• Step inside The Remarkable Story of Paul the Apostle

    by  • 8 November 2021 • Extract, Religion • 0 Comments

    The Remarkable Story of Paul the Apostle by Siegwart Knijpenga is an engaging day-to-day account of life in the first century as well as a remarkable chronicle of the key events that ultimately laid the foundations for Christianity. 

    Suitable for children aged 10 plus, it covers Paul’s childhood, when he was known as Saul, in his father’s tent-making workshop. It then travels on to his momentous encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus and his transformation into Paul the apostle, one of Christianity’s most significant figures. 

    In this extract from the book Saul continues his journey to Jerusalem, arriving with a sea captain at the port of Joppa.

    Arriving in Jerusalem

    “Hey boy, come and look!”

    The captain’s booming voice travelled the length of the ship to where Saul was sitting near the stern. Saul walked over to the captain at the bow, standing against the railing.

    “See, in front of us is the port of Joppa. It’s not the biggest port, but it can still take this ship. Now, look beyond it and tell me what your young eyes see in the distance.” 

    Saul shielded his eyes against the bright afternoon sun and peered out from under his hand.

    “I can see a flat, brownish yellow streak, and above it are two bright yellow dots, sparkling in the sun,” he said.

    “That’s the old city wall of Jerusalem, my friend, and the new palace of Herod that sticks out along its western side,” the captain said. “If the wind keeps up like this, we’ll arrive in port in half an hour. You’d better pack your things and get ready. I trust you’re planning on hiring a driver with a donkey. Jerusalem is about thirty miles from the docks.”

    Saul looked at the captain and smiled.

    “I can still walk a fair distance today,” he said. “I’ll find somewhere to sleep tonight and then continue on in the morning. I’ll be in the city by tomorrow evening. You see, Captain, you may have sea legs, but I have mountainlegs.”

    Saul clapped his hands on his strong, stout thighs.

    “I once hiked all the way to the top of the Taurus Mountains with my father. We delivered a tent to the shepherds who lived up there. When we reached the top, we looked down and saw the River Cydnus like a ribbon of silver shining in the sun. We were so high up we couldn’t even pick out our house. That was much harder than the journey ahead of me now. I’m looking forward to it, in fact. I will see Jerusalem getting closer and closer. I can’t imagine anything more magnificent. Just think, this is the city of my people, the city of my ancestors: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, King David himself…”

    “I’m afraid those old fellows don’t mean much to me,” the captain said. “Tell me, are you really going to become a rabbi? Like the ones who read those big books all day long?”

    “Yes, I hope so,” Saul replied.

    “Well, if you become one of those, you can forget your mountain legs,” the captain said, and laughed. “Still, I hope you enjoy your walk, and may God go with you.”

    As they neared the port the captain had work to do. Saul asked him how much he owed him for the voyage. 

    “Nothing, my boy, nothing at all,” he replied, as he made his way to the helmsman at the stern. “Your father took care of everything.”

    Saul called out after him, “If I should need a boat sometime, will you take me again?”

    “As long as you don’t become a dried-out bookworm. They don’t belong on this ship. They blow overboard with the slightest breeze,” the captain said, his loud, booming laughter rolling across the deck from the stern.

    The rest of Saul’s journey proceeded much as he described it to the captain. He took the main road out of Joppa and walked until sundown. When he came to a small town he found a room above an inn where he spent the night. The next morning, he set off again. Always he kept his eyes on Jerusalem, watching the city draw tantalisingly closer as the day wore on. 

    Find out more about The Remarkable Story of Paul the Apostle here!

    By the same author

    This enjoyable and interesting selection of tales and legends includes over forty saints, ranging from well-known heroes like St Francis and Joan of Arc, to less known but equally intriguing characters from a wide range of periods and places.

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