when did Saul become Paul?

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Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
As I have been working my way through Acts I am becominmg increasingly curious when Saul becomes Paul?

I had some notion that it was at his conversion - nope!

The transition seems to come in Acts 13:9 when Luke "introduces" the name Paul and then refers to him thereafter as Paul. Why?

All the Epistles have "Paul" and Saul, after Acts 13:9 is only used when referring back to Saul's confrontation on the road to Damascus.

There is I believe a tradition of taking a new name at baptism amongst the early church (paedobaptists take note ;) ) Is this implicit?
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Perhaps it is implicit, it certainly is not express. A lot of people confuse the name change with Peter's name change. Of course, in that case, Jesus gave Simon the name and said why. But when Peter was all bold and full of his strength, I note how Jesus refered to him as Simon.

I always figured that Saul/Paul chose to go by the Roman rendering of his name when he was ministering to the gentiles. I think he was always Saul when he was learning to be a Pharisee and he was Paul as a Roman citizen from birth. I don't think there was an actual name change upon conversion, but I certainly would be open to other arguments on it.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
BTW, I looked at F.F. Bruce's Paul, Apostle to the Heart Set Free this evening and he states that Paul was his Roman name and Saul was his Jewish name, both from birth. He even elaborates that Paulos probably was given because it sounded like Saulos, which was the Greek rendering. That's probably where I got the idea.

But in the course of looking that up I ended up reading about 60 pages. Bruce is an engaging writer and he absolutely loved Paul.
 

Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
BTW, I looked at F.F. Bruce's Paul, Apostle to the Heart Set Free this evening and he states that Paul was his Roman name and Saul was his Jewish name, both from birth. He even elaborates that Paulos probably was given because it sounded like Saulos, which was the Greek rendering. That's probably where I got the idea.

But in the course of looking that up I ended up reading about 60 pages. Bruce is an engaging writer and he absolutely loved Paul.

I was reading F.F. Bruce's commentary on Acts last night (an eighty year old volume next year) and he was speaking of three Roman names [footnote 14, on page 264]
praeonomen
nomen gentile
cognomen

of the three we only know his cognomen - Paul.

I have yet to read about these which I will try and look up on Google. I do appreciate Bruce and have already got his book on non-Pauline Christianity (a very intriguing title) why he has not been reprinted I do not know.
 

Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
The Complete Jewish Bible - Paul, what Paul? Acts 13

I was surprised to find that the transition from Saul to Paul which Acts 13 represents is not observed in this version.

After commenting that Sh'aul is also called Paul in verse 9 the rest of Acts would appear to translate "Paul" as Sh'aul (Saul).

If I am honest "surprise" is perhaps a little too strong since I did in fact get this neglected version down to check this specific point :D
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
I was surprised to find that the transition from Saul to Paul which Acts 13 represents is not observed in this version.

After commenting that Sh'aul is also called Paul in verse 9 the rest of Acts would appear to translate "Paul" as Sh'aul (Saul).

If I am honest "surprise" is perhaps a little too strong since I did in fact get this neglected version down to check this specific point :D

But the intention of the "Complete Jewish Bible" editors and translators (editor is more appropriate, since the Greek original uses the name Paulos in those places post Acts 13) is to emphasize the Jewishness of those of Jewish extraction. I'm sure you weren't surprised to find this, but it does show what happens when one overriding concern trumps the desire to be true to the original inspired Word of God. Acts is a very interesting book to look at in the CJB, as silly things like Peter being continually called by the Hebrew "Kefa" instead of Peter (as the Greek says) are inserted in a desire to keep everyone who had Jewish roots named in a Jewish way. No, your find shouldn't be surprising in the least given the CJB's aims. Problem is these aims seem very much to maintain division and divisiveness between Jewish Christians and us gentiles.

Interesting that you post this when I'm to start teaching on Ephesians 4 in Sunday School today, talking about the unity of the body of Christ.
 
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