In my study I have come to realize a few things. One of them is that Paul, "called to be an apostle," never really knew Jesus. How then can he claim "For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you..." (1 Corinthians 11:23)? How can he formulate theologies that mostly conflict with the original 12 apostles? Why can't any, if not all, of the original apostles come up with the same thesis? If he was taught by the Holy Spirit, why didn't the 12? Also regarding kosher food, when Paul proposed to deregulate Moses' kosher food laws, did they actually revert to Noah's food laws? Or was it now a free-for-all (e.g., blood pudding was now acceptable)? -- Jon-Jon (Sydney)

Paul emphasized again and again, as did Luke (in Acts) that he did in fact encounter Jesus multiple times. In addition, the original apostles accept his testimony, though not without first having to overcome their suspicions (Acts 9). His theology did not conflict with that of the Twelve. (Where did you read that?) There is no contradiction. The tension lay in the fact that the first generation of Christians was predominantly Jewish, looking to the Temple. Paul excelled in the Gentile mission, and strove to become all things to all men (Acts 9). In this respect, he was considered to be quite liberal.

As for kashrut (the kosher laws), Paul rightly saw that the old law no longer governed the lives of those in Christ. See 1 Timothy 4:3; Hebrews 13:9; Colossians 2:20-22.