William Hartmann, co-founder of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, has suggested the life-changing event experienced by Paul the Apostle was likely a meteor that exploded in the sky above Damascus, Syria, over 2,000 years ago.
Paul – who was then known as Saul – was travelling from Jerusalem on a mission to get the early disciples of Jesus in order to take them back for punishment.
“And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4) And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5) And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks” – Acts 9:3-5
Paul was blinded by that bright light, because it was JESUS, and NO MAN can look upon the face of GOD and Live!
And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live- Exodus 33:20 (KJV).
Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. – 1 Timothy 6:16 (KJV).
Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: – Psalm 104:2 (KJV).
At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire – Psalm 18:12 (KJV).
After three days of blindness, Paul was healed by Ananias and converted to Christianity, and went preaching to the world that Jesus is the Son of God!
17) And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. – Acts 9:17 (KJV).
Paul’s Christianity was a radical change in his whole nature. After three days of blindness, he literally could see in the Spirit and the Flesh. He was imparted the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. He went out of Jerusalem a persecutor, he came into Damascus a Christian. He rode out of Jerusalem hating, loathing, despising Jesus Christ; he groped his way into Damascus, broken, bruised, clinging contrite to His feet, and clasping His Cross as his only hope. He went out proud, self-reliant, pluming himself upon his many prerogatives, his blue blood, his pure descent, his Rabbinical knowledge, his Pharisaical training, his external religious earnestness, his rigid morality; he rode into Damascus blind in the eyes, but seeing in the soul, and discerning that all these things were, as he says in his strong, vehement way, ‘but dung’ in comparison with his winning Christ. AMEN!
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them- 1 Corinthians 4:4 (KJV).
However, Hartmann said that Paul’s description of the bright light closely aligns with accounts of those of the massive Chelyabinsk meteor that struck Russia two years ago.
“The well-recorded Chelyabinsk event, the Tunguska event, and the re-entry of the Zond IV vehicle offer opportunities to compare reactions of modern eyewitnesses to eyewitness accounts of possible ancient fireball events,” the study published in the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science said.
They wrote how the Acts of the Apostles gives three separate descriptions of a bright light “from heaven” that took place during the 30s BC around Damascus. The study also points out that Paul’s temporary blindness fits in with a condition caused by intense radiation from a meteor explosion.
“The details offer a strikingly good match to a Chelyabinsk-class or Tunguska-class fireball. Among the most impressive, unexpected consistencies with modern knowledge is the first-century description of symptoms of temporary blindness caused by exposure to intense radiation, matching a condition now known as photokeratitis.”
Researchers added that the perception of an unfamiliar natural celestial apparition are often explained by the observer in terms of the current cultural conceptions, “and it is suggested that this happened also in the first-century case”.
Commenting on the study, Bill Cooke, head of Nasa’s Meteoroid Environment Office, told New Scientist it is not out of the realms of possibility that a meteor could have altered the course of Christianity.
“It’s well recorded that extraterrestrial impacts have helped to shape the evolution of life on this planet. If it was a Chelyabinsk fireball that was responsible for Paul’s conversion, then obviously that had a great impact on the growth of Christianity.”
Mark Bailey, from the Armagh Observatory in the UK, added that Hartmann’s theory could be proved but it would be no easy feat: “If a meteorite is discovered in modern Syria in the future, the first thing to test would be how long it’s been on the Earth and whether it could potentially be associated with such a recent fall.”
Source: IBT and Lisa Muhar
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For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry – 2 Timothy 4:3-5 (KJV).
For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:- 2 Peter 3:5 (KJV).
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction – 2 Peter 2:1 (KJV).
Paul was Converted on the Road to Damascus – The Story as told in Acts Chapter 9:
And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2) And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3) And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4) And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5) And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6) And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 7) And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. 8) And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. 9) And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
Ananias Baptizes Saul
10) And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. 11And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 12) And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. 13) Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: 14) And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. 15) But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16) For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. 17) And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18) And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. 19) And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.
I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded – Isaiah 45:12 (KJV).
And forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor? – Isaiah 51:13 (KJV).
It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity – Isaiah 40:22-23 (KJV).
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear- Hebrews 11:3 (KJV).