PAUL. The Apostle of Jesus Christ who was specially commissioned to work among the Gen tiles. The sources from which we secure our knowledge of his life and work are his own Epistles and the Book of Acts. From these it is clear that the condition of the Church when he came to the full prosecution of his work was one which rendered that work not only most significant for the future development of the Church, but most revolutionary to the ideas which the Church's leaders entertained as to what that development should be. These leaders were the Apostles who had formed the nucleus of Jesus's discipleship during Ills min istry on earth. They were men of limited (-dm-Li tho', and with no great breadth of religious ideas. Asa consequence their views of the necessary development of Jesus's religion pra-tienllyv re stricted it to a reforming of Judaism in accord ance with Jesus's and as this reformed Judaism went out in a new evangelism to the world, it involved the bringing of the world into this religion through the gateway of Judaism. In view of their Palestinian training and experi ence, these views were perfectly natural for the Apostles to entertain; but they were also clearly impossible for the Church to carry out. if the religion of Jesus was to realize for itself that world-wide development which the Gospels show• us Jesus himself intended it should have. It was at this latter point that Paul through his work and teaching introduced into the Church new conceptions which virtually revolutionized its ideas and made possible for Christianity its de velopment as a universal religion.
Paul's early name was Saul : he was a native of Tarsus, in the Province of Cilicia (Acts xxi. 39), where he was born about the beginning of the Christian Era His parents were Jews (Acts xxiii. 6; 11. Cur. xi. 22). His early training was doubtless that of the ordinary Jewish Isty, though it was apparently at an early age that he was sent to -Jerusalem to he educated in the Rab binic schools of that city, having as his teacher in the sacred law the liberal-minded Gamaliel (Acts xxii. 3; see G.ci1At1sm). According to his own testimony he threw his whole heart into all that was taught him there, becoming one of the straitest of the sect of the Pharisees, and having no conception beyond that of a salvation to be obtained through a perfect performance of the works of the Law (Gal. i. 14; Acts xxii. 3; xxvi.
4-5; Phil. iii. 4-6).
After his Rabbinic training he returned for a while to his native city, in order to learn his trade (Acts xviii. 3). While there he may pos sibly have supplemented his Jewish education by attendance upon the Gentile schools, fur which Tarsus was famed. From Chichi he en we hack to Jerusalem, where he became prominent in ecclesiastical affairs, being apparently chosen to membership in the Sanhedrin (Acts xxvi. 10). Though in Jerusalem for some time. it is not probable that he was there during the time of Jesus's ministry. for he does not seem to have meet• seen the Great Teacher. He was. however. well acquainted with ,Tesits's Messianic claims and was clearly conscious of the opposition to Judaism which they involved. Consequently, when, after the Day of Penteeost. this new dis cipleship began to assume large proportions. and take to itself a definitely organized form, he shared in the bitter hostility to the movement which animated the religions leaders of the people. Into the persecution which this produced he threw himself With energy, participating practically in the death of Stephen (Acts vii. 58 viii. 1). and following up this assault with a rigor of inquisi tion that made him C011AltiCtI011.4 among his fel lows (Acts xxii. 4; xxvi. 9-11; i. 13.11 ). In the year 34 or 35, however, while on a journey to Damascus undertaken for the purpose of searching out the disciples in that place and bringing them bound to Jerusalem, he went through the experience of a supernatural vision that brought him to his journey's end under the deep conviction of the sinfulness of the course he was pursuing (Acts ix. 1-9). Out of this state of soul he ea me a Christian disciph.. pro foundly convinced of the Nlessiahship of Jesus, and distinctly conscious of having received from his Master a commission to preach llis religion among the nations of the earth (Acts ix. 10.18; (;al. i. 15-16).