Paul1 - Paul1 RN101 I Paul After devoting most of Christian...

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Paul1, RN101, 4/23/08 I Paul After devoting most of Christian testament portion of the course on gospels or their sequel (Acts), we make a shift today. We move out of 3 rd person narrative (stories about him or them) and turn to the first person “I”: The “I” of Paul: the only thing like it to my mind is the Psalmist: a self with its ups and downs, its passions, its freedom to let it rip. Someone writing in his own voice rather than being written about; Someone with “personality” (“the dynamic character that constitutes and animates the individual person and makes his/her experience of life unique,” American College Dictionary ) Someone writing seven letters or more over a decade, between 50 and 64 CE, that is, a decade before Mark, the earliest Gospel . Paul is “in the beginning” of what becomes NT; Someone who underwent a dramatic prophetic “call” experience that puts him right up there with Moses and the burning bush (Ex. 3) or Isaiah in the temple (Isa 6). II Paul the Convert/Apostate A. On the one hand, Saul (Heb. name), who claims to have been a “super-Jew”: Acts 22: 3: “ I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city [Jerusalem] at the feet of Gamaliel, educated strictly according to our ancestral law, being zealous for God, just as all of you are today.” Galatians (1:14): “I was advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors” (Gal 1: 14) Philippians 3: 4–5: “if anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh [i.e. in Jewish lineage and credentials], I have more: circumcised on the 8 th day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless”(NOAB 331). 1
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B. On the other hand, Paul (Roman name), apostle to the gentiles, who argued against the Jewish-Christian movement centered in Jerusalem that insisted that converts to church become Jews first (circumcision) and observe Sabbath and food laws. “As many as have baptized yourself into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male and female; for all are one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3: 27-28). C. Between the one man and the other identity, a moment of metanoia “turning around”: an end to business as usual, a blinding light, a voice, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 1) Multiple accounts of this call in Acts of the Apostles, each slightly different (Acts 9:1-31, 22:4-6, 26:9-18): READ Acts 22: 4-17 (NOAB 228–229) 4 “I persecuted this Way up to the point of death by binding both men and women and putting them in prison, 5 as the high priest and the whole council of elders can testify about me. From them I also received letters to the brothers in Damascus, and I went there in order to bind those who were there and to bring them back to Jerusalem for
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Paul1 - Paul1 RN101 I Paul After devoting most of Christian...

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