Question about Jesus' "appearance" to Paul in 1 Cor 15:8

Is the standard view in Catholicism that when Paul mentions Jesus “appeared” to him in ! Cor. 15:8 that he’s referring to the Damascus Road encounter in Acts?

I think there is evidence that that is the standard interpretation among Catholics. I’ve never heard any alternative suggestion proposed, which makes me think that would be the standard view. How about you? Do you think there are other possibilities?

Yes it would seem to be.

No, I was just curious what the Catholic view was and I’m assuming it’s the same for other denominations. After all, it’s the only place in the New Testament that details the appearance to Paul as far as I know.

Acts 9 : 3-7 Paul was thrown from his horse & a light shone around him & a voice said Saul, Saul why do you persecute Me? When Paul asked who… he was told, Jesus of Nazareth.

Paul was not thrown from a horse.

That’s from a painting by Caravaggio titled “The Conversion of Paul on the Way to Damascus” circa 1601.

It’s not in the Bible.


I think what you mean is, “We don’t know if Paul was thrown from a horse.”

I’m not aware of any explicit Biblical evidence either way. But I do think there is other evidence that he rode a horse. For example, I think long and official journeys in that time were typically taken on horseback, since that was the technology they had available.

It is possible that Paul didn’t have a horse, and in that case I think he would have likely traveled in a caravan, but it is my understanding that even then, the caravans took along some armed men on horseback to ward off thieves.

I think the available evidence suggests that St. Paul was upper class, which makes a horse at least slightly more likely than for your average Palestinian of that time. Moreover, a horse seems more appropriate for the mission he was on than traveling in a caravan.

Anyway, call me Nitpick. Have a good day. :slight_smile:

I meant exactly what I said.

You said Paul was thrown from a horse in Acts 9. I’m saying that it is not in the Bible. That’s all I’m saying. Nothing more and nothing less.

Handling the word of God accurately is very important. (cf 2 Timothy 2:15)


Thank you for the clarification. I thought that the statement “Paul was not thrown from a horse” meant you had some evidence that he was not on a horse. I didn’t see that later in your post you wrote “It’s not in the Bible,” as those are very different things.

I’m wary of Sola Scriptura assumptions: if it’s not in the Bible, some say it didn’t happen. But that’s not necessarily true.

You are correct…The Bible doesn’t say Saul was thrown from his horse. :blush: I guess I always assumed he was thrown to the ground from a horse. So, I guess he was making the journey to Damascus on foot. :shrug:

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