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According to Acts 18:3, Paul, along with Aquila and Priscilla, was a [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] by trade. Although this specific claim is not corroborated by Paul in his letters, interpreters tend to accept this particular Lukan tradition at face value. (1) There is scholarly dispute, however, regarding the precise nature of the apostle's handcraft. In short, scholars differ over whether Paul was a weaver who made tentcloth from cilicium (i.e., goats' hair) or if Paul was a leatherworker who crafted leather products, including tents. (2) Notable exceptions notwithstanding, a sizable majority now espouse the latter view, (3) although Jerome Murphy-O'Connor has proposed that Paul would have been equally adept in working with both leather and canvas. (4) Turning to Paul's epistles, one discovers a number of texts where the apostle speaks of his manual labor in general terms (see esp. 1 Thess 2:9; 1 Cor 4:12; 9:6; 2 Cor 11:27; cf. 2 Thess 3:8; Acts 20:34-35). Taken together, these passages suggest that Paul supported himself in the midst of his ministry by plying a trade. Even if he occasionally received material assistance from given congregations and persons (note 2 Cor 11:9; Phil 4:15-16; Rom 16:1-2, 23), it was Paul's stated missionary policy and practice to be fiscally independent (see esp. 1 Cor 9:12, 15, 18).