Christianity Difficult Questions and Answers

Why Wasn't Paul Selected as One of the Twelve Apostles?

Jesus chose quite an assortment of men for the original Twelve Apostles.   Doesn't it seem that Paul could easily have been chosen as one of the Twelve?   Why didn't He choose Paul?

It is a critically important example for us, the remarkable transformation that occurred in Paul (Saul of Tarsus).   Beginning with Acts 7:58, we learn that he was a truly terrible person, who was extremely aggressive in finding and persecuting any Christians, and that he even oversaw (and approved of) the stoning death of Stephen, a true disciple of the Lord.   And yet, in Acts 9:18-20, we find that he has been miraculously transformed, by Jesus, to being an extremely devout Christian!   Wow!   If any story would present the True Power of the Lord's Love, that one should!   If there was any one person who had proved himself unworthy of that Love, he had!

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By Paul not being one of the original Twelve, we are able to see and understand this great Power of Love that our Lord offers us.   Not just us, the ones who have always "behaved" but all of us. Given our knowledge of Paul's past, it is clear that, if the Lord can Save him, He can and will Save all of us who have probably done less grievous things in our pasts.

So, even though (the new, improved) Paul could clearly have been included in the original Twelve, we readers of the Bible are able to learn many more lessons by him having to be transformed by the Love of our Lord.

On more practical terms, while Jesus lived, Paul was very hateful toward Christians, and was responsible for very vicious punishments of them.   So, even if Jesus would have thought it appropriate, Paul was certainly not yet ready to be in such company.

Why was Judas Selected as One of the Twelve Apostles?

Why Didn't Mary Magdalene Petition to Get Jesus Down Off the Cross?

Why Didn't Joseph and Mary Participate More in Religiously Cultivating Their Divine Son?

Why Does the Bible Seem to Have Inconsistencies?

Collectively, these subjects help us see that the Bible was provided to us, not as a Book that demonstrated Perfection in every way, but as an everyday guide to our living and learning and growing. God could certainly have made it absolutely Perfect if He chose, but He clearly realized that we are incapable of ever attaining Perfection (on Earth) and that His Book would be far more valuable to us in the exact format and condition that it has arrived for our use.

I believe that He wanted us to notice that discrepancies seem to exist in His Book. He probably even knew that some cynical humans would think that He had made errors, or that His Prophets who wrote down His Words made errors. I even think that He knew that modern Christian scholars would conclude that, neither of these being possible, that some minor variation has occurred in the many hundreds of times that the Scriptures had been hand copied (until the invention of the printing press in the 1400s). Whether or not that is true, it makes us feel good to believe it, and it relieves the Original Manuscripts of the Scripture texts from all responsibility of having even a single error.

As suggested in each of the sections above, each of the other apparently substantial "flaws" in the Bible, are likely not to be errors at all. Indeed, each of those seeming errors was necessary in order for His Book to be able to address many of the incidents we each face in daily life. If Jesus had selected Paul instead of Judas, we would not have the wondrous example of personal transformation that occurred in Paul when he was Saved, or the example of the numerous aspects of the intrigue that Judas had initiated. For us to have the very best "learning source" it was important to have these people act the way they did, so we could comprehend the consequences of both good and bad thoughts and actions.

This presentation was first placed on the Internet in May 2001.

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C Johnson, Pastor
A Christ Walk Church