1. Use only the seven undisputed letters (Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, Philemon)
2. Use Acts of the Apostles as a secondary source. Where Acts differs from Paul, priority will always be given to Paul's own words.
Our first historical statement: Paul was a mystic who believed he experienced God through visions and special revelations.
Primary evidence from Paul:
- His gospel came by way of a revelation of Jesus Christ - Gal 1:11-12, 15-16
- Subsequent to his conversion he had ecstatic experiences in which he was taken up into Paradise and heard things so profound that he was not permitted to speak them - 2 Cor 12:1-4
- Paul's conversion, told three times by Luke - Acts 9:3f, 22:6f, 26:12f
- Night vision by an apparition that directed his missionary activity - Acts 16:9
- Night vision in which the resurrected Jesus encouraged Paul's stay in Corinth - Acts 18:9f
- Enters into a trance and is given a warning by Jesus to flee Jerusalem - Acts 22:17f