I was asked to repost this response to a Fundamentalist Christian who was quoting Paul as if he was Jesus; attacking the poor as lazy and as a self-inflicted problem. He went on to be very proud of his biblical convictions and supposed knowledge.
“I am fully aware of all that. I have written about it often on Facebook. I spend several hours each day in study of it. I have a “Red Letter” bible (along with many others); In the New Testament, 21 of the 27 books have no red letters. No, Paul is the main author used in accepted canon. I don’t need to go into the 36 gospels and scores of epistles that were rejected when the proto-Orthodox Church VOTED on which books they would include; I am certain you already know how the accepted books were edited later to smooth out some of the differences, along with adding new sections to justify church doctrines and rituals. All of this after AD 340. You probably know that Marcion created the first bible in AD 150, accepting Paul as the only prophet of Jesus. While other Christians rejected Paul in total as a corrupter since his doctrine is so different from that Jesus. All perished at the hands of the Church. You are correct, though, there is no evidence at all that any of it is true. Also, ALL of the Gospel author names were added in the 2nd century AD, so to say they had daily contact with Jesus is an impossible assertion, and can only be truthfully described as a hoped for thing. The evidence accepted for this is on the same level as many other religions. Be that as it may, the philosophy of Jesus, as espoused in the four canonical gospels, is not a bad one, as stated in the original meme. As long as you exclude things such as Luke 19:27 and the Revelation of John, which was rejected by the Church and not added for almost 400 years. I will tell you that I do hope the story has some truth. Man/Demi-god/God does not matter to me, nor am I kind for hoped for future rewards, nor to get others to think as I do. I am kind for the sake of those I help.
This is a Star Trek quote, about a different person, but it is apt for the conversation. “Kahless left us – all of us – a powerful legacy. A way of thinking and acting that makes us Klingon. If his words hold wisdom and his philosophy is honorable, what does it matter if he returns? What is important is that we follow his teachings. Perhaps the words are more important than the man.””