The Personality of Paul

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  • The personality of Paul: Paul in Acts and Letters
    • What is a Discrepancy?
      • A discrepancy can be described as an 'inconsistency', a 'difference' or a 'disagreement'.
        • Acts and Paul's letters differ over how many visits Paul made to Jerusalem following his conversion. Acts mentioned five visits to Jerusalem by Paul while he letters only assume three such visits
          • According to Acts Paul had already been to Jerusalem twice before the Jerusalem council. However, according to the letter to the Galatians, Paul had only been to Jerusalem once before the Council. This sort of discrepancy has caused much speculation and debate
            • differences between Acts 15 and Galatians 2. In Galatians 2:1-3 Paul speaks of a second visit to Jerusalem, which focused on the issue of circumcision. Many scholars believe that visit is a description of the Council of Jerusalem, which is described in Acts 15, arguing that there are striking similiarities between the to.
              • Others disagree with this because they feel there are too many discrepancies. Stein records that there are at least eight different ways in which scholars have sought to relate the two sets of accounts
    • "There are two main sources of our knowledge of Paul- his own writings and the Acts of the Apostles". These two sources are completely independent of each other.
      • "He is in fact one of the great letter writers of word literature". Packer explains that "... the differences between Acts and the Letter's could indicate that Acts was written much later"
      • Hanson suggested that nobody who knew Paul at all well, who knew his convictions and his teaching, cold draw the picture of Paul that Acts draws.
        • Bruce argues that although these two main sources for our knowledge about Paul appear to be independent of each other, there are impressive parallels between their respective portrayals
          • Pauls letters are actual first hand eyewitness accounts of his own life and views. Acts is at best a third or fourth hand account by an author writing, almost half a century after the events, with his own purposes in writing in mind


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