Did Paul Meet Jesus Before the Damascus Road?

Stanley Porter has an interesting book coming out at the end of next month that looks to be an interesting read. In When Paul Met Jesus: How an Idea Got Lost in History, Porter explores the possibility that Paul had met Jesus before his famous incident on the road to Damascus. Here is the blurb for the book:

Did Paul ever meet Jesus and hear him teach? A century ago, a curious assortment of scholars – William Ramsay, Johannes Weiss, and James Hope Moulton – thought that he had. Since then, their idea has virtually disappeared from New Testament scholarship, to be revived in this monograph. When Paul Met Jesus is an exercise in both biblical exegesis and intellectual history. After examining the positive arguments raised, it considers the negative influence of Ferdinand Christian Baur, William Wrede, and Rudolf Bultmann on such an idea, as they drove a growing wedge between Jesus and Paul. In response, Stanley E. Porter analyzes three passages in the New Testament – Acts 9:1-9 and its parallels, 1 Corinthians 9:1, and 2 Corinthians 5:16 – to confirm that there is New Testament evidence that Paul encountered Jesus. The implications of this discovery are then explored in important Pauline passages that draw Jesus and Paul back together again.

This work comes from a series of lectures that Porter delivered as the H. Orton Wiley lecturer for 2014. These lectures (and a chapel service from the same period) can be found on iTunes U.

2 thoughts on “Did Paul Meet Jesus Before the Damascus Road?

  1. Hi Clifford: This sounds like an interesting read. If Porter’s thesis is valid, it would provide further evidence that the earliest data and handed down narratives of Jesus’ post-mortem appearances are well-within 3 years of His ascension. I’ve read Gary Habermas’ materials on 1 Corinthians 15:1-10 and listened to William Lane Craig present lectures on the early attestation of the post-mortem appearances of Jesus that pre-dates the four Gospels. This idea by Porter would certainly add to those notions.

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