Who Was Paul?
Why Does He Appear To Be Anti-Jewish?
Why Was He Opposed By The Early Ebionite Nazirenes?
To even begin to understand the Epistles attributed to Paul, you must first understand that the scriptures are not historical -- but rather, allegorical texts that use a quasi-historical garb to both preserve and conceal the sacred knowledge of the Laws and Forces of mind that the seeker/disciple must know to gain entrance to the Kingdom within (Luke 17:20-21 - http://GateOfEden.com ). In the case of the supposed conversion of Saul/Paul in the book of Acts, there were conflicts intentionally written into the text of the scriptures so that they could not be read literally. In fact, under the subheading of Intentional Conflicts in the article article The Secret Doctrine, the two conflicting accounts are presented as being purposely written into the text so that the reader would be forced to reject the historical account. And you might do well to read above that at the subheading Origen On Allegory.
What this means is that there never was a conversion story in the Book of Acts pertaining to an historical man named Paul. And many Gentiles portrayed themselves as Paul, in order to promote the new religion of Jesus. Most of these men who put themselves forth as Paul, were initiates of Mithracism -- which saw their doctrines fulfilled in the person of Jesus. How can this be? Regarding Paul, the Encyclopedia Britannica (1998 electronic edition) writes: "Some indeed assume that Paul ceased really to progress beyond the point represented by Romans, and that certain of his later writings, if they be his at all, show a certain enfeeblement of grasp upon principle"ť. What is brought to light is the fact that the theology presented in the Epistle to the Romans is very different than what is found in the other epistles that bear his name. In view of the fact that Paul was the Apostle of most of the so called heretic sects such as the Marcionites, and many of his letters we have received directly from the hands of the Marcionite Churches -- a church known for their anti-Jewish sentiment and fraudulent copies of altered scriptures -- there is good evidence to question "...if they be his at all"ť. What the biblical scholar is warning us is the fact that what we believe to be the inspired teachings of the man known as Paul, could very well be the writings of one of the many anti-Jewish churches that evolved out of the Gentile Christian world.
The Marconite Churches were ascetic -- they were Gnostic -- and in view of the fact that the Epistle to the Galatians came directly from the Marconite Churches which were extremely anti-Jewish, the author's positions are easily understood. To understand Paul, you have to understand the Gnostic foundation of many of the epistles attributed to him (see The Gnostic Paul). The original epistles attributed to Paul were not referencing Jesus -- but rather, the Christ in you. And when this was pointed out by the more Spiritual Christians to those who called themselves Orthodox, they added the name Jesus to all the places where it spoke of the Christ. As can be seen in the subheading Christ Before Jesus, it was easy for the inner core of Mithraic initiates to promote Jesus as the fulfillment of their religious doctrines.
Jesus condemned the leaders among the Jews, because they had thrown away what is called the Key of Knowledge -- and there is sufficient documentation in this article to prove that (1) the scriptures are not historical; (2) they cannot and were not intended to be read literally; (3) and that the true objectives of the Gospels is freeing the lost prodigal sons from the god of this world, and providing them the necessary knowledge to Journey in TheWay and into the Inner Kingdom. As stated in the article An Inconvenient Truth, it is impossible to convey to the organic mind of man the higher reality of the soul and what Paul portrayed as the Mysteries of the Kingdom, and the true meaning of the scriptures lies concealed within the allegorical body of what appears on the surface to be an historical cloak. Which means that even when an actual historical person, place or event is noted in the literal body, this notation is merely part of the cloak that is necessary for the body of believers to embrace the scriptures and preserve them.
The Problem With Paul
Of the Ebionites it was noted by the early Church writer Irenaeus: "Those who are called Ebionites agree that the world was made by God... they use the Gospel of Matthew only, and repudiate the Apostle Paul, maintaining that he was an apostate from the Law." What does this mean? Did the Ebionites condemn Paul? Or did they condemn the misunderstandings of the Law that many spiritually ignorant non-Jews assumed Paul to be promoting? The problem is not so much with Paul -- but rather, the ignorance of both the Jews and the Christians with respect to why the Ebionites seemingly condemned Paul.
To begin to understand why the Ebionites condemned Paul, you must first understand that his Epistles were not only corrupted (see Orthodox Corruption Of The Scriptures), but numerous writings attributed to Paul were authored by anti-Jewish Gentiles who were members of the very Gnostic Greek Mystery religions. Yet, Paul was not wrong on a number of points -- but he espoused a very different religion than Yeshua. This fact is noted in the Encyclopedia Britannica where it writes: “In calling Paulinism 'Christocentric', one raises the question as to its relation to the Gospel proclaimed by Jesus... how far he unconsciously modified the Gospel by making Christ its subject matter rather than its revealer.... Paul... put all into so fresh a perspective as to change the relative emphasis on points central to the teaching of Jesus, and so alter its spirit. A school of writers, by no means unappreciative of Paul as they understand him, of whom W. Wrede may be taken as example, answer that Paul so changed Christianity as to become its 'second founder' - the real founder of ecclesiastical Christianity as distinct from the Christianity of Jesus. They say, 'either Jesus or Paul' it cannot be both at once’”.
When Paul wrote that a ritual observance of the Torah equated to the "letter that killeth" -- that the Law is spiritual, and is not to be observed outwardly in the ritual manner of the Pharisees -- is seen in the words of Epiphanius when he wrote about the Ebionites that they "do not accept Moses' Pentateuch in its entirety; certain sayings they reject... stating Christ has revealed this to me, and will blespheme most of the legislation" (Panarion 30.18.7-9). Thus, the Law has a spiritual meaning and must be turned within using the Key of Knowledge, in order to overcome the Laws in the manner that Yeshua did. And that the literal written word of the Torah is as a cloak for the inner soul and spiritual meaning that the people of a carnal and organic mind of this world are blind to, is seen in the statement of Jewish Mysticism in the Zohar when it warns: "Thus the tales related in the Torah are simply her outer garments, and woe to the man who regards that outer garb as the Torah itself, for such a man will be deprived of portion in the next world." (see http://ebionite.com/Torah.htm ). Yet, in defiance of what Yeshua's Ebionite disciples observed, as well as both Paul's and the Jewish Mystics warning, most Christians attempt to read the text of the Old Testament literally and form an opinion about the nature of God and Creation. That they cling to the literal text to their own spiritual demise, is explored in the article An Inconvenient Truth.
It is impossible to understand both the Gospel, and those points in the original Epistles where Paul was correct (prior to being corrupted), until one begins to understand the teachings of Yeshua that the Kingdom is within -- that each of us is the prodigal son of our Heavenly Father -- and that organic man dwells in what Yeshua portrayed as the "outer darkness" of mind and being (see Outer Darkness) -- and that only by picking up one's own cross and travailing in TheWay, can the inner "narrow strait gate" be opened unto you, and can you return to your Source (see Gate Of Eden). And when Yeshua accused the very Torah Observant (carnal) leaders of the Jews of throwing away the Key of Knowledge, it was because they were interpreting the scriptures outwardly in ritual and tradition, instead of using them as the Key of Knowledge, to open the inner door to the Kingdom. That the Ebionites were enlightened to the spiritual meaning of the Torah, and did not observe it outwardly in ritual and tradition, is the reason why Epiphanius wrote that they "do not accept Moses' Pentateuch in its entirety; certain sayings they reject... stating Christ has revealed this to me, and will blaspheme most of the legislation" (Panarion 30.18.7-9). For them to be accused of "blaspheming most of the legislation", means that they did not at all observe the Torah in accordance with the letter of the written word -- but rather, they understood the allegorical symbolism that was applicable to unlocking the inner door to the Kingdom.
Many modern pseudo-Ebionites and pseudo-Nazarenes focus on the condemnation of Paul in the writings of Peter's disciple Clement, but they ignore these same writings which portray the written text of the scriptures as the "books with the power to deceive" (see Mystery Of The Books). Which means that these pseudo-Ebionite/Nazarene groups don't at all understand why both Peter and the original Ebionites opposed and condemned Paul as the proverbial Simon Magus. Yet, these same pseudo-Ebionite/Nazarenes who are themselves blind to the spiritual meaning of the Torah -- and have themselves been fooled and seduced by what Peter portrays at the "mystery of the books with the power to deceive" (see An Inconvenient Truth), remain equally blind to the spiritual meaning of the Gospels.
The problem with Paul from an historical sense is seen in the fact that a number of non-Jews authored his Epistles in his name, and many of them were hostile to Judaism. Paul, therefore, is the father of Christian Gnosticism -- which in and of itself is not necessarily bad -- but we must also remember that there were major differences in the Greek Mystery religions (Gnostic) and the system taught by Yeshua and the people of the New Covenant. But since the vast majority of modern pseudo-Ebionite/Nazarenes do not understand the meaning of the word Gnosis as being Spiritual Knowledge revealed directly to the mind of True Disciples and Seekers of TheWay (see The Reality Of Gnosis), in their ignorance they condemn and reject the Divine Manna from Heaven. And while Paul was not wrong in his assertion that it would have been a waste of time for the non-Jews to become ritually Torah observant -- much quicker enlightenment was achieved by non-Jews who converted to a spiritual quasi-Buddhist lifestyle which was what Paul promoted. But the problem worsened when the carnal non-Jewish converts who were themselves ignorant of the spiritual meaning of the Torah, started writing their doctrines directly into the Epistles associated with Paul. Many of the more anti-Jewish pro-Gnostic Epistles attributed to Paul were in fact eventually suppressed by the Church, because these writings demonstrated that they were authored by a non-Jewish Gnostic.
As an example: The second
century Church Father Clement of Alexandria writes that:
“And further, that the same
God that furnished both the Covenants was the giver of Greek
philosophy to the Greeks, by which the Almighty is glorified
among the Greeks, he shows. And it is clear from this.
Accordingly, then, from the Hellenic training, and also from
that of the law are gathered into the one race of the saved
people those who accept faith: not that the three peoples
are separated by time, so that one might suppose three
natures, but trained in different Covenants of the one Lord,
by the word of the one Lord. For that, as God wished to
save the Jews by giving to them prophets, so also by raising
up prophets of their own in their own tongue, as they were
able to receive God’s beneficence, He distinguished the most
excellent of the Greeks from the common herd, in addition to
the Apostle Paul will show, saying:
‘Take also the Hellenic books, read the Sibyl, how it is
shown that God is one, and how the future is indicated. And
taking Hystaspes, read, and you will find much more
luminously and distinctly the Son of God described, and how
many kings shall draw up their forces against Christ, hating
Him and those that bear His name, and His faithful ones, and
His patience, and His coming.’ Then in one word he asks us,
‘Whose is the world, and all that is in the world? Are they
not God’s? ‘ Wherefore
Peter says, that the Lord said to the apostles: ‘If any one
of Israel then, wishes to repent, and by my name to believe
in God, his sins shall be forgiven him, after twelve years.
Go forth into the world, that no one may say, We have not
These words attributed to Paul by Clement of Alexandria, have been suppressed by the Church, and the ignorant Christians are under the grave misconception that the Ebionite/Nazirenes opposed him merely because he condemned a ritual observance of the Torah -- which the Ebionite/Nazirenes who were Gnostic and vegetarian, did not themselves hold to.
Some of the writings attributed to Paul were outrageous, but the ignorant Christians today know nothing about these. As can be seen in the above words, Clement quotes an Epistle of Paul where he (the author) uses the Sibyl of the Greek Mystery religions as an authority. He also quotes Hystaspes -- which I will provide a research article: "According to Avestan history, Vištâspa offered asylum to Zarathustra when the latter was hunted down by his opponents, the priests of the god Mithra. Later, the king organized a debate between the prophet and the priests; when Zarathustra had proved that his doctrines were superior, Vištâspa became an adherent of the new religion. Legend has elaborated this story and added an intervention by Ahuramazda in person" (see SEARCH)
If the Ebionite/Nazirenes would have accepted the Greek Gnosticism that was promoted under the authorship of Paul, they would have totally undermined their own position among the Essenes and Hebrews -- and would not have been able to guide carnal Jews in TheWay. While I understand Gnosticism, these writings of Paul, and most other religious paths as alternative paths for people of different paths, I was forced to take a different position back in the first century (see Brother Of Yeshua/Jesus). Because few Jews today understand the Inner Spiritual Revelation of the Torah, the great majority of modern Jews have been alienated from their own religion. And because most non-Jews are too carnal to comprehend the very Gnostic Epistles of Paul -- and in not understanding the inner meaning of the scriptures (see An Inconvenient Truth) -- and have themselves thrown away the Key of Knowledge -- they falsely believe that Yeshua did away with the Law. This condition of profound spiritual ignorance is responsible for the greater number of Christians and Messianic Jews that have in fact alienated themselves from the teachings of TheWay that they claim to champion.
In the book Christ or Paul?, the Rev. V.A. Holmes-Gore wrote: "Let the reader contrast the true Christian standard with that of Paul and he will see the terrible betrayal of all that the Master taught....For the surest way to betray a great Teacher is to misrepresent his message....That is what Paul and his followers did, and because the Church has followed Paul in his error it has failed lamentably to redeem the world....The teachings given by the blessed Master Christ, which the disciples John and Peter and James, the brother of the Master, tried in vain to defend and preserve intact were as utterly opposed to the Pauline Gospel as the light is opposed to the darkness."
The theologian Soren Kierkegaard, writing in The Journals, echoes the above sentiment: "In the teachings of Christ, religion is completely present tense: Jesus is the prototype and our task is to imitate him, become a disciple. But then through Paul came a basic alteration. Paul draws attention away from imitating Christ and fixes attention on the death of Christ The Atoner. What Martin Luther. in his reformation, failed to realize is that even before Catholicism, Christianity had become degenerate at the hands of Paul. Paul made Christianity the religion of Paul, not of Christ Paul threw the Christianity of Christ away, completely turning it upside down. making it just the opposite of the original proclamation of Christ"
The theologian Ernest Renan, in his book Saint Paul, wrote: "True Christianity, which will last forever, comes from the gospel words of Christ not from the epistles of Paul. The writings of Paul have been a danger and a hidden rock. the causes of the principal defects of Christian theology."
Albert Schweitzer, winner of the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize, has been called "one of the greatest Christians of his time." He was a philosopher, physician, musician, clergyman, missionary, and theologian. In his The Quest for the Historical Jesus and his Mysticism of Paul he writes: "Paul....did not desire to know Christ....Paul shows us with what complete indifference the earthly life of Jesus was regarded....What is the significance for our faith and for our religious life, the fact that the Gospel of Paul is different from the Gospel of Jesus?....The attitude which Paul himself takes up towards the Gospel of Jesus is that he does not repeat it in the words of Jesus, and does not appeal to its authority....The fateful thing is that the Greek, the Catholic, and the Protestant theologies all contain the Gospel of Paul in a form which does not continue the Gospel of Jesus, but displaces it."
William Wrede, in his book Paul, informs us: "The oblivious contradictions in the three accounts given by Paul in regard to his conversion are enough to arouse distrust....The moral majesty of Jesus, his purity and piety, his ministry among his people, his manner as a prophet, the whole concrete ethical-religious content of his earthly life, signifies for Paul's Christology nothing whatever....The name 'disciple of Jesus' has little applicability to Paul....Jesus or Paul: this alternative characterizes, at least in part, the religious and theological warfare of the present day"
Rudolf Bultman, one of the most respected theologians, wrote in his Significance of the Historical Jesus for the Theology of Paul: "It is most obvious that Paul does not appeal to the words of the Lord in support of his....views. when the essentially Pauline conceptions are considered, it is clear that Paul is not dependent on Jesus. Jesus' teaching is -- to all intents and purposes -- irrelevant for Paul."
Walter Bauer, another eminent theologian, wrote in his Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity: "If one may be allowed to speak rather pointedly the Apostle Paul was the only Arch-Heretic known to the apostolic age."
George Bernard Shaw, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925; in his Androcles and the Lion, we read: "There is not one word of Pauline Christianity in the characteristic utterances of Jesus....There has really never been a more monstrous imposition perpetrated than the imposition of Paul's soul upon the soul of Jesus....It is now easy to understand how the Christianity of Jesus....was suppressed by the police and the Church, while Paulinism overran the whole western civilized world, which was at that time the Roman Empire, and was adopted by it as its official faith."
Will Durant; in his Caesar and Christ, he wrote: "Paul created a theology of which none but the vaguest warrants can be found in the words of Christ....Through these interpretations Paul could neglect the actual life and sayings of Jesus, which he had not directly known....Paul replaced conduct with creed as the test of virtue. It was a tragic change."
Martin Buber, the most respected Jewish philosopher of this century, wrote in Two Types of Faith: "The Jesus of the Sermon on the Mount is completely opposed to Paul"
In one of the best books on early Christianity, Those Incredible Christians, Dr. High Schonfield reports: "It was not only the teaching and activities of Paul which made him obnoxious to the Christian leaders: but their awareness that he set his revelations above their authority and claimed an intimacy with the mind of Jesus, greater than that of those who had companied with him on earth and had been chosen by him....It was an abomination, especially as his ideas were so contrary to what they knew of Jesus, that he should pose as the embodiment of the Messiah 's will....Paul was seen as the demon-driven enemy of the Messiah....For the legitimate Church, Paul was a dangerous and disruptive influence, bent on enlisting a large following among the Gentiles in order to provide himself with a numerical superiority with the support of which he could set at defiance the Elders at Jerusalem. Paul had been the enemy from the beginning. and because he failed in his former open hostility he had craftily insinuated himself into the fold to destroy it from within."
It is important to understand the relationship between the teachings of Jesus, and the theology that has been created from the perspective of the Epistles of the Apostle Paul -- a man who never met Jesus in his lifetime. Under the heading of Jesus and Paul, the Encyclopedia Britannica writes: “In calling Paulinism 'Christocentric', one raises the question as to its relation to the Gospel proclaimed by Jesus... how far he unconsciously modified the Gospel by making Christ its subject matter rather than its revealer.... Paul... put all into so fresh a perspective as to change the relative emphasis on points central to the teaching of Jesus, and so alter its spirit. A school of writers, by no means unappreciative of Paul as they understand him, of whom W. Wrede may be taken as example, answer that Paul so changed Christianity as to become its 'second founder' - the real founder of ecclesiastical Christianity as distinct from the Christianity of Jesus. They say, 'either Jesus or Paul' it cannot be both at once’”.
When Prof. John Allegro was quoted as saying that what has been revealed in the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls is a great amount of overwhelming evidence that “...may upset a great many basic teachings of the Christian Church. This in turn would greatly upset many Christian Theologians and believers. The heart of the matter is, in fact, the source and originality of Christian doctrine” (August 1966 issue of Harpers Magazine); what he was in fact stating is that, everything that we now know about Christian beginnings demonstrate that the Essene/Ebionites were not the heretics, as they were falsely portrayed by the later Gentile church, but were in fact the body of genuine believers that held fast to the authentic teachings of Yeshua/Jesus and the New Covenant.
The Counterfeit Structure of Modern Christianity
The profound long-suspected truth about Christianity became an indisputable fact when Dead Sea Scroll expert and biblical scholar A. Powell Davies expressed the immortal words when he said: “Biblical scholars were not disturbed by what they found in the Dead Sea Scrolls because they had known all along that the origin of Christianity was not what was commonly supposed to have been” (quoted by Millar Burrows in More Light on the Dead Sea Scrolls). Worse yet, Edmund Wilson, an expert who worked on the Dead Sea Scrolls further raised the question as to what difference it makes if “Jesus... had been trained in the discipline and imbued with the thought of a certain Jewish sect, and that he had learned from it the role that he afterwards lived...” (The Scrolls From The Dead Sea). To the uninformed and unknowing believer, it made all the difference in the world!
What did the Dead Sea Scrolls prove beyond any doubt? That the Ebionits who were condemned by the Gentiles and later Roman Church were correct -- and that the Gentiles were too heathen to comprehend the teachings of Yeshua and TheWay. Thus, the Encyclopedia Britannica writes: "Most of the features of Ebionite doctrine were anticipated in the teachings of the earlier Qumran sect, as revealed in the Dead Sea Scrolls. They believed in one God and taught that Jesus was the Messiah and was the true "prophet" mentioned in Deuteronomy 18:15. They rejected the Virgin Birth of Jesus, instead holding that he was the natural son of Joseph and Mary. The Ebionites believed Jesus became the Messiah because he obeyed the Jewish Law. They themselves faithfully followed the Law, although they removed what they regarded as interpolations in order to uphold their teachings, which included vegetarianism, holy poverty, ritual ablutions, and the rejection of animal sacrifices. The Ebionites also held Jerusalem in great veneration. (Encyclopaedia Britannica Online)
At about the same time the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in a cave, a library of early Christian scriptures was uncovered at Nag Hammaddi in upper Egypt. Because of the nature of these writings, our scholars believe that these scriptures belonged to a sect of Gnostic Christians. Yet, the understanding that was engendered from the study of these writings was profound, even from a purely historical perspective. What they learned from the study of these writings again confirmed that the faithful flock had once again for a very long time believed a lie with respect to the first Gentile Christians -- a lie that again had been published by the Church of Constantine. In the words of Prof. Elaine Pagles in her book, The Gnostic Gospels, the condemnation of the early Gnostic Christians by the Roman Church had “political implications”. What she said was that the denunciation of the Gnostic Christians was “crucial to the development of Christianity as an institutional religion. In simplest terms, ideas which bear implications contrary to that development come to be labeled as heresy; ideas which implicitly support it become orthodox”. What this meant was that what is today considered traditional Christian doctrine, was formed in the fourth century for purely political reasons in order to support the Church that the Roman Emperor Constantine authored and founded.
Proof of just how far the Christian Church has deviated from its original spiritual path known as TheWay, is seen in the fact that throughout most of the Christian world today the words mysticism and gnosticism are words more appropriately used to describe heresy and heretics -- and yet, in the words of Dead Sea Scroll expert Prof. John Allegro in is book, The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Origins of Christianity, he writes: “It is a fact that the Qumran Library has profoundly affected the study of the Johannine writings and many longheld conceptions have had to be radically revised. No longer can John be regarded as the most Hellenistic of the Evangelists; his gnosticism, and the whole framework of his thought is seen now to spring directly from a Jewish sectarianism rooted in Palestinian soil, and his material recognized as founded in the earliest layers of Gospel traditions.” What these words mean is that such common phrases as faith, belief, born again, and even the manner in which Christians worship, must be radically altered and turned back onto the original course that Yeshua/Jesus ordained, in order for the modern believers to even be considered followers, and inherit the promise of Eternal Life.