Paul meaning

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The name Paul, Paulos, Paulus: Summary

The name Paul, Paulos, Paulus in the Bible

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Source:The name Paul, Paulos, Paulus: SummaryMeaningSmall, Cessation, StopperA Small Whisper That Propagates Into A Roaring MultitudeExtraordinary, DistinguishedEtymologyFrom the Greek verb(pauo), to stop, and Latin adjectivepaulus, little or small.From (1) the verb(paa), to propagate a call for support, and (2) the letter(lamed), onto.From the verb(pala), to be extraordinary.Related names Via(paa):Pau Via(le):Beer-lahai-roiBeth-le-aphrahHacaliahLadanLaelLamechLashaLebo-hamathLidbirLydda Via(pala):ApollosAmraphelEliphalEliphelehuEphlalNephilimPalalPalluPelaiahPelaliahPelethPelethitesPelonitePulTiglath-pileserThe name Paul, Paulos, Paulus in the Bible

There are two men named Paulos (thatsGreek), Paulus (thatsLatin) or Paul (thats English) in the New Testament, namely (1)SergiusPaulus, aRomanproconsul ofCypruswho hosted theJewishpseudo-prophetBar-JesusActs 13:7), and of course (2) the evangelist Paul ofTarsus. These two men have the same name, even though in English Bibles the name of the evangelist is commonly truncated to Paul, whereas the name Sergius Paulus is given in its un-truncated Latin form.

The apostle Paul, who authored pretty much half of the New Testament, started his career asSaulof Tarsus (Acts 21:39), and was known as Saul untilActs 13:9, where he begins to be called Paul. The Roman author of the Vulgate, Jerome, proposed that this name change was due to Saul having converted the original proconsul Paul (a common mechanism that also allowed the Jewish historian Yosef ben Matiyahu to adopt the nameTitusFlavius Josephus, after the general and future emperor Titus Flavius Vespasianus). Its a compelling proposal, also because Saul rhetorically asks Bar-Jesus: Will you not cease (,pauo, see below) to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord? In Biblical terms, however, the primary association of the Saul-to-Paul name-change is with theTorahsname-change-theme (Genesis 17:5, 17:15, 32:28).

Saul, aBenjaminiteand Hellenistic Jew was aPhariseePhilippians 3:5) trained byGamalielActs 22:3). He fiercely opposedChristianityat first. He assisted during the stoning ofStephenActs 7:58; see 2 Kings 10:22 and 22:14) and severely persecuted Christians (Acts 8:3). But he had an encounter withChriston the road toDamascusand was blind for three days because of it (Acts 9:39:9; note the curious parallel with Sergius Paulus protg Bar-Jesus:Acts 13:11). While Sauls eyesight was coming back, he embraced the gospel. He traveled all over the known world, often alone but also accompanied byJohnMarkActs 13:13),LukeColossians 4:14),SilasActs 15:40),Timothyand others (Acts 20:4).

The Lord appeared to Paul a second time and told him that he had to go to Rome and witness of him there (Acts 23:11). Paul achieved this by appealing toCaesarwhile being heard byActs 25:12). According to Ignatius ofAntioch, Paul was martyred. That happened probably in the second half of the sixties, on orders of emperor Nero.

The name Paul occurs 163 times in the New Testament;see full concordance.

The name Paul (Paulus, Paulos) is part of a group very common Latin and Greek words, which show up all over the classics, and which all have to do with limitedness or minuteness. The Greek word(pauros) means feeble or little, and the verb(pauo remotely related, says Spiros Zodhiates) means to stop, retrain, desist. This is the verb that Saul uses to accuse Bar-Jesus (Acts 13:10).

The derived (albeit unused in the New Testament) noun(paula) means rest, cessation, termination, or some means of stopping. In his book on the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides uses this noun in his description of an uproar in Athens, where people suspected violation of religious mysteries (and democracy) in favor of a return to tyranny, and inflamed by these suspicions, they had already imprisoned many men of high character. There was no(paula) in sight, but day by day the movement became more furious... (Thuc.6.60):

The verb(pauo) means to stop or make to cease. From a derived noun(pausis), meaning a stopping, comes our English word pause. The noun,paula, means rest or cessation. Latin words from this same stock arepaulatim, meaning gradually or little by little;paulisper, meaning for a little while andpaululus, meaning very little. The adjectivepaulusmeans little or small. The nounpaulummeans a little.

A closely related word-group stems from the noun(pais), meaning little one or low one, which was the common word for a slave or child. The verb(paizo) means to act or treat like a child, and the verb(empaizo) means to ridicule. The noun(polos) means foal. Possibly unrelated, the verb(paio) means to strike or hit.

Anybody with knowledge ofHebrewwould have noticed the obvious association of the name Paul with the Hebrew verb(paa), to propagate a call for support from mind to mind. Pauls most effective method of spreading the gospel was not to boom it into stadiums, or sugarcoat it, or market it subliminally, but by allowing it to propagate through populations on the merit of its own attractiveness:

The verb(paa) describes a verbal expression that propagates through a population by merit of its positive or negative appeal rather than its substance or usefulness (although it might have substance or be useful). Its used to describe the bleating of sheep, the rallying cry of a warrior and the calls of a woman who enters labor and needs the help of her kin.

Noun(epa) describes the fate of a rumor that doesnt pan out under scrutiny. Noun(epaa) describes a mental serpent, namely the contagious nature of an alarm cry (with or without good cause).

To an audience playful enough, the name Paul would have reminded of a combination of the verb(paa) and the letter(lamed), which means goad (Acts 26:14):

The particle(le) means to or onto and may describe a physical or mental motion toward or a behavioral effort, an evolutionary one or express determination or purpose. The name of this letter,lamed, describes a cattle prod or goad.

Altogether the name Paul describes how a very small initial whisper may build up to a massive roaring multitude, if the initial whisper contains the Creator (1 Kings 19:12,James 3:5, 1 Kings 18:44).

More striking, even, is the obvious similarity between our name Paulos and the Hebrew root(palal), to discern, or(pala), to be extraordinary:

Root(palal) is all about distinguishing and discerning, and often emphasizes representation of something unseen or not present. Its frequently used in the sense of to entreat or pray on someones behalf.

Noun(tepilla) means prayer. Noun(palil) describes an inspector or umpire and noun(pelila) refers to the place at which an umpire operates; a judges office. Adjective(pelili) means for a judge or to be judged and noun(peliliya) means verdict or assessment. Noun(pol) means beans (and was probably imported but fits right in).

Verb(pala) means to be distinct or separated. Pronoun(peloni) refers to a certain person/place.

Verb(pala) means to be extraordinary. Nouns(pele) and(miplaa) refer to extraordinary things or deeds. Adjective(pili) means extraordinary.

Verb(pl) means to disappear, depart or set (of the sun). Nouns(opel),(apela),(maapel) and(mapelya) mean darkness. Adjective(apel) means gloomy. Adjective(apil) means late or belated (i.e. long unseen).

Verb(napal) means to fall (down, down to, into or upon). The plural form(napalim) literally means fallen ones or settled ones.

Noun(nepel) refers to an abortion or untimely birth. Noun(mappal) describes that what falls. Nouns(mappala) and(mappela) mean ruin, and noun(mapplet) refers to a ruined thing or a falling.

In1 Corinthians 5:1, Paul makes much ado about someone having his fathers woman. The wording seems to suggest that were not dealing with the mans mother, so she was perhaps the fathers concubine or wife after the death of the sons mother. Its unknown whether she legally divorced the father, or whether she was his widow (something comparable had happened withAbishagtheShunammite), but probably not, as Paul violently condemns the man (and justly so, see Deuteronomy 22:30). But, as usual, theres a great deal more to all this.

The quintessential violator of his fathers marriage bed wasReuben, who slept withBilhah(Genesis 35:22), the mother ofDanandNaphtali, for which he was condemned and relieved of his prominent status as firstborn (Genesis 49:3-4). Because of Reubens sin and that ofSimeonandLevi, sons 2 and 3, who avenged the rape of their sisterDinahJacobhad 13 children) with brute violence Judah(son number 4) became prominent and this is basically why todayIsraelitesare collectively known as Jews.

The nameJosephbelonged to Israels quintessential dreamer, which is a theme that particularlyMatthewemphasizes (Luke calls namesake Joseph, the father ofJesus, his father-by-law:Luke 3:23): there are 5 major dream sequences betweenMatthew 1:20and2:22. The original Josephs dreams showed his brothers including his beloved juvenile brother Benjamin in a worshipping circle around him (Genesis 27:5-11). In an obvious parallel (Hebrews 2:11Romans 8:29), the evangelist John tells of a mysterious disciple whom Jesus loved (John 13:2320:221:721:20), who hence appears in paintings as a beardless or even woman-like youth (Genesis 45:14). The extra-Biblical myth of the Holy Grail, likewise, appears to have evolved from Josephs silver cup (Genesis 44:2).

Reuben tried to save Joseph from their brothers (Genesis 37:21-30), but ultimately failed, and Joseph ended up inEgypt. Given up for dead, Joseph resurrected as the Egyptian empires second in command, a position from which he could save his extended family. All this is rather obviously paralleled by the gospels themes.

When the world at large succumbed to famine, Joseph was able to force the brothers to bring him his beloved baby-brother Benjamin, and he is the ancestor of Paul (Romans 11:1). Reuben wrested young Benjamin from the embrace of his father Jacob by stating that Jacob could kill his own two sons if he didnt bring Benjamin back (Genesis 42:37). The oldest of the two sons was named Pallu, from(palal), which is obviously not without resemblance to the name Paulos.

To the sameCorinthians, Paul explains that Jesus appeared to him last, as to one untimely born (1 Corinthians 15:8), which not only brings to mind the (literal) Benjamin of the Israelite tribes. The Hebrew word for untimely birth is(nepel), also from our verb(palal), which links Paul playfully to the Nephilim, who appeared on earth when the sons of God had mated with the daughters of men (Genesis 6:2), which is not dissimilar to Reubens infraction, also because ultimately one of the daughters of men would become the mother of Gods Son (see Ezekiel 16:8 and of courseLuke 1:35).

Like many major cities, Corinth too was sacked and ruined by the Romans, and like a raped slave, annexed to Romes obscene harem. In those days, the primary desire on everybodys mind (Haggai 2:7; seeRevelation 22:2) was freedom from this Roman phage that was destroying the free world, and when Paul wrote that it is for freedom that Christ has set us free (Galatians 5:1), his original audience would doubtlessly have drawn a breath of hope to be rid of the Romans, some day.

The celebrated founder of the dynasty of autonomous kings of Corinth was the familiar mythical character Sisyphus, who enforced his laws with unyielding violence, not unlike the brothers Levi and Simeon (Genesis 49:5-7, see Psalm 2:7-9 andRevelation 2:27). Sisyphus specifically attracted an accusation of improperxenia, or ritualistic hospitality to strangers (seeHebrews 13:2), which in the convoluted Attic legal system was closely related to bastardy, or childbirth outside legal marriage (explains Daniel Ogden inGreek Bastardy in the Classical and Hellenistic Periods).

Joseph was obviously not Jesus biological father because Jesus only had one human parent, namelyMary, who was a close relative ofElizabethLuke 1:36), who was a Levite (Luke 1:5). That means that Josephs fatherhood of Jesus was purely a legal matter (evidently arrived at via two separate legal clauses, famously resulting in two separate genealogies of Christ): Jesus was Josephslegalson, very much in the same way thatAugustuswasJuliusadopted son-by-law. The word for this is(nomizo), meaning to legalize, from the noun(nomos), meaning law. Jesus was Josephs son-by-law, which means that the human nature of which Paul speaks (Romans 1:3) is law (not biological descent). Or in other words: what separates humans from animals is not their raw IQ but their lawfulness (meaning: a thinking in rules, or algorithms, rather than feelings). Hence, a human who is lawless is not human but animal (Jude 1:10).

As enthusiastic patron of properxenia, fatherZeuspunished Sisyphus by forcing him to daily roll a rock up a hill only to see it tumble down again every evening. That familiar story is rather obviously played with inLuke 4:16-30, in which Jesus pleads for the inclusion of foreign elements (specificallyNaamantheSyrianand the widow of). Like Sisyphus, the men ofNazarethdrive Jesus up their local hill, but the story concludes in the Rock triumphantly going his own way, which is down the hill, while nobody with a penchant for iron law and a sore case of xenophobia has a chance to stop him.

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