First off, the Bible is NOT from God, but is rather, written from the hands of men and women, who were doing their best to describe their experience with the Divine. It is a great mistake to think that the Bible somehow dropped out of Heaven, sent priority post by God.
The Bible was NOT written in a vacuum. In fact, the Bible is simply a collection of chosen works that best fit the religious efforts of Pauline Christians who by this time had change many passages in the original scriptures so as to present their message to a Gentile world. There is no doubt that Paul was going BACKWARDS in his spirituality since he was against vegetarianism. Its hard for people to give up meat and since Paul was so ambitious to make a name for himself, he had to get rid of the one thing that would prevent so many from joining his church....
The Early Church Fathers' writings point to a vegetarian Jesus and a vegetarian early Christian community. Interestingly, we find in the Acts of Thomas, the History of John and an old Coptic fragment, that Jesus ONLY served bread to the masses and not fish. Keith Akers points out also the hints in the NT that indicate that fish was added later. Paul attacks all this....
What is also interesting, is that according to the earliest documents, James, Jesus' brother, was made head of the Church, by Jesus. We find proof for this in the writings of Clement of Alexander, Heggesippus and the Jerusalem list of Bishops. There is no doubt, that according to our own Bible, James was not impressed with Paul. Paul even goes against James' instructions more than once. So of course, Paul starts saying that Jesus spoke to him. Was Jesus sooooo ignorant that he could not get the message straight while he was alive? I should hope not. The problem is with Paul.
Anyone can say they have had a revelation from God... I no more believe Paul than I do David Koresh.
Ultimately, Elaine, WE HUMANS ARE the FINAL AUTHORITY, not the Bible. No one trusts the Bible... If we say we trust the Bible, we are actually saying we trust our own judgment that the Bible is true. I have studied the formation of the Bible and the formation of the Christian church, at the university level and beyond.. and there is NO DOUBT in my mind what-so-ever, that the Bible is NOT the infallible and inerrant Word of God. God gave us our minds to use.... God also gave us our hearts. These are the two centers that we must trust and the only ones that any of us really do.
Rather than trust in the Bible, I chose to trust in the Living Christ, which dwells in my heart.