Sound, But No Sound Doctrine

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

“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 KJV).

In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul is giving his testimony to Israel, yet according to Bible critics, this verse “contradicts” another verse. Rather than “correcting” the Bible, as some modern translators have done, we let the Bible correct us… and it will teach us a valuable doctrine!

Today’s Scripture explains that those traveling to Damascus with Paul (at that time Saul) did not hear the voice of Jesus Christ, who appeared to Saul in Acts chapter 9. Yet, when we read Acts 9:7, the Bible seems to say the opposite: “And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.” Well, which is it? Did they hear (Acts 9:7), or did they not hear (Acts 22:9)? A lost person once tried to use this very argument against me in a desperate (and unsuccessful) attempt to discredit the Bible because it challenged his denomination!

Certainly, God’s Word has no mistakes (otherwise, He would be a liar!). If we consider John 12:28,29, resolving this apparent discrepancy actually teaches us something: “Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.” Here, Jesus, standing on earth, is speaking to His Father in heaven. Notice that His Father gave an intelligent response: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” Yet, some of the audience heard thunder, a mere noise: they did not hear anything intelligent.

So, those traveling with Saul did hear the sound of Jesus’ voice, but they did not hear the actual words (that is, understand what was spoken). Acts 9:7 and Acts 22:9 really complement one another, teaching us that people can hear God’s Word being read or spoken, but they are willingly too blinded by sin to hear His actual words with understanding (Isaiah 6:9,10; Matthew 13:13-15; Acts 28:24-27).