Vol. 45 (2009)

Three Years? : St. Paul’s Journey to Arabia

Published August 9, 2020


Bajnok, D. . (2020). Three Years? : St. Paul’s Journey to Arabia. Acta Classica Universitatis Scientiarum Debreceniensis, 45, 115–127. Retrieved from https://ojs.lib.unideb.hu/classica/article/view/8097

The article intends to summarize and answer the questions concerning the journey of Paul to Arabia. Shortly after his conversion, Paul left Damascus to go to Arabia, a place that can be possibly identified with the Kingdom of Nabataea. We cannot surely establish the duration of his stay in Arabia, which may be considerably shorter than three years. Some scholars have claimed that Paul went there to preach the gospel, whereas others have assumed that he prepared in contemplation and prayer to his career as an apostle. The Nabataean kingdom and its capital, Petra, was a greatly Hellenized, “cosmopolitan place”. A passage of Strabo (XIV.5.13.) leads us to a third conceivable assumption to explain the motivation for Paul’s visit in Arabia: the Hellenic surroundings of Petra contributed to the development of his theological thinking.