From Saul to Paul: Saul of Tarsus' Conversion

Religion and Theology
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Saul to Paul Saul of Tarsus' Conversion St. Paul was known as Saul of Tarsus before his pivotal conversion to Christianity. He became one of the most influential figures shaping significantly the writings, thinking and the gospel through out early Christian history (Padfield).


Prior to his conversion, he was called Saul and was a Jew born in Tarsus and came from an honorable family of tent-makers (Gulledge). He was born two years before the birth of Christ. As a Roman citizen, Saul was a Pharisee and belonged to the tribe of Benjamin (Gulledge; Padfield). Though his family’s trade was stitching tents, he was sent to a Jewish school in Jerusalem in order to study law (Gulledge). Also, due to his Hebrew background and religious and intellectual upbringing he was very zealous and pious towards God. However before converting and becoming a Christian, Saul rampaged and persecuted the followers of Christ, raiding churches and imprisoning countless saints (Gulledge; Padfield). It is reported that Jesus even spoke to him before he converted and inquired about his violent behavior towards the Christians (“Saul of Tarsus”). Saul’s enlightenment and conversion took place on the road to Damascus, where he had a vision of Christ who personally revealed the Gospel to him (“Saul of Tarsus”). There he became temporarily blind by a bright light and had a radical change of mind, grasping the teachings of Christ and toiling effortlessly to spread the word (“Saul of Tarsus”). He soon traveled to Damascus where he was baptized and healed of his blindness. ...
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