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Paul’s Theological Arguments

Paul - Galatians

from Google Images

Up until this point in his epistle, Paul was trying to reestablish his credibility with the Galatians which had been damaged by the agitators from Jerusalem. They claimed Paul owed his knowledge of the Gospel to the Apostles and had no authority to preach anything except what they were teaching at Jerusalem. Nevertheless, Paul began by logically showing the Galatians that he couldn’t owe anything to the Apostles, since he had been evangelizing areas around Damascus for three years before he had even met Peter. Furthermore, he spent so little time in Jerusalem during his first visit there that he couldn’t have obtained much from them in the way of training for evangelism. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2016 in Galatians

 

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Paul v/s the Apostles in Jerusalem

Apostle and Gospel

from Google Images

According to Paul (Galatians 1:18), who is supported by Luke’s account in Acts 9, Paul was preaching Christ in Damascus and vicinity for a full three years before he ever met with any of the Apostles at Jerusalem! The indications are that Paul wasn’t silent during those three years after his heavenly vision, but began to obey the Lord by preaching the Gospel to those in Damascus and in Arabia (Acts 26:16, 19). If Paul learned the Gospel of Jesus’ death and resurrection—that is, that Jesus was the Son of God—by revelation (via his vision on the Damascus Road), this means that his excursions into Arabia imply that he preached the Gospel there among the Ishmaelite people. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2015 in Galatians

 

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From Persecutor to Preacher

Conversion of Paul

from Google Images

Paul persecuted the nascent Church, because he believed that the fact Jesus was crucified indicated both he and his message were cursed by heaven (Deuteronomy 21:23). One might conclude that not only was he responsible for Stephen’s death, but that he was also behind the first persecution of the Church (Acts 7:58-60; 8:1, 3). As a result of the posture Paul assumed toward believers in Jesus, he became the Jewish authorities’ go-to person to get the job done concerning putting down this new Jewish movement (Acts 9:1-2). He excelled where others failed (Galatians 1:14). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2015 in Galatians

 

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Paul’s Gospel

Paul's Gospel

from Google Images

A few years ago I published my understanding of Paul’s Gospel, while I was going through the Book of Acts for the second time: What Was Paul’s Gospel? In this blog-post I wish to offer the same point of view from a different perspective. In the first chapter of Galatians Paul offers a glimpse of the Gospel he preached to the gentiles. Although it was somewhat different from that preached by the Twelve, in essence it was the very same Gospel preached at Jerusalem. Notice that in Galatians 1:4 Paul says that he preached that Christ gave himself for our sins in order that we might be delivered from this world. In a nutshell, this is the Gospel, and, as I hope to show here, it was the Gospel preached in Jerusalem, minus the Jewish traditions that the Apostles preached Jews should obey, just as Paul preached gentiles should obey the authorities who governed them. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2015 in Galatians

 

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Paul’s Gospel

Paul used very harsh words with the new believers in Galatia, but they were meant to express the seriousness of the position they had taken. Paul says he is astonished at how quickly they had changed sides—that is how they removed themselves from the peace of God to where they were rebels once more. In other words, Paul is saying one is either for God or for the attractions of this world. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2015 in Gospel, Law

 

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When Did Paul Return to Jerusalem?

I have yet one more thing to address concerning Paul in Damascus before I go on to discuss his stay in Jerusalem. How long was Saul (Paul) away from Jerusalem? Paul says in Galatians 1:17-18 that he didn’t return to Jerusalem for about 3 years after leaving there to arrest believers at Damascus. Yet, some critics seem to believe that Luke contradicts Paul making it seem like he returns to Jerusalem almost immediately after his conversion. Is this true? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2012 in Paul in Jerusalem, Textual Criticism

 

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Yet Another Contradiction in Damascus?

Before going on to other matters in Acts, I would like to mention one more place that some modern critics point to in their efforts to show disagreement between Luke and Paul. As we have seen thus far, these “contradictions” are really points of misunderstanding whereby the modern critics have read incongruities into the text, and that mentioned below will be no different. One must be very careful not to take a matter for granted when the text isn’t clearly stating one’s presumption. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2012 in Textual Criticism

 

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