Did God Change Saul’s Name to Paul?

Who changed Saul’s name to Paul?

Did God do it? No. God called Him Saul when he sent them to preach to Europeans and Asians:

Acts 13:2

As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

On his first trip, Saul met a Roman leader named Sergius Paulus. This Roman leader also had a Judean Sorcerer with him named Elymas:

Acts 13:7

Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.

Saul preaches the gospel to the Roman deputy, and curses the Judean sorcerer with blindness for trying to stop the gospel of the Kingdom from being preached:

Acts 13:11

And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.

After this, Saul (a Hebrew Israelite of the tribe of Benjamin) named himself Paul after his first convert as an apostle of a different ethnicity than himself:

Acts 13:13

Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.

Saul’s first trip was reflecting his entire ministry. The unbelieving Yehudim were constantly trying to stop Paul from preaching the gospel of the kingdom to Europeans and Asians.

His use of different languages to preach the Kingdom of God was so instrumental that he gave himself a European nickname. He named himself after his first Roman convert as an apostle.

Paul’s use of different languages was not to confuse people, or to disrespect God’s law, or because he didn’t like his Hebrew heritage, or because he was ashamed of his holy lifestyle.

Paul’s use of different languages was so that he could relate to different ethnicities of people as easily as possible, so that he could spread the gospel of the kingdom of Christ:

1 Corinthians 9

19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;

21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.

22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

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