New Testament for Everyone
The Conversion of Saul
9 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out threats and murder on the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and requested from him official letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that he could find people who belonged to the Way, men and women alike, tie them up and bring them back to Jerusalem.
3 While he was on the journey, and was getting near to Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. 4 He fell on the ground and heard a voice speaking to him.
‘Saul, Saul!’ said the voice. ‘Why are you persecuting me?’
5 ‘Who are you, Lord?’ he asked.
‘I am Jesus,’ he said, ‘and you are persecuting me. 6 But get up and go into the city, and it will be told you what you have to do.’
7 The men who were travelling with Saul stood speechless. They heard the voice but couldn’t see anybody. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he couldn’t see anything. So they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus. 9 He went for three days, being unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank.
Ananias and Saul
10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision.
‘Ananias!’ he said.
‘Here I am, Lord,’ he replied.
11 ‘Get up’, said the Lord to him, ‘and go to the street called Straight. Enquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul. Look – he’s praying! 12 And he has seen, in a vision, a man named Ananias coming and laying his hands on him so that he can see again.’
13 ‘Well, Lord,’ replied Ananias, ‘I’ve heard about this man from several people . . . all about how he’s done wicked things to your holy people in Jerusalem . . . 14 and now he’s come here with authority from the chief priests to tie up everybody who calls on your Name!’
15 ‘Just go,’ replied the Lord. ‘He is a chosen vessel for me, to carry my Name before nations and kings – and the children of Israel, too. 16 I am going to show him how many things he is going to have to suffer for the sake of my Name.’
17 So Ananias set off, went into the house, and laid his hands on him.
‘Brother Saul,’ he said, ‘the Lord has sent me – yes, Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here – so that you may be able to see again, and receive the holy spirit.’
18 At once something like scales fell off his eyes, and he was able to see. He got up and was baptized. 19 He had something to eat, and regained his strength.
‘He is God’s Son’
Saul stayed with the disciples in Damascus for a few days. 20 At once he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, ‘This really is the son of God!’ 21 Everyone was astonished, and said, ‘Isn’t this the man who caused havoc to those in Jerusalem who call on this Name? And here he is, coming to tie them up and take them off to the high priests!’ 22 But Saul grew all the stronger, and threw the Jews in Damascus into confusion by demonstrating that Jesus is indeed the Messiah.
23 After some days, the Jews made a plot to kill him, 24 but Saul got wind of their plan. They were watching the city gates day and night so that they could do away with him. 25 But the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall, lowering him in a basket.
26 When he got back to Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him, brought him to the apostles, and explained to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that he had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the name of Jesus.
28 He was with them in Jerusalem, coming and going and speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He spoke, as well, to the Hellenists, who tried to kill him. 30 But the family heard of it and took him down to Caesarea. There they sent him off to Tarsus.
31 So the church in all Judaea, Galilee and Samaria found itself at peace. It was built up and gained in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the holy spirit.
Back to Peter
32 As Peter was going through various places among all the believers, he went down to God’s people who lived in Lydda. 33 There he found a paralysed man named Aeneas who had been confined to bed for eight years.
34 ‘Aeneas,’ Peter said to him, ‘Jesus the Messiah heals you! Stand up and fold up your bed!’
And at once he stood up. 35 Everyone who lived at Lydda and Sharon saw it, and they turned to the Lord.
36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha, whose name translates as ‘Dorcas’. She was full of good works and generous deeds. 37 Around that time she fell ill and died. They washed her and laid her in an upper room. 38 Lydda is near Joppa, and the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the urgent request that he shouldn’t delay, but come to them at once. 39 So Peter got up and went with them. When he arrived, they took him to the upper room, where all the widows were weeping. They showed him the tunics and the other clothes that Dorcas had made while she was with them.
40 Peter requested them all to leave. Then he knelt down and prayed, and turned to the body.
‘Tabitha,’ he said, ‘get up!’
She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. 41 He gave her his hand and lifted her up. Then he called God’s people, including the widows, and presented her alive.
42 This became known throughout the whole of Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed on in Joppa for some days, at the house of Simon the tanner.
New International Version
9 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples.(B) He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus,(C) so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way,(D) whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.(E) 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice(F) say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”(G)
7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound(H) but did not see anyone.(I) 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing.(J) So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision,(K) “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus(L) named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on(M) him to restore his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people(N) in Jerusalem.(O) 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests(P) to arrest all who call on your name.”(Q)
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument(R) to proclaim my name to the Gentiles(S) and their kings(T) and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”(U)
17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on(V) Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”(W) 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized,(X) 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem
Saul spent several days with the disciples(Y) in Damascus.(Z) 20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues(AA) that Jesus is the Son of God.(AB) 21 All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name?(AC) And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?”(AD) 22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.(AE)
23 After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him,(AF) 24 but Saul learned of their plan.(AG) Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25 But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.(AH)
26 When he came to Jerusalem,(AI) he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas(AJ) took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him,(AK) and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.(AL) 28 So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews,[a](AM) but they tried to kill him.(AN) 30 When the believers(AO) learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea(AP) and sent him off to Tarsus.(AQ)
31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria(AR) enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.(AS)
Aeneas and Dorcas
32 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the Lord’s people(AT) who lived in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years. 34 “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you.(AU) Get up and roll up your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up. 35 All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon(AV) saw him and turned to the Lord.(AW)
36 In Joppa(AX) there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good(AY) and helping the poor. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room.(AZ) 38 Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples(BA) heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!”
39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows(BB) stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.
40 Peter sent them all out of the room;(BC) then he got down on his knees(BD) and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.”(BE) She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive. 42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.(BF) 43 Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon.(BG)
- Acts 9:29 That is, Jews who had adopted the Greek language and culture