St Paul Contribution Essay

891 Words4 Pages
Christianity today has over 2.1 billion adherents throughout the world and is well established as the universal, monotheistic religious belief system that has developed since the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, as Jesus was a Jew, the beginnings of Christianity revolved around the fact that Jesus had adapted the strict rules of Judaism to focus on loving human relationships. This meant that the followers of Jesus for the first 100 years after his death were merely a very small sect of Judaism and the message of Jesus was confined only to Jewish adherents. However, one man, Paul of Tarsus, developed the doctrine that would turn Christianity from a small sect of Judaism into a worldwide faith that was open to all. After Jesus, Paul was arguably the most significant figure in Christianity. Paul was born in Tarsus as Saul, working a tent-maker. Significantly, he was a Roman citizen and a Jewish Pharisee, which due to the context of the time influenced Paul to be a persecutor of the “followers of Jesus”, or followers of “the Way” that were on the increase. As he writes in Philippians 3:4-6, “…following the law of the Pharisees, in my zeal a persecutor of the church.” He was so much opposed to Christianity that he was given authority by the chief priest to destroy these followers of Christianity. Paul decided to extend his persecution to other cities- primarily Damascus. In 34CE a major turning point in Paul’s life occurred that would symbolize the turning pivot in the development of Christianity as it is known today. While on the road to Damascus a vision of Jesus appeared to him saying “Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute me?”(Acts 9:1-6). Paul was blinded and lead to Damascus, and he became certain that his vision of Jesus represented his calling to spread the Gospel and the salvation brought by faith in Jesus Christ. Paul’s practice was to

More about St Paul Contribution Essay

Open Document