Christianity, Divine or Defined-Part 2

By Sanusi Olawale Ibn AbdulWasiu (sanoosy)

 

In the name of Allah the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful

What we don’t bring into light, and don’t acknowledge to ourselves, grows in the dark.

It is not that dogs prefer bones to meat, it’s just that nobody would give them meat in place of bones.

Christianity teaches a lot of messages, but they hardly talk about their origin. Since they don’t like to tell, we will help them tell the stories, so that the World will know that those who choose Islam over Christianity did so because they have been shown the bones and meat, but actually went for the meat.

But knowing the truth is different from accepting it. Allah guides whomever He wishes. May we remain guided. Ameen.

Having concluded the part-one of this topic, which dealt with the Origin of Christianity; how disciples were named Christians; who championed the cause of the naming and the rest, this part will expose how Paul emerged after decades, only to overthrow the real apostles who knew Jesus, saw Jesus, and ate with Jesus. How he started a different message that made those who had believed in the messages of Peter and the likes to change their perception and called Paul and Barnabas “Christians” out of mockery.

Missed part one? Check it out here
http://knowislam.com.ng/christianity-divine-or-defined/

Before exposing the can of worms, let us see for ourselves who Peter (whose evangelism first got to Antioch but wasn’t tagged a Christian) was and how Paul suddenly became the only apostle who was always “right”.

Peter’s importance comes from his close association with Jesus during his ministry and his prominence among the Twelve as the Chief Apostle. In the Gospels, he is always the spokesperson and representative of the disciples as a group. It is clear that Peter is the one leading out and shepherding the church. Two other persons who were prominent in the ministry were James and John.

In contrast, Paul comes in only after the Ascension. Not only does he play no role in Jesus’ early ministry, but when he does first appear in Acts, he is making “havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to
prison” (Acts 8:3). Paul’s importance comes from the sheer weight of his writings that were collected into the canon and because he is arguably the one who most shapes the Christian message in a way that is both acceptable and enticing to the Gentile world.

Let me give a brief hint about Peter
1. Jesus physically announced Peter as one of his own. (John 1:42). Not through the other way round as the case of Paul. Not through vision.
2. Peter was one of the three in the inner circle of the Gospel of Jesus (Peter, James, and John). They were privileged to participate in things from which the others were excluded (Matthew 17:1; 26:37 ; Mark 5:37 ).
3. If the three were set apart from the rest of the twelve, Peter was even set apart from James and John, due to his “great confession.”
4. Filled with the Spirit, Peter stepped
forward to preach the sermon at Pentecost (Acts 2:14)
5. A prophecy for Peter. Peter would play a crucial role in the establishment of the church. Jesus said this himself.

Mathew 16 18-19,

18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Yes, you read well. The keys of heaven and earth were given to Peter.
If an unbiased mind which is free from bigotry studied the Peter of the Gospel only and compared to the later Apostle Paul, he should be able to tell the difference.
This is the Peter that extended the gospel to Antioch before Paul and Barnabas came there to distort the well digested message. Paul wasn’t mocked as a Christian, but Paul was. Now I ask, was Paul’s message the same with Peter’s? If yes, why the name calling?

And who was Paul?
Paul was nothing when Jesus was on earth. They gave birth to Paul in 5AD. That is five years after Jesus was no more. He grew up as a Pharisee. Paul (formally Saul) was a hired hit man and enforcer for the Roman appointed-controlled High Priest the traitorous
Caiaphas. He was hostile to the disciples. Paul was dedicated to persecuting the early disciples of Jesus in the area of Jerusalem.

And on a fateful day, Paul was on another mission to persecute the Christians in Damascus when something “irrational” happened to Paul. He saw a light and fell down.
There is a tug of war between Acts 9 and 22 whether those with Paul actually saw the light and heard the voice Paul heard, that was saying…. Saul Saul… why do you persecute me?
And Paul responded, Who are you Lord?

Was Paul taught as a pharisee that when they see a strange light, it is the Lord? A better convincing question should have not included “Lord”. He doesn’t know why the light was shown and who was taking, so why the “Lord”?
In the process, Paul was blinded, so he needed healing.
The most ridiculous part of the story was where the “Lord” of the light that manifested unto Paul directed him to one Ananias in Damascus.
The following questions arise from the story for any christian to provide answers to:
1. Why did the Lord of light directed Paul to Ananias instead of his chosen disciples if truly the Lord was Jesus?
2. Has Jesus suddenly forgotten he already said the key to heaven and earth and even the kingdom of God has been given to Peter? Why didn’t he direct Paul to him? Maybe Peter’s holy spirit has expired, he won’t be able to deliver Paul.
3. And who was this Ananias? Son of who? When did he accept Jesus as his personal Lord and savior and got certified by Jesus himself to heal?
4. Can any Christian prove Ananias was a Christian?
5. A concrete evidence to prove Damascus was under Jerusalem? Paul was to cross border to arrest?

According to the account narrated in Acts 22, one can assume Ananias to be a Jew, an observer of the “Law”. Which law? The law of Moses. And Paul was delivered by a Jew?

Acts22:12

KJV:And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there,

ESV:“And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there,

NIV:“A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there.

AMP:And one Ananias, a devout man according to the Law, well spoken of by all the Jews who resided there,

Oh… please! It doesn’t even make any sense. The story is ridiculous! Jews were enemies of Jesus, including the high priests.

When you know how to tell stories, there are people who know how to listen.

These are what various Bible scholars are saying about Ananias.
1. According to Roderick L. Evans , Ananias was a prophet despite being mentioned as a disciple. In his opinion on New Testament prophets, biblical figures who receive a message from God or reveal future events are considered prophets despite alternative titles such as apostle or disciple.
2. Anglican priest and theologian Edward Carus Selwyn recognized Ananias as a prophet.
3. F.F. Bruce suggests that Ananias “has an honoured place in sacred history, and a special claim upon the gratitude of all who in one way or another have entered into the blessing that stems from the life and work of the great apostle.”
4. Ananias is also listed by Hippolytus of Rome and others as one of the Seventy Disciples whose mission is recorded in Luke 10:1-20.

While these scholars are still disputing over the real identity of the Ananias, let me consult Wikipedia.
I am shocked that the Ananias whose role in the conversion of Paul is very important has no record. He is just like Melchizedek. Where he was born was and still an assumption, and where he died is not known except the tradition of the Catholicism which assumed he died in Eleutheropolis. No known father and mother. Check for his link here. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ananias_of_Damascus

That event is so important that the author of Acts records it three times for maximum emphasis: first, as it happens (9:1-19); next, as Paul tells it to the Roman officer in Jerusalem (22:3-21); and, finally, as Paul tells it to the Jewish king, Agrippa II at Caesarea Maritima (26:1-18). But that triple account, written around 50 YEARS after Paul’s death, has two major historical problems.

The first problem is that, according to Acts, Paul was traveling to Damascus empowered with authority from the high-priest to arrest dissident Christian Jews and bring them back to Jerusalem for punishment. But, whatever about high-priestly power in Judea, it could never have been exercised across Roman provincial borders as far away as Damascus. Damascus was not under Jerusalem for God’s sake. So Paul was to cross border to arrest? What a super power he got!

On the other hand, Paul himself tells the Galatians that after that vocational vision, “I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus” (Galatians 1:11-17).

So he went to Arabia with blindness and later returned to Damascus to look for Ananias? What a sour lie!

The second problem is that the three versions of the narrations describe Paul as seeing “a light” and hearing “a voice” (9:3-4; 22:6-7; 36:13-14). According to Acts, Paul does not see Jesus’ face but only hears Jesus’s voice.
On the other hand, Paul himself insists that his sight of the heavenly Jesus makes him equal in authority with the Twelve Apostles who saw the earthly Jesus. As he argues in
his first letter to the Corinthians: “Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?” (9:1). And later: “Last of all, as to one untimely born, he was seen also by me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God” (15:8-9).

One major conclusion from those divergent accounts is that Acts never gives Paul the title of an apostle sent by and therefore subordinate only to God and Christ. Paul is, for Acts, a messenger sent by and therefore subordinate to Jerusalem and Antioch. His call was emphatically inferior to that of the Twelve Apostles.

There is another problem. As with his arrival in Damascus, so also with his departure. Paul and the author of Acts both superficially agree and profoundly disagree there as well. They agree that the the city’s gates were guarded against Paul and that he escaped by a basket lowered through a window in the wall. Today, Damascus’ Bab
Kissan Gate is the traditional site of that
hurried exit.

But who guarded those gates? For Acts, “the Jews plotted to kill him” and they were “watching the gates day and night so that they might kill him” (Acts 9:23-25). But, for Paul, it was not the Damascene Jews but the Nabatean Arabs who were the actual threat. “The governor,” he says, “under King Aretas guarded the city of Damascus in order to seize me” (2 Corinthians 11:32-33).

Why would the Jews in Damascus would even want to kill him? Were they the one who gave him job to persecute?

It is a known fact as confirmed by Paul himself that he didn’t meet any disciple after he departed from Damascus.
Paul has described the nature of his relationship with the original apostles in Jerusalem to show that he had been commissioned directly by God, not by the apostles, to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. He has worked independently from them. In fact his contact with them has been minimal. He did n n Judea except for the “good” reports they heard about his “evangelistic” work in the provinces of Syria and Cilicia. It was a long time before Paul met again with the apostles in Jerusalem, not until fourteen years after his conversion, or about eleven years after his first visit.
With all the years Paul has been preaching Christianity, the disciples still doubted the authenticity of Paul’s calling into the ministry(Acts 9:26).

One should ask, why did the disciples didn’t believe Paul’s conversion story? Simply because Paul’s preaching is totally against the mission of the real Jesus the disciples knew.This distrust of Paul by the apostles
continued. James, the Bishop of Jerusalem and brother of Jesus ( Gal 1:19 ), and whom Paul identifies as an “apostle ” ( Gal.1:19 ), confronts Paul in Acts 21:21 about charges that Paul is guilty of ” apostasia ” -Greek for APOSTASY – from the Law God gave Moses. Apostasy is a charge that one is violating Deuteronomy 13:1-10 where one with true prophecy, signs and wonders is a false prophet solely because one tries to “seduce” and “turn away” another from “the Law given you here today” — the Ten Commandments and concurrent Mosaic commands. In the Greek Septuagint of 257 BC, the Hebrew word for “seduce” or “turn away” is translated in Greek in Deut 13:10 as the active verb form of “apostasia” meaning to “turn away”.

In Acts 21:21, this James known as James the Just — who was one of the “apostles” in Paul’s mind — asks Paul to reassure everyone that Paul is not guilty of ” apostasia ” by performing a vow and ritual that comes from
Numbers 6 — part of the Mosaic Law. Paul complies, and says nothing to dissuade James’ confidence that Paul is not an apostate from the Law. Paul is hanging by a thin reed here. We must wonder about what would happen when the apostles of Jerusalem find out what Paul’s true views were, such as in Romans 7:1-7. Paul is just what tortoise is in those African folktales, a cunny man. Jesus, whom Paul claimed revealed himself to said he wasn’t sent to abolish the Law But Paul came later to rubbish the Law.

There were people who believed in Jesus Christ as a prophet of God, they didn’t believe Jesus was divine. One of them was the Ebionites. And the other was the Judaizers. The differences between them is that, the Ebionites were loyal to James the brother of Jesus and they were Jewish people while the Judaizers were the non-jewish people in Antioch who were fortunate to accept the truth when Peter and other disciples went to Antioch with the Gospel. If personalities like Peter and James followers are obeying the laws of Moses which Jesus himself didn’t come to abolish and obeyed, why should Paul preached against it?

The Ebionites excluded Paul’s Writings as Written by an Apostate. It does not require us to wait for long to learn the apostolic conclusion to what began in Acts 21:21 — examining Paul for apostasy. The Ebionites — the Jerusalem Church under the twelve, declared Paul’s writings are “excluded” from being read by believers, because Paul is guilty of “apostasy.”
For example, Irenaeus (early 100s -202 AD), wrote that the Ebionites from an early stage “use the Gospel of Matthew only, and repudiate…Paul, maintaining that he was an apostate from the Law .” (Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1.26 .)
Eusebius in 325 AD likewise said the Ebionites “thought it was necessary to reject all the epistles of the apostle [Paul] whom they called an apostate from the Law .” (Eusebius, Hist. of the Church 3.27 .)

Ebionites was designation at first. It was a common name for all Christians , as Epiphanius (d. 403 AD) testifies. Adv. Haer. xxix.” (G. Ulhorn, “Ebionites,” A Religious Encyclopedia (ed. Philip Schaff) (1891) vol. 2.

More proof the Ebionites were the apostolic church was found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. There scholars found a remnant writing for the community known as the EBION at Jerusalem whose leader — the Zaddik – the “JUST ONE” in Hebrew — was battling the “Spouter of Lies” over whether “works” were necessary for righteousness besides faith. They were arguing over Habakuk 2:4 – Paul’s frequent proof text for faith alone. James, the bishop of Jerusalem, was in fact known as James the Just. This fits the label Zaddik — a Hebrew word meaning Just One. The debate with Paul, who often deflects charges he is “lying,” was over the proof text Paul misused twice – Habakkuk 2:4. It takes no stretch to deduce the Ebionites were the church of James and the twelve depicted in Acts 15. As Professor Eisenman, an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls, persuasively argues about this Dead Sea Scroll document, that it has an uncanny parallel to Paul and the Just One – James the Just, as well as the name of the earliest Christians being the EBIONITES.

Incidentally, this means also that the Dead Sea Scroll document at issue known as the Damascus Document is further proof of the apostolic rejection of Paul.

This name, “Ebionite” meant The Poor in Hebrew from EBION meaning ‘the poor.’ Thus because the name Ebionites was used earliest to refer to all believers before the term “Christians” was first used at Antioch, it is logical to infer this was the earliest name of the church under the apostles. Before the Judaizers came up among the gentiles.

But looking at it from another angle, why not leave the word “Christian” in the Greek and just transliterate it instead of translating it to Latin?

Bibles like the Jewish Christian Bible didn’t use the word “Christian ” in Acts 11:26 but “Messianic believers”

We left the word Muslim untranslated, English language and other languages got no option other than to just borrow the word and add to their vocabulary while relating the meaning to the translation.

The Greek word Χριστιανός, transliterated into English as Christianós , is derived from the Greek word Χριστός, transliterated into English as Christós , an adjective meaning “anointed,” which is often used in the Greek New Testament as a substantive meaning “anointed one.”
If Χριστός means “anointed (one),” what does Χριστιανός mean? The answer lies in the suffix -ανός which is actually the Greacized transliteration and equivalent of the Latin suffix -anus .

In “Studies in Jewish and Christian
History: Part Three” , Elias Joseph Bickerman wrote, All these Greek terms, formed with the Latin suffix -ianus , exactly as the Latin words of the same derivation, express the idea that the men or things referred to, belong to the person to whose name the suffix is added. In Greek as in Latin the suffix -ianus is a substitute for the possessive genitive…
The term Καισαριανοί corresponds to the ellipse Καίσαρος ( Caesaris servus [“a slave of Caesar”]) in other documents. The “Christians” belong to Christ, they are οί τοῦ χριστοῦ [“those of Christ”] as Paul says.

For example, according to Lewis and
Short, the Latin word Augustanus means “Of or belonging to an emperor.” Likewise, Christianus, the Latin equivalent of the Greek word Χριστιανός, means “Of or belonging to Christ.” Christians are “those of Christ” (οἱ τοῦ Χριστοῦ) (i.e., “Christ’s); they belong to Christ, as his possessions, because Christians are “slaves of Jesus Christ” (δοῦλοι Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ). Of course, this is why Jesus Christ is known as our “lord,” or Greek κύριος, literally “master” (as in slave-master). Therefore, the words Christianus and Χριστιανός imply slavery. For this reason, these words were applied to Christians by non-Christians as a derogatory epithet, for the condition of servitude (slavery) was ignominious. However, believers in Christ cherished the epithet because it was a honor to be slaves of Christ, unlike other masters.
https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/21020/what-does-christian-mean-acts-1126

I somehow agree with Bikkerman, simply because in the book of Romans, according to Paul. He says
(Romans 6:16)

KJV:Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

ESV:Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?

NIV:Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

AMP:Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)?

Christianity is not divine!
Christianity, Divine or Defined (Part 2)
By Sanusi Olawale Ibn AbdulWasiu (sanoosy)

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