Variations in the accounts of Paul's conversion in Acts


Does anybody have any theories to explain the variation in the accounts of Paul's conversion on the road to damascus?

In the first, it says that his companions heard the voice that spoke to Paul, but in the second account this is reversed, and it says that the companions saw a light but heard nothing.

Can these be harmonized?


As I understand it, what is probably meant is that the men with him heard a voice but didn’t recognize it as speech, but only noise, perhaps something like thunder, to their perception. The point is that the message was only for Saul not for everyone who accompanied him.


Well the fact that only Paul was able to understand the message is a clue. He became blind instantly. His companions were probably frightened by the event and perhaps could not make much sense of what had just happened.

Remember they were all part of a punitive expedition hunting Christians :(

Peace :thumbsup:


The interesting thing is that this is not the first message to Saul.

But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” Acts 7:55-56.

Saul was there, but ignored the message, and quite possibly became indignant. Acts 9 is a direct intervention as if to say, Saul how come you didn't listen the first time, now see for yourself. Hence the reference to kicking against the goads, which is a wrong direction being taken.


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