Apostle Paul Attacked Part I - Was He a True Apostle?

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Should Paul's letters be considered valid and profitable for church doctrine?

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Overview

Recently I discovered that there are those who follow Christ who really believe that Paul is a false teacher. I had never heard this until about a month ago. The more I researched it, the more fascinating the idea became. As I continued to ask questions, the person who I was talking to began to tell me about how Paul the "scribe and pharisee" was the "great deceiver" (a false prophet) who hijacked the gospel of Christ, made the gospel his own, and taught things that went against the teachings of Jesus. I've since found other sources for this information and I'm beginning to understand more and more about their teachings.

What I've discovered is that they believe Saul changed his name to Paul so he could go among the apostles without being recognized and spread his false doctrine. Paul's teachings are said to have been completely at odds with those of the Christ he claimed to follow. For example, Jesus taught that to enter the kingdom of God you must do the will of the Father. Paul taught that we are no longer bound by the law. Paul admitted that he was imperfect and was even a murderer and a liar. Paul did not see value in following the law. In fact, it turns out that Paul is actually the Antichrist, leading us astray from the one true God.

The rationale for this belief system primarily lies in an acceptance of only a subset of the Bible. I've been told that Paul's writings should never have been in the Bible at all. This is true of the writings of Luke also, who they consider to be Paul's "press secretary" because the book of Acts suddenly became entirely about Paul partway through. In addition, they claim that Peter's letters were actually written by Paul and are therefore invalid as well. With so much of the Bible considered off the table, it can be difficult to find acceptable verses that contradict their views (difficult, but certainly not impossible).

Let's explore this anti-Paul theology a bit and try to understand why they are teaching these things about Paul and what verses they're using to support their ideology.

Paul is attacked on several unrelated fronts. We'll discuss these in the following order:

  • Apostleship
  • Character
  • Teachings
  • Rejection by Apostles

There is too much information to cover it all here. Instead, other related hubs will follow to cover each of these areas in more detail. This hub will deal specifically with the apostleship of Paul. Was Paul in fact an apostle as he claimed? If not, does this invalidate his message?

Opening Statement

Of all of the arguments I've heard against Paul, this one really is the most compelling. Revelation specifically says that there are "twelve apostles of the Lamb." Jesus said that there would be twelve thrones where the apostles ruled over the twelve tribes of Israel.

"And Jesus said unto them, 'Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.'" (Matthew 19:28)

"And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." (Revelation 21:14)

We know that there were eleven remaining of those originally chosen (Judas was no longer counted). Shortly after the ascension of Jesus, Peter took the lead and convinced the others to choose a replacement for Judas.

"And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles." (Acts 1:26)

So now there are twelve again. There are no reports of any other apostles falling away or that additional replacements were needed. So why would Paul consider himself an apostle when Jesus already had twelve?

Rebuttal

When Jesus chose and commissioned Paul for his ministry to the gentiles, Paul actually wasn't the first to know. Jesus effectively commissioned Paul directly to a man named Ananias who clearly testified (at least to Luke) that the Lord spoke to him and validated Paul's ministry to the gentiles. This is a critical piece to the puzzle.

"And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, 'Ananias.' And he said, 'Behold, I [am here], Lord.' And the Lord [said] unto him, 'Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for [one] called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, and hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting [his] hand on him, that he might receive his sight.'
Then Ananias answered, 'Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.'
But the Lord said unto him, 'Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.'
And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, 'Brother Saul, the Lord, [even] Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.' (Acts 9:10-17)

We have no reason to doubt the authenticity of Luke's account of the message Ananias received.There are no documents from that time that contradict his description of these events. The advantage we have with the life of Jesus is that there are four different accounts of his life, each with it's own perspective. With the events described in the book of Acts, only Luke wrote about them so we cannot compare his version to that of other eyewitnesses (or interviewers of eyewitnesses). I feel that we must conclude that Luke's account in the book of Acts is every bit as accurate as that in his earlier book about Jesus (which is largely corroborated by and never contradicts the three other writers).

Closing Argument

I have heard that the twelve apostles were apostles to the twelve tribes of Israel and Paul was the only apostle to the gentiles. This still doesn't fit with the number specified both by Jesus and in John's revelation, especially since Revelation calls them the "twelve apostles of the Lamb." If they are the twelve apostles of the Lamb, whose apostle is Paul? I prefer to consider Paul an honorary apostle who fits most of the criteria but not all. Jesus appeared to him and spoke to him on the road to Damascus, he was commissioned to Ananias as the messenger to the gentiles, and he performed miracles just like the other twelve. It's true that he was not with the apostles from the beginning (something that was important to Peter in the choosing of Matthias), but that does not invalidate my assertion. Peter's criteria used to select Matthias did not come directly from Christ in a vision and are not necessarily the criteria Jesus would have used in personally selecting Paul for his mission. God's choices have consistently been contrary to those we might have made for him (Rahab and Judah in the genealogy of Jesus, Moses being sent to Pharaoh, etc.). Matthew was clearly not chosen based on his prior good behavior. None of them were.

I believe that Paul was chosen in some ways because of his lack of prior good behavior. For the man who was persecuting Christians and having them arrested to suddenly do a 180 degree turn and become a true leader of the faith brings an incredible amount of glory to God. What could create that kind of change in him seemingly overnight except for an intimate encounter with the almighty God? He was large and in charge in the Jewish community and had been given power to have people arrested by the Roman government. What reason could Paul have had to give that up? Some believe that Paul was a deceiver who infiltrated the fellowship of the apostles and wasn't genuinely converted. They believe this because to validate Paul's conversion experience would be to validate both his commission and his message. So Paul could not have been motivated based on a love for Christ. But, if that were true then Paul's actions would have eventually shown his intent. He never denied the faith after having received it, and he never betrayed the apostles to the Roman authorities.

Paul had clearly accepted a new mission. Despite imprisonment, trials, and death threats, Paul's life continued to be about the commission he was given. He never wavered from it. This is evident in his writings and in the account in the book of Acts. In order to attack Paul's commission, you must somehow deal with the fact that Paul never showed himself as other than what he claimed to be. He obviously believed the things he was saying and was willing to face intense persecution (the kind he himself had distributed freely in the past) unwaveringly and in a manner reminiscent of the Christ he preached so boldly.

Character of Paul

Paul's character has come under attack as well. This is largely due to statements from his letters that I believe are taken out of context and misunderstood. In part 2, we will examine the arguments that attempt to slander his character and determine if they in fact hold water.

More by this Author


19 comments

davidkaluge profile image

davidkaluge 5 years ago

It is known that Paul disagreed with the other apostles in part for instance the apostles seem never to expected gentiles to be filled with holy spirit( it a shame as the spirit should had taught them that) However I did not know that some Christains call Paul a false apostle while they still teach with his letters/ concepts which is today called, "the word of God." I think Paul, whoever he is, gave his own understanding of the matters at the time. I wrote a hub on Paul conversion which can be questioned.


sonfollowers profile image

sonfollowers 5 years ago from Alpharetta, GA Author

It's true that the apostles originally believed that only Jews could receive the Holy Spirit. Eventually Peter's experiences proved otherwise. They also initially believed that the law must still be followed despite what was done on the cross. This idea was later abandoned by the apostles also. It took them some time to figure everything out.

Actually, those who call Paul a false apostle do not teach with his letters and concepts. They choose to believe that Paul's letters should never have been included in the Bible so they do not use them for their own doctrine. Thanks for stopping by. I'll take a look at your hub as well.


amazingchild profile image

amazingchild 5 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

Very interesting hub. I had never heard this claim before. Fascinating!


tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 5 years ago from south dakota, usa

the Holy Bible (KJV) has everything in it that GOD wanted in it, anything left out or put in it was done so by GODs Will. that book HE has protected from destruction tho many have tried to destroy it, and it has spread it through out the world even tho many tried to prevent that. to believe paul or any of the apostles were false or call them antichrist is wrong...and for the most part i believe is done by those who do not love GOD and do not obey HIM. if you love GOD then i would be far more careful who you listen to.


sonfollowers profile image

sonfollowers 5 years ago from Alpharetta, GA Author

Greetings, amazingchild.

I definitely agree. It is a fascinating topic. It has been a fun one for me to research. Thanks for visiting!


sonfollowers profile image

sonfollowers 5 years ago from Alpharetta, GA Author

Hi, timcgaa70.

I totally agree that God is in control, and I believe that God is able to make sure that the Bible contains what it's supposed to contain. And, I believe that he did that. Good points. I personally don't necessarily agree with the "be far more careful who you listen to" thing. I'm convinced that we have a responsibility to intelligently defend our faith against those who would want to make a case against it. I wish more Christians spent time thinking about what those around us believe and why they believe it. How can we make a convincing argument when we refuse to see both sides? That's my perspective.

Thanks for your visiting!


tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 5 years ago from south dakota, usa

you either trust GOD completely and therefore trust HIS word completely...or you dont...if you dont, you lean on mans faulty understanding of GODs word. you say you agree with me that the bible is just as GOD wanted it...but then you say dont trust everything you read in it. that is the same as saying GOD had no control what was put in it. HE doesn't leave us guessing. if we want to know the truth, HE teaches it to us.


sonfollowers profile image

sonfollowers 5 years ago from Alpharetta, GA Author

tlmcgaa70,

I'm pretty sure I didn't actually say not to trust what you read in it. I have no idea where that came from. What I'm saying is that its foolish to sit in our ivory tower and know nothing about what the rest of the world teaches. Why do they believe what they believe? For that matter, why do you believe what you believe? Why are you convinced that the Bible we have today is truth? Is there evidence to support your belief? If so, what is it? These are important questions if you're going to actually make intelligent and convincing arguments other than "you're wrong because the Bible said so", which will mean nothing to those outside the church. That argument is generally considered laughable by those you might try to wield it against. To them the Bible is just a book written by men. Christians need to learn how to make convincing arguments rather than divisive arguments. It doesn't mean that they'll be convinced. Most aren't. But most Christians don't even bother to make an effort. We just sit in the safety of our tower and fire flaming arrows all over the place. It's time to go down and meet them where they are instead of demanding that they climb the steps to the tower to talk to us.

Hopefully that makes sense.


MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 5 years ago from Hershey, Pa.

Since the time, well, since the time of Paul, the apostle Paul has been the target of those who don't understand Jesus' gospel message as the one who 'hijacked' Jesus' message and turned it into the Christian religion that the world so detests today. Jesus was Himself the gospel, He did not come to teach us the way to God, He came to provide for us the way to God. His earthly ministry was not supposed to be the explanation of God's plan, His earthly ministry was the accomplishment of God's plan.

And so, when people read Jesus' teaching as instruction on how we should live, they miss that what He was actually saying was that, because we cannot live as we should, He has come, not to teach, not to help, but to fully accomplish in our place what we cannot. In His teaching He was leaving a bread crumb trail for those who would eventually be filled with His Spirit and be able to see this. Look at His parables; they are not pleasant easy to follow guides on how we should behave and how we can find God - He took His disciples aside to explain His teaching to them saying that He spoke in parables so that the people would NOT understand Him.

Paul didn't shanghai Jesus' message, He faithfully set it forth . . . now that Jesus' work was finished, and the atonement was accomplished, the Holy Spirit was given to men and now they could see the truth. Even His disciples, handpicked by Jesus Himself, at the very end, after all Jesus' teaching, they still didn't get it - they asked Jesus just as He is to ascend "Are you now going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" . . . His own 12 still thought it was all about kicking the Romans out of Judea.

Trying to divide Paul from Jesus, asserting that they have two different messages, simply demonstrates that you (not you sonfollowers, but whoever) totally misunderstand Jesus' message. Jesus came to do a work not teach a path, because of His work the Holy Spirit now can reveal to us the truth about Jesus and His work. This is why, in the upper room at the last supper, Jesus encourages the 12 that it is good that He has to leave them, because when He leaves the Holy Spirit will come to teach them the truth.

And this is what happened to Paul - Paul was stopped in his tracks, knocked to the ground, and God reveal Himself and the truth of His gospel message to him . . . that changed Paul to the core and Paul changed the world. And the other apostles, those chosen by Jesus, recognized the truth and the power of Paul's teaching . . . even after Paul publicly rebuked Peter for hypocrisy Peter calls on believers to heed Paul's teaching declaring that what he speaks is the truth.

Some folks want to have Jesus without His call to perfect holiness, without His sacrificial death, and without the Bible and Christianity - they want a 'Jesus' of their own imagination, endlessly surrounded by lambs and children. They use a misreading of Paul to assert that they can have such a useless 'Jesus'.


sonfollowers profile image

sonfollowers 5 years ago from Alpharetta, GA Author

All very good points. Yes, clearly Paul and Jesus had two different and very distinct missions. From my perspective, the reason there seems to be conflict between Paul and Jesus is because most of the documented words of Jesus were spoken before His own death and resurrection. This can unfortunately create some confusion for people who want to compare the words of Jesus and Paul side by side like you would two presidential candidates. Much of their arguments are that way, which I'll begin to show in the next hub. It's a very sad thing to me (but also a fascinating topic to research). I hope to have more conversations with them in the future.

Thanks for your insightful comments.


tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 5 years ago from south dakota, usa

it is not my place to argue or convince. i share my experiences...GOD calls whom HE will, and rejects whom HE will. only those who accept GOD and live in obedience to HIM will believe what the bible teaches. all others are blind. GOD had many things put in the bible specifically as stumbling blocks to those who reject HIM. i do not need to know about other religions or beliefs, except to know GOD is against them. i do not expect anyone to believe as i do...they cant unless GOD teaches them as HE taught me. if people choose to reject GOD and twist HIS word...they must pay the price. i have no sympathy for them. i would not have even for myself should i reject HIM...i would deserve whatever GOD chose as punishment. HE is our CREATOR...it is HIS right, and HIS alone what to do with us. you walk on dangerous ground when you put out theories that are meant to deceive people...should anyone be lost for believing what you write... their blood will be on your head. GOD is not someone to mess with.


sonfollowers profile image

sonfollowers 5 years ago from Alpharetta, GA Author

tlmcgaa70,

"it is not my place to argue or convince. i share my experiences."

You share your experiences but you seem to do it in a way that is judgmental and condescending. Even if your teaching is correct, you will not be heard if that's the way you present yourself. This is why the world has a negative view of Christianity. Christians refuse to act like Christ, who was constantly drawing sinners to himself. The pharisees were constantly complaining that Jesus hung out with "sinners and tax collectors". He didn't antagonize or ridicule them. He loved them, even as he spoke honestly about their sin. He had incredible sympathy for them and died on a cross as a result of His love and desire that "none should perish."

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (Matthew 28:19)

It's clear in the great commission that we are to be going and doing our best to teach those who don't believe so that they too can be baptized. We are to be a light that shines in his direction. While I agree with many of the details what you wrote, I do not agree that they absolve us of responsibility to reach those who desperately need to be reached. Paul certainly didn't agree with you. If you read the book of Acts, Paul (and the other apostles) presented the gospel in a way that made sense to the audience to which he was speaking at the time (Romans, Helenists, etc.). The other apostles did that with the Hebrews to whom they were preaching. They started with an understanding of what their audience believed and sought to guide them toward the truth of Christianity. Failing to do that, sharing your experiences is not likely to be very useful.

I'm intrigued by what exactly it is that I'm writing that would cause someone to be lost. I'd appreciate it if you could expand on that. I'm wondering if you actually read this hub or if you just skimmed it and made assumptions about what I was trying to communicate (that's what it sounds like). You might want to read it completely if you haven't already so at least you have a clear picture of what I'm trying to communicate. Once you've done that, please complain and argue all you want. I'm very interested in your comments.

Thanks.


MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 5 years ago from Hershey, Pa.

tlmcgaa70,

I don't mean to appear to be picking your comments apart, and I certainly don't count myself your instructor or anything along that line - but I have a few observations to share concerning your remarks ~

T > it is not my place to argue or convince <

It's not within your capacity to convince anyone into believing, but we see many instances in Scripture of believers arguing (advancing an idea with sound evidence and a persuasive appeal to reason) for the validity of the gospel message.

T > GOD calls whom HE will, and rejects whom HE will. only those who accept GOD and live in obedience to HIM will believe what the bible teaches <

I think that would be more accurately stated; God calls whom He will and only those He calls will believe what the Bible teaches and can live in obedience to Him, and it is only those who God accepts.

T > i do not expect anyone to believe as i do...they cant unless GOD teaches them as HE taught me <

But, the way you express that seems to suggest that you doubt God has plans to redeem anyone else - I don't expect that everyone I meet is one who God intends to save, but I don't know who God is determined to save and who He is not, and so I address everyone as one who may be my brother, if not now, perhaps some day.

T > if people choose to reject GOD and twist HIS word...they must pay the price. i have no sympathy for them <

I don't know how you mean to use the word "sympathy" here, but certainly if you got what you yourself deserve you would be as lost as anyone, how do you then not have sympathy for those not blessed with the same free and undeserved gift as you have been given? They do indeed get what they deserve, my sympathy does not extend to any desire that God's plan and purpose for His creation be thwarted - but I have been forgiven so much, I have been blessed so far beyond what I deserve, I have been given so precious a gift, how can I not feel sympathy for those who continue to resist the truth that would bestow on them the same abundant treasure that I enjoy? I am no more deserving, yet the great gift is mine!?

T > you walk on dangerous ground when you put out theories that are meant to deceive people <

I assume the "you" that you refer to here is anyone and everyone, like, yourself as well the rest of us . . . and, who is asserting any idea with the intent to deceive?

T > should anyone be lost for believing what you write... their blood will be on your head. GOD is not someone to mess with <

But, as you said earlier, God chooses whom He chooses, and He leaves to themselves whom He leaves to themselves . . . and the Scripture is clear, those who reject God, based on whatever incident or false teaching, etc, stand guilty of rejecting God, their own blood is on their own heads - no one can say to God "But it's his fault, I would have believed and come to you and trusted you if he hadn't tricked me".

MickeySr


Lysimachus 4 years ago

Excellent articles Sonfollowers.

I commend you for your work.

However, in your comments, I would like to suggest you be more careful when you use the term "the law", and then say that the Apostles eventually gave this up to.

You need to realize that the phrase "the law" was used in many different ways--sometimes referring to the Moral Law which is found in the Ten Commandments, other times "the law" is referring to the "ceremonial shadowy laws" with types and services revolving the sanctuary, circumcision, and feasts, etc., and sometimes "the law" encompassed the idea of the Moral Law AND the Ceremonial Law as one Comprehensive Unit.

The law that the Apostles gave up was the Ceremonial Law, but the Apostle Paul makes it very clear in Romans 2, 7, and 13, and Ephesians 6 that the Moral Law, such as not killing, not stealing, not committing adultery, not coveting, honoring your parents, etc. etc. was surely still in force. So be careful when you say "the law"--that is, if you don't want to make Paul contradict himself. You're better off saying "ceremonial law", or "remedial law". These laws represented the "remedying" process against the moral law. The base law of love, which is embodied in the Ten Commandments, is found in Heaven's Ark of the Covenant called the "Testimony" (Revelation 11:19; 15:5).

Regards,

Lysimachus


sonfollowers profile image

sonfollowers 4 years ago from Alpharetta, GA Author

Lysachimus,

I actually only referenced the word "law" twice. Both times I was communicating what I had been told by those who are detractors of Paul.

In general I agree with your point that, as Christians, we shouldn't live any way we want to simply because we are no longer under law but under grace. The rightness of the moral law has clearly not dissipated. Still, we do (according to Paul) have a very different relationship with even that law than we had before Christ's death and resurrection. We are saved by God's promise and the gift of the Holy Spirit which cannot be taken away, not our ability to obey the law and keep God happy by our works. So in that sense, Christ freed us from the condemnation associated with all of the law (not just part of it).

Hopefully that makes sense.


robert 4 years ago

Paul was chosen by Christ, Matthias was chosen by men by casting lots, what has the "Lotto" to do with the Holy Spirit ? Paul was a Pharisee, of which today's Hasidim brag they are the seedline. The Hasidim have promoted the anti-God satanic Noahide Laws upon mankind and Congress enacted this to be the Law of USA by HJR 104, Public Law 102-14. These wretched laws are derived from the Babylonian Talmud or Talmud Bavli, and are the "ORAL Laws of their tradition which Jesus referred. Paul being one of these who also hated Christ, but was converted by Christ, referred to this compendum of their wretched laws, again Jesus referred to.......I WARN YOU ALL, these Hasidim are at work attempting to destroy all faith, by convincing millions that the epistles are false, they destroy the written word and faith...little by little.............In their Laws, any Goyim who do not obey their wretched anti-God laws will be decapitated in their NEW "OLD" Babylonian ODOR


sonfollowers profile image

sonfollowers 4 years ago from Alpharetta, GA Author

Hi, Robert!

Casting lots was a perfectly reasonable way to settle disputes back then. Solomon endorsed it as a way to discern God's will.

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord (Prov. 16:33).

Casting lots causes contentions to cease, and keeps the mighty apart (Prov. 18:18).

I don't think we should judge Peter too harshly, especially since there was no Holy Spirit at the time that Matthias was chosen. Pentecost came later. The disciples were doing the best they could with what they had (without guidance).

About the rest of your comments, I wouldn't know where to begin to try to validate them. How do you know which laws Jesus was referring to? I don't recall Jesus mentioning Babylonian laws specifically anywhere.

Anyway, thanks for the warning. And thanks for visiting.


Asher 3 years ago

I only recently, about a week ago, discovered that there are people (and now I'm hearing there are many people) who say that Paul was a false apostle and taught wrong doctrines. I stumbled on this at this site: http://www.truthseekers.co.za/content/view/83/48/. We are the last days when falsity and deception will increase, and this is a part of it.

I appreciate those like Sonfollowers who defend the truth of the Gospel. There is tremendous evidence against the claims of those who say that Paul is false and who discredit whole sections of the Bible in doing so. The apostles' acceptance of Paul as an apostle to the Gentiles and especially this passage may be the main refuting argument to those who say that Paul was a false apostle:

"Consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures" (2Pet. 3:15-16).

Peter says that those who twist Paul's teachings twist the rest of the Scriptures, and that to their destruction. Prophecy which proves true in our day of those who contradict Paul's apostleship and authenticity. However, some won't receive evidence no matter how evident the evidence is. Paul says much about such people and explains by God's superior wisdom that the words he spoke and the words in the Bible are spiritual words which can only be explained, discerned, and understood in spiritual terms. Those who contradict the Bible may think themselves wise and intelligent; but their stance proves directly otherwise, but they can't see it. It's good to know that there are teachers who take time to explain and defend the Word, especially good for the sake of not those who choose deception but those who are unknowing, babes in Christ, and those who don't understand the Scriptures and so are vulnerable to wolves in sheep's clothing, false teachers, and all kinds of false doctrines. God bless all.


Deborah Sexton 2 years ago

Yes we can discount Luke’s account. None of the other’s stated this about Paul and there should be two or three witnesses to make it valid. Luke wrote what was told to him and was not an eye witness. Everyone besides Luke (that we know of) were afraid of Paul and would agree quickly to whatever he said.

There doesn’t have to be documents that contradict the events. But there must (have to be) documents that agree or they are not valid.

To be an Apostle a person had to be taught by Yahshua (Jesus) and be around him all the time. A person had to be with them during the baptism and when Yahshua ascended. Out of over one hundred disciples only two met the requirements. Now God isn’t going to say, I know while all the others were students of Yahshua, and witnesses to the baptism and ascension, Paul was our murdering my people. But I am going to make him an Apostle anyway and lower my standards so he can get in.

Paul met not one of the requirements to be an Apostle. There are twelve not more.

In Acts 1: when trying to find Judas Iscariot's replacement, Peter states that the candidates would be those who were with them when they were with Yahshua, from the time of the baptism to the same day Yahshua was taken from them..

Acts 1:21 "Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22. Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection."

Not after he was taken but till the same day He was taken from them.

And there were two who qualified

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