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Paul's Life

    Paul of Tarsus, originally Saul was born a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin. Born a Roman citizen in Tarsus in Cilicia, he was raised as a Pharisee under the rabbi Gamaliel in Jerusalem. He was very learned in the Hebrew Scriptures and was strongly opposed to Christianity. He was very worried about the new movement of Jews in Jerusalem who believed that Jesus was the Messiah. Saul was present at the stoning death of Stephen, who is believed to be one of the first martyrs. After this he began to strongly persecute Christians. Around 34 C.E. Saul traveled to Damascus and was asked by Jesus why he was persecuting Christians. Coming under the command of Christ dramatically changed Paul’s life. He was temporarily blinded, but when his sight was regained he was restored and baptized as a Christian. After his baptism Paul began his three successive journeys preaching Christianity. After a riot in Jerusalem in 57 C.E., Paul was taken into Roman custody. As a Roman citizen he was imprisoned for two years then sent on a sea journey to appear before Caesar. Then in 64 C.E. he was executed under Emperor Nero.

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