

It was not a straw man, you said that I should not believe Paul, but only Jesus. Maybe you need to decide what you believe before you write someone else. If Paul was wrong or contradicted Jesus even once then you need to throw everything he wrote out. Period, you can't be a false prophet one day and not the next. Straw man or not, that is what you wrote me and I just took it to its logical end.

Third message to me:

Dear Ralph:

Thank you for your response to my e-mail to you.

I am disappointed that you have again avoided addressing my arguments and continue to attack your own conclusions about them while making assertions without evidence. Merely asserting that Paul is correct or insulting me because I disagree is in no way a compelling argument against the logic of my arguments to the contrary.

The essence of your argument against my position implies the following:

"I find the consequences of considering the possibility that Paul was ever wrong to be so disturbing that I refuse to even make the effort to address the logic of your arguments." Or perhaps, "I assume that Paul is correct therefore your contention of his being incorrect is false." This is known as a tautology which is a fancy way of saying that you are assuming facts without providing any evidence.

I have to consider the possibility that your failure to address my arguments in a logical manner is a demonstration of at least the possibility that they are unassailable. That may mean that a great deal of Christian orthodoxy (the beliefs of fallible men interpreting the word) is wrong. I find that distressing but no where near as distressing as allowing myself to display the lack of courage that would be involved in committing treason against my own mind by claiming to believe Paul where he contradicts Jesus teachings because I am fearful of the consequences of thinking for myself and using G-d's gift to me of the capacity for reason.

What a shame your words imply. I believe that G-d gave you the capacity for reason and that you are in essence insulting your maker by refusing to use that capacity. While I can't be sure from a reading of your letters, I can at least consider the possibility that you haven't addressed the logic of my arguments due to fear and/or laziness. Fear because the potential consequences of considering that Paul may be wrong would be quite disturbing to you psychologically. It could cause you to challenge the fragile foundations of your self esteem which rest on the unjustifiable fantasy that you are infallible in some of your ideas about religion. I guess you could call this the sin of pride. A psychologist might say that you are using your religion as a weapon to protect your insecure self esteem.

Laziness because you wish to avoid the effort that a logical argument would require. Or, perhaps you are too lazy to study the bible thoroughly enough to be a real scholar and instead prefer the appearance of scholarship that you believe your own website implies. Isn't sloth another sin?

I pray that . . . if the above assessment of you is correct that you will overcome your fear and laziness to achieve your true potential in the eyes of G-d.

It would of course be very easy for you to prove that I am wrong in my theoretical assessment of you above, as I hope I am. If I am I will be only too happy to admit my error. You could address the logic, or if you prefer, the lack of logic in my argument. Perhaps you have failed to present an argument against my statements for a reason that I am at present not able to imagine.

Even Paul apparently believed in the validity of logic as evidenced by his attempt to justify his position in Galatians with what at least on the surface appears to be a logical discussion.

If you wish to disprove my assumptions about why you have not as yet shown me where you believe my arguments are wrong, please feel free to address my arguments which I have included after the three asterisks below for your convenience. I have also included some suggestions within brackets for how you might reasonably argue against my position.

I will be grateful to you if you can correct my thinking in any way. I am not so ignorant or proud that I would ever consider the possibility of my own infallibility. Additionally, I am not so corrupt or cowardly as to surrender my mind and my personal responsibility for exercising my own free will and judgment in the face of any challenge or threat. I believe that surrendering my personal responsibility to exercise my free will and by extension my judgment would be an affront to the One who has given me these gifts.

What I believe is that Paul often preached many things in contradiction to what Jesus taught. I believe that Paul's contradictions of Jesus are in the bible to verify the prophecy of the false apostle.

I believe that the corrupt Romans included the false apostle Paul in the canon because that would allow them to use religion to rule over men. Paul talks of the supremacy of faith over deeds in leading to the salvation of one's soul. The accusation against someone that they lack the proper faith has been used for centuries to make men guilty and hence argue that the state may rule and punish them. Remember Jesus' statement to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto G-d what is G-d's. This was as far as I know one of the earliest statements in favor of the separation of church and state which the Roman's clearly didn't practice under Emperor Constantine or any subsequent Emperor.

The Romans needed a justification to ignore Jesus and Paul provided them with the false argument that they needed. This enabled them to claim justification for acting in G-d's name to threaten anyone who had a different practice of faith. Jesus never advocated using the state to threaten anyone in the name of G-d on the grounds of his faith or lack of proper faith.

I believe G-d didn't worry about the false apostle Paul because he knew that what Jesus said would disprove the validity of Paul. He also realized that men needed an object lesson and that the great evils, including the many Inquisitions, that were committed by Christians following Paul would serve to show how Paul was wrong. [Do you believe that the Inquisitions were justified?] For instance many Christians find the evil consequences of Islamic Jihad to be a compelling argument against the validity of Mohammed and the Koran.

In the Book of John, Jesus makes the following prophecy concerning Peter:

"Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you bound yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch forth your hands, and another will bind you and take you where you do not wish." John 21:18

I believe that Jesus was predicting that Peter would eventually follow a false apostle. [If you believe that my interpretation is wrong please offer me another interpretation along with your reasoning for that position. For example if Paul did not bind Peter and take him where he didn't want to go, who or what did? Or, perhaps you believe Jesus' prophecy was wrong?]

In Galatians Paul says:

"But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident…"3:11 [Do you believe that I am wrong to interpret this as anything other than a dismissal of the law?]

"Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law…" 3:13 [How can we be redeemed from the curse of the law without also no longer being required to follow it?]

How shall we interpret these clear statements of Paul demeaning the law in light of Jesus' Sermon On The Mount wherein he states that he who teaches men not to follow the law is the lowest in heaven?

In Matthew we read that Jesus said:

"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 . . . " 5:19 [Do you believe that this statement means that the law is no longer required according to Jesus?!]

I believe that the only possibility is that Paul is a false apostle of Jesus. [If you have another idea perhaps you will display the courtesy of engaging in reasoned discussion to support your position instead of repeating unsupported assertions as you have done to date.]

Wow you sure do read a lot into the couple of sentences I wrote you. I guess you are trying to impress the others you address on your mail. That is fine, I hope you have a great life and I hope you are able to follow the Law as you claim Jesus commanded, I know I couldn't, that is why I needed a perfect sacrifice.

Take care,
Ralph

Fourth e-mail to me (actually to someone else and CC to me):

Dear John:

Enjoyed your e-mail. According to Ralph, I should trust the pagan power hungry dictator Constantine to set up a counsel that would include in the Christian canon only those things which were inspired and not thing's which might be purely self serving. The book of Romans which was written by Paul wasn't included by Constantine's counsel because of Paul's argument contained therein that God wants you to obey your king. It wasn't for self serving reasons at all! Yeah right, I believe that . . . Not!

Jesus said by their fruits you shall know them. The fruit of Paul adulterated Christianity was much more than a millennium of pernicious, hateful and murderous evil. Using the words of Jesus, that is a powerful argument against the validity of Paul.

Thomas Jefferson was so offended by the writings of Paul that he called him the first corrupter of Jesus writings. He went on to write the Jefferson bible that didn't include anything that Paul wrote.

I often think, as you do, that it is a waste of time to engage in discussion with these true believers who either refuse or are unable to think. As a wise man once said, "It is a waste of time to engage in a battle of wits with an opponent who isn't armed." But, from time to time I find it hard to imagine how empty their arguments are and feel the need to be reminded. Of course engaging in discussion with them involves entering an, "Alice In Wonderland," world were things just keep getting, "curiouser and curiouser."

Let Reason Ring,

(quoted from his message:) I often think, as you do, that it is a waste of time to engage in discussion with these true believers who either refuse or are unable to think. As a wise man once said, "It is a waste of time to engage in a battle of wits with an opponent who isn't armed." But, from time to time I find it hard to imagine how empty their arguments are and feel the need to be reminded. Of course engaging in discussion with them involves entering an, "Alice In Wonderland," world were things just keep getting, "curiouser and curiouser."

I see you have the love of Jesus down pat don't you?

Dear Ralph:

All right, I'll bite. What does your comment have to do with my letter?

It sounds like you are confusing yourself with Jesus.

This is my last reply. You wrote that letter and included me just to you could insult me, that was my point. You apparently don't even see what you did. You really should go back and read the four or five books of the New Testament you think are God's word you might find something about brotherly love in there.

There you have it. Now I think you will see why I did not just use this on my page, but instead did a compulation. I think or at least I hope you see why I did not answer him via e-mail, I have no desire to just argue with someone who has this kind of attitude.

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