Question:

I was wondering about Paul. I have heard the theory that he went out to a certain place and maybe had been mentored or so to say by Jesus himself or had been mentored by someone when he was converted. I know McGarvey speaks on the subject a tad bit, but I was wondering if there is any truth to it? Anyway, it would be cool to know.

Answer:

Paul stated, "But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ" (Galatians 1:11-12). Later he offers evidence by pointing out that he didn't meet with anyone to learn the gospel. "But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus" (Galatians 1:15-17). His only meeting with another apostle didn't occur until three years after his conversion and that meeting wasn't long enough to teach him everything he now knew. "Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord's brother. (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.) Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ" (Galatians 1:18-23). He didn't go to the Judea area again for another fourteen years (Galatians 2:1).

The point is that Paul stated he learned the gospel directly from Jesus Christ. He proved this by pointing out that he never was with the other apostles long enough to have been taught by them. This is a part of Paul's claim to being an apostle -- he was a direct witness to Jesus' resurrection and Jesus' teachings.