Saint Paul (10-67 A.D. ?) A Jewish community was living in Tarsus during the period of Christ. Paul who was one of the most prominent people of this community, was one of the leaders who provided Christianity to turn into one of the world religions from being a sect of the Jewish religion.
Paul who returned to Tarsus upon completing his training began to preach the Sacred Law.
He received the news about the crucifixion of Christ in Tarsus. Like many other rabbis, he was beleiving that their sect was going to be eradicated with the death of Christ. But he was mistaken. There was turmoil in Jerusalem, but the teachings of Christ were spreading fast. Paul was considering the followers of Christ as a great threat for the Jewish religion. Thus, he was active in the massacre of the members of the Church.
The Journeys of Saint Paul made with the aim of establishing new churches
First Journey (44-49 A.D.) During his first journey which he started from Antiochia together with Barnabas, Paul stopped at Cyprus (Salamis and Paphos –Baf), Pergamon, Pisidion, Ikonion (Konya, Lystra(Hatunsaray), Derbe and Attaleia(Antalya).
Upon his return to Antiochia, he immediately left off for Damascus, again with Barnabas and Titus when he heard that the Christians who were not of Jewish origin were forced to be circumcised.
Third Journey (54-58 A.D.) Paul exerted efforts to strengthen the churches he had established during his third travel. He stayed in Ephesus for three years. He wrote his most important epistles in this period. Although he went to Corinthos with the hope to solve the serious problems that had emerged, he could not be successful. After his return to Ephesus, he went to Macedonia for a second time and then he passed to Corinthos again. This time he succeeded to meet his objective. During the three months while he stayed there, he wrote his famous work called as the “Epistle to the Romans” which covered the most important contribuitons to the Christian Theology. Paul, who started his way to take the donations collected in Anatolia and Greece to Jerusalem, stopped at both Rhodes and Patara. When he arrived in Jerusalem, he was arrested based on the accusation of letting one of his followers, who was not of Jewish origin, to enter into the forbidden part of the famous Temple of Jerusalem of the Jews. His arrest was actually aiming to protect Paul,who was a Roman citizen, from the attacks of the Jews. Upon the disclosure of an assassination attempt, he was taken to Caearea where a Roman garrison was located. He was under arrest here for two years.
Paul, who had a good education since he was the only son of a prosperous family, was sent to Jerusalem to be trained as a rabbi with Gamaliel who was the grandson of Rabbi Hillel.
Paul was influenced by the ideas of the grandson of the aged Rabbi just like Christ who was influenced by ideas of the aged Rabbi Hillel himself in Nazareth.
According to common belief, he repented when he encountered with the vision of Christ while going to Damascus to chase the followers of Christ and he dedicated himself to work for spreading the belief of Christianity.
After this, Paul lived in Arabia for a short time. He settled down in Damascus and increased his knowledge abouth the teachings of Christ. Three years later he came to Jerusalem and met with St. Peter and St. Jacob who was reffered to as the “brother of Christ”. Thus, he became one of the apostles.
Paul, who went to Antiochia to help Barnabas, had selected this city as the center for the activities to be carried out to spread Christianity.
Second Journey (50-53 A.D.) He headed for Galatia with the Roman citizen Silas for his second journey which he started from Antiochia. He established churches in Thessalonike (Selanik), Philippi(Fillipoli) and Beroia (Veroia). He was arrested with Silas in Philippi for a short period of time. He had to escape to Athens due to the enmity displayed in the attitudes of the Jews in Thessalonike and Beroia. After establishing a church, he left Athens and went to Corinthos. He was admitted to the audience of the Precouncil Gallia there. He returned to Antiochia after visiting Ephesus, Caesarea and Jerusalem.
Fourth Journey (60-61 A.D.) Paul applied to Nero after he refused to comply with the decision of Festus, who was the governor of Caesarea, about his being sent to Jerusalem to be put on trial. He stayed in Malta for three months when the vessel on which Paul was travelling had an accident during his journey to Rome which started during the months of Fall. At last, he could arrive in Rome during the spring of 60 A.D. He was kept in a house under arrest for two years while he waited for his trial. He wrote some of his epistles in the New Testament during this period. Although this is not firm, he was sentenced to death during the period of emperor Nero.