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Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary

small; little

Smith's Bible Dictionary

(small, little). Nearly all the original materials for the life St. Paul are contained in the Acts of the Apostles and in the Pauline epistles. Paul was born in Tarsus, a city of Cilicia. (It is not improbable that he was born between A.D. 0 and A.D. 5.) Up to the time of his going forth as an avowed preacher of Christ to the Gentiles, the apostle was known by the name of Saul. This was the Jewish name which he received from his Jewish parents. But though a Hebrew of the Hebrews, he was born in a Gentile city. Of his parents we know nothing, except that his father was of the tribe of Benjamin, (Philemon 3:5) and a Pharisee, (Acts 23:6) that Paul had acquired by some means the Roman franchise ("I was free born,") (Acts 22:23) and that he was settled in Tarsus. At Tarsus he must have learned to use the Greek language with freedom and mastery in both speaking and writing. At Tarsus also he learned that trade of "tent-maker," (Acts 18:3) at which he afterward occasionally wrought with his own hands. There was a goat's-hair cloth called cilicium manufactured in Cilicia, and largely used for tents, Saul's trade was probably that of making tents of this hair cloth. When St. Paul makes his defence before his countrymen at Jerusalem, (Acts 22:1) ... he tells them that, though born in Tarsus he had been "brought up" in Jerusalem. He must therefore, have been yet a boy when was removed, in all probability for the sake of his education, to the holy city of his fathers. He learned, he says, at the feet of Gamaliel." He who was to resist so stoutly the usurpations of the law had for his teacher one of the most eminent of all the doctors of the law. Saul was yet "a young man," (Acts 7:58) when the Church experienced that sudden expansion which was connected with the ordaining of the seven appointed to serve tables, and with the special power and inspiration of Stephen. Among those who disputed with Stephen were some "of them of Cilicia." We naturally think of Saul as having been one of these, when we find him afterward keeping the clothes of those suborned witnesses who, according to the law, (17:7) were the first to cast stones at Stephen. "Saul," says the sacred writer significantly "was consenting unto his death." Saul's conversion . A.D. 37.--The persecutor was to be converted. Having undertaken to follow up the believers "unto strange cities." Saul naturally turned his thoughts to Damascus. What befell him as he journeyed thither is related in detail three times in the Acts, first by the historian in his own person, then in the two addresses made by St. Paul at Jerusalem and before Agrippa. St. Luke's statement is to be read in (Acts 9:3-19) where, however, the words "it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks," included in the English version, ought to be omitted (as is done in the Revised Version). The sudden light from heaven; the voice of Jesus speaking with authority to his persecutor; Saul struck to the ground, blinded, overcome; the three-days suspense; the coming of Ananias as a messenger of the Lord and Saul's baptism, --these were the leading features at the great event, and in these we must look for the chief significance of the conversion. It was in Damascus that he was received into the church by Ananias, and here to the astonishment of all his hearers, he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, declaring him to be the Son of God. The narrative in the Acts tells us simply that he was occupied in this work, with increasing vigor, for "many days," up to the time when imminent danger drove him from Damascus. From the Epistle to the Galatians, (Galatians 1:17,18) we learn that the many days were at least a good part of "three years," A.D. 37-40, and that Saul, not thinking it necessary to procure authority to teach from the apostles that were before him, went after his conversion to Arabia, and returned from thence to us. We know nothing whatever of this visit to Arabia; but upon his departure from Damascus we are again on a historical ground, and have the double evidence of St. Luke in the Acts of the apostle in his Second Epistle the Corinthians. According to the former, the Jews lay in wait for Saul, intending to kill him, and watched the gates of the city that he might not escape from them. Knowing this, the disciples took him by night and let him down in a basket from the wall. Having escaped from Damascus, Saul betook himself to Jerusalem (A.D. 40), and there "assayed to join himself to the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and believed not he was a disciple." Barnabas' introduction removed the fears of the apostles, and Saul "was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem." But it is not strange that the former persecutor was soon singled out from the other believers as the object of a murderous hostility. He was,therefore, again urged to flee; and by way of Caesarea betook himself to his native city, Tarsus. Barnabas was sent on a special mission to Antioch. As the work grew under his hands, he felt the need of help, went himself to Tarsus to seek Saul, and succeeded in bringing him to Antioch. There they labored together unremittingly for a whole year." All this time Saul was subordinate to Barnabas. Antioch was in constant communication with Cilicia, with Cyprus, with all the neighboring countries. The Church was pregnant with a great movement, and time of her delivery was at hand. Something of direct expectation seems to be implied in what is said of the leaders of the Church at Antioch, that they were "ministering to the Lord and fasting," when the Holy Ghost spoke to them: "Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them." Everything was done with orderly gravity in the sending forth of the two missionaries. Their brethren after fasting and prayer, laid their hands on them, and so they departed. The first missionary journey. A.D. 45-49. --As soon as Barnabas and Saul reached Cyprus they began to "announce the word of God," but at first they delivered their message in the synagogues of the Jews only. When they had gone through the island, from Salamis to Paphos, they were called upon to explain their doctrine to an eminent Gentile, Sergius Paulus, the proconsul, who was converted. Saul's name was now changed to Paul, and he began to take precedence of Barnabas. From Paphos "Paul and his company" set sail for the mainland, and arrived at Perga in Pamphylia. Here the heart of their companion John failed him, and he returned to Jerusalem. From Perga they travelled on to a place obscure in secular history, but most memorable in the history of the Kingdom of Christ --Antioch in Pisidia. Rejected by the Jews, they became bold and outspoken, and turned from them to the Gentiles. At Antioch now, as in every city afterward, the unbelieving Jews used their influence with their own adherents among the Gentiles to persuade the authorities or the populace to persecute the apostles and to drive them from the place. Paul and Barnabas now travelled on to Iconium where the occurrences at Antioch were repeated, and from thence to the Lycaonian country which contained the cities Lystra and Derbe. Here they had to deal with uncivilized heathen. At Lystra the healing of a cripple took place. Thereupon these pagans took the apostles for gods, calling Barnabas, who was of the more imposing presence, Jupiter, and Paul, who was the chief speaker, Mercurius. Although the people of Lystra had been so ready to worship Paul and Barnabas, the repulse of their idolatrous instincts appears to have provoked them, and they allowed themselves to be persuaded into hostility be Jews who came from Antioch and Iconium, so that they attacked Paul with stones, and thought they had killed him. He recovered, however as the disciples were standing around him, and went again into the city. The next day he left it with Barnabas, and went to Derbe, and thence they returned once more to Lystra, and so to Iconium and Antioch. In order to establish the churches after their departure they solemnly appointed "elders" in every city. Then they came down to the coast, and from Attalia, they sailed; home to Antioch in Syria, where they related the successes which had been granted to them, and especially the opening of the door of faith to the Gentiles." And so the first missionary journey ended. The council at Jerusalem. --Upon that missionary journey follows most naturally the next important scene which the historian sets before us --the council held at Jerusalem to determine the relations of Gentile believers to the law of Moses. (Acts 15:1-29; Galatians 2) Second missionary journey . A.D. 50-54. --The most resolute courage, indeed, was required for the work to which St. Paul was now publicly pledged. He would not associate with himself in that work one who had already shown a want of constancy. This was the occasion of what must have been a most painful difference between him and his comrade in the faith and in past perils, Barnabas. (Acts 15:35-40) Silas, or Silvanus, becomes now a chief companion of the apostle. The two went together through Syria and Cilicia, visiting the churches, and so came to Derbe and Lystra. Here they find Timotheus, who had become a disciple on the former visit of the apostle. Him St. Paul took and Circumcised. St. Luke now steps rapidly over a considerable space of the apostle's life and labors. "They went throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia." (Luke 16:6) At this time St. Paul was founding "the churches of Galatia." (Galatians 1:2) He himself gives some hints of the circumstances of his preaching in that region, of the reception he met with, and of the ardent though unstable character of the people. (Galatians 4:13-15) Having gone through Phrygia and Galatia, he intended to visit, the western coast; but "they were forbidden by the Holy Ghost to preach the "word" there. Then, being on the borders of Mysia, they thought of going back to the northeast into Bithynia; but again the Spirit of Jesus "suffered them not," so they passed by Mysia and came down to Troas. St. Paul saw in a vision a man,of Macedonia, who besought him, saying, "Come over into Macedonia and help us." The vision was at once accepted as a heavenly intimation; the help wanted, by the Macedonians was believed to be the preaching of the gospel. It is at this point that the historian, speaking of St. Paul's company, substitutes "we" for "they." He says nothing of himself we can only infer that St. Luke, to whatever country he belonged, became a companion of St. Paul at Troas. The party thus reinforced, immediately set sail from Troas, touched at Samothrace, then landed on the continent at Neapolis, and thence journeyed to Philippi. The first convert in Macedonia was Lydia, an Asiatic woman, at Philippi. (Acts 18:13,14) At Philippi Paul and Silas were arrested, beaten and put in prison, having cast out the spirit of divination from a female slave who had brought her masters much gain by her power. This cruel wrong was to be the occasion of a signal appearance of the God of righteousness and deliverance. The narrative tells of the earthquake, the jailer's terror, his conversion and baptism. (Acts 16:26-34) In the morning the magistrates sent word to the prison that the men might be let go; but Paul denounced plainly their unlawful acts, informing them moreover that those whom they had beaten and imprisoned without trial; were Roman citizens. The magistrates, in great alarm, saw the necessity of humbling themselves. They came and begged them to leave the city. Paul and Silas consented to do so, and, after paying a visit to "the brethren" in the house of Lydia, they departed. Leaving St. Luke, and perhaps Timothy for a short time at Philippi, Paul and Silas travelled through Amphipolis and Apollonia and stopped again at Thessalonica. Here again, as in Pisidian Antioch, the envy of the Jews was excited, and the mob assaulted the house of Jason with whom Paul and Silas were staying as guests, and, not finding them, dragged Jason himself and some other brethren before the magistrates. After these signs of danger the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night. They next came to Berea. Here they found the Jews more noble than those at Thessalonica had been. Accordingly they gained many converts, both Jews and Greeks; but the Jews of Thessalonica, hearing of it, sent emissaries to stir up the people, and it was thought best that Paul should himself leave the city whilst Silas and Timothy remained-behind. Some of the brethren went with St. Paul as far as Athens, where they left him carrying back a request to Silas and Timothy that they would speedily join him. Here the apostle delivered that wonderful discourse reported in (Acts 17:22-31) He gained but few converts at Athens, and soon took his departure and went to Corinth. He was testifying with unusual effort and anxiety when Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia and joined him. Their arrival was the occasion of the writing of the First Epistle to the Thessalonians. The two epistles to the Thessalonians--and these alone--belong to the present missionary journey. They were written from Corinth A.D. 52, 53. When Silas and Timotheus came to Corinth, St. Paul was testifying to the Jews with great earnestness, but with little success. Corinth was the chief city of the province of Achaia, and the residence of the proconsul. During St. Paul stay the proconsular office was held by Gallio, a brother of the philosopher Seneca. Before him the apostle was summoned by his Jewish enemies, who hoped to bring the Roman authority to bear upon him as an innovator in religion. But Gallio perceived at once, before Paul could "open his mouth" to defend himself, that the movement was due to Jewish prejudice, and refused to go into the question. Then a singular scene occurred. The Corinthian spectators, either favoring Paul or actuated only by anger against the Jews, seized on the principal person of those who had brought the charge, and beat him before the judgment-seat. Gallio left these religious quarrels to settle themselves. The apostle therefore, was not allowed to be "hurt," and remained some time longer at Corinth unmolested. Having been the instrument of accomplishing this work, Paul departed for Jerusalem, wishing to attend a festival there. Before leaving Greece, he cut off his hair at Cenchreae, in fulfillment of a vow. (Acts 18:18) Paul paid a visit to the synagogue at Ephesus, but would not stay. Leaving Ephesus, he sailed to Caesarea, and from thence went up to Jerusalem, spring, A.D. 54, and "saluted the church." It is argued, from considerations founded on the suspension of navigation during the winter months, that the festival was probably the Pentecost. From Jerusalem the apostle went almost immediately down to Antioch, thus returning to the same place from which he had started with Silas. Third missionary journey, including the stay at Ephesus . A.D. 54-58. (Acts 18:23; Acts 21:17) --The great epistles which belong to this period, those to the Galatians, Corinthians and Romans, show how the "Judaizing" question exercised at this time the apostle's mind. St. Paul "spent some time" at Antioch, and during this stay as we are inclined to believe, his collision with St. Peter (Galatians 2:11-14) took place. When he left Antioch, he "went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the disciples," and giving orders concerning the collection for the saints. (1 Corinthians 18:1) It is probable that the Epistle to the Galatians was written soon after this visit--A.D. 56-57. This letter was in all probability sent from Ephesus. This was the goal of the apostle's journeyings through Asia Minor. He came down to Ephesus from the upper districts of Phrygia. Here he entered upon his usual work. He went into the synagogue, and for three months he spoke openly, disputing and persuading concerning "the kingdom of God." At the end of this time the obstinacy and opposition of some of the Jews led him to give up frequenting the synagogue, and he established the believers as a separate society meeting "in the school of Tyrannus." This continued for two years. During this time many things occurred of which the historian of the Acts chooses two examples, the triumph over magical arts and the great disturbance raised by the silversmiths who made shrines Diana --among which we are to note further the writing of the First Epistle to the Corinth A.D. 57. Before leaving Ephesus Paul went into Macedonia, where he met Titus, who brought him news of the state of the Corinthian church. Thereupon he wrote the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, A.D. 57, and sent it by the hands of Titus and two other brethren to Corinth. After writing this epistle, St. Paul travelled throughout Macedonia, perhaps to the borders of Illyricum, (Romans 15:19) and then went to Corinth. The narrative in the Acts tells us that "when he had gone over those parts (Macedonia), and had given them much exhortation he came into Greece, and there abode three months." (Acts 20:2,3) There is only one incident which we can connect with this visit to Greece, but that is a very important one--the writing of his Epistle to the Romans, A.D. 58. That this was written at this time from Corinth appears from passages in the epistle itself and has never been doubted. The letter is a substitute for the personal visit which he had longed "for many years" to pay. Before his departure from Corinth, St. Paul was joined again by St. Luke, as we infer from the change in the narrative from the third to the first person. He was bent on making a journey to Jerusalem, for a special purpose and within a limited time. With this view he was intending to go by sea to Syria. But he was made aware of some plot of the Jews for his destruction, to be carried out through this voyage; and he determined to evade their malice by changing his route. Several brethren were associated with him in this expedition, the bearers no doubt, of the collections made in all the churches for the poor at Jerusalem. These were sent on by sea, and probably the money with them, to Troas, where they were to await Paul. He, accompanied by Luke, went northward through Macedonia. Whilst the vessel which conveyed the rest of the party sailed from Troas to Assos, Paul gained some time by making the journey by land. At Assos he went on board again. Coasting along by Mitylene, Chios, Samos and Trogyllium, they arrived at Miletus. At Miletus, however there was time to send to Ephesus, and the elders of the church were invited to come down to him there. This meeting is made the occasion for recording another characteristic and representative address of St. Paul. (Acts 20:18-35) The course of the voyage from Miletas was by Coos and Rhodes to Patara, and from Patara in another vessel past Cyprus to Tyre. Here Paul and his company spent seven days. From Tyre they sailed to Ptolemais, where they spent one day, and from Ptolemais proceeded, apparently by land, to Caesarea. They now "tarried many days" at Caesarea. During this interval the prophet Agabus, (Acts 11:28) came down from Jerusalem, and crowned the previous intimations of danger with a prediction expressively delivered. At this stage a final effort was made to dissuade Paul from going up to Jerusalem, by the Christians of Caesarea and by his travelling companions. After a while they went up to Jerusalem and were gladly received by the brethren. This is St. Paul's fifth an last visit to Jerusalem. St. Paul's imprisonment: Jerusalem . Spring, A.D. 58. --He who was thus conducted into Jerusalem by a company of anxious friends had become by this time a man of considerable fame among his countrymen. He was widely known as one who had taught with pre-eminent boldness that a way into God's favor was opened to the Gentiles, and that this way did not lie through the door of the Jewish law. He had thus roused against himself the bitter enmity of that unfathomable Jewish pride which was almost us strong in some of those who had professed the faith of Jesus as in their unconverted brethren. He was now approaching a crisis in the long struggle, and the shadow of it has been made to rest upon his mind throughout his journey to Jerusalem. He came "ready to die for the name of the Lord Jesus," but he came expressly to prove himself a faithful Jew and this purpose is shown at every point of the history. Certain Jews from "Asia," who had come up for the pentecostal feast, and who had a personal knowledge of Paul, saw him in the temple. They set upon him at once, and stirred up the people against him. There was instantly a great commotion; Paul was dragged out of the temple, the doors of which were immediately shut, and the people having him in their hands, were going to kill him. Paul was rescued from the violence of the multitude by the Roman officer, who made him his own prisoner, causing him to be chained to two soldiers, and then proceeded to inquire who he was and what he had done. The inquiry only elicited confused outcries, and the "chief captain" seems to have imagined that the apostle might perhaps be a certain Egyptian pretender who recently stirred up a considerable rising of the people. The account In the (Acts 21:34-40) tells us with graphic touches how St. Paul obtained leave and opportunity to address the people in a discourse which is related at length. Until the hated word of a mission to the Gentiles had been spoken, the Jews had listened to the speaker. "Away with such a fellow from the earth," the multitude now shouted; "it is not fit that he should live." The Roman commander seeing the tumult that arose might well conclude that St. Paul had committed some heinous offence; and carrying him off, he gave orders that he should be forced by scourging to confess his crime. Again the apostle took advantage of his Roman citizenship to protect himself from such an outrage. The chief captain set him free from bonds, but on the next day called together the chief priests and the Sanhedrin, and brought Paul as a prisoner before them. On the next day a conspiracy was formed which the historian relates with a singular fullness of detail. More than forty of the Jews bound themselves under a curse neither to eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. The plot was discovered, and St. Paul was hurried away from Jerusalem. The chief captain, Claudius Lysias determined to send him to Caesarea to Felix, the governor or procurator of Judea. He therefor put him in charge of a strong guard of soldiers, who took him by night as far as Antipatris. From thence a smaller detachment conveyed him to Caesarea, where they delivered up their prisoner into the hands of the governor. Imprisonment at Caesarea. A.D. 58-60. --St. Paul was henceforth to the end of the period embraced in the Acts, if not to the end of his life, in Roman custody. This custody was in fact a protection to him, without which he would have fallen a victim to the animosity of the Jews. He seems to have been treated throughout with humanity and consideration. The governor before whom he was now to be tried, according to Tacitus and Josephus, was a mean and dissolute tyrant. After hearing St, Paul's accusers and the apostle's defence, Felix made an excuse for putting off the matter, and gave orders that the prisoner should be treated with indulgence and that his friends should be allowed free access to him. After a while he heard him again. St. Paul remained in custody until Felix left the province. The unprincipled governor had good reason to seek to ingratiate himself with the Jews; and to please them, be handed over Paul, as an untried prisoner, to his successor, Festus. Upon his arrival in the province, Festus went up without delay from Caesarea to Jerusalem, and the leading Jews seized the opportunity of asking that Paul might be brought up there for trial intending to assassinate him by the way. But Festus would not comply with their request, He invited them to follow him on his speedy return to Caesarea, and a trial took place there, closely resembling that before Felix. "They had certain questions against him," Festus says to Agrippa, "of their own superstition (or religion), and of one Jesus, who was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. And being puzzled for my part as to such inquiries, I asked him whether he would go to Jerusalem to be tried there." This proposal, not a very likely one to be accepted, was the occasion of St. Paul's appeal to Caesar. The appeal having been allowed, Festus reflected that he must send with the prisoner a report of "the crimes laid against him." He therefore took advantage of an opportunity which offered itself in a few days to seek some help in the matter. The Jewish prince Agrippa arrived with his sister Bernice on a visit to the new governor. To him Festus communicated his perplexity. Agrippa expressed a desire to hear Paul himself. Accordingly Paul conducted his defence before the king; and when it was concluded Festus and Agrippa, and their companions, consulted together, and came to the conclusion that the accused was guilty of nothing that deserved death or imprisonment. "Agrippa"s final answer to the inquiry of Festus was, "This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar." The voyage to Rome and shipwreck. Autumn, A.D. 60. --No formal trial of St. Paul had yet taken place. After a while arrangements were made to carry "Paul and certain other prisoners," in the custody of a centurion named Julius, into Italy; and amongst the company, whether by favor or from any other reason, we find the historian of the Acts, who in chapters 27 and 28 gives a graphic description of the voyage to Rome and the shipwreck on the Island of Melita or Malta. After a three-months stay in Malta the soldiers and their prisoners left in an Alexandria ship for Italy. They touched at Syracuse, where they stayed three days, and at Rhegium, from which place they were carried with a fair wind to Puteoli, where they left their ship and the sea. At Puteoli they found "brethren," for it was an important place and especially a chief port for the traffic between Alexandria and Rome; and by these brethren they were exhorted to stay a while with them. Permission seems to have been granted by the centurion; and whilst they were spending seven days at Puteoli news of the apostle's arrival was sent to Rome. (Spring, A.D. 61.) First imprisonment of St. Paul at Rome . A.D. 61-63. --On their arrival at Rome the centurion delivered up his prisoners into the proper custody that of the praetorian prefect. Paul was at once treated with special consideration and was allowed to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him. He was now therefore free "to preach the gospel to them that were at Rome also;" and proceeded without delay to act upon his rule --"to the Jews first," But as of old, the reception of his message by the Jews was not favorable. He turned, therefore, again to the Gentiles, and for two years he dwelt in his own hired house. These are the last words of the Acts. But St. Paul's career is not abruptly closed. Before he himself fades out of our sight in the twilight of ecclesiastical tradition, we have letters written by himself which contribute some particulars to his biography. Period of the later epistles. --To that imprisonment to which St. Luke has introduced us --the imprisonment which lasted for such a tedious time, though tempered by much indulgence --belongs the noble group of letters to Philemon, to the Colossians, to the Ephesians and to the Philippians. The three former of these were written at one time, and sent by the same messengers. Whether that to the Philippians was written before or after these we cannot determine; but the tone of it seems to imply that a crisis was approaching, and therefore it is commonly regarded us the latest of the four. In this epistle St. Paul twice expresses a confident hope that before long he may be able to visit the Philippians in person. (Philemon 1:25; 2:24) Whether this hope was fulfilled or not has been the occasion of much controversy. According to the general opinion the apostle was liberated from imprisonment at the end of two years, having been acquitted by Nero A.D. 63, and left Rome soon after writing the letter to the Philippians. He spent some time in visits to Greece, Asia Minor and Spain, and during the latter part of this time wrote the letters (first epistles) to Timothy and Titus from Macedonia, A.D. 65. After these were written he was apprehended again and sent to Rome. Second imprisonment at Rome . A.D. 65-67. --The apostle appears now to have been treated not as an honorable state prisoner but as a felon, (2 Timothy 2:9) but he was allowed to write the second letter to Timothy, A.D. 67. For what remains we have the concurrent testimony of ecclesiastical antiquity that he was beheaded at Rome, by Nero in the great persecutions of the Christians by that emperor, A.D. 67 or 68.

ATS Bible Dictionary

The distinguished "apostle of the Gentiles;" also called SAUL, a Hebrew name. He is first called Paul in Acts 13:12; and as some think, assumed this Roman name according to a common custom of Jews in foreign lands, or in honor of Sergius Paulus, Acts 13:7, his friend and an early convert. Both names however may have belonged to him in childhood. He was born at Tarsus in Cilicia, and inherited from his father the privileges of a Roman citizen. His parents belonged to the tribe of Benjamin, and brought up their son as "a Hebrew of the Hebrews," Philippians 3:5. Tarsus was highly distinguished for learning and culture, and the opportunities for improvement it afforded were no doubt diligently improved by Paul. At a suitable age he was sent to Jerusalem to complete his education in the school of Gamaliel, the most distinguished and right-minded of the Rabbis of that age. It does not appear that he was in Jerusalem during the ministry of Christ; and it was perhaps after his return to Tarsus that he learned the art of tent-making, in accordance with a general practice among the Jews, and their maxim, "He that does not teach his son a useful handicraft, teaches him to steal," Acts 18:3 20:34 2 Thessalonians 3:8.

We next find him at Jerusalem, apparently about thirty years of age, high in the confidence of the leading men of the nation. He had profited by the instructions of Gamaliel, and became learned in the law; yielding himself to the strictest discipline of the sect of the Pharisees, he had become a fierce defender of Judaism and a bitter enemy of Christianity, Acts 8:3 26:9-11. After his miraculous conversion, of which we have three accounts, Acts 9:22,26, Christ was all in all to him. It was Christ who revealed himself to his soul at Damascus, Acts 26:15 1 1 Corinthians 15:8; to Christ he gave his whole heart, and soul, mind, might, and strength; and thenceforth, living or dying, he was "the servant of Jesus Christ." He devoted all the powers of his ardent and energetic mind to the defense and propagation of the gospel of Christ, more particularly among the Gentiles. His views of the pure and lofty spirit of Christianity, in its worship and in its practical influence, appear to have been peculiarly clear and strong; and the opposition which he was thus led to make to the rites and ceremonies of the Jewish worship, exposed him everywhere to the hatred and malice of his countrymen. On their accusation, he was at length put in confinement by the Roman officers and after being detained for two years or more at Caesarea, he was sent to Rome for trial, having himself appealed to the emperor.

There is less certainty in respect to the accounts, which are given of Paul afterwards by the early ecclesiastical writers. Still it was a very generally received opinion in the earlier centuries, that the apostle was acquitted and discharged from his imprisonment at the end of two years; and that he afterwards returned to Rome, where he was again imprisoned and put to death by Nero.

Paul appears to have possessed all the learning which was then current among the Jews, and also to have been acquainted with Greek literature; as appears from his mastery of the Greek language, his frequent discussions with their philosophers, and his quotations from their poets-Aratus, Acts 17:28; Meander, 1 1 Corinthians 15:33; and Epimenides, Titus 1:12. Probably, however a learned Greek education cannot with propriety be ascribed to him. But the most striking trait in his character is his enlarged view of the universal design and the spiritual nature of the religion of Christ, and of its purifying and ennobling influence upon the heart and character of those who sincerely profess it. From the Savior himself he had caught the flame of universal love, and the idea of salvation for all mankind, Galatians 1:12.

Most of the other apostles and teachers appear to have clung to Judaism, to the rites, ceremonies, and dogmas of the religion in which they had been educated, and to have regarded Christianity as intended to be engrafted upon the ancient stock, which was yet to remain as the trunk to support the new branches. Paul seems to have been among the first to rise above this narrow view, and to regard Christianity in its light, as a universal religion. While others were for Judaizing all those who embraced the new religion by imposing on them the yoke of Mosaic observances, it was Paul's endeavor to break down the middle wall of separation between Jews and Gentiles, and show them that they were all "one in Christ." To this end all his labors tended; and, ardent in the pursuit of this great object, he did not hesitate to censure the time-serving Peter, and to expose his own life in resisting the prejudices of is countrymen. Indeed, his five years' imprisonment as Jerusalem, Caesarea, and Rome arose chiefly from this cause.

These various journeys of St. Paul, many of them made on foot, should be studied through on a map; in connection with the inspired narrative, in Acts, and with his own pathetic description of his labors, 2 1 Corinthians 11:23-29, wherein nevertheless the half is not told. When we review the many regions he traversed and evangelized, the converts he gathered, and the churches he founded, the toils, perils, and trials he endured, the miracles he wrought, and the revelations he received, the discourses, orations, and letters in which he so ably defends and unfolds Christianity, the immeasurable good which God by him accomplished, his heroic life, and his martyr death, he appears to us the most extraordinary of men.

The character of Paul is most fully portrayed in his epistles, by which, as Chrysostom says he, "still lives in the mouths of men throughout the whole world. By them, not only is own converts, but all the faithful even unto this day, yea, and all the saints who are yet to be born until Christ's coming again, both have been and shall be blessed." In them we observe the transforming and elevating power of grace in one originally turbulent and passionate-making him a model of many and Christian excellence; fearless and firm, yet considerate, courteous, and gentle; magnanimous, patriotic, and selfsacrificing; rich in all noble sentiments and affections.

EPISTLES OF PAUL. -There are fourteen epistles in the New Testament usually ascribed to Paul, beginning with that to the Romans, and ending with that to the Hebrews. Of these the first thirteen have never been contested; as to the latter, many good men have doubted whether Paul was the author, although the current of criticism is in favor of this opinion. These epistles, in which the principles of Christianity are developed for all periods, characters, and circumstances, are among the most important of the primitive documents of the Christian religion, even apart from their inspired character; and although they seem to have been written without special premeditation, and have reference mostly to transient circumstances and temporary relations, yet they everywhere bear the stamp of the great and original mind of the apostle, as purified, elevated, and sustained by the influences of the Holy Spirit.

It is worthy of mention here, that an expression of Peter respecting "our beloved brother Paul" is often a little misunderstood. The words "in which" in 2 Peter 3:16, are erroneously applied to the "epistles" of Paul; and not to "these things" immediately preceding, that is, the subjects of which Peter was writing, as the Greek shows they should be. Peter finds no fault, either with Paul, or with the doctrines of revelation.

The arrangement of Hug is somewhat different; and some critics who find evidence that Paul was released from his first imprisonment and lived until the spring of A. D. 68, assign the epistles Hebrews, 1Timothy, Titus, and 2Timothy to the last year of his life. See TIMOTHY.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
=Saul (q.v.) was born about the same time as our Lord. His circumcision-name was Saul, and probably the name Paul was also given to him in infancy "for use in the Gentile world," as "Saul" would be his Hebrew home-name. He was a native of Tarsus, the capi
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) See Pawl.

2. (n.) An Italian silver coin. See Paolo.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


I. Sources

1. The Acts

2. The Thirteen Epistles

(1) Pauline Authorship

(2) Lightfoot's Grouping

(a) First Group (1 and 2 Thessalonians)

(b) Second Group (1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Romans, (c) Third Group-(Philippians, Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians)

(d) Fourth Group (1 Timothy, Titus, 2 Timothy)

(3) Paul's Conception of His Epistles

(4) Development in Paul's Epistles


1. Criticism Not Infallible

2. The Tubingen Theory

3. Protest against Baur's View

4. Successors to Baur

5. Appeal to Comparative Religion

6. The Eschatological Interpretation


1. Schemes

2. Crucial Points

(1) The Death of Stephen

(2) The Flight from Damascus

(3) The Death of Herod Agrippa I

(4) The First Mission Tour

(5) The First Visit to Corinth

(6) Paul at Troas according to Acts 20:6 f

(7) Festus Succeeding Felix


1. The City of Tarsus

2. Roman Citizenship

3. Hellenism

4. The Mystery-Religions

5. Judaism

6. Personal Characteristics

(1) Personal Appearance

(2) Natural Endowments

(3) Supernatural Gifts

7. Conversion

(1) Preparation

(2) Experience

(3) Effect on Paul


1. Adjustment

2. Opposition

3. Waiting

4. Opportunity

5. The First Great Mission Campaign

6. The Conflict at Jerusalem

7. The Second Mission Campaign

8. The Third Mission Campaign

9. Five Years a Prisoner

10. Further Travels

11. Last Imprisonment and Death



I. Sources.

1. The Acts:

For discussion of the historical value of the Acts of the Apostles see the article on that subject. It is only necessary to say here that the view of Sir W.M. Ramsay in general is accepted as to the trustworthiness of Luke, whose authorship of the Acts is accepted and proved by Harnack (Die Apostelgeschichte, 1908; The Acts of the Apostles, translation by Wilkinson, 1909; Neue Untersuch. zur Ap., 1911; The Date of the Acts and of the Synoptic Gospels, translations by Wilkinson, 1911). The proof need not be given again. The same hand appears in the "we" sections and the rest of the book. Even Moffatt (Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament, 311) admits the Lukan authorship though dating it in 100 A.D. instead of 60-62 A.D., against Harnack. The Acts is written independently of the Epistles of Paul, whether early or late, and supplements in a wonderful way the incidental references in the epistles, though not without lacunae and difficulties.

2. The Thirteen Epistles:

(1) Pauline Authorship.

See the articles on each epistle for detailed criticism. It is here assumed that the Epistle to the Hebrews was not written by Paul, though Pauline in point of view. One cannot stop to prove every statement in an article like this, else a large book would be needed. Criticism is not an infallible science. One can turn easily from the Hatch-Van Manen article on "Paul" in Encyclopedia Biblica (1902) to the Maclean article on "Paul the Apostle" in the 1-vol HDB (1909). Van-Manen's part of the one denies all the thirteen, while Maclean says: "We shall, in what follows, without hesitation use the thirteen epistles as genuine." It is certain that Paul wrote more epistles, or "letters," as Deissmann (Light from the Ancient East, 225) insists on calling all of Paul's epistles. Certainly Philera is a mere "letter," but it is difficult to say as much about Romans. Deissmann (St. Paul, 22) admits that portions of Romans are like "an epistolary letter." At any rate, when Moffatt (Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament, 64-82) carefully justifies the Pauline authorship of both 1 and 2 Thessalonians, it is clear that the case against them cannot be very strong, especially as Moffatt stands out against the genuineness of Ephesians (op. cit., 393) and the Pastoral Epistles (p. 414).

Bartlet, who was once at a loss to know what to do with the Pastorals on theory that Paul was not released from the Roman imprisonment (Apostolic Age, 1899, 200), is now quite willing to face the new facts set forth by Ramsay (Expos, VII, viii-ix, VIII, i), even if it means the admission of a second Roman imprisonment, a view that Bartlet had opposed. He now pleads for "the fresh approach from the side of experience, by men who are in touch with the realities of human nature in all its variety, as well as at home in the historical background of society in the early Roman empire, that has renovated the study of them and taken it out of the old ruts of criticism in which it has moved for the most part in modern times" (Expos, January, 1913, 29). Here Bartlet, again, now eloquently presents the view of common-sense criticism as seen by the practical missionary better than by a life "spent amid the academic associations of a professor's chair," though he pauses to note as an exception Professor P. Gardner's The Religious Experience of Paul (1912). We may quote Bartlet once more (Expos, January, 1913, 30): "In the recovery of a true point of view a vital element has been the newer conception of Paul himself and so of Paulinism. Paul the doctrinaire theologian, or at least the prophet of a one-sided gospel repeated with fanatical uniformity of emphasis under all conditions, has largely given place to Paul the missionary, full indeed of inspired insight on the basis of a unique experience, but also of practical instinct, the offspring of sympathy with living men of other types of training. When the Pastorals are viewed anew in the light of this idea, half their difficulties disappear." One need not adopt Deissmann's rather artificial insistence on "letters" rather than "epistles," and his undue depreciation of Paul's intellectual caliber and culture as being more like Amos than Origen (St. Paul, 1912, 6), in order to see the force of this contention for proper understanding of the social environment of Paul. Against Van Manen's "historical Paul" who wrote nothing, he places "the historic Paul" who possibly wrote all thirteen. "There is really no trouble except with the letters to Timothy and Titus, and even there the difficulties are perhaps not quite so great as many of our specialists assume" (St. Paul, 15). See PASTORAL EPISTLES. Deissmann denies sharply that Paul was an "obscurantist" who corrupted the gospel of Jesus, "the dregs of doctrinaire study of Paul, mostly in the tired brains-of gifted amateurs" (p. 4). But A. Schweitzer boldly proclaims that he alone has the key to Paul and Jesus. It is the "exclusively Jewish eschatological" (Paul and His Interpreters, 1912, ix), conception of Christ's gospel that furnishes Schweitzer's spring-board (The Quest of the Historical Jesus). Thus he will be able to explain "the Hellenization of the gospel" as mediated through Paul. To do that Schweitzer plows his weary way from Grotius to Holtzmann, and finds that they have all wandered into the wilderness. He is positive that his eschatological discovery will rescue Paul and some of his epistles from the ruin wrought by Steck and Van Manen to whose arguments modern criticism has nothing solid to offer, and the meager negative crumbs offered by Schweitzer ought to be thankfully received (ibid, 249).

(2) Lightfoot's Grouping.

(Compare Biblical Essays, 224.) There is doubt as to the position of Galatians. Some advocates of the South-Galatian theory make it the very earliest of Paul's Epistles, even before the Jerusalem Conference in Acts 15. So Eramet, Commentary on Galatians (1912), ix, who notes (Preface) that his commentary is the first to take this position. But the North Galatian view still has the weight of authority in spite of Ramsay's powerful advocacy in his various books (see Historical Commentary on Galatians), as is shown by Moffatt, Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament, 90;. Hence, Lightfoot's grouping is still the best to use.

(a) First Group (1 and 2 Thessalonians):

1 and 2 Thessalonians, from Corinth, 52-53 A.D. Harnack's view that 2 Thessalonians is addressed to a Jewish Christian church in Thessalonica while 1 Thessalonians is addressed to a Gentilechurch is accepted by Lake (Earlier Epistles of Paul, 1911, 83;) but Frame (ICC, 1912, 54) sees no need for this hypothesis. Milligan is clear that 1 Thessalonians precedes 2 Thessalonians (Commentary, 1908, xxxix) and is the earliest of Paul's Epistles (p. xxxvi). The accent on eschatology is in accord with the position of the early disciples in the opening chapters of Acts. They belong to Paul's stay in Corinth recorded in Acts 18.

(b) Second Group (1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Romans):

1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Romans, 55-58 A.D. This is the great doctrinal group, the four chief epistles of Baur. They turn about the Judaizing controversy which furnishes the occasion for the expansion of the doctrine of justification by faith in opposition to the legalistic contention of the Judaizing Christians from Jerusalem (Acts 15:1-3 Galatians 2:1-10). The dates of these epistles are not perfectly clear. 1 Corinthians was written shortly before the close of Paul's 3 years' stay at Ephesus (Acts 20:31 1 Corinthians 16:8 Acts 20:1 f). 2 Corinthians was written a few months later while he was in Macedonia (2:13; 7:5, 13; 8:16-24). Romans was written from Corinth (16:23; Acts 20:2) and sent by Phoebe of Cenchrea (Romans 16:1). The integrity of Romans is challenged by some who deny in particular that chapter 16 belongs to the epistle Moffatt (Intro, 134-38) gives an able, but unconvincing, presentation of the arguments for the addition of the chapter by a later hand. Deissmann (St. Paul, 19) calls Romans 16 "a little letter" addressed to the Christians at Ephesus. Von. Soden (History of Early Christian Literature, 78) easily justifies the presence of Romans 16 in the Epistle to the Romans: "These greetings, moreover, were certainly intended by Paul to create bonds of fellowship between the Pauline Christians and the Roman community, and to show that he had not written to them quite exclusively in his own name." A common-sense explanation of Paul's personal ties in Rome is the fact that as the center of the world's life the city drew people thither from all parts of the earth. So, today many a man has friends in New York or London who has never been to either city. A much more serious controversy rages as to the integrity of 2 Corinthians. Semler took 2 Corinthians 10-13 to be a separate and later ep., because of its difference in tone from 2 Corinthians 1-9, but Hausrath put it earlier than chapters 1-9, and made it the letter referred to in 2:4. He has been followed by many scholars like Schmiedel, Cone, McGiffert, Bacon, Moffatt, Kennedy, Rendall, Peake, Plummer. Von Soden (History of Early Christian Literature, 50) accepts the partition-theory of 2 Corinthians heartily: "It may be shown with the highest degree of probability that this letter has come down to us in 2 Corinthians 10:1-13:10." But the unity of the epistle on theory that the change in tone is a climax to the disobedient element of the church is still maintained with force and justice by Klopper, Zahn, Bachmann, Denhey, Bernard, A. Robertson, Weiss, Menzies. The place of the writing of Galatians turns on its date. Lightfoot (in loc.) argues for Corinth, since it was probably written shortly before Romans. But Moffatt (Introduction, 102) holds tentatively to Ephesus, soon after Paul's arrival there from Galatia. So he gives the order: Galatians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Romans. In so much doubt it is well to follow Lightfoot's logical argument. Galatians leads naturally to Romans, the one hot and passionate, the other calm and contemplative, but both on the same general theme.

(c) Third group (Philippians, Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians):

Philippians, Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians. Date 61-63, unless Paul reached Rome several years earlier. This matter depends on the date of the coming of Festus to succeed Felix (Acts 24:27). It was once thought to be 60 A.D. beyond any doubt, but the whole matter is now uncertain. See "Chronology," III, 2, (2), below. At any rate these four epistles were written during the first Roman imprisonment, assuming that he was set free.

But it must be noted that quite a respectable group of scholars hold that one or all of these epistles were written from Caesarea (Schultz, Thiersch, Meyer, Hausrath, Sabatier, Reuss, Weiss, Haupt, Spitta, McPherson, Hicks). But the arguments are more specious than convincing. See Hort, Romans and Ephesians, 101-10. There is a growing opinion that Philemon, Colossians and Ephesians were written from Ephesus during a possible imprisonment in Paul's stay of 3 years there. So Deissmann (Light from the Ancient East, 229; Paul, 16); Lisco (Vincula Sanctorum, 1900); M. Albertz (Theol. Studien und Kritiken, 1910, 551;); B. W. Bacon (Journal of Biblical Lit., 1910, 181;). The strongest argument for this position is that Paul apparently did not know personally the readers of Ephesians (1:15); compare also Colossians 1:4. But this objection need not apply if the so-called Ephesian Epistle was a circular letter and if Paul did not visit Colosse and Laodicea during his 3 years at Ephesus. The theory is more attractive at first than on reflection. It throws this group before Romans-a difficult view to concede.

But even so, the order of these epistles is by no means certain. It is clear that Philemon, Colossians and Ephesians were sent together. Tychicus was the bearer of Colossians (4:7) and Ephesians (6:21). Onesimus carried the letter to Philemon (1:10, 13) and was also the companion of Tychicus to Colosse (Colossians 4:9). So these three epistles went together from Rome. It is commonly assumed that Philippians was the last of the group of four, and hence later than the other three, because Paul is balancing life and death (Philippians 1:21) and is expecting to be set free (Philippians 1:25), but he has the same expectation of freedom when he writes Philemon (1:22). The absence of Luke (Philippians 2:20) has to be explained on either hypothesis. Moffatt (Introduction, 159) is dogmatic, "as Philippians was certainly the last letter that he wrote," ruling out of court Ephesians, not to say the later Pastoral Epistles. But this conclusion gives Moffatt trouble with the Epistle to the Laodiceans (Colossians 4:16) which he can only call "the enigmatic reference" and cannot follow Rutherford (St. Paul's Epistles to Colosse and Laodicea, 1908) in identifying the Laodicean Epistle with Ephesians, as indeed Marcion seems to have done. But the notion that Ephesians was a circular letter designed for more than one church (hence, without personalities) still holds the bulk of modern opinion.

Von Soden (History of Early Christian Literature, 294) is as dogmatic as Wrede or Van Manen: "All which has hitherto been said concerning this epistle, its form, its content, its ideas, its presuppositions, absolutely excludes the possibility of a Pauline authorship." He admits "verbal echoes of Pauline epistles"

Lightfoot puts Philippians before the other three because of its doctrinal affinity with the second group in chapter 3 as a reminiscence, and because of its anticipation of the Christological controversy with incipient Gnosticism in chapter 2. This great discussion is central in Colossians and Ephesians. At any rate, we have thus a consistent and coherent interpretation of the group. Philemon, though purely personal, is wondrously vital as a sociological document. Paul is in this group at the height of his powers in his grasp of the Person of Christ.

(d) Fourth Group (1 Timothy, Titus, 2 Timothy):

1 Timothy, Titus, 2 Timothy. The Pastoral Epistles are still hotly disputed, but there is a growing willingness in Britain and Germany to make a place for them in Paul's life. Von Soden bluntly says: "It is impossible that these epistles as they stand can have been written by Paul" (History of Early Christian Literature, 310). He finds no room for the heresy here combated, or for the details in Paul's life, or for the linguistic peculiarities in Paul's style. But he sees a "literary nicety"-this group that binds them together and separates them from Paul. Thus tersely he puts the case against the Pauline authorship. So Moffatt argues for the "sub-Pauline environment" and "sub-Pauline atmosphere" of these epistles with the advanced ecclesiasticism (Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament, 410;). Wrede thrusts aside the personal details and argues that the epistles give merely the tendency of early Christianity (Ueber Aufgabe und Metbode der Sogen. New Testament Theologie, 1897, 357). The Hatch-Van Manen article in Encyclopedia Biblica admits only that "the Pastoral Epistles occupy themselves chiefly with the various affairs of the churches within `Pauline circles.' "

Moffatt has a vigorous attack on these letters in EB, but he "almost entirely ignores the external evidence, while he has nothing to say to the remarkable internal evidence which immediately demands our attention" (Knowling, Testimony of Paul to Christ, 3rd edition, 1911, 129). Moffatt (Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament, 414) holds that the Pastoral Epistles came from one pen, but the personality and motives are very vague to him. The personal details in 2 Timothy 1:14-18; 2 Timothy 4:9-22 are not on a paragraph with those in The Acts of Paul and Thekla in the 2nd century. Many critics who reject the Pauline authorship of the Pastoral Epistles admit the personal details in 2 Timothy, but it is just in such matters that forgeries are recognizable. To admit these fragments is logically to admit the whole (Maclean in 1-vol HDB), as Moffatt sees (Intro, 414), however much he seeks to tone down the use of Paul's name as "a Christian form of suasoriae," and "a further and inoffensive development of the principle which sought to claim apostolic sanction for the expanding institutions and doctrines of the early church" (ibid., 415). The objection against these epistles from differences in diction has been grievously overdone. As a matter of fact, each of the four groups has words peculiar to it, and naturally so. Style is a function of the subject as well as a mark of the man. Besides, style changes with one's growth. It would have been remarkable if all four

groups had shown no change in no change in vocabulary and style. The case of Shakespeare is quite pertinent, for the various groups of plays stand more or less apart. The Pastoral Epistles belong to Paul's old age and deal with personal and ecclesiastical matters in a more or less reminiscential way, with less of vehement energy than we get in the earlier epistles, but this situation is what one would reasonably expect. The "ecclesiastical organization" argument has been greatly overdone. As a matter of fact, "the organization in the Pastoral Epistles is not apparently advanced one step beyond that of the church in Philippi in 61 A.D." (Ramsay, The Expositor, VII, viii, 17). The "gnosis" met by these epistles (1 Timothy 6:20 Titus 1:14) is not the highly developed type seen in the Ignatian Epistles of the 2nd century. Indeed, Bartlet ("Historic Setting of the Pastoral Epistles," The Expositor, January, 1913, 29) pointedly says that, as a result of Hort's "Judaistic Christianity" and "Christian Ecclesia" and Ramsay's "Historical Commentary on the Epistles of Timothy" (Expos, VII, vii, ix, VIII, i), "one feels the subject has been lifted to a new level of reality and that much criticism between Baur and Julicher is out of date and irrelevant." It is now shown that the Pastoral Epistles are not directed against Gnosticism of advanced type, but even of a more Jewish type (Titus 1:14) than that in Colossians. Ramsay (Expos, VIII, i, 263) sweeps this stock criticism aside as "from the wrong point of view." It falls to the ground. Lightfoot ("Note on the Heresy Combated in the Pastoral Epistles," Biblical Essays, 413) had insisted on the Jewish character of the Gnosticism attacked here. As a matter of fact, the main objection to these epistles is that they do not fit into the story in Acts, which breaks off abruptly with Paul in Rome. But it is a false premise to assume that the Pastoral Epistles have to fit into the events in Acts. Harnack turns the objection that Paul in Acts 20:26 predicted that he would never see the Ephesian elders again into a strong argument for the date of Luke's Gospel before 2 Timothy 4:21 (The Date of Acts and Synoptic Gospels, 103). Indeed, he may not have revisited Ephesus after all, but may have seen Timothy at Miletus also (1 Timothy 1:3). Harnack frankly admits the acquittal and release of Paul and thus free play for the Pastoral Epistles Blass (Acta Apostolorum, 24) acknowledges the Pastoral Epistles as genuine. So also Findlay, article "Paul," in HDB; Maclean in 1-vol HDB; Denney in Standard BD. Sanday (Inspiration, 364) comments on the strength of the external evidence for the Pastoral Epistles. Even Holtzmann (Einl(3), 291) appears to admit echoes of the Pastoral Epistles in the Ignatian Epistles Lightfoot (Biblical Essays, "Date of the Pastoral Epistles," 399-437) justifies completely the acceptance of the Pauline authorship. Deissman (St. Paul, 15) has a needed word: "The delusion is still current in certain circles that the scientific distinction of a Bible scholar may be estimated in the form of a percentage according to the proportion of his verdicts of spuriousness..... The extant letters of Paul have been innocently obliged to endure again a fair share of the martyrdom suffered by the historic Paul." See further PASTORAL EPISTLES.

(3) Paul's Conception of His Epistles

Assuming, therefore, the Pauline authorship of the thirteen epistles, we may note that they, reveal in a remarkable way the growth in Paul's apprehension of Christ and Christianity, his adaptation to varied situations, his grasp of world-problems and the eternal values of life. Paul wrote other epistles, as we know. In 1 Corinthians 5:9 there is a clear reference to a letter not now known to us otherwise, earlier than 1 Corinthians. The use of "every epistle" in 2 Thessalonians 3:17 naturally implies that Paul had written more than two already. It is not certain to what letter Paul refers in 2 Corinthians 2:4 -most probably to one between 1 and 2 Corinthians, though, as already shown, some scholars find that letter in 2 Corinthians 10-13. Once more Paul (Colossians 4:16) mentions an epistle addressed to the church at Laodicea. This epistle is almost certainly that which we know as Ephesians. If not, here is another lost epistle. Indeed, at least two apocryphal Epistles to the Laodiceans were written to supply this deficiency. As early as 2 Thessalonians 2:2 forgers were at work to palm, off epistles in Paul's name, "or by epistle as from us," to attack and pervert Paul's real views, whom Paul denounces. It was entirely possible that this "nefarious work" would be continued (Gregory, Canon and Text of the New Testament, 1907, 191), though, as Gregory argues, Paul's exposure here would have a tendency to put a stop to it and to put Christians on their guard and to watch for Paul's signature to the epistles as a mark of genuineness (2 Thessalonians 3:17 1 Corinthians 16:21 Galatians 6:11 Colossians 4:18). This was all the more important since Paul evidently dictated his letters to amanuenses, as to Tertius in the case of Romans 16:22. In the case of Philemon 1:19, Paul probably wrote the whole letter. We may be sure therefore that, if we had the other genuine letters of Paul, they would occupy the same general standpoint as the thirteen now in our possession. The point to note here is that the four groups of Paul's Epistles fit into the historical background of the Acts as recorded by Luke, barring the fourth group which is later than the events in Acts. Each group meets a specific situation in a definite region or regions, with problems of vital interest. Paul attacks these various problems (theological, ecclesiastical, practical) with marvelous vigor, and applies the eternal principles of the gospel of Christ in such fashion as to furnish a norm for future workers for Christ. It is not necessary to say that he was conscious of that use. Deissmann (St. Paul, 12) is confident on this point: "That a portion of these confidential letters should be still extant after centuries, Paul cannot have intended, nor did it ever occur to him that they would be." Be that as it may, and granted that Paul's Epistles are "survivals, in the sense of the technical language employed by the historical method" (ibid., 12), still we must not forget that Paul attached a great deal of importance to his letters and urged obedience to the teachings which they contained: "I adjure you by the, Lord that this epistle be read unto all the brethren" (1 Thessalonians 5:27). This command we find in the very first one preserved to us. Once more note 2 Thessalonians 3:14: "And if any man obeyeth not our word by this ep., note that man, that ye have no company with him." Evidently therefore Paul does not conceive his epistles as mere incidents in personal correspondence, but authoritative instructions for the Christians to whom they are addressed. In 1 Corinthians 7:17, "And so ordain I in all the churches," he puts his epistolary commands on a paragraph with the words of Jesus quoted in the same chapter. Some indeed at Corinth (2 Corinthians 10:9 f) took his "letters" as an effort to "terrify" them, a thing that he was afraid to do in person. Paul (2 Corinthians 10:11) does not deny the authority of his letters, but claims equal courage when he comes in person (compare 2 Corinthians 13:2, 10). That Paul expected his letters to be used by more than the one church to which they were addressed is clear from Colossians 4:16: "And when this epistle hath been read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye also read the epistle from Laodicea." If the letter to Laodicea is our Ephesians and a sort of circular letter (compare Galatians), that is clear. But it must be noted that Colossians, undoubtedly a specific letter to Colosse, is likewise to be passed on to Laodicea. It is not always observed that in 1 Corinthians 1:2, though the epistle is addressed "unto the church of God which is at Corinth," Paul adds, "with all that call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, their Lord and ours." Philemon is, of course, a personal letter, though it deals with a sociological problem of universal interest. The Pastoral Epistles are addressed to two young ministers and have many personal details, as is natural, but the epistles deal far more with the social aspects of church life and the heresies and vices that were threatening the very existence of Christianity in the Roman empire. Paul is eager that Timothy shall follow his teaching (2 Timothy 3:10), and "the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" (2 Timothy 2:2). It is this larger view of the future of Christianity that concerns Paul very keenly. The very conception of his ministry to the Gentiles (Romans 15:16 Ephesians 3:7) led Paul to feel that he had a right to speak to all, "both to Greeks and to Barbarians" (Romans 1:14), and hence, even to Rome (Romans 1:15 f). It is a mistake to limit Paul's Epistles to the local and temporary sphere given them by Deissmann.

(4) Development in Paul's Epistles

For Paul's gospel or theology see later. Here we must stress the fact that all four groups of Paul's Epistles are legitimate developments from his fundamental experience of grace as conditioned by his previous training and later work. He met each new problem with the same basal truth that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, revealed to Paul on the way to Damascus. The reality of this great experience must here be assumed (see discussion later). It may be admitted that the Acts does not stand upon the same plane as the Pauline Epistles as a witness concerning Paul's conversion (Fletcher, The Conversion of Paul, 1910, 5). But even so, the Epistles amply confirm Luke's report of the essential fact that Jesus appeared to Paul in the same sense that He did to the apostles and 500 Christians (1 Corinthians 15:4-9). The revelation of Christ to Paul and in Paul (en emoi, Galatians 1:16) and the specific call connected therewith to preach to the Gentiles gave Paul a place independent of and on a paragraph with the other apostles (Galatians 1:16; Galatians 2:1-10).

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1. Luke's Narrative in Acts

2. Confirmation of Luke's Narrative in the Epistle



1. Paul's Past and Present Relations with the Thessalonians and His Love for Them

2. Exhortations against Vice, and Comfort and Warning in View of the Coming of Christ




I. The Importance of the Epistle.

The letter is especially important as a witness to the content of the earliest Gospel, on account of its date and its well-nigh unchallenged authenticity. According to Harnack it was written in the year 48 A.D.; according to Zahn, in the year 53. It is likely that these two dates represent the extreme limits. We are thus justified in saying with confidence that we have before us a document that could not have been written more than 24 years, and may very easily have been written but 19 years, after the ascension of our Lord. This is a fact of great interest in view of the contention that the Jesus of the four Gospels is a product of the legend-making propensity of devout souls in the latter part of the 1st century. When we remember that Paul was converted more than 14 years before the writing of the Epistles, and that he tells us that his conversion was of such an overwhelming nature as to impel him in a straight course from which he never varied, and when we note that at the end of 14 years Peter and John, having fully heard the gospel which he preached, had no corrections to offer (Galatians 1:11-2:10, especially 2:6-10), we see that the view of Christ and His message given in this Epistle traces itself back into the very presence of the most intimate friends of Jesus. It is not meant by this that the words of Paul or the forms of his teaching are reproductions of things Jesus said in the days of His flesh, but rather that the conception which is embodied in the Epistle of the person of Christ and of His relation to the Father, and of His relation also to the church and to human destiny, is rooted in Christ's own self-revelation.

II. Circumstances of the Founding of the Church.

1. Luke's Narrative in Acts:

For the founding of the church we have two sources of information, the Book of Acts and the Epistle itself. Luke's narrative is found in Acts 17. Here we are told that Paul, after leaving Philippi, began his next siege against entrenched paganism in the great market center of Thessalonica. He went first into the synagogues of the Jews, and for three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures. Some of them, Luke tells us, "were persuaded, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few." This very naturally excited the jealousy of the Jews who found themselves losing the social prestige that came from having a large number of Greeks, including some of the nobility, resorting to them for instruction. Accordingly, they raised a mob of the worst men in town and brought the leading members of the church before the magistrate. These brethren, Jason and certain others, who seem to have been men of some property, were compelled to give bond to preserve the peace, and the intense feeling against Paul made it necessary for him, for the sake of these brethren as well as for his personal safety, to flee from the city.

2. Confirmation of Luke's Narrative in the Epistle:

The historicity of Luke's story of the founding of the church is strongly supported by the text of the Epistle. Paul, for instance, notes that the work in Thessalonica began after they had been shamefully entreated at Philippi (1 Thessalonians 2:2). He bears witness also in the same verse to the conflict in the midst of which the Thessalonian church was founded (see also 1 Thessalonians 2:14). Paul's exhortation to salute all the brethren with a holy kiss, his solemn adjuration that this letter be read unto all the brethren (1 Thessalonians 5:26, 27), and his exhortation to despise not prophesying (1 Thessalonians 5:20) are harmonious with Luke's account of the very diverse social elements out of which the church was formed: diversities that would very easily give rise to a disposition on the part of the more aristocratic to neglect the cordial greetings to the poorer members, and to despise their uncouth testimonies to the grace of God that had come to them (Acts 17:4).

Paul tells us that he was forced to labor for his daily bread at Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 2:9). Luke does not make mention of this, but he tells us of his work at tent-making in the next town where he made a considerable stop (Acts 18:1-3), and thus each statement makes the other probable.

Perhaps, however, the most marked corroboration of the Acts which we have in the letter is the general harmony of its revelation of the character of Paul with that of the Acts. The reminiscences of Paul's work among them (1 Thessalonians 2:1-12) correspond, for instance, in a marked way, in essence though not in style and vocabulary, with Luke's report of Paul's account of the method and spirit of his work at Ephesus (Acts 20:17-35). This, however, is only one of many correspondences which could be pointed out and which will at once be evident to anyone who will read the letter, and then go over Acts 13-28.

It may seem irrelevant thus to emphasize the historicity of Acts in an article on Thessalonians, but the witness of the Epistle to the historicity of the Gospels and of Acts is for the present moment one of its most important functions.

III. Conditions in the Thessalonian Church as Indicated in the Letter.

A New Testament epistle bears a close resemblance to a doctor's prescription. It relates itself to the immediate situation of the person to whom it is directed. If we study it we can infer with a great deal of accuracy the tendencies, good or bad, in the church. What revelation of the conditions at Thessalonica is made in the First Epistle? Plainly, affairs on the whole are in a very good state, especially when one takes into account the fact that most of the members had been out of heathenism but a few months. They were so notably devoted to God that they were known all over Macedonia as examples to the church (1 Thessalonians 1:7). In particular the Christian grace of cordial good will toward all believers flourished among them: a grace which they doubtless had good opportunity to exercise in this great market town to which Christians from all parts would resort on business errands and where there would be constant demands on their hospitality (1 Thessalonians 4:9-10).

There were, however, shadows in the picture. Some persons were whispering dark suspicions against Paul. Perhaps, as Zahn suggests, they were the unbelieving husbands of the rich ladies who had become members of the church. It was in answer to these criticisms that he felt called upon to say that he was not a fanatic nor a moral leper, nor a deceiver (1 Thessalonians 2:3). When he is so careful to remind them that he was not found at any time wearing a cloak of covetousness, but rather went to the extreme of laboring night and day that he might not be chargeable to any of them (1 Thessalonians 2:9), we may be sure that the Christians were hearing constant jibes about their money-making teacher who had already worked his scheme with the Philippians so successfully that they had twice sent him a contribution (Philippians 4:16). Paul's peculiar sensitiveness on this point at Corinth (1 Corinthians 9:14, 15) was possibly in part the result of his immediately preceding experiences at Thessalonica.

One wonders whether Greece was not peculiarly infested at this time with wandering philosophers and religious teachers who beat their way as best they could, living on the credulity of the unwary.

Paul's anxiety to assure them of his intense desire to see them and his telling of his repeated attempts to come to them (1 Thessalonians 2:17-20) show rather plainly also that his absence had given rise to the suspicion that he was afraid to come back, or indeed quite indifferent about revisiting them. "We would fain have come unto you," he says, "I Paul once and again; and Satan hindered us."

Some also were saying that Paul was a flatterer (1 Thessalonians 2:5), who was seeking by this means to carry out unworthy ends. This sneer indeed, after the reading of the letter, would come quite naturally to the superficial mind. Paul's amazing power to idealize his converts and see them in the light of their good intentions and of the general goal and trend of their minds is quite beyond the appreciation of a shallow and sardonic soul.

More than this, we can see plain evidence that the church was in danger of the chronic heathen vice of unchastity (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8). The humble members also, in particular, were in danger of being intoxicated by the new intellectual and spiritual life into which they had been inducted by the gospel, and were spending their time in religious meetings to the neglect of their daily labor (1 Thessalonians 4:10-12). Moreover, some who had lost friends since their baptism were mourning lest at the second coming of Christ these who had fallen asleep would not share in the common glory (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). This is a quaint proof of the immaturity of their view of Christ, as though a physical accident could separate from His love and care. There was likewise, as suggested above, the ever-present danger of social cliques among the members (1 Thessalonians 5:13, 15, 20, 26, 27). It is to this condition of things that Paul pours forth this amazingly vital and human Epistle.

IV. Analysis of the Epistle.

The letter may be divided in several ways. Perhaps as simple a way as any is that which separates it into two main divisions.

First, Paul's past and present relations with the Thessalonians, and his love for them (1 Thessalonians 1:1-3:13):

1. Paul's Past and Present Relations with the Thessalonians and His Love for Them:

(1) Greeting and Thanksgiving (1 Thessalonians 1:1-10).

(2) Paul reminds them of the character of his life and ministry among them (1 Thessalonians 2:1-12).

(3) The sufferings of the Thessalonians the same as those endured by their Jewish brethren (1 Thessalonians 2:13-16).

(4) Paul's efforts to see them (1 Thessalonians 2:17-20).

(5) Paul's surrender of his beloved helper in order to learn the state of the Thessalonian church, and his joy over the good news which Timothy brought (1 Thessalonians 3:1-13).

Second, exhortations against vice, and comfort and warning in view of the coming of Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:1-5, 28):

2. Exhortations against Vice, and Comfort and Warning in View of the Coming of Christ:

(1) Against gross vice (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8).

(2) Against idleness (1 Thessalonians 4:9-12).

(3) Concerning those who have fallen asleep (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

(4) Concerning the true way to watch for the Coming (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11).

(5) Sundry exhortations (1 Thessalonians 5:12-28).

V. Doctrinal Implications of the Epistle.

The Epistle to the Thessalonians is not a doctrinal letter. Paul's great teaching concerning salvation by faith alone, apart from the works of the Law, is not sharply defined or baldly stated, and the doctrine of the cross of Christ as central in Christianity is here implied rather than enforced. Almost the only doctrinal statement is that which assures them that those of their number who had fallen asleep would not in any wise be shut out from the rewards and glories at Christ's second coming (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). But while the main doctrinal positions of Paul are not elaborated or even stated in the letter, it may safely be said that the Epistle could scarcely have been written by one who denied those teachings. And the fact that we know that shortly before or shortly after Paul wrote the Epistle to the Galatians, and the fact that he so definitely describes his attitude at this very time toward the preaching of the cross of Christ, in his reminiscences in 1 Corinthians (see especially 1 Corinthians 2:1-5), show how foolish it is to assume that an author has not yet come to a position because he does not constantly obtrude it in all that he writes.

The Epistle, however, bears abundant evidence to the fact that this contemporary of Jesus had seen in the life and character and resurrection of Jesus that which caused him to exalt Him to divine honors, to mention Him in the same breath with God the Father, and to expect His second coming in glory as the event which would determine the destiny of all men and be the final goal of history. As such the letter, whose authenticity is now practically unquestioned, is a powerful proof that Jesus was a personality as extraordinary as the Jesus of the first three Gospels. And even the Christ of the Fourth Gospel is scarcely more exalted than He who now with God the Father constitutes the spiritual atmosphere in which Christians exist (1 Thessalonians 1:1), and who at the last day will descend from heaven with a shout and with the voice of an archangel and the trump of God, and cause the dead in Christ to rise from their tombs to dwell forever with Himself (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).

VI. The Epistle's Revelations of Paul's Characteristics.

We notice in the letter the extreme tactfulness of Paul. He has some plain and humiliating warnings to give, but he precedes them in each case with affectionate recognition of the good qualities of the brethren. Before he warns against gross vice he explains that he is simply urging them to continue in the good way they are in. Before he urges them to go to work he cordially recognizes the love that has made them linger so long and so frequently at the common meeting-places. And when in connection with his exhortations about the second coming he alludes to the vice of drunkenness, he first idealizes them as sons of the light and of the day to whom, of course, the drunken orgies of those who are "of the night" would be unthinkable. Thus by a kind of spiritual suggestion he starts them in the right way.


Bishop Alexander, the Speaker's Commentary (published in America under the title, The Bible Comm., and bound with most excellent commentaries on all of the Pauline Epistles), New York, Scribners; Milligan, The Epistles to the Thessalonians (the Greek text with Introduction and notes), London, Macmillan; Moffatt, The Expositor's Greek Test. (bound with commentaries by various authors on the Pastoral Epistles, Philemon, Hebrews and James), New York, Dodd, Mead and Co.; Frame, ICC, New York, Scribners; Stevens, An American Commentary on the New Testament, Philadelphia, American Baptist Publication Society; Adeney, The New Century Bible, "1 and 2 Thessalonians" and "Galatians," New York, Henry Frowde; Findlay, "The Epistles to the Thessalonians," Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, New York, Putnams; James Denney, "The Epistles to the Thessalonians," Expositor's Bible, New York, Doran; the two latter are especially recommended as inexpensive, popular and yet scholarly commentaries. The Cambridge Bible is a verse-by-verse commentary, and Professor Denney on "Thess" in Expositor's Bible is one of the most vital and vigorous pieces of homiletical exposition known to the present writer.

Rollin Hough Walker




1. Arguments against the Pauline Authorship

2. Arguments for the Pauline Authorship


1. Primary Reference

2. Permanent Value of the Teaching concerning the Man of Sin



I. Importance of Studying 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians Together.

Those who hold to the Pauline authorship of the Epistle unite in ascribing it to a time but little subsequent to the writing of the First Letter. It is simply a second prescription for the same case, made after discovering that some certain stubborn symptoms had not yielded to the first treatment. 2 Thessalonians should be studied in connection with 1 Thessalonians because it is only from an understanding of the First Epistle and the situation that it revealed that one can fully grasp the significance of the Second. And more than that, the solution of the problem as to whether Paul wrote the Second Letter is likewise largely dependent on our knowledge of the First. It would, for instance, be much harder to believe that Paul had written 2 Thessalonians if we did not know that before writing it he had used the tender and tactful methods of treatment which we find in the First Letter. It is as though one should enter a sick rook where the physician is resorting to some rather strong measures with a patient. One is better prepared to judge the wisdom of the treatment if he knows the history of the case, and discovers that gentler methods have already been tried by the physician without success.

II. Authenticity.

1. Arguments against the Pauline Authorship:

The different treatment of the subject of the second coming of Christ, the different emotional tone, and the different relationships between Paul and the church presupposed in the First and Second Epistles have been among the causes which have led to repeated questionings of the Pauline authorship of 2 Thessalonians. Scholars argue, in the first place, that the doctrine concerning the coming of Christ which we find in the Second Letter is not only differently phrased but is contradictory to that in the First. We get the impression from the First Letter that the Day of the Lord is at hand. It will come as a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2), and one of the main parts of Christian duty is to expect (1 Thessalonians 1:9, 10). In the Second Letter, however, he writer urges strongly against any influence that will deceive them into believing that the Day of the Lord is at hand, because it will not be "except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, he that opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshiped" (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4).

Again very plainly also, say the critics, a different relation exists between the writer and the church at Thessalonica. In the First Letter he coaxes; in the Second Letter he commands (1 Thessalonians 4:1, 2, 9-12; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 12-14). Moreover, the whole emotional tone of the Second Letter is different from that of the First. The First Epistle is a veritable geyser of joyous, grateful affection and tenderness. The Second Letter, while it also contains expressions of the warmest affection and appreciation, is quite plainly not written under the same pressure of tender emotion. Here, say the critics, is a lower plane of inspiration. Here are Paul's words and phrases and plain imitations of Paul's manner, but here most emphatically is not the flood tide of Paul's inspiration. Moreover, the lurid vision of the battle between the man of sin and the returning Messiah in the Second Letter is different in form and coloring from anything which we find elsewhere in Paul. These, and other considerations have led many to assume that the letter was written by a hand other than that of the Apostle to the Gentiles.

2. Arguments for the Pauline Authorship:

The Hypothesis, however, that Paul was not the author of the Epistle, while it obviates certain difficulties, raises many more. Into a statement of these difficulties we will not go here, but refer the reader to a brief and scholarly putting of them in Peake's Critical Introduction to the New Testament, 12-16 (New York, Scribners, 1910).

There is accordingly today a manifest tendency among all scholars, including those in the more radical camps, to return to the traditional position concerning the authorship. The following are some of the positive arguments for the authenticity:

As for the opposing views of the coming of Christ in the two Epistles, it is to be noted that precisely the same superficial contradiction occurs in our Lord's own teaching on this same subject (Matthew 24:6, 23, 24, 25, 26 Luke 12:35, 40). Jesus exhorts His disciples to watch, for in such an hour as they think not the Son of man cometh, and yet at the same time and in the same connection warns them that when they see certain signs they should not be troubled, for the end is not yet. Paul, brooding over the subject after writing the First Letter, might easily have come strongly to see the obverse side of the shield. The apostle built his theology upon the tradition which had come from Jesus as interpreted by its practical effects upon his converts, and his mind was quick to counteract any danger due to overemphasis or wrong inferences. He was not nearly as eager for a consistently stated doctrine as he was for a doctrine that made for spiritual life and efficiency. During the fierce persecutions at the beginning of the movement in Thessalonica, the comfort of the thought of the swift coming of Christ was in need of emphasis but as soon as the doctrine was used as an excuse for unhealthful religious excitement the minds of the disciples must be focused on more prosaic and less exciting aspects of reality.

That Paul assumes a commanding and peremptory attitude in the Second Letter which we do not find so plainly asserted in the First is readily admitted. Why should not the First Letter have had its intended effect upon the Thessalonian church as a whole? And if Paul received word that his gracious and tactful message had carried with it the conviction of the dominant elements of the church, but that certain groups had continued to be fanatical and disorderly, we can easily see how, with the main current of the church behind him, he would have dared to use more drastic methods with the offending members.

It is also readily admitted that the Second Letter is not so delightful and heart-warming as the First. It was plainly not written in a mood of such high emotional elevation. But the question may be raised as to whether the coaxing, caressing tone of the First Epistle would have been appropriate in handling the lazy and fanatical elements of the church after it had persisted in disregarding his tender and kindly admonitions. Jesus' stern words to the Pharisees in Matthew 23 are not so inspiring as John 14, but they were the words and the only words that were needed at the time. "Let not your heart be troubled" would not be inspired if delivered to hypocrites. Furthermore, we are not called upon to assume that Paul at all times lived in the same mood of emotional exaltation. Indeed his Epistles abound with assertions that this was not the case (2 Corinthians 1:8 1 Thessalonians 3:9), and it is unreasonable to expect him always to write in the same key. It must be added, however, that the suggestion that the Second Epistle is stern may easily be overdone. If 1 Thessalonians were not before us, it would be the tenderness of Paul's treatment of the church which would most impress us.

Harnack has recently added the weight of his authority to the argument for the Pauline authorship of the letter. He thinks that there were two distinct societies in Thessalonica, the one perhaps meeting in the Jewish quarter and composed chiefly of Jewish Christians, and the other composed of Greeks meeting in some other part of the city. In addition to the probability that this would be true, which arises from the very diverse social classes out of which the church was formed (Acts 17:4), and the size of the city, he points to the adjuration in the First Letter (1 Thessalonians 5:27) that this Epistle be read unto all the brethren, as a proof that there was a coterie in the church that met separately and that might easily have been neglected by the rest, just as the Greeks in Jerusalem were neglected in the daily ministration (Acts 6:1). He thinks that the Second Letter was probably directed to the Jewish element of the Church.

It is to be noted also that Professor Moffatt (Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament, 76;), who calls in question the authenticity of nearly all of the books of the New Testament that any reputable scholars now attack, finds no sufficient reason to question the Pauline authorship of 2 Thessalonians.

III. The Man of Sin.

1. Primary Reference:

The question as to whom or what Paul refers to in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, when he speaks of the man of sin, whose revelation is to precede the final manifestation of Christ, has divided scholars during all the Christian centuries. (For a good discussion of the history of the interpretation of this difficult section, see Findlay, "I and II Thessalonians," Cambridge Bible, 170-80.) The reason why each age has had its fresh interpretation identifying the man of sin with the blasphemous powers of evil then most active is the fact that the prophecy has never yet found its complete accomplishment. The man of sin has never been fully revealed, and Christ has never finally destroyed him.

But Paul says that the mystery of iniquity already works (2 Thessalonians 2:7), and he tells the church that the restraining influence which for the time being held it in check is something that "ye know" (2 Thessalonians 2:6). Plainly, then, the evil power and that which held it in check were things quite familiar both to Paul and to his readers. We must therefore give the prophecy a lst-century reference. The alternative probably lies between making the mystery of iniquity the disposition of the Roman emperor to give himself out as an incarnation of deity and force all men to worship him, a tendency which was then being held in check by Claudius, but which soon broke out under Caligula (see Peake's Introduction above cited); or, on the other hand, making the mystery of iniquity to be some peculiar manifestation of diabolism which was to break out from the persecuting Jewish world, and which was then held in check by the restraining power of the Roman government.

In favor of making a blasphemous Roman emperor the man of sin, may be urged the fact that it was this demand of the emperor for worship which brought matters to a crisis in the Roman world and turned the terrific enginery of the Roman empire against Christianity. And it may be argued that it is hardly likely that the temporary protection which Paul received from the Roman government prevented him from seeing that its spirit was such that it must ultimately be ranged against Christianity. One may note also, in arguing for the Roman reference of the man of sin, the figurative and enigmatic way in which Paul refers to the opposing power, a restraint that would be rendered necessary for reasons of prudence (compare Mark 13:14, and also the cryptograms used by the author of the Book of Revelation in referring to Rome). Paul has none of this reserve in referring to the persecuting Jewish world who "please not God, and are contrary to all men" (1 Thessalonians 2:15). And in view of the fact that the Jews were in disfavor in the Roman empire, as is proved by then recently issued decree of Claudius commanding all Jews to depart from Rome (Acts 18:2), and by the fact that to proclaim a man a Jew helped at that time to lash a mob into fury against him (Acts 16:20; Acts 19:34), it would seem hardly likely that Paul would expect the subtle and attractive deception that was to delude the World to come from Jerusalem; and particularly would this seem unlikely in view of the fact that Paul seems to be familiar with our Lord's prophecy of the swift destruction of Jerusalem, as is shown by his assertion in 1 Thessalonians 2:16, that wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.

On the other hand, however, to make the man of sin a person or an influence coming from Judaism is supported by the fact that he is to sit in the temple of God, setting himself forth to be God (1 Thessalonians 2:4), and by the fact that the natural punishment for the rejection of their Messiah was that the Jews should be led to accept a false Messiah. Having opposed Him who came in the Father's name, they were doomed to accept one who came in his own name. Again, and far more important than this, is the fact that during nearly the whole of Paul's life it was the Roman empire that protected him, and the unbelieving Jews that formed the malicious, cunning and powerful opposition to his work and to the well-being and peace of his churches, and he could very well have felt that the final incarnation of evil was to come from the source which had crucified the Christ and which had thus far been chiefly instrumental in opposing the gospel. Moreover, this expectation that a mysterious power of evil should arise out of the Jewish world seems to be in harmony with the rest of the New Testament (Matthew 24:5, 23, 24 Revelation 11:3, 1, 8). It is the second alternative, therefore, that is, with misgivings, chosen by the present writer.

It may be objected that this cannot be the true Interpretation, as it was not fulfilled, but, on the contrary, it was Rome that became the gospel's most formidable foe. But this type of objection, if accepted as valid, practically puts a stop to all attempts at a historical interpretation of prophecy. It would force us to deny that the prophecies of the Old Testament, which are usually taken as referring to Christ, referred to Him at all, because plainly they were not literally fulfilled in the time and manner that the prophets expected them to be fulfilled. It would almost force us to deny that John the Baptist referred to Christ when he heralded the coming of the one who would burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire, because as the Gospels tell us Jesus did not fulfill this prophecy in the way John expected (Luke 7:19).


2. Permanent Value of the Teaching concerning the Man of Sin:

Although Paul's prediction concerning the man of sin was not literally fulfilled, nevertheless his teaching has a permanent significance. It is always true in every battle for good that the Son of man does not come until the falling away comes and the man of sin is revealed. First, there is the fresh tide of enthusiasm and the promise of swift victory for the kingdom of heaven, but soon there is the reaction and the renascence of opposition in new and overwhelming power. The battle is to the death. And then above the smoke of the battle men see the sign of the coming of the Son of man with power and great glory; the conviction floods them that after all what Christ stands for is at the center of the universe and must prevail, and men begin to recognize Christ's principles as though they were natural law. This action and reaction followed by final victory takes place in practically all religious and reforming movements which involve the social reconstruction of society according to the principles of the Kingdom. It is exceedingly important that men should be delivered from shallow optimism. And this Epistle makes its contribution to that good end.

IV. Paul's Exhortation to Quiet Industry.

The exhortation that the brethren should work with quietness and earn their own bread (2 Thessalonians 3:12) is full of interest to those who are studying the psychological development of the early Christians under the influence of the great mental stimulus that came to them from the gospel. Some were so excited by the new dignity that had come to them as members of the Christian society, and by the new hopes that had been inspired in their minds, that they considered themselves above the base necessity of manual labor. This is not an infrequent phenomenon among new converts to Christianity in heathen lands. Paul would have none of it. Fortunately he could point to his own example. He not only labored among them to earn his own livelihood, but he worked until muscles ached and body rebelled (2 These 3:8).

Paul saw that the gospel was to be propagated chiefly by its splendid effects on the lives of all classes of society, and he realized that almost the first duty of the church was to be respected, and so he not only exhorts the individual members to independence, but he lays down the principle that no economic parasite is to be tolerated in the church. "If any man will not work, neither let him eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10). This forms an important complement to the teaching of Jesus (Matthew 5:42): "Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away." LITERATURE.

Seeunder 1 Thessalonians.

Rollin Hough Walker


voi'-aj, ship'-rek.




3972. Paulos -- (Sergius) Paulus (a Roman proconsul), also Paul ...
... (Sergius) Paulus (a Roman proconsul), also Paul (an apostle ... proconsul), also Paul
(an apostle) NASB Word Usage Paul (152), Paul's (5), Paulus (1). Paul, Paulus. ...
// - 6k

5060. Tertios -- "third," Tertius, a Christian to whom Paul ...
... 5059, 5060. Tertios. 5061 . "third," Tertius, a Christian to whom Paul dictated
Romans. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: Tertios Phonetic ...
// - 6k

4609. Silas -- Silas, a fellow missionary of Paul
... Silas, a fellow missionary of Paul. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration:
Silas Phonetic Spelling: (see'-las) Short Definition: Silas Definition ...
// - 6k

4569. Saulos -- Saul, the Jewish name of the apostle Paul
... Saul, the Jewish name of the apostle Paul. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine
Transliteration: Saulos Phonetic Spelling: (sow'-los) Short Definition: Saul, the ...
// - 6k

4549. Saoul -- Saul, the first Isr. king, also the Jewish name of ...
... king, also the Jewish name of Paul. Part of Speech: Proper Noun, Indeclinable
Transliteration: Saoul Phonetic Spelling: (sah-ool') Short Definition: Saul ...
// - 6k

2161. Eutuchos -- "well-fated," Eutychus, a young man restored to ...
... 2160, 2161. Eutuchos. 2162 . "well-fated," Eutychus, a young man restored to
life by Paul. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: Eutuchos Phonetic ...
// - 6k

5436. Phugelos -- Phygelus, one who deserted Paul
... Phygelus, one who deserted Paul. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration:
Phugelos Phonetic Spelling: (foog'-el-los) Short Definition: Phygelus ...
// - 6k

1214. Demas -- Demas, a companion of Paul
... Demas, a companion of Paul. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: Demas
Phonetic Spelling: (day-mas') Short Definition: Demas Definition: Demas, a ...
// - 6k

4450b. Purros -- Pyrrhus, the father of one of Paul's companions
... 4450a, 4450b. Purros. 4451 . Pyrrhus, the father of one of Paul's
companions. Transliteration: Purros Short Definition: Pyrrhus. ...
// - 5k

921. Barnabas -- Barnabas, an Israelite companion of Paul
... Barnabas, an Israelite companion of Paul. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine
Transliteration: Barnabas Phonetic Spelling: (bar-nab'-as) Short Definition: Barnabas ...
// - 6k


Homilies on the Epistles of Paul to the Corinthians
Homilies on the Epistles of Paul to the Corinthians. <. Homilies on
the Epistles of Paul to the Corinthians Saint Chrysostom. ...
/.../chrysostom/homilies on the epistles of paul to the corinthians/

Paul GerhardtÆs Spiritual Songs
Paul GerhardtÆs Spiritual Songs. <. Paul GerhardtÆs Spiritual Songs
Paul Gerhardt. Produced by Stephen Hutcheson, based ...
// gerhardts spiritual songs/

Bible Studies in the Life of Paul
Bible Studies in the Life of Paul. <. Bible Studies in the Life of Paul Henry
T. Sell. Produced by Al Haines Table of Contents. Title Page. PREFACE. ...
// studies in the life of paul/

The Prayers of St. Paul
The Prayers of St. Paul. <. The Prayers of St. Paul WH Griffith
Thomas. Produced by Curtis Weyant, Stephanie Eason, and ...
// prayers of st paul/

The Life of St. Paul
The Life of St. Paul. <. The Life of St. Paul James Stalker et al. E-text
prepared by Al Haines Table of Contents. Title Page. FOREWORD. ...
// life of st paul/

The Epistles of Paul
... The Epistles of Paul. PAUL There is no apostle of whose life we have such
full information as we have regarding that of Paul. He ...
/.../drummond/introduction to the new testament/the epistles of paul.htm

Paul in Rome
... THE ACTS CHAP. XIII TO END PAUL IN ROME. And Paul dwelt two whole years in his
own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, 31. ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture the acts/paul in rome.htm

Paul in the Temple
... THE ACTS CHAP. XIII TO END PAUL IN THE TEMPLE. 'And when the seven days
were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia when they ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture the acts/paul in the temple.htm

Paul at Corinth
... THE ACTS CHAP. XIII TO END PAUL AT CORINTH. 'After these things Paul departed
from Athens, and came to Corinth; 2. And found a certain ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture the acts/paul at corinth.htm

Paul at Athens
... XIII TO END PAUL AT ATHENS. 'Then Paul stood In the midst of Mars-hill, and said,
Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.23. ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture the acts/paul at athens.htm

Paul (207 Occurrences)
... His circumcision-name was Saul, and probably the name Paul was also given to him
in infancy "for use in the Gentile world," as "Saul" would be his Hebrew home ...
/p/paul.htm - 101k

Paul's (34 Occurrences)
... Multi-Version Concordance Paul's (34 Occurrences). Acts 13:45 Seeing the crowds,
the Jews, filled with angry jealousy, opposed Paul's statements and abused him. ...
/p/paul's.htm - 16k

Aristarchus (6 Occurrences)
... Best ruler, native of Thessalonica (Acts 20:4), a companion of Paul (Acts 19:29;
27:2). He was Paul's "fellow-prisoner" at Rome (Colossians 4:10; Philemon 1:24 ...
/a/aristarchus.htm - 10k

... There Paul, being attacked at the instigation of the Asiatic Jews for alleged false
teaching and profanation of the temple, was rescued with difficulty by ...
/a/antonius.htm - 10k

Aquila (7 Occurrences)
... Eagle, a native of Pontus, by occupation a tent-maker, whom Paul met on his first
visit to Corinth (Acts 18:2). Along with his wife Priscilla he had fled from ...
/a/aquila.htm - 13k

Apollos (11 Occurrences)
... He then proceeded to Corinth, where he met Paul (Acts 18:27; 19:1). He was there
very useful in watering the good seed Paul had sown (1 Corinthians 1:12), and ...
/a/apollos.htm - 16k

Zenas (1 Occurrence)
... Easton's Bible Dictionary A disciple called "the lawyer," whom Paul wished Titus
to bring with him (Titus 3:13). Nothing more is known of him. Int. ...
/z/zenas.htm - 10k

Claudius (3 Occurrences)
... The chief captain (chiliarch) who commanded the Roman troops in Jerusalem, and sent
Paul under guard to the procurator Felix at Caesarea (Acts 21:31-38; 22:24 ...
/c/claudius.htm - 15k

Citizenship (4 Occurrences)
... (2) Roman citizenship.-This is of especial interest to the Bible student because
of the apostle Paul's relation to it. ... See PAUL; TARSUS. ...
/c/citizenship.htm - 16k

Silas (22 Occurrences)
... He and Judas, surnamed Barsabas, were chosen by the church there to accompany Paul
and Barnabas on their return to Antioch from the council of the apostles and ...
/s/silas.htm - 21k

Bible Concordance
Paul (207 Occurrences)

Acts 13:9 But Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fastened his eyes on him,

Acts 13:13 Now Paul and his company set sail from Paphos, and came to Perga in Pamphylia. John departed from them and returned to Jerusalem.

Acts 13:16 Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, "Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen.

Acts 13:42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people earnestly begged to have all this repeated to them on the following Sabbath.

Acts 13:43 Now when the synagogue broke up, many of the Jews and of the devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas; who, speaking to them, urged them to continue in the grace of God.

Acts 13:45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with jealousy, and contradicted the things which were spoken by Paul, and blasphemed.

Acts 13:46 Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, and said, "It was necessary that God's word should be spoken to you first. Since indeed you thrust it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.

Acts 13:50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, and stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and threw them out of their borders.

Acts 14:1 It happened in Iconium that they entered together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of Jews and of Greeks believed.
(See NIV)

Acts 14:3 Yet Paul and Barnabas remained there for a considerable time, speaking freely and relying on the Lord, while He bore witness to the Message of His grace by permitting signs and marvels to be done by them.

Acts 14:9 He was listening to Paul speaking, who, fastening eyes on him, and seeing that he had faith to be made whole,

Acts 14:11 When the multitude saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voice, saying in the language of Lycaonia, "The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!"

Acts 14:12 They called Barnabas "Jupiter," and Paul "Mercury," because he was the chief speaker.

Acts 14:14 But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of it, they tore their clothes, and sprang into the multitude, crying out,

Acts 14:19 But some Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there, and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul, and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.

Acts 15:2 Therefore when Paul and Barnabas had no small discord and discussion with them, they appointed Paul and Barnabas, and some others of them, to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders about this question.

Acts 15:12 All the multitude kept silence, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul reporting what signs and wonders God had done among the nations through them.

Acts 15:22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole assembly, to choose men out of their company, and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, chief men among the brothers.

Acts 15:25 it seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose out men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,

Acts 15:35 But Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

Acts 15:36 After some days Paul said to Barnabas, "Let's return now and visit our brothers in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, to see how they are doing."

Acts 15:38 But Paul didn't think that it was a good idea to take with them someone who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia, and didn't go with them to do the work.

Acts 15:40 but Paul chose Silas, and went out, being commended by the brothers to the grace of God.

Acts 16:1 He came to Derbe and Lystra: and behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewess who believed; but his father was a Greek.
(See NAS)

Acts 16:3 Paul wanted to have him go out with him, and he took and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts; for they all knew that his father was a Greek.

Acts 16:6 Then Paul and his companions passed through Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Message in the province of Asia.

Acts 16:9 A vision appeared to Paul in the night. There was a man of Macedonia standing, begging him, and saying, "Come over into Macedonia and help us."

Acts 16:14 A certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, one who worshiped God, heard us; whose heart the Lord opened to listen to the things which were spoken by Paul.

Acts 16:17 Following Paul and us, she cried out, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us a way of salvation!"

Acts 16:18 She was doing this for many days. But Paul, becoming greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!" It came out that very hour.

Acts 16:19 But when her masters saw that the hope of their gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas, and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers.

Acts 16:22 The multitude rose up together against them, and the magistrates tore their clothes off of them, and commanded them to be beaten with rods.
(See NIV)

Acts 16:25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

Acts 16:28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, "Don't harm yourself, for we are all here!"

Acts 16:29 He called for lights and sprang in, and, fell down trembling before Paul and Silas,

Acts 16:36 The jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, "The magistrates have sent to let you go; now therefore come out, and go in peace."

Acts 16:37 But Paul said to them, "They have beaten us publicly, without a trial, men who are Romans, and have cast us into prison! Do they now release us secretly? No, most certainly, but let them come themselves and bring us out!"

Acts 16:38 This answer the lictors took back to the praetors, who were alarmed when they were told that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens.

Acts 16:40 Then Paul and Silas, having come out of the prison, went to Lydia's house; and, after seeing the brethren and encouraging them, they left Philippi.

Acts 17:2 Paul, as was his custom, went in to them, and for three Sabbath days reasoned with them from the Scriptures,

Acts 17:4 Some of them were persuaded, and joined Paul and Silas, of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and not a few of the chief women.

Acts 17:10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Beroea. When they arrived, they went into the Jewish synagogue.

Acts 17:11 The Jews at Beroea were of a nobler disposition than those in Thessalonica, for they very readily received the Message, and day after day searched the Scriptures to see whether it was as Paul stated.

Acts 17:13 But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was proclaimed by Paul at Beroea also, they came there likewise, agitating the multitudes.

Acts 17:14 Then the brothers immediately sent out Paul to go as far as to the sea, and Silas and Timothy still stayed there.

Acts 17:15 But those who escorted Paul brought him as far as Athens. Receiving a commandment to Silas and Timothy that they should come to him very quickly, they departed.

Acts 17:16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw the city full of idols.

Acts 17:18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also were conversing with him. Some said, "What does this babbler want to say?" Others said, "He seems to be advocating foreign deities," because he preached Jesus and the resurrection.
(See NIV)

Acts 17:22 Paul stood in the middle of the Areopagus, and said, "You men of Athens, I perceive that you are very religious in all things.

Acts 17:32 When they heard Paul speak of a resurrection of dead men, some began to scoff. But others said, "We will hear you again on that subject."

Acts 17:33 Thus Paul went out from among them.

Acts 17:34 But certain men joined with him, and believed, among whom also was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
(See NIV)

Acts 18:1 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth.

Acts 18:2 Here he found a Jew, a native of Pontus, of the name of Aquila. He and his wife Priscilla had recently come from Italy because of Claudius's edict expelling all the Jews from Rome. So Paul paid them a visit;

Acts 18:5 But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.

Acts 18:6 When they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook out his clothing and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on, I will go to the Gentiles!"
(See NIV)

Acts 18:8 And Crispus, the Warden of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, and so did all his household; and from time to time many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and received baptism.

Acts 18:9 The Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, "Don't be afraid, but speak and don't be silent;

Acts 18:11 So Paul remained in Corinth for a year and six months, teaching among them the Message of God.

Acts 18:12 But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat,

Acts 18:14 But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, "If indeed it were a matter of wrong or of wicked crime, you Jews, it would be reasonable that I should bear with you;

Acts 18:18 Paul, having stayed after this many more days, took his leave of the brothers, and sailed from there for Syria, together with Priscilla and Aquila. He shaved his head in Cenchreae, for he had a vow.

Acts 18:19 They put in at Ephesus, and there Paul left his companions behind. As for himself, he went to the synagogue and had a discussion with the Jews.

Acts 18:23 After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out on a tour, visiting the whole of Galatia and Phrygia in order, and strengthening all the disciples.

Acts 19:1 It happened that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul, having passed through the upper country, came to Ephesus, and found certain disciples.

Acts 19:4 Paul said, "John indeed baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe in the one who would come after him, that is, in Jesus."

Acts 19:6 When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke with other languages and prophesied.

Acts 19:9 But some grew obstinate in unbelief and spoke evil of the new faith before all the congregation. So Paul left them, and, taking with him those who were disciples, held discussions daily in Tyrannus's lecture-hall.

Acts 19:11 God worked special miracles by the hands of Paul,

Acts 19:12 Towels or aprons, for instance, which Paul had handled used to be carried to the sick, and they recovered from their ailments, or the evil spirits left them.

Acts 19:13 But some of the itinerant Jews, exorcists, took on themselves to invoke over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, "We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches."

Acts 19:15 The evil spirit answered, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?"

Acts 19:21 Now after these things had ended, Paul determined in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, "After I have been there, I must also see Rome."

Acts 19:26 You see and hear, that not at Ephesus alone, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are no gods, that are made with hands.

Acts 19:29 The whole city was filled with confusion, and they rushed with one accord into the theater, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel.

Acts 19:30 When Paul wanted to enter in to the people, the disciples didn't allow him.

Acts 19:31 Certain also of the Asiarchs, being his friends, sent to him and begged him not to venture into the theater.
(See NIV)

Acts 20:1 After the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, took leave of them, and departed to go into Macedonia.

Acts 20:7 On the first day of the week, when the disciples were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and continued his speech until midnight.

Acts 20:9 A certain young man named Eutychus sat in the window, weighed down with deep sleep. As Paul spoke still longer, being weighed down by his sleep, he fell down from the third story, and was taken up dead.

Acts 20:10 Paul went down, and fell upon him, and embracing him said, "Don't be troubled, for his life is in him."

Acts 20:11 When he had gone up, and had broken bread, and eaten, and had talked with them a long while, even until break of day, he departed.
(See RSV)

Acts 20:13 But we who went ahead to the ship set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for he had so arranged, intending himself to go by land.

Acts 20:16 For Paul had determined to sail past Ephesus, that he might not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hastening, if it were possible for him, to be in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.

Acts 20:17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called to himself the elders of the assembly.
(See NIV)

Acts 20:36 Having spoken thus, Paul knelt down and prayed with them all;

Acts 20:37 They all wept a lot, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him,

Acts 21:4 Having found disciples, we stayed there seven days. These said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

Acts 21:8 On the next day, we, who were Paul's companions, departed, and came to Caesarea. We entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him.

Acts 21:11 Coming to us, and taking Paul's belt, he bound his own feet and hands, and said, "Thus says the Holy Spirit:'So will the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and will deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'"

Acts 21:12 As soon as we heard these words, both we and the brethren at Caesarea entreated Paul not to go up to Jerusalem.

Acts 21:13 Then Paul answered, "What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus."

Acts 21:18 The day following, Paul went in with us to James; and all the elders were present.

Acts 21:19 After exchanging friendly greetings, Paul told in detail all that God had done among the Gentiles through his instrumentality.

Acts 21:20 They, when they heard it, glorified God. They said to him, "You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law.
(See NIV)

Acts 21:26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purified himself and went with them into the temple, declaring the fulfillment of the days of purification, until the offering was offered for every one of them.

Acts 21:27 But, when the seven days were nearly over, the Jews from the province of Asia, having seen Paul in the Temple, set about rousing the fury of all the people against him.

Acts 21:29 For they had seen Trophimus, the Ephesian, with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple.

Acts 21:30 All the city was moved, and the people ran together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple. Immediately the doors were shut.

Acts 21:31 But while they were trying to kill Paul, word was taken up to the Tribune in command of the battalion, that all Jerusalem was in a ferment.



Paul Escapes to Derbe, where he Preaches the Gospel, and Returns to Lystra

Paul is Bitten by a Viper and Miraculously Unharmed

Paul is Brought Before the Sanhedrin; his Defense

Paul is Confined in Herod's Judgment Hall in Caesarea

Paul is Confined in the Fortress

Paul is Delayed in Melita for Three Months

Paul is Encouraged by a Vision from God, Promising Him That he Will Give Testimony in Rome

Paul is Escorted to Caesarea by a Military Guard

Paul is Immersed

Paul is Persecuted

Paul is Persecuted by Certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, and is Stoned

Paul is Persecuted by the Jews

Paul is Received by the Brethren Gladly

Paul is Released by the Civil Authorities on the Grounds of his Being a Roman Citizen

Paul is Returned to the Fortress

Paul is Taken to Rome in the Custody of Julius, a Centurion, and a Detachment of Soldiers

Paul is Welcomed at the Household of Lydia

Paul: A Roman Citizen

Paul: A Zealous Pharisee

Paul: Also Called Saul

Paul: Appeals to be Heard by Caesar

Paul: Born in the City of Tarsus

Paul: Called to be an Apostle

Paul: Caught up to the Third Heaven

Paul: Chooses Silas As his Companion

Paul: Contends With Elymas (Bar-Jesus) the Sorcerer

Paul: Contends With the Judaizers Against Their Circumcision "Theology"

Paul: Conveys the Contributions of the Christians in Antioch to the Christians in Jerusalem

Paul: Debates on Mars' Hill (At the Meeting of the Areopagus Council) With Greeks

Paul: Declares he Was Going Bound in Spirit to Jerusalem

Paul: Departs for Caesarea

Paul: Educated at Jerusalem in the School of Gamaliel

Paul: Enters the Temple Courtyard

Paul: Escapes by Being Let Down from the Wall in a Basket; Goes to Jerusalem

Paul: Escapes to Berea by Night

Paul: from the Tribe of Benjamin,

Paul: Goes Through Phrygia and Galatia

Paul: Goes to Caesarea

Paul: Goes to Troas, where he Has a Vision of a Man Saying, "Come Over Into Macedonia

Paul: Has "A Thorn in the Flesh"

Paul: Has Barnabas As his Companion

Paul: He Declares to the Apostles at Jerusalem the Miracles and Wonders God had Performed Among the Gentiles by Them

Paul: Heals an Immobile Man

Paul: Heals the Ruler's Father and Others

Paul: His Defense

Paul: His Examination Before Herod Agrippa Ii

Paul: His Independence of Character

Paul: His Message Received Gladly by the Gentiles

Paul: His Resolute Determination to Go to Jerusalem Despite Repeated Warnings

Paul: His Trial Before Governor Felix

Paul: His Trial Before Governor Festus

Paul: His Vision and Conversion

Paul: Jewish Leaders Conspire Against his Life

Paul: John (Mark), a Companion of, Departs for Jerusalem

Paul: Kind Treatment by the Inhabitants of the Island

Paul: Lives in his own Rented House for Two Years, Preaching and Teaching

Paul: Makes his Second Tour of the Congregations

Paul: Meets some Brethren Who Accompany Him to Rome from Appii Forum

Paul: Persecuted and Expelled

Paul: Persecuted by Jews, Drawn Before the Deputy, Charged With Wicked Lewdness

Paul: Persecuted by the Jews Who Come from Thessalonica

Paul: Persecuted, Beaten, and Cast Into Prison With Silas

Paul: Persecutes the Christians; Present At, and Gives Consent To, the Stoning of Stephen

Paul: Persecutions Endured By

Paul: Persecutions of

Paul: Personal Appearance of

Paul: Preaches at Paphos

Paul: Preaches at Salamis

Paul: Preaches in Damascus for the First Time

Paul: Predicts Misfortune to the Ship; his Counsel not Heeded, and the Voyage Resumes

Paul: Proceeds to Macedonia After Strengthening the Congregations in That Region

Paul: Reasons in the Synagogue Every Sabbath

Paul: Rebukes the Exorcists

Paul: Received by the Disciples in Jerusalem

Paul: Refers the Question of Circumcision to the Apostles and Elders at Jerusalem

Paul: Remains in Custody for Two Years

Paul: Reproves the Soothsayer

Paul: Returns to Antioch, Accompanied by Barnabas, Judas, and Silas, With Letters to the Gentiles

Paul: Returns to Ephesus

Paul: Returns With the Apostle John to Antioch (Of Syria)

Paul: Re-Visits Pisidia, Pamphylia, Perga, Attalia, and Antioch, in Syria, where he Lived

Paul: Sends for the Elders of the Congregation of Ephesus

Paul: Sends Timothy and Erastus Into Macedonia, But he Himself Remains in Asia for a Period of Time

Paul: Sent to Damascus With Letters for the Arrest and Return to Jerusalem of Christians

Paul: Sent to the Gentiles

Paul: Sergius Paulus, Governor of the Country, is a Convert of

Paul: Sickness of, in Asia

Paul: Summons the Local Jewish Leadership

Paul: Supports Himself

Paul: Teaches at Antioch (In Syria) for One Year

Paul: The People Attempt to Worship Him

Paul: The Ship Encounters a Storm

Paul: The Ship is Wrecked, and all on Board Take Refuge on the Island of Melita (Malta)

Paul: The Spread of the Gospel Through his Preaching Interferes With the Makers of Idols

Paul: This Plan is Thwarted by his Nephew

Paul: Transferred to a Ship of Alexandria

Paul: Visits Amphipolis, Apollonia, and Thessalonica; Preaches in the Synagogue

Paul: Visits Antioch (In Pisidia), and Preaches in the Synagogue

Paul: Visits Assos, Mitylene, Chios, Samos, Trogyllium

Paul: Visits Coos, Rhodes, and Patara; Boards a Ship Bound for Tyre

Paul: Visits Corinth

Paul: Visits Ephesus, where he Leaves Aquila and Priscilla

Paul: Visits Iconium, and Preaches to the Jews and Non-Jews

Paul: Visits Lystra; Circumcises Timothy

Paul: Visits Much of the Island of Cyprus

Paul: Visits Perga in Pamphylia

Paul: Visits Samothracia and Neapolis

Paul: Visits Seleucia

Paul: Visits Troas

Paul: Waits at Tyre for Seven Days

Sarcasm: Paul

Select Readings: Paul and Silas in Prison

Select Readings: Paul in Front of Agrippa

Select Readings: Paul in Front of Governor Felix

Select Readings: Paul on Mars' Hill

Related Terms

Paul's (34 Occurrences)

Aristarchus (6 Occurrences)


Aquila (7 Occurrences)

Apollos (11 Occurrences)

Zenas (1 Occurrence)

Claudius (3 Occurrences)

Citizenship (4 Occurrences)

Silas (22 Occurrences)

Corinth (13 Occurrences)

Athens (5 Occurrences)

Commanding (79 Occurrences)

Beroea (4 Occurrences)

Barsabbas (2 Occurrences)

Commander (111 Occurrences)

Citizen (9 Occurrences)

Chios (1 Occurrence)

Barnabas (33 Occurrences)

Apostolic (2 Occurrences)

Alexander (5 Occurrences)

Caesar's (10 Occurrences)

Ananias (11 Occurrences)

Almost (27 Occurrences)

Centurion (22 Occurrences)

Stayed (169 Occurrences)

Persuaded (40 Occurrences)

Bonds (46 Occurrences)

Berea (4 Occurrences)

Companions (58 Occurrences)

Considerable (17 Occurrences)

Chiliarch (17 Occurrences)

Apol'los (10 Occurrences)

Andronicus (1 Occurrence)

Agrippa (12 Occurrences)

Sergius (1 Occurrence)

Sailing (23 Occurrences)

Crete (7 Occurrences)

Sail (32 Occurrences)

Achaia (11 Occurrences)

Allowed (64 Occurrences)

Visit (97 Occurrences)

Voyage (5 Occurrences)

Appeal (30 Occurrences)

Paphos (2 Occurrences)

Arrived (129 Occurrences)

Areopagus (3 Occurrences)

Sanhedrim (20 Occurrences)

Adoption (5 Occurrences)

Barracks (6 Occurrences)

Castle (26 Occurrences)

Cloak (73 Occurrences)

Custody (27 Occurrences)

Aretas (1 Occurrence)

Attack (221 Occurrences)

Assos (2 Occurrences)

Sosipater (1 Occurrence)

Stephanas (3 Occurrences)

Sosthenes (2 Occurrences)

Syntyche (1 Occurrence)

Secundus (1 Occurrence)

Sailed (28 Occurrences)


Cesarea (17 Occurrences)

Colossians (1 Occurrence)

Cilicia (8 Occurrences)

Adam (29 Occurrences)

Shipwreck (3 Occurrences)

Company (287 Occurrences)

Continued (148 Occurrences)

Antioch (21 Occurrences)

Council (51 Occurrences)

Caesarea (20 Occurrences)


Statement (88 Occurrences)

Vision (106 Occurrences)

Stoics (1 Occurrence)

Soldiers (83 Occurrences)

Charity (29 Occurrences)

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