Was Paul’s Inspiration Divine Revelation Or From Other Apostles?

Question from a Site Viewer

What resources did the apostle Paul have to write his epistles and letters? Was Paul’s inspiration divine revelation or did he have other apostolic writings? From my reading of the Book of Acts he appeared to have limited personal interaction with the other apostles.

Tim’s Answer

Thank you for your question. The Apostle Paul, of course, was well-trained in the Old Testament, having studied under Gamaliel (Acts 22:3), the great Jewish scholar.

He also worked with Barnabas at Antioch from at least from 44 A.D., the year of Herod Agrippa I’s death (see Acts 11:25 and 12:20-23), until the first missionary journey in 47-48 A.D.

He also was with Barnabas during the first missionary journey. So he would have known of the teachings of the apostles. Barnabas, of course, was closely associated with the apostles (Acts 4:36; 9:27; 11:22).

Paul’s first book, Galatians, was not written until after this time. So, by the time Paul wrote his epistles, he had exposure to what the apostles knew. However, outside of the possible exception with regard to the James, Paul was the earliest of the New Testament authors. He did not have access to other apostolic writings.

In any event, Paul makes clear to us that his message did not come from the other apostles, but directly from God (Galatians 1:11-20; Ephesians 3:1-8). Yet, the message God gave to Paul is the same message God gave to the other apostles. Paul lets it be known that they all were teaching the same doctrine (Acts 16:4; 1 Corinthians 4:9; 15:9; Ephesians 3:5).

I trust this helps. May the Lord Jesus bless you and draw your heart ever deeper into His heart.

In His service,


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