But Jesus doesn’t refer to him as Paul, and he was still called Saul 11 more times after his conversion. But we can be pretty confident that it wasn’t Paul. The apostle Paul’s last written words, in his second letter to Timothy, reveal the reality of God’s strength made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9): Kathy Howard is the author of 7 books including the new Bible study, Lavish Grace: Poured Out, Poured Through, and Overflowing. From there, Paul traveled back to Ephesus, where he encountered some believers who weren’t familiar with the Holy Spirit, because they’d been taught by Apollos, who didn’t have a complete grasp of the gospel at the time. While he was a contemporary of Jesus, they never crossed paths—at least, not before Jesus died. This site uses cookies to analyze traffic and ensure you get the best experience. From Derbe, Paul and Barnabas looped back through the cities they’d already preached to, encouraging the new believers there and appointing elders for each church. Instead of persecuting Christians, Paul was called to be persecuted as one of them. Unfortunately, some of those who opposed Paul and his companions in Thessalonica heard he was in Berea, so they came and started causing trouble. His letters frequently address problems and questions these churches wrote to him about. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. It’s a common misconception that Paul “used to be Saul,” and that when Jesus called him, he renamed him Paul. So Paul and Barnabas parted ways: Barnabas took John Mark to Cyprus, and Paul took a man named Silas to Syria and Cilicia. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.” —Acts 9:1–9. There (see Acts 28) he apparently wrote his so-called prison letters: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. While Jesus didn’t give Saul a new name, he did give him a new purpose: one that redefined his life. A new found reader, Paul’s Mima. But that’s not what happened here. There are a number of reasons for this. Paul was born in Tarsus, a city of Cilicia. It was written from Macedonia in the autumn of 57 A.D. during his third missionary journey. I thought I knew the apostle Paul. To prove his point, he told the Galatians that Peter (also known as Cephas), James, and John had nothing to add to Paul’s rendition of the gospel: “As for those who were held in high esteem—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism—they added nothing to my message. In each of these, Paul and his companions set out to bring the gospel to Gentiles, and they establish the churches Paul wrote to in his epistles (as well as many others). All rights reserved. Whether or not Paul made a fourth missionary journey (possibly to Spain) largely depends on if he was imprisoned in Rome once or twice. Pain and struggle may have marked his life, but God’s lavish grace sustained him every moment. The Lord called to him in a vision, ‘Ananias!’, The Lord told him, ‘Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. James Tabor considers Biblical and external accounts of the apostle This article was originally published in November 2012 on Dr. James Tabor’s popular Taborblog, a site that discusses and reports on “‘All things biblical’ from the Hebrew Bible to Early Christianity in the Roman World and Beyond.” Bible History Daily republished the article with consent of the author. We create research-based articles and handy infographics to help people understand the Bible. As a Pharisee, before his conversion to Christianity, Paul saw Christians (who were predominantly Jewish at the time) as a scourge against Judaism. . I will have to reread this several times to add to my thinking and understanding. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul appeals to the authority of eyewitness testimony, pointing out that Jesus appeared to many people including himself. traveled more than 10,000 miles and established at least 14 churches.. But as the Gentiles joined the church, Paul noticed that Peter still treated Gentile Christians differently in order to save face with those who still valued the law. The Jews who opposed Paul tried to bring charges against him based on Jewish law, but the Roman proconsul wasn’t interested in hearing their case. This has help me understand and see the word in a different light, especially Paul’s works. After encouraging them, he boarded a ship and returned to Jerusalem, even after numerous Christians warned him not to go there. Unfortunately, the book ends before he gets to Caesar—because Paul’s story isn’t the point of Acts. During his Roman imprisonment, he also felt alone with no other person to support or defend him. We’ll start with the basics. (Though to be fair, if Paul hadn’t talked him to sleep, the boy wouldn’t have fallen out of that window to begin with.). Wait… There Were How Many Herods?! After several days, people began planning to kill him, and they watched the city gates day and night. Moses: The Old Testament’s Greatest Prophet, Who Was King Solomon? Donald Guthrie wrote in his New Testament Introduction that “most modern writers find more difficulty in imagining how this Epistle was ever attributed to Paul than in disposing of the theory.”. Some of his listeners became believers, and then he left for Corinth. Paul’s accusers requested that Paul be sent back to Jerusalem “for they were preparing an ambush to kill him along the way” (Acts 25:3). Acts 19:11-12. A Hebrew of Hebrews Who Was Herod? Bible Study Resources - Tips, Online Bible Search, Devotions. (We’ll discuss these more later, or you can read more about them now.). They wound their way through several provinces to arrive in Philippi, the main city in Macedonia. Saint Paul is one of the most important and influential of all the saints. But Paul was born into this privilege. He healed people and cast out spirits through items he touched (Acts 19:11–12). (Governor Felix strung him along because he wanted the Jews to like him, and he hoped Paul would bribe him.). The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray. The relationship between Paul the Apostle and Women is an important element in the theological debate about Christianity and women because Paul was the first writer to give ecclesiastical directives about the role of women in the Church. After a dangerous evil spirit claimed to know Jesus and Paul, people flocked to Paul and his followers and the church grew quickly. They stoned Paul and left him for dead outside the city. When I … Bible verses related to Apostle Paul from the King James Version (KJV) by Relevance - Sort By Book Order Romans 1:1-32 - Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called [to be] an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Read More...) You may have heard something like “Saul the persecutor became Paul the persecuted.”. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. 6 Things You Didn't Know about Paul in the Bible, 20 Important Bible Verses about Trusting God, Why ‘Bless the Lord’ Needs to Be the Anthem of Our Soul, Lavish Grace: Poured Out, Poured Through, and Overflowing, 4 Things You May Not Know About Abraham in the Bible, 5 Things to Know About Luke from the Bible, The Life of Ruth - 5 Essential Faith Lessons, John the Baptist: 6 Powerful Truths from His Life. During this time, Paul did many miracles, and even things he touched were reported to have healed people (Acts 19:12). I would, of course, give you credit for having created the map – cover sheet. For Paul, the apostles, and the early Christians, the Law (and specifically, circumcision) was one of the greatest theological issues of their day. Logos Bible Software 9 review: Do you REALLY need it? And if Peter, James, and John had nothing to add to what Paul preached, then why would the Galatians listen to someone else who said there was more they needed to do to be saved? Corinthians and Romans from his third missionary journies. Having Caesar’s court and the Roman justice system as his captive audience might have been Paul’s play all along. When Christianity emerged, it was often thought of as a Jewish sect—it built on Jewish teachings and beliefs, and because most Christians were also Jewish, many still followed Jewish customs and rituals established in the Law of Moses. They got everyone riled up against Paul and Silas and managed to convince the local authorities to have them beaten and imprisoned. He had an elite education. On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised. In my mind, Paul met Jesus on a dusty road, spent three days fasting in Damascus, regained his eyesight, then jumped right into ministry to the Gentiles and never looked back. Only counting the times the Bible explicitly says they planned to kill him, not just attack or harm him, here they in sequential order. It would take time for Paul’s reputation as a Christian preacher to outgrow his reputation as a persecutor of Christians. He healed a man who had been lame since birth (Acts 14:8–10). Many of his writings are contained in the Canon of the Bible and have influenced the growth and development of the Church since the first century. Before becoming a follower of Christ, Paul was a prime example of a “righteous” Jew. Paul the Apostle, previously known as Saul of Tarsus and now often called St Paul (2BC–67), was a Messianic Jewish - Roman writer and rabbi. Some, like the centurion in Acts 22:28, had to pay a lot of money to have it. Paul revived him, then left. The next day they left for Derbe, another Lycaonian city where they “won a large number of disciples” (Acts 14:21). Fun fact: “Asia” used to refer to a very specific region in part of what we know as Turkey today, but westerners began using the name to describe pretty much anything east of them, until they eventually used it for the whole continent. And for that, he would need to meet a follower of Christ. Other early Christian writers support these claims and provide some additional details like where it happened (Rome) and where he was buried (the Ostian Way at Rome). Paul’s powerful testimonies. During his ministry, Paul made a lot of people mad. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. While Moses still holds the title for writing the most words in the Bible (traditionally), Paul wrote the most documents. Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. Hippolytus (c. 170–235 AD) believed it was Clement of Rome. Paul's hostile attitude toward the latest and most virulent messianic movement of the time underwent radical change. Paul goes on to say that “if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Galatians 2:21). When Paul told a centurion, the Roman commander ordered a detachment of almost 500 guards to move him to Caesarea under the cover of night. Being a “Hebrew of Hebrews” lent him credibility and expertise when speaking to Jewish audiences, and helped him speak into the Law’s inability to make people righteous. I’m just brain-storming here, with you, I’ve been thinking about using such a cover sheet for some time now, and your map just strikes me as being the best one I’ve seen. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.’, But the Lord said to Ananias, ‘Go! St. Paul the Apostle, original name Saul of Tarsus, (born 4 bce ?, Tarsus in Cilicia [now in Turkey]—died c. 62–64 ce, Rome [Italy]), one of the leaders of the first generation of Christians, often considered to be the most important person after Jesus in the history of Christianity. The person had to be with them when Jesus was alive on earth and teaching. b. He was from the Jewish tribe of Benjamin, and when describing himself, he said he was a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the Mosaic Law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the Christian Church, as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. I was born in the city of Tarsus in the country of Cilicia. The Apostle Paul was one of the most influential leaders of the early Christian church. (Galatians 1:13-18) In my mind, Paul met Jesus on a … Then they sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John Mark parted ways with Paul and Barnabas (this became a point of tension between Paul and Barnabas later). Saul (later to be known as the apostle Paul) was zealous in all that he did. “When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. Paul didn’t know if he had been physically transported or was there in spirit. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. Please get back with me, even if you’re not interested in my idea, Thank you, Robin Riley. On many of Paul’s journeys, he travelled by boat. During the biblical account of Paul’s first missionary journey, Luke writes: “Then Saul, who was also called Paul…” (Acts 13:9). Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea;” —2 Corinthians 11:25. From there, Paul and Barnabas went to Psidion Antioch, a city in the mountains of Turkey. From this point forward, Luke only refers to the apostle as “Paul.” This shift does not reflect a name change, as has often been said, but rather a conscious decision on Paul’s part to use a name he already had. . Paul’s identity used to be rooted in his Jewishness, but after his dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus (more on that later) his identity as a Jew became secondary to his identity as a follower of Christ. However, there are also a couple of writings from the late first and early second centuries that refer to him, including Clement of Rome’s letter to the Corinthians. Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee in Jerusalem after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ , swore to wipe out the new Christian church, called The Way. 10 Things Your Husband Really Doesn't Like, Christmas Light Show Set To 'Mary Did You Know', 'Christmas in Heaven' - Scotty McCreery Song for Lost Loved Ones, 3 Reasons the 'Christmas Star' of 2020 Is Bringing So Much Hope, Amazing Children's Choir Sings 'I Can Only Imagine', Pentatonix Sings 'Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)' A Cappella, How Couples Can Keep from Growing Apart in Marriage - Crosswalk Couples Devotional - December 9, 10 Ways to Refocus on Jesus This Christmas, Get Back, Satan! Love the name clarification:Paul and Saul. Paul and his companions suffered such extreme pressure during a particular situation in Asia they “despaired even of life.” Scholars aren’t sure what event Paul referred to in these verses, but it was a situation so dire Paul believed he and his companions might die. Many of the Jews in attendance grew angry and tried to stop them, but the Gentiles were receptive to their message.Paul and Barnabas ultimately left Psidion Antioch due to persecution, and traveled to another Turkish city called Iconium. Perhaps he would recount all the Gospel victories and tell me more about the suffering he endured for the name of Christ. Just after his conversion on the road to Damascus, Paul began preaching in the synagogues. This largely depends on whether Paul was imprisoned in Rome once, or twice, which his letters are ambiguous about.Paul suggested he would travel to Spain (Romans 15:24), but he provides no record of this journey in his letters. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” —Philippians 3:20–21. Over the course of his ministry, the Apostle Paul. After listening to everyone, the Apostle James concluded: “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Paul’s Latin name was a better fit for the predominantly Roman environment. Paul spent three months in Greece, then returned to Macedonia to avoid some people who were plotting against him. In his own accounts of his conversion, Paul says that Jesus appeared to him (1 Corinthians 15:7–8), and he claims that Jesus revealed the gospel to him (Galatians 1:11–16). Just overcoming the feelings of guilt alone would be a time-consuming undertaking. STORY 114 The End of All Badness He stayed with two named Aquila and Priscilla, who were tentmakers, like him. He was born in Tarsus in Cilicia around AD 1–5 in a province in the southeastern corner of modern-day Tersous, Turkey. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.’, ‘Lord,’ Ananias answered, ‘I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. Paul and Barnabas spent a long time in Iconium, and the city was divided: some people supported them, and others hated them. As you can imagine, boats weren’t nearly as safe in the first century—especially on long voyages. Tertullian (c. 155–240 AD) proposed that it was written by Barnabas. Paul traveled tirelessly through the ancient world, taking the message of salvation to the Gentiles. These were the first members of the church Paul writes to in Philippians. For example, in 2 Timothy (believed to have been written shortly before his death) he appears to reference a recent trip to Troas (2 Timothy 4:13), which would’ve been impossible if he’d already been imprisoned in Caesarea for more than two years before his house arrest in Rome. They were invited to come speak on the following Sabbath, and when they did, most of the city attended. They are letters to … But the remaining six letters have raised some questions, and scholars debate whether or not they can really be attributed to Paul. Most scholars (critical and conservative) believe that Paul did write seven of them: Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon. That’s a huge shift—even a three-year turnaround sounds pretty speedy to me. (It is not improbable that he was born between A.D. 0 and A.D. To Caesar you will go!” —Acts 25:10–12. When all human hope was lost God delivered them by His grace through the prayers of the believers (2 Corinthians 1:11). Thereafter he was shipped to Rome on appeal to the imperial court of Nero. But after his encounter with Jesus, instead of stamping out Christianity, Paul stoked the flames of the faith wherever he went, at whatever the cost. Years later, Paul was still being held prisoner, and there was a new proconsul named Porcius Festus was in charge. Many Christians would be surprised to learn that these academic debates are even happening, because these letters are all signed by Paul. Like his father he was a Pharisee but grafted into Christianity through conversion. The people who saw this thought Paul and Barnabas were gods, and attempted to make sacrifices to them even as Paul and Barnabas tried to convince them not to. The Book of Acts indicates that Paul was a Roman citizen by birth, but Helmut Koester takes issue with the evidence presented by the text. Everywhere he went, Paul established new Christian communities and helped these fledgling believers develop their own leadership. But while Paul now knew the true identity and power of the one he had been persecuting, he had yet to learn Jesus’ grace and power to heal. From Paul’s perspective, these people were blaspheming about God and leading his people astray. He laid the foundation for missions work that has continued around the world today, and through his life he modeled evangelism, discipleship, perseverance, and suffering—for the Christians who knew him, and for every believer today. He was constantly trying to prove that the Gentiles didn’t need to adopt Jewish customs like circumcision in order to place their faith in Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit. Paul didn’t jump right into long-term ministry. Most of what we know about the Apostle Paul (also known as Saint Paul or Saul of Tarsus) comes from the writings attributed to him and the Book of Acts. And over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time reading his writings. “Saul the Pharisee” chose to be known as “Paul, citizen of Rome.”. top. Before Paul ever preached the gospel, Jesus said, “This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel” (Acts 9:15). (Though he’s first mentioned by his Hebrew name, Saul—we’ll get to that soon.). The Beginner’s Guide to the Bible gives you an overview of what the Bible is, what it’s for, and what it’s all about. Thank you for such an informative piece of writing and breaking down of scriptures, with supporting ref’s. The Bible doesn’t tell us how Paul died, but numerous early church fathers wrote that he was martyred—specifically, he was beheaded, probably by emperor Nero, which would mean it had to be sometime before 68 AD. After Paul healed a man in Lystra, people thought he and Barnabas were the gods, Zeus and Hermes, and attempted to sacrifice to them. But many scholars believe it’s more likely that Paul asked his companions to write them, told them what to write, and signed his name. Almost all scholars today agree that Paul didn’t write Hebrews, and the true biblical author remains unknown. Then he got up and went back in. Paul towers as one of the all-time giants of Christianity. Of course they were there all along; I had simply overlooked them. Many scholars feel this may have been a spiritual retreat for Paul, a time to reconcile everything he knew from the Old Testament Scriptures with his new reality in Christ. 5 Tips for Using Scripture as Defense, 7 Ways We Know God Is the Author of Romance, New Podcast from Dan Darling: "The Characters of Christmas", 5 Unexpected Blessings of COVID Christmas, This site is a proud member of the Salem Web Network, a subsidiary of, Copyright © 2020, Crosswalk.com. After Paul insulted the high priest and sparked an intense theological debate between the Sadducees and Pharisees, a group of more than 40 men took a vow not to eat or drink until they killed Paul (Acts 23:12–13). And Saul approved of their killing him” (Acts 7:58–8:1). This status gave him special privileges, and in some cases saved him from abuse (Acts 22:25–29). ‘We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.’” —Galatians 2:11–16. It’s true that in the Old Testament, God occasionally changed people’s names (Abram became Abraham in Genesis 17:5, and Jacob became Israel in Genesis 32:28) to represent significant changes in their identity. Of the 27 books in the New Testament, 13 or 14 are traditionally attributed to Paul, though only 7 of these Pauline epistles are accepted as being entirely authentic and dictated by St. Paul himself. Now protect it. In Acts 23 we have mention of Paul’s father who … He came from a God-fearing family (2 Timothy 1:3), he was a Pharisee like his father (Acts 23:6), and he was educated by a respected rabbi named Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). Paul was actually born as Saul. Paul Tells of His Past Life. We will likely never know who really wrote Hebrews. The Law of Moses and the old covenant it bound them to had been replaced by Jesus’ new covenant, and the law of love (John 13:34-35). The birth name of Paul is actually Saul. Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, preaching in the synagogues and gaining both Jewish and Gentile followers from a range of social statuses, forming the group of believers he would later write to in 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians. (Well, unless you count each individual Psalm as a document, in which case David wins.) He is named after his great grandfather my dad a caring man that touch many lives especially young boys trough being a Boy Scout master for over forty years. 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