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Paul

The life and work of the great Apostle Paul is recorded at considerable length in the Acts and the epistles. It is only possible to indicate here a few of the chief facts. He was known in early life as Saul; his Latin name Paul is first mentioned at the beginning of his gentile ministry (Acts 13:9). He belonged to Tarsus, in Cilicia (Acts 9:11); was a Pharisee and a pupil of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3); was active in the persecution of Christians (Acts 8:3; 26:10; Gal. 1:13; Philip. 3:6); and took part in the martyrdom of Stephen (Acts 7:58; 8:1). He started for Damascus for the purpose of further persecution (Acts 9:1) and on the road saw a vision of the Lord Jesus, which changed the whole current of his life (Acts 9:4–19; 22:7; 26:14; Gal. 1:15–16). After his baptism by Ananias (Acts 9:18), he retired into Arabia (Gal. 1:17) and then returned to Damascus, where he preached (Acts 9:19–25; 2 Cor. 11:32; Gal. 1:17–18). Being compelled to flee, about three years after his conversion he went to Jerusalem, where he stayed 15 days, Barnabas introducing him to Peter and James (Acts 9:26–30; Gal. 1:18–19). Being in danger, he retired to Tarsus (Acts 9:29–30) and there remained six or seven years, preaching in Syria and Cilicia (Gal. 1:21–24). He was then brought by Barnabas to Antioch (Acts 11:26) and after one year paid a visit to Jerusalem (Acts 11:29–30). After two more years’ work in Antioch, he started with Barnabas and Mark on his first missionary journey (Acts 13:1–14:26). Then came another visit to Jerusalem with Barnabas to attend a conference with the other Apostles (Acts 15:1–33; Gal. 2:1–10), after which they returned to Antioch (Acts 15:35). He then started on his second missionary journey (Acts 15:36–18:22), which lasted about three years and ended with a visit to Jerusalem. After a short stay in Antioch, Paul began his third journey, which occupied about 3½ years (Acts 18:23–21:15). On his return to Jerusalem he was arrested and sent to Caesarea (Acts 21:17–23:35), where he remained a prisoner for two years (Acts 24:1–26:32), and was then sent for trial to Rome, suffering shipwreck on the way (Acts 27:1–28:10). He remained in Rome two years (Acts 28:30) and was then released. He then appears to have visited Asia, Macedonia, Crete, and perhaps Spain. At the end of about four years he was again taken a prisoner to Rome and suffered martyrdom, probably in the spring of A.D. 65. For an account of his teaching, see Pauline Epistles.