2 Rabbis –Paul & Yahoshua (Messiah): did they have 2 gospels & 2 different teachings?? This small post is tackling a large issue which should be discussed w/ the size of an encyclopedia. May the Spirit bless you from the few thoughts shared. When people have read Paul’s writings they notice his writings outwardly feel different than the gospels. Yahoshua (“Jesus” in common English, afterwards referred to by the sort form “Yahshua”)…Yahshua spoke simple & plain; Paul can work up some complex deep sentences in his letters. Paul seems unconcerned w/ the gospel stories of Yahshua’s life. The differences in approach between the gospels & their record of Messiah’s teachings, and Paul’s teachings have caused some to find Paul not just distasteful, but wrong. I was in a congregation that split because one side rejected Paul. What I find sad is that the true teachings of Paul are some of the most profound understandings of Messiah’s teachings and his life, plus the common images of Paul’s teachings on close inspection generally turn out to be false images. People are hating Paul for things he never taught.
Did Paul pervert the 4 gospels? People need to get a grip on what happened. When we read the New Testament we read the 4 gospels first & then Dr. Luke’s history of the early church called Acts. So people often think they came first. However, when Paul wrote his letters (which got made into Bible books) none of these New Testament writings existed. Paul’s writing predates the other parts of the New Testament. What we call books—like the Book of Romans—was actually a letter written to the church at Rome to deal w/ problems that Paul knew they were having. Sometimes these problems had been asked of Paul by these churches by letter, or by travelling Christians informing him. Paul’s letters get detailed because he is pastorally trying to help these pagan-converts from heathen cultures understand spiritual things. For instance, his letters to Corinth went to a totally perverted city, a real hellhole which is why back then the expression “a Corinthian girl” in common language meant a prostitute. When I try to picture myself writing letters to sort out church problems like he did, I realize how inspired his letters were!! At best the pagan converts had access to Greek translations of the “Old Testament” (“the Scriptures” to Paul). If he had referred to Matthew 28:19 the Great Commission, no one would have understood in these churches because such books did not exist. He doesn’t refer to this parable or that of Yahshua’s directly because his pagan converts did not have scrolls that mentioned them. He does refer to Yahshua’s Biblical teachings 925 times in those few letters that became NT books, as well as referring to some of Yahshua’s teachings not recorded in the Bible. For instance compare RM 12:14 with MT 5:44 and 1 COR 13:2 with MK 11:23. Paul wrote these words which are Yahshua’s teachings prior to the gospels. Paul also gives us traditional teachings of Yahshua not recorded in the gospel, such as 1 THS 4:15-17. Not everything Yahshua taught got into our Bible.
Nor was Paul writing to create more scripture. Paul taught his pagan converts well enough so that when the 4 gospels about Messiah were written, they recognized them as divinely inspired…so the idea that Paul perverted their minds & changed the message of the gospels is ludicrous. Historically speaking, were it not for Paul’s missionary activity and his teachings, Christianity might be extinct & there would be no interest in these 4 synoptic gospels… which people inaccurately think Paul ignored & perverted.
One of the things that the Holy Spirit showed Paul, which seemed to elude so many of Yahshua’s disciples was Yahshua’s acceptance of the unacceptable. By extension, Paul also grasped that Yahshua came to save the world, not just Jews, which should have been a no-brainer. From the records we have, most of the early disciples were still judgmental & narrow minded, and had a real hard time spiritually grasping the full context of the love Yahshua showed them daily. Messiah had fellowship w/ the unworthy day-in-day-out w/out expecting them to repent & change their lives. His disciples would rather call down destruction from heaven on people different than themselves. Peter grasped that the pagan gentiles were to be given salvation also, but it was Paul that really accomplished it against all odds with the power of the Holy Spirit. This then caused severe problems, because many of the orig. disciples viewed Yahshua as exclusively Israel’s, and wanted pagans to become Jews. Paul was repeatedly put on trial for basically 3 charges: being Anti-Jewish, Anti-Torah, & Anti-Temple. In Acts 21 he is accused of these at the Temple; In Acts 23 he is accused before the Sanhedrin; and later in Acts 24 in the Court of Felix. Each time Paul refutes these accusations pt. by point.
Yahshua was the embodiment of YHWH God making good on His ancient promises to bring Israel’s story to a good end with salvation. Yahshua proclaims the Reign of God. Paul proclaims the Reign of Christ (which is Greek for Messiah). Yahshua shows & teaches that he has authority over all the earth. He represents God’s rule to the world. He acts like a ruler, teaches with his own authority, dislodges evil spiritual forces, and is mocked at his crucifixion as “King of the Jews”. Paul correctly realizes that at His resurrection, Yahshua takes his throne to rule. He calls the Christ the second Adam (cf. 1 COR 15, RM 5). The first was given dominion, but discarded it. Yahshua once again places a human in power to rule for God. Paul repeatedly calls him “Lord over all things”. God didn’t give up when Adam rebelled. In the Gospels, God proclaimed Yahshua repeatedly by saying aloud “You are my beloved Son.” “This is my beloved son”. If we go back into the ancient times we learn the expression “Son of God” meant “King of Israel”. (For instance, read PS 2:6-7 and 2 SAM 7:12-14). Yahshua in the gospels emphasizes that he is the Son of Man. God in the gospels emphasizes that he is the Son of God (i.e. King of Israel). Paul after the resurrection, and knowing the Messiah is reigning also emphasizes that he is the Son of God. This is not an attempt to strip him of his humanity, but to call attention that the King has arrived. The centurian at the cross, inspired by how Yahshua acted during the crucifixion exclaimed, “Truly this man was the Son of God.” MK 15:39 (By the way, the centurian by the fact that he was stationed in the area would have known Israelites well, & a number of them were well accepted by the community, & helped finance synagogues, etc.)
Even though Paul’s letters are not attempts at systematic theology, they place the story of Yahshua in the bigger story of Israel. The gospels are a different genre of writing and they do little to show the overall context of what Yahshua and his life mean. For instance, the book of Romans, such as RM 1:1-3 can only be understood in the larger context of what Messiah meant. Without Paul’s writings we simply have the stories of what Christ said & did, but not the context in the overall story of Israel. Paul constantly references “the Scripture” (what’s called the Old Testament). The gospel of Mark does tell the story of a king, but so much of the larger context of what Yahshua meant is lost if all we have are the gospel stories.
Paul’s gospel and Yahshua are very close. One spoke before the resurrection, one after. Paul insists that true believers are brought into the story of Yahshua Messiah. Both see believers becoming a new family. Both set out to proclaim & then do such things as: healing, forgiving, restoring, delivering from spirits, etc.
I have stretched the length of this as much as I want. Paul’s teachings have been greatly misrepresented. If Paul were here, he would teach you that Christ is Lord, to follow Yahshua Messiah. He would teach you to use the Torah for doctrine and to follow it. Yahshua was the living Word (word was a synonym for Torah and Torah actually means “teaching”– not “law”)…in other words Christ is the Lord & the living teachings of YHWH God. There can be no difference between Paul and Christ (Yahshua) because Paul constantly taught people to follow Christ. If you find a discrepancy between the two, then without a doubt, Paul would tell you to follow Christ first. Unfortunately, the topic under discussion is becoming a divisive issue that is being used to divide believers at a time when believers need to cooperate in love.


So empty here ... leave a comment!

Leave a Reply