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Acts 22:3-16

22:3 “I am a Jew, 1  born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up 2  in this city, educated with strictness 3  under 4  Gamaliel 5  according to the law of our ancestors, 6  and was 7  zealous 8  for God just as all of you are today. 22:4 I 9  persecuted this Way 10  even to the point of death, 11  tying up 12  both men and women and putting 13  them in prison, 22:5 as both the high priest and the whole council of elders 14  can testify about me. From them 15  I also received 16  letters to the brothers in Damascus, and I was on my way 17  to make arrests there and bring 18  the prisoners 19  to Jerusalem 20  to be punished. 22:6 As 21  I was en route and near Damascus, 22  about noon a very bright 23  light from heaven 24  suddenly flashed 25  around me. 22:7 Then I 26  fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ 22:8 I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ He said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.’ 22:9 Those who were with me saw the light, but did not understand 27  the voice of the one who was speaking to me. 22:10 So I asked, 28  ‘What should I do, Lord?’ The Lord said to me, ‘Get up 29  and go to Damascus; there you will be told about everything 30  that you have been designated 31  to do.’ 22:11 Since I could not see because of 32  the brilliance 33  of that light, I came to Damascus led by the hand of 34  those who were with me. 22:12 A man named Ananias, 35  a devout man according to the law, 36  well spoken of by all the Jews who live there, 37  22:13 came 38  to me and stood beside me 39  and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight!’ 40  And at that very moment 41  I looked up and saw him. 42  22:14 Then he said, ‘The God of our ancestors 43  has already chosen 44  you to know his will, to see 45  the Righteous One, 46  and to hear a command 47  from his mouth, 22:15 because you will be his witness 48  to all people 49  of what you have seen and heard. 22:16 And now what are you waiting for? 50  Get up, 51  be baptized, and have your sins washed away, 52  calling on his name.’ 53 

1 tn Grk “a Jewish man.”

2 tn BDAG 74 s.v. ἀνατρέφω b has “of mental and spiritual nurture bring up, rear, trainἀνατεθραμμένος ἐν τ. πόλει ταύτῃ 22:3.”

3 tn Or “with precision.” Although often translated “strictly” this can be misunderstood for “solely” in English. BDAG 39 s.v. ἀκρίβεια gives the meaning as “exactness, precision.” To avoid the potential misunderstanding the translation “with strictness” is used, although it is slightly more awkward than “strictly.”

4 tn Grk “strictly at the feet of” (an idiom).

5 tn Or “brought up in this city under Gamaliel, educated with strictness…” The phrase παρὰ τοὺς πόδας Γαμαλιὴλ (para tou" poda" Gamalihl) could be understood with what precedes or with what follows. The punctuation of NA27 and UBS4, which place a comma after ταύτῃ (tauth), has been followed in the translation.

sn Gamaliel was a famous Jewish scholar and teacher mentioned here and in Acts 5:34. He had a grandson of the same name and is referred to as “Gamaliel the Elder” to avoid confusion. He is quoted a number of times in the Mishnah, was given the highest possible title for Jewish teachers, Rabba (cf. John 20:16), and was highly regarded in later rabbinic tradition.

6 tn Or “our forefathers.”

7 tn Grk “ancestors, being.” The participle ὑπάρχων (Juparcwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

8 tn BDAG 427 s.v. ζηλωτής 1.a.α has “of pers. …ζ. τοῦ θεοῦ one who is loyal to God Ac 22:3.”

9 tn Grk “who.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the relative pronoun (“who”) was translated by the first person pronoun (“I”) and a new sentence begun in the translation.

10 sn That is, persecuted the Christian movement (Christianity). The Way is also used as a description of the Christian faith in Acts 9:2; 18:25-26; 19:9, 23; 24:14, 22).

11 tn BDAG 442-43 s.v. θάνατος 1.a has “διώκειν ἄχρι θανάτου persecute even to death Ac 22:4.”

12 tn Grk “binding.” See Acts 8:3.

13 tn BDAG 762 s.v. παραδίδωμι 1.b has “W. local εἰςεἰς φυλακήν put in prison Ac 8:3; cp. 22:4.”

14 tn That is, the whole Sanhedrin. BDAG 861 s.v. πρεσβυτέριον has “an administrative group concerned with the interests of a specific community, council of elders – a. of the highest Judean council in Jerusalem, in our lit. usu. called συνέδριονὁ ἀρχιερεύς καὶ πᾶν τὸ πρ. Ac 22:5.”

15 tn Grk “from whom.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the relative pronoun (“whom”) was translated by the third person plural pronoun (“them”) and a new sentence begun in the translation.

16 tn Grk “receiving.” The participle δεξάμενος (dexameno") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

17 tn Grk “letters to the brothers, [and] I was going to Damascus.” Such a translation, however, might be confusing since the term “brother” is frequently used of a fellow Christian. In this context, Paul is speaking about fellow Jews.

18 tn Grk “even there and bring…” or “there and even bring…” The ascensive καί (kai) shows that Paul was fervent in his zeal against Christians, but it is difficult to translate for it really belongs with the entire idea of arresting and bringing back the prisoners.

19 tn BDAG 221 s.v. δέω 1.b has “δεδεμένον ἄγειν τινά bring someone as prisonerAc 9:2, 21; 22:5.”

20 tn Grk “I was going…to bring even those who were there to Jerusalem as prisoners that they might be punished.”

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

21 tn Grk “It happened that as.” The introductory 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.

22 tn Grk “going and nearing Damascus.”

sn En route and near Damascus. This is the first retelling of Paul’s Damascus Road experience in Acts (cf. Acts 9:1-9; the second retelling is in Acts 26:9-20).

23 tn BDAG 472 s.v. ἱκανός 3.b has “φῶς a very bright light Ac 22:6.”

24 tn Or “from the sky” (the same Greek word means both “heaven” and “sky”).

25 tn Or “shone.”

26 tn This is a continuation of the same sentence in Greek using the connective τέ (te), but due to the length and complexity of the Greek sentence a new sentence was begun in the translation here. To indicate the logical sequence for the modern English reader, τέ was translated as “then.”

27 tn Grk “did not hear” (but see Acts 9:7). BDAG 38 s.v. ἀκούω 7 has “W. acc. τὸν νόμον understand the law Gal 4:21; perh. Ac 22:9; 26:14…belong here.” If the word has this sense here, then a metonymy is present, since the lack of effect is put for a failure to appreciate what was heard.

28 tn Grk “So I said.”

29 tn Grk “Getting up.” The participle ἀναστάς (anasta") is an adverbial participle of attendant circumstance and has been translated as a finite verb.

30 tn Grk “about all things.”

31 tn Or “assigned,” “ordered.” BDAG 991 s.v. τάσσω 2.a has “act. and pass., foll. by acc. w. inf.…περὶ πάντων ὧν τέτακταί σοι ποιῆσαι concerning everything that you have been ordered to do 22:10.” There is an allusion to a divine call and commission here.

32 tn BDAG 106 s.v. ἀπό 5.a has “οὐκ ἐνέβλεπον ἀπὸ τῆς δόξης τοῦ φωτός I could not see because of the brilliance of the light Ac 22:11.”

33 tn Or “brightness”; Grk “glory.”

34 tn Grk “by” (ὑπό, Jupo), but this would be too awkward in English following the previous “by.”

35 tn Grk “a certain Ananias.”

36 sn The law refers to the law of Moses.

37 tn BDAG 534 s.v. κατοικέω 1.a translates this present participle “ὑπὸ πάντων τῶν (sc. ἐκεῖ) κατοικούντων ᾿Ιουδαίων by all the Jews who live there Ac 22:12.”

38 tn Grk “coming.” The participle ἐλθών (elqwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

39 tn Grk “coming to me and standing beside [me] said to me.” The participle ἐπιστάς (epistas) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

40 tn Grk “Brother Saul, look up” (here an idiom for regaining one’s sight). BDAG 59 s.v. ἀναβλέπω places this usage under 1, “look up Ac 22:13a. W. εἰς αὐτόν to show the direction of the glance…22:13b; but perh. this vs. belongs under 2a.” BDAG 59 s.v. 2.a.α states, “of blind persons, who were formerly able to see, regain sight.” The problem for the translator is deciding between the literal and the idiomatic usage and at the same time attempting to retain the wordplay in Acts 22:13: “[Ananias] said to me, ‘Look up!’ and at that very moment I looked up to him.” The assumption of the command is that the effort to look up will be worth it (through the regaining of sight).

41 tn Grk “hour,” but ὥρα (Jwra) is often used for indefinite short periods of time (so BDAG 1102-3 s.v. ὥρα 2.c: “αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ at that very time, at once, instantlyLk 2:38, 24:33; Ac 16:18; 22:13”). A comparison with the account in Acts 9:18 indicates that this is clearly the meaning here.

42 tn Grk “I looked up to him.”

43 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”

sn The expression God of our ancestors is a description of the God of Israel. The God of promise was at work again.

44 tn L&N 30.89 has “‘to choose in advance, to select beforehand, to designate in advance’…‘the God of our ancestors has already chosen you to know his will’ Ac 22:14.”

45 tn Grk “and to see.” This καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.

46 sn The Righteous One is a reference to Jesus Christ (Acts 3:14).

47 tn Or “a solemn declaration”; Grk “a voice.” BDAG 1071-72 s.v. φωνή 2.c states, “that which the voice gives expression to: call, cry, outcry, loud or solemn declaration (… = order, command)…Cp. 22:14; 24:21.”

48 tn Or “a witness to him.”

sn You will be his witness. See Acts 1:8; 13:31. The following reference to all people stresses all nationalities (Eph 3:7-9; Acts 9:15). Note also v. 21.

49 tn Grk “all men,” but this is a generic use of ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo").

50 tn L&N 67.121 has “to extend time unduly, with the implication of lack of decision – ‘to wait, to delay.’ νῦν τί μέλλεις… ἀναστὰς βάπτισαι ‘what are you waiting for? Get up and be baptized’ Ac 22:16.”

51 tn Grk “getting up.” The participle ἀναστάς (anasta") is an adverbial participle of attendant circumstance and has been translated as a finite verb.

52 sn The expression have your sins washed away means “have your sins purified” (the washing is figurative).

53 sn The expression calling on his name describes the confession of the believer: Acts 2:17-38, esp. v. 38; Rom 10:12-13; 1 Cor 1:2.

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