When I tell my friends that there is no way Paul could be a disciple because at the time Jesus walked among men, Paul was either a toddler or yet unborn; they looked at me as if I was from another planet. They didn’t know. When I tell them that Paul was in fact the original anti-Christ, they think I am just being mean.
I have yet to meet a Christian who knows the real story of Saul who later changed his name to Paul when he founded Christianity. Followers of the Christian faith believe…wrongly that Jesus was the founder of Christianity. Jesus according to the Bible was a Jewish reformer. He did not come to bring a new religion.
I always wonder why laymen and priests, televangelists and preachers refer to Saul as the Apostle Paul. I used to go to church with friends, listen to preachers and watch evangelists on the screen and in my younger days, I always believe that Paul was one of the 12. I grew up with Christian friends. They are the best of friends I ever had, then and now. I read the 4 gospels of the Bible long before I ever lay my hand on an English translation of the Qur’an.
When I discovered the Beast 666 in the beginning of the Gulf War, I read the bible and in Saudi Arabia of all places. At least after one reading, I can modestly say that I know more about the Bible than most Christians I know. Philippine is the catholic bastion in Asia but rarely could you find anyone who has read the Old Testament. They pick up their knowledge from here and there.
After Jesus had left, his followers campaigned intensely to bring about the reforms that Jesus wanted in the Jewish religion. He wanted to restore the religion to its pristine beauty and remove the corruption that men wrought upon the faith. Religion is no different from monumental edifices that are subject to the ravages of time.
Men of greed are known in all ages to manipulate the message as they see fit to achieve personal agenda most often driven by love for power, fame and fortune. It is the reason prophets come and go to cleanse the faith from the dusts of time and evil of men.
The Jesus’ men were dividing the Jewish hierarchy that threatened to destabilize the house of David. The job of Saul was to spy on Jesus’ followers and had them thrown into Jail or murdered but they were unstoppable.
The greatest threat was the appeal of Jesus’ reforms to the Gentiles. The Jews were terrified that the gentiles will embrace the Jewish religion and with the reforms that Jesus’ followers were bringing to the faith, Judaism was truly at the brink.
There is no doubt that the story of Jesus was a recycled divine myth that had worked so well before Jesus came into the scene. If there was any one or any group knowledgeable of the divine myths, it was the Jewish people. They are not only geniuses; they are the keeper of the books. I don’t doubt for a moment that there was a prophet named Esau or Joshua that later evolved to become Jesus.
The gentiles needed a hero, a god so the Jewish priesthood gave them Jesus but there had to be someone who can deliver the message. Saul was unqualified because he was persecuting Jesus’ followers but the Jews were cunning geniuses. By transforming Jesus into a god, his mission to reform the Jewish religion was doomed.
If they didn’t, there would have been bloodshed comparable to the river of blood that flowed in the history of Christianity when Catholics and Protestants parted ways or when Moslems divided into the Sunnis and the Shiites.
They converted Saul into a repentant saint and by fabricating the story on the road to Damascus; they made him the 13th disciple and changed his name to Paul. The Jewish conspirators made it sure that all Jewish names associated with the new religion are replaced with gentile names including Jesus’ real name. Their hatred of Jesus bordered on the extreme maintaining to this day that he was the bastard son of a Roman soldier and yet Christians always treat the Jews as God’s divine family.
In the family feud between Ishmael and Isaac’s generations, Christians always take the side of the Jews no matter how wrong they are. In USA, the most influential lobbyists for Israel aside from the AIPAC in the corridors of power are Christian fundamentalist groups. What Israel wants, Israel gets.
According to Saul (later Paul), he was on a mission to Damascus for the high priest of Jerusalem. We don’t know what the mission was but along the road, he claimed to have seen Jesus in a vision.
YOU BE THE JUDGE:
Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” And he said, “Who are you Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting, but rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”
Then men who were travelling with him stood speechless HEARING THE VOICE BUT SEEING NO ONE. Acts 9:3-7As I made my journey and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven shone about me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
And I answered, “Who are you Lord?” and he said to me, “I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are persecuting.” NOW THOSE WHO WERE WITH ME SAW THE LIGHT BUT DID NOT HEAR THE VOICE OF THE ONE WHO WAS SPEAKING TO ME. And I said, “What shall I do, Lord?” And the Lord said to me, “Rise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.” Acts 22:6-10
Thus I journey to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priest. At midday, O King, I saw on the way A LIGHT FROM HEAVEN, BRIGHTER THAN THE SUN, SHINNING round me and those who journey with me. And WHEN WE HAD ALL FALLEN TO THE GROUND, I heard a voice saying to me in Hebrew language, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It hurts to kick against the goads.” And I said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he Lord said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.
But rise and stand upon your feet; for I have appear to you for this, to appoint you to serve and bear witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you. Delivering you from the people and from the gentiles to whom I send to you to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light
And from the power of Satan to God that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” Acts 26:12-18
In the first, SAUL’S COMPANIONS HEARD THE VOICE BUT DID NOT SEE THE LIGHT and in the second, THE COMPANIONS SAW THE LIGHT BUT DID NOT HEAR THE VOICE (opposite) and in the third, THEY ALL FELL TO THE GROUND.
Saul obviously processed the story as he saw fit but even then, he must have a very poor memory for narrating the same fantasy story very differently at different times. If it were an actual event, not a lie, the story would have been more consistent because the memory imprint will be more permanent, unvaried like a video being replayed every time.
I wonder how for two thousand years, billions of the dead and the living believed an obvious lie. “WHY ARE YOU TELLING THESE PEOPLE THAT I SPOKE TO YOU WHEN I DIDN’T?” or something like it, Jesus asked Paul in the Scorsese movie, THE LAST TEMPTATION OF JESUS CHRIST. Paul was on an elevated platform telling the story to a crowd that Jesus heard. Paul looked at Jesus and flinging his arm towards the crowd, “TELL THEM, (that I am lying)” he challenged and walked away, his laughter piercing the ear of a dumbfounded Jesus.
The movie by the way was banned in the Philippines. I saw the beta max tape in the mid 80’s and believe it or not…in Saudi Arabia of all places. In the movie, Jesus married Marry Magdalene and had children which was a fiction of course but not if you have read or seen the movie; THE DAVINCI CODE.