(CHRIST'S NEW COVENANT KINGDOM OF GOD)
"... if he (Saul of Tarsus) found any who were of the Way,
whether men or women,
he might bring them bound to Jerusalem ..."
As those words state, Saul had only one thing in mind. But why did these people antagonise him to such an extent that he wanted every one of them dead?
The thing is, he was utterly given over to his religion. Here's how he describes himself:
"... circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee ... concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless," Philippians 3'5-6.
However, these men and women were expressing a definitely different way of living, which gave glory to Jesus, the Way to God. And, it was based on the same scriptures as he knew!
Consequently, in his single-minded zeal, he took up persecuting Believers (see Acts 7'58; 8'1,3; 9'1). Then Jesus intervened.
At His word he immediately repented and became one of His followers and therefore one of them (see Acts 9'4 and on).
Then this Saul, now Paul, would later say: "... what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ, Philippians 3'7
As he knew well, Believers were known corporately as The Way.
The name is not surprising because, after all, they knew Jesus to be The Way" (John 14'6). And they also knew Him as the One who preached, taught and lived God's Kingdom life.
And as the Good News of Christ and the Kindom spread out from Jerusalem Believers, because of their reflection of The Way, were described as the people "of the Way".
They "... explained to him the way of God more accurately ..."