He was born into an orthodox Jewish family, and as his father was a Roman citizen, he inherited this distinction, a rare one among eastern Jews. In Jewish circles he bore the name of Saul, but in the Gentile world he was commonly known by his Roman cognomen Paullus, Anglicized as Paul [...]
Saul’s father was a Roman citizen… [so] Saul was born a Roman citizen… As a Roman citizen, he had a Roman name, consisting of three parts: praenomen, nomen gentile and cognomen.2 What his praenomen (first or personal name) and nomen gentile (family name) were we can only guess; his cognomen, however, was Paullus, by which (in its English form Paul) we usually call him.
In family circles, however, he was known by his Jewish name Saul.
2. The threefold Roman name may be illustrated from the full names of such famous Romans as Gaius Julius Caesar, Marcus Tullius Cicero, Lucius Cornelius Scipio.
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