What year was the Apostle Paul’s conversion?

Feb 13th, 2010 | By | Category: Questions You Ask (click for the full answer)

What year was the Apostle Paul’s conversion?

Excerpt from Acts Chapter 9 verse by verse study

To show a time lapse, a paragraph mark should have been inserted after the word “strengthened.” The next verse would then read, “Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.” It is necessary to understand the time lapse in order to see that Paul became an apostle in AD 33, the same year Jesus died. This statement can be proven by using certain texts from the Book of Acts and the first chapter of Galatians (1:15-22).

Like Jesus, Paul fled to the wilderness after he was baptized. He went to “Arabia,” that is, Sinai, for part of three years to meditate and pray. Then he returned to Damascus. In other words, Paul did not confer with the brethren after being baptized but was driven of the Spirit to the desert of Sinai to be in isolation. While there, he no doubt reviewed and reconciled how all of the prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus.

On his return from the wilderness, Paul remained at Damascus for a while, that is, until the authorities sought to kill him and the disciples let him down in a basket over the wall. Three years elapsed from the time of his conversion to this dramatic exit from Damascus. (He went from Damascus to Sinai, back to Damascus, and then to Jerusalem.) Acts Chapter 9 omits many details that Paul had to explain later in his Epistle to the Galatians because the disciples had gotten the wrong message and were criticizing him. For instance, when Paul got to Jerusalem after fleeing Damascus, he went to see James and Peter, and he stayed in Peter’s home for 15 days (Gal. 1:18,19).

Excerpt from Galatians Chapter 1 verse by verse study

Therefore, Paul was saying, “After the three years of my consecration, I went up to Jerusalem and saw Peter and James.” All of these events took place prior to the conversion of Cornelius in AD 36. If we subtract 3 from 36, we get AD 33, and a lot happened in the year AD 33—Pentecost, Stephen’s martyrdom, Paul’s conversion, and his going to Arabia. That is why he said with an oath, “I am telling you the truth.”

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