Paul was from the city of Tarsus. (located in today’s southern Turkey) His zeal for the Jewish law made him hate the Christians, and he was involved in the stoning of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr. After a vision, that stroked him blind, on the road to Damascus, he became a Christian and changed his name from Saul, that is was before, to Paul. That is the information that the bible gives us for him. History though, has recorded different version of the above story.
At the time Paul, or Saul, was supposedly persecuting Christians, there were no Christians! There were only the people who knew Jesus in person, and it is believed that to them he wasn’t anything like a god.
The historian Josephus had recorded that after the death of Jesus, his brother James succeeded him in the role of the leader of the Jerusalem Church. That cult, also known as the Nazoreans or Nazirians, where at direct opposition with the Boethusean and the Sadducean high priests.
When Paul went to Jerusalem he met James, and probably had heard already the story of Jesus. To James, as to all the followers of that cult, there was nothing divine about Jesus. He was just a kingly figure that will liberate them and re-establish the old tradition of Judaism.
But to Paul the story of Jesus was something amazing. A chance to make a hybrid religion, a way to make the Jews, outside Israel, accepted and respected to the gentiles.
It was easy to fool the people outside Israel, but he could never fool those who had met Jesus.
James, as well as the other disciples of Jesus, such as Peter, made everything possible to stop him. Even in bible there are samples of their opposition.
In Galatians 2:11-12 Paul says “When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the gentiles.”
It seems that Paul was the only one at the time who was claiming that Jesus was the son of god. Everyone else, who knew and was preaching the story of Jesus death, was speaking for an earthly leader not a heavenly messiah.
In Corinthians II 11:4 Paul says “For if someone comes to you and preaches you for a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.”
In this same epistle Paul speaks openly about financial interests that he was gaining from his followers. In 11:8 he says “I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so as to serve you.” It seems like he had a nice business running there…
Unfortunately James didn’t live long to stop him. In 62 AD he was thrown down the stairs of Herod’s Temple and stoned to death.
In the chapters 66 to 70 of the Clementine Recognitions we learn that he had taken a public lecture in the Temple regarding the true doctrine of his brother Jesus. He had gained the full support of the invited audience until an enemy of his caused major disturbance, which had as result James to be thrown down the stairs and injured. From many scholars that enemy of James is thought to be Paul himself.
After the death of James, a first cousin of Jesus, took the role of the Bishop of Jerusalem. He was Simeon son of Cleophas and he was crucified by the Romans as a pretender to the throne of David. (leadership of Israel).
Seems like the entire family of Jesus believed that this throne was theirs. (John the Baptist was also Jesus first cousin)
In 70 AD Jerusalem, and most of the Jewish nation, was destroyed by the Romans. Those who knew Jesus were no more. The only ones left were those who had followed Paul and his twisted version of the story…
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