Who Was Paul of Tarsus?

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Nor is it only in the substance, but even in the style, of these writings, that we recognize the man Paul of Tarsus. In the parenthetical constructions and broken sentences, we see the rapidity with which the thoughts crowded upon him, almost too fast for utterance.

We see Paul of Tarsus animated rather than weighed down by "the crowd that presses on him daily, and the care of all the churches" (2Corinthians 11:28) as he pours forth his warnings or his arguments in a stream of eager and impetuous dictation, with which the pen of the faithful Tertius can hardly keep pace.

Above all, we trace the apostle Paul's presence in the postscript to every letter, which he adds as an authentication, in his own characteristic handwriting, "which is the sign in every epistle - so I write" (2Thessalonians 3:17, HBFV). Sometimes, the apostle from Tarsus is moved with indignation when he thinks of the false brethren among those whom he addresses, "The salutation of me Paul with my own hand: if any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed" (1Corinthians 16:22).

Restrained but blessed

Sometimes, as Paul raises his hand to write, he feels it cramped by the fetters which bind him to the soldier who guards him, "I Paul salute you with my own hand: remember my chains" (Colossians 4:18). Yet he always ends with the same blessing.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen (1Corinthians 16:23 - 24, HBFV).

It is greatly hoped that this biography of Paul, the man from Tarsus, may be useful in strengthening the hearts of some against the peculiar form of unbelief most current at the present day. The more faithfully we can represent to ourselves the life, outward and inward, of Apostle Paul, in all its fullness, the more unreasonable must appear the theory that Christianity had a mythical origin. Instead, the stronger must be our ground for believing his testimony to the divine nature and miraculous history of our Redeemer.

Roman road in Tarsus
Roman road in Tarsus

No reasonable man can learn to know and love the Apostle of the Gentiles, Paul, without asking himself the questions, "What was the principle by which, through such a life, he was animated? What was the strength in which he labored with such immense results?" Nor can the most sceptical inquirer doubt for one moment the full sincerity of the apostle Paul from Tarsus when he wrote the following to the church in Galatia.

I have been crucified with Christ, yet I live. Indeed, it is no longer I; but Christ lives in me. For the life that I am now living in the flesh, I live by faith - that very faith of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20, HBFV).

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