Just to chime in with a few more particulars--I should have said this in my last post so I wasn't going from memory... I think many of the other arguments being used don't stand up, and some of the things I just didn’t understand (e.g. did they really quote Hebrews as though it was an authentic work of Paul? that seems unexpected from a nonbeliever). For more particulars… they were making the point about Paul not know this and that and such and such about Jesus, up till the point of his death. All Paul knew about, they said, was the end of Jesus' life, and didn't even believe that Jesus had been a real man. Yet...
- Paul said that Jesus was "made of a woman" (Gal. 4:4); when speaking of death, sin and salvation Paul spoke of Jesus as though he were a real man, saying for example that: “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:” (Rom. 8:3; cf Rom. 5); and Paul states clearly that Jesus “took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7) and “God was manifest in the flesh“ (1 Tim. 3:16), and finally: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Heb. 2:14)
- Paul said that he received the same commandments as other Christians about the Eucharist (1 Cor. 11:23-25)
- Paul brought up a teaching of Jesus, framing it in language that showed he was aware of Jesus' earthly ministry, saying not "Jesus taught me in a vision..." but rather "remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said..." (Acts 20:35)
- Paul listed appearances of Jesus to many people (1 Cor. 15:4-8), speaking as though Jesus had really had an earthly life and then appeared to many afterwards to confirm his resurrection. Also notice the reason that Paul gave for his seeing Jesus in a vision rather than in the flesh and blood, it has nothing to do with Jesus being a phantom or mere idea.
- Acts tells us that Paul didn’t start off on his own, but was brought into the Church by other Christians (Acts 9); Paul says that in order to make sure that he was teaching what Christianity actually taught, he checked with the other Apostles in Jerusalem (Gal. 1:18-19; 2:1); and Paul also reported to the other Christians in Jerusalem about his progress from time to time (Acts 15; 9:6-19; 21:17-19).