Paul calls Pharisees to his aid
Non-biblical evidence of
After living in the filth and squalor of a Roman prison for two years, Paul was at the end of his endurance. He again presented his case before Festus and again the Pharisees furnished no supporting evidence for the innocuous correct charges they presented. Paul, fearing that Festus would not release him and might send him to Jerusalem, panicked and appealed to Caesar.
Festus and his friend King Agrippa held a second hearing. Festus had complained to Agrippa that he had no proper charges to send to Nero—Mosaic religious charges not being offences under Roman law. Festus simply said they had some points of disagreement...about their own religion and about a dead man, Jesus, whom Paul asserted to be alive (Acts 25). King Agrippa after hearing this, remarked: This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar” (Acts 26).
Festus sends Paul to Rome and the first thing Paul did when he reached Rome is send for the Pharisees. Acts 28 attempts to mislead saying this was to preach Jesus’ message, but he clearly pleaded for help saying…I requested to see you and to speak with you, for I am wearing this chain for the sake of the hope of Israel. He explained his role in the conspiracy was the last hope for Israel—to halt the growth of the Jesus Jews.
Acts stops here abruptly. We only find out why by deciphering the writings of Josephus, a Pharisee historian of the era whose writings clearly cover up Paul’s events in Rome. We know for a fact that Christian writers forged some of his works (Testimonium flavium). Inevitably, therefore they would also have edited his other works seeking to hide and cover up Paul’s role in the Pharisee conspiracy. Whatever passage his writings passed through, its present hide and seek texts do not lend to being summarised easily. Suffice to say, Paul is mentioned clearly in three of his five principal works.
Josephus confirms the Pharisee Conspiracy
In Wars (II; 20:1; p.497) he refers to Costobaurus and Saul associated with Philip in Ceasarea—which matches Acts 21:8. In Antiquities (Book 20; Chapter 9; 4), Saulus, an associate of Costobarus together persecuted Jews weaker than themselves with murder and mayhem. This matches Acts 22:4-5. Clearly, it is highly improbable that these similarities are coincidental. In addition, Josephus emphasises Saulus having a Roman royal connection through Agrippa (not King Agrippa). Paul claimed kinship with Herodian, a name associated with the reigning dynasty of Judea living in Rome (Rom 16:11). Thus, Paul may have had a connection with the Roman royal family through Herod Antipas. This would explain Paul’s family link to Caesar’s household (Philippians 4:22). Moreover, since we know that the Pharisees conspired with the Herodians against Jesus (Mar 3:6) Paul’s royal connection certainly explains why the Pharisees chose him to persecute the Jesus Jews and later to be a Pharisee plant. Paul’s royal connection and his Roman Citizenship gave him unassailable protection against the Roman authorities while persecuting the Jesus Jews. Further, Josephus suggests Saul knew Nero personally (Wars II; 20:1; p.497)—which perhaps was another reason why Paul appealed to Nero.
Josephus, himself a Pharisee, presents the Pharisee propaganda that Saulus was a Roman Agent to divide the Jews—clearly after Paul’s role in the conspiracy as a Pharisee agent to divide the Jesus Jews from Orthodox Jewry, was exposed. Josephus also describes a Jew perfectly fitting Paul’s description living in Rome driven away from his own country by an accusation laid against him for transgressing their laws (Antiquities 18.3.5). Obviously, he must have violated Mosaic Law not violated Roman Law, since he was living in Rome. Craftily the name of the Jewish priest is not given—evidently hiding Paul’s name due to his infamy in the Pharisee conspiracy. However, he discloses that this Jewish priest, despite transgressing Mosaic Law professed to instruct men in the wisdom of the laws of Moses.
Fulfilling Jesus’ prophecy that the Pharisee who would seek to destroy his teachings and followers would be a thief and a robber, Josephus relates how this learned Jew stole money donated for the temple at Jerusalem by a Roman woman named Fulvia, who had converted to Judaism—obviously one of Paul’s gentile converts. This fits the picture we construct in our book of Paul’s taking of money for preaching and his failure to ever deliver such money to Jerusalem as “charity” as he claimed he would.
All the above indicates that this wicked Jew was Paul who being a Roman citizen appealed to Caesar to escape punishment in Jerusalem for violating their laws. It is undeniable that it matches Paul’s story unfolded in Acts 21 to 28 where Paul was driven out for abrogating Moses’ Law and substituting it with Jesus’ blood atonement and resurrection. However, the most damning reference to Paul emerges in Josephus’ autobiography, Life.
In Life, Josephus states how as a young man, he set off on a mission to Rome to seek the liberty of certain Jewish priests who match Paul’s circumstances perfectly. Josephus was born in CE 37 and he says he was twenty-six years of age when he undertook this mission to procure the release of certain priests who after being imprisoned by Governor Felix, had appealed to Caesar. He therefore arrived in Rome in CE 63. As a reminder, Paul arrived in Rome c. CE 59-60 and was executed in CE 64:
Life 3: But when I was in the twenty-sixth year of my age, it happened that I took a voyage to Rome, and this on the occasion which I shall now describe. At the time when Felix was procurator of Judea there were certain priests of my acquaintance, and very excellent persons they were, whom on a small and trifling occasion he had put into bonds, and sent to Rome to plead their cause before Caesar. These I was desirous to procure deliverance for, and that especially because I was informed that they were not unmindful of piety towards God, even under their afflictions, but supported themselves with figs and nuts… I became acquainted with Aliturius, an actor of plays, and much beloved by Nero, but a Jew by birth; and through his interest became known to Poppea, Caesar's wife, and took care, as soon as possible, to entreat her to procure that the priests might be set at liberty. And when, besides this favor, I had obtained many presents from Poppea, I returned home again.
It is highly unlikely that two separate individuals, both Jewish priests, should have been charged with violating Mosaic law in the era of Felix and both appealed to Caesar and been sent there to plead their cause, in the same timeframe. Interestingly, Paul makes reference to the family of Nero as being the key to his release, as Josephus himself says was the case.
We explain the differences in Josephus’ accounts in Part 1—however, the references clearly all relate to Paul. It shows how Paul was a criminal and a vicious murderer hell bent on destroying Jesus movement one way or another. It also shows how the Sanhedrin Pharisees were sending Josephus to try and secure the release of their man, even at the eleventh hour.
How God punished Paul
An extraordinary series of circumstances brought Paul to his end:
The Romans were overly protective of him after his arrest in the Temple. His case would have been disposed in the normal course. Instead, it was progressively escalated to a higher level.
Paul’s Roman citizenship that he thought was his trump card and surety became the very instrument of his destruction. Without it he could not have appealed to Caesar and the Governor would have released him. Paul appealed to Caesar just when he might have been released. His hope in Nero may have been grounded in his familial links to the Herodians, and through them, to Rome's leading families by marriage.
At his first hearing before Caesar, Paul had admitted before Nero that he was a Christian leader in dispute with Jews about Jesus’ resurrection. Festus was compelled to state in the letter accompanying him that the charge against him was Jesus’ crucifixion-death and resurrection—the most fundamental aspect of all Paul’s doctrines.
A unique event in history then contrived to make Paul’s release impossible. An Emperor burning his own capital city and blaming someone for his madness. Nero burnt Rome on the night between 18 and 19 July 64 CE. Nero released others like Timothy, but not Paul. Festus’ letter condemned Paul too as a Christian leader.
Nero blamed the Christians. One can imagine Paul’s horror when he heard that Nero was blaming the Christians and he realised that he had admitted before Nero at his first hearing that he was a Christian leader in dispute with Jews about Jesus’ resurrection. Paul, a self proclaimed leader was there at the exactly right time on a religious dispute specifically on the centre-piece of his concocted doctrines—whether or not Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Nero himself was fighting for his life and was seeking to assuage the wrath of the Roman mob. Fortunately, for Nero, Paul was there for him!
Paul’s crucifixion-death and resurrection doctrines were designed to prove Jesus as false and accursed, and so prevent Orthodox Jews from accepting Jesus as the messiah. Christians need to ask whether the doctrines that became the instrument of its author’s destruction under such extraordinary circumstances that clearly show the Divine Hand, can be relied upon for their salvation?
Why does Paul not exist in rabbinical writings? Given the numerous disgraceful references to Jesus and Mary in the Talmud, one would have thought Paul the apostate from Judaism merited some mention. Indeed, he should have been demonised; his name should be a byword for betrayal, like Judas is for the Christians. Perhaps even a special prayer curse like the prayer of the minim—that they had for other Jesus Jews who accepted Jesus and for those who later converted to Islam. Paul’s total absence Rabbinic literature is only explicable once one realises that Paul was their plant in the Jesus movement—their hope of Israel.
He was Paul (little), not worth a footnote in history! It supports hypotheses in our other books where we show how the Pharisees in Rome later spread Paul’s Christianity by manipulating the Gospels of Mark, Luke and Matthew and later John and the other non-Pauline books of the New Testament. The above explains why the Quran also does not mention Paul though it refutes his doctrines. Paul may have given birth to Christianity but it was stillborn and given life later by the Pharisees of Rome over several centuries.
Paul was executed in accordance with Jesus’ prophecies and similarly in accordance with Jesus’ prophecy, the vast majority of Israel in Asia accepted Jesus as the Jewish Messiah thereby proving that Paul and the Pharisee conspiracy failed in its immediate goal. Paul’s Pharisees later propagated Paul’s created religion among the Roman gentiles, primarily in the western part of the Roman Empire and later in the eastern part. We also demonstrate that upon his advent the vast majority of the Jews in the Middle East accepted Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as the Universal Sovereign Lord.
By analysing the facts, we showed how the Pharisees conceived their plan and Paul implemented it perfectly. His motives were inferred from his epistles and actions. The Pharisee scheming against Jesus always backfired to spur the Jesus movement to further growth. They failed to derail Jesus’ mission of spreading the doctrine of repentance, until the Jesus followers became dominant in the land. Further, the Divine Hand punished Paul in an extraordinary way. In short, all the first century CE events were linked to Jesus’s rejection, the Pharisee attempt to kill him and destroy his message, and the divine response. Part 2 in this series is about how the Pharisees continued Paul’s conspiracy goals after Paul’s execution by interpolating the New Testament books with Paul’s epistle concepts.