What does Acts 9:28 mean?
ESV: So he went in and out among them at Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord.
NIV: So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.
NASB: And he was with them, moving about freely in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord.
CSB: Saul was coming and going with them in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.
NLT: So Saul stayed with the apostles and went all around Jerusalem with them, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord.
KJV: And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.
Verse Commentary:
Saul is a Greek-speaking Jewish man who was trained to be a Pharisee but, after violently persecuting the church, accepted that Jesus of Nazareth is the Jewish Messiah and Savior. After his conversion in Damascus, and about three years in Arabia and Damascus (Galatians 1:17–18), he travels 133 miles south to Jerusalem to meet the leaders of the church he had tried to destroy. At first, they are wary, but Barnabas takes the chance, gets to know Saul, and introduces him to the apostles (Acts 9:1–27).

Now, Saul continues what he started in Damascus: showing Jews how the Messiah they are waiting for has already come in the person of a carpenter from Nazareth who was crucified and rose again.

Speaking the Word of the Lord boldly was always the apostles' goal (Acts 4:29). Saul seems fearless, but he makes the conscious effort to be strong and faithful and asks others to pray for him (Ephesians 6:19).

Saul is a Jew, both ethnically and by religion. However, he's from Tarsus, the capital of the Roman province of Cilicia, on the southeastern shore of modern-day Asia Minor. He was born a Roman citizen and speaks Greek and understands Greek philosophy and literature. He was also educated in Jerusalem and studied under the noted Pharisee Gamaliel (Acts 17:22–28; 22:3, 27–28). He is teaching at the synagogues of other Hellenist Jews (Acts 9:29)—possibly the very synagogues where Stephen taught, and the very people responsible for Stephen's death (Acts 6:8–15; 7:54–60).

Saul will soon face the same dilemma Stephen did: continue preaching or escape with his life. The apostles make the choice for him and send him back home to Tarsus (Acts 9:29–30).
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 4/17/2024 10:04:56 PM
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