Paul, the first Jew for Jesus
The apostle Paul has gotten a bad rap. He is supposedly anti-Semitic, anti-woman, anti-gay, and anti-sex. This reputation is undeserved. In some ways he was more socially revolutionary that Jesus. Not more revolutionary than Christ in terms of thought, the Word and deed, but more concerned with social revolution as the beginning of a new age. Contrary to his reputation, Paul does not want people to stay in their places, or at least it’s a lot more complex than that.
The main reason for this misunderstanding is that almost half of Paul’s letters are now considered forgeries of varying quality.
Real letters: 1 Thessalonians, Galatians, Philippians, Philemon, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Romans.
Forged letters: Colossians, Ephesians, Titus, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, 2 Thessalonians.
Several legitimate letters are probably composites of additional Pauline letters. Furthermore, later scribes seemed to have felt free to make additions, especially concerning Paul’s attitude toward women (Wright, pp. 80-81, 424-425; Wills, pp 89-104). Finding the real Paul is a task in itself.