During a raid on Christians, journeying to/from Damascus (?), he suddenly fell down, was blinded and heard a heavenly voice. He comes to realise that he has been misguided - he was healed in a similar process to Jesusʼ healing. He ﬁrst listened, and then in three days (3 = religious signiﬁcance), his sight was restored. This was the moment of his conversion.
Paul never met Jesus, merely the risen Christ. The focus of contemporary Christianity is the risen Christ, as well as the call to conversion that everyone can have (like Paul, they do not need to have ʻmetʼ Christ). Christ had not persecuted him, but shown him love. Paul preached a message of love: levels of love - a Greek concept... Eros, Filial, Agape.
Paul realises that people did not have to be Jewish to convert - anyone could meet the risen Christ, and became known as the Apostle to the Gentiles. He was a Christian missionary in Syria, Asia Minor and Greece on a number of journeys.
At the time, Greek was the major language of commerce and trade - Paul preached in Greek to educated people. To non-educated people, he might have spoken Latin. He would have spoken in Aramaic to Jews, or Hebrew (in a religious context).
He preached both in synagogues and to gentiles, and established the practice of house churches - meeting at houses, especially for Gentiles, separated to the Jewish practice. They were the ﬁrst churches - people who were clean and unclean (according to Jewish ritual) could meet together. Post-conversion, Paul travelled constantly, more than any other apostles did.
He was frequently opposed by both local Jewish and gentile leaders. He used letters to communicate to churches. He established both men and women in charge of a church group (e.g. Lydia).
Explain the contribution to the development and expression of Christianity of Paul of Tarsus The GENERAL contribution of Paul to the development and expression of Christianity Established Christian communities throughout the Mediterranean area Wrote 14 letters and takes up over 50% of the New Testament
Opened Christianity to Gentiles
Fashioned foundational Christian beliefs
Went on missions to spread Christianity
Explain the contribution to the development and expression of Christianity of Paul of Tarsus
Contribution of Paul to the understanding of theology and principal beliefs Teachings about God
1. The ethical God:
Romans 2:4: “Do you not realise Godʼs kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” + Paul taught that Godʼs ethics were just, merciful and kind, and an ethical God allowed for redemption. + Knowing God through love, good work and learning about God would, according to Paulʼs Phariseeinﬂuenced ideas of imperfect humanity, allow for redemption in God (repentance and reconciliation lead to salvation).
2. God is merciful:
Romans 9:15: “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion”
+ Ethics and mercy go hand-in-hand - a believer who has faith and is sincere in wanting mercy will receive mercy.
Teachings about Jesus
1. Jesus is the Son of God:
Phillipians 2:6-11 “... he always had the nature of God... Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father”
+ Paul taught that Jesus was, in his nature, inseparable from God. Jesus was a fully divine risen Christ. 2. Jesusʼ Humanity:
Phillipians 2: 6-11 “... took the nature of a human being”. + Paul emphasised the two natures of Jesus Christ, divine and human - Jesus was the incarnation of God. He was born and lived a human, yet was the Son of God.
Teachings about theology
1. The Trinity:
Galatians 4:6 “God sent the spirit of his son”
1 Corinthians 12:3 “No one can confess that Jesus is Lord, without being guided by the Holy Spirit” + Tied into humanity of God - Father, Son and
1 Corinthians 15:2 “you are saved by the gospel, if you hold it ﬁrmly unless it is for nothing you believed” + Paul teaches theology of atonement, ideas of baptism and salvation. Offers believers assurance that God is a saviour.
+ According to Paul, humans are saved in God through good works and faith in Jesus Christ. Example of the biblical patriarch Abraham, who received Godʼs blessing and passed it on through “the righteousness of faith” (Romans 4:13)