The Truth Behind Saul’s Name Change in the Bible

Within the New Testament, there exists a common misconception regarding the name change of Saul, the persecutor of the early Christian Church, to Paul upon his conversion to Christianity. Many believe that this change was ordained by God himself. However, upon closer inspection of the biblical text, it becomes evident that God never alters Saul’s name to Paul, as he consistently addresses him by his Hebrew name. When Saul encounters Jesus on the road to Damascus, the Lord calls him by his Hebrew name, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” It is not until much later, in the Acts of the Apostles, that Saul is referred to as Paul.

Some scholars have suggested that Saul had two names, one Hebrew and one Latin, as was customary among the Jews of that time. His Hebrew name was given to him at birth, while his Latin name, “Paul,” was likely adopted later in life as he embarked on his mission to spread the teachings of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles. It was natural for him to use his Roman name in his travels among those who spoke Latin or Greek.

Despite the confusion surrounding the name change of Saul, one thing remains clear: it was not a divine intervention. Rather, it was a practical choice made by a man on a mission to share the gospel with the world.

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