Ever wondered which came first: Paulian epistles or the Gospels? All scholars agree that it was the epistles that were written first. Early Christians had a very vague idea about what Christ really said or did.
Something is not right about Paul the Apostle. He brags about not having received any of his beliefs from anyone in the Jesus movement of Jerusalem at all. (Gal 13). He claims he received it entirely through revelation. When I was a Christian, I used to accept it as truth when other people’s imaginary friends told them to proclaim that the imaginary friend is right. But not so anymore.
Paul spent 3 years after his conversion away from the Jesus movement of Jerusalem. After imaginary Jesus asked him in a revelation while in Syria to proclaim that the imaginary Jesus, to the gentiles, Paul went away to Arabia. I wish he could say at least something about what he did there. It would be nice to know. And after that came back to Syria. He is emphasizing that he was no where near Jerusalem for all that time and that he did not talk to the members of the Jesus movement at all. So after 3 years (!) he went back to Jerusalem. Thats how long it took for Paul to go back and meet the real people who knew Jesus. And spent a mere 15 days about which he says something like “… I went there and I stayed with Peter the disciple and met NO other Apostle.. oh and yeah but I did talk to James the brother of Jesus”. (LOL!).
Thats all? I mean, for a man that laid all the fundamental tenets of Christianity as we know it today, it seems a bit weird that he pulled off from his imagination. For the members of the Jesus movement, Paul was more like a random not-so-relevant freak who claims he is one of them although he has only met with them once. In fact, Paul claiming to be an apostle because he spend 15 days with Peter sounds more like Subash Chandra Bose being a true Nazi because he met with Hitler and organized the INA using brown people in South East Asia.
Alright anyways, then after the mere 15 day meeting with real people who knew Jesus he went away to Syria & Sillicia for 14 YEARS! and he was still unknown by sight to the people of the Jesus movement. They only heard it said, the one who was once trying to destroy the faith is now proclaiming it. Thats all they knew!
Then after 14 years he went back to Jerusalem a second time. In other words, he went to Jerusalem twice in 17 years. He went there in response to a revelation (hallucination) , no one told him to do it (!). Then he laid out to the people of the Jesus movement the message he was preaching to the Gentiles and mad sure he was not running in vain and made sure he was proclaiming the right thing.
Paul had a real strange relationship with the main source of the Jesus movement in Jerusalem.
Given the facts above, here are my speculations about what Paul did in Arabia:
Islam shares the same eschatology of the Bible, with the apocalyptic Jewish meme upgraded to include Jesus as the incoming saviour instead of an Angel. This sounds exactly like what Paul would preach in Arabia! It might have been the case that pre- Islamic Arabian population consisted of larger fraction of Jews and Christians as history shows. And Paul preached the Christianity he imagined out of thin air with very little influence from the original meme in Jerusalem..
But alas, the Arabian Christianity might not have lasted very long due to lack of maintenance from the engineer Paul and was eventually converted by force into Islam 😦 I am confident some tof them left to Kerala and must surely be the source of the “St. Thomas of India”..
I must say Paul was one hell of a memetic engineer.