Questions/Answers Paul gives a CONTRADICTING REPORT of his DAMASCUS EXPERIENCE! (See acts 9:7 and acts 22:9)

Paul gives a CONTRADICTING REPORT of his DAMASCUS EXPERIENCE! (See acts 9:7 and acts 22:9)

Question 36

DOESN'T PAUL GIVE A CONTRADICTING REPORT OF HIS DAMASCUS EXPERIENCE? IN ONE PLACE HE SAYS HIS COMPANIONS HEARD THE VOICE FROM HEAVEN, AND IN ANOTHER PLACE HE SAYS THEY DID NOT HEAR THE VOICE! (SEE ACTS 9:7 AND ACTS 22:9)

 

Yes, there are two apparently contradicting verses regarding Paul's Damascus experience. Let's look at both the texts.

The men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. (Acts 9:7)

Again:

They that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me. (Acts 22:9)

In fact two different people narrated the two statements. One was by the author of the book of Acts, Luke, and the other was by the one who had that experience, Paul himself. Let us read Luke's report again:

The men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. (Acts 9:7)

Let us see once more what Paul said about the same incident:

They that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me. (Acts 22:9)

It looks contradictory. Logically, even without proceeding further, we should realize it cannot be so, because both are from the book of Acts. Obviously, Luke knew exactly what he was writing down.

Let us analyze what exactly happened, and we will realize both the statements are from different angles. Luke wrote:

Hearing a voice, but seeing no one. (Acts 9:7)

This voice was the voice of Jesus to Paul from Heaven.

When Jesus was alive on earth, the Father spoke publicly at least three times-once at Baptism, another time at the Mount of

Transfiguration, and yet another time just before His death (See Matthew 3:17; Matthew 17:5; John 12:28). Carefully read the record, and notice the different views of the people when the Father spoke just before His Son's death. It is written:

Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. (John 12:28, 29)

The people heard the voice from Heaven, and said, "It thundered", while others said, "An angel spake to him". Though the

Father spoke, some could not understand who it was, and what was spoken, but they heard a sound, and were wondering from whence

it was and what was said.

This is exactly what happened on Damascus' highway when the

Son of God spoke to Paul from Heaven. Paul understood every word that came down, and he was actually having a dialogue with

Jesus. Only Paul knew whom he was speaking to, and what Jesus was speaking to him. The rest were just spectators. They saw him fall to the ground and the Heavenly light focused on him, which was so powerful that Paul turned blind for three days. (He would have remained blind, except for a miracle that restored his sight).

Luke wrote the about the people who accompanied Paul:

Hearing a voice, but seeing no man. (Acts 9:7)

That is true. They heard a voice rumbling down from Heaven but did not see who it was that spoke.

Paul, many years later, tells of his experience to the Jews, and also the experience of his companions, who:

Saw indeed the light. (Acts 22:9)

This is no problem at all. The previous passage said they saw "no man". They saw the light streaming from Heaven but did not see Jesus!

Paul declared, "They heard not the voice". What did Paul mean? Listen to Paul a little previous to that:

And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

(Acts 22:7-9)

Paul said he heard the voice. What did the voice say?-"Saul,

Saul, why persecutest thou me? I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou

persecutest." The rest of his companions heard not the voice, meaning, they did not hear what was spoken, though they could hear some sound. Probably they thought it "thundered" like the Jews thought when the Father spoke to Jesus. That is why Luke said earlier, they "stood speechless, hearing a voice". They heard someone speaking to Paul, but did not know who it was and what was spoken.

When Daniel had a vision on the banks of the great river

Hiddekel, there was a similar experience. Daniel writes:

And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. (Daniel 10:7)

Yes, the companions of Paul too felt the manifestation of divinity but only Paul was in the thick of it. They saw the light, but did not see the Person; they heard a voice but did not hear or understand what the voice said.

The two reports are in perfect harmony!

 

 

Pastor Michael Pedrin Preaching