Acts 9:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 9:13, NIV: Lord,' Ananias answered, 'I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem.

Acts 9:13, ESV: But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem.

Acts 9:13, KJV: Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:

Acts 9:13, NASB: But Ananias answered, 'Lord, I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints in Jerusalem;

Acts 9:13, NLT: 'But Lord,' exclaimed Ananias, 'I've heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem!

Acts 9:13, CSB: "Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem.

What does Acts 9:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After the murder of Stephen (Acts 7), a young, Pharisee-trained, Greek-speaking Jewish man named Saul asked the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council, for authority to track down Jesus-followers. At this point, the vast majority were Jews or proselytes: full converts to Judaism. One of the concessions the Roman government gave to the Jews—considered strange people with their invisible God—was religious authority over their own people. They were not supposed to execute anyone (John 18:31), but they could arrest and punish them.

As Saul's persecution in Jerusalem increased (Acts 8:1–3), the Jesus-followers fled, taking the news about Jesus into Judea and Samaria (Acts 8:4–40). Saul requested permission to follow them wherever they went, which is why he traveled 133 miles north to Damascus. Before Saul reached the city, Jesus confronted him with his violence against His church. Jesus has now asked Ananias to meet with Saul and finish his conversion from prosecutor to apostle (Acts 9:3–12).

Ananias is unconvinced. He euphemistically describes Saul as "binding" the Jesus-followers in Jerusalem (Acts 9:14). Ananias would have heard from the refugees and known it was much worse. By his own admission, Saul beat them, voted for their execution, chased them in a raging fury, and tried to make them blaspheme (Acts 22:19; 26:10–11).

As much as Ananias trusts Jesus, he's not sure what can be done against such reckless hate. At this point in the history of the church, Saul of Tarsus is the last person Ananias—or any other Christian—would want to meet.