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Acts 9 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 All this time Saul was breathing down the necks of the Master's disciples, out for the kill. He went to the Chief Priest 1 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest
2 and got arrest warrants to take to the meeting places in Damascus so that if he found anyone there belonging to the Way, whether men or women, he could arrest them and bring them to Jerusalem. 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.
3 He set off. When he got to the outskirts of Damascus, he was suddenly dazed by a blinding flash of light. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.
4 As he fell to the ground, he heard a voice: "Saul, Saul, why are you out to get me?" 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
5 He said, "Who are you, Master?" "I am Jesus, the One you're hunting down. 5 "Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied.
6 I want you to get up and enter the city. In the city you'll be told what to do next." 6 "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."
7 His companions stood there dumbstruck - they could hear the sound, but couldn't see anyone - 7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.
8 while Saul, picking himself up off the ground, found himself stone blind. They had to take him by the hand and lead him into Damascus. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus.
9 He continued blind for three days. He ate nothing, drank nothing. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
10 There was a disciple in Damascus by the name of Ananias. The Master spoke to him in a vision: "Ananias." "Yes, Master?" he answered. 10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!" "Yes, Lord," he answered.
11 "Get up and go over to Straight Avenue. Ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus. His name is Saul. He's there praying. 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 He has just had a dream in which he saw a man named Ananias enter the house and lay hands on him so he could see again." 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight."
13 Ananias protested, "Master, you can't be serious. Everybody's talking about this man and the terrible things he's been doing, his reign of terror against your people in Jerusalem! 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 now he's shown up here with papers from the Chief Priest that give him license to do the same to us." 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name."
15 But the Master said, "Don't argue. Go! I have picked him as my personal representative to Gentiles and kings and Jews. 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 And now I'm about to show him what he's in for - the hard suffering that goes with this job." 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."
17 So Ananias went and found the house, placed his hands on blind Saul, and said, "Brother Saul, the Master sent me, the same Jesus you saw on your way here. He sent me so you could see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." 17 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."
18 No sooner were the words out of his mouth than something like scales fell from Saul's eyes - he could see again! He got to his feet, was baptized, 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized,
19 and sat down with them to a hearty meal. 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus.
20 but then went right to work, wasting no time, preaching in the meeting places that this Jesus was the Son of God. 20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.
21 They were caught off guard by this and, not at all sure they could trust him, they kept saying, "Isn't this the man who wreaked havoc in Jerusalem among the believers? And didn't he come here to do the same thing - arrest us and drag us off to jail in Jerusalem for sentencing by the high priests?" 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? And hasn't he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?"
22 But their suspicions didn't slow Saul down for even a minute. His momentum was up now and he plowed straight into the opposition, disarming the Damascus Jews and trying to show them that this Jesus was the Messiah. 22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.
23 After this had gone on quite a long time, some Jews conspired to kill him, 23 After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him,
24 but Saul got wind of it. They were watching the city gates around the clock so they could kill him. 24 but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him.
25 Then one night the disciples engineered his escape by lowering him over the wall in a basket. 25 But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.
26 Back in Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him. They didn't trust him one bit. 26 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.
27 Then Barnabas took him under his wing. He introduced him to the apostles and stood up for him, told them how Saul had seen and spoken to the Master on the Damascus Road and how in Damascus itself he had laid his life on the line with his bold preaching in Jesus' name. 27 But Barnabas 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, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.
28 After that he was accepted as one of them, going in and out of Jerusalem with no questions asked, uninhibited as he preached in the Master's name. 28 So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.
29 But then he ran afoul of a group called Hellenists - he had been engaged in a running argument with them - who plotted his murder. 29 He talked and debated with the Grecian Jews, but they tried to kill him.
30 When his friends learned of the plot, they got him out of town, took him to Caesarea, and then shipped him off to Tarsus. 30 When the brothers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.
31 Things calmed down after that and the church had smooth sailing for a while. All over the country - Judea, Samaria, Galilee - the church grew. They were permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God. The Holy Spirit was with them, strengthening them. They prospered wonderfully. 31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.
32 Peter went off on a mission to visit all the churches. In the course of his travels he arrived in Lydda and met with the believers there. 32 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the saints in Lydda.
33 He came across a man - his name was Aeneas - who had been in bed eight years paralyzed. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years.
34 Peter said, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed!" And he did it - jumped right out of bed. 34 "Aeneas," Peter said to him, "Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat." Immediately Aeneas got up.
35 Everybody who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him walking around and woke up to the fact that God was alive and active among them. 35 All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
36 Down the road a way in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha, "Gazelle" in our language. She was well-known for doing good and helping out. 36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas ), who was always doing good and helping the poor.
37 During the time Peter was in the area she became sick and died. Her friends prepared her body for burial and put her in a cool room. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room.
38 Some of the disciples had heard that Peter was visiting in nearby Lydda and sent two men to ask if he would be so kind as to come over. 38 Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, "Please come at once!"
39 Peter got right up and went with them. They took him into the room where Tabitha's body was laid out. Her old friends, most of them widows, were in the room mourning. They showed Peter pieces of clothing the Gazelle had made while she was with them. 39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.
40 Peter put the widows all out of the room. He knelt and prayed. Then he spoke directly to the body: "Tabitha, get up." 40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, "Tabitha, get up." She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up.
41 He took her hand and helped her up. Then he called in the believers and widows, and presented her to them alive. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive.
42 When this became known all over Joppa, many put their trust in the Master. 42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.
43 Peter stayed on a long time in Joppa as a guest of Simon the Tanner. 43 Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon.