Thematic Bible




Thematic Bible



I did not go up to Jerusalem to [discuss it with] those who had become apostles before me either; instead I went away into Arabia. [Note: This is probably when Paul received supernatural power from the Holy Spirit]. Then afterward, I returned to Damascus. [Note: This was in Syria where Paul was converted].

[When I was] in Damascus [Note: Paul here refers to his conversion. See Acts 9:1ff], the governor [who served] under King Aretas, was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to capture me,

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. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?' read more.
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].'

"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].' read more.
I answered, 'Who are you, sir?' And the Lord said, 'I am Jesus, the One you are persecuting. 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.' "As a result of this, O King, I did not disobey [the mandate of] this vision from heaven but, [instead] declared to the people of Damascus first, [then] to the people of Jerusalem, and [finally to those] throughout all of the district of Judea, as well as to the Gentiles [everywhere] that they should repent [i.e., change their hearts and lives] and turn to God, doing deeds which demonstrate their repentance.


And those who had arrested Jesus led Him away to the house of Caiaphas, the head priest, where the experts in the law of Moses and the [Jewish] elders were gathered.

"Why do your disciples violate the tradition of the [Jewish] elders? For they do not [ceremonially] wash their hands before eating [their meals]."

When He had come into the Temple, the leading priests and elders of the [Jewish] people came to Him while He was teaching, and said, "By what authority are you doing these things [i.e., miracles and teaching]? And who gave you this authority?"

As soon as it was morning the leading priests, along with the [Jewish] elders and experts in the law of Moses and the entire Council, held a conference. Then they tied Jesus up, led Him away and turned Him over to Pilate [the Roman governor].

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 those who had arrested Jesus led Him away to the house of Caiaphas, the head priest, where the experts in the law of Moses and the [Jewish] elders were gathered.

"Why do your disciples violate the tradition of the [Jewish] elders? For they do not [ceremonially] wash their hands before eating [their meals]."

When He had come into the Temple, the leading priests and elders of the [Jewish] people came to Him while He was teaching, and said, "By what authority are you doing these things [i.e., miracles and teaching]? And who gave you this authority?"

As soon as it was morning the leading priests, along with the [Jewish] elders and experts in the law of Moses and the entire Council, held a conference. Then they tied Jesus up, led Him away and turned Him over to Pilate [the Roman governor].

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 those who had arrested Jesus led Him away to the house of Caiaphas, the head priest, where the experts in the law of Moses and the [Jewish] elders were gathered.

"Why do your disciples violate the tradition of the [Jewish] elders? For they do not [ceremonially] wash their hands before eating [their meals]."

When He had come into the Temple, the leading priests and elders of the [Jewish] people came to Him while He was teaching, and said, "By what authority are you doing these things [i.e., miracles and teaching]? And who gave you this authority?"

As soon as it was morning the leading priests, along with the [Jewish] elders and experts in the law of Moses and the entire Council, held a conference. Then they tied Jesus up, led Him away and turned Him over to Pilate [the Roman governor].

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.


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.


Then the commanding officer approached Paul, took hold of him and ordered him to be secured with two chains. He then questioned him as to who he was and what he had done. From the crowd, some shouted one thing and some another. When the commander could not hear what was being said because of the noise, he ordered Paul to be taken into the battalion headquarters. When they got to the stairway [of the headquarters building] the soldiers had to carry Paul because of the [unrestrained] violence of the mob, read more.
for the crowds that followed were [pressing in on them] shouting, "Kill him." As Paul was being brought into the headquarters building, he said to the commander, "Can I speak with you?" The commander replied [with surprise], "You know the Greek language? Are you not the Egyptian who, awhile back, stirred up a revolt and led four thousand of the 'Dagger Men' out into the wilderness?" Paul answered, "[No], I am a Jew from Tarsus, in Cilicia, a citizen of an important city, and I beg you to allow me to speak to these people." And when the commander gave him permission, Paul stood on the stairway and motioned to the people with his hand [for attention]. When they completely quieted down, he spoke to them in the Hebrew [i.e., Aramaic] language, saying,

"Brothers and fathers, listen to the defense I want to make to you." And when they heard him speaking in the Hebrew language, they listened all the more quietly. So, he continued, "I am a Jew, born in Tarsus, in Cilicia, but raised [here] in this city [i.e., Jerusalem]. [I was] instructed by Gamaliel [i.e., a renowned Jewish rabbi of the time] according to the strictest methods of observing the law of our forefathers. [I was very] eager to serve God, just as all of you are here today. read more.
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. 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, 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.' "


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 those who had arrested Jesus led Him away to the house of Caiaphas, the head priest, where the experts in the law of Moses and the [Jewish] elders were gathered.

"Why do your disciples violate the tradition of the [Jewish] elders? For they do not [ceremonially] wash their hands before eating [their meals]."

When He had come into the Temple, the leading priests and elders of the [Jewish] people came to Him while He was teaching, and said, "By what authority are you doing these things [i.e., miracles and teaching]? And who gave you this authority?"

As soon as it was morning the leading priests, along with the [Jewish] elders and experts in the law of Moses and the entire Council, held a conference. Then they tied Jesus up, led Him away and turned Him over to Pilate [the Roman governor].

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.