Was Paul an Apostle?


#1

In terms of the Apostolic revelation that ended with the death of the last apostle, is Paul an apostle? I know he called himself one, but is there a line between the 12 (minus Judas, plus Matthias) who heard and saw all those things that John said were not recorded (c.f. Jn 21:25) and Paul who had the prototypical “born again experience”?

Yes, Paul was taught by the Apostles, but then so was Ignatius of Antioch. I’m not questioning the validity of the canon of the bible, or anything like that, just trying to get a handle on “Apostolic Tradition”.

Thanks,
Jim


#2

Paul was taught directly by Jesus. He didn’t “need” the other apostles to teach him, for Jesus had taught him. I’m sorry I don’t know the references right off the top of my head, but Paul mentions in one of his letters that his words are not the words of man, but of God. I think there is, in one of his letters, an explaination of his position. So, yes, Paul was an apostle, appointed by God. :blessyou:


#3

The Church does consider Paul a legitimate Apostle. But I think this is kind of a non-issue, because Paul died before the last of the original 12.


#4

Yes, the Bible clearly establishes that Paul was an apostle.

Romans 1:1Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God–

Romans 11:13I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry 14in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.

1 Corinthians 9:1Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord? 2Even though I may not be an apostle to others, surely I am to you! For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:9For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.

2 Corinthians 12:11I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the “superapostles,” even though I am nothing. 12The things that mark an apostle–signs, wonders and miracles–were done among you with great perseverance.

Galatians 2:8For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles. 9James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me.


#5

Thanks All,
I guess I needed a refresher on Acts, cause what I thought I remembered wasn’t there. From the time of his conversion through his being “sent” to the gentiles, there is no mention of his being instructed, yet there is mention of his preaching right after the scales fell from his eyes.

I was currious as to whether his contribution to the oral tradition was considered “Apostolic”, but now I can see it.


#6

[quote=Christy Beth]Paul was taught directly by Jesus. He didn’t “need” the other apostles to teach him, for Jesus had taught him. I’m sorry I don’t know the references right off the top of my head, but Paul mentions in one of his letters that his words are not the words of man, but of God. I think there is, in one of his letters, an explaination of his position. So, yes, Paul was an apostle, appointed by God. :blessyou:
[/quote]

Was Paul taught by Jesus before the ascention? I though, after the ascention, that Jesus would not return until the second comming.


#7

[quote=Maranatha]Was Paul taught by Jesus before the ascention? I though, after the ascention, that Jesus would not return until the second comming.
[/quote]

No, Paul was not around prior to Jesus’ ascension. Paul was taught everything by a direct revelation from God. As he explained to the Galatians in chapter 1, "11For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ."

So Paul was able to learn directly from Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Many people don’t realize that one of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to lead man into the Truth and to teach us about Jesus. He doesn’t do this JUST by scripture and teachers in the Church. He also does this in our personal times of prayer and meditation. The Apostle John speaks of this when he says in 1 John 2:27, "And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you, but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him".

David


#8

[quote=Maranatha]Was Paul taught by Jesus before the ascention? I though, after the ascention, that Jesus would not return until the second comming.
[/quote]

Its called Private Revelation.


#9

Remeber that Paul did not just start preaching when he got his vision. He sought out the legitimate Church authority and he laid hands on him.

Scott


#10

Jimmytoes noted, “From the time of his conversion through his being “sent” to the gentiles, there is no mention of his being instructed, yet there is mention of his preaching right after the scales fell from his eyes.”

Actually, this is not true. In Acts 15 it says that Paul and Barnabas “had no small contest” (Acts 15:2) with the Judiazers who felt circumcision was still needed to be saved. He needed the advice and instuction of the Church on this issue (he apparently couldn’t settle the issue on his own, else why would he have to go to the apostles in Jerusalem?). Therefore, he and Barnabas went to Jerusalem to get the answer, which after much debate was settled by Peter (Acts 15 7-11).

In addition, while Paul did preach some on his own right after that scales fell, he soon went to Arabia (Gal 1:17) which theologians feel was when he was taught the Gospel by Christ. He was there 3 years, and came back to Jerusalem specifically to “see Peter” (Gal 1:18). He stayed with Peter for two weeks. Do you think Paul spent this time with no instruction from Peter?

We also see in Gal 2:1-2 - that he went away again for 14 years. When he came back (this time with Titus), to Jerusalem he again went to the apostles to the communicate the Gospel as he knew it, “lest perhaps I should run, or had run in vain.” Now that is an interesting quote from Paul. It would seem he was verifying his instruction in the gospel with theirs to be sure what he (Paul) was preaching was “not in vain.” I’m not sure how else one would interpret this.

I think scripturally we can conclude that despite being an apostle chosen by Jesus, Paul still did not have all the answers. He still needed instruction by Peter and the other apostles.
God Bless,
MBS1


#11

[quote=Christy Beth]Paul was taught directly by Jesus. He didn’t “need” the other apostles to teach him, for Jesus had taught him. I’m sorry I don’t know the references right off the top of my head, but Paul mentions in one of his letters that his words are not the words of man, but of God. I think there is, in one of his letters, an explaination of his position. So, yes, Paul was an apostle, appointed by God. :blessyou:
[/quote]

and he immediately submitted himself to the authority of the apostles, reported his experiences and did not act upon them until given permission and blessing of the other apostles.


#12

[quote=MBS1]I think scripturally we can conclude that despite being an apostle chosen by Jesus, Paul still did not have all the answers. He still needed instruction by Peter and the other apostles.
God Bless,
MBS1
[/quote]

Nope. You can’t make that conclusion at all since it contradicts Paul’s direct testimony in which he says NO ONE TAUGHT HIM EXCEPT GOD. It’s in Galatians in chapter 1, "11For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ."
David


#13

Gotta love Paul.


#14

But he did not preach that until he had sought out Peter and spoken with him.

Gotta love Paul - I always think of him as a kind of Biblical Biker. You know, riding around on his donkey, getting all worked up, beating up Christians for fun…then, WHAM!!!

Then, in Acts 20:35, Paul records a saying of Jesus’ not found in any of the gospels!. Where did he hear that? Was it part of the revelation or what he taught that by Peter? 2Peter 1:20 - no prophecy is a matter of private interpretation…and later on, 3:15 St. Peter cautions us about Paul - the guy can be a little hard to understand…lololol.

I think It’s pretty clear, Paul is an Apostle…


#15

I think Paul was an ingenious choice for an apostle on the part of our Lord. (Not surprisingly!)

Paul’s status as a Roman citizen afforded him freedoms that the other apostles really didn’t have (at least- legally speaking in terms of Roman law…)

Plus, Paul’s status with the Greeks and the gentiles in general opened up cross-cultural doors we couldn’t imagine.


#16

Also, Paul’s intellect and training helped him to articulate the faith in a way that Peter and the others could not.

David


#17

I hope I don’t sound condescending, but I am old enough to remember the old “Paul hated women and silenced Mary Magdalene” stuff from the 70’s. When I read Paul - and read about how a man of his intelligence, education and intellect - went to the other Apostles, in particular Peter, for education I am in awe of his examples of humility. Yet, he didn’t hesitate to tell Peter when he thought he was wrong - and, like Scott and David say, he took the Church to everyone. I see Paul as very courageous and I agree, perfect choice as an Apostle.


#18

[quote=Scott_Lafrance]Its called Private Revelation.
[/quote]

I don’t believe the CC teaches you can have a private revelation with an apparition of Jesus Christ. Perhaps that’s why the Virgin Mary is kept so busy.
:slight_smile:

Catechism of the Catholic Church
659
"So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God."532 Christ’s body was glorified at the moment of his Resurrection, as proved by the new and supernatural properties it subsequently and permanently enjoys.533 But during the forty days when he eats and drinks familiarly with his disciples and teaches them about the kingdom, his glory remains veiled under the appearance of ordinary humanity.534 Jesus’ final apparition ends with the irreversible entry of his humanity into divine glory, symbolized by the cloud and by heaven, where he is seated from that time forward at God’s right hand.535 **Only in a wholly exceptional and unique way would Jesus show himself to Paul “as to one untimely born,” in a last apparition that established him as an apostle.**536


#19

Just to clarify, he didn’t go the others to be educated. He went to have his message, the one he received via revelation, verified and confirmed so that he would know he hadn’t run his race in vain.

David


#20

[quote=jimmytoes]I guess I needed a refresher on Acts, cause what I thought I remembered wasn’t there. From the time of his conversion through his being “sent” to the gentiles, there is no mention of his being instructed, yet there is mention of his preaching right after the scales fell from his eyes.

I was currious as to whether his contribution to the oral tradition was considered “Apostolic”, but now I can see it.
[/quote]

Paul’s ministry was commisioned directly by Jesus, that is Paul’s ministry was commisioned independantly of Peter’s chair.

Interesting conclusions can be drawn from that. In Catholicism, all priests must be commisioned from Peter’s chair. Was Paul meant to be the only exception?


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