Prayer for the Season
The letters of St Paul are among the oldest surviving Christian writings. This prayer is part of a letter written to a Christian community living in Ephesus early in the 1st century. Paul is praying that the community will grow more and more into Christ. Let us pray this prayer for our own Christian communities today.
Who was Paul?
Paul was an immensely important figure in the Early Church. There are seven authentic letters attributed to St Paul (Romans, 1-2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, Philemon). Three further letters of a more conservative nature have been attributed to him, although modern scripture scholarship believes there is a probability that Paul did not write them himself (Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians) and finally there are two reactionary letters most certainly not written by Paul (1-2 Timothy, Titus). The second half of the Acts of the Apostles is an account of his missionary work. From these writings we get a vivid sense of his faith in Christ, his understanding of the Christian message and his commitment to the person of Jesus as he journeys throughout the Mediterranean world, preaching and founding the first Christian communities. The following sites provide an introduction to the life and times and message of Paul.
Google images provide lots of different representations of Paul for reflection and discussion.
Who was Paul? is a very accessible introduction to the apostle Paul in question and answer form on the From Jesus to Christ site which is suitable for teachers and senior students. You might also be interested to look at one of the oldest European depictions of Paul.
Journeys and Maps
Paul’s Missionary Journeys is a map that gives the reader a glimpse of the extent of Paul’s travel. A site entitled Journeys of Paul takes the reader on an illustrated tour of Paul’s journeys as recorded in Acts. Click on the ‘Tour’ button to take this tour in the order that Acts records Paul visiting or visit individual cities/towns by clicking on the photographs on the front page.
The PBS site In the Footsteps of Paul traces his work in the first Christian communities while another page gives a snapshot of the congregations he established throughout the Mediterranean World.
The Narrow Gate site organised by US high school teacher Richard Martin contains useful point form summaries under the headings: Paul’s worldview, Paul of Tarsus and Acts of the Apostles.