Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Dates with Paul

For the past several months I have been rereading the New Testament. Currently, I am deep into Paul's letters and have begun referring to my scripture study time as my daily "date with Paul." I am coming to appreciate more fully Paul's personality, experiences, travels, and writings. To help my studying I have been doing a little secondary research into Paul's life and thought I would share a few findings.

Here is what the Bible Dictionary says about Paul, "[Paul] was known in early life as Saul; his Latin name Paul is first mentioned at the beginning of his gentile ministry.

"He belonged to Tarsus, in Cilicia; was a Pharisee and a pupil of Gamaliel; was active in the persecution of Christians; and took part in the martyrdom of Stephen.

"He started for Damascus for the purpose of further persecution and on the road saw a vision of the Lord Jesus, which changed the whole current of his life. After his baptism by Ananias, he retired into Arabia, and then returned to Damascus, where he preached. Being compelled to flee, about three years after his conversion he went to Jerusalem, where he stayed 15 days, Barnabas introducing him to Peter and James. Being in danger, he retired to Tarsus and there remained six or seven years, preaching in Syria and Cilicia. He was then brought by Barnabas to Antioch, and after one year paid a visit to Jerusalem. After two more years’ work in Antioch, he started with Barnabas and Mark on his first missionary journey. Then came another visit to Jerusalem with Barnabas to attend a conference with the other apostles, after which they returned to Antioch. He then started on his second missionary journey, which lasted about three years, and ended with a visit to Jerusalem. After a short stay in Antioch, Paul began his third journey, which occupied about 3 1/2 years. On his return to Jerusalem he was arrested and sent to Caesarea, where he remained a prisoner for two years, and was then sent for trial to Rome, suffering shipwreck on the way. He remained in Rome two years and was then released. He then appears to have visited Asia, Macedonia, Crete, and perhaps Spain. At the end of about four years he was again taken a prisoner to Rome, and suffered martyrdom, probably in the spring of A.D. 65."

A physical description was provided by the Prophet Joseph Smith, as recorded by B.H. Roberts, "He is about five feet high; very dark hair; dark complexion; dark skin; large Roman nose; sharp face; small black eyes, penetrating as eternity; round shoulders; a whining voice, except when elevated, and then it almost resembled the roaring of a lion. He was a good orator, active and diligent, always employing himself in doing good to his fellowman." (B. H. Roberts, Outlines of Ecclesiastical History, p.86).

In fact, "Paulus" in Latin means 'small.'

And speaking of the Prophet Joseph Smith, I found this really interesting observation on this blog, "I believe that Joseph Smith had a personal and deep relationship with Paul. Their lives are parallel. Converted through seeing the Lord, chosen to be a great church leader in building the Church, persecuted, imprisoned, and martyred."

If you haven't read the New Testament lately, don't overlook the value of this book of scripture. There is so much to be learned and appreciated in it, much due to Paul.

Would you like me to set him up with you?

Scripture of the Day: Hebrews 13:4


  1. You are so stinking smart! I have missed reading your blog. I hope to be back soon! Especially reading and studying a scripture a day!
    Congrats on the mini van, BTW! :)

  2. Sounds like a good date! I have set a new goal for myself to read the Bible daily. Let's hope I stick with it!


Comments are much appreciated!