Paul of Tarsus Notes

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Analyse the contribution that Paul of Tarsus had on the development and expression of Christianity.

Context:
* Paul was a Jew living in Palestine at the same time as Jesus of Nazareth. * Paul’s epistles make up over a quarter of the books in the New Testament.

Life and Contribution after becoming a Christian:
* After his conversion, Paul became a wanted man. He escaped Damascus by being lowered over the city walls in a basket. * Paul made many missionary journeys to the Middle East and south-west Asia where he established many churches. On a mission to Philippi, in Macedonia, Paul and another disciple, Silas, were whipped and imprisoned. Paul had an opportunity to escape the prison but did not, and for that reason the jailer was converted. * In Ephesus, Paul encountered sorcerers who used evil spirits to control others. As a result of Paul’s preaching, the sorcerers burnt their extremely valuable scrolls which contained their recipes for black magic. * Paul was captured several times by those opposed to Christianity. In around 58-59 CE, Paul argued the case for Christianity in front of Judea’s king Agrippa 2. * Paul was arrested in Jerusalem but invoked his right to be tried in Rome as a Roman citizen. On the way to Rome, the ship he was on shipwrecked at Malta. Paul survived three months on the island while healing the Roman governor aboard the ship and other people sick with fever. * Paul experienced many miracles including surviving a snake bite. * Paul was a prisoner of Rome for at least two years. During this time, he wrote many of his epistles.

Effect:
* Paul taught that gentile males who converted to Christianity did not have to be circumcised. This symbolised that salvation through Christianity was available to anyone, not just Jewish people. * Paul’s epistles are the earliest records of Christianity. * Paul was the most effective missionary of the early church and its first theologian....
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