St Paul of Tarsus had contributed greatly to the development and religious expression of Christianity. His education as a Pharisee under Rabbi Gamaliel gave him an excellent rabbinical and scriptural background for writing, speaking and debating holding a context of high authority as he was able to establish that Jesus of Nazareth was undoubtedly the Messiah due to his extensive knowledge of the Old Testament and the Covenant. Due to this aspect of his authority, many people believed what he was saying to be of truth.
St Paul made an impact as an apostle, as a theologian, and as a letter-writer. Paul the apostle had expanded the church far and wide, welcoming all Gentiles, strenuously fighting for his conviction that the gospel was for all people and that no barriers should be enforced stopping people from having faith. Paul the theologian was the first to work through many of the intriguing and philosophical questions that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection had brought about.
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Paul the letter-writer gave us not only some of the profoundest pieces of early Christian theological reflection, but also some of the finest writings in history which had been used as a source of spiritual renewal at crucial times during the history of Christianity (eg the protestant and catholic reformations). His writings on grace, salvation (predestination), free will, righteousness and ‘the imitation of Christ’ has influenced future theologians such as Luther, Augustine, St Ignatius, Bultmann ect.
After St Paul’s dramatic conversion, he was completely and entirely dedicated on spreading the Christian faith to as many individuals as he could find. St Paul went on three missionary works during his life and all three caused major developments within the Christian faith. 1. Paul made his first missionary with Barnubus, visiting the island of Cypress, then Pamphylia, Pisidia and Lycaonia (all within the Asian Minor region).
There he worked establishing churches for the people had converted to the Christian faith and who wanted an actual name place where their faith could be practiced amongst other Christians. He established churches at Pisidian, Antioch, Iconium, Lystra and Derbe. 2. In his second act of missionary work, St Paul was accompanied by three other men; Silas and later Timothy and Luke. In this missionary he revisited the churches he previously established in Asian Minor on his first missionary trip and they also passed through Galatia.
During this trip at a place named Troas, a vision of a Macedonian was had by St Paul and he had interpreted this as a message from Jesus telling him to focus on Macedonia and evangelize and preach the Gospel of Christ to the people of that region. After accomplishing his vision he sailed for Europe and preached the gospel in Phillipi, Thessalonia, Beroea, Athens and Corinth later returning to Antioch by way of Ephesus and Jerusalem. 3.
One his third missionary Paul visited the same regions in his second trip check but made Ephesus where he remained for 3 years, the centre of his missionary activity. He had plans for visiting Jerusalem, Rome and Spain although persecutions from the Jews hindered him from completing these later missions. In his missionary work, he established churches in the political and cultural centres of the Western world in such places as Rome, Antioch, Corinth and Ephesus.