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The Literary Legacy of Paul of Tarsus

Introduction

First, it is important to consider the direction of Paul’s life before the Damascus encounter, before turning to the encounter as supported by his epistles. In many occasions, we see Paul testifying about his conversation. He describes the vision to be a reality in as far as he saw Jesus the Lord0. However, prior to his conversion Paul describes himself as a man who violently persecuted the church. This prior life predisposition is found in number of his letters. For instance, in his letter to the Galatians 1:13-140. In this letter Paul testifies that prior to his conversion he was in Judaism and was opposed to the church of God0. He describes how he managed to climb ranks in this religion due to the zeal he had for the ancestors0.

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Paul’s prior life can also be deduced from his letter to the Philippians. In of this epistle Paul states “If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh. I have more: circumcised on the 8th day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law a Pharisee; as to the zeal; a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless”0.

Whereas there are many instances Paul attempts to define his life before he encountered Jesus the Lord at Damascus, the two letters sufficiently offer us a clear a picture of what man, Paul used to be. Now, let me embark on his conversion, what Paul says about his encounter with the Lord at Damascus. Paul himself appreciates that Damascus encounter impacted on his future life. This is overwhelmingly evidenced by his own letters as well as, in his narrations as found in the Acts of the Apostles. From his letters, such as his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul describes his conversion through claiming to have seen the risen Christ, under the following terms. “for I handed on to you as of first importance that I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the 3rd day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephars, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than 500 brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared to me”0. In addition, in that same letter, Paul proclaims to be an apostle since he had seen Jesus the Lord0.

Paul’s change in life via Damascus encounter is evidenced by his strong testimony as found in his letter to the Galatians. In this letter he portrays his conversion to be a divine one. “For I want you to know, brothers and sisters that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin: for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ (…) but when God who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his son in me, so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being.0

Conclusion

Considering Paul’s prior life as well as the fact that Paul was not one of the apostles of Jesus Christ, and that he had never at any time met Jesus before he was crucified, his testimonies as found in his letters precisely depicts that Paul’s life direction was altered by the Damascus encounter0.

Reference

Navigating Paul, Bassler, Jouette, Westminster. Rediscovering Paul, Capes, David et al, IVP.

Den Heyer, Paul, A Man of Two Worlds, C.J., SCM.

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Gorman, Michael J. Apostle of the Crucified Lord. Eerdmans.

The Holy Bible.

The Literary Legacy of Paul of Tarsus.

Footnotes

  1. Den Heyer, Paul, A Man of Two Worlds, C.J., SCM.
  2. Navigating Paul, Bassler, Jouette, Westminster. Rediscovering Paul, Capes, David et al, IVP.
  3. Den Heyer, Paul, A Man of Two Worlds, C.J., SCM.
  4. Gorman, Michael J. Apostle of the Crucified Lord. Eerdmans.
  5. Philippians 3:4-6.
  6. 1st Corinthians 15:13-8.
  7. 1st Corinthians 9:1.
  8. Galatians 1:11-16.
  9. Den Heyer, Paul, A Man of Two Worlds, C.J., SCM.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 25). The Literary Legacy of Paul of Tarsus. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/the-literary-legacy-of-paul-of-tarsus/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 25). The Literary Legacy of Paul of Tarsus. https://studycorgi.com/the-literary-legacy-of-paul-of-tarsus/

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"The Literary Legacy of Paul of Tarsus." StudyCorgi, 25 Nov. 2021, studycorgi.com/the-literary-legacy-of-paul-of-tarsus/.

1. StudyCorgi. "The Literary Legacy of Paul of Tarsus." November 25, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/the-literary-legacy-of-paul-of-tarsus/.


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StudyCorgi. "The Literary Legacy of Paul of Tarsus." November 25, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/the-literary-legacy-of-paul-of-tarsus/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "The Literary Legacy of Paul of Tarsus." November 25, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/the-literary-legacy-of-paul-of-tarsus/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'The Literary Legacy of Paul of Tarsus'. 25 November.

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