We’re going back through John McRay’s Paul: His Life and Teaching in school and I came across this great exhortation to appreciate what we have.
Admittedly, Luke’s inclusion of all Paul’s visits, the places and circumstances of the composition of his letters, and the itinerary involved in the hardships he enumerates in 2 Corinthians 11 would have made our task of reconstructing Paul’s life much easier. But perhaps this ultimately amounts to little more than a scholastic inconvenience. Our task is not to rewrite Acts and eh Pauline letters but to read and respond to their theological intent. We do this not by lamenting what is omitted but by utilizing what is included. Arguments from silence are at best precarious and at worse irrelevant. Both Luke and Paul included what they considered to be essential in painting their portraits of these events. We have no choice but to view the portraits as they were painted. (McRay, p. 106-107)