Saint Paul the Apostle
Paul by El
Greco, c. 1608-1614
St. Paul the Apostle (born A.D. 10,
died A.D. 67) (Hebrew:
HaTarsi, means: Saul
the "Apostle to the Gentiles"
2:8) was, together with Saint
Peter, the most notable of Early
Christian missionaries. In the New Testament account, Paul did not know Jesus
in life, unlike the Twelve
Apostles; he came to faith through a vision
of the risen Jesus (1Corinthians
15:8–9) and stressed that his apostolic authority was based on his
vision. As he wrote, he "received it [the Gospel]
by revelation from Jesus Christ" (Galatians
1:11–12); according to Acts,
his conversion took place as he was traveling the road
s.v. Saint Paul the Apostle
Catholic Encyclopedia s.v. "Saint Paul"
Ephesians Chapter 3
The mystery hidden from former ages was discovered to the apostle, to be
imparted to the Gentiles. He prays that they may be strengthened in God.
3:1. For this cause, I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ, for you
3:2. If yet you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is
given me towards you:
3:3. How that, according to revelation, the mystery has been made known
to me, as I have written above in a few words:
3:4. As you reading, may understand my knowledge in the mystery of
3:5. Which in other generations was not known to the sons of men, as it
is now revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit:
3:6. That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs and of the same body: and
copartners of his promise in Christ Jesus, by the gospel
3:7. Of which I am made a minister, according to the gift of the grace
of God, which is given to me according to the operation of his power.
3:8. To me, the least of all the saints, is given this grace, to preach
among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ:
3:9. And to enlighten all men, that they may see what is the
dispensation of the mystery which hath been hidden from eternity in God who
created all things:
3:10. That the manifold wisdom of God may be made known to the
principalities and powers in heavenly places through the church,
3:11. According to the eternal purpose which he made in Christ Jesus our
3:12. In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith
3:13. Wherefore I pray you not to faint at my tribulations for you,
which is your glory.
3:14. For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus
3:15. Of whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named:
3:16. That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to
be strengthened by his Spirit with might unto the inward man:
3:17. That Christ may dwell by faith in your hearts: that, being rooted
and founded in charity,
3:18. You may be able to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the
breadth and length and height and depth,
3:19. To know also the charity of Christ, which surpasseth all
knowledge: that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.
3:20. Now to him who is able to do all things more abundantly than we
desire or understand, according to the power that worketh in us:
3:21. To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus, unto all
generations, world without end. Amen.
1 Corinthians Chapter 7
Lessons relating to marriage and celibacy. Virginity is preferable to a
7:1. Now concerning the things whereof you wrote to me: It is good for a
man not to touch a woman.
7:2. But for fear of fornication, let every man have his own wife: and let
every woman have her own husband.
7:3. Let the husband render the debt to his wife: and the wife also in like
manner to the husband.
7:4. The wife hath not power of her own body: but the husband. And in like
manner the husband also hath not power of his own body: but the wife.
7:5. Defraud not one another, except, perhaps, by consent, for a time, that
you may give yourselves to prayer: and return together again, lest Satan tempt
you for your incontinency.
7:6. But I speak this by indulgence, not by commandment.
7:7. For I would that all men were even as myself. But every one hath his
proper gift from God: one after this manner, and another after that.
7:8. But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if
they so continue, even as I.
7:9. But if they do not contain themselves, let them marry. For it is
better to marry than to be burnt.
7:10. But to them that are married, not I, but the Lord, commandeth that
the wife depart not from her husband.
7:11. And if she depart, that she remain unmarried or be reconciled to her
husband. And let not the husband put away his wife.
7:12. For to the rest I speak, not the Lord. If any brother hath a wife
that believeth not and she consent to dwell with him: let him not put her
7:13. And if any woman hath a husband that believeth not and he consent to
dwell with her: let her not put away her husband.
7:14. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the believing wife: and
the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the believing husband. Otherwise your
children should be unclean: but now they are holy.
7:15. But if the unbeliever depart, let him depart. For a brother or sister
is not under servitude in such cases. But God hath called us in peace.
7:16. For how knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? Or
how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?
7:17. But as the Lord hath distributed to every one, as God hath called
every one: so let him walk. And so in all churches I teach.
7:18. Is any man called, being circumcised? Let him not procure
uncircumcision. Is any man called in uncircumcision? Let him not be
7:19. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing: but the
observance of the commandments of God.
7:20. Let every man abide in the same calling in which he was called.
7:21. Wast thou called, being a bondman? Care not for it: but if thou
mayest be made free, use it rather.
7:22. For he that is called in the Lord, being a bondman, is the freeman of
the Lord. Likewise he that is called, being free, is the bondman of Christ.
7:23. You are bought with a price: be not made the bondslaves of men.
7:24. Brethren, let every man, wherein he was called, therein abide with
7:25. Now, concerning virgins, I have no commandment of the Lord: but I
give counsel, as having obtained mercy of the Lord, to be faithful.
7:26. I think therefore that this is good for the present necessity:
that it is good for a man so to be.
7:27. Art thou bound to a wife? Seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed
from a wife? Seek not a wife.
7:28. But if thou take a wife, thou hast not sinned. And if a virgin
marry, she hath not sinned: nevertheless, such shall have tribulation of the
flesh. But I spare you.
7:29. This therefore I say, brethren: The time is short. It remaineth,
that they also who have wives be as if they had none:
7:30. And they that weep, as though they wept not: and they that
rejoice, as if they rejoiced not: and they that buy as if they possessed not:
7:31. And they that use this world, as if they used it not. For the
fashion of this world passeth away.
7:32. But I would have you to be without solicitude. He that is without
a wife is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord: how he may please
7:33. But he that is with a wife is solicitous for the things of the
world: how he may please his wife. And he is divided.
7:34. And the unmarried woman and the virgin thinketh on the things of
the Lord: that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she that is
married thinketh on the things of the world: how she may please her husband.
7:35. And this I speak for your profit, not to cast a snare upon you,
but for that which is decent and which may give you power to attend upon the
Lord, without impediment.
7:36. But if any man think that he seemeth dishonoured with regard to
his virgin, for that she is above the age, and it must so be: let him do what
he will. He sinneth not if she marry.
Let him do what he will; he sinneth not, etc... The meaning is not, as
libertines would have it, that persons may do what they will and not sin,
provided they afterwards marry; but that the father, with regard to the giving
his virgin in marriage, may do as he pleaseth; and that it will be no sin to
him if she marry.
7:37. For he that hath determined, being steadfast in his heart, having
no necessity, but having power of his own will: and hath judged this in his
heart, to keep his virgin, doth well.
7:38. Therefore both he that giveth his virgin in marriage doth well:
and he that giveth her not doth better.
7:39. A woman is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth: but if
her husband die, she is at liberty. Let her marry to whom she will: only in
7:40. But more blessed shall she be, if she so remain, according to my
counsel. And I think that I also have the spirit of God.
1 Corinthians Chapter 9
The apostle did not make use of his power of being maintained at the charges
of those to whom he preached, that he might give no hindrance to the gospel.
Of running in the race and striving for the mastery.
9:1. Am I not I free? Am not I an apostle? Have not I seen Christ Jesus our
Lord? Are not you my work in the Lord?
9:2. And if unto others I be not an apostle, but yet to you I am. For you
are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
9:3. My defence with them that do examine me is this.
9:4. Have not we power to eat and to drink?
9:5. Have we not power to carry about a woman, a sister as well as the rest
of the apostles and the brethren of the Lord and Cephas?
9:6. Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to do this?
9:7. Who serveth as a soldier, at any time, at his own charges? Who
planteth a vineyard and eateth not of the fruit thereof? Who feedeth the flock
and eateth not of the milk of the flock?
9:8. Speak I these things according to man? Or doth not the law also say;
9:9. For it is written in the law of Moses: Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth
of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
9:10. Or doth he say this indeed for our sakes? For these things are
written for our sakes: that he that plougheth, should plough in hope and he
that thrasheth, in hope to receive fruit.
9:11. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great matter if we
reap your carnal things?
9:12. If others be partakers of this power over you, why not we rather?
Nevertheless, we have not used this power: but we bear all things, lest we
should give any hindrance to the gospel of Christ.
9:13. Know you not that they who work in the holy place eat the things that
are of the holy place; and they that serve the altar partake with the altar?
9:14. So also the Lord ordained that they who preach the gospel should
live by the gospel.
9:15. But I have used none of these things. Neither have I written these
things, that they should be so done unto me: for it is good for me to die
rather than that any man should make my glory void.
9:16. For if I preach the gospel, it is no glory to me: for a necessity
lieth upon me. For woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel.
9:17. For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against
my will, a dispensation is committed to me.
9:18. What is my reward then? That preaching the gospel, I may deliver
the gospel without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
9:19. For whereas I was free as to all, I made myself the servant of
all, that I might gain the more.
9:20. And I became to the Jews a Jew, that I might gain the Jews:
9:22. To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak. I became
all things to all men, that I might save all.
9:23. And I do all things for the gospel’s sake, that I may be made
9:24. Know you not that they that run in the race, all run indeed, but
one receiveth the prize. So run that you may obtain.
9:25. And every one that striveth for the mastery refraineth himself
from all things. And they indeed that they may receive a corruptible crown:
but we an incorruptible one.
9:26. I therefore so run, not as at an uncertainty: I so fight, not as
one beating the air.
9:27. But I chastise my body and bring it into subjection: lest perhaps,
when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway.
I chastise, etc... Here St. Paul shews the necessity of self-denial and
mortification, to subdue the flesh, and its inordinate desires.
2 Corinthians Chapter 11
11:1. Would to God you could bear with some little of my folly! But do bear
11:2. For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God. For I have espoused
you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
11:3. But I fear lest, as the serpent seduced Eve by his subtilty, so your
minds should be corrupted and fall from the simplicity that is in Christ.
11:4. For if he that cometh preacheth another Christ, whom we have not
preached; or if you receive another Spirit, whom you have not received; or
another gospel, which you have not received: you might well bear with him.
11:5. For I suppose that I have done nothing less than the great apostles.
11:6. For although I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge: but in all
things we have been made manifest to you.
11:7. Or did I commit a fault, humbling myself that you might be exalted,
because I preached unto you the Gospel of God freely?
11:8. I have taken from other churches, receiving wages of them for your
11:9. And, when I was present with you and wanted, I was chargeable to no
man: for that which was wanting to me, the brethren supplied who came from
Macedonia. And in all things I have kept myself from being burthensome to you:
and so I will keep myself.
11:10. The truth of Christ is in me, that this glorying shall not be broken
off in me in the regions of Achaia.
11:11. Wherefore? Because I love you not? God knoweth it.
11:12. But what I do, that I will do: that I may cut off the occasion from
them that desire occasion: that wherein they glory, they may be found even as
11:13. For such false apostles are deceitful workmen, transforming
themselves into the apostles of Christ.
11:14. And no wonder: for Satan himself transformeth himself into an angel
11:15. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers be transformed as
the ministers of justice, whose end shall be according to their works.
11:16. I say again (Let no man think me to be foolish: otherwise take me as
one foolish, that I also may glory a little):
11:17. That which I speak, I speak not according to God: but as it were in
foolishness, in this matter of glorying.
11:18. Seeing that many glory according to the flesh, I will glory also.
11:19. For you gladly suffer the foolish: whereas yourselves are wise.
11:20. For you suffer if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you,
if a man take from you, if a man be lifted up, if a man strike you on the
11:21. I seek according to dishonour, as if we had been weak in this
part. Wherein if any man dare (I speak foolishly), I dare also.
11:22. They are Hebrews: so am I. They are Israelites: so am I. They are
the seed of Abraham: so am I.
11:23. They are the ministers of Christ (I speak as one less wise): I am
more; in many more labours, in prisons more frequently, in stripes above
measure, in deaths often.
11:24. Of the Jews five times did I receive forty stripes save one.
11:25. Thrice was I beaten with rods: once I was stoned: thrice I
suffered shipwreck: a night and a day I was in the depth of the sea.
11:26. In journeying often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers,
in perils from my own nation, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the
city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils from false
11:27. In labour and painfulness, in much watchings, in hunger and
thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness:
11:28. Besides those things which are without: my daily instance, the
solicitude for all the churches.
11:29. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is scandalized, and I am not
11:30. If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things that concern my
11:31. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for
ever, knoweth that I lie not.
11:32. At Damascus, the governor of the nation under Aretas the king,
guarded the city of the Damascenes, to apprehend me.
11:33. And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall: and
so escaped his hands.
2 Corinthians Chapter 12
His raptures and revelations, His being buffeted by Satan. His fear for the
12:1. If I must glory (it is not expedient indeed) but I will come to
visions and revelations of the Lord.
12:2. I know a man in Christ: above fourteen years ago (whether in the
body, I know not, or out of the body, I know not: God knoweth), such a one
caught up to the third heaven.
12:3. And I know such a man (whether in the body, or out of the body, I
know not: God knoweth):
12:4. That he was caught up into paradise and heard secret words which
it is not granted to man to utter.
12:5. For such an one I will glory: but for myself I will glory nothing
but in my infirmities.
12:6. For though I should have a mind to glory, I shall not be foolish:
for I will say the truth. But I forbear, lest any man should think of me above
that which he seeth in me, or any thing he heareth from me.
12:7. And lest the greatness of the revelations should exalt me, there
was given me a sting of my flesh, an angel of Satan, to buffet me.
12:8. For which thing, thrice I besought the Lord that it might depart
12:9. And he said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee: for power is
made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities,
that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
Power is made perfect... The strength and power of God more perfectly
shines forth in our weakness and infirmity; as the more weak we are of
ourselves, the more illustrious is his grace in supporting us, and giving
us the victory under all trials and conflicts.
12:10. For which cause I please myself in my infirmities, in reproaches,
in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ. For when I am
weak, then am I powerful.
12:11. I am become foolish. You have compelled me: for I ought to have been
commended by you. For I have no way come short of them that are above measure
apostles, although I be nothing.
12:12. Yet the signs of my apostleship have been wrought on you, in all
patience, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds.
12:13. For what is there that you have had less than the other churches but
that I myself was not burthensome to you? Pardon me this injury.
12:14. Behold now the third time I am ready to come to you and I will not
be burthensome unto you. For I seek not the things that are yours, but you.
For neither ought the children to lay up for the parents, but the parents for
12:15. But I most gladly will spend and be spent myself for your souls:
although loving you more, I be loved less.
12:16. But be it so: I did not burthen you: but being crafty, I caught you
12:17. Did I overreach you by any of them whom I sent to you?
12:18. I desired Titus: and I sent with him a brother. Did Titus overreach
you? Did we not walk with the same spirit? Did we not in the same steps?
12:19. Of old, think you that we excuse ourselves to you? We speak before
God in Christ: but all things, my dearly beloved, for your edification.
12:20. For I fear lest perhaps, when I come, I shall not find you such as I
would, and that I shall be found by you such as you would not. Lest perhaps
contentions, envyings, animosities, dissensions, detractions, whisperings,
swellings, seditions, be among you.
12:21. Lest again, when I come, God humble me among you: and I mourn many
of them that sinned before and have not done penance for the uncleanness and
fornication and lasciviousness that they have committed.