Paul and a Clash of Cultures

Status
Not open for further replies.

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
Paul strongly implies that his father was a Pharisee (Acts 23.6). He also notes that his father was a Roman citizen (Acts 16.37-38; 22.25-29). So: Paul's father was both a Pharisee and a Roman citizen. This raises some interesting questions:

Was it unusual for Pharisees to be Roman citizens? Why would a Pharisee - a member of the strictest and most theologically orthodox group in Judaism - even want to be a Roman citizen? Would Paul's father have been condemned as a heretic for having Roman citizenship? Could this be a reason Paul's family was located in Tarsus and not Jerusalem (or at least Israel)? With this latter question, I do think it explains why, growing up in Tarsus, he was sent to Jerusalem for his theological education - family tradition. Paul's father, with a foot in both the secular and Pharisaic worlds, made sure his son was educated likewise. Did Paul's father - or Paul himself - experience any cognitive dissonance between the strictness of Pharisee-ism and his secular Greek/Roman education?

Etc., etc.

I wonder if anyone has written on this subject.

A Pharisee and a Roman citizen. Fascinating!
 

hammondjones

Puritan Board Sophomore
Interesting thoughts, I'd also like to hear about this. If he did have an "outsider" status, perhaps it provided him with insight on just how legalistic 1st C. Judaism actually was.
 

PhilA

Puritan Board Sophomore
Why would a Pharisee - a member of the strictest and most theologically orthodox group in Judaism - even want to be a Roman citizen?

I don't think he became a Roman citizen by choice. The family presumable had Roman citizenship set on them when Rome incorporated Tarsus. Tarsus became the capital of the Roman province of Cilicia.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top