Christian Debatorial Works
Recently, while online, I came accross a non-Christian website which proposed some alternative theological viewpoints related to Jesus, His diety, and the historical background of the epistles of Paul, versus the writings of Peter and other Apostles.
Here, I will take the time to add rebuttal commentary (in red) to the entirety of the webpage.
Jesus was Jewish and worshipped Jehovah, the male war god as his father.
Here is probably the heart of the War-Gods website motivation: Rebuttals against a Patriarchal Diety by the Feminist. Indeed, much of todays neo-pagan sub-cultures greatly oppose any concept of male superiority, whether of man or of God, and want to worship feminine or, at best, genderless God figures.
Matthew 1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
John 1:45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and said to him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
Matthew 11:25 At that season Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth...
John 4:21 Jesus said to her, Woman, believe me, the hour is coming, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall you worship the Father.
The Jewish war god that Jesus worshipped and called his father incited violence, genocide, hate crimes, ethnic cleanising and many attrocities.
Exodus 32:27 and he said unto them, Thus saith Jehovah, the god of Israel, Put ye every man his sword upon his thigh, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.
Numbers 31:17 now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
Numbers 31:18 But all the women-children, that are virgins, keep alive for yourselves.
The war god that Jesus worshipped is said to have killed most of the population of earth with a flood, and wiped out entire cities with fire and earthquakes for their sexuality. There are many more descriptions of the cruel, petty, jealous, violent, and murderous war god of the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament.
Here is the heart of many an Atheists' disbelief in God: their inability to find a God who measures up to their expectations. This is the problem they see with the above noted passages, as they seem to protray a God who works in ways they would not want their God to work. But Atheists ignore the following facts:
1. God, who created all the earth, has the right to promise certain portions of land to certain peoples. The lands of Canaan had been promised to the children of Israel. Now, if the Egyptian magicians could recognize the finger of God, so could the Canaanites. But these people maintained their rebellion against God, and, even though forewarned by His prophets, refused to obey. The resultant wars were not about the violent nature of God, but rather were about the disobediant nature of man. Making Gods' supposedly violent methods the central issue is really sidestepping the respondsibility of all mankind to be obediant towards their Creator, and ignores the resultant problems that occur when we are not.
2. Yes, the killing of infants burdens our hearts. Many philosophical debates have revolved around the theme of how God is to allow man with a sin nature to exercise freewill, while enforcing His divine Law at the same time. Suffice it to be summarized in 3 points:(a) That the central message of the Bible is that God took the respondsibility of reconciliation with us on His own shoulders, in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. (b) That the Bible makes it clear that little children are all precious to God, and that they are secure within Gods' Kingdom, even though the sins of their parents, in the case of the Canaanites, led to a shortening of their lives on earth. (c) That the pruning of the tree requires some branches to be cut away. This is due to the unruly nature of the branches, not the hard-heartedness of the pruner. Again, the real issue is not that God was violent and murdered infants, but that the sin-nature of man was such that disobediance continued to the point where drastic measures were necessary. We need to blame mans' disobediance, not Gods' nature.
But the New Testament is about the same war god.
Jesus himself stated
Matthew 10:34 “Think not that I came to send peace on the earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”
The common myth about Jesus is that he is about love and peace. However, even at his return he is said to come to smite the nations and rule with a rod of iron.
Revelation 19:9-20 and he said to me, Write, Blessed are they that are bidden to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said to me, These are true words of god. And I fell down before his feet to worship him. And he said to me, Stop: I am a fellow-servant with you and with your brethren that hold the testimony of Jesus: worship god; for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. And I saw the heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and he that sat thereon called Faithful and True; and in righteous he does judge and make war.
And his eyes are a flame of fire, and upon his head are many diadems; and he has a name written which no one knows but he himself. And he is arrayed in a garment sprinkled with blood: and his name is called The Word of god. And the armies which are in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and pure.
And out of his mouth came a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of god, the almighty. And he hath on his garment and on his thigh a name written, KINGS OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in mid heaven, Come and be gathered together unto the great supper of god;
That you may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and of them that sit thereon, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, and small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat upon the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought the signs in his sight, wherewith he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast and them that worshipped his image: they two were cast alive into the lake of fire that burneth with brimstone; and the rest were killed with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, even the sword which came forth out of his mouth: and all the birds were filled with their flesh.
Here is the application of a misconception of what love truly is. If I am married to an adulteress, does my love increase based on her unfaithfullness? True love also involves righteousness. This is the key to understanding God as the Bible protrays Him. God loves, yet at the same time, He is righteous. Part of Gods' righteous love is that He allows man with freewill to live as he chooses, and to live with the consequences of his decisions, as well. This is really the issue behind the justice of God. The Atheist will say that people are cast into the Lake of Fire because God does not love. In actual fact, the Bible tells us that persons are thrown into the Lake of Fire because they did not love. Their lack of love toward God, exemplified in disobediance, resulted in their recieving the consequences thereof.
It is not Jesus we need to be angry at when we read Revelation, it is mans' sinfulness.
The way God, through His Word, tells us to live, is for our own good anyway.
When reading the New Testament, it is important to understand which group wrote which part.
The Apostles (Essenes - The Jewish Jerusalem Sect of which Jesus was a leader) were one group and Paul founded another group. The two groups were not in agreement concerning Jesus. This is important because the basic assumption Christians make about the New Testament is that they speak of the same Jesus and that there was no division in the early church concerning him. It is also important, because the actual apostles of Jesus, who were Essenes, did not write the gospels of Jesus, from which most people base their beliefs about him. The gospels were written decades, possible over 100 years, after Jesus died by followers of Paul.
Paul invented a Jesus by taking the attributes of Mithras, a popular Roman cult of his day, and applying them to Jesus the Jewish Crown Prince, who died because he tried to claim the throne of David and incite a revolt against Rome. Mithras was allegedly a god/man born on December 25th, of a virgin, performed miracles, died and was raised on the 3rd day - 500 years before Jesus was born. This is also why there was such hostility between Paul and James (who was the leader of the Essene Jerusalem sect). Even if one ignores Mithras as the source for Paul's Jesus, the evidence in the Bible is very clear.
Now, if this is indeed true, (which it is not), then Paul preached a dieified Jesus while Peter and James did not. But this is difficult to reconcile with what Peter believed about Jesus:
2 Peter 1:1
1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
The Greek here indicates that Peter claimed Jesus was God and Saviour, not that there were 2 separate parties, namely, God, and then Jesus:
"theou heemoon kai Sooteeros leesou Christou", or, "our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ". One person. Two natures.
If that is not enough, Peter goes on to say:
2 Peter 1:17-18
17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
...thus indicating God as (a) the Father, and (b) the Son. The Islamics are well aware of the implications of Jesus being the Son of God, and conclude He was not, rather than accept His diety.
As for Mithras, there are many more Old Testament prophesies concerning the coming Messiah than the few mentioned above. One such prophesy is this:
2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times."
4 He will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the LORD,
in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth
Mithras was not born in Bethlehem. An attempt has been made that Mithras was the basis on which Christ "mythology" is based, but there have been many Saviour-claimants over the centuries who fulfill a few Old Testament prophesies. This really only proves that Satan, the great deciever, has an understanding of the Old Testament prophesies concerning the coming Messiah, as he proved by quoting selected passages at the Temptation of Jesus, and part of his deception involves undermining the uniqueness of Jesus with fabrications.
The following is a general list for anyone interested in studying the Bible. Matthew through Hebrews is Pauline, and James through Revelation is Apostolic/Essene (Jerusalem Church).
· Peter 1 & 2
· John 1 & 2
· Revelation (by John)
· Gospel of Matthew
· Gospel of Mark
· Gospel of Luke
· Gospel of John (not written by the apostle John)
· The Letters from Paul
Here we need to ask, What is the evidence for this? It is one thing to formulate on opinion of what was written by whom, but many people will expect at least a footnote detailing evidences for these opinions.
The apostles of Jesus considered Paul the "antichrist" and "false prophet." The word "Christ" meant "anointed one" and was used to indicate the Crown Prince, who was next in line to the throne. It is important to note that the antichrists were contemporary with the writer, not some future person of some future end times. Antichrists is plural, because Paul trained many disciples to go out and preach his fabricated Jesus and spread his gospel.
Well, the question here is: Did the Apostles consider Paul "the anti-christ"?
Here is an illuminating passage:
2 Peter 3:15-16
15 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. 16 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.
This passage was written by Peter, a "true" Apostle, about Paul. It does not seem as if Peter considers Paul "the anti-christ" or a "false-prophet" according to this passage.
Peter is also considering the writings of Paul to be Scripture, here. Thus, this shows: (a) That Pauls writings were contemporary with Peter, and not written hundreds of years later. (b) that Pauls writings were in agreement with Peters.
1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last hour: and as you heard that antichrist cometh, even now have there arisen many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last hour ["last hour" refers to the coming war against Rome - the last hour of the Temple in Jerusalem before it was destroyed in 70AD].
1 John 2:22 Who is the liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, even he that denies the Father and the Son. [the lie is denying Jesus is the Crown Prince (Christ) - the King of the Jews, because Paul was teaching Jesus came to save us from sin, not restore the throne of David]
1 John 4:3 and every spirit that confesses not Jesus is not of God: and this is the spirit of the antichrist, whereof you have heard that it comes; and now it is in the world already. [the issue here being the real Jesus, Paul's or the apostles]
2 John 1:7 For many deceivers are gone forth into the world, even they that confess not that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. [Paul was teaching the divinity of Jesus and the resurection, which the apostles denied and accused Paul of decieving people about the real Jesus and being anti-Israel]
Revelation 16:13-14 And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits, as it were frogs: for they are spirits of demons, working signs; which go forth unto the kings of the whole world.
[The Apostle John here is calling Paul a false prophet filled with the spirits of demons as he travels around preaching the anti-Jewish Jesus.]
If Paul was considered the False Prophet, then certain attributes of the False Prophet would be attributed to Paul. Rev.13 considers the False Prophet to be the 2nd beast. These attributes of the 2nd Beast (False Prophet) include:
11 Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. 12 He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed.
14 Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16 He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 17 so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.
Thus, we have to be able to show that Paul, the Apostle, was respondsible for (a) Causing the earth to worship the 1st Beast (b) Set up an image of the 1st Beast (c) Cause people to worship this image (d) Cause the image to speak, and (e) Place the number of the 1st Beast on everyones' hand or forehead. None of these criteria can be historically applied to the life of Paul.
(A note about Revelation - it was not written about a future end times, it was written about the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. The Beast was Nero, the False Prophet was Paul, the Whore was Paul's churches, and it was written by the apostle John who was part of the attempt to overthrow Rome and reestablish Israel as a sovereign self-ruled power. Paul is portrayed as being anti-Israel and in league with the Emporer Nero)
In addition to what was stated above, implying Nero is the Beast has certain problems: (a) When exactly, did a statue of him come to life and speak? (b) other Roman Emperors after Nero committed far greater persecutions against the Christian Church (c) Nero, nor any other world leader to date, have been able to prevent all men from either buying or selling.
As well, the Whore being Pauls' churches has a severe problem as well: The whore cannot be Pauls' churches, because these congregations never ruled over the kings of the earth:
18 The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth."
...unless one reckons that Pauls churches became the Roman Catholic Church, in which case, at that one point, I agree. It is the Whore of Babylon.
The apostles send Peter and John to deal with the teachings of the false prophet, Paul.
Acts 8:14 Now when the apostles that were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them.
This is error, as Philip was respondsible for the evangelization of Samaria, not Paul. In fact, Paul was, at this point, still prosecuting Christians, and not a Christian evangelist at all.
3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.
4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.
12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.
14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
The hostility between the apostles and Paul reaches a point where it became dangerous for Paul to even go to Jerusalem.
Acts 21:4 And having found the disciples, we tarried there seven days: and these said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not set foot in Jerusalem.
Well, ignoring the fact that Paul was being warned in this passage through the Holy Spirit, we still need to see if it was the other Apostles whom Pauls' friends were worried about, or some other group.
The passage goes on to say:
10 After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 Coming over to us, he took Paul's belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, "The Holy Spirit says, `In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.'"
Thus, it seems the Jews of Jerusalem were the ones seeking Pauls' life. Is this group of Jews, the Apostles? Probably not, as the passage continues:
15 After this, we got ready and went up to Jerusalem. 16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea accompanied us and brought us to the home of Mnason, where we were to stay. He was a man from Cyprus and one of the early disciples.
17 When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers received us warmly. 18 The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present. 19 Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.
20 When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: "You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed.
Keep in mind that the book of acts was written by a disciple of Paul, so when reading the words "that Sameria had received the word of God," from the apostles perspective they had been lied to and that is why they went there. The real response to Peter and John going to churches Paul started can be seen in the following verses written by Paul.
As noted above, Paul was persecuting the Church as Saul at the time Peter and John went up to Samaria. It was an area evangelized by Philip, not Paul.
2 Corinthians 11:4 For if he that comes [Peter or John] preaches another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or if you receive a different spirit, which you did not receive, or a different gospel, which you did not accept, you do well to bear with him.
Galatians 1:6 I marvel that you are so quickly removing from him that called you in the grace of Christ unto a different gospel [It was tough for Paul to compete with men who knew the real Jesus that James and John were preaching]
Galatians 1:7 which is not another gospel only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. [Paul called the real story of Jesus by Peter and John a perversion]
Those who were troubling Paul's churches were Peter and John, who were telling a different gospel, the real story of Jesus - the Crown Prince who was crucified as the King of the Jews.
The bottom line is that Christianity is not founded on the historical Jesus, the Jewish Jesus that worshipped the war god Jehovah, but was founded on the fabrication of Paul. The Jesus portrayed in the Gospels never existed.
The bottom line is that the position taken by the War-Gods webpage must show differences between Pauls gospel message and that of the other Apostles. This they have failed to do, thus any supposed differences between the two groups is mere conjecture. Peter, considering Pauls' writings to be Scripture, clearly shows that there was no theological differences between them. Any differences that can be found between Pauls Gospel and Peters is merely the result of a different target audience--Pauls' to Gentiles, Peters' to Jews.
Both clearly recognized Jesus as not only the Son of God, but as God Himself.