Posts Tagged ‘New Testament’

Conversion of Paul the Apostle

The Conversion of Paul the Apostle was, according to the New Testament, an event in the life of Paul the Apostle that led him to cease persecuting early Christians and to become a follower of Jesus. It is normally dated by researchers to AD 33-36. The phrases Pauline Conversion, Demascene Conversion and Damascus Christophany, and the road to Damascus allude to this event.

Paul the Apostle

English: St. Paul by El Greco, c. 1608-1614. O...

English: St. Paul by El Greco, c. 1608-1614. Originally taken from artchive.com (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul the Apostle, original name Saul of Tarsus, was an apostle (though not one of the Twelve Apostles) who taught the Gospel of Christ to the first-century world. He is generally considered one of the most important apostolic figures of The Apostolic Age. In the mid-30s to mid-50s, he founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe. Paul used his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to advantage in his ministry to both Jewish and Roman audiences.

Fourteen of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament have traditionally been attributed to Paul, and approximately half of the Acts of the Apostles deals with Paul’s life and works. Seven of the epistles are undisputed by scholars as being authentic, with varying degrees of argument about the remainder. The Pauline authorship of Hebrews, already doubted in the 2nd and 3rd centuries but almost unquestioningly accepted from the 5th to the 16th centuries, is now almost universally rejected by scholars. The other six are believed by some scholars to have come from followers writing in his name, using material from Paul’s surviving letters and letters written by him that no longer survive. Other scholars argue that the idea of a pseudonymous author for the disputed epistles raises many problems.

Today, his epistles continue to be deeply rooted in the theology, worship, and pastoral life in the Roman and Protestant traditions of the West, as well as the Orthodox traditions of the East. Among the many other apostles and missionaries involved in the spread of the Christian faith, his influence on Christian thought and practice has been characterized as being as “profound as it is pervasive.” Augustine of Hippo developed Paul’s idea that salvation is based on faith and not “works of the law.” Martin Luther’s interpretation of Paul’s writings heavily influenced Luther’s doctrine of sola fide.

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