Understanding The Bible
Introduction to The Life of Paul
Dr. Douglas B. MacCorkle, Th.D.

Douglas B. MacCorkle, Th. D.
Introduction to the Life of Paul
Philadelphia College of Bible


  1. Cultural and Religious Background
    1. Biblical Data
      Philippians 3:4-5; 2 Corinthians 11:22; Acts 21:39; 22:3; 22:28; 23:6
    2. Religious Culture
      1. From a family of Pharisees Acts 23:6
      2. Tribe Benjamin; named after most notorious Benjaminite Saul
      3. Pure Jewish Origin belonging to Diaspora.
      4. Jew of Tarsus (no mean city) highly orthodox (claim), University city.
      5. Married sister evidently lived in Jerusalem where Saul attended Rabbinic High school there. Sat at feet of Gamaliel there (The Elder Gamaliel I).
      6. His system of theology followed the conciliatory school of Hillel which employed Rabbinical argument and exegetical methodology.
      7. Member of the Sanhedrin
    3. Cultural Preparations
      1. Language spoken
        Hebrew of the Bible
        Colloquial Aramaic
        Contemporary Greek
      2. Citizenship
        Tarsus and Rome
        Middle class home probably
        Combination of Pharisee and citizen of Rome extraordinary phenomenon of Diaspora.
      3. University probably University of Tarsus. Great mixture with Gentiles at this university.
  2. Regeneration and Conversion
    1. Place Damascus Road
    2. Occasion while he was prosecuting Jew persecuting Christians
    3. Event Act of God entirely apart from any human contributions. Immediate conversion followed by continuation in new directions, dynamic, etc.
    4. Commission best description in Acts 26
  3. Formal Ministry
    1. Preparatory Years See Galatians 1-2
    2. First Missionary Journey: Approximately 46-48 AD
    3. Council at Jerusalem approximately 49-50 AD
    4. Second Missionary Journey: approximately 50-52 AD
    5. Third Missionary Journey: Approximately 53-56 AD
    6. Imprisonment and trial in Judea
    7. To Rome for Imprisonment Approximately 57-58 AD
    8. Journeys between Roman imprisonments
      1. To Asia and Macedonia?
      2. To Spain? Romans 15:28 While Rome was burning (64 AD)?
      3. To East again?
    9. Second or Last imprisonment in Rome Approximately 65 AD to 67 AD
    10. Execution by decapitation FOR THE FAITH somewhere between 65-67 AD
  4. Dead Yet Speaking through His Epistles
    1. Relate them to Journeys described in ACTS
    2. Date them approximately in relationship to solutions of problems of introduction comm. To all epistles.
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