1. Meanwhile Saul was still breathing threats to slaughter the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest
2. and asked for letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, that would authorise him to arrest and take to Jerusalem any followers of the Way, men or women, that he might find.
3. It happened that while he was travelling to Damascus and approaching the city, suddenly a light from heaven shone all round him.
4. He fell to the ground, and then he heard a voice saying, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?'
5. 'Who are you, Lord?' he asked, and the answer came, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
6. Get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you are to do.'
7. The men travelling with Saul stood there speechless, for though they heard the voice they could see no one.
8. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing at all, and they had to lead him into Damascus by the hand.
9. For three days he was without his sight and took neither food nor drink.
10. There was a disciple in Damascus called Ananias, and he had a vision in which the Lord said to him, 'Ananias!' When he replied, 'Here I am, Lord,'
11. the Lord said, 'Get up and go to Straight Street and ask at the house of Judas for someone called Saul, who comes from Tarsus. At this moment he is praying,
12. and has seen a man called Ananias coming in and laying hands on him to give him back his sight.'
13. But in response, Ananias said, 'Lord, I have heard from many people about this man and all the harm he has been doing to your holy people in Jerusalem.
14. He has come here with a warrant from the chief priests to arrest everybody who invokes your name.'
15. The Lord replied, 'Go, for this man is my chosen instrument to bring my name before gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel;
16. I myself will show him how much he must suffer for my name.'
17. Then Ananias went. He entered the house, and laid his hands on Saul and said, 'Brother Saul, I have been sent by the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, so that you may recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.'
18. It was as though scales fell away from his eyes and immediately he was able to see again. So he got up and was baptised,
19. and after taking some food he regained his strength. After he had spent only a few days with the disciples in Damascus,
20. he began preaching in the synagogues, 'Jesus is the Son of God.'
21. All his hearers were amazed, and said, 'Surely, this is the man who did such damage in Jerusalem to the people who invoke this name, and who came here for the sole purpose of arresting them to have them tried by the chief priests?'
22. Saul's power increased steadily, and he was able to throw the Jewish colony at Damascus into complete confusion by the way he demonstrated that Jesus was the Christ.
23. Some time passed, and the Jews worked out a plot to kill him,
24. but news of it reached Saul. They were keeping watch at the gates day and night in order to kill him,
25. but the disciples took him by night and let him down from the wall, lowering him in a basket.
26. When he got to Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him: they could not believe he was really a disciple.
27. Barnabas, however, took charge of him, introduced him to the apostles, and explained how the Lord had appeared to him and spoken to him on his journey, and how he had preached fearlessly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
28. Saul now started to go round with them in Jerusalem, preaching fearlessly in the name of the Lord.
29. But after he had spoken to the Hellenists and argued with them, they became determined to kill him.
30. When the brothers got to know of this, they took him to Caesarea and sent him off from there to Tarsus.
31. The churches throughout Judaea, Galilee and Samaria were now left in peace, building themselves up and living in the fear of the Lord; encouraged by the Holy Spirit, they continued to grow.
32. It happened that Peter visited one place after another and eventually came to God's holy people living down in Lydda.
33. There he found a man called Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years.
34. Peter said to him, 'Aeneas, Jesus Christ cures you: get up and make your bed.' Aeneas got up immediately;
35. everybody who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they were converted to the Lord.
36. At Jaffa there was a disciple called Tabitha, or in Greek, Dorcas, who never tired of doing good or giving to those in need.
37. But it happened that at this time she became ill and died, and they washed her and laid her out in an upper room.
38. Lydda is not far from Jaffa, so when the disciples heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to urge him, 'Come to us without delay.'
39. Peter went back with them immediately, and on his arrival they took him to the upper room, where all the widows stood round him in tears, showing him tunics and other clothes Dorcas had made when she was with them.
40. Peter sent everyone out of the room and knelt down and prayed. Then he turned to the dead woman and said, 'Tabitha, stand up.' She opened her eyes, looked at Peter and sat up.
41. Peter helped her to her feet, then he called in the members of the congregation and widows and showed them she was alive.
42. The whole of Jaffa heard about it and many believed in the Lord.
43. Peter stayed on some time in Jaffa, lodging with a leather-tanner called Simon.