Who was the apostle Paul?

Let's embark on a historical adventure and meet a fascinating figure: the apostle Paul, also known as Saul (Sha'ul). He was born in the ancient city of Tarsus, nestled in the province of Cilicia in Asia Minor. This wasn't just any city; it was a part of the grand Roman Empire, granting Saul the prestigious status of Roman citizenship.

Sha'ul was his Hebrew name. However, in Roman circles, he was known as Paul. Imagine him as a star student, excelling in his Torah studies. His educational journey took him to Jerusalem, where he studied under a well-respected Torah teacher, Gamaliel. 

Paul's passion for the Torah was unmatched. Before he embraced the teachings of the Messiah, he was quite a force, actively persecuting the disciples and followers of the Way. In a dramatic twist, he even approved the stoning of Stephen, a significant event mentioned in Acts 8:1.

But here's where Paul's story takes an extraordinary turn. After encountering the Messiah on the road to Damascus, he transformed from a persecutor to a passionate proponent of the gospel. Picture him traveling far and wide across the Roman Empire, sharing the teachings of the Messiah with gentiles, and raising new disciples. His identity as a 'Hebrew of Hebrews' gave him a unique credibility when he spoke to Israelite audiences in local synagogues. Some Bible scholars believe the gentiles in Asia Minor were actually descendants of the scattered tribes of Israel. What do you think?

Read the article. Can you answer the questions below?

  1. Read Acts 6:1-7. Why do you think the number of disciples multiplied greatly at this time?
  2. Why did many priests became obedient to the faith?
  3. Find two Bible verses in Acts 7-8 that mention Saul.
  4. Why do you think Saul persecuted followers of the Way?

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