Green – shared word for word
Yellow – approximate or stylistic
Blue – uniquely
Here are the quotes of Jesus from Acts 22 with the parallel quotes from Acts 9 and 26 below them. I have used the account from Paul’s speech to be the standard form in this comparison.
Jesus: ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’
“Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:4)
‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is useless for you to fight against my will.’ (Acts 26:14)
Paul: ‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked.
Jesus: ‘And the voice replied,’ ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, the one you are persecuting.”
“I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! (Acts 9:5)
‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. (Acts 26:15)
I asked, ‘What should I do, Lord?’ “
And the Lord told me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told everything you are to do.’
Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:6)
Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and witness. Tell people that you have seen me, and tell them what I will show you in the future. (Acts 26:16)
Spoken to Ananias:
The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now.
I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.” (Acts 9:11-12)[Ananias: ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight.’
‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and hear him speak.
For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard.
What are you waiting for? Get up and be baptized. Have your sins washed away by calling on the name of the Lord.’ (Acts 22:13-16)
After I returned to Jerusalem, I was praying in the Temple and fell into a trance.
I saw a vision of Jesus saying to me, ]
‘Hurry! Leave Jerusalem, for the people here won’t accept your testimony about me.’ (Acts 22:18)
Paul: ‘But Lord,’ I argued, ‘they certainly know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you.
And I was in complete agreement when your witness Stephen was killed. I stood by and kept the coats they took off when they stoned him.’
“But the Lord said to me, ‘Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles!’” (Acts 22:21)
But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. (Acts 9:15)
And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.” (Acts 9:16)
And I will rescue you from both your own people and the Gentiles. Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles. (Acts 26:17)
to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.’ (Acts 26:18)
Before we do more with it, read it through to gain a sense of the timing and the order in which things happened; especially related to the words spoken by Jesus. Notice the significant uniformity up to the moment of “Get up, leave.” From that point on there is considerably more variation and additional portions. Take note particularly of the flow of the speech and the inclusion of quotes from Jesus in the speech. I have included the variations from Acts 9 and 26 not to confuse you but rather to provide a comparison of the consistency of the testimony. Or should I say the accuracy of the reported speech of Jesus?
Realize too the background to what this all means. Paul is giving an account of what happened to the leaders and the mob of what caused his change of heart. We would say his conversion to become a follower of Christ. This is the same Christ they have rejected. This is the Messiah (Christ) of whom Pater said, “So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!” (Acts 2:36) Paul is saying similar, provocative things but there is a variation in the way he is laying out his case. Pay careful attention to what he is doing. I will sum it all up in the next Gem. You have all of the pieces laid before you now. Now it is just a matter of you gathering all of those pieces and putting them together to see clearly what Paul is doing. He did it so masterfully well that he delayed their reaction. It is like he sprung the evidence on them, putting it in such a way that they didn’t notice his strategy.
It is time now for you to do the thinking, sifting and collation. Those of you who like to sift the evidence to test its validity might like to analyse the words of Jesus as quoted in three different accounts; like a police detective.
Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.Ralph Waldo Emerson
Restlessness is discontent and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.Thomas Edison
Most of us have jobs that are too small for our spirits.Studs Terkel
Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.C.S. Lewis