a road to Tarsus

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absfabs

Member
korean
Concerning catastrophe theory, after talks about sudden doubling and redoubling of cells that can lead to cancer, this phrase comes: "A man has a vision on the road to Tarsus."
Could any one tell me what that means?
 
  • pops91710

    Senior Member
    English, AE
    It was Saul (from Tarsus) who was converted to Christianity on the road to Damascus He was intercepted by an angel from God/ rr God himself in a vision. After his conversion, he was known as Paul. It is taken from the New Testament in the Bible. It refers to whenever someone has a sudden conversion to anything. An epiphany, so to say.
     
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    Are you sure it was "road to Tarsus"? The usual reference is to the conversion of Paul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus. It's a story from the New Testament of the Christian Bible. You can read more about it here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conversion_of_St._Paul

    Paul's conversion is often used as a metaphor for anyone who has a sudden insight that completely reverses his point of view so that it is opposite of what it was before.
     

    pops91710

    Senior Member
    English, AE
    Are you sure it was "road to Tarsus"? The usual reference is to the conversion of Paul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus. It's a story from the New Testament of the Christian Bible. You can read more about it here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conversion_of_St._Paul

    Paul's conversion is often used as a metaphor for anyone who has a sudden insight that completely reverses his point of view so that it is opposite of what it was before.
    You are right. Saul was from Tarsus. He was known as Saul of Tarsus. I knew it was wrong the moment I put it up!
     
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    pops91710

    Senior Member
    English, AE
    It's Tarsus, edgy ... here's the line from The Math Book.
    This is right out of the KJV: Acts 9
    And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
    3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    The question might be: What does the sentence in the book absfabs is reading mean? In this case, it is worth noting that absfabs correctly copied it as "the road to Tarsus", as Copyright has shown.

    What we don't know is whether the author of the book has misremembered the biblical story; other people do, and he may have done it as well. Or whether he has some purpose in using Tarsus rather than Damascus. For instance, whether Tarsus represents something different from Damascus.

    I don't know the context well enough to make a judgment on this.
     
    It's Tarsus, edgy ... here's the line from The Math Book.
    I guess we can't be sure, but I would bet that the author of the reference Copyright cited got the Biblical story mixed up. Googling "road to Tarsus" turns up hits that mostly link to "road to Damascus."

    As Cagey said, context should tell us - does "road to Tarsus" refer to a sudden, dramatic conversion? If so, I think the author meant "road to Damascus."
     

    absfabs

    Member
    korean
    Well, thanks for all your comments. I actually searched for and found the biblical reference, but as you all would agree, it didn't quite make sense.
    I'd also like to know what "has a vision" means exactly. Does that imply that "a man" in the sentence was blind before?
     

    Havfruen

    Senior Member
    USA
    English - American
    No he wasn't blind. Having a vision means he had a great new idea. In a cartoon for example, we draw a lightbulb for this same concept.:idea:
     

    Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    The only way I can interpret this, if we assume that the writer and editors did not all misremember the source, is being on the road in the wrong direction. Going back to one's origins rather than proceeding forward to the destination.

    However, given that this is about catastrophe theory and the line at the bottom of the page Copyright cited that says "Catastrophe theory is the mathematical theory of abrupt changes...", I am very much afraid that all those people did indeed misremember the story and meant to say "on the road to Damascus". The story of Saul of Tarsus having an abrupt change of heart while he was on the road to Damascus is often used as a metaphor for abrupt and radical change.

    It must be terribly hard to understand English metaphor when the writers get it wrong!
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    No he wasn't blind. Having a vision means he had a great new idea. In a cartoon for example, we draw a lightbulb for this same concept.:idea:
    A vision is like a hallucination - seeing and hearing things that aren't there only a vision is has a divine source (or a psychic source like a fortune teller) rather than being a sign of illness. For what it's worth, the word "vision" occurs in this passage verse 10 in reference to Ananias; the "Saul on the road to Damascus" episode ended in verse 9 though he also saw a light and heard a voice.
     

    pops91710

    Senior Member
    English, AE
    Well, thanks for all your comments. I actually searched for and found the biblical reference, but as you all would agree, it didn't quite make sense.
    I'd also like to know what "has a vision" means exactly. Does that imply that "a man" in the sentence was blind before?
    No, he was not blind before, but he was blind for three days afterwards.
    "And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink."
     

    Uncle Bob

    Senior Member
    British English
    Umm...to come back to the original, it is just an analogy for a sudden conversion; the cells suddenly go from unnaturally multiplying rapidly to being cancerous. I'm not sure it is a analogy likely to find favour with those with religious beliefs.
     

    Nunty

    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    I think the important point for a learner to retain here is that "on the road to Tarsus" is a garbled metaphor for abrupt, far-reaching change. The correct phrase is "on the road to Damascus".
     
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