BeeOasis Step 3
Saint Paul (AD 3-62) is the first major Christian missionary and theologian. He was educated as a Jewish religious leader. And when Christianity began to spread, Paul worked hard to oppose and persecute Christians. But ironically he became a Christian himself after experiencing a vision of the resurrected Christ on the Road to the ancient city of Damascus. (Today Damascus is the capital and largest city in Syria).
After his conversion, Paul became a leader in the church. He spent the rest of his life trying to build that which he first tried to destroy. On three separate missionary journeys, Paul planted churches in many cities. Paul and many of the leaders of this early church were Jewish. But Paul preached his message to non-Jews or gentiles. He also simplified the Christian religion. He did not require believers to follow Jewish traditions. And he taught them simply to express their faith through love.
As Paul spread his message, he met opposition. And he was eventually arrested and taken to Rome. In Rome, he was executed around AD 62. The Bible contains 13 letters in Paul’s name. These letters discuss Paul’s experience, work, and instructions to churches. His main message was this. The good life comes as a free gift of grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Saint Paul is considered one of the most influential people of all time next to people like Confucius, Christ, Buddha, and Muhammad. And even today, millions of people regularly read his writings.