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What Did Jesus Say? (2012) - 7 topics 

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October 15 2017 Email from Ch…F

Dear Brother Doug

Sorry it's taken so long to get back. The article you gave below says the following:

John Crossan and Jonathan Reed, in their latest work of 2004, explain the nature of this disparity, and notes Luke does not call Paul an Apostle with a capital A:

[I]n all his letters, Paul sees himself as an apostle sent from God through Christ. The very vocation for which Paul lives is denied him by Luke. He is, to be sure, an important missionary....But he is not an apostle equal to the Twelve. 

So if he's not an apostle and said he was, is he still an important missionary as stated in that quote?


My reply October 15, 2017

Hi Ch…

Due to Paul’s 14 year mystery period, and brief and small successes in the several missionary journeys, Paul was not in fact important as a missionary in the early church. I analyzed Acts, Paul’s letters and the early church records of the twelve’s evangelism. From this, we can see how the church under the twelve operated so many more years earlier than Paul, with results in the myriads (tens of thousands, Luke records in Acts 21). By comparison,  Paul had little success for a small period of time from the time he arrives at Antioch...a church which Paul did not found. Paul maybe had near 100 converts, when you read Luke's Acts carefully. See this article: Paul or James - Which is Greatest Evangelist?   

One of the reasons for Paul’s lack of success was that the 12 refused to give him letters of commendation, which Paul references. See this article: Proofs the 12 Apostles Rejected Paul.

After Paul died, John eclipsed him in the churches where Paul had influence. Also, Paul’s writings were still excluded from canon through the two hundreds, proven by their separate publication apart from other NT writings and lack of citations by many leaders in the church. For proof, see the same last article cited.

Where does this idea come from that Paul is an important missionary?

It derives from misperceiving Luke’s purpose in the two volume work of Luke-Acts. Luke was in truth writing a Roman investigator who was preparing Paul’s defense in the upcoming trial of Paul at Rome near 58 AD. The issue revolves around Paul’s companion named Trophimus who had entered the Temple uncircumcised...a capital offence in Hebrew Scripture which Rome enforced. However, Paul had the alibi that he was at a ceremonial bath at the time this happened. If Nero-Caesar thought Paul was a key leader of Christianity, and also an apostate opponent of Judaism who encouraged breaking its laws such as the Temple command at issue, then Nero in that trial could disallow Christianity to operate as a lawful sect under Rome’s approval of Judaism.  So Luke’s aim was to prove two things: (1) Paul is not a leader of the church,  but rather James and the 12 are...shown by Luke clearly in Acts 1 (Matthias chosen as 12th to replace Judas), Acts 15 and 21 to be such, and (2) also that Paul was not an apostate from Judaism, especially its Law, but rather testified in court he believed in “all the Law....”

See this article:  Luke Wrote Gospel-Acts for investigator to help Paul in trial

As a result, if we in look in depth at Luke-Acts, we see Luke only knows a Paul who endorses the Law, and who teaches that “works worthy of repentance” (see Acts ch. 26) and obeying Jesus are the path to salvation. See this article: Luke is a Legitimate Gospel History.  


As a result, Paulinism of today - no works of repentance or obedience to Jesus as necessary for salvation, but instead "you are saved" by merely believing Jesus died for your sins and rose again (1 Cor. 15:1-5) -- as a mainstream view is a unique phenomenon. Such Pauline views were only present after Paul died in the early church movement led by Marcion which Marcion started in 140 AD. However, Marcionism was routed as heretical by the mainstream church between 140 AD and 250 AD. See the article Marcionism.  

Paul was only rehabilitated later — in the 300s — due to the advantage of his anti-Law and anti-Sabbath positions in the eyes of a pagan ruler named Constantine. For this ruler wanted Sunday to be the new Sabbath for all to worship his pagan god Sol Invictus...the god of the sun. See Constantine's Damage to Christianity and the Sabbath Command. It was then Paul’s epistles are first found printed joined either to other epistles or sometimes even attached to the gospels.

Blessings Doug