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24 September 2014
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Saint Paul

BBC ONE, Sunday 29 June 2003, 7.00pm

Saint Paul explores the remarkable story of a man whose teachings have done so much to shape our lives.

An enthusiastic persecutor of the early Church, his missionary zeal ended up transforming the Christian world.

World champion triple-jumper and Songs of Praise presenter Jonathan Edwards leads viewers on a dramatic journey across the Mediterranean in the steps of this itinerant preacher.

St Paul, more that anyone else, transformed Christianity from a small Jewish sect into a global religion.

This documentary dramatises his incredible adventure as he survives stonings, imprisonment, floggings, riots and shipwrecks to take Jesus' message to the world.

Paul started life as Saul, an enemy of Jesus and a hit man for the Jewish authorities.

He was travelling to Damascus to hunt down the growing Christian movement when he had a religious experience and was transformed into the Church's greatest champion.

The programme looks at the miracle of the conversion, whether Paul did actually meet God on the road to Damascus or whether his religious vision could have been triggered by an epileptic fit.

Some scientists and sufferers now even believe that epilepsy may confer an ability to access a spiritual dimension beyond our physical world.

For Jonathan Edwards, the programme presented an opportunity to explore the life of one of his great heroes:

"When Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus it changed his life. And that event changed my life and it's changed all our lives whether we believe or not.

"And surely that's the greatest miracle of this story. Not the earthquakes or the jailbreaks, not even the dramatic conversion experience; but the power and persistence of his message."

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