The Apostle Paul’s Life Before Conversion

And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, Saul was a top student and disciple of the Pharisees. But notice that his zeal was mostly for the “traditions of my fathers.” The Pharisees held tradition equal with Scripture and often honor their tradition over Scripture (see Mark 7:8-13). Even though he was separated from the womb for service like the prophets Jeremiah or John the Baptist, he lived a sinful life up until his conversion.

The following passages in the New Testament tell us of the life of Paul before his conversion and details about his personal life. Most of them are from The book of Acts, the rest are from his letters. (World English Bible translation, words in brackets are mine for clarification, and not part of the Bible text.) My comments in italics.

Acts 7:58 and they cast him [Stephen] out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. Saul would be considered nearly 30 years old even though he’s called young. The reason for this is in Philemon, written about 62 A.D., about 30 years after his conversion, Paul calls himself “aged”so he would’ve been 60 years old or so at the time. That would make his attendance at the stoning of Stephen when he was about the age of 30.

8:1,3 Now Saul was consenting to his death. . .3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. Saul had as much hate for Stephen as the Sanhedrin did and heartily joined in the persecution of the church afterward. Continue reading “The Apostle Paul’s Life Before Conversion”