St Paul - the Bible text

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Paul imprisoned

Paul's story

Hands nurturing a seedling

Bible study ideas

Paul visits Peter in prison, Filippino Lippi

Bible heroes
Paul, a passionate man

Medal showing the facade of the Temple of Jerusalem

in Paul's time

Photo of a mature/elderly woman

Women of the early Church

Middle Eastern woman, from one of the Fayum coffin portraits


Reconstruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, built by King Herod the Great and finished some years after the death of Jesus

Buildings Peter knew

Map showing Jerusalem and the surrounding countryside

Maps of Judea
at the time of Jesus


Bible text for
Peter's story






St Paul - Christian Hero

St Paul in the New Testament, detail of a painting by El GrecoFamous Quotes

'There is no longer Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.' Galatians 3:28
'For the whole Law is summed up in one commandment: 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself.' Galatians 5:14
'Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.' Romans 5:1
' we, who are many, are one body in Christ....' Romans 12:5

Stephen is Killed    Acts 7:54-8:3

7:54  When they heard these things, they became furious and ground their teeth at him. 
7:55  But Stephen,  full of the Holy Spirit, looked intently  toward heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 
7:56  “Look!” he said. “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 

Photograph of a modern-day stoning; 
this is what happened to Stephen

7:57  But they covered their ears,  shouting out with a loud voice, and rushed at him with one intent. 
7:58  When they had driven him out of the city, they began to stone him, and the witnesses laid their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. 
7:59  They continued to stone Stephen while he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” 
7:60  Then he fell to his knees and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” When he had said this, he died.
  And Saul agreed completely with killing him.

Saul Begins to Persecute the Church

Now on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were forced to scatter throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria. 
8:2  Some devout men buried Stephen and made loud lamentation over him. 
8:3  But Saul was trying to destroy the church; entering one house after another, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.

The Conversion of Saul   Acts 9:1-31

1  Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 
2  and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 
3  Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 
Caravaggio, Conversion of St Paul4  He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 
5  He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 
6  But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” 
7  The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. 
8  Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 
9  For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
10  Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” He answered, “Here I am, Lord.” 
11  The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, 
12  and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” 
13  But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; 
14  and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.” 
15  But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; 
16I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 
17  So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 
18  And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, 
19  and after taking some food, he regained his strength. For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, 
20  and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” 
21  All who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem among those who invoked this name? And has he not come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?” 
22  Saul became increasingly more powerful and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Messiah.
23  After some time had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him, 
24  but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night so that they might kill him; 

St Paul Being Lowered in a Basket, detail of the mosaic at Monreale Cathedral. Sicily

St Paul Being Lowered in a Basket, 
detail of the mosaic at Monreale Cathedral. Sicily

25  but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket.
 26  When he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. 
27  But Barnabas took him, brought him to the apostles, and described for them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the name of Jesus. 
28  So he went in and out among them in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 
29  He spoke and argued with the Hellenists; but they were attempting to kill him. 
30  When the believers learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus. 
31  Meanwhile the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was built up. Living in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.

Paul and Silas in Prison   Acts 16:16-40

16   One day, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling. 
17   While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, “These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.” 
18   She kept doing this for many days. But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour. 
19   But when her owners saw that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the authorities. 

St Paul Visits St Peter in Prison, Filippino Lippi

St Paul Visits St Peter in Prison, Filippino Lippi

20   When they had brought them before the magistrates, they said, “These men are disturbing our city; they are Jews 
21   and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to adopt or observe.” 
22   The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates had them stripped of their clothing and ordered them to be beaten with rods. 
23   After they had given them a severe flogging, they threw them into prison and ordered the jailer to keep them securely. 
24   Following these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25   About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 

The Earthquake Frees Paul

26   Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. 
27   When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he supposed that the prisoners had escaped. 
28   But Paul shouted in a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” 
29   The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 
30   Then he brought them outside and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 
31   They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 
32   They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 
33   At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay. 
34   He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God.
35   When morning came, the magistrates sent the police, saying, “Let those men go.” 
36   And the jailer reported the message to Paul, saying, “The magistrates sent word to let you go; therefore come out now and go in peace.” 
37   But Paul replied, “They have beaten us in public, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they going to discharge us in secret? Certainly not! Let them come and take us out themselves.” 
38   The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens; 
39   so they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and asked them to leave the city. 
40   After leaving the prison they went to Lydia’s home; and when they had seen and encouraged the brothers and sisters there, they departed.

St Paul Writing His Epistles, Nicolas Tournier or Valentin de Boulogne

St Paul Writing His Epistles, 
Nicolas Tournier or Valentin de Boulogne

Paul in Athens, Acts 17:16-34

Paul in Corinth, Acts 18:1-23

Paul in Ephesus, Acts 19:1-41

Paul Begins his Journey to Jerusalem, Acts 20

Paul Continues his Journey to Jerusalem, Acts 21

Paul Defends Himself, Acts 21:37 - 22

Paul Before the Council, Acts 22:30 - 23:11

The Plot to Kill Paul, Acts 23:12 - 35

Paul Before Felix at Caesarea, Acts 24

Paul Appeals to the Emperor, Acts 25:1-12

Paul Brought Before King Agrippa, Acts 25:13-27

Paul Defends Himself Before Agrippa, Acts 26

Paul Sails for Rome, Acts 27

Paul at Malta, Acts 28:1-10

Paul Arrives in Rome, Preaches, Acts 28:11-30



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