Why and How was St. Paul part of Public revelation?


#1

Hi,
Why and How was St. Paul part of Public revelation? Does the below mean Paul or those who learned from Jesus directly? I am assuming St. Paul was called an Apostle because Jesus visited him in a vision? But if that is so, why wouldn’t others who have had visions of Jesus not be called an Apostle or have had Public revelation made known to them?

Public revelation is binding on all Christians, but private revelation is binding only on those who receive it. The Catholic Church teaches that public revelation was completed, and therefore was concluded, with the death of the last apostle (Vatican II, Dei Verbum 4), but private revelation has continued.

Thanks!
Brian


#2

Hi Godheals,

Short answer ; Paul's letters have been received by the Church as inspired. This is all that is needed.

Paul's letters were considered inspired by St. Peter (the first pope) himself. Go to 2 Peter, 3,:
:

Consider the forbearance of our Lord as salutary, as was also written to you by our dear brother Paul, according to the wisdom that has been given him. He does it in all his letters where he speaks of these matters. One can find in them obscure points, which are diverted from their sense by unlearned and unstable individuals as they do wilth the other Scriptures, to their own perdition.

You can see from this that Paul's letters are considered canonical, which means that his contacts with Jesus were equivalent to those of the apostles and that he was infallible in his pronouncements.

Verbum


#3

[quote="GodHeals, post:1, topic:313670"]
Hi,
Why and How was St. Paul part of Public revelation? Does the below mean Paul or those who learned from Jesus directly? I am assuming St. Paul was called an Apostle because Jesus visited him in a vision? But if that is so, why wouldn't others who have had visions of Jesus not be called an Apostle or have had Public revelation made known to them?

Thanks!
Brian

[/quote]

Remember also that in Acts St Paul was received by the Apostles on the word of Barnabas and that he was specifically called by Christ to be "The Apostle to the gentiles." Christ told this to Ananias when St Paul received his sight again in Damascus I believe.

So even from the earliest the testimony of the Apostles and the first Bishops (I am thinking Barnabas, Timothy, and Apollos here) who all were heads of Churches in cities under the authority of the Apostles and who all received St Paul as an Apostle according to Acts.

Also when St Paul got to Rome he was received by the Church leaders there; presumably St Peter was part fo this group as St Paul did not found that Church in Rome but it was extant when he got there. So I have no problem of thinking as St Paul as an Apostle seeing as how the early Church did.

And remember that when the Bishops began to debate a Canon following the Marcion heresy (around 160AD) they considered the Pauline letters to be Scripture from the very earliest. In fact even before the Catholic Letters were canonized the letters of St Paul were considered Apostolic by the Bishops.

God Bless


#4

Maybe the following will help:

Paul seeks our Cephas separately after the road to Damascus incident (3 yrs after): Galatians 1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days.

Paul heeds a revelation to him and seeks out and submits himself, his gospel to the Apostles…Galatians 2:2 I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain.

Take note…Paul had a direct revelation from Christ. Yet, from the two passages above, he goes to visit Cephas/Peter and submits himself to Peter. Gal 2: 2 states his purpose…to present his gospel/message to make sure it is in line with the Apostles and what they were handed down from Christ.

And in Acts 13, before his first missionary journey…he is ordained:

1 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

Before Paul and Barnabas went on their first missionary journey, he submits himself to Church authority and are ordained by laying of hands. Then they are sent out to their mission. Paul, by the laying of hands, first becomes an Apostle, he gains apostolic authority, thereby, the Churches he founds have apostolic succession.

But if that is so, why wouldn’t others who have had visions of Jesus not be called an Apostle or have had Public revelation made known to them?

Jesus appearing in apparitions after Paul may have different purposes. Paul was called by Christ to bring the Gentiles into Christianity. But take note, before Paul went on his first missionary journey, he had to be ordained, as recounted in Acts 13.

And as the Gal 2:2 passage says, the revelation to Paul was not to go out by himself, the revelation to him was to seek, submit to an authority, and have his gospel assured that it was in line with what was revealed to the Apostles.

Think about his passage and how it relates to Gal 2:2:

from 1John 4…6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit[a] of truth and the spirit of falsehood.


#5

[quote="bogeydogg, post:3, topic:313670"]

Also when St Paul got to Rome he was received by the Church leaders there; presumably St Peter was part fo this group as St Paul did not found that Church in Rome but it was extant when he got there.

[/quote]

Interesting, St. Peter went to Rome before St. Paul? I thought in Acts it said St. Peter went after St. Paul? Maybe St. Peter went there previously to found the Church there?

I wonder about Mark and Luke who weren't original Apostles either?

I thought Public Revelation ended with the last apostle? I am not sure what the means.... Thanks!


#6

[quote="pablope, post:4, topic:313670"]
Maybe the following will help:

[/quote]

Thank you for trying to help. It did help me to understand better the scriptural foundation for Apostolic Succession and Peter's Authority in the Church, but not sure if it helped me to understand what is meant by public revelation...... especially since the Church says it ended with the last Apostle. Maybe i need to to read more of that document that quote was taken from that i posted.


#7

Hi,

What does the "death of the last apostle" (Vatican II, Dei Verbum 4) mean?
I cannot find the actual document with further explanation. Please let me know if you can help me with this or my last questions on the previous postings.

Thank you!
Brian


#8

[quote="GodHeals, post:5, topic:313670"]
Interesting, St. Peter went to Rome before St. Paul? I thought in Acts it said St. Peter went after St. Paul? Maybe St. Peter went there previously to found the Church there?

I wonder about Mark and Luke who weren't original Apostles either?

I thought Public Revelation ended with the last apostle? I am not sure what the means.... Thanks!

[/quote]

Mark and Luke were considered part of Apostolic authority because Mark was in Rome with Peter and so received the Gospel from Peter and Luke from Paul on their travels. So in a sense the Books of Mark, Luke and Acts were the Gospels of Peter, Paul and the Acts of the Apostles from Paul and Peter,

If I understand the distinction between public and private revelation correctly, I think the Church is saying those things received from Christ that we would consider to be of Apostolic origin ended with the Apostles. So for example the forgiveness of sins, the Bible text, the Table and its ordinances, the establishment of the Priesthood, etc are all part of the corpus of teaching given to the Apostles by Christ. Since Christ only gave this corpus no other is authoritative to lead the Christian's life. Furthermore those such as the LDS, JW, Christian Scientists, etc who claim further and modern day revelation which overthrows that given to the Apostles by Christ is to be rejected out of hand because none of such teaching is Apostolic.

Private confession however is another thing. To have received a special grace from God to assist in our daily lives as we live toward and through Him still happens. But such revelation do not impact Church practice at large. BTW I am certain that such revelation still occurs as each sinner is given the grace of God by which he repents. Such grace is given only tot he one who repents but is not ground for making normative the personal experiences of that one to change all Church practice for all time.

SO if Zwingli eats a bad sausage and says its from God that does not mean the Sacraments are only signs and of no effect, even if Calvin agreed with him.

God Bless


#9

[quote="GodHeals, post:5, topic:313670"]
Interesting, St. Peter went to Rome before St. Paul? I thought in Acts it said St. Peter went after St. Paul? Maybe St. Peter went there previously to found the Church there?

I wonder about Mark and Luke who weren't original Apostles either?

I thought Public Revelation ended with the last apostle? I am not sure what the means.... Thanks!

[/quote]

I believe Peter was in Rome first. Paul was in prison in Jerusalem, after some trial, he, being a Roman citizen, can appeal to the Emperor, which he did and I think this is how he ended up being in Rome.


#10

[quote="pablope, post:9, topic:313670"]
I believe Peter was in Rome first. Paul was in prison in Jerusalem, after some trial, he, being a Roman citizen, can appeal to the Emperor, which he did and I think this is how he ended up being in Rome.

[/quote]

Yes and St Luke makes it very clear (as does the Epistle to the Romans) that the Church in Rome was extant before St Paul arrived. Given that Acts also tells us that St Peter left Jerusalem it seems likely that he Journeyed, probably with Mark, to Rome and established the Church there.

Which btw is (I think) the testimony of St Clement who was bishop in Rome a mere 30+ years after St Peter's death.

God Bless


#11

[quote="bogeydogg, post:8, topic:313670"]
Mark and Luke were considered part of Apostolic authority because Mark was in Rome with Peter and so received the Gospel from Peter and Luke from Paul on their travels. So in a sense the Books of Mark, Luke and Acts were the Gospels of Peter, Paul and the Acts of the Apostles from Paul and Peter,

If I understand the distinction between public and private revelation correctly, I think the Church is saying those things received from Christ that we would consider to be of Apostolic origin ended with the Apostles. So for example the forgiveness of sins, the Bible text, the Table and its ordinances, the establishment of the Priesthood, etc are all part of the corpus of teaching given to the Apostles by Christ. Since Christ only gave this corpus no other is authoritative to lead the Christian's life. Furthermore those such as the LDS, JW, Christian Scientists, etc who claim further and modern day revelation which overthrows that given to the Apostles by Christ is to be rejected out of hand because none of such teaching is Apostolic.

Private confession however is another thing. To have received a special grace from God to assist in our daily lives as we live toward and through Him still happens. But such revelation do not impact Church practice at large. BTW I am certain that such revelation still occurs as each sinner is given the grace of God by which he repents. Such grace is given only tot he one who repents but is not ground for making normative the personal experiences of that one to change all Church practice for all time.

SO if Zwingli eats a bad sausage and says its from God that does not mean the Sacraments are only signs and of no effect, even if Calvin agreed with him.

God Bless

[/quote]

Thank you. Interesting about Private Confession to God. I need to learn more about that...

What verses are you referring to that Peter first went to Rome and then Paul. How many years passed between? And when did Peter first start the Church there, is that recorded in scripture too? Please let me know, and the verses if you can!

Thanks and God Bless You!


#12

[quote="pablope, post:9, topic:313670"]
I believe Peter was in Rome first. Paul was in prison in Jerusalem, after some trial, he, being a Roman citizen, can appeal to the Emperor, which he did and I think this is how he ended up being in Rome.

[/quote]

Thanks, please share the verses, if you find them.


#13

[quote="GodHeals, post:12, topic:313670"]
Thanks, please share the verses, if you find them.

[/quote]

The Pauline verses are found in Acts after he returns to Jerusalem and is nearly killed by the Jews there. He is arrested and sent to Felix and there appeals to Caesar which is how he winds up in Rome at the end of Acts.

As far as Peter, again in Acts, it makes mention of Herod (not "the great" Herod but his grandson) persecuting the Apostles and in that persecution James dies and Peter is miraculously delivered form prison. It then says Peter left Jerusalem.

Clement, the Bishop of Rome around 100 AD, says that he grew up under St Peter's tutelage in Rome and tradition has always held Peter was in Rome with John Mark who wrote the Gospel of Mark.

I know you wanted chapter and verse but these should give you enough context to flip through ACts and find it there.

God Bless


#14

[quote="bogeydogg, post:13, topic:313670"]

As far as Peter, again in Acts, it makes mention of Herod (not "the great" Herod but his grandson) persecuting the Apostles and in that persecution James dies and Peter is miraculously delivered form prison. It then says Peter left Jerusalem.

[/quote]

Herod's son I thought it was?

Left Jerusalem, so it is Tradition that speak that Peter went to Rome first? I only remember from a movie that, in my mind, Peter came to Rome after Paul... Probably a Protestant based movie..

Seems Peter didn't know James was put to death (unless a different James), because in following verses:

Acts 12:17
Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)
17 But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Tell this to James and to the brethren.” Then he departed and went to another place.

God Bless You! Thank you for the discussion.


#15

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