Paul was born in Tarsus, southern part of Turkey in ancient Cilicia. His date of birth is placed by the scholars between 1 AD and 6th AD. He was named after Saul, the first king of Israel. He came from a rich and powerful Jewish family. His father or his relatives obtained the Roman citizenship and full civil rights of the city of Tarsus
Educated by his mother and his father during his early years, Paul was sent to Jerusalem for further studies and studied at the academy of Gameliel, one of the most respected Jewish teachers. During the early years, he took action against Christians and took part in their persecutions. His name spread all over the Roman world and created fear. His life totally changed after his vision when Christ appeared to him on the way to Damascus. Christ appeared to him and said:
“Paul, why you persecute me”
Paul who got blind after his vision, he was healed with the help of one of the disciples. When he returned to Jerusalem great difficulties were waiting for him. Neither Christian nor Jewish believed or trusted him. He returned to his home town, Tarsus. His writings no where indicate that he knew Jesus or his disciples. He left Jerusalem and returned Tarsus during the Christ’s ministry and he didn’t return to Jerusalem till Jesus’ death.
After Saint Barnabas found him in Tarsus and persuaded him to come to Antioch with him, Saint Paul made three great successive journeys which covered big part of Anatolia and Greece. Finally, after his third missionary trip, he was arrested in Jerusalem. Since he wanted to appeal to Ceaser, he was taken to Rome. After two years imprisonment in Rome, he was found innocent and was freed.