Early heretics sought earnestly to find ways to avoid having to take the text of the Old Testament seriously.  They wanted to pretend it was a code full of hidden meanings.

They took inspiration from something St Paul wrote.  And that despite the fact that everywhere else he takes the text of the Bible seriously and never tries to distort or get around it.

The only time the Bible supports allegory is in his Galatians 4:21-31 – the Bible often contradicts itself but if Christians really took it seriously they would not ignore the general teaching of scripture and focus on one verse or section. Paul is trying to refute those who say we must still follow the Law of Moses like slaves. He tells them that they must hear what the Law has to say. He says it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by his wife as a result of God’s promise. He says this is an allegory. The two women stand for two covenants. One covenant is the covenant of slavery and the other is the covenant of freedom. The point he is trying to make is that Christians are not to go back to slavery to the Law for they are free. If they fail to keep the Law now, Jesus has kept it for them vicariously and they will still be saved in Heaven. Jesus speaks about the Law a fair bit in the gospels and promises delivery from slavery to the Law. When Paul couldn’t use his words to refute these people but had to resort to a fanciful interpretation of the Bible it is plain that the gospels lied. It is also plain that Jesus as man had no relevance for Paul. If there had been a Jesus who lived recently Paul would have examined his life and looked in his teaching for ammunition. When Jesus the Jew said nothing about the Law it shows either that he lived an unknown life as a man or he never existed.

Christians say that Paul is not denying that the scripture is history and that he is just looking for parallels between the scripture and other truths and is not indicating that his allegory is intended by the Bible.

Others say that when he attaches such importance to a fanciful way of interpreting it he is saying that it is okay to worry more about spiritual interpretations than the literal. The same would have to be true of the gospels had they existed then. The original Christian Church had no concern for a Jesus of History at all. This adds fuel to those who believe that Jesus was a myth not a man.


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