Friday, September 25, 2009
Was Paul Really an Apostle? (NT Pod 14)
I released another NT Pod earlier this week, episode 14, in which I asked, "Was Paul really an "apostle"?" The simple answer is, of course, that it depends on your definition. As far as Paul was concerned, this is a table-thumping issue -- and he is insistent on the point (1 Cor. 9:1-2; 1 Cor. 15:1-11; Gal. 1:1; 1 Cor. 1:1; 2 Cor. 1:1; Rom. 11:13; 2 Cor. 12:12, among other texts). But were others reluctant to give him this designation? I argue that this is the case and that you can see this underlying texts like 1 Cor. 9:1-2, 1 Cor. 15:8-11 and 2 Cor. 12:12, among others. And the extraordinary thing here is that the controversial nature of Paul's designation as "apostle" continues at least until Luke writes Acts. Luke is famously reluctant to give his hero the designation "apostle" (only twice, of Paul and Barnabas, Acts 14:4 and Acts 14:14), no doubt because it does not satisfy the definition he gives earlier (Acts 1:21-26).