We have recently looked at the discovered Greek manuscripts that date to the 2nd century AD, quotes from early Christian writers that date from the late 1st century to early 2nd century and at translations of New Testament texts into other languages that date to … Continue reading Convince Me There’s A God: The New Testament Part 7
Was Jesus of Nazareth the Messiah promised to Israel in the Old Testament? Did Jesus fulfill the Messianic prophecies? The New Testament texts confirm that Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Messiah. But, so what? Who cares what the New Testament “confirms” since the New … Continue reading Convince Me There’s A God: The New Testament Part 6
We began this special series about whether Paul was an Apostle or a fraud last summer. It was for the purpose of answering the many questions we receive anytime we refer to one of Paul’s letters to address a point of Christian theology. Though we are usually asked why we defend Paul, that is not our purpose. We reference Paul’s letters because we believe his writings are apostolic and inspired by the Holy Spirit. They are, as Peter wrote, Scripture (2 Peter 3:14-16).
Here’s a reminder of what we wrote in the first part of this series –
“For the person who does not accept Luke, Acts, 2 Peter, Hebrews and all of Paul’s letters, I don’t think there’s anything anyone can do to help you. You’ve chosen to throw out every possible piece of evidence that would tell you anything about Paul. That’s like a trial judge who disallows every piece of evidence that would prove the defendant not guilty just because the judge does not want the defendant found not guilty. The court is stacked against the person in that case. The same is true in the way many people handle the evidence for Paul’s apostleship. If the evidence could possibly support Paul’s legitimacy as an apostle of Jesus Christ, they throw it out. That’s not reasonable, logical, ethical or legal, so there’s nothing I can do to convince you because your mind is made up and closed to the possibility of being wrong. You have come to the table of discussion with presuppositions, preconceptions and thick ear plugs. You do not want to know, so you won’t know.”
The battle about Paul’s apostleship and his writings is far from over, even though the evidence is overwhelming in favor of God’s choice of Paul to open “the door of faith to the Gentiles” (Acts 14:27). We will continue to add to this series as we receive more questions about Paul’s apostleship and whether his writings should be considered Holy Scripture.
In our last post about Paul, we addressed a question about what Paul believed about eating meat sacrificed to idols. We showed from 1 Corinthians and Galatians that Paul opposed idol worship and did not promote eating meat sacrificed to idols.
We received another question about the same subject and will begin there.
- Why did Paul tell the Corinthians idol meat was okay when the New Testament Church council at Jerusalem had specifically listed this as a forbidden practice to New Testament believers in Acts 15:29?
- If eating meat sacrificed to idols is okay as long as your “weaker brother” is not around as described in 1st Corinthians 8, then why is this practice later described as being hated by Jesus as the “doctrine of Balaam” in Revelation 2:14? Why does Rev 2:20 condemn it when Paul says it’s okay if nobody knows about it?
Let’s look at each reference you mentioned.
We are answering questions from people who believe Paul was a liar and a fraud. These people say they believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, so the questions go beyond the usual opposition we receive from Muslims, Jews and others about Paul’s apostleship. The questioners claim to love Christ and His Word, but deny half of the New Testament. That is a concern when we see in Acts that Jesus personally chose Paul for a special ministry to the Gentile world (Acts 9) and that the Holy Spirit chose Paul to open the door of faith to the Gentiles (Acts 13 – 14).
Because half of the New Testament is in question, we are addressing the questions we’ve received in recent months in the hope this will help the people who sent them and others who are not open to hearing from God in Paul’s letters. (Many of the people who do not accept Paul’s letters as Scripture also do not accept 2 Peter and other Books of the New Testament as Scripture.)