Jewish vs. Christian Paul: Name Confusion
Most people know that Apostle Paul was a pious Jew. Many New Testament readers would note that he was a Pharisee trained with the rabbis at the feet of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). And at the same time, most Christians would also see Apostle Paul as a radical convert to Christianity. But how accurate is this idea? One way of rationalizing Paul as a Christian is that a Jew, a Pharisee named Saul was baptized, converted from Judaism to Christianity and from then on was known as Christian Apostle Paul.
The name changing transaction can be truly misleading. It is broadly-known that when people convert to another religion they often change their name. To use a contemporary example, Cassius Clay converted to Islam and most people today know this champion and boxing legend as Mohammad Ali. Indeed, through the ages, when pagans converted to Christianity they received “Christian” names. And the reason for such practice makes perfect sense.