Saint Paul and his non-violent sword

Side door of the Basilica of Saint Paul in Rome

In May 2018 my brother and I visited Rome. One of the reasons was to collect photos and inspiring information that I could use for a possible sequel to my (Dutch) faction novel “Alexandra’s Journey”. And, believe it or not, we discovered this basilica by accident! We didn’t even know of its existence.

When you look at the photo(s) below you will believe me. The first thing we saw, we were still almost a kilometer away, was that large amount of gold leaf.

When we arrived at the building we saw this huge statue of the bearded man with an impressive sword.

A three meters long sword

The size of the side door of the cathedral is quite impressive. And no doubt intentionally. Parts of the interior are even more impressive.

Because of those obvious efforts to impress the common man, I added an extra sword to my painting of ‘Rembrandt as Paul’ (see blog post from last Monday).
When you search without due suspicion into how things are with that sword of Paul, you come across the narrative that it is actually a metaphorical sword: after all, he has a book in his left hand. That Paul who could really argue very well. That’s why no one contradicted him. I call bull shit here. The ‘gospel’ of Paul is incomparable with the gospels of Jesus. Aside from his focus on the church as an institution, what stands out to a critical reader of the Bible is the misogyny of this ’13th’ apostle.

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