When I set out on this Study, I had no idea that it would
turn out like this. When I started, I told a friend that I wanted to discover
the “Real Paul”. I wanted to remove the veneers, the assumptions, to remove his
clothes and leave him naked. I wanted to know his mind. So my mental working
title was “Nude Paul”. As with every Study, this one took me by the hand into
places I had never thought about, creating thoughts I had never considered. In
the process, I removed many veneers, many clothes, exposing a nudist colony.
This Study has affected me more than any other I have
prepared. The others are intellectual expositions; this one is personal. I am
shocked at what I have produced. Its influence on me is shown by the fact that I
do not discuss my other Studies in this way. (For those in Australia, I get my
copy printed double sided and coil bound at Officeworks.)
It has shown me that there is so much more that I need to
pursue. It is only a stepping stone. For example, I now see that the Gospel of
Thomas needs to be explored, especially the people who produced it. It is
likely as old as the earliest canonised Gospels, produced by another sect.
Indeed the spectrum of the non-canonised documents should be explored. But
there are only so many years that remain, so I need to be judicious in
considering what to explore. Right now, I am thinking of the influence of
Only now, after arriving at this picture of the early
followers of Jesus, am I able to appreciate the book: “Blaming Jesus for
Jehovah: Rethinking the Righteousness of Christianity” by Robert Price.
I hope that those of you who are expert in this era can add to the story - and provide corrections.