By : Abdullah Smith
The book of Acts demonstrates that Paul was preaching very similar doctrines to the pagans. They professed to believe in the blood sacrifice (crucifixion) and resurrection of their own god-men before Paul had arrived, as the following passage indicates:
Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there. Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?”
Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection. (Acts 17:17-18)
The Gentiles already knew the stories of dying and rising gods before Paul came to them, he was only recycling the legends of the Mystery Religions.
“The divine teacher is called, is tested by the “adversary”, gathers disciples, heals the sick, preaches the Good News about God’s kingdom, finally runs afoul of his bitter enemies, suffers, dies, and is resurrected after three days. This is the total pattern of the sun god in all the ancient dramas”. (Tom Harper, The Pagan Christ, p. 145)
“A true Jew would have immediately recognized the teaching of Jesus as a reaffirmation of what Moses had taught. But to many a pagan, it must have seemed new and strange and perhaps a little complicated. Most of the pagans still believed in a multitude of gods who, it was thought, mixed freely with human beings, mated with them, and took part in every sphere of human life. To the common people of Greece, any description of Jesus must have seemed like a description of one of their gods, and they were probably quite ready to accept Jesus in this capacity. There was always room for one more god. However, the actual teaching of Jesus negated all their gods, since it affirmed the Divine Unity”. (Muhammad Ataur-Raheem, Jesus: Prophet of Islam 1992 edition, p. 62)
It is commonly supposed that religious honors were paid to the sun as a deity by a few isolated peoples or sects, such as the Parsees and the ancient Ghebers of Persia, and some African tribes. In correction of this view we are prepared to support the declaration that the worship of the Sun-god was quite universal in the ancient world. It ranged from China and India to Yucatan and Peru. The Emperor and the Mikado, as well as the Incas, and the Pharaohs were Sun-god figures. And is the belief only an empty myth? So far from being such, it is at once the highest embodiment of religious conception in the spiritual history of the race. Likewise in the ancient Mystery dramas the central character was ever the Sun-god the role being enacted by the candidate for initiation in person. He went through the several initiations as himself the type and representative of the solar divinity in the field of human experience…
These Sun-god characters, of none of whom can it be said positively that they were living personages, were, it must be clearly noted, purely typical figures in the national epics of the several nations. (The Great Myth of the Sun-gods, Alvin Boyd Kuhn)
These ‘saviors’ who died and resurrected after three days were symbols of the sun, and these fables (or fairytales) were borrowed by the Church and attributed to Jesus after his departure. Thus, Jesus became the Sun of God before the ‘Son of God’, both titles are pagan.
The early Jewish Christians (Nazarenes and Ebionites) did not believe Jesus was God, or the ‘son of God’.
The Christian conception is a distorted one, it teaches that Jesus was crucified on the ‘cross’ for the sins of other men, and resurrected on the third day. This story is not different from what we find in the Mystery Religions.
“The worship of suffering gods was to be found on all sides, and the belief in the torture of the victims in the rites of human sacrifice for the redemption from sin was very general. The gods Osiris, Attis, Adonis, Dionysos, Herakles, Prometheus, and others, had all suffered for mankind; and thus the Servant of Yahweh was also conceived as having to be wounded for’ men’s transgressions. But as I say, this conception had passed into the background in the days of Jesus”
(The Paganism in Our Christiantiy, Arthur Weigall, 1928, p106)
The Roman/Greek/Egyptian gods were sacrificed for the ‘sins of mankind’ and resurrected on the third day. There is a tradition that Krishna was also crucified (yet upon a tree) to deliver his people from sin. Notice the similarity between the words ‘Christ’ and ‘Krishna’, both worked the same miracles and ascended to Heaven, they were both “incarnations” as well.
The true genesis of Christianity lies in ancient India. It is the life of Kristna in the Bagaved Gita over 5000 years ago that we can look for the prototype of Christ. We can also find 180 similarities between the life of the Egyptian god Horus in the Book of the Dead, written in 1700BC. Both of these gods reformed the corrupt rule of the priesthood of their time and had them thrown out of the temples and instituted a system of worship and spirituality so pure that we see millions rushing to find these truths today in foreign countries http://www.crosscircle.com/CH_2b.htm
When he was sixteen, Krishna left his mother to spread his new teaching throughout India. He spoke out against corruption among the people and the princes, everywhere supported the weak against oppression and declared that he had come to Earth to release people from suffering and sin, to drive out the spirit of evil, and to restore the rule of righteousness. He overcame tremendous difficulties, fought alone against entire armies, performed a wide range of miracles, raised the dead to life, healed lepers, gave sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf, and made the lame walk.
Paul created a doctrine about “salvation through the cross” while discarding the teachings of Jesus in its totality.
He established the falsehood that “faith in the resurrection” is the way to salvation while totally rejecting the sayings of Jesus (Matthew 9:13, 12:7, Hosea 6:6, Micah 8:7-8)
And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. (1 Corinthians 15:14-17)
“…the doctrine of resurrection on which many Christian scholars’ belief hangs, is the sole work of Saint Paul as there is nothing in the teachings of Jesus himself on this issue.”
(Alhaj AD Ajijola, Myth of the Cross,)
The Old Testament teaches that ‘human sacrifice’ is wrong, and the verses Job 7:9, 14:14, Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 deny the resurrection!
[As] the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no [more]. (Job 7:9)
Christianity Before Christ
The ‘human sacrifice’ is entirely a pagan ritual which dates back thousands of years. Jesus could not have been a ‘human sacrifice’ on the cross because the practice was pagan and not Jewish. The Jews believed they’d crucified Jesus to prove he was false, yet God saved Jesus from the cross (Psalms 20:6) to disprove the notion that Jesus was accursed (Deu 13:5, 21:23)
The pagans used to sacrifice human beings for the “redemption of sins”. According to the Gospel of the Nazorenes, Jesus rejected the doctrine of vicarious atonement.
“The worship of suffering gods was to be found on all sides, and the belief in the torture of the victims in the rites of human sacrifice for the redemption from sin was very general.
(The Paganism in Our Christiantiy, Arthur Weigall, 1928, p106)
Jesus was teaching his disciples in the outer court of the Temple and one of them said unto him: Master, it is said by the priests that without shedding of blood there is no remission. Can then the blood offering of the law take away sin?
And Jesus answered: No blood offering, of beast or bird, or man, can take away sin, for how can the conscience be purged from sin by the shedding of innocent blood? Nay, it will increase the condemnation. (Gospel of the Nazorenes, lection 33)
Blood sacrifice is the oldest and most universal act of piety. The offering of animals, including the human animal, dates back at least twenty thousand years, and, depending on how you read the scanty archaeological evidence, arguably back to the earliest appearance of humanity. Many religions recount the creation of man through the bloody sacrifice of a God-man–a divinity who is torn apart to sow the seeds of humanity. (Patrick Tierney , The Highest Altar: The Story of Human Sacrifice, quoted in Acharya’s Suns of God)
This is very similar to Christianity, which teaches that Jesus was the ‘god-man’ that took away the “sins of mankind”, a doctrine foreign to the Jewish mind!
During the 4th century, the cult Christianity was made the official “religion” of the Roman Empire, and Constantine was the political leader of the Church based in Rome. He introduced the pagan doctrine of ‘trinity’ at the Council of Nicea, and he changed the Sabbath for the commemoration of the sun-god.
The ancient Christian monuments, from which I have drawn my facts and illustrations, reveal so many obvious adaptations from the Pagan mythology and art, that it became necessary for me to investigate anew the Pagan symbolism: and this will account for the frequent comparisons instituted, and the parallels drawn between Christianity and Paganism. Many of the Pagan symbols, therefore, are necessarily used in this work–such, for instance, as seem to be types of Christian verities, like Agni, Krishna, Mithra, Horus, Apollo, and Orpheus. Hence I have drawn largely from the most ancient Pagan religions of India, Chaldea, Persia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, and somewhat from the old Aztec religion of Mexico. These religions were all, indeed, systems of idolatry, perversions and corruptions of the one primeval truth as held by such patriarchs as Abraham and Job; and yet these religions contained germs of this truth which it became the province of Christianity to develop and embody in a purer system for the good of mankind.
It is a most singular and astonishing fact sought to be developed in this work, that the Christian faith, as embodied in the Apostles’ Creed, finds its parallel, or dimly foreshadowed counterpart, article by article, in the different systems of Paganism here brought under review. (Lundy, quoted in Acharya’s Suns of God)
The earth-shattering statement:
That which is known as the Christian religion existed among the ancients, and never did not exist, from the beginning of the human race until the time when Christ came in the flesh, at which time the true religion, which already existed began to be called Christianity.” (St. Augustine, Retractationes 1.12.3)
“The religion published by Jesus Christ to all nations is neither new nor strange…For though, without controversy we are of late, and the name of Christians is indeed new; yet our manner of life and the principles of our religion have not been lately devised by us, but were instituted and observed….from the beginning of the world, by good men, accepted by God; from those natural notions which are implanted in men’s minds”.
(Eusebius of Caesarea, 260-340 CE)
“The Christian religion contains nothing but what Christians hold in common with the heathen; nothing new” (Greek philosopher Celsus,)
The above quotations are derived from Tom Harper’s book The Pagan Christ. He further states on page 29:
The evidence of close similarities between Christianity and other ancient world faiths is massive, detailed, extremely specific, and quite incredibly far-flung, stretching from the Vedic wisdom of India to the Norse myths of Scandinavia, the legends of the Incas, and the original spirituality of the indigenous peoples of North America.
These are false charges against Jesus (peace be upon him) which Islam clears away. The true version of Jesus can be found in the Holy Quran. What the Quran says about Jesus is supported by the Bible itself. The Bible requires the acceptance of Islam.
Below are quotations against Paul:
“If Christianity needed an Anti-Christ, they need look no further than Paul”
– The English philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)
“We have already noted that every teaching of Jesus was already in the literature of the day….. Paul, the founder of Christianity, the writer of half the NT, almost never quotes Jesus in his letters and writings.” (Professor Smith in his “The World Religions”, p 330)
“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.”
–Will Durant (Philosopher)
“Paul’s words are not the Words of God. They are the words of Paul- a vast difference.”
–Bishop John S. Spong, Episcopal Bishop of Newark. (Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, p. 104, Harper San Francisco, 1991)
“Paul insists that there is only one ‘gospel of Christ’ (Galatians 1:7), so why did later Christians accept as ‘Scripture’ four written gospels?”
–Graham N. Stanton, “The Gospels and Jesus”, The Oxford Bible Series (1989), p.125
The following quotations are red:
I have inquired into some of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity; the examination has led me to the conclusion that the dogmas of the Trinity, the Divinity of Jesus, the Divine-Sonship, the Original Sin and Atonement are neither rational nor in conformity with the teachings of Jesus. These dogmas came into being and were due to pagan influences. They show that Christianity has departed considerably from the religion of Jesus. (The Myth of the Cross, Alhaj A.D. Ajijola)
This mysterious disappearance of Jesus could certainly be put to an advantageous purpose. Moreover, it was commonly known that Jesus was born of a virgin mother though many were skeptical about it. Paul turned all these ideas to his own advantage and concocted the theory of sonship. (ibid, Alhaj A.D. Ajijola)
“Paul was the great Coryphaeus, and first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus.”
(Thomas Jefferson, The Great Thoughts by George Sildes, Ballantine Books, New York, 1985, p.208)
“Where possible he (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.”
(Albert Schweitzer, The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle, p. 171)
“What kind of authority can there be for an ‘apostle’ who, unlike the other apostles, had never been prepared for the apostolic office in Jesus’ own school but had only later dared to claim the apostolic office on the basis on his own authority? The only question comes to be how the apostle Paul appears in his Epistles to be so indifferent to the historical facts of the life of Jesus….He bears himself but little like a disciple who has received the doctrines and the principles which he preaches from the Master whose name he bears.” (Ferdinand Christian Baur, Church History of the First Three Centuries)
“Paul, not Jesus, was the founder of Christianity as a new religion which developed away from both normal Judaism and the Nazarene variety of Judaism.”
(Hyam Maccoby, Paul: The Mythmaker and the Invention of Chrisianity, p. 16)
“No sooner had Jesus knocked over the dragon of superstition than Paul boldly set it on its legs again in the name of Jesus.” (George Bernard Shaw)
“Paul did not desire to know Christ. Paul shows us with what complete indifference the earthly life of Jesus was regarded…. What is the significance for our faith and for our religious life, the fact that the Gospel of Paul is different from the Gospel of Jesus?
The attitude which Paul himself takes up towards the Gospel of Jesus is that he does not repeat it in the words of Jesus, and does not appeal to its authority…. The fateful thing is that the Greek, the Catholic, and the Protestant theologies all contain the Gospel of Paul in a form which does not continue the Gospel of Jesus, but displaces it.”
(The Quest for the Historical Jesus, Albert Schweitzer,)
“There is not one word of Pauline Christianity in the characteristic utterances of Jesus…. There has really never been a more monstrous imposition perpetrated than the imposition of Paul’s soul upon the soul of Jesus…. It is now easy to understand how the Christianity of Jesus… was suppressed by the police and the Church, while Paulinism overran the whole western civilized world, which was at that time the Roman Empire, and was adopted by it as its official faith.” (George Bernard Shaw, Androcles and the Lion)
“Paul abolished the Law, which was followed and preached by Jesus (pbuh), and corrupted the whole religion, giving it a new form. The main ambition behind all this was, in his own words, “to win a larger number” of followers; the followers of a new religion “the Pauline Christianity”.
(Dr. Roshan Enam, Follow Jesus or Follow Paul, p. 69)
“From the time Jesus left earth to the second half of the Second century, there was a struggle between two factions. One was what one might call Pauline Christianity and the other Judeo Christianity. It was only very slowly that the first supplanted the second, and Pauline Christianity triumphed over Judeo Christianity”.
(Dr. Maurice Bucaille, The Bible, The Quran, and Science, p. 67)
Thus, quite soon after Jesus’s disappearance from earth, there was a definite and widening divergence between the followers of Jesus and the Pauline Church, which was later to become known as the Roman Catholic Church. Differences between the two were not only evident in life-style and belief, but were also clearly delineated geographically. As the Pauline Church grew more established, it became increasingly hostile to the followers of Jesus. It aligned itself more and more with the rulers of the Roman Empire, and the persecution which to begin with had been directed at all who called themselves Christians, now began to fall mainly on those who affirmed the Divine Unity. Attempts began to be made to change their beliefs and forcefully to remove those who refused to do so, together with the books they used. (Muhammad Ataur-Raheem, Jesus, Prophet of Islam)
Naturally, those who deviated from the teaching of Jesus were prepared to change the Scriptures too, and even introduce false writings in order to support their opinions. (ibid)
The Ebionites were stigmatized by the Church as heretics who failed to understand that Jesus was a divine person and asserted instead that he was a human being who came to inaugurate a new earthly age, as prophesied by the Jewish prophets of the Bible. Moreover, the Ebionites refused to accept the Church doctrine, derived from Paul, that Jesus abolished or abrogated the Torah, the Jewish law. Instead, the Ebionites observed the Jewish law and regarded themselves as Jews. The Ebionites were not heretics, as the Church asserted, nor ‘re-Judaizers’, as modern scholars call them, but the authentic successors of the immediate disciples and followers of Jesus, whose views and doctrines they faithfully transmitted, believing correctly that they were derived from Jesus himself. They were the same group that had earlier been called the Nazarenes, who were led by James and Peter, who had known Jesus during his lifetime, and were in a far better position to know his aims than Paul, who met Jesus only in dreams and visions. Thus the opinion held by the Ebionites about Paul is of extraordinary interest and deserves respectful consideration, instead of dismissal as ‘scurrilous’ propaganda — the reaction of Christian scholars from ancient to modern times.
(Hyam Maccoby, The Myth Maker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity)
“Let the reader contrast the true Christian standard with that of Paul and he will see the terrible betrayal of all that the Master taught…. For the surest way to betray a great Teacher is to misrepresent his message…. That is what Paul and his followers did, and because the Church has followed Paul in his error it has failed lamentably to redeem the world…. The teachings given by the blessed Master Christ, which the disciples John and Peter and James, the brother of the Master, tried in vain to defend and preserve intact were as utterly opposed to the Pauline Gospel as the light is opposed to the darkness.”
(Rev. V.A. Holmes-Gore: Christ or Paul?)
“More and more people are now aware that the Christianity they know has little to do with the original teaching of Jesus. During the last two centuries the research of the historians has left little room for faith in the Christian “mysteries”, but the proven fact that the Christ of the established Church has almost nothing to do with the Jesus of history does not in itself help Christians towards the Truth. The present dilemma of the Christians is illustrated by what the Church historians of this present century write”. (Muhammad Ataur- Rahim, Jesus, Prophet of Islam, 1992 edition, p. 13)
The “Christians” are commanded to follow the Old Testament, the observance of the Torah (Matthew 5:17-2)
The Holy Quran rebukes them for not following the true Gospel of Jesus and discarding the Torah, the Law of Moses which Jesus cherished, and Christians reject!
Say: “O People of the Book! ye have no ground to stand upon unless ye stand fast by the Law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord.” It is the revelation that cometh to thee from thy Lord, that increaseth in most of them their obstinate rebellion and blasphemy. But sorrow thou not over (these) people without Faith. (The Holy Quran, 5:68)
From those, too, who call themselves Christians, We did take a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them: so we estranged them, with enmity and hatred between the one and the other, to the day of judgment. And soon will Allah show them what it is they have done. (5:14)
Say: “O people of the Book! exceed not in your religion the bounds (of what is proper), trespassing beyond the truth, nor follow the vain desires of people who went wrong in times gone by,- who misled many, and strayed (themselves) from the even way. (5:77)
Christianity is the religion of Paul, not Jesus.