1 With every breath [it seemed], Saul [expressed his desire to] threaten and murder the Lord's disciples and [even] went to the head priest 2 to ask for letters [authorizing him to go] to Damascus and to enter [Jewish] synagogues looking for people of "the Way" [Note: This was a designation for Christians at that time]. And if he found any, whether men or women, he would tie them up and take them to Jerusalem. 3 And when he got close to Damascus, suddenly a [bright, See 22:6] light from the sky shone all around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"
5 Saul replied, "Who are you, sir?" And the voice said, "It is I, Jesus, whom you are persecuting, 6 but get up, and enter the city [of Damascus] and [there] you will be told what you must do."
7 And the men who were traveling with Saul were speechless, having heard the sound, but not seeing anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground and opened his eyes but could not see anything, so had to be led by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind and neither ate nor drank anything.
10 Now [in the meantime] the Lord spoke in a vision to a certain disciple named Ananias [who lived] in Damascus. He called to him by name, "Ananias." "Yes, Lord, here I am" Ananias replied.
11 The Lord said to him, "Get up and go to Straight Street and ask for a person named Saul, from Tarsus, at the home of Judas; you will find him [there] praying." 12 (Now Saul had seen [in a vision] a man named Ananias coming in and placing his hands on him, restoring his sight).
13 But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many people about how much harm this man has done to your holy people at Jerusalem. 14 And [now] he is here with authority from the leading priests to tie up [and imprison] everyone who calls on your name."
15 But the Lord replied to him, "Go on your way, for Saul is someone I have especially chosen to carry my name to the [unconverted] Gentiles, kings and the Israelites. 16 I will show him how many things he will have to suffer for my name's sake."
17 So, Ananias left and went to Judas' house and placed his hands on Saul saying, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you as you were traveling on the road [to Damascus] sent me so you could receive your sight [back] and be filled with the Holy Spirit."
18 And suddenly, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes and his sight was [immediately] restored. So, he got up and was immersed [See 22:16]; 19 then ate a meal and received strength. And he stayed on for a number of days with the disciples at Damascus. 20 And so Saul began proclaiming that Jesus was the Son of God in the synagogues [of the Damascus area].
21 And everyone who heard him was amazed and exclaimed, "Is this not the man who tried to destroy all the people who called on [Jesus'] name in Jerusalem and has now come here [to Damascus] for the purpose of arresting them and bringing them before the leading priests?"
22 But Saul was strengthened [spiritually] and proceeded to confound the Jews living [there] in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.
23 And after a number of days had passed [these] Jews conspired together to kill Saul, 24 but he found out about their plan. And so they watched the gates [of the city] day and night [looking for their chance] to kill him. 25 [However], his disciples lowered him in a basket over the [city] wall at night [and so he escaped].
26 And when he came [back] to Jerusalem, Saul attempted to associate himself with the disciples but they were afraid of him [because of his past], and could not believe that he was a [true] disciple. 27 So, Barnabas brought him to the [other] apostles and explained to them how he had seen the Lord [while] traveling on the road [to Damascus] and how he had boldly preached in the name of Jesus in that city. 28 Saul then traveled in and out of Jerusalem with the apostles, 29 preaching boldly in the name of the Lord [and] speaking and arguing with the Greek-[speaking] Jews, but they were out to kill him. 30 And when the brothers [in the Jerusalem church] learned about this, they brought him down to Caesarea and then sent him on to Tarsus, [his home town].
31 So, the church throughout all of Judea, Galilee and Samaria was multiplied in number, enjoyed peace, was built up [spiritually] and lived in awe of the Lord and was comforted by the Holy Spirit.
32 Then after that, Peter traveled throughout the entire region until he came down to visit God's holy people who lived in Lydda. [Note: This was a town on the west coast of Palestine]. 33 And there he found a certain man named Aeneas who had been [confined to his] bed, paralyzed for eight years. 34 Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ is healing you, so get up and make your bed." And immediately he got up [out of his bed, completely healed]. 35 When everyone who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him [i.e., that the man was healed], they turned [their lives over] to the Lord.
36 Now at Joppa [Note: This was also a town on the west coast of Palestine, today called "Jaffa," and is now a part of Tel Aviv] there was a certain disciple named Tabitha (she was also called Dorcas, which means "Gazelle"). She practiced many good deeds and always gave money to poor people. 37 But as time went on, she became [very] sick and [eventually] died. Her body was washed [by the women attendants] and placed in an upstairs room [during the mourning process]. 38 And since Lydda was very close to Joppa, the disciples [at Joppa], hearing that Peter was at Lydda [See verse 32], sent two men there to urge him, "Do not delay your coming [here] to us." 39 So, Peter got up and went with them. When he arrived they took him to the upstairs room [where Dorcas' body lay]. All the widows [i.e., her friends] stood near Peter, crying and showing [him] the coats and [other] clothing which Dorcas had made when she was alive. 40 Then Peter asked them all to leave [the room]; he knelt down and prayed over her body, saying, "Tabitha, get up." She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 41 Peter then reached out his hand and raised her up; he called the saints [i.e., God's holy people] and the widows [back into the room] and presented her [to them] alive. 42 And this [miracle] became known throughout all of Joppa and many people believed in [Jesus as] the Lord. 43 And Peter lived for some time in Joppa with Simon, who was an [animal hide] tanner.