post-conversion account


Luke’s account of Paul’s post-conversion journey (Acts 9:19-31) differs substantially with Paul’s version (Galatians 1:15-22) in four key areas:

  • It differs in the path Paul took;
  • It differs in time;
  • It differs on who he saw and who he didn’t see; and
  • It differs on the reasons for his actions.


  1. According to Luke, after Saul ate he stayed at Damascus with the disciples there for a few days, then he immediately preached in the synagogues (Acts 9:19-20). But according to Paul, he went immediately into Arabia (Galatians 1:17). In Luke’s account, Paul went immediately into the synagogue to preach and after a few days he had to escape to Jerusalem, there is no room here to insert Arabia anywhere in these passages (Acts 9:20, 23, 26).
  2. According to Paul, Saul didn’t consult with flesh and blood, which means anyone or any person, right after he alleges he saw Christ (Galatians 1:16). But according to Luke, he was brought to Ananias right after his encounter, and Ananias was the one who opened his eyes and told him of his mission (Acts 9:6, 17). He was even with the disciples in Damascus (Acts 9:19).
  3. According to Luke, after several days the Jews attempted to kill Saul, so the disciples helped Paul escape in a basket down a wall (Acts 9:33-25). But according to Paul, he left Damascus because the governor under King Aretas wanted to capture him; nothing about him fleeing because the Jews wanted to kill him (2 Corinthians 11:32-33).
  4. According to Luke, Barnabus brought Saul to the apostles (plural) and after some convincing the apostles accepted him, and Saul was with the apostles going in and out of Jerusalem (Acts 9:27-28). But according to Paul, he didn’t see any of the apostles except for Peter. We also know from Acts 8:14 that the apostles were in Jerusalem, and in 8:25 Peter and John headed back to Jerusalem. In either case, the apostles in Luke’s account were at Jerusalem, while Paul claims he only saw Peter.
  5. According to Luke, Saul had to flee once more this time because the Grecians wanted to kill him. So the disciples brought him to Caesarea, and shipped him off to Tarsus in Cicilia (Acts 9:29-30). Paul, in addressing the Galatians, makes no mention of fleeing for his life, and he says after seeing Peter he goes to Syria which is omitted from Luke’s account.

These conflicting passages cannot be God-breathed no matter how you slice it. There will inevitably be people who, not wanting to admit either Luke or Paul was lying, try to twist the text and insert their own versions or theories to keep their theology. Sadly, they would rather give up reason and logic than forsake their own pride or view. Its altogether one thing to give greater details of a particular event that will correlate to another account of the same event and another thing to give conflicting details that do not correlate at all.

The above is only the problem of the post-conversion event. There are also contradictions in the conversion account itself. There are also problems and inconsistencies regarding the meeting at the council in Jerusalem. It is certain that these writings cannot be divinely-authored; to say so is blasphemy.

Proverbs 30:5-6
5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (KJV)

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