New English Translation
10 Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The[a] Lord[b] said to him in a vision, “Ananias,” and he replied, “Here I am,[c] Lord.” 11 Then the Lord told him, “Get up and go to the street called ‘Straight,’[d] and at Judas’ house look for a man from Tarsus named Saul. For he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision[e] a man named Ananias come in and place his hands on him so that he may see again.” 13 But Ananias replied,[f] “Lord, I have heard from many people[g] about this man, how much harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem, 14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to imprison[h] all who call on your name!”[i] 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, because this man is my chosen instrument[j] to carry my name before Gentiles and kings and the people of Israel.[k] 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”[l] 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, placed[m] his hands on Saul[n] and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came here,[o] has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”[p] 18 Immediately[q] something like scales[r] fell from his eyes, and he could see again. He[s] got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, his strength returned.
For several days[t] he was with the disciples in Damascus, 20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues,[u] saying, “This man is the Son of God.”[v] 21 All[w] who heard him were amazed and were saying, “Is this not[x] the man who in Jerusalem was ravaging[y] those who call on this name, and who had come here to bring them as prisoners[z] to the chief priests?” 22 But Saul became more and more capable,[aa] and was causing consternation[ab] among the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving[ac] that Jesus[ad] is the Christ.[ae]
Saul’s Escape from Damascus
23 Now after some days had passed, the Jews plotted[af] together to kill him, 24 but Saul learned of their plot against him.[ag] They were also watching[ah] the city gates[ai] day and night so that they could kill him. 25 But his disciples took him at night and let him down through an opening[aj] in the wall by lowering him in a basket.[ak]
Saul Returns to Jerusalem
26 When he arrived in Jerusalem, he attempted to associate[al] with the disciples, and they were all afraid of him, because they did not believe[am] that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took[an] Saul,[ao] brought[ap] him to the apostles, and related to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, that[aq] the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken out boldly[ar] in the name of Jesus. 28 So he was staying with them, associating openly with them[as] in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He was speaking and debating[at] with the Greek-speaking Jews,[au] but they were trying to kill him. 30 When the brothers found out about this, they brought him down to Caesarea[av] and sent him away to Tarsus.
31 Then[aw] the church throughout Judea, Galilee,[ax] and Samaria experienced[ay] peace and thus was strengthened.[az] Living[ba] in the fear of the Lord and in the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, the church[bb] increased in numbers.Read full chapter
- Acts 9:10 tn Grk “And the.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
- Acts 9:10 sn The Lord is directing all the events leading to the expansion of the gospel as he works on both sides of the meeting between Paul and Ananias. “The Lord” here refers to Jesus (see v. 17).
- Acts 9:10 tn Grk “behold, I,” but this construction often means “here is/there is” (cf. BDAG 468 s.v. ἰδού 2).
- Acts 9:11 sn The noting of the detail of the locale, ironically called ‘Straight’ Street, shows how directive and specific the Lord was.
- Acts 9:12 tc ‡ The words ἐν ὀράματι (en oramati, “in a vision”) are not found in some of the earliest and best mss (P74 א A 81 lat sa bo), but are implied from the context. The phrase is included, although sometimes in a different order with ἄνδρα (andra, “man”) or omitting ἄνδρα altogether, by B C E Ψ 33 1175 1739 M. The order of words in NA28, ἄνδρα ἐν ὁράματι, is supported only by B C 1175. Generally speaking, when there are three or more variants, with one an omission and the others involving rearrangements, the longer readings are later scribal additions. Further, the reading looks like a clarifying note, for an earlier vision is explicitly mentioned in v. 10. On the other hand, it is possible that some scribes deleted the words because of perceived repetition, though this is unlikely since it is a different vision two verses back. It is also possible that some scribes could have confused ὁράματι with ὀνόματι (onomati, “name”); TCGNT 319 notes that several mss place ονόματι before ᾿Ανανίαν (Ananian, “Ananias”) while a few others drop ὀνόματι altogether. The Sahidic mss are among those that drop the word, however, and they also lack ἐν ὁράματι; all that is left is one version and father that drops ὀνόματι. Perhaps the best argument for the authenticity of the phrase is that B C 1175 preserve a rare, distinctively Lukan word order, but this is not nearly as harsh or unusual as what Luke does elsewhere. A decision is difficult in this case, but on balance the omission of the phrase seems to be authentic. The words are nevertheless added in the translation because of contextual considerations. NA28 places the words in brackets, indicating doubts as to their authenticity. sn Apparently while in Damascus Paul had a subsequent vision in the midst of his blindness, fulfilling the prediction in 9:6.
- Acts 9:13 sn Ananias replied. Past events might have suggested to Ananias that this was not good counsel, but like Peter in Acts 10, Ananias’ intuitions were wrong.
- Acts 9:13 tn The word “people” is not in the Greek text, but is implied.
- Acts 9:14 tn Grk “to bind.”
- Acts 9:14 sn The expression “those who call on your name” is a frequent description of believers (Acts 2:21; 1 Cor 1:2; Rom 10:13).
- Acts 9:15 tn Or “tool.”
- Acts 9:15 tn Grk “the sons of Israel.” In Acts, Paul is a minister to all nations, including Israel (Rom 1:16-17).
- Acts 9:16 tn Or “because of my name.” BDAG 1031 s.v. ὑπέρ 2 lists Acts 9:16 as an example of ὑπέρ (huper) used to indicate “the moving cause or reason, because of, for the sake of, for.”
- Acts 9:17 tn Grk “and placing his hands on Saul, he said.” The participle ἐπιθείς (epitheis) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. For the same reason καί (kai) has not been translated before the participle.
- Acts 9:17 tn Grk “on him”; the referent (Saul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Acts 9:17 tn Grk “on the road in which you came,” but the relative clause makes for awkward English style, so it was translated as a temporal clause (“as you came here”).
- Acts 9:17 sn Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Here someone who is not an apostle (Ananias) commissions another person with the Spirit.
- Acts 9:18 tn Grk “And immediately.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
- Acts 9:18 tn The comparison to “scales” suggests a crusty covering which peeled away (cf. BDAG 592 s.v. λεπίς 2).
- Acts 9:18 tn Grk “and he.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence was started, with “and” placed before the final element of the previous clause as required by English style.
- Acts 9:19 tn Grk “It happened that for several days.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
- Acts 9:20 sn See the note on synagogue in 6:9.
- Acts 9:20 tn The ὅτι (hoti) is understood to introduce direct (“This man is the Son of God”) rather than indirect discourse (“that this man is the Son of God”) because the pronoun οὗτος (houtos) combined with the present tense verb ἐστιν (estin) suggests the contents of what was proclaimed are a direct (albeit summarized) quotation.sn This is the only use of the title Son of God in Acts. The book prefers to allow a variety of descriptions to present Jesus.
- Acts 9:21 tn Grk “And all.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
- Acts 9:21 tn The Greek interrogative particle used in this verse (οὐχ, ouch) expects a positive reply. They all knew about Saul’s persecutions.
- Acts 9:21 tn Normally, “destroying,” but compare 4 Macc 4:23; 11:4 and MM 529 s.v. πορθέω for examples from Koine papyri. See also BDAG 853 s.v. πορθέω.
- Acts 9:21 tn Grk “bring them bound”; the translation “bring someone as prisoner” for δεδεμένον ἄγειν τινά (dedemenon agein tina) is given by BDAG 221 s.v. δέω 1.b.
- Acts 9:22 tn Grk “was becoming stronger,” but this could be understood in a physical sense, while the text refers to Saul’s growing ability to demonstrate to fellow Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. The translation “to become capable” for ἐνδυναμόω (endunamoō) is given in L&N 74.7, with this specific verse as an example.
- Acts 9:22 tn Or “was confounding.” For the translation “to cause consternation” for συγχέω (suncheō) see L&N 25.221.
- Acts 9:22 tn Or “by showing for certain.”
- Acts 9:22 tn Grk “that this one”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Acts 9:22 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.” Note again the variation in the titles used.sn See the note on Christ in 2:31.
- Acts 9:23 sn Fitting the pattern emphasized earlier with Stephen and his speech in Acts 7, some Jews plotted to kill God’s messenger (cf. Luke 11:53-54).
- Acts 9:24 tn The words “against him” are implied, as suggested by L&N 30.71.
- Acts 9:24 tn Or “guarding.” This is a negative term in Luke-Acts (Luke 6:7; 14:1; 20:20).
- Acts 9:24 tn The word πύλη (pulē) may refer to a house door or gate, or to the large gates used in a palace, temple, or city wall. Here the context clearly indicates a reference to the latter, so the translation “city gates” is used.
- Acts 9:25 tn The opening in the wall is not specifically mentioned here, but the parallel account in 2 Cor 11:33 mentions a “window” or “opening” (θυρίς, thuris) in the city wall through which Paul was lowered. One alternative to introducing mention of the opening is to translate Acts 9:25 “they let him down over the wall,” as suggested in L&N 7.61. This option is not employed by many translations, however, because for the English reader it creates an (apparent) contradiction between Acts 9:25 and 2 Cor 11:33. In reality the account here is simply more general, omitting the detail about the window.
- Acts 9:25 tn On the term for “basket” used here, see BDAG 940 s.v. σπυρίς.
- Acts 9:26 tn Or “join.”
- Acts 9:26 tn The participle πιστεύοντες (pisteuontes) has been translated as a causal adverbial participle.
- Acts 9:27 tn Grk “taking Saul, brought him.” The participle ἐπιλαβόμενος (epilabomenos) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
- Acts 9:27 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Saul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Acts 9:27 tn Grk “and brought,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.
- Acts 9:27 tn Grk “and that,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.
- Acts 9:27 tn On this verb which is used 7 times in Acts, see BDAG 782 s.v. παρρησιάζομαι 1. See also v. 28.
- Acts 9:28 tn Grk “he was with them going in and going out in Jerusalem.” The expression “going in and going out” is probably best taken as an idiom for association without hindrance. Some modern translations (NASB, NIV) translate the phrase “moving about freely in Jerusalem,” although the NRSV retains the literal “he went in and out among them in Jerusalem.”
- Acts 9:29 tn Or “arguing.” BDAG 954 s.v. συζητέω 2 gives “dispute, debate, argue…τινί ‘w. someone’” for συνεζήτει (sunezētei).
- Acts 9:29 tn Grk “the Hellenists,” but this descriptive term is largely unknown to the modern English reader. The translation “Greek-speaking Jews” attempts to convey something of who these were, but it was more than a matter of language spoken; it involved a degree of adoption of Greek culture as well.
- Acts 9:30 sn Caesarea was a city on the coast of Palestine, south of Mount Carmel (not Caesarea Philippi). See the note on Caesarea in Acts 10:1.
- Acts 9:31 tn Or “Therefore.” This verse is another summary text in Acts (cf. 2:41-47; 4:32-37; 5:12-16; 6:7).
- Acts 9:31 tn Grk “and Galilee,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.
- Acts 9:31 tn Grk “had.”
- Acts 9:31 tn Or “Built up.” The participle οἰκοδομουμένη (oikodomoumenē) has been translated as a participle of result related to εἶχεν (eichen). It could also be understood as adverbial to ἐπληθύνετο (eplēthuneto): “Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria experienced peace. Strengthened and living in the fear of the Lord and in the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.” Although some scholars do not regard the participle of result as a legitimate category, it is actually fairly common (see ExSyn 637-39).
- Acts 9:31 tn Grk “And living.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
- Acts 9:31 tn Grk “it”; the referent (the church) has been specified in the translation for clarity.