513: HOW PAUL BYPASSED JESUS IN HIS TEACHING

“A warm welcome to Zingcreed, the irritating, uncategorizable blog about religion and life. It’s written by a lapsed Anglican living in London, England. It extracts juicy portions from all the latest theology books and summarizes them so you don’t have to read them yourself. It’s actually a very interesting time to be doing this because the game is up for traditional theology (the sort of thing the pope spouts) and what will happen to the church is anyone’s guess. I first studied paradigm shifts in the diet industry. First they blamed the fats for heart attacks and obesity then they blamed refined carbohydrates and said fats had been innocent all along. For me awareness of the seismic shifts happening in Christianity first occurred when I looked up the Jesus Seminar on Wikipedia. To get a seat in the front row, sign up for Zingcreed – you will not be alone.
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In solidarity,

Peter Turner, M.A., M.Sc.”

 

How Paul bypassed Jesus in his teaching

Paul was not the slightest bit interested in Jesus, the preacher and healer from Nazareth. Instead he had a semi-imaginary figure called “Christ” at the centre of his vision. (See post 512 for details)

In his letters he tells his converts nothing about the life of Jesus on earth (and they couldn’t read it in the gospels because they hadn’t yet been written). This is quite remarkable. Paul relates nothing of Jesus’ birth, that he was from Galilee, that he was baptized by John the Baptist, that he preached that the kingdom of God was near, healed the sick and worked miracles.

Paul never quotes directly a single teaching of Jesus. it is possible he alludes to 2 or 3 sayings of Jesus but even these are uncertain.

The “gospel” for Paul was not the message that Jesus preached, but rather the message of what the man Jesus had, in Paul’s view, become: an anointed figure who died for our sins and was raised from the dead (claims Jesus never made for himself).

Don’t take my word for it, open your bible and check it out.

Sources:
(i) Tabor, J.D. “Paul and Jesus: How the apostle transformed Christianity” Simon and Schuster (2012)
(ii) Patterson, S. “The lost way” HarperOne (2014)

Related Zingcreed Posts:
Paul vs Jesus
Saint Paul_ a few notes
512 Paul was bonkers
How Paul and Luke rewrote history to marginalize James’ early church

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