Historical Views of Paul

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Carl Sagan (Scientist; Author)

"My long-time view about Christianity is that it represents an amalgam of two seemingly immiscible parts--the religion of Jesus and the religion of Paul. Thomas Jefferson attempted to excise the Pauline parts of the New Testament. There wasn't much left when he was done, but it was an inspiring document." (Letter to Ken Schei [author of Christianity Betrayed and An Atheists for Jesus])


Thomas Jefferson

"Paul was the first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus." (All references not listed here, can be found in Christianity Betrayed)


Albert Schweitzer

"Where possible Paul avoids quoting the teaching of Jesus, in fact even mentioning it. If we had to rely on Paul, we should not know that Jesus taught in parables, had delivered the sermon on the mount, and had taught His disciples the 'Our Father.' Even where they are specially relevant, Paul passes over the words of the Lord."


Wil Durant (Philospher)

"Paul created a theology of which none but the vaguest warrants can be found in the words of Christ."

"Fundamentalism is the triumph of Paul over Christ."


Walter Kaufmann (Professor of Philosophy, Princeton)

"Paul substituted faith in Christ for the Christlike life."


George Bernard Shaw

"No sooner had Jesus knocked over the dragon of superstition than Paul boldly set it on its legs again in the name of Jesus."


Thomas Hardy

"The new testament was less a Christiad than a Pauliad."


Hyam Maccoby (Talmudic Scholar)

"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, and instead gave it a respectable pedigree, as a doctrine with the authority of the so-called Jerusalem Church, conceived as continuous in spirit with the Pauline Gentile Church of Rome. 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." (The Mythmaker, p. 139, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1986)


Jeremy Bentham (English Philosopher)

"If Christianity needed an Anti-Christ, they needed look no farther than Paul." (Paraphrased. Looking for a copy of "Not Paul, but Jesus" in order to retrieve the exact quote.)


Carl Jung (Psychologist)

"Paul hardly ever allows the real Jesus of Nazareth to get a word in." (U.S. News and World Report, April 22, 1991, p. 55)


Bishop John S. Spong (Episcopal Bishop of Newark)

"Paul's words are not the Words of God. They are the words of Paul- a vast difference." (Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, p. 104, Harper San Francisco, 1991)

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