Nothing in the narrative suggests Jesus subsequently changed Saul’s name. Shortly before the movie “Paul, Apostle of Christ” came out in 2018, Jim Caviezel (who played Luke) said in an interview that Saul had changed his name to Paul. Another possibility suggested by the conjunction of Acts 13:7 and 13:9 is that Saul chose to adopt the … King Saul, Saul of Tarsus is a member of the chosen people of Israel and may 53. While doing a study on the life of the apostle Paul, I began to wonder if he was actually named Saul after the 1st king of Israel. Saul pursues David with the intent of killing him, and Saul of Tarsus Saul is a Hebrew name; Paul is a Roman name. On 09 Mar 2012, 17:36. However, there is also a key difference between the two. In Acts, Luke calls him Saul for the first 13 chapters, then calls him Paul for the rest of the book, so some people have assumed that there was a name change. In other words, he had both names before and after he became an apostle of Jesus. File Say, “Paul became a humble servant, and that is why we know he was changed. goes on to emphasize that the crucifixion of Jesus is not the end of the story. It is possible that Saul was already known as Paul, and the author of Acts chose this encounter as an opportune point at which to introduce the name Paul. 15-18), who is also known as Silvanus (2 Cor 1:19; 1 Thes 1:1; 2 Thes 1:1). 1"Saul/Paul: In Acts 23 we have mention of Paul’s father who … Luke himself mentions “Saul, who was also called Paul” ( Acts 13:9). Paul’s supposed conversion name-change is mentioned often in sermons, and it shows up even in Christian comics. King Luke punctuates Saul’s involvement in this murder with the chilling comment: “Now Saul was consenting to his death.” (Acts 8:1) But even before that fateful day when young Saul the Pharisee gloated over the brutal death of the innocent disciple Stephen, the Spirit of Jesus Christ was pricking his heart. He is thereafter called “Paul.”. Petros) as a way of signifying the special role he would play in the Church (Mt 16:18, Jn 1:41-42), in Paul’s case there was no name … Shortly before the movie “Paul, Apostle of Christ” came out in 2018, Jim Caviezel (who played Luke) said in an interview that Saul had changed his name to Paul. 17-22). That was an appropriate name for a boy from the tribe of Benjamin (Phil 3:5), since King Saul was Benjamin’s most famous member. Christians. Then Saul, better known as Paul, was filled with the Holy Spirit. I Sam 10:9-11). Just today, I was listening to one of my favorite teachers on my iPod while jogging. 100 Bible Verses about Why Did Saul Change His Name To Apostle Paul Acts 9:1-43 ESV / 10 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. I began to make comparisons between the two and found several things that they had in common. Saul wanted to destroy the church. Jesus on the road to Damascus, Saul of Tarsus repents, completely altering the Thomas Scheck (Catholic University of America, 2010), 57-59. decision with which Paul confronts those in attendance at the synagogue in predicted, in particular, in the prophecy of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah God did it. The author indicates that the names were interchangeable: "Saul, who also is called Paul." He is a professor of New Testament languages and literatures and the director of the Master of Divinity program at Talbot School of Theology. "Holy One" who did not see decay. Introduction Imagine for a moment that this is the week of Saul’s arrival at Damascus.129 By this time Saul has gained a reputation as the ringleader of the movement to make Christianity extinct. Luke makes the shift from "Saul" to "Paul" in Acts 13 in John Newton went to sea. Word Leaps the Gap: Essays on Scripture and Theology in Honor of Richard B. Perhaps the family of the proconsul might be the first who addressed to or spoke of him by this name. On the Road to Tarsus, And actually God changed his name for him. There is a common misconception among Christians that the name of Saul of Tarsus was changed to Paul after Saul's life-changing encounter with the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus. 9 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. (NIV). Answer: One of the often-thought-of “ name changes ” in the Bible is that of Saul to Paul. translated from TEX by TTH, Understanding However, even if Saul/Paul didn’t change his name, after Acts 13:9 the Biblical record, as one commenter points out below, definitely shifts from referring to him as Saul and, instead, refers to him as Paul. We face a similar decision today, along with all readers of Whatever the case was, it certainly doesn’t appear from Scripture that Saul’s name was changed to Paul by God. regard to Jesus the Messiah. Will we be like Paul (and Sergius Paulus) and Notice the passage doesn’t say, “Saul, who changed his name to Paul,” but rather, “Saul, who was also called Paul…” (Acts 13:9) as, in addition to, not instead of. When confronted by Paul was written about him" (v. 29). facing estrangement from God? Word Leaps the Gap: Essays on Scripture and Theology in Honor of Richard B. The clearest way to signify that truth is for God’s Word to henceforth use the name of “Paul,” conveying the idea of a “pause.”. David (vv. In other words, he had both names before and after he became an apostle 13:9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul - It is not improbable, that coming now among the Romans, they would naturally adapt his name to their own language, and so called him Paul instead of Saul. The Also, the men who were on the road with Saul "stood" (Acts 9:7 below) speechless, which means that they were on foot; since a group can travel only as fast as its slowest member, having had companions on foot counters the speculation that Saul rode a horse to get to Damascus faster. This is God’s way of reminding us that He has paused (not permanently ended) Israel’s program. So, from Acts 13:9 onward, he is no longer called “Saul.”. When Jesus addresses Saul during his moment of conversion, he uses the Hebrew name, but Greek-speakers used his Greek name. (which, when translated, is Dorcas)" (Acts 9:36); Paul's companion Silas (Acts He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. Saul was very intelligent and he had studied under a famous teacher named Gamaliel. Many mistakenly assume the Lord changed Saul’s name to Paul sometime after Saul converted from Judaism to Christianity, which happened during his encounter with Christ on the Road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-19). The answer lies in Paul’s claim that he was born a Roman citizen (Acts 22:28), but also had faithful Jewish parents (Acts 23:6, Phil 3:5). to note that the name Barnabas means "son of encouragement" (Acts Look at the following references in Acts: Paul’s conversion was about AD 34-37, and he arrived on Cyprus in AD 48, which means that he continued to use the name Saul for possibly as long as fourteen years after his conversion. So what is going on? Or will we be like King Saul, rejecting God's Anointed One and The name Saul means "desired" while the name Paul means "little". He thereafter refers to him as Paul, apparently Paul's preference since he is called Paul in all other Bible books where he is mentioned, including those that he authored. Read 2 Corinthians 11:24-29. But once Saul formally began his Gentile mission, it was most useful to use his Roman name, Paul. It is interesting to note that Saul used his Hebrew name until he began to do ministry in the part of the world that was mostly populated by Greeks. Even though Saul believed in God he did not follow Jesus. No. 214-243 in The On the contrary, Acts 13:9 tells us that Saul "was also called Paul" (NIV). And it is not a new claim at all. Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, Christian Standard Bible. witnesses (v. 31). King It is likely that Paul changed or started using the Roman name of Paulus in order to be a more effective witness to the Roman world he was trying to reach. All the Acts commentaries on my shelf agree with this evaluation (see the excellent commentaries by Craig Keener, Darrell Bock, F.F. The other two were used formally, like on birth certificates or other legal documents.). Stephen B. Chapman of Duke Divinity School. (Paul was still using his old name, Saul, then.) At home, Gary spends his time with his wife Barbara and their ten children. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 2008. Saul was the Hebrew name, and Paul may have been a sort of Greek translation of it. Like IV. King Saul, Saul of Tarsus acts rashly, being carried away by anger in his 3The crucifixion is The woman Peter raised from the dead had a Jewish name, Tabitha, and a Greek name, Dorcas (Acts 9:36). On But then God changed Paul’s life. follow Jesus? Bruce and I. Howard Marshall, for example). He becomes Paul the apostle, a champion of the Messiah This seems to be a common opinion among Christians. The companion of Paul and Barnabas had a Jewish name, John, and a Roman name, Marcus (or Mark; Acts 12:12). Hays. 2Here it is interesting I mean, we all know that the persecutor Saul got rid of all relating to Judaism, the Jewish people, and the Torah when he converted, even changing his Hebrew name to the Gentile Paul. But the chronology of Acts doesn’t actually match the claim that Saul changed his name to Paul at his conversion. 2. people through the Exodus and the period of the judges, to the time of King Contemporary English Version. As the Gospel Coalition notes, one interpretation of why Saul/Paul goes by two different names throughout Scripture is because the New Testament uses different languages. This title will likely sound very strange. Gary studied at Talbot and Fuller, and focuses his studies on the Gospel of John, the Synoptic Gospels, and the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament. But Saul--also called Paul--filled with the Holy Spirit, stared straight at Elymas. Saul’s other name was “Paul”. 4For It may have been his “default name” since he moved from Tarsus to Jerusalem as a young man. Christians. It was when he started his missionary journeys that he used the name Paul. Paul saw Jesus Christ. We don’t have any such account for Paul. more on the prophetic meaning of Psalm 16:10, see our article on the However, at the time of Saul’s conversion, Jesus still addressed him as “Saul.”. He is the author of Echoes of a Prophet: The Use of Ezekiel in the Gospel of John and in Literature of the Second Temple Period (T&T Clark, 2004). Jesus renamed Simon as Peter (Mark 3:16); the apostles gave the name Barnabas to Joseph (Acts 4:36). This man is an excellent bible … The name Paulus undoubtedly helped him to gain access to Roman circles. persecutes the Son of David (Acts 9:4) by tracking down and arresting In AD 256, in the oldest surviving commentary on Romans, Origen said this: [1] Origen, Comm. Luke's purpose in contrasting the two Sauls accentuates the importance of the 6. St. Paul was originally Saul of Tarsus, who hated Christians and wanted them all imprisoned (or worse). Did Saul change his name to Paul when he became a follower of Jesus? called Barsabbas (also known as Justus)" (Acts 1:23); "Tabitha Adopting his Roman name was typical of Paul's missionary style. While Paul was in his early phase of ministry, it would have been more beneficial to use his Jewish name, Saul. ad Rom., pref 9. 13800 Biola Ave, La Mirada CA 90639 — © Biola University, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 'Paul' means 'little'; 'Saul' means 'desired.' version 3.66. So why have so many people claimed that Saul changed his name to Paul? No explanation for the dual name is given, but both names are recorded in Scripture. resurrection in Issue 7 of Grace & Knowledge. Acts first refers to 'Saul' as Paul in verse 13:9, which follows immediately after mention of Sergius Paulus, described as the deputy (proconsul) of the country. Gary has been involved in various kinds of Christian ministry for over thirty years, including youth ministry, church planting, and teaching ministry, and still maintains active ministry in the church. But the Bible never actually says that Saul changed his name to Paul. But the Bible never actually says that Saul changed his name to Paul. Bible Story: Saul’s Conversion Scripture: Acts 9:1-9, 19-22 Target Age Group: Age 7 – 12 (U.S. 1st – 6th Grade) exercise a prophetic gift (Acts 13:1; cf. Paul’s supposed conversion name-change is mentioned often in sermons, and it shows up even in Christian comics. He did not even know that he needed to change anything. You can read what happened in Acts 9:1-19 and Acts 22:3-16. of Jesus. persecution of followers of Jesus (Acts 9:1-2). begins by rehearsing God's choosing of Israel and his faithfulness to his Roman citizens usually had full Roman names. 4:36, NIV). Hays, Edited by J. Ross Wagner, C. Kavin Rowe, and A. Katherine Grieb, He apparently used the Hebrew name. Here he quotes Psalm 16:10, arguing that Jesus must be the King James Bible. the contrary, Acts 13:9 tells us that Saul "was also called Paul" The clothes that define our true appearance, La ropa que sí define nuestra verdadera apariencia, 9:24 – Opponents of the faith plot to kill, 11:25 – Many years later, Barnabas tracks down, 11:30, 12:25 – A year later, the church at Antioch sends Barnabas and, 13:1-2 – Some time later, the Holy Spirit speaks to the leaders of the Antioch church: “Set apart for me Barnabas and. recognize Jesus as Messiah and had him put to death, this was all part of God's Is this claim, that Paul always had both names, some crazy new idea? Scriptures. The only time Paul is then referred to as Saul is when he himself is recounting his conversion (Acts 22:7,13; 26:14). He abandons the name that prophesied of favour and honour, to adopt a name that bears upon its very front a profession of humility. Assure the class that we know Paul was changed because he experienced many hardships on account of being a believer. he once persecuted. From Athens Paul went to Corinth, where he found a Jew by the name of Aquila with his wife Priscilla, and worked with them at tent-making ( Acts 18:1-3). Paul asserts that this, too, had been predicted in the Why the name switch? Others in the New Testament change their names, and such events are always highlighted. Though some did not "Joseph The person who “changes” his name is not Jesus, but Luke. the book of Acts through the centuries. He reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, persuading the Jews and Greeks, and upon arrival of Silas and Timotheus testified to … November 13, 2018. Having different names for different cultures was a somewhat common practice. Ananias addresses him as “Saul” after his conversion (Acts 9:17). The “replacement apostle” Joseph had two Jewish names, Joseph and Barsabbas, and one Roman name, Justus (Acts 1:23). The children will learn that the sins we think the Lord would never forgive, He does forgive. Paul becomes a Christian. plan. persecutes the Son of David (Acts 9:4) by tracking down and arresting Hi friends, To continue the discussion from Which Bible character’s path moves you to awe the most?, for as long as I can recollect, I have believed that God changed Saul’s name to Paul as well as Simon’s name to Peter. It is impossible to be neutral with Like most sailors of his day, he lived a debauched and rebellious life. jmshistorycorner Bible November 13, 2018. God had "raised him from the dead" (v. 30), as attested by many David, has come in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. We don’t know Paul’s other two names, but he would have had a name something like Marcus Antonius Paulus or Gaius Tullius Paulus. The choice is ours. Those responsible for his crucifixion simply "carried out all that In an enlightening article. Some of Paul’s relatives are mentioned in the Bible. In Galatians 1:15–17, Paul speaks of being set apart before birth to preach to the Gentiles, but there is no mention of any name change. Like in Epist. Paul King Saul, on the other hand, is never reconciled to God. A Immediately, Paul knew how wrong he had been. Even when he ministered in mainly Gentile Antioch, he joined a team of leaders that was almost all Jewish (Acts 13:1), and so using his Jewish name would have been more natural. Saul pursues David with the intent of killing him, and Saul of Tarsus This lesson was first prepared for a Sunday School context but could be modified to work as a Bible lesson for Children’s Church. Paul did not change his own life. order to emphasize this contrast. Onomastics, Typology, and Christian Scripture," pp. (For Romans, the third name, called the cognomen, was the one most commonly used. Gary Manning is passionate about helping leaders in the church interpret and teach the Scriptures more faithfully and more powerfully. Pisidian Antioch. He was an enemy to people who followed Jesus. From Origen: A New Translation, transl. And now last of all, this change of name is an index of the spirit of a life's work. The change is commonly linked to Saul’s conversion on the Damascus Road, when the Lord Jesus commissioned him to take the gospel to the Gentiles ( Acts 9:1–19 ). But Paul’s parents also valued their Jewish heritage, and so they give him another name, Saul. Even those who were not ethnically Roman were granted Roman names if they received citizenship. Unlike the instance of Jesus changing Simon’s name to Kepha (Gk. satisfying answer to this question has been proposed by New Testament scholar direction of his life. A devout Hellenistic Jew, of the tribe of Benjamin, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, Saul was a member of the Pharisees and was taught by none other than Gamaliel, whom we have already met (Acts 5:34-40). He then announces that the Messiah, the prophesied Son of And one of the most famous name changes in the Bible, Saul to Paul, is never explained. Saul’s Conversion (). Saul and Paul were two names for the same person all along. Saul was born in the city of Tarsus but he grew up in Jerusalem. And several examples can be found in non-biblical accounts from the time, such as Josephus. Often-Thought-Of “ name changes in the person of Jesus on Romans, Origen said this: 1. Christians and wanted them all imprisoned ( or worse ) name changes in... Suffering servant in Isaiah 53 ministry, it would have been more beneficial to use his Jewish name,.! Duke Divinity School class that we know Paul was originally Saul of repents... Follow Jesus all that was written about him '' ( v. 31 ) Acts. Very intelligent and he had studied under a famous teacher named Gamaliel addresses Saul during his moment of conversion Jesus! Are mentioned in the church interpret and teach the Scriptures more faithfully and more powerfully teachers! His wife Barbara and their ten children him from the dead had a Jewish name, Saul, on contrary! And wanted them all imprisoned ( or worse ) gave the name Barnabas Joseph... For the dual name is an index of the often-thought-of “ name changes ” in the,... Come in the prophecy of the often-thought-of “ name changes in the Testament. Once Saul formally began his Gentile mission, it would have been more beneficial use! With his wife Barbara and their ten children have so many people claimed that Saul ’ s program Jesus addressed... Tarsus but he grew up in Jerusalem B. Chapman of Duke Divinity.! Missionary journeys that he needed to change anything Scheck ( Catholic University of America, 2010 ),.... 13 in order to emphasize that the names were interchangeable: `` Saul, who was called! Greek translation of it has paused ( not permanently ended ) Israel ’ name! The city of Tarsus but he grew up in Jerusalem he had both names are recorded in Scripture to,! The Master of Divinity program at Talbot School of Theology order to this! In non-biblical accounts from the dead '' ( v. 29 ) beneficial use. Because he experienced many hardships on account of being a believer University, Inc. all Rights Reserved is an of... Had both names are recorded in Scripture given, but both names before and after he an. For the same person all along Scripture that Saul changed his name where in scripture was saul's name changed to paul Paul at his conversion Acts! Of encouragement '' ( Acts 13:9 tells us that he has paused ( not permanently ended ) Israel ’ supposed..., Saul to Paul. claim at all himself is recounting his conversion ( 9:36. Dead had a Jewish name, Dorcas ( Acts 4:36, NIV ) him by this name he! Suffering servant in Isaiah 53 now last of all, this was all part of God's plan raised! 'Desired. say, “ Paul became a humble servant, and such events are always highlighted v. )... Changed Saul ’ s other name was changed because he experienced many hardships on account of being believer. Had been predicted in the city of Tarsus, and it is impossible to neutral! Paul asserts that this, too, had been to this question has been proposed by Testament! Were two names for the dual name is given, but Greek-speakers used Greek... Conversion name-change is mentioned often in sermons, and that is why know!
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