Paul

Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

(small). In Hebrew, Saul. Born at Tarsus in Cilicia, of Benjamite parents, about the beginning of 1st century; a Pharisee in faith; a tentmaker by trade (Phil. 3:55Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; (Philippians 3:5); Acts 18:3; 21:39; 23:63And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers. (Acts 18:3)
39But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people. (Acts 21:39)
6But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. (Acts 23:6)
). Studied law with Gamaliel at Jerusalem; persecuted early Christians; converted near Damascus (Acts 5:34; 7:58; 9:1-2234Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; (Acts 5:34)
58And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. (Acts 7:58)
1And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 7And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. 8And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. 9And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. 10And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. 11And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 12And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. 13Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: 14And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. 15But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake. 17And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. 19And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. 20And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. 21But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? 22But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ. (Acts 9:1‑22)
). Commissioned an apostle to the Gentiles (Acts 26:13-2013At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. 14And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 15And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. 16But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; 17Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, 18To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. 19Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: 20But showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. (Acts 26:13‑20)). Carried the gospel to Asia Minor, Greece, and Rome. Author of fourteen epistles, amplifying the Christian faith. Supposedly a martyr at Rome, A. D. 68.

Concise Bible Dictionary:

This apostle was of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of pure descent, born at Tarsus, a city of Cilicia, a fact which gave to him the privilege of Roman citizenship. He was a disciple of Gamaliel and a strict Pharisee. He is first introduced to us as a young man, by name SAUL, at whose feet the witnesses who stoned Stephen laid their clothes. He became afterward a violent persecutor of the saints, both of men and women, acting with great zeal, thinking he was doing God’s service. His conversion as the effect of the Lord appearing to him was unique, and he was so completely changed that he became at once as bold for Christ as before he had been a persecutor of Christ in the persons of His saints. He immediately preached in the synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God. This was the distinctive point of his testimony. As the Jews sought his life at Damascus, he departed into Arabia, where doubtless he had deep exercise of heart and learned more of the Lord.
After three years he went up to see Peter at Jerusalem, where he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus. The Jews again seeking his life, he was conducted to Caesarea, and sent to Tarsus, his native place. From thence he was fetched by Barnabas to go to Antioch, where the gospel had been effectual, and there they both labored. After having, in company with Barnabas, taken supplies to Jerusalem (his second visit), on occasion of a dearth, he commenced his first missionary journey to Cyprus and Asia Minor. He and Barnabas returned to Antioch, where he remained “a long time.” On a dispute arising as to Gentile converts being circumcised, he went with Barnabas to Jerusalem concerning that question, and returned to Antioch. This city had become a sort of center of the activity of the Spirit. Being far from Jerusalem it was less influenced by Judaizing tendencies, though communion with the saints there was maintained.
Asia Minor, Macedonia and Greece were the sphere of Paul’s second missionary journey. Having differed from Barnabas, because the latter wished to take John with them (who had left them on the first journey), Paul selected Silas for his companion, and departed with the full fellowship of the brethren. During part of this journey Timothy was one of the company. He abode a year and a half at Corinth, where he wrote the two EPISTLES TO THE THESSALONIANS. He now visited Jerusalem at the feast, and returned to Antioch. He took his third missionary journey through Galatia and Phrygia. When he visited Ephesus he separated the disciples from the synagogue, and they met in the school of Tyrannus. At Ephesus he wrote the FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS, and probably the EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS. After the tumult raised by Demetrius he went to Macedonia, and there wrote the SECOND EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. He again visited Corinth and wrote the EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS.
The Jews seeking his life, Paul went through Macedonia, sailed from Philippi, and preached at Troas. At Miletus he gave a solemn parting address to the elders of Ephesus, and took his leave of the disciples at Tyre, where he was cautioned not to go to Jerusalem. At Caesarea also he was warned of what awaited him at Jerusalem, but he avowed that he was ready not only to be bound, but also to die for the name of the Lord Jesus.
Paul arrived at Jerusalem just before Pentecost. In order to prove himself a good Jew he was advised by the brethren to associate himself with four men who had a vow on them, and to be at charges with them. But while carrying this out he was seized by some Asiatic Jews, and beaten, but was rescued by Lysias, the Roman chief captain. After appearing before the council, and again being rescued by him, he was for safety sent off by night to Caesarea. There his cause was heard by Felix, who kept him prisoner, hoping to be bribed to release him. Two years later, when superseded by Festus, Felix, to please the Jews, left Paul in bonds. On appearing before Festus, to save himself from being sent to Jerusalem, there being a plot to waylay and murder him, Paul appealed to the emperor. His case having been heard by Agrippa and Festus, he was finally remitted to Rome. The ship, however, was wrecked at Malta, where they wintered, all on board having been saved.
On his arrival at Rome, Paul sent for the chief men of the Jews and preached to them: some of them believed, though the majority rejected God’s grace (thus fulfilling Isa. 6:9-109And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. (Isaiah 6:9‑10)), which should henceforth go to the Gentiles. He, though still a prisoner, abode two years in his own hired house. There he wrote the EPISTLES TO THE COLOSSIANS, the EPHESIANS, the PHILIPPIANS, and also to PHILEMON.
The history of Paul is thus far given in the Acts of the Apostles, but there are intimations in the later epistles that after the two years at Rome he was liberated. His movements from that time are not definitely recorded; apparently he visited Ephesus and Macedonia (1 Tim. 1:33As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, (1 Timothy 1:3)); wrote the FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY; visited Crete (Titus 1:55For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: (Titus 1:5)); and Nicopolis (Titus 3:1212When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter. (Titus 3:12)); wrote the EPISTLE TO TITUS (the early writers say that he went to Spain, which we know he desired to do (Rom. 15:24,2824Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company. (Romans 15:24)
28When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain. (Romans 15:28)
); visited Troas and Miletus (2 Tim. 4:13,2013The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments. (2 Timothy 4:13)
20Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick. (2 Timothy 4:20)
); wrote the EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS; and when a prisoner at Rome the second time, wrote the SECOND EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY, when expecting his death. Early writers say that he was beheaded with the sword, which is probable, as he was a Roman citizen.
Paul received his commission directly from Christ who appeared to him in glory, and this source of his apostleship he carefully insists on in the Epistle to the Galatians. New light as to the church in its heavenly character came out by Paul, who was God’s special apostle for that purpose. To him was revealed the truth that the assembly was the body of Christ, and the doctrine of new creation in Christ Jesus, in which evidently there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile. This caused great persecution from the Jews and from Judaizing teachers, who could not readily give up the law, nor endure the thought of Gentiles having an equal place with themselves. This Paul insisted on: it was his mission as apostle to the Gentiles. To Paul also was committed what he calls “my gospel:” this was “the gospel of the glory”—Christ in glory who put away the Christian’s sins being presented in it as the last Adam, the Son of God (2 Cor. 4:44In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:4)). It not only brings salvation, great as that is, but it separates the believer from earth, and conforms him to Christ as He is in glory.
Paul was an eminent and faithful servant of Christ. As such he was content to be nothing, that Christ might be glorified. To the Thessalonians he was gentle “as a nurse cherisheth her children” (1 Thess. 2:77But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: (1 Thessalonians 2:7)). He was severe however to the Corinthians when they were allowing sin in their midst, and to them he had to assert his apostolic authority when traducers were seeking to nullify his influence among them. To the Galatians he was still more severe: they were in danger of being shipwrecked as to faith by false Judaizing teachers, who were undermining the truth of the gospel.
In the epistles we get a few glimpses of the inner life of Paul. After having been caught up into the third heavens, he prayed for the removal of the thorn in the flesh which had been given him lest he should be puffed up, and was told that Christ’s grace was sufficient for him, he could say, “most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Cor. 12:9-109And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9‑10)). He also could say, “To me to live is Christ”; and “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the calling on high of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-1413Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13‑14)). As a martyr he reached that goal. The catalog he gives of his privations and sufferings in 2 Corinthians 11:23-2823Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. (2 Corinthians 11:23‑28) discloses the fact that but a small part of his gigantic labors is recounted in the Acts of the Apostles.

Jackson’s Dictionary of Scripture Proper Names:

little