What does Acts 9:27 mean?
ESV: But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus.
NIV: But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.
NASB: But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus at Damascus.
CSB: Barnabas, however, took him and brought him to the apostles and explained to them how Saul had seen the Lord on the road and that the Lord had talked to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the name of Jesus.
NLT: Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the Lord on the way to Damascus and how the Lord had spoken to Saul. He also told them that Saul had preached boldly in the name of Jesus in Damascus.
KJV: But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
NKJV: But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
Verse Commentary:
Saul, the violent, driven persecutor of the church has become Saul, the intense defender of Christianity. Later, he will go by his Greek name, Paul (Acts 13:9). Saul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, about 133 miles north of Jerusalem. Where once he had used his training as a Pharisee and his complete devotion to destroy the church, he now shows Jews how Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Jewish Messiah. After teaching in Damascus, he has come to Jerusalem and is ready to meet the leaders of the church. But the apostles are scared. They know who he is and what he has done, and they're not ready to trust a conversion they didn't witness (Acts 9:1–26).

Barnabas is one of the first members of the church. His given name is Joseph, but he goes by a name which means "son of encouragement," which fits him very well (Acts 4:36–37). He is from the island of Cyprus, but apparently heard about Jesus while traveling to Jerusalem and quickly became fully devoted.

"Bold" is a good word to describe Saul's ministry. On his first mission trip, when he and Barnabas go to Cyprus and speak to the proconsul, Saul will tell a Jewish magician, "You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?" (Acts 13:10). When he is presented with a chance to speak with King Agrippa, he does so eagerly (Acts 26). And when Peter stops eating with Gentile Christians for fear of disappointing legalistic Jewish Christians, Saul reprimands him in public (Galatians 2:14).

After meeting with the apostles, Saul will continue to preach boldly in Jerusalem—to the point that the Greek-speaking Jews take notice. This is the same group that found Stephen so hard to debate that they murdered him (Acts 6:8–15; 7:54–60). And the same group that will eventually have Saul arrested in Jerusalem (Acts 21:27–36).
Verse Context:
Acts 9:26–31 draws a curtain on the persecution of the church at the hands of the Pharisee-trained Saul. The young man who ''[breathed] threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord'' (Acts 9:1) has chosen to follow Jesus instead. He has spent several years learning more about how Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and sharing his new-found understanding at synagogues in Damascus. Now, he returns to Jerusalem—not to the Sanhedrin who gave him his orders, but to the leaders of the church he once tried to destroy.
Chapter Summary:
Acts 9 sets the stage for the spread of the gospel to the Gentiles. Saul continues the persecution of the church by traveling to Damascus to arrest Jesus-followers. Before he reaches the city, Jesus confronts him. Saul realizes Jesus is the Messiah and immediately starts spreading the news, first in Damascus and later in Jerusalem. Meanwhile, Peter travels to modern-day Tel Aviv to heal a paralyzed man and bring a dead woman back to life. The miracles aren't unusual, but the story leaves him in Joppa, poised to take the next step in Jesus' mandate to be His witness (Acts 1:8).
Chapter Context:
The murder of the Jesus-follower Stephen has ignited a fierce persecution against the church, led by a young Pharisee-trained man named Saul (Acts 7:54—8:3; 9:1–2). When he realizes Jesus truly is the Messiah, that fervor fuels his own evangelism (Acts 9:3–30). Meanwhile, Peter travels to the coast of Judea. Soon, he will teach a prominent Gentile household about Jesus and discover that Gentiles can be saved (Acts 10). The stage will be set for Saul to spread the saving news of Jesus to ''the end of the earth'' (Acts 1:8) under the Greek version of his name: Paul.
Book Summary:
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
Accessed 5/28/2024 12:53:52 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com