|The Harbor at Paphos, Cyprus|
Someone asked me recently about an article posted on Messiah’s Mandate.org, “Why Did Paul Change His Name?” (http://messiahsmandate.org/why-did-paul-change-his-name/). The point of the article is to challenge the idea that Saul’s name change to Paul was a rejection of his Jewish identity, which is how many Christians understand it. As the article correctly states, the idea that Paul would reject his Jewish identity to follow the Jewish Messiah makes no sense at all. It’s the result of hundreds of years of anti-Jewish thinking in the Church.
But the fact remains that in the earliest accounts of his life, this famous apostle is called Saul, while in the later accounts he’s called Paul. Why the change?