V  12   Paul

The dominant master narrative about Paul states that Paul was an opponent of the Christians and persecuted them. He had

Athens, ancient temple
Athens, ancient temple

a vision of the risen Jesus near Damascus and became an Apostle to the Gentiles. His work and his missionary journeys are on the whole correctly described in the Acts of the Apostles.

The new theses about Paul:
Paul is Elymas Bar-Jesus, a magician living at the courts of the governor Sergius Paulus on Cyprus. The historical facts are that Paul did not go with Barnabas and John together as missionaries to governor Paulus’ court; Barnabas went with John only.

Barnabas met the magician Elymas Bar-Jesus there and converted him. As a freed slave, Elymas took the name of his master, Paulus. That is the historical core of the narrative in Acts 13:4ff.


An ecumenical movement: between 62 and 64 AD the Apostolic Council took place in Jerusalem, where Paul and Barnabas,

Hattusa, Lion Gate
Hattusa, Lion Gate

the Apostles to the Gentiles, met the heads of the Palestinian Jesus Groups of Peter, James and John.

Reports about the Apostolic Council show that the Jesus Groups in Palestine still existed as separate organisations but that they worked together, and that Paul and Barnabas were recognised as representing the Gentile Christian church, but their work was also viewed with distrust.