MembersThe Apostle Paul on the Meaning of Death and Dying, Part 1

Death and dying are not easy to talk about, though they are central themes throughout the writings of the Apostle Paul.

By Solomon Kirsch | | Topics: New Testament, Pauline Messianism
Saint Paul, Rembrandt. Photo: Wikimedia commons

Describing his life of faith in Jesus, Paul says “I die daily” (I Cor. 15:31). Forced to come to terms with his own physical death so often, the reality of our mortality comes to play an important role in Paul’s thinking. Death, in the end, is more than just dying.

Coming to terms with death plays a role as Paul faces trials and tribulations that bring him to the brink of death and test his readiness to give up his soul for the sake of the mission. Facing death, it turns out, was part of his calling from the beginning.

“The Lord said to Ananias: Go, this man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name. (Acts 9:15-16)


Paul faces death daily

Spreading the word from town to town, Paul faces the fact of his mortality daily. He escapes a scheme to be killed in Damascus (Acts...

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3 responses to “The Apostle Paul on the Meaning of Death and Dying, Part 1”

  1. Susan says:

    I believe when Paul speaks of dying daily he is talking of putting our “old nature” to death. He goes on to speak about bad company and further tells his audience to “stop sinning.” He did not fear physical death.

  2. psalm100al says:

    I think Paul actually did die when he was stoned and left for dead re Acts 14/19-20 as per your very good article.
    If we look at 2 Corinthians. 12/2-4 Paul says speaking in the third person, that he was caught up to the third heaven (where God dwells) in v2 and that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter in v4.
    Having a glimpse of heaven he must have yearned to return there, consequently his life was recklessly devoted to the Lord’s work and death was something he probably looked forward to, albeit not the way he died.

  3. Disciple 1978 says:

    We all have eternal souls, which is why the resurrection is so important. We are either resurrected to spend eternity in the tabernacle of God, Rev 21:3, or to experience the Second death, Rev 20:14. Only saved souls, Rom 10:9, can enter God’s tabernacle. The delight is we are able to enter into it now, Rev 22:14, in the mortal part of our life by accepting the atoning work of Messiah Yeshua.
    Humanist funerals proclaim we only exist in people’s memories after death. This nihilistic viewpoint is increasingly accepted as cultures like the West fall away from biblical belief, as led by their church and governments. Hence these cultures do harbour unhealthy anxieties such as apocalyptic scenarios relating to climate change and asteroids. They use this to justify their selfish behaviour.

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