Paul was the chief writer of the new testament. He wrote 13 books without question and according to quite a few, including me, he also wrote the book of Hebrews as well. In order to have multiple doctrines and religions in the world, it is necessary to kill the apostle Paul. If Paul or the doctrine which he taught is left unimpeded, then only one church and one gospel will exist. Therefore, out of necessity it is necessary to kill the reputation of the beloved apostle Paul.
Paul established the church in Corinth and worked with it for eighteen months (Acts 18:11). When trouble came to the church while he was preaching in Ephesus, he wrote 1 Corinthians to address the problems there. Sometime during his stay in Ephesus, he made a trip to Corinth to help solve their problems (2 Cor. 12:14; 13:1). After this second trip, men began working in Corinth to destroy Paul’s reputation. Second Corinthians records much of this conflict. Here are some of the criticisms that were made about Paul’s work:
1. He is fickled. This charge is implied in the statement in 2 Corinthians 1:17 “When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? Or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me here should be yea yea, and nay nay?” Because Paul changed his plans about when he would come to Corinth, those who were trying to undermine his work charged him with fickleness, attributing motives for changing his plans that were untrue. He changed his plans to “spare them” (2 Cor. 1:23) and to avoid a second visit that would be painful and full of sorrow (2 Cor. 2:1-4).
2. His bodily presence is weak. Many of us admire men with a personal charisma that draws others to them. But this was not Paul’s character. His critics said he was “base” and “weak” when present (2 Cor. 10:1; 13:1).
3. He writes terrifying letters. In contrast to his bodily presence, Paul’s letters were “bold” (2 Cor. 10:1). They charged that he “terrified” them with his letters, “for his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak and his speech contemptible” (2 Cor. 10:10).
4. He is not a good speaker. Some found Paul’s pulpit preaching lacking. They said that “his speech is contemptible” (2 Cor. 10:10) and that “he is rude in speech” (2 Cor. 13:6). Apparently, Paul’s opponents were not impressed by his pulpit delivery and used that to undermine his work at Corinth.
5. He doesn’t accept support. One of the things that Paul was criticized for at Corinth was his refusal to accept support from the church at Corinth. Paul was not against preachers being supported from the church treasury, for he had argued for this right in 1 Corinthians 9:1-15. While he labored in Corinth, he supported himself by tent making (Acts 18:3) and received financial support from other churches on sporadic occasions (2 Cor. 11:8 f; Phil. 4:15-16). Instead of appreciating Paul’s sacrificing so that the gospel might be preached among them, the Corinthians condemned Paul for not taking support from them. The exact nature of this criticism is not known. Some think that it came because itinerant philosophers were usually supported by their disciples. Others think that Paul’s refusal of support from Corinth was interpreted as an indication that Paul thought himself lesser than the Jerusalem apostles. However, it was interpreted, there can be no doubt that he was criticized for not taking their support (2 Cor 11:7-9 f; 12:13-15).
6 He used others to take money from the Corinthians. When his opponents could not criticize Paul for taking money, they charged that the funds raised by Titus for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem was really Paul’s craftiness in deceitfully taking the Corinthians’ money for himself (2 Cot 13:16).
7. Paul is beside himself. Some appear to have made the charge that Paul was so caught up in what he was doing that he was a “zealot” who had lost all balance that he is “beside” himself (2 Cor. 5:13). Such an accusation was also made by Felix concerning Paul as he stood before him. “And as he spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, you are beside yourself; much learning makes you mad (Acs 26:24).
8. Paul is duplicitous. Some accused Paul of teaching circumcision to the Jews and uncircumcision to the Gentiles (Gal 5:3-11).
9. Paul’s Writings are hard to understand. The apostle Peter confirmed that Paul’s epistles were scripture, but that his writing was hard to understand and the unlearned twisted his words (2 Pet 3:16).
10. Paul was dishonored, had evil reports spoken about him, and was charged with being a deceiver (2 Cor. 6:13). Some charged that he had wronged, corrupted, and defrauded brethren (2 Cor. 7:2). They charged that he “walked according to the flesh” (2 Cor. 10:2).
Is it any wonder that such character assassinations continue to plague Paul today. Some call him a woman hater because it was Paul who commanded women to be silent in the churches (1 Cor 14:33-40). He also commanded women not to teach men or to usurp their authority (1 Tim 2:11-15). He commanded that they obey their husband in everything and to be chaste keepers at home (Tit 2:4-5).
Others discredit Paul for not being totally inspired. Some say the he spoke his own opinions on various subjects, and thus is not to be believed on everything (2 Cor 8:8-10 ff; 1 Cor 7:10-12; 2 Cor 11:17).
Paul stated he didn’t take money from churches that he might not abuse his power in the gospel (Something all seasoned preachers learn before they are through preaching) 1 Cor 9:17). Paul affirmed that what he wrote to one church he wrote to all churches (1 Cor 4:17). He confirmed that he lied not 4 times (Rom 9:1 ff; 2 Cor 11:31; Gal 1:20; 1 Tim 2:7). Paul certified that the gospel he preached was not after men but from Jesus Christ (Gal 1:11,12). He also stated that the commandment concerning women’s silence in the church was the commandment of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 14:37).
Paul admits he was was rude of speech (2 Cor 11:6). He admits that he was weak in the flesh (2 Cor 12:8-10). Paul said if he was duplicitous concerning circumcision then of necessity the offense of the cross would have stopped. Yet, his persecutions continued (Gal 5:11). Surely, there were times when Paul wasn’t sure if he was speaking of his own accord or by the revelation of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, the apostle Peter confirmed that all of Paul’s writings were scripture (2 Pet 3:16) and thus were heavenly inspired (2 Tim 3:16,17).
It is impossible to erase the epistles of the apostle Paul from the new testament, in part or in whole without erasing Christianity. Paul was totally inspired by the Holy Spirit. Paul didn’t lie in his letters to the churches. All early day Christians continued in the apostle’s doctrine (Acts 2:42). Paul commanded by the Spirit that we follow or imitate him as he followed Jesus Christ (1 Cor 11:1). And in the end of all things, we all shall be judged according to the gospel he preached by Jesus Christ (Rom 2:16).
Truly, the apostle Paul died at the hand of Nero, but his gospel lives on today in the writing of the new testament. You can kill the messengers of the gospel, but you will never destroy the gospel and doctrine of Christ and his apostles. So called churches today may not allow the words of the apostle Paul to be preached in their pulpits, but let it be known that Paul’s epistles still reign supreme in the new testament. God’s Word abides forever, and Paul’s writing is part of God’s Word (1 Pet 1:23-25) As the song goes, “If it was good for Paul and Silas, then it is good enough for me!”