Cliff note theology.
Paul, though he cites his own merit on at least two occasions (under the law a Hebrew of the Hebrews), was in fact and by his own admission the "chief of sinners." This wasn't referring to his life before he met Christ on the road to Damascus, but after. He even chose to transgress the "moral" law of God as stated in the book of Deuteronomy. You claim to have read the bible once or twice so you must have read the very short epistle of Paul called "Philemon." This letter is written as a personal request to Philemon to accept back another man, a christian brother, named Onesimus who apparently was Philemon's slave and ran away. The letter is interesting for a number of reasons, but Paul's action was a direct transgression of the law of Moses: "You shall not hand over to his master a slave who has escaped from his master to you. Deuteronomy 23:15
For whatever reason Paul had in mind, he obviously thought it was more important to restore relationships in the church than to obey God's law. Whatever righteousness Paul might have thought that he had under the law was wiped out entirely by that one act (if by no other) as failure in any part of the law makes one a transgressor of the law. Now, if you don't see Paul's self righteous attitude in scripture (demonstrated in confrontations with Barnabas and Peter to name only two) perhaps that is because you have an unresolved issue of your own.
Here's a little news flash for you. Every word of scripture that we have now was penned by a man who was a sinner by nature, and in some cases even by murderers and men condemned by the law itself; e.g. Moses and King David as two examples.
By the way, Paul tells us that the thorn in the flesh was to keep him from pride, not self righteousness. Did you know that the only other place we find references to thorns in the side or flesh is in the book of Joshua, and in that book the thorn represents compromise with the Canaanites who were not driven completely out of the land (as was commanded by God.) Many expositors consider the book of Joshua as being a type of the Christian life, and the thorns then become compromise with sin rather than with people, so what does this say about the "great" apostle?
Perhaps you were raised in a Roman Catholic church and were taught to revere the saints. I know that I was. It wasn't until I was saved that I could understand that all genuine born again believers are saints, and all the term really means is that God has chosen them for redemption from their sin and has made them holy with His presence and in the person of His Spirit. What does a man have except that which he has been given (or that which he has stolen?) And if all we have is a gift, what do we have to boast in of ourselves?
Perhaps you should really considering reading the bible a few more times, so you can write from real knowledge rather than what you imagine to be true.
You make no sense.
Your comparing 'righteousness' under the Law to 'righteousness' under Grace. Paul was not under the Law to not return Onesimus. And there was no Law under Grace that required him to return Onesimus. He did it because it was the right thing to do, for apparently Onesimus had wronged Philemon in some way also. (Phil. 18-19) Paul was removing any obstacle that would cause a rift between he and Philemon and others also who knew them. As (9) says, "Yet for love's sake" You should appreciate that seeing how your big on 'unity'.
Concerning 'self-righteousness', I guess we have to go on your definition? Which is what? For you have 'righteousness' obtained by the Law, and 'righteousness' obtained by faith. what are you calling 'self-righteous'?
Well, as a sinner, I am like Paul. The worst. Which must mean I have plenty of issues. But, recognizing you're a sinner doesn't tend to make you 'self-righteous'.
No, concerning the incident between Paul and Barnabas over Mark was not due to self-righteousness on Paul's part. It was due to Mark not being ready, which he already proved when he abandoned them before.