The Influence of the Pauline Epistles Upon The Gospels of The New Testament 1

The Influ­ence of the Pauline Epis­tles Upon The Gospels of The New Testament

Chris­tians believe that Paul of Tar­sus is the Apos­tle’ of Jesus(P), whom he met in a vision on his jour­ney to Dam­as­cus. Paul is also claimed to be the author of the Epis­tles to the Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthi­ans, Gala­tians, Eph­esians, Philip­pi­ans, Colos­sians, 1 and 2 Thes­sa­lo­ni­ans, 1 and 2 Tim­o­thy, Titus, Phile­mon and Hebrews. It is there­fore strange that this self-con­fessed Apos­tle’ of Jesus Christ fails to pay more atten­tion to the words of Jesus (P) him­self in his epis­tles. To what extent has the Pauline let­ters shaped the selec­tion of the gospels of the New Tes­ta­ment as canon today ? This arti­cle will exam­ine the evi­dence and present its con­clu­sions on the mat­ter, insha’allah.

Paul’s Depen­den­cy on Tal­mu­dic Writ­ings : Evi­dence of New Tes­ta­ment Borrowing

While Chris­tians would pre­fer to allude to the notion that Paul, the self-acclaimed apos­tle” of Jesus, was inspired” when he wrote his epis­tles, the evi­dences we have researched states oth­er­wise. We have seen how Paul had cit­ed a verse from the apoc­ryphal books of Eli­jah” but claimed that he was cit­ing from the book of Isa­iah. Appa­rant­ly this cit­ing of quo­ta­tions from apoc­ryphal or Rab­binic writ­ings was not alien to Paul, for in the epis­tles of Paul, there are abun­dant signs that he was extreme­ly famil­iar with Rab­ban­ic mate­r­i­al and con­stant­ly refers to them. This is not sur­pris­ing since Paul him­self had admit­ted to famil­iar­i­ty with Jew­ish tra­di­tions under the tute­lage of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3).

Epi­menides Para­dox Revisited

In response to our argu­ment that Paul’s fum­bling of the Epi­menides para­dox is proof that the ad-hoc apos­tle” was not inspired after all, one Chris­t­ian has raised an objec­tion. The attempt­ed rebut­tal acknowl­edges the para­dox­i­cal nature of Epi­menides’ state­ment, but then makes the bizarre claim that Paul’s state­ment is true nonethe­less due to oth­er ele­ments attrib­uted to the Cre­tan prophet” by the apos­tle”.