- PAUL, THE APOSTLE
- (1st century)the APOSTLE to the GENTILES who, after JESUS OF NAZARETH, is the second most important figure in CHRISTIANITY. According to his own account, recorded in the NEW TESTAMENT, he was a fanatical opponent of the EARLY CHURCH and a leading figure in the persecution which followed the death of Jesus. On the road to Damascus he went blind after experiencing a vision of Jesus which has become the archetype for Christian CONVERSION. After a period of study, he became a wandering EVANGELIST supporting his work through his trade as a tentmaker. After travelling extensively throughout the Mediterranean world, he eventually went to Rome where, according to TRADITION, he was executed for his FAITH. His letters, which are found in the NEW TESTAMENT, are a significant part of the CANON of CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURE.
Concise dictionary of Religion. 2012.
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