And (more than 10 years later) Saul Became Paul (Acts 13-14)

But Saul, who was also called Paul

For clarification, Paul saw Jesus and was converted to Christianity in about AD33 (recorded in Acts 9). He is still called “Saul” at the start of Acts 13 (perhaps about AD47). That’s over 10-years before Paul began being known as “Paul.” Just as with other figures in the Bible, Paul had both a given name and a Roman name. His given name was “Saul” (very Jewish indeed), yet as his ministry spread more into the Gentile population, he was better known by his Roman name, Paul. This is not like when Jesus (in John 1:42) tells Simon (his given name) will be known as “Cephas” (a new name). Cephas is the Aramaic word for “rock,” and sometimes it’s written as “Peter” (Petros is the Greek word for “rock”). So, you may have heard it said, Paul’s encounter with Jesus changed “Saul” into “Paul.” I’ll admit, that is dramatic and makes for an interesting point in a sermon, the only problem is, that’s not really true. If you wanted to say, Saul came to Jesus, studied and preached with Barnabas for a little over a decade, eventually preached more and more to Gentiles, and they knew him better as Paul… that would be more accurate 🙂

About John Harris

I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

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