You have heard, no doubt, of my earlier life in Judaism. I was violently persecuting the church of God and was trying to destroy it.
I advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors.
But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased
to reveal his Son to me, a so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being,
nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus.
Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days;
but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord's brother.
In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!
Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia,
and I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea that are in Christ;
they only heard it said, "The one who formerly was persecuting us is now proclaiming the faith he once tried to destroy."
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (New Revised Standard w/ Apocrypha)