While it is not my intention to bring to light every misuse or misquote of the Hebrew Bible that Paul wrote, I will show what I think can be considered the most egregious. Almost stealthily, Paul makes the error of misquoting scripture and magically creates theology out of thin air. Paul creates many new concepts that he indicates are in the Hebrew Bible. He must do this to justify the need for Jesus’ sacrifice. It is worth noting that Paul’s “quotes” from the Hebrew Bible agree at times with the Christian Septuagint. But other times, he just goes his own way, not even accurately reflecting the Hebrew Bible. His methodology with actually quoting scripture is similar to his interpretation of it: he will use or twist any scripture any way he chooses to prove his point! Remember that Paul’s letters were supposedly written before the Gospels.
The following is a great example of how Paul wields the Hebrew Scriptures not as a scalpel but as a machete.
And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: (Romans 11:26)
And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 59:20)
By changing a word here and there, Paul does a disservice to God and His Word. Paul makes the deliverer turn away ungodliness instead of coming to those who themselves turned from transgression. Such simple changes could fool the Gentiles that Paul was so devoted to saving. Instead of Paul becoming a contemporary Jonah1 and instructing the sinners to repent, Paul offers deceit and lies. Maybe this explains this verse that came from Paul’s pen.
For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? (Romans 3:7)
Perhaps Paul had been accused of lying and misusing Scripture and he is attempting to defend himself in this passage. Of course, when you read the statements of Paul, like this one, you find that you think you are beginning to understand what he is saying then suddenly he takes a left turn leaving the reader in the aftermath to wonder, “What just happened?”
Paul would get along very well with the Democratic Party because Paul was actually very liberal. Paul says that he spoke Hebrew but read and quoted the Greek Septuagint instead of the Hebrew Scriptures. His habit of trading simple understandable words for difficult philosophical arguments makes the situation almost unbearable, making the reader wonder if they or the writer is more intelligent. His use of high-minded language is almost condescending at times.
Paul stands in sharp contrast to Moses. Moses spoke in easy to understand concrete physical terms and concepts while Paul didn’t. It is no wonder that philosophy reigns supreme in the modern church because Paul himself was the first to introduce philosophy to it.
Paul at times shows complete contempt for the Torah. At times he twists the simple meaning of important passages in an attempt to make a point and the result is the revelation of how dishonest he will be to promote Jesus.
In a letter to the Galatians, Paul tries to make a point that has continued to astound me. This passage is hard to stomach especially since a supposed intellectually superior rabbi penned it. This one takes the cake.
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. (Galatians 3:16-19)
Paul discusses the seed of Abraham in his passage but he does a little wordplay. Paul performs some magic on the word seed which is a collective noun referring to all of Abraham’s children and transforms it to a singular reference applying to Jesus only. Do you think he ever read the following verses?
And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; (Genesis 15:13)
That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; (Genesis 22:17)
And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. (Genesis 22:18)
And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; (Genesis 26:4)
And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 28:1)
Surely these verses cannot be construed as meaning a singular person. Paul throws away the inheritance of the entire nation of Israel and gives it to Jesus. Now, the inheritance of Israel can only be accessed through belief in Jesus. Could Paul have not been well read in the Torah? The poor Galatians probably didn’t realize that they had been duped. I wonder what the Jews would have said about this. This is clearly adding to God’s Torah and forbidden by God Himself. But this isn’t the end of the perversion. This is developed into the concept of being in Christ.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Paul introduces another new concept to the church in this passage. This is in odds with everything that the Hebrew Scriptures teach. This phrase in Christ or anything similar is foreign to the Torah or the Hebrew Scriptures. Remember that there can be no legitimate prophet that can bring a new way to have a relationship with God. It is forbidden to teach another way to follow, other than what was already revealed in the Torah.
Even if Paul had displayed miracles, he would still be only a false prophet because he disregards the Torah or Instructions of God.
What follows are more verses that contain more of the same by Paul concerning this false teaching of being in Christ.
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (Romans 3:24)
For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. (1 Corinthians 4:15)
For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church. (1 Corinthians 4:17)
Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. (1 Corinthians 15:18)
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.(1 Corinthians 15:19)
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22)
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.(2 Corinthians 11:3)
Simplicity in Christ? What simplicity? Paul offers no simplicity when it comes to providing instructions to the Church. He only offers confusing, complex and conflicting teachings. Below is more Scripture twisting courtesy of Paul.
What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (Romans 9:30-33)
Paul makes a stumblingstone out of the foundation stone which disagrees with the passage in Isaiah. Whatever the context is, Paul doesn’t seem to mind if he rips it out and twists it into an almost unrecognizable mass that says something totally unrelated.
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner [stone], a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. (Isaiah 28:16)
Again Paul misquotes God’s Words recorded by Isaiah and makes this stone into a metaphor for Jesus without justification. The following is another example.
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (Romans 10:4-11)
It seems that we have discussed part of this passage before but not actually. Paul makes a complete mess out of this text. Paul introduces his misquote with the phrase, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” Contrary to what many Christians teach, Paul is not saying that Christ results in doing away with the Law. He is saying, the goal or end result of the Law is Christ. He goes on to say that Moses taught that there was a righteousness that resulted from following God’s Law or Teachings and his statement is correct. Then Paul really departs from the logic and truth of the Hebrew Scriptures and starts going off into left field. He butchers the Hebrew Scripture text that he is supposedly quoting and weaves Jesus into the cloth he is trying to make. This is the way that he performs his bait and switch. This is Paul admitting he is not teaching what Moses taught. He is admitting to changing the Torah. This is a fatal mistake and is enough to make me throw out every word that Paul wrote. So should you!
Let’s examine the two scriptures side by side and see the differences. By doing a side-by-side reading we will reveal the violence against God’s Word that Paul has committed.
This is the passage Paul bases his Romans 10:6-11 on:
For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. (Deuteronomy 30:11-14)
This is Paul’s construction of Romans 10:6-11:
But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (Romans 10:6-11)
We can plainly see what Paul has done. Paul removes the phrase in Deuteronomy that states plainly that the Law can be obeyed and replaces it with believing in Jesus. What possible justification could he have for doing this? He has none.
Remember, Paul is writing to Gentiles and they don’t have the advantage of having a good translation of the Hebrew Scriptures that contain these warnings that are found in Deuteronomy.
Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. (Deuteronomy 4:1,2)
What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. (Deuteronomy 12:32)
I could continue further with this discourse on Paul’s misuse of Scripture and fill many more pages of this book but I have already accomplished my goal of proving my point. Paul is not trustworthy when it comes to handling God’s Word and everything he wrote should be rejected.
This is an excerpt from my book, “Leaving Jesus.” It is available as an ebook ($4.99), an audiobook ($6.00) or a paperback ($7.49) at the link below.