Copyright 1994 - 2023 Bill's Bible Basics
Authored By :
Published On :
December 7, 2021
Last Updated :
December 7, 2021
Misguided Belief That Paul Started Christianity, Legalistic Enemies Of The Apostle Paul, Jesus Built His Church, Jesus Is The Rock Foundation and Cornerstone, Paul Was A Great Man Of God Preacher And Front-Line Soldier, Paul Viewed Himself As One Of The Last And Least Of The Apostles, Jesus Was The Firstborn Of The Dead, Jesus Is The Author And The Finisher Of Our Faith, Concluding Remarks, BBB Suggested Reading List
Amongst certain Christians, and even amongst certain critics of the Christian faith, there exists a misguided belief that the Apostle Paul started the Christian faith. This erroneous belief is particularly popular amongst Apostle Paul haters -- who accuse him of being a false apostle, and worse -- and legalistic Jews and Zionist Christians and Judaizers who claim that Paul bastardized -- or at least disregarded -- the 613 laws -- or mitzvah -- of the Old Testament, in order to create his own brand of religion.
But is there really any truth to this hateful claim. In a word, no. But let us start by asking a basic question; and that is this: Exactly what is a founder? A founder is an individual who starts/initiates something, correct? It can be a business, an organization, a movement, a religion or anything else. Well, what did Jesus say in the Gospel of Matthew? How about the following:
"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."
Matthew 16:18, KJV
Notice very clearly what Jesus says in that verse. He plainly states that HE would build His Church, and not the Apostle Paul or anyone else. When Jesus said "this rock" in the aforementioned verse, was He referring to Peter as the Roman Catholic Church erroneously claims? Most definitely not! The Lord was in fact referring to Himself and to His very own body. Why? Because He is the Rock, the foundation and the cornerstone upon which He built His Church. This Biblical truth is so clearly evidenced by verses such as the following:
"And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."
1 Corinthians 10:4, KJV
"The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes."
Psalms 118:22-23, KJV
"Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?"
Matthew 21:42, KJV
"And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner: This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?"
Mark 12:10-11, KJV
"This [meaning Jesus] is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner."
Acts 4:11, KJV
"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 3:11, KJV
"To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed [that is disapproved, rejected, repudiated] indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed."
1 Peter 2:4-8, KJV
It should be clear to you by now that Jesus Christ is the one and only founder of the Christian faith. Not only is He the only founder, but Jesus is also the very cornerstone, or foundation stone, of His Church. To believe otherwise is to be in denial of what all of the previous verses state.
So does this mean that I am dissing the Apostle Paul? Most definitely not. I in fact have the utmost respect for him. After all, Paul most certainly did more for the Church, and sacrificed more for the Church, than I could ever possibly hope to do. He was a great man of God, a wonderful preacher of the Word, and one of God's front-line soldiers. This he proved when he gave his very life for the Cause of Christ.
However, contrary to the claim of his misguided, modern-day enemies, Paul did not start Christianity. As he himself wrote in two of his Epistles, he was one of the last, as well as one of the least of the Apostles. How then could Paul have started something which was ALREADY in progress? Consider the following verses which prove this point:
"And LAST of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the LEAST of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me."
1 Corinthians 15:8-10, KJV
"Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am LESS THAN THE LEAST of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;"
Ephesians 3:7-8, KJV
To reiterate, yes, as I explain in the article "A Biblical Cafeteria, or the Whole Course?", there should be no doubt that God most certainly used Paul to preach the Gospel to the Gentile world. However, as I already said, he did NOT start the Church or Christianity. Jesus alone did that when He sacrificed Himself and became the firstborn of the dead, as we can determine by the following group of verses:
"For whom he [God the Father] did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he [meaning Jesus] might be the firstborn among many brethren."
Romans 8:29, KJV
"Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence."
Colossians 1:15, 18, KJV
"To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,"
Hebrews 12:23, KJV
So, Jesus started it all. He was the firstborn and the founder of our faith. Not Paul. The Apostle Paul was one of God’s instruments, just like the rest of the Apostles and Disciples. Clearly, God used him mightily to preach the Gospel, and at great cost to himself. But again, Jesus alone is the Founder of our faith. In fact, what does it say in the Epistle to the Hebrews? It clearly states that Jesus is the author of our faith. Consider the following verse:
"Looking unto Jesus the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:2, KJV
So with all of the aforementioned verses, I hope that I have now convinced you that Jesus Christ alone is the founder of our Christian faith, and not the Apostle Paul. With these thoughts I will bring this article to a close. I trust that you have enjoyed it, learned something from it, and I pray that it has been a blessing in your life. If you have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or with any other social network, I would really appreciate if you would take the time to click or tap on the corresponding link that is found on this page. Thank you so very much! May God bless you abundantly!
For additional information, you may want to refer to the list of reading resources below which were either mentioned in this article, or which contain topics which are related to this article. All of these articles are likewise located on the Bill's Bible Basics website.
A Biblical Cafeteria, or the Whole Course?
Dead to the Law: God's Laws Written on Our Hearts
Free From the Fear of Death: Law and Works vs Grace
Peter: Faith Tried in the Fire