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. Then he got up and went back in. But recently I realized I didn’t know as much about the Apostle Paul as I thought. To Caesar you will go!” —Acts 25:10–12. Over the course of his life, Paul likely traveled well over 10,000 miles to spread the gospel. Most scholars (critical and conservative) believe that Paul did write seven of them: Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon. STORY 114 The End of All Badness But Paul was born into this privilege. top. (He was still alive.) At worst, someone wrote these letters and deceitfully signed Paul’s name to make them more authoritative. Around this time, Paul decided to head to Jerusalem, so he journeyed through Macedonia and Achaia, and made plans to stop in Rome. The Athenians were accustomed to discussing new ideas, and they’d never heard the message Paul preached before, so they were intrigued and debated with him. As I sat here this morning thinking of my grandson Paul I decided I wanted to learn more about Paul in the Bible that he was named after through generations and I must say I have not only learned a great deal but your writing style was wonderful even though some of the parts of his life pulled at my heart I then focused on all the amazing things he did to serve our awesome God! When Paul was first imprisoned in Caesarea, he made his appeal to Governor Felix, then waited two years in prison with no progress. 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. Paul had a vision which led the group to Macedonia, and interestingly, here the author of Acts begins to include themself in the story “After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them” (Acts 16:10, emphasis added). Article Images Copyright ©. But not everyone agrees that Paul wrote all of these letters. 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? Paul didn’t jump right into long-term ministry. We will likely never know who really wrote Hebrews. Here Paul performed his first miracle, perhaps inspired by his own conversion on the road to Damascus: he blinded a sorcerer who opposed their attempts to evangelize a proconsul (Acts 13:10–12). And since Jesus’ followers kept spreading the idea that Jesus was God, Paul thought Christians were sinners of the worst sort. Instead, they essentially instructed Gentiles be culturally sensitive to their Jewish brothers and sisters, because the Law was respected and observed by Jews everywhere. Jews and Gentiles alike plotted to stone them, and when Paul and Barnabas found out, they fled to Lystra (Acts 14:4–6). Paul had rejoined Timothy when Second Corinthians was written (2 Corinthians 1:1). Part of God’s story is about Paul. 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). After encouraging them, he boarded a ship and returned to Jerusalem, even after numerous Christians warned him not to go there. They wound their way through several provinces to arrive in Philippi, the main city in Macedonia. 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. (Which was a good thing, because those business owners were pretty mad at Paul, and they probably would’ve killed him.). I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.’, Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. The Vatican claims these are in fact the remains of Saint Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles. Several sources record that was Paul beheaded during the time of Nero. However, early church fathers claimed Paul did, in fact, travel to Spain. Still, scholars can’t be sure that Paul did make this fourth journey, as the primary sources for his other three journeys (Acts and the epistles) don’t give us an explicit account of it. On Paul’s way to round up some Christians as prisoners, Jesus stopped him dead in his tracks and crippled him with blindness. Here are the miracles associated with Paul: To those who saw and heard Paul, these miracles proved his authority from God, just as Jesus’ miracles once demonstrated his (Mark 2:10). What a wonderful synopsis of Paul. traveled more than 10,000 miles and established at least 14 churches.. Others, like many of the Gnostic gospels, were blatant forgeries written to advance a theological position. Paul’s truth moves us into Revelations as the Church of Ephesus is taken into account of the last days. Who Was Herod? You may have heard something like “Saul the persecutor became Paul the persecuted.”. Meanwhile, Ephesus was in uproar, because Christianity’s explosive growth had stifled businesses that relied on idol worship. Paul was born in Tarsus, a city of Cilicia. Logos Bible Software 9 review: Do you REALLY need it? Throughout Paul’s ministry he suffered trials and persecution for the sake of Christ. Festus refused, and told them to make their case in Caesarea, where Paul used his privilege as a Roman citizen to make a bold request. He left the church with Barnabas and a man named John (also called Mark, believed to be the author of the Gospel of Mark), and together they sailed to Cyprus, an island in the Mediterranean. Paul towers as one of the all-time giants of Christianity. Porcius Festus succeeded Felix and after hearing Paul defend himself, he asked Paul if would be willing to stand trial in Jerusalem. It’s Sunday morning and my grandson Paul is on his honeymoon. Answer: Paul was a Jew who took great pride in his Jewish heritage. 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. 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). 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. 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. That is a rather good summary … Well Done! In Troas (a city in Macedonia), Paul was teaching in an upper room when a young man fell asleep and tumbled out the window, falling to his death. 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. It would take time for Paul’s reputation as a Christian preacher to outgrow his reputation as a persecutor of Christians. He was born into a Jewish family in the city of Tarsus. Let’s believe in and live these exhortations from the Apostle Paul, and follow his steadfast example: Bible Timeline Made Easy! But he himself held the view that Paul wrote the letter in Hebrew and simply chose not to sign it, and then Luke translated it to Greek. But there’s no verse that says that. Paul's conversion was never the focal point of his preaching he preached Christ, not his personal experience (2 Cor 4:5)but it does not fail to influence him in later years (Acts 22:2-12; 26:2-18). 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. All rights reserved. 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. Not the least of which is the fact that the Greek word for “widower” was rarely used in ancient Greek and was never used in the Koine period ( Fee ). The Beginner’s Guide. 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! The Apostle Paul is traditionally considered the author of 13 books of the New Testament. For Paul, the apostles, and the early Christians, the Law (and specifically, circumcision) was one of the greatest theological issues of their day. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul appeals to the authority of eyewitness testimony, pointing out that Jesus appeared to many people including himself. Everywhere he went, Paul established new Christian communities and helped these fledgling believers develop their own leadership. It is not clear whether his family moved to Jerusalem (where both Greek and Jewish schooling was offered) while he was young, or whether Paul was simply sent there for his education. Alexander did him “a great deal of harm.” Yet through it all, the Lord stood with him. Over the last two millennia, countless books have been written about Paul and his teachings. Paul revived him, then left. This site uses cookies to analyze traffic and ensure you get the best experience. Famously converted on the road to Damascus, he travelled tens of thousands of miles around the Mediterranean spreading the word of Jesus and it … The assassins planned to attack Paul during the transfer. There (see Acts 28) he apparently wrote his so-called prison letters: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. Acts 13:11. It is believed that he wrote thirteen books of the Bible, together called the Pauline epistles. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.” —Acts 9:10–19. Today, it’s not really even up for debate. Paul's writings all arise from the crucible of missionary activity and the theological effort required to educate and sustain those who found Christ through his preaching. He casted out a spirit that was annoying him (Acts 16:16-18). Paul's hostile attitude toward the latest and most virulent messianic movement of the time underwent radical change. Paul’s powerful testimonies. However, there are arguments that … Perhaps he would recount all the Gospel victories and tell me more about the suffering he endured for the name of Christ. In Acts 26, he shared the gospel with King Herod Agrippa II while he was on trial in Caesarea. 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). Acts 19:11-12. James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. No one ever opened the sarcophagus, but using a probe and carbon dating, archaeologists estimated that the remains inside were from the first or second century. When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, ‘You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. In Philippians 3, he explains why if anyone ever had reason to believe that they could be saved by their adherence to Judaism, it was him: “If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.” —Philippians 3:4–6. Ephesians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus all have very different styles than Paul’s other letters. Most Relevant Verses. 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! The birth name of Paul is actually Saul. Paul was likely born between the years of 5 BC and 5 AD. by Ryan Nelson | Feb 28, 2019 | Bible characters | 11 comments. But he saw and heard “inexpressible things.” Pride would be the natural sinful response to an experience like this, but pride and conceit have no place in God’s servant. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.” —Acts 9:1–9. After Paul’s arrest by a Roman commander in Jerusalem, 40 Jewish men bound themselves in an oath to not eat or drink anything until they had killed Paul. While Jesus didn’t give Saul a new name, he did give him a new purpose: one that redefined his life. From the moment he became a believer in Christ, Paul’s life was transformed. Love the name clarification:Paul and Saul. 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's exact date of birth is unknown. Consider the following: a. But scholars argue that these epistles are actually pseudepigrapha: writings that claim to be written by someone who was not the actual author. 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. Paul goes on to say that “if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Galatians 2:21). He played a crucial role in spreading the gospel to the Gentiles (non-Jews) during the first century, and his missionary journeys took him all throughout the Roman empire. He was a convert to Christianity. 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. Some of his listeners became believers, and then he left for Corinth. The father of church history, Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 260–339 AD) noted that “some have rejected the Epistle to the Hebrews, saying that it is disputed by the church of Rome, on the ground that it was not written by Paul” (Church History). Unfortunately, the book ends before he gets to Caesar—because Paul’s story isn’t the point of Acts. First, let's do a quick summary of what we know about Paul. 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. 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. They were invited to come speak on the following Sabbath, and when they did, most of the city attended. The new religion was vulnerable, and it faced opposition everywhere from the Jews who believed it was blasphemy, and from the Romans who believed it challenged Caesar’s authority and created unrest. When all human hope was lost God delivered them by His grace through the prayers of the believers (2 Corinthians 1:11). Paul or Saul is the only one in the Bible who says that he is an apostle. Paul’s notoriety as a persecutor of Christians made believers uncomfortable around him even after his baptism, and it took a while for them to believe that he’d really changed (Acts 9:26). “Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. For this reason, Saint Paul is often considered one of the most influential people in history. I appeal to Caesar!”, After Festus had conferred with his council, he declared: “You have appealed to Caesar. He certainly wasn’t the only apostle to do so, but he is known as the “apostle to the Gentiles” because that’s who Jesus specifically called him to minister to (Acts 9:15), he and the other apostles agreed that was his role (Galatians 2:7), and that was undeniably the focus of his ministry. Fourth-century church father John of Chrysostom said “For after he had been in Rome, he returned to Spain, but whether he came thence again into these parts, we know not.” And Cyril of Jerusalem (also from the fourth century) wrote that Paul “carried the earnestness of his preaching as far as Spain.”. This encounter on the road to Damascus completely redefined who Paul was, and it changed the purpose of his journey from silencing Christians to speaking out in support of them. Some argue that his letters speak of his imprisonment in the past tense and make references to things that could have only occurred after his house arrest. Paul and Barnabas spent a long time in Iconium, and the city was divided: some people supported them, and others hated them. But the remaining six letters have raised some questions, and scholars debate whether or not they can really be attributed to Paul. As he traveled the 150 miles from Jerusalem to Damascus armed with legal authority to hunt down Jewish Christians (Acts 9:1-2), bright light and a heavenly voice stopped him dead in his tracks. He stayed with two named Aquila and Priscilla, who were tentmakers, like him. Not a fun fact: Even though Paul argued that Christians didn’t need to be circumcised in Acts 15, he circumcised Timothy in the very next chapter “because of the Jews who lived in that area” (Acts 16:1–3). Quite a change! Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. 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. 7 Bible Verses about Miracles Of Paul. (Galatians 1:13-18) In my mind, Paul met Jesus on a … Always remain true to the facts found in the Bible but help children connect to its meaning by using drama, visual … (We’ll discuss these more later, or you can read more about them now.). 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. Paul spent three months in Greece, then returned to Macedonia to avoid some people who were plotting against him. Before Jesus ascended to heaven, he promised his followers they would receive power through the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). 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. An apocryphal work from the second century known as The Acts of Paul says that Nero had Paul decapitated. For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. Paul in the Smith's Bible Dictionary. 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. 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