Re: How did Soul become Paul or Paulose ?
- Dear Mr. V T John,
You are absolutely correct. Also it makes sense for St. Paul to be known by the Greek form of his name rather than the Hebrew form of his name as his work was mainly among the Greek speaking places after his conversion. Corinth, Ephesus, Thesaloniki etc are all Greek speaking places.
Mathew G M
--- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, V T John Nalunnakal wrote:
> My conjucture is Sovol (Soul) is from Hebrew while Paulose is from Greek. The Greek translated Kheefo into their language from which we have Peter.Mseeho is also translated by them into Greek from which we get Christ. Likewise Soul in Hebrew and Sovol in Syriac was simply translated into Greek from which we have Paul or Paulose.
- I thank Mr V T John for initiating a discussion on such an interesting topic.
As you have mentioned, Saul is indeed a Hebrew name and Paulus / Paulose is a Roman/Greek name.
You state that "The Greek translated Kheefo into their language from which we have Peter. Mseeho is also translated by them into Greek from which we get Christ."
While it is true that the Aramaic word `Kefa' has been translated to `Petros' in Greek both the words mean `rock'. Its inherent meaning was never altered. Which is also true for the word `Mashia' .But that isn't the case with Shaul.and Paul? Shaul or Saul means "asked/prayed for", "borrowed" whereas Paulus/Paulose means "small" or "humble". A translation may change the phonetics and structure of the word but never the inherent meaning of the word. Hence, I disagree when you say "Likewise Soul in Hebrew and Sovol in Syriac were simply translated into Greek from which we have Paul or Paulose."
I am no theologian, but I feel that the transformation from Saul to Paul signifies a radical shift of faith and change of heart from a zealous persecutor of faith to a zealous promoter faith.
St.Paul has referred himself as `teacher of gentiles'. After his conversion he might have chosen to discard his Jewish identity and embrace a Christian identity. As name is the principal thing that identifies oneself, he might have chosen a Roman name as part of his new identity. It may be also that a non-Hebrew name might find more acceptability among the gentiles than a Hebrew one , as even back then, the Jews weren't the most well-liked community in the Roman empire.
So why did he specifically chose the name `Paul'? Aside from the obvious reason viz the virtuous connotation, it is said by some that St.Paul took the cognomen of his first convert Lucius Sergius Paulus, the roman Proconsul.
Even today we can see that this tradition is maintained in form. When people convert to religion, it is a common practice to change one's name. It is a sign of conversion to a new faith. It's a reflection of the change that happened inside.
Hence I feel that the change of name from Saul to Paul is symbolic of the change that happened in the `Road to Damascus'
Zach George Arapura
- Respected V T John,
>>Though I'm not at all a learned person to comment on your statement, due to curiosity i did a quick research on this and felt something found authentic.
>>So my case is that the name Paulose or Paul has nothing to do with the conversion of Soul as a Christian.
>>Soliciting the comments of our esteemed members of the SOCM Forum
As you mentioned, it seems the name have noting to do with his baptism. It should be all abbreviations in Hebrew and Greek languages as he was born as a Jew (an Israelite, from the tribe of Benjamin) who uses Hebrew language and also a Roman citizen who follows Greek\Latin (Acts 22:25-29; Phil 3:5).
As he was an intellect in most of the popular languages he might have adopted his Greek\Latin surname "Paulus" once he became a Christian,
Surprisingly this is something different for me from which I learn at Sunday school years back... :)
In HIS Grace,