Fact-Checking Paul With Jesus

On the heals of yesterday’s article about why we must argue from scripture, I made mention of someone who used Jesus’ teaching to essentially, fact-check Paul, as if the teachings of the Apostle Paul were somehow lower than Christ’s or not authoritative. This is a standard liberal or progressive approach to the Bible. Some people want to emphasize the love and forgiveness of Jesus and deny Paul’s teaching that in their view, was somehow a corruption or of lower status than Jesus’ teaching. I’d like to demonstrate that, in fact, Paul’s teaching was right in line with everything that Jesus taught, and that Paul’s teaching was no less or more greater than that of Jesus.

The fact is, Paul taught the same things that Jesus taught, though Paul was more verbose. Consider these five examples which show us that Paul and Jesus taught the same things.

  1. Paul and Jesus upheld the same moral law (Luke 16:18, Romans 2:22).
  2. Paul and Jesus upheld the supremacy of love (Mark 12:31, I Corinthians 13:1-13).
  3. Paul and Jesus had the same theology of sin (John 8:34, Romans 6:11). 
  4. Paul and Jesus had the same theology of Hell (Matthew 23:33, I Corinthians 6:9). 
  5. Luke’s writing of a Gospel profiled the life of Jesus and his writing of Acts profiled the life of Paul, signifying that Luke held them both in high regard and whose teaching was compatible with one another. 

Consider these additional four facts about Paul and his teaching that brings him on par with Jesus’ teaching.

  1. Paul was trained by Jesus (Galatians 1:11-12). 
  2. Note that the other Apostles accepted Paul as one of them, signifying that they believed Paul’s teaching lined up with Jesus’ teaching (Galatians 2:7-9). 
  3. Peter called Paul’s writings “scripture,” putting Paul’s teaching on the same level as Jesus and the other Apostles (II Peter 3:15-16). 
  4. Paul’s teaching was accompanied by miracles, just as Jesus’s teaching was, which testified to the truth Paul taught. Paul called these miracles “True signs” of his apostleship. (II Corinthians 12:12). 

Rather than trying to fact-check Paul with Jesus as if we are some kind of spiritual Facebook, maybe we should be fact-checking ourselves with Paul and Jesus to bring our hearts and minds in line with the Lord. 


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