Paul of Tarsus

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Paul of Tarsus ( Greek Παῦλος Paulo , Hebrew name שָׁאוּל Scha'ul (Saul) , Latin Paulus ; * probably before the year 10 in Tarsus / Cilicia ; † after 60, probably in Rome ) was after the New Testament (NT), a successful missionary of early Christianity and one of the first Christian theologians . Most researchers consider its historicity to be certain.

Apostle Paul by Bartolomeo Montagna 1482.
Apostle Paul (right with book, sword and bald head) and Mark. One of the two panels of the diptych The Four Apostles by Albrecht Dürer 1526.

As a Greek educated Jew and law-abiding Pharisee with Roman citizenship , Paul initially persecuted the followers of Jesus Christ , whom, apart from his appearance at his conversion , he had never met. Since his conversion, however, he saw himself as a God- called apostle of the Gospel for the peoples ( Gal 1.15 f.  EU ). As such, he proclaimed the risen Jesus Christ , especially to non-Jews . To do this, he traveled to the eastern Mediterranean and founded several Christian communities there. He kept in touch with them through his letters. These oldest surviving early Christian writings form an essential part of the later NT as so-called Paul’s letters .

An essential characteristic of Pauline theology is the concentration of Christian faith on the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ with constant reference to the promises of the Tanakh . Through the vicarious fulfillment of the Torah through Jesus Christ, the Son of God , Paul found man's justification and his reconciliation with God based on grace . These topics, in different interpretations, became basic building blocks for the teachings of many Christian denominations .

Orthodox churches , the Roman Catholic Church , the Coptic Church , the Armenian Apostolic Church, and the Anglican Communion all venerate Paul as a saint . The Protestant churches remember him with memorial days. His letters left their mark on church fathers and leading Christian theologians and thus had a strong influence on European intellectual history. Since the Enlightenment , many historians have seen Paul as the actual founder of Christianity as an independent religion.

Apostle Paul, painting by Anthony van Dyck around 1618–1620.


Byzantine ivory relief, 6th – 7th centuries Century, Paris, Musée de Cluny

In the New Testament there is a so-called Corpus Paulinum , which consists of 14 scriptures. Thirteen of these letters are attributed to Paul by name. For seven of them - Rom , 1 Kor , 2 Kor , Gal , Phil , 1 Thess , Phlm - today's historical-critical research recognizes his authorship. They were written between the years 50 and 60 and are the main source for Paul's biography, theology and missionary work.

Eph , Kol , 2 Thess and the pastoral letters ( 1 Tim , 2 Tim and Tit ) claim to have been written by Paul, but according to the majority opinion of research, they are pseudepigraphs that emerged later . They testify that in the region where these scriptures were written, Paul was regarded as the ultimate apostle.

The fourteenth script of the Corpus Paulinum is the Letter to the Hebrews . He does not name any author in the text, and there is no reliable knowledge of his author. The attribution to Paul is old and attested in Papyrus 46 for the beginning of the third century; This assumption about Pauline authorship could only prevail in the 4th century.

The Acts of the Apostles of Luke (Acts), which is usually dated around the years 80–90 , also reports on the Pauline missionary journeys, although much earlier and much later dates have also been suggested. According to the evangelical theologian Jürgen Roloff, your statements must be critically assessed in order to supplement the self- statements from the letters and thus to reconstruct a chronological framework of Paul's biography. According to the evangelical theologian Udo Schnelle , the details of the Acts of the Apostles can be confirmed in their basic features by the letters.

Extra-Christian sources on the life and work of Paul are not known.


The Pauline letters do not name the places where they were written and also hardly give any indication of the time of their writing. In contrast, there are some sparse biographical details. The Acts of the Apostles describes Paul's whereabouts and journeys in detail, but also without precise dates. They can therefore only be accessed indirectly. The starting point for this are two external fixed dates:

  • According to Acts 18.2  EU , on his arrival in Corinth , Paul met the couple Aquila and Priscilla , who had recently arrived from Italy because the Roman emperor Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. This edict is also mentioned by the Roman chronicler Suetonius (Cl 25.4); it is dated to the year 49 with Orosius .
  • According to Acts 18.12  EU , Paul was later brought before the Roman proconsul Gallio in Corinth . According to Roman inscriptions, this ruled from early summer 51 to early summer 52. According to this, Paul was in Corinth from 50 to a maximum of July 52, i.e. for about a year and a half.

Because information in the Pauline letters confirm some stations of Paul's second missionary journey from the Apostle Council in Jerusalem ( Acts 15.23  EU ) to Corinth (Acts 18.1), these are largely undisputed. From the travel route and stays from Jerusalem via Antioch , Syria, Cilicia ( Acts 15.40  EU ; Gal 1.21  EU ), Derbe and Lystra ( Acts 16.1  EU ), Phrygia and Galatia ( Acts 16.6  EU ), Philippi ( Acts 16.11–12  EU ; Phil 4.15 ff.  EU ), Thessalonich ( Acts 17.1  EU ; 1 Thess 2.2  EU ), Beröa ( Acts 17.10  EU ), Athens ( Acts 17.15  EU ; 1 Thess 3,1  EU ) to Corinth results in an approximate travel time of two years. That is why the apostles' council is often dated to the year 48. Soon after that, according to Gal. 2,1–14  EU, the Antiochene incident followed : According to Acts 15,35  EU, this is often dated to the summer of 48.

For the time from the conversion or calling of Paul at Damascus to the apostles' council, the information in Gal 1.6  EU to Gal 2.14 EU is assumed  . However, these are not clear-cut. According to Gal 1.17  EU , Paul stayed in "Arabia" after his calling and then returned briefly to Damascus. According to 2 Cor 11:32. He had made EU unpopular with Aretas IV ; "Arabia" is thus identified as the Nabatean Empire, "as it is also made clear that the apostle turned there to do missionary work and not to meditate."

According to Gal 1.18  EU , he visited the early church in Jerusalem for the first time "three years later" . The information is usually not related to the previous short stay in Damascus, but to the period since the appointment, because Paul uses it to justify his independent international mission. According to Gal 2.1  EU , he stayed in Syria and Cilicia for a long time and visited Jerusalem again "14 years later" for the Apostles' Council (some theologians, however, refer this information to the visit mentioned in Acts 11.30; 12.25). Because Gal 1.18  EU emphasizes the time lag between the appointment, Gal 2.1  EU is not related to the previous travel stay, but to the period between the two stays in Jerusalem. In the ancient way of counting, the beginning year was counted in full: 48 (Apostolic Council) minus 13 results in the year 35 for the first visit to Jerusalem. From 35 minus 2 it follows that Paul became a Christian around the year 33 and began his missionary work.

Since, according to Acts 8,3  EU and Acts 9,1–2  EU, Paul worked for a long time as a persecutor of Christians in Palestine and Syria, where Christian communities had already formed, his conversion must have happened a few years after Jesus' death. The assumed year of conversion, 33, therefore matches the presumed date of Jesus' death on Nisan 14 (April 7) of the year 30. However, some of the statements in Acts contradict the statements made by Paul in the letters of Paul. According to Acts 9.26  EU , Paul traveled from Damascus directly to Jerusalem, not first to Arabia. According to Acts 11 : 27-30  EU , he visited Jerusalem a second time before the council. These contradictions to Gal 1.17-18  EU are explained with the theological concept of Luke: He emphasizes the unity of the future church with an immediate contact of Paul to the Jerusalem authorities and also uses Paul’s further visits to Jerusalem (five in total for him) as Composition tool intended to illustrate the spread of the Gospel from Jerusalem in the world. Because of this idealizing tendency, most exegetes consider Paul's own statements to be more reliable. In Gal 1,21  EU also lacks in Acts 13-14  EU mission trip of Antioch described from Cyprus and some lands in Asia Minor. However, many exegetes consider this journey to be probable because Paul still appears here as a subordinate companion of Barnabas ( Acts 14:12  EU ) and his journeys in Gal 1:21 are only roughly outlined without going into detail.

The intermediate stations Caesarea and Jerusalem mentioned in Acts 18: 18-23  EU can hardly be reconciled with Paul's own statements. The only reliable information is that he returned to Antioch after his stay in Corinth (50-52) and later set off for Ephesus. The stay there is according to Acts  EU ; Acts 20.31  EU certainly dated to two years and nine months, i.e. from about summer 52 to spring 55. This was followed by the collecting journey through Macedonia and Achaia, after which Paul wanted to visit Corinth again ( Acts 19.21  EU ; 1 Cor 16.5  EU ). According to Acts 20.3  EU, he stayed there for around three months (beginning of 56). Because Jews had prevented his planned onward journey to Syria, he returned to Jerusalem via Macedonia, Philippi, Troas, Assos, Miletus and Caesarea ( Acts 20.6  EU ; cf. Rom 15.25  EU ). There he was imprisoned by the procurator Marcus Antonius Felix , when he had been in office for several years ( Acts 24,10  EU ). According to Roman sources, his term of office began around 52/53. His successor was Porcius Festus ( Acts 24.27  EU ); according to Flavius ​​Josephus , this replaced him under Nero , probably around 58. This fits the term of office of the high priest Ananias according to Acts 24.1  EU (47-59). After his appeal to the emperor ( Acts 25.11  EU ), Paul was probably transferred to Rome by spring 59. Heinz Warnecke advocated the thesis that on the crossing the ship was not stranded on Malta , as had long been assumed , but on Kefalonia . This hypothesis, however, is largely rejected in exegesis; consequently, there is no new consensus.

According to Acts 28.30  EU , he is said to have moved and preached relatively freely in Rome for several years. It is assumed, therefore, and because of 1 Clemens 5: 5–7, that he found death at the latest during the persecution of Christians Nero (64).

date event letter
33 Called to Damascus
35 first visit to Jerusalem
36-47 Trip to Tarsus / Cilicia, Antioch / Syria;
possibly Cyprus, southern Asia Minor
Spring 48 Apostolic Council
Summer 48 Incident in Antioch
49/50 Journey through Asia Minor and Macedonia
50-52 Corinth
51/52 Journey to Antioch First Thessalonians
52-55 Ephesus 54: First and Second Corinthians
55 Troas, Macedonia, Corinth Galatians; Romans
Spring 56 Arrival in Jerusalem
56-58 Captivity in Caesarea
58 Change of office from Felix to Festus;
Transfer to Rome
Philippians and Philemon
59 Arrival in Rome
64 death

This list only names the relatively secure data; Patristic notes from a Pauline mission in Spain and from his execution in Rome under Emperor Nero (64) are controversial.


Year of birth

An estimate of the year of birth can be based on two statements made by Paul in his real letters, although there is a rhetorical component:

  • In Phlm 9 he describes himself as an “old man”, ie over 50 years old. Then he would have been born at the turn of the century.
  • In Gal. 1:14–15 he compares himself with his peers; here one has the impression that he was a younger man (around 20 years old) when he was called / converted; this gives a year of birth around 10 AD.

Both figures taken together indicate a year of birth between 1 and 10 AD.


Malta, Valletta: Paul Pillar

According to Acts 22.3  EU , Paul came from a family of Pharisees from Tarsus in the then Roman province of Cilicia , a region in what is now southern Turkey on the border with Syria. At the time, this port city was an important trading center with a larger Jewish diaspora community , as was the case in many coastal cities in the Mediterranean region. "We know little what it meant to be a Greek-speaking Pharisee in Asia Minor at that time." ( Ed Parish Sanders )

Jerome gives several examples that Paul used a Koine dialect typical of Cilicia in his letters , which was still in use at the time of Jerome.

According to the Acts of the Apostles, Paul had the citizenship of the city of Tarsus ( Acts 21:39  EU ). From birth he was EU according to Acts 16:37  ; Acts 22.28  EU Roman citizens , a right that Tarsus considered to be an upper-class feature in the early imperial times. It would be conceivable that Paul's father, as a freedman of a Roman citizen, had acquired civil rights: unusual for a Jew, but not impossible. However, this would have raised the question of how they wanted to stay away from pagan cult events for the whole family of origin. A move to Jerusalem would have offered a way out. According to the Acts of the Apostles, he later successfully invoked his citizenship in conflicts about his mission - for example, when he was captured in the temple in Jerusalem ( Acts 21: 37-40  SLT ; Acts 22 : 23-30  SLT ). At no point in his writings does he mention that he was in possession of these rights.

Luke introduces him with the Jewish first name Saul ( Acts 7,58  EU ; Acts 8,1.3  EU ), that of Saul , Hebrew שָׁאוּל, the first king of Israel . Like him, his family came from the tribe of Benjamin ( 1 Sam 9,1  EU ), which was considered the smallest of the twelve tribes of Israel . In explanation of the name Paulos (Greek παΰλος, Latin paulus or Paullus means "small," Paul , literally "the little one") are discussed various hypotheses, including that "the names ceremony with personal relationships of Paul the father, about his Patronus related, like".

In contrast to the Hebrew name Saul, Paul is a name from the Hellenistic-Roman world. Paul himself only used this name in his letters.

Luke casually speaks of "Saul, who is also called Paul", only in Acts 13.9  EU , when Paul blinds the magician Elymas on a mission trip in connection with the conversion of the governor of Cyprus Sergius Paulus . So Saul did not change his name because of his conversion and baptism to the Christian faith, as a widespread opinion (cf. Acts 13.9  EU ) and the well-known expression from Saul to Paul suggest. Jews often chose a second name in a strange living environment and in the diaspora , which was immediately understandable to outsiders and sounded as similar as possible to their original name. The fact that Paul took over this custom can perhaps be seen as an indication that he knew how to move around safely as a Roman citizen and that his possibilities in “preaching the gospel” (cf. 1 Cor 15 : 1-4  EU ) were expanded. However, the name Paul was very rare at that time, but it was more common, for example, with the patrician gens of the Aemilians in Rome.

As far as the name 'Paul' is concerned, it must be said that it was not very common among Romans, but extremely rare among non-Romans, especially in the Greek East, and that it does not occur at all among Jews. "

Paul himself emphasized the complete change of character that happened to him through Jesus Christ, but did not associate it with a name change. He resolutely protested against misunderstanding this change as the task of his Judaism. He later repeatedly emphasized his Jewish ancestry to internal Christian opponents (for example Phil 3, 5  EU ):

"[...] one of the people of Israel, from the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew from the Hebrews, a Pharisee according to the law"


Paul was trained to be a Torah teacher in his youth . He was a Pharisee and probably did not begin his scholarly study in the Jewish diaspora, but in Judea and Jerusalem. Although he was born in Tarsus, according to Acts 22.3  EU he grew up in Jerusalem and was tutored there by Rabbi Gamaliel I , who was famous at the time . His letters show a solid knowledge of the Tanakh as well as Hellenistic rhetoric, forms of speech and letter schemes. His writings use many terms of the Greek colloquial language, especially those of the Stoa . This expression was used and understood everywhere in the Mediterranean. Paul's language is largely influenced by the Septuagint , the Greek translation of the Holy Scriptures. Occasionally he used the original Hebrew text that was familiar to him. The opposition between Judaism and Hellenism is obsolete in research history; Rather, Paul lived a biculturalism typical of his time, as he also mastered Greek and Hebrew (no information is available about a possible competence in Latin that he would have needed for his planned trip to Spain).

Before the Dead Sea Scrolls became known, parallels to Palestinian Judaism were lacking for many subjects in the Pauline letters, so that his insistence on being a Pharisee was incomprehensible. The Qumran scrolls now make it possible to understand Paul's world of ideas against its Jewish background with formulations such as “children of light”, “works of darkness”, “works of the law”, “righteousness of God”.

Later, as a Christian, Paul distinguished himself from the wisdom cultivated in Diaspora Judaism ( 1 Cor 2 : 1–4  EU ). The Pauline speech stylized by Luke on the Areopagus ( Acts 17  EU ) is therefore judged as a later apologetic reinterpretation of genuinely Pauline theology of the cross.

According to Jewish custom, in addition to his writing training, Paul also learned the craft of tentmaking ( Acts 18.3  EU ). With this activity he later earned his living as a missionary ( 1 Thess 2,9  EU and 1 Cor 4,12  EU ). So he was not dependent on having to accept gifts from the Christian communities ( Phil 4: 14-18  EU and 1 Cor 9 : 12-18  EU ). In this way he could maintain the complete independence of his preaching and preach the gospel for free. Ekkehard and Wolfgang Stegemann emphasize that the social status of Paul according to his self-testimonies is completely different than according to the Acts of the Apostles:

  • According to the Acts of the Apostles, he had the financial means to rent a school in Ephesus for his preaching work and his own apartment in Rome. His work in the workshop of Priska and Aquila seems more like a "mission-tactical" approach.
  • According to the letters, Paul did hard work, presumably as a daily wage, all day and before or after sunset (1 Thess 2: 9). His experiences of suffering with a lack of food and inadequate clothing (e.g. 1 Cor. 4: 8ff.) Match what is known about the everyday life of ancient craftsmen.

The historical Paul was probably "a member of the lower class above the subsistence level."

Christian persecutors

How the Jew Paul came into contact with the first Christians does not emerge from the Acts of the Apostles or the Pauline writings. He reports to the Corinthians that he persecuted the church of God ( 1 Cor 15.9  EU ). He openly mentions that he persecuted Christian communities in order to destroy them ( Gal 1.13  EU ). He zealously advocated Jewish law ( Phil 3: 5–6  EU ) and turned against the faith and the way of life of the first Christians with hostility. He had tried to rob the Christian communities of the opportunities to form and come together.

Until his conversion, Paul represented Pharisaism , which demanded that proselytes (non-Jews who converted to Judaism) should also be circumcised (cf. Acts 15.5  EU ). He saw himself as a “zealot for the law” ( Gal 1.14  EU ), who also fulfilled its regulations in an exemplary manner towards fellow Jews ( Phil 3.6  EU ). In this endeavor he became a bitter opponent of the Hellenistic Jewish Christians , who evangelized in the Jewish diaspora and thereby facilitated the observance of the Torah for newly baptized Gentile Christians by renouncing its circumcision.

According to Luke, Paul was a witness in Jerusalem (“spectator and sympathizer”, according to Rudolf Pesch ) of the tumultuous stoning of the first Christian martyr Stephen ( Acts 7.58 ff.  EU ) in an act of lynching. He appeared as the spokesman for that group of Hellenists who were the first to begin the mission to the Gentiles in the early church in Jerusalem, who rejected the temple cult and thus came into conflict with the Sadducee priestly aristocracy.

In contrast, Paul writes in Gal 1.22  EU that he was personally unknown to the congregations of Judea , particularly Jerusalem , until he traveled to Jerusalem three years after his conversion ( Gal 1.18  EU ). This contradicts the description given by Luke, who ascribes to him a decisive role in the persecution of Christians ( Acts 22.4  EU ). Paul's presence at the stoning remains questionable. The occurrence of a Paul who was given the authority of the high priest and who dragged captured Christians before the Jerusalem tribunal ( Acts 22.5  EU ) seems improbable within the Roman jurisdiction. Rather, Paul probably acted within the framework of the internal punitive power granted to the synagogue communities (scourging, ban).

Call or Conversion?

The conversion of Paul by Caravaggio 1600

Paul himself describes the apparitions of Jesus several times ( Gal 1.15–19  EU ; Phil 3.7–12  EU ; 1 Cor 15.8–9  EU ; 2 Cor 4.1.5–6  EU ). God had even before his birth decided Paul his son to reveal and to him the Apostle of the Gentiles called ( Gal 1.15  EU ). He emphasizes that he followed his mandate for three years and only then visited the early church in Jerusalem ( Gal. 1 : 17–19  EU ). There is some evidence that he took over the already fixed early Christian confessional formula with the list of resurrection witnesses , which he quotes in 1 Cor 15 : 3–7  EU and supplements in verse 8 with his own calling vision.

Because of his calling, Paul therefore places himself in the ranks of the resurrection witnesses whom the eyewitnesses told him about during his first visit to Jerusalem. The formulaic expression ōphthē ( ὤφθη 'was seen', 'appeared') refers to visions which, as in Jewish apocalyptic , were experienced and passed on as divinely revealed anticipation of end-time events (for example Dan 7,1-14  EU ). Because here Paul added his famous chapter on the resurrection of the dead, a belief that he shared with Pharisees , Zealots and Essenes .

God's calling, the knowledge of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the special commission for the mission of the nations and the certainty of the eschatological raising of the dead formed an inseparable unity for Paul. He therefore emphasized that the gospel he preached was “not of a human nature”, Gal 1.11  EU , but a message directly revealed by God.

The Acts of the Apostles describes the calling of Paul ( Acts 9: 1–18 EU ), the “ Damascus experience  ”, as the conversion of the persecutor of Christians. On the way to Damascus , Paul hears the voice of Jesus - shining around with heavenly light - who asks him why he is persecuting him. He then lost his eyesight, was taken to Damascus, where he was healed of his blindness and was baptized . Paul himself does not draw the experience in a biographical note in Gal. 1.15–16  EU as an experience of conversion, but rather emphasizes the experience of revelation and calling.

Mission trips

Missionary Journeys of Paul (Modern Map)

In accordance with his self-image as the Apostle of the Nations, i. H. as a commissioner with mission among gentiles, Paul wanted to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ as widely as possible. He and his companions lived as traveling missionaries who "in a certain ( apocalyptic ) hurry and restlessness" ( Norbert Brox ) wanted to reach as large areas as possible by heading for the larger cities. The newly planted churches were then largely left to their own devices as the missionaries went to plant churches elsewhere.

The Acts of the Apostles reports on several journeys of the apostle, which are usually divided into "mission journeys", but this does not quite correspond to the presentation of the Acts of the Apostles.

In the "first missionary trip", according to the Acts of the Apostles, he visited Cyprus with Barnabas and his nephew and then the home of the proconsul Sergius Paul [l] us , whose family was based in Antioch near Pisidia . Forced by persecution , he also traveled to other cities and finally returned with Barnabas to Antioch on the Orontes . Historically, a period of 12 to 13 years can be assumed for this phase of life, stylized by Acts as a single journey; Paul’s letters from this period are not known, nor did he comment on them later (possible exception: Gal 1:21).

The "second mission trip" consisted of a trip to the churches founded in the first trip in Galatia and then to Greece, a longer stay in Corinth and then a trip to Jerusalem and Antioch on the Orontes. Luke describes the latter only briefly; this journey, together with the beginning of the “third missionary journey”, forms a short report on a journey from Corinth to the east and back to Ephesus, which was briefly visited on the outward journey. During the second missionary trip, Paul wrote the first letter to the Thessalonians, which is therefore his oldest surviving script.

The “third mission trip” consisted primarily of a three-year stay in Ephesus. This was followed by a tour of Greece and a trip to Jerusalem, during which a collection mentioned in Paul's letters was supposed to be brought (which, however, is not mentioned by Luke). The plans of Paul saw a further journey to Rome and from there the mission of the western Mediterranean to Hispania before Rom 15,22 f. EU . In Jerusalem, however, he was arrested by the Roman authorities and, after much back and forth, transferred to Rome, where he presumably suffered martyrdom.

A comparison with Paul's letters shows that Paul probably made other journeys not mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. However, only guesses can be made about the details.

Paul was accompanied by others on his travels; the Epistles of Paul and the Acts of the Apostles mention Barnabas , Timothy , Titus , Erastus and Silas , among others . The aim of the mission trips was to build up Christian communities. As soon as they were able to organize themselves independently, Paul traveled to the next town. The Christian communities in the urban centers became the starting point for further missions in the hinterland. Paul kept correspondence with the important congregations in which he deepened the Christian doctrine and addressed problems and current issues.

Suffering and persecution

In his letters Paul often describes personal suffering, which he interprets as a result of his preaching of Christ. Accordingly, he repeatedly met with strong rejection from Jews and non-Jews, which sometimes led to “rioting”: He survived various physical confrontations, attempts to stoning and scourging (cf. 2 Cor 11:24 f.  EU ; Acts 14:19  EU ). This could have permanently affected him physically. As a Roman citizen he could have avoided abuse; either the information in Acts of the Apostles about this citizenship is to be judged as unhistorical, or Paul withheld his social status because he wanted to suffer for Christ ; perhaps one would not have believed him either: "At that time there was no identity card that you always had to carry in your pocket."

Gal 4.15  EU could indicate an eye disease. In 2 Cor 12.7  EU Paul speaks of a “thorn in the flesh” and “angel of Satan who has to hit me with his fists so that I do not get overblown”. The ancient Greek σκόλοψ skólops means on the one hand the pole, on the other hand any kind of "annoying foreign bodies", e.g. B. splinters, thorns, stings. This is understood by many experts as an indication of a disease that occurs like attacks with severe, sharp pain. The suggestions are: chronic rheumatic disease, osteoarthritis , depression , epilepsy , malaria , eye migraines . Ulrich Heckel suggests trigeminal neuralgia . Largely based on the biblical description of Paul's conversion ( Acts 9 : 1-9  EU ), Hartmut Göbel states that the criteria for a migraine (IHS Code 1.1) are met:

  • Duration of 4–72 hours with untreated course (Paul was sick for three days);
  • Pulsating pain (see above: "hit with fists");
  • Daily activity made difficult (Paul had to be led);
  • Reinforcement during normal physical activity (Paul lay down);
  • Nausea, vomiting (Paul fasted);
  • Photo and phonophobia (perception of blinding light).

His unsteady way of life, especially the long journeys, provided trigger factors for migraine attacks.

Perhaps Paul alludes to the Septuagint in 2 Cor 12 :EU with the keyword “sting” : “There will no longer be a thorn of bitterness in the house of Israel and no sting of pain from those who live around them and who live in them have offended their honor. ”This text, the ancient Greek translation of Ez 28,24  EU , is not about illness, but about an uncomfortable situation caused by personal attacks.


Paul was imprisoned several times. Two of his letters were written during a stay in prison ( Philippians , Philemon ). The Acts of the Apostles mentions a short imprisonment in Philippi Acts 16.23  EU , and a longer stay in Jerusalem and Caesarea. Since the Romans did not have long prison sentences, but only pre-trial detention and very short stays as in Philippi, it is unlikely that Paul was imprisoned any longer. From 2 Cor 1,8 f. EU should therefore be better read no prison stay, and other passages in the Pauline letters probably refer to the imprisonment in Caesarea or in Rome.

In the book of Romans , the last of the genuine letters of Paul, Paul was concerned that he pursued during his planned trip to Jerusalem for transferring a collection of the local primitive community of Jews, but could be rejected by Jewish Christians ( Rom 15.30 et seq.  EU ). As at the apostolic convention , where this collection was placed on him for the approval of his mission to the Gentiles, Paul apparently wanted to obtain the personal consent of the early church leaders for the completion of his life's work, the long-planned mission also in the west of the Roman Empire. His concern had been founded on his departure from Corinth ( Acts 20.3  EU ): At that time Paul and his companions chose the land route via Macedonia and boarded a ship to Palestine in Asia Minor in order to avoid a planned attack by his Jewish opponents ( Acts 20, 14  EU ). The personal handover of the collection of money was intended to consolidate the cohesion of Jewish and Gentile Christians, which was endangered by the increasing pressure of Palestinian Judaism on the early Christians and the turning away of some Gentile Christians from their Jewish roots.

Capture and Roman Trial

According to his fear, Paul was accused by Diaspora Jews in Jerusalem of having brought a Gentile with him to the temple : according to the current Sadducee interpretation of the Tora, the death penalty was imposed by the Romans for such religious offenses. The reason for this accusation was a ransom ceremony for Nazarites , which Paul wanted to pay according to Jewish custom in order to demonstrate to the Jews his loyalty to Judaism. To protect him from Jewish lynching, the Roman guard intervened and took him into protective custody ( Acts 21: 27-36  EU ). After several years of legal dispute, in the course of which Paul proclaimed the message of Christ to the Roman governors and appealed to the emperor as a Roman citizen ( Acts 25.9 ff.  EU ), he was finally taken prisoner to Rome to present his legal claim.

The Acts of the Apostles reports nothing about the end of Paul. Luke used the context to add dramatic judgment scenes and Pauline speeches (Acts 20-25) designed by him to the presentation. Their direction is controversial among today's experts. Perhaps after Paul was released, Paul actually went to Hispania.

Suspected martyrdom in Rome

Beheading of St. Paul, ceiling fresco (1768) in Söll (Tyrol)

According to a note first communicated in the 1st letter of Clement (beginning of the 2nd century), Paul is said to have suffered a martyr's death just like Peter . In the Acts of Paul from the end of the 2nd century it is said that he was executed by the sword in Rome under Emperor Nero. He may have died in the course of Nero's persecution of Christians in 64. As a Roman citizen, he would have been spared a crucifixion .

His tomb is said to be in Rome under the Church of Saint Paul Outside the Walls . The Italian archaeologist Giorgio Filippi claims to have found it again in June 2005. Excavations under the basilica under the guidance of Vatican archaeologists revealed a Roman sarcophagus . It was previously assumed that the grave had been destroyed in a major fire in the basilica in 1823. The remains of bones found were dated to the first to second centuries by radiocarbon dating in 2009 . In addition, purple linen and blue cloth adorned with gold were discovered in the stone sarcophagus.


Paul's theology is set out in his letters (especially in Romans and Galatians ). He took over the belief of the early Jerusalem community that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah expected in Jewish tradition ( ancient Greek Χριστός Christós , German “the anointed” ) and the savior of mankind. In contrast to Jesus, Paul did not place the Heavenly Father at the center of his preaching , but the risen savior and mediator Jesus Christ. He taught that with the devotion of his Son God also accepted the unclean pagan peoples into his covenant , but in contrast to the “people of the first covenant” only by grace . To accept this gift of love, only faith in the crucified and risen Jesus Christ is necessary. The observance of the Jewish Torah is exempt from the believing Gentiles. At the same time, however, they are subordinate to the chosen people of God. In doing so, he laid the foundation for the separation of Gentile Christianity from Judaism .

Main features

According to Udo Schnelle , transformation and participation are at the center of Pauline theology: God did not leave the crucified Jesus of Nazareth in the status of death and far from God, but gave him the new status of equality with God. This line can then be drawn further into the past: Jesus already had this closeness to God before he gave it up, went to the cross and returned to God. According to Paul, man can participate in the transformation of Christ from death to life.

Whoever affirms the sentence: Christ died "for me" ( Gal 2:20  EU ) belongs to the group of the redeemed. Therefore Paul also rejects the adoption of the Jewish laws (circumcision among other things). For man is not redeemed by observing laws, but by believing in the saving act of Christ. This does not mean that Paul gives all laws free; instead there is a “law of Christ” ( GalEU ; Rom 13  EU ) that every believer fulfills.

The unconditional expectation of the end times is decisive for the understanding of Pauline theology . God will save those who turn to faith in Christ's salvation. This brought about an important change in the history of religion: As a Jew, Paul was convinced that he would be saved who fully observes Jewish law. Since his calling as a Gentile apostle, Paul has set a completely different accent: It is no longer the observance of the law that saves people, but faith. So you don't have to be Jewish anymore to be saved. From this follows an urgent mandate for Paul: Everyone , including the Gentiles, must be informed of this. Paul wants all people to hear the message that faith in Christ saves them.

With this Paul did not want to dissolve Judaism. His only concern was to save the non-Jews, in the sense of the time the pagans. Paul let the primacy of Judaism continue to exist ( Rom. 9-11  EU ). But the Gentiles have been included in the circle of the saved since the Christ event, provided they accept the faith ( Gal 3–5  EU ).


According to Paul, whoever believes in the saving act of Christ is righteous before God. Salvation is assured to believers. But how is that salvation expressed? For Paul it is a completely new existence that the believing person receives ( 1 Cor 15  EU ). Even in this world, influenced by the Holy Spirit , the believer can expect the resurrection after death, which is to be understood as communion with Christ with the laying off of the “flesh”. At present the believing Christian is already in contact with God through the Holy Spirit; for the future there is no perfect redemption. The believers entered the new eon in Christ ( RomEU ), which is expressed for the individual Christian in the gift of the Spirit ( Rom 8:23 f.  EU ). In spite of this, the individual Christian remains stuck in his mortality to the old aeon, but can live in the eschatological hope of fundamental innovation ( Rom. 8:29  EU ), which will come to all believers and all of God's creation with the return of Christ.

The salvation event

Paul emphasized in Romans (3:27–28 EU ) that belief in the act of God in Christ's death and resurrection saves from destruction and death regardless of the observance of the law or regardless of good deeds. The importance of faith in Jesus Christ is also emphasized in Gal 2,16  EU , Phil 3,8-14  EU and Rom 5,1  EU . In several places, however, Paul also presents the practical-ethical consequences resulting from faith (e.g. Gal 5,6  EU ).

Paul is convinced that Christ died “for us”. Since God does not cause anything that is not necessary, this death of Christ must have been necessary. It was necessary for people's salvation. In this sense, the apostle's statement “no one is righteous by the law” is to be understood: man's redemption is only possible through faith in the act of salvation. It is not possible from the law alone. For if it were so possible, according to such a view, the death of Christ would not have been necessary.

The central question in Pauline theology of justification by faith is also exemplified by the example of Abraham ( Gal 3 : 6-14  EU ), who is praised by God in the Old Testament as an example of a righteous man. However, the Jewish law was introduced later. For Paul Abraham is the example that one is righteous before God, even without the Jewish law. The main function of the law is to protect against sin . But with the sending of Christ the power of sin fell, and Christ is the fulfillment of the promise of salvation to Abraham.

In current theological research, however, the exact meaning of the Pauline saying “no one gets justice from works of the law” is highly controversial. If Luther still meant that Paul was expressing that every attempt to fulfill the law would be a kind of self-righteousness, today it is more likely that Paul wants to point out the nullity of the law for the attainment of salvation: No matter whether I fulfill the law or do not mean nothing for salvation. Alternatively, the following theses are represented:

  • The law no longer has a salvific function because there is now Christ (according to Ed Parish Sanders ).
  • The law has no salvation function, because God also wants non-Jewish believers to know about salvation (according to James Dunn).
  • The law has never had a salvation function (according to Michael Bachmann ).


Paul believes that the God given law cannot lead to salvation. Yet for Paul it is a good, holy, and just law. For through the act of faith man is freed from the power of sin and enabled to fulfill the law of Christ. The basis of the law is Christ's commandment to love . However, external rituals such as circumcision are not a basis.

Marriage and sexuality

Paul rejects sexual permissiveness and prostitution , which he encountered in the rich Corinth, as "fornication". Intercourse with a prostitute pollutes one's own body, which as the temple of God is of the highest value beyond death and therefore in need of protection ( 1 Cor 6:13  EU ). In doing so, he is directed against those who refer to Greek ideals and think that “everything is allowed to me”, and counteracts that “but not everything is useful”. Fornication could not be assigned a special position. Like marriage, the godly unity of man and woman, also unite extramarital sexual intercourse into one body and thus defile the body of Christ ( 1 Cor 6:16  EU ).

Whoever cannot completely abstain from sexuality like the unmarried, perhaps widowed Paul, should enter into marriage in order to turn away from fornication ( 1 Cor: 2 EU ). Paul emphasizes the value of marriage as a created entity that is part of the body of Christ. Both partners have the common body and are therefore dependent on each other ( 1 Cor 7,4  EU ), whereby the man is the head of the woman, just like Christ is the head of the man ( 1 Cor 11,3  EU ). He does not reject marriages with unbelievers because the “unholy” partner can be saved by the believing partner ( 1 Cor 7 : 12-14  EU ). Paul rejects divorces on the basis of Jesus' prohibition of divorce, unless the initiative comes from the non-Christian partner (so-called Pauline privilege , 1 Cor 7.15  EU ). Maintaining the unity of marriage is Paul's top priority. If the divorce has taken place, however, a reconciliation should be reached or the woman should remain celibate ( 1 Cor 7.10 f.  EU ).

Singleness is a talent that is not possible for everyone. Whoever possesses this talent, however, has to seize the chance and not be deterred by resistance ( 1 Cor 7,7 ff.  EU ), as was the case in Paul's time against unmarried women. This also applies to the widows who do not have to comply with the obligation to remarry. However, marriage could also be a talent.

Reception and afterlife

Meaning, effect, criticism

Paul is regarded and respected by all Christian denominations as an outstanding herald of the teaching of Jesus, especially in Protestantism . His Christ-centric doctrine and the disregard of the Jewish ritual rules initiated the separation of the new faith from Judaism and the development of an independent, ultimately global religion. For this reason, Paul has been regarded by many philosophers and theologians as the actual founder of Christianity, as the "first theologian" so to speak, since the beginnings of scientific biblical criticism in the 18th century. From this point of view he is not only one of the most influential figures in church history, but also one of the most powerful thinkers in world history.

Following the Pauline doctrine, among others, Augustine von Hippo (4th / 5th century), Martin Luther (15th / 16th century) and Karl Barth (19th / 20th century) developed their theology. On the other hand, Paul has been a frequent target of criticism at least since early modern times , accusing him of having falsified the teaching of Jesus. Friedrich Nietzsche , for example, sees in Paulus a falsifier of the good news of the “Kingdom of Heaven” in the heart towards a hope for an existence after existence: “A God died for our sins; a salvation through faith; a resurrection after death - these are all counterfeits of actual Christianity, for which one must blame that sinister crosshead (Paul). "

In the Catholic Church, St. Paul as the patron saint of theologians and pastors, weavers, tent weavers, basket makers, rope makers, saddlers and workers as well as the Catholic press . He was also appealed to for rain and fertility of the fields, as well as for fear, ear ailments, cramps and snakebites.

To commemorate the 2000th year of the apostle's birth, Pope Benedict XVI. a Pauline Year , which he opened on June 28, 2008 together with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople , Bartholomew I , in the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls .

Remembrance day and patronage

His Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Armenian, Coptic and Evangelical Memorial Day is June 29th, Peter and Paul (together with Peter ). A special day of remembrance in the Roman Catholic, Anglican and some Protestant churches is Pauli Conversion , January 25th. Numerous Paulskirchen are under the patronage of St. Consecrated to Paul or named after him.


Since there were no contemporary portraits or portraits of Paul, his iconography was developed on the basis of ancient representation conventions for a philosopher ( tunica and himation , codex or scroll ). As with Peter , the facial features of Paul were already individualized in the earliest illustrations: oblong, narrow face, bald forehead with a dark fringe of hair, parted or highlighted beard as in ancient philosophers.

In the apocryphal Acts of Paul from the 2nd century there is a description of the person who probably influenced the iconography:

“But he saw Paul coming, a man short in stature, with a bald head and crooked legs, in a noble posture with eyebrows grown together and a slightly protruding nose, full of friendliness; for soon he appeared like a person, soon he had the face of an angel. "

- ActPaul 3.3.

Around 320 the church father and historian Eusebius of Caesarea wrote :

“We have also seen the pictures of the Apostles Paul and Peter and even the picture of Christ himself painted in colors. Was it to be expected that the ancients would honor them as their saviors in such a way without deliberation in accordance with their pagan customs. "

The oldest portraits of the Apostle Paul include, in particular, depictions of St. Peter and Paul on the floor of an early Christian gold glass from the 4th century in the Vatican Museums , Paul with Peter in the Domitilla catacombs around 350, the portrait of Paul in the catacomb of Saints Marcellinus and Peter from the 4th century and the Paul fresco in the Paulus grotto near Ephesus from the 4th – 5th centuries Century.

In the following centuries until today, numerous artists have painted pictures of Paul. It was not until the 13th century that the representation with the sword, the attribute of his martyrdom, was found . In 1567, Pieter Bruegel the Elder created Ä. the painting The Conversion of Paul ; about 100 years later (1661) Rembrandt painted a self-portrait as the apostle Paul in addition to other pictures of Paul . All artistic representations more or less strictly follow the design conventions that have been developed for the portrait of Paul since late antiquity and do not claim to include realistic details of the physiognomy of the apostle Paul in the picture.


Musical editing

Especially in the Renaissance and Baroque periods, composers created works on the subject of Saul - Paul:

But there are also compositions in modern times, e.g. B.

Created an entire oratorio on the theme of Paul :

Works in the musical and opera genre :


See also


Overall representations


Mission Travel and Death

  • Stefan Heid (ed.): Petrus and Paulus in Rome. An interdisciplinary debate. Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 2011, ISBN 978-3-451-30705-8 .
  • Alois Prinz : The first Christian. The life story of the apostle Paul. Beltz & Gelberg, Weinheim 2007, ISBN 978-3-407-81020-5 .
  • Friedrich W. Horn: The end of Paul. Historical, theological and literary-historical aspects. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-11-017001-9 .
  • Paul Imhof, Martin Bertel: Paul on trips. Adventurous discoveries in the footsteps of the apostle. Pattloch Verlag, Augsburg 1995, ISBN 3-629-00103-3 .
  • Rainer Riesner : The early days of the apostle Paul. Studies in chronology, mission strategy and theology. Mohr, Tübingen 1994, ISBN 3-16-145828-1 .


  • Johann Christoph Hampe : Paul. Twelve colored pictures from the 9th to 13th centuries . Friedrich Wittig Verlag, Hamburg 1960.

Web links

Wikisource: Απόστολος Παύλος  - Sources and full texts (Greek)
Commons : Paulus von Tarsus  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Biography and theology

Individual evidence

  1. Konrad Schmid, Jens Schröter: The emergence of the Bible. From the first texts to the scriptures . CHBeck, Munich 2019, p. 338.
  2. Konrad Schmid, Jens Schröter: The emergence of the Bible. From the first texts to the scriptures . CHBeck, Munich 2019, p. 338 f.
  3. Konrad Schmid, Jens Schröter: The emergence of the Bible. From the first texts to the scriptures . CHBeck, Munich 2019, p. 346.
  4. a b Jürgen Roloff: Paulus. In: Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon . Volume 3. Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen 1992, Sp. 1089.
  5. Udo Schnelle: Paulus. Life and thought. Verlag Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2014, ISBN 978-3-11-030158-8 , p. 32 (accessed via De Gruyter Online).
  6. Ernst Axel Knauf : The Apostle Paul’s journey to Arabia . In: Martin Hengel, Anna Maria Schwemer: Paulus between Damascus and Antioch: the unknown years of the apostle (= scientific research on the New Testament. Volume 108). Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 1998, p. 465ff., Here p. 469.
  7. For example from Frederick Fyvie Bruce : The Acts of the Apostles: The Greek Text with Introduction and Commentary. 3rd edition, Grand Rapids, Michigan: 1990, pp. 330f, and Witherington, Ben: The Acts of the Apostles. A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary. Grand Rapids 1998, ISBN 0-8028-4501-0 .
  8. Agnes Seppelfricke: Paul was never on Malta. In: The time . December 23, 1988, accessed on October 8, 2018 (beginning of article freely available).
  9. Heinz Warnecke, Thomas Schirrmacher: Paulus in the storm. About the shipwreck of exegesis and the rescue of the apostle on Kephallenia . 2nd Edition. VTR, Nürnberg 2000, ISBN 3-933372-29-1 (183 pages).
  10. Heinz Warnecke: The actual Rome trip of the Apostle Paul . 2nd Edition. Verlag Katholisches Bibelwerk, Stuttgart 1989, ISBN 3-460-04271-0 (164 pages).
  11. Holy Metropolis of Cephalonia: St. Paul the Apostel , report on three international conferences in 1993, 1996 and 1999 with further arguments, accessed on October 8, 2018.
  12. ^ A. Warsberg: Ithaka. Vienna 1887; Heinz Warnecke: Paul in the storm. VTR, 2000, p. 115 f .; Heinz Warnecke: The actual trip to Rome of the apostle Paul (= Stuttgart Biblical Studies. Volume 127). Stuttgart 2/1989 (1/1987).
  13. ^ Jens Börstinghaus: Sturmfahrt und Schiffbruch: on the Lucanian use of a literary topos in Acts 27.1-28.6 . Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2010, pp. 440–442.
  14. Udo Schnelle: Introduction to the New Testament. 3rd edition, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1999, ISBN 3-8252-1830-9 , pp. 33-43.
  15. Udo Schnelle: Introduction to the New Testament. Göttingen 1999, p. 43.
  16. Dietrich-Alex Koch : History of early Christianity: A textbook . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2013, p. 203, note 36.
  17. EP Sanders: Paul . Reclam, Stuttgart 1995 (2005), p. 17.
  18. Thomas Schumacher: On the emergence of Christian language. An investigation of the Pauline idioms and the use of the term πίστις (= Bonn biblical contributions. Volume 168). V&R unipress GmbH, Göttingen 2012, ISBN 978-3-89971-944-4 , p. 120 ( limited preview on Google Books).
  19. a b c d e f g Eduard Lohse: Paulus: a biography. Chapter I.2 .: The origin. CH Beck, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-406-40949-0 , p. 18 ff.
  20. Ekkehard W. Stegemann, Wolfgang Stegemann: Urchristliche Sozialgeschichte. The beginnings in Judaism and the Christ churches in the Mediterranean world . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1995, p. 257.
  21. Martin Hengel : Paulus and ancient Judaism: Tübingen-Durham-Symposium in memory of the 50th anniversary of the death of Adolf Schlatter (May 19, 1938) ; Mohr Siebeck 1991, ISBN 3-16-145795-1 , p. 198; the other most important literature up to that point is listed there.
  22. Martin Hengel, Ulrich Heckel: Paulus und das Antike Judentum (=  Scientific studies on the New Testament . Volume 58 ). Mohr Siebeck, 1991, ISBN 978-3-16-145795-1 , pp. 475 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  23. a b Eduard Lohse: Paulus: a biography. Chapter VI.2 .: The education. CH Beck, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-406-40949-0 , p. 22 ff.
  24. a b c Eduard Lohse: Paulus: a biography. Chapter I.3 .: Education. CH Beck, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-406-40949-0 , p. 18 ff.
  25. ^ Esther Kobel: Paul as an intercultural mediator . Brill, Leiden 2019, pp. 215-222.
  26. ^ Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra : Qumran. The Dead Sea Texts and Ancient Judaism . Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2016, p. 333.
  27. ^ Günter Bornkamm: Paulus p. 33; 84 f.
  28. a b Ekkehard W. Stegemann, Wolfgang Stegemann: Original Christian social history. The beginnings in Judaism and the Christ churches in the Mediterranean world . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1995, pp. 258-260.
  29. a b Eduard Lohse: Paulus: a biography. Chapter III. The persecution of God's church. CH Beck, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-406-40949-0 , p. 43 ff.
  30. Rudolf Pesch: The Acts of the Apostles (= Evangelical-Catholic Commentary on the New Testament), Part 1: Acts 1–12, study edition, Neukirchener Verlag and Patmos, Neukirchen-Vluyn / Ostfildern 2012, pp. 264–266, quotation p. 266.
  31. ^ Günther Bornkamm : Paulus. 4th edition. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart [a. a.] 1979, ISBN 3-17-005637-9 , p. 38 f.
  32. “Last of all he was also seen by me, a freak. For I am the least of the apostles who am not worthy of being called an apostle because I have persecuted the church of God. ” 1 Cor 15.8  EU .
  33. Udo Borse: The letter to the Galatians (= Regensburg New Testament). Pustet, Regensburg 1984, p. 56.
  34. Cf. Günther Bornkamm: Paulus . 1st edition. W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart, 1969, p. 40 .
  35. ^ Norbert Brox: Church history of antiquity . Patmos, 6th edition Düsseldorf 1998, p. 18.
  36. For possible identifications of Sergius Paullus see Alexander Weiß: Sergius Paullus, Governor of Cyprus. In: Journal of Papyrology and Epigraphy . Volume 169, 2009, pp. 188-192 ( online ).
  37. Klaus Dorn: Paulus: History - Tradition - Faith . Schöningh, Paderborn 2019, pp. 51–53.
  38. And after many commentaries also to the Galatia landscape , which was further north.
  39. Acts 18: 18-23  EU ; Acts 19.1  EU , in between a report about Apollos is inserted.
  40. Klaus Dorn: Paulus: History - Tradition - Faith . Schöningh, Paderborn 2019, pp. 78–84, summary p. 84.
  41. Martin Hengel : Paulus und Jakobus (= small writings. Volume 3.) Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2002, p. 459.
  42. Martin Hengel: Paulus und Jakobus (= Kleine Schriften. Volume 3.) Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2002, p. 85.
  43. Walter Bauer: Greek-German dictionary on the writings of the New Testament and early Christian literature . 6th, completely revised edition, ed. by Kurt and Barbara Aland. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1988, column 1511.
  44. Walter Klaiber: The second letter to the Corinthians: The message of the New Testament . Neukirchener Verlag, Neukirchen-Vluyn 2012, p. 230.
  45. Ulrich Heckel: The thorn in the flesh. Paul's illness in 2 Cor 12.7 and Gal 4.13f . In: Journal for New Testament Science 84 / 1-2 (1993), pp. 65–92.
  46. a b Hartmut Göbel: The headache: causes, mechanisms, diagnostics and therapy in practice . Springer, 3rd edition Berlin / Heidelberg 2012, p. 161.
  47. Wolfgang Kraus , Martin Karrer (Ed.): Septuaginta German. The Greek Old Testament in German translation . German Bible Society, Stuttgart 2009, p. 1393.
  48. The long imprisonment in Caesarea was pre-trial detention, which, according to Acts, was connected with a delay in his trial by corrupt officials and probably his opponents. For the background, see also Brian Rapske: Paul in Roman Custody (= The Book of Acts in its First Century Setting. Volume 3). Eerdmans [u. a.], Grand Rapids, Mich. 1994, ISBN 0-8028-2435-8 .
  49. That probably refers to Acts 19,23ff  EU and not to a legal process.
  50. Heike Omerzu : The apologetics of the Acts of the Apostles on the test stand. In: Journal for New Testament Science . 18, 2006, p. 27 f.
  51. ↑ Estimated as likely by Martin Hengel , Anna Maria Schwemer: Jesus und das Judentum. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2007, p. 10, 602 f.
  52. ^ 1 Clem 5.5-7. The passage is unanimously read - at least since the discussion in Beyschlag: Clemens Romanus , Tübingen 1956, 306–328 - as a report of a martyr's death, cf. for example Udo Schnelle: Paulus, p. 429 ff .; H. Löhr: On the Paul note in 1 Clem 5.5–7. In: FW Horn: Das Ende des Paulus, p. 206 ff., Each with an indication of further literature.
  53. Acta Pauli 11.3 / Martyrium Pauli 3.
  54. The relevant articles in FW Horn: Das Ende des Paulus provide an overview of the research debates .
  55. Paul's grave uncovered. In: Vatican Radio . December 5, 2006, accessed December 8, 2019.
  56. can / dpa / Reuters : Bones found in the grave of the Apostle Paul. In: Spiegel Online . June 28, 2009, accessed December 8, 2019.
  57. Udo Schnelle: Paulus: Living and Thinking . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2003, pp. 463–465.
  58. Udo Schnelle: Paulus: Living and Thinking . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2003, pp. 302f. Note 44.
  59. Udo Schnelle: Paulus: Living and Thinking . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2003, pp. 302–304.
  60. a b Jürgen Roloff: Paulus. In: Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon . Volume 3. Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, Göttingen 1992, Sp. 1096.
  61. Michael Bachmann: Christ "the end of the law, the decalogue and the commandment of love"? In: Ders., From Paulus to the Apocalypse - and further: exegetical and historical reception studies on the New Testament . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2011, pp. 181–184.
  62. Joachim Jeremias : Was Paulus a widower? In: Journal for New Testament Science . 25, pp. 310-312 (1926).
  63. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche: The will to power. I - Chapter 13, 169 ( ).
  64. Werner Williams-Krapp: Paulus. German legends. In: Author's Lexicon . Volume VII, Col. 386 f.
  65. ^ Lexicon for Theology and Church (LThK). Volume 7. Herder, Freiburg 2006, column 1508 f.
  66. Martin Lechner: Paulus . In: Wolfgang Braunfels (ed.): Lexicon of Christian Iconography (LCI). Volume 8, Herder, Freiburg 2004, column 140 f.
  67. ^ Translation: Wilhelm Schneemelcher: New Testament Apocrypha. 6th edition. Volume II, p. 216.
  68. ^ Church history (Eusebius) , 7th book, chap. 18 ( .
  69. ^ Wieczorek / Stefan Weinfurter (eds.): The Popes and the unity of the Latin world. Exhibition catalog of the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museums in Mannheim. Schnell & Steiner, Regensburg 2017, pp. 118f. with fig.
  70. Figure; s. also .
  71. ^ Karl Künstle: Paulus, Apostel. In: Iconography of the Saints. 1926, pp. 487-490; Reclam's Lexicon of Sacred and Biblical Figures. 8th edition. Stuttgart 1996, p. 467.
  72. ^ H. Perry Chapman: Rembrandt's self-portraits. P. 121.
  73. Entry on, accessed on December 8, 2019.


  1. Clement's First Letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 5, verses 5–7: “Because of jealousy and quarrels, Paul has demonstrated his perseverance. 6. Shackled, driven out, stoned seven times, herald (of the Gospel) in the east and west, he took the glorious glory of his faith. 7. He had taught righteousness to the whole world, had penetrated to the extreme west and had given his testimony before the rulers, so he was taken away from this world and entered the holy place, the greatest example of patience. "