How much of Jesus' teachings did Paul personally witness?

I am simply curious. I know the story of Paul, only as far as it is revealed in the NT. The NT really doesn’t tell us much about what Christ told him, personally. :slight_smile:

I may be mistaken - I’m happy for somebody to correct me - but I think the only words of Christ’s ministry that Paul quotes are those from the Last Supper (1 Co 11:24).

Yes, from the NT nothing was mentioned whether Paul or rather Saul, knew the man Jesus before the resurrection. Paul was an apostle through divine revelation. Other than that he had no physical experience with Jesus and therefore could not have heard from Jesus in person, if this is what you mean by the title of the thread.

God bless. :slight_smile:

Thank you for your response. We know from scripture, that Paul (Saul) was more than just a ‘thorn’ in the side of new Christians. I believe that the scriptures mention that Paul met Christ ‘on the road’ after Christ’s resurrection.

The original disciples of Christ, witnessed the miracles that Christ performed, and were taught the proper understanding of the Word of God. I was wondering if Paul could have misinterpreted some of Christ’s teachings, or certain ‘emphasis’ on specific teachings. I realize that Paul must have had some kind of divine ‘help’, but if I read Paul’s writings, and the writings of those that ‘followed’ his teachings, it appears to me (rightly or wrongly), that there are a lot of OT-type traditions or laws included in many of his teachings (ie. concerning covering (or not covering) of the head, women’s hair styles, etc.), that are not mentioned in the writings of the disciples.

We rely a great deal on Paul’s teachings, because of a lack of sufficient detail from the various ‘other’ disciples. Did Paul properly understand The Trinity & The Godhead? Did he use ‘some’ of the knowledge given unto the disciples, but add (through vanity), his own interpretation? We will probably never know, until judgement day. :slight_smile:

Paul’s epistles are canonical books of the Bible. Written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, with God as author, we don’t need to muse whether Paul added his own interpretations. He wrote only that which God wanted written.

We like to assume, that your comments are in fact true. Christianity is based on this assumption (We have nothing else to go by.). I still feel a little ‘uneasy’ about Paul’s teachings. I only wish, that we could have ‘heard’ from the other ‘missing’ disciples, and their comments concerning Paul’s teachings. It is not that there is anything ‘evil’ concerning Paul’s teachings, but rather, the ‘expansion’ of the ‘scope’ of Christ’s teachings found in the writings of the disciples, that bother me. Again, without further disciple writings, we are unable to evaluate this further. :slight_smile:

Paul had never personally met Christ, until after the Resurrection, when He appeared to him as he was traveling.

After converting, Paul was taught by the early bishops. His teaching was ratified by the Church.

Unless God sends another Messenger, with miracles, to reiterate the truth of Jesus’s message, and clarify any misoncpetions or incorrect interpretations that might have crept in.

Thank you for your comments. Who were these ‘early bishops’? Were they ‘trained’ by the disciples? I am trying to understand why so much of the NT is based on Paul’s teachings, but very little on the disciples’ writings. It appears, that the disciples’ writings are geared towards ‘witnessing’ the truth of the amazing miracles and sacrifice as much as providing wisdom concerning God’s Word. If I ‘unplugged’ Paul’s teachings, where would I now stand? Would I become ‘less’ of a Christian? Would I be ‘missing’ spiritual life-giving information? It appears, that the answer is, “Yes.”

I am simply ‘curious’. Why was Paul given ‘insight’ that the disciples were not? Was Paul anointed above the disciples? When I read Paul’s writings, I can believe them very easily. The writings are telling us ‘things’, that one would expect to be how God would ‘judge’ us. I have no problem with this at all. We simply do not know any more ‘facts’ than what the NT reveals. :slight_smile:

The scriptures tell us, that there will be no further ‘miracles’ on the scale that Christ provided. Those that seek out such further ‘miraculous proof’’, are non-believers. Life is full of small miracles, that are simply proof of the intervention of God, in our lives (letting us know that He is with us, always). :slight_smile:

Unless Jesus left us a Church to teach and sanctify in His name. And if He did, we can accept everything His Church teaches as “fact”…“He who hears you, hears me.” Luke 10:16

It is helpful to define Paul’s letters into groups. Three in fact. The first are those that all scholars agree were in fact written by him. There are 7, Romans, 1,2 Corinthians, 1 Thess, Galatians, Philippians, and Philimon. These were all written in the 50’s. Scholars suggest that the teachings contained within them are very much in line with the later Gospel accounts of Jesus’ teachings.

The 2nd group, 1,2 Timothy, Titus, were almost assuredly not written by Paul, and were probably written well after his death, sometime around 100 or a bit later. Both the historical setting and the writing style are quite different from the authenticated letters. Thse letters are considered reactions to the radical teachings of the 1st group.

The third group, most scholars don’t think are Paul’s but there is less agreement on this. They are Ephesians, Colossians, and 2nd Thess. These also if not his were written after his death, and present a more conservative approach that he exhibited in the 1st group.

Acts of course, represents another view of Paul from Luke, written after Paul’s death and there is not unanimity as to whether Luke’s portrayal is accurate.

The one think I can clarify is that the bit about wearing head coverings is an inaccurate translation. It in fact referred to women not having their hair pinned up as was normal for whem when they left the home. The “wild” flowing locks seemed to suggest to some that these women were “crazed” in some sense. Paul was admonishing them to act in a more digified manner.

You must remember that Paul was not writing gospels, but letters to address specific issues in small groups of Jesus followers whom he had himself taught (with the only exception being Romans, which he wrote to before ever going there.). Disbutes, and questions had arisen and he was addressing very special issues. We must be careful in extrapolating some things to faith in general because of this, and we must understand his replies in light of the questions being asked. That is not always easy to do.

The earliest bishops were the direct successors of the Apostles–those upon whom they performed the “laying on of hands” in order to pass on the apostolic office and the teaching mission of the Church.

It is noteworthy that in the Gospels we find Christ commanding that his gospel be preached to the whole world, but nowhere does he command anyone to write anything.

I suspect that the reason that we have more writings from Paul is simply because he covered a lot of territory, founded a lot of local churches, and wrote to them to keep them in line.

The Church was initially almost exclusively Jewish. Christ was a Jew, the Apostles were Jews, all of the first believers were Jews. The first big decision for the Church was whether or not new converts to Christ must also keep the requirements of the Jewish Law.

The Gospels were not the first parts of the NT to be written. The Church had already spread considerably through the preaching of the apostolic tradition. Had Paul never written, the teachings would still be the same, we just wouldn’t have a written collection of his letters.

We are taught by scripture, to question what others teach us, against God’s Word. We are told to ask where any ‘differences’ come from (ie. proof). Even prophets are not exempt from this. The scriptures contain many ‘standards’ that we can judge true/false prophets against. :slight_smile:

Just as an addition:

It is also important to remember and factor in that Paul must be read in the context of his times. First as I alluded to in the previous post, the context of the communities he was talking to, the next context is the early Jesus communities in which he operated, the third is the Jewish community of which he remained throughout his life, and which was central to this thinking, and last, within the context of the Roman Empire which set itself against this movement. Paul’s voice was treasonous versus that empire which declared the emperor to be “son of God” and Savior of the world.

So when we read Paul, we must factor all this in in deciding and defining what he in fact was saying. Worst is to simply try to lay our 21st century mindset onto the bald words of translated text. We will then get it almost surely wrong. Not much help>

But I would suggest that you read any number of great exegetical treatments of Paul to help you. If you read a fair cross section, you should come out with a fair understanding. Good luck.

Thank you for your posting. You are perfectly right. Take care. :):):slight_smile:

Hmmmmmm. I think Paul claims that he was taught by direct revelation and that he received his teaching from the Lord…not any of the apostles.

Agreed. And the moment the Catholic Church teaches anything contrary to sacred scripture is the day I will leave it.

But he did go to the Apostles to confirm his teaching, and relied upon their authority to confirm his own–he considered himself an Apostle like them–called by Christ, out of the ordinary course of events for the calling of Apostles.

He eventually went to Jerusalem…three years after his conversion and spoke to only James and Peter…there seemed to be some tension between his teaching the Gentiles and their ministry at this time to the Jews. Christianity eventually conformed to Pauline understanding as the dominant view after the fall of Jerusalem.

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