The Conversion of Saul
1 Meanwhile Saul, still drawing his breath hard from threatening and murderous desire against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 And requested of him letters to the synagogues at Damascus [authorizing him], so that if he found any men or women belonging to the Way [of life as determined by faith in Jesus Christ], he might bring them bound [with chains] to Jerusalem. 3 Now as he traveled on, he came near to Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him, 4 And he fell to the ground. Then he heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me [harassing, troubling, and molesting Me]? 5 And Saul said, Who are You, Lord? And He said, I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting. It is dangerous and it will turn out badly for you to keep kicking against the goad [to offer vain and perilous resistance]. 6 Trembling and astonished he asked, Lord, what do You desire me to do? The Lord said to him, But arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do. 7 The men who were accompanying him were unable to speak [for terror], hearing the voice but seeing no one. 8 Then Saul got up from the ground, but though his eyes were opened, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was unable to see for three days, and he neither ate nor drank [anything].
10 Now there was in Damascus a disciple named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, Ananias. And he answered, Here am I, Lord. 11 And the Lord said to him, Get up and go to the street called Straight and ask at the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying [there]. 12 And he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias enter and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight. 13 But Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard many people tell about this man, especially how much evil and what great suffering he has brought on Your saints at Jerusalem; 14 Now he is here and has authority from the high priests to put in chains all who call upon Your name. 15 But the Lord said to him, Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of Mine to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the descendants of Israel; 16 For I will make clear to him how much he will be afflicted and must endure and suffer for My name's sake. 17 So Ananias left and went into the house. And he laid his hands on Saul and said, Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, Who appeared to you along the way by which you came here, has sent me that you may recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. 18 And instantly something like scales fell from [Saul's] eyes, and he recovered his sight. Then he arose and was baptized,
Saul Begins to Preach Christ
19 And after he took some food, he was strengthened. For several days [afterward] he remained with the disciples at Damascus. 20 And immediately in the synagogues he proclaimed Jesus, saying, He is the Son of God! 21 And all who heard him were amazed and said, Is not this the very man who harassed and overthrew and destroyed in Jerusalem those who called upon this Name? And he has come here for the express purpose of arresting them and bringing them in chains before the chief priests. 22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and continued to confound and put to confusion the Jews who lived in Damascus by comparing and examining evidence and proving that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah).
23 After considerable time had elapsed, the Jews conspired to put Saul out of the way by slaying him, 24 But [the knowledge of] their plot was made known to Saul. They were guarding the [city's] gates day and night to kill him, 25 But his disciples took him at night and let him down through the [city's] wall, lowering him in a basket or hamper.
26 And when he had arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to associate himself with the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe he really was a disciple. 27 However, Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles, and he explained to them how along the way he had seen the Lord, Who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached freely and confidently and courageously in the name of Jesus. 28 So he went in and out [as one] among them at Jerusalem, 29 Preaching freely and confidently and boldly in the name of the Lord. And he spoke and discussed with and disputed against the Hellenists (the Grecian Jews), but they were seeking to slay him. 30 And when the brethren found it out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus [his home town].
31 So the church throughout the whole of Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was edified [growing in wisdom, virtue, and piety] and walking in the respect and reverential fear of the Lord and in the consolation and exhortation of the Holy Spirit, continued to increase and was multiplied.
32 Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he went down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedfast for eight years and was paralyzed. 34 And Peter said to him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [now] makes you whole. Get up and make your bed! And immediately [Aeneas] stood up. 35 Then all the inhabitants of Lydda and the plain of Sharon saw [what had happened to] him and they turned to the Lord.
36 Now there was at Joppa a disciple [a woman] named [in Aramaic] Tabitha, which [in Greek] means Dorcas. She was abounding in good deeds and acts of charity. 37 About that time she fell sick and died, and when they had cleansed her, they laid [her] in an upper room. 38 Since Lydda was near Joppa [however], the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him begging him, Do come to us without delay. 39 So Peter [immediately] rose and accompanied them. And when he had arrived, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood around him, crying and displaying undershirts (tunics) and [other] garments such as Dorcas was accustomed to make while she was with them. 40 But Peter put them all out [of the room] and knelt down and prayed; then turning to the body he said, Tabitha, get up! And she opened her eyes; and when she saw Peter, she raised herself and sat upright. 41 And he gave her his hand and lifted her up. Then calling in God's people and the widows, he presented her to them alive. 42 And this became known throughout all Joppa, and many came to believe on the Lord [to adhere to and trust in and rely on Him as the Christ and as their Savior]. 43 And Peter remained in Joppa for considerable time with a certain Simon a tanner.