Any good response to this Muslim's charge that Paul began Christianity?


If we could answer this, it would probably be a huge step towards proving to Muslims that Paul did not start Christianity.


I have successfully argued this:

St. Thomas Christians, in southern India, track their tradition back to the Apostle Thomas. They were not “discovered” by Europeans until the 16 Century. Their believes were so close to the RCC that they have come in to communion.

Since they had similar doctrines as the RCC and our traditions come down from Peter and Paul, then there must have been an “original source” that predated both Apostolic ministries.

In addition to their own web site, New Advent and Wikipedia have lot of good history on them.


That poor Muslim soul!

Paul’s preaching and letters were an insightful mix of rhetoric and Bible typology. Much of Paul’s letters are expansions of Old Testament word pictures.

For instance, Christ is often foreshadowed in the Old Testament with sin symbols. Examples: The bronze serpent on the pole, in the Book of Numbers. Paul clearly puzzled over this: “Why does Scripture foreshadow the ‘blemishless lamb’ with sin symbols???”

At 2 Corinthians 5:21 Paul deduces the answer: Christ is “Him-Who-did-not-know-sin-Who-was-made-to-be-sin,” meaning that Christ, though He was sinless, ended-up being treated as though He were Sin, itself, when to purchase saving grace from God’s justice He subjected Himself to the same kind of penalty reserved by God’s justice for our sins.

So, Paul’s teaching is an elaboration of that which is already in Judaism.

It isn’t new. It isn’t a departure.

Ironically, unlike the inspired Bible, the Koran is not built out of types and word pictures.



Hello, BibleReader,

“…Paul deduces…”

Well, Paul may have “deduced”, but it was news to
the rabbinic scholars of his day. Judaism *has *no
concept of Original Sin.

One of two things is the case:

-Paul was inspired by God to deduce this
-Paul forced an interpretation on the Hebrew Scriptures
that doesn’t hold water

The Hebrew Scriptures are replete with references to:

“God saves” “God forgives”
“If your sins be as scarlet, I will make them whiter than snow.”

It’s a matter of faith…accept what he wrote, or reject
what he wrote- as erroneous interpretation, incorrectly deduced.

[For that matter, Orthodoxy does not hold with a “stain” that
is washed away…which is why Orthodoxy will not accept
the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. No stain, no need
for being immaculately conceived.]

It truely is a matter of faith: RC’s hold with Original Sin as a stain,
Judaism hasn’t even got a concept of Original Sin, Orthodoxy
denies a stain, and some Reformers thought that humans
are totally depraved in nature, not just “wounded” in nature.

You wrote:

So, Paul’s teaching is an elaboration of that which is already in Judaism.

Some would say it is an “elaboration.” Others would hold
that what he wrote was a mis-interpretation of Judaic

It’s a matter of faith for all concerned.



To everyone who posted here so far;

Thanks for the informative responses. I will very much it if you perhaps copy and paste these posts under Non-Catholic Religions under the topic ‘Did Paul Start Christianity’? The reason I posted this under apologetics is because I thought there might be well-educated people here as well who do not go to the Non-Catholic Religions topic much.



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