Whereas “Saul” first deathly persecuted the Early Church, now
“Paul” divided it over the significance of the Gospel, in bitter disputation
with the very same disciples he first set out to eliminate! Indeed, Paul
never knew Jesus and spent his life combatting those who did.
To summarize, whereas the Galilean Jesus taught a Gospel
about the coming Kingdom of God, opposing the corrupt Jewish leadership who had
usurped Israelite identity, Paul’s Gospel focused instead on the theological
significance of the death of a Jewish Messiah, offering almost no biographical
details about the real, historical Jesus whom Paul never knew.
In the first few centuries after Jesus, many and various
sects of Christians developed, including the hyper-Pauline churches of Marcion, anti-Pauline synagogues where overt Judaic
traditions died hard… and a loose cluster of schools classified by later
writers as the “Gnostics.”
Ultimately, the so-called, “Gnosticisms”—in all their
forms—effectually went extinct, parallel to the rise of Christian Orthodoxy
(that is, the enforced doctrines of emergent, official Judeo-Christianity).