This content is part of a series.
Twelve Great Questions About Christ (Part 10 of 12)
Jesus and Paul - Do They Differ?
Clarence E. Macartney
One of the most striking recommendations of the
Christian religion is the great variety of attacks
which have been made upon it in order to discredit it.
From every direction some attack has been launched
against the citadel of Christian faith only to be
hurled back, beaten and baffled. One army has assailed
its prophecies and predictions; another its miracles;
another the Old Testament, and another the New
Testament; another the miraculous and supernatural, so
inextricably wound up with Christianity; another the
historicity of its Founder; another His deity; another
His miraculous entry into the world; another His
resurrection from the dead; another His atoning,
substitutionary and expiatory death upon the Cross;
another His coming again to judge the world.
Today, one of the favorite modes of attack is to try
to create the impression of a discrepancy and a
disharmony between Jesus and His greatest apostle,
Paul. The Christian religion, we are told, comes from
Jesus, but Christian theology comes from Paul. The
Christian Church is founded, not upon the teachings of
Jesus, but upon the theology of Paul, who took the
simple story of Jesus as we have it in the Gospels,
and grafted upon it a mass of speculative doctrines
about sin, and salvation, and faith, which Jesus
Himself never taught. The Peasant-Teacher of Galilee,
Paul transformed into a Great High Priest Who offers
Himself upon the altar as a sacrifice for the sin of
the world. Thus, at the very beginning, we are told,
Paul threw the Church off the right track, and the
first necessity is to rid ourselves of his influence,
abandon his doctrines, and go back to Jesus.
This alleged disagreement between Jesus and Paul was
thus stated by Dr. Vedder in his book, The
Fundamentals of Christianity: "That Jesus of Nazareth
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