Explaining Paul (Part 6)

Picking up with 46.

46.  Why does Paul criticize those who “go to law” before unbelievers instead of with one another in 1st Corinthians 6:1-8, but then “appeal to Caesar” when he is accused by fellow believers (Acts 21:20) in Jesus?

As mentioned in the previous answer, Jesus’ words to Paul recorded in Acts 23:11 was the reason he appealed to Caesar.  If my Lord tells me to do something, I would do it too.

47.  Why did Jesus tell the original Apostles to “go unto all nations” in Matthew 28:19 and then take this away from them in Galatians 2 leaving twelve guys to minister to the Jews and only one guy in charge of the Gentiles?

As mentioned before, Jesus did not change their mission.  They were still expected to teach to everyone, and they did.  Paul taught to more than just Gentiles, and we know that Peter taught to more than just Jews (since according to Paul, Peter had lived with and as a Gentile).  The mission was the same for all of them.  Teach the gospel to as many as you can.

48.  Why did Jesus keep his Apostles in the dark about Paul in Matthew 28? Why didn’t he tell them a new guy would be showing up making some changes in the plan?

Is God required to tell all his plans to a man?  Did God tell Moses that Joshua would replace him before Moses messed up?  Did God tell Joseph about all the hardships he would have to go through?  Did God tell Job about all the things that would befall him?  God is not required to tell us all of his plans.  Besides all of this, Paul didn’t “change the plan.”  As stated in the last answer, the plan was still to teach the gospel to all creatures.

49.  Why did Jesus tell his Apostles in John 15:15 that “all things I have heard from my Father I have made known unto you”, then turn around and send Paul to replace them without telling them first?

Just because Jesus told them all that His father had told Him does not mean He was done telling them things.  He even tells them this one chapter later in 16:12-14.  So, Jesus still had more to tell them.  Him sending the helper was recorded in Acts 2.  Furthermore, although God and Christ are one, there are things that only God knows.  For instance, Jesus said in Matthew 24:36 that only the Father knew when the Son would return.  He makes it clear that even He didn’t know when that would be.  Perhaps Christ didn’t know about God’s plans for Paul at this time.

Does Christ contradict himself between John 15:15 and John 16:12-14.  Certainly not!

50.  If Gamaliel encouraged everyone to leave the believers in Jesus alone in Acts 5:34, and if Paul was his student as Paul claims in Acts 22:3, then why was Paul trying to do exactly the opposite as his teacher was teaching?

Did anyone do what Gamaliel told them to do?  What made the words of Gamaliel binding?  Just a few verses down in verse 40, it says that they beat them.  Seems no one did what Gamaliel said to do.

Have you always done what your parents and teachers have told you to do?  Have you never disobeyed them?  Paul did what he did because he thought he was right.  He thought he was upholding the law by killing Christians.  Christ showed him how wrong he was.

This question really doesn’t even have anything to do with religion…  I’m not sure what point is trying to be made here.  Are you trying to make the point that Paul was human and sometimes didn’t listen to earthly authority figures?  If so, I’ll agree with you.

51.  Why would Paul grumble about apostles “chosen of men” in Galatians 1:1 if he did not covet the apostleship given to Mathias in Acts 1:23-26?

Paul is not putting down Matthias here.  He is simply stating that his apostleship is from Christ and not from man.

It seems to me that in many of these questions, the words of Paul are read and then purposefully have the worst possible interpretation to them.  This question is a prime example.  It reminds me of saying something to someone that is perfectly innocent and then being attacked for what I said.  An example would be if I told my wife that her new blouse made her look skinny, and then she turned around and yelled, “SO, YOU ARE SAYING ALL MY OTHER CLOTHES MAKE ME LOOK FAT??”  Why do this?  I can come up with no conclusion other than just desiring to make Paul look bad at all costs.  Please tell me that isn’t the truth.

52.  If the writings of Paul are confusing as 2nd Peter 3:15-16 affirms, then why did the Holy Spirit write confusing things through Paul and not through others?

So, you understand completely all of the things that are written in the Law and the Prophets?  You understand completely all the things that are written in the parts of the New Testament that you accept?  The people understood completely all that was written in Isaiah and Ezekiel?  You understand Revelation completely?  The answer to all these are “no”!  The Holy Spirit has lead other men to write things that are hard to understand.  Why does Peter pointing that out about Paul in his letter suddenly mean that Paul is the ONLY one to have written confusing things?  Did Peter say that Paul was the ONLY one to write confusing things?  Where in 2 Peter 3:15-16 is the word “only”?  This is another example of what I mentioned in the previous answer.

53.  Why does Paul quote the Greek philosopher Philo in Titus 1:12? Does the Holy Spirit quote philosophers as resources?

Paul does not quote Philo.  He quotes Epimenides.  Remember the scripture was written for men, not for God.  So, if God saw fit to use quotations that would be familiar, why should I question him on that?

54.  Was Philo’s quote inspired when Philo wrote it, or did it suddenly become inspired when Paul repeated it?

Since the Paul was being guided by God through the Holy Spirit, then when recorded it became inspired.  Please keep in mind, that inspired does not necessarily mean true.  The words of Satan are recorded.  It was by inspiration of the Holy Spirit that they are recorded, but not all of the things Satan said that are recorded are true.

55.  Did the Cretan prophet in Titus 1:12 tell the truth or a lie? Please explain.

In this case, the quotation was a true one.  In antiquity, “the noun Cretism was a synonym for “lie”; and the verb to Cretize meant to tell lies.”  Perhaps the most famous of the Cretan lies was that the tomb of Zeus was located on their island!

Think about it, we even still use the word “Cretan” today to describe someone who is below honorable.

56.  After calling himself an apostle 16 times in Rom 1:1, 11:13, 1st Cor 1:1, 9:1, 9:2, 15:9, 2nd Cor 1:1, 12:12, Gal 1:1, Eph 1:1, Col 1:1, 1Tim 1:1, 1Tim 2:7, 2Tim 1:1, 1:11 and Titus 1:1, why does Paul drop all claims of apostleship when on the hotseat in Jerusalem claiming in Acts 26:16 only to be a “minister and a witness”?

Paul is not claiming to be only a “minister and witness” here.  Paul is quoting the words of Christ in verses 15-18.  Because Paul does not point out apostleship here does not mean that he rejects it.  I don’t tell everyone that I am talking to that I am an elder in the church.  Christ even told his disciples at one point not to tell people who he was (Matthew 16:20) and also gave the command that someone he healed should not tell anyone (Luke 5:14).  Why?   I don’t really know.  It’s just the way it was done.  It does not mean that Paul was ashamed or rejecting Christ.  On the contrary, his whole trial had to do with Christ.  Once again, just because Paul said he was a minister and witness does not mean he was ONLY a minister and witness.  When I tell someone who I am, I don’t tell them that I am a man, a husband, a father, a Christian, a programmer, a developer, a software architect, a tester, a scientist, an elder, a teacher, a preacher, a servant, a leader, etc, etc.  That doesn’t mean that I am not those things.

57.  The only one of Paul’s churches that is considered a “candlestick” in Revelation 1:11 is the one that is complimented for rejecting him. Coincidence? Where are the Corinthians? The church at Rome? Galatians? Colossians? Considering Revelation 2:5, could it be they lost their candlestick?

I can not determine from your scripture references here which church rejected Paul.  Please clarify the question and give more references.

58.  Why does Paul say in Galatians 4:8-9 that the law was ordained by angels when Exodus 20 clearly says it is given by God?

Your scripture references here do not contain the word “angel”.  Please clarify the question and give correct references.

59.  If Jesus says in Matthew 22:38 the law and the prophets hang on two great commandments, why does Paul OMIT the most important one saying in Galatians 5:14 the law is fulfilled in the second one only? (Note, James 2:8 calls “love thy neighbor” the “royal law” without saying it’s the ONLY one.)

The “law” Paul is talking about here is law of Christ, not the law of Moses and he mentions the same thing again in Gal. 6:2. Yes, this was a commandment of the Law of Moses (Leviticus 19:18), but that is not what Paul is talking about here. Christ himself had made the “first and great commandment” to be the “love of God, and love of one’s neighbor” (Mark 12:29-31), and there has not ever been the slightest relaxation of this. In Rom. 13:8-10, Paul outlined this idea more fully.  He specified specific things of the law of Christ.  Such commandments as “Thou shalt not commit adultery … nor steal … nor kill … nor covet, etc.” Also, in the same place, he indicated that loving one’s brother is what makes it possible for all Christians to honor those commandments.

Notice also, that he uses the word “fulfilled.”  This just means that the law is completed by loving one’s neighbor not that loving your neighbor is the only thing you must do.  But, if you find it impossible to love your neighbor, how can you love Christ.  John repeats this idea in 1 John 2:9 when he says “Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.”  John says this several more times throughout his letters.

60.  Deuteronomy 13:1-3 says God will test us with false prophets to see if we love him with all our heart. Could this be true?

God said it, it is true, but why must Paul be one?  Do you think that when the Jews read Deuteronomy 13:1-3 they immediately thought, “Well, it must be Paul.”

There have been many, many false prophets.  There continue to be a great many today.  Not a month ago, there was a man who claimed that he knew when judgement day would be.  He was a false prophet.

Well, I have answered all of the questions that I can until you get back to me.  I have answered them as knowledgeably as I am able.

First I would like to thank you.  Answering these required a great deal of study and also served to sharpen my knowledge and my writing skills.  I appreciate that.

More than that, though, I appreciate the fact that through this discussion I am now more fully convinced than before that the words of God through inspired men by way of the Holy Spirit are all true and without contradiction.  This exchange has deepened my faith in what I already knew to be true.  Sometimes, after being a Christian for a very long time, you think that you have reached the pinnacle of your faith.  Through this study, my pinnacle is now higher.  Thank you so much for that!

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