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Jesus' Apostles' writings vs Paul's writings...S/O questions

These NT books are attributed to Jesus' 12 Apostles (& 1 student):
Matthew, Mark (student of Peter), John, 1&2 Peter, 1,2,&3 John, and Revelation (Apostle written is debatable).

These are attributed to Paul (& 1 student):
Luke & Acts (student), Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1&2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon (the 5 T's are debatable).

Other writers: Hebrews, James, Jude

why are there so many more books written by Paul than the original 12 included in the Bible? why are many of the works attributed to Apostles considered heretical: Thomas, James, John and Peter's other works? (im only talking about those w/ attributed written dates from before 200 CE). does this show a preference for Paul's writings over the writings of those who spent years w/ Jesus? did Paul's mission to teach Gentile's give him more credence to the early Church leaders since Peter & James taught mostly to Jews?


Asked by okmanders at 4:30 PM on Dec. 29, 2010 in Religious Debate

Level 42 (152,217 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • I don't think that's the case. I've never thought about it the way you put it, but it is a good question. I think there are more of Paul's because he wrote so much when he was in prison, and we really don't know how much the Apostles wrote. We are aware of how much Paul wrote. At least that's the way I see it. Interesting question though. Hope you get some really good answers.

    Answer by cbk_mom3 at 4:33 PM on Dec. 29, 2010

  • Part of it was some of the writings were redundate and didn't need to be repeated. The other is that some were attributed to different Apostles but weren't written by them. The council also took sacred tradition into account. What Christ taught the Apostles many of the so called books written by others didn't collabrate with what they taught. At this time it was necessary to gather together the writtings that were true to the teaching and dispell those that weren't. False teaching and wrong interpretations were even going on when the Apostles walked the earth. Some of Pauls writings reflect this, Remember not just we have written but what we have taught you.

    Answer by oldermomof5 at 5:02 AM on Dec. 30, 2010

  • Doesn't it have to do with the Cannonization process?

    Answer by jewjewbee at 4:36 PM on Dec. 29, 2010

  • there were many many books that were Authorized but only so many Canonized. We need a really good Theologian to impart some wisdom here but I think that may be where the answer is.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 4:41 PM on Dec. 29, 2010

  • I think a lot had to do with these books being the most popular at the time and the most well known. Only so many could be put into the a book. The scriptures were hard to reproduce let alone carry around. I think it's worth studyingall of them if your able, but for most people especially in a time before printed books and the internet the OT and the NT as we know it was enough. 


    Answer by RyansMom001 at 5:26 PM on Dec. 29, 2010

  • Theologian lee Martin McDonald says "Although a number of Christians have thought that church councils determined what books were to be included in the biblical canons, a more accurate reflection of the matter is that the councils recognized or acknowledged those books that had already obtained prominence from usage among the various early Christian communities."

    Paul's message would have been easier for Gentiles to get on board with, historically speaking. He didn't preach that the laws of the Torah were the foundation. There were no prerequisites for Paul's philosophy of Christianity. That made it easy to spread and popular. So more of his books were canonized.

    Answer by ecodani at 5:40 PM on Dec. 29, 2010

  • Because the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church who choose the books that were allowed to be in our Bible liked Paul's work. So, yes a big part of our New Testament has a Paul slant to it.

    Answer by scout_mom at 5:52 PM on Dec. 29, 2010

  • Ironically an answer to this question came to me earlier today as I was pondering the difference between Matthew Mark and Lukes writings and John's. Matthew Mark and Luke wrote about the Life of Jesus but John who was the closest to Jesus wrote about WHO Jesus was not his life but His heart. Paul wrote more because He saw everything after the Cross and saw why Jesus died, Paul got it. The other disciples didn't get like Paul did but got a different angle. Paul's transformation was dramatic and His calling deeper than others. He followed through with the things He was called to do and journalled it. Paul was more of a journaller than the other writers . I do believe it also had to do with what others mentioned, he had more education in writing as well.
    That is my take on it but I can find out more if you want. I have friends who would have a better answer and are older in Christ than I am.

    Answer by Shaneagle777 at 6:31 PM on Dec. 29, 2010

  • I really don't know the answer to this, and I've heard all kinds of theories ranging from it being due to his literacy and the amount of text and letters he wrote and his appeal to gentiles (and that many feel he was chosen to share this message with everyone), as well as theories that sound more sinister about his arrogance and greed and that he was seeking power and pushing for his own ideas even over Jesus' teachings, or at the very extreme even attempting to undermine the teachings he used to persecute by changing the message and creating a new religion. I'm sure the truth is somewhere in between the extremes of all these theories I've heard.

    My personal perspective: I think he may have been genuine and meant well, but I think his ego got in the way of the message he was trying to share.

    Answer by pam19 at 11:07 AM on Dec. 30, 2010

  • You may be right, jewjew. I never thought about that.

    Answer by cbk_mom3 at 4:37 PM on Dec. 29, 2010