Life of St. Paul – Preparation for Ministry

May 23, 2009

Biblical data on Paul’s life in the first years after his conversion can be found only in Acts and Galatians. In the latter source, Paul affirms that the basis of his Gospel is Jesus Christ’s personal revelation coupled with his rabbinical study. No individual, in Jerusalem or elsewhere, taught Paul the Christian way during these initial years. Parts of three years of his post-conversion life were spent in Arabia. Here he acquired some disciples, and taught the Gospel to all who were willing.

After returning from Arabia, he went up to Jerusalem to speak with Peter. The brethren quickly asked him to leave the city, considering him still to be a wanted man. Paul then returned to Silicia, the region of his birth for a lengthy period. By some reckonings, he may have spent eight or nine years in Silicia preaching a group of disciples and maturing. Though the Church has no specific knowledge of his activities during this period, one might consider this to be Paul’s period of preparation for ministry.

Fourteen years after his conversion, he returned to Jerusalem. The motivation for his trip was likely to provide famine-relief from Antioch to Jerusalem. By this time, Paul had been preaching with Barnabas in Antioch for a year with wide acclaim. It is during this trip to Jerusalem that he finally received approval from the apostles to preach to the Gentiles.

Music: Boismortier’s Sonata 2 in E Minor – Allegro, from the album ‘Six Sonatas for Flute and Violin – Opus 51 – Boismortier’ performed by Duo de Bois.

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