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Apostle Saul, called…

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Apostle Paul
Apostle Paul

The apostle Saul is a follower of Jesus better known by the name Paul. In Acts of the Apostles 13: 9 the narrative of the text goes from the Semitic name Saul (Greek Σαῦλος, Saulos) to the Latin – Paul (Latin Paulus, Greek Παῦλος, Paulos). Why this sudden name change in the text?

There are two explanations:

  1. The apostle, while in Cyprus, took this name in honour of the proconsul Sergius Paul. Such suggestions can be found in the commentary by Jerome1.
  2. The apostle at one point gave up the Semitic name because in the Greek-speaking world the wording of this name was similar to an offensive phrase. What word could it be? Perhaps the very name Saul (Saulos), which was the epithet for heter and bacchantes2. It could also be kαῦλος / Παῦλος. The word standard means penis. In its basic meaning, it is a “stem” [of cabbage], which, due to its form, accurately describes the male birth (in Aristotle it also means the cervix). In Latin: caulis, which is used in the sense of the male organ by Celsus (19 times), Petronius, or Lucretius3.
Author: Waldemar Owczarczak (translated from Polish: Jakub Jasiński)
  1. Comment. in ep. ad Philem. 1. H. Dessau (Der Name des Apostels Paulus, Hermes 45 (1910) 347 - 368
  2. K. Stebnicka, Tożsamość diaspory. Żydzi w Azji Mniejszej okresu cesarstwa, s. 214
  3. Adams James, Seksualizmy łacińskie, s. 48, 105.

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