Insert Name Insert Grade Course Insert Submission Date Paul of Tarsus Life, Career, Writings, and Teaching Introduction Paul was an apostle to Jesus as is revealed by numerous epistles written by him in the New Testament. He was named Saul until his conversion from when his name changed into Paul…
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This work will also touch on the methodology of preaching the gospel and how he was able to get followers and his ways of establishing churches through his missionary journeys to various towns in Asia. In this analysis, I will use information contained in history about the political atmosphere and how it fostered his work. The other part of this work will be a description of his death and what the church today can learn from his life. The Bible speaks little on Paul’s family. Philippians 3.5 records him as a Hebrew from the tribe of Judah in Israel. However, in Acts 23.3, Paul implies ancestral connections to the Pharisees. His was born in Tarsus, in the province of Cilicia. Nevertheless, his upbringing is recorded to have been in Jerusalem and was trained in the law by Gamaliel through whom he became perfect in Jewish laws. Paul records in (Acts 26.4-11) that he used to persecute the church. This was true of his early life and many could attest to. Little is known about the entire life except of his involvement in persecution of early believers of Christ, which he calls the new way (Acts 22:4). This can be evidenced through his active participation in killing of Stephen. He was not among the disciples of Jesus and he is portrayed to come after Jesus was crucified. However, one time as he journeyed from Jerusalem to Damascus for the very works of persecution, a bright light met him and as a result he lost his sight. It was after three days that Ananias who was sent by God to him prayed for him and he regained his sight. This encounter formed the basis of Paul’s conversion from his former way of life as an anti-Christian into an apostle to the very gospel he persecuted. Jason, in a study named Saul’s Recruitment on the Road to Damascus, argues that it is not an easy task for one to change from one group to another or simply changing identities. In changing from one lifestyle of a Judean non believer to another lifestyle of believing in Jesus was painful as it involved separation and aggregation. Jason in fact argues that the conversion is best referred to as “recruitment”. The conversion of Saul to Paul, now a believer in Jesus, is legitimized by the Jewish ritual of baptism. This symbolized the recruitment into another group and a change of identity (Lamoreaux 122,132). Paul transformed from his earlier lifestyle of persecuting the church to active participation in evangelism and is in fact accorded the honor of taking the gospel to the gentiles and having them counted among the believers of Christ. The book of acts cites with emphasis the struggles that Paul underwent through in the transformation; first because of his prior state as a persecutor of the gospel and later as a witness to the same gospel and more so because of his struggles for acceptance in the society. Earlier on, Paul had a legacy of terrorizing and killing the Christian Jews who argued that Jesus was the savior and the king of the Jews. Among the many issues that supported his persecution was that the Jews saw Christ’s death as a curse and not an honor. He therefore used the synagogue punishment system to inflict sufferings to all those who were followers of Christ. This was the main reason why Saul, now Paul, experienced a lot of resistance while he came back in support of the same faith he was persecuting. He suffers a lot in the Mediterranean
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