What did Paul really believe?
I would suggest to you that there is some mystery left in that question. Despite all the writings he bestowed upon the ages there were certain of his quotes like, "To the Jews I became like a Jew" and "To those under the law I became like one under the law," (I Corinthians 9:19-23) and so it could be left to be concluded by a reasonable person that he was not completely forthcoming with that information that would affect his method of attempting to please all men at all times ( I Corinthians 10:33). Surely trying to make everyone happy would lead to compromise. He very nearly claims he understood all mysteries (I Corinthians 13:2) which leads logical readers to ask did he explain all of them or did he leave some of them out. Elsewhere he completely lies (Romans 3:7 where he nearly admits it, elsewhere such as before Festus, he clearly fabricates), he takes an apparition's words to him as making him an apostle where the apparition never makes such a claim (did the ghost have such power?) and yet no one, Peter, Christ, or Luke ever identify him as being an apostle.
Here, I offer to you a presentation, an organic argument that should help to dissect what Paul kept to himself, those mysteries that he set himself as being the only one to receive the answers on.
And on that note, I make no pretense that I'm here to keep from offending anyone like the fraudulent Paul did. You can be offended as much as you like but I'm not going to alter a word of mine unless it is shown to be false, and that you will not accomplish either.
Paul's Jesus, YHWH's Yahshua
When was the name of "Jesus" adopted? Greco-Roman hegemony assured this name was used over Yahshua. This treatise will offer an explanation coinciding with historical events, a unifying theory, starting with Saul's conversion.
(Saul struck with blinding light) at Acts 9...
"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked.
from Acts 9,26
"I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick gainst the pricks."
Now this is an expression that some may have trouble understanding. It was something I needed explained and I'm sure it would be a help to offer that here. This statement is a reference to goading an animal, pricking them, with a spur such as that on a boot, telling them to go on.
The king of Thebes was against the revelries and orgies held in honor of Dinonysus, "divine son of Zeus," god of wine and grapes. That is, the king was actively trying to stop these processions from taking place. Dionysus, enraged, comes to earth in human form, appears to the king while concealing his identity saying that the king should not fight against Dionysus, "a mere mortal against a god". "For it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks," comparing the king to an animal fighting against the pricks. Now, Paul is an educated Roman citizen. When the spirit identifies itself as "Jesus", that is "Hail Zeus" and borrows a quip from Dionysus, he very literally takes this as saying that the Christ is in fact Dionysus, god of wines.
He may be encountered with a series of progressive thoughts recalling...
Yeshua came first changing water to wine at Cana (John 4), He came "eating and drinking" (Matthew 11), He asked us to drink wine (For this is my blood). When Paul starts addressing these similarities as an educated Roman, he could likely come to the conclusion that the Messiah was Dionysus.
Dionysus comes from on high, emptying himself of god-ness and taking on the form of a man (in the Bacchae). Philippians 2:6,7 "Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness". Paul's Iesous is not the Yahsua revealed to us.
Paul integrates a pagan "trinity" concept, referring to a godhead (cf. Romans 1:20, Colossians 1:9). The spirit which ordained Paul ordained this gospel. If the doctrine opposes Christ, the spirit was not Yahshua. Paul, with the spurring or goad of Dionysus continues his paganizing of the Christian faith.
Festus says to Paul "You are out of your mind Paul. Your great learning is driving you mad."
Festus is pointing out that the Hebrew Messiah identifying Himself as the son of Zeus is an absurdity. He was right. However, Festus adds, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." Clearly if he could keep to his Roman pantheon of gods then he would accept the Messiah, since the Messiah was nothing more than another being in the pantheon.
Paul to the Greeks continues along with this thinking. Saying, "For we are indeed his offspring" (Acts 17:28), adopted from Aratus, speaking of Zeus. Paul is implicit, the god of your Aratus is my god, and the Hail Zeus is his son.
"For in him we live, and move, and have our being." (Acts 17:28). Epimenides, speaking of Zeus says, "For in thee we live and move and have our being." Epimenides says, "The Cretians, always liars, evil beasts, idle bellies," Paul adopts this at Titus 1:12.
This was adapted from Epimenides' Cretica. It was a poem criticizing the Cretians for building a tomb for Zeus, Epimenides believing Zeus to be eternal. So what Paul is actually doing here is cursing the Cretians because in fact his god is in fact Zeus.
I Corinthians 15:33 "...evil communications corrupt good manners." Menander of Athens "Bad company corrupts good character."
Buddha "Work out your own salvation." Paul at Philemon 2:12 "...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
He also adapts a quote from Publius Terentius Afer at I Timothy 5:4.
The Hail Zeus was preached to the Greeks, the followers of Zeus. The Messiah came as "Hail Zeus", son of Zeus, and any Greek or Roman could accept that. Some used the word "poetry" saying Paul quotes "pagan poetry". It is really pagan theology or pagan scriptures he quotes. By quoting it and pasing it off as from God he is validating it. His use of "godhead" is another throwback to pagan theology.
This doctrine of appeasement we see in the conversion of the Roman empire. The Christo-philosophy didn't jeopardize or supplant Roman paganism at all but was only a supplement. The Catholic church today is evidence with its vestments, relics, Mariolatry, Eucharist, and images. The Saturnalia was continued and carries on today as Christmas. The Sunday of Christ's resurrection came to coincide with the feast the fertility goddess Ishtar becoming Easter, another pagan revelry. The Christianity we had passed onto us today represents less the faith of the apostles than it does the Roman paganism. Today we pray to Paul's Hail Zeus rather than YHWH's Yahshua. Paul told Gentiles of the permissibility of meats sacrificed to idols, while Christ refutes this at Revelation 2:14.
Clearly, Paul's theology is formed around the belief that the Messiah is the divine son of Zeus and that he exists in some sort of godhead relationship with his father and mother. Paul never came to confirm this was his view but he does all but confirm it in his letters to the Gentiles. In conclusion, whoever it was that spoke to Paul on the Damascus road was using a cover identity of Dionysus and brought Paul to, instead of preaching Christ, to preach Zeusian religion to pagans.