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The Life of Paul
The Life of Paul

Donald Jackson, in collaboration with Aidan Hart and with contributions from Andrew Jamieson
Natural hand-ground ink on calfskin vellum
Image copyright 2002 The Saint John's Bible and Saint John's University

Although Paul was not among the original twelve followers of Jesus, God designated him the apostle to the Gentiles, and he traveled as a missionary throughout the Near East. He is posed here in the manner of classical Greek statues. A prayer shawl draped over his shoulders indicates his upbringing as a devout Jew. Surrounding him are secular and sacred buildings from nearly every historical period of the last two thousand years, symbolizing the continuation in North America of Christian missionary efforts. The Stella Maris Chapel at Saint John's Abbey (upper right) signifies the Benedictines' missionary work in Minnesota.

Because he made several sea voyages and was once shipwrecked, Paul stands before a Greco-Roman sailing vessel. An energetic church builder, he holds a model of a church. It recalls Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome, the city where he was martyred under the emperor Nero. The words at the top, "I saw a light from heaven" (26:13), refer to Paul's conversion. Those across the bottom proclaim his divine mission: "The Lord has commanded us, saying, 'I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles, so that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth'" (13:47).


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The Birth of Christ (Luke 1:5 and 2:40)
The Birth of Christ

To the Ends of the Earth (Acts 1:8)
To the Ends of the Earth

The Parable of the Sower and the Seed (Mark 4:3-9)
The Parable of the Sower and the Seed

The Genealogy of Christ (Matthew 1)
The Genealogy of Christ

Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:4b – 11.32)
Adam and Eve

The Life of Paul
The Life of Paul