Why would you say that I don't find Paul's efforts uninteresting? I find them utterly fascinating. Paul's efforts helped turn around a floundering Church. I do not understate his importance. I just do not find his teachings to be equal to that of the direct words of Jesus. They (as well as the words of the other Apostles) are nearly as important, but we must not confuse the Creator and the created.
But he also had a ministry of revelation. The Apostle to the Gentiles, The dispensation of the grace of God, the Church the Body of Christ, the One New Man, the fellowship of the mystery (Eph. 3:9). All by direct revelations to him from the risen Christ, beginning in Acts 9.
Three years of daily exposure to Christ is less than one vision? Why are you cheapening the ministry of the other Apostles?
unless you just believe him to be just a really good salesman...
I believe him to be a really great salesman, but with the best product in the world and instructed by the Owner Himself. However, so were the Twelve...
I think this here is where our problem is: Does your Church believe and teach Millenialism? That Christ is literally going to return to this earth and reign for 1000 years? And that Christ promised the 12 Apostles that they would be sitting on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel when He sets up His Kingdom? And one more thing, does your Church teach and believe you are spiritual Israel?
ALL of these things matter in our discussions. Because if you believe you are spiritual Israel, then you MUST believe that the twelve Apostles will be judging you, spiritual Israel. And if you do not believe in the literal Millenial reign of Christ on this earth, then Israel as a real Nation, called by God, given covenants by God and a future Nation of priests and a blessing to all Gentile nations means nothing to you. If you believe that you are spiritual Israel, then the calling and commission of Paul mean nothing in the forming of the Church the Body of Christ, which is located in the heavenlies, in Christ. Our inheritance is different than Israel's inheritance. One is heavenly, the other is earthly. Of course the coming of Christ for His Body (the rapture) doesn't make any sense to your Church, why would it?
Peter and the 11 had a specific calling to Israel and Messiah. Paul had a specific calling to the Gentiles and the Church the Body of Christ. The foundation of BOTH is Christ. He is the chief cornerstone. Paul is no greater than Peter or John or James. But NONE is greater than Christ. He is the one who died for our sins. He is our Redeemer. And He is the author and finisher of our faith. But at the same time, Peter is no greater than Paul. They had different missions and callings. Both by Christ and both for God's purposes. Christ words and revelations to Paul as His words were to Peter and the 11. They are CHRIST'S WORDS. It seems to me that it is Paul's ministry that is cheapened by those who insist that the words of the risen Christ are of lesser value than Christ's earthly ministry.