VR Museum of the Book of Acts
01: Portraits of Paul
We remember the Apostle Paul as a great person―the author of thirteen of the epistles in the New Testament and the greatest missionary who ever lived. How did Paul think of himself and his ministry? The life of the Apostle Paul and Rembrandt―who famously painted a self-portrait of himself as the Apostle Paul―are startlingly parallel in at least one aspect.
02: The Scriptures and the Sword
Paul the Apostle is identified in the western artistic tradition by the symbols of the Scriptures and the sword. How is it that these symbols came to represent Paul? Are these symbols accurate representations of Paul’s life?
03: From Saul to Paul: From Sinner to Saint
While we today may think of Paul’s missionary career in romanticized terms, Paul never lost touch with his own conversion story. He knew that he was only a sinner saved by grace.
04: Finding Ourselves in the Story of the Gospel
In his 1625 painting, “The Stoning of Stephen,” and his 1633 painting, “The Raising of the Cross,” Rembrandt inserts himself into the picture with stunning effect. This is no mere artistic technique on Rembrandt’s part but an entirely correct theological impulse — Rembrandt portrays powerfully the continuing significance of these biblical stories.
05: Reborn: New Life in Christ
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio produced two paintings of the conversion of the Apostle Paul. In many respects, these paintings seem parallel to one another, and yet they depict Paul at dramatically opposed moments in his journey to grace. Caravaggio portrays in brilliant colors what Paul describes in his epistles: the “old man” as his pre-conversion self and the “new man” as his person regenerated by the grace of Christ.