Was Apostle Paul A Polished Speaker?

How much do you know about Apostle Paul of the New Testament?

Many people will agree that he was a man of high intellect, he was knowledgeable, passionate about the course of the gospel, and full of divine revelation.

He knew his way through any kind of argument. As a man highly schooled in Judaism, Paul had a good grasp of law and history as well.

Coupled with the uncommon revelations he received directly from the Lord Jesus Himself, no one could parallel him in the most accurate communication of the gospel of Christ.

It is obvious therefore that there are many fantastic things we can say about Apostle Paul. But was he a polished speaker?

You might think so, but what he said about himself concerning that question may shock you.

You could easily be excused if you pass Apostle Paul as a very eloquent person – a man who is very “fluent or persuasive in speaking or writing.”

That he was very persuasive in his writings is pretty obvious in the way he marshalled his points in the various Epistles penned by him and the many arguments and counter-arguments he had to be engaged in for the advancement of the gospel.

Despite all these, Paul admitted in one of his Epistles that he was not a skilled speaker. Or as he put it, “…I am unskilled in speech…”

But even if I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge; in fact, in every way we have made this evident to you in all things (2 Corinthians 11:6).

Although he acknowledged that he is vast and skilled in knowledge, Paul told the Corinthian church that he was “unskilled in speech.”

In other words, you could say Paul meant he was not a polished speaker, a trained orator or a captivating public speaker. Was he just being humble or telling a fact?

What do you think?

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne


25 thoughts on “Was Apostle Paul A Polished Speaker?

  1. dettinger47 06/09/2017 / 7:13 pm

    Good post, Victor. Paul is one of the greatest men who ever lived, but fortunately, he was also very humble. You’re absolutely correct about this verse in that it indicates that Paul’s speaking skills were not on the highest level. True to form, however, in his humility, he did not try to hide that fact. You did a nice job pointing this out.

    Liked by 2 people

    • VictorsCorner 07/09/2017 / 5:29 pm

      Thank you for the comment David. Now I can agree with you that Paul was a humble Apostle.
      But sometimes, this doesn’t come across so easily to the casual observer, especially after such one has read some parts of His (Paul’s) epistles where it sounded like he was somewhat braggadocious.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. J.E.P. 06/09/2017 / 8:12 pm

    Apostle Paul, my favorite study, was a man I admire greatly, a man with a mission that changed the world; he was the worst example of humanity turned best by the hand of God, His HOLY Spirit! Well educated he could hold his own, and did, but I think He excelled in writing, and Christlike thinking… Thanks be to God.

    Liked by 3 people

    • VictorsCorner 07/09/2017 / 6:07 pm

      Apart from Jesus, Apostle Paul is also my favourite N.T. personality. I learn a lot about the principles of Christian living reading any of his epistles.

      As you rightly observed, he excelled immeasurably in writing and that is noteworthy, despite his ‘claim’ of being ‘unskilled in speech’ as discussed in the post.

      Thank you for reading and commending.

      Liked by 1 person

      • J.E.P. 07/09/2017 / 7:00 pm

        Listening right now to a great study called Paul’s Swan Song you might appreciate – Insight.org

        Liked by 3 people

  3. What I like Victor in reference to the Scripture you shared about Paul is when read in context we see a very important Truth, it is not really about how we speak that matters or even write but what is the source of what we share, does it come from God’s Wisdom or from worldly fleshy understanding.

    1Corinthians 2:2-8 And I brethren when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the Testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you save Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of Man’s wisdom but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your Faith should not stand in the wisdom of Men but in the Power of God. Howbeit we speak Wisdom among them that are Perfect yet not the wisdom of this world nor of the Princes of this world that come to nought. But we speak the Wisdom of God in a mystery even the hidden Wisdom which God ordained before the World unto our glory which none of the Princes of this World knew for had they known it they would not have Crucified the Lord of Glory.(KJV)

    With the Holy Spirit’s confirmation Victor in our hearts having asked and received God’s Wisdom we know what we share is His Truth so we don’t have doubts or need to be convinced and that it is just how Paul was.

    1 Corinthians 2:9-16 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of Man, the things which God hath prepared for them that Love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things yea the deep things of God. For what Man knoweth the things of a Man save the spirit of Man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no Man but the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the World but the Spirit which is of God that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak not in the words which Man’s wisdom teacheth but which the Holy Ghost Teacheth, comparing spiritual things with Spiritual. But the natural Man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him neither can he know them because they are Spiritually discerned. But he that is Spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no Man. For who hath known the Mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? but we have the Mind of Christ.(KJV)

    1 John 2:26-28 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you and ye need not that any man teach you but as the same anointing Teacheth you of all things and is Truth and is no lie and even as it hath taught you ye shall abide in Him.(KJV)

    Matthew 10:26-28 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed and hid that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in Light and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops (KJV)

    John 16:13 -15. Howbeit when He The Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into all Truth for He shall not speak of Himself but whatsoever He shall hear that shall He speak and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify Me for He shall receive of mine and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine therefore said I; that He shall take of mine and shall shew it unto you. (KJV)

    Christian Love and Blessings – Anne.

    Liked by 3 people

    • VictorsCorner 07/09/2017 / 5:51 pm

      I agree with you that the scripture in focus contains much spiritual truth than Paul’s eloquence (or lack of it) that was being discussed here. To be honest, it was humbling for me to note in that passage that an erudite scholar like Paul considered himself to be “unskilled in speech.” That was exactly what inspired this post in the first place.

      I appreciate the relevant scriptures you sighted, especially 1Corinthians 2:2-8, part of which will be the basis of the next post sequel to this one.

      Of course I also agree with you that Paul spoke from the wisdom of God which he received from Him, and not from the wisdom of the world. I’m happy I’ve been drinking from the same heavenly source as well.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Kennedy 10/09/2017 / 9:08 pm

    Funny thing is, people that are not polished at speaking often turn to writing. Something in the art form frees them in the same way that stutterers can often sing song lyrics with amazing clarity.

    Keep writing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kertsen 26/09/2017 / 3:11 pm

    I go along with many who think Paul invented his own version of Christianity which does not always tie up with the teachings we have of Jesus Christ. That he was brilliant is indisputable and he was probably a better speaker than many of today’s preachers.
    Christians of course have to show the Bible is a consistent set of divine teachings and Paul was one of the prime movers in this effort.
    To my mind consistency is not a human attribute and we see this in the vast variation of interpretations of scripture.
    I do not blame people for their inconsistency after all circumstances themselves are often utterly unpredictable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • VictorsCorner 26/09/2017 / 3:35 pm

      Everyone agrees that Apostle was a very brilliant man. And it was obvious that he was greatly used of God in his ministry.

      I see him as someone who gave tremendous insight into the teachings and the finished work of Christ. To that extent, I would like to ask, in what way did you think that his teachings contracted those of Jesus Christ Himself, as you stated?

      Even as Paul was adjudged not to be an eloquent man, I like the twist you added, namely, “he was probably a better speaker than many of today’s preacher.” Great point, thank you for mentioning that!

      For us to be consistent in interpreting the Bible, we should not leave out the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, we may be prone to seeing the scriptures through different lenses. Thanks for reading and commenting.


  6. kertsen 26/09/2017 / 9:32 pm

    Nearly all Christians claim to have the guidance of the Holy Spirit but that does not stop them from coming to different conclusions. The differences between those who agree to be labeled Christian is enormous . From regular church attendees who otherwise lead normal lives to devout followers of Christ who endeavour to walk as he walked. We have those who allow women ministers and single sex marriage and those who abhor such practices. I not judging people are entitled to their viewpoint and they have their reasons.
    I’m a mere layman with no great knowledge and little schooling but I look to the experts in their fields and try to make some sort of conclusions. I use the site called Bible Oddessey which is packed with helpful experts on the Bible and it’s history.
    Paul was preaching salvation by faith but Jesus Christ was preaching about the Kingdom of God and how human beings should behave.


    • VictorsCorner 26/09/2017 / 11:17 pm

      Any body can claim to be led by the Holy Spirit. But only by their fruits are they distinguished one from another.

      God has given us the ministry of teachers to teach us the word. But we can learn directly from Him as well because He has given us the anointing to teach us all things.
      It is always a thing of joy whenever I discover the word of God my myself


  7. kertsen 27/09/2017 / 8:03 am

    I respect your position and only you know your fruits . It is up to all of us to examine ourselves and see if our lives are a benefit to those around us and that we do not lay the burden of unnecesssary judgement on them. My concern is that those who label themselves as religious do not demand changes in others who see things differently.


    • VictorsCorner 27/09/2017 / 1:23 pm

      I respect your position as well. Well, we must first judge ourselves before we judge others. What’s the use of correcting what we are ourselves are guilty of.
      All the same, we are called to love others as ourselves. If we are gentle with ourselves we should do the same to others. Thank you for the contribution.


  8. John Arthur 25/09/2019 / 3:12 am

    Wasn’t Paul a delusional psychotic who thought that he had revelations form God?


  9. VictorsCorner 27/09/2019 / 5:24 am

    No, Paul was neither delusional nor psychotic.

    He was a man filled with revelations from God. It’s only people like you who neither know God nor His power would think otherwise.


    • John Arthur 30/09/2019 / 11:18 am

      How do you know that his revelations were from God? How do you know that he was not delusional nor psychotic? Anyone can claim that they’ve been to heaven. Anyone can claim that they saw Jesus in a vision, but how do you know that it was not an apparition that Paul thought he saw?


        • John Arthur 30/09/2019 / 11:41 pm

          In other words, you are admitting that I am right. Thanks for admitting your errors.


          • VictorsCorner 01/10/2019 / 12:05 am

            Yes, you are right that you don’t believe in Jesus, yet you will never stop talking about Him.

            You are right that God doesn’t exists, but that thought alone continuously gives you countless sleepless nights.

            You are right and you know it: you are deceiving yourself by the things you talk about here.


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