Things just keep popping into my mind and this morning it's about how similar things stay in religious huckstering through the ages. As other posters have pointed out, most of religious stereotypes past and present, exhibit the clear signs of mental psychosis which gets credited to inspiration and spirituality.
I'll contrast Paul and my old nemesis, Herbert Armstrong. Both claimed special inspiration and leadership from "god." Herb claimed he was specially led in an Oregon public library. The truth is that he mined the psychotic madness of several other far out denizens of spiritual stupidity and plagiarized chosen bits of their nonsense to concoct a hodgepodge of pseudo spiritual nonsense that appealed to people who yearned to be specially chosen "god's pets." Most of us were misfits in the societies we were running from.
Once Herb had his millions of dollars secured from all us fanatics, he set out to palm himself off as some great teacher taking the end time warning message to the world. He got himself a luxurious private jet and flew around the world, hobnobbing with the rich and powerful, shopping at Harrods of London for steuben crystal gifts to present to people he called world leaders, but they were usually washed up former royalty and third world despots, bloviating about "a strong hand from somewhere" while pretending that was preaching the gospel.
So-called "apostle Paul" (he made the claim -- nobody in Jerusalem considered him such), also claimed special revelation through a seizure of some sort on the road to Damascus and an undocumented jaunt to arabia where Jesus, he assures us, personally communicated with him, much like a later guy by the name of Muhammad. He too, liked to travel around and build up admiring followings from the misfits and unstable of the world, but that often lasted for a short period and he did complain that everybody in Asia had forsaken him. He eventually ended up under arrest and unable to move around anymore and, I guess, executed.
At least Herb got to pass quietly sitting in a chair in his sumptuous mansion, but what he built has degenerated into the same kind of confusing plethora of warring sects as the original Catholicism Paul helped give rise to.
There's really nothing truly new under the sun when it comes to the circus that is religion.