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The Life and Work of Saint Paul

Saint Paul, Apostle

from the Rev. Walter P. Snyder (XRYSOSTOM)



  1. PAUL'S EARLY LIFE [Prior to 32 AD]
    1. Born at Tarsus, a city of Cilicia--Acts 21:39; 22:3
    2. Of the House of Israel--2 Corinthians 11:22
    3. Of the Tribe of Benjamin--Philippians 3:5
    4. Circumcised on the eighth day--Philippians 3:5
    5. Named Saul ("Asked For")--Galatians 1:15
      Known as Saul to the Jews, as Paul ("Little") to the Gentiles
    6. His father had acquired Roman citizenship, so Paul was a "Roman-at-Law"--Acts 16:37; 22:25-28
  2. PAUL'S EDUCATION
    1. Brought up in the sect of the Pharisees--Acts 23:6
    2. At about age 14, he was sent to Jerusalem to the school of Gamaliel--Acts 5:24; 22:3
    3. Becomes a self-righteous Pharisee and a patriotic zealot--Acts 22:3
    4. He becomes a persecutor of Christians--Acts 7:58; 8:3-22; 26:9-11
    5. By trade a tent-stitcher; every Jew had to teach his son a trade by which he could live--Acts 18:3-20; 1 Corinthians 4:12
    6. After "graduation," he returns to Tarsus
  3. PAUL'S CONVERSION AND FOLLOWING EVENTS [31-45 AD]
    1. Conversion takes place on road to Damascus and in the city--Acts 9:1-19
      1. Paul seeks to arrest Christians--vv. 1-2
      2. Blinded by light from heaven; hears Jesus' voice--vv. 3-9
      3. Paul visited by Ananias; sight restored--vv. 10--19
    2. Paul's account to the Jews--Acts 22:1-16
    3. Paul's account to Agrippa--Acts 26:12-20
    4. Preaches in the synagogues--Acts 9:20-22
    5. Three years in Arabia--Galatians 1:11-17
    6. Return to Damascus--Acts 9:23
    7. At Jerusalem--Acts 9:26-29
    8. Flees to Tarsus--Acts 9:30
    9. One year at Antioch--Acts 11:25
    10. Second visit to Jerusalem--Acts 11:30
  4. PAUL'S FIRST MISSIONARY JOURNEY [46-August 48 AD]
    1. Paul and Barnabas are commissioned by the Church in Antioch, Syria as foreign missionaries; John Mark goes along in the capacity of "vicar"--Acts 13:1-3
    2. Embarks from Seleucia to Cypress--Acts 13:4-12
      1. At Salamis they preach to Jews--Acts 13:4-5
      2. At Paphos, Sergius Paulos is converted--Acts 13:6-12
    3. To Perga; desertion of John Mark--Acts 13:13
    4. To Antioch, Pisidia--Acts 13:14-50
      1. First recorded sermon of Paul
        1. Historical part--vv. 16-37
        2. Doctrinal part--vv. 38-41
      2. Disciples made among the Jews--v. 43
      3. Disciples made among the Gentiles--v. 48
      4. Paul and Barnabas are persecuted and expelled--v. 50
    5. To Iconium--Acts 13:51-14:6
      1. Jews and Gentiles converted
      2. Because of persecution, they flee to Lystra and Derbe
    6. At Lystra, Lyconia--Acts 14:8-20a
      1. Healing of the cripple--vv. 8-10
      2. Worship refused--vv. 10-18
      3. Paul stoned--vv. 19-20a [Timothy, Eunice and Lois acquainted with Paul]
    7. At Derbe--Acts 14:20b-21a
    8. Visiting congregations founded--Acts 14:21b-25a
    9. From Attalia, return to Antioch--Acts 14:26-27
    10. Mission report at Antioch--Acts 14:27-38
    11. Convention or Synod at Jerusalem--Acts 15:1-35
      1. Mission report--v. 4
      2. Doctrinal matters--vv. 5-15
      3. Report to the congregations--vv. 22-25
  5. PAUL'S SECOND MISSIONARY JOURNEY [Autumn 49-52 AD]
    1. At Antioch--Acts 15:36-41
      1. Paul's refusal to take Mark--v. 38
      2. Joined by Silas--v. 40
      3. Through Syria and Cilicia--v.41
    2. To Derbe and Lystra--Acts 16:1-7
      1. Joined by Timothy--vv. 1-4
      2. Visits various places--vv. 5-7 [Winter of 49-50 AD]
    3. To Troas--Acts 16:8-11 [Vision and Macedonian call--v.9]
    4. To Philippi--Acts 16:12-40
      1. Lydia and others converted--vv. 14-15
      2. Healing of damsel possessed--vv. 16-18
      3. Paul and Silas imprisoned--vv. 19-24
      4. Philippian jailor and others converted--vv. 25-34
      5. Release--vv. 35-40
    5. To Thessalonica--Acts 17:1-9
      1. Disciples made--v. 4
      2. Persecution, arrest, and release of Jason--vv. 5-9
    6. To Berea--Acts 17:10-14
      1. Disciples made--v. 12
      2. Persecution--vv. 13-14
    7. To Athens--Acts 17:15-34
      1. Altar to "the unknown god"--vv. 23-31
      2. Certain men and women believe--vv. 32-34
    8. To Corinth--Acts 18:1-18
      1. Aquila and Priscilla--vv. 2-3
      2. Disciples made--v. 8
      3. Paul is strengthened by the Lord--vv. 9-10
      4. Insurrection against Paul--vv. 12-18
    9. To Ephesus and Caesarea during return home--Acts 18:19-23
    10. To Jerusalem, report on work--Acts 18:22a
    11. To Antioch--Acts 18:22b-23a
  6. PAUL'S THIRD MISSIONARY JOURNEY [Acts 18:23-21:17]
    1. Paul begins his third tour--Acts 18:23
    2. Meets Apollos--Acts 18:24-25
    3. Paul spends about three years at Ephesus--Acts 19:1-41
      1. Preaching the Gospel and working miracles--vv. 1-12
      2. Sons of Sceva (exorcists); burning of magic books--vv. 13-20
      3. Timothy and Erastus sent to Macedonia--vv. 21-22
      4. Demetrius, shrines of Diana, the mob--vv. 23-41
    4. Paul revisits Macedonia--Acts 20:1-5
    5. Paul at Troas; Eutycus restored to life--Acts 20:6-12
    6. Paul to Miletus--Acts 20:13-38
      1. Paul to Miletus--vv. 13-35
      2. Bids them farewell--vv. 36-38
    7. Journey to Jerusalem--Acts 21:1-16
    8. Reception at Jerusalem--Acts 21:17
  7. LAST YEARS OF PAUL'S LIFE [58-66 AD]
    1. At Jerusalem--Acts 21:18-23:22
      1. Paul's vow and the mob in the Temple 21:18-31
      2. Rescued by the Roman army--21:31-40
      3. Paul addresses the mob--22:1-21
      4. Paul a prisoner--22:22-30
      5. Paul's defense--23:1-10
      6. A vision of good cheer--23:11
      7. Conspiracy against Paul's life--23:12-22
    2. To Caesarea--Acts 23:23-26:32
      1. Paul sent to Felix--23:23-35
      2. Trial before Felix--24:1-22
      3. Two years in prison--24:23-27
      4. Accused before Festus--25:1-9
      5. Paul's appeal to Caesar--25:10-12
      6. Consultation with King Agrippa II--25:13-27
      7. Paul's defense before Festus--26:1-32
    3. To Rome--Acts 27:1-28:31
      1. Voyage and shipwreck on Malta--27:1-44
      2. On the island of Malta--28:1-10
      3. From Malta to Rome--28:11-14
      4. Reception at Rome--28:15-16
      5. Conference with the Jews at Rome--28:17-29
      6. Two years a prisoner--28:30-31
    4. Paul's release, missionary journey to Europe, second imprisonment and martyrdom--Romans 15; 1 Timothy; Titus; 2 Timothy; Writings of the Early Church Fathers and Church tradition
      1. Paul expresses wish to go to Spain--Romans 15:24-28
      2. Reference to Timothy speaks of being freed--2 Timothy 4:17
      3. Church tradition speaks of his Spanish trip--Muratorian Canon; Clement of Rome
      4. Some historians have him also visit Great Britain
      5. From Spain [and England?] Paul returns to Ephesus
      6. From Ephesus visits churches in Greece
      7. From Greece Paul writes first letter to Timothy--1 Timothy 1:3 [63 AD]
      8. From Greece, takes ship to Crete
      9. Return to Ephesus, where he writes to Titus--Titus 1:5
      10. Paul tells Titus he intends to winter in Nicopolis--Titus 3:12
      11. Paul taken prisoner by Romans in Troas--2 Timothy 4:13
      12. Leaves some belongings behind in Troas--2 Timothy 4:13
      13. This imprisonment much harder--2 Timothy 1:15; 4:11
      14. The execution of Paul by decapitation is supported by various traditions of the early Church


Page designed by Walter Snyder as part of the Xrysostom family of Web pages. Text adapted from, "What Do Lutherans Believe? A Study Guide in Christian Teaching for Adults," which is published by Oshkosh Church Supply, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Copyright © 1992 by Walter W. Snyder and Walter P. Snyder. Available by calling 1-800-236-8724. This page © 2001 by Walter P. Snyder.