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Tag Archives: Saul of Tarsus

Paul’s Name Revisited

In a recent blog-post (HERE), I suggested that Saul changed his name to Paul at Acts 13:9, and that Luke is doing some word play on the names of Elymas-Bar Jesus and Saul/Paul. While I still believe this, my suggestion that Saul received his name, Paul, rather recently in Syrian Antioch as a put-down by Romans, wishing to denigrate his evangelistic activity there, has been brought into question by Richard Fellows (HERE, and HERE), and I cannot, legitimately disagree. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2012 in Paul, Paul First Missionary Journey

 

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Paul’s Vision on the Road to Damascus

Paul - 9

from Google Images

In recent years textual criticism has placed in doubt in the minds of some what actually took place on the road to Damascus. In a short essay (found HERE) John Dominic Crossan has taken issue with Paul’s vision of Jesus as recorded in Acts – where it took place, how long Paul was away from Jerusalem and who threatened Paul’s life in Damascus that he was saved by the brethren secretly letting him down through a window in the city wall under the cover of night to make his escape to Jerusalem (Acts 9:25). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2012 in Textual Criticism

 

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Was Paul Converted or Called?

Paul the Apostle

from Google Images

Luke treats Paul’s Damascus road experience as a very important event in his thesis, mentioning it three times. First, he describes the event as part of an historical narrative concerning the spreading of the Kingdom of God (Acts 9). However, later he has Paul recall the event, describing what occurred in his own words to the Jews at Jerusalem, including the Jewish authorities (Acts 22). Finally, Luke has Paul recall the event before King Agrippa, while other important authorities listened, including the Roman governor, Festus (Acts 26). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2012 in Gospel

 

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Three Blind Nights

Paul blinded

from Google Images

I find it interesting that Paul was blind for three days and nights after he had a vision of Jesus. He was blinded by a light so bright that even at noon the light of the sun paled by comparison. Though all those with Paul were cast to the ground at the flash of the light, only Paul seems to have been blinded thereby. An equally interesting event occurred in the life of Jonah, the prophet. He was told by the Lord to go to Nineveh, a gentile city, and preach repentance toward God to those gentiles, but instead Jonah fled to Tarshish (or Tarsus), the city where Saul, the Apostle to the gentiles, was born. Jonah, too, spent three days and nights of deathly blindness but in the belly of the great fish. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2012 in Kingdom of God

 

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The Wolf Shall Dwell with the Lamb

Wolf and lamb

from Google Images

I wonder how often, if ever, that we think of the prospect of coming into fellowship with one who hurt us badly. Most often, I suspect, we would simply seek to avoid such a person. People who seem to live to or at least enjoy hurting those who trust in Jesus are too often simply written off as unreachable, and perhaps unforgivable. Certainly, it would be very difficult to forgive such a one under normal circumstances who had beaten or killed a friend or a loved one, especially a harmless, gentle friend or loved one. Yet, as the Scripture keeps telling us, the thoughts of God are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9); yes, the depth and height of his wisdom is beyond our full comprehension (Romans 11:33). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2012 in Religion

 

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Saul the Persecutor of the Way

Persecution -- Gospel spreads

from Google Images

Did you ever wonder what it was like in Judea just after Stephen was martyred? The persecution was leveled at the liberal branch of the Way—the Hellenist believers, but this doesn’t mean other believers escaped. The Apostles were beaten in Acts 5 for preaching the Gospel and this would have been no different. When the persecution broke out, Saul entered house after house dragging off both men and women to prison and to appear before the council (Acts 8:3). Many scattered throughout Judea and Samaria and along the coast of the Mediterranean (Acts 8:1) Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2011 in Gospel, Paul

 

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Background for Saul of Tarsus

We aren’t certain why Paul came to be born in the capital city of Cilicia, but it may have been that his ancestors were among those that Antiochus IV resettled from Galilee cir. 171 BCE with the promise of immediate citizenship there. The Syrian rulers often colonized recently conquered territories with their own citizens in order to solidify their authority there. Jewish citizens were often seen as a preferred group for colonization, perhaps because they also had such strong religious allegiance to the Seleucid province of Judea as well. Paul’s father was a Pharisee and probably a master tentmaker living in Tarsus. “The black tents of Tarsus were used by caravans, nomads, and armies all over Asia Minor and Syria.”[1] Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2011 in New Testament History, Paul, Religion

 

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