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Acts 9:1-3

Context
The Conversion of Saul

9:1 Meanwhile Saul, still breathing out threats 1  to murder 2  the Lord’s disciples, went to the high priest 9:2 and requested letters from him to the synagogues 3  in Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, 4  either men or women, he could bring them as prisoners 5  to Jerusalem. 6  9:3 As he was going along, approaching 7  Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed 8  around him.

1 tn Or “Saul, making dire threats.”

2 tn The expression “breathing out threats and murder” is an idiomatic expression for “making threats to murder” (see L&N 33.293). Although the two terms “threats” and “murder” are syntactically coordinate, the second is semantically subordinate to the first. In other words, the content of the threats is to murder the disciples.

3 sn See the note on synagogue in 6:9.

4 sn The expression “the way” in ancient religious literature refers at times to “the whole way of life fr. a moral and spiritual viewpoint” (BDAG 692 s.v. ὁδός 3.c), and it has been so used of Christianity and its teachings in the book of Acts (see also 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22). It is a variation of Judaism’s idea of two ways, the true and the false, where “the Way” is the true one (1 En. 91:18; 2 En. 30:15).

5 tn Grk “bring them bound”; the translation “bring someone as prisoner” for δεδεμένον ἄγειν τινά (dedemenon agein tina) is given by BDAG 221 s.v. δέω 1.b.

6 sn From Damascus to Jerusalem was a six-day journey. Christianity had now expanded into Syria.

map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

7 tn Grk “As he was going along, it happened that when he was approaching.” The phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.

8 tn Or “shone” (BDAG 799 s.v. περιαστράπτω). The light was more brilliant than the sun according to Acts 26:13.



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