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Review of Sheppard's Jesus v Paul (2013)

J.D. Sheppard recently released as a book a 20 page article entitled Jesus v Paul: Christianity's Greatest Lie (2013).

Sheppard offers a short presentation of the case against Paul.

He dismisses others who present the case as a "dissertation" because "many who need this message are not going to read a long manuscript." (Page 6.) Hence, his brevity is deliberate.

Thus, for better or worse, his aim is to simplify and shorten the case regarding Paul.

As it is evident to me he has spent time on my website, and his "dissertation" remark may be pointed at my online articles, I will take to heart his subtle hint that I need to shorten the articles when I can. I will try harder.

Sheppard speaks of visiting an unnamed website, and this site revolutionized his views on Paul:

When I first came across the idea that Paul was a false apostle, I was so upset that I screamed “blasphemy!” and closed the web browser. Normally I am open to reading about ideas that are different from my own, but in this case I wasn’t going to spend my time reading such nonsense.


The next day, I turned my tablet on, and the same page was loaded on the screen. I
sighed and said, “Ok, let me read this and rebuke it.”


I expected to find some sort of satanic trickery and twisting of words, but what I actually found was quite eye opening. I was filled with awe because the truth was written right there in the Word of God. It put a lot of things that Yahushua said into perspective.


Yahushua said that the path was narrow, and that many people who call His name will be turned away. I always took that to mean that people who follow false religions yet still proclaim the name of Jesus will be turned away. I was thinking of Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, and the like. I never realized that He was also talking to those who claim to be Bible Believing Christians.

Matthew 7:22-23: "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

He also warned us that the path is very narrow, and few will find it. With all the churches that there have been, and all that churches that are- FEW will find the path? We must ask ourselves why.


This is the same experience many Christians have when someone points out the verses that are from Jesus warning us about Paul. They start as stunned, then incredulous, then curious, and finally they are convinced. 

While I like the book, and "brevity is wit," it does not work to win over those indoctrinated deeply with Pauline thinking, or the newbie who trusts their Pauline leaders ...at least in my view.

I believe Sheppard goes too short the other way. Points are scattered here and there, and it is not methodical. Hints here and there emerge about the Benjamite Wolf, the Wildnerness Appearance Warning, etc., but nothing is hard hitting, expositary, etc. This is thus a bit too short to convince many.  

Sheppard's book, however, is a good refresher to those who agree with the thesis that Jesus invalidates Paul as an inspired authority in the NT. I highly recommend it as a refresher book, even though I may doubt it will prompt many of its intended newbie audience to adopt its conclusion until its author beefs it up a bit. 

This author's website covers a broader subject matter than just Paul, and thus it is good free teaching by Sheppard. You can find it at http://lampswithoil.org/

 (5/16/2014)