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.
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.
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.