"As early as the Apostle [Paul], the scaling down process begins, and the natural man gets off a little easier in becoming a Christian." (Kierkegaard Journals 1855)

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Dave's Question How We Know What Is True

David asks:

I was wondering how a person can trust that the men who recorded the word's of Jesus can be trusted? I mean if Paul got it wrong how can we hold out hope that the other NT writers were writing under inspiration? How can we discern between the false and the true? (September 1, 2010)

My Response

Well, we rely upon the Bible's standard for testing prophecy. In Jesus Words Only, we prove that Jesus was a prophet with predictions on the Temple's fall and His own resurrection. Under standards in Deuteronomy, this proves Jesus a prophet (besides His other attributes of divinity, Messiahship, etc.)

So if Jesus prophesies that the 12 apostles will recollect with inspiration Jesus words, as is recorded by John, then that prophecy will too be true. See heading "Jesus Words Alone Pass Test of Authenticity."http://www.jesuswordsonly.com/JWO/chapteroneintroduction.html

Hence, the 12, including Matthew and John, when remembering Jesus's words do so under inspiration. Jesus's words in Revelation are in the same category because these are also recorded by John, a true Apostle of Jesus.

The word "Apostolos" in Greek means "messenger."  So when serving as a messsenger of Jesus' message, there is 100% inspiration.

But Jesus did not tell us to treat each of the 12 as prophets individually when they spoke. The letters of John never claim inspiration. We can retain them for reading and edification because they do not contradict Jesus. See link above, heading "The Authority of the 12 (of which Paul is not numbered).

The apostles were treated as 3d tier authority in the early church ... what was called Scripture/Writings in those days contrasted with Law and Prophets which were higher tier authority.

For this forgotten distinction, and looser standard to include items in canon in existence at the beginning of Christianity, see http://www.jesuswordsonly.com/JWO/carlstadt-research.html

The problem with Paul is that we can even assume he started as true and valid, but that is not the sole determinant factor. The Bible teaches us to test, like the Bereans were doing, Paul's words against the inspired words of Moses and a Prophet of even higher stature -- Jesus. If Paul contradicts either, even if Paul were at one time a true prophet, the Bible says a true prophet now must be regarded as a false prophet. Deut. 13:1-5. The example of Balaam is discussed in JWO ch. 1 cited above. See
http://www.jesuswordsonly.com/JWO/chapteroneintroduction.html

God says He allows false prophets to test whether we love him with our whole heart and mind and soul. Deut. 13:1-5.

But some fear if we find one true prophet turned false then who can we trust. But the real question is whether a true prophet was false by contradicting the standard God set for testing whether true prophets turned false -- whether they seduce you from following the way God set with Moses -- See Deut. 13:5. Paul clearly does so. http://www.jesuswordsonly.com/JWO/chapter-five-jwo.html

Hence, none of our trust in the inspiration of the words of Christ is undermined. Rather, by testing Paul we show to God our greater love for our Lord and God Almighty, as God says he allows false prophets to even exist as a test whether we love the Lord God with all our heart, mind and soul.

Did that help?

Doug