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Rabbi Shaul

Posted by on Dec 21, 2013 in |
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AKA – The Apostle Paul

“Shaul” (Saul) is the given name of the man who most people in the Christian church refer to as “Paul”. According to the custom of his time, as well as ours, Hebrew children were often given two names – one Hebrew name and one Gentile name. Both names were most likely used interchangeably.

Probably the biggest reason that we hear “Paul” more often is because he was appointed as the “apostle to the Gentiles” and, as such, used his Gentile name when interacting with Gentiles.

The notion that Saul’s name was changed to Paul is misguided. Beginning in Acts 9, which records Saul’s conversion, he is referred to by his Hebrew name. It is not until he begins his official ministry in Acts 13:9 that we even learn that Saul is also named Paul. Acts 13 also marks the official start of his ministry, which was mainly to the Gentile world.


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