Jesus Christ is the founder of Christianity as everyone knows. Well, not quite everyone. Recently a religious writer in the Winston-Salem Journal wrote: “I believe the founder of Christianity was Paul.” This is not the first time I have heard of such but from one who claims to be a believer?
What exactly is the evidence? Is Paul rather than Jesus really the founder of Christianity? Well here are the facts. Jesus clearly stated that He would build the church. After his death and resurrection he commissioned the apostles to proclaim the gospel message beginning at Jerusalem. They did. On the first Pentecost following the resurrection of Jesus, Peter (not Paul) preached the first gospel message. On that day those who gladly received the word were baptized and there were added to them three thousands souls.” What a glorious start for Christianity. More continued to be added. (Acts 2:47) The next number given is five thousand counting only the men. (Acts 4:4) The whole city of Jerusalem was filled with the gospel message. But there was great opposition from the religious leaders of the city. The opposition reached its height with the stoning of Stephen – the first Christian martyr. The Christians were scattered form Jerusalem but carried the gospel message with them throughout Judea and Samaria and beyond. (Acts 8:4; Acts 11:19)
Where was Paul during this spectacular beginning of Christianity? He was on the other side. He was a ring leader in the opposition. At the stoning of Stephen he gave his consent (Acts 8:1). He committed both men and women to prison. He even persecuted them in foreign cities (Acts 26:11). Paul the founder of Christianity – it’s an absolute absurdity. Why then do some believe it? Obviously they do not believe the Bible record.