There is a “Paul Factor” cloud that hovers over the New Testament that deserves at least a conversation. Paul’s “conversion” to Christianity occurred 37 years after Jesus’ death and resurrection and although Paul never met Jesus in person, he nevertheless went on to personally define Jesus and Christianity for most of the Christian world. On one occasion Paul “made no bones” about what he perceived to be his authority. According to him, he was given absolute and total latitude to carry out a mission that apparently he himself defined when he stated in Col. 1:25:
“I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God.”
The wording of that authority has no resemblance to the authority also given to Paul by Jesus’ Spirit on the road to Damascus. The following is what Paul said Jesus initially told him:
“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins. (Acts 26:18)”
If those were the instructions actually given by Jesus, then that is the only authority Paul had and it was very specifically (and only) intended to bring repentance to the Gentiles by teaching them to love God and to love others. Even though Paul went on to correctly teach many things about God and His word, he also took it on himself to… (As he would then later describe it) “FULFILL” that word. However, when he “fulfilled” it, he generously changed some of it, then added to it and then took away from it. Since Paul assumed to have such authority, whatever he decided to teach was to be the fulfillment of the word. Ultimately, that “fulfillment” would give his perception of spirituality priority over the written word and eventually (in today’s culture) came to discount most of it altogether.