On St. Paul

I have just reread chapters 13 and 14 of The Myth-Maker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity by New Testament scholar Hyam Maccoby, after twenty-four years that I read the whole book, and I still find them fascinating. He wrote:


As we have seen, the purposes of the book of Acts is to minimize the conflict between Paul and the leaders of the ‘Jerusalem Church,’ James and Peter.

Peter and Paul, in later Christian tradition, became twin saints, brothers in faith, and the idea that they were historically bitter opponents standing for irreconcilable religious standpoints would have been repudiated with horror. The work of the author of Acts was well done; he rescued Christianity from the imputation of being the individual creation of Paul…

Yet, for all his efforts, the truth of the matter is not hard to recover, if we examine the New Testament evidence with an eye to tell-tale inconsistencies and confusions, rather than with the determination to gloss over and harmonize all difficulties in the interests of an orthodox interpretation.

5 Replies on “On St. Paul

  1. Why are you quoting Maccoby, who according to wiki was/is a jew?
    Carl Sagan? feh. Spong? another feh.

    The natural man – the man who denies the existence of another dimension outside this one – does not understand the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned.

    None of these men quoted have any understanding in spiritual matters and neither do you.

    1. I disagree Brandon since I am an apostate: which means that most of my life I’ve been influenced by Christian dogma. Only a horrible spiritual odyssey, a truly dark night of the soul, allowed me to break away from by father’s religious beliefs (as recounted in my book Hojas Susurrantes).

      I agree with you however that we should take Maccoby with a grain of salt. And although Sagan did say quite a few liberal stupidities too I believe he’s spot on about Paul.

      Tonight I will add a new post about emperor Julian, who is infinitely more akin to our cause than these two guys.

      1. Postscript —of five years later!:

        I have now removed the Sagan quote I had put above. In 2012 I ignored that Sagan was of Jewish ancestry (in my twenties I used to be a fan of his Cosmos).

  2. “I am an apostate”

    You are an apostate from a FALSE entity which is good. I also apostisized from false, formalistic outward religion.

    The Bible is written to two classes of people: children and adults. Not physical children and adults, but spiritual children /adults. The mass multitude of those who say they are christian in this country are children;including their leaders. Only a few adults have existed since the resurrection. Paul was one.

    Whether you can hear it or not, he was Jesus’ “explainer”. As Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables – a type of hidden/reverse speech/metaphor/symbolism, so Paul did likewise. This is because this dimension we live in is a “reverse mirror image” of the spirit realm, so “spiritual speech” spoken in this realm appears to be gibberish and makes no sense and must be meditated on to gain understanding and “translate it into the language of earth”. The spirit realm is “initiation” and this realm is “response to initiation”. The male and the female.

    The literal words on the pages of the Bible are a cloak covering the deeper meanings underneath which only adults can understand, therefore the children are mostly literalists.

    You say you went through a hard time to break AWAY, but what did you replace the false with? Another version of the false? Which may appear to be true at present, but is merely the same lie taking a different form?

    As yet you apparently do not believe in a spiritual dimension. If so,you are not much better off than you were when you rejected your father’s religion.

    Regards, Brandon

    1. You are an apostate from a FALSE entity, which is good.

      Nope: you cannot know what I have “apostated” from, since you have not read my autobiography.

      As yet you apparently do not believe in a spiritual dimension.

      What is exactly that “dimension”? Anyone with a good grasp of beauty in the universe is already living in a “spiritual dimension”.

      If so, you are not much better off than you were when you rejected your father’s religion.

      I am light-years ahead from the primitive defense mechanism—Catholicism—with which my father pretended to cure the wounds that my grandfather inflicted on him as a child. Again, you’ve not read a page of my bio.