St. Paul, the Apostle?…
Was St. Paul considered an Apostle?
Paul, an apostle not from human beings nor through a human being but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised him from the dead… -Galatians, 1:1, NAB
First of all, I want to welcome you to our new study on Galatians. We will begin right here at Chapter 1, Verse 1 and continue through the entire letter to the Galatians.
St. Paul begins his letter to the Galatians by telling them who wrote it. This, of course, helps us to authenticate that it came from St. Paul himself. Few religious scholars would debate that this letter was authentically from St. Paul.
On the surface, we may not read much into his introduction. Yes, it is St. Paul. Yes, he was a follower of Jesus Christ. Wait! Did he say that we was an Apostle? I thought there were only twelve – well, eleven until Matthias replaced Judas. How could St. Paul claim to be one of the Apostles?
St. Paul backs up his claim as an Apostle immediately after by saying that it was Jesus Christ who gave him the authority to be an Apostle. It was not passed onto him from the other Apostles. It was not given to him by the Church. His authority came directly from God.
The bold claim to be an Apostle was meant to show his authority over the Galatians. As we will soon find out, the Galatians had lost their way slightly, and St. Paul was doing his best to get them back on track. Without his authority as an Apostle, it wouldn’t happen.
Many Catholics admire St. Paul, myself included. As a convert to Catholicism, St. Paul’s conversion story inspires me. If a man like Saul could become St. Paul, then there is hope for the rest of us.
I hope you enjoy our study of Galatians. Just as St. Paul was exerting his authority over the Galatians, the authority of this Scripture should compel us to become better Catholics. I look forward to learning and understanding more about one of St. Paul’s great works.