Sunday, August 10, 2014

Opening paragraphs.......................

Many people think the Judas was the supreme betrayer of Jesus.  But others say Paul has a better right to that title.  Judas gave Jesus' body over to death.  Paul, it is claimed, buried his spirit.  He substituted his own high-flown but also dark theology for the simple teachings of the itinerant preacher from Galilee.  Thomas Jefferson wrote to his friend William Short that Paul was the "first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus."  Bernard Shaw said the same thing in the preface to his play Androcles and the Lion:  "There has never been a more monstrous imposition perpetrated than the imposition of the limitations of Paul's soul upon the soul of Jesus."  This represented a triumph over the four evangelists ("good news bearers") by what Nietzsche called Paul in The Antichrist - "the Dysangelist" (Bad News Bearer), a man with a "genius for hatred."  Shaw told a correspondent in 1928 that "it would have been better for the world if Paul had never been born."
-Gary Wills,  from the Introduction to What Paul Meant

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