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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 5108 Paul, life of
5108 Paul, life of

5108 Paul, life of

Paul, previously known as Saul, had been a zealous persecutor of the church, but an encounter with the risen Christ (c. A.D. 35) led to his becoming the apostle to the Gentiles, with a mission to proclaim the gospel throughout the Gentile world. He was probably martyred during the persecutions of Nero, possibly in A.D. 67.

Paul’s early life

His Jewish heritage Php 3:4-5

His citizenship Ac 22:27-28

His place of birth and education Ac 22:3 See also Ac 21:39

His trade as a tentmaker Ac 18:1-3

Paul’s conversion

His persecution of the church Php 3:5-6 See also Ac 7:59-8:3; Ac 9:1-2; Ac 22:19-20; Gal 1:13

His conversion on the road to Damascus and his apostolic calling Ac 9:1-19 pp Ac 22:3-16 pp Ac 26:9-18

Paul’s early Christian activity

His journey to Arabia Gal 1:15-17 Acts makes no mention of this trip, but it seems that Paul went to Arabia immediately after he met Ananias and then subsequently returned to preach in Damascus.

His return to Damascus 2Co 11:32-33 See also Ac 9:19-25

His visit to Jerusalem (c. A.D. 38) Gal 1:18 See also Ac 9:26-28

His return to his home town of Tarsus Ac 9:29-30 See also Gal 1:21 Tarsus was in Cilicia.

His stay in Antioch Ac 11:25-26

Paul’s first missionary journey and his partnership with Barnabas (c. A.D. 46-48)

See also Ac 13:1-6,13-14,49-51; Ac 14:1,5-7,21-28

Paul and the Council of Jerusalem (c. A.D. 49)

The similarities between Paul and Luke here suggests that both writers are referring to the same events in these passages. Some, however, prefer to equate the meeting recorded in Gal 2:1-10 with the journey to Jerusalem mentioned in Ac 11:30: Ac 15:1-6,22-35; Gal 2:1-10

Paul’s second missionary journey (c. A.D. 50-52)

His disagreement with Barnabas and his new partnership with Silas Ac 15:36-41

In Asia Minor Ac 16:6-8

In Macedonia Ac 16:9-12; Ac 17:1,10

In Greece Ac 17:15; Ac 18:1 It was from Corinth that Paul wrote to the Thessalonians.

His return to Antioch Ac 18:18-22

Paul’s third missionary journey (c. A.D. 53-57)

His general purpose in making his journey Ac 18:23

At Ephesus See also Ac 19:1-12; 1Co 15:32; 1Co 16:8-9

His visit to Corinth 2Co 1:15-16,23-2:4; 2Co 13:2 Most scholars believe that Paul wrote 1Corinthians from Ephesus, and that he also visited Corinth during this period. This visit, however, proved to be such a painful experience for him that he abandoned plans for a third visit, and instead wrote the Corinthians a “tearful” letter, calling them to repent of their sinful behaviour.

His journey to Greece Ac 20:1-6; 2Co 2:12-13 Paul had hoped that Titus would bring him news from Corinth. They finally met in Macedonia, and Titus brought good news about the Corinthians’change of heart. Paul then wrote 2Corinthians before visiting Corinth for a third time.

His return to Jerusalem with the collection Ac 20:6,13-16; Ac 21:1-8,15,17-19; Ro 15:25-26 Paul wrote Romans at this point in his travels. There is a considerable degree of uncertainty as to precisely when Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon were written.

Paul under arrest

His life threatened in Jerusalem Ac 21:27-34; Ac 23:12-21

In Caesarea (c. A.D. 57-59) Ac 23:23-35; Ac 24:23-27

His appeal to Caesar Ac 25:1-12

His shipwreck Ac 27:1-28:10

His visit to Rome (c. A.D. 60) Ac 28:11-16,30-31

The latter part of Paul’s life

These verses from the Pastoral Epistles may indicate that Paul was ultimately released and undertook further journeys in the Eastern Mediterranean before his death: 1Ti 1:3; 2Ti 4:13,20; Tit 1:5; Tit 3:12

See also

7610Council of Jerusalem

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