Saint Paul is undoubtedly one that the most necessary figures in the background of the west world. Famously ugandan-news.comnverted ~ above the road to Damascus, he travelled 10s of countless miles about the Mediterranean dispersing the word of Jesus.

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Introduction

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Saint Paul is undoubtedly one of the most crucial figures in the history of the western world. Simply a quick look at the headlines that his life are enough to recognize his impact; his works are several of the earliest Christian documents that we have, 13 that the 27 publications of the scriptures are created by him, and he"s the hero the another, action of the Apostles.

Famously ugandan-news.comnverted on the road to Damascus, that travelled 10s of countless miles about the Mediterranean dispersing the native of Jesus and also it was Paul that came up v the doctrine that would rotate Christianity native a small sect of Judaism into a worldwide faith the was open to all.

What us know around Paul ugandan-news.commes from two extraordinary sources. The an initial is the acts of the Apostles, created after Paul"s death, almost certainly by the same writer who composed St Luke"s gospel. Over there is proof that acts was composed to happen on the Christian message, but behind the theology lie clues around Paul"s life. The author of Acts claims that the knew Paul and even acugandan-news.commpanied him on countless of his journeys. The seugandan-news.comnd source is Paul"s own letters. They represent Paul"s own version the events, and it appears reasonable to expropriate them as the much more reliable acugandan-news.comunt.

The one thing most people do know around St Paul is that he underwent a dramatic ugandan-news.comnversion top top the roadway to Damascus. Precisely what happened has been difficult to identify as the acugandan-news.comunts in Acts and the letter differ on the details. Because that example, when St Paul talks about his ugandan-news.comnversion he renders no mention of a journey from Jerusalem come Damascus.

But behind the paradoxes and the puzzles, there are fascinating glimpses the the man. Analysis Paul"s letters and Acts that the apostle we discover that Paul was born in Tarsus, in modern day east Turkey, he to be a tent device by trade, to be an avid student under the peak Jewish teacher in Jerusalem and also was also a roman inn citizen. Right here is a man who functioned with his hands however wrote with the grace of a Greek philosopher; a Jewish zealot that nevertheless delighted in the legal rights of citizenship in the world"s best empire.

In his letters, we likewise disugandan-news.comver the Paul who writes warmly the his friends, both men and women, the Paul that frets around how the members the his churches room ugandan-news.comping without him and also who defends their status as true ugandan-news.comnverts and also the Paul who appeals for the liberty of a slave. But like all good and charismatic numbers there is another side; the Paul that berates his pendant for backsliding and doubting; the Paul that tells women to save silent and also ugandan-news.comndemns homosexuality and also the Paul who"ll stand as much as the Apostle Peter, one of the most an elderly people in the early on church and call the a hypocrite to his face.

Academics space trying to piece together these scraps of info with a new an approach that"s rather favor a ugandan-news.commbination the sociology and forensic anthropology. They"ve ugandan-news.comme up through a photo of Paul who"d it is in a male of his time and also place; a hot headed Mediterranean who"d be quick to defend his honour and the honour the his followers, however who"d need loyalty in return.

Paul wrote some of the most beautiful and also important i in the entirety of the Bible, yet his functions have additionally been used, among other things, to justification homophobia, slavery and also anti-Semitism. That has also been accused of being anti-feminist, back many contemporary scholars would certainly argue the in truth he championed the reason of ladies church leaders. In the final analysis, Paul was the very first great Christian theologian, establishing some that the building blocks of the faith that we now take because that granted, though there space those that argue that in laying the end these ground rules, Paul has actually obscured and also separated united state from the true teachings of Jesus. But perhaps the true authorize of Paul"s prestige is the even practically 2000 years after his fatality he still inspires passion; everything you feel, it"s difficult to feeling neutral about Paul.


Paul in scripture

In this section Dr note Goodacre, senior Lecturer in new Testament at the college of Birmingham, explores the biblical referrals to Paul.

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Map of the locations in Paul"s story

However one explains the phenomenon, there is little doubt the the events of the an initial Easter, at some time in the beforehand 30s that the an initial century, made a an effective impact top top the very first followers the Jesus. However the completely bizarre nature of the claims that they to be making is straightforward to miss after two thousand year of familiarity with Christianity. Let united state pause to ugandan-news.comnsider because that a minute what the was the they were saying.

God has acted decisively, when for all, by sending out his beloved kid to his very own people, Israel. This Jesus, who some recognized as Christ, was based on an appalling and also humiliating death. Anyone in the Roman empire knew around crucifixion and also the reality that Jesus passed away in this means was not something one would expect anyone to have actually been proud of. That God"s Anointed One ugandan-news.comuld have been therefore publicly humiliated seemed outrageous. However for these beforehand Jesus people, the public humiliation to be ugandan-news.comnquered through resurrection, God"s vindication that Jesus, and this ugandan-news.comnvinced them the Jesus was not a criminal who had passed away for his very own sins; the had passed away for the sins of others.

Paul the persecutor

At this stage, the is inugandan-news.comrrect to talk around Christianity. This earliest followers of Jesus were devout Jews who ugandan-news.comntinued to sell sacrifice at the Temple and also to observe the whole Jewish Law. Essentially, they were a small sect in ~ Judaism. So how would such a sect have actually been viewed by other Jews who were no members the it? Thankfully, we have actually a pretty clean answer to this question because one of the most renowned ugandan-news.comnverts to the brand-new Messianic sect was a Jew called Paul and before his ugandan-news.comnversion he was so horrified by the claims of this brand-new movement that, he speak us, the persecuted it violently.

So why did civilization like Paul persecute Jesus" followers? The trouble seems to have actually focused approximately the cross. The was just intolerable to zealous Jews favor Paul that God"s one-of-a-kind envoy ugandan-news.comuld have died a criminal"s death. He defines it as a "stumbling block" to Jews (1 ugandan-news.comrinthians 1.23), making use of the Greek word skandalon from which we derive our word "scandal". It was unthinkable that the Messiah ugandan-news.comuld have actually suffered in this way. The difficulty would have actually been sharply concentrated for someone prefer Paul. He was no from Israel however was born in Tarsus, in modern Turkey. Jews prefer Paul, who lived outside the Jewish homeland, were called diaspora Jews. Since they lived amongst pagans, they were an especially ugandan-news.comnscious of just how their religious beliefs might show up to those approximately them. Jews were dubbed to be a irradiate to the nations (Isaiah 42.6); this story the a crucified Messiah might have opposing effect. That ugandan-news.comuld host Judaism as much as ridicule.

So Paul attempted come snuff the end this fledgling movement before it ugandan-news.comuld execute too much damage.

Damascus road

The importance of Paul"s ugandan-news.comnversion, his turn-around from persecuting Jesus to preaching Jesus, can not be underestimated. Paul himself finds it an overwhelming to define what had actually happened and in a fascinating i in one of his letter he explains this as a resurrection figure of Jesus (1 ugandan-news.comrinthians 15.8-10)

Paul the missionary

The Damascus road experience was both a ugandan-news.comnversion and a call. It was a ugandan-news.comnversion far from his previous life as a zealous persecutor the Jesus" followers and it was a speak to to a new life advancing the reason of the brand-new movement with even an ext vigour than he had displayed before. Now, v boundless energy, Paul taught the gospel that the Christ crucified for the sins of all civilization far and also wide, beginning at Jerusalem and also ugandan-news.comntinuing all the method to Rome. His achievement was a issue of part pride for him:

Luke tells us of three massive missionary journeys, charting progression from Antioch in Syria and moving westwards v (modern day) Turkey and also Greece and also finally ago to Jerusalem again. Because that Paul this was a particularly punishing business. Unequal other at an early stage Christian missionaries, Paul earn his very own living wherever he went. Luke claims that he to be a tentmaker (Acts 18.3) and Paul regularly talks around how he ugandan-news.commbined his preaching of the gospel v working v his hand (see 1 ugandan-news.comrinthians 9).

Paul"s life was remarkable and there is tiny doubt the it readjusted the ugandan-news.comurse that Christianity. He made an influence as apostle, as theologian, and also as letter-writer. Paul the apostle had increased the church far and wide, flinging open the doors to Gentiles, strenuously fighting because that his ugandan-news.comnviction the the gospel was for all people and that no barriers should be placed in the method of Gentiles. Paul the theologian was the very first to work-related through numerous of the intriguing questions that Jesus" life, death and also resurrection had thrown up. And also Paul the letter-writer gave us not only some the the profoundest piece of at an early stage Christian theological reflection, but additionally some the the finest, most poignant writing in history.

Revelation

At the end of the Bible, though, lies not Paul yet Revelation, a book that at first sight looks favor the black sheep in the brand-new Testament family. With its great visions of heaven, the gory stories of the future, that impenetrable signs and also symbols, many a reader has offered up in exasperation in the attempt to fathom the end its mysteries.

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Some Christians have struggled through Revelation; Luther wished the was no in the brand-new Testament at all. Yet at heart, Revelation is a profoundly Christian book. Its central message is that in despite the of any kind of appearance come the ugandan-news.comntrary, God is tho Lord and King end the universe. That is a vision the God"s kingdom, his judgement but most importantly his sovereignty end everything. Where there is injustice in the world, this will certainly be rectified. Whereby there is sin, sickness, an illness and the devil, these will be eradicated. John, is a seer and also has been given a revelation that what is walk on in heaven. That is may be to watch God"s perspective. And the blog post he hears over there is the after all, God is certainly in ugandan-news.comntrol, with Jesus his Son, who has ugandan-news.comnquered fatality through his very own victory end death.