There are those who think there is a contradiction between Acts 9:7 and Acts 22:9, when Saul, later to be called the Apostle Paul, encountered the ascended, glorified Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus. First of all, there are no contradictions in the Bible. We either believe the Bible is the infallible word of God, or we don’t.
Ever since the garden of Eden, the word of God has been under attack:
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
We know God cannot lie:
Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
…and the scripture cannot be broken:
John 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
We know that all scripture is given by inspiration of God:
2 Timothy 3:14-17
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
The Apostle Paul fulfilled the word of God:
25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Paul’s epistles (Romans thru Philemon) is the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the MYSTERY (not prophecy!):
25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; (Ephesians 4:11-12)
6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
The Greek word “apostolos” was a military rank or title used to designate the commander-in-chief or admiral of the fleet. So, the Apostle Paul is the apostolos: commander-in-chief to and of the gentiles, for a brand new program called the dispensation of the grace of God/the age of Grace, concerning a brand new church called the body of Christ. The saving gospel (good news) for the dispensation of the grace of God, called the Gospel of Christ/The Gospel of the grace of God, was exclusively revealed to Paul by the ascended Christ. Paul called it “my gospel” (Romans 2:16, 16:25, 2 Timothy 2:8) for a reason! It can only be found in Paul’s epistles.
1 Timothy 2:3-7
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Therefore it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that Satan and his ministers of righteousness (2
Corinthians 11:13-15) question the trustworthiness of Paul.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4
3 But if our gospel be hid [or not understood], it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Let’s examine Acts 9 and Acts 22:
1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
Acts 9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
Acts 9:7 AndG1161 theG3588 menG435 which journeyed withG4922 himG846 stoodG2476 speechless,G1769 hearingG191 a(G3303) voice,G5456 butG1161 seeingG2334 no man.G3367
6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.
7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.
9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.
Acts 22:9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.
Acts 22:9 AndG1161 they that wereG5607 withG4862 meG1698 sawG2300 indeedG3303 theG3588 light,G5457 andG2532 wereG1096 afraid;G1719 butG1161 they heardG191 notG3756 theG3588 voiceG5456 of him that spakeG2980 to me.G3427
The words translated “to hear: hearing” (Acts 9:7) and “to hear: heard (not)” (Acts 22:9), is the same word in the Greek:
A primary verb; to hear (in various senses): – give (in the) audience (of), come (to the ears), ([shall]) hear (-er, -ken), be noised, be reported, understand.
Although they heard a voice, they did not understand. This is what happened to Paul and those with him while traveling to Damascus. While the men with him heard the voice of the ascended, glorified Christ, they did not understand what was said. However, Paul both heard and understood!
The same greek word “akouō” is translated “to understand: understandeth” in 1 Corinthians 14:2:
1 Corinthians 14:2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
1 Corinthians 14:2 ForG1063 he that speakethG2980 in an unknown tongueG1100 speakethG2980 notG3756 unto men,G444 butG235 unto God:G2316 forG1063 no manG3762 understandethG191 him; howbeitG1161 in the spiritG4151 he speakethG2980 mysteries.G3466
So, no, there is no contradiction between Acts 9:7 and 22:9, or anywhere else in the Bible, for that matter.