Paul’s "Knows"

Written by Drew on August 11th, 2005

The Bible reveals very little about Paul’s physical appearance. We know that his opponents were critical of him, saying, “…his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account” (2 Cor. 10:10). Also, some evidence suggests the apostle struggled with poor eyesight (Gal. 4:14-15; 6:11). Furthermore, visible scars testified of the beatings he suffered for the sake of the gospel (Gal. 6:17). Inadvertently, then, the Bible paints a rather unimpressive portrait of Paul’s physical appearance.

Tradition agrees with the biblical assessment. An ancient document entitled The Acts of Paul, which dates back to A.D. 160, reads, “At length they saw a man coming (namely Paul), of a low stature, bald (or shaved) on the head, crooked thighs, handsome legs, hollow-eyed; had a crooked nose; full of grace; for sometimes he appeared as a man, sometimes he had the countenance of an angel.” Short, bald, bow-legged, sunken eyes, and a crooked nose—maybe this is what his opponents meant by “weak.” We cannot know for sure whether this is an accurate description. Its source is less than 100 years removed from Paul’s death, though, which makes it fairly reliable.

The reason we do not have many physical descriptions of Paul is that his importance was more than skin-deep. Infinitely more important than Paul’s “nose,” for example, were Paul’s “knows.” These are easy to learn from the apostle’s inspired letters, and they encourage us even today:

  • “…for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me” (2 Tim. 1:12).
  • “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
  • “For we know that if the tent, which is our earthly home, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Cor. 5:1).

Paul’s “knows” flowed out of a deep, abiding faith in Christ Jesus. In an age of relativism, where truth is perceived to be nothing but a matter of opinion, it is important for Christians to remember these convictions. Faith is not blind; our hopes are not based on educated guesses. We know the One in whom we believe, and one day He will return to lead us home to heaven!

 

1 Comments so far ↓

  1. J- Train says:

    Drew,

    I love you, but isn’t putting your bulletin article on your blog a bit lazy? I tune in for new stuff, but overall I really like what your doing. Get your dad to cut back on the length of his comments or make him start his own blog!! (just kidding!)

Leave a Comment