I was recently recording the monthly Q&A that I do with Gold members of the blog (if you’re not a Gold member, this is one of the perks of moving to that level: every month Gold members ask me questions — in writing — and I record a 50-55 minute audio Q&A answering them; since the Gold members get audio versions of the posts, as well as written, this is an add-on they get every month. Think about joining!). In this Q&A I received a lot of really interesting questions, but one was very important for understanding the life and ministry of Paul. And now I see that it was closely related to a question I received on the blog years ago, which is exactly what I was going to post on today anyway! Here’s the original blog question and response.
What do you make of Paul’s statement that he didn’t get the good news (= the resurrection and thus the triumph over death) from other humans but from the ‘risen Christ’ himself? If he persecuted the Christians because of a resurrection belief then he would have heard about it before, from other humans, no?
Ah! Several people in their comments over the years have pointed out that if Paul claims to have “received” the teachings about Jesus’ death and resurrection from others (1 Cor. 15:3), then it is hard to make sense of what he says in Galatians 1, that he received his “gospel” directly from Jesus himself. How could Paul have it both ways?
This is a particularly important issue for anyone interested not just in Paul or the New Testament, but for the entire phenomenon of Christianity as it eventually developed into a non-Jewish religion with decidedly Jewish roots. Wanna read my response? Join the blog. Click here for membership options