Does the Bible indicate that the Apostle Paul actually killed Christians?


The Bible does not say that Paul himself actually killed any Christians.   It does say in Acts 7:58 that he was present at the stoning of Stephen and that he approved this act.  Whether he actually threw one of the stones is not stated one way or another.  It is certainly possible that he actually threw one of the stones, in which case he would have killed a Christian.  However, one gets the sense that Paul was a very high level leader of the Jews and an important Pharisee, despite the fact that he was relatively young.  Such a person normally will not get their hands dirty by actually performing an execution.  Therefore, if I were to guess (and it would be just a guess), I would imagine that he never actually did the physical act of killing a Christian.  However, he oversaw such arrests and executions. He confesses this in his own writings.  He tells us in Acts 22:4-5 that he persecuted Christians and saw to their arrest and punishment.  In Acts 9:1 we hear that Paul was making “murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples.” As far as Paul was concerned, he felt that he was responsible for the killing of Christians.  He felt that he was “the worst of sinners” 1 Tim 1:15.  I assume that he was correct in his analysis of the situation–that he was responsible for the deaths of some believers.  However, in my opinion, it is more likely than not that his responsibility was as one overseeing or encouraging such killings, not actually physically carrying them out. 

John Oakes

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