Life of Paul Daily Living Research Paper

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Life of Paul

Paul the Apostle is one of the most significant figures in early Christian history. He was born soon after Christ was, and Paul's conversation to Christianity remains one of the central allegories in all of scripture. Therefore, Pauline texts are at the heart of the Christian canon. Paul was born in Tarsus, the "principle city of the lush plain of Cilicia in the southwest corner of Asia Minor," which is modern-day Turkey (Pollack, 2012, p. 16). Tarsus was a melting pot of the Middle East, putting Paul into contact with people as diverse as Hittites, Greeks, Assyrians, Persians, and Macedonians (Pollack, 2012). Paul's early daily life was formative for his later intellectual and spiritual development. Pollock (2012) describes Tarsus as a "city between the mountains and the sea," (p. 16). Born in "a city between the mountains and the sea" provides an apt symbol for the spiritual growth of Paul, who was also born at the crossroads of Judaism and burgeoning Christianity. Just as Tarsus was midway between two geographic landscapes, so too were Christianity and Judaism soon to be established as being worlds apart. Paul represents the crossroads between these two worldviews and civilizations.

Paul was not born Paul, which was a name later conferred upon him after centuries of translations of Pauline texts by Greeks. Rather, Paul was born Saul -- his Hebrew name. Saul denotes Paul's lineage in the tribe of Benjamin, because King Saul was of that tribe. The name Paul is a Romanized version of his name, which was later adapted to suit the Greek language (Pollack, 2012).

His father was a tentmaker, and enjoyed a relatively high social status as the family enjoyed full citizenship in Rome. Citizenship was not a given to all born under the province of Roman jurisdiction, and especially Jews. As Howard (2011) points out, Jews were rarely considered citizens of the Roman Empire, unless they were great contributors," (p. 5). Paul's father must have been a great contributor; although exactly what he did to earn such an accolade is unknown.

Roman citizenship "conferred local distinction and hereditary privileges, which each member could claim wherever he traveled throughout the Empire," (Pollack, 2012). This meant that Paul could travel to Jerusalem and receive full legal protections. He did go to Jerusalem to study the religious teachings under Gamaliel (Rayment, 2012). This was when Paul was still a teenager, and this was during the height of Jesus's ministry there in Jerusalem. Paul was concentrating on his traditional Rabbinical school, which after his studies were complete, he left to learn a vocational trade.

It was also in Jerusalem where Paul first underwent a shift in personal consciousness, as he witnessed the fervency with which the devotees of Jesus Christ claimed him as the Jewish messiah. In Galatians 1:13, and also in 1 Corinthians 15:9, Paul admits to his active persecution of…

Sources Used in Documents:


"A Chronology of Paul's Life." Retrieved online:

Howard, J. (2011). The Apostle Paul: A Biography. Golgotha.

Pollack, J. (2012). The Apostle. Colorado Springs: David Cook.

Rayment, W.J. (2012). Biography of the Apostle Paul. Retrieved online:

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