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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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The first explicit testimony about the end of St. Paul comes to us from the middle of the 90s of the first century, and therefore, something more than 30 years after his death took place. It comes precisely from the letter that the Church of Rome, with its bishop, Clement I, wrote to the Church of Corinth.
In that epistolary text, the invitation is made to have the example of the apostles before our eyes, and immediately after the mention of Peter's martyrdom, it reads thus: "Owing to envy and discord, Paul was obligated to show us how to obtain the prize of patience. Arrested seven times, exiled, stoned, he was the herald of Christ in the East and in the West, and for his faith, obtained a pure glory. After having preached justice in the whole world, and after having arrived to the corners of the West, he accepted martyrdom before the governors; thus he parted from this world and arrived to the holy place, thereby converted into the greatest model of patience" (1 Clement 5,2)....
In any case, the figure of St. Paul is magnified beyond his earthly life and his death; he has left in fact an extraordinary spiritual heritage. He as well, as a true disciple of Jesus, became a sign of contradiction. While among the so-called ebionites -- a Judeo-Christian current -- he was considered as an apostate of the Mosaic Law, already in the book of Acts of the Apostles, there appears a great veneration for the Apostle Paul.
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