New International Version
9 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples.(B) He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus,(C) so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way,(D) whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.(E) 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice(F) say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”(G)
7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound(H) but did not see anyone.(I) 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing.(J) So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision,(K) “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus(L) named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on(M) him to restore his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people(N) in Jerusalem.(O) 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests(P) to arrest all who call on your name.”(Q)
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument(R) to proclaim my name to the Gentiles(S) and their kings(T) and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”(U)
17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on(V) Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”(W) 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized,(X) 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem
Saul spent several days with the disciples(Y) in Damascus.(Z) 20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues(AA) that Jesus is the Son of God.(AB) 21 All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name?(AC) And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?”(AD) 22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.(AE)
23 After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him,(AF) 24 but Saul learned of their plan.(AG) Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25 But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.(AH)
26 When he came to Jerusalem,(AI) he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas(AJ) took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him,(AK) and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.(AL) 28 So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews,[a](AM) but they tried to kill him.(AN) 30 When the believers(AO) learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea(AP) and sent him off to Tarsus.(AQ)
31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria(AR) enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.(AS)
- Acts 9:29 That is, Jews who had adopted the Greek language and culture
New International Version
22 1 “Brothers and fathers,(A) listen now to my defense.”
2 When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic,(B) they became very quiet.
Then Paul said: 3 “I am a Jew,(C) born in Tarsus(D) of Cilicia,(E) but brought up in this city. I studied under(F) Gamaliel(G) and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors.(H) I was just as zealous(I) for God as any of you are today. 4 I persecuted(J) the followers of this Way(K) to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison,(L) 5 as the high priest and all the Council(M) can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates(N) in Damascus,(O) and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.
6 “About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me.(P) 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’
8 “‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked.
10 “‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked.
“ ‘Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’(T) 11 My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.(U)
12 “A man named Ananias came to see me.(V) He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there.(W) 13 He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was able to see him.
14 “Then he said: ‘The God of our ancestors(X) has chosen you to know his will and to see(Y) the Righteous One(Z) and to hear words from his mouth. 15 You will be his witness(AA) to all people of what you have seen(AB) and heard. 16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized(AC) and wash your sins away,(AD) calling on his name.’(AE)
17 “When I returned to Jerusalem(AF) and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance(AG) 18 and saw the Lord speaking to me. ‘Quick!’ he said. ‘Leave Jerusalem immediately, because the people here will not accept your testimony about me.’
19 “‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these people know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison(AH) and beat(AI) those who believe in you. 20 And when the blood of your martyr[a] Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’(AJ)
21 “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ ”(AK)
- Acts 22:20 Or witness
New International Version
26 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.”(A)
So Paul motioned with his hand(B) and began his defense: 2 “King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate to stand before you(C) today as I make my defense against all the accusations of the Jews,(D) 3 and especially so because you are well acquainted with all the Jewish customs(E) and controversies.(F) Therefore, I beg you to listen to me patiently.
4 “The Jewish people all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child,(G) from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem. 5 They have known me for a long time(H) and can testify, if they are willing, that I conformed to the strictest sect(I) of our religion, living as a Pharisee.(J) 6 And now it is because of my hope(K) in what God has promised our ancestors(L) that I am on trial today. 7 This is the promise our twelve tribes(M) are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night.(N) King Agrippa, it is because of this hope that these Jews are accusing me.(O) 8 Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?(P)
9 “I too was convinced(Q) that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose(R) the name of Jesus of Nazareth.(S) 10 And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the Lord’s people(T) in prison,(U) and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them.(V) 11 Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished,(W) and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities.
12 “On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 About noon, King Agrippa, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. 14 We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice(X) saying to me in Aramaic,[a](Y) ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’
15 “Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’
“ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. 16 ‘Now get up and stand on your feet.(Z) I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me.(AA) 17 I will rescue you(AB) from your own people and from the Gentiles.(AC) I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes(AD) and turn them from darkness to light,(AE) and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins(AF) and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’(AG)
19 “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient(AH) to the vision from heaven. 20 First to those in Damascus,(AI) then to those in Jerusalem(AJ) and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles,(AK) I preached that they should repent(AL) and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.(AM) 21 That is why some Jews seized me(AN) in the temple courts and tried to kill me.(AO) 22 But God has helped me to this very day; so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen(AP)— 23 that the Messiah would suffer(AQ) and, as the first to rise from the dead,(AR) would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles.”(AS)
- Acts 26:14 Or Hebrew
New International Version
Paul Called by God
11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters,(A) that the gospel I preached(B) is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man,(C) nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation(D) from Jesus Christ.(E)
13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism,(F) how intensely I persecuted the church of God(G) and tried to destroy it.(H) 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous(I) for the traditions of my fathers.(J) 15 But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb(K) and called me(L) by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles,(M) my immediate response was not to consult any human being.(N) 17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.(O)
18 Then after three years,(P) I went up to Jerusalem(Q) to get acquainted with Cephas[a] and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James,(R) the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God(S) that what I am writing you is no lie.(T)
21 Then I went to Syria(U) and Cilicia.(V) 22 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea(W) that are in Christ.(X) 23 They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith(Y) he once tried to destroy.”(Z) 24 And they praised God(AA) because of me.
- Galatians 1:18 That is, Peter
New International Version
No Confidence in the Flesh
3 Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again,(A) and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for those dogs,(B) those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision,(C) we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus,(D) and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence.(E)
If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised(F) on the eighth day, of the people of Israel,(G) of the tribe of Benjamin,(H) a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee;(I) 6 as for zeal,(J) persecuting the church;(K) as for righteousness based on the law,(L) faultless.
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss(M) for the sake of Christ.