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Referred to through out history as Paul the Apostle,
Paul of Tarsus, Saint Paul and also he Hebrew (and
original name Saul).
Born c. 5CE and died c. 67CE.
He is considered by many Christians to be the most
important disciple of Jesus, and next to Jesus the
most important figure in the development of
There are two sources that tell of the life of Paul:
1) His letters which are part of the New
Testament of the Bible.
2) The narrative of Acts of the Apostles, also
included in the New Testament.
However, both these two sources only detail

Born in Tarsus of Cilicia, he described himself as

an Israelite of the tribe of Benjamin and a
Pharisee who studied in Jerulsalem. In the Acts it
states that Paul was also a Roman citizen.
By his own self admission, Paul was a persecutor
of Christians and was an advocate for their
His conversion to following Jesus and his
teachings is dated to have happened between
In the Acts 9:1-9 he describes a vision he had of
Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, which led
him to dramatically reverse his opinion. He writes
in one of his letters that Jesus appeared to him
"last of all, as to one untimely born," (1 Cor. 15:8)

Paul claims that

appearance was
his rebirth and
that it was God
who ultimately
called upon him
to be an
caused Paul to
become blind
until he was
healed in

Early Ministry
Paul had three main missionary journeys which were
considered his defining actions. For these journeys,
Paul usually chose one or more companions for his
travels. Barnabas, Silas, Titus, Timothy, John,
surnamed Mark, Aquila and Priscilla all accompanied
him for some or all of these travels.
Paul began his ministry working with Barnabas, an
apostle of Jesus, accompanying around Israel
eventually meeting in Jerusalem to speak with Peter,
James and John who were the leaders of the Jesus
movement. From here Paul began his work as a
missionary to the Hellenic world. This world also
become know as the first meeting of the Apostolic

Pauls Missionary Journeys

He journeyed to Jerusalem to speak with Peter, James
and John who were the leaders of the Jesus movement.
This meeting became none as the first Apostolic Church
In four major journeys around the Mediterranean
including Arabia, Damascus, Ephesus, Corinth, Philippi
and Antioch, he spread the message of Jesus and
Setting up these churches in seaports, through which
vast numbers of people travelled, helped the message
of Christianity to spread quickly across the Hellenic
world and resulted in a dramatic increase in the number
of converts to Christianity in the Greek-speaking world.

Arrest and Death

Paul was arrested in 57CE in Jerusalem charged
with treason. He spent two years in jail until his
retrial in 59CE where he was the right to be tried
in Rome.
By 60CE he had made his way to Rome where he
was placed under house arrest for a further two
There are various reports on the death of Paul,
the popular story and one adopted by the
Christian tradition was that Paul was eventually
crucified, being beheaded in Rome c67CE.


Preaching and Mission

Pauls central ideas in his preaching's focus on the
following ideas:
Faith in God alone (Rom 2:45): that salvation was
offered to all who believed in God.
Humankind saved by the death and resurrection of
Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1:18, 2125; Rom 1:16; 2 Cor 4:4).
The church as the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:13).
The mercy of God (Rom 4:5, 17).
The call to a life of freedom and responsibility (Gal
The centrality of the Lords Supper (1 Cor 11:2326).

Paul had several

major impacts on the
nature of the
Christian religion.
First was the concept
that the death and
resurrection of Jesus
Christ superseded
the value of the
Mosaic Law, a belief
that often expressed
as "Jesus died for our

Contribution to Christianity
Any one of his achievements
would have made Paul of
Tarsus a significant figure in
the history of Christianity. It
is truly extraordinary that
Paul was a teacher, a
theologian, a missionary, a
writer, and a rebel in
challenging the leadership of
the early church to make
Christianity inclusive.

Pauls writings make up over a quarter of the

New Testament. His letters were the earliest
Christian writings and influenced the authors of the
Gospels. His epistles were written to give guidance
to early Christian communities.

Paul outlined the

ethical demands of
being a Christian. He
called on the new
Church communities to
share with each other,
to work together for
the good of the whole
community and to live
the life modelled by
Jesus Christ. He
reminded them that
the church (the
ekklesia) was the
body of Christ.

Pauls work as a
establishing churches
in centres of the
Hellenic world was a
development of
Christianity. He took
Christianity from a
Jewish sect existing in
Palestine to a religion
reaching the known
world, spreading east
to Gaul, south to Egypt
and north to Asia
Minor. He used the
name Christian

Paul opened up a
challenge to the first
followers of Jesus to
accept Gentiles as
well as Jews into the
community of the
faithful. This
permitted freedom
from the laws of
kashruth (Jewish
dietary laws) for all
Gentile Christians,
further encouraging
the spread of the

Pauls teachings on salvation through

grace and the resurrection of Jesus Christ
are central to his theology and had an
impact on the work of later theologians
such as Saint Augustine, Martin Luther,
John Calvin and Karl Barth. Paul taught
that Jesus was the Son of God who was
sent to overcome the power of sin
(Romans 6:22) and that his combined
death and resurrection was the saving
event for all people (Romans 4:26).

Paul was a martyr for his faith. Details of his

life after 60 CE are not clear, but several theories
ascribe his death to the Roman authorities. Pauls
status as a Roman citizen had provided him with
great protection, but his allegiance to
Christianity cost him his life during the reign of
Emperor Nero.


Pauls Doctrine and


Paul presented Jesus as

not just the messenger
but the message.
Shifted focus from
following rules and
practices to Salvation
through Faith
Still practiced the laws
and social views
observed and taught
through the Jewish
traditions but believed
that Jesus was the
ultimate teacher.

Pauls Legacy
Pauls teachings and writings are always used as the basis
for any form of Christian renewal and thought. They are
seen as a blueprint for many great Christian Theologians
to build their forms of thought:

- St Augustine used Pauls letter to the Romans as

form of comfort and guidance during the fall of the
Roman Empire calling for the people to rely on their
faith in God through their struggles.
- Reformists Martin Luther and John Calvin used
Pauls writings of faith as the centre of Christianity
to help inspire and ignite what would be known as
the Protestant Reformation.

As Paul had preached that faith and faith alone would
prove to be the salvation of everyone, it was through
this belief that Martin Luther and John Calvin based
their protest against the Church at the time:
- The Church at the time had moved towards practices
of grace such as indulgences for salvation.
Reformers moved for a more faith based approach,
along the same lines as what Paul wrote in his
- Reformers moved for the Bible to be written and
interpreted in the different languages of the world.
At the time it was translated in Latin. This move
looked to spread the growth of Christianity beyond
the countries of Europe and expand, a concept
executed successfully by Paul during his missions.

- Many of the Protestant Churchs used Pauls

blueprint of setting up Churchs in the
communities he visited, to help set up their own
- The purpose of the Protestant movement was a
renewal of faith within Christianity, a theme
highlighted in Pauls writings. Pauls influence not
only stretches to this movement and the creation
of the different denominations, but could also
attribute the Catholics own reformation and re
shaping of their own beliefs and doctrines.


Thirteen letters in the New Testament are attributed to Paul

and are written to individuals and Christian communities.
Biblical scholars today identify seven of the letters as being
from Paul. These are:

1 Corinthians (54CE)
1 Thessalonians (50-51CE)
2 Corinthians (55-56CE)
Philemon (54-55CE)
Romans (56-57CE)
Philippians (54-55CE)
Galations (50-56CE)
Colossians (57-61CE/70-90CE)
Ephesians (80-95CE assum. Pseud)
1 Timothy (91-110CE assum. Pseud)
2 Timothy (91-110CE assum. Pseud)
Titus (91-110CE assum. Pseud)

Outline the contribution of ONE significant
person or school of though other than Jesus
and assess the impact of this person or
school of thought on Christianity
In you answers you will be assessed on how
well you:
- Incorporate significant aspects of religion
to illustrate your answer
- Use language and terminology
appropriate to the study of religion
- Present ideas clearly in a well structured