Romans 3:7. Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” (NIV, New International Version)
A Muslim poster on the “Christianity and Islam Friendly Debate” Facebook site prefaced his remarks about the Apostle Paul by citing Romans 3:7. The Muslim asserted “Paul admits himself to be a liar. Undeniable proof from the Bible. Paul the False Apostle.”
A careful reader would notice the first three words: “Someone might argue.” Clearly, Paul is not arguing this himself! Paul is actually quoting arguments others (the Judaizers) urged against Paul. Just read the next verse:
Rom 3:8 And why not say, “Let us do evil so that good may come of it”? — as some who slander us allege that we say. (Their condemnation is deserved!) (NET Bible)
The Muslim Challenge:
It is a common misconception amongst Christians that Paul and the Apostles of Christ were unanimous in their preaching of a crucified Jesus. Christians think that the apostles and Paul were preaching the same doctrine and everyone believed in the divine Jesus who came to be crucified for the sins of the world. However, if one examines the bible carefully, that person would observe that Paul and the disciples were not preaching the same doctrine and did not believe in the same Jesus.
The Apostles in Jerusalem heard that Paul has been preaching a different doctrine in Galatia and Corinthia. Paul was telling them not to follow the law anymore and that they don’t have to eat kosher meat anymore or to be circumcised (according to Genesis 17:14, the covenant is broken if there is no circumcision) etc. So the Apostles went to Galatia and Corinthia and convinced everyone that Paul is wrong, when Paul heard about this he went straight back to the cities…
So it is clear from the Bible it self that not everyone believed in the Jesus who came to get crucified for the sins of the world and to replace the law. That there were different amongst the Apostles and Paul. The Apostles stuck to the true teachings of Jesus, which was upholding the law and that the Apostles who lived with Jesus know him better than Paul who never even saw Jesus except in a “vision”. The only deceiver here was Paul and not Allah.
It is always helpful to read the Bible with great care, accuracy, and understanding.
When you say:
“It says different Gospel, so obviously the disciples were teaching them a different doctrine and it was not just minor issues.”
You reveal you have not read the New Testament accounts accurately.
The record in the New Testament shows that Paul received the “right hand of fellowship” from the Apostolic leaders of the Jerusalem church:
Gal 2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
Peter, James, and John would hardly have extended the right hand of fellowship to Paul (and Barnabas) if Paul was not preaching the true Gospel of Christ.
Those Paul was opposing, who came to Galatia with a false Gospel, were not legitimate, authorized teachers from the Jerusalem church. They were “Judaizers,” teachers who attempted to persuade new Christians that they must fulfill the requirements of the law of Moses in order to be saved.
James and the leaders of the Jerusalem church affirmed the legitimacy of Paul’s Gospel, and explicitly declared that the Judaizers had not been sent by them:
Acts 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
Acts 15:2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
Act 15:4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
Act 15:5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
Act 15:6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
Act 15:7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
Act 15:8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
Act 15:9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Act 15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
Act 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
Act 15:22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
Act 15:23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:
Act 15:24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:
Act 15:25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
Act 15:26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Act 15:27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.
Act 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
Act 15:29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
This is the record as it is given in the New Testament–a far cry from what was presented above in the opening post.