Who Was Paul of Tarsus?
What Your Minister Doesn't Want You to Know
Paul writes that after his miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus, he did not visit Jerusalem until after three years had passed. "three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas [Peter], and stayed with him fifteen days. But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord's brother"-Galatians 1:18-19.
On Paul's second trip to Jerusalem he stayed with Peter and met with James, the 'brother' of Jesus. After spending 15 days with Peter, Paul went out into the city to get acquainted with the other believers living in Jerusalem, but they were afraid of him. To calm the people's fears, Barnabas (a nickname for Jesus' brother Jose), a man that knew the Apostle Peter, assured everyone that Paul was now a Christian. This detail is found in the book of Acts.
"When he [Paul] came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. He talked and debated with the Grecian Jews, but they tried to kill him. When the brothers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus"-Acts 9:26-30.
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First, it is important to recognize that Acts contradicts Galatians. In Galatians he only meets Peter and James, but in Acts he stays with the apostles. It is important to understand that Paul used the Scriptures effectively to support that Jesus is the Messiah, but this got him into deep trouble with the Grecian Jews. They wanted to kill Paul. When the other Christians learned of this problem, they took Paul to Caesarea and sent him to Tarsus, which is the capital city of Cilicia. Paul stayed in that region and Syria as noted by his own writing as shown below in Galatians. The idea that Peter and James were Christians and that Paul converted to Christianity is total nonsense. According to their own scriptures, there was no such religion as Christianity at that time. The name Christian was first used in Antioch in 41 CE. These people were Nazorean Essenes and not Christians. The Nazoreans were not a form of Jewish Christians. They were a separate and independent religion whose scriptures and sacrements were subverted by the new order created by Paul.
"Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia [Tarsus]. I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea which were in Christ; but only, they kept hearing, "He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy."-Galatians 1:22-23.
After Paul left Jerusalem to reside in Tarsus, several years passed. We find that Barnabas had gone to Antioch to preach. Barnabas had become acquainted with Paul and knew that he used the Scriptures well. And Barnabas knew that Paul was living in Tarsus. Barnabas went to Tarsus to find the Apostle Paul and bring him to Antioch. The year for this is well established as 44 to 45 CE based on the well known famine that occurred during the reign of Claudius Caesar.
"Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch."-Acts 11:25,26
"Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also"-Galatians 2:1
"Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world And this took place in the reign of Claudius (Caesar). And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea (Jerusalem) And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders""-Acts 11:25-30.
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