Paul's words are not God's words
Paul has written most of the New Testament. What he has written is very important and we can learn a lot from it. But what Paul has written is not the Word of God.
What Jesus taught and what Paul has said (or written) is not on the same level - not even close. Jesus and His teachings are the Word of God. The teachings of Jesus and Paul are fundamentally different and Paul sometimes contradicts Jesus.
In my previous articles we looked at the lie about the Bible and that not every verse in the Bible are the word of God. We will now be looking at Paul and the books/letters that he wrote in the New Testament.
Paul was not taught by Jesus
Paul never met Jesus in person. But wait - didn't Jesus reveal Himself to Paul? Yes, but He also revealed Himself to me and to most other children of God. Most of us can tell a story of how Jesus revealed Himself to us as our saviour - the day we decided to become born again children of God. Maybe your experience was so deep and powerful, it was almost as if you could hear the voice of God.
Didn't Paul hear the actual voice of Jesus? We only know what Paul wrote about the encounter (his two accounts of the same event differ), but it doesn't matter. Jesus revealing Himself to you as your saviour is not the same as being physically in the presence of Jesus and being taught by Him for three years.
When Jesus reveals Himself to you (when you are filled with the Holy Spirit), you don't suddenly become perfect or have all knowledge. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that - and that didn't happen to Paul.
If that was the case - if you could receive sudden and full enlightenment and have all needed knowledge and understanding instantly - then why did Jesus spent three years teaching His apostles? Remember that Jesus taught crowds that were following Him, but He spent extra time teaching only the 12.
Not only was Paul not taught by Jesus, he had very limited contact with the apostles of Jesus. With other words, Paul's knowledge of Jesus was not from Jesus directly, and very little was from one of the apostles that received special training from Jesus.
But wasn't Paul chosen by the Holy Spirit to start the Christian Church/Religion?
What church/religion will that be? The one that started wars? The one that tortured and killed people for not 'accepting the faith' or for making actual scientific discoveries? Okay, maybe that only came later - but do you seriously believe that this church was the will of God? - but wait - I am getting side tracked - we will get to the Christian religion later (in upcoming articles).
Paul could have been chosen for many things, just like the rest of us. Paul received the Holy Spirit - just like a lot of us. When you receive the Holy Spirit you do not become perfect - every word that comes out of your mouth (or that you write down) is not the words of God.
Paul was not chosen to be a second 'teacher' - there was only One.
Do not let yourselves be called leaders or teachers; for One is your Leader (Teacher), the Christ. - Matthew 23:9-11
Jesus did say that the Holy Spirit will remind us of what He taught and also teach us everything (John 14:26). What the Holy Spirit teach us can never contradict what Jesus taught. This promise is also for all of us - not for a specific person that will be taught by the Holy Spirit and then that person will teach the rest of us. That is how it worked in the Old Testament - but not anymore.
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. - Hebrews 1:1-2
Why then did Paul write most of the New Testament?
Before Paul became a Christian he had a powerful position in the Jewish religion. He persecuted the followers of Christ. He approved the killing of Stephan and that was significant. Stephan were killed because he was teaching that Jesus came to destroy the 'temple' (organized religion) - Acts 7. Paul and the religious leaders didn't like that - they liked their positions of power.
I believe that Paul's conversion to Christianity was genuine. I believe that he had a lot of wisdom. But it is just logical that when he converted to Christianity (without proper training), that he brought over some of his ideas of organized religion with a hierarchical or bureaucratic leadership structure.
Paul created churches (assemblies) that were a bit more structured and formal. Leaders were chosen and followers were instructed to obey their leadership.
Jesus on the other hand was completely against organized religion (I will be writing articles on that in detail). Jesus also clearly stated that we should not choose leaders (Matthew 20:25-28, Matthew 23:9-11).
Obviously the church leaders didn't like what Jesus said - they however did like what Paul's idea was on leaders and churches. The letters of Paul were not only included in the Bible but they gave it the status of 'Word of God'.
You can read more about how the Bible books were chosen and the lie of the Bible in this article.
There are other fundamental differences between the teachings of Paul and Jesus that we will look at later, but that doesn't mean we cannot learn anything from Paul. We just need to keep in mind that he was only human and made mistakes.
Paul was not as important as you think. Peter referred to Paul's letters but clearly only saw them as letters written by another follower of Christ.
Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. 2 Peter 3:15-16
All four gospels in the Bible were written after Paul's letters, yet not one of them mentioned Paul. Yes, the gospels were about Jesus, but if Paul were that important surely they would have mentioned the 'second chosen one'?
The letters of John were also written long after Paul's letters, again, no mention of Paul or anything he taught.
What about Acts and the early church? It was all about Paul, right? Correct - and that is were things really becomes interesting! (articles on this coming soon).