Before my children were able to read they knew several stories by heart. The stories were picture book favorites that we read to them again and again. When I dared to skip a page or change a word, they would protest, “Mom! That’s not what it says. Read it right.”
The conversion of Saul is such a story—so familiar and pivotal that even those who have never read it often know it by heart and take it to be the paradigm of religious conversion. In a surprising reversal, the person who had been the most ardent antagonist of the young church became the church’s chief protagonist.