In my study I have come to realize a few things. One of them is that Paul, "called to be an apostle", never really knew Jesus. How then can he claim that "For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you…" (1 Corinthians 11:23)? How can he formulate theologies that mostly conflicts with the original 12 apostles? Why can’t any, if not all, of the original apostles come up with the same theology? If Paul was taught by the Holy Spirit, why didn’t the 12? Was Marcion partly right after all about the Apostles? Also regarding Kosher food, when Paul proposed to de-regulate Moses’ Kosher food laws, did it actually divert into Noah’s food laws?  Or its now a free for all eg. Blood pudding now acceptable.  Are the "Sons of Zebedee" related to Jesus? and is Judas son of James the nephew of Jesus?: Are the "Sons of Zebedee" related to Jesus? and is Judas (or Thaddaeus) son of James the nephew of Jesus?  Which of the "James" wrote the Book of James? 
Paul did meet Jesus on the road to Damascus, as recorded in Acts chapter nine.  Of course, you are at least partially right because Paul was not intimately acquainted with Jesus as were the other apostles.  Paul was not an apostle in the traditional sense (Acts 1:21-22).  Nevertheless he did claim to receive a special apostleship directly from Jesus and it appears from the book of Acts and 2 Pet 3:16-17 that Paul was accepted by "the twelve" as an apostle, even if not one in exactly the same way they were.  They entrusted to him the ministry to the Gentiles, which is no small thing!!!  (see Acts 15).  Paul clearly claimed to receive truth from Jesus, as did the other apostles.  Given his accpetance by the apostles and the elders in Jerusalem, all (or virtually all) Christians have accepted his letters as inspired and as part of the New Testament.  Peter (2 Pet 3:16-17) clearly considered Paul’s writings inspired.  I have heard dozens say that Paul had a radically different theology from the other apostles.  I completely reject this claim for the simple reason that I have seen no example of Paul having a theology or a teaching which contradicts with the teachings of Jesus or the other New Testament writers.  People like to say this, but their claims do not hold up.  If you can think of an example, go ahead and send it my way.  I believe that 12 were also inspired in their teaching.  Jesus said as much in John 16:13.  I just see no support for the claim that there was a significant difference in teaching or theology.
About Marcion, you should read about him and decide for yourself.  He was a gnostic who rejected the humanity of Jesus.  He rejected the entire Old Testament, and as with many gnostics, believed the God of the Old Testament, Jehovah, was an evil God.  He rejected the other three gospels, and received only a part of Luke.  You can guess that I will not agree with Marcion!
Paul did not de-regulate the Jewish laws on food.  Jesus did.  You can read this in Mark 7:17-19.  I do not know what Noah’s food laws were, but in any case, Jesus declared all foods clean.  There are no "laws" for food for Christians except to not do something which would cause another to stumble.
The sons of Zebedee were not related to Jesus.  If James had a son named Judas, he would be the nephew of Jesus except that Jesus had probably resurrected and ascended before this person was born.  Yes, Thadeus is the other Judas.  He must have had two names he went by.  The James who wrote the book of James was not the apostle, as he was killed by Herod Antipas.  It was James, the brother of Jesus.
John Oakes



Comments are closed.