Acts 26:20
Parallel Verses
New International Version
First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.

New Living Translation
I preached first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that all must repent of their sins and turn to God--and prove they have changed by the good things they do.

English Standard Version
but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.

New American Standard Bible
but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.

King James Bible
But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Instead, I preached to those in Damascus first, and to those in Jerusalem and in all the region of Judea, and to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works worthy of repentance.

International Standard Version
Instead, I first told the people in Damascus and Jerusalem, then all the people in Judea—and after that the gentiles—to repent, turn to God, and perform deeds that are consistent with such repentance.

NET Bible
but I declared to those in Damascus first, and then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds consistent with repentance.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“But from the first I preached to those in Darmsuq, and to those in Jerusalem and those in all the villages of Judea, and I preached also to the Gentiles that they repent and be converted to God and to do deeds worthy of a return to God.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Instead, I spread the message that I first told to the [Jewish] people in Damascus and Jerusalem and throughout the whole country of Judea. I spread the same message to non-Jewish people. Both groups were expected to change the way they thought and acted and to turn to God. I told them to do things that prove they had changed their lives.

Jubilee Bible 2000
but I announced first unto those of Damascus and at Jerusalem and throughout all the coasts of Judaea and then to the Gentiles that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance.

King James 2000 Bible
But showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.

American King James Version
But showed first to them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

American Standard Version
but declared both to them of Damascus first and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judaea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But to them first that are at Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and unto all the country of Judea, and to the Gentiles did I preach, that they should do penance, and turn to God, doing works worthy of penance.

Darby Bible Translation
but have, first to those both in Damascus and Jerusalem, and to all the region of Judaea, and to the nations, announced that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance.

English Revised Version
but declared both to them of Damascus first, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judaea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance.

Webster's Bible Translation
But showed first to them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

Weymouth New Testament
but I proceeded to preach first to the people in Damascus, and then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judaea, and to the Gentiles, that they must repent and turn to God, and live lives consistent with such repentance.

World English Bible
but declared first to them of Damascus, at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance.

Young's Literal Translation
but to those in Damascus first, and to those in Jerusalem, to all the region also of Judea, and to the nations, I was preaching to reform, and to turn back unto God, doing works worthy of reformation;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

26:12-23 Paul was made a Christian by Divine power; by a revelation of Christ both to him and in him; when in the full career of his sin. He was made a minister by Divine authority: the same Jesus who appeared to him in that glorious light, ordered him to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. A world that sits in darkness must be enlightened; those must be brought to know the things that belong to their everlasting peace, who are yet ignorant of them. A world that lies in wickedness must be sanctified and reformed; it is not enough for them to have their eyes opened, they must have their hearts renewed; not enough to be turned from darkness to light, but they must be turned from the power of Satan unto God. All who are turned from sin to God, are not only pardoned, but have a grant of a rich inheritance. The forgiveness of sins makes way for this. None can be happy who are not holy; and to be saints in heaven we must be first saints on earth. We are made holy, and saved by faith in Christ; by which we rely upon Christ as the Lord our Righteousness, and give up ourselves to him as the Lord our Ruler; by this we receive the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and eternal life. The cross of Christ was a stumbling-block to the Jews, and they were in a rage at Paul's preaching the fulfilling of the Old Testament predictions. Christ should be the first that should rise from the dead; the Head or principal One. Also, it was foretold by the prophets, that the Gentiles should be brought to the knowledge of God by the Messiah; and what in this could the Jews justly be displeased at? Thus the true convert can give a reason of his hope, and a good account of the change manifest in him. Yet for going about and calling on men thus to repent and to be converted, vast numbers have been blamed and persecuted.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 20. - Declared for showed, A.V.; both to them of Damascus first for first unto them of Damascus, A.V. and T.R.; country for coasts, A.V.; also for then, A.V.; doing for and do, A.V.; worthy of for meet for, A.V. Them of Damascus first, etc. He enumerates his evangelical labors in the order in which they took place: at Damascus first, as related in Acts 9:19-22; then at Jerusalem, as in Acts 9:26-29; and then those on a larger and wider scale, among the Jews of Palestine and the heathen in all the countries which he visited. Throughout all the country of Judaea. This does not allude to any preaching in the land of Judaea at the time of his first visit to Jerusalem (Acts 9:25), because he says in Galatians 1:22, that at that time, viz. before he went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia, he was still "unknown by face unto the Churches of Judaea." But he had opportunities later of preaching in Judaea. For instance, the language of Acts 11:29 suggests that such an opportunity may have arisen when Paul and Barnabas carried up the alms of the Christians at Antioch "unto the brethren that dwelt in Judaea." Another opportunity he manifestly had when he passed with Barnabas through Phoenicia and Samaria to Jerusalem, as related in Acts 15:3. Another, when he went from Caesarea to Jerusalem, as related in Acts 18:22. Again, there was room for working among the Jews in Palestine while he was staying at Caesarea "many days," and journeying to Jerusalem, as we read in Acts 21:10, 15. So that there is no contradiction whatever between the statement in this verse and that in Galatians 1:22. The clauses in this verse are two:

(1) "both to them at Damascus, and at Jerusalem first;" and

(2) "and throughout all Judaea, and to the Gentiles."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

But showed first unto them of Damascus,.... The Jews at Damascus to whom the apostle first preached; see Acts 9:20.

and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea; observing the order of his mission, Acts 26:17 though it was not until after he had been in Arabia, and had returned to Damascus, that he went to Jerusalem, and preached there; see Galatians 1:17 compared with Acts 9:28.

and then to the Gentiles; as at Antioch in Pisidia, at Iconium, Derbe, and Lystra in Lycaonia; and at Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea in Macedonia; and in many places in Greece and Asia, as at Athens, Corinth, Ephesus, and others, as this history shows; and indeed he preached the Gospel from Jerusalem round about to Illyricum;

that they should repent; that is, that they should repent of their sins; of sin in general, as it is committed against God, is a transgression of his law, and as it is in itself exceeding sinful, and in its effects dreadful; and of particular sins, such as men have been more especially addicted to, and of which the Jews and Gentiles, the apostle was sent unto, and to whom he preached, had been guilty: as the former of their will worship, and following the commandments and traditions of men, thereby making void the law of God; of their rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah; of their persecution of his apostles, ministers, and people; and of their trust in, and dependence upon, their own righteousness for justification: and the latter of their immoralities, superstition, and idolatry; and both not of the outward gross actions of life only, but of inward sins and lusts: and repentance of each of these lies in a different sentiment of them; in a detestation and abhorrence of them; in shame and confusion on account of them; in self-reflections upon them, and humiliation for them; in an ingenuous acknowledgment of them, and turning from them: and this is not a national repentance which the ministers of the Gospel are to show to men the necessity of; though this is not unworthy of them, when there is a call in Providence to it, and the state of things require it; much less a legal one, but an evangelical repentance; which has along with it faith in Christ Jesus, dealing with his blood and righteousness for the remission of their sins, and their justification before God; and which springs from, and is encouraged and heightened by, a sense of the love of God: and now this being a part of the Gospel ministry, does not suppose it to be in the power of men to repent of themselves, since no man, whilst he remains insensible of the evil nature of sin, and the hardness of his heart continues, which none but God can remove, can repent; and when he becomes truly sensible, he then prays to God to give him repentance, and to turn him: nor does it at all contradict its being a blessing of the covenant, a gift of Christ, and a grace of the Spirit of God; nor does it suggest, that the preaching of the word is sufficient of itself to produce it; the contrary of which the ministry of John the Baptist, of Christ, and of his apostles, declares; but the design of its being insisted on in the Gospel ministry, is to show that men are sinners, and in such a state and condition, that they are in need of repentance, and that without it they must perish; and the rather this is to be quietly inculcated, since true repentance is unto life, is the beginning and evidence of spiritual life, and issues in eternal life; and since there is a close connection between that and salvation, and that without it there is no salvation. It follows,

and turn to God; this is to be understood, not of the first work of conversion, which is God's work, and not man's act, and in which man is passive, and which is before repentance, whereas this follows upon it; though the ministers of the word have a concern with this; to bring about this is the design and use of their ministrations; their business is to show the nature of conversion, what it is, and wherein it lies; to rectify mistakes about it, and to observe the necessity of it: but here is designed a turning to God, in consequence of the grace of first conversion; by an acknowledgment and confession of sin to God, by an application to him for pardoning grace and mercy, by a trust and dependence on him for righteousness, life, and salvation, and by obedience to his commands and ordinances. It intends a turning of the Jews from their evil principles and practices, from the traditions of their elders to the law of God, the Gospel of Christ, and the ordinances of it, and of the Gentiles, from their idols to the worship of the true and living God:

and do works meet for repentance the same with "fruits meet for repentance", Matthew 3:8. And such as are particularly mentioned in 2 Corinthians 7:11 they are they which are the reverse of the evil actions they have been guilty of, and which are properly good works. And they are they which are done according to the will of God declared in his word, this is a requisite of a good work; what is not according to the word of God is not a good work, nor can it be any evidence of repentance; and they are also such as spring from love to God, for if they are done through fear of punishment, or for sinister and selfish ends, they show repentance to be a mere legal one: and they are such as are done in faith, in the name and strength of Christ, and to the glory of God by him. All external good works are designed, which show that the inward repentance professed, and that the outward change made in religion and worship, are genuine and sincere: the doctrines of internal repentance and outward worship, and all good works, are parts of the Gospel ministry, and to be insisted on in their proper places.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

20. showed … to them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem—omitting Arabia; because, beginning with the Jews, his object was to mention first the places where his former hatred of the name of Christ was best known: the mention of the Gentiles, so unpalatable to his audience, is reserved to the last.

repent and return to God, and do works meet for repentance—a brief description of conversion and its proper fruits, suggested, probably, by the Baptist's teaching (Lu 3:7, 8).

Acts 26:20 Additional Commentaries
Context
Paul's Testimony to Agrippa
19"So, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance. 21"For this reason some Jews seized me in the temple and tried to put me to death.…
Cross References
Jeremiah 18:11
"Now therefore say to the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, 'This is what the LORD says: Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.'

Jeremiah 35:15
Again and again I sent all my servants the prophets to you. They said, "Each of you must turn from your wicked ways and reform your actions; do not follow other gods to serve them. Then you will live in the land I have given to you and your ancestors." But you have not paid attention or listened to me.

Matthew 3:8
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

Luke 3:8
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.

Acts 3:19
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,

Acts 9:15
But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.

Acts 9:19
and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus.

Acts 9:26
When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.

Acts 13:46
Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: "We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.

Acts 17:30
In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.

Acts 20:21
I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.

Acts 22:17
"When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance

Acts 26:19
"So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven.
Treasury of Scripture

But showed first to them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

first.

Acts 9:19-22 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul …

Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And it came …

and at.

Acts 9:28,29 And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem…

Acts 22:17,18 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even …

and then.

Acts 26:17 Delivering you from the people, and from the Gentiles, to whom now I send you,

Acts 13:46-48 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that …

Acts 14:16-21 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways…

Acts 22:21,22 And he said to me, Depart: for I will send you far hence to the Gentiles…

Romans 11:18-20 Boast not against the branches. But if you boast, you bore not the …

repent.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you …

Acts 3:19 Repent you therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out…

Acts 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified …

Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all …

Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward …

Jeremiah 31:19,20 Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was …

Ezekiel 18:30-32 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according …

Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the …

Matthew 9:13 But go you and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not …

Matthew 21:30-32 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and …

Mark 6:12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

Luke 13:3,5 I tell you, No: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish…

Luke 15:7,10 I say to you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner …

Luke 24:46,47 And said to them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ …

Romans 2:4 Or despise you the riches of his goodness and forbearance and long-suffering…

2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be repented …

2 Timothy 2:25,26 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure …

Revelation 2:5,21 Remember therefore from where you are fallen, and repent, and do …

Revelation 3:3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast, …

Revelation 16:11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their …

turn.

Acts 9:35 And all that dwelled at Lydda and Saron saw him, and turned to the Lord.

Acts 14:15 And saying, Sirs, why do you these things? We also are men of like …

Acts 15:19 Why my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the …

Psalm 22:27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD: and …

Lamentations 3:40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.

Hosea 12:6 Therefore turn you to your God: keep mercy and judgment and wait …

Hosea 14:2 Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say to him, Take away …

Luke 1:16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.

2 Corinthians 3:16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.

1 Thessalonians 1:9 For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had to you…

and do.

Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: …

Matthew 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

Luke 3:8-14 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not …

Luke 19:8,9 And Zacchaeus stood, and said to the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half …

Ephesians 4:17-32 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you from now …

Ephesians 5:1-25 Be you therefore followers of God, as dear children…

Ephesians 6:1-9 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right…

Titus 2:2-13 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in …

1 Peter 1:14-16 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the …

1 Peter 2:9-12 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, …

1 Peter 4:2-5 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to …

2 Peter 1:5-8 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; …

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