Chapter

Growing Up in Tarsus

Jerome Murphy-oʼconnor

in Paul: A Critical Life

Published in print May 1998 | ISBN: 9780192853424
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670589 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192853424.003.0002
Growing Up in Tarsus

Show Summary Details

Preview

This chapter argues that Paul does not explicitly state his origin. Luke hinted that Paul was born in Tarsus, capital of Cilica. It is a city that was prosperous and well-governed by the Romans. Paul tells us that he was a ‘Hebrew born of Hebrews’. In the first century, Greeks refer to ‘Hebrews’ as members of the Jewish people. Paul used ‘Hebrew’ to imply a positive relationship to Palestine, not just a mere synonym for Israelite. Luke accounted that Paul's father may have acquired their Roman citizenship after being freed by a Roman citizen of Tarsus. It has been suggested that the cognomen Paulus (meaning small) was chosen as the most similar Latin name of the Hebraic name Saul. Paul had a married sister and a nephew in Jerusalem. Paul was educated under the Hellenistic educational system in Tarsus.

Keywords: Tarsus; Cilica; Romans; Palestine; Israelites; citizenship; cognomen; Hebrew; Jerusalem; educational system

Chapter.  10024 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.