Paul: Genuine Apostle or Roman Imposter

Sarah Bowman
Sarah Bowman, I’ve read the Bible, still read it, and also secular stuff.

I’m not sure what you mean by “Roman empire imposter claiming to understand eternity and Jesus’ work.” I’ve read Paul’s epistles, as well as his story in Acts of the Apostles, many times and he certainly sounds sincere. He calls himself the least of the apostles, not worthy to be called an apostles, because he used to persecute Christians but believes he was called to preach to the Gentiles as a child born late via his Damascus Road Experience. Read the story in Acts 9:1–31.

Paul’s Claims: Least of the Apostles

1 Corinthians 15:9 English Standard Version (ESV)

9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Ephesians 3:8-10 English Standard Version (ESV)

8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.

The Ephesians quote also refers to his belief in the mystery and wisdom of God and his own calling to deliver this message.

Paul, Jesus Christ, and Eternal Life

Acts 13:45-46 English Standard Version (ESV)

45 But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him. 46 And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles.

1 Corinthians 2:2 English Standard Version (ESV)

2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

In preaching Jesus, Paul sincerely believed himself to be preaching the word of God that brought eternal life.

I think this is a fair sample of Paul to illustrate the points you asked about. He seems genuine to me, though I don’t see any claims for understanding eternal life, just a confidence and trust in God that through belief in the crucified Christ eternal life exists. You may be interested in this article for a more in depth understanding of Paul’s view on Jesus Christ, the resurrection, and eternal life.


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