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Suns & Shields Christian Inspirational Writings by Rachelle Hamlin

Selected editorials from Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.



The Gospel

According to Paul


and How it Conflicts with the Teachings of Jesus





By:  David Deschesne

Editor/Publisher, Fort Fairfield Journal

February 12, 2020


   While reading the Bible as a literal, chronological history, most Christians don’t realize that Paul’s writings came first, before the books known as “Matthew,” “Mark,” “Luke,” and “John.”

   I put the titles of the gospels in quotes because the earliest copies we have show they were written anonymously, and not by anyone who purported to be a witness to the events described therein.  It was around 100 years after they were written that they had their authors’ purported names arbitrarily attached to them by church editors.  The Gospels began to be written around 40 years after Christ, by writers who were highly skilled in Greek prose, rhetoric and composition - a far cry from the illiterate, Aramaic-speaking fishermen who were Jesus’ disciples.

   In the timeline above, I start with the birth date of Christ as “0”.  However, the Gospel accounts do not agree on a date.  For example, in the book called Matthew, chapter 2, we learn Jesus was born in the days of Herod, the king.  Herod died in 4 B.C., so according to this account, Jesus would had to have been born some time before 4 B.C.  In the book called Mark, which was written about ten years earlier than Matthew, there is no account of a birth at all.  Some believe Matthew copied and interpolated Mark, with additions, a decade before that book was written.  The book called John has no birth account, either.

   In the book called Luke, chapter 2 we learn that Jesus was born when Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem to conform to a census and be taxed by Caesar Augustus.  That census didn’t start until around 6 A.D., so according to this account, Christ had to have been born at least on 6 A.D. or afterwards.  The writer of Luke then contradicts himself in chapter 3 by saying in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar (Luke 3:1), which was between 28-29 A.D., that  Jesus was “about thirty years of age” (Luke 3:23), thus making Jesus born around 1-2 B.C.   These are three conflicting birth accounts of Christ in the Bible.  This, however, is not the purpose of the current teaching so I will not digress any further.

  Reading the New Testament from start to finish in the current arrangement, one would get the impression that the narratives of Jesus were written down first, then Paul came along and added to or amended them with his gospel narratives.  That, however, isn’t entirely accurate since Paul wrote all of his letters (epistles) that appear in the Bible before any of the Gospels were written.

   Putting the books of the New Testament in chronological order, from the first written to the last, the list would look something like this1 (though, there is a gray area of five to ten years for each of the four Gospels, since no exact date is known):

52 AD             I & II Thessalonians

57 AD (spring) I Corinthians

57 AD (fall)        II Corinthians

57 AD (winter) Galatians

58 AD             Romans

62 AD             Philemon

62 AD             Ephesians*

62 AD             Colossians*

62 AD             James

63 AD             Philippians

63 AD             Hebrews*

63 AD             Acts

63-67 AD         I Peter

67 AD             Titus*

67 AD             I Timothy*

68 AD             II Timothy*

68 AD             II Peter

70 AD or after  Mark

80~85 AD        Matthew

80~85 AD        Luke

90~95 AD        John

95~100 AD      I John

95~100 AD      II John

95~100 AD      III John

                       (Jude was written some

                        time after 70 AD, but it

                        is not clear when.)

100± AD         Revelation


*These books are claimed by some Biblical scholars to be written by Paul’s followers, not Paul directly.2


   In the immediate years after Christ, there were many divergent ideas about Christ being espoused.  Such as those of the esoteric healers called the Essenes, to the more conventional Jewish/Christian Ebionites to the Gnostic Marcionites, to name just a few.

   Paul claimed to have received a divine vision on his way to Damascus as the basis for his gospel.   As an aside, others in history also claimed to have received divine revelation from God in the exact same manner as Paul did.  The first was Mohammed who, around 610 A.D., claimed to be visited by the angel, Gabriel and received God’s revelation through that angel in what would ultimately become the religion of Islam.  In 1823, Joseph Smith claimed to have received a vision from God which resulted in the writing of the Book of Mormon and the founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  A more esoteric divine revelation occurred in 1934 when a Chicago physician and psychiatrist named Dr. Bill Sadler received a collection of manuscripts of a mysterious origin, delivered to him by seven spiritual beings.  Dr. Sadler studied the manuscripts with a group of 36 people who ultimately published them in a 2,097 page tome called The Urantia Book.

   In the first three cases, cited above; Paul, Mohammed and Joseph Smith, the revelation was personal and was not witnessed by anyone.  However, each declared the legitimacy and veracity of their visions as having come from God, or God’s appointed representatives.  Orthodox Christianity declares only Paul’s was authentic. 

    Now, some might say in the Book of Acts, Paul’s entourage witnessed the event.  But there are some discrepancies in the account that render it unreliable.   For example, In Acts 9:7 (KJV), which was written in the third person, it states;


“And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.”


   Later on, in Acts 22:9 that story is contradicted by Paul, written in the first person;


“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.”


   So, here we have in Acts 9:7 the narrator stating Paul’s entourage saw no man, but heard a voice, while in Acts 22:9 Paul is quoted as saying they saw something (the light) but did not hear a voice.  I’m not sure how Bible fundamentalists who claim the inerrancy of the Bible wiggle out of that one, but I haven’t got the time for that right now.

   It wasn’t until nearly twenty years after Christ that Paul began writing epistles/letters, to the churches he founded, which have today become the cornerstone of mainstream Christian theology. 

   In Romans 3:7 Paul appears to be admitting that he’s lying in his message but attempts to rationalize the lie;


“For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?”  (Romans 3:7 KJV)


   The NIV attempts to sanitize this verse by inserting the rhetorical phrase, “Someone might argue…” ahead of the passage where he admits he’s lying but that phrase does not exist in the original Greek texts.3  The Catholic Bible, however, does agree with the translation of the KJV when rendering that verse as;


“But if through my lie the truth of God has abounded unto his glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner?”4


   In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, Paul admits he used cunning trickery and deceit to trick his followers into believing him;


“But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile.” (II Cor. 12:16 KJV)


   Guile is the key word to focus on here.  What did Paul catch them with?  Guile.  Guile is defined as; “crafty deceit; sly tricks; craftiness” as in: a swindler uses guile.5  The word also means “to deceive.”

   The Revised English Bible portrays that verse similarly;


“All very well, you say; I did not myself prove a burden to you, but I did use a confidence trick to take you in.”6


   Now that I’ve set the stage for you, I will show some of Paul’s message of guile that appears to directly contradict that of Jesus as cited in the Gospels.  I’ll present both narratives side-by-side so you can read them horizontally and together - something most Christians don’t do, otherwise they would already know this information.  Keep in mind, Paul’s writings took place before the Gospels that contain Jesus’ quotes and messages were written:



   These are just a few of the contradictions between Paul’s teachings and the teachings attributed to Jesus.  There are more, but my space limits me to just the most obvious. 

   In his writings, Paul did not see fit to mention any of the traditional Jesus story elements such as; Mary, Joseph, Bethlehem, Herod, John the Baptist, any of the miracles of Jesus, any of the quotes that Jesus is supposed to have said, Jesus’ ministry, the entrance into Jerusalem, Pontius Pilate, or the trial.  He only mentions the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension 

   Keep in mind that Paul wrote his “gospel”7 first, then the four synoptic gospels followed afterward, perhaps in an effort to correct Paul’s teaching.  Now, go read your Bible, with your brain turned on.


1.)   Dates gleaned from Fausset’s Bible Dictionary, 1961 Zondervan Publishing Co.; and research by Bart Ehrman, professor of religious studies at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

2.)  Christian Beginnings: From Nazareth to Nicaea, ©2012 Geza Vermes, p. 106

3.)  The Interlinear KJV-NIV Parallel New Testament in Greek and English, ©1975 Zondervan Publishing, pp. 450-451.

4.) The Holy Bible, Douay-Challoner text, ©1950 Catholic Press, Inc., New Testament section, p. 143

5.) The World Book Dictionary, ©1969 Doubleday & Co., Inc., p. 935.

6.)  The Revised English Bible With the Apocrypha, ©1989 Oxford University Press, New Testament section,  p. 167

7.) Paul refers to “my gospel” in Rom. 2:16, 16:25 and II Tim. 2:8 (all KJV)


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