Originally Posted by E'jaazi
Please. This nonsense is getting old. Yes, Paul was the author of half of what we have in the New Testament, but that doesn't mean that he created Christianty as if he invented it from his own mind.
If one reads 2 Peter, one finds that Paul was approved by other New Testament authors: "Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote
you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction." (2 Peter 3:15-16)
The book of Acts is a history of the Acts of the apostles and of the beginnings of the early church. In it we find that the earliest ministries of the church were led by Peter and James. Paul was submissive to the council of the church in Jerusalem. When questions arose about what Paul was teaching, he returned to meet with the apostles to discuss it with them and they affirmed what Paul was doing.
1Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved." 2This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question.
6The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? 11No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."
[And they put the following decision in a letter to all Gentiles:]
28It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.
As you can see the rest of what Paul preached was not challenged.
Ideas like the resurrection and Jesus as divine don't begin with Paul. In fact, when we first meet Paul is is persecuting the Church specifically because the Church was already proclaiming these things:
55Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56"Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."
57At this they [Jewish priests] covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
Acts 8:1 And Saul [also known as Paul] was there, giving approval to his death.
The first sermon of the church was given not by Paul, but by Peter, one of Jesus closest followers. So close was Peter to Jesus you might as well consider it a hadith:
22"Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
36"Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."
37When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
38Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call."
So much was the early church known for this teaching that "The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day." (Acts 4:1-3)
Jesus' closest disciple, John, is the one who wrote a whole Gospel sharing the good news of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. John is the one who begins his Gospel with a declaration that "In the beginning was the Word [whom he later identifies as Jesus], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1) In my opinion it could not be any clearer. I guess you see it otherwise. That's OK. We can debate what the intepretation of some of these passages mean. But to say that Paul was the founder of Christianity. that just isn't true. Look at the whole reason John wrote his Gospel, not to please Paul. Not to corroberate what Paul was preaching. But for one simple reason, a reason he stated right in the Gospel itself: "these [the signs and stories about Jesus that he tells in his Gospel account] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." (John 20:31) And when is this statement of purpose given, immediately after John reports on the climatic confession of Thomas as to who Jesus is. On meeting the resurrected Jesus, Thomas greets Jesus: "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28).
Indeed, it wasn't Paul who first called Jesus God, it was Thomas, one of those who had spent three years walking, talking and learning from Jesus. And the Church, the whole of the Church, not just Paul, has been calling Jesus that ever since. So, let's have none of this nonesense that Paul invented Christianity; it just isn't true.