Did Paul (Saul) hear Jesus teach? I base this on his being approximately the same age and being taught by Gamaliel in Jerusalem during the time of Christ's ministry. A Jewish source mentioned that followers of specific Rabbis were sent out to listen to itinerant teachers to strengthen their understanding of Torah by comparing the teachings. I can't remember where I read he may have been an early follower but left when Christ's teachings became hard. To me this in part would explain his extreme reaction to the earliest Christians and why he was so aggressive in the discipline of the Christians.

  • The reason this question was put on hold is that we simply don't know. It's obviously possible that he could have heard Jesus teach in person, and perhaps (perhaps) we can assume that his devotion against Christians suggests he did. But there's another argument that suggests his conversion by vision is proof he did not or he would have converted listening to the word from the Master in life. But this is all supposition. That's the problem. Nobody knows because there is no record (that we know of). – JBH Oct 3 '17 at 23:22

To a certain extent you answer your own question. Saul (in his own testimony) claims an unassailable Jewish lineage(Eph 3:4-6). His devotion to the Jewish faith motivated him to repress what he perceived to be the ultimate heresy. The Bible records that he was present at the stoning of Stephen; this would have been sometime after the formation of the early Church. He would also have been a contemporary of the disciples themselves, therefore it is reasonable to assume that a teacher of Judaism would be careful to not respond to hearsay about Jesus's message and teachings.

He, in all probability, did hear Jesus firsthand, but as the Bible does not specifically state this, it remains a hypothetical question with the only answer being: unknown.

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    I don't see your argument here. It's hard to imagine that every single Pharisee would have felt the need to check out Jesus' teachings in person, rather than rely on the reports of others. Did Caiaphas himself go to hear Jesus? I don't think so. – DJClayworth Oct 2 '17 at 13:37
  • Robert, I broke up your answer into easier to read format. I also edited it for content since some of what your wrote didn't tie together. Please review the edit and correct any errors I may have made as I tried to render this answer into easy-to-understand prose. Welcome to Christianity.SE. Please take the tour and visit the help center to get an idea for how this Q&A format works best. – KorvinStarmast Oct 2 '17 at 13:45
  • Thank you for answering, I've been pondering this for awhile and just couldn't quite get a handle on it. I appreciate the input - even if it is opinion based. When someone who loves research gives me an opinion it at least is based in long time research around the subject. So again thanks. – Vyanna Oct 5 '17 at 5:46

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