Paul the Apostle

We have basically no reliable information about the Apostle Paul.

The information about him in the New Testament is clearly too politicised between the Jewish and Gentile Christian groups to be taken at face value.

While roughly half the books in the New Testament are attributed to him, he probably wrote none of them. Some are from supporters others from opponents, each trying to put words in his mouth.

The accounts about him in Acts of the Apostles, are mostly written by opponents intent on to putting him in his place.

However by examining the issues between these two factions we can surmise what Paul was really about.

Paul apparently taught that Christians received direct revelation from Jesus Christ.

This especially applied to Paul himself.

From Paul, an Apostle appointed not by human beings nor through any human being but by Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised him from the dead." Galatians 1:1

Paul's beliefs included 'Glossolalia' (the speaking in tongues) in which the Spirit filled Christian would speak in heavenly language inspired by God.

Christians were not bound by the Old Testament Jewish Laws at all. These were only a precursor to the reality of the risen Jesus Christ.

Paul probably coined the word 'Apostle' to refer to himself specifically and that it was retroactively applied to other leaders.

Paul would probably have been considered the first Christian heretic if he had not been so early in the movement and so popular.

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(c) 2005 Thomas F. Swezey All rights reserved.