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Year 8: Church History: St Paul the Apostle; Council of Jerusalem

Photo of stained glass window with text Year 8 Church History

Books from the Library

Articles from Britannica School (Loreto resource)

Painting The Conversion of St Paul by Cravaggio

More books from the Library can be found via the History of Christianity reading list.

Saint Paul

From Saul to Paul, from persecutor to preacher.

A young man named Saul, a Greek speaking Jew and citizen of Rome, was determined to stop the spread of Christianity by persecuting any Christians he could find. On the road to Damascus he was blinded by a sudden vision of Jesus, who asked Saul why he was persecuting him. After his experience, he converted to Christianity and was baptized, becoming known as Paul. Paul became the first Christian missionary, travelling throughout much of the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea to spread the teachings of Jesus. 

Bible heroes of faith: Paul's conversion

Paul's missionary journeys: Acts 13-20

The Council of Jerusalem

As Paul began to convert large numbers of Gentiles (non-Jews) to the new faith, the question of whether Gentiles needed to observe Jewish religious rules became a major issue, e.g., were circumcision and dietary laws requirements?

This was debated at the Council of Jerusalem, which was later considered to be the first official church council to decide on major issues of doctrine or practice. It was a major turning point in Christianity as the Council settled the matter by defining the essential criterion for being a Christian as belief in Jesus Christ.

The Council of Jerusalem

Early Christian Martyrs