Paul was born in Tarsus, southern part of Turkey in ancient Cilicia. His date of birth is placed by the scholars between 1 AD and 6th AD. He was named after Saul, the first king of Israel. He came from a rich and powerful Jewish family. His father or his relatives obtained the Roman citizenship and full civil rights of the city of Tarsus.
Educated by his mother and his father during his early years, Paul was sent to Jerusalem for further studies and studied at the academy of Gameliel, one of the most respected Jewish teachers. During the early years, he took action against Christians and took part in their persecutions. His name spread all over the Roman world and created fear. His life totally changed after his vision when Christ appeared to him on the way to Damascus. Christ appeared to him and said:
"Paul, why you persecute me"
Paul who got blind after his vision, he was healed with the help of one of the disciples. When he returned to Jerusalem great difficulties were waiting for him. Neither Christian nor Jewish believed or trusted him. He returned to his home town, Tarsus. His writings no where indicate that he knew Jesus or his disciples. He left Jerusalem and returned Tarsus during the Christ's ministry and he didn't return to Jerusalem till Jesus' death.
After Saint Barnabas found him in Tarsus and persuaded him to come to Antioch with him, Saint Paul made three great successive journeys which covered big part of Anatolia and Greece. Finally, after his third missionary trip, he was arrested in Jerusalem. Since he wanted to appeal to Ceaser, he was taken to Rome. After two years imprisonment in Rome, he was found innocent and was freed.
Paul and Peter were arrested after the great fire of Rome and were blamed for. Peter was crucified up side down on the capitol hill where there is great church of Vatican now. As to Paul, since he was a Roman citizen he was beheaded near Ostia gate in Rome.
Acts:13-14 -AD 46-48
Paul, Barnabas and John Mark started their missionary Journey from Syrian Antioch in the year of 47 AD. They went to harbor town of Seleucia and sailed first to Salamis in Cyprus from where Barnabas was originated. They arrived to Salamis ( Acts 13:4-5), one of the great commercial harbors of Cyprus. They proclaimed the word of God the synagogues of Jews. They passed the island from the east to west and arrived the city of Paphos, the center of Roman rule and the cult of Aphrodite. The city of Paphos had an evil reputation for the laxity of moral of its inhabitants. Paul and companions met the Roman Proconsul, Sergius Paulos and the sorcerer called Elimas who was blinded by Paul. Proconsul became one of the believers and from this point on Saul started using this Roman name, Paul, Paul and friends then sailed for Pamphilia, south west Anatolia. They possibly arrived to Attalia, the main port of the region and moved to Perge, the most important city of Pamphilia region. Paul didn't stay long time in Perge. Young John Mark left the party. He was either scared of dangerous trip to north through the Taurus mountains or irritated by the leadership of Paul in the group or he was homesick. Paul and Barnabas journeyed towards Pisidian Antioch, located 100 miles in the north of Perge. In Pisidian Antioch Paul utters his historical words:
"Now, we turn to Gentiles"
After Pisidian Antioch, Paul and Barnabas moved to Lystra where people thought that Paul and Barnabas were Gods. When they learned about the truth, they tried to persecute Paul and Barnabas. Paul was stoned and beaten to such an extent that people thought he had died. Next city they would arrive was Derbe where the apostles made a lot of disciples and one of them was Gaius who accompanied Paul during his last missionary journey. Paul after staying for a while in Derbe. He starts his return journey by retracing their initial road. hey returned to Attalia from where they set sail to Antioch to report the results of his missionary journey. The first journey which lasted 18 months ended in the fall of 47 AD.
Acts: 15:36-4;16-18 AD 49-51
Second journey of Paul started from Syrian Antioch. This time, he was accompanied by Silas. Wishing to revisit some of the cities he visited during the first missionary journey, he went to Tarsus, Derbe, Lystra and some other cities of Galatia. Then Paul wanted to go to the Asian province of the Roman Empire but he was prevented by the Holly Sprit from going there. Then he wanted to go north to Bytinia Region but this time, he was prevented by the spirit of Christ. Paul and companions were guided towards Troas, a city in the south of Dardaneles, a popular crossing point from Asia to Europa. When Paul arrived there, he had his famous vision. In his dream, he had a man from Macedonia beseeching to come over to Macedonia to help them. From the Acts of Apostles, we also understand that Luke, the author of the Fourth Gospel and the writer of the Acts of Apostles joined to Paul's Party. Paul and companions first went to island of Samothrace, then arrived to Neapolis and Philippi where Paul met Lydia, a rich women from the city of Thyatira. In Philippi, Paul was disturbed by a mentally irritated slave girl who had peculiar powers. She was healed by Paul and she and her family were baptized by Paul who was arrested and put into a prison upon complains of the owners of the girl. Paul's party continued their journey and they passed Amphipolis, Apollonia, Thessalonica and arrived Athens where he has bitter argument with the philosophers of the city. Going to further south Paul arrived the city of Corint, one of the important cities of southern Greece. After staying nearly 1 year, he traveled to Ephesus, the capital city of Asia. He was accompanied by Aqilia and Prisqilla, close friends of Paul from Corint. Paul first went to Synagogues of Ephesus and spoke with the elders of the synagogues and argued with them Christian doctrines. He didn't stay long time in Ephesus to keep the feast (passover) in Jerusalem. After promising he would return to Ephesus, he left for the Holy lands.
After his journey from Ephesus, Paul landed in Caeserea on the coastline of Palestine. Then he went up before to Jerusalem and finally to Antioch.
Acts 18:23-28;19-21 - AD 53-57
When Paul started his third missionary trip, the city in his mind was Ephesus and that was the main aim of his third trip. On the way to Ephesus, he revisited some of the cities of Galacia and traveled to Ephesus where he worked 2 and half years. His missionary work in Ephesus ended with the Silversmith Riot which forced Paul to leave. Planning to go to Macedonia, Paul stopped at Troas where he possibly spent few months of winter till he got the suitable weather for safe journey for northern Greece. Paul and his companions continued their journey to Macedonia where they spent nearly 18 then mouths in the Greece. Because of several attempts of murder, Paul didn't have a ship from Corint but returned to Troas where he had his miracle related to young boy who fell from the window of s Roman House. Instead of taking the boat with his friends, he preferred walking 20 miles over the mountains to Assos. After Assos, Paul's boat stops the some Aegean islands such as Mitytline, Chios and Samos. Paul's boat stopped in Miletos where he met the elders of the Ephesians Church. It was a touching ceremony in the Lion Harbor of Ephesus. Everyone cried. They all knew they wouldn't see each other after this meeting. Paul, after staying 3 days, he left for Holy Lands.
In Jerusalem, Paul was accused by preaching against Mosaic Law and the temple. He was further condemned by bringing a Gentile into temple grounds and defiling the temple. Paul was finally arrested and appeared in the court. Willing to appeal to Roman Emperor, he was taken to Rome. On the way to Rome, his ship called at Lycian town of Myra and then shipwrecked in the south west of Crete and drawn towards island of Malta where Paul healed the father Malta's governor. When he was in Rome waiting for the trial, Paul was treated nicely and had even opportunity to preach in Rome. He stayed nearly two years as prisoner and continued the evangelistic work. After being freed, Paul continued his missionary journeys, he possibly returned to Ephesus, Miletus and Troas where he was possibly arrested. It is suggested that he even went to Spain which he had been dreaming about.
Paul and Peter were arrested once more after the great fire of Rome during the time of Nero. Paul was possibly in Troas during his arrest and sent to Rome for his second trial.
The life of this great man ended in Rome after the great fire which ravaged the city. Paul was condemned and executed in 67 AD. just a year before the death of Emperor Nero. Since he was a Roman citizens, he was beheaded just outside of city wall, near to Ostian Gate at Salvian Springs.