Tag Archives: paul and christ

Paul’s Contradictions on Salvation are Vast

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Paul’s gripes with the law are prominent throughout Galatians, Philippians and Romans. The content of most of these Epistles are filled with Paul’s intra-spiritual conflicts on soteriology given his Pharisaical past and Christian future, a battle not only with himself, but with his ‘super-apostle’ counterparts whom he proclaims equity with in authority and rank, yet they have never indicated such spiritual contradictions in their alleged writings[1][2]. To the contrary the ‘super apostles’ seemed to have it all figured out[3]. Paul says in his Epistle to the Philippians where he is boasting of his character[4]:

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee;  as for zeal,persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.

According to the exegetes [5], Paul claims to be faultless, that he had followed the law to the dot. If one follows the law without fault, then they are faultless, without sin. As a sin is to disobey God’s law. Yet, contradictingly, Paul says in another Epistle, this one to the Romans [6]:

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.

Paul only demonstrates his perpetual confusion, he cannot reconcile his new doctrine of salvation through the Messiah, with that of the law as given by God. For if God gave the law and the law would not save, then God failed, made a mistake in giving the law and had to recompense by giving His son. E.P Sanders’ says on this notion[7]:

Paul here, separates “God’s will” from “what actually happened”. In Paul’s world, the last position is the most surprising: that God failed, that his original intention in giving the law was not achieved.

Why do Christians expect us to follow such a muddled doctrine on salvation? Am I to accept that God failed in His plans for mankind’s salvation? Am I to accept that the apostle God chose to usher in His new faith, himself did not grasp it? Am I to accept that God killed His ‘son’, because God screwed up and needed a quick-save plan? As confusing and problematic Paul’s position is, the doctrine of soteriology in Christianity is far more complicated, for if Paul’s works are the foundation for it, given that it’s already so confusing, shall we expect anything derived of it to be void of such issues? Wishful thinking at its best for out Christian brothers.

wa Allaahu ‘Alam.

[1] – 2 Corinthians 11:5, Bible.
[2] – 2 Corinthians 12:11, Bible.
[3] – James 2:14-16, Bible.
[4] – Philippians 3:4-6, Bible.
[5] – “Philippians 3:6”, Adam Clarke’s Commentary.
[6] – Romans 7:14, Bible.
[7] –  “Paul, the Law and the Jewish People”, by E.P. Sanders, Kindle Edition, Location 1394 – 1395.