Who was Paul?
Known as Paul the Apostle, St. Paul, Saul or Paul of Tarsus, he was one of the most influential Saints and a very energetic traveller in the times of early Christianity. Originating from Tarsus (modern Turkey) around the first century AD, he travelled throughout the Roman Empire Paul preaching Christianity making many friends and enemies along the way.
Paul is considered by many to be the leader of the apostles. He is the patron saint of missionaries, evangelists, writers, journalists, authors, public workers, rope and saddle makers, and tent makers. Born Jewish, in the town of Tarsus he was highly influenced by Greek and Roman cultures and he was an unlikely influencer of the spread of Christianity in the Roman world, driving the transformation of Rome from a pantheistic to monotheistic empire. In fact, Paul transformed from persecuting Christians as a result of an epiphany on the Road to Damascus and converting to Christianity to become an avid and very zealous reformee. He was imprisoned more than once, hated by many for preaching Christianity, he was shipwrecked near Malta and eventually beheaded by Emperor Nero.
The Missions of St. Paul
His journeys across Asia Minor, Greece, Malta and Rome and his missions to Cyprus, Ephesus, Thessaloniki, Corinth and Malta are well documented in his letters to the various communities which are recorded in the New Testament. These are a colourful mixture of truth and fiction, with fact, mythology and embellished oral history intertwined. Pilgrims today even undertake Saint Paul themed tours at some archaeological sites, but such tours are often dominated by monuments built long after his visit.
This presentation by Dr. Amelia Brown highlights the recent archaeological excavations which shed light on Saint Paul’s missions in Cyprus, Ephesus, Thessaloniki, Corinth and Malta. ‘Archaeology has benefits and drawbacks as a source for Paul’s missions’ says Dr. Brown, ‘and despite its limitations selected artifacts, monuments and landscapes can provide a better understanding of Paul’s letters and the travel narrative of Acts’.
Join the Abbey Museum Friends on their annual lunch on Saturday 27th October and stay for this fascinating presentation afterwards. Guest are very welcome. Book here: