Hmm, upon further review, 6/22/2015, this needs organizational improvement. However, no ideas need improvement as they are perfect.
The Truth Is…
Lee Strobel, in “The Case For Christ” refers to the “reliable, historical data” that supports the resurrection and uses verses found in Paul as the source of this “reliable, historical data”. Actually, Jesus warns about a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”:
Three years after Jesus’ Ascension, Christians were waiting for Jesus’s return on clouds of glory which Jesus promised every eye would see from “eastern to western sky.” (Matthew 24:26-29.) Only the day or hour was unknown. At that point, Paul was breathing “murderous threats” on Christians. He was clearly a lost man. Paul then had a wilderness encounter outside Damascus with someone saying “I am Jesus whom you persecute” — the voice implying he was the Christ. (Acts 9:1-11). However, those with Paul “saw no one.” (Acts 9:7.)
What was Paul’s proof he was chosen by the true Jesus? Paul in Second Corinthians 12:12 said what proved his validity: “The things that mark an apostle—signs and wonders—were done among you with great perseverance.” Paul in Romans 15:19 likewise said: “Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.” The Greek roots for signs and wonders were “semeion” and “teraton.“
But Jesus was repeatedly concerned about the “signs and wonders” prophets, especially those claiming to have met in the “wilderness” someone coming “in my name” saying in effect ‘I am Jesus’ — an imposter Jesus — whom Jesus tells us we know is false because not everyone on earth will have seen this imposter from “eastern to western sky” coming on clouds of glory. (Matthew 7:15-23, especially verse 22; Matthew 24:11 & 24, & 26-28; Revelation 1:7 “coming with clouds, and every eye will see him”.)
Jesus warns again of the false prophets in Mark 13:22. They “shall show signs and wonders to seduce, if possible, even the elect.”
The Greek words in each warning by Jesus about false prophets quoted above were “semeion” and “teraton” — the same words as what Paul claimed proved his validity. Jesus said the false prophets will be “ravening wolves” in “sheep’s clothing” (Matthew 7:15.) – that is “false prophets” who appear to be following the true Christ but follow a false Christ.3
Nothing Paul says is credible.
- Paul says that Jesus will return within his (Paul’s) lifetime. MAJOR Discrediting Event
- Paul teaches the opposite of what Matthew, Mark and Luke report Jesus taught. Major Discrediting Event
- Paul originates the “Jesus died for our sins” story based on a false premise
- Paul tells three different stories about seeing Jesus.
- Paul makes up doctrine to suit the occasion and justifies it with reference to Old Testament prophecy.
- Paul started the “blame the Jews” movement.
1. Paul Says That Jesus Will Return Within His Lifetime
- “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” — 1 Thessalonians 4:17“
- I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:23
- But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none.” — 1 Corinthians 7:29“
- That ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. Philippians 1:10
- For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?– 1 Thessalonians 2:19
- I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23
- Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son…. Hebrews 1:2
- But now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Hebrews 9:26 Paul believed that Jesus’ resurrection marked the beginning of the end.
- For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Hebrews 10:37
- The Lord is at hand. Philippians 4:5
Of course, it did not happen as Paul promised his followers it would. This by itself, is sufficient to reject anything Paul says.
The really funny thing about this “end times” nonsense is that Jesus said the same thing! Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. Matthew16:28. Of course, Paul did not know that Jesus had said this because the alleged words of Jesus were written by Matthew about 30 years AFTER Paul’s delusion.
2. Peter 3:8 Fails to Exonerate Paul
3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day
Unfortunately for the spin doctors, this phrase from 2Peter cannot be used to explain away the fact that Paul told his audience that Jesus would come in their lifetime. “One day is with the Lord as a thousand years…” cannot be used because Paul didn’t define the coming as any number of days or years; he said “within your lifetime”. 2Peter 3:8 is irrelevant given the phrasing Paul used.
The author of 2 Peter is aware of the failed expectations of early believers. He knows that Jesus, who was supposed to come soon, didn’t come at all. Many had begun to ask, “Where is the promise of his coming?” So he makes up the “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” He certainly didn’t hear it from Jesus because Jesus told HIS followers that He would return within THEIR lifetime!
The vast majority of modern biblical scholars have concluded Peter is not the author of 2 Peter, and consider the epistle pseudepigraphical. There is a wide range of disagreement as to when 2Peter was written. However it is the first New Testament book to treat other New Testament writings as scripture so obviously it was written after Paul shot himself in the foot.
The End did not come in Paul’s lifetime. What Paul taught was wrong.
Paul could not have actually had a “revelation of Jesus Christ” since it is impossible for Jesus to be wrong. Therefore, Paul made up his story about “the End”. If Paul fabricated about this most important issue, there is no reason to believe that he didn’t fabricate everything else he taught. Thus nothing out of his mouth can be taken to be the truth. It follows that everything he said was made up to suit the need of the moment.
2. Paul Preaches The Opposite of What Jesus Preached WRT Salvation
This issue of Paul’s teachings versus what the Gospels say Jesus taught is the source of much spinning among believers. There are those that claim Paul’s Gospel of Grace supplants Jesus’ Gospel of Salvation, and they justify ignoring Jesus’ words or regarding words in Matthew, Mark, Luke attributed to Jesus as inauthentic. Thus we are not the first to point out that Paul and the Gospels are at odds. Read these two tracts to learn how some of your fellow Christians view Paul and his heretical teachings.
Paul preaches that salvation is by faith alone except when he doesn’t (Romans 2:6, 2 Corinthians 5:10) All the more reason to ignore all of Paul’s prattle. He contradicts himself! The number of Paul’s prattles that contradict Jesus preaching far outnumber those that are the same as Jesus’. Paul contradicts Jesus at least 100 times throughout his ramblings. Here is a sampling of Paul’s teachings that are contrary to what Jesus taught.
- I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Galatians 2:21
- A man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Romans 3:28
- Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1
- A man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ. Galatians 2:16
- For by grace are ye saved through faith Ephesians 2:8
- Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved Acts 16:31
- Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. Titus
- Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved Acts 2:21
- If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 10:9
- Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? Corinthians 15:29
- And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing. 1 Timothy 2:14-15
- For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth. Romans 9:11
- Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Titus 3:5
- For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Any doubt about what Paul believes with respect to the importance of the law? The law is obsolete, not necessary. In fact, Paul teaches that it is only by the “grace” or “election” of God, that man enters the Kingdom. This predates Luther by about 1400 years. Jesus, however, COMPLETELY contradicts Paul’s interpretation of the importance of the law with this:
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. Matthew 5:18
Any questions on what Jesus thought about the importance of the law? Completely contradicts Paul doesn’t he?
Jesus always preached to Jews that the way to salvation was to Believe/Have Faith in the Father and do 12 other things (see Salvation: According to Jesus) – none of which are “Believe that I will be crucified and resurrected three days later”.
3. Paul originates the “Jesus died for our sins” story based on a false premise
Paul is the one who introduces the concept of original sin and the “inheritance” of sin.
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Romans 5:12
That’s it. That one sentence is the source for John 3:16. There is no basis for Paul saying that. There is no theological rationale for it. It is one man’s hare-brained thought floating through his head at the time. Jesus NEVER said anything of the sort. He said many things contradictory to that thought though.
Of course Paul came up with the ultimate sacrifice (God sacrificing his only begotten (how did God beget Jesus?)) which topped all the other religions that only sacrificed animals.
So, while Paul invented a theology of atonement based on the offering of Jesus as a human sacrifice for sin, Jesus explicitly rejects this doctrine. The gospel according to Matthew twice, in Matt 9:13 and Matt 12:7, states that Jesus said: “I will have mercy, and not sacrifice” (KJV). More modern translations, such as the RSV and NIV, update the archaic meaning of the word “will” and translate Jesus’ statements in both verses as: “I desire mercy and not sacrifice”. This could not be a more explicit rejection of Paul’s later teaching.
4. Paul Tells Three Different Stories About Seeing Jesus
22:12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, 22:13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.
- Third Version
- Discrepancy Summary (In case you missed it)
- Heard the voice, did not hear the voice; saw the light, did not see the light.
- Acts 9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
- 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.
- Stood speechless, all fell to the earth
- 9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
26:14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me,
- Had sight restored on road/had sight restored in Damascus
- 9:8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
- 22:11 And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.
6. Paul makes up doctrine to suit the occasion and justifies it with reference to Old Testament prophecy.
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. Acts 26:22-23
PROBLEM: These verses claim that Moses and the prophets prophesied that Jesus would suffer and rise from the dead. But there are no such prophecies in the Old Testament.
But if Paul thought that’s what the Old Testament said, then he was predisposed to promote his lunacy.
- Galatians 1:16-17
- To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
“Neither went I up to Jerusalem…” Well, that explains why nothing Paul says corresponds to anything Mark, Matthew or Luke say. That’s why Paul is so far off base, he gets picked off. Much of what Paul says, he admits, comes from within his head. We must believe then that most of Paul’s prattle, he makes it up.
Including this: 1Cor
|5.Paul Originates the “Jesus Died For Our Sins” Story Based on A False Premise|
5. Paul Originates the “Jesus Died For Our Sins” story based on a false premise.
(15:3-4) “That Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” I Cor 15:3-4
In these verses of Corinthians, Paul claims that the scriptures prophesied that Jesus would suffer, die, and be resurrected from the dead. But where are the prophecies that are referred to here? Hosea 6:2 perhaps? But this verse refers to the people living at the time (hence “us”) and therefore cannot be fulfilled by the death and resurrection of Jesus.
There are no Old Testament prophesies that support Paul’s fantasy.
7. Paul started the whole “blame the Jews for the death of Jesus” doctrine.
Paul denounces the Jews in order to gain traction with the gentiles, the only ones who will listen to him.
For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: 1Thessalonians 214-15
This is opposite to Jesus preachings. Jesus preached only to the Jews, for the Jews and cared only that they love God, his father.
The things that Paul doesn’t say are also evidence that he is not credible.
Paul seems to have known relatively little about the historical Jesus. He does not mention Jesus’ place of birth, his parentage, or even when and where he lived. He does not refer to any of Jesus’ miracles; neither does he mention any of his parables. Paul was a contemporary of Jesus and was very busy persecuting Christians. He obviously knew of Jesus and would have heard many things about him.
- Paul says nothing about the birth of Jesus.
This is because Paul wrote BEFORE Matthew and Luke and the birth story had not yet been concocted. In an effort to prove Jesus was the son of God, the birth story would have been very good evidence. But Paul didn’t know of it.
- Paul says nothing about the life of Jesus.
Strange since Saul was persecuting those who followed Jesus.
- Paul says nothing about the miracles of Jesus.
During Paul’s Christian persecution phase, Paul would have heard of the…” many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.” John 21:25 With all those things and miracles, surely Paul could have used those during his pep talks to the unconvinced. He used all kinds of other nonsense. He didn’t refer to the miracles because he didn’t know of them because they hadn’t been made up yet by Jesus’ wanna-be biographers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
- MOST AMAZING: Paul says nothing about one of the most defining moments of Jesus’ life:
The Transfiguration! God, Jesus, Moses, Elias, Peter, James, John! Never has there ever been a gathering of people like that gathering. Yet what does Paul say about it to those he wishes to convert? Nothing.
- MOST AMAZING: Paul says nothing about the details of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
There is no mention of Jesus’ trial, nor even of the place of the crucifixion or anything about the most important event, the resurrection. Paul only can repeat what he has heard – Jesus rose from death. That’s it. No details. Again, since the backstory of Jesus had yet to be written, Paul could not possibly have any “knowledge” of the details of his death.
- Paul says nothing about the birth of Jesus.
Paul fabricated his blather out of his knowledge of Pharisaic Jewry and ancient myths. It was not inspired by the teachings of Jesus; in fact He seems totally unaware of a historical “Jesus” – only a risen “Christ”. There is no evidence that what Paul wrote with respect to Christian doctrine has any grounding in fact.
This is probably not too surprising as Paul was writing before the gospels had been set down. He was operating in a vacuum, creating a new religion as his “inspiration von whole-cloth” led him. He was a self-appointed apostle and spent considerable time and effort generating support for his interpretation of Jesus’ message.
Did Paul Really See Jesus?
There are a number of known reasons that science has identified as the reason people see and hear things that aren’t:
- Hallucinations (see Power of Hallucinations)
- Mental Illness (mental institutions are filled with people who have visions)
- Wishful thinking begets a white lie that grows
- Intentional lie to attract attention
- Intentional lie to protect self
- Intentional lie to promote a cause, garner support
- Outright falsification that “justifies” the end (See Paul’s statement about willingness to lie)
- Epileptic seizure
- Staring at the sun
- Comas and Brain Damage
- Extreme exhaustion
- Sleep Deprivation
- Lack of oxygen to the brain for whatever reason (apnea, Near Death Experience)
- Fugue state
- Dissociative identity disorder
- Bi Polar
- Space Aliens came down and impersonated Jesus
- Other – you name it.
What Did Paul Write?
Fourteen epistles in the New Testament are attributed to Paul. Seven of these – Romans, 1st Corinthians, 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1st Thessalonians and Philemon – are almost universally accepted as being actually written by Paul. Scholars generally agree that four others were not written by Paul, those being 1st Timothy, 2nd Timothy, Titus, and Hebrews. As to the remaining three – Ephesians, Colossians and 2nd Thessalonians – scholars are almost evenly divided. We, however will only consider those books that are known, without a doubt, to have been authored by Paul. Again, they are, in best-estimate, chronological order…
- 1st Thessalonians – 51.2 CE
- Galatians – 51.6 CE
- 1st Corinthians – 55.2 CE
- 2nd Corinthians – 56.0 CE
- Romans – 56.9 CE
- Philippians – 59.8 CE
- Philemon – 60.6 CE
The Word of God or the Word of Paul?
As Paul is presenting his version of Christianity to his followers he will often preface the thought by identifying it’s source; “this is from the Lord” or “This is from me… Paul”.
Here is Paul, giving credibility to his utterances by claiming that what he says is inspired by Jesus.
- Paul acknowledges that he had no instruction from man; implying that everything he preaches is “received through a revelation of Jesus Christ. and is therefore to be regarded as truth from God/Jesus.
11 For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel.
12 For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace,
16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone.
Later, we will see that utterances that Paul claims to have been inspired by the Lord are demonstrably wrong.
He reiterated one of the commandments and denigrated Gentiles.
That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: 1Thessalonians 4:4-5
Do you know what “possess your vessel” means? It means your penis.
He was the first to come up with the idea of the second coming and the Rapture.
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
There it is! The source for the idea that Christ would return and take Christians to heaven with him. The concept of the rapture was not always a strong element of Christian dogma. It was first expressed by the 17th-century American Puritan father and son Increase and Cotton Mather. They held to the idea that believers would be caught up in the air, followed by judgments on the Earth, and then the millennium. The term rapture was used by Philip Doddridge (1738)] and John Gill (1748) in their New Testament commentaries, with the idea that believers would be caught up prior to judgment on the Earth and Jesus’ second coming. Read more HERE
MOST SIGNIFICANT INVENTION:
He made up the concept of salvation through belief in the resurrection; later to reappear in John 3:16
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 10:9
This is the first appearance of this idea. This idea of salvation through faith does not even appear in Matthew, Mark or Luke. Only John, writing some 60+ years after the death of Jesus uses it in his gospel. This could not have been revealed to Paul by Jesus because it is the exact opposite of what Jesus taught.
He invented the doctrine of “Jesus died for my sins thereby making adherence to Jewish ‘law’ moot”
…yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ.
And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ,
and not by doing the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Galatians 2:20-21
But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: Galatians 3:11-13
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:24-26
PLEASE NOTE: Jesus taught the exact opposite of what Paul prattles about:
“Think ye I came to abolish the law?
No need to be circumcised; Thank you Paul!
Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing
For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. Galatians 5: 2-4
The most material benefit of Paul’s teaching was the opportunity for the Gentile convert to come into the family of believers without also having to accept the trappings of Judaism.
All Christian Doctrine Comes From Paul
The Truth Is…
Paul invented Christian Doctrine based on nothing but his imagination.
Paul traveled throughout the middle east preaching only about the final coming of Jesus SOON so therefore gentiles had better accept Jesus to save their souls. He actually started writing to his former audiences in order to correct their misconceptions and misdeeds some 20 years after the Death of Jesus.
Here’s an example of something Paul makes up
Context: Paul had preached to the Thessalonians that Jesus would come in their lifetime. But since Paul’s departure, many of the Thessalonians had died and the deads’ loved ones were concerned for the soul of the departed. Paul soothed their concerns with the following:
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. 1Thessalonians 4:16
Where does Paul get this?
Paul does not say that he learned this from Jesus or God… he just made it up to make the
Thessalonians feel good about their dead loved ones.
The Truth Probably Is…
Here is the most likely, and therefore truest, explaination of Saul’s conversion
The first Christians came to see Jesus as the messiah from their reading of passages in the Jewish scriptures that talk about one of God’s righteous ones suffering for the sins of others (cf. Isaiah 53; Psalm 22) These passages don’t explicitly refer to the messiah, but Christians claimed they did. Jews saw Jesus simply as a crucified criminal; to call Jesus the messiah was blasphemous. This was the reason Paul persecuted the Christians.
How Paul Came To His Delusion
Thirty years after Jesus crucifixion, Paul, deeply tormented by his own crucifixion of Christians has a “vision” in which he believes that he sees Jesus. He believes his vision to be true and now, knowing that Jesus is the son of God, has to reconcile Christ’s death. He no longer sees Jesus’s crucifixion as just the Romans using their standard M.O. to kill their no-goods, but now he reasoned, it must have been for a higher purpose.
Using his extensive knowledge of Jewish “law”, Paul rationalized thusly… Because Abraham was made “right with God” through faith (he actually believed God when God told him that Sara, his aged wife, would bear him many children) BEFORE he was circumcised, Paul reasoned that one could be made right with God by faith alone; no circumcision required.
He no longer saw Jesus as one who was cursed by God (in his crucifixion) but one who fulfilled God’s own purposes. He reasoned that Jesus’ death must have had a divine purpose and concluded that Jesus’ death was the way God deals with sin. Paul probably continued to keep Jewish Law, but came to believe that following the Law could not put a person in right standing before God; only Christ’s death could do that.
Paul also came to believe that, Jesus’ resurrection signified that the end of time was near. Paul believed, as did many Jews, that the end of time and the Last Judgment were near. He believed Jesus was raised from the dead as the “first fruit,” meaning that the celebration of the “harvest” (the end of time) had begun; Jesus would return to Earth in glory and this would happen in Paul’s own lifetime.
Once convinced of this, Paul began proclaiming his new faith in Jesus as the one whose death could restore people to a right standing before God. This can be seen above all in the story of Abraham, the “father of the Jews,” who was made right with God by faith, not by following the Law: Abraham was made right with God before he was given the Law about circumcision, meaning that circumcision is not necessary for a right standing with God. Paul uses this example to show that salvation comes not by Law but by having faith in the promise of God, which is fulfilled by Christ’s death. It brought a right relationship with God. Thus the death of Jesus was God’s sacrifice etc..
Furthermore, Paul lived in an age when apocolyptic beliefs were very prevalent. He himself believed the end of the earth was about to occur. Now, with the resurrection of Jesus from the dead was proof-positive that the end of the world was at hand and, having seen Jesus, “the son of God” thiry years after his death, Paul KNEW that the end had begun.
======================================================================== Effects of staring at the sun
A religious doctrine that is proclaimed as true without proof.
A doctrine or code of beliefs accepted as authoritative.
** How Staring at the Sun Affects the Mind.. from “Mike M”:
At one time in my life when I was having a manic episode like a dumb ass I stared at the sun for quite some time. Maybe 2 – 3 minutes. During the mania, I assumed I had died and thought OK this is the light. But, my rational thinking was a little intact and I thought Okay this could permanently damage my vision if I am in fact alive. Well, I quit looking and I would say for the next 3 – 5 hours I saw a giant blue ball in my vision. After a bit, it faded to yellow.. (not sure if it was hours – because it happened in 2002).. But, many hours later that night.. My vision turned blurry. I’d say to this day, yes it probably damaged my eye.. I never told the eye doctor (because honestly it is embarrassing telling anyone you experienced an episode of craziness in your life.) Oh, for those curious the Sun was quite far above the horizon to the point I felt the burn on my skin. The part that upsets me most about my story is in my mind back then how I felt it was all so real. The delusional thinking was so strong that I really felt I had died. If you never experienced insanity like this .. The only thing I could compare it to was like living through a horror flick without a place to cover your eyes..