Paul of Tarsus

Paul of Tarsus

Paul was born in Tarsus in Cilicia in about AD 10. As well as being a Roman citizen, Paul was a Jew who was concerned about the growth of Christianity.

Paul was active in persecuting the Christians and in about AD 36 he was sent to Damascus in Syria to continue this work. On the way to Damascus he claimed he heard the voice of Jesus and was converted to Christianity. Paul then toured the Roman Empire as a Christian missionary.

In AD 58 Paul was arrested by the Roman authorities. As a Roman citizen, Paul had the right to demand that his case should be heard by Emperor Nero. After a period in prison Paul was tried and executed in AD 66. Many of the letters that Paul wrote to early Christian groups have survived and are included in the New Testament. These letters are the earliest Christian literature in existence.

Primary Sources

(1) Paul of Tarsus, extract from a letter written to Christians living in Corinth (c. AD 58)

Women should keep quiet in church... If they want to find out anything they should ask their husbands at home... A man ought not to wear anything on his head in church, for he is the image of God and reflects God's glory... For man was not made from woman, but woman from man; and man was not created for women, but woman for man. That is why she ought to wear something upon her head to symbolise her subjection.