Saul of Tarsus Embarked on Essay
- Length: 4 pages
- Sources: 1
- Subject: Mythology - Religion
- Type: Essay
- Paper: #5486770
Excerpt from Essay :
It was more important for Saul to be baptized than to eat and therefore, spirituality is more important that even physical life.
Next, the Book of Acts stated "He stayed some time with the disciples in Damascus. Without delay he proclaimed Jesus publicly in the synagogues, declaring him to he the Son of God. All those who heard were astounded." (Acts 9.20-21)
It is no wonder that those who heard Saul, at this time called Paul, were astounded. After all, he had been the leader of those who not only rejected Jesus Christ, but actively sought the destruction of his followers. Paul had very little credibility, or Ethos, among early Christians as many of those he tried to join with were wary of his intentions. Many thought his "conversion" was a trick to gain information about the membership of the Christians.
This began to changed when those who doubted Paul heard him preach. They asked "is not this the man, they said, who was in Jerusalem hunting down those who invoke this name? Did he not come here for the sole purpose of arresting them and taking them before the chief priests?" (Acts 9.21) But it was Paul's consistency of message, the clarity of his claim and the logic of his reasons, in other words his Logos, which convinced many of the early Christians that his conversion was indeed genuine. The subsequent line in the passage explained how he had done this, "But Paul went from strength to strength, and confounded the Jews of Damascus with his cogent proofs that Jesus was the Messiah." (Acts 9.23) Paul had been a member of the Pharisees, and educated man, but the fact that he had lived in Tarsus also was an indication that he was a Hellenized Jew and well versed in Greek culture, including the "sciences" such as logic. Paul put his worldly education to use in his defense of Jesus as the Messiah.
Paul used his education, upbringing, and knowledge of the world in order to convince other Christians that Jesus did in fact appear to him on the road to Damascus and he was now a devoted follower of Christ. He also used his knowledge of the Hellenistic world in order to spread the message of Christ to those who were unfamiliar with Jesus, the Gentiles. Paul then embarked on a number of journeys, spreading the good news of Christ to the world outside of Judea and to those who were not Jews. Before his conversion, Paul journeyed throughout the world in search of Christians to destroy, but afterwards, he traveled the world spreading the Christian faith.
Acts 9:15-23 not only described Paul's conversion, and the reaction of his fellow Christians, but also predicted Paul's eventual destiny to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles. God had planned for Paul to leave Judea and travel to those outside the Jewish community. Paul was the ideal candidate for this mission, he was educated in both the ways of the Jewish and Hellenistic worlds and he had traveled widely demonstrating his energy and zeal in persecuting Christians. Once Paul was converted, he was the perfect instrument to bring the Gospel of Christ to the Gentiles. The fact that many of his fellow Judean Christians still viewed him with suspicion because of his earlier persecution of them, made his departure from Judea all the more acceptable. God needed a person who was energetic, capable, and knowledgeable in the ways of both the Jews and the Gentiles to spread the word of God to those outside the Jewish world. Acts 9:15-23 not only described Paul's conversion and the reaction of those around him, but also foreshadowed Paul's eventual destiny as the bringer of Christ to the Gentiles.
Suggs, Jack, Katherine Doob Sakenfeld, and James Mueller. The Oxford Study Bible:
Revised English Bible with the Apocrypha. New York: Oxford UP, 1992. Print.
This passage is in contradiction with what Paul wrote in his first letter to the Galatians. In Galatians 1:16-24 Paul describes the aftermath of his conversion and does not mention that he stayed with the disciples in Damascus and preached the word of Christ. Instead Paul stated that "without consulting a single person, without going up to Jerusalem to see those who were Apostles before me, I went off to Arabia, and…