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What was Saul's main profession before his conversion?
Thank you for your interesting question about the life of Paul.
Without having to speculate, we are able to go to the Bible for the answer. There are two main areas of work that the Bible mentions Paul having before he was a Christian.
The first job mentioned is that he was a tent-maker. While Paul was in Corinth, he met some people and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade (Acts 18:3). Here we see clearly that Paul's trade and source of income was making tents.
The second job mentioned was attached to his religious beliefs: a Pharisee. When Paul was giving a defence to King Agrippa, he said of people he knew that "they have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that according to the strictest party of our religion I have lived as a Pharisee" (Acts 26:5). Similarly, Paul writes to the Philippians that he was a Pharisee and that he persecuted the church because of his beliefs (Philippians 3:4-7).
Although a Pharisee is not a job in and of itself, it was his Pharisaic beliefs that led him to persecute the church, being given this permission to do this work.
It was during one of his travels to persecute the Christians in Damascus that Paul's life was changed forever when he met Jesus face to face (Acts 9:1-19). It was at this moment that he realised that his life needed to change, and his life was never the same again!
It is important to recognise that although we may have an interest in the lives of people such as Paul, it is also important to know what they said and believed. Paul tells us:
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Of first importance is that Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, died for our sin and was raised to life on the third day, as the scriptures tell us.
Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour? If you have never asked for the forgiveness of your sins and put your trust in Jesus to restore your connection with God, then I urge you to do so today!
In summary, the Bible tells us that Paul was a tent-maker and followed the teachings of the Pharisees, which led him to be a persecutor of the church. By meeting the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus, his life was changed and your life can be changed by knowing Jesus too.
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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
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