28. Jesus Christ is the founder of Christianity, not Paul

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Two pastors of the Evangelical Church respond to an article that was published in al-Ahrām including allegations that Paul, not Jesus, was the founder of Christianity.

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[Reviewer: The article was signed by the Media and Publishing Council of the Evangelical Church: Rev. Ikrām Lam‘ī, Ph.D and Rev. Rif‘at Fikrī.]
The authors respond to an article that was published in al-Ahrām of January 31, 2009 by ‘Izzat al-Sa‘danī [See AWR 2009, week 5, article 30]. Al-Sa‘danī’s article was meant to be a denunciation of the Israeli massacre committed in Gaza. However, the author tackled issues related to the Torah and the Bible. One of his claims suggested that Paul established Christianity as a religion and not Jesus Christ.
The authors called for separating human deeds from holy texts. They criticized al-Sa‘danī’s argument as being cut off from its context in the Torah to defend their argument that the Torah calls for violence. They argued that texts should be taken in their proper contexts, and referred to the multiple texts in the Old Testament that call for peace and equality.
Even though they agreed with al-Sa‘danī’s assumption that Paul is the greatest character in Christianity, they stated that Jesus Christ is the core and base of Christianity, referring to John’s first letter [1John 1: 1-3] and other texts that prove that Jesus is the core and essence of Christianity and not anyone else.
The authors presented the story of Saul’s conversion to Christianity to become Paul in the Book of Acts in the Bible, chapter 9. They argued that after the revelation Paul learned about Jesus from his disciples.
The authors argued that rejecting and condemning Israel’s behavior does not mean attacking Judaism as a religion, or any other religion. They referred to the compelling need for tolerance and respect, alluding to the Azhar grand imām and President Mubārak’s comments in this response.

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