Paul, writing to one of his Gentile churches, says nobody really needs to be circumcised; they just need to obey the law. But circumcision is part of the law he’s talking about, so that doesn’t make any sense. Anyone who actually obeys the Jewish law will be circumcised. So does Paul think Gentiles need to be circumcised or not?Continue reading Did Paul require Gentiles to be circumcised?
Paul told his Corinthian followers that in order to persuade people who were under the law, he would sometimes act as if he was under the law. But he said he wasn’t actually under the law.
Then he said in order to persuade people who weren’t under the law, he would sometimes act as if he was not under the law. But he said he actually was under God’s law, and not free from it. Which is just the opposite of what he just said in the previous verse.Continue reading Was Paul under the law?
In his letters to the Corinthians, Paul makes it clear that he expects to be rewarded for his work. And not just by God after he dies. He thinks his followers owe him a material reward for his spiritual work, just like any other worker would get. And he says that isn’t just his opinion. God’s law (at least the way Paul interprets it) commands that people pay others for their work, including preachers.
But then he claims that he’s not preaching for profit, that there’s nothing wrong with not paying a preacher, and that he’s not trying to convince anyone to give him anything. So why was he just telling people they owed him, then? Even though he thinks he has a right to be supported by his followers, he now says he would rather die than use that right, because he’s proud not to be a burden to the people he’s preaching to.1
Then he says he doesn’t even deserve a reward, because he can’t help preaching. So why was he just saying he did deserve it? For Paul, preaching the gospel for free is its own reward, and other than that, he doesn’t want any reward.Continue reading Did Paul think he should get a reward for his work?