Paul and his conversion
Luke accuses Paul the persecutor of “breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord” (Acts 9:1). He has Paul admit that he had persecuted the new way to death (Acts 22:4). Scholars often charge that Luke’s rhetoric is given to hyperbole, and his presentation of historical fact is questionable. Many historians and Bible scholars suspect that Luke is guilty of exaggerating the intensity of Paul’s attack. Jewish religious leaders did not have the right to administer capital punishment. What cannot be overstated or questioned is Paul’s profound distress over the threat that the new way posed to his cherished beliefs. He was determined to stop it. The lion, however, was overcome by the lamb. The zeal with which he persecuted the church was redirected by his encounter with Christ.