Pauline scripture - Divine Revelation end w/Jesus Christ & original twelve?



Since Paul wasn’t one of the twelve Apostles, how do we know the Pauline scriptures are inspired by the Holy Spirit? Didn’t Divine Revelation end with Jesus Christ and the original twelve, not even including Matthias?

Thanks for your help,


Peter himself explicitly counts Paul’s letters as Scripture (2 Peter 3:15-16).




I’m with QNDNNDQDCE. :thumbsup:


The usual phrasing is “Public revelation ended with the death of the last Apostle,” generally understood to be John around AD 100. That doesn’t place a limit on to whom the revelation was given during that time. Mark and Luke weren’t even Apostles in the larger sense as Paul was, so if we discount Paul’s writings we’d have to discount theirs too.

It actually seems John’s death was only an approximate end, since there’s a bit at the end of John’s Gospel along the lines of “We knew John and that this comes from him, and can dispel the rumor that Jesus made him immortal,” which strongly suggests that part at least was written by John’s followers after his death. (Literary analysis strongly suggests that the various writings attributed to John were actually penned by different hands, so the “written down by his followers” principle might apply even more widely, but we can see it stated outright in at least that one place.)



From the NAB introduction to 2 Peter:

Among modern scholars there is wide agreement that 2 Peter is a pseudonymous work, i.e., one written by a later author who attributed it to Peter according to a literary convention popular at the time. …]



Yes, there may be a “wide agreement” of scholars on that point, but that does not mean that any alternative theory is untenable. Obviously, Catholics prefer to subscribe to Petrine authorship. Nor are the reasons for rejecting Petrine authorship beyond criticism. For example, the introduction states among the principal reasons for supposing a late date of composition, “The author refers to the apostles and ‘our ancestors’ as belonging to a previous generation, now dead (2 Peter 3:2-4).” This is a fundamental misreading of the text!

to recall the words previously spoken by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and savior through your apostles. Know this first of all, that in the last days scoffers will come (to) scoff, living according to their own desires and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming? From the time when our ancestors fell asleep, everything has remained as it was from the beginning of creation.” (2 Pt. 3:2-4, NAB)

It nowhere assigns the Apostles to a prior generation, and speaking of their “ancestors” in v. 4 suggests nothing about dating because it is referring to their all their ancestors “from the beginning of creation.” You would have to work hard to establish from this text any reason to assign this to a later generation of Christians. The only reason given in the introduction that has any basis in fact is that Peter seems to depend on Jude, but, even if so, this only weighs against Petrine authorship if we assume that Jude was written after the death of Peter, which is unnecessary. Don’t believe everything you read, folks.




We know because Jesus gave the Holy Spirit to guide the Church (Jn 16:13) and also gave His authority to the Church (Mt 16:18). The Church included Paul’s letters as part of canonized Scripture, and because of this, we can be confident that His letters were inspired. In the end, we can trust the Bible because we can trust that the Church had the authority to canonize it.

God did not drop a leather bound King James version from the sky as some might suppose….:wink:


There is a consensus of tradition which is more reliable than modern textual criticism.


As the Introduction points out, part of the letter’s tradition – extending even into the early church period – “was the persistent doubt that the letter stemmed from the apostle Peter”.


Right, but that expressed doubt is the minority view


That only means it was more obscure than other letters. There are multiple reasons that would have caused this and given occasion to doubt. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that non-Petrine authorship is not a tenable scholarly hypothesis. However, the question of authorship can really only be decided by speculation on very scant evidence. Regardless of the majority opinion, there are no justifiable grounds for excluding the possibility of Peter as a common author of 1 Peter and 2 Peter, and the evidence for rejecting it is overblown. Although authorship cannot be settled divinitively from textual criticism, our faith compels in the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures compels us to favor Petrine authorship over mid-Second Century, pseudepigraphic authorship.


I think you’re thinking of Public Revelation Vs. Private Revelation. I’ve been divinely inspired and regardless of what my children think, I was born long after the Apostles. Things have been revealed to me by the Holy Spirit that I’m sure were divinely inspired.


Not Sure if your word “divinitively” is a “typo” or not but I’m going to steal it anyway. It definitively explains the question.


LOL! That must have been a typo. I was posting from my phone.


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