Monday, January 17, 2011

Why Do Christians Hold Such A High View Of The Apostle Paul?

I often see skeptics ask why Christians hold such a high view of Paul. Why do they consider him an apostle? Why do they think his letters are scripture?

The fact that these skeptics would ask such questions suggests that they don't know much about Christianity or the evidence for it. It makes you wonder why they're so active in posting objections to Christianity in online forums. Maybe they should spend more time trying to understand the religion before they criticize it.

Here's a summary of a few of the relevant lines of evidence related to the status of Paul:

1. The experiences of Paul suggest that his claims to apostolic authority are credible (for example, his seeing the risen Christ and the miracles he performed afterward). See here.

2. The other apostles held the same sort of view of Paul that Christians hold today. He had a close relationship with the other apostles, as reflected in his letters, Acts, and other sources. It's doubtful that the other apostles would think so highly of him if they disagreed with his authority claims. 2 Peter 3:15-16 refers to Paul's letters as scripture.

3. Paul's apostleship and the scriptural status of his letters are accepted early and widely across the Christian world. For a discussion of the significance of that fact, see here and here. Some of the early sources who make such high comments about Paul had been disciples of one or more of the other apostles (e.g., Polycarp) and/or came from and/or were in contact with an apostolic church associated with at least one of the other apostles (e.g., Ignatius).

1 comment:

  1. Equally perplexing are so-called professing Christian's who do not like Paul (at all).

    There are some even today who would remove all of Paul's writings from Canon!?