18 And we all, with unveiled face, tbeholding uthe glory of the Lord,1 vare being transformed into the same image wfrom one degree of glory to another.2 For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
The Light of the Gospel
4 Therefore, having xthis ministry yby the mercy of God,3 we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced zdisgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice4 cunning or ato tamper with God's word, but bby the open statement of the truth cwe would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even dif our gospel is veiled, eit is veiled to fthose who are perishing. 4 In their case gthe god of this world dhas blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing hthe light of ithe gospel of the glory of Christ, jwho is the image of God. 5 For what kwe proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with lourselves as your servants5 for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, m“Let light shine out of darkness,” nhas shone in our hearts to give othe light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of ldeep darkness,
on them has light shone.
The Stoning of Stephen
54 Now when they heard these things lthey were enraged, and they mground their teeth at him. 55 But he, nfull of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw othe glory of God, and Jesus standing pat the right hand of God. 56 And he said, “Behold, I see qthe heavens opened, and rthe Son of Man standing pat the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together1 at him. 58 Then sthey cast him out of the city and tstoned him. And uthe witnesses laid down their garments vat the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, whe called out, “Lord Jesus, xreceive my spirit.” 60 And yfalling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, z“Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, ahe fell asleep.
Saul Ravages the Church
And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and dthey were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. 3 But eSaul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he fdragged off men and women and committed them to prison.
The Conversion of Saul
9 But Saul, bstill cbreathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to dthe high priest 2 and asked him for letters eto the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to fthe Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 gNow as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. 4 And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting hme?” 5 And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, hwhom you are persecuting. 6 But irise and enter the city, and you will be told jwhat you are to do.” 7 kThe men who were traveling with him stood speechless, lhearing the voice but seeing no one. 8 Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, mhe saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named nAnanias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, o“Here I am, Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man pof Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and qlay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, rhow much evil he has done to syour tsaints at Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from uthe chief priests to bind all who vcall on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for whe is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name xbefore the Gentiles and ykings and the children of Israel. 16 For zI will show him how much ahe must suffer bfor the sake of my name.” 17 So cAnanias departed and entered the house. And dlaying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and ebe filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and fhe regained his sight. Then ghe rose and was baptized; 19 and htaking food, he was strengthened.
Saul Proclaims Jesus in Synagogues
For isome days he was with the disciples at Damascus. 20 And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, j“He is the Son of God.” 21 And all who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who kmade havoc lin Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?” 22 But Saul mincreased all the more in strength, and nconfounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving othat Jesus was the Christ.
9 b“I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of cJesus of Nazareth. 10 dAnd I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority efrom the chief priests, but fwhen they were put to death I cast my vote against them. 11 And gI punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them hblaspheme, and iin raging fury against them I jpersecuted them even to foreign cities.
Paul Tells of His Conversion
12 “In this connection kI journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me lin the Hebrew language,1 ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and mstand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, nto appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 17 odelivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—pto whom I qam sending you 18 rto open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from sthe power of Satan to God, that they may receive tforgiveness of sins and ua place among those who are sanctified vby faith in me.’
19 “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to wthe heavenly vision, 20 but declared first xto those in Damascus, ythen in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also zto the Gentiles, that they should arepent and bturn to God, performing deeds cin keeping with their repentance. 21 For this reason dthe Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22 eTo this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so fI stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what gthe prophets and Moses said would come to pass: 23 hthat the Christ imust suffer and that, jby being the first kto rise from the dead, lhe would proclaim mlight both to our people and to the Gentiles.”
24 And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, nyou are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.”