18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephasa] and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.
Here Paul says plainly that what he is saying is no lie. I suspect some one must have been accusing him lying about this or he would not have been so vehement to say he wasn't.
Paul plainly says that he did not see any of the Apostles for three years. Paul plainly says he went directly to Arabia, but fails to tell us why. All sorts of crazy ideas have been put forth as to his reason for this trip and stay, but he simply does not say why. Then, after three years, he goes to Jerusalem, see's Cephas and stays with him for 15 days but sees no others except James the Lord's brother.
That's pretty simple. Paul said he was called from his mother's womb (Like Jeremiah, Jesus and John--how humble of him). There is no hint of the Damascus road story.
ON THE OTHER HAND....
Luke, the author of the Acts of the Apostles, which tells a really short story to get the Jerusalem Apostles off the stage while the real and much longer majority of the story is mostly about the Apostle Paul.
According to Acts 9, IMMEDIATELY after Paul converted he spent some time in Damascus "with the disciples," and when he left Damascus he headed IMMEDIATELY to Jerusalem where he met the apostles of Jesus (Acts 9:19-30). On all counts and every w
Did Paul spend time with the Apostle immediately (Acts) or not (Paul in Galatians)? Did he go straight to Jerusalem (Acts) or not (Paul in Galatians). Did he meet with a group of Apostles (Acts) or just with Peter and James (Paul)?
In fact, Paul, who is not lying, appears to want it made clear that his Gospel did not come from any of Jesus Apostles. Paul wanted his Gospel to be clearly understood to have come through him. Paul makes it clear that to disagree with him is to disagree with God. Paul calls Peter, James and John "reputed pillars." Paul goes on in Galatians to say, "who they are makes no difference to me. I learned NOTHING from them."
Clearly Paul thought he was Herbert Armstrong, Gerald Flurry, Dave Pack and Ron Weinland preincarnated.
Luke, on the other hand, makes every effort to make what was not true, that Paul and the Jerusalem Church were on the same side, to seem true. Luke does his best to show that Paul and the Jerusalem Church were team players, spoke the same thing and had the same Gospel message. There could be nothing more far from the truth than this fairy tale Luke has made up in the Acts of the Apostles.
Both accounts of Paul's conversion cannot be true. Either one is true and one is the lie (Paul said his version was not the lie), or both versions are false and the truth lies elsewhere unknown to us. They can't BOTH be true. They simply are two completely different accounts of how Paul is said to have come to be converted to the Jesus movement and what he did immediately after.
So which is it?
If I had to pick, I'd say Paul would know his own story best and since Paul actually did write Galatians, he would know. Someone was calling Paul a liar. (Not the only time by the way) and indeed, Paul did lie from time to time but we will save that for another time.
Luke's version is the false version. There was no Damascus Road event according to Paul. If you look at Luke's accounts of that tale, you will see Luke could not get it straight with the telling. But that's another story.
So who's fibbin' and why?