We have not talked about the letters of Paul for awhile.
- Forgeries? Six of the thirteen New Testament letters that name him as the author are probably not from his pen, but were written by later followers. Why? Well, it always sounds more convincing if you say you’re the Apostle Paul than if you say you’re not Paul. Which are the authentic ones? Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon.
- Church issues. And the letters were always to some church having problems. We only know one side of the issue — Paul’s side. But because he’s trying to patch things up at these churches (which may have been only 12 people at the time), it is rare that we really see a comprehensive outline of Paul’s theological viewpoint on things.
- The Road to Damascus. Paul says nothing in his letters about being “blinded by the light” on the road to Damascus. This account is recorded 3x in Acts, which was likely written by the same author as Luke. What Paul says is that Jesus “appeared” to him and that “God revealed his son” to him. That may or may not be more dramatic.
Whatever visionary experience Paul had, it changed everything for him — what he thought about Christ, God, salvation, the role of Jews in the plan of God, and many other things. We’ll talk about some of these next week.