Paul's Mission to the Gentiles, via Ananias or Jesus?
Let us look at the person who told Paul to take his gospel to the gentiles. And [Saul] said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.Acts 9:5, 6
Luke claims Jesus blinded Saul. Jesus then tells Paul, “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” Three days later, a man named Ananias received a vision to go to Saul. In that vision, Ananias said, paraphrasing, “but Saul seeks to kill us saints!” But Jesus responds, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.Acts 9:15, 16
Then, three verses later, Saul starts preaching in Damascus.(Acts 9:19.) Since Jesus said to Paul that “it shall be told thee what thou must do” and Jesus told Ananias “he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel,” we conclude that Ananias told Saul what he was to do.
We find Paul, in his speech to the people, relates this tale. And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.Acts 22:12-15
So far so good. Ananias clearly told Paul that he was to preach and minister.
Why then does Saul say Jesus chose him? Paul, speaking to King Agrippa, says, And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.Acts 16:14-18
There is no mention of Ananias. Paul never credits Ananias again. In fact, his letter to the church in Galatia, he writes, But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.Galatians 1:15-17
So not only is Ananias getting forgotten about, but Paul denies speaking to him or anyone for three years after his Damascus experience. These inconsistencies hinder the believability of Paul’s Damascus experience.
Value of this Evidence
This is fantastic evidence against Paul being an apostle of Christ. Since Paul places his whole claim of apostleship as because of his Damascus experience, any evidence that shows that experience to be fake is evidence against Paul being a real apostle of Jesus Christ.