Keith Michael Sponsor


Christianity’s Counterfeit Jesus: Part 1

In a previous article, Why Jesus Left the Church, I called out how and why the early Catholic Church created a NEW Jesus, one that did not actually exist. Some readers wanted to know what the REAL historical Jesus would have been like. To answer that question, I wrote this 3-part series which picks up where the above-mentioned article left off.

Paul of Tarsus—The Charlatan Apostle

Ask any Christian who their fave Apostle is within the Bible and 9 times out of 10 it will be Paul. In fact, whenever we have a doctrinal question, who is the first person most of us run to for an answer? Paul. The fact is, Paul is very popular within Christendom and for what may not be obvious reasons.

The oddity is that Paul encompasses most of the New Testament in terms of books. Out of the 27 books of the New Testament, fully HALF can be attributed to Paul and even more if you include books by Paul’s Pagan group, namely Luke, the unknown author of Hebrews, and the letters of Peter. (No, Peter did not write the books of Peter. See my aforementioned article, Why Jesus Left the Church.)

In fact, Paul is the de facto leader of the Christian Church within the Bible. It’s not Peter, Paul already read that dunce the riot act, and Peter backed down. (Or did he?) It’s not James, he’s way too Jewish, stuck on upholding the “Law of Sin and Death” which Paul says we don’t have to follow anymore. In fact, Paul is all-powerful within the Bible, having the power to literally override other Apostles, the Prophets, the words of Jesus, even dispense with the words of GOD.

But there is a darker side to Paul. One the Church deliberately hides from all of us—even from itself. The Church bends, twists, and massages the words of Paul so often in fact that entire books have been written about “what Paul really meant”.

But the Church has to massage and spin what Paul says; because the Church cannot bring itself to undo the LIE and admit that it’s supreme, dare I say only, Apostle, is a fraud, a charlatan, an interloper who never met Jesus and preached a Pagan (ie. Gentile / non-Jewish) version of Jesus that never, ever existed.

Paul’s Non-existent Credentials

Even within traditional Christian circles, it’s no secret that Paul had some deep disputes with the “Super Apostles,” those men who actually walked with Jesus and founded the Jerusalem Church (Synagogue), namely James (Jesus’ brother), Peter, John, Matthew, Mark, and the rest.

Many Christians don’t know a lot about Paul’s background. We get spoon-fed a very one-sided story of Paul’s relationship with the Apostles from the church pulpit, one that is usually spun from Luke’s Acts of the Apostles, and that is all we really know about Paul and his relationship with them.

We also see that Paul and Peter get into an argument at some point, but, oddly, we only get Paul’s side of the story. Oh well, we’re told or just assume, it got resolved and everyone moved on to preach “the gospel.” Right?

Not exactly …

What we are never told is that the schism between Paul and Peter, along with James and the rest of the Apostles, was DEEP, it was ugly, and it was never resolved. Add to this that “the gospel” we’re taught by our Church is Paul’s “Gospel”, it was NOT the “Gospel” of Jesus and the Twelve (Apostles).

As we noted from the previous article, Luke’s Acts of the Apostles is chalked full of half-truths and outright fabrications, all designed to make it look like Paul is best buddies with the Jerusalem Church and that he is the “official” “Apostle to the Gentiles” with the full support of and preaching the same Gospel as preached by Jesus.

But then we note something odd happening by the time Paul writes his second letter to the church in Corinth. It’s a bit unsettling actually.

Paul, writing to the Church in Corinth, actually INSULTS the “Super Apostles” (2 Corinthians 11), claiming that the “Jesus”, “Gospel” and “Spirit” taught to the Corinthians by the “Super Apostles” was “different”! Now the Church in Corinth isn’t following Pau’s version of Jesus anymore; nor are they following Paul’s version of the Gospel, nor are they harboring whatever “Spirit” Paul preached his gospel under the influence of.

Naturally, we just assume that Paul was preaching the same gospel and Jesus as the Twelve “Super Apostles”, under the influence of the same Holy Spirit. And that is how the Church spins this confrontation.

But this is not really what is happening.

What is happening is the church in Corinth has just abandoned Paul under the direct teachings of the Apostolic Church in Jerusalem led by the “Super Apostles”.

This is a SERIOUS schism between Paul and the Apostles that Christianity must now somehow downplay or ignore. The Church cannot have people realizing, “OMG! Paul just insulted the Apostles in Jerusalem.”

The typical way this event is massaged and spun by traditional Bible scholars and pastors is that Paul is some how not disputing with the real Apostles, but some other fake Apostles who are preaching a more “Jewish” Jesus.

Wait, what? HUH? Wasn’t Jesus Jewish?

Yes. Jesus was in fact Jewish. As were all of the Apostles themselves. All of them were Jewish men preaching a Jewish Gospel from the Jewish Mashiach (Messiah) under the influence of the same Holy Spirit of GOD.

But Paul admits the “spirit” that the Super Apostles harbored is “different” than the one Paul preached to them.

Again, because we don’t know any better, we just assume that as an “Apostle” Paul was preaching under the influence of the same Holy Spirit the Super Apostles were under. But, unfortunately, that is not the case.

Paul openly admits that he has a “different” Jesus, a different “Gospel”, and a different “Spirit” that guided his wayward actions; actions the Super Apostles found so reprehensible that they not only disputed with him openly in public, but also interfered with and corrected Paul’s teachings, not just within the church in Corinth, but others as well.

It’s obvious that the Apostles sent their own teachers to these churches with letters of authority to correct and repair the damage Paul had done in their name, preaching with their authority.

What the Church fails to point out, in fact, outright hides, is that Paul admits he has NONE of these letters of authority from the Jerusalem Church. We just assume he doesn’t need one, right? Because he’s the almighty Paul! Unfortunately, Paul’s wayward teaching was the reason these Apostolic letters were created in the first place.

Paul’s Dispute with Peter—Who Was Right?

Church tradition has watered down the rivalry between Peter and Paul, even to the point of calling Peter a dunce (more or less) and setting up Paul as the intellectually superior and clear winner of their disagreement.

But who was the real Apostle in authority here?

It was Peter.

Not Paul.

Paul was never called by Jesus. Yes, in the lying writ known as Acts of the Apostles, Luke writes that Paul was called by some apparition he saw as “Jesus”, but outside of Luke and Paul’s testimony, well, the Bible has no other witness to the event. In fact, Luke wasn’t even a witness to the event as far as we know. He’s just writing Paul’s story.

The problem with Paul is that his is not teaching what the Apostles are. If Paul really truly met Jesus, wouldn’t Jesus be telling him to preach the same things as the Twelve? You would think.

But Paul is preaching a very different Jesus and Gospel.

Dr. Bart Ehrman, one of the renowned scholars of Christian history of our time, sums up the situation with a perspective that is more in keeping with the historical record regarding what really happened between Peter and Paul:

“The controversy between Peter and Paul presupposed in [the Homilies and Recognitions] is premised on a real, historical conflict between the two, evidenced in Paul’s own writings. In particular, in his letter to the Galatians, Paul speaks of a public encounter with Peter in the city of Antioch over the issue of whether Gentiles who have become Christian need to observe the Jewish Law (Gal. 2:1–14). Paul reports the encounter and states in the strongest terms that Gentiles are under no circumstances to be required to keep the Law. As scholars have long noted, however, Paul does not indicate the outcome of the public altercation — leading to the widely held suspicion that this was one debate that Paul lost, at least in the eyes of those who observed it.”[1]

In his argument with Peter, Paul makes it sound like he’s the real authority regarding the Law of God. However, we never get Peter’s side of the argument within the Roman Catholic Bible. But that doesn’t mean it was never recorded. It just means the Church doesn’t want you knowing what the outcome was.

As Dr. Ehrman has pointed out, we do know from the Homilies and Recognitions what happened and what Peter’s side of the argument was. Peter dresses-down the interloping Paul in no uncertain terms. Peter says:

“And if our Jesus appeared to you also and became known in a vision and met you as angry with an enemy [recall that Paul had his vision while still persecuting the Christians; Acts 9], yet he has spoken only through visions and dreams or through external revelations. But can anyone be made competent to teach through a vision? And if your opinion is that that is possible, why then did our teacher spend a whole year with us who were awake? How can we believe you even if he has appeared to you? … But if you were visited by him for the space of an hour and were instructed by him and thereby have become an apostle, then proclaim his words, expound what he has taught, be a friend to his apostles and do not contend with me, who am his confidant; for you have in hostility withstood me, who am a firm rock, the foundation stone of the Church.” [2]

The Apostle Peter pulls no punches here in his dressing-down of Paul. Peter challenges Paul on a number of levels: First, Peter challenges Paul’s vision by saying: “Can anyone be made competent to teach through a vision?”. Then Peter challenges Paul’s integrity: “How can we believe you?” And finally, Peter challenges Paul’s (version of the) gospel by saying (paraphrase): “If you [Paul] were really instructed by Jesus then you should be preaching the exact same thing as we who actually walked with him!”

Peter pretty much wins the smackdown here.

Finally, Peter pulls rank, “Be a friend to [Jesus’] apostles and do not contend with me, who am his confidant; for you have in hostility withstood me, who am a firm rock, the foundation stone of the Church!”

By now we should have arrived at the obvious conclusion that Paul was NOT teaching the same Jesus, nor the same Gospel, as the Apostles.

So, the question begs asking, what “Jesus”, what “Gospel” and what “Spirit” was Paul preaching under the influence of?

I’m going to answer these in reverse order—first, I want to look at what “Spirit” GOD saddled Paul with and why …

Paul the Violent, Murderous Apostle

As we have already discussed, Paul admits (or is accused of via Luke’s Acts) that he’s a murderer. He went around persecuting the followers of Jesus, including killing them. That’s not something you just back away from and say, “Oops, sorry, I was wrong to murder your — ” husband, wife, children, brother, sister, or aunt and uncle, or whomever.

2,000 years after the fact, Christianity tries to water down this rather evil aspect of Paul’s character, but the brutality of the man was well-known; and because he had the backing of the State, he could be just about as ruthless as he wanted.

Because of Paul’s murderous reputation, he didn’t just walk into the Jerusalem Synagogue (Church) and shake hands with Peter and James and suddenly everything was forgiven.

If anything, the Apostles likely held deep suspicion, animosity, and perhaps not a little human loathing for Paul. They didn’t like him and they sure as hell didn’t trust him. And even after his so-called conversion, he had numerous spats with Peter, not just the one we just read about in Galatians.

Add to this that Paul was never given formal letters of authority by the Jerusalem Synagogue, and that Paul was rejected by the Twelve even after Paul offered them what some scholars admit was a huge bribe. Paul calls it an offering; but whatever, the Apostles rejected it.

Paul’s Fight with James

What is also not well-known history and something the Church is eager to cover up, is Paul’s rivalry with James, Jesus’ brother (sometimes called “James the Just”). James served as High Priest in the Temple on numerous occasions. Jesus, James, and John the Baptist (not the Apostle) were cousins of a very well-to-do family. Contrary to the Roman Catholic version of the history, the family of Jesus were not paupers. Quite the opposite in fact. Jesus’ family was quite prominent within the first century Jerusalem. You didn’t get to serve as High Priest within the Temple or even teach within the Temple if you were a nobody.[3]

At some point, Paul and James had some kind of physical altercation where Paul is recorded as having thrown James from the Temple wall (or down the Temple steps, historical accounts vary) breaking his [James’] leg. Scholars debate whether or not this happened before or after Paul’s assumed conversion on the road to Damascus, but it does set the stage that James and the rest of the Apostles had no love loss and carried deep suspicion for the Hellenized murderous Benjamite, Paul.

In any event, what the Catholic Church put into its Bible, via Luke’s Acts of the Apostles, sought to massage away these deep issues of mistrust, and without these facts that I have just exposed you to, we get a very slick, one-sided half-truth, a LIE, about who and what Paul really, truthfully was.

Paul persecuted, tortured and murdered the followers of Jesus. Paul broke James’ leg while attempting to kill him. Paul argued openly in anger in public with Peter. Paul was not given letters of authority to preach in the name of Jesus or the Jerusalem Synagogue. And Paul unabashedly insults the hand-picked Apostles of Jesus.

Are we starting to get a little clearer picture here? Paul was NOT the pedigreed Apostle the Catholic Church spins him to be.

Add to this, that along the way, according to Paul’s own words, GOD stepped into Paul’s life with a kind of warning shot. Note this is AFTER Paul’s ostensive conversion.

Paul’s Thorn

How many times have you sat in church listening to some pastor or other church member wonder out loud what Paul’s “thorn” might have been?

Many a christian scholar and pastor or church leader have waxed eloquently, sometimes for an entire sermon or Sunday School class, about how Paul suffered immensely in his service to Christ. Paul was beat up. Paul ran from his enemies (they were angry Jews no doubt). And then finally, Paul was afflicted with some terrible disease. Yet he still pressed on in his service to Christ. “Oh, poor Paul!” we lament.

The issue with Paul’s so-called “thorn” is that scholars have well known what Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was since day-one. We know because Paul tells us point blank what it was.

Yes, you read that right.

Bible scholars already know what Paul’s thorn was. It’s just you who do not. On purpose.

Because Paul has become our de facto Apostle and purveyor of all things Christian, we just cannot bring ourselves to admit that what Paul says happened to him is, well, what he says happened to him.

So, let’s dive deeper …

In 2 Corinthians 12:7, just after Paul has finished insulting the “Super Apostles” for giving the Corinthian church a “different Spirit” than the one Paul ostensibly has, Paul tells us exactly what kind of spirit he preaches under the influence of.

Paul very clearly states that because of his “boasting” God has tormented him with a “thorn in his flesh.” In most modern translations of the Bible, we read Paul saying it this way,

“… there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.”

First, let us remember that this “thorn” is a PUNISHMENT from GOD. Paul is being chastised here; punished for something we in Christianity just cannot quite put our finger on. Oh, sure, we parrot Paul and say it was because of his “boasting”, but in the backs of our minds, a lot of Christians wonder why the punishment was so severe?


Something isn’t adding up here.

Now take note that what we in modern Christianity have traditionally called a “thorn” is not an actual thorn at all. The word that gets translated as “thorn” is skolops in the Greek. This Greek word does not refer to a mere splinter, but rather a large wooden pale, a pole, a pointed stake, more like something used to anchor a large tent.[4]

Rather than being something that might be a minor annoyance to you as you work in the garden, this is actually a rather large issue! For reasons that will be made clear in a moment, Christian tradition has sought to downplay Paul’s “large wooden stake” in his flesh and portray it as something that was a mere annoyance, or just a mere “thorn”.

And this is merely the tip of the iceberg; the massaging of the translation of Paul’s admission by Christian scholars gets a lot worse.

What usually gets translated as “messenger of Satan” is actually aggelos satan in the Greek. The Greek term aggelos simply means “messenger” or “one who is sent”; it is also the Greek root of the English term “angel”.


Yes. Angel.

We need to carefully note that the word aggelos can be translated into English in one of two ways depending upon the nature of the subject being referred to. Aggelos is always translated as “messenger” when referring to a human being, and always translated as “angel” when referring specifically to a supernatural being. Whether aggelos is translated into English as “messenger” or “angel” is entirely dependent upon the nature of the noun to which it belongs; whether physical, such as a man, or supernatural, such as GOD.

Aggelos is not a difficult word for scholars to translate. It is used 186 times in the New Testament. There are 6 instances where translators consistently render aggelos as simply “messenger” when in reference to human subjects. When used in reference to supernatural subjects, the term aggelos is consistently rendered 179 times as “angel”.

Paul himself uses the term aggelos 13 times within his epistles, and in all instances he is referring to a supernatural being. He even refers to himself as an aggelos of God. This elevation of his own character is something that is not at all out of character for Paul; but even here the translators render the passage correctly because even though Paul is talking about himself, the sender is still God, so rendering aggelos as “angel” is the correct translation since the messenger was (ostensibly in Paul’s case) being sent by God.

That is a long way of saying that Christian scholars know how to translate the term properly.

However, in the vast majority of Bibles, the one and only time aggelos is rendered in translation as “messenger” instead of “angel” when clearly referring to a supernatural subject (a supernatural being) is when the translators refer to Paul’s “thorn” — Paul’s aggelos satan that was sent by God to punish Paul.

No, the one and ONLY time Bible translators make an exception to the rule is to call Paul’s aggelos satan a mere “messenger” of Satan.

But Satan is clearly a supernatural being.

So, to render the Bible passage honestly and with consistent translation with every other use of the term aggelos within the Bible, and to correctly translate what Paul is indeed saying, the passage should read:

“… there was given me a large wooden stake in my flesh, an angel of Satan, to torment me.”

Let that sink in for a moment.

What is an “angel of Satan”?

We’re not going to mince words here: an “angel of Satan” is by anyone’s definition a demonic spirit, a demonic messenger, a demon.


This is no mere “thorn”.

It was major ordeal. And it is also why Paul called the issue “skolops”, and not just a mere “thorn”.

Furthermore, this issue is without question a punishment, a consequence that GOD has levied upon Paul and then refused to remove.


Paul says that he prayed three times for GOD to remove the angel of Satan and each time GOD tells Paul — No.

GOD refuses to accept Paul’s repentance.


It’s a very troubling question.

A question Christian scholars do not want to even admit actually exists.

Modern Bible translators also realize this, which is why they have attempted to water down Paul’s admission with a deliberate mistranslation of Paul’s words.

This is completely disingenuous translation, but it is also understandable. Who wants to be the popular mainstream scholar or pastor who is tasked to tell the rest of Christendom that Paul was tormented in his flesh by an actual real demon of Satan that GOD sent and then refused to remove?

These are Paul’s own words.

It is completely understandable to see why Paul’s punishment by GOD has been reframed; recast; as nothing more serious than a mere thorn, a physical ailment of some kind. Nothing to worry about.

Now, lest we still believe that this phrase aggelos satan is being used allegorically for a physical disease or other ailment, consider that in all of these uses of the term aggelos within the New Testament, it is always used to denote a being, a messenger, whether physical or spiritual, and never a physical condition or disease. Remember, the word aggelos specifically means one who is sent, a messenger. Aggelos has nothing to do with infirmity or a disease.

This is a DELIBERATE mistranslation of the Greek by many if not most Bible scholars.

As such, it is a deliberate attempt at deception. A LIE. A lie within the pages of the ostensibly inerrant Bible put in place by men — not GOD.

It is a deliberate attempt at massaging the text, to water it down, so that we do not see Paul in as bad of light as he himself reveals with his own words.

In perpetrating this massaging of the text, modern Bible translators have deliberately inserted ERROR into the Bible and done so on purpose to HIDE something they do not want you knowing.

GOD isn’t protecting the Bible from their deliberate mistranslation.

“That’s not true, Keith! You’re just inserting your own uneducated translation!”

No, I’m not.

I’m not, because other Bible translators DO get the translation right.

The late Bible scholar and translator, Dr. Robert Bratcher who previously worked with the International Bible Society (IBS) and American Bible Society (ABS) in translating the Good News Bible, also translated the CEV (Contemporary English Version). It seems Dr. Bratcher had gotten himself into a bit of hot water with the folks at the IBS because he attempted to keep his translations as close to the source as possible, which is why within the CEV, we see a much more accurate translation of Paul’s thorn:

“One of Satan’s angels was sent to make me suffer terribly, so that I would not feel too proud.”[5]

And there are a handful of other Bible translations that get the translation right as well, rendering the text correctly as “angel of Satan”.

So now you know I’m not just pulling personally biased translations out of thin air. The CEV is one of the more accurate modern English translations there is. While most everyone else has gone squishy in order to not cast Paul in any kind of bad light, a handful of versions translate the Greek accurately.

Jesus Warning Prophecy of Paul

Another issue the Church ignores or dances around, is that Jesus actually warns us about Paul. Since Jesus never met Paul, it’s unlikely that Jesus ever actually said these words about Paul, but someone, some editor, clandestinely placed these words of Jesus within the Gospel(s) that would eventually make it into our Bibles.

You can call it a prophecy if you like. But the bottom line is there is a subtle warning about Paul within the words of Jesus. Click on the article below to read how the un-Jewish Roman Catholic Church missed editing out this important warning.

Beware of “Ravenous Wolves”: Jesus’ Prophecy of Paul

How Jesus Prophesied His Warning of the False Apostle


GOD saddled the almighty Paul with a demonic spirit. A spirit that GOD refused to remove. THIS is the spirit that Paul preached his wayward “Gospel” under the influence of. This is why the true Super Apostles needed to correct Paul’s teachings with the Corinthian church and others. This is why Paul was given no letters of authority. Paul’s gospel and Paul’s “Jesus” bore almost no resemblance to the the true Jewish Messiah.

In Part 2 of this series we’ll take a deeper look at where Paul’s NEW Jesus really came from …


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