“The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept.” – George Carlin
Ahhh, I wonder if the apostle Paul had the luxury of a dark roast coffee every morning. I am certainly spoiled. Speaking of Paul, here’s something you might find interesting.
The book of Acts is written by someone who writes about Paul, either as an eyewitness or from stories heard over the camp fire. Who knows for sure? On the other hand, Paul writes directly about himself in his 13 epistles (letters). I love comparing the stories to see if there are any differences in who said or did what. You may be saying to yourself, “Are there really differences in their stories?” I wouldn’t be writing this if there weren’t. Let’s look at one.
You all know the story about Paul’s conversion from a persecutor of the new “movement” to the biggest advocate and evangelist for Christ. Directly after his conversion, did Paul go straight to Jerusalem to consult with the apostles before him?
To answer this question, I will be looking at what Luke says that Paul did in Acts 9:19-30 compared to what Paul says he did in Galatians 1:17-20. Feel free to blow the dust off your Bible and follow along.
In Acts, after several days in Damascus, Paul goes to Jerusalem and meets with the apostles, stays with them, and moves about freely in Jerusalem. It must have felt great being part of the team, high-fivin’ and telling stories about Jesus.
In Galatians, though, Paul explicitly says that he did not go to Jerusalem but went to Arabia instead and later returned to Damascus. After three years he then goes to Jerusalem and stays with Cephas but did not see the other apostles. He finishes by saying, “I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.”
So, who would you believe? My money’s on Paul! If I wanted everyone to believe that my revelation came directly from Jesus and that I did not learn any of these teachings from the other apostles, then I would definitely want you to believe that I did not meet with and confer with Jesus’ right-hand men. Go get ’em Paul!
It’s not for me to say who’s right. I do know one thing, though – time for another cup.
4 thoughts on “I Cannot Tell A Lie!”
I guess the bible is not perfect…there are errors. Wonder how many contradictions there are throughout the stories.
I would believe Luke before I believed Paul. Remember, Paul had a psychotic episode, with visual and auditory hallucinations. I think his words are unreliable. Maybe he felt really guilty about slaying the followers of Jesus and wanted to redeem himself. Luke had nothing to gain. Why would he lie?
Keep in mind that “Luke” wrote his book about three to five decades after Paul wrote his epistles. I’m sure that Luke had Paul’s writings in hand and wanted to chang the theological message. It appears as if he wanted others to think that Paul got along with the apostles but in reality, he didn’t. Just read Paul’s letters.
Paul’s letters could have been based on lies. After all, he contradicts Jesus…”all you need is faith.” Luke knew this, especially when he got info from other sources (passed down orally) that contradicts Paul. Many told him that Paul went crazy and then infiltrated the christian Jews to get info. Luke read Paul’s lies and wanted to expose him. Luke is telling the truth, not Paul.
(I’m just playing the devil’s advocate, Vicky; I don’t really care.)