I have always found it odd that Paul seems to have the need to emphasize the fact that he isn't lying. It is almost like he is insecure about his credibility. In Romans 3:7 he seems to imply that lying is acceptable if the glory of God is enhanced, I don't ever recall reading Jesus or any other Apostle having to lie to enhance the glory of God. Paul then wonders why someone might judge him as a sinner?

Ro. 9:1 I speak the truth in Christ — I am not lying,

1Ti. 2:7 And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle — I am telling the truth, I am not lying — and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles.

Ro. 3:7 Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?”

My question is : Was Paul ever accused of lying directly or indirectly by someone?


2 Answers 2


For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I speak the truth in Christ--I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit

rom 8:38-39 + rom 9:1

Paul is making a big claim, and is answering in his own head, "How can I claim such a thing?" And he is not appealing to scripture for this conviction, but only to the Holy Spirit and his conscience. He is not saying he knows this to be true in a flash, like a revelation, but over time has become convinced of its truth.

Paul uses similar language in regard to women speaking in the church.

"I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent"

1 Tim 2:12

Paul is not allowing something. Elsewhere Paul says

"To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband."

1 Cor 7:10

Paul is saying he personally has authority as an apostle to give guidance in the present situation. Paul is not Jesus, and the guidance or views need to be balanced.

He says some were teaching from bad motives, and so where lying.

"For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you."

1 Thess 2:3

"It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill."

Phil 1:15

So Paul's reference to "lying" is in the context of other teachers who he would say are false teachers, which he would distinguish himself from.


There is no Bible verse that says Paul was either directly or indirectly accused of being a liar. However, given the remarkable circumstances under which he suddenly stopped persecuting the Christians and became an apostle and the foremost witness of Christ to the Gentile nations, 2 Corinthians 11:23-27 goes some way to explaining why Paul was at such pains to convince others he was not a liar:

”Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labours, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.”

The fact that Paul was seen as strange and questionable, not merely by fellow Jews but also by a number of fellow Jewish Christians, was no doubt hurtful to him. It would be one thing for Paul’s authority and authenticity to be challenged outside the Body of Christ, but inside was a different foe with which he had to wrestle. First Corinthians 9:1-3 is an example: Paul insists to the Church that he was commissioned by Christ (others include Romans 1:5; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:1). Some even believe that 2 Corinthians 11:26 suggests that there was a plot to murder Paul; a plot formed by other Christians.

Such combined opposition—lost humanity, spiritual adversaries, and distrusting fellow Christians — must have caused Paul to despair, with evidence in his writings that he carried out his missionary work with the prospect of martyrdom before his eyes (Philippians 2:17), which ultimately turned out to be true. Paul was beheaded, tradition asserts, under the persecution of Nero near the third milestone on the Ostian Way. Constantine built a small basilica in Paul’s honour by AD 324, which was discovered in 1835 during excavations preceding the erection of the present basilica. On one of the floors was found the inscription PAVLO APOSTOLO MART – “To Paul, apostle and martyr”.

Paul’s 180 degree turnaround from his Pharisaic life is not disputed by any learned scholar of history, either secular or Christian. The only question is: what caused his about-face? What would cause a very learned Jewish Pharisee to suddenly embrace the very movement he violently opposed and be so committed to it that he would die a martyr’s death? The answer is found in Galatians 1:13-24:

“For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions. But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus. Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days. But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. (Now in what I am writing to you, I assure you before God that I am not lying.) Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea which were in Christ; but only, they kept hearing, ‘He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy.’ And they were glorifying God because of me"

There are still people today who denounce Paul and challenge his authority. Of all the apostles, Paul surely faced the worst hostility, yet right up until his death, he was a forthright advocate for Christianity, and preached the gospel of Christ without apology or excuse.

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