I can see you are not one of those skeptics thinking, “No amount of testimony is sufficient to prove a miracle”. Instead, the testimony is somehow reduced to Paul and Papias? Really Papias? That’s new for me. And, after being reduced these authors are profiled as “first century vision-prone rabbi” and “second century mystic”. I will ignore Papias for now. I am more curious what specific evidence you have that Paul’s testimony is not credible? How does your profile of him make him not credible?
In regards to Saul/Paul of Tarsus:
1. Paul himself says that his experience on the Damascus Road was a “vision” (see Acts chapter 26). He also says that all he saw a was a bright light. He never says he saw a body. Christians like to point to I Corinthians 15 and conclude that because Paul said “have I not seen the Christ”, that he saw a body. If I believed that a bright light had stopped my on the highway; blinded me for three days; and the light spoke to me saying it was Abraham Lincoln—I would believe that I had seen Abe Lincoln.
2. Visions are not reality. Many tens of thousands of people have claimed to see Jesus, the Virgin Mary, Elvis, etc.. We don’t believe any of these people, so why believe Paul?
3. Just because a Christian-hating Jewish rabbi converts to Christianity is not proof that Christianity is true or that he really saw a resurrected body. Weird conversions happen. There is a man in Israel today who once was a Jewish rabbi and settler. He converted to Islam. He is now a Jew-hating Muslim cleric. THAT is a dramatic conversion, and I doubt you believe that his conversion is proof that Islam is the one, true faith.
4. Who appointed Paul an apostle? Why is it that the apostles had to meet and cast lots to pick the replacement for Judas, but Paul walks onto the scene self-appointed, supposedly by Jesus? Why would Jesus spend three years training twelve guys to “go into all the world and preach the gospel” and then after he dies, turn around and give the job of “missionary to the gentiles” (the world) to a Pharisee?? Very odd. Notice none of the other apostles ever refer to Paul as an apostle, only a “brother”.
5. Why is Paul accused of being a liar so often? Why is Paul constantly defending himself against being a liar? Do the other apostles ever feel the need to deny being liars. Why did no one in the early Church seem to question the authority of Peter but many in Asia Minor and Greece questioned Paul’s authority and teachings?
6. Why does Paul never tell us any personal details about Jesus? Where he was born? The names of his parents? Why does Paul never mention any of Jesus’ sermons, parables, or miracles?
Very strange, my friend. it is almost as if the “Christ” that Paul worshipped was a completely different person than Jesus of Nazareth. I personally think that Paul was mentally unstable…or a liar.