This is my first post from the class I am taking this weekend on the “Background to Romans.” I hope you enjoy reading my notes!
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Paul was steeped in Jewish and Greek cultures because he was a Jew by birth as well as a Roman citizen. He was trained by Gamiliel (a student of Aristotle and Greek Philosophy, as well as an expert in Judaism – a Pharasee) and progressed faster and better than all his contemporaries. He knew the Old Testament and was born in Tarsus, a key Roman city for the Stoic rhetoric of the first century.
Because of this full-figured background, once Paul was born again by the Spirit of God and called to be an Apostle to both Jews and Greeks, he was about to reveal the mystery of all religions which is Jesus Christ and the Church. Paul understood both cultures that he derived from, and was able to merge the two cultures under Jesus Christ. That is why Paul was the best candidate for God to call and send to the Gentiles in order to bring about the reality of the Eschaton, where all the nations of the earth would come to worship God in spirit and in truth.