Scala/Art Resource, New York. NY

How? Where? When? These questions enshroud the death of the apostle Paul, portrayed in this 12th-century mosaic the Monreale Cathedral, Palermo, Italy. In light of Paul’s contemplation of suicide (Philippians 1:21–26 and 2 Corinthians 5:1–8), the mystery surrounding Paul’s death suggests the possibility that he may have committed suicide and that knowledge of the event was suppressed in the New Testament as well as in apocryphal writings. Although startling to modern sensibilities and seemingly contradicting his saintly position, Paul’s suicide would not have been viewed, in his own time, as a sin, provided he had sufficient justification for the act.