Within the New Testament, Paul's conversion experience is discussed in both Paul's own letters and in the book known by the title Acts of the Apostles. In both instances, the conversion experience (How Saul was stricken blind by God's powers, then healed by God) is described to be miraculous or revelatory in nature. According to both sources, Paul was never a follower of Jesus nor knew him before Jesus's crucifixion; instead he persecuted the early Christians. Although Paul refers to himself as an "Apostle" of Jesus, it is clear that Paul was not one of "The Twelve" apostles.(1 Corinthians 9:1-2). Paul's conversion occurred after Jesus's crucifixion, and the accounts of Paul's conversion experience describe it as miraculous, supernatural, or otherwise revelatory in nature.
 Paul's life before conversion
Before his conversion, Paul, then known as Saul, was a "zealous" Pharisee who "intensely persecuted" the followers of Jesus. Some scholars argue that Paul was a member of the "Zealot" party. Says Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians (1:13-14):
For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
— Galatians 1:13–14, KJV
Paul also discusses his pre-conversion life in his Epistle to the Philippians (3:4-6), and his participation in the stoning of Stephen is described in Acts 7:57-8:3.