Saunt Paul (umwhile Saul o Tarsus) (c.3 - c.67) wis an early Christian teacher an scriever, aften said tae be the maist important chiel o early Christianity forby Jesus himsel, as weel as bein bi faur the maist kenspeckle o the early Christian meesionaries. He scrieved a nummer o the letters that maks up pairt o The New Testament, tho exactly hou mony isna kent fer certaint. He wis born in Tarsus, in modren day Turkey an wis execute in Rome duirin the waldin o Nero.
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Saul wis born til a Jewish faimly in the ceety o Tarsus in Roman kintra o Cilicia (modren-day Turkey). Whan he raxed foweteen year auld, he gaed tae lear the Jewish Laws unner the kenspeckle Pharisee Gamaliel in Jerusalem, forby learnin the tredd o tent-makkin at the same time. While there he teuk on a guid command o Ebrue that aw Jewish scholars haed (syne The Ebrue Bible is scrieven in Ebrue), tho it seems that his mither toung wis the Aramaic, anither Semitic leid; sib tae Ebrue. He spak the Greek glib-gabbitsome (see Acks 21:38) an aw, as did maist fowk that bid in the Mediterranean kintras at the time (it haed become somewhit o a lingua franca efter the time o Alexander the Great). Forby bein a Jew, Saul wis a Roman ceetizen, haein been born in a Roman kintra - this wis tae come in uissfu a nummer o times durin his meesion-darg, syne it gied him certain legal richts.
Agin the Christians
While in Jerusalem, Saul cam tae ken o a new muivement in Judaism that threapit that the Messiah haed awready come til the yird, an that his name wis Jesus o Nazareth, a chiel that haed been killt unner the influence o the Jewish heidmen. Like mony ither Jews, Saul wis agin this new sect, an his greeschoch comeetment tae Judaism led him tae set himsel agin it teirinsome. Whan the first Christian mairtyr, Stepehen, wis execute, aboot 34/5 AD Luke records:
- Syne they [that is, the Jewish heidmen] lichtit on him like ae man, drave him out o the toun, an yokit tae stanin him, the witnesses first layin doun their claes at the feet o a yung man named Saul. (Acks 7:58)
Eftir this, Saul becam ane o the heidfowk in the early tewin o the Christians. Luke gangs on til scrieve:
- Saul wis thrang haggin an hashin at the Kirk; breingein intil ae houss efer anither, he haurlt aff men an weimen an caused thraw them in jyle. (Acks 8:3).
Accordin tae Luke in Acks 9, Saul wis on the gate til Damascus wi authority frae the Jewish heidmen in Jerusalem for tae gar the Christians there tae be incarcerate. As he an his feres wis traivelin, there cam a great licht frae the lift. Saul wis gart faw tae the grund an a vyce cawed oot:
- "Saul, Saul, what gars ye persecute me?"
- "Tell me, Maister, wha ye ar," said he [Saul]; an the voice answert, "I am Jesus at ye ar persecutin. But staund ye up an gang intil the toun, an ye s' be tauld there what ye maun dae." His companions stuid there tung-tackit, hearin the voice, but seein naebodie.
- Syne Saul rase aff the grund, but whan he apent his een, he coudna see nane; sae they tuik him bi the haund an broucht him intae Damascus. For three days he wis seein nane, an tuik naither bite nor sup.
While he wis in Damascus, an unner the guidance o a local Christian cryed Ananian, Saul cam tae chynge his thochts anent the "new" releegion. While there he becam convinced o the need tae tak the guid news o Jesus tae the Gentiles (that is, fowk that arnae Jews) an aw, an no keep it for the Jews their lane.
As pairt o his wark in takkin the gospel tae the Gentiles, Saul chynged his name tae Paul - tho syne he wis frae a Roman kintra, this micht hae been a Roman form o his name he haed haed syne bairnheid but no uised aften. Syne Paul saw that it wis richt for the Gentiles tae hear the guid news o Jesus as weel as the Jews, he gaed on three vaiges ootthrou the Mediterranean Warld for tae gie fowk the Gospel, baith Jews an Gentiles, tho it seems he wis mair successfu amang the Gentiles. Amang the ceeties he cam til wis Corinth, Philippi, Ephesus an mony ithir steids that wis kenspeckle at the time, but no the nou. Alang the gate he scrieved letters tae the kirks he haed stairtit or veesitit, that some o sum survives tae this day as the pairt o the canon o The New Testament kent as the Corpus Paulinum. Thir letters wis anent things that wis needfou for the congregations o thae kirks tae ken, sic as the reddin o the kirk (the kynds o fowk needit tae be elders, for exemplar) an whit wey tae haud tae the Jewish laws.
Pairt o Paul's releegious philosphy wis that the Christians needna haud sae close tae the Jewish laws as ither early kirk leaders, sic as Peter, seems tae hae jaloused. This did lead tae some misgreein in the early kirk, but it disna seem tae hae caused a muckle spleet o the kirk, an in the end maist fowk seems tae hae taen Paul's pairt.
At ae pynt, at the end o his third meesionary vaige, Paul cam bak til Jerusalem, whaur he teuk pairt o fallaeskip wi the kirk leaders there, that suggeests that he an Peter wisna in sic bad misgreein as some fowk seems tae jalouse.
The Reestin an Daith
Whan Paul retoured tae Jerusalem for tae gie news o his wark amang the Gentiles til the kirk there, they telt him o some souchs that haed been gaun aboot that said that he wis agin the Jewish Laws an wis tellin the convertit Jews tae forleit Jewish customs, sic as the circumsisin. Fet tae pit thir souchs tae bed, the elders o the Jerusalem kirk speired at Paul gin he wad jyne wi fower ither Jewish Christians in makkin the vou o purifacation accordin tae the Law o Moses. Paul greed til this, an gaed on tae gie the vou. Some o the Jewish leaders haed seen Paul wi a Gentile aboot Jerusalem, an jaloused that he haed brocht him intil the Temple - that cairiet the daith penalty unner Jewish Law. They wad hae killt Paul thaimsels, but the Roman sodgers teuk him tae be speired at an impreesoned while they fand oot whit he haed duin an whither or no he deserved tae for it unner their ain laws. They haed him jylt in Jerusalem, syne teuk him til Caesarea.
Threapin on his richts as a ceetizen o Rome (syne he haed been born in Tarsus, see abuin), Paul demaundit tae be tried in Rome, but due tae the want o action bi the governor o Caesarea; Antonius Felix, Paul bid in the jyle for twa year . It wisnae till the new governor, Porcuis Festus teuk up his post that Paul wis at last sent tae Rome (tho Festus himsel didna think Paul haed duin onything wrang, an wad hae lowsed him haed he no appealed tae Rome). Tho shipwrackit on the wey (leadin tae spendin some time in Malta), Paul did eventually mak it til Rome, whaur he wis tae spend twa year mair unner hoose-arrest. While in Rome he scrieved mair letters til kirks an indiveedual chiels that haed won on til the present day at pairt o The New Testament.
It isna kent for certain whither Paul dee'd in Rome, or wis able tae gang til Spain as he ettled tae dae (see Romans 15:22-27). Housome'er maist o the Kirk Faithers seems tae jalouse that he wis mairtert in Rome atween 64 an 67 AD, execute unner the waldin o Nero.