Thematic Bible




Thematic Bible



I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia but reared in this city. At the feet of Gamaliel I was educated according to the strictest care in the Law of our fathers, being ardent [even a zealot] for God, as all of you are today. [Yes] I harassed (troubled, molested, and persecuted) this Way [of the Lord] to the death, putting in chains and committing to prison both men and women,

Meanwhile Saul, still drawing his breath hard from threatening and murderous desire against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 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. Now as he traveled on, he came near to Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him, read more.
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]? 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].

I myself indeed was [once] persuaded that it was my duty to do many things contrary to and in defiance of the name of Jesus of Nazareth.

You have heard of my earlier career and former manner of life in the Jewish religion (Judaism), how I persecuted and abused the church of God furiously and extensively, and [with fanatical zeal did my best] to make havoc of it and destroy it. And [you have heard how] I outstripped many of the men of my own generation among the people of my race in [my advancement in study and observance of the laws of] Judaism, so extremely enthusiastic and zealous I was for the traditions of my ancestors.

As to my zeal, I was a persecutor of the church, and by the Law's standard of righteousness (supposed justice, uprightness, and right standing with God) I was proven to be blameless and no fault was found with me.


[And] not be like Cain who [took his nature and got his motivation] from the evil one and slew his brother. And why did he slay him? Because his deeds (activities, works) were wicked and malicious and his brother's were righteous (virtuous).


For when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, Obadiah took a hundred prophets and hid them by fifties in a cave and fed them with bread and water.)

Meanwhile Saul, still drawing his breath hard from threatening and murderous desire against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest

He replied, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken Your covenant, thrown down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I, I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

So that the blood of all the prophets shed from the foundation of the world may be charged against and required of this age and generation, From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was slain between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against and required of this age and generation.

[Yes] I harassed (troubled, molested, and persecuted) this Way [of the Lord] to the death, putting in chains and committing to prison both men and women,

And that is what I did in Jerusalem; I [not only] locked up many of the [faithful] saints (holy ones) in prison by virtue of authority received from the chief priests, but when they were being condemned to death, I cast my vote against them.


Am I not an apostle (a special messenger)? Am I not free (unrestrained and exempt from any obligation)? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you [yourselves] not [the product and proof of] my workmanship in the Lord?

And last of all He appeared to me also, as to one prematurely and born dead [ no better than an unperfected fetus among living men].

I give thanks to Him Who has granted me [the needed] strength and made me able [for this], Christ Jesus our Lord, because He has judged and counted me faithful and trustworthy, appointing me to [this stewardship of] the ministry. Though I formerly blasphemed and persecuted and was shamefully and outrageously and aggressively insulting [to Him], nevertheless, I obtained mercy because I had acted out of ignorance in unbelief.

You have heard of my earlier career and former manner of life in the Jewish religion (Judaism), how I persecuted and abused the church of God furiously and extensively, and [with fanatical zeal did my best] to make havoc of it and destroy it.

Now as he traveled on, he came near to Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him, 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]? 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]. read more.
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. The men who were accompanying him were unable to speak [for terror], hearing the voice but seeing no one. 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. And he was unable to see for three days, and he neither ate nor drank [anything]. 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. 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]. 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. 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; Now he is here and has authority from the high priests to put in chains all who call upon Your name. 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; For I will make clear to him how much he will be afflicted and must endure and suffer for My name's sake. 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. And instantly something like scales fell from [Saul's] eyes, and he recovered his sight. Then he arose and was baptized, And after he took some food, he was strengthened. For several days [afterward] he remained with the disciples at Damascus. And immediately in the synagogues he proclaimed Jesus, saying, He is the Son of God! 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. 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).

[Yes] I harassed (troubled, molested, and persecuted) this Way [of the Lord] to the death, putting in chains and committing to prison both men and women, As the high priest and whole council of elders (Sanhedrin) can testify; for from them indeed I received letters with which I was on my way to the brethren in Damascus in order to take also those [believers] who were there, and bring them in chains to Jerusalem that they might be punished. But as I was on my journey and approached Damascus, about noon a great blaze of light flashed suddenly from heaven and shone about me. read more.
And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me [harass and trouble and molest Me]? And I replied, Who are You, Lord? And He said to me, I am Jesus the Nazarene, Whom you are persecuting. Now the men who were with me saw the light, but they did not hear [ the sound of the uttered words of] the voice of the One Who was speaking to me [so that they could understand it]. And I asked, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord answered me, Get up and go into Damascus, and there it will be told you all that it is destined and appointed for you to do. And since I could not see because [of the dazzlingly glorious intensity] of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and [thus] I arrived in Damascus. And one Ananias, a devout man according to the Law, well spoken of by all the Jews who resided there, Came to see me, and standing by my side said to me, Brother Saul, look up and receive back your sight. And in that very instant I [recovered my sight and] looking up saw him. And he said, The God of our forefathers has destined and appointed you to come progressively to know His will [to perceive, to recognize more strongly and clearly, and to become better and more intimately acquainted with His will], and to see the Righteous One (Jesus Christ, the Messiah), and to hear a voice from His [own] mouth and a message from His [own] lips; For you will be His witness unto all men of everything that you have seen and heard. And now, why do you delay? Rise and be baptized, and by calling upon His name, wash away your sins. Then when I had come back to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple [ enclosure], I fell into a trance (an ecstasy); And I saw Him as He said to me, Hurry, get quickly out of Jerusalem, because they will not receive your testimony about Me. And I said, Lord, they themselves well know that throughout all the synagogues I cast into prison and flogged those who believed on (adhered to and trusted in and relied on) You.

I myself indeed was [once] persuaded that it was my duty to do many things contrary to and in defiance of the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And that is what I did in Jerusalem; I [not only] locked up many of the [faithful] saints (holy ones) in prison by virtue of authority received from the chief priests, but when they were being condemned to death, I cast my vote against them. And frequently I punished them in all the synagogues to make them blaspheme; and in my bitter fury against them, I harassed (troubled, molested, persecuted) and pursued them even to foreign cities. read more.
Thus engaged I proceeded to Damascus with the authority and orders of the chief priests, When on the road at midday, O king, I saw a light from heaven surpassing the brightness of the sun, flashing about me and those who were traveling with me. And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice in the Hebrew tongue saying to me, Saul, Saul, why do you continue to persecute Me [to harass and trouble and molest Me]? It is dangerous and turns out badly for you to keep kicking against the goads [to keep offering vain and perilous resistance]. And I said, Who are You, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting.


But Saul shamefully treated and laid waste the church continuously [with cruelty and violence]; and entering house after house, he dragged out men and women and committed them to prison.

Meanwhile Saul, still drawing his breath hard from threatening and murderous desire against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest

And Saul was [not only] consenting to [Stephen's] death [he was pleased and entirely approving]. On that day a great and severe persecution broke out against the church which was in Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles (special messengers).

Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him, and the witnesses placed their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.

[Yes] I harassed (troubled, molested, and persecuted) this Way [of the Lord] to the death, putting in chains and committing to prison both men and women,


Then the commandant approached and arrested Paul and ordered that he be secured with two chains. He then inquired who he was and what he had done. Some in the crowd kept shouting back one thing and others something else, and since he could not ascertain the facts because of the furor, he ordered that Paul be removed to the barracks. And when [Paul] came to mount the steps, he was actually being carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob; read more.
For the mass of the people kept following them, shouting, Away with him! [Kill him!] Just as Paul was about to be taken into the barracks, he asked the commandant, May I say something to you? And the man replied, Can you speak Greek? Are you not then [as I supposed] the Egyptian who not long ago stirred up a rebellion and led those 4,000 men who were cutthroats out into the wilderness (desert)? Paul answered, I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant or undistinguished city. I beg you, allow me to address the people. And when the man had granted him permission, Paul, standing on the steps, gestured with his hand to the people; and there was a great hush. Then he spoke to them in the Hebrew dialect, saying:

Brethren and fathers, listen to the defense which I now make in your presence. And when they heard that he addressed them in the Hebrew tongue, they were all the more quiet. And he continued, I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia but reared in this city. At the feet of Gamaliel I was educated according to the strictest care in the Law of our fathers, being ardent [even a zealot] for God, as all of you are today. read more.
[Yes] I harassed (troubled, molested, and persecuted) this Way [of the Lord] to the death, putting in chains and committing to prison both men and women, As the high priest and whole council of elders (Sanhedrin) can testify; for from them indeed I received letters with which I was on my way to the brethren in Damascus in order to take also those [believers] who were there, and bring them in chains to Jerusalem that they might be punished. But as I was on my journey and approached Damascus, about noon a great blaze of light flashed suddenly from heaven and shone about me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me [harass and trouble and molest Me]? And I replied, Who are You, Lord? And He said to me, I am Jesus the Nazarene, Whom you are persecuting. Now the men who were with me saw the light, but they did not hear [ the sound of the uttered words of] the voice of the One Who was speaking to me [so that they could understand it]. And I asked, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord answered me, Get up and go into Damascus, and there it will be told you all that it is destined and appointed for you to do. And since I could not see because [of the dazzlingly glorious intensity] of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and [thus] I arrived in Damascus. And one Ananias, a devout man according to the Law, well spoken of by all the Jews who resided there, Came to see me, and standing by my side said to me, Brother Saul, look up and receive back your sight. And in that very instant I [recovered my sight and] looking up saw him. And he said, The God of our forefathers has destined and appointed you to come progressively to know His will [to perceive, to recognize more strongly and clearly, and to become better and more intimately acquainted with His will], and to see the Righteous One (Jesus Christ, the Messiah), and to hear a voice from His [own] mouth and a message from His [own] lips; For you will be His witness unto all men of everything that you have seen and heard. And now, why do you delay? Rise and be baptized, and by calling upon His name, wash away your sins. Then when I had come back to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple [ enclosure], I fell into a trance (an ecstasy); And I saw Him as He said to me, Hurry, get quickly out of Jerusalem, because they will not receive your testimony about Me. And I said, Lord, they themselves well know that throughout all the synagogues I cast into prison and flogged those who believed on (adhered to and trusted in and relied on) You. And when the blood of Your witness (martyr) Stephen was shed, I also was personally standing by and consenting and approving and guarding the garments of those who slew him. And the Lord said to me, Go, for I will send you far away unto the Gentiles (nations).


[Yes] I harassed (troubled, molested, and persecuted) this Way [of the Lord] to the death, putting in chains and committing to prison both men and women,


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.

But this I confess to you, however, that in accordance with the Way [of the Lord], which they call a [heretical, division-producing] sect, I worship (serve) the God of our fathers, still persuaded of the truth of and believing in and placing full confidence in everything laid down in the Law [of Moses] or written in the prophets;

But Felix, having a rather accurate understanding of the Way [of the Lord], put them off and adjourned the trial, saying, When Lysias the commandant comes down, I will determine your case more fully.

But as time went on, there arose no little disturbance concerning the Way [of the Lord].

[Yes] I harassed (troubled, molested, and persecuted) this Way [of the Lord] to the death, putting in chains and committing to prison both men and women,


So the king called the Gibeonites -- "now the Gibeonites were not Israelites but of the remnant of the Amorites. The Israelites had sworn to spare them, but Saul in his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah had sought to slay the Gibeonites -- "

I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia but reared in this city. At the feet of Gamaliel I was educated according to the strictest care in the Law of our fathers, being ardent [even a zealot] for God, as all of you are today. [Yes] I harassed (troubled, molested, and persecuted) this Way [of the Lord] to the death, putting in chains and committing to prison both men and women,