How clear is the divine approval of Paul's apostleship?

How about “truth comes from reality”? Them be human words too.

(And of course I’m reminded of this…):

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I just realized why you won’t do the math for your “scientific” claims: the Bible doesn’t teach math.

So you think the Earth is the center of the universe, yes?

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What about couples who cannot have kids for whatever reasons? My wife could conceive at the drop of a hat but never carried to term. Perhaps there is a genetic incompatability, or some other physical reason, or perhaps it is God Himself? Mine is not to reason. I have no offspring. To use the Bible against that is just plain wrong.(and probably false)

There has long been dispute whether Paul contradicts Christ. Christ was teaching specifically Jews, Paul is the teacher for the Gentiles. There are elements of Judaism that do not crossover.and once it was decided that being a Jew was not a prerequisite of Christianity the divide starts.

It is not so much whether Paul had divine approval as to whether he could be wrong, or biased, or prejudiced or have personal views. IOW did every word come from God like a prophet’s oracle or was Paul expressing his faith? I would come down on the latter. Which makes Paul no greater or lesser that any modern man of God from Billy Graham, to Spurgeon, or Augustine. Each have their place. To deny it or claim superiority is to undermine the church and the people called to serve it.

There are many modern preachers who could easily be put on a level with Scripture but tradition, dogma and Church dictate that Scripture is both sealed and sacrosanct.

It seems ironic that Hinduism is struggling to rectify the Vedics with modern thought, and Christianity is no different. We have historic scripture. Understanding how it fits in now is one of the main functions of both the church and specifically the preachers. Dismissing any or all as invalid starts us down a very long and slippery slope with no return.
We have what we have. There is little point in trying to rewrite scripture or editing Paul out of it.


Of course I can’t reference these from the Bible because they don’t exist in the Bible. Can you tell me where in the Bible I can find a list of the presuppositions that I should use? Being human we all have our own presuppositions that we bring to the Bible.

And where in the Bible does it tell us exactly how we are to pick and choose the verses that support our position and ignore or reinterpret those that don’t?


Whether or not a person who rejects Paul’s calling is or was “willfully ignorant”, I would question and doubt that such a person is or was a Christian after rejecting Paul’s calling.

If you “question and doubt” that the person who rejects the divine calling of Paul could be a Christian, you are making belief in Paul’s apostleship a test of salvation, not merely a test of orthodoxy. Since the gospel authors never mention Paul, you create the possibility that somebody today could do everything that Jesus required, as related in the gospels, and STILL not be a true Christian…all because they didn’t affirm Paul’s apostleship.

Screenshot 2023-09-16 at 08-40-39 About Me and my Goals

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Which would be denied by all three of those, and most likely regarded as heresy.

The Holy Spirit made scripture “sealed and sacrosanct”: it is the amazing unanimity on almost all of the canon that makes it catholic, and that unanimity came from more than a human process. Modern liberals love to pretend that there were gobs of different writings that were only winnowed down by hierarchical authority but the truth is that there was very little disagreement on the majority of the canon both within and outside of the Roman Empire which is usually accused of using coercion to establish the canon.

So does claiming that others down the ages are just as valid.

Which is as it should be, or anyone could just make up whatever they pleased. The canon provides an objective source for reining in personal additions.


I can tell one that certainly isn’t in the Bible: the idea that the Bible is meant to be scientifically accurate.

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After reading a couple comments and what the OP wrote, I can appreciate how people disagree about the Bible. What about rejecting Paul’s apostolic authority while trying to keep a certain acceptableness to his writing? A couple passages come to mind that don’t appear to leave much middle ground. He was either a liar or a lunatic 2.0? or he was an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ

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Hahaha… I’d love to see NT Wright take on OP’s question :grin:

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A major factor is just how culturally bound his writings are, but there’s another question that can be critical: how much do we miss because a large amount of background is assumed when he writes? There are a number of passages where it seems he is making an assertion when he may actually be quoting a position someone was holding, which would change the meaning immensely. Add to that the possibility that a statement may be an interpolation.
An interesting passage is where Paul talks about women keeping silent in church because all three of those possibilities have been put forward concerning it, casting any modern application at all into doubt.


Undoubtedly and without question that’s a real issue. There are certain things he writes about that we’re not exactly sure where it’s coming from. I’ve seen some of the commentary on those difficult passages and it’s an area where we should truly be charitable with one another no matter what side of the issue we fall.

The passages I had in mind were the ones where Paul talks about his apostolic authority and how it was received by certain churches without question. In other cases he out right defends it in such a way that he would he would have to be totally rejected if he was not an apostle of Christ.

Offhand I’m not aware of any doubts about the apostolic authority passages unless you count ones where the entire letter is thought to not be Paul’s in the first place.

Is the case for the divine approval of Paul’s apostleship sufficiently weak, disputable or ambiguous that a Christian can be reasonable to reject him as an authority?

This was the question from OP that caught my attention

Tell me. What do you think happens every Sunday at thousands of churches worldwide?



But what about the Sermon?

From what you have said it would appear to be irrelevant and meaningless and to be ignored as invalid.

But it usually takes up a third of the service, and is the reason many attend.

Do you see any value at all in post Scriptural theology and teaching?
(Not to mention the validity of your own assertive views)


For numbers to have been written by Moses it needs to go back like 3200 years. They contain a variation of the priestly blessing. How does that date the entire text of numbers, which probably had multiple authors and a bunch of different traditions redacted together, to a time earlier than this period? There are holes in that boat.

You really need to learn to think clearly – from what I said your statement is a false conclusion, unless you believe that every sermon ever was inspired by the Holy Spirit and provides infallible truth.

I refute your claim. And you avoided the question.

What if I suggested that some, if not many sermons will have been directly inspired and even controlled by the Holy Spirit?

But that is not the whole point. Each week there is teaching based on Scripture but expounded and interpreted and brought up to date.

Is it any more or less valid than just reciting Scripture? (I would say more so)

IOW there is truth beyond scripture.


And some sermons are counter to the truth and damnable.

That can also be applied to some arguments on this forum.

Testing the spirits (influences) is one of the commands of Paul (and scripture). The pont still remains.

Insight occurs outside of reciting scripture cannot be viewed as a finite source of God or His guidelines.(Answers)