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Michael S. Barth
The Life of Saint Paul Final Essay
            After going through this course about the Life of Saint Paul, I am truly amazed at what he had to put up with when he was spreading the news about the Life of Jesus Christ.  I had no idea about the amount of geography that Paul had to cover in that day and it is amazing that Paul covered it with the transportation that was available in that day.  I was also amazed that Paul had been a Pharisees before spreading the news of Jesus.  I would have never guessed that he persecuted the early Church before helping go out and help it spread.
            I also did not know before taking this class that Paul, his Roman name, was used after his conversion and that he was called by his Jewish name of Saul.  This had caused me confusion in the past but now understand the Bible better with the clarification of his name.  I also did not know that he was a member of the Benjamin Tribe and that he had a sister and son.  I found Paul's early life very intriguing with Paul being raised in Tarsus and being a student of Gamaliel.
            I found his conversion very intriguing too.  I had not known before that he converted after seeing and talking to Jesus Christ while Paul was on the way to Damascus to persecute the early Church there.  I also learned that he was left blind and was astonished.  It surprised me to learn that he was greeted in Damascus with the salutation of Brother.  I learned that it was here in Damascus that Paul developed his approach to teaching the Gospel by entering the first Jewish synagogue.
            I am glad that Paul started teaching the Gospel to the Gentiles because if Paul had not, I do not think I would be a Christian now-a-days.  Also, I am glad that Paul put his effort into spreading the Gospel because Christianity might not be the religion it is today and may have never spread.  Paul's missionary journey's were just amazing to me like doing all that walking and sailing that Paul did to reach his destinations.  I am glad that Paul did not give up either especially after being beaten, jailed, or left for dead.  It goes to show how courageous Paul was and how Paul was dedicated to spreading the Gospel.  I do not think I would have that strength to continue even if Jesus Christ was by my side.
            I am glad that Paul's Letters are still in existence, even if they are copies now-a-days.  I think his epistles go to show what early believers went through.  The temptation the early believers put up with was amazing even if they did fall to temptation.  I am glad to see that Paul kept encouraging the early believers to stick to the path of Jesus Christ and not to give into the devil.
            Paul's trip was incredible to me because of the hardship on the ship and on the island.  I am glad that the centurion, Julius, treated Paul kindly.  I also find that Paul's poisonous viper bite is not fatal and this shows to me that God does exist and that God did not let the poison kill Paul.  It was hard for me to learn about how Paul died in Rome.  I think that Paul showed his faith in God by going to Rome and not running away from his trial and punishment.
     I think that taking this course was a great experience for me.  I liked the study questions that were at the end of the lessons.  The study questions were really helpful to me in figuring out what was important to learn.  The questions also helped me concentrate on the lesson(s) involved.  This course was very worthwhile because I learned a lot about Paul that I never knew before and this course straightened some confusion out that I had about Paul.  I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to know about the Life of Saint Paul.

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