Paul's Vision on the Road to Damascus
Jesus Resurrection

Paul's revelation: "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"

Here, Jesus is telling Paul, that those Jesus followers are his disciples, and he approves of them. Then, when the Super Apostles rejected the changes which Paul was trying to implement in the Antioch community, that meant they rejected Paul's view altogether. This is a very simple logic, which clearly impeaches Paul's revelation.

Professor Garry Wills had a conversation with Charlie Rose on Nov 29, 2006, about his latest book "What Paul Meant". Professor Garry Wills mentioned 6 of the 13 letters which are attributed to Paul, they are not his! Professor Garry Wills said: "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" is not Paul's! Luke on his own added that story!

In this scenario, then the credibility of the whole Bible vanishes! Why did Luke make up a false story!? Then how can we trust on any part of the Luke Gospel!? If Luke Gospel can not be trusted, then that discredits the New Testaments altogether!

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I mentioned in earlier chapters that Paul got very impressed with the Brotherhood which was practiced in the Jesus community. He thought that model could be used to empower the poor to have a better life and help humanities to achieve Universal Brotherhood. Paul's vision to liberalize the rigid practices of the Judaism combined with the Jesus peaceful behavior was the perfect combination which made the Christianity to thrive so successful. I mentioned Paul manufactured a supernatural story of Jesus vision on the Road to Damascus to gain the trust of Jesus followers and facilitate his entry to that group. He also used that story to improve his standing within the Jesus Followers. When the Apostles heard such heart warming news they were very pleased and delighted. This was first news which portrayed Jesus as a winner. Jesus followers reflect; for sure Jesus lost his argument against the Chief Priest and he suffered such painful death. But this was an affirmation of Judaism; that your good conducts will be rewarded and your soul will ascend to Heaven. In his description of the Spiritual body, Paul is very clear about the distinction between the Natural body and the Spiritual body. Paul started this notion of the revival of Jesus Spiritual body, and later on his assistants Mark and Luke added their own spin to that story.

Paul never mentioned that Jesus was resurrected in the flesh. He never mentions empty tombs, physical appearances, or the ascension of Jesus into heaven after his crucifixion. Book of Acts gives several embellished accounts of Paul's vision. All of them clearly reflect a spiritual body and none of them refer to it as a physical body. Then in 1 Corinthians 15 Paul reports that all the original eye-witnesses, Peter, James, the Twelve Disciples, and hundreds of others, saw Jesus in essentially the same way. He then goes on to build an elaborate description of how the flesh cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and how the resurrected body is a spiritual body, and all this seems good evidence that Paul did not believe in a physical resurrection of Jesus, but just the Spiritual revival.

Let us examine Resurrection story and other Jesus miracles by the chronology of the documents which they have been reported. In this chronology we will see how and why the Resurrection and other stories were formed. Paul died maybe during the fire at Rome on 64 AD, Quelle Gospel was written around 65 AD, Mark Gospel was written around 70 AD, Luke Gospel was written around 75 - 90 AD, Mathew Gospel was written around 80 - 85, and John Gospel was written around 90 - 120 AD.

In this chronology the first report of Jesus revival is by Paul; on the Road to Damascus Paul has an encounter with the resurrected Jesus:

Acts 9:3 As he was going along, approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 9:4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" 9:5 So he said, "Who are you, Lord?" He replied, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 9:6 But stand up and enter the city and you will be told what you must do." 9:7 (Now the men who were traveling with him stood there speechless, because they heard the voice but saw no one.)

In this story People only experienced Jesus voice and nothing else. Paul does not describe of any image. This was reaffirmation of Judaism Faith that soul will lives on. And you may not see soul unless in your dream, because soul is invisible. Paul describes the nature of the soul in the following passage:

1 Corinthians 15:42 It is the same with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. 15:43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 15:44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this is what I am saying, brothers and sisters: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 15:51 Listen, I will tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed.

As we read these verses it is very clear that Paul was pointing to a spiritual body resurrection. The spiritual body is not a new concept in Judaism. Holy Torah is filled with the notion of spirit. So Paul was reaffirming that Jesus indeed was in the spirit form and still he was conscious of the issues of this world, and he was influencing and enlightening people to the Truth. This was straight forward and Jesus followers did not need any persuasion to accept it as a fact. This was the notion of Jesus spiritual revival. However in the following passage we have a totally different kind of the Resurrected Jesus:

1 Corinthians 15:3 For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received-that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, 15:4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, 15:5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 15:6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 15:7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 15:8 Last of all, as though to one born at the wrong time, he appeared to me also.

In this passage it is described that Resurrected Jesus has appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve, and then to more than five hundred people. The word "appeared" was used which means that those people saw Resurrected Jesus. In this passage for the verification of its claim the term "according to the scriptures" was used twice. We know when Paul was alive no scriptures were written yet. This means the person who wrote this passage must be living at later time and he has seen the scriptures. So this passage can not be written by Paul. So, for this reason the content of this verse should not be trusted, and should be dismissed entirely. So we can imagine that the content of the "1 Corinthians" has been altered by someone later on. Or maybe some author wrote the entire "1 Corinthians" in the name of Apostle Paul. This is a vivid example of the nature of the documents which was written very enthusiastically to boost and to glorify the Jesus image.

As I said Paul's account for encountering Jesus' spirit on Road to Damascus was in harmony with the Old Testament. Then, the destruction of Great Jewish Temple happened. Jesus followers were advertising that Jesus had prophesized that Colossal Event. This made Jesus the center of attention. The prophecy had validated the status of Jesus as a very special prophet. Add to that claim the trauma of the crucifixion, then that created a full blown extraordinary and sympathetic image. However that glorified image of Jesus had one major problem. If this extraordinary prophet could not save his own live and the Romans annihilated him with humiliating and painful crucifixion then what kind of prophet was he after all, and what kind of power did he possess.

Gospel of Mark which is the first gospel did not have the Resurrection story. The last two chapters of Mark Gospel which is talking about the Resurrection were added about the time when the four Gospels were accepted as official scriptures in Christianity by the first Council of Nicaea on 325 AD.

To remedy that major problem for Jesus failure by his crucifixion either Luke or Mathew came up with the Resurrection Story. We need to remember both Luke and Mathew were educated people and they were familiar with many myths and theologies regarding the resurrection of Gods. In first century AD Gospels of Luke and Mathew were in competition with each other for attracting followers. And we have to remember at that time they were not publishing these books. Most of the materials would be preached to people in a synagogue or Church setting. So, when one preacher came up with the Resurrection story the other preacher would match it with his own version. Bodily Resurrection does resonant with the Egyptian mythologies. The Egyptians were expecting to get bodily revived.

Making the Resurrected story was easy, by then all of the Apostles were dead and there was nobody to challenge them for the validity of the story. After all, the Resurrection and the miracles supposed to be extraordinary events. The more extraordinary those events were the better their impacts. The authors were free to let their imaginations run wild.

Even though these supernatural stories are not supposed to fit with any natural phenomena, but they do need to satisfy their own account. And these are the fine points which we can prove the stories are manufactured claims and do not have any historic reality. In Gospels the Resurrected Jesus portrayed as the same Jesus which was on the Cross. He even had the holes in his body to prove his identity. But strangely nobody recognizes this Resurrected Jesus, until he says I am the revived Jesus. This notion makes the stories sound very weird. But Gospels by demonstrating that the resurrected Jesus ate food like any natural man, they try to emphasize that the Resurrected Jesus was very normal. But this does violate Paul's description and the definition of imperishable body which is described in 1 Corinthians 15:42 and 15:50. The food which is perishable it is joined with the body which it supposed to be imperishable.

The Destruction of the Jewish Temple started a flurry of stories for Jesus. I can see many individual in order to impress their audiences they would make some miracles for Jesus. This is normal behavior of human being and in these days which everything is documented by Journalists and by Cameras, we still are seeing these kinds of exaggerated stories regarding the famous people all over the world. Ayatollah Khomeini's image was seen on the surface of the Moon! Elvis Presley was controlling his own preparation on the stage to an exact time and an exact location!

I saw a televangelist in the name of Jesus who was healing many sick and crippled people right in front of the TV camera in every episode of his TV show. The cured people were general public who could not be cured by medical physicians, so they were there to get healed by the power of Jesus which was empowering that Evangelist. The televangelist was healing them on demand every time, without any failure. The cured people earnestly were explaining what happened to them and what they felt when they got healed. This televangelist's Apostleship power was growing so strongly which he commanded his viewers to put their hands on their TV tubes then he would heal them right through the TV tubes. The proof of Jesus power was right there for everybody to see and to believe, such an amazing and powerful performance. Shame on non-believers!

I also saw a magician who made a whole Jet plane in an airport to disappear. This happened right in front of the TV Camera and hundreds of eyewitnesses. I have seriously wondered where he got his power from!? Some people may still have doubt about Jesus miracles, but these miracles were preformed right in front of TV camera so people should believe that these kinds of miracles do happen! In John Gospel which chronologically is the last accepted Gospel, John gives a story of Jesus account on which Jesus walks on water. I wonder how all the other people who wrote about Jesus they missed that important event and they failed to mention it but John who wrote his Gospel about 70 years after Jesus crucifixion was the only one who wrote about that amazing story. Maybe the other gospel writers did not think that story was amazing enough to be mentioned!

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