What is the point of Paul's stay with Ananias?

Act 9:6 But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do." ... Act 9:15 But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. Act 9:16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name." Act 9:17 So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying 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 be filled with the Holy Spirit." Act 9:18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; Act 9:19 and taking food, he was strengthened. For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus. Act 9:20 And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, "He is the Son of God."

What instructions did Ananias supply? Did he send Paul to the gentiles? Inform him of his message?

2 Answers 2


John Shelby Spong, in Born of a Woman: A Bishop Rethinks the Birth of Jesus, page 109, points to the large number of discrepancies between Acts chapter 9 and Paul’s epistles. Because of this, I look at both Acts of the Apostles and Paul's epistles in order to establish the events that took place.

In Galatians 1:12-17, Paul says that no one taught him the gospel, which he received purely by revelation, after which he went immediately to Arabia (Petrea):

Galatians 1:12-17: But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

Acts omits the trip to Arabia, because the blind and helpless Paul must first be taken to Damascus to have his sight restored. Paul had said that no one taught him the gospel, so Acts merely says that Ananias restored Paul's sight and not that Ananias taught him the gospel, but the time Paul spent with the disciples before he began to preach does allow the reader to assume that he was taught the gospel, if not by Ananias then at least by those disciples.

The author of Acts is at pains to give Peter credit for beginning to preach to the gentiles, with chapter 10 telling of Peter realising he was called to preach to Jews and Gentiles alike, and how he baptised the centurion Cornelius and many others. It is still too early to preach to the gentiles, so Paul is not instructed to do so and, in Acts 9:20, he preaches to the Jews:

Acts 9:20: And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

The Jews soon attempt to kill Paul and the disciples help him to escape from them by being let down the wall in a basket. In Paul's own account, when he arrived in Damascus he preached to the gentiles, because the governor of the city attempted to have his guards arrest Paul, but the disciples help him to escape from them by being let down the wall in a basket:

2 Corinthians 11:32-33: In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.


My answer is a question ! If Ananias were so important as to actually "commission" Paul (Saul) -- (something Jesus did for the true apostles who actually met the prerequisites (Acts ch 1 vs 21--22) of being apostles of Jesus Christ), (Matt ch 28 vs 19-20), -- then why isn't Ananias even mentioned in the 3rd account of this alleged meeting on the Damascus road? Acts ch 26. (The light blinded Paul ( Acts ch 22 v 11...2nd version ) " I could not see for the brightness of the light". This light was the initial ingredient of this alleged meeting, so when could Saul/Paul have SEEN Jesus?) Several times...eg. John ch 16 v 10, Jesus says that He goes to His Father and " ye see Me no more". Paul claims to be a witness of Jesus....BUT he never saw Jesus. (Jesus said "Follow Me" Jesus is our ONE Master and ONE Teacher ! ) Paul teaches his own gospel ( Rom ch 2 v 16 or Rom ch 16 v 25) and as it differs from that of Jesus....it therefore 'HATH NOT GOD'. (2 John v 9). So why do the churches follow Paul ?...This is worth a good thought !!! O, by the way, many say Paul had extended private tuition from Jesus in Arabia. If you read Gal. ch 1 v 17 properly you will see that Paul claims to go to Arabia and then return to Damascus. V.18.."THEN ,after 3 years (in Damascus)...he went to Jerusalem. His trip to Arabia is not the "years" so many pastors like to claim ! In any case, Jesus was in Heaven at that time...not Arabia ! Much more needs saying ! Thank you. rodd

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    Please re-write this answer. Separate each point you wish to make into it's own paragraph with a main sentence and one or more dependent sentences. Please learn the StackExchange markdown syntax for formatting your answer, and in particular the syntax for quoting verse.
    – user17080
    Sep 24, 2017 at 12:33

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