Paul (also known as Saul) famously experienced a vision of Jesus on the road to Damascus, and immediately became a follower of Christ. But accounts seem to differ over what he did next. These passages are Acts 9:8-9 and 18-20, written by Luke:
Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank. (ESV)
[Three days pass]
However, Paul himself later wrote about what happened. This is Galatians 1:15-17:
So, Acts tells us that Paul "immediately" started preaching, whereas Galatians says that he did not consult with anyone until after he had gone to Arabia.
However, I'm not sure this is a real problem. From the context (especially Galatians 1:11-12) it's clear that what Paul is stressing is that he did not receive the doctrines of Christianity from any human source. So he is really saying that he did not consult with any Christian. The fact that he started preaching immediately does not contradict this; indeed, his whole point is that he was able to preach without being taught by other Christians.
A more difficult issue is that Galatians says that Paul went to Arabia after his conversion, whereas Acts says that he immediately started preaching in Damascus. However, Galatians (as translated by the ESV) does not explicitly say that he went to Arabia immediately. But other translations do; e.g. the 1984 NIV does. There is a disagreement over where to place the word "immediately". Comparing various translations, it seems to me that Paul is really saying:
The KJV translation brings this out quite well.
In order to solve this problem, one might suggest that Paul immediately went to Arabia, then returned and started preaching. For example, the Berean Bible Church website tells us:
However, Acts says that he immediately started preaching in the synagogues, which surely means immediately after his conversion - any other reading is completely unnatural. So this solution doesn't work.
As an alternative, one might suggest that Paul immediately started preaching, but his trip to Arabia happened soon afterwards - soon enough that it could also be called "immediate". I think this is a bit of a stretch.
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