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The apostle Paul was formerly known as (fka) Saul, his birth name. Saul grew up a devout Jew and both he and his father were Pharisees. As a young man, Saul studied under Rabbi Gamaliel and zealously persecuted Christians until the resurrected Jesus personally appeared to him on the road to Damascus. Following that experience, Saul changed his name to Paul and he became a zealous Christ follower. Paul planted several of the early Christian churches and many of his letters to those churches are contained in the New Testament. Paul was greatly persecuted by both the Jews and Romans for spreading the gospel. He was eventually beheaded in Rome in about 64 A.D.

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