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The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard Study Bible that provides essential scholarship and guidance for Bible readers.

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Commentary on The Acts of the Apostles

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9.1–19a : The conversion and call of Saul of Tarsus.

Slightly different versions are found in 22.4–16; 26.9–18 ; Paul's own account is in Gal 1.13–17; see 1 Cor 15.8 . Key narratives in Acts are stressed by repetition.

1–2 :

Acts connects Paul with Jerusalem ( 7.58; 9.13,26 ), although Paul claimed he was unknown by sight in Judea (Gal 1.22–23 ).

2 :

The Way stands for Christianity ( 18.25; 19.9,23; 22.4; 24.14,22 ), but its origin is uncertain. The closest parallels can be found in the Dead Sea Scrolls; cf. Isa 40.3 .

3–9 :

The passage incorporates various features of theophanies (e.g., 2 Macc 3; Acts 2.2n. ) and stories of the call of prophets (e.g., Isa 6.1–13 ).

4–5 :

In persecuting the disciples, he persecuted Jesus (cf. Mt 25.40 ).

10 :

Ananias, evidently one of the leaders of the believers at Damascus (see 22.12 ). Acts does not record how or when Christians first arrived in Damascus.

11 :

The street called Straight, commonly identified as Darb el‐Mostakim, an east‐to‐west street in the Old City of Damascus. Tarsus, see v. 30n.

15 :

Saul, like the prophets, was chosen for a special purpose (Jer 1.5; Gal 1.15 ).

17 :

Laid his hands, see 6.6n.

9.19b–31 : Saul's preaching in Damascus and first visit to Jerusalem.

20 :

Immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, this will be the consistent pattern followed by Paul in Acts; according to Paul himself, he went immediately to Arabia (Gal 1.17 ). Son of God occurs only here in Acts; cf. Gal 1.15–16 .

24–25 :

In 2 Cor 11.32–33 Paul flees the ethnarch of Aretas IV, king of the Nabateans.

26 :

See vv. 1–2n . In Gal 1.18 Paul states that his first visit to Jerusalem was three years after his conversion. Luke associates Paul with Jerusalem from the beginning.

27–28 :

Barnabas (see 4.36–37 ) intercedes with the apostles on Paul's behalf. Paul himself (Gal 1.18–19 ) claimed only to have seen Peter and James, the Lord's brother (not considered an apostle in Acts).

29 :

Paul, from the Diaspora himself, contends with the Hellenists, namely, Stephen's Greek2010;speaking, Jewish opponents ( 6.9–14 ).

30 :

Tarsus, Paul's home city according to 21.39 (see 11.25; cf. Gal 1.21), was in Cilicia on the southern coast of Asia Minor.

31 :

The familiar note of growth. The persecution of 8.1 has apparently passed.

9.32–43 : Peter in Lydda and Joppa.

32 :

Lydda, northwest of Jerusalem between Azotus and Caesarea (see 8.40n. ), about 17 km (11 mi) southeast of Joppa (v. 36 ). There are already believers in both places, perhaps the result of Philip's activity ( 8.40 ).

34 :

Lk 5.24–25 .

35 :

Sharon, the coastal plain between Joppa and Caesarea.

36–42 :

Cf. Lk 8.41–42,49–56 (Mk 5.22–24,35–43); 2 Kings 4.33 .

36 :

Joppa, modern Jaffa, on the coast in the Plain of Sharon, ca. 50 km (30 mi) south of Caesarea.

39 :

Widows, see 6.1; 1 Tim 5.3–16 .

43 :

Peter's lodging with a tanner, who would be ritually unclean, may suggest preparation for his encounter with Cornelius.

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