By Femi Aribisala
Paul quotes scriptures which do not exist as though they did.
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul found it necessary to answer his critics: “We have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:2). But this is far from the truth. Paul is an expert at distorting the word of God and at using scriptures deceitfully.
When Paul says something is written in the Hebrew Scriptures, it is imperative to double-check to determine if it is indeed. So doing, we discover that many of Paul’s bible quotations are bogus. Paul says things are written when they are not. Or he says things are written which are clearly not written the way he presents them.
It is not written
For example, Paul says to the Ephesians: “Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35). However, Jesus never said this. It is simply not written. Deceitfully, Paul gives the impression that he recalls this from memory when he never ever heard Jesus preach. Jesus did not preach at Ephesus, so it is disingenuous to ask the people there to remember what they were not told. It is actually more blessed to receive than to give. A man can only give what he has received. Woe unto that man who cannot receive the word of God; the foundation of all blessings.
Here is another example of Paul fabricating scripture: “Therefore he says: ‘Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.’” (Ephesians 5:14). This so-called scripture is non-existent in the bible. It is not written. Paul says God promised Abraham that he would be “the heir of the world.” (Romans 4:13). But nowhere in the scriptures was such a promise ever made. God only promised Abraham the land of Canaan. (Genesis 17:8). Paul says: “The Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin.” (Galatians 3:22). But there is no scripture that says this.
Misrepresenting the law
Paul also has a tendency to fabricate his own Law of Moses. He says: “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.” (1 Corinthians 14:34). But nowhere in the law does it say women must be silent in the synagogue. Paul says: “A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes.” (1 Corinthians 7:39). This is equally false. The Law permits a man to divorce his wife, after which she is free to marry another man. She does not have to wait until he is dead. (Deuteronomy 24:1-2).
In 1 Cornthians 9:9, Paul quotes Moses: “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” (Deuteronomy 25:4). However, he insists God is expressing concern there for men and not for oxen. He then uses this as the basis for making a bogus requirement for payment for preaching the gospel: “If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?” (1 Corinthians 9:11). However, God’s concern is about the heart of the farmer, and not his pocket. God reiterates this concern: “A righteous man regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” (Proverbs 12:10).
Moses says: “Cursed is he who does not CONFIRM THE WORDS of this law by doing them.” (Deuteronomy 27:26). Paul distorts this to read: “Cursed is everyone who does not CONTINUE IN ALL THINGS which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” (Galatians 3:10). He then uses this distortion to maintain it is impossible to obey the law. Moses says: “The word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, THAT YOU MAY OBEY IT.” (Deuteronomy 30:14). Paul changes this to read: “‘the word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (THAT IS, THE WORD OF FAITH WHICH WE PREACH).” (Romans 10:8). Thereby, he converts Moses true message about works of the law to a false message about the word of faith.
Misrepresenting the prophets
Paul says: “It is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise.’” (1 Corinthians 1:19). But Isaiah neither speaks of the wise in general, nor of destroying their wisdom. He only refers to the prophets of biblical Israel, saying: “The wisdom of THEIR WISE MEN shall perish, and the understanding of THEIR PRUDENT MEN shall be hidden.” (Isaiah 29:14).
God says: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; whoever believes WILL NOT ACT HASTILY.” (Isaiah 28:16). But Paul misquotes this to read: “As it is written: ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him WILL NOT BE PUT TO SHAME.’” (Romans 9:33). Isaiah is talking about the fear of the Lord, but Paul misrepresents it as being about the law and faith. The sure foundation of Isaiah is turned to Paul’s “stumbling stone.” Isaiah’s “will not act hastily” is changed to “will not be put to shame.”
Paul says: “The righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live BY FAITH.’” (Romans 1:17). But it is not so written. Habakkuk says instead: “Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live BY HIS FAITH.” (Habakkuk 2:4). The deliberate omission of “his,” changes and distorts Habakkuk’s message. Habakkuk’s scripture is about works and not about faith. It simply means: “the just or righteous person shall live (as opposed to die) by his faithfulness or steadfastness to God.”
Paul also deliberately misquotes David in order to establish ministerial positions in churches. David says men gave gifts to the Lord: “When you ascended on high, you led captives in your train; you RECEIVED gifts from men. (Psalm 68:18). But Paul changes this to say men received gifts from the Lord: “This is why it says: ‘When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and GAVE gifts to men.’” (Ephesians 4:8). He then uses this distortion as the basis for creating such unauthorised posts as pastors and teachers in churches. (Ephesians 4:11).
Isaiah says: “‘The Redeemer will come to Zion, and TO THOSE WHO TURN FROM TRANSGRESSION IN JACOB.’” (Isaiah 59:20). Deceitfully, Paul changes this to: “‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and HE WILL TURN AWAY UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.’” (Romans 11:26). But Isaiah does not say the Redeemer will stop Israel from sinning. He says the Deliverer will go to those who stop sinning. Isaiah’s scripture is designed to spur the Israelites unto repentance. But Paul’s distortion gives them a false sense of complacency.
When Protestants realised Catholicism upheld fiction, they revolted and called for reformation. This time, Christians must seek freedom from the shackles of Pauline deception, in order to embrace fully the truth of Christ. To paraphrase his own expression, Paul quotes scriptures which do not exist as though they did. (Romans 4:17).