Thematic Bible




Thematic Bible



[that is, people] who were ministers of the word and original eyewitnesses [of these events], and who passed them on to us; [and since]

from His immersion by John [the Immerser] until He was received up from us [in a cloud]. Of these people [we must choose] someone to become a witness with us [i.e., to tell people] of Jesus' resurrection [from the dead]."

Am I not a free man? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? [See Acts 9:17; I Cor. 15:8]. Are you people not [the result of] my work in [the service of] the Lord?

We [apostles] proclaim to you [the truth about Jesus], who existed from the beginning [of time]. We have heard [Him] and seen [Him] with our [own] eyes. We looked at Him, and [even] touched Him with our hands. [See John 20:20]. [So, we proclaim that] He is the word of life [i.e., the life-giving Word]!


Am I not a free man? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? [See Acts 9:17; I Cor. 15:8]. Are you people not [the result of] my work in [the service of] the Lord?

Then last of all, He appeared to me also, as someone born abnormally. [Note: This probably refers to Paul being converted later than the rest of the apostles].

And he said [to me], 'The God of our forefathers has appointed you to know His will and to see the Righteous One [i.e., Jesus], and to hear His voice [speaking to you].

But, get up onto your feet, for the reason I have appeared to you is to appoint you a minister and witness of both the things you have [already] seen of me and the things I will [reveal when] appearing to you.

The next night the Lord stood beside Paul [in a supernatural dream] and said, "Take courage, for just as you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also be my witness in Rome."

And when he got close to Damascus, suddenly a [bright, See 22:6] light from the sky shone all around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" Saul replied, "Who are you, sir?" And the voice said, "It is I, Jesus, whom you are persecuting, read more.
but get up, and enter the city [of Damascus] and [there] you will be told what you must do." And the men who were traveling with Saul were speechless, having heard the sound, but not seeing anyone. 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. For three days he was blind and neither ate nor drank anything. 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. 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." (Now Saul had seen [in a vision] a man named Ananias coming in and placing his hands on him, restoring his sight). But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many people about how much harm this man has done to your holy people at Jerusalem. And [now] he is here with authority from the leading priests to tie up [and imprison] everyone who calls on your name." 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. I will show him how many things he will have to suffer for my name's sake." 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."

Then the Lord spoke to Paul in a night vision [i.e., a divinely given dream]: "Do not be afraid, but speak up and do not hold [anything] back,

And I saw [and heard] the Lord saying to me, 'Hurry up, get out of Jerusalem quickly, because the people [here] will reject your testimony about me.'


[This letter is from] Paul, who was called by the will of God to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, and [from] our brother Sosthenes;

[This letter is from] Paul, an apostle, (not from [the authority of] men, or through the [agency] of a man, but by [a direct commission from] Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead).

But then it was the good pleasure of God, who set me apart [for this purpose] before I was born, to call me [to this ministry] through His unearned favor. [And when I was called], God revealed His Son to me so that I could preach [about] Him to the Gentiles. [When this happened] I immediately avoided discussing the matter with anyone.


[This letter is from] Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, according to God's will, [and is being sent] to the saints [i.e., God's holy people] at Ephesus [Note: This was a major city in the western province of Asia Minor, and now a part of Turkey. The words "at Ephesus" are omitted in some manuscripts, suggesting it was a circular letter], and the faithful ones in [fellowship with] Christ Jesus [everywhere else ?].

[This letter is from] Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God's will, and [from] our brother Timothy,

[This letter is from] Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, by the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus our hope [of never ending life. See Titus 3:7].

[This letter is from] Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to [the ministry of proclaiming] the promise of never ending life, which is [obtained] through [fellowship with] Christ Jesus.


[This letter is from] Paul, a slave of God, and an apostle for [the benefit of] the faith of God's elect [i.e., His chosen people] and [to spread] the knowledge of the truth which leads to godliness,

For I am the least [significant] of the apostles, and am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

but at the proper time revealed [it] through the message entrusted to me to proclaim, by the commandment of God our Savior.


And he said [to me], 'The God of our forefathers has appointed you to know His will and to see the Righteous One [i.e., Jesus], and to hear His voice [speaking to you]. For you will be His witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. So now, what are you waiting for? Get up and be immersed [into Christ], and have your sins washed away as you appeal to His name [i.e., to Christ's authority].' read more.
"And it happened that when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the Temple, I fell into a trance [i.e., a semi-conscious vision-like state]. And I saw [and heard] the Lord saying to me, 'Hurry up, get out of Jerusalem quickly, because the people [here] will reject your testimony about me.' And I replied, 'Lord, they know very well that I am [the one] who imprisoned and beat the believers [who assembled] in every synagogue, and when your witness Stephen was killed, I stood there, approving [of it] and [even] guarding the clothing of those who stoned him to death.' Then the Lord said to me, 'Go, for I will send you far away from here to the Gentiles.' "

But, get up onto your feet, for the reason I have appeared to you is to appoint you a minister and witness of both the things you have [already] seen of me and the things I will [reveal when] appearing to you. I will rescue you from the [Jewish] people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them, to open their eyes [to the truth] so they will turn from darkness to light and from the power [i.e., the influence] of Satan to God. [Then] they can receive the forgiveness of sins and the inheritance [of never ending life], along with [all] those who are set apart [for God] by trusting in Me.'

Am I not a free man? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? [See Acts 9:17; I Cor. 15:8]. Are you people not [the result of] my work in [the service of] the Lord? [Even] if I am not [accepted as] an apostle with other people, at least I am with you. For you people are my seal [i.e., proof] of my apostleship in [the service of] the Lord.


Am I not a free man? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? [See Acts 9:17; I Cor. 15:8]. Are you people not [the result of] my work in [the service of] the Lord?

Then last of all, He appeared to me also, as someone born abnormally. [Note: This probably refers to Paul being converted later than the rest of the apostles].

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me, appointing me to the ministry [i.e., to His service], because He considered me trustworthy, [even] though I had previously spoken against Christ, and persecuted [Christians] and acted outrageously. However, I obtained mercy because I acted out of ignorance, not believing [in Christ].

For you have heard about the way I lived in the past, when I was in the Jewish religion, [that is], how I mercilessly persecuted the church of God, making havoc of it.

And when he got close to Damascus, suddenly a [bright, See 22:6] light from the sky shone all around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" Saul replied, "Who are you, sir?" And the voice said, "It is I, Jesus, whom you are persecuting, read more.
but get up, and enter the city [of Damascus] and [there] you will be told what you must do." And the men who were traveling with Saul were speechless, having heard the sound, but not seeing anyone. 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. For three days he was blind and neither ate nor drank anything. 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. 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." (Now Saul had seen [in a vision] a man named Ananias coming in and placing his hands on him, restoring his sight). But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many people about how much harm this man has done to your holy people at Jerusalem. And [now] he is here with authority from the leading priests to tie up [and imprison] everyone who calls on your name." 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. I will show him how many things he will have to suffer for my name's sake." 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." 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]; then ate a meal and received strength. And he stayed on for a number of days with the disciples at Damascus. And so Saul began proclaiming that Jesus was the Son of God in the synagogues [of the Damascus area]. 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?" But Saul was strengthened [spiritually] and proceeded to confound the Jews living [there] in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.

And I persecuted this 'Way' [even to the point of] putting people to death. [I had] both men and women bound [in chains] and locked up in prisons. The head priest can also verify all this, and so can the body of [Jewish] elders. They furnished me with letters to our fellow-Jews in Damascus, to which I also traveled to bring people back here to Jerusalem, bound in chains to be punished. "And then it suddenly happened, about noon, as I was traveling and got close to Damascus, that this brilliant light from the sky flashed all around me. read more.
I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?' I answered, 'Who are you, sir?' And the voice answered me, 'I am Jesus from Nazareth, the One you are persecuting.' Those who accompanied me saw the light clearly, but did not hear [i.e., understand] the voice of the one speaking to me. Then I asked, 'What am I to do, Lord?' And the Lord replied to me, 'Get up, go into Damascus and there you will be told everything [I have] appointed for you to do.' And since I could not see [anything] because of the brilliance of the light, I had to be led by the hand of those with me into Damascus. "[Then] Ananias, a man who was devoted to [observing] the law of Moses and who had a good reputation among all the Jews who lived there, came and stood beside me and said, 'Brother Saul, regain your sight.' And at that very moment I looked at him [fully able to see again]. And he said [to me], 'The God of our forefathers has appointed you to know His will and to see the Righteous One [i.e., Jesus], and to hear His voice [speaking to you]. For you will be His witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. So now, what are you waiting for? Get up and be immersed [into Christ], and have your sins washed away as you appeal to His name [i.e., to Christ's authority].' "And it happened that when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the Temple, I fell into a trance [i.e., a semi-conscious vision-like state]. And I saw [and heard] the Lord saying to me, 'Hurry up, get out of Jerusalem quickly, because the people [here] will reject your testimony about me.' And I replied, 'Lord, they know very well that I am [the one] who imprisoned and beat the believers [who assembled] in every synagogue,

I truly thought within myself [that it was right] to do many things which were opposed to the name of Jesus from Nazareth. So, I was doing this in Jerusalem, having received [my] authority from the leading priests. I both imprisoned many of the saints [i.e., God's holy people] and [even] voiced my approval when they were put to death [See 8:1]. I often persecuted them in the synagogues, [even] trying to get them to blaspheme [i.e., speak against God]. I had extreme anger toward them and [even] traveled to foreign cities [in my effort] to persecute them. read more.
"While on a journey to Damascus for this purpose, I was acting under the authority and directive of the leading priests. [Then] along the road, about noon, O King, I saw a light from the sky, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those traveling with me. When we all fell to the ground I heard a voice speaking in the Hebrew [i.e., Aramaic] language. [It said], 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? You are only hurting yourself by kicking against the spurs [i.e., opposing the work of God].' I answered, 'Who are you, sir?' And the Lord said, 'I am Jesus, the One you are persecuting.


Am I not a free man? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? [See Acts 9:17; I Cor. 15:8]. Are you people not [the result of] my work in [the service of] the Lord?

And when he got close to Damascus, suddenly a [bright, See 22:6] light from the sky shone all around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" Saul replied, "Who are you, sir?" And the voice said, "It is I, Jesus, whom you are persecuting, read more.
but get up, and enter the city [of Damascus] and [there] you will be told what you must do."