acts 9:19b-25 (NRSV)

For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” All who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem among those who invoked this name? And has he not come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?” Saul became increasingly more powerful and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Messiah.

After some time had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him, but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night so that they might kill him; but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket.

For reference consider also:

Galatians 1:15-17: But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus.

2 Corinthians 11:31-33: The God and Father of the Lord Jesus (blessed be he forever!) knows that I do not lie. In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas guarded the city of Damascus in order to seize me, but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands.

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3 responses

  1. I’m having trouble myself in accepting the conversion of Paul, so I sympathize with the people who distrusted him. Before he was converted, he worked to have people imprisoned and killed … I think it was Thomas Aquinas who said that grace builds on nature but doesn’t destroy it. If I understand that correctly (and probably I don’t), it would seem that Paul’s conversion did not change in a fundimental way the person he had been, but built on that. If religious experience doesn’t change us into “good” people, what has the power to do so?

  2. PS – on a personal note to David, I appreciate and value interacting with you here in blog world … I hope you keep blogging and don’t disappear on me šŸ™‚

  3. Crystal re “it would seem that Paul’s conversion did not change in a fundimental way the person he had been, but built on that.”: Thomas Aquinas may have said that, but I say (speaking from very personal experience) that a conversion like Paul’s radically changed his nature.Sure he was a hard charger; that didn’t change; but instead of charging destructively his charging thereafter represented the most creative writing, and probably thing that any of the disciples did after Jesus.

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