Lord Bolingbroke on Paul versus Jesus
As Atheists for Jesus says: "A religion that was based on this actual message of Jesus, could never have been used as an excuse for the atrocities committed in the name of Christ against those of heretical opinions."
Lord Bolingbroke (1678 - 1751), an 18th century English philosopher expressed it very well when he stated:
It is time to speak of the articles of faith commonly claimed by Christianity. It is this issue that has furnished all matter of strife, contention, and uncharitableness, from the apostolic age to this very day. It is this that has added another motive, and one that is stronger than any other, to animosity and hatred, to wars and massacres, and to that cruel principle which was never known until Christians introduced it into the world. That being the persecution for opinions, for opinions often of the most abstract speculation, and of the least importance to civil or religious interests. It is this, in short, whose effects have been so fatal to the peace and happiness of mankind, that nothing which the enemies of religion can say on the subject will be exaggerated beyond the truth. But still the charge they bring will be unjustly brought. These effects have not been caused by the gospel, but by the system raised upon it. Not by the revelations of God, but by the inventions of men. The gospel of Christ is one thing, the gospel of St. Paul, and of all those who have grafted after him on the same stock, is another.
(The Works of Lord Bolingbroke (London: Frank Cass & Co., 1967) Vol. III at 417-418.)
Bolingbroke also discusses how certain men (Paul?) obtain an authority in our minds without our conceiving clearly their right to such authority.
In Volume III of the 1841 edition, at page 381, we read:
Blolingbroke points out the "imposter was enough in his senses to know, that no one was able to prove he had not the revelations he pretended to have...." This is why God always required proof of prophecy publicly written that comes true without seducing us from obeying the Law given Moses. (Deut 13:1-5.) Or a prophet status had to be confirmed by God's voice from heaven in front of multiple witnesses such as in the case of Moses and Jesus.