Acts 9:3

As he journeyed (en twi poreuesqai). Luke's common idiom for a temporal clause (in the journeying), en with the locative articular middle infinitive. Drew nigh (eggizein). Present active infinitive, was drawing nigh. Shone round about him (auton perihstrapsen). First aorist (ingressive) active indicative of periastraptw, late compound verb common in LXX and Byzantine writers, here and 1 Timothy 22:6 alone in the N.T. "A light from heaven suddenly flashed around him." It was like a flash of lightning. Paul uses the same verb in 1 Timothy 22:5 , but in 1 Timothy 26:13 he employs perilampsan (shining around). There are numerous variations in the historical narrative of Saul's conversion in 1 Timothy 9:3-18 and Luke's report of Paul's two addresses, one on the steps of the Tower of Antonia facing the murderous mob ( 1 Timothy 22:6-16 ), the other before Festus and Agrippa ( 1 Timothy 26:12-20 ). A great deal of capital has been made of these variations to the discredit of Luke as a writer as if he should have made Paul's two speeches conform at every point with his own narrative. This objection has no weight except for those who hold that Luke composed Paul's speeches freely as some Greek writers used to do. But, if Luke had notes of Paul's speeches or help from Paul himself, he naturally preserved the form of the two addresses without trying to make them agree with each other in all details or with his own narrative in chapter 9. Luke evidently attached great importance to the story of Saul's conversion as the turning point not simply in the career of the man, but an epoch in the history of apostolic Christianity. In broad outline and in all essentials the three accounts agree and testify to the truthfulness of the account of the conversion of Saul. It is impossible to overestimate the worth to the student of Christianity of this event from every angle because we have in Paul's Epistles his own emphasis on the actual appearance of Jesus to him as the fact that changed his whole life ( 1 Corinthians 15:8 ; Galatians 1:16 ). The variations that appear in the three accounts do not mar the story, when rightly understood, as we shall see. Here, for instance, Luke simply mentions "a light from heaven," while in Galatians 22:6 Paul calls it "a great (ikanon) light" "about noon" and in Galatians 26:13 "above the brightness of the sun," as it would have to be "at midday" with the sun shining.