Reconstructing the Conversion of St. Paul

Yesterday, I posted on Luke’s theologizing of the conversion of Saul. So, I want to post just a few thoughts about what his historical Damascus Road event may have been.

Paul was a good Jew – a Pharisee. They did not take too kindly to the physically different. Remember, nothing not-right could worship in the Temple. No Eunuchs, for example.

So, Saul, going about knifing Jesus followers, has an accident. Perhaps a fall or a serious fever that causes him to lose most of his eyesight. No doubt, a proper interpretation of such a fever would be God’s will, and thus, for the Pharisee, a sign to force Saul to consider his actions.

In Paul’s recovery, he meets a Jesus-follower. And suddenly…

Anyway… thoughts?

And remember, Paul does not have much to say about his conversion experience except that God showed him Jesus.

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4 Replies to “Reconstructing the Conversion of St. Paul”

  1. It seems to me a rationalizing theology which seeks to explain away experiences and instances of divine intervention in the life of a formative biblical character has little value other than besmirching the faith it seeks to understand.

    Paul’s own retelling of his Damascus Road moment is more prominent than you give it credit for above. Using the narratives (albeit Lukan) from Acts 22 & 26 in combination with his own descriptions we see something far more significant that your picture above. Wouldn’t Paul, being alive and a partner with Luke through the time of the writings of the two (or one) Lukan texts have had editorial influence? Or at least some of Paul’s own followers who would have kept Luke accountable?

    I don’t think you have fully considered the implications or the reality behind your thoughts.

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