The Trials and Tribulations of St.Paul
I apologize for the spacing used, I could not get it in paragraphs

The setting is in Cilicia in a coastal city by the name of Tarsus. St.Paul
was born here in the year 4 BC under the name of Saul, which was a common
Hebrew name of that time. Saul was raised in a Jewish household belonging to
the tribe of Benjamin. Saul\'s education in Tarsus was limited to learning
Hebrew and Greek in his elementary school. It was not until he moved to
Jerusalem where Saul received his full education. Saul was raised a Pharisee
so he was brought up to think with a very strong Jewish mentality. So
naturally when he heard of these new Christians and their new Way he
despised everything about them.
When Saul was around twenty years old, about 15AD, he moved to Jerusalem to
study under the well-known Jewish teacher, Gamaliel.
" I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city. At the
feet of Gamaliel I was educated strictly in our ancestral law and was
zealous for God, just as all of you are today."(Paul\'s Defense before the
Jerusalem Jews, Acts 22:3).
Gamaliel, being a very strong Jewish leader in his community, was very
adamant in his beliefs of Judaism. He taught Saul these same beliefs and
because of it Saul resented the Christians deeply.
" For you heard of my former was of life in Judaism, how I persecuted the
church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it, and progressed in
Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my race, since I was even
more a zealot for my ancestral traditions." ( His Call by Christ, Galatians
1: 13).
Being an excellent pupil of Gamaliel clouded Saul\'s conscience even more,
and Saul was able to see that the Christian movement was a fundamental
divergence from Judaism. Judaism in that day in time was about the law, Saul
believed that it was only through the law of these Jews that you could
obtain salvation and these blasphemers of the Jewish temple must be
persecuted. So he took on the duty of crushing the Christian movement and
the Christians. But the reader must understand that the average Jew of this
time was extremely set in his ways because of the huge influence the
Jerusalem society had on its citizens. Since everybody of that time and in
the area of Jerusalem was a strong Jewish believer it was hard for anybody
to believe something other than Judaism, including Saul. So many people had
the same strict Jewish views as Saul. Saul freshly instilled with this
hatred for the anti-Jewish Christians, was ready to persecute them. A
Christian man named Stephen was preaching the Gospel in the city of
Jerusalem and was immediately seized for supposedly going against Moses and
God. He was brought to the elders at the Sanhedrin and after Stephen
insulted the Jews by saying " You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in
heart and ears, you always oppose the holy Spirit; you are just like your
ancestors." (Conclusion, Acts 8:51). He accuses them of being hypocrites and
upon hearing this the Pharisees condemn him to be expelled out of the city
to be stoned and beaten. Saul took part in the beating and in Acts it says
that the people that were witnessing the stoning laid down their cloaks at
the feet of Saul probably signifying that Saul was leading the persecution
and maybe had the power to stop it, but did not, and after the execution
Saul felt no guilt or sense of wrong doing against his fellow man which
shows how much of a strong believer Saul was in the Jewish faith.
After the persecution of Stephen, Saul had "the taste for blood" and had the
drive to persecute even more Christians. He was becoming more and more
powerful in his efforts as well. "Saul of Tarsus" was a well-known
persecutor, from the Dead Sea to Damascus, of the faithful Christians. Saul
was not just a regular Jew in Jerusalem who opposed the teaching of the new
Way, he despised the Christians so much that he took charge and led some of
the efforts to crush these disciples of the Lord who taught "against"