One of the most popular attacks on biblical Christianity these days comes from those who would seek to drive a wedge between Jesus and Paul, that is between the “primitive” Christian faith of its Founder who was supposedly a mere rabbi and the “developed” doctrine of its greatest early theologian for whom He had become the Son of God.
One very helpful work in showing the inseparable link between Christ and Paul is The Birth of Christianity by Paul Barnett. Tauntingly titled as a riposte to John Dominic Crossan’s work of the same name Barnett’s research shines a penetrating light upon the first twenty years of the Christian era and convincingly demonstrates that the apostle was close to His Lord both chronologically in terms of his conversion and inseparable from Him in theological thought.
Barnett proves that the distance between Master and disciple is surprisingly short and that there are no “lost years” between the two as many have asserted.
“By any calculation the period between the crucifixion of Jesus and the Damascus “call” of Paul was brief. According to my reckoning only a matter of about a year interposed “between Jesus and Paul.” p55
“It was christology that gave birth to Christianity, not the reverse. Furthermore, Christ gave birth to christology. The chronology drives us to this conclusion.”p26
The Birth of Christianity Paul Barnett Eerdmans Publishing