What Paul knew about Jesus

There are a few basic facts that are crucial that all Christians know. Paul summarizes these well:

According to Luke, there is no indication that Paul saw Jesus in bodily form (9:3–4; 22:6–7; 26:13–14). Additionally, Paul tells us in Galatians that he did not confer with the apostles but that he did receive his revelations directly from the Lord (1:13–17; 2:2). So this naturally raises the question, “What did the apostle Paul actually know about Jesus.” The following table provides a summary of what Paul concludes in his writings regarding his knowledge of Jesus.


Human Events

  • He was born by a human mother (Galatians 4:4)

  • Was a Jew (Galatians 4:4; Romans 1:3); had a family (1 Corinthians 9:5; Galatians 1:19)

  • He instituted the Lord's Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)

  • He was betrayed (1 Corinthians 11:23)

  • He was crucified (Galatians 3:13; 1 Corinthians 2:2)

  • He died (1 Corinthians 8:11; Romans 5:6)

  • He was buried (1 Corinthians 15:4; Romans 6:4)

  • He was raised from the dead by God (1 Thessalonians 1:10)


Divine Events

  • Christ pre-existed (Philippians 2:6)

  • God sent the Son forth (Galatians 4:4; Romans 8:3-4)

  • He was/is exalted by God (Philippians 2:9)

  • He is present in heaven at the right hand of God—there he reigns (1 Corinthians. 15:23), destroying every rule, authority, and power (1 Corinthians. 15:24) and interceding for God's elect (Romans 8:34)

  • He will descend/come from heaven on the day of the Lord (1 Thessalonians. 4:16; 1 Corinthians. 15:23)

  • He will achieve universal supremacy (1 Corinthians. 15:24; Philippians 2:10-11)

  • He will hand over the kingdom, to God (1 Corinthians 15:24)

  • He will himself be subjected to God (1 Corinthians 15:28) (Soards 174-175)

This chart shows the four major faith points to which Paul is referencing.

Works Cited

Soards, Marion L. The Apostle Paul. New York: Paulist Press, 1987. Print.

* This page is an excerpt from is my book Non-Negotiable: Focusing on the Essentials of the Faith. The book goes into more detail on many of these issues.


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Last update: 6 September 2015




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