Some quick thoughts on the Historical Paul

Did Luke theologize Paul’s blindness? Hang on, let me flesh this out.

First, Galatians 4.13-15. Here, he says the Galatians would have ripped out their eyes for him. Later in the chapter, he signs the letter with a very large signature. He was, perhaps, going blind.

Now, remember the conversion story of Paul in Acts 9. If Acts is written long after Paul’s death, and with the same theological motivation the Evangelists applied to Jesus, then is it possible that Luke takes the known disability of Paul and theologizes it inside the conversion story?

Anyone have any scholarly articles on this?

Post By Joel Watts (10,113 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

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3 thoughts on “Some quick thoughts on the Historical Paul

  1. In 2 Maccabees, a persecutor of the Jews is stopped on the road by a vision, blinded, cared for Jews while he recovers, and then converts to the faith of the people he once opposed. It seems pretty clear to me that this was at least in part the literary origin of Paul’s conversion in Acts (of which the writer, who was clearly not trying to convey historical history, gives three contradictory accounts).

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