He heard what they did not hear. Acts 9 tells the story as a third-person narrative: As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. (Acts 9:7)My companions saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one who spoke to me. We have all read the story of Saul’s conversion from murderous enemy of Christ’s people to legendary evangelist for God. … The Five Lessons of Paul’s Conversion Read More » The Influence of Paul’s Conversion on his Theology”, in Interp 7 (1953), pp. [Acts 22:6–21] Paul addresses the crowd and tells them of his conversion, with a description essentially the same as that in Acts 9, but with slight differences. The verb ἀκούω (akouō - the source of the English word "acoustics") usually means "hear", but has a secondary meaning "understand", which is how most translations render it in 1 Cor. St. Paul is largely responsible for the spreading of Christianity beyond Jewish circles. “Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and Israelites, and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name.” Here we are told, out of the mouth of the Lord Himself, that Paul is to carry the word of God to all peoples, to the gentiles, as well as the Israelites (Paul’s own people), kings as well as common folk. Looking back, our vision is 20/20; Paul turned out to be one of the most significant figures of western civilization. Finally, Paul’s conversion experience revealed to him, and ultimately to all of us, that we are the Body of Christ (Acts 9:4-5). We read in Acts 9 that he was on his way to another location in his crackdown against the "followers of the Way," but the Lord has another plan for him: "As [Saul] journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Acts' second telling of Paul's conversion occurs in a speech Paul gives when he is arrested in Jerusalem. 2-10 = “Revelation and Tradition. For example, Australian politician Tony Abbott was described as having been "on his own road to Damascus" after pledging increased mental health funding,[28] and a New Zealand drug dealer turned police officer was likewise described as taking "the first step on the road to Damascus. To enjoy our website, you'll need to enable JavaScript in your web browser. While Paul did not become this legend as soon as he was knocked off his horse, that fall began the process that took him to that wonderful role in the history of our Faith. These words were followed, as were the words of Jesus Himself when He spoke to the blind, with an instantaneous dissipation of darkness. Paul's conversion was then confirmed through baptism and the receiving of God's Holy Spirit. [27], Chapter seventeen of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man includes a literary device related to the Saul to Paul conversion: "'You start Saul, and end up Paul,' my grandfather had often said. Such a study requires the following threefold strategy: to collect the available historical sources and determine their rhetorical stance with respect to the Damascus event; to determine the role of Paul’s conversion as a spiritual/theological climax in his life; and to examine its thematic outworking in his theology. Through His Son's atoning sacrifice, God saved us from sin and sinful living. The speech here is again tailored for its audience, emphasizing what a Roman ruler would understand: the need to obey a heavenly vision,[Acts 26:19] and reassuring Agrippa that Christians were not a secret society. According to both sources, Paul was not a follower of Jesus and did not know him before his crucifixion. But he was in darkness, and they led him by the hand into the city. For three days Paul's blindness continued. A contradiction in the details of the account of Paul's revelatory vision given in Acts has been the subject of some debate. The moment of saving faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has often come as a result of a traumatic personal crisis. Previous - Next. [30], In "-30-", the finale episode of The Wire, Norman Wilson tells Mayor Tommy Carcetti the Jimmy McNulty/Lester Freamon "serial killer" hoax is the mayor's "road to Damascus" moment and likens the detectives' fabrication of a serial killer, which allows them to successfully fund and achieve their actual investigative goals, to Carcetti's adoption of popular campaign platforms he doesn't really care about in order to achieve his actual political agenda.

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