Acts 9 – Paul’s Blindness


Reading Acts

When Saul meets the resurrected Jesus on the road to Damascus, he is struck blind (9:8). While this blindness might be explained as the result of the theophany (he looked into a bright light and was physically damaged as a result, Acts 22:11 more or less implied this). But it is likely the original readers of the book of Acts would have thought this blindness was a judgment.

Paul Road to DamascusBoth Greek and Jewish often associated “being struck blind” with offending the gods/God. Keener (2:1640-2) offers a wide range of examples of this sort of judicial blindness. For example, Tiresias’s blindness was cause by Saturnia, although he is given the gift of prophecy to compensate for his blindness (Ovid, Metanm.3.335). In the Hebrew Bible, the men of Sodom who attempt to attack the angels are struck with blindness (Gen 19:11).

Perhaps the blindness is the result of the revelation Saul received…

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