Monday, October 01, 2007


It had been ten years since Barnabas had last seen Saul (Paul). Where had he been for those ten years. Paul's letter to the Galatians gives us some answers, but also poses more questions.

Paul shares with the Galatians who he was before his encounter with Jesus (Gal. 1:13-14). He then tells him about his conversion in Damascus (Gal. 1:15-16). It seems from Luke accounts that Paul went to Jerusalem pretty soon after his conversion, yet Paul tells the Galatians that three years had passed before he went to Jerusalem to meet with the disciples.

After the Jews in Damascus tried to kill him, he escaped and fled to Arabia (Gal. 1:17).. Later he went back to Damascus. Three years passed between the time he escaped Damascus and when he met the apostles in Jerusalem. What did he do during those three years? This was probably the time in which Paul "worked out his salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12). He had undergone such a paradigm shift. He had much to learn from Jesus. Much of the theology we find in his letters no doubt began developing during this time. Paul no doubt also preached Christ to the Arabs during this time.

After three years had passed Paul went to Jerusalem. He tells the Galatians that he spent 15 days meeting with Peter and with James (Gal. 1:18-19). It seems that this points back to Acts 9:26. After the Jews tried to kill him, he went to Tarsus. Paul stayed in Tarsus until Barnabas came to ask him to join him in Antioch.

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