Paul – Apostle or Fraud

by Mark McGee

“Paul is not essential. He’s not a requirement to be a Christian.”

“You only have Paul’s word for being a ‘light to the gentiles’ and let’s face it Paul was known as a liar, he said so.”

“Jesus never tells us to follow Paul. Paul tells us to follow Paul.”

“Paul did not meet the criteria for being an apostle, therefore he wasn’t one except through his own mouth.”

“Why did none of the other apostles or disciples of Jesus ever actually call Paul an apostle??”

“No, the early Church did not accept Paul.  He was utterly rejected by the Ephesians, even Paul testifies to that.  Ephesus found him to be a false apostle and a liar.”

These comments probably appear strange on a Christian apologetics blog, but they are quotes from recent online discussions I’ve had with people who believe the Apostle Paul was a fraud. Was he? Are none of his epistles to churches of any worth to followers of Christ? What about the the Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles? Are they also fraudulent?

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I first came across people who didn’t believe Paul was a legitimate apostle of Christ about 40 years ago. However, the anti-Paul sentiment has been around for a lot longer than that. It goes all the way back to the 1st century AD.

“Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 9:1-2

People who believe Paul was a fraud seem to be in agreement that some of the writings of the New Testament should not be there. They are in general agreement that all of Paul’s letters are fraudulent. Most also agree that 2 Peter is also a fraud. That’s convenient for them since 2 Peter 3:15-16 supports Paul’s apostleship. There is some divergence of opinion from there. Some of the anti-Paul group believe that all of the Gospels are Scripture, including Luke’s Gospel, some don’t. I find that interesting since Paul mentored Luke. Some who accept Luke don’t accept John’s Gospel. Many of those people also don’t accept John’s letters and Revelation. They are anti-Paul and anti-John. It’s a bit hard to keep up with all of the different nuances of what they do and don’t accept as being God’s Word…

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