One of the common literary techniques in Acts is the
multiple repetitions (e.g., Cornelius’ vision 4X, 10:1-6, 22, 30-33; 11:13-14;
Peter’s vision 3X, 10:9-16, 28; 11:5-14; James’ list 3X, 15:20, 29; 21:25;
Jews’ oath 3X, 23:12, 14, 21). One of the most prominent examples is the
conversion of Saul. The narrator tells the story of Saul’s conversion and Paul
re-tells it twice.
Paul’s Conversion Left––Acts 9 (Luke’s narrative);Middle––Acts 22 (Paul on steps to Jerusalem
crowd); Right––Acts 26 (Paul to King Agrippa).
(chap. 9 n/a)
22:3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia,
but brought up in this city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained
in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are
today. 4 I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting
both men and women and throwing them into prison, 5 as also the high priest
and all the Council can testify.
26:4 “The Jews all know the way I have lived ever since I
was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in
Jerusalem. 5 They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are
willing, that according to the strictest sect of our religion, I lived as a
Pharisee. 6 And now it is because of my hope in what God has promised our
fathers that I am on trial today. 7 This is the promise our twelve tribes are
hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night. O king, it
is because of this hope that the Jews are accusing me. 8 Why should any of
you consider it incredible that God raises the dead? 9 I too was convinced
that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of
Nazareth. 10 And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief
priests I put many of the saints in prison, and when they were put to death,
I cast my vote against them. 11 Many a time I went from one synagogue to
another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. In my
obsession against them, I even went to foreign cities to persecute them.
9:1 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous
threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked
him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus,
so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women,
he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
22:5b I even obtained letters from them to their brothers
and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.
26:12 “On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the
authority and commission of the chief priests.
9:3 As he neared Damascus
on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to
the ground and heard a voice 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.”
as I came near Damascus,
suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. 7 I fell to the ground
and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’ 8 ‘Who
are you, Lord?’ I asked. ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’
he replied. 9 My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the
voice of him who was speaking to me. 10 ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked.
‘Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus.
There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’
26:13 About ,
O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the
sun, blazing around me and my companions. 14 We all fell to the ground, and I
heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you
persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 Then I asked,
‘Who are you, Lord?’ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord
replied. 16 ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to
appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and
what I will show you. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the
Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from
darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may
receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by
faith in me.’
9:7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless;
they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground,
but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand
My companions led me by the hand into Damascus,
because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.
(chap. 26 n/a)
9:9 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,
“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
named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias
come and place his hands on 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 saints in Jerusalem.
14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all
who call on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my
chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and
before the people of Israel.
16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
(chap. 22 n/a)
(chap. 26 n/a)
Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on 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.”
“A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law
and highly respected by all the Jews living there. 13 He stood beside me
and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was
able to see him. 14 “Then he said: ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you
to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his
mouth. 15 You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.
16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins
away, calling on his name.’”
(chap. 26 n/a)
Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see
again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained
his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus.
When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I
fell into a trance 18 and saw the Lord speaking. ‘Quick!’ he said to me.
immediately, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’ 19
“‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these men know that I went from one synagogue to another
to imprison and beat those who believe in you. 20 And when the blood of your
martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the
clothes of those who were killing him.’ 21 Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I
will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”
26:19 “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to
the vision from heaven. 20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea,
and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God
and prove their repentance by their deeds.