The most prolific of the first generation of Christian missionaries was Paul. Paul’s centrality in what became the New Testament has given him an enormous importance in the Christian tradition. Paul was reportedly born in the city of Tarsus, in Asia Minor, into a Jewish family that belonged to the party of the Pharisees. Paul’s membership in this group meant that he was known for pious behavior and spent a great deal of time studying the Torah. Paul records that the conference ended with the Jerusalem apostles completely vindicating his Gospel and approving unconditionally that he be allowed to preach the message of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles without obligating them to become Jews. Paul’s revelation-based claim to be an apostle was eventually accepted by the church as a whole, as is attested by the inclusion of Paul’s letters in the canon of the New Testament.
The Christian Theological Tradition, 4th ed.