The four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John which are to be found in the Bible in the New Testament, claim to present the story of Jesus. They are the only accounts we have of the life of Jesus, the only ones. If we can debunk them we have no reason to take Jesus or his existence seriously. The gospels are the centre of the Christian faith which claims that they are the word of God.
Paul was the first Christian writer and he had nothing to do with the gospels. In fact, he contradicted them. He was THE Christian of the first century and a top leader in the early Church. He knew what he was talking about. He worked in the land Jesus lived in and he was a leading Pharisee when Jesus was supposedly alive. He would have heard lots about Jesus had there been a Jesus for the gospels indicate that Jesus was a Pharisee himself though a rebel one.
As Paul wrote of Jesus before the gospellers his word comes first when there is a disagreement.

Paul would have learned all he could about the story of Jesus if his Jesus were a knowable historical person. Why? For our edification and because Jesus’ whole life manifested God. If Paul had distorted anything he would have been corrected by the apostles and certainly somebody would have corrected his epistles in case they would be preserved for future generations. So we can take Paul’s beliefs about Jesus being a stranger to his generation who was only revealed in the resurrection appearances and visions as been those of the apostles and entire early Church as well.
Paul in 1 Corinthians said that he had a right to marry as did the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Peter (9:5). He didn't say he had a right to marry because Jesus had done it. An anti erotic tendency was in the Church from the start and even influenced official Church teaching. These considerations lead believers to hold that Jesus Christ was not married. But the gospels speak of Jesus being alone with loose women and allowing and protecting marriage. They don't mention Jesus being married but a man of his age would have had to have been married. People would not take to an unmarried man any more than they would a homosexual for marriage was considered to be of extreme importance.
So Jesus had to have been married if the gospels are even basically true in what they say about him. But he wasn't when we consider the reasons against his being a married man. Paul is again contradicting the gospels.
Paul in Ephesians 5:18 forbids people to get drunk with wine. Yet Jesus provided wine for a drunk party in John 2. He produced at a stage where the gospel says it was usual to serve bad wine for the revellers would have been too intoxicated to notice that they were not getting the good wine any more.
Paul forbade name-calling (Ephesians 4:31) which he would not have done if he had known that Jesus had indulged in it quite a bit (Matthew 23). Even being God could not give Jesus the right to fan the flames of the Pharisees wrath who he called bastards among other hideous names to sin and sanctimonious hatred. It was not necessary. They could only resent it coming from a man who commanded, “Turn the other cheek”. And insulting the smug Pharisees would only have made them worse. Jesus told us to judge fairly. Nobody can say we cannot judge and he can so he can call names if he wants to.
For Paul, Jesus atoned for our sins and did it all for us. God has chosen who will be saved and if we are saved we will believe because God will make sure we will. So the greatest commandment for Paul would be to accept the salvation Jesus won for you. For Jesus the greatest commandment was to love God with all your heart and soul and mind. Jesus according to the gospels was saving people before he died and when he was teaching this – he was applying the future atonement to them. It does not help to point to 1 Corinthians 13:13 where Paul says there is faith and hope and love and the greatest of these is love. He is still not saying we need to try and love God with all our hearts. He is saying that faith saves us and produces hope and love and love is the best in so far as doing good is concerned. Faith is at the root of love but this does not mean that faith is better than it in the practical sense. But in the value sense, and for what it does and leads to, namely hope and charity, faith is better.
Paul said that if you have faith that can move mountains and don’t have charity the faith is no good (1 Corinthians 13:2). In Mark 11:23, Jesus says that if anybody believes without doubting that a mountain will move and asks it to move it will move. Paul would see more value in charity so he contradicted Jesus. It is interesting that whoever made up the quote for Jesus seems to have been inspired by Paul!
Jesus said that we must call no man on earth our Father (Matthew 23:9). Proof that he meant this literally comes from the fact that he always called his mother Woman and never Mother. Mary then is the bearer of God if Jesus is God but not the mother of God for mother implies a relationship of mother and son not just the mother having had given birth to the son. A better proof is in the fact that the gospels never give titles such as Father to anybody so we have nothing disputing the literal interpretation. Another good proof is that Jesus was speaking to people who could only take him literally. He also specifically forbade the titles Teacher and Master or Rabbi at the same time.
FF Bruce in the excellent Hard Sayings tells us that when Jesus made this ban he meant that nobody is to get a designation that belongs to God (page 219). Your own father is not so much your father as God so that logically implies nobody should be called father. Bruce wouldn’t go that far but he does hold that Jesus opposed honorific titles such as father or master or rabbi in affairs of religion.  But Paul contradicts Jesus by having himself called Father (1 Corinthians 4:15). Bruce says Paul was only using an analogy for Paul wrote that he became their father through the gospel. But for that Paul would have to say he became like their father. He didn’t.
If Paul believed that Jesus really was a normal man (even if Jesus was God the Church teaches he was fully or normally man at the same time) then why did he describe private parts as dishonourable? He said we cloth the inferior parts of our bodies and treat them with great care which means they are equal to the better and nicer parts which we don’t do this to (1 Corinthians 12:22-25). So the parts are inferior but treated like they are important. But they are still inferior. Paul hated sexuality so his Jesus could not have been the sexual being of the gospels who cuddled men and let women touch him and who seems to have been affectionate. Paul’s teaching that the inferior members of the Church must get special care like private parts do indicates clearly that there shouldn’t be apostles in the Church for they would be entitled to this pampering care instead. His own teaching proves the apostles had no right to claim to represent the truth of Christ.

Paul said that even clever lies to get a person to convert and save their soul were immoral (Romans 3:7,8). Jesus was a wanted man from early in his ministry according to the gospels and many believed he was the Christ and he did not go public and say they were right until close to his death. so he must have denied being the Christ before that time. If he was the Christ then this was lying. But Paul is condemning all lies which he would not have done had the gospels not been making all that stuff they said about Jesus up.
Paul tells us not to eat meat sacrificed to idols when others will be outraged at it though they should not be (Romans 14). He is censuring Jesus who never worried about what other people thought and who claimed to be the Son of God though it upset many of his own admirers.
If the gospels are to be believed, Jesus openly poured scorn on Jewish taboos about food and drink that were not in the Law. Paul quoted Isaiah in 2 Corinthians 6 in which God said not to go near anything unclean. Paul knew from the context of the times that this meant no unclean food. So Paul is declaring the Jewish food laws to be still in force. If you believe that Jesus made all foods clean then Paul is denying that.

Jesus sought to call Jews to a deeper commitment to their religion (Matthew 17:24; 9:13). He made friends with prostitutes and other outcasts which Paul knew nothing of because he ordered his Church to refuse to associate with or talk to people like that (1 Corinthians 5). Christians may say that Jesus befriended outsiders while Paul is against backslidden Christians. But the people Jesus befriended were backslidden Jews - members of what was then, according to him, the true faith, so the same would go for Christianity now.

Paul complained against Christians having their legal battles seen to by the wicked and he forbade it. This was in contradiction to Jesus who called the Sanhedrin evil and then wanted anybody who treated another with complete contempt dragged before them!

Paul’s teaching that God does not care if one is a Jew or a Greek (Colossians 3:11) is the opposite of Jesus’ own attitude. In the gospels, Jesus made racist remarks to a pagan woman who wanted him to deliver her daughter from a demon. He should have said nothing and the gospels would say if he was joking and it only took half a second to cure the girl. He didn’t have to speak to the woman at all and especially when he ignored her when she first spoke to him. He said salvation is from the Jews. The Christian has to be a Jew in a sense to be saved.

Paul said that we must not go beyond what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6). He was speaking of the need for people not to puff themselves up and quoted a bit from the Jewish Bible (1 Corinthians 3:20) as a backup. The earliest Church did not use scriptures apart from the Old Testament. In their interpretation its alleged Messianic prophecies spoke of the deeds, death and resurrection and message and salvation of Jesus. What Paul wrote suggests that the early Church had no interest in a Jesus story that went further than the Old Testament. Stories like the healings and miracles of Jesus were condemned. It was enough to know he had such powers and may have used them after his death.


Paul was always clear when he gave his own opinion which is why he says if he got a command from the Lord or not. See 1 Corinthians 7:25 where he says he got no rule from Jesus about virgins but was going to give his own judgement.  If Jesus had lived on earth he must have had something to say about virgins especially if he was one himself!

Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount that far from ever telling a lie we must not even swear that we are telling the truth for we must not need to so oaths are wrong. Paul swore in Galatians 1:20. And he had no need to either because he could have got affidavits to support the assertions he was making. A man who swears without need is definitely one to keep an eye on. He even had to swear in Romans 9:1 that he felt terrible all the time and was really depressed over the Jews not accepting the Christian faith. That was totally unnecessary. At least it shows that if you are a real Christian the joy you experience will be of little benefit to you for you should be depressed over the terrible things that happen to those who reject God. The fact that Paul’s conflicts with the gospel Jesus were not eradicated from the text shows that the Church would have agreed with him that the gospel Jesus was a myth, a fiction, and a myth that would not emerge and be accepted until the second century.

Paul wrote that when he does something he does it and it is not a yes with him and then a no. This led him to express a thought about Jesus. Paul wrote that the Son of God the Christ Jesus that we proclaimed I mean myself and Silvanus and Timothy (2 Corinthians 1) was not yes and no but was always yes. He then wrote that no matter how many promises God made the yes to them all is in Christ which is why we praise God through Christ. Why does he say who he means here? Certainly it was to indicate that the Christs of other preachers might be a caricature and only those three had the right Christ and the right view of him. It is a hint that there were lots of self-styled apostles in those days. No doubt their Christs were all yes to the promises of God as well so why does Paul indicate that they couldn’t have been? The promises refer to the Christ allegedly promised in the Old Testament by prophets to whom God revealed the future. Paul is plainly stating that there were many different versions of Christ being preached but only his version fitted the prophecies. The Christ then is not learned about by delving into history but through prophecy. This can be only true if the story that Jesus lived in Paul’s time is false and he lived aeons before. The other versions indicate that everybody was making up his own Christ in the absence of any history. That is what happens when the subject is unreal or lived long ago.
The Gospel Jesus was not always yes. He refused to help a pagan woman and called her a dog. Then he changed his mind when she told him that dogs deserve scraps off the table. This contradicted Paul's teaching that there was no Jew or Gentile but only equality with Jesus.

Paul said that his disciples should follow him even as he follows Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1) meaning that he mirrors Christ in his actions and words. He said too immediately after that about how thankful he was that the people didn’t let him leave their minds and remembered the traditions he taught. So there was no other source about Jesus but himself and the apostles proves the point that Jesus could not have lived in the first century. Paul warned against following men acting in the name of God and Jesus for you could end up serving men when you think it is God you are serving so when he talked this way he had no alternative. If he had he would have directed the Corinthians to it and helped them to it instead of setting himself up as the expert on the Son of God.


Paul condemned Peter for not eating with Gentiles because he wanted to be inclusive to Jews who would not mix. Yet Paul circumcised Timothy for the Jews would reject him otherwise. It does not matter if Paul was being a hypocrite. What matters is that neither men knew of a Jesus who ate with sinners or outcasts like the Gentiles.  The gospels say Jesus supposedly did.


Paul, or his editor, predicted that there would be a mass falling away from the gospel when the antichrist comes before Christ returns and therefore not to listen to anybody saying that Jesus was about to come back or already had (2 Thessalonians 2). Yet the synoptic gospels, that is Mark, Matthew and Luke which are the ones that have the most in common, with John the fourth gospel being the odd one out, strongly emphasised that Jesus could return any minute which was why people were counselled to be ready at all times.  This is a huge difference with the gospels which repeatedly stress his return.
The Jesus of Paul is a lot less exciting than the one in the gospels and is the true one if any is near real. The gospels are drunk on myths and lies. Remember, the simplest portrait is the most believable one.

Paul’s contradictions of the gospels prove that their Jesus never existed though he may have been based on a suitable historical victim which is not the same as saying there was a Jesus. And his silence speaks just as loudly. That is another study.
The Jesus of Paul and the Jesus of the gospels which came later are two different people. The gospels are lies. What Paul says takes precedence over legends that came together later for he was the first Christian writer and wrote closer to the alleged time of Christ.

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