A-Z: General definitions: Paul


Also known as the 'Apostle to the Gentiles' (d. c. CE 65). Born Saul of Tarsus, a Jew and Roman citizen. His initial hostility to the Early Church was overcome by his conversion on the road to Damascus. Using the Roman version of his name, Paul travelled through Asia Minor and into Europe preaching to both Jews and Gentiles. He was eventually arrested and taken to trial in Rome. Tradition holds that he was executed during the persecution of Christians under the emperor Nero. The New Testament letters which carry his name explain the belief that salvation is a gift from God made possible by the death of Jesus on the cross which is to be accepted by faith. He also stressed that this forgiveness is available to Jews and non-Jews alike.

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