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P a u l  t h e  A p o s t l e
p a g e  2

Paul's Life

From.Easton's Bible Dictionary:."Saul was born about the same time as our Lord, approximately 2000 years ago. His circumcision name was Saul and probably.(no one's sure exactly about the origin of his name Paul).the name Paul was also given to him in infancy for use in the Gentile world, as 'Saul' would be his Hebrew home name:.Acts 13:9 "Then Saul, who also is called Paul....."

Paul was a native of Tarsus, the capital of Cilicia, a Roman province in the south east of Asia Minor.(map). That city stood on the banks of the river Cydnus, which was navigable thus far; hence it became a centre of extensive commercial traffic with many countries along the shores of the Mediterranean, as well as with the countries of central Asia Minor. It thus became a city distinguished for the wealth of its inhabitants. 

Tarsus was also the seat of a famous university, higher in reputation even than the universities of Athens and Alexandria, the only others that then existed. Here Saul of the New Testament was born and here he spent his youth, doubtless enjoying the best education his native city could afford. His father was of the straightest sect of the Jews, a Pharisee, of the tribe of Benjamin, of pure and unmixed Jewish blood:.Acts 23:6; 26:4,5; Philippians 3:4-6. We learn nothing regarding Paul's mother.

His preliminary education having been completed, Saul was sent, when about thirteen years of age probably, to the great Jewish school of sacred learning at Jerusalem as a student of the law.

Here he became a pupil of the celebrated rabbi.Gamaliel.(Acts 5:34).and here he spent many years in an elaborate study of the Scriptures.(that is, the only Scriptures available at the time and those were the Old Testament ones).and of the many questions concerning them with which the rabbis exercised themselves. That's why he later could refer to himself as he did in the books of Corinthians and Acts.

See the free book complete here.Life and Epistles of St. Paul, by W. J. Conybeare and J. S. Howson or you can download it along with many other free modules that come if you get the free Online Bible.(means available for you to download for your own computer, from online, not that you have to be online to use it). After you instal it, you can locate it by going to the menu at the top left in the opening window of the Online Bible program and clicking on the Library selection tab, select Library Index, then click on the + sign beside the Combined System Library if not expanded, then go down to Reference, then Helps. Here you'll find the book if you installed it.

We read of Paul's sister and his sister's son.(Acts 23:16).and of other relatives:.Romans 16:7,11,12. Though a Jew, his father was a Roman citizen. How he obtained this privilege we are not informed. It might be bought or won by distinguished service to the state or acquired in several other ways; at all events, his son was freeborn:.Acts 22:28. It was a valuable privilege and one that was to prove of great use to Paul, although not in the way in which his father might have been expected to desire him to make use of it:.Acts 22:22-29; 23:27. Perhaps the most natural career for the youth to follow was that of a merchant. But it was decided that...he should go to college and become a rabbi, that is, a minister, a teacher and a lawyer all in one.

During these years of diligent study he lived "in all good conscience" unstained by the vices of that great city:.Philippians 3:5,6

According to Jewish custom, however, he learned a trade before entering on the more direct preparation for the sacred profession. The trade he acquired was the making of tents from goats' hair cloth, a trade which was one of the commonest in Tarsus. 

After the period of his student life expired, he probably left Jerusalem for Tarsus, where he may have been engaged in connection with some synagogue for some years. But we find him back again at Jerusalem very soon after the death of Emmanuel. Here he now learned the particulars regarding the crucifixion and the rise of the unconventional new sect of the "Nazarenes":.Acts 24:5

For some two years after the day of Pentecost, Christianity was quietly spreading its influence in Jerusalem.

Paul was highly intelligent, as evidenced by his background, his approach to things, by what he said in his public speeches, by his ability to gain support of others and by his honest comments after his conversion.

Paul, a man trained so well in the scriptures.(Galatians 2:11).available at that time, which was the Old Testament, just did not at all know God, that is, until this Great Infinite Consciousness revealed Himself to Paul.

Persecution arose against Stephen.(Acts 6:5,8,9 and on to the end of chapter 7; perhaps it was verses 51-54 in chapter seven that brought Stephen to his unwisely death:.John 7:7).along with some of the followers back then of the way of love of the Infinite One.

At length this Stephen, one of the seven deacons.(a minister, a servant), gave forth public and aggressive testimony.that Emmanuel was the Messiah and this led to much excitement among the Jews and much disputation in their synogogues.

Paul was at this time probably a member of the great Sanhedrin and became the active leader in the furious persecution by which.the rulers.then sought to exterminate what came to be called Christianity:.Acts 11:26.

Saul.(after His conversion, his name was changed from Saul to Paul of Tarsus; whom we know in the Bible today as Paul).took a prominent part in the death of Stephen, before Paul's conversion.

No doubt Paul, looking back after his conversion, learned a lesson from Stephen's approach. Paul used psychology in his ways of getting the message of the gospel out. 

But the object of this persecution also failed:.Acts 8:4 "Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word". Christianity continued its growth.

The anger of the persecutor Paul was thereby kindled into a fiercer flame. He hated those of this new way of love and was out to get them, similar to those of his sect of an earlier time when  Christ was on Earth in the physical form of the one we call Emmanuel. That's what religion based on corruption of the Old Testament Mosaic Law did for Paul. He was so sure he was right, what with all the education he had received.

Hearing that fugitives had taken refuge in Damascus.(map), Paul obtained letters from the chief priest authorizing him to proceed thither on his persecuting career:.Acts 22:5. This was a long journey of about 130 miles, which would occupy perhaps six days, during which, with his few attendants, he steadily went onward."breathing out threatenings and slaughter":.Acts 9:1,2. But the crisis of Paul's life was at hand, leading to his conversion away from hate and to love.


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