Free Online Bible Classes | Introduction to Paul

Lecture 1: Introduction to Paul

Please Log in to Attend this Lecture

Please log into your free account so you can attend this lecture.

Create account    Login


Paul was trained as a Pharisee and persecuted Christians because he considered them enemies of God. After his conversion experience, he travelled in Asia Minor and Europe preaching the gospel and planting churches. Many of the letters in the New Testament are ones that he wrote to these churches.


Introduction to Paul


I. The Canon of the New Testament

A. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts

B. Letters of Paul

1. Letters to churches (decreasing length)

2. Letters to individuals (decreasing length)

C. Hebrews, General Epistles (James, Peter, John, Jude), Revelation


II. Paul's Life Before His Letters

A. A.D. 5-10: birth in Tarsus

B. Age 5-12: elementary education

C. Age 12-14?: tentmaking apprenticeship

D. Age 15-18?: study with Gamaliel in Jerusalem

E. A.D. 32-35 (age twenty-something): conversion/call/commission

F. Until A.D. 47-48: "hidden years" but eventually in ministry in Syrian Antioch


III. Theological Changes from Saul's Conversion

A. Christology

B. Soteriology

C. Eschatology

D. Ecclesiology


IV. Paul's 4 Missionary Journeys


V. Fixed Points in the Chronology of Acts

A. Ascension and Pentecost [A.D. 30] Acts 1-2

B. Stoning of Stephen and conversion of Saul [A.D.32 or 33]

C. Paul's first Jerusalem visit [C.A. A.D. 35]

D. Death of Herod Agrippa I [A.D. 44] Acts 12

E. Height of famine in Judea [A.D. 46] Acts 11:27-30

F. First missionary journey, Apostolic Council, and second missionary journey (1+ years in Corinth) [A.D. 49]

G. Gallio in Corinth [A.D. 51-52] Acts 18:12

H. Third missionary journey [A.D. 52-55]

I. 3 years in Ephesus [A.D. 53-56]

J. Return to Jerusalem/arrest and imprisonment under Felix (2 years) [A.D. 57-59]

K. Accession of Festus [A.D. 59] Acts 24:27

L. Two years in Rome [A.D. 60-62]


VI. Chronology of Paul's Letters

A. Galatians A.D. 49

B. 1-2 Thessalonians A.D. 50-51

C. 1 Corinthians A.D. 55

D. 2 Corinthians A.D. 56

E. Romans A.D. 57

F. Philemon/Colossians/Ephesians A.D. 60-61

G. Philippians A.D. 61-62

H. Titus, 1 Timothy A.D. 62-?

I. 2 Timothy < A.D. 68


VII. The Typical Greco-Roman Letter

A. Salutation: "X" to "Y" greetings

B. Prayer and/or thanksgiving

C. Body

1. Main information

2. Exhortation or request

D. Concluding Farewell


VIII. Disputed and Undisputed Epistles of Paul

A. Undisputed

1. Galatians

2. Romans

3. 1 Corinthians

4. 2 Corinthians

5. 1 Thessalonians

6. Philemon

7. Philippians

B. Semi-disputed

1. 2 Thessalonians

2. Colossians

C. Heavily-disputed

1. Ephesians

2. 1 Timothy

3. 2 Timothy

4. Titus


IX. Ancient Attitudes to Psedonymity

A. Post A.D. 150 (largely Gentile) Christianity

B. Earliest (Jewish and Gentile) Christianity

C. Pre Christian Judaism


X. Epistles and Canonization

A. Disputed books eventually accepted

1. Hebrews

2. James

3. 2 Peter

4. 2 John

5. 3 John

6. Jude

7. Revelation

B. Disputed books eventually rejected

1. Epistle of Barnabas

2. Shepherd of Hermas

3. Didache

4. 1 and 2 Clement


XI. Earliest Post-New Testament Christian Literature

A. Apostolic Fathers

B. New Testament Apocrypha

C. Nag Hammadi Library

D. Ante-Nicene Fathers


XII. Twelve Pillars of Pauline Thought: Blending the Best of the Old and New Perspectives

A. Monotheism and election of Israel

B. Human sin and failure of Israel and her law

C. God's covenant faithfulness in mercy to Jew and Gentile

D. Reflected in salvation through crucified Messiah

E. Vindicated in Jesus' resurrection displaying him as Lord

F. Already but not yet fulfillment of God's promises in Him

G. Life in Christ solely by grace through faith

H. Jesus and Holy Spirit spoken of in language of deity

I. Following Jesus implies "cruciform" living

J. Life in Spirit is foretaste, guarantee of coming glory

K. Countercultural community is crucial

L. Parousia and resurrection as the climax

Biblical Training

The BiblicalTraining app gives you access to 2,300 hours of instruction (129 classes and seminars). Stream the classes, or download and listen to them offline. Share classes via social media, email, and more.