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1BUT Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord, went to the High Priest

2requesting him for letters of authority to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he should find there any followers of the Way, whether men or women, he could bring them back to Jerusalem as prisoners.

3But on his journey, as he neared Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly blazed around him,

4and he fell to the ground. Then he heard a voice speaking to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"

5"Who are you, Lord?" he asked. "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting," was the reply.

6"But now stand up and go into the city and there you will be told what you must do."

7His companions on the journey stood there speechless, for they had heard the voice but could see no one.

8Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they took him by the hand and led him into Damascus.

9There he remained sightless for three days, and during that time he had nothing either to eat or drink.

10Now in Damascus there was a disciple by the name of Ananias. The Lord spoke to this man in a dream, calling him by his name. "I am here, Lord," he replied.

11Then the Lord said to "Get up and go down to the street called Straight and enquire at the house of Judas for a man named Saul from Tarsus. At this moment he is praying

12and he sees in his mind's eye a man by the name of Ananias coming into the houses and placing his hands upon him to restore his sight."

13But Ananias replied, "Lord, I have heard on all hands about this man and how much harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem!

14Why even now he holds powers from the chief priests to attest all who can upon your name."

15But the Lord said to him, "Go on your way, for this man is my chosen instrument to bear my name before the gentiles and their kings, as well as to the sons of Israel.

16Indeed, I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name."

17Then Ananias set out and went to the house, and there he laid his hands upon Saul, and said, "Saul, brother, the Lord has sent meJesus who appeared to you on your journey hereso that you may recover your sight, and be filled wish the Holy Spirit."

18Immediately something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got to his feet and was baptized.

19Then he took some food and regained his strength. Saul stayed with the disciples in Damascus for some time.

20Without delay he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues declaring that he is the Son of God.

21All his hearers were amazed and kept saying, "Isn't this the man who so bitterly persecuted those who called on the name in Jerusalem, and came down here with the sole object of taking back all such people as prisoners before the chief priests?"

22But Saul went on from strength to strength, reducing to confusion the Jews who lived at Damascus by proving beyond doubt that this man is Christ.

23After some time the Jews made a plot to kill Saul,

24but news of, this came to his ears. Although in their murderous scheme the Jews watched the gates day and night for him,

25his disciples took him one night and let him down through an opening in the wall by lowering him in a basket.

26When Saul reached Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples. But they were all afraid of him, finding it impossible to believe that he was a disciple.

27Barnabas, however, took him by the hand and introduced him to the apostles, and explained to them how he had seen the Lord on his journey, and how the Lord had spoken to him. He further explained how Saul had spoken in Damascus with the utmost boldness in the name of Jesus.

28After that Saul joined with them in all their activities in Jerusalem,

29preaching fearlessly in the name of the Lord. He used to talk and argue with the Greekspeaking Jews, but they made several attempts on his life.

30When the brothers realised this they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.

31The whole Church throughout Judaea, Galilee and Samaria now enjoyed a period of peace. It became established and as it went forward in reverence for the Lord and in the strengthening presence of the Holy Spirit, continued to grow in numbers.

32Now it happened that Peter, in the course of traveling about among them all, came down to God's people living at Lydda.

33There he found a man called Aeneas who had been bedridden for eight years through paralysis.

34Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you! Get up and make your bed." He got to his feet at once.

35And all those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.

36Then there was a woman in Joppa, a disciple called Tabitha, whose name in Greek was Dorcas (meaning Gazelle). She was a woman whose whole life was full of good and kindly actions,

37but in those days she became seriously ill and died. So when they had washed her body they laid her in a room upstairs.

38Now Lydda is quite near Joppa, and when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and begged him, "Please come to us without delay."

39Peter got up and went back with them, and when he arrived in Joppa they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood around him with tears in their eyes, holding out for him to see the dresses and cloaks which Dorcas used to make for them while she was with them.

40But Peter put them all outside the room and knelt down and prayed. Then he turned to the body and said, "Tabitha, get up!" She opened her eyes, and as soon as she saw Peter she sat up.

41He took her by the hand, helped her to her feet, and then called out to the believers and widows and presented her to them alive.

42This became known throughout the whole of Joppa and many believed in the Lord.

43Peter himself remained there for some time, staying with a tanner called Simon.

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