Saul of Tarus or Saint Paul (Tarso, Turkey between 5 and 10 A.D. – Rome, 60 A.D.). Writer, Christian Philosopher and Missionary, of Roman origin, pillar for the expansion of Christianity throughout the Roman Empire.
His teachings and thoughts constitute the current known as “Pauline Christianity”, one of the four lines of thought that primitive Christianity had. He dedicated his life to the mission of preaching the word of Christ and creating Christian churches around the world, reaching the most remote regions of Asia and Europe.
Early Years and Conversion
The greatest historical source for his life is his communications, known as “Pauline Epistles”, in which he addresses the Romans, the Corinthians, the Galatians, the Filipinos, the Thessalonians, to Philemon, who – together with his book Made of the Apostles – are they have constituted in the space where historians and researchers have managed to trace their biographical signs, in order to establish a biography, allowing to have a chronology of their life and an image of their personality.
He is believed to have been born between 5 and 10 A.D. in Tarsus, present-day Turkey, which at that time was the capital of the Roman province of Cilicia. Historically he was a contemporary of Jesus of Nazareth, although he did not know him personally.
On the contrary, although his initial reasons are not known, Paul of Tarsus participated during his youth in the persecution of Christians, which for his time was not a permitted cult within the Roman Empire.
According to Christian history, one day, between the 33rd and 36th year of our age, as he walked the road to Damascus he had a vision of Jesus, who blinded him for three days. Paul was healed by a Christian named Anolyah of Damascus, a fact that led him to convert to Christianity, and devote his life to preaching his message. The Catholic Church celebrates 25 January as the date of the conversion of St. Paul.
As a missionary he toured the territories along the Mediterranean bringing Jesus’ message to the peoples. From his writings he can be seen that he was in Asia Minor, visiting the island of Cypress, as well as in Lacaonia, Pisidia and Panfilia. He also toured the towns of the West, reaching as far as Spain. He founded Christian churches in Antioch of Pisidia, Listra, Iconium and Derbe. Being Ephesus the place where the most missionary activity performed.
His work was key to mediating between the doctrinal discussions that took place in the early years of Christianity about the adoption of the new faith and the abandonment of Jewish customs. For example, their participation was crucial in establishing that circumcision was not a practice to which Christians were bound. Similarly his teachings were key to shaping the doctrine of the Atonement, preaching that Christians were saved, thanks to the sacrifice made by Jesus on the cross, who through his blood had saved humanity. And that the only requirement to save the soul was faith in the resurrection.
Latest years and legacy
In 57 A.D., Paul of Tarsus was arrested in Jerusalem because of his preaching about abandoning Jewish traditions. He was known to be in prison for two years, until exercising his rights as a citizen of the Roman Empire he achieved his freedom.
His last years, he fervently devoted them to writing letters to the churches in order to ensure the spread of Jesus’ message and the inculcation of faith in God. The circumstances and the year of his death are unclear. It is thought that he died in Rome around 60 A.D., some versions indicate that he may have been beheaded, although others are inclined to think that he may have died in prison, after being arrested again.
Paul of Tarsus was crucial in the expansion of Christianity and in shaping the theological doctrine of this. His passion and dedication made him travel thousands of miles across Asia and Europe in order to carry the message of Jesus. It is considered by the Christian religion to be one of the pillars of its religion.
Image Source: wikipedia.org
July 20, 2019