The lies of the Jesus Seminar continue to be spread around by many who just make assumptions and are gullible enough to believe whatever they hear as long as it takes swipes at Christianity. One such claim is that Jesus Christ was just considered an ordinary Jewish Israelite rabbi until Paul came along and made him divine to create Christianity. Paul, according to them, went behind the backs of Jesus’ family and the other disciples to spread a new form of Judaism with new doctrines that would be acceptable to Gentiles, promoting the rabbi Jesus from mere human to a God-man. And he did it so the Gentiles could dump Judaic laws such as keeping the sabbath or rejecting pork and other non-kosher foods.
However, those who make such claims don’t know their history or the Bible and they usually don’t back up their claims with reliable sources from the early era of the church. Let’s weigh the evidence to see how mistaken they are.
1. Paul’s words agreed with Jesus’ words.
Jesus said he was given by God so that those who believe in him will have everlasting life and are not condemned (John 3:16-18). Paul also said eternal life comes through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23).
At the Last Supper communion, Jesus said the bread and wine represented his body and blood, which was shed to establish the new testament for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:26-28). Paul said the same thing in 1 Corinthians 10:16 & 11:24-25.
Jesus gave a list of sins that defile mankind in Mark 7:21-22. Paul gives a list containing the same sins in Galatians 5:19-21.
2. Paul’s words agreed with the disciples’ words.
Peter and Paul gave the same instructions on how husbands should honor their wives (1 Corinthians 7:3-4; 1 Peter 3:7).
The disciples said Jesus rose from the dead (Matt. 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20; Acts 4:33; 1 Peter 1:3). Paul agreed with them that Jesus rose from the dead (Acts 13:30; 1 Corinthians 15).
The disciples believed Jesus was the Lord God (John 1:1-3; 20:28, 31; Acts 2:38; 2 Peter 1:11). Paul also believed Jesus was the Lord God (Romans 8:3; Colossians 2:8-9).
3. The apostles (including James, the Lord’s brother) gave Paul the right hand of fellowship and supported his ministry even after Paul rebuked Peter for snubbing the Gentile brethren. (Acts 15:24-27; Galatians 2:9)
4. Toward the end of his life, Peter defended and endorsed Paul’s writings as scripture. (2 Peter 3:16)
5. At the end of the 1st century AD, Clement, the Bishop of Rome, named Paul in the same class as Peter when he called both of them “good Apostles” who lived “holy lives.” (1 Clement 5:3-6:1)
Clement’s letter shows that even non-biblical historical sources included Paul as equivalent to other apostles.
The skeptics really have no standing when they say Paul invented Christianity, but are speaking from hearts that hate the Lord and those who belong to him and they love sin, so they will conjure up whatever idea they can to convince themselves to remain unsaved.
Harry A. Gaylord