Paul was the only witness of the risen Jesus that really counts.  The New Testament suffers from a problem of depending too much on hearsay and revising older material and gives us nothing to be sure that accuracy can be reasonably guaranteed.  At least we know Paul essentially built the early Church and that he wrote what the Bible says he wrote.

He supposedly seen Jesus in a light as he was going to persecute the Church and he converted to Christianity.  He preached a lot about Jesus crucified and Jesus risen.  He claimed regular visions and to have been taken to the highest Heaven meaning he could equate his writings with God's writings.  He was not claiming dictation but his writings are claimed to be as much God's word as they would be had God penned them with a quill.

In 1 Corinthians 1:18 – 29 Paul is clear that you don’t need much of an education or a theology degree in order to speak for Christianity.  That is good to know for it means he was into clarity.  Instead of trying to get around the plain meaning of Romans 1 for example to make it say that gay sex may not be a sin we take him seriously.  He wrote what he wrote.

It is puzzling then how some of the Pharisees after a big debate started to say that Paul's claims might be true. They asked, "Who knows? What if a spirit or an angel even has really spoken to this man?"

Now this was after they heard Paul's doctrine and analysed it together. 

Acts 23, Berean Study Bible

1 Paul looked directly at the Sanhedrin and said, “Brothers, I have conducted myself before God in all good conscience to this day.”

2 At this, the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth.

3 Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit here to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck.”

4 But those standing nearby said, “How dare you insult the high priest of God!”

5 “Brothers,” Paul replied, “I was not aware that he was the high priest, for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.’"

6 Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee. It is because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.”

7 As soon as he had said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.

8 For the Sadducees say that there is neither a resurrection, nor angels, nor spirits, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.

9 A great clamor arose, and some scribes from the party of the Pharisees got up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong with this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?”

10 The dispute grew so violent that the commander was afraid they would tear Paul to pieces. He ordered the soldiers to go down and remove him by force and bring him into the barracks.

11 The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about Me in Jerusalem, so also you must testify in Rome.”

We see from this that Acts which often spins the data made a mistake here and left in what sounds like a really early report that Paul thought he was having visions of a spirit or an angel.  It later evolved into the notion of a man raised bodily from the dead.  The story if true seems to have been used to create the story of the trial of Jesus.  Jesus gets hit too for disrespecting the high priest.

He does say he is on trial for his belief in the resurrection of the dead but he does not relate that to his vision.


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