Stay with me, as there is humor in this.
As many of you know, one of my hobbies (in addition to coal burning) is the study of earliest Christianities. And I have interest in why no one seems to have heard or cared about Paul until a man named Marcion (the arch-heretic) turned up with 10 of his letters in about 136 to 140 AD, and used them along with what may eventually be recognized as the very first Gospel to write and publish what is on record as the first 'New Testament'.
In 1893 a renowned German Lutheran theologian and prominent church historian named Adolf Von Harnak published his famous book on Marcion, titled "Marcion: The Gospel of the Alien God", thus re-introducing the world to a for the most part completely forgotten "Heretic" for whom Justin (the Martyr) wrote that that in his day (about 150 AD) Marcion's churches rivaled his own (meaning the Proto-Catholic churches). (As an aside, anyone who didn't see eye to eye with the Catholics was labeled a heretic).
Enough for the brief history. Now on to what Adolf Von Harnak said in his famous work on Marcion that makes me (at least) roll on the floor laughing:
"In the 2nd century only one Christian—Marcion—took the trouble to understand Paul, but he misunderstood him."
Harnak's strong late 1800's Lutheran upbringing and beliefs caused him to look back more than 1,700 years at Marcion through 19th century Lutheran colored glasses, and thusly proclaim that the only man who showed any level of interest in Paul during the entire second century (and potentially the first man to have ever heard of him, and perhaps the very author of at least some of the letters in their earliest form) misunderstood him. I find this hilarious.
But Harnak did also eventually state with regard to Marcion (the man who heretically believed that the God that Jesus revealed to mankind as his Father was not the God of the Old Testament and the Jews) that:
“No other religious personality in antiquity after Paul and before Augustine can rival him in significance.