There isn’t any internal textual basis to believe that Paul is the next great prophet after Jesus who came to fix and extend what was missing in the Gospel message. The idea that Paul’s writings are the prophetic “Word of God” is a sham that only congeals around the council of Nicea choosing his writings as canon in order to establish the official state religion under Constantine. Paul’s failures as a recovering moralist were the doorway to provide the authoritarian structure that became the Christian religion in spite of Jesus’ warnings against it. The letter to the Romans is interesting only as a historical reference–it indicates what Paul as a learned man, interested in how to apply Jesus’ teachings to a broader community,. understood about the Gospel through the stories he heard from others. It is a commentary subject to his biases and cultural context. Jesus himself did not add any new rules and regulations but rather pointed to the relational intent of the Law–to love one another. So looking to Paul to add more rules only shows ignorance of the Gospel and promotes the idea that Paul’s teachings supplant Jesus’ in creating a new rule book for living.

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