Frescoes of Paul’s Ministry, Part 9: Conversion of Sergius at Paphos

Conversion of Sergius at Paphos(Bar-Jesus blinded), Cesare Mariani Acts 13:4 - 12

Conversion of Sergius at Paphos(Bar-Jesus blinded), Cesare Mariani, Acts 13:4 – 12

Acts 13:4 – 12

The two of them (Saul and Barnabas), sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, wen down to Seleucia and saild fromt heir to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God to the Jewish synagogues.  John was with them as their helper.

They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos.  There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, who was an attendant o the proconsul, Sergius Paulus.  The procounsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God.  But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul form the faith.  Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, “You area child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right!  You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery.  Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?  Now the hand of the Lord is against you.  You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun.”

Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand.  When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.


In this scene Saul is placed in the center of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, and the sorcerer Bar-Jesus, aka Elymas.  He appears to have been facing the proconsul, with scriptures in his right hand.  He turns with his left hand and rebukes and blinds Bar-Jesus.  The proconsul looks on with an astonished gesture.  When debate does not convince people, actions may.

Of note, this is the first reference to Saul also being called by the name Paul (13:9).  Saul is the Hebrew name, while Paul is the Greek version of the name.  Saul was Jew, born a free Roman citizen, in a Greek speaking region.  Prior to this time, he is only recorded as teaching in synagogues to Jews (of which Christians were still part).  However, when he traveled to the island of Cyprus, he had his first recorded encounter with a Gentile, the proconsul.  Henceforth, his ministry would be to the Gentiles, not the Jews.  He will also be refered to by his Greek name, Paul.


About hermitsdoor

Up here in the mountains, we have a saying, "You can't get there from here", which really means "We wouldn't go the trouble to do that". Another concept is that "If you don't know, we ain't telling." For the rest, you'll have to read between the lines.
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3 Responses to Frescoes of Paul’s Ministry, Part 9: Conversion of Sergius at Paphos

  1. If I knew this story, I’d forgotten it. Didn’t realize that’s when he started being known as Paul.

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