8 Paul’s Epistles
Using one part of the Bible to back up another might seem counterintuitive, but it’s not as insane as it might first appear. For one thing, Paul’s letters are the earliest writings on Christianity, predating the Gospels by some fifty years. Also, we know he existed. Textual analysis of the epistles proves at least seven of them were written by one guy; and Paul’s historic efforts to open the new church to gentiles are the main reason you’re not reading this in, say, Hebrew. But the biggest thing Paul has going in his favor is his ego. Rather than detail the life story of Jesus, Paul prefers talking about himself—including descriptions of his conversion and travels. Travels which, by the way, include two brief meetings with Jesus’ brother James. Since James’ existence would have been objectively verifiable to Paul’s readers, the likelihood he made him up is somewhere around ‘zero’—especially since both meetings seem to go quite badly.
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