What did Jesus call St. Paul?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

Jesus called St. Paul “Saul, Saul” in the Acts of the Apostles, specifically in the account of his conversion on the road to Damascus. This particular moment is significant because it marked a turning point in Paul’s life, leading to his transformation from a persecutor of Christians to one of the most influential figures in the early Christian movement.

The use of the name “Saul, Saul” in the Hebrew tongue suggests a sense of urgency and emphasis. Jesus wanted to capture Paul’s attention and make a profound impact on him. By repeating his name twice, it showed that Jesus was directly addressing him and had a specific message to deliver.

It is worth noting that at the time of his encounter with Jesus, Paul was known as Saul of Tarsus. This name is mentioned in a vision that Jesus gave to Ananias of Damascus, who was instructed to go and lay hands on Saul to restore his sight. In this vision, Jesus referred to him as “Saul, of Tarsus”.

The use of the name “Saul” in both instances highlights the significance of Paul’s Jewish heritage and his background as a Pharisee. Before his conversion, Paul was known for his zealous persecution of the early Christian community, and he actively participated in the arrest and imprisonment of followers of Jesus. Jesus calling him by his Hebrew name may have served as a reminder of his past actions and the need for repentance and transformation.

By using the name “Saul” instead of “Paul,” Jesus also acknowledged Paul’s identity before his conversion. This acknowledgment is important because it shows that Jesus fully knew and understood who Saul was, even in his role as a persecutor. It emphasizes the power of Jesus’ grace and the radical change that can occur in a person’s life when they encounter the risen Christ.

Jesus called St. Paul “Saul, Saul” in the Hebrew tongue during his conversion experience on the road to Damascus. This double repetition of his name signifies the urgency and importance of the message Jesus had for him. It also recognizes Paul’s past actions as a persecutor of Christians and highlights the transformative power of encountering Jesus.