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Early Christian Apologists: The Apostle Paul

As a Christian apologist, Dr. Grady S. McMurtry supports a rational view of Christianity. In doing so, Dr. McMurtry follows in the footsteps of Christian apologists throughout history, including C. S. Lewis and Saint Augustine. Paul the Apostle is often considered the first Christian apologist.

Born at around the same time as Christ and originally given the name Saul, Paul was raised in Orthodox Jewish tradition, including study of The Old Testament Law. With his staunch Jewish beliefs and strong legal background, Paul spent his early adulthood persecuting and arresting Christians. The Book of the Acts of the Apostles, however, describes Paul’s conversion to Christianity.

While traveling along the road to Damascus, Paul witnessed a vision of the resurrected Christ. The vision left Paul blind, and changed the direction of his life. After completing his journey to Damascus, Paul met with Ananias of Damascus, who baptized him and prayed that Paul would be cured of his blindness.

Paul began preaching the Word of God, telling his followers that the way to salvation was through Jesus, and not man’s laws. He alienated the Jewish community with some of his beliefs, including the abandonment of Jewish dietary restrictions and the traditional practice of circumcision. He was persecuted, arrested as a heretic, and imprisoned. While he was in prison, Paul wrote 13 epistles that are now a significant portion of the New Testament: Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, Philemon, Titus, I and II Corinthians, I and II Thessalonians, and I and II Timothy.

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