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Paul was a Jew, not a Christian

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Posted: Friday, March 16, 2007 10:00 pm

Did the Apostle Paul become a Christian?

Christians, including many preachers, say "Yes." Those in the first century who knew Paul and Paul himself say, "No."

The name "Christian" was coined by Hellenist Syrians as a term of derision toward those of their own who came to faith in Messiah.

In Philippi, the slave girl's owners called Paul a Jew (Acts 16:20). Gallio, the Roman governor of Achaia, recognized him as a Jew (Acts 18:15).

As a Jew, he cut off his hair after taking a vow (Acts 18:18). Paul belonged to "the Way" (Acts 19:9). At Ephesus, he was recognized as belonging to "the way" (Acts 19:23-26).

Paul purified himself and made an offering at the temple. It wasn't possible for a Christian to do this (Acts 21:26). Paul said to the Roman commander, "I am a Jew" (Acts 21:39). He said to the mob, "I am a Jew" (Acts 22:3). He was recognized by the high priest as a leader of the Nazarene Sect, an off-shoot of the strictest Pharisees (Acts 24:5).

He admitted being a follower of "the way," which was considered a sect of Judaism (Acts 24:14).

Paul stated he was well known as being a strict Pharisee (Acts 26:5).

In Paul's many letters, he never referred to himself as a Christian, nor did he even use the word.

Paul was a Jew; a Pharisee for his entire life. He was never called a Christian by anyone and never referred to himself as one.

Why, then, do so many repeat this error, especially those who insist they are following scripture?

Cliff Shirk

Lodi

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