Watchman's Teaching Letter #105 January 2007
This is my one hundred and fifth monthly teaching letter and continues my ninth year of publication. Starting with WTL #88 we have been continuing a series defending the apostle Paul from the horrendously false charges that are being hurled at his epistles, and these accusations have their origins among the lowest moral sources one can imagine. For lack of space, we’ll now turn it over to William Finck:
Now once again we shall continue to address the second of Clayton Douglas’ Paul-bashing articles, SAUL OF TARSUS AND HIS DOCTRINE OF LAWLESSNESS, which he published in the January, 2004 edition of his Free American Newsmagazine. It had been noted quite early in this series responding to Douglas’ articles, that his writings may be welcomed by readers of The Trumpet or The Jerusalem Post, because Douglas rejects many of the fundamental tenets of Christianity, and not only Paul of Tarsus. This will again become apparent below, along with many other inconsistencies and conflicts in Douglas’ thought and writing. While much of Douglas’ article is merely a recycling of his earlier statements, he does add a few new twists, and a few new twisted arguments, and so his entire article must be presented and addressed
<Reference #71> Clayton Douglas states: “The ‘Saved Through the Blood Sacrifice of Jesus’ Pauline School ... It does not appear to be a tiny coincidence that canonical Gospels make any such references to atonement through ‘God-human’ sacrifice. The notion that such pagan concepts had anything whatsoever to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ is the biggest lie ever told. The impression that the unsuspecting Christian is left with is that ‘all the prophets’ had been awaiting this ‘sacrificial lamb’ to come as ‘God incarnate’ to atone for sin. There is literally not one statement in all Gospel accounts. It is Paul and his companions, rather than John the Baptist, Jesus, James and their Community, who introduced this concept of redemption through unsubstantiated ‘faith,’ simultaneous with acts of lawlessness. This left brain/left brain [sic] tweaking - courtesy of the Pharisees - creates ‘Christian Schizophrenia’.”
William Finck answers <#71>: Here it is apparent that Clayton Douglas is a proselyte, if not an actual jew, recycling the same vain arguments that the jews used against Paul and the rest of the apostles in the first century. Like the Pharisees who claimed to be experts in the law, yet were consistently reproved through scripture by Christ, Clayton Douglas has very likely never even read the Bible he so wantonly criticizes and claims knowledge of!
That Yahweh Himself would walk among us is a matter of prophecy, seen as early as Lev. 26:11-12, and there are dozens and dozens of messianic prophecies throughout the Bible which foretell quite clearly many of the events of His sojourn here, such as Isa. 8:13-17; 9:1 ff. and 35:1-10.
In section <#4> of this response in WTL #93 we saw that Douglas denied that Yahshua Christ was the Messiah. Yet all throughout his first article Douglas referred to Christ as “Immanuel”, Hebrew for “God is with us”. The 70-weeks vision of Daniel, found at Dan. 9:24-27, foretold not only the coming of Messiah the Prince, but Daniel also anchored His coming to verifiable dates in history, predicting that coming and the year it would happen well over five hundred years in advance! And Daniel also told us that “Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself”. What could that forebode, besides the fact that Christ was to be murdered on behalf of others? That Christ was to suffer that which He did is foretold in many places, chief among them being Psalm 22, Micah 5:1, Zech. 13:7, and especially Isaiah chapter 53, which makes it perfectly clear that Yahshua Christ died for the iniquity of the children of Israel. Clayton Douglas, the Man of Scoffing, denies all of this.
Douglas insists that “There is literally not one statement in all Gospel accounts”, apparently meaning that there is nothing in the gospels which tell us that Yahshua Christ was the “sacrificial lamb” who would atone for our sin. Yet this is a recurrent theme in the gospels! Clayton Douglas, The Comedian, obviously has not read Matt. 1:21, Luke 1:77, or especially John 1:29 and 1:35-41! In John 6:31-65 we have the great “Bread of Life” discourse given by Christ, where it is clear that His flesh and blood were given for our lives, and our faith in Him is rewarded by eternal life. While there are many other similar statements in the gospels which outline these things, it should be perfectly clear that Clayton Douglas, the Man of Scoffing, is a liar contending with Yahweh, Yahshua Christ, and all of the gospels, not merely with Paul of Tarsus. Clayton Douglas may just as well be another anti-Christ jew. John tells us “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Yahshua is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” (1 John 2:22) Who is a liar, but Clayton Douglas?
<Reference #72> Clayton Douglas states: “The direct consequences from this Christian Schizophrenia can be seen throughout Europe ... and the United States of America today. Although The Scriptures teach us that God’s Laws are, indeed, engraved forevermore upon our Israelite hearts, we - instead - listen to The Traditions which teach us that lawlessness and disobedience are AOK. Not to worry, you’ll get into Heaven too. This is all the result of Super-Apostle-Paul/Saul of Tarsus.”
William Finck answers <#72>: This babble of Douglas’ makes little sense at all, and surely Douglas is a very confused man. We have seen over and again here that Paul of Tarsus did not promote lawlessness, and instead taught just the opposite, in sections <#18>, <#37>, <#44>, <#46>, <#49> and <#50> of this response to Douglas’ articles, and in section <J> of the previous response to H. Graber (see the end of section <#67> in WTL #104).
Douglas’ so-called “Christian Schizophrenia” is certainly not caused by Paul of Tarsus, and Douglas is duplicitous in blaming such on Paul. We have seen that Douglas is a follower of Bishop John S. Spong, whom he must have read at length because he quotes from Spong extensively in his attacks on Paul, for which see section <#9> of this response in WTL #94, and section <#23> in WTL #97. And we have also seen that Spong is a very liberal theologian, a promoter of racial integration, homosexuality, and embracer of the anti-Christ jews! Spong ordains homosexual clerics, promotes homosexual marriage, and is a leading humanist, and Clayton Douglas is his follower! Clayton Douglas, The Comedian posing as a Christian, is the real schizophrenic here! The lawlessness in Christianity is not Paul’s fault, it is rather the fault of liberal theologians such as John Spong! And all of these things concerning Spong were made manifest here from Spong’s own official websites and his own writings, in WTL #’s 97 and 98. We’ve seen Spong attack Paul, and Douglas attack Paul. We’ve seen Spong deny Yahweh in Biblical terms, and we’ve seen Douglas deny that Christ is Messiah, and Spong denies the divinity of Christ and the circumstances of His birth and ministry! We’ve seen Douglas embrace Freud, and we’ve seen Spong embrace Freud! John Spong is a liberal miscreant anti-Christ destroyer of Adamic civilization and a homosexual-embracing deviant, and Clayton Douglas is his disciple! John Spong is a liberal proclaimer of lawlessness, and Clayton Douglas covers for him by diverting the blame to Paul of Tarsus. Clayton Douglas is the Man of Scoffing and Spouter of Lies!
<Reference #73> Clayton Douglas states: “In yet another typical Judaist contortion, Paul/Saul proclaims all opposition to him as devilish. He suggests that those who oppose him include ‘counterfeit apostles’ and ‘dishonest workers’ (2 Corinthians 11:13) and even Satan’s servants disguised as ‘servants of uprightness’ (2 Corinthians 11: 14-15). He wishes that his opponents would ‘mutilate themselves’ (Galatians 5:12). The advocates of the Old Testament were deemed self interested people who just wished to boast about their success (Galatians 6:13), wished to ‘stir up disagreements’ (Romans 16:17) and who preached differently to Paul ‘out of malice and rivalry’ or ‘out of jealousy, not in sincerity’ (Philippians 1:15-19).”
William Finck answers <#73>: In 2 Corinthians 11, Paul calls those who oppose not merely himself “false apostles, deceitful workers”, but those who oppose the gospel of Christ. Paul’s attitude here is fully supported by Yahshua Christ Himself, in the Revelation given to John, in the message to the assembly at Ephesus which Paul founded: “thou has tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.” Paul being the founder of that assembly, the gospel which he brought must be the “first love” of the assembly, and so Paul is true, and Clayton Douglas a liar (cf. Rev. 2:2, 4). It is clear that in early church history many jews attempted to subvert the gospel of Christ by adopting and then perverting it. Clayton Douglas, like John Spong, is their disciple. In his second epistle, Peter warns about these very same people with language at least as strong as Paul’s, yet the hypocritical Douglas dare not criticize Peter (cf. 2 Pet. 2)! And Peter’s complaints concerning these false teachers are much the same as Paul’s. Compare 2 Pet. 2:19 to Gal 5:13, for instance. At Galatians 5:12 Paul wished that certain judaizers would rather mutilate themselves, because they were trying to foist the Old Covenant circumcision upon Christians. Douglas defends the “advocates of the Old Testament”, not realizing that to advocate the Old is to deny the New Covenant! Paul certainly knew better than Douglas, as is fully evident at Heb. 8:6-13. The passing of the Old Covenant (i.e. Zech. 11:10) and establishment of the New Covenant (i.e. Jer. 31: 31-33) were clear subjects of Biblical prophecy denied by Clayton Douglas and every ‘good’ jew. Clayton Douglas’ own words again prove that he is little but a jew. All Paul-bashers everywhere should take note of this: you are all followers of and pawns of the jews!
<Reference #74> Clayton Douglas states: “Did you know that Paul was quite preoccupied with taking donations in? Did you know that he felt it necessary to answer a charge that he was embezzling the money? (Sound familiar?) (2 Corinthians 8:20-21 shows the suspicion with which he had to contend. He must claim the authority of the Jerusalem Community for the validity of his teaching to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:1-10) and he writes that ‘they asked nothing more than that we should remember to help the poor.’ This was some 17 years after his conversion, for as he states, he was in no hurry to confer with any human being as he had been selected in his mother’s womb for this work (Galatians 1:15-17). (Another little narcissistic Pauline twist.) Even so, he was fearful that he and his gift might not be accepted by the Jerusalem leaders, writing: ‘I pray that the aid I am carrying to Jerusalem will be acceptable to God’s holy people’. (Romans 15:31)”
William Finck answers <#74>: That Paul embezzled anything is a false accusation, a lie by Clayton Douglas who has taken advantage of a poor translation. This was discussed at length in section <#54> of this response, in WTL #102. Now Douglas removes 2 Cor. 8:20-21 from its context, verses that have nothing to do with money, but which only discuss the selection of competent ministers. My own translation of 2 Cor. 8:16-21 reads thusly: “16 Now gratitude is to Yahweh, by whom that same diligence is being given in the heart of Titos on your behalf, 17 seeing that the encouragement he indeed has received, now being more diligent, voluntarily he has gone out to you. 18 And we have sent along with him that brother of whom there is approval in the good message throughout all of the assemblies; 19 and not only, but our fellow traveler has also been hand picked by the assemblies to be endued with this favor, in which he would serve under us to the honor of the Prince Himself; and our eagerness 20 is avoiding this: not a one would find fault with us in this strength which is serving under us. 21 Indeed we have noble intentions not only in the presence of the Prince, but also in the presence of men.”
The term “this strength” refers to the unnamed brother (see also 2 Cor. 12:18) selected to assist Paul and Titos, probably one of the men mentioned at Acts 20:4. Many suppose, and it may be correct to do so, that such men were selected to ensure that funds donated by the assemblies were employed properly, and this is certainly to Paul’s credit, so he surely cannot be accused in the matter. Clayton Douglas, The Comedian, would stop at nothing to accuse Paul. It is only natural, with Paul’s bringing his gift from the assemblies to Jerusalem, that he would hope that the gift would be accepted, and Douglas’ accusation to the contrary is both tenuous and unfounded.
Paul believed that he was chosen from the womb of his mother for the conduct of his ministry (Gal. 1:15) because he believed in the ability of Yahweh to predestine all of His children for His Own purpose (Romans 8:28 ff.). This is evident in the Old Testament many times, for instance of Pharaoh in Ex. 9:16, mentioned by Paul at Rom. 9:17; and Jacob and Esau at Gen. 25:23, mentioned by Paul at Rom. 9:12. We see it also at Jdgs. 13:3 ff. concerning Samson, and at Isa. 45:1 ff. where Isaiah mentions the Persian king Cyrus by name and in deed at least 150 years before Cyrus was even born! Now since this is so evident in so many places in the Old Testament, which Douglas professes, why doesn’t Douglas believe it? The Man of Scoffing believes nothing! His only purpose is to discredit Paul, and then Christianity itself, like any ‘good’ jew would do!
<Reference #75> Clayton Douglas states: “Did you know it was Saul/Paul who taught, ‘One person may have faith enough to eat any kind of food; another less strong, will eat only vegetables.’ It was his messages which convinced the world that it was now ‘perfectly OK’ to eat, well, just about anything you felt like eating ... in DIRECT VIOLATION OF GOD’S DIETARY LAWS. God’s Dietary Laws were not handed down to you to make your life difficult. God gave them to you to PROTECT YOU from sickness and disease. Paul didn’t care much about what God wanted. ‘Let them eat Pork’ became Paul’s motto. And, so God’s People became sick ... and confused. More poisoning courtesy of The Serpent.”
William Finck answers <#75>: Again Clayton Douglas is a fabricator of lies, for Paul never spoke about the eating of pork, never mind Douglas’ false claim that he approved of it! The scripture to which Douglas refers here is found in Romans chapter 14, and he apparently paraphrased v. 14:3. Again, notice that he does not state as much. But because Paul said that all foods may be eaten, does that mean that he advocated eating pork? Certainly not! For if pork is not normally considered food, then it cannot be included in the category of “all foods”, even if we today do consider it to be so. Pork was not considered “food” to first century Judaeans, nor to many first century Greeks. Although earthworms and roaches are edible and contain nourishment, I certainly would not eat them even if people of other cultures do, and so I would not consider them to be “food”. Neither do I consider swine to be “food”, even though many people today do, and so I do not eat swine, and furthermore I do not consider Paul’s statement at Romans 14 as any sort of encouragement or commission to eat swine, knowing that Paul is talking about food, which swine is not! As we can fully discern from Romans chapter 14 and from 1 Corinthians chapter 10, early Christians were at odds as to whether they should eat any flesh, or meat, at all. This was for cultural reasons, and not because anything in the Scripture promoted vegetarianism. If we are ignorant of Greco-Roman history and culture, neither can we discern the context in which the gospels and epistles of the New Testament were written! We would all be as ignorant as Clayton Douglas!
Greek temples were not merely places where pagan rituals and the worship of false gods were conducted. They also served as centers for community, lounges and restaurants, centers for organized prostitution, banks and other things. Greek city-dwellers took many of their meals at these temples, drank, and often participated in the other activities in which these temples engaged. Markets were attached to the temples, where animals could be purchased to make sacrifices to the idol, or where meat from sacrificed animals could be purchased. Some of these practices were even conducted at the Temple in Jerusalem (i.e. John 2:15). Such was the dilemma of first century Christians in Greece and Rome, where it was difficult to find meat which had not been sacrificed to an idol: to a false pagan god. Such was the reason for Paul’s discourses at Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 10:14-31, which in Paul’s perspective (contrary to Clayton Douglas) had nothing to do with swine!
Additionally, we see in Strabo’s Geography that swine was not accepted at all Greek temples, and that of the temples of Aphrodite swine was accepted at only a few (9.5.17). The famous temple of Aphrodite at Corinth was not among those which accepted swine. Strabo himself considered the eating of swine to be unclean (12.8.9), and tells us that at Comana in Pontus swine weren’t even allowed into the city. So in the Greek world, we see division on this issue in the pages of Strabo. Clayton Douglas, the Man of Scoffing, understands none of this, and like most so-called Christians today, takes Paul’s statements in these chapters entirely out-of-context. Paul never advocated or approved the consumption of swine’s flesh.
<Reference #76> Clayton Douglas states: “Paul used pseudo-philosophical arguments that went in circles. He told James that he had no right to judge him - attempting to allude to teachings of James’ brother that were taken out of context.”
William Finck answers <#76>: Again Douglas makes no citations. Paul’s meetings with James are recorded in Acts 15 and 21, where Paul never argued with James and showed his elder complete deference in every way. Paul’s letters mention James at 1 Cor. 15:7, and at Gal. 1:19; 2:9 and 2:12. Nowhere was Paul ever recorded as telling “James that he had no right to judge him”! Clayton Douglas, The Comedian, is lying again.
<Reference #77A> Clayton Douglas states: “Here’s - absolutely - one of favorite [sic] Paulinisms, repeated every day by millions of bone-headed people:
“‘Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.’ Matthew 7:1-6
“How many times have you heard this? I’ll betcha HUNDREDS.”
William Finck answers <#77A>: This is incredible! I’m almost speechless! Here is – absolutely – one of the most idiotic pieces of commentary I’ve ever seen on the Bible. Douglas doesn’t like the words of Yahshua Christ as they were recorded by Matthew at 7:1-6, so he blames them on Paul! The incredible part, however, is that a little further on in his article, as we shall see below, Douglas quotes Matt. 5:17-20 and later both Matt. 6:24 and 7:21-23, using those sections to support his attacks on Paul! So regardless of where it is in the Bible, if Douglas likes it, it’s Christian. And if Douglas doesn’t like it, it’s Paul’s doing! Clayton Douglas is an idiot! Of course, here in Matthew, Yahshua Christ is talking about hypocritical judgment, as Paul also does at Romans 2:1 ff. Douglas, the Man of Scoffing, cannot discern as much. So he continues his diatribe:
<Reference #77B> Clayton Douglas states: “Here’s the real deal. Christianity, and I mean REAL CHRISTIANITY, is the most intolerant religion there is. It ought to make you proud. It isn’t lukewarm. It isn’t a namby pamby politically correct ‘liberal’ religion. It IS a set of laws, specified by God Himself, which supplies us with the correct parameters by which we CAN judge the actions of others. But, suddenly, Paul is retraining us that we MUST NOT JUDGE OTHERS. Lawlessness is just dandy. Don’t say a word. Do not condemn ... or else! But, that’s OK [sic] and quite acceptable, at least according to the legions of Christians who will immediately rise to Paul/Saul’s defense.”
William Finck answers <#77B>: Yet we have seen time and again in this response, in sections <#18> in WTL #96, <#46> in WTL #101, and summarized in sections <#49> and <#50> in WTL #102, as well as discussing related topics, i.e. in section <#37> of WTL #100, that Paul of Tarsus certainly does uphold the laws of Yahweh (i.e. Rom. 3:31)! Paul never promoted lawlessness, as we have seen. Rather, it’s the liberal theologians of today, such as John Spong, who attack Paul while, at the same time, promoting their lawlessness. Ironically, Douglas actually follows the lawless Spong, and then does an about-face by attacking the law-upholding Paul. Is not Douglas’ duplicity fully evident for everyone to see? Clayton Douglas is rather the schizophrenic while he accuses others, and can hardly be labeled a Christian. Here Douglas continues by quoting Matthew to support his contentious argument:
<Reference #77C> Clayton Douglas states: “I repeat to you again, Matthew 5:17:20: ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law (Torah,) or the Prophets (Nevi’im,); I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law; until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, you will certainly not enter the Kingdom of Heaven’.”
William Finck answers <#77C>: So Douglas alone determines which parts of Matthew’s gospel were written by Matthew, and which parts of Matthew’s gospel were written by Paul! Only an idiot could imagine being able to do such a thing, and an arrogant one at that! Notice also that Douglas insists on giving us the Hebrew names for the Law and the Prophets, as if to lend credibility to his own use of Yahshua Christ’s words, which were originally recorded not in Hebrew, but in Greek! This does, however, demonstrate fully the jewish influences upon Clayton Douglas’ thinking. Now I can imagine why Douglas made the silly statement in his first article, discussed in section <#5> of this response in WTL #94, that Paul “wrote almost two-thirds of the New Testament.” Douglas thinks that Paul wrote Matthew 7:1-6! But Douglas’ astonishing idiocy extends far beyond even this ...
<Reference #78> Clayton Douglas states: “James the Brother of Jesus spoke out against Paul of Tarsus in this profound and pivotal incident: ‘You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit! As your fathers did, so you do. Which of the prophets didn’t your fathers persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, of whom you have now become betrayers and murderers. You received the Law as it was ordained by angels, and didn’t keep it! Now when they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the Glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Adam standing at the right hand of God!’ Acts 7:51-56”
William Finck answers <#78>: Here Douglas takes the words of the martyr Stephen before his death, which were recorded by Luke in Acts chapter 7, and he attributes them to James! And these words weren’t meant for Paul in particular, but for the high priests, elders and council of the Judaeans in general, evident once reading the full story from Stephen’s arrest as related at Acts 6:8-15 and 7:1 ff. Can Clayton Douglas read? Or is he a purposeful deceiver? Or just an idiot? One thing is evident, Clayton Douglas will lie and twist anything, stopping at nothing to slander Paul and to corrupt Christianity, just as those whom he truly follows: the jews, the anti-Christs, the sexual deviants, liberal theologians, atheists and other miscreants whom he consistently quotes for support.
<Reference #79A> Clayton Douglas states: “Here’s an account about James (the Elder’s) run-in with Saul/Paul.
“... In the Recognitions of Clement, we also learn of someone named Saul - ‘one of our enemies’ - who, upon entering the Temple with a few other companions while James was reading and interpreting Bible prophecy concerning Jesus, ‘began to cry out,’ and ‘while James was refuting him’ he ‘began to drive all into confusion with shouting, and undo what was arranged with much labor.’ A riot ensues, ‘in the midst of which, this enemy attacked James and threw him headlong from the top of the [Temple] steps, and, supposing him to be dead, cared not to inflict further violence upon him.’
“Though James doesn’t die here, both his legs were broken ...
(This is act [sic] of a man you say is now annointed [sic]?, Paul broke both of James’ legs!)”
William Finck answers <#79A>: Clement, who lived and wrote long after the deaths of both Paul of Tarsus and James the elder, knew full well who Paul was, quoted from and followed Paul, and never identified the “Saul” who attacked James as Paul of Tarsus, though he had every opportunity to do so if such a thing were true! Douglas even admits this, admitting that Clement wrote only of “someone named Saul”, yet it is only Douglas who would identify this “Saul” as Saul of Tarsus, as if in the first century there was only one man named Saul in the entire world! Saul was the name of the first Israelite king (v. 1 Samuel), who was of the tribe of Benjamin, and so it was only natural that a first century Benjaminite may have this name. There were other men with this name in first century Judaea.
[Emahiser note: Douglas knows less about Church History than Scripture! When James the Just was martyred, Paul was in Rome. We find this in Eusebius’ Church History by Paul L. Maier on page 81 (2.23), under the heading “The Martyrdom of Jesus’ Brother James”:
“When Paul appealed to Caesar and was sent to Rome by Festus, the Jews were disappointed in their hope regarding the plot they had devised against him and turned against James, the Lord’s brother, to whom the bishop’s throne in Jerusalem had been assigned by the apostles ...”
In other words, James was murdered in place of Paul! Thus, either Eusebius lies or Douglas lies. For anyone who is truly interested concerning James’ martyrdom, see Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 8, “Hegesippus, Fragments from His Books of Commentaries on the Acts of the Church”. The “Saul” of which Clement cites is not the same “Saul” (Paul) the apostle! This “Saul” of which Clement refers went into the temple and accused James of being a follower of “Simon, a magician”, a false charge which the apostle Paul would never have made, and no such thing is ever recorded in Scripture. Douglas is grasping at straws. Now back to William Finck.]
The record in Acts chapter 21 is clear, that from the time of Paul’s meeting with James where Paul deferred to the wishes of the elder, he was arrested by the Romans after being attacked by the jews, and spending the rest of his time in Roman custody until being sent to Rome, Paul could hardly have seen the temple again during this subsequent period which he spent in custody in Caesarea (Acts 23:23 ff.). Paul remained in custody of the Roman governor for some time into the term of Festus, who sent Paul in bonds to Rome (Acts 27:1). According to Josephus, the historian who was a witness to the events in Judaea at this very time, in 62 A.D., Festus died in office and was succeeded by Albinus (Antiquities 20.9.1). Paul would already have departed for Rome when this happened. It was during the tenure of Albinus that a young and ill-tempered man, the younger Ananus, obtained the office of high priest. Ananus was a Sadducee, and while Albinus was traveling abroad Ananus had the elder James and some of his companions slain, stoned after an assembly of the jews’ council (Antiq. 20.9.1). Josephus also tells us about another Saul, or Saulus, an Edomite related to the family of Herod, who led a band of robbers and caused much mischief a few years later when Florus was governor, and although Josephus does not record the breaking of James’ legs or any other such attack on the apostle before his death, this other Saulus is a much more likely candidate to have perpetrated such a deed than Paul of Tarsus (v. Antiq. 20.9.4; Wars 2.17.4)!
<Reference #79B> Clayton Douglas states: “And we all know what happened to both James Greater and ‘The Less’ (Jesus’ Brother), don’t we? Who condemned both of them? Why those pesky deceiving Pharisees (Sanhedrin) of course!”
William Finck answers <#79B>: We have just seen from the words of Josephus that it was a Sadducee who had the elder James stoned, and not a Pharisee. From Acts chapter 12 we see that it was the Edomite king, Herod Agrippa I, who was responsible for the death of James the lesser, and neither the Pharisees nor the Sadducees are blamed for this. That makes Clayton Douglas a liar on two counts, which are easily verified! Is there any lie too great for Clayton Douglas, the Spouter of Lies? Does he not reveal what sort of man he truly is, through all of his lies (John 8:44)? Remember Rom. 2:16: “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men according to my gospel.”