Saturday, June 29, 2013

Did Paul Invent Christianity?

Recently I had the opportunity to present evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ at an area outreach called "God on Trail."  The crux of my argument centered around historical facts that are accepted as historical by the majority of critical and non-critical scholars.  One of the those facts is the conversion of the church persecutor Paul.

During the Q and A, one thoughtful inquirer pointed out that Paul wrote a large portion of our New Testament and asked, "Did Paul invent Christianity?"

I pointed out the following:

1. We have historical evidence that a person named Jesus Christ actually lived, performed miracles, etc.  Further, the key teachings of Christ actually pre-date Paul.

2. What would Paul's motive have been for inventing Christianity?  He was beaten, imprisoned, persecuted and ultimately killed for his faith in Christ.

3. What first-century evidence do we have that is best explained by Paul inventing Christianity?  There was none offered.

Ultimately, the best explanation of Paul's radical change from church persecutor to zealous follower of Jesus Christ is that he did indeed encounter a risen Christ on the road to Damascus.

For a more detailed look at the question, "Did Paul Invent Christianity?," checkout this post and this post over at Bill Pratt's Tough Questions Answered.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

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