The Story of Paul the Apostle The man who turned the world upside down.
He was originally a powerful and implacable enemy of Jesus, determined to stop the spread of Christ’s message. But then his dramatic conversion changed him and changed the course of history.
From his education in Jerusalem under the Rabbi Gamaliel to his exhortations on behalf of Christianity throughout the Mediterranean, The Story of Paul the Apostle, presented by The History Channel, explores the life and legacy of the greatest missionary of the early church. Theologians reflect on the importance of his upbringing to his success in spreading the Word, and an in-depth analysis of his writings — some of the earliest Christian documents extant — shed light not just on the origins of Christianity, but on the man who helped ensure its survival.
Follow in the footsteps of Paul of Tarsus — The Man Who Turned the World Upside Down.
Story of Paul The Apostle
Paul the Apostle (Latin: Paulus; Greek: Παῦλος, romanized: Paulos; Coptic: ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ; c. 5 – c. 64 or 67), commonly known as Saint Paul and also known by his Hebrew name Saul of Tarsus (Hebrew: שאול התרסי, romanized: Sha’ūl ha-Tarsī; Greek: Σαῦλος Ταρσεύς, romanized: Saũlos Tarseús),[Acts 9:11] was an apostle (although not one of the Twelve Apostles) who taught the gospel of Christ to the first-century world. Paul is generally considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age and from the mid-30s to the mid-50s AD he founded several Christian communities in Asia Minor and Europe. He took advantage of his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to minister to both Jewish and Roman audiences.
According to the New Testament book Acts of the Apostles (often simply called Acts), Paul persecuted some of the early disciples of Jesus, possibly Hellenised diaspora Jews converted to Christianity, in the area of Jerusalem prior to his conversion.[note 1] In the narrative of Acts, Paul was traveling on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus on a mission to “arrest them and bring them back to Jerusalem” when the resurrected Jesus appeared to him in a great light. He was struck blind, but after three days his sight was restored by Ananias of Damascus and Paul began to preach that Jesus of Nazareth is the Jewish Messiah and the Son of God.[Acts 9:20–21] Approximately half of the book of Acts deals with Paul’s life and works.
Thirteen of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament have traditionally been attributed to Paul. Seven of the Pauline epistles are undisputed by scholars as being authentic, with varying degrees of argument about the remainder. Pauline authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews is not asserted in the Epistle itself and was already doubted in the 2nd and 3rd centuries.[note 2] It was almost unquestioningly accepted from the 5th to the 16th centuries that Paul was the author of Hebrews, but that view 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.[note 3] Other scholars argue that the idea of a pseudonymous author for the disputed epistles raises many problems.
Today, Paul’s epistles continue to be vital roots of the theology, worship and pastoral life in the Latin and Protestant traditions of the West, as well as the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox traditions of the East. Paul’s influence on Christian thought and practice has been characterized as being as “profound as it is pervasive”, among that of many other apostles and missionaries involved in the spread of the Christian faith. Martin Luther‘s interpretation of Paul’s writings influenced Luther’s doctrine of sola fide.