Paul of Tarsus
Paul of tarsus is recognised as the second founder of Christianity after Jesus. He was born in tarsus somewhere between O and IOCE. Although his teachings have influenced every generation of Christianity of Christian thinking and every variant of Christianity, in Pauls early years he was a Jew and a Pharisee and was also know as Saul. As a Pharisee, he was well known for he opposition against the individuals who were preaching Jesus Christ and was first mentioned in the bible witnessing the death of Stephen the first Christian martyr.
While Paul was travelling to Damascus Jesus spoke to him “Saul, Saul why do you persecute me? Who are you lord? Saul asked. I am Jesus whom you are persecuting” Acts 9:3-6. It was after this event that Paul of tarsus became one of the most significant people in the development of Christianity. The reason why Paul of tarsus was one of the most significant persons in Christianity is because of his contributions to the development of Christianity.
Some of Paul’s contributions were; his missionary Journeys, his 13 letters, he recognised that Jesus’ message was not only for people of Jewish faith, developed some of the key heological beliefs that form the basis of Christianity and he also identified some key rituals that form the basis of Christianity. Paul’s missionary Journeys (found in the acts of the apostles) where important to the development of Christianity because as well as preaching to Jews about Jesus, he also spread the word of Jesus to the Gentiles. He made three missionary Journeys in 46, 50 and 53 CE and it was after his last Journey that he was arrested for preaching.
The significance of Paul’s Journeys was that he spread the word of Jesus and Christianity ut of Jerusalem and helped make Christianity into a universal religion. He also established churches in the major cities of the known world at that time which included Rome and Corinth. This was significant to the development to Christianity because without Paul’s missionary Journeys the word of Jesus may not have left Jerusalem. Paul also wrote 13 letters between 50-55CE. Although there is some dispute on whether he wrote them all. Some examples of the accepted letter written by Paul are; Romans, Corinthians 1, Corinthians 2 and the Philippians.
Some of the disputed etters are; Corinthians 3, timothy 1 and timothy 2. The letters were written in Greek. The significance of Paul’s letters are that they make up h of the Christian Bible, his letters are the earliest Christian documents that have been preserved, he is the second most prolific writer in the New testament and his letters were responsible for supporting the Christian communities that he had help establish e. g. Corinth. Paul’s letters are still being used at church today “love is patient, love is kind, love never fails” Corinthians 1, is still being repeated in church today.
Paul also recognised that Jesus’ message was not Just for people of Jewish faith, Paul the gentiles. In 49CE the debate regarding the inclusion of gentiles resulted in the council of Jerusalem. Pauls argument that gentiles do not need to become Jewish and undertake circumcision to become Christians prevailed at the council. This was significant to the development of Christianity because it made Christianity into a separate religion rather then Just a variant of Judaism. Paul also developed some of the key theological beliefs that form the basis of Christianity. Paul laid down some of he foundational beliefs of Christianity.
That “all humans will be resurrected through their beliefs in Jesus. ” Philippians 2:8-9. He also said that all humans can seek atonement for their sins. He laid down the trinity- the father, the son and the holy sprit. He also preached the concept of agape (selfless love). Paul also made the power of the cross as a symbol of redemption. These foundational beliefs were significant to the development of Christianity because it identified what it was to be a Christian and what Christian spirituality. His writings have inspired during time of reform in the church e. g. e reformation, Vatican 11 Paul identified some key rituals that form basis of Christianity today. He recognised the importance of baptism-symbolising death and resurrection, church meetings, and a communal meal called the lords supper’ commemorating the death of Jesus (Corinthians 1 11:23). These rituals are significant because they continue to be the key rituals in Christianity today Paul died a martyr and soon after his death he was made a saint. It was from these contributions to the development of Christianity that Paul became a saint and this is why St Paul had such a significant part of Christianity.