I put up a post about reading through the Bible in a year and though I am committed to that, I did not finish up last year. I am continuing in the New Testament to finish up.
In reading Galatians this morning I saw the beauty and holiness of God’s plan in the world and in establishing His church and kingdom on the earth.
I also see why there is such a backlash against Paul by the atheists, liberal theologians and Muslims, to name a few. Per them, he, Paul, redefined Christianity. But that is not it at all.
He lays out so clearly in the book of Galatians how he came to be an apostle of Christ.
He came kicking and screaming into the kingdom of God. Many others do.
He was the great Jewish persecuter of the early church (1:13). In fact, when he was struck down, he was on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians.
Then, in chapter 1, verses 11 and following, he lays out the source of his teaching and theology.
11 …the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. 12 For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
15 But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.
He did not receive the revelations from the disciples of Jesus. He receive the revelations regarding Jesus Christ directly from the Godhead. He did not go to Jerusalem at that time but instead went to Arabia. There was no teaching of the Gospel in Arabia. The Gospel had not spread to Arabia at that point.
So, we see that his theology, which is Jesus’ and the disciples of Jesus theology came directly from God. Later,
18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.
he spent 15 days with Peter and also James, the brother of Jesus and immediately when back to preaching and teaching the Gentiles.
So, these verses validate that Paul’s source was divine revelation and not the disciples of Jesus.
Should anyone assume that he preached contrary to the disciples of Jesus you can visit Chapter 2 where it says that he was given the right hand of fellowship by the Jerusalem church and the other apostles and that was after another 14 years that he preached to Gentiles and Jews.