Well, he wasn’t writing to Jews but to pagans. He ignored the historical Jesus, assuming there was such a figure, and he did so to emphasize the authority he thought he had based on his vision of the risen Christ. Paul wasn’t a disciple so he had to downplay the authority of those who would have been personally close to Jesus. He did so building up his credentials as a convert who could testify to the power of the Christian creed.

A similarly audacious preacher was Simon Magus, and Robert Price argues that they’re one and the same. In any case, Paul’s letters have been catholicized and in some cases forged to muddy the waters. Even if they represent Paul’s views, they’re bound to contradict the gospels’ portraits of Jesus since the latter were written to further different agendas, using allegory which facilitated literalistic rather than Gnostic theologies.

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