The Acts of Paul
The powerful influence of Paul on the early Church is attested in The Acts of Paul, written by a pious Asian Christian elder a hundred years after Paul died.The Catholic Church considers the book apocryphal lacking authenticity and credibility. The book's author presumes to describe Paul's physical appearance: "little of stature, thin-haired upon the head, crooked in the legs with eyebrows joining, and nose somewhat hooked... " He adds that Paul sometimes looked like an angel! The author's focus is Paul's concern for chastity and celibacy. He has Paul's teaching that they who abstain from sex, who possess their wives as if they had none, who maintain virginity are the blessed ones. According to the Acts of Paul, a maiden named Thecla who was engaged to marry heard Paul's exhortation on celibacy and broke the engagement. Thecla's mother was so angry that she asked a judge to execute her daughter by burning.