When my grandson asked if I believed in the Tooth Fairy, I promptly replied, "No!"
He responded, "Then how do you explain the dollar under my pillow?"
His innocent logic reflects that of Christian apologists and of super-naturalists in general. It is what I prefer to call, "default reasoning." It occurs when the possessor does not know or chooses to reject a natural explanation for a given phenomenon. Silliness has no bearing on their reasoning.
Had my grandson asked if I believed in the resurrection of Jesus, I would have replied, "No!"
He would then, perhaps, reply, "Then how do you explain the empty tomb?"
Logic is set aside in deference of abject silliness.
Turning our attention to the Apostle Paul's resurrection testimony, an inquirer wonders why Paul would suggest in his letter to the Corinthians that the gospel was given him by human instruction while his letter to the Galatians states "it [was not received] from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ."
The Galatians testimony also differs from that found in Acts.
Paul tells the Galatians that immediately after his conversion he traveled to Arabia then returned to Damascus (Galatians 1:17) where he resided for three years.
The testimony in Acts simply states, "Saul [later, Paul] spent some days with the disciples at Damascus. Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues . . ."
A casual reader would likely not equate three years with "some days." Furthermore, Paul could not have immediately begun preaching in Damascus had he traveled to Arabia before returning to Damascus.
Did he immediately begin preaching in Damascus? Or did he immediately travel to Arabia?
While these passages differ, they can be harmonized. The new version would read, "Immediately after his conversion Paul traveled to Arabia then returned to Damascus where he spent some 1,095 days. Immediately upon his arrival in Damascus he preached Christ in the synagogues."
The problem with this harmonized version is that it gives an entirely different impression than that of the testimonies in Galatians and Acts. (It is also surprising, though not impossible, that Paul, being a Roman citizen, would dare travel to Arabia at a time when the Arabians were engaged in conflict the Roman province of Galatia.)
We could further harmonize the testimonies in Galatians, I Corinthians and Acts by supposing that Paul was first supernaturally illuminated to the gospel while in Arabia and that knowledge was augmented during his three-year tenure in Damascus.
If that be plausible, it is also plausible that Paul instructed the disciples rather than visa versa.
First, note that Paul's conversion story is consistent with one suffering head trauma or aneurysm. He experienced temporary blindness, heard voices and was delusional. It is something akin to an out of body experience due to lack of oxygen. Though wholly mental, the person experiencing the phenomenon senses it as being real. In other words, Paul likely took a nasty rap on the head, became delusional and genuinely believed his delusion was real.
As Paul pondered his mistaken belief that he had actually heard and seen Jesus, his mind would have sought to reconcile that experience with the fact of the crucifixion. The resolution of that conflict could have been the original concoction of the resurrection story.
Upon his return to Damascus, Paul would have taught the disciples that Jesus had, in fact, risen from the dead. As the decades passed, Paul concoction found its way into the gospel narratives.
Granted, that scenario smacks of a Dan Brown novel, but it certainly holds more plausibility than a supernatural resurrection. It affirms that fact that there may be a more rational explanation to the dollar under the pillow.